Announcement Galarian Darmanitan, Ash-Greninja, Mega Metagross, Tornadus-T, and Urshifu-S are now banned from National Dex

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Jordy

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Hey everyone, as you probably know, the council has recently held a vote on Pokemon that could be considered too much for the National Dex metagame in order to lower the overall power level and to increase the balance. You can read more about that decision in this thread.

The following Pokemon have been banned as a result: Galarian Darmanitan, Ash-Greninja, Mega Metagross, Tornadus-T, and Urshifu-S. You can find the sheet with all the votes here.

I would like to thank the community as a whole and my fellow council members for their input and ensuring that everything went smoothly. Below will be explanations for the decisions that were made!

Tagging Kris and The Immortal to implement these changes. Thank you in advance.
 
:metagross-mega: :ss/metagross-mega: :metagross-mega:

From the tier’s inception, Mega Metagross has been a dominant Pokemon thanks to its incredible stats, substantial movepool, fantastic ability, and strong defensive traits. it constrained teambuilding to the degree that all teams must have at least two ways of dealing with it. After Mega Blastoise’s ban, Mega Metagross started to tap in to its movepool, notably using Toxic to cripple otheriwise solid checks like Mega Slowbro, Alomomola, Rocky Helmet Tangrowth, and Hippowdon. Once poisoned, these Pokemon would struggle to stave off a Mega Metagross’ attacks, and if they did, they were often torn asunder by its teammates, such as Galarian Darmanitan, Tornadus-T, Ash-Greninja, and most recently, Urshifu-S. This, in addition to a stellar defensive typing that sported a Stealth Rock resistance, Toxic immunity, and resistances to Flying, Psychic, and Fairy, gave Mega Metagross several oppurtunities to begin its rampage. It is capable of easily coming in on many Pokemon, like Clefable, Tapu Lele, Tornadus-T, and if Misty Terrain is set, Toxapex. It is also difficult to answer it offensively, as its high bulk meant the majority of Scarfers needed it to be chipped to some degree in order for them to KO it. While Pokemon like Mega Scizor and Ferrothorn seem like decent checks at first glance, they can be exploited by Pokemon like Magnezone or Heatran. For these reasons, Metagrossite is now banned from National Dex OU.​
 

Zneon

Scarlet Eyes
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Despite its short time in the tier, Urshifu-S quickly proved to be one of the most dangerous Pokemon in the metagame. Its amazing STAB combination along with its solid speed tier and amazing attack stat all made for an incredibly powerful wallbreaker with very few switch ins.

Defensively, the only Pokemon that are capable of checking Urshifu are Clefable, the niche Mega Altaria and the even more niche Galarian Weezing, due to their ability to switch into both of Urshifu's STAB moves. As for counters, the only one that fit that criteria is Buzzwole, however it is even more niche, if not borderline unviable due to its horrendous matchup against other top threats. Other than those Pokemon, Urshifu is capable of 2HKOing rest of the metagame due to its qualities and its able to to it with little to no risk due to these qualities:

  • Its ability in Unseen Fist made it scouting it a very difficult task as it can ignore protect.
  • Wicked Blow always critical hit, making it so Intimidate or Defense Boosts from Pokemon like Landorus-T and Reuniclus were pretty much obsolete.
  • Its ability to pivot with U-turn made it even more difficult to deal with, as it can simply pivot out of its already very limited checks into something that can defeat them such as Mega Metagross and Mega Scizor.
These traits along with the ones that I stated earlier made Urshifu a Pokemon that threatened every build with almost no risk and incredibly high reward every time it was on the field. Urshifu's affect on the metagame was incredibly unhealthy and constricting, as it forced one of the very limited checks to it such as Clefable or Mega Altaria onto a team in order to not be overwhelmed by this Pokemon. Urshifu has clearly shown to be far too much for the metagame. As a result, Urshifu-S is now banned from the National Dex metagame.
 

Guardsweeper

Semper ad Meliora
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:sm/greninja-ash:
Ash-Greninja has been one of the most potent and consistent presences since the very inauguration of the National Dex metagame. It is without a doubt one of the very best Pokemon at singlehandedly making steady progress throughout a match, up until it gets an opportunity to wrap it up with a late-game sweep. Perhaps the most notable trait that is at the source of this is Ash-Greninja's access to Spikes, which, paired with its ability to force an abundant amount of switches, gives it a great tool for punishing passive plays from the opponent, such as when they opt to switch a check into battle. Ash-Greninja is particularly effective at forcing passivity, as the utter threat of a Battle Bond transformation is too much of a risk for the opponent to act otherwise.

This in itself is not necessarily an issue; frankly, many offensive threats are capable of forcing a switch and punishing it. However, Ash-Greninja's case is made worse due to the limited amount of good checks avaliable, the necessity to dedicate multiple slots to it in the teambuilder, as well as its more consistent tendency to break through these checks without necessary team support. The latter quality in particular mandates players to often run Dark-resistant Pokemon on their team, solely to avoid being overwhelmed by Ash-Greninja's Dark Pulse and its chance to flinch, an infamous teambuilder strain. Sufficient standalone checks to Ash-Greninja merely boil down to Chansey, Baneful Bunker Toxapex, and Protect Ferrothorn. Furthermore, Tapu Fini, another very satisfactory check on paper, is limited in the grand scheme of the metagame due to often being overwhelmed by Galarian Darmanitan. Any other check, such as Assault Vest Tangrowth, Toxapex and Ferrothorn lacking the aforementioned moves, and Kommo-o, do no suffice on their own and require additional plans to limit Ash-Greninja's progress. Even with these precautions in mind, timely Dark Pulse fliches and its own Spikes support sometimes allow Ash-Greninja to overwhelm its counterplay regardless.

