DPP Ubers - Arceus Voting


It's been about a year since Arceus was enabled in DPP Ubers with the legally obtainable method ("Farceus"), and back then I said that the decision was a preliminary one that would have a follow up vote so that the DPP community can decide if Arceus should stick around or not. Today is that day!

I will refrain from personally going over the impact Arceus has had on the metagame since it was introduced as it's fairly subjective, but users are welcome to use the thread to discuss their viewpoint and maybe sway some voters one way or the other. I will only speak of the voting process and how it came about. I will point out early that this whole deal was deliberated extensively amongst myself, Hogg and TonyFlygon to try and handle this as best as possible.

The voting requirements came about through tournament performances in DPP over the past 2 years, which I'll detail soon. Why 2 years when Arceus has only been officially part of the metagame for one? Well, my intent with this vote was to be fairly inclusive. As the official inclusion of Arceus to the DPP metagame is a controversial topic and may have dissuaded players from playing it recently, I wanted to include the opinions of the prior playerbase and also buff the voting pool a bit more than if it was just the past year of DPP tournaments. This means we covered one year before Arceus (2019), and one year after (2020). This is a significant tiering change to an old generation of Ubers and should be decided by as many DPP players as we can reasonably include.

The criteria we used for reqs differed per tournament. Smaller tournaments naturally result in less games to win and the existence of round robins make using a consistent rule difficult, so we adapted. The full list of criteria and who it matched are as follows:
DPP Ubers Cup (2019 + 2020)
Criteria: Semi-Finalist+

March Fires (DPP Cup III - 2019)
Hack (DPP Cup III - 2019)
Chill Shadow (DPP Cup III - 2019)
squinn (DPP Cup III - 2019)
Pohjis (DPP Cup III - 2019)

Staxi (DPP Cup IV - 2020)
SoulWind (DPP Cup IV - 2020)
SparksBlade (DPP Cup IV - 2020)
Lord Thorx (DPP Cup IV - 2020)
byronthewellwell (DPP Cup IV - 2020)
dream (DPP Cup IV - 2020)

Ubers Premier League 7 + 8
Criteria: 4+ DPP matches played


Highlord (UPL 7)
BKC (UPL 7)
Stone_Cold (UPL 7)
M Dragon (UPL 7)

Staxi (UPL 8)
Manaphy (UPL 8)
Aishia (UPL 8)
Tomahawk (UPL 8)
Finchinator (UPL 8)
Hamhamhamhamham (UPL 8)
Lord Thorx (UPL 8)

Hack (UPL 7 + 8 combined)
squinn (UPL 7 + 8 combined)

Arceus DPP Type C (2019)
Criteria: Finalists+


SoulWind
iry

Arceus DPP Type B (2020)
Criteria: Finalists+


Highlord
Serga
Manaphy

Ubers Live (2019)
Criteria: Top 2 DPP Points


Pohjis
byronthewellwell **
Skysolo **
** had same points (4)

Ubers Live II (2020)
Criteria: Top 2 DPP Points


Kei Kikuno
Lasen

Some users that earned reqs are banned - they are not mentioned here. If you are on this list multiple times you still only get one vote.
There are 25 unique users.

Let's get to the point. The vote here will decide if Arceus should be banned from DPP Ubers or not. A vote to ban Arceus includes all of its formes. The ban threshold is 60%, so 15 ban votes assuming everyone votes. Modern Ubers votes require 66.6% to pass but that isn't appropriate to apply here. Going lower (50%) is also not appropriate for a Pokemon to be banned from Ubers, so we have a good middle ground in 60%.

If you have voting requirements as per the above list, you must forum DM me your vote in this format:
Code:
Arceus: Ban
Arceus: Do Not Ban
The vote will be counted Sunday 11th October at 8pm GMT +1. If I receive all votes before then I can conclude it earlier - this vote operates on the newer standards. Don't forget to vote!
 
