Generation 9 Free-For-All

approved by Alexender


:clodsire::chien-pao:Generation 9 Free-For-All:Blissey::Breloom:
Playable Now!

Premise
[Gen 9] 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
  • Endless Battle Clause
  • Evasion Moves Clause
  • OHKO Clause
  • Sleep Clause Mod
  • Species Clause
Banlist
Pokemon

  • :Annihilape: Annihilape
  • :Flutter Mane: Flutter Mane
  • :Houndstone: Houndstone
  • :Koraidon: Koraidon
  • :Iron Bundle: Iron Bundle
  • :Miraidon: Miraidon
  • :Palafin: Palafin
Abilities
  • Moody
  • Shadow Tag
  • Toxic Debris
Moves
  • Acupressure
  • Aromatic Mist
  • Baton Pass
  • Court Change
  • Final Gambit
  • Flatter
  • Follow Me
  • Heal Pulse
  • Poison Fang
  • Rage Powder
  • Spicy Extract
  • Swagger
  • Toxic
  • Toxic Spikes

[Gen 9] Free-For-All has a number of distinct mechanics that work differently from either singles or doubles:
  • 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: 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

:Breloom::Alomomola: 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.

:Breloom: @ :Toxic Orb:

Breloom @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Poison Heal
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Mach Punch
- Drain Punch
- Seed Bomb

:Alomomola: @ :Leftovers:
Alomomola @ Leftovers
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 40 HP / 252 Def / 216 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Wish
- Protect
- Whirlpool
- Chilling Water

:Altaria::Garganacl: Trapping: many teams in Free-For-All will be built in a stall or semi-stall style. While wallbreakers are one option, using trappers to prevent switching is another way to punish these more passive teams. Utilizing trapping abilities like Whirlpool or Block can prevent the target from switching. You don't even necessarily need to defeat them yourself, as other players may do the job for you.

:Altaria: @ :Leftovers:
Altaria @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Protect
- Roost
- Fire Spin
- Perish Song

:Garganacl: @ :leftovers:
Garganacl @ Leftovers
Ability: Purifying Salt
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature
- Block
- Salt Cure
- Recover
- Stealth Rock

:Corviknight::Avalugg: 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 able to do its job repeatedly and consistently throughout the match. Simply slapping Rapid Spin on an offensive Pokemon is not sufficient in the Free-For-All 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

:Avalugg: @ :Heavy-Duty Boots:
Avalugg @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Own Tempo
Tera Type: Steel
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD
Impish Nature
- Recover
- Rapid Spin
- Ice Spinner
- Body Press

:Hippowdon::Clodsire: 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. The Unaware ability and the moves Whirlwind, Roar, Haze, and Clear Smog are all excellent choices to protect your team. Moves like Darkest Lariat or Sacred Sword can be useful for defeating Pokemon that boost their defenses.

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

:Clodsire: @ :Black Sludge:
Clodsire @ Black Sludge
Ability: Unaware
Tera Type: Steel
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Impish Nature
- Poison Jab
- Recover
- Stomping Tantrum
- Haze

Sample Teams

Coming Soon

Resources
Playability: The main Pokemon Showdown! server
Discord: https://discord.gg/UgWA9Uek94
Council:

:Arcanine: Darvin (leader)
:gardevoir: AbandonedSamurai
:Scizor: Imbion
:Alomomola: Opacous
:Hippowdon: TheStorm64
 
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I was not expecting to make an update this quickly, but it came to our attention today that the Blissey family does not actually get access to the move Heal Bell. While it is technically in the game code and listed as an egg move for Happiny, there is no legal way for it to actually learn it as an egg move. This means there is no legal way to use Heal Bell, and Aromatherapy is a deleted move. This immediately set off discussions in the FFA council. The poor distribution of Heal Bell had been a serious concern even before this revelation, but now we learn we have nothing to fill this niche.

