Metagame Free-For-All

approved by in the hills and drampa's grandpa
:ss/naganadel::ss/clefable::ss/Heatran::ss/kyurem-black:
:naganadel::clefable:Free-For-All:heatran::kyurem-black:

Premise
[Gen 8] Free-For-All is a four-player format where all players are put against each other in one battle; the last player with Pokemon remaining wins. This is a combined concept of USUM's Battle Royal and the in-game Free-For-All format (Multi-Battle).

Rules
Clauses
  • Dynamax Clause
  • Endless Battle Clause
  • Evasion Moves Clause
  • OHKO Clause
  • Sleep Clause Mod
  • Species Clause
Banlist
Pokemon
  • :Calyrex-Ice:Calyrex-Ice
  • :Calyrex-Shadow:Calyrex-Shadow
  • :Dialga:Dialga
  • :Dracovish:Dracovish
  • :Eternatus:Eternatus
  • :Giratina:Giratina
  • :Giratina-Origin:Giratina-Origin
  • :Groudon:Groudon
  • :Ho-Oh:Ho-Oh
  • :Kyogre:Kyogre
  • :Kyurem-White:Kyurem-White
  • :Lugia:Lugia
  • :Lunala:Lunala
  • :Magearna:Magearna
  • :Marshadow:Marshadow
  • :Mewtwo:Mewtwo
  • :Necrozma-Dawn-Wings:Necrozma-Dawn-Wings
  • :Necrozma-Dusk-Mane:Necrozma-Dusk-Mane
  • :Palkia:Palkia
  • :Rayquaza:Rayquaza
  • :Reshiram:Reshiram
  • :Solgaleo:Solgaleo
  • :Urshifu:Urshifu
  • :Xerneas:Xerneas
  • :Yveltal:Yveltal
  • :Zacian:Zacian
  • :Zacian-Crowned:Zacian-Crowned
  • :Zamazenta:Zamazenta
  • :Zamazenta-Crowned:Zamazenta-Crowned
  • :Zekrom:Zekrom
  • :Zygarde-Complete:Zygarde-Complete
Abilities
  • Moody
  • Power Construct
  • Shadow Tag
Moves
  • Acupressure
  • Aromatic Mist
  • Baton Pass
  • Coaching
  • Court Change
  • Decorate
  • Final Gambit
  • Flatter
  • Floral Healing
  • Flower Shield
  • Follow Me
  • Heal Pulse
  • Rage Powder
  • Swagger

## [0.1.0] - 2021-04-30
### Added
- Standard Doubles
- Sleep Clause Mod
- Dynamax Clause

### Removed
- Calyrex-Ice
- Calyrex-Shadow
- Dialga
- Eternatus
- Giratina
- Giratina-Origin
- Groudon
- Ho-Oh
- Kyogre
- Kyurem-White
- Lugia
- Lunala
- Magearna
- Marshadow
- Melmetal
- Mewtwo
- Necrozma-Dawn-Wings
- Necrozma-Dusk-Mane
- Palkia
- Rayquaza
- Reshiram
- Solgaleo
- Urshifu-Base
- Xerneas
- Yveltal
- Zacian
- Zacian-Crowned
- Zamazenta
- Zamazenta-Crowned
- Zekrom
- Zygarde-Complete
- Moody
- Power Construct
- Baton Pass
- Swagger

## [0.2.0] - 2021-08-25
### Added
- Melmetal

### Removed
- Acupressure
- Aromatic Mist
- Coaching
- Court Change
- Decorate
- Flatter
- Floral Healing
- Follow Me
- Heal Pulse
- Rage Powder

## [0.3.0] - 2021-09-08
### Removed
- Dracovish
- Shadow Tag

## [0.3.1] - 2021-10-07
### Removed
- Final Gambit
- Flower Shield
[Gen 8] Free-For-All has different functionality than Singles; it is similar to Doubles, with noteworthy differences:
  • Moves that target all adjacent foes (colloquially known as "spread moves") have their base power multiplied by x0.5, which is equivalent to the base power of those moves being halved (e.g. Earthquake becomes 50 Power rather than 100).
  • Outrage, Petal Dance, Thrash, and Uproar randomly select a target; the odds of hitting a desired player is a 33.33% chance (1/3).
  • Dragon Darts is a targeted move that hits the selected target twice.
  • Storm Drain redirects and absorbs any Water-type move used by the opponent(s).
  • Lightning Rod redirects and absorbs any Electric-Type move used by the opponent(s).


Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is Dynamax Clause enabled?
A: The Dynamax mechanics have never existed in a generation alongside "true" Free-For-All mechanics (aka Battle Royal), thus PS's implementation of them is purely hypothetical.

Q: Team Preview is enabled, but I can only see [x and y]'s teams. Why?
A: Team Preview still works for all four players; it's just a PS limitation that the big sprites only show for two people. You can still see all four teams on the side bars.

Q: How do entry hazards work?
A: When your Pokemon uses an entry hazard, the hazard gets set up on every other side. This means that all of the other players will suffer from Spikes and Stealth Rock damage, get badly poisoned from Toxic Spikes, and have their Speed lowered by Sticky Web.

Q: How do Tailwind, Light Screen, Safeguard, etc. work?
A: The stat boosts from Tailwind, Reflect, and Light Screen and protective properties from Mist, Safeguard, etc. only boost your Pokemon's stats.

Q: What happens when both teams on "the other side" black out?
A: The other teams being on a different side is purely visual and has no effect to how the battle plays on.

Q: Why does Dragon Darts work differently than in doubles?
A: Dragon Darts did not exist in Generation 7 and was not usable in Battle Royale as a result. We cannot know how it would work; this implementation is speculative.

Strategy

:Jirachi::Hydreigon: Reliable Recovery is critical in the Free-For-All format to keep your team healthy and guard your position. You only have 6 Pokemon but there are 18 opposing Pokemon, so playing too aggressively is likely to get you eliminated from the game before you’re in a position to win. Moreover, because there are 18 opposing threats you are more likely to need the same Pokemon to check multiple things, so keeping it healthy throughout the match is more important. This means offensive Pokemon with access to recovery moves are highly prized in this format and Wish passing is an excellent way to keep other Pokemon that lack access to such recovery healthy.

:Jirachi: @ :Leftovers:
Jirachi @ Leftovers
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs: 240 HP / 16 SpA / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Wish
- Protect
- U-turn
- Future Sight

:Hydreigon: @ :Leftovers:
Hydreigon @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 168 HP / 252 SpA / 88 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Nasty Plot
- Roost
- Dark Pulse
- Earth Power/Flash Cannon/Substitute

:Toxapex::Chansey: Toxic and Toxic Spikes: the badly poisoned condition is particularly insidious in Free-For-All. Putting opponents on a timer can greatly restrict their options, and even put them into unwinnable positions. Defensive walls that can spread the status consistently and repeatedly are highly prized in this format. Toxic Spikes are a potentially devastating hazard that teams must guard against. To deal with Toxic Spikes, teams should bring strong hazard removal options, and a grounded Poison-type that can remove Toxic Spikes just by switching in is highly recommended. Heal Bell and Aromatherapy are useful moves for curing this status, and Rest and Sleep Talk sets can be effective countermeasures as well.

:Toxapex: @ :Black Sludge:
Toxapex @ Black Sludge
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish/Bold Nature
- Knock Off/Scald
- Recover
- Toxic Spikes
- Haze

:Chansey: @ :Eviolite:
Chansey (F) @ Eviolite
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Soft-Boiled
- Toxic
- Stealth Rock/Heal Bell/Wish
- Seismic Toss

:Corviknight::Dragonite: Hazard Control is very challenging in Free-For-All. Any time a move like Stealth Rock is used, it sets the hazard on all three opposing sides of the field. This means hazards will be set against you much more often than they would in other formats, and your hazard removal needs to be very bulky and reliable at their job. Simply slapping Rapid Spin on an offensive Pokemon is not sufficient in the Free-For-All format. Hazard Control is important for removing hazards that drain the health of your Pokemon on switch-in; this is especially harmful for longevity as you will be switching very often in this format.

:Corviknight: @ :Leftovers:
Corviknight @ Leftovers
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Roost
- Iron Defense
- Body Press
- Defog

:Dragonite: @ :Heavy-Duty Boots:
Dragonite @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Multiscale
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Impish/Bold Nature
- Roost
- Defog
- Body Press
- Dragon Tail/Heal Bell/Haze

:Zygarde::Heatran: Spread Moves: The power of spread moves is halved in Free-For-All, making moves such as Earthquake and Boomburst exceedingly weak. While there are circumstances where attacking every opponent simultaneously can be useful, it can also leave you unable to deal with specific threats as your attacks deal very little damage to individual targets. For these moves to be effective, they either require strong secondary effects or they need to be paired with boosting moves to reach more impressive levels of power.

