Durant and Moltres in BW RU

As promised, here's a second (and hopefully last) PR thread for BW RU. I apologize for how much time it took, but right during BW RU Cup BWPL started, and i opted to wait for that to finish to get a more fresh view by more players. Of course everyone is free to join the discussion. If you cant post consult here.

:bw/moltres:

Moltres has no reliable checks outside of Lanturn, and even supposed checks like Aerodactyl can easily lose if they switch into it with rocks up and get HP Grass'd on the turn they Roost. Only realistic counterplay is having rocks up against it, but if it comes on anything slower, 120 BP Hurricane is just way too much for any Pokemon to handle. Building to avoid losing to Moltres is honestly one of the most annoying aspects of this tier.

:bw/durant:

Although Baton Passing into Shadow Tag is now no longer possible for Durant, it still remains way too powerful for the tier standards. It has perfect coverage for all its supposed checks like Steelix and Moltres, while stuff like Rocky Helmet Qwilfish gets way too much damage alone from hazards to be a reliable long term answer. Its cleaning potential is one of the best in the tier, arguably only behind Sceptile.

The real deal with both of them however is how much luck is involved when playing around them. Moltres Hurricane and any Durant move have decent chances of missing, but both of them are so good that its never not worth taking the risk. This turns most BW RU games into pure percentages rolls, and this very precise aspect has been one of the many reasons BW RU isn't enjoyed by most.

Tagging people that have been involved with BW RU recently:

Sorry if its maybe a bit too short, i'm tired but this was delayed too much already. Thanks for reading and i hope for an healthy discussion.
 

Finchinator

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Durant is busted.

Breaker sets like CB and Hone Claws (gem/LO) all invalidate most counterplay, handpicking what it can hit and what it can miss out on without any real issue given potential teammates. Defensive teams cannot mitigate it too well and oftentimes suffer if they guess wrong or lack a specific hard stop/string of correct predictions and even offensive teams likely lose a Pokemon or two due to how fast Durant is.

Scarf also picks off offensive teams better than anything else besides maybe Aerodactyl or SD Sceptile with the Unburden boost — and even those Pokemon can lose to priority, which Durant oftentimes resists and eats comfortably. It has many more situational checks and pivots, but offensive teams really lack a reliable switch in and have their momentum stopped cold when handling it. They have to predict around it while also getting entirely outran by Scarf Durant.

Durant is far too good an offensive presence for the metagame and even with the Hustle nonsense causing for inconsistency, it’s not enough to mitigate things.

PS: Qwilfish is at best a one-time check to non-Scarf and it is needed for many other things as well, so I do not want to see any “hurr durr just use RH Qwilfish” nonsense.

Moltres is much more manageable, but I can still see it being construed as broken. We have seen more Roost Aero, Lanturn, SDef Slowking, and Kabutops than ever before — some as reactionary measures to Moltres even — but none are durable counters more than practical checks. I think Moltres is still a bigger paper threat than it is one in practice, but this still holds teambuilding captive with brutal limitations, so I am fine with it going if there’s support. Just mostly indifferent myself, Durant is far more pressing to me. Will let others discuss this one more
 

SilentVerse

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While I haven't played very much Pokemon recently, I doubt the BW RU meta has shifted enough for my knowledge to be obsolete. So, here's my 2 cents:


- Durant is clearly not broken imo. From a teambuilding perspective, I find that unlike a lot of the other top-tier threats (Sceptile, Rotom-C, Moltres, Druddigon, namely) Durant is not a Pokemon that I need to consider actively to ensure that I don't lose to it. This is because Durant is actually easy to revenge kill due to its atrocious special defense and it has a lot of decent defensive checks that are just good, splashable Pokemon (Steelix, Alomomola, Qwilfish, Rotom, Aggron, Magneton, Moltres, Emboar). I find it pretty common to end up with teams with multiple Durant checks without necessarily thinking about the mon as a result. Durant also has a lot of niche checks that are viable on certain builds (Poliwrath, Gurdurr, Probopass) as well as ways to tech for it without sacrificing much (Tanga Uxie / Mesprit). Even just using combos of bulky-ish Pokemon that resist Durant's coverage moves (ie: Seismitoad as an Iron head switch + Garbodor to cover X-scissor / Superpower) goes a long way in my experience.

- While Durant does have multiple sets (Scarf / Band / Hone Claws), I think Scarf is clearly the best out of these sets since it plays into Durant's strength against offensive teams. While Band and Hone Claws are fine, I think Finch is severely overestimating how oppressive CB / Hone Claws sets are for defensive teams. Although you do need to play around it, CB tends to be checked by combinations of defensive stuff you want to be playing anyway (ie: Alomomola + Steel, or defensive check like Steelix / bulky Qwilfish + Scarfer) to name some examples) and Durant is generally easier to play around than something like Rotom-C (which either presses volt switch and chunks something + puts your opponent absurdly far ahead in momentum or kills your electric immune with Leaf Storm unless said electric immune is Rindo Golurk / Torterra) or Sceptile (guess the set wrong and you lose) or Gallade (has several different sets that all pressure defensive teams on a different axis). Hone Claws is a bit more of an issue, but it gives up a lot to be effective against slower teams. LO dies extremely fast from hazards + recoil + chip damage while Gem is actually pretty weak before a boost / without its gem. I find HC sets tend to maybe force a sac, then get forced out by a scarfer and be pretty useless afterwards. That's pretty different from stuff like Absol, which is tricky to revenge kill due to priority or Sigilyph, which can boost and become extremely difficult to kill, or even something like Jynx, which can protect itself with Substitute.

- Now, Scarf Durant is definitely very good against offense and I think a lot of the complaints about the mon come from offense vs offense matchups. I will also admit that in these matchups, Durant's inaccurate moves tends to make the matchups feel like coinflips at times. That being said, outside of RNG frustrations, I think all the major archetypes of BW RU offense can deal with it pretty well. Spikestack teams generally do fine against Scarf Ant with a combination of Qwilfish and another soft check like Rotom and FWG core offense has Moltres / Emboar / Entei + usually another soft check. Beyond those archetypes, there's also a bunch of archetypes that really just don't care about Durant at all (Shedinja Voltturn, Rain, Steel trapping with Magneton to name a few) and if you're really weak to Durant, for most offense teams, jamming Tanga berry on your Uxie / Mesprit won't cost you many percentage points in other matchups and covers one of the biggest threats to those teams. Scarf Ant is also quite mediocre against bulkier teams since it can't pressure Alomomola stall / bulky offense well, so there certainly are matchup concessions when using it.

- I think due to BW RU's small playerbase and the fact that meta knowledge wasn't really transferred from the old BW RU playerbase to the current RU playerbase, a lot of players are currently gravitating towards offensive teams which inherently struggle with Durant. These offense vs offense games with Durant are also severely influenced by Durant's inaccurate moves, which causes frustration with the Pokemon and the tier. However, I think there are plenty of reasonable ways to deal with Durant, and a lot of them aren't really being explored by the current BW RU playerbase. Alomomola having like, 3 uses total in RUPL is a pretty big indicator of this imo (yes, Gothorita was still a thing at the time, but Alomomola should still see way more use).