All in all, Ash-Greninja's effectivity when it comes to making progress, its huge grip on the teambuilder, and its tendency to singlehandedly overwhelm theoretically sufficient counterplay were deemed to culminate into an overall unhealthy Pokemon by the council. As such, Battle Bond is now quickbanned from National Dex!
 
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watermess

What? Never seen an idiot before?
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:tornadus-therian: :ss/tornadus-therian: :tornadus-therian:

Tornadus-T has always been a menace to switch into throughout the few generations its been in OU. The decision to ban it from the tier was made because of the splash-ability of bulky defog spreads and the strength of its offensive sets in the current metagame which is heightened due to the generally slow pace of the tier. Pokemon such as Rocky Helmet Tangrowth and physically defensive Hippowdon are vital on balance and other similarly bulky builds to check the likes of Mega Metagross and Urshifu, and these passive tanks can be easily taken advantage of repeatedly by Tornadus-T throughout a game to devastating effect. Slower fatter builds already struggle tremendously with switching into Knock Off and STAB Hurricane and this is amplified by Tornadus-T's incredible resilience courtesy of Regenerator. Knock off especially makes reliable counterplay extremely hard to come by as it removes Zapdos's and Rotom-Heat's Heavy Duty Boots, specially defensive Heatran's Leftovers, Magearna's Assault Vest/Leftovers and Chansey's Eviolite. Through the utility of Knock off Tornadus-T is able to strongly force progress as almost all of its switch ins require their items to come in repeatedly throughout a game. To add to all of this Tornadus-T is also capable of adapting to current metagame trends with techs such as Heat wave, Focus blast and Fightinium Z that can allow it to heavily threaten specific Pokemon that otherwise might be able to take it on, as well as Taunt which allows it to entirely shut down bulky teams and any Pokemon that rely on status or recovery moves to beat it such as Toxapex and Clefable. Amongst all of this Tornadus-T is able to take advantage of its ability to force switches with U-turn to not only make progress vs its own checks and heal itself with Regenerator simultaneously but also make opportunities for teammates such as Galarian Darmanitan and Urshifu against Pokemon they can take advantage of. These Pokemon force in passive defensive tanks once more and creating a vicious cycle in which Tornadus is able to make more opportunities and force progress at an alarming rate even against the most sturdy defensive cores.
 
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SputnikGT

Sad but Hopeful Racing Point F1 Fan
:ss/darmanitan-galar:

Galarian Darmanitan established itself as a centralizing force in the metagame from day one forward. Gorilla Tactics, a perfectly usable speed tier, and an already high attack stat made it a perfect user of both Choice Scarf and Choice Band, and it had Ice STAB and colorful coverage to boot. Choice Scarf sets cemented themselves as top tier revenge killers and cleaners and basically necessitated the usage of certain bulky waters, such as Toxapex, Alomomola, and Slowbro, in order to check it. Teams utilizing Water-types such as Tapu Fini needed to fit additional counterplay, such as Rotom-H, due to Tapu Fini's proneness to being worn down. This centralization, in conjunction with its highly effective pairing with Ash-Greninja, led to Toxapex balance becoming by far the most common and most effective form of play pre-Urshifu. The Choice Band set also emerged as a monstrous wallbreaker that could catch a balance team expecting Scarf by surprise, as it 2HKOd almost the entire metagame and notably OHKOed Specially Defensive Toxapex with Earthquake. Z-Move sets also existed, and could lure in answers such as the aforementioned Toxapex with Groundium-Z.

Galarian Darmanitan does have some downsides; it was one of the metagames slower viable Choice Scarf users, and its frailty, horrible defensive typing, and Stealth Rock weakness made it a glass cannon to the extreme. Non-Scarf sets were also fairly easy to revenge kill. However, the pressure exerted by the Scarf sets colorful coverage, great power, and U-turn made for a constricting Pokemon, and the odd Choice Band or Z-Move set could be used to blow a huge hole in the opponents defensive core even if they were well prepared for the Choice Scarf set. Overall, Galarian Darmanitan has proved to be an unhealthy presence in the metagame and , therefore, been quickbanned from National Dex, but a retest is potentially on the table.
 
:ss/toxapex:
Toxapex, though not an offensive menace, can often meddle with offensive counterplay in a nigh-unparalleled fashion. With tremendous bulk, two methods of reliable recovery in Recover and Regenerator, access to Scald, Toxic Spikes, Toxic, and even the occasional Haze, Toxapex is a defensive behemoth that can very easily disrupt an ill-prepared team. Attemped offensive counterplay such as Mega Metagross and Tapu Lele are very prone to being crippled by Toxapex; the former from burns from Scald and the latter being worn down swiftly by Toxic or Toxic Spikes. Additionally, the utility of Toxic Spikes are invaluable in the current metagame, and Toxapex is not only the only viable setter, but is also the best Poison-type to absorb said Toxic Spikes, leading to a lot of one-dimensional teambuilding.

Despite this, Toxapex is exploitable by Pokemon such as Gliscor, Reuniclus, Dragapult, and Alakazam, as well as being able to be nearly shut down by Taunt users such as Tornadus-Therian and Tapu Fini. Tapu Fini also deserves special mention, as it provides it's team temporary status immunity by virtue of Misty Surge. Toxapex also offers the defensive value of checking Pokemon such as Ash-Greninja, Volcarona, Darmanitan-Galar, and Mega Scizor in addition to being a sponge for Tornadus-Therian's Hurricane. Taking this into consideration, the council felt that the qualities Toxapex brought to the table were not worthy of a ban, and as such Toxapex will remain legal in National Dex OU.
 
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