Dynamax Discussion

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ABR

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Since my most recent post in this thread I've grown to dislike dynamax even more. I'd like to point out the reasons for its unhealthiness / uncompetitiveness and subsequently why we must remove it in its entirety.

The uses of dynamax apply to any pokemon at any time. No matter what specific mons we try to get rid of (or even more narrowly prevent from dynamaxing), the remaining set of mons that can dynamax will always be problematic. It goes way beyond "Gyarados and Hawlucha are terrifying sweepers due to their dynamax moves." Anything with a choice item has the option of breaking the otherwise abusable lock by activating its dynamax. Any concept of consistency or stability goes out the window when the mon on the losing side of the 1v1 can flip that around with dynamax. For example, you can have a scenario of Diggersby vs Toxapex - the Diggersby user normally can threaten the ohko with earthquake. The question then arises, will the Diggersby dynamax? Will the Toxapex? These questions can arise in an abundance of scenarios and devolve into an unreliable game hyper-focused on the short term.

Beyond comparison to Pokemon as we know it, the existence of dynamax lessens competitive strategy and rewards short term bursts of prediction. Without the thought or planning going into team deduction, set speculation, and how they relate to strategies regarding what beats what, the game cannot meet the standards of our competitive community.
 

nyttyn

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Preface/warning: I'm a not great player? I tend to just use other people's teams a lot of the time, and I'm the sort of dumb girl Dynamaxing was probably made to appeal to.

I honestly have a intense disliking of Dynamaxing as a mechanic in the game. I think asking if it's broken or whatever is the wrong question - it's just like the past gen gimmicks. You didn't even think of making a team without a mega or a z-move 99% of the time, and you absolutely wouldn't dream of not using Dynamax. Or to use fighting games as a example: Would you ever dream of, say, not using your X-factor in MVC3? It's a new mechanic from previous games, sure, but it's avalible to both sides, kind of like Z-Moves. The sequel addressed how disruptive an element like this could be by allowing you to disable Infinity Gems if you so pleased - and likewise, we have the option to Just Not Dynamax in SwSh, as it is strictly opt in.

So the question is more is Dynamax enjoyable to play with? And - honestly, no. It turns every match into this stressful turn by turn chicken game where you're constantly anxious about when you or your opponent will Dynamax, and due to the individual mechanics of it even something like Pelliper can wind up suddenly wiping your team off the face of the planet. Or just a surprise dmax from a choice locked mon might just suddenly break a game-ending hole, it doesn't even have to be a sweep. A single free turn at the wrong time can cost you the entire game, and while that's always been present to some extent in pokemon Dynamaxing takes it to a whole new level.

I don't really mind the fact that Dynamaxing centralizes the game around itself - it's a new mechanic, they're supposed to change things up. I do mind, however, the way it does so, and that is what I have a problem with -it's just not very enjoyable to play with. Now that the dust has settled from most mechanics getting made to work properly and people having a chance to play with it...Well, I think it being a part of the game is going to be to the gen's long term detriment even from a more low level player's point of view.

Keeping Gigantimax is probably what I'd prefer (at least as a trial run) because I'd really like to keep at least some of this brand new cool mechanic in the game! Most of the G-Max mons are kinda...ehhh, and keeping it to a much smaller list would go a long way towards alleviating the unknown/stress factor, especially given the "ehhh" nature of most of them makes it dangerous to try to have multiple G-Max mons on your team. Plus it's a lot easier to just ban from a limited pool rather than playing constant Whack-a-Drilbur with broken threats. Plus like, if it turns out that even keeping Gigantimax is Too Much it'd be a lot easier of a pill to swallow if we at least tried to keep this gen's new mechanic in some fashion first.
 

Mario With Lasers

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Any concept of consistency or stability goes out the window when the mon on the losing side of the 1v1 can flip that around with dynamax. For example, you can have a scenario of Diggersby vs Toxapex - the Diggersby user normally can threaten the ohko with earthquake. The question then arises, will the Diggersby dynamax? Will the Toxapex? These questions can arise in an abundance of scenarios and devolve into an unreliable game hyper-focused on the short term.
If they waste Dynamax on Toxapex, you already won I guess? They can't Scald, they can't Recover, they can't even switch out without wasting your gimmick.

And this is not a nitpick, I really do not see how this example shows anything about Dynamax destroying stability or the like.
 

Colonel M

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If they waste Dynamax on Toxapex, you already won I guess? They can't Scald, they can't Recover, they can't even switch out without wasting your gimmick.

And this is not a nitpick, I really do not see how this example shows anything about Dynamax destroying stability or the like.
Touching onto the defensive mechanic of Dynamax for this scenario, Toxapex would Dynamax to help withstand Diggersby's max attacks, attempt to threaten it back as quickly as possible with Max Water-type moves (since it summons rain it helps when Diggersby gets a free SpD boost from Max Ground-type attack), and Max Guard to withstand a couple turns. On the reverse - a defensive Dynamax often leads to a scenario where the player who does this could lose if their opponent also doesn't Dynamax roughly at the same time. You're not Dynamaxing to snowball like Gyarados or Hawlucha - you're Dynamaxing (and thus attempting to predict) to prevent a Dynamaxed Pokemon from trampling all over you.