:Zygarde: @ :Leftovers:
Zygarde @ Leftovers
Ability: Aura Break
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Thousand Arrows
- Coil
- Substitute
- Toxic/Glare

:Heatran: @ :Leftovers:
Heatran @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 248 HP / 252 SpA / 8 SpD
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Lava Plume
- Magma Storm
- Earth Power
- Protect

:Hippowdon::Clefable: Anti-Setup is critical in Free-For-All. Thanks to other players potentially serving as distractions, it is easy for setup sweepers (particularly more defensive ones) to get out of control. It is important to have options to deal with these situations, as you cannot rely on simply applying offensive pressure to prevent the setup in the first place.

:Hippowdon: @ :Leftovers:
Hippowdon @ Leftovers
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 240 HP / 16 Def / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Slack Off
- Stealth Rock
- Whirlwind
- High Horsepower

:Clefable: @ :Leftovers:
Clefable @ Leftovers
Ability: Unaware
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Calm Mind
- Soft-Boiled
- Moonblast
- Flamethrower/Stored Power

Sample Teams
:Aegislash::Toxapex::Dragonite::Umbreon::Chansey::Latios:
Aegislash Stall by Kurt Godel's Poison

Stall is an easier archetype for beginners when entering the Free-For-All format, as you do not need to actively create openings for your more offensive team members to put in work without getting KO'd. Everything here is designed to survive. This team uses an Ice Punch/Body Press Dragonite to check dangerous Pokemon such as Heatran, Kartana, Landorus-Incarnate, as well as threatening opposing defensive Dragonites. Dragonite has proven to be one of the best Defoggers in the format thanks to serving as an excellent check to dangerous threats such as Heatran and Kartana, which this team appreciates greatly. Umbreon has strong type synergy with Aegislash while keeping it healthy with Wish. Toxapex and Chansey give a strong defensive backbone that can provide hazard support and spread the Toxic status. Finally, this team is rounded out with the utility of Choice Scarf Latios which serves as an emergency revenge-killer that can also shut down defensive walls with Trick.

:Clefable::Ferrothorn::Dragonite::Slowking-galar::Buzzwole::Jirachi:
Buzzwole + Jirachi by Critical Failure

This is a semi-stall team using the power of Buzzwole, Slowking-Galar, and Jirachi to avoid being overly passive as a full stall team would. Buzzwole and Slowking-Galar are much less passive than typical defensive Pokemon, while Ferrothorn and Dragonite round out the core to provide hazards and Defog support. We see here Unaware Clefable serving both as the primary win-condition of the team as well as a way of defeating opposing setup Pokemon. Finally, a Wish/Future Sight Jirachi is used to round out the team and provide a pivot option that can either exert pressure or heal teammates depending on the needs of the situation.

:Victini::Naganadel::Vaporeon::Skarmory::Hippowdon::Clefable:
Victini Balance by Darvin
This team uses a defensive core of Vaporeon/Skarmory/Hippowdon to maintain hazard control, protect the rest of your team when opponents are playing aggressively, and to provide Wish support to its more offensive team members. Choice Specs Victini provides a powerful wallbreaking threat, as what few Pokemon can check it are completely crippled by Trick and with strong hazard support it is even more difficult to handle. While V-Create may be tempting, the defense drops make it too difficult to keep Victini healthy. Naganadel serves as a faster threat that can clean in the late-game and with Wish support can put in mid-game work when needed. Its EV spread ensures it gets a Special Attack boost on a KO while still having enough speed to outspeed Kartana. The combination of Hippowdon with Whirlwind and Unaware Clefable give you strong options against setup sweepers, while Clefable itself can serve as a late-game win-condition.

:Aegislash::Vaporeon::Rotom-Heat::Landorus::Chansey::Dragapult:
Landorus Offense by Darvin

This is a more offensive team utilizing the power of Landorus-Incarnate to break through opposing teams. Choice Specs Dragapult is used as a revenge-killer against more offensive threats. Vaporeon serves to keep the more offensive team members healthy, while Rotom-Heat serves as a more offensive pivot that can deal damage while also serving as Defogger. Chansey and Aegislash serve as a defensive backbone that you can fall on if it's unsafe to play aggressive. As with most offensive teams, this one thrives when you can control the pace of the game and keep opponents switching.