As players of Generation 8 Free-For-All know, the Badly Poisoned condition inflicted by Toxic and Toxic Spikes was metagame warping. Counterplay was limited, as with three opponents you would be facing a multitude of threats simultaneously that would need checking. Phasing is quite popular, which can force critical teammates onto Toxic Spikes. Most serious teams needed to carry multiple countermeasures, with Heal Bell or Aromatherapy being nearly mandatory on most compositions. Toxic was so oppressive that teambuilding revolved around it. Toxic and Toxic Spikes were already oppressive and potentially banworthy in generation 8 Free-For-All. And now we've completely lost Heal Bell.

A reasonable objection would be that the metagame could adapt to this. People could build teams using Pokemon with immunities to Toxic, Natural Cure, and Pokemon that can viably run Rest. In our view, this is somewhat akin to saying that a metagame could adapt to a 100% accurate Fissure, by primarily using Flying-types, the Magnet Rise move, or those with the Sturdy or Levitate ability. It may be possible to adapt, but it's too metagame warping to be reasonable. With the removal of Heal Bell, we feel that Toxic crosses this threshold in Free-For-All.

We also discussed the issue of the Toxic Orb along with the moves Fling, Switcheroo, and Trick. However, we determined that these were less problematic. There is no Pokemon with both Fling and Recycle in the dex so this is a once-per-match attack, no different than a Tricked Choice Scarf which can be equally crippling. We will not be considering a complex ban, so the collateral damage here of removing legitimate move and item options is not worth the much lower level of harm they cause. However, the Poison Fang move has a 50% chance to inflict the Badly Poisoned condition and we deemed this was worthy of being banned.

The council has voted, and by supermajority we have decided that Toxic, Toxic Spikes, Toxic Debris, and Poison Fang will be banned in Generation 9 Free-For-All. This may be revisited at a later point after Pokemon Home releases, if it alleviates the issue.

The voting record can be found here
 
Don't mean to rush you but is there any idea when this will be released. I thought it released alongside gen 9 randoms (singles) but I was wrong.
It comes down to the developers and their time availability. I don't want to rush/bother them, either, as I know they're quite busy.

In the meantime, you can go to the FFA Discord where people are setting up custom challenge matches of Gen 8 FFA with Gen 9 Pokemon.
 
The room OM said they discontinued it
They are mistaken. Even now Generation 8 Free-For-All is still playable on Showdown under the category of Sw/Sh Singles, and still has people playing it. I was able to queue up and find a couple games last night.

What did happen is that Free-For-All is no longer an OM. We never really met the definition in the first place, and as a result a top-level decision was made to move us under the general umbrella of Pokemon Showdown rather than Other Metagames.
 
They are mistaken. Even now Generation 8 Free-For-All is still playable on Showdown under the category of Sw/Sh Singles, and still has people playing it. I was able to queue up and find a couple games last night.

What did happen is that Free-For-All is no longer an OM. We never really met the definition in the first place, and as a result a top-level decision was made to move us under the general umbrella of Pokemon Showdown rather than Other Metagames.
Alr
 
As some of you may be aware, Free-For-All will be basing its initial banlist off of OU's banlist. Because our format has not yet launched, we are now re-evaluating our initial banlist in light of the new OU bans. We discussed each of the three recent bans and whether we wanted to include them in our own initial banlist.

You can see the results of the vote here

:Annihilape: Annihilape
The nature of Free-For-All makes Rage Fist even more dangerous in our format than it is in OU. With three opponents on the field it is much more difficult to pivot around, and much more likely that the Rage Fist user will take a small amount of damage. Even if you personally do not make the attacks, you might still have to deal with a high BP Rage Fist if another opponent did. Options to check Annihilape are severely limited, and many team compositions will either need to accept a crippling weakness to Rage Fist or run Farigiraf (which seems to be the only Pokemon in the dex capable of checking Rage Fist defensively once it reaches maximum power). The council has serious concerns that even Primeape may be too much for Free-For-All to handle, much less Annihilape.

After some discussion, we came to the agreement that mirroring OU and banning Annihilape is the best decision for our initial banlist. We can then test Rage Fist Primeape in isolation. If it proves to be too much for the format, we will conclude that Rage Fist itself is unsuitable for Free-For-All and ban it. Should Rage Fist be banned, Annihilape will be unbanned.