Defensive use of Dynamax can reward you, but it's complex in that the results aren't as absolute and clear-cut to prevent a snowball. I know people hate comparisons like Dynamax and Z Moves, but I'm going to use Age of Empires 2 as an example. In AoE2 you often want to be the aggressor because you get to have better control of the game. While your opponent can certainly turn that agreession against you (much like defensive Dynamaxing can), being on the offensive means you have more map control which can snowball to having a greater exposure to resources, forcing your opponent to spend resources on troops or buildings that are otherwise not within their interest (like building Skirmishers to prevent Archer rushes), and has a greater chance of the person on the back foot to lose. Going on the defensive has risks because you're already behind, and if you screw up you risk going even further behind or simply conceding to your opponent.

I'm not going to try to say or guess exactly what ABR is saying and speak in my own words. Dynamax has a negative affect on stability in that it favors the player (usually) on the offensive with using the mechanic than it is the other way around. Sure, like against Archers in AoE2 you could build a Mangonel in the Castle Age and potentially scare them off (Ditto is basically the Mangonel in this example), but offensive players have learned to adapt with their Dynamaxed Pokemon by using Substitute (I'm aware this is bugged on Showdown, but it still is a good move regardless if you can keep Ditto away during the Dynamax turns) and Pokemon that otherwise are walled by the Pokemon Ditto transforms into or aren't as effective by Ditto when the real Pokemon uses it more effectively (think Unburden Hawlucha). If you're curious on the comparison here with AoE2 - think of Archers splitting to mitigate or eliminate chances of death from a Mangonel shot and then microing against the Mangonel to kill it.
 
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My first post in this thread was responding to the idea of DMax and GMax being treated as separate entities (my opinion on that has kind of shifted from my first post, but I'm still on the fence about it tbh), so after a week of playing the meta, I'm gonna copy and paste a post I made in the Gen 8 OU metagame discussion thread the other day.

---

I started playing competitive Pokemon shortly after X and Y came out. In all honesty, I don't remember Mega Evolutions and even Z moves stressing me out this much at the beginning of each respective gen than Dynamax has been for me so far.

I always had a strategy set up for an opposing Mega evolution at team preview during both 6th and 7th gen since it's pretty obvious which mega it was going to be, and most of the time, megas weren't such a dominating force in the meta that running one presented an obvious clear path to victory.

Z moves were less obvious and it wasn't blatantly shown in preview, but it wasn't too difficult to tell from the opposing team structure which mon was the Z move user. A core of Lando-T, Ferrothorn, and Clefable for example usually leaves me to believe Lando is Z-Fly (if it’s not Scarfed). You can also bait the Z move by switching out, say, your Torn-T into your Celesteela, Rotom-W, or anything else that resisted Flying-type moves and be done with it then and there. Knock Off also had a much wider distribution back then and thanks to Z crystals not being removeable, it was a great scouting tool to find the Z user. Even if you predict wrong and something else on the team was the Z move user, it wasn’t always a near-autoloss position unless you were up against something like Kartana or Shift Gear Magearna, which can both run a wide range of Z moves to check different defensive answers.

Now onto Dynamax. I’m not saying it’s currently that difficult to determine which mons will plan to Max (it’s usually Gyara, Lucha, or Drill in the current meta), but that can easily change as the events of the match unfold. Unlike Megas and Z moves, there really is no dedicated Dynamax Pokemon on a given team. For example, Sand Balances that run Drill + Gyara can easily choose which mon to Max depending on the matchup or their position in the game, or they can just Max their Ditto if they’re on the back foot of an opposing sweeper after revenging it and reverse-sweep thanks to no longer being Choice-locked.

This is all due to Dynamax not being item-limited. If you lose your Mega and/or your Z crystal holder in USUM OU, there aren’t any more of those on your team to fall back on. That’s it.

People point to the big 4 abusers of Dynamax (Gyarados, Galarian Darmanitan, Hawlucha, Excadrill), but in my personal opinion, banning these guys won’t be enough. Other mons WILL take their place shortly after they leave. Banded Barraskewda is near BRAINLESS when Dynamax’d if not going up against Ditto or opposing Barras. Max HP T-Tar is one of the fattest sweepers in the meta, especially behind screens but that’s not a requirement, with a wide range of coverage options to utilize when Dynamax’d. Nasty Plot Hydreigon and Gengar are both dummy strong after a boost. Even something like Charizard can steamroll teams thanks to Max Airstream and Solar Power boosting its SpA in Sun.

Maybe I’m wrong and it is the big 4 that are the main problems with Dynamax, but I’m still in the camp, until proven otherwise, that banning these mons won’t magically make the problems in the metagame disappear. I’m also a firm believer that the big 4 won’t NEARLY be as unmanageable (although Galarian Darmanitan is iffy) without Dynamax to fall back on, and I’d rather see them stay in a supposed Dynamax-less meta since they’re all cool mons with a lot to offer otherwise.