- I also think Durant is beneficial to the tier in some ways because it suppresses a lot of other borderline broken threats (Sceptile, Rotom-C, Druddigon somewhat) and keeps certain equally dumb playstyles from becoming problems (namely Dual Screens). BW RU's balance is very fragile, and I'm worried that banning Durant could lead to other problems down the road (and I would personally prefer making minimal changes to old gen lower tiers where possible). I get this is not really a valid reason to keep Durant unbanned, but basically I don't think banning Durant will fix all the issues people have with the tier, aside from maybe the variance.


- Moltres is also not broken. BW RU's spinners (Kabutops, Cryogonal) are quite good at dealing with Spikestacking, but are very poor when it comes to consistently keeping rocks off the field. So, even though Moltres has no counters on paper, it can only really switch in once or twice a match. This might be all Moltres needs with the right set into the right team matchups - LO Moltres dismantles bulkier teams without specific checks and Scarf Moltres only needs one switch-in to start pressing Hurricane against offensive teams. However, for the most part, I think teams are able to play around Moltres pretty well in practice despite having few answers to it on paper.

- However, Moltres does constrain teambuilding significantly. Moltres's checks are basically limited to Lanturn, Kabutops, Roost Aerodactyl, and SDef Slowking / Clefable. Lanturn generally fits on fewer teams than the other waters, and SDef Slowking / Clefable are good, but can also be tricky to fit onto teams as well (since bulky Slowking generally likes defense investment to handle stuff like Gallade / Pursuit). Kabutops and Aerodactyl are good and easily splashable on most offensive teams, but also lead to my next point:

- Moltres is probably the single biggest contributor to variance in BW RU. Between Hurricane's 70% accuracy and 30% confusion rate, there's a lot of games with Moltres which feel extremely luck based (some examples: Scarf Moltres hits four hurricanes in a row and wins by OHKOing 4 enemy Pokemon / Scarf Moltres misses Hurricane on Sceptile and you instantly lose / your sdef slowking tanks Hurricane, gets confused, and hits itself in confusion / your Aerodactyl misses Stone Edge on Moltres and dies to crit Hurricane). Increased Kabutops and Aerodactyl usage to deal with Moltres also doesn't help, since both of those Pokemon rely on hitting 80% accurate moves. So, while Moltres is not broken, I think banning it might be able to reduce some of the issues people have with variance in BW RU.

- Banning Moltres also probably wouldn't cause many issues down the line. The main concern with banning Moltres is that Sceptile can now run HP Ice and it removes a Durant check from the tier, but aside from this banning Moltres wouldn't have much of an impact on the tier.


tl;dr Neither are broken, but consider banning Moltres if RNG is too much of an issue in BW RU
 
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SBPC

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Piggybacking off of Finch's post here as it addresses one of the main issues in that Durant's breaker sets have very inconsistent checks. Most of the better Durant answers (Bulky fires, Escav, Qwilfish, etc) can only afford to come in once, not even factoring in BW's game changing critical hits and whatever nonsense rng Iron Head wants to put you through in the moment. This in addition to Durant's ability to run Choice Scarf sets and preserve itself to pick off teams in late game scenarios where your checks have most likely exhausted their hp bars leads to a lot of games where the situation becomes "oh the opponent got the Durant in, pray for a miss" and it's brutalizingly unhealthy for the tier.

- While Durant does have multiple sets (Scarf / Band / Hone Claws), I think Scarf is clearly the best out of these sets since it plays into Durant's strength against offensive teams. While Band and Hone Claws are fine, I think Finch is severely overestimating how oppressive CB / Hone Claws sets are for defensive teams. Although you do need to play around it, CB tends to be checked by combinations of defensive stuff you want to be playing anyway (ie: Alomomola + Steel, or defensive check like Steelix / bulky Qwilfish + Scarfer) to name some examples) and Durant is generally easier to play around than something like Rotom-C (which either presses volt switch and chunks something + puts your opponent absurdly far ahead in momentum or kills your electric immune with Leaf Storm unless said electric immune is Rindo Golurk / Torterra) or Sceptile (guess the set wrong and you lose) or Gallade (has several different sets that all pressure defensive teams on a different axis). Hone Claws is a bit more of an issue, but it gives up a lot to be effective against slower teams. LO dies extremely fast from hazards + recoil + chip damage while Gem is actually pretty weak before a boost / without its gem. I find HC sets tend to maybe force a sac, then get forced out by a scarfer and be pretty useless afterwards. That's pretty different from stuff like Absol, which is tricky to revenge kill due to priority or Sigilyph, which can boost and become extremely difficult to kill, or even something like Jynx, which can protect itself with Substitute.
While I agree that Durant is pretty easy to come back and kill once it's come in, hell you can even just trap it with the magnet if you have it, but typically it's always taking a mon or 2 with it, which seems to be what this post fails to consider? Durant always forcing itself to take something is extremely dangerous in a tier like BW RU where you'll often find offensive teams trading down to force a specific wincon, and losing just one member of your team can force unwinnable scenarios assuming the Durant user isn't losing to hax or playing incorrectly. Additionally Durant's ability to shred almost all of these defensive cores with HC + A gem of choice is actually pretty accurate from Finch's post, with Scissor + Head + Superpower hitting almost everything across the entire tier. Additionally it can tech on stuff like Thunder Fang for waters, so it gets to pick its defensive answers. Keeping your defensive answers alive against opposing Rotom-C, Sigilyph, etc gets to be really tasking when the ant can come in and force a trade and/or weaken up whatever you let it click CB boosted buttons into.

As for Moltres, I don't find it to be overbearing in any fashion, building for it can be awkward at times but part of me wants to say that's because I'm balancing checking everything else as well as the bird? It's an awkward mon to place in terms of whether you can consider it broken or not but with how the spinners struggle to get rocks off the field consistently alongside Moltres not liking a lot of really common picks like Rotom forms, it's hard for me to say its broken.
 

SilentVerse

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I'm just going to comment on a few points because I found them interesting:

Piggybacking off of Finch's post here as it addresses one of the main issues in that Durant's breaker sets have very inconsistent checks. Most of the better Durant answers (Bulky fires, Escav, Qwilfish, etc) can only afford to come in once, not even factoring in BW's game changing critical hits and whatever nonsense rng Iron Head wants to put you through in the moment.
This point is interesting to me because you've highlighted a lot of Durant answers, but I feel like they aren't actually some of the better answers in the tier. Escavalier is a pretty poor Durant answer (and a very mediocre Pokemon that mostly exists to Pursuit Sceptile imo) and while the bulky fires (Emboar, Moltres) are fine, I would always pair them with other Durant checks. More reliable checks to Durant are things like Alomomola (which only loses to like, Lum Berry HC), Scarf Rotom (which can switch into CB safely once and force it out), Steelix (which only dies to CB / HC Superpower), Magneton (only dies if you switch it into Superpower), and the aforementioned bulky RH Qwilfish, just to name a few. I feel like all these checks are pretty consistent - yes, they can die to some random techs or good predictions by your opponent, but in general they will be able to handle Durant consistently with good play / team support.

