Announcement LC Suspect - Chickens In The Pen

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OP

is a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Site Staff Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
LC Co-Leader
#1

^Click for song^

For Little Cup's third suspect of this generation, we're going to be looking at Torchic. The combination of it's offensive capabilities and support through Baton Pass has made Torchic and the teams centered around it incredibly threatening. Torchic based teams can create polarized matchups, limit teambuilding options, and some would consider them to just be at too high of a power level. Torchic was chosen for this suspect test over Baton Pass for two primary reasons: consistency with previous suspects and less overall collateral. Similar to how Porygon was the only problematic user of Conversion, Torchic is the only problematic user of Baton Pass. Suspecting Baton Pass could potentially eliminate other valid strategies that are completely fine within the LC metagame, while a Torchic suspect only focuses on the part of the metagame we feel might be unhealthy. Please steer away from arguments about the subject of this suspect test and focus your attention on Torchic.

The voting requirements for this suspect test are a minimum of 81 GXE and a minimum game count + GXE of 130. The suspect period will last for 2 weeks, ending on Friday, March 16th @ 11:59PM EDT. Torchic will be allowed on the ladder during the suspect test.

GXE ≥ 81​
GXE + battle count ≥ 130​

For council members, we will be requiring a minimum of 81 GXE without any game count minimum along with the expectation that they will contribute to this thread.
Coconut
fatty
jake
Shrug
Sken
Star
ZoroDark
Tagging The Immortal for the ladder.

When posting in this thread, please keep in mind these rules:
1. No one liners or uninformed posts
2. No discussion on other potential suspects or the suspect process
3. Be respectful

Your post will be deleted and possibly infracted if you fail to follow them.
 
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Luthier

Don’t get mad, get even.
is a Tiering Contributor
#2
I think that this suspect is somewhat overdue, but on the same note, incredibly justified.
Torchic should be banned.

Reasons why:
I think the first thing that should be noted is its sheer attacking power. While you can make a near similar care about things like LO Abra, Scarf Meinfoo, and some gastly variants, the thing that makes torchic so much more powerful is its ability to do 2 specific things:

  1. Outspeed nearly every scarfer in the tier after two speed boosts
  2. Take care of mons that rely on priority to revenge kill
When I mean the priority revenge kill stuff, I am talking about any mon using fake out. Example, when mienfoo uses fake out, torchic is simply able to protect and gain another speed boost while suffering no damage. In addition, the other most reliable priority move in the tier is sucker punch. Torchic is able to not only bypass sucker punch, but it is also able to pass whatever speed boost(s) that chic acquired over the past turn(s) and proceed to give speed to bulky mons with the ability to set up including nasty plot spriztee, defensive BU rufflet, and in some cases contrary snivy. If that isn't enough, sometimes torchic is able to win from the start of the entire match which chip on a couple mons and then rocks up to break and sturdy mons



Now, I think the next thing that needs to be discussed is the "Checks and Counters" section in the torchic analysis. Simply looking, the 'answers' to torchic are supposed to be things like Mareanie, and Ponyta, which are arguably the best mons that are answers to chic. Here is the second part as to why chic should be banned: escape-ability

while most of these checks are very solids checks to torchic, they all have one problem - the weakness to trapping, and specifically with diglett.
In many cases, which can be seen in OU when baton pass and arena trap werent banned, a check to a mon that learns baton pass can switch in to make the safe play while the person with the baton pass mon can simply trap the check with a baton pass to dugtrio. In this case, when someone switches into a ponyta or a mareanie on a torchic fire blast or something, torchic simply baton passes to diglett and claims the kill.

In addition, we can keep going on with this list on the Checks and Counters list. The "Phazers" that are supposed to be solid answers to torchic literally only deal with one type of set on torchic. And if someone brings in an onix assuming that its a BP chic and uses dragon tail or roar, they get bopped by hp grass. And if someone brings in a cottonee, the same with fire blast.

The next thing I wanted to talk about is reliable support for torchic, especially in this generation. You can see this from the previous points I made, but things like diglett make for exceptional team members. In addition, with the new and revamped snivy in USM, baton passing to snivy is amazing. Plus, snivy is probably the most reliable answer to hazards as it not only puts up offensive pressure, but also clears the hazards, making torchic have a lot more switch ins.