The point is, something needs to happen, preferably sooner than later. This metagame is tiring af for me to play and I'm not having fun playing it.
 

Zarel

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Just to keep everyone updated:

At this point, it's clear that something needs to be done about Dynamaxing; there's no way it'll stay in its current form.

Someone has floated a "only itemless Pokémon can Dynamax" rule, but it was quickly shot down (among other reasons, since it punishes defensive Dynamax more than offensive Dynamax, which pushes the megagame in the wrong direction).

The current leading idea is "only allow Gigantamaxing". Most of the worst Dynamax abusers don't have a Gigantamax version, so it has the potential to be a lot less broken, while still retaining this gen's gimmick in some usable form.

Feel free to discuss the "Gigantamax only" idea.
 

Leo

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I really don‘t see the appeal of the „Gigantamax only“ idea even though it‘s been floating around for a bit. To my understanding, Gigantamax formes are just a select group of Pokemon with one small distinction that gives them a cool design while dynamaxed and a signature move. Allowing only Gigantamax Pokemon to dynamax feels like a very arbitrary bar to set just because the pokemon that get these formes happen to be on the less competitive side due to the general fan appeal behind the concept. At that point what‘s stopping the council from deciding themselves which Pokemon are allowed to dynamax and which aren‘t? I understand this distinction is made by Gamefreak but unlike Mega Evolutions or even say Ash Greninja and Protean Greninja the only difference between a Dynamax Charizard and a GMax Charizard is the design and the latter‘s signature move, this just feels like a big stretch in an attempt to keep the most uncompetitive mechanic ever introduced to the game around. I hope that, should we get a Dynamax suspect test in the near future, it addresses Dynamax as a whole and not just Dynamax on non Gigantamax Pokemon.
 

Pyritie

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Allowing only Gigantamax Pokemon to dynamax feels like a very arbitrary bar to set just because the pokemon that get these formes happen to be on the less competitive side [... and] this distinction is made by Gamefreak
These are two of the reasons why I'm behind a gigantamax-only trial. The pokemon who can do it are less strong, and the list of them is set by game freak, which means we don't have to try and make our own arbitrary list of what is and isn't broken with dynamaxing. It's a very easy concept to communicate compared to chucking a big list at people.

Right now one of the big aspects of what makes dynamax broken is how it makes pretty much every set up sweeper much much harder to stop. With gigantamax only, the pool of set up sweepers to check is far smaller and because they're weaker, it makes them easier to check. It's essentially a "what if we kept dynamax but it was less powerful?" question that a gigantamax-only meta could be able to answer.

The other reason why I like gigantamax-only is that if it still ends up being busted, it'll be easy to just go "ok yeah no this shit is jank let's get rid of it entirely" instead of going the other direction and trying to introduce gigantamaxing to a meta where both were banned. It lets us tone down the mechanic on a sliding scale to see if it still works instead of shutting it off completely.
 

Colonel M

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Just to keep everyone updated:

At this point, it's clear that something needs to be done about Dynamaxing; there's no way it'll stay in its current form.

Someone has floated a "only itemless Pokémon can Dynamax" rule, but it was quickly shot down (among other reasons, since it punishes defensive Dynamax more than offensive Dynamax, which pushes the megagame in the wrong direction).

The current leading idea is "only allow Gigantamaxing". Most of the worst Dynamax abusers don't have a Gigantamax version, so it has the potential to be a lot less broken, while still retaining this gen's gimmick in some usable form.

Feel free to discuss the "Gigantamax only" idea.
I'm going to follow the assumption here that if a Gigantamax Pokemon is broken that we ban the Gigatamax Pokemon and not the Pokemon itself.

Also when are we banning me from posting in PR?

My personal thoughts are as follows - I understand the big appeal to allowing Gigantamax Pokemon only in order to preserve the mechanic that was introduced, proceed to give some semblance of control, and I guess you could say it provides the arbitrary "fun" mechanic. So I'm prefacing saying I'm not necessarily opposed to the idea.

I do see some abusers down the line, though. Gigantamax Gengar is actually better than Dynamax Gengar because Max Phantasm is significantly less useful than G-Max Terror (Max Phantasm lowers Defense while Max Terror traps a Pokemon). Lower tiers may not like Gigantamax Snorlax either since Recycle Glutton sets might still be potent (Iapapa and pinch berries were nerfed, but Lax still recovers a significant portion of its HP either way) and, again, like Gengar Snorlax prefers its Gigantamax form because G-Max Replenish is a lot more beneficial than Max Strike (Max Replenish provides an eaten berry back while Max Strike lowers Speed). For Lax in particular the extra HP is a huge benefit after a Curse or two since it makes it a huge sponge for 3 turns. Gigamaxing Gengar also has some minor defensive benefits since it allows Gengar to take a hit.

I think it's best to be cautious on banning everything, and I think I respect those that want to give Gigantamax a chance. I feel inevitably we'll come to the same conclusion, but erring on the side of caution is not a bad thing either.