Annihilape will be added to the initial Generation 9 Free-For-All banlist

:Chi-Yu: Chi-Yu
Chi-Yu's Beads of Ruin ability is potentially even more dangerous in Free-For-All than it is in OU. Beads of Ruin doesn't just lower your special defense stat when Chi-Yu attacks you, but also when another opponent's special attack hits you. This means Chi-Yu is not only very dangerous in its own right, but increases the general level of offense on the field with its presence. However, Chi-Yu has problems going for it. It has insubstantial physical bulk, a Stealth Rock weakness in a format with very limited options for reliable hazard control, and no reliable recovery. This limits how often it can stay on the field to do its job consistently. In a format where most Pokemon under base 100 speed are running significant bulk investment, it's going to have a bit more trouble wallbreaking than it does in OU.

We saw many threatening Pokemon in generation 8 Free-For-All that failed to live up to their hypothetical power level, often being too prediction-heavy or too frail to put in consistent long-term work. We feel that Chi-Yu deserves a fair chance at being tried in Free-For-All. The vote on this Pokemon was very close, with multiple voters being vocally on the fence. If it does prove to be problematic in our format, we will not hesitate to have a re-vote on the matter.

Chi-Yu will not be added to the initial Generation 9 Free-For-All banlist

:Cyclizar: Cyclizar
The council is skeptical that Cyclizar will be banworthy in Free-For-All. A free turn in Free-For-All is much harder to translate into a KO than it is in OU, and on its own it won't win an entire match. In the chaos of Free-For-All with four players pivoting around each other's threats, free turns happen with a great deal of regularity. All four teams can expect to get multiple free turns across the course of a FFA match. This makes Cyclizar much less problematic, since the circumstances Shed Tail can create are not out of line with the kinds of circumstances that can come up organically in Free-For-All. As a result we don't feel that its oppressive qualities in OU will necessarily translate into Free-For-All and a quickban is not justified.

Cyclizar will not be added to the initial Generation 9 Free-For-All banlist
 
It comes down to the developers and their time availability. I don't want to rush/bother them, either, as I know they're quite busy.

In the meantime, you can go to the FFA Discord where people are setting up custom challenge matches of Gen 8 FFA with Gen 9 Pokemon.
any updates on Gen 9 FFAs being a thing?
 
any updates on Gen 9 FFAs being a thing?
We haven't received any updates on the implementation yet.

There's a psuedo gen 9 FFA playable through a custom challenge, as Darvin mentioned earlier in the thread. The main difference is that Terrastall can't be used, abilities/moves that were updated retroactively will still retain their old properties (i.e. Snow Warning still summons hail, recovery moves still have 16PP), and a few cases of odd incompatibilities (Auroa Veil fails in snow).

Here's the challenge code for playing the format with the bans we've implemented so far. If you just want to play without the bans we've currently implemented, cut off all of the extra additions after +past.

Code:
/challenge insertnamehere, gen8freeforall @@@ +future, !Obtainable, +past,  -spicy extract,  -toxic, -toxic spikes, -toxic debris, -poison fang, -annihilape, -flutter mane, -houndstone, -koraidon, -iron bundle, -miraidon, -palafin
 
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Generation 9 Free-For-All is now available!

Actually it's been available for a few days now, and we've been having a great time. Come and join in on the fun!

Of course, I have other updates to share with everyone. Let's talk about them:

Revisiting Move Bans
The Free-For-All council was asked to revisit some of our move bans. Smogon discourages move bans, preferring bans of Pokemon. This is for good reason, as moves do not exist in isolation and are only meaningful in the context of the Pokemon that gets access to them. There are countless threads in Policy Review that delve into this issue in far more detail than I can get into here, but suffice to say that I and the Free-For-All council agree with this. Move bans are for exceptional circumstances.