Lastly I wanted to discuss a very similar mon - sharpedo. Now, in RU, sharpedo was the best cleaner in the tier. With a few spikes up and chip on the more spdef mons, sharpedo was a HUGE late game cleaner. I feel that torchic is very comparable to sharpedo. While many people thought that sharpedo was easy to get rid of using priority, it is clear that it didn't work as sharpedo was banned with a whopping 73% ban vote. The clear difference between the two is that shark isnt able to pass off its boosts to other mons to do its job. For this reason, carvanah isnt an insane threat in LC. However, torchic has the second ability that pushes it over the edge.

#FryTheChicken
 
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Holiday

on my best behavior
is a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
#3
I'll crawl out of retirement to comment on this rather briefly. I have a good bit of LC experience behind me, and although I'm only recently getting into USM LC I've gotten a pretty good overview of the meta currently.

Ban Torchic (god bless it's cute af though D:)

To quote OP's OP:

Similar to how Porygon was the only problematic user of Conversion, Torchic is the only problematic user of Baton Pass.
This is what I'll have to stress when talking about Torchic's biggest strengths. Speed Boost is an incredible ability for any Pokemon that has access to it, and Torchic is no exception. Despite a limited move pool, between Fire Blast and HP Grass, it's able to leave dents in a reasonable chunk of the tier's Pokemon. Life Orb hits like a truck, while Firium gives you a solid one time nuke to muscle past bulkier threats. What separates Torchic is its LC-unique combination of Speed Boost + Baton Pass. When faced with a disadvantageous matchup, it is pretty much penalty free to Baton Pass accrued Speed boosts to a teammate who can handle the threat. Any Pokemon appreciates the added Speed, with particularly popular targets including Snivy, Timburr, and Pawniard. What truly makes Torchic an overcentralizing threat is this combination of Speed Boost and Baton Pass; however, for obvious reasons, there is no reason to ban this combination when banning Torchic does the same thing while avoiding a complex ban. While Torchic in it of itself is not a broken Pokemon, it provides far too much reward for such little risk and has forced the meta game to adhere to its presence in an unhealthy way, which is why I am for the banning of Torchic but like my TC badge been grayed so does it really matter
 

tcr

stay trippy little hippie
is a Tutoris a Team Rater Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
#4
The problem with Torchic isnt its ability to 2hko most of the meta, the problem stems from speed passing of any kind. I have talked extensively about this in Discord, but basically Torchic enables a ton of game winning sets simply after one pass. While most teams tend to have a Timburr check, they rarely have a +2 Speed Timburr check, same goes for pokemon such as Mudbray, Spritzee, Snivy, Rufflet. its ability to speed pass alongside its innate strength push it over the limit as it exerts a ton of pressure on teams for very little risk involved with using it.

Torchic as a solo Pokemon forces one to run checks such as Mareanie, Slowpoke, Tirtouga, Archen, Endure Onix, etc, where most of those are momentum sinks. Even if you have something to check it, it always switches out into a +1/2 speed mon that you now have to answer for. It distorts matches in an unhealthy way, always being the number 1 threat that you absolutely cannot let get a pass off / simultaneously making sure it doesnt just sweep through you. Combined with its Speed passing traits, I think Torchic is too unhealthy to stay in the meta and thus should be banned
 

dcae

naughty list
#5
i dont think torchic should be banned.

for the most part ppl in this thread have focused on its strengths. when its an lo variant, it can hit hard as fuck while also speed passing to support its team - a solid cleaner that is weak to prio that has some team support. its also good when running zmove, even if that set isnt as good at cleaning. cursepass sets are dirty and mostly end up in dedicated teams. these are all very true and realistic strengths.

however, it has a fair share of weaknesses that havent rly been highlighted. it provides 0 defensive utility when used as an offensive mon for one, with no immunities, a weakness to sr, and very prone to priority. lo variants are the scariest but have a short lifespan and often cannot pass speed more than once, which isnt exactly impossible to handle. if u run a bulkier cursepass version, u often have to run a dedicated team with dedicated receivers, making it much more matchupy in general.

i think the best argument for a torchic ban is the fact that it twists matchups on a per game basis. after all, tour games have seen very low rates of torch teams and when they are brought, win rates have historically been low. if torchic was a broken mon persay then we would not be seeing these trends. theres also the fact that torchic requires a lot of team support. the cleaner variants require chip/knock off support while still being unable to budge top meta mons like spritzee and mareanie. stuff like timburr can also pop it while taking a hit relatively easily at full health. even when passing to classic torchpass targets, most of those mons do not appreciate switching into mons that handle torchic as much as one would think. on the other hand, torchic centric teams with sets like cursepass can be likened to zig teams imo. both have legitimate answers and are extremely matchup inconsistent, while also relying on the entire team as support. this isnt exactly a healthy style of play but you dont see zig teams being banned.