I still personally lean that it's a pointless endeavor to try to keep Gigantamax, but I would not be mad if it was given a trial to see if these could stay or go. I do think before Gigantamax Pokemon are given the go / suspect tested it needs to be carefully dissected on who are the big abusers behind the mechanic regardless of Dynamax disappearing. I think the loss of defensive Dynamax, even if it was a very high risk approach, makes Gigantamax a lot harder to defend against too.
 
Considering it's pretty clear that something has to be done in regards to Dynamax / Gigantamax, I was thinking about the opportunity of implementing a complex ban here. I am perfectly aware we should avoid complex bans whenever possible -- but no matter how much you value simplicity in tiering, there are phenomena across generations that require us to crawl out of our shell and come up with extraordinary and specialized solutions.
For example, the current situation presents analogies with BW Swift Swim. Just like SS, Dynamax can be abused by a plethora of pokemon, too many to suspect individually (competitive balance would be attained after years, if at all), not to mention we would bury ourselves under a mountain of bans that would have never occurred if it weren't for Dynamax. Outright banning Dynamax / Gigantamax is tempting, however as PK Gaming said this mechanic makes up for a very important part of the generation and removing it would take away a major feature that if could be balanced, would add a new layer of complexity to Sword&Shield games.

For these reasons I'm proposing to ban the combination of setup moves + Dynamax or Gigantamax.
This may sound awkward and arbitrary (it is, just like any other solution sitting between "do nothing" and "ban everything" ), yet I'm convinced it works better than other proposed options for a couple of reasons:
1. First of all there is a notable analogy in DPP and BW with how Baton Pass + boosts have been handled. Just like Dynamax/Gigantamax, Baton Pass is an extremely peculiar element of the game that combines lethally with setup moves but could not be banned entirely for the utility and depth it provides.
2. Banning setup moves altogether is less arbitrary than other proposals because it affects every single pokemon. We can address both DD Dynamax Gyarados and CM Gigantamax Hattarene for example, while if we were to ban Dynamax and preserve Gigantamax, Hattarene would be unreasonably ignored.
3. This directly tackles the #1 problem people have with Dynamax: offensive threats snowballing out of control after setting up in base form.
4. This is a tangible nerf for things like Gyarados and Hawlucha (I've edited this point since it was way too optimistic as Colonel M notes)
Legitimate arguments against my proposal include, and are not necessarily limited to:
1. This doesn't address Choice mons freeing of their lock, nuking their checks or even sweep late-game (even though a counter-argument could be made that by disallowing Dynamax on setup sweepers, you can more easily see it coming from these mons at least)
2. "Setup moves" encompass a lot of moves (Power-Up-Punch, Fiery Dance etc)
3. It's a complex ban that doesn't show up in the teambuilder (ideally, the button to Dyna/Gigamax would be disabled on pokemon carrying setup moves)

That's all I had to say. Dynamax is without shade of doubt one of the hottest potatoes Smogon ever had to handle and I am really curious to see how it will be managed in the end.
 
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While I'd certainly prefer an outright dynamax ban to nothing, I think allowing gigantamax mons only is a good idea worth trying. The biggest issue with dynamax to me is the ridiculous unpredictability that comes with any mon being able to dynamax at any time. This devolves the game into short term predictions and thinking that make it less competitive. This issue is alleviated with gigantamax, because there are only a select few pokemon capable of it, similar to mega evolution. Removing the unpredictability goes a long way towards balancing a rather insane mechanic. If some gigantamax pokemon are broken (maybe gengar for instance) they could definitely be suspected on their own merits, but I do not see gigantamax itself needing an outright ban. Although the difference between dynamax and gigantamax for pokemon may just be design and signature moves, I think the distinction made by GameFreak is enough to justify keeping gigantamax without being seen as a complex ban of any sort. And while its certainly less important from a competitive perspective, I think there is an intrinsic benefit to keeping some aspect of the defining mechanic of gen 8.
 
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Colonel M

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4. No need to ban Gyarados and many other pokemon that are usually fine, without the bonuses provided by Dynamax;
This might not make Gyarados as safe as you think. Remember that Gyarados has Moxie and STAB Max Airstream. Those two things alone let it snowball out of control. Just the only difference is that you would need things more worn out whereas before you could click DD and snowball with the boosts.

This also doesn't really stop Hawlucha either because it can go off Attack boosts via Max Knuckle and has Unburden to cover for its Speed.

I don't like your proposal, personally, but I think there's some flawed logic if you think that Gyarados and Hawlucha as examples wouldn't find a way to abuse the mechanic still. More or less just want to bring this to your attention on how it isn't simply just setting up via DD / Swords Dance and sweeping that makes their gears rotate completely.
 

Eo Ut Mortus

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The current leading idea is "only allow Gigantamaxing". Most of the worst Dynamax abusers don't have a Gigantamax version, so it has the potential to be a lot less broken, while still retaining this gen's gimmick in some usable form.