Looking at the moves we were asked to revisit:

Follow Me: with the Generation 9 Dex, there are only three legal users of the move. We were asked to revisit this ban in light of its low distribution. However, the move is functionally identical to Rage Powder and the differences will not usually be relevant. We agreed that it made no sense to unban Follow Me while leaving Rage Powder banned, which raises the pool of affected Pokemon to 11 fully-evolved species. By and large, the issues with the move remain the same as they were in generation 8. The move has no legitimate utility and there's really no circumstance you would want your own Pokemon to become the center of attention and target of everyone's attacks. The move is strictly used by trolls to be disruptive and degrade the enjoyability and fairness of the match for everyone else. While we can't eliminate trolling completely, we can at least take away their most obnoxious tools.

The council voted 3-2 to maintain our current ban


Court Change: this is an exclusive move to Cinderace, and by and large exclusive moves should not be banned and instead the Pokemon themselves should be (see Houndstone and Last Respects). The issue here is that Court Change is not banned for any balance reasons, but rather due to implementation ambiguity. In the official Pokemon games, Court Change has never existed in a game that allows for more than 2 fields to exist at a time. There is no precedent for how it should "swap" the field effects when there are 4 different fields. While a speculative implementation was created for generation 8 so the move was usable, this proved unclear and confusing to players. There was no documentation on this move through tools like the DT command or through commonly-used websites like Smogon or Bulbapedia. The only place you would find documentation on how it worked was in the Smogon forums. This was simply not an acceptable situation, and we decided that the most prudent course of action was to ban the move rather than tinker with speculative implementations.

We've asked for an exception to the normal policy given the unusual circumstances surrounding this move. If Court Change is ever given an official implementation in an actual Pokemon game that supports 4 different fields, we will ask for that to be implemented and unban it. But until that day, we deem this move should not be available in our format as it has no clear precedent on how it should work. It would be a shame for Cinderace to be banned over what is essentially an implementation technicality.


Spicy Extract: this move was automatically banned at the start of the generation without a vote. The Free-For-All format has a blanket ban on all moves which can boost the stats of an opponent's Pokemon. This ban exists for good reason, as they are very disruptive and almost exclusively used as trolling moves. While there are theoretically some gimmicks that can make boosting an opponent's stats worthwhile, they are highly inconsistent and introduce a substantial amount of volatility to the match. Similar to Baton Pass, it allows Pokemon that cannot otherwise boost their stats to receive stat boosts, potentially repeatedly while they are actively applying pressure. Even if the user of the stat-boosting move isn't trying to troll, it still creates situations that cannot be prepared for in a format that is already difficult to prepare for. These moves have a massively negative effect on the enjoyability and fairness of the format, and are banned universally without exception for good reason.

We have asked if our move bans in this category can be converted into a clause, as in many ways this is similar to the OHKO clause. These are all fundamentally similar moves that are banned for the same reason irrespective of what Pokemon has access to them. We are hoping that this situation can be resolved without having to ban Scovillain, but if we are instructed to follow Smogon policy we will ban Scovillain rather than allow any such moves into Free-For-All.


Watch List
We're keeping our eyes on a number of things right now that we see as potential problems. We're not ready to hold any votes yet, but we're definitely aware of some of the issues. There are a few things we were watching that have failed to materialize as serious problems. Terastallization so far has proven less problematic than expected, and if it is an issue it's only in conjunction with specific threats that can abuse it that can be banned individually. Glimmora's Mortal Spin is not nearly as hard to handle as feared and its lack of reliable recovery has proven a major impediment to it staying on the field and maintaining long-term pressure. Moreover, the lack of Toxic has not shown any negative repercussions as regular Poison, Burn, and Paralysis are all being used to fill the niche. If anything, this is a huge improvement on balance over generation 8 where Toxic and Toxic Spikes were unrestricted, and seeing it in action I'm regretting not having pulled the trigger on a Toxic vote in generation 8. With that said, these are the issues jumping out at us right now:

:Dondozo: Dondozo has the coveted Unaware ability, which is exceptionally useful in a format where it's not always feasible to prevent setup and it's well worthwhile to have a good fallback. The problem we've found is that Dondozo itself often has easy opportunities to set up Curse, which can lead to uneventful Dondozo mirrors where everyone has their Dondozo on the field. While it's possible that the metagame will stabilize in such a way that well-built teams have good ways to handle Dondozo, as it stands right now this is not a healthy situation. Here is a good replay showing the problem.