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i'm told the tags didn't go through so here we go


Since we have some fails already, you send me your vote through forum conversation. This is Policy Review, not Blind Voting. This thread itself is for discussion on Arceus in the metagame or reasoning behind their votes should anyone want to do so.
 

steelskitty

you fucking people make me sick
is a Tutor Alumnusis a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Past WCoP Champion
The last time I posted about this, it was at dream's request. It was the thing that brought me out of retirement and eventually led to me getting back to being involved in Ubers in a serious way, so I guess it's a pretty big deal to me. I'm copy-pasting that post here because I want to reflect on it.
so i'd be in favor of keeping arceus out of dpp ubers altogether. my reasoning isn't really entrenched in ~policy precedent~ nor on whether full/farceus would break the tier. instead, it's based on something way more subjective but also probably more important: fun.

my main concern with adding full arceus is that dpp ubers will become way too similar to bw ubers. the metagame effect of including a thing like arceus is obvious -- it'll be super centralizing, your team will suck if it doesn't have it, and a significant portion of games will come down to successfully predicting what sort of arceus your opponent has. none of this is inherently bad, not by any stretch -- bw ubers has always been and will always be my favorite ubers gen, and my points in that previous sentence are taken pretty directly from the most obvious conclusions arising from my metagame experience there. the bad thing is when dpp ubers just becomes bw ubers but without team preview.

to expand on what i mean by that: check out the bw and dpp ubers vr threads. yeah, a lot of stuff is shifted around a trivial number of places, but if you were to take arceus out of the bw ubers vr the pokemon in both gens' vr threads would be almost identical. the point here is that, more than anything else, the key differentiating factor between the two tiers' metagames is that bw has arceus and dpp does not. now, yeah, you have genesect in bw2, and for those reasons you wouldn't be caught dead using something like scizor in bw, and yeah, you have a few team-specific guys like terrakion and excadrill….but aside from those, what you're gonna see if you bring fullceus into dpp is a set of viable pokemon nearly identical to that of bw. kyogre and dialga and palkia and giratina-o and lati@s and deoxyses and tyranitar and darkrai and groudon and ho-oh and tentacruel are all giant parts of both tiers already. it wouldn't make sense that including arceus in dpp would change the usage or viability of any of those guys, because, again, the tier would just look way more similar to bw.

now, if bw ubers is my favorite ubers, why wouldn't I want dpp to look more like bw? well, from my experience in multiple gens of ubers, the fun thing about having/playing multiple gens of ubers in the first place is that they are notably different from each other. I don't think it's a huge stretch to say that's a big reason having multiple gens of tiers in tours is such a big part of this site, but having different versions of the same gen (like bw and bw2, d/p and dpp, rs and rse) totally isn't. why would you play bw when you can play bw2? why sm instead of usm? the question will then become: why play dpp ubers when you can have bw? the inclusion of arceus in bw is such a huge part of what makes bw bw, much like how the inclusion of primal groudon in oras is what makes oras oras and not bw extended mix/vip (ft. xerneas).

put another way: im feeling as though the burden of proof here is on pro-arceus dudes to explain why having what's nearly a carbon copy of bw without team preview is fun/necessary. does it make sense from a legalistic, policy-minded standpoint to include arceus in dpp? I mean, probably -- it's been legal in cartridge dpp since before I even joined smogon. but inserting arceus into the tier, while adhering to one precedent, comes at the risk of slighting a much more fundamental one: the precedent of keeping tiers fun.
There are a lot of uninformed takes here — my stance was based on pure theorymon, and almost all my comments on the meta haven't aged well. In September I took it upon myself to play a few hundred games of farceus on the DPP ladder, a ladder which was of a surprisingly high quality and which in my opinion developed the meta roughly as much as UPL did. I don't have voting reqs myself because they were never actually made clear prior to the posting of this thread today and I only played in a single tour that would give me reqs. However, I have played more games in this tier than what I'd guess are a large majority of the players who do have reqs. I think this makes me qualified to at least talk about farceus, much more so than i was back in December.
dpp #1 peak #2.PNG