Feel free to discuss the "Gigantamax only" idea.
I've been fighting against this proposal since it was brought up; I'm also surprised that it's being considered given your and TI's posts in the other thread. As you said, the distinction between regular and Gigantamax forms is less meaningful than that between Genesect forms. I think an even more competitively relevant example would be event Pokemon (edit: Forgot the shiny Genesect was an event Pokemon, so I guess we agree), which have a lot more differences and have also been given special treatment in TPCI-sanctioned rulesets (addressing Colonel M's point), but aren't tiered differently per our rulesets.

Moreover, I think some people are drawn to this idea because this distinction is reflected in the teambuilder. Make no mistake; this is actually a complex in-battle ban. Think of how it might be enforced in cartridge play: A full Dynamax ban would involve obscuring the Dynamax button on the Switch. A Gigantamax allowance would involve...selectively obscuring the Dynamax button for certain Pokemon, which would require some third-party to check your team beforehand, not to mention enforce it. Otherwise, the clause would have to be implemented as "you lose if you Dynamax, and it isn't a Gigantmax form," and per recent sleep clause discussion, I think this is the type of mechanic we're trying to avoid. The only way distinguishing Gigantamax/Dynamax forms can be a teambuilder ban is if it's the reverse: Ban Gigantamax and allow Dynamaxing in general. That way, you can just ban the forms in the teambuilder (but again, it's inconsistent with the way we've been treating forms).

A final note: If, per this proposal, we are open to distinguishing between broken and non-broken Dynamax Pokemon, I insist we do it correctly. Don't use the assortment of Pokemon Gamefreak randomly came up with; there's no discernible rhyme or reason behind which species they chose for Gigantamax formes, and the selection likely has no basis in facilitating competitive play. Instead, we should curate our own Dynamax black/white lists. Again, I'm not in favor of this as opposed to a flat Dynamax ban for the reason mentioned above, but if we're establishing that a complex in-battle ban is on the table, this is the most sensible option.
 
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nyttyn

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A final note: If, per this proposal, we are open to distinguishing between broken and non-broken Dynamax Pokemon, I insist we do it correctly. Don't use the assortment of Pokemon Gamefreak randomly came up with; there's no discernible rhyme or reason behind which species they chose for Gigantamax formes, and the selection likely has no basis in facilitating competitive play. Instead, we should curate our own Dynamax black/white lists. Again, I'm not in favor of this as opposed to a flat Dynamax ban for the reason mentioned above, but if we're establishing that a complex in-battle ban is on the table, this is the most sensible option.
The reason why Gigantimaxing is catching on is because it is a assortment of mostly inoffensive (in the since that none are really Gyarados-levels-of-ban-worthy) pokemon whom, collectively, make up a small, easily agreed upon threat list which has already been provided by Nintendo.

There is pretty much no way you're going to get the community to agree to, meanwhile, a pre-selected list of Dynamax pokemon. There are a ton of pokemon and who should be the lucky ones who have been approved by the site to be the ones allowed to Dynamax? Getting people to even collectively agree on a list like that could take literal months, if not years. Unless the OU council decides to just up and choose by themselves, which will still take quite some time and be a potential PR nightmare.

It's also a lot messier and more complicated - with Gigantimaxing, people already know which mons can Gigantimax, and it's common knowledge on many sites besides, along with a clear and distinct visual difference ingame. Meanwhile an arbitrary list is - well, arbitrary, and will be a lot more confusing to the average user.

Like, I get why you thought this was a good idea on paper, but it's a nightmare for a number of logistical reasons imo.
 

Leo

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The reason why Gigantimaxing is catching on is because it is a assortment of mostly inoffensive (in the since that none are really Gyarados-levels-of-ban-worthy) pokemon whom, collectively, make up a small, easily agreed upon threat list which has already been provided by Nintendo.

There is pretty much no way you're going to get the community to agree to, meanwhile, a pre-selected list of Dynamax pokemon. There are a ton of pokemon and who should be the lucky ones who have been approved by the site to be the ones allowed to Dynamax? Getting people to even collectively agree on a list like that could take literal months, if not years. Unless the OU council decides to just up and choose by themselves, which will still take quite some time and be a potential PR nightmare.

It's also a lot messier and more complicated - with Gigantimaxing, people already know which mons can Gigantimax, and it's common knowledge on many sites besides, along with a clear and distinct visual difference ingame. Meanwhile an arbitrary list is - well, arbitrary, and will be a lot more confusing to the average user.

Like, I get why you thought this was a good idea on paper, but it's a nightmare for a number of logistical reasons imo.
I don't understand what your argument here is, you're guessing that building a banlist for dynamax users would be too complicated and hard for newer users to understand so the easier solution is to use the arbitrary list of Pokemon Gamefreak gave us? Isn't that the whole point of tiering? To allow the community to decide on what's balanced and what isn't for ourselves? Eo's point is that, if we are open to arbitrarily banning dynamax on certain Pokemon (which I don't think we should do) then why let Gamefreak decide which Pokemon get to dynamax, why not just do normal tiering ourselves? I don't know how you're estimating how long it would take but if you look at the pool of Pokemon with a legitimate use in OU and then look at which are the biggest offenders when it comes to abusing dynamax your estimate doesn't hold up.