:Chien-Pao: Chien-Pao is currently being suspect tested in OU and was always a Pokemon to watch in our format. However, fast and frail Pokemon tend not to do as well in Free-For-All than in singles. Chien-Pao is no exception, and has to be played very carefully to put in work. However, the support tools to make it work definitely exist and its access to Recover is actually very valuable in Free-For-All where it doesn't need full speed investment and can actually invest in bulk. Its offensive presence is highly dangerous, but it's unclear whether it represents a threat level that goes too far.

:Chi-Yu: Chi-Yu is already banned in OU, and much like Chien Pao represents a massive threat that is difficult to handle. At the same time, its bulk is passable and it lacks reliable recovery. This makes it have a harder time in this format than it does in OU. Again, it's too early to make a call on this one but it's on our radar.

:Primeape: Primeape is looking like a major metagame threat, but not necessarily broken. It needs to be played carefully to avoid losing its Eviolite, but it can easily rack up small amounts of chip damage throughout the match to have massively powerful Rage Fists in the end-game. Its Drain Punches are significantly weaker than other comparable Pokemon, and it needs a lot of Bulk Ups to really go insane. However, it's definitely not something to underestimate as you can't stop other players from making the mistake of attacking into it, and may be stuck paying the price for the carelessness of your other opponents. We'll continue watching it, but if my current experience proves to be representative then it's unlikely to be banned.

:Corviknight: Hazard Control is proving to be as problematic as expected, in that Corviknight is really the only good hazard control. People are experimenting with Cyclizar, Avalugg, and Altaria because the pickings are so slim. In Free-For-All, all three opponents are potentially trying to set hazards against you which means it's hard if not impossible to prevent hazard setup with offensive pressure, and your hazard control needs to be able to come in repeatedly throughout the match and outlast three teams work of setters in order to keep hazards off your field. That's a tall order, and requires incredible defensive qualities on any candidate hazard control Pokemon. Corviknight is largely in a class of its own in the generation 9 dex, and nothing else is really delivering.

Other Observations
There are other things we've noticed that aren't necessarily problems but are definitely noteworthy. One is that Wish has become much less prominent in the metagame. Where in generation 8 I'd say around 90% of good teams ran a Wish user, in generation 9 it's much more optional. Rest is a much more reliable answer for keeping Pokemon who lack reliable recovery healthy. Alomomola is practically a disappointment, as it often compounds electric weakness with the obligatory Corviknight. Umbreon and Sylveon seem to be our premier wish passers. Umbreon has lost both Toxic and Heal Bell, but Taunt slots in perfectly as a suitable utility replacement in the final move slot. Sylveon used to be outclassed by Clefable, but Clefable isn't in the dex. If you want to run Wish to keep offensive Pokemon healthy, these two seem to be your best options.

As expected, Cyclizar has not proven to be a problem at all. It's definitely a threat that needs to be respected, but Shed Tail can be played around and with only regenerator for recovery it can struggle to stay healthy if it uses Shed Tail too liberally. With the lack of hazard control in this format, a Rapid Spin user with Regenerator is very welcome even if its bulk is lacking. Overall, this is looking like a very interesting Pokemon in our format with lots of great qualities and some big question points. I like it.

The format being listed under SV singles has done wonders for our visibility, and we've felt the influx of players who are trying out our format and giving it a much larger and robust userbase. While SS Free-For-All never died (despite some reports to the contrary, there were players playing it right up to the last day. I know, I was one of them), we certainly could have long wait times to find a match given that four players were necessary. It looks like we currently have the critical mass of players during most hours that finding a match takes a very reasonable amount of time. This is great, and I'm hoping that it will lead to a livelier scene for our format this generation!

And I'll stop there before this becomes a stream of consciousness. I hope this gets everyone up to speed on where Free-For-All stands right now, what the council is talking about and has our eyes on, and I'll update everyone again when we have more to talk about. Good luck and have fun in your matches!
 