ultimately i dont think the issue is torchic, but bp. i know that discussion on this was not wanted, but bp teams happen to be a matchup oriented team as well that were admittedly more notable before the current gen but shared the similar trend. furthermore, cutie was also banned with a significant reason being bp. i dont agree at all that bp is remotely similar to conversion, seeing as bp has seen abuse in the past in lc itself, and with the existing precedent of its ban in upper tiers due to uncompetitiveness, i dont see why bp is not a consideration here. are we to wait each gen for some new trend that uses bp to encourage an unhealthy playstyle and ban that new trend or are we going to target the recurring issue?

to note: im not necessarily opposed to a torchic ban either since in its current iteration its not exactly positive for the metagame
 

GOAO

Formerly tahu
is a Pre-Contributor
#6
Torchic is a powerful offensive threat and an even more potent support threat thanks to its ability to Baton Pass Speed boosts. However, it's extremely frail, Especially weak to entry hazards, and susceptible to priority attacks. Chip damage and entry hazards will often leave Torchic unable to safely enter battle more than twice. For example, Grimer-Alola's Shadow Sneak, one of the weakest common priority attacks, leaves Torchic at less than 50% health after one round of Stealth Rock damage. Torchic is also easy to force out with common answers such as Sturdy Onix and bulky waters, all of which can neutralize incoming threats. It can get in easier in the early-game, but a well-built team can handle Speed-boosted sweepers at that point.

Torchic also tends to give up free turns. Before it boosts its Speed, Torchic isn't very fast, only hitting 14 Speed, which leaves it outsped by much of the metagame. Because of this, it often has to spend its first turn in play using Protect. This gives the player playing against Torchic a chance to stop a potential sweep before it begins by either setting up alongside it or switching out to something like Staryu that can live an attack or handle an incoming Pokemon.

tl;dr Torchic is frail, particularly vulnerable to entry hazards, and tends to give up free turns. These traits don't outweigh its positives, but they do keep it balanced. No ban.
 
#7
I like all the stuff about this, but also feel that other threats are as threatening as our flaming chick is. Reasons are very justified, which is fine to choose it over Diglett for example. Leaving observations aside, I am very divided between ban and no ban due to Pokemon that exist like fat Water-types (Slowpoke, Mareanie), but its ability to escape from them is overwhelming, so it inclines towards ban for the next reasons:

1. Great coverage and powerful nuke/consistent damage.

The coverage which Fire Blast + Hidden Power Grass provides an insane coverage that is only resisted by very few Pokémon, among them the aforementioned fat Water-types and three specific Pokémon: Munchlax, Houndour, and Ponyta. The rest are severely damaged, being the majority easy 2HKO after Knock Off chip or Stealth Rock (some cases are OHKO, read all Onix variants and Sturdy Magnemite after Stealth Rock), and to add salt to the bruise, it can decide whether to boost its overall offensive presence with a Life Orb, giving its Hidden Power Grass more power against Staryu and Chinchou and making Fire Blast even threatening, or just make Fire Blast a one-time nuke and take a bulkier threat out like Timburr and Spritzee and by doing so an important Pokémon. The resisted Pokemon will go on the next reason.

Of course, the Pokemon who can't resist it will change to the resists that have been mentioned, and there is where Baton Pass enters to the scene in a free turn.

2. Baton Passing out against resisting Pokémon is insane, as you can make one of your Pokémon very fast and threatening.

Let's situate ourselves against a fat Water like Mareanie. You have nothing to hit it bar Hidden Power Grass, which obviously doesn't do anything. You try to think, but... Oh, what's this? Baton Pass! Your Pokémon escapes the unbreakable wall to grant to one of your Pokémon a higher Speed to wreck havoc. That's right, Torchic escapes every threat thanks to Baton Pass, which has the added benefit of not getting hurt by Pursuit due to it being an indirect attack, therefore being useful against the Pokémon mentioned in the previous reason, as they are most of the time momentum sinkers, and using another Pokémon to beat them. The Baton Pass containers extend very far, from slow but powerful attackers like Timburr, Bulk Up Rufflet and Nasty Plot Spritzee, to faster attackers like Snivy, as well as solidly maintaining momentum.