This in addition to Durant's ability to run Choice Scarf sets and preserve itself to pick off teams in late game scenarios where your checks have most likely exhausted their hp bars leads to a lot of games where the situation becomes "oh the opponent got the Durant in, pray for a miss" and it's brutalizingly unhealthy for the tier.
I'm not really sure how this is different from other scarfers / threats in the tier aside from Durant's inaccurate moves. I would actually argue the scarf Volt Switchers (namely Rotom-C) are much more annoying in this regard, since they are much better at applying pressure than Scarf Durant early in the game. These mons will also sweep if their pilot has managed to wear down all their checks, the main difference is that the pilot won't be punished by a random miss despite playing well. It's not like there aren't other Pokemon in the tier with similar issues with accuracy either - I'd argue there are situations when Aerodactyl can sweep, for example, and it's also relying on an 80% accurate move...

While I agree that Durant is pretty easy to come back and kill once it's come in, hell you can even just trap it with the magnet if you have it, but typically it's always taking a mon or 2 with it, which seems to be what this post fails to consider? Durant always forcing itself to take something is extremely dangerous in a tier like BW RU where you'll often find offensive teams trading down to force a specific wincon, and losing just one member of your team can force unwinnable scenarios assuming the Durant user isn't losing to hax or playing incorrectly. Additionally Durant's ability to shred almost all of these defensive cores with HC + A gem of choice is actually pretty accurate from Finch's post, with Scissor + Head + Superpower hitting almost everything across the entire tier. Additionally it can tech on stuff like Thunder Fang for waters, so it gets to pick its defensive answers. Keeping your defensive answers alive against opposing Rotom-C, Sigilyph, etc gets to be really tasking when the ant can come in and force a trade and/or weaken up whatever you let it click CB boosted buttons into.
I think that CB Durant doesn't always take a mon depending on how well you can play around it / how you've built your team. HC Durant might after a boost, but honestly I don't think that's too different from most of the breakers in this tier - if Kabutops gets to SD for free, unless you have phys def Tangrowth / Torterra, Kabutops probably trades itself for a kill too. This is similar for SD Sceptile too, which has like 3 different sets you have to consider all with very different checks - what makes Durant harder to deal with than something like this? In addition, we can't ignore that the actual best Pokemon in the tier (Druddigon) will probably trade itself for 1-2 mons consistently without needing to set up either. I would argue this is more of a feature of the power level of the tier than anything specific to Durant.
 
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Basic definitions:

Elements that reduce the effect of player choice on the end result to an extreme degree, such that "more skillful play" is almost always rendered irrelevant. This can be probability management issues; think OHKOs, evasion, or Moody, all of which turned the battle from emphasizing battling skill to emphasizing the result of the RNG more often than not.


Elements that are too good relative to the rest of the metagame such that "more skillful play" is almost always rendered irrelevant. They are broken because they almost dictate / require usage, and a standard team without one of them facing a standard team with one of them would be at a drastic disadvantage. These also include elements whose only counters or checks are extraordinarily niche Pokemon that would put the team at a large disadvantage elsewhere.


- elements that are neither uncompetitive nor broken yet are deemed undesirable for the metagame such that they inhibit "skillful play" to a large extent. These are elements that may not limit either team building or battling skill enough individually but combine to cause an effect that is undesirable for the metagame. This is the most controversial and subjective one and will therefore be used the most sparingly. The Tiering Councils will only use this amidst drastic community outcry and a conviction that the move will noticeably result in the better player winning over the lesser player. When trying to argue a particular element's suspect status, please avoid this category unless absolutely necessary. This is a last-ditch, subjective catch-all, and tiering arguments should focus on uncompetitive or broken first.


Silentverse covered most of what I wanted to say. Still, I have a few things I would like to add. Firstly, I will not argue that Moltres is unhealthy, since I do not believe that this is necessary. I think there is a much better pro-ban argument, which I will get to later. Secondly, I do not think Molt is broken. In my opinion, it is not reasonable to say that Molt is so good relative to the rest of the metagame such that more skillful play is almost always rendered irrelevant. Nor do I think it is correct to say that a standard team without Moltres facing a standard team with Moltres would be at a drastic disadvantage. On the contrary, Moltres frequently loses vs standard teams. For instance, in RUPL, Molt had 21% usage and 46% w/l. In comparison, Durant had 34% usage and 62% w/l. Thus, I would argue that Molt is not broken. Granted, of course, we ought to be wary of reading too much into usage stats from one single tour.

However, I would like to make the argument that Moltres is uncompetitive. Between hurricane/fire blast accuracy and hurricane confusion, it does tend to introduce a significant amount of RNG which neither player can do anything about. For instance, games frequently come down to whether Moltres hits hurricane twice in a row vs Clef and Slowking, once vs Drudd, whether it confuses Slowking, and so on. This being the case, it would be reasonable to say that Moltres decreases the amount of skill involved and makes the game more dependent on luck. As such, I would argue that Molt is uncompetitive.

The following case studies may help illustrate why I think Moltres is not broken but still uncompetitive.

Case A
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen5ru-580428
This replay is from BWPL semi-finals. Durza uses a relatively standard team with Moltres, while I am piloting a relatively standard team without Moltres. Despite this being the case, I did not feel at a disadvantage at all. My regencore of Slowking + Amoongus had a pretty good matchup. Amoongus could scout which move Emboar, Moltres, and Slowking would lock themselves into, while it also switched into Steelix, Kabutops, and Mowtom. Additionally, my Aero had spdef investments to better tank Moltres’ hits, my Sigi outran it and kod it with hp rock, and I could set sr with my Lix vs their Lix or Kabutops. There were indeed ways for my opponent to win, but I never felt that the mere presence of Moltres put me at a disadvantage. To the extent that Moltres was an issue, it would be because Durza outplayed me or if it managed to luck its way through with confusions or crits.

Case B:
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen5ru-476403
This replay is from BW RU Cup finals from a year ago. In this case, I am the one using a standard Moltres team, while Pohjis is the one using a standard team without Moltres. Once again, Moltres does not automatically put me at an advantage. While Molt does indeed have the potential to break once it gets in vs Amoong or Lix, this presupposes that I correctly click Cane into Slowking, manage to hit it twice in a row, and that I get the roll if SR is not up. Furthermore, their rocker beats my spinner (Lum sd jet Kabu vs pdef Lix). Additionally, Scarf Emboar and Sigilyph outsped Molt, while Clef can take a hit and ko back with LO Tbolt. For whatever odd reason, I opt to lead off with Moltres and click Cane into clef. Nevertheless, I was rewarded for my poor play by getting a confusion into full confusion. I then go on to hit successive Hurricanes, which lets me go up 6-5. This shows how uncompetitive Moltres can be. I ended up losing due to a series of poor plays, but the point still stands.

In conclusion, while Moltres is not broken, I believe it is reasonable to say that it is uncompetitive due to the amount of RNG which it introduces. Thus, I believe it would be for the best if Moltres would be banned

I will make a post on Durant and Drudd at a later point in time but tl;dr: ban Molt.
 