I wanted to give my personal opinions on all the mentioned points.

Dodonzo: is not entirely unbeatable, but it's ability to sit on the field and ignore everything makes it way too good at outlasting every other Pokemon. 2+ Dodonzo face offs are awful because each Dodonzo becomes entirely unable to kill each other, turning it into a game of either constantly switching out or PP stalling. Meanwhile everything on the field has to pray the Dodonzo doesn't sit in and wipe them out. I feel like Dodonzo's defensive pressure is just as over the top as it's offensive pressure and it's a bit too much.

Chien Pao: I have had zero issues with Chien Pao because all of my teams have a fighting + steel type and Corviknight. I could totally see it being an issue but I feel it's not as big of an issue as Chi-Yu.

Chi-Yu: This mon sucks, and by sucks I mean it sucks for you if your opponent has one. It's typing makes it easier to keep in than Chien Pao, and the good mons in the metagame are more susceptible too it (imo). One of the biggest issues with Chi-Yu is the decent speed means you can't keep certain Pokemon like Corviknight in against it, so you HAVE to switch out. This mon can put major dents in each team before going down, especially with hazard or sun support. A sun boosted flamethrower almost 2 shot my max HP/ SP Def Florges. It's ability to pick off Pokemon with little to no support is too much, and barely anything can switch in without getting two-shot.

Primeape: I've never gotten to see a Primeape actually hit the field yet because every game I've seen it in team preview I've left early for whatever reason.

Hazard Control: Having to use Corviknight or be stuck with something subpar really sucks. I've felt like this generation has funneled a few Pokemon into being constant picks for teams but this is probably the worst it gets. I'm not sure what a good solution for this is since banning hazard setters seems like a slippery slope and banning the remaining hazards seems controversial. This is not to say that all hazard control is bad, I saw someone using Altaria and it seemed alright, but Corviknight is very obviously the best choice in my opinion.

Follow Me, Spicy Extract, Court Change: All banned for obvious reasons. Spicy Extract and Follow Me are banned for promoting uncompetitive / unhealthy play and we don't know how Court Change works. These were all good calls.

One thing not mentioned that I think should be on the watchlist is Revival Blessing. Reviving your Pokemon at 50% HP seems like a massive detriment but the thing is it's easy to get multiple off during a round. It's also not hard to keep your revival blessing users in back until late game, especially against passive teams or ones with limited recovery, and then spam out revival blessings to get powerful mons back into the fray which will then easily handle 1v1ing all the weakened teams that only have 2-3 Pokemon left.

I've had a game or two where revival blessing would've easily won the game had my opponent not selected the wrong Pokemon. Revival Blessing is also very good at keeping a team full of Pokemon when the other ones start dwindling, and it's easy to bring back core mons that can no longer be properly checked by remaining ones (like bringing back Blissey or even Dodonzo after their counters or checks are removed.) Maybe this is all simply a bad experience with Revival Blessing on ladder but I think it deserves to have an eye kept on it.

There are other Pokemon I think have the potential to be too strong, like Garganacl which I have been using. Salt Cure in Combination with Iron Defense, Body Press, Recover and its other options is really strong and seems hard to properly deal with but I would have to play more FFA to get a better opinion on it.
 
i think that first thoughts toxapex will be strong again this generation, as regenerator is more useful than ever when healing moves have low pp.every teams need multiple dark resist as the chiyu and chienpao are not banned. I think the metagame will lean toward bulky teams
 
also why is toxic poison, final gambit banned? Final gambit is a good move in certain cases, and it doesn't promote uncompetitiveness. Shuckle likes to use the move on its standard set, and explosion/memento isn't banned so it's confusing. Final gambit doesn't deserve the ban hammer. I dont think toxic poison is broken, as toxic/poison fang are single target and take multiple turns to rack up damage. I can sorta understand tspikes and toxic debris, as it cripples everyone else on the field.
 