Another thing I want to highlight is Torchic's CursePass set. While you lose offensive presence, you get to obtain more boosts bar Speed to make physical attackers ridiculously stronger by stacking Curse boosts and Baton Passing them, and you get to keep Fire Blast to exert some pressure against Pokemon that can't totally handle it. Despite being offensive almost all the time, this set supposes a threat if you don't play right.

3. Speed Boost allows Torchic to make safe cleaning while being able to avoid any priority attack and outspeeding every threat in the metagame.

Yep, many Speed Boosts make it impossible to outspeed, unless it's with a priority attack, which Torchic is able to bypass by protecting itself and gaining more Speed Boosts. This paired with its offensive coverage makes it able to break faster Pokemon like Scarf Pokemon (Mienfoo, Vullaby), Abra, Doduo and Gastly, leaving it with almost no answer but Sucker Punch which gets bodied by Baton Pass. Torchic with this is able to break by itself, like Luthier mentioned earlier. This only leaves one alternative, and it's Aqua Jet which Pokémon like Tirtouga and Corphish use on their sets, forcing Torchic out without passing its Speed boosts. Negative side is that they are considered as momentum sinkers.

And now, if I were to vote no ban, it would be by its evident negatives, which are:

1. Overwhelming weakness to Stealth Rock.

The pain of being a Fire-type is a weakness to the Most Used Attack Ever(TM), meaning you will always need a hazard remover like Snivy or Staryu to get Stealth Rock out and make Torchic be able to switch in comfortably. Otherwise situation means that it loses 25% to make it easier to beat.

2. Predictable gameplanning.

Thr set Torchic uses is a straightforward strategy that looks for breaking as many Pokémon as possible while keeping the Speed Boosting up in a Pokémon that can't boost Speed by natural means. I have been using Mareanie by the only fact that it reliably hard stops any of these cases by using Haze, niche that works efficiently against Baton Pass containers not named Diglett, which takes Mareanie easily out unless you predict the switch.

And that's all from me by now. How do you all feel about our flaming chick?
 
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#8
I think Torchic shouldn't be banned. As someone who's used it in multiple tour games, I'm very well aware of its limitations. It's not gonna come in on, like, most stuff. Maybe a ferroseed but you still get TWaved. The SR weakness fucking blows considering you're likely gonna be BPing out which leaves you at pretty low health. Stuff like sdef berry juice vulla is a good way of having torchic counterplay; not a great counter by any means but it's always there. Staryu's still good as ever, and if you get it in on a boosted chic you're firing off an Analytic hit at some switchin (Torchic teams won't generally have a good counter to it). Stuff like timburr, tirtouga and kabuto can hit it with priority at low health (which it will be at if you're switching into literally anything as well as into hazards). The resurgence of ponyta really doesn't help towards the "ban chic" cause. This isn't even taking into account mareanie's pretty much a hard stop. I feel like torchic's positives are being exaggerated with its negatives not being kept in mind.

I'm not sure if I'll have time to vote for the suspect but if I do, I'll be voting no ban.
 
#9
Torchic is being suspected in LC! Offensive Threat / BP / Speed Boost but frail and weak to priority. How do you feel about Torchic?
1. BAN THE FIRE CHICKEN (8 votes)
67%
2. dont ban (0 votes)
0%
3. idc tbh (4 votes)
33%

I ran a poll in my private room. Anyway, reasons other than crowdsourcing why we should ban the fire chicken...

1) he attacc. There are calcs everywhere, and I'm lazy, but Torchic + Firium Z, not counting abilities or BP, would be a viable B tier threat. It's quite strong. It doesn't get great coverage, but it does get HP.

2) he protecc. Protect makes the priority way less of an issue. Chic sets always use protect. Sucker Punch is the best prio in the tier (Bar espeed, but come on). With bp and protect, as well as typing, pawn isn't an issue.

3) but most importantly, he fast as fricc. 15 Base speed would hold most glass cannons back, but Torchic gets Speed Boost, the ability that can make crappy mons threats. There was a time where venipede was a viable lead for having the ability and hazards.