(I reset a lot early on because of dogshit fucking trash useless squinn teams tanking my w/l and GXE, but if you added ~100 games you'd have roughly the number I played, not to mention nearly constant friendlies with Zayele and others).
So what did I learn? Well, my idea that farceus would turn DPP Ubers into shitty BW was wrong. Do you have DPP teams that'd work with the same six Pokemon in BW if you changed a few sets, and vice-versa? Well, yes. Are these teams the norm, and can you really say you're good at DPP just by being good at BW? Not at all! I neglect to mention a whole lot of super relevant differences between the two gens in my original post. The lack of team preview is significant. Arceus being slower than Latis and Garchomp is significant. Psystrike, Psyshock, and Dragon Tail not existing are significant. The lack of Ferrothorn, Genesect, and Excadrill is significant. Tentacruel lacking Rain Dish, Ho-Oh lacking Regenerator, and Gliscor lacking Poison Heal are all significant, and so on and so forth. It's my opinion that the farceus meta isn't solved yet, but even if it gets to that point I still don't think it'll look as similar to BW as I projected it would. The argument I devoted most of that original post to, that DPP would be too similar to BW, is simply wrong.

Where does that leave my stance on farceus? I'm actually not in favor of getting rid of it. Like most people who hadn't played the tier enough to have a really informed opinion on it, I initially really disliked Arceus. It seemed to me like it restricted teambuilding an unreasonable amount and added too much uncertainty into games. Pre-farceus DPP Ubers certainly wasn't broken, so why would you ever try to fix it? The more I played farceus DPP, though, the more sense it made to me. None of the Arceus forms are uncompetitive, not even the much-talked about Extreme Killer. I don't even think any of them are broken, certainly not to the extent that things like Kyogre, Dialga, and Groudon are. Do Extreme Killer, Calm Mind Arceus-Fighting and -Steel, and some lesser-used formes like Ghost/Grass/Electric/Ground pose new threats that you need to account for in the teambuilder? Sure, but they also help defensively balance the tier so things like Giratina-O/Palkia/Rayquaza don't steamroll teams as easily. Keeping Arceus around is not a case of making DPP Ubers intrinsically better or worse — it just gives you a set of trade-offs, a choice between which Pokemon dominate the tier.

I want to talk about Extreme Killer in particular because it seems to be the one most people are up-in-arms about. There are so many ways to handle it! Defensively you have the Giratinas, Groudon, Skarmory, Forretress, Lugia, Bronzong, and Scizor as checks, with your own Will-o-Wisp Arceus or Calm Mind Arceus-Ghost as shaky checks. Offensive checks include Kabutops, Scarf Dialga, and Scarf Metagross. You can furthermore deny it setup by putting Roar on things like Dialga, the Latis, and Palkia; if you get Stealth Rock + Spikes, you've cut half its health before it does any damage to your team. Hell, you can even deny it setup by 2HKOing it 1v1 — Arceus-Fighting Judgment, Palkia Hydro Pump, offensive Groudon Earthquake, Mewtwo Aura Sphere, Kyogre Surf, Life Orb Garchomp Outrage, and SpA-invested Latias Draco Meteor are some of the things with excellent odds to do this after just Stealth Rock. And let's not forget that Extreme Killer needs Adamant Silk Scarf to always 2HKO even Latias in return if Stealth Rock isn't up on your side. It's so weak! Here are some relevant calcs to support this point:
+2 100+ Atk Silk Scarf Arceus Extreme Speed vs. 144 HP / 0 Def Ho-Oh: 316-373 (81.2 - 95.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+2 100+ Atk Silk Scarf Arceus Extreme Speed vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Mewtwo: 316-373 (89.2 - 105.3%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO
+2 100+ Atk Silk Scarf Arceus Extreme Speed vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Palkia: 289-342 (89.7 - 106.2%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO
+2 100+ Atk Silk Scarf Arceus Extreme Speed vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Rayquaza: 316-373 (90 - 106.2%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO
+2 100+ Atk Silk Scarf Arceus Extreme Speed vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Garchomp: 303-357 (84.6 - 99.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+2 100+ Atk Silk Scarf Arceus Extreme Speed vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Kyogre: 316-373 (78.4 - 92.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
+2 100+ Atk Silk Scarf Arceus Extreme Speed vs. 100 HP / 100 Def Arceus: 228-268 (56.1 - 66%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Note that all of these calcs are versus things that are explicitly not Extreme Killer checks, and note also that I've generously given it its best-case scenario for raw power — Extreme Killer also viably and commonly runs Jolly Silk Scarf, Lum Berry, and Leftovers, among other things, meaning that in practice it's likely to be even weaker than these calcs suggest. Needing Stealth Rock to get a >50% chance to OHKO a bunch of offensive Pokemon is hardly what you'd hope for on a so-good-it's-uncompetitive metagame killer, don't you think?