Toxapex was one of the most metagame-defining Pokemon in Generation 8 Free-For-All. It was very difficult to KO, was an efficient item-remover with Knock Off, stopped setup sweepers with Haze, incessantly set up Toxic Spikes, and could easily come in to clear Toxic Spikes off of your side of the field. Almost all of that was lost in generation 9 and Toxapex only has its bulk and Haze going for it. It also lost access to Spite, which means its trapper set is now completely passive and relies on other players to get the KO after it traps something. Toxapex has been left completely passive and does little else other than survive. It also faces steep competition with newcomer Clodsire, which has a similarly powerful defensive ability without the associated passivity and has been proving itself as a defensive cornerstone. Overall, Toxapex seems like it will be a much more niche selection and I don't see it reprising anything remotely close to its dominant role from last generation.

The PP nerf has been a very subtle change and not as major as one might think. Wish was spared the nerf, and other recovery moves rarely need more than 8 uses per match. It does mean you have to be a little more judicious with your usage, and there definitely is a change to player behavior because of this, but I've actually yet to see it come into play directly. And yes, this is going to be a very bulky metagame. Free-For-All always has been, and likely always will favor bulkier Pokemon. With that said, it seems that Generation 9 punishes passivity much more harshly than generation 8 did.

Final Gambit does indeed promote uncompetitiveness. I can understand the confusion, because if anything Final Gambit is a terrible move that is more likely to hurt your position than help it. The problem is its potential as a troll move, where your goal isn't to win but rather just to ruin the match for everyone else. It allows you to rapidly sacrifice the majority of your team to quickly rack up KO's on an opponent. There is very little counterplay to this, as Rock and Steel resistances do nothing and the move deals massive instantaneous damage. You either have a Ghost-type or Blissey/Chansey, or you're going to be taking several KO's in the first few turns of the game as your opponent clicks Final Gambit against you over and over again. The Final Gambit user quickly removes themselves from the game by KO'ing their own Pokemon, and cripples their victim in the process. In a conventional format if your opponent sacrifices their entire team and leaves you with only 2 or 3 Pokemon remaining you still win. In Free-For-All there are still two healthy teams, so you're basically out of the game and the troll has succeeded in ruining a Free-For-All match and turning it into a premature 1 on 1. Explosion and Memento don't have this problem. In fact, due to spread moves being weakened, Explosion is barely any stronger than Double Edge.

Toxic is banned because it's too centralizing and too big a constraint on team-building. Back in Generation 8 Free-For-All Toxic was so oppressive and metagame defining that running a Heal Bell or Aromatherapy user was straight up mandatory on most teams, but in Generation 9 these moves have been removed from the game. To give you an idea of how mandatory Heal Bell support was in generation 8, our sample team section had an offensive team that ran a Chansey. Yes, an offensive team had to run Chansey to not auto-lose to Toxic. Otherwise excellent Pokemon like Hippowdon, Vaporeon, or Buzzwole were ruined by Toxic, and it's nearly impossible to proactively dodge it with three opponents on the field and multiple threats to maneuver around. Being put on a timer is a serious problem, as offensive teams can't dictate the pace of the game like they can in singles. If you're on a timer and the other players are not, you're not going to force your way through 18 Pokemon before Toxic runs its course and leaves your team a broken shell. Now, it's entirely possible that Generation 9 would have stabilized around Pokemon with anti-status abilities (Gholdengo, Garganacl, Breloom, Blissey), Rest users, and Steel/Poison types, but this is far too much of a constraint on team-building.

With a week of experience in our newly Toxic-free Free-For-All, I'm very happy with the positive change we've seen from this ban. The other status conditions have largely filled the void vacated by Toxic; we're seeing a lot more usage of Thunder Wave and Will-o-wisp, and regular poison is still a very strong option. Sludge Bomb and Poison Jab are deadly moves with that 30% Poison chance. Overall this has been an incredibly positive change, and one I regret I didn't pull the trigger on in Generation 8. Toxic was oppressive last generation, but there was a lot of counterplay so I never held any vote to ban it. Seeing what an improvement a Toxic-free Free-For-All is, I regret not having done so earlier.
 

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