Going back to the Gigantamax argument as a whole, I feel like an issue that would arise from taking this approach is the lack of defensive options in the GMax pool of Pokemon we have. Stuff like Gengar, Hat or even more fringe Pokemon that would way more have competitive value should the pool of dynamax users be reduced to the GMax mons like Centiskorch and Drednaw would be near impossible to deal with without the ability to dynamax your Ferrothorn, Clefable or what have you to stop them. And in the scenario that they get banned like Star proposed, the next best dynamax users would rise and the tier would get more and more centralized around beating a certain pool of threats which, unlike Megas, aren't just buffed up versions of otherwise mediocre mons, but are on a whole different level with signature Z-Moves and doubled bulk. I just don't see this working out as a long term solution.
 

nyttyn

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I don't understand what your argument here is, you're guessing that building a banlist for dynamax users would be too complicated and hard for newer users to understand so the easier solution is to use the arbitrary list of Pokemon Gamefreak gave us? Isn't that the whole point of tiering? To allow the community to decide on what's balanced and what isn't for ourselves? Eo's point is that, if we are open to arbitrarily banning dynamax on certain Pokemon (which I don't think we should do) then why let Gamefreak decide which Pokemon get to dynamax, why not just do normal tiering ourselves? I don't know how you're estimating how long it would take but if you look at the pool of Pokemon with a legitimate use in OU and then look at which are the biggest offenders when it comes to abusing dynamax your estimate doesn't hold up.
If the majority of pokemon are allowed to dynamax, we're basically back to square one with one of the more problematic intricacies of the mechanic - the unpredictability. So clearly, we cannot allow every "reasonable" Dynamax user to Dynamax. After you remove the major outliers (Gyarados, Hawlucha, etc) who most certainly would not be allowed to in any sane whitelist there's certainly quite a few pokemon to argue should or should not be allowed to Dynamax, and there's no real good way to go "okay so XYZ are allowed to and XYZ are not." And that's just for pokemon who are OU worthy week 1, to say nothing of the sleeper threats that could potentially arise down the line (and the pokemon that will be returning to us with home's release).

What separates this from normal tiering of course is that it'd have to either be done all at once (which raises my previous concerns) - otherwise, if more gradual tiering is applied in a free for all where every mon is allowed to freely dynamax until they're prohibited from doing so, one of the most problematic aspects of dynamaxing (the sheer unpredictability) will be kept in full force for quite some time (if not for the tier's whole lifespan), undermining the point of the attempted whitelist.
 

Martin

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On my phone so sry if any wording is fucked.

Tiering should, where possible, have an objective, easy to understand and agree on definition, and if you want to experiment with banlists that limit Dynamax the only way to do so while fulfilling any of those three criteria is to restrict it to Gigantamax.

We could go all day arguing about partial bans, but without any objective/semi-objective measure to work with there simply isn’t a meaningful way to “define” how dynamax bans get handled. It’s like banning Swift Swim except only doing it on Ludicolo, Kabutops and Kingdra—it’s all well and good to do it, but ultimately how do you decide “this is a reasonable point to stop”? The cutoff is objectively 100% arbitrary, and you won’t find two schools of thinking which can agree (or even decide how to compromise) on where to draw that line.

As much as I don’t like falling back on the phrase “slippery slope”, there isn’t really any other way to describe it here. You get a domino effect of what-ifs for combinations and no hard line to build arguments off of other than “I have a feeling that this is the case”—nothing holds any meaningful water.

And for all the people arguing that the idea of distinguishing Gigantamax is arbitrary, and that “you could argue that Dynamax Torkoal should also be legal” because of it, the fact of the matter is that Gigantamax is objectively defined whereas “Dynamax this, that and the other” is not—regardless of what you may have to say about the selection of Pokémon that Game Freak chose.

Hell, while they might not “technically” be their own forms, they fill the same function as an alternative form in that they trade the ability to use move A for the ability to use move B. Sure, it’s only one move+a visual difference, but then again, so is Ash Greninja before it transforms (albeit swapping egg moves and the option to run certain IVs or be female for an ability instead of move). It is still undoubtedly distinct, and it is objectively defined.

And, perhaps most importantly, the fact it’s restricted to special variants of normal Pokemon means we’d have the first objective means of identifying when the max is the broken element as opposed to the base, thus opening up our options regarding how to deal with individual Pokémon that are otherwise not a problem—similar to Battle Bond, Zen Mode, or mega stones.

As such the argument shouldn’t be “is Gigantimax arbitrary” but rather “is this distinction enough to make the mechanic less broken?” And that is either something that we can decide on now or something that we can run a test on before making a decision about.

Personally I would be kinda surprised if it turned out limiting to Gigantamax made a difference, but I am also aware that the dynamic of maxing becomes vastly different when you remove the very volatile aspect of “anything can do it at any time”, and I like how this opens up options for policy going forward. I think there is a lot of merit in not rushing and instead following that sliding scale of “all—>giganta only—>maybe possibly only some Gigantimax—>no maxes”, and as such I am in support of running a test on Gigantamax only.
 