Resources
Playability:
The main Pokemon Showdown! server
Discord: https://discord.gg/YVaZHqYs74
Council:
:arcanine: Darvin (leader)
:tapu_bulu: Critical Failure
 
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Free-For-All Viability Rankings

S:
:Clefable: Clefable

A+:
:Chansey: Chansey
:Hippowdon: Hippowdon
:Kyurem-Black: Kyurem-Black
:Melmetal: Melmetal
:Toxapex: Toxapex

A:
:Blissey: Blissey
:Corviknight: Corviknight
:Ferrothorn: Ferrothorn
:Heatran: Heatran
:Naganadel: Naganadel
:Umbreon: Umbreon
:Slowking-Galar: Slowking-Galar
:Vaporeon: Vaporeon
:Zapdos: Zapdos

A-:
:Dragonite: Dragonite
:Kartana: Kartana
:Landorus: Landorus-Incarnate
:Mandibuzz: Mandibuzz
:Slowking: Slowking
:Spectrier: Spectrier
:Zapdos-Galar: Zapdos-Galar

B+:
:aegislash: Aegislash
:Buzzwole: Buzzwole
:Genesect: Genesect
:Hydreigon: Hydreigon
:Jirachi: Jirachi
:Latios: Latios
:Mew: Mew
:Slowbro: Slowbro
:Victini: Victini

B:
:Amoonguss: Amoonguss
:Celesteela: Celesteela
:Cinderace: Cinderace
:Dragapult: Dragapult
:Necrozma: Necrozma
:Nidoking: Nidoking
:Rotom-Heat: Rotom-Heat
:Skarmory: Skarmory
:Tapu Lele: Tapu Lele
:Thundurus-Therian: Thundurus-Therian
:Zeraora: Zeraora

B-:
:Blacephalon: Blacephalon
:Mantine: Mantine
:Nihilego: Nihilego
:Regieleki: Regieleki
:Reuniclus: Reuniclus
:Starmie: Starmie
:Tangrowth: Tangrowth
:Tornadus-Therian: Tornadus-Therian
:Tyranitar: Tyranitar
:Weezing-Galar: Weezing-Galar
:Scizor: Scizor
:Stakataka: Stakataka

C+:
:Cursola: Cursola
:Flygon: Flygon
:Grapploct: Grapploct
:Lapras: Lapras
:Pyukumuku: Pyukumuku
:Registeel: Registeel
:Roserade: Roserade
:Rillaboom: Rillaboom
:Tapu Koko: Tapu Koko
:Vileplume: Vileplume
:Zarude: Zarude
:Zygarde: Zygarde

C:
:Arcanine: Arcanine
:Darmanitan-Galar: Darmanitan-Galar
:Garchomp: Garchomp
:Marowak-Alola: Marowak-Alola
:Pelipper: Pelipper
:Quagsire: Quagsire
:Regigigas: Regigigas
:Suicune: Suicune
:Urshifu-Rapid-Strike: Urshifu-Rapid-Strike

C-:
:Altaria: Altaria
:Azumarill: Azumarill
:Golurk: Golurk
:Landorus-Therian: Landorus-Therian
:Politoed: Politoed
:Sableye: Sableye
:Salazzle: Salazzle
:Volcarona: Volcarona

U:
The council has elected not to rank the following "Under-explored" Pokemon for the time being. While we feel they all have potential, we want to see more of them before ranking them. This is not necessarily due to low usage; in some cases we feel the sets being used are not particularly viable (for instance, Blaze Cinderace) even if the Pokemon is technically being used commonly.

:Celebi: Celebi
:Dracozolt: Dracozolt
:Dugtrio: Dugtrio
:Gengar: Gengar
:Magnezone: Magnezone
:Obstagoon: Obstagoon
 
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Daki

⁉️
is a Social Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
I pretty like the idea, it's unfortunate that when you chall a friend you can't be put in a matchmaking together, you have to find the 2 other players by your own :/
 

zee

is a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Top Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
VGC Leader
:ss/jirachi:

Something you might have realized when looking at the banlist is that there's definitely an oddball in Jirachi. Jirachi was banned from DOU for a variety of factors, but the ace up its sleeve was its access to redirection (Follow Me). As redirection is pretty much harmful only to the user in free for all, it doesn't make sense to keep it banned.