Building on what I already mentiond earlier, I would like to add a few things. First of all, Moltres is certainly rather restrictive when it comes to teambuilding. Life Orb Molt only has three decent switchins in Aerodactyl, Slowking, and Lanturn. To make matters worse, Aero takes 50-60 from LO Fire Blast and Hurricane, and it dies on the follow up turn if it attempts to Roost. As for Slowking, it is 2hkod by LO Hurricane after SR and always 2hkod by Specs Molt. Lanturn is arguably the best Molt switchin but it does not do much beyond switching into Molt, Manectric, and Rotom-N. Hence, Lanturn is generally less useful and much harder to fit. We are thus at a point where the two most common answers to Molt are somewhat shaky, while its best answer does not fill too many functions outside of switching into it. Thankfully, however, we do have additional ways to deal with Molt. For one thing, the hazard control in this tier is rather lackluster, which makes it easier to limit Molt by means of setting up SR. Oftentimes, this means that it will only be necessary to switch into Molt once or twice per game. For this purpose, Aero and Slowking will usually do just fine, granted, of course, Hurricane can do dumb stuff. Furthermore, Moltres can be checked offensively by mons that are faster than it. All they need to do is pack a rock move. For instance, Sceptile can run Hp Rock or Rock Slide, Durant can run Rock Slide or Thunder Fang, Scarf Emboar can run Rock Slide, Sigilyph can run HP Rock, Cryo can run HP Rock, Tauros can run Rock Slide, and so on. In addition to this, many slower mons can be tweaked to check Molt in a 1v1 situation. For instance, Drudd, Golurk, Entei, Regirock, and Piloswine are examples of five common mons who can tank one hit and kill it back with Thunder Punch/Outrage (Drudd) or Stone Edge/Rock Slide (Golurk, Entei, Regirock and Pilo). Granted, specs would indeed kill Drudd and Golurk. Additionally, Uxie can outspeed Molt and 2hko it with Expert Belt Thunderbolt or neutralize it by means of clicking Twave. Hence, while Molt is indeed a pain in the ass when it comes to building, we do have access to lots of counterplay and it tends to be much less broken in practice. However, I would still argue that it ought to be banned for the reason that it tends to make games less competitive by means of introducing lots of RNG.

Durant is a bit different from Moltres. While Molt Life Orb is the most common Molt set, followed by Specs, and then the very rare Scarf; Durant is mostly Scarf, followed by Hone Claws Lum/Life Orb/Fighting Gem, AoA Life Orb, and CB. Scarf Durant is particularly good vs more offensively inclined teams. It outspeeds every other mon in the tier while still packing a decent punch, thus making it a rather potent win con in such match ups. However, Scarf Durant has lots of defensive answers. Qwilfish, Alomomola, Amoongus, Emboar, Steelix, Moltres, Escavalier, and Seismitoad may all switch into it. Furthermore, lots of mons may eat a hut and beat it 1v1. As for non-scarf Ant, its many different sets makes less predictable than Molt. This makes it more difficult to deal with since its checks may vary depending on the set. Despite this, Qwilfish, Alomomola, pdef Amoongus, and Pdef Emboar can still switch into any given Durant. Furthermore, many mons such as Drudd, Golurk, Moltres, and Entei can beat it 1v1. Additionally, certain mons such as Aero, Sceptile, Tauros, Scarf Rotom-N, Scarf Mowtom, and Scarf Emboar outrun and ko it. Moreover, Magneton can also trap it. To make trapping it even easier, you may pair it with Eject Button Amoongus or Alomomola. Another option is to make use of resist berries to check Ant in a 1v1. Tangrowth, Slowking, and Uxie can all run Tanga Berry, which would allow them to live X Scissor and ko it back. Finally, while it is not as weak to SR as Molt, it can be chipped with SR, Spikes, Rocky Helmet, Rough Skin, and Iron Barbs. In other words, while Durant is certainly a phenomenal mon, and while its many sets does indeed make it more difficult to deal with than Molt, we do still have quite a bit of counterplay at our disposal.

With this in mind, can Durant be said to be broken? The RUPL stats which I alluded to in my last post would indicate that Durant is more effective than Molt. One could even argue that having such a high w/l with such high usage would indicate that it is broken. However, if we were to go by this logic, then Cryogonal would be the most broken mon in the tier, followed by Kabutops. I feel confident that nobody would consider any of these to be broken.

Alright, so, from this point, I think one could argue in either direction with regards to whether Ant is broken or not. However, is Ant uncompetitive? Yes, in my opinion it is. With Ant, every single turn is like hitting a Stone Edge. Unless of course you're actually using Stone Edge, Rock Slide, or Thunder Fang, in which case the odds get even worse. Nevertheless, Scarf Swarm notwithstanding, Durant introduces lots of RN and reduces the amount of skill involved significantly. As such, I would argue that it is uncompetitive.

How about we go for some more replays to illustrate my point?


Case 1, BWPL Week 2:
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen5ru-1401582046-rwbmt8s8qr9aqtgn33p14gzkjjwwi33pw
In this game, both Feli and I have Durant + Qwilfish offense. In theory, Qwilfish should be able to deal with Ant again and again. In practice, however, it went a bit differently. I managed to deal with his Scarf Ant just fine, by means of weakening it with hazards + helmet. However, My Ant was able to make lots of progress vs his team with the help of spikes. Firstly, it managed to weaken Qwilfish with Spikes + Iron head. It then went on to kill Drudd when Qwilfish was too low to switch in. Furthermore, while it seemed perfectly rational for me to be Scarf, my Ant turned out to be bluffing as it was actually Shed Shell Hone Claws. This allowed it to get yet another kill as Feli made the reasonable decision of going Tang to claim a ko. This replay shows how difficult it can be to deal with Ant due to its many sets. It shows how non-choiced Ant, with the help of Spikes, can make progress even vs Qwilfish teams. However, it also shows how easily I dealt with Scarf Ant, despite all my mons being slower and Qwilfish being my only good switchin. All in all, this game probably does not indicate that Ant is broken, but it does show us some of the difficulties with regards to dealing with Ant. Additionally, while it did not come into play, the game very much came down to RNG. If I were to miss my Iron Head vs Drudd or X Scissor vs Tang, then I would die in return.

Case 2, BWPL Week 3:
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen5ru-1406051837-p57vf1owo9pvsr4fv70byhfdmxqv1fwpw
In this game, Esche has a standard team with Durant while I have a standard team without Durant. Even so, I do not feel particularly disadvantaged. This is because i happen to have both Qwilfish, Emboar and Steelix. Between these three mons, I cover Ant very well defensively. Additionally, both Aero and Sceptile outspeed and ko Ant. In other words, Ant is not really an issue to me at all. Hence, I think this team is a good example of how you can build an offensively inclined team which still has good matchup vs Ant. Based on this game, it would seem completely unreasonable to conclude that Ant is broken.