4) also it gets baton pass. so threats are neutered, when you bp to your diglett or what not, and its ridiculously fast.

is it weak to sr? yeah. so it gets to do this only... 4 times. what a shame. oh wait, it only needs to do this 1-2 times a match.
do mons like timburr with mp have strong prio that i didnt mention? yeah.

we've set a precedent by banning setup mons, and mons over moves, with the bans of cutiefly (unban pls) and porygon.
by keeping torchic, we're just pretending that it isnt as broken as the rest.

i will almost certainly be doing reqs, and i will, without a shadow of a doubt, vote ban

tbh, Luthier summarizes it better, and is more known in the community. check his post out too.
 

Merritt

literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
is a Community Contributor
#10
What on earth is going on with some of these arguments. Seriously, stuff like using a private room poll as evidence (even tongue in cheek why include it at all), saying that the use of Flame Charge on Torchic makes it overpowering (a move that isn't used on the mostly better set), noting that Torchic is weak to Accelerock (which nothing in LC gets), and saying that it has a higher BST (it doesn't) and access to Quick Attack (irrelevant) shows a general lack of not just how to make a good case for your argument to ban Torchic but also metagame knowledge in general in some cases.

I'm personally of the belief that while Torchic is a very good Pokemon, it doesn't deserve a ban. A lot of what Torchic's good qualities are have been stated in this thread already, but Torchic hasn't shown itself to be inordinately powerful in high level gameplay. To elaborate, let's take a look at the Exhibition's LC games.

In Week 1 there's nothing to highlight - Torchic got 0 usage.

In Week 2 Torchic got brought by a single player in the Fille vs ict game. Torchic gets used pretty heavily here, Fille attempts to constantly abuse its passing capabilities, but due to a combination of Roar Onix utterly shutting it down and a Fire Blast miss Torchic fails to do anything except get its Pawniard teammate killed.

Week 3 again sees a single use of Torchic in the ZoroDark vs Trash game. This replay fails to really showcase Torchic at all however, as aside from eating a Larvesta U-turn and Baton Passing at +0 it doesn't do much. I guess you could argue that its presence put pressure on ZoroDark, but that's a difficult thing to quantify.

Much like Week 1, Week 4 lacks Torchic entirely.

Week 5 I wasn't able to find the Kingler12345 vs ZoroDark replay so I can't say one way or the other, but there wasn't a Torchic in any other game.

Week 6 is missing dcae vs ZoroDark again (why is it always zoro) and otherwise had no Torchic.

Week 7 I couldn't find fitzy v Heysup, but otherwise had no Torchic.

Although you could certainly call Exhibition a joke (don't, it hurts Quote's feelings), it's also some of the highest level LC players in the current meta, and nobody that I can see used Torchic to any real success. Usage isn't everything, certainly, but it's definitely worth noting this when making claims that Torchic is overwhelming and oppressive.

On a more anecdotal note, I usually find that Torchic performs well both when using it and playing against it, but relies heavily on its team to actually accomplish its goals. When I had Torchic win against me or won due to Torchic (both when it won by itself or when it passed speed to allow a teammate to win) it never felt like Torchic had overwhelmed the opponent in spite of how the other side had played - it was always something I could have done better to let me win the game or due to me outplaying the opponent to put myself in the position where Torchic could win. There were a few exceptions (teams I was testing that turned out to be incredibly Torchic weak) but the matchup factor I find somewhat overblown. Yes you need to have a Torchic answer on your team but you also need a Vullaby or a Mienfoo answer to not lose to them.

The argument that Torchic makes its teammates unstoppable by providing them speed to outpace their counters is one I've seen for a while now, and I've also seen the metagame shift to accommodate Torchic's presence. Bulkier checks and counters that don't rely on outspeeding and more on sheer bulk to do their job (things like Spritzee and Foongus) are even more prevalent than they used to be as answers. I'm seeing the metagame adapt around Torchic, and not in an unhealthy "carry 5 torchic counters" way. To me that's a good sign that a Pokemon isn't broken, and is more along the lines of a Pokemon who the metagame shifts around to deal with similar to Vullaby earlier this generation.

In short, while I think Torchic is a good pokemon, one of the best in the tier, it doesn't manage to cross that line to broken. Annoying at times? Sure, but that's not a good criteria to ban something.
 