As such, Jirachi will be unbanned. I encourage anyone to share any thoughts on the meta :blobthumbsup:
 

Zarel

Not a Yuyuko fan
is a Site Content Manageris a Battle Simulator Administratoris a Programmeris a Pokemon Researcheris an Administrator
Creator of PS
Q: Why is Dynamax Clause enabled?
A: Although in theory Dynamax isn't very broken as evidenced by Doubles metagames, the Dynamax mechanics have never existed in a generation alongside "true" Free-For-All mechanics (aka Battle Royal), thus PS's implementation of them is purely hypothetical.
Are you saying the rest of this isn't hypothetical? Is this planned to be a Gen 7 format with Battle Royal win rules?
 

shnowshner

Spy_paincriticaldeath01.wav
is a Pre-Contributor
let's get the obvious out of the way

:exploud:
Boomburst @ Boomburst Specs/Scarf
Ability: Scrappy Boomburst
EVs: 252 Boomburst Earsplitting Damage / 252 Boomburst Soundwave Speed
Loud Nature
- Boomburst
- other bad filler moves

There's a lot of obvious problems with Exploud: it's bulk is mediocre, it's typing isn't amazing, it's pretty slow, and it faces some annoying resists in Rock and Steel that lack a solid way through on the Special side, needing both Surf and Fire Blast/Flamethrower to reliably hit both unless you want to risk Focus Blast in an environment where three people are potentially trying to kill you.

At the same time, the upsides to Exploud are also obvious: a super-spammable 140 BP STAB attack that hits everything around it, and you can't use Ghost-types to block the damage either, meaning you need Soundproof or a solid resist to come out unscathed. Since Free-For-All looks to be a chaotic meta where the interests of the self or group are going to be conflicted, having a Pokemon which can deal huge amounts of damage to lots of things very quickly could be valuable in making quick progress, though it also puts a huge target on your face.

But we can do better

:blacephalon:
Blacephalon @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Mind Blown

This is the ultimate kamikaze play. It faces little immunity as a Fire-type attack, deals ridiculous spread damage being a 150 BP STAB move off a Pokemon running 441 Special Attack, and if you somehow live to the next turn after picking up KOs you can hit even harder. It does die off quickly but its the same concept as "do as much damage as possible to weaken the opponents around you" concept as explored with Boomburst Exploud, except with a generally stronger attack and on a much stronger Pokemon with way better speed.

Gengar @ Focus Sash
Ability: Cursed Body
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Sludge Wave
- Shadow Ball / Nasty Plot
- Dazzling Gleam / Nasty Plot
- Perish Song
This is meant to cause as much panic and confusion as possible with Perish Song. Its the fastest user and in its own right a powerful Special Attacker that can abuse spread moves as well, so your opponents may try to switch-out to defend against it only to get afflicted with Perish Song. You yourself will faint if you don't switch-out, but considering how volatile each game is likely to be, something like this that can throw off the tempo of an entire match could be interesting. If not, you could try to pull off a Nasty Plot and start spamming Sludge Wave.

Landorus-Therian (M) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 8 HP / 248 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- U-turn
- Rock Slide
- Knock Off / Stealth Rock / Explosion
Everyone's favorite Doubles Pokemon is back and is quite ready to mindlessly click EQ and watch things crumble. Intimidate seems pretty nuts in this meta where you're not only making enemy Pokemon weaker to you, but each other as well, which has numerous implications. U-Turn and Rock Slide are both good secondary moves to use, especially the latter with it hitting all targets and maybe getting a cheesey flinch; the last slot is an interesting choice between Knock Off being generally amazing, getting Stealth Rock up against all your opponents and crippling them for the rest of the match, or just using Explosion to get a lot of damage off, potentially compromising your -1 Attack opponents for a teammate or simply getting big damage off on switch-ins. You could invest more in HP if you want it to stick around longer, as Lando's main draw is Intimidate + STAB EQ + high natural Attack; losing a few points of your already-high damage isn't gonna hurt much.