Case 3, BW Cup Round (3? 4? idk):
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen5ru-474588
In this game, Finch has a Scarf Durant against an offensive team with no hard counter to it. Every single mon of mine is 2hkod my one of Ant's moves. Even so, it turns out fine for me in the end. Meanwhile, my Moltres just goes crazy if it hits its moves. It ohkos every mon and only Ant and Rotom outspeed it, the latter of which gets trapped by my Drudd. In the end, Molt gets 2 kills and some chip on Ant before missing and dying to Qwilfish. This game is a perfect example of how much RNG is involved when Moltres and Hustle Durant are in play. If Molt simply hit Cane vs Qwil, then the game would be over. Instead, it missed, thereby forcing me into a position where I needed to not get crit by Sucker Punch and hit my Iron Head with Ant to win the game. Clearly, the skill involved was heavily reduced. For this reason, I think this is a good example of why the tier would be bettr off without Molt and Ant.

In conclusion, I do not think that Molt and Ant are broken, but I do think that they are both uncompetitive. For this reason, I believe the tier would be better off without both of them. Tl;dr: Ban Molt and Ant.

On the Druddigon Question: As a sidenote, the final replay also shows how crazy Drudd is. My Drudd gets 2 kills + some chip, while his Drudd gets 2 kills + 90% on Ant. Idk if I will have the time to do a bigger post on Drudd but in my opinion it actually fits the definition of a broken mon. No matter what team you have, irrespective of whether it is offensive or defensive, of what kind if mons you are using, Druddigon is always good. It has the potential to get several kills in every single game. In my opinion, a standard team without Drudd is likely to be at a disadvantage vs a standard team with Drudd. Thus, I think there is a strong argument for banning it. However, I would not mind banning Molt and Ant first before moving on to Drudd.
 
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eifo made two great posts about the uncompetitiveness aspect, which I think is the best way forward in this discussion. I'm of the opinion that uncompetitive is the sole criteria to ban either of Durant and Moltres. So far there seems to be consensus over Moltres not being broken, while Durant is more so up for debate. Personally, I find there to be sufficient counterplay to Durant and while it's great I wouldn't go so far as to indicate that it dictate usage. Now we need to figure out whether or not each 'mon's inaccuracy issues are to such a degree that it renders skillful play irrelevant in almost all cases. I think Moltres's RNG plays a way more impactful role in any given game than Durant's. Like pointed out in posts before mine, hitting Hurricane + confusion chance is a matter of Moltres beating its checks and can flip entire games right there and then if it either hits or not. Obviously, countless matches have come down to Durant hitting or missing, but so have games with Aerodactly and Kabutops. Also, one of its best sets is Hone Claws which can remove the luck-based element entirely or at the very least lessen it so it doesn't interfere with skillful play to an unhealthy degree. A good amount of Choice Scarf Durant opts for Swarm for reliable revenge killing too. So, I'm not completely sold on Durant's uncompetitiveness impacting games enough to warrant a ban, but I'm not against a Moltres ban (we always have Magmortar anyways). Does anyone have any brilliant ideas to tackle the issue of uncompetitiveness in an objective way? It's a pretty murky situation compared to something clear-cut as Moody.
 

SilentVerse

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I apologize for posting so much on this topic. Even though I don't play much Pokemon these days, I still do care a lot about this tier.

From the people I've talked to in the last few days, it seems like a large concern with both Durant and Moltres is that they cause a lot of games to come down to luck. If the main reason we want to ban Durant is because it is uncompetitive (which is certainly not set in stone - I am happy to discuss whether it is broken for its own merits), I would like to propose a different idea:

Ban Hustle

I know Smogon tends to be quite hesitant when banning abilities / moves over Pokemon themselves. However, I think this might be an exceptional scenario that merits banning the ability over the Pokemon itself. Here's a few reasons for this:

- Due to how fast paced the tier is and how important Durant is, missing a move with Durant frequently makes players go from a guaranteed win to a guaranteed loss. While other tiers and generations also can have some variance (think GSC OU and Thunder), I would argue the pace of those tiers makes it possible to manage the variance through player skill, whereas BW RU is fast paced enough that variance has much more of an impact.

- Hustle is what causes Durant to have inaccurate moves. I think if any other mon with Hustle were as relevant as Durant, it would lead to similar issues with variance in similarly aggressive tiers / gens (imagine if in BW OU Alakazam's Psychic was 80% accuracy / Garchomp had all 80% accurate moves).

- I think a ban on hustle for being uncompetitive is quite intuitive and is still consistent with prior tiering philosophy - while it is somewhat different from King's Rock / Sand Veil bans, I think you could certainly make the argument that it is uncompetitive for similar reasons to OHKO moves (it makes the game revolve around whether or not the OHKO move hits and turns games into coinflips).

- Durant actually plays a lot of important roles in the tier. As mentioned previously, it helps keep other borderline broken Pokemon in check. Scarf Ant is also one of the best forms of speed control in the tier and provides valuable role compression. I would argue that Durant would be very beneficial to keep in the tier if it did not introduce significant RNG into the tier.

- BW tiering has had a long history of unorthodox tiering decisions. Between banning King's Rock, complex weather bans, and the relatively new Sleep ban, there have certainly been a lot of changes to BW that go beyond banning a single Pokemon. I do not see why BW lower tiers should be exempt from making unorthodox tiering decisions as well.

- BW RU is functionally a dead tier. It's only going to see play in fun tours like RUPL / RUWC / BWPL / BW RU cup. I think this ban minimizes the impact on the tier while making it significantly more fun to play.
 
hi, played and enjoyed this tier a good amount in tests (though i havent played it in RUPL etc.) and wanted to talk about why i personally think moltres isn't banworthy.

I think moltres is extremely manageable; getting up rocks is quite easy and there are 2 relevant spinners (kabutops and cryogonal). Neither spinner has particularly good matchups vs common sr setters, losing to many of them and also struggling with the spinblockers. (well, mostly spiritomb -- but the point here is that if u want to ensure rocks are up to deal with moltres and generally apply hazard pressure, you can choose either a rocker strong vs spinners or a spinblocker strong vs spinners and reliably achieve that goal). it can suck to potentially lose your aero to moltres, but if molt came in on rocks and then took 2 rounds of LO recoil it is dead once it is forced out and they just got a 1-for-1 trade. Moltres' stabs destroy the tier in a vacuum but in practice it rarely, if ever, gets multiple chances to launch those attacks; it is a nuke that kills itself to rocks while punching a big hole. this doesn't seem broken at all to me.

this is reflected by the most recent RUPL usage, where it ended up 10th in the tier in usage. in BWPL, it fell even further to 20th. usage isn't everything, but these statistics show that players generally don't consider moltres to be at the same level as durant (#4/#5) and druddigon (#1/#1), extremely spammable threats that are worth using a ton despite the popularity of their counterplay. usage stats by themselves aren't everything, but I think they reflect my qualms with the "moltres is broken" argument: it requires a ton of support to keep rocks off the field, particularly now that you can't trap the Rocks users with Gothorita. once you consider how much it needs to be supported, forget about "broken": moltres very often doesn't get enough mileage out of that support to be worth the teamslot.
 