#11
I think Torchic is too much for the metagame. It isn't especially threatening early on in games, or sometimes even in mid-games because it is not all that bulky and cannot OHKO everything. But I think that it is way too easy to clean up later in games with Torchic because of how easy it is to wear down LC teams with Knock Off and other stuff throughout the game. Against a worn down team, all Torchic has to do is click Protect one time, and then just click Fire Blast until the team drops because it's almost impossible for a Choice Scarf user can revenge it and effective priority is fairly rare. Inferno Overdrive will take care of the more bulky pokemon like Mienfoo and even some weakened water-resists like Chinchou. But sweeping worn down teams alone isn't enough to make Torchic broken, or stuff like Carvanha would be broken too. There's two more aspects that push it over the edge for me- one is that almost all of Torchic's counters gets trapped by Diglett. Mareanie, Chinchou, Ponyta, weakened Staryu, full health Grimer-Alola. This is really huge because of how dominant (and arguably broken) Diglett is in the metagame, and this forces teambuilding constraints of having to run multiple Torchic counters on a team which is really hard. The other aspect is obviously Baton Pass. If Torchic encounters a wall all it has to do is pass the speed boost to a pokemon that can counter it, which becomes really insane when you have pokemon like Snivy and NP Gunk in late-game situations. It is also the centerpiece of full Baton Pass squads which imo are totally uncompetitive so it would be great to make them much less effective.
 

Coconut

W
is a Tutoris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Moderator
#12
So I'm glad there's been some really solid posts so far, but there's a couple of others that have been pretty sus af as well. We kinda got those out of the way with Merritt and his post above. I'm going to go into details with some things that I saw.
I think the first thing that should be noted is its sheer attacking power. While you can make a near similar care about things like LO Abra, Scarf Meinfoo, and some gastly variants, the thing that makes torchic so much more powerful is its ability to do 2 specific things:

  1. Outspeed nearly every scarfer in the tier after two speed boosts
  2. Take care of mons that rely on priority to revenge kill
It's sheer attacking power? You mean the one-time nuke that it has with Firium Z? Comparing it to the likes of some of the best offensive mons in the tier is not doing it justice, because it's simply not that. It has two offensive moves at best and one of them is a 60 BP coverage move. And while Torchic does have a powerful Fire Blast, it does not have the ability to kill many threats from full. So it would require several turns to do so. And to regards to your two other specific things. Okay, it does outspeed almost everything after two speed boosts, but how is it getting those boosts? You could protect for one, sure, but then Torchic needs to tank a hit with it's abysmal defensive stats. With that in mind, it might need to take yet another hit because of the priority that you claim it can remove. You say that it takes care of these mons, but you really only mention Sucker Punch, particularly Pawniard. Pawniard is a Steel type, you should be able to beat him easily anyway. Regardless, that leaves you open to various Aqua Jets, Mach Punches, and Shadow Sneaks. With all of that in mind, I'm not really sure what point you're trying to make here.

When faced with a disadvantageous matchup, it is pretty much penalty free to Baton Pass accrued Speed boosts to a teammate who can handle the threat.
This might be true sure, but what Pokemon wants to reliably come in and take a hit. Most mons in LC aren't quite able to take more than two/three hits and be a reliable sweeper/cleaner. If I wanted to pass to say, Snivy, on something that it normally beats like Onix. Onix could easily do some chip damage and explode. Or Endure to get back to full health and steal some more of Snivy's health. In that scenerio, Snivy needs to be able to sweep despite the fact that plenty of chip damage has been taken. In most situations, this is not likely. Many pass recipients are not going to automatically win you the game.

It distorts matches in an unhealthy way, always being the number 1 threat that you absolutely cannot let get a pass off / simultaneously making sure it doesnt just sweep through you.
Torchic doesn't generally just sweep games, there's very few situations where that just happens. Which means you would only really need to worry about not letting it get a pass off. This comes normally with the momentum and pressure in a game, I don't need to dedicate specific things to do this or handle Torchic in an extremely specific way (see: Gothita).

Let's situate ourselves against a fat Water like Mareanie. You have nothing to hit it bar Hidden Power Grass, which obviously doesn't do anything. You try to think, but... Oh, what's this? Baton Pass! Your Pokémon escapes the unbreakable wall to grant to one of your Pokémon a higher Speed to wreck havoc.
Mareanie uses Haze. Threat neutralized.

The Baton Pass containers extend very far, from slow but powerful attackers like Timburr, Bulk Up Rufflet and Nasty Plot Spritzee, to faster attackers like Snivy, as well as solidly maintaining momentum.
All of these Pokemon cannot sweep without taking an extra turn to setup something. Many of these Pokemon cannot take two/three hits and score a sweep. The exception to that is maybe Rufflett, which cannot break many of it's checks, who also check Torchic.