Indeedee (M) @ Custap Berry
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Expanding Force
- Hyper Voice
- Dazzling Gleam
- Endure
Here's something stupid. I predict Scarf is gonna be popular since Speed is so important when facing 3 other players; that's where Custap Berry comes in. Since we don't gain +1 Priority but rather move first within our own Priority bracket, and Psychic Terrain protects against other Priority moves, Indeedee can do something really badass called move first and hit everything with STAB Expanding Force under Psychic Terrain. It only does this for one turn, mind you, and Dark Types are an issue, but it is a cool concept that probably can be refined further.

Also there's :dugtrio: :gothitelle: I'm not in the mood to make trapper sets but you can just trap everything in sight and make things really uncomfortable for a few turns.
 
Since this is an OM, why not make it the rules that the Random Battles have, Last Man Standing 6 mons? since its already programmed in and its more fun like that? or at minimum last man standing?
 
Only had time for one round of Randomized this morning but man this is awesome. While the standard formats emphasize predicting your opponent, over here it is just as important to choose who to target, which adds a lot of complexity to the strategy. Redirecting attention towards strong opponents can be an important strategic move to put you in a strong position late-game. Most of the time though, it’s just the chaos of everyone fighting everyone. 10/10 will play again
 
There are currently a few issues in the free-for-all format from a competitive standpoint.

The first issue I would like to talk about is cross-teaming. Should cross-teaming be allowed? If it should be would it be limited to Game chat or would it include PMs, additionally this could lead to faking logs which may be hard to moderate. If another player/players has a grudge/beef with other player/players this would also lead to a very unfair game and again would be difficult to moderate. On the other hand, it would also be difficult to ban cross-teaming like Blanko said you may have to restrict certain player PMs or even in game chat, another possibility would be to make players anonymous to each other.

The second issue I would like to talk about is boosting/throwing. As mentioned earlier, players may have problems with other players which could lead to unfair targetting or intentional throwing, this applies especially in an endgame scenario when a player is certain they are going to lose instead of continuing to play to the best of their ability to win they may attempt to thwart the wincon of another player simply because they dislike them whether it was something they did in or outside the game, while some of this may add to the competitiveness of FFA by trying not to piss off a specific opponent, a lot of it is unsportsmanlike conduct. The issue arises in trying to differentiate between whether a player is intentionally throwing or boosting or actually playing to the best of their ability to win.
 

Kris

meow
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Social Media Head
There are currently a few issues in the free-for-all format from a competitive standpoint.

The first issue I would like to talk about is cross-teaming. Should cross-teaming be allowed? If it should be would it be limited to Game chat or would it include PMs, additionally this could lead to faking logs which may be hard to moderate. If another player/players has a grudge/beef with other player/players this would also lead to a very unfair game and again would be difficult to moderate. On the other hand, it would also be difficult to ban cross-teaming like Blanko said you may have to restrict certain player PMs or even in game chat, another possibility would be to make players anonymous to each other.

The second issue I would like to talk about is boosting/throwing. As mentioned earlier, players may have problems with other players which could lead to unfair targetting or intentional throwing, this applies especially in an endgame scenario when a player is certain they are going to lose instead of continuing to play to the best of their ability to win they may attempt to thwart the wincon of another player simply because they dislike them whether it was something they did in or outside the game, while some of this may add to the competitiveness of FFA by trying not to piss off a specific opponent, a lot of it is unsportsmanlike conduct. The issue arises in trying to differentiate between whether a player is intentionally throwing or boosting or actually playing to the best of their ability to win.
These all seem like questions better suited for PS policy staff as well as tournaments people for when the time comes. Also, while targeting might seem unfair, there's really no way to detect bias, and that's just a bad strategy in my experience.
 

Garrett

Party rockers in the house tonight
is a Pre-Contributor
I imagine having a rating ladder for this would be a nightmare to logistically find a middle ground. How would placement work? Are we saying that 1/4 players win and the other three drop in rating equally? Would it be weighted rank based on placement (where you run into the issue of people naturally targeting the person with the highest rating for biggest rating gain/best minimization of rating loss?) Competitively, unless the ladder becomes as popular as OU, ELO seems easily farmed with a partner in crime.

Ok enough with the ontological things, here's some meta discussion. I imagine moves like Dig and Fly have a rare niche in avoiding moves while dishing out damage. Sky Drop if allowed ESPECIALLY seems cool to force the remaining two mons on the field to 1v1, maybe unfavorably.