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esche

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:moltres:

moltres is impossible to switch into. however, rocks limit the opportunities it gets which is why weve put up with it for so long. while personally, i do not think moltres is broken bc of this very shortcoming, its undeniable that the tier would gain some more breathing room with it removed. the amount of slowking + aero teams ive built during bwpl is through the roof and even with those two you can never feel safe. hurricane is simply an awful move to have to account for coming from that kind of spatk and coupled with stab fire coverage. i find the most unfortunate aspect about the impact the fire bird has that you cant realistically allot more than two slots to the task of checking moltres (even though you kind of have to) and at the same time be creative in your choice of team. the few mons that can handle moltres decently well are hardly worth their slot overall. for example, i experimented with regirock a while ago which i think has potential but is quite lackluster in many other regards. lanturn is another one of those options that theoretically takes on moltres but i find that teams with it often fall flat in practice. all-out offensively inclined teams dont have go to about checking moltres this way and will attempt to limit the opportunities it gets which means throwing up rocks early and keeping up the pressure. this way moltres gets to trade at most and remains manageable (though a trade could still be seen as a win for moltres in those matchups). at the end of the day however, the most common archetype that players seem to gravitate towards is still qwilfish/lix bulky offense and orb moltres can absolutely dismantle those - provided it hits. matching up well against something thats popular is not a particularly great reason for a ban, however. still, i do agree with the "unhealthy but not broken" sentiment that has been brought up before. i dont think there is a correct way to look at moltres in bwru. personally, i would be interested in seeing if not perhaps a metagame without it would be more fun.

:Durant:

durant isnt quite in the same boat bc stacking checks to it is fairly doable (lix/emboar/qwil for example) and because it also has its very own trapper in magneton which is not to be overlooked. loading durant (hustle edition) is a decision youll have to come to terms with before the game and sometimes youll pay for it. ofc there are other progress makers - its just that great progress at great risk makes durant naturally appealing. at the same time, its choice scarf set is one the best speed control options available (sadly) and even though generally you would want something more reliable for that role, the power loss from swarm>hustle is very noticeable leading to many a game having been decided by the ever-so-dreaded stone edge phenomenon. even when building, "ill just hit" has kind of become the standard notion in this tier and i do think we could (and perhaps should) do without that. again, not broken but unhealthy. personally, i dont like using durant and i wouldnt be sad to see it go even though some of the offensive counterplay it enabled would be missed (band being able to stomach drudd outrage and rk, scarf being able to switch into sceptile leaf storm and rk).


the problem for me actually lies in the combination of moltres and durant: there is little to no overlap between their checks. any water that is capable of handling one gets absolutely smacked by the other and the restrictions that the both of them impose on building are too much - at least for my liking. still, that doesnt mean i think that banning both is necessary. my suggestion is to throw up a bw ru ladder without moltres for a week, then one without durant for a week (or 2 each idk) and then see how we all feel. sure the playerbase is small but what do we lose from it? after all, theres no rush and more exposure surely wont hurt.
 
Both SV and Esche bring up some interesting points regarding Durant and Hustle. If we accept the proposition that many players assume a "fuck it, I'll just hit"-mentality, then I think this reflects poorly on the tier. Granted, I am not quite sure about how pervasive this mentality is. During BWPL I did some rather detailed scouting every week in order to get a general idea of my opponent's preferences with regards to play style, as well as which sets and spreads they tended to prefer. Unsurprisingly, most of my opponents tended to use Druddigon and Durant almost every other game. Most people opted for offensive Life Orb, CB, or Lefties SR Drudd (+ some cool techs like Haban Berry and Dragon Gem), but the spreads varied quite a bit. To my surprise, though, Scarf was the main Durant set. Many of the teams which I scouted were indeed held together by Scarf Ant. Moreover, the amount of Scarf Swarm Ants was not insignificant. While some users did indeed just say fuck it (e.g., Luna, who consistently relied on Scarf Hustle), others tended to use Swarm (e.g., Feli and Durza).

As for myself, I used HC Shed Shell Ant vs Feli and gave Beraldinhoo a team with Ada Scarf Swarm. The team which I gave to Beraldinhoo had Molt (my only Molt usage in the tour), Kabutops, Golurk, and Durant, all of which could be forced to rely on inaccurate moves. Consequently, I made the decision to make Golurk No Guard (that way Stone Edge would always connect vs opposing Molt) and made Ant Ada Swarm, rather than Jolly Hustle. This way, my only inaccurate moves would be Stone Edge on Kabu and Hurricane on Molt. This makes the team perform with much greater consistency.

However, like I already alluded to, I was not alone in considering this factor. Several users actively opted for Swarm on their Scarf Ants in order to make it perform its role as a revenge killer and sweeper with more consistency. Moreover, Molt usage was rather low in this tour, which may indicate that people wanted to rely on more consistent strategies. In addition, the idea of Scarf Swarm Ant is by no means new. I have several teams with Scarf Swarm Ant dating as far back as RUPL 2017.

All in all, I am not convinced that the fuck it-mentality is as pervasive as some may believe but I do agree that it does exist to some extent. I also acknowledge that the very existence of such a mentality reflects poorly on the tier. It is against this backdrop that I think we ought to engage with SV's suggestion of Banning Hustle rather than Durant. As we have seen, many teams rely on Scarf Ant to a big extent and Scarf Swarm performs this role just fine. Furthermore, Scarf Swarm, or any other Swarm sets for that matter, would not be broken in the slightest. On the contrary, it would be a very healthy presence which can keep other threats in check, such as Sceptile (can come in on Leaf Storm, Dragon Pulse, SD, EQ, Leaf Blade, and Drain Punch and threaten it out, lives Acro Flying Gem from full). Depriving the tier of such a positive presence seems sub-optimal at best.

In conclusion, I am in favour of banning Hustle rather than Durant.
 

Dorron

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Before anything, I want to make it clear that I have no experience on the tier, I haven't played a single match and I am not looking into it. However, I have played the game enough (and more than enough) to know what I am talking about. The direction these threads and tiering decissions are taking is something I hadn't seen before. I think it's already been widespread all over the policy but I can't really change anything done in the last few weeks so I'll focus in this one.

The main arguments given to ban Durant are that, even having a solid list of checks which can even stack up in a single team unintentionally, they can switch in only a couple of times due to Durant's powerful attacks, its checks not having reliable recovery sources and the tier itself lacking reliable hazard removal. On the other hand, Moltres itself has been said not to have a lot of checks, and mentioning Finch's words: " We have seen more Roost Aero, Lanturn, SDef Slowking, and Kabutops than ever before — some as reactionary measures to Moltres even — but none are durable counters more than practical checks.". Basically, even these being "counters" to Moltres, they are not pretty reliable in long term. Well, everything looks ok, right?

No.

Ignoring the fact that they are banworthy or not (read the first sentence of the post), the discussion is taking a direction I can't understand how did we get to this point. Since the discussion of King's Rock (and its ban), Lax Incense and Bright Powder in OU, literally every tier in Smogon have started to see these items as totally uncompetitive, unhealthy, banworthy and created by Satan itself just as a punishment method for the innocent of us, including their bans in Monotype, National Dex, BW OU, and every low tier from National Dex and SS, not ever before they were a topic of discussion in OU. I can understand why King's Rock (and Razor Fang) was banned, but why would you ban 0% usage items like Focus Band, Bright Powder and Lax Incense? I think the council of these tiers wanted to give the community a feeling of "doing things well and banning uncompetitive elements which really hinder the metagame to be enjoyable". These councils also ignored the fact that there are even more "uncompetitive" elements like Sand Veil or Snow Cloak, which have a 20% effect besides the 10% of the previous items, and guess what, they are have the exact same usage as Focus Band, Bright Powder and Lax Incense (or more!).

Now we have this fantastic Policy Review thread talking about two Pokemon being problematic in a tier. Some of the arguments given are mentioned in the second paragraph. What are the other arguments about? Well, I gave a hint when I mentioned King's Rock. What people are talking about here is that Moltres and Durant introduce a lot of RNG to the tier... What? Why would that ever be a solid argument?


I will also admit that in these matchups, Durant's inaccurate moves tends to make the matchups feel like coinflips at times. That being said, outside of RNG frustrations, I think all the major archetypes of BW RU offense can deal with it pretty well.
- Moltres is probably the single biggest contributor to variance in BW RU. Between Hurricane's 70% accuracy and 30% confusion rate, there's a lot of games with Moltres which feel extremely luck based (some examples: Scarf Moltres hits four hurricanes in a row and wins by OHKOing 4 enemy Pokemon / Scarf Moltres misses Hurricane on Sceptile and you instantly lose / your sdef slowking tanks Hurricane, gets confused, and hits itself in confusion / your Aerodactyl misses Stone Edge on Moltres and dies to crit Hurricane). Increased Kabutops and Aerodactyl usage to deal with Moltres also doesn't help, since both of those Pokemon rely on hitting 80% accurate moves. So, while Moltres is not broken, I think banning it might be able to reduce some of the issues people have with variance in BW RU.
tl;dr Neither are broken, but consider banning Moltres if RNG is too much of an issue in BW RU
However, I would still argue that it ought to be banned for the reason that it tends to make games less competitive by means of introducing lots of RNG.
These are some quotes from the thread complaining about how both Durant and Moltres make the games so RNG-reliant. They have just discovered that some moves can inflict secondary effects or miss! They will turn mad whenever they discover about Scald and High Jump Kick...

Jokes aside, RNG is something inherent in Pokemon. Since RBY, uncompetitive aspects have always been present in the game, such as stupid mechanics in earlier gens and incredibly annoying mechanics like Sleep and Sleep Talk, Paralysis, Confusion, Accupressure... And the most important one: moves can miss. In Gen 1 100% Acc moves had a 1/256 to miss. This has been brought to discussion a lot of times with no result besides not taking action. You must have heard about Focus Blast, a pretty useful move which allows a lot of special attackers to be viable. Nobody ever thought that Focus Blast brings RNG to the game. The same can be said with Dynamic Punch, Stone Edge, Fire Blast... Pokemon is simple: if you want more power, you will have it but with drawbacks, namely recoil, being Choice-locked and missing chance. If you don't want to miss then run weaker moves, but the powerful but risky options are and have always been there with no complain.


Let's take a look to the replays
Replay 1

The only thing I saw in this game was the Moltres user having a dead mon which was able to use U-turn twice (one vs a Protect) before fainting. Is this supposed to support the fact that Moltres is unhealthy introducing RNG?

Replay 2

Here the Moltres and Durant user not only had a KO in turn three without taking several damage, but had to rely on Hurricane to do so (three times in a row) and on Hustle Iron Head to hit and flinch twice (didn't) to win, which didn't hapen.

Replay 3

The Durant user had no chance to miss their attacks, so there was no chance to create an unhealthy match. #Respect

Replay 4

We finally see some moves missing, but they don't come from Durant. Golurk missed four out of eight Stone Edges it used. Does it make Golurk unhealthy due to its great Attack stat and its RNG reliance? No, absolutely not, and that's not the case for Durant and Moltres either.

Replay 5

The only moved missed here was one out of three Hurricanes. Hitting three Hurricanes in a row is like 34%, a bit more than hitting Fissure. Once again, I don't see why this is unhealthy for the metagame.

Now deep into the idea of banning Hustle. This makes absolutely no sense. Would you ever ban Fire Blast, Thunder, Blizzard and Hydro Pump? No, because they are high reward high risk moves, and so is Hustle. Also, abilities have never been banned unless they are broken apart from the user, such as Arena Trap, Shadow Tag and Moody. This was discused with Cinderace's ban and pretty sure it was with Greninja's ban in Gen 6, and both of them were rejected.

Basically, RNG is an aspect from every tier from Gen 1 LC to Gen 8 Inheritance and we have to adapt to it. Pretty sure this tier isn't an exception just because the best Pokémon of the tier rely on powerful but inaccurate moves to do their best. I wish the decission taken (either ban or no ban) is based on arguments that do not have anything to do with RNG. Please, here and in following Policy Review threads, give solid arguments (such as them not having a lot of reliable checks) so we can make Smogon a better place.
 

SilentVerse

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The argument for banning Hustle in particular is based on the idea that Durant itself is not broken. I personally believe this to be true, since my argument was that Durant DOES have many checks that are easy to fit onto teams. It is also not any more difficult to play around nor build around than many of the other top tier threats imo. I do not think Durant is banworthy and see no reason to ban it. I am certainly willing to change my mind on this, but I haven't heard any compelling arguments for why it is broken as of now.

However, it is clear from talking to several community members that they are currently unhappy with the state of BW RU, particularly with how luck based it feels. I do not personally feel like this is the case, but it certainly shows that this is something many people think is an issue with the tier, given that there have been talks about removing BW RU from fun tours such as RUPL because no one wants to play it and there is always meming about "BW RU moments" when the tier does see play. This puts the tier in a weird position, since even if Moltres and Durant are not broken under traditional criteria, they are making the tier "unfun" to play. I do not think it is acceptable to leave a tier in a state where no one wants to play it, even if nothing is strictly banworthy from a balance perspective.

This is where my suggestion for the Hustle ban comes in. If we are saying that the primary reason that Durant should be banned is that it misses, it seems absurd to me to ban the Pokemon when this ability is the actual cause for its inaccuracy. Yes, I admit that banning Hustle might seem silly because it sounds like banning low accuracy moves like Fire Blast or banning Speed Boost instead of Blaziken. However, I think there's some particular reasons that make a Hustle ban much more justifiable than these previous cases:

- Hustle is different from moves like Fire Blast in that it makes ALL of the user's moves 80% accurate. With individual moves like Fire Blast, you are taking a specific choice to make one of your moves more powerful at the cost of reliability. However, you can still opt into more accurate moves in your other move slots to give yourself more reliable outs (this exact reason is why you might run Hydro Pump + Surf on Keldeo, for example). Hustle simply makes all of your moves inaccurate, which vastly increases how much RNG is in a given game compared to Fire Blast vs Flamethrower. Hustle's power boost is also comparable to Stone Edge vs Rock Slide. Clearly, the power difference between using the ability or not is too great most of the time, which removes the aspect of choice that Fire Blast / Flamethrower have.