"But Jacqueline," you say, "doesn't Extreme Killer have methods to beat all its checks?" Sure it does! In a vacuum, Extreme Killer can have Lum and Chople Berry and Sun Overheat and Recover and shudder Substitute and Roar and Power Herb Shadow Force and any number of things. In practice, though, the most common one you'll see is just SD/Extreme Speed/Earthquake/Shadow Claw, because every one of its "tech" sets that beats some checks loses real hard to more. Just about everything that drops Earthquake loses real bad to support Dialga, for instance, a Pokemon that's inasnely splashable, good, and common regardless of Extreme Killer. You saw a bit of Extreme Killer doing decent in UPL, but you can and should attribute this to a combination of a lack of metagame development (note the lack of Roar on Giratina-O), hax, and poor play. Extreme Killer Arceus is, in practice, not any harder to manage in DPP than it is in BW Ubers, and it's a valid metagame take that it's not even good in BW Ubers.

I'm going to devote less space to talking about the other Arceus forms, because I've actually never heard the take that any of them individually break the tier. Just about everything outside of Extreme Killer runs Calm Mind, bar the fringe SD sets for -Ghost, -Ground, and -Steel and support sets which obviously don't pose the same kind of threat. The SD sets are more niche versions of Extreme Killer, trading good matchups versus some checks for abysmal ones versus others. The Calm Mind Arceus formes, meanwhile, are dealt with variously through: Toxic Spikes, SpD Groudon, Thunder Wave Kyogre, Darkrai, Calm Mind wars with your own Arceus, Mewtwo, Explosion from things like Forretress and Qwilfish, the Latis, support Dialga, Blissey, Heatran, Ho-Oh, and even support Dialga for some of them. All these things are viable and even good in the tier without Arceus around, so I don't even think you can argue that these formes put undue pressure on building. Nor is it a good take that not knowing the opponent's Arceus makes games unreasonably hard to play — even aside from how the only threatening Arceus forms do one of two things (SD or Calm Mind) that are not uncheckable with skillful play and sensible building, part of being good at DPP Ubers, Arceus or not, is being able to logically intuit your opponent's team and play based on that. Guessing Arceus forms is a part of this skill component. It's rarely something that decides games, but it gives the player with more metagame knowledge a small advantage they can then capitalize on. It should almost never be the sole difference between a won or lost game, and if you think it often is I'd invite you to reflect on your own playing before blaming the tier itself for your problems.

I've addressed all the common pro-ban metagame arguments I can think of, but II recognize that some people might be persuaded to vote "ban" based on a perception that Arceus is broken. This is straight-up invalid — even if you still believe that Arceus is broken after my arguments assessing it as reasonable, recognize that brokenness is not, never has been, and probably never will be a reason to ban anything from Ubers. Lower tiers are free to ban based on brokenness, but this is Ubers, a tier that has always had the precedent of tiering only when a game element is uncompetitive. I invite you to look at all of Ubers's prior tiering decisions (there haven't been many) and find a decision that factors in brokenness when determining whether to keep or ban something. I don't think you can. Why? Because, since the birth of competitive discussion regarding Ubers, it has been a fundamental element of Ubers tiering philosophy that it does not ban based on brokenness. Things like Rayquaza, Dialga, and Kyogre are for sure broken in DPP Ubers, yet you never hear informed arguments to ban them, because they don't actually ruin the tier. You might even say that we play Ubers because of the option it gives you to use broken things in a competitive environment. Recognize that this would be the only time Ubers has ever banned a Pokemon (Mega Rayquaza is a forme) in 10+ years of existence. This is a historic moment for the tier. If even a single one of you votes to ban Arceus based on a subjective impression of "brokenness," I'm going to be incredibly disappointed.