Consider this lead -
:grimmsnarl:
Grimmsnarl (M) @ Light Clay
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 HP / 176 Def / 80 SpD
Impish Nature
- Substitute / Fake Out / Protect / Taunt [I can see the merit of any one of these depending on your rest]
- Reflect
- Light Screen
- Spirit Break

At a certain point your gimmick needs to look innocuous, otherwise you become the center of attention. Grimmsnarl for example, is a good example of what's probably a BAD lead, because it baits people into wanting to stop dual screens immediately. People know what it does and they want to stop it. Maybe there is an unseen competitive aspect to having the most innocuous threats so that you are focused on the least, assuming no foul play/biased targetting (outside of game parameters). It might actually force a lot of creativity to hide your strats from normal convention.

For this reason, I'd recommend probably not showing ratings or prevent checking W/L of opponents if there ever are any (again, maybe impossible to do)? That way you're not biased to click into certain people or have certain predisposed thoughts about an opponent's team. It might help if it's possible to implement, but it's definitely a small nitpick.
 

Kris

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I imagine having a rating ladder for this would be a nightmare to logistically find a middle ground. How would placement work? Are we saying that 1/4 players win and the other three drop in rating equally? Would it be weighted rank based on placement (where you run into the issue of people naturally targeting the person with the highest rating for biggest rating gain/best minimization of rating loss?) Competitively, unless the ladder becomes as popular as OU, ELO seems easily farmed with a partner in crime.
For this reason, I'd recommend probably not showing ratings or prevent checking W/L of opponents if there ever are any (again, maybe impossible to do)? That way you're not biased to click into certain people or have certain predisposed thoughts about an opponent's team. It might help if it's possible to implement, but it's definitely a small nitpick.
Again, a PS staff thing, but they'd probably scale ELO earned/lost depending on what place you lost (i.e. first loser would lose more than 2nd place)
 
Sky Drop ESPECIALLY seems cool to force the remaining two mons on the field to 1v1, maybe unfavorably.
Sky Drop is unfortunately not available in Gen 8, though if this ever gets crossed over with Nat Dex, then Spotlight will also become very interesting.

From my experience with the random format:
  • Setup sweepers simply aren't viable. The moment you Swords Dance, you've put an enormous target on yourself.
  • Coaching is the ultimate alliance move. Just be careful to not create an opponent you can't beat.
  • Encore is incredibly powerful. As long as you have a fast Encore on the field, no one can Protect.
 

Kris

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Coaching is the ultimate alliance move. Just be careful to not create an opponent you can't beat.
Alternatively: use Coaching on a Pokemon you want gone more quickly to paint a target on its back while having it take care of mons for you. People will get distracted with their high stats and think you're being nice and will probably be more adverse to attack your Pokemon.
 

Isaiah

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sleep can be REALLY clutch in this format
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8freeforallrandombattle-1317526314
yes i made tons of stupid plays in there dont judge but the key part was how Roserade clutched that w at the end
This thread isn't for the randbats version; it's for the one that involves actual teambuilding.


Any word on when a teambuilding FFA format will be playable? Even if it's just to challenge friends and not on a ladder.
I assume when an ETA can be given, it'll be announced.
 