Shurtugal

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I think a new user would be very confused. "Why am I losing to this gigantamax Pokemon? Why are they allowed to Dynamax but not my Pokemon?"

Keep in mind that Game Freak tiers Gigantamaxing as stronger than Dynamaxing as Gigantamaxing is banned in BSS Singles (and arguably has more relevance there, stuff like GMax Grimmsnarl g move will be stronger in the 3v3 no sleep clause setting than a 6v6 sleep clause setting, etc). So a new user will probably wonder why Gigantamaxing, something seen as stronger than Dynamaxing, is allowed, but then they can't dynamax their Toxapex. They'll come on Smogon Forums and see our reasoning is "because it's easier to predict/gamefreak chose these mons/etc" which will honestly sound silly/stupid to an outsider.

I really want to explore the new mechanic more & give it more time since it keeps the tier interesting imo. There's still some BIG simulator bugs Dynamaxing, such as Dynamax Pokemon staying behind a substitute on PS if they set it up prior, whereas on the cart the substitute goes away upon Dynamaxing. And on top of those, I do feel like we haven't explored other options enough. I for one am in favor of some complex ban like the one proposed earlier, or banning individual Pokemon to actually prove Dynamax as the problem and not the sweepers we have now.

However, if we decide to ban Dynamaxing, you would have to ban Gigantamaxing too imo. On top of not making any sense at all from a tiering perspective, a lot of them would be strong or rise up to be strong and it wouldn't fix any issues.

While I'm here another question: wouldn't banning Dynamax go against tier policy? You can't implement a Dynamax ban on cart without an agreement or something, right? We would have to mod it, sort of like Sleep Clause, which Policy States is an expectation and should be avoided.

EDIT: apologies for any typos, using my phone at work. I will clean this up upon getting home.

EDIT @ below: its a little different though because when you start the match you don't have access to the ability/z crystal item/mega stone item upon battling, but you have access to Dynamax at all times. Think of it like: except for Sleep moves, someone can check if your team is legal prior, for abilities items and Pokemon before a match starts. However they can't check for Dynamax because every Pokemon is dynamax capable and has no way of being enforced in the team builder. I can see your point but I don't think my comparison was too off
 
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Ophion

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While I'm here another question: wouldn't banning Dynamax go against tier policy? You can't implement a Dynamax ban on cart without an agreement or something, right? We would have to mod it, sort of like Sleep Clause, which Policy States is an expectation and should be avoided.

EDIT: apologies for any typos, using my phone at work. I will clean this up upon getting home.
No, you wouldn’t have to mod it and it isn’t against tiering policy to ban it (for that reason anyway, I don’t know if it’d be against it for a different reason but whatever). Banning dynamaxing is just like banning an ability, Pokemon, or even following cart-legal Sleep Clause (the one Nintendo Cup had in Stadium 1, which is the same one suggested by some people in the Sleep Clause thread), which all require some type of an agreement between both parties as the game doesn’t stop you in a 1v1 peer setting. Saying needing an agreement to ban something is against tiering policy and comparing it to current PS Sleep Clause is silly. Cause by that logic, you’d have to consider every ban we do to be a mod and undo it on the basis of being against tiering policy.

RESPONSE TO ABOVE EDIT: I see your point but at the same time, it’s still an agreement to be made by both parties and whether you have access to it or not at all times doesn’t change that. With a sleep user in-game, you always have access to clicking the sleep move throughout the game (when not Taunted) no matter what but they don’t click it because both parties made an agreement to follow Sleep Clause despite not being enfroced by the game. You can easily not click Dynamax ever the same way you would not click a Sleep move when a Pokemon is already asleep. I don’t see how this is so complicated an idea to where we can’t ban an obviously broke mechanic the vast majority want gone.
 
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Kalalokki

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Keep in mind that Game Freak tiers Gigantamaxing as stronger than Dynamaxing as Gigantamaxing is banned in BSS Singles (and arguably has more relevance there, stuff like GMax Grimmsnarl g move will be stronger in the 3v3 no sleep clause setting than a 6v6 sleep clause setting, etc). So a new user will probably wonder why Gigantamaxing, something seen as stronger than Dynamaxing, is allowed, but then they can't dynamax their Toxapex
It is believed that Gigantamaxing is not banned because it is stronger, but because of availability, as Giga Pikachu and Eevee are only redeemable to those who own either of the LGPE games and many of the other Giga forms are locked behind rare Max Raids in the Wild Area. This is similar to why Mythicals have been banned in the past, as their availability has been limited as well.

Just to add on to what at least a lot of our social media audience is saying about dynamaxing: Most of them think it's broken and needs to be banned, with a few thinking that it's just something that you need to adapt to, a very common argument against almost all bans in general. I've not heard a lot of in-between opinions to nerf it, though some have mentioned it being Gigantamax only as a solution. So I don't think new users would be particularly confused about it potentially being Gigantamax only, as our social media audience is generally more casual than your everyday forum user.
 