I think there are only two valid arguments to oppose keeping Arceus in the tier. The first is that Arceus is uncompetitive. I spend the bulk of my post addressing why I think that's an uninformed take, and why keeping Arceus in the tier gives you a metagame that is equally competitive, if not more competitive, than no-Arceus DPP. The second argument is that this tiering process was handled very questionably. This is the only real horse pro-ban players have in this race, I feel.

Significantly, there's no evident record of anyone asking for Farceus to be freed prior to Nayrz's thread on it at the end of last year, and it's not clear to me that that there was a community consensus to allow it even after his thread. To quote Nayrz's OP:
Farceus is a secondary method to allowing Arceus that I believe is a poor choice of action for reasons covered earlier, but is mentioned as a possibility for the glitch avoidant among us. It would take a significant community consensus for this to be the course of action, and I think should only be considered as a complex ban aimed to balance Arceus in the metagame rather than elected for as a policy decision against glitched Pokemon.
It's important to note that this point was made in the context of Nayrz feeling that freeing fullceus would be best. I see a clear aversion to freeing fullceus as soon as the third post in the thread, yet I don't think we ever got the "significant community consensus" that was hoped for before freeing farceus. I do see pro-farceus posts, yet also see vocal dissent throughout the entire thread, up until the point where the discussion (rather prematurely) died. If we buy that tiering is a democratic or at least pseudo-democratic process, I think it should necessarily represent the desires of the playerbase at large, and I'm not convinced that the original decision to free farceus did that. Speaking anecdotally, I can tell that this decision, almost a year after it was made, is still controversial.

So why am I still pro-farceus despite this? I feel that the shaky process of freeing it is mostly tangential to the reality of the fun, totally playable DPP Ubers we've ended up with. A number of 2019 anti-farceus arguments, my own in particular, are based on speculation that's since been proven to be unfounded. I like Theorymon's post in the original thread a lot, particularly this part:
But to take a step back here for a moment, I think we all need to remember that in the end, most Smogon formats like Ubers and OU are just very popular fan formats. Lets say Farceus is reintroduced, and unlike in 2010, the vast majority of plays HATE it. As in, it destroys the current DPP Ubers community, and a new one doesn't seem to be forming in sight. Like shrang , I don't really like the idea of using community inertia as an argument to keep an old mistake like Farceus being banned due to simulator limitations staying for so long, but I get the concern. Unlike say... Battle Stadium Singles, it's not like we're powerless to make changes if unbanning Farceus has unintended consequences.

If the new playerbase and DPP Ubers metagame has a vastly different reaction to Farceus than it did a decade ago, it's not like you can't do a suspect test. It doesn't even have to be for every forme, maybe just one particular Arceus forme might cause the hate or whatever. I just think that regardless, it's a mistake to stick with the status quo here. I think the best move would be to unban Farceus, and then determine what to do with it later.
From a tiering standpoint, almost regardless of community opinion, it made plenty of sense to at least give farceus a chance; it was never banned for a reason consistent with Ubers tiering philosophy, and the impact of giving it that chance hasn't been wholly negative. Whether or not it should've been given this chance much sooner also feels tangential to me. I'm not convinced that we'd get a meaningfully different outcome had we had this discussion years ago, and I respect Nayrz for taking the initiative to finally resolve the farceus question.

Where Nayrz has fallen short to me, however, is the way the aftermath of freeing farceus has been handled. This is wholly unrelated to my previous points, yet I feel the need to address it. For months, people have been asking what, if anything, will happen to farceus. I think I speak for many of us when I say that the lack of transparency regarding what's been going on has been really grating. On my end, I've actively told numerous contributors on more than one occasion that they shouldn't invest too much effort into contributing to the DPP segment of the Ubers Old Gens Hub, because their hard work could be erased at any time. This uncertainty regarding when or if the farceus situation would be resolved actively put me (and I'm sure others) off from engaging with the tier. Prior to this, I was passionate enough about the tier to be a DPP Ubers Cup finalist. The haziness of a possible timeline for a farceus re-ban almost singlehandedly killed that passion — why invest effort into engaging with a metagame that could be gone tomorrow, with almost no warning? I also am bothered by how Nayrz has opened up farceus voting at exactly the same time he has opened up further farceus discussion. Today I felt that I had to drop everything else to respond to this as soon as possible, and I make this post knowing full well anyway that half of you will have already voted before I finish it. Nayrz, you should have given us at least a few days to construct pro- or anti-ban arguments before opening voting. What you've done undermines the point of having another thread for discussion in the first place — you're shutting out the voices of contributors like myself who didn't make voting reqs yet still feel passionately about this issue. I am hoping that my post sways some of you who have already voted to cast your votes differently, just as I'm hoping that those of you who waited to vote will consider what I have to say. But that's all I can do — hope.
 