3. Speed Boost allows Torchic to make safe cleaning while being able to avoid any priority attack and outspeeding every threat in the metagame.

Yep, many Speed Boosts make it impossible to outspeed, unless it's with a priority attack, which Torchic is able to bypass by protecting itself and gaining more Speed Boosts
???

But I think that it is way too easy to clean up later in games with Torchic because of how easy it is to wear down LC teams with Knock Off and other stuff throughout the game. Against a worn down team, all Torchic has to do is click Protect one time, and then just click Fire Blast until the team drops because it's almost impossible for a Choice Scarf user can revenge it and effective priority is fairly rare
Torchic doesn't quite work as a late game cleaner as well as you're framing it to be, you can say many of the same things about something like Scarf Mienfoo, Sash Abra, Carvahna, but none of these mons are in remote contention. Not only does Torchic get worn down particularly quickly because of it's weakness to hazards, it also has trouble killing things that do not get OHKO'd by Fire Blast, which is way more mons than you're giving credit for.
___

I'm not gonna really jump into the other posts as much, Merritt handled those well, but I'm gonna share some of my opinions on the topics at hand.

This is the first suspect in a long time where I have not been sure of which option is better. I thought about it for quite a bit and I don't think I will be upset with either outcome, but after some thought I think a no ban on Torchic would be better overall. Torchic certainly isn't the dynamic powerhouse of a sweeper that many people are framing it to be, nor is it the ultimate wincon creator, passing speed boosts and instantly flashing "YOU WIN" with confetti shooting out of your computer and everyone clapping as you are rewarded with money and beautiful women. It's a lot more of a complex Pokemon to use than that and people failing to realize that will get the fire bird banned when in justification it does not answer the ban questions?

Is it broken?
With a 17 Special Attack stat, two solid offensive options, and the ability to Baton Pass speed to another Pokemon, one could say that it's broken. I would argue it isn't. It doesn't win the game, it's not essential to run on a team. There is counterplay, and people have adapted to it quite well, as not many people used it in Exhibition at all. I would even argue that Ponyta is in a better spot because of it, a mon that wasn't really in the limelight at all this gen, proving that the metagame has adapted healthily around Torchic.

Is it overcentralizing?
While there has been a rise in usage of things like Slowpoke, Ponyta, Mareanie and the likes of Tirtouga, none of these Pokemon were particularly bad or improved a drastic amount as a result. Because of this, I would say no, Torchic is not really overcentralizing.

Is it unfun? (to play with and against)
This is where my answer becomes a solid, yes. Torchic is lame as heck man! It creates more variance in what you need to be prepared for and playing with and against Torchic is not enjoyable.

I think this point would hold more weight if either of the other questions were also Yes, but because it's the only yes, I would say it's not quite worth banning. There are plenty of other pokemon that are not fun but are also not broken (Regen mons, Abra).

Finally, I would like to point out that there is plenty of counterplay to Torchic, but it requires more thought than some people put into the game, which is why many people are interested in banning it. My good friend Heysup compared it many other matchup-based playstyles (Screens in BW, Full BP in XY, Aveil in early SM.) playstyles in LC in particular, saying...

[11:11] Heysup: if you don't know what you're doing 100% before the game starts
[11:11] Heysup: you have a very strong possibility of losing

While we agreed later that Torchic is a bit more variable than that, thinking about what to do when the opposing team has a Torchic is super important. I implore that everyone thinks in team preview just a bit more, especially when the other team has a Torchic. It's something that I always stress quite a bit when I'm working with my tutees, and really makes fighting against Torchic in particular easier.

Good luck to everyone that's shooting for reqs, you'll need it!
 