This meta is very interesting, it has elements of both Singles and Doubles. Some neat things to consider:
  • Many Doubles specific support elements like Follow Me / Ally Switch / Helping Hand / Heal Pulse all either fail or are not worth using. Doubles gimmicks like Beat Up + Justified don't really exist. No Dynamax (and no partner to activate it safely) means Weakness Policy gimmicks aren't very good either. Likewise Wide Guard is inferior to Protect. Outright supportive mons are generally less useful, and everything should generally focus on the type of roles it focuses on in singles, being walling or KOing your foes. Certain specific field supporters, such as leads, may succeed however.
  • Certain aspects of speed control prevalent in Doubles are less effective. Trick Room can still be effective but is more difficult to utilize since you can only have one Pokemon out at a time. Same goes with weather, it's still viable but played more akin to Singles than to Doubles, so mons that can pivot out like Pelipper are valuable weather setters. Moves like Icy Wind and Electroweb are more difficult to use supportively but can still be used semi-offensively on a slower mon to bring the whole field closer to its level.
  • Hazards are strong since they can affect all your foes. However, there are opportunity costs associated. Say for example one of your opponents sets up Stealth Rock. Now if you go for Stealth Rock of your own, it only gets set up against one of your opponents instead of all three. This leads to mindgames where it might be better to let one of your opponents to set up Stealth Rock, because if they do you still reap 2/3rds of the benefits of having Stealth Rock on the field, especially if your team doesn't mind Stealth Rock all that much. Defog is an interesting case because everything seems to indicate that it only removes hazards from the user and the target's sides of the field, leaving the other two players unaffected. So there's not much opportunity cost in running it compared to say Rapid Spin since you can just target one of your foes that you mind having their hazards removed the least. While the impact of hazards is lessened compared to Singles since mons will probably be switching out comparatively less, they are still important to consider.
  • Spread moves that affect all Pokemon on the field and those that only affect foes are functionally identical in this. Some good spread moves that increase in viability in this due to not having partners to worry about are Earthquake, Surf, Discharge, Sludge Wave, and Lava Plume.
  • Fake Out seems less effective because you can still be pretty vulnerable from your other foes on the turn you go for Fake Out. Protect, however, seems almost mandatory, since it lets you stay safe at generally little cost while your opponents who are unprotected that turn run the risk of being weakened.
  • Two-turn moves with invulnerability like Phantom Force on Dragapult seem useful because it can give you an extra turn of protection while your opponents soften each other up. Even two-turn moves that don't break protection can be useful, but don't use Dig or Dive as I expect Earthquake and Surf will be common.
  • At the end of the game, it generally turns into a singles match between the two remaining players. Because of that, it might be wise to bring a wincon, the kind of which might succeed in Singles, that can clean up lategame. It might be worth dropping Protect for a coverage move from this mon in order to maximize the chance of sweeping, as Protect isn't very useful in a 1v1 situation.
  • Psychology and mindgames are very different in this mode. Players can form temporary alliances for mutual benefit, can bluff or lie about making these alliances. Some people can argue that this is inherently uncompetitive but it is a natural consequence of competitive elimination-based games with more than two teams. I think it adds to the experience honestly. Double-crossing another player is part of what makes this mode fun. Forfeiting also affects the game state in a way that's unseen in twwo-player play. If a player sees that they're going to lose they can either forfeit or they can think "Okay, I know I'm going to lose so I'm going to play it out and spend the rest of the game trying to help the remaining player I think deserves to win the most". This sort of thing can occur even without direct communication between the players. I think attempt to legislate behaviour like this out of the meta is largely fruitless and we should just accept that this meta is inherently a bit less competitive than we're used to.
Earthquake :Landorus-therian: :krookodile: :excadrill: :landorus: :stakataka: :dugtrio: :hippowdon:
Boomburst :exploud: :toxtricity:
Surf :tapu fini: :pelipper: :kingdra: :gastrodon: :suicune: :primarina:
Sludge Wave :nihilego: :naganadel: :gengar: :landorus:
Petal Blizzard :Lurantis:
Lava Plume :heatran: :torkoal:
Discharge :Tapu Koko: :zapdos: :zeraora:
Mind Blown :blacephalon:
Bulldoze :landorus-therian: :krookodile:
Searing Shot :victini:
Misty Explosion :hatterene: :primarina: :diancie: :sylveon:
Explosion :landorus-therian: :genesect: :azelf:
Brutal Swing :tyranitar: :krookodile:
Corrosive Gas :Nihilego: :mew:


Also, I feel like Swagger shouldn't be banned. Swagger is a ban carried over from Doubles that I don't think should be on the initial banlist. From what I gather Swagger was banned in doubles due to how common it can be used to support a teammate, the fact that it's uncompetitive, and that usually results in a foe being forced to switch out in order to reset confusion which can be very punishing in Doubles. It could also be played supportively by Tapu Fini in Misty Terrain to power up a physical ally. In Free-for-All, Swagger would be a bit easier to reset, since I think it would be a little safer to switch in and out of battle in general. Dedicated supportive disruptors seem overall unviable, since you can't take advantage of it with a teammate. Obviously, the Misty Terrain Swagger support interaction is useless as well.

I feel less strongly about it, but Melmetal seems probably worth testing to drop from the banlist as well. While it still maintains ludicrous bulk and power it paints a big target on itself and its lack of speed will feel more like a problem since it's a bit harder to use speed control like Trick Room. AV seems less viable as well since everything really seems to want the ability to Protect on any given turn. The lack of support mons means basically everything on the field will be able to attack it to some extent.
 

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