I mostly agree with the points re: Arceus in terms of metagame impact, with the exception that "Ubers never bans for broken" is no longer true. Mega Rayquaza and the Dynamax Clause are two examples of bans for simply having a power level well well beyond anything else in the metagame, which is the marker for such an idea - excessive power relative to the meta in question. Everything is broken in Ubers by most tier metrics, but here most elements balance each other out and the tier is still competitive. We're talking extremes of extremes where it isn't balanced out by other metagame elements and really warps the meta before outright strength becomes an argument for action. I don't personally think Arceus in DPP is anything close to that. I do think many people are voting on the basis of preferring the older metagame because the argument of power feels like excessive exaggeration, but its being entertained due to the nature of how all this came about. That said, I'm not voting and people are welcome to use theirs how they like. The process criticism I can go over though.
For months, people have been asking what, if anything, will happen to farceus. I think I speak for many of us when I say that the lack of transparency regarding what's been going on has been really grating.
The main thing I have to say to this is that I cannot be transparent when the situation was very uncertain. This is a completely new area we're working in and I attempted to be transparent very early on - I said there would be a vote despite not actually knowing for certain when it could have been a suspect test ladder or something different. I once said quarter-finals of tournaments would be sufficient requirements when I was asked way earlier in the year, but they turned out to be poor requirements for some cases when I was discussing criteria with SS. The number of wins to reach x stage in some tours took more than others, not to mention round robins exist, so one size didn't fit all and we had to raise the bar at various points to be fit for purpose. Transparency worked against me in that regard to the point it was better to sort it out first and make comments later. Its nice to call for transparency and I like to be when I can, but it didn't help me and the process of dealing with this situation at all to do so. It had to be figured out first.
I also am bothered by how Nayrz has opened up farceus voting at exactly the same time he has opened up further farceus discussion.
The primary intent of this thread is to say who can vote and how they can vote, along with the details. The discussion aspect is entirely secondary and posting a thread to say "we're doing a vote soon let's hear your opinions again" is only going to cause further annoyance. Users are welcome to give their thoughts regardless of obtained reqs which is one reason I felt it did no harm to allow discussion posts to/from voters on the fence, but I think most people have had their minds set on this for a while. The only question to answer is which opinion is stronger and settle this matter so we can move on for good.

I'm still waiting on a small number of voters, so I'll use this post as a reminder to the following users to vote: Hack March Fires SparksBlade iry Serga Hamhamhamhamham - it would be better for everyone if the full voting pool decided the result. Deadline is Sunday 8pm GMT+1!
 
The deadline has passed and here are the results...
Lord Thorx
Pohjis
BKC
Stone_Cold
byronthewellwell
dream
squinn
Finchinator
Aishia
M Dragon
Chill Shadow
Tomahawk
Hack
Hamhamhamhamham
iry

SoulWind
Skysolo
Manaphy
Lasen
Kei Kikuno
Staxi
Highlord
March Fires
SparksBlade

Serga

Totals

Ban: 15
Do Not Ban: 9
Absent: 1
Total Pool: 24 *
Ban% = 62.5%

* As per the new standards of voting, absent voters are not included in the total pool when the vote is counted.

With the above result, all of Arceus's formes are now banned from DPP Ubers and we return to the metagame of old once more. This time though, it was done democratically and how it should have been many years ago. The matter should now be considered final and closed.

Tagging Kris The Immortal Marty to carry this out on PS - thanks in advance. Thank you to everyone who contributed and voted!

edit: I was told this counts towards TC, so if you have the following requirements DM me all your suspect votes:

Tiering Contributor (
) is awarded to those with 10 tiering-related votes across all tiers or 4 tiering-related votes in Ubers suspect tests.
 
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