#13
Torchic itself is not broken, nor is it centralizing, but when it is paired with baton pass (a move banned in all other tiers), it reaches levels of apparent broken-ness, of which many describe as too much.
It has below average speed and defenses, and while one might think one could just speed boost past that middling speed, you have to remember that not only does have exist, but also that many Pokemon which are able to counter it exist, such as Chinchou and Staryu, just to name a few.
With a speed stat of 14, Torchic is initially outsped by Staryu at a stat of 19, but protecting is able to thwart your plans. With Staryu able to deliver a 116 SpA Staryu Hydro Pump vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Torchic: 32-38 (152.3 - 180.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO, all torchic can do in response is 200+ SpA Torchic Hidden Power Grass vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Eviolite Staryu: 10-12 (52.6 - 63.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO. While one might think that the speed boosts make Torchic able to threaten Staryu, note that all it can do is 2HKO Staryu, while an OHKO is sent back, thus removing the chance for an untimely demise.
Chinchou might not win the speed tie, but it can deal serious damage: 152 SpA Chinchou Scald vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Torchic: 20-26 (95.2 - 123.8%) -- 75% chance to OHKO, and like before, Torchic can only respond with a 2HKO, as seen here: 200+ SpA Torchic Hidden Power Grass vs. 76 HP / 0 SpD Chinchou: 12-16 (48 - 64%) -- 96.5% chance to 2HKO.
Sure, Torchic could protect turn one, but that leaves it open for an attack next turn.
Even Mareanie beats the little chicken, which doesn't surprise me given that it evolves into the tanky mofo known as Toxapex. Torchic's best attack results in a 4HKO, 200+ SpA Torchic Fire Blast vs. 196 HP / 100+ SpD Eviolite Mareanie: 5-6 (20.8 - 25%) -- 31.6% chance to 4HKO, while Mareanie responds with a 12 SpA Mareanie Scald vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Torchic: 14-20 (66.6 - 95.2%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock, which says something quite terrifying about a certain sea star. Mareanie is also known to run Haze, which removes whatever speed boosts Torchic attempted to obtain.
Taunt users, especially users with priority, are the bane of Torchic's existence as a baton passer, nullifying the move entirely, and a bulky water type removes most chances of Torchic returning fire. Some include Cottonee, Onix, and Mienfoo, but Onix is a risky play due to most Torchics running HP Grass.
Fire types are the other main issue Torchic has, but they also have a problem in the fact that most, bar numel, have a way of attacking back, for numel runs a variety of rock and ground type attacks, which easily beat Torchic. 200+ SpA Torchic Fire Blast vs. 128 HP / 128 SpD Numel: 8-10 (33.3 - 41.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO is not an impressive feat, but what Numel fires back most certainly is: 252+ SpA Numel Earth Power vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Torchic: 30-36 (142.8 - 171.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO. Despite not being very "meta", Numel easily is able to defeat a Torchic which threatens your team.
Diglett is somewhat controversial, due to it having Arena Trap. While not being a crowd favorite, it is fast enough to defeat a Torchic with ease. HP grass is an issue, but because focus sash diglett is a set which is somewhat used, that circumvents the issue. 200+ SpA Torchic Hidden Power Grass vs. 36 HP / 0 SpD Diglett: 14-18 (77.7 - 100%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO might seem worrisome, but remember that you have the sash. Diglett surely would win, for it easily OHKOs as seen here: 236 Atk Diglett Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 36 Def Torchic: 30-36 (142.8 - 171.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO.
All in all, I'd say Torchic is not ban worthy, but rather that Torchic running Baton Pass is broken. Together, they're broken, but separate, I see no problem with them staying, for a legitimate playstyle is found with Baton Pass.
 
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Holiday

on my best behavior
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#14
Torchic itself is not broken, nor is it centralizing, but when it is paired with baton pass, it reaches levels of broken-ness not seen since OU's Landorus Therian.
Lando-T in OU is not broken. If it was broken, it would have been at least suspected in the past two generations where it's been an undebatable top three mon in the tier.

With a speed stat of 14, Torchic is outsped by Staryu at a stat of 19.
You stated yourself multiple times in this post about Speed Boost, allowing it to outspeed and threaten it with HP Grass.

Taunt users, especially fast ones, are the bane of Torchic's existence as a baton passer, nullifying the move entirely, and a bulky water type removes most chances of Torchic returning fire.
After protecting once, Torchic outspends the entire unboosted tier. The only taunt users that could outpace it would be Prankster user Cottonee, who gets fried by Fire Blast, and Purrloin, who is very irrelevant and also gets fried by Fire Blast.

Torchic itself is not broken, nor is it centralizing, but when it is paired with baton pass, it reaches levels of broken-ness not seen since OU's Landorus Therian.

All in all, I'd say Torchic is not ban worthy.
If you think it's broken, don't you think it should be banned?

This isn't just for your post, but for other posts above and posts that will be done in the future: Please take your time to:

A - Ladder a little bit. This will improve your metagame knowledge before you throw out calculations and call it a day.

B - Read some of the good