- Hustle has never been problematic before because Durant is basically the only top-tier Pokemon with the ability. Take a look at the list of Pokemon that have the ability in BW: Combee, Corsola, Delibird, Darumaka, Togetic, Raticate, Rufflet, Remoraid, Zweilous, Nidorina, Nidorino. Of these, only Raticate or Zweilous might have a chance at being viable with the ability (I am curious about Darumaka's in LC, but my impression was that it's not a common enough threat to be a huge issue), and they are nowhere near as significant to the tier. I do not think we would have looked at Arena Trap either if the best Pokemon with it was Delibird. I think Hustle on a threat as crucial to the metagame as Durant in another tier would cause similar issues. Imagine if something like Kartana had 80% accuracy on all its moves. I would argue that the ability itself IS problematic, but it just hasn't really been on a Pokemon as relevant as Durant to look at it seriously (or they were banned for power-level reasons, not because of inaccuracy).

- Furthermore, we're long since past the point of banning abilities because they're broken on all Pokemon that have it. Consider that Sand Rush is currently banned in BW OU, when the only broken user of the ability was Excadrill. Stoutland and Sandslash were clearly not broken with the ability, but we opted to ban the ability instead. The justification for that ban was basically to preserve Excadrill, deeming that it could be healthy to the tier. I think given this precedence in the very same generation, I believe a Hustle ban is not out of line at all, especially when there are legitimate reasons to ban the ability for game-health reasons instead of just to keep a previously broken Pokemon in OU.

- This case is also different from Speed Boost Blaziken because of the reason we want to ban the Pokemon. In Speed Boost Blaziken's case, we are saying that the Pokemon is just flat out broken, but are trying to save the Pokemon because the ability breaks the Pokemon. In this case, we want to ban the Pokemon because it misses too much. I think this is a very different situation that actually would warrant banning the ability because the ability itself is problematic, not the Pokemon itself (assuming that the issue with Durant is that it is too luck based rather than that it is broken).

- In addition, I think it DOES make a massive difference when all the best Pokemon in the tier run inaccurate moves, especially ones that are trying to sweep. It's extremely discouraging when most of the top tier offensive Pokemon (Kabutops, Aerodactyl, Durant, Moltres) have a 10-30% chance to miss their key moves, especially in tiers where the games are quite short. While this variance does even out over many games and the better player will still win over time, it leads to significant frustration on a game-by-game basis and this frustration has clearly deterred many people from taking BW RU seriously.

I can elaborate further as needed, but keep in mind I am not suggesting to ban Hustle because I'm on some crusade to remove all RNG elements from the tier or whatever. I simply think that we should be targeting the correct root of the problem in this discussion. If Durant is broken because it wallbreaks too easily / sweeps offensive teams then ban Durant. However, I see no reason to ban the Pokemon itself for for RNG related reasons when we could ban Hustle instead.
 
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Oglemi

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I'd like to back up the point brought up earlier in the lack of experimentation in the tier too. Like 80% of the teams being loaded up are col, finch, and chillshadow teams. The usage stats for the tier for bwpl are pretty appaling, you have tier staples like emboar, escav, klink, arch, and jynx sitting at 1 use, tort at 2, Gallade mesprit and alo at 3, and roselia (arguably rhydon's best partner) at a fat 0. Like, I can understand trying only what you see the best people using, but you gotta branch out and watch some spl games to see what's worth using. You can build a lot of different kinds of offense and hard stall teams that just shit on both molt and ant pretty easily (ok stall still kinda loses to the right ant but still). This desire to only gravitate towards this semi-stall or semi-offense kind of building that dominates current comp building is exactly the type of teams these two mons feast on. This tier is extremely diverse, having more viable mons than most other comp tiers, and relying on these teams is what's driving the tier into a corner with these two.

At the end of the day these two have been on the chopping block before and I wouldn't be terribly sad to see them go, but I can't help but think it's got more to do with what's getting used than the mons themselves
 

Nails

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alomomola is busted why aren't you people using it. if it had appropriate usage there's no shot anyone would be complaining about ant.

as eifo and sv mentioned, druddigon is the true broken powerhouse in the tier and it's truly shocking to me that ant and moltres are catching complaints when drud exists.
 

peng

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Just a general tiering policy post here from me mostly replying to Dorron re:RNG, i’m not going to comment on whether durant and moltres are actually banworthy or not but i think it is reasonable to be pro-ban for rng reasons

in most metagames it is really easy to draw a line in the sand between the blatantly OP riskvsreward stuff (OHKO moves) and then people running blizzard over ice beam - the reason being that in most cases the choice of the inaccurate option yes changes rolls but doesnt all of a sudden make a pokemon unwallable. In particular a lot of the inacc options that have been listed are coverage not STAB in most metagames - fire blast, focus blast, stone edge - they arent some spammable OHKO button.

BW RU is a metagame where that line in the sand is far more dificult to define because the moves in question - Moltres Hurricane and Durant steel/bug - are STAB choices that the metagame doesnt have a ton of defensive switchins to, so they might as well be OHKO moves in a lot of practical situations - skips prediction but has an accuracy drawback. Whilst they have a handful of resists, well, so does Fissure, and we still get rid of that bs despite it being easier to “wall” and having lower acc.

applying tiering philosophies across every smogon metagame would be ideal but we have to be pragmatic when we come to niche metagames with the lost defensive options as you go down the tiers. Imagine a fictional BW XU tier which has zero usable electric resists/immunities and as such Specs Thunder Pikachu literally OHKOs every Pokemon in the game, but tbolt isnt strong enough to do so risks you getting beaten in return - fundamentally pikachu’s Thunder is no different here from Sheer Cold, and if you miss you likely get taken out in return. Obviously we have not hit this point, but Moltres and Durant in the specific context in BW RU share a ton of traits with the blatantly uncompetitive elements that we have banned in the past - dissuading the playerbase from factoring in this RNG aspect because “its not how other metagames have done things before” completely ignores the fact that 125 SAtk Hurricane in a metagame with close to zero good flying resists is incomparable to any other meta - its very rare for mons to be throwing around 70% STABs in any other metagame in existence (torn and heatran yes), but not in a low tier where all the good defensive checks are gone

tl;dr moltres hurricane isn’t like garchomp using fire blast in terms of OHKO potential, frequency of use in any given game and therefore influence on games - there are many cases where moltres' hurricane is indistinguishable from the likes of Fissure in terms of 30/70 split to outright win or lose, with other games decided by how many consecutive attacks Durant or Moltres can chain together - bit of a variance mess. I would say that unilaterally rolling out tiering policies across every gen and tier ignoring the specific contexts is poorly thought out as the dominant offensive mons in other tiers don't threaten to OHKO most of the metagame on 70% acc rolls. i do not have strong opinions on moltres and durant but if the active playerbase wish to vote on them for RNG reasons then that should be welcomed, as they really blur the line between “using low acc move for a bit more power” and “rolling dice to outright OHKO things” - a situation unique to BW RU afaik
 
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