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Mario With Lasers

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If anything, banning Dynamax and allowing Gigantamax would make the Smogon metagame attractive enough to newcomers as it offers something Game Freak's banlist doesn't.


EDIT @ below: its a little different though because when you start the match you don't have access to the ability/z crystal item/mega stone item upon battling, but you have access to Dynamax at all times. Think of it like: except for Sleep moves, someone can check if your team is legal prior, for abilities items and Pokemon before a match starts. However they can't check for Dynamax because every Pokemon is dynamax capable and has no way of being enforced in the team builder. I can see your point but I don't think my comparison was too off
Dynamax is an even easier ban to enforce because you don't need to check anything besides "if they tap the Dynamax button in battle, they lose".
 

Zarel

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Moreover, I think some people are drawn to this idea because this distinction is reflected in the teambuilder. Make no mistake; this is actually a complex in-battle ban. Think of how it might be enforced in cartridge play: A full Dynamax ban would involve obscuring the Dynamax button on the Switch. A Gigantamax allowance would involve...selectively obscuring the Dynamax button for certain Pokemon, which would require some third-party to check your team beforehand, not to mention enforce it. Otherwise, the clause would have to be implemented as "you lose if you Dynamax, and it isn't a Gigantmax form," and per recent sleep clause discussion, I think this is the type of mechanic we're trying to avoid. The only way distinguishing Gigantamax/Dynamax forms can be a teambuilder ban is if it's the reverse: Ban Gigantamax and allow Dynamaxing in general. That way, you can just ban the forms in the teambuilder (but again, it's inconsistent with the way we've been treating forms).
While I'm here another question: wouldn't banning Dynamax go against tier policy? You can't implement a Dynamax ban on cart without an agreement or something, right? We would have to mod it, sort of like Sleep Clause, which Policy States is an expectation and should be avoided.
People keep saying this, but literally every clause and ban is an agreement between two players.

Ophion is correct here. When playing irl, I've never, like, gotten a judge to inspect an opponent's team for Double Team. I just play normally, and if they ever used Double Team I'd just call them out on it and they'd insta-lose.

A lot of our clauses can't be implemented by team inspection at all (like Mega Rayquaza Clause), and my favored way of implementing Sleep Clause works this way, too. This would be no different.
 
Whether it makes sense from a tiering perspective or not, I'd like to share my view of the competitive ramifications in the scenario where Dynamax gets banned while Gigamax does not.

The saving grace of Dynamax is that it is an additional resource rather than a Pokemon specific feature. Yes it centers the game around short-term to a degree that many of us find undesirable, but it isn't overpowered the same way ORAS Mega-Lucario is, you don't have to actually put Mega-Lucario on every single team, it'll be there regardless of how you choose to build (at worst some Pokemon may make better use of it than others).

If you limit Dynamax to a few Pokemon (which is basically what allowing only Gigamax is) that entire concept goes out the window. Every Gigamax form is super batshit overpowered because now they are actually able to use three z-moves with bonus effects and double their HP while holding an item, Dynamax is no longer a basic resource. To me this would be the worst timeline.
 
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yea, banning only dynamax and keeping gigamax artificially imposes a mega-esque mechanic into the metagame when that is so far removed from the resources we've been provided. it makes no sense and serves only as a lazy half-measure that adheres to arbitrary logic. a different designation by gamefreak doesn't mean we should just passively accept it as an easy list to allow. that's such nonsense.

if dynamax is deemed broken, we should remove the mechanic in its entirety. those of us against dynamax are aware of how swingy it makes games with its ridiculous nukes and access to powerful moves that completely shift the game state. we're not conservative in our approach to the game and unwilling to adopt the new mechanic. if anything, those who are pushing for a giga-only metagame are stuck in their ways, unable to move past two generations of an opt-in mega-pokemon, now gigantamax, per team.
 

Finchinator

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Initially, I believed Dynamaxing was very broken. Then, I think we all took a step back and saw some defensive merit, which led to a more intense investigation of the place it had in the competitive landscape of Smogon. Since then I have come to the conclusion that it is still something I personally would like to ban.

As ABR outlines throughout his post, various aspects of Dynamaxing prove to be problematic. The timing causes things to be less predictable, the dynamic with choice items creates a lot of situations where counterplay to already strong Pokemon becomes nearly impossible, and the fact that short stretches can create such a devastating impact on the state of the game as a whole strikes me as uncompetitive. Additionally, I fully echo the sentiments of Eo (and Charm/dice) about how we should not differentiate Dynamaxing from Gigantamaxing -- the difference between the two is artificial (i.e: teambuilder thing Eo mentioned, which is not a true difference) and we should not separate them in any potential tiering change.

Trying to keep this brief as most of my thoughts have already been stated by various posters, but I appreciate how many people have been discussing this matter (please keep posting if there is more to be said) and I hope that we can use this discussion to improve our metagame in the (potentially near) future. I am still not ready to give a timeline, but I can promise that the council is actively discussing this matter each day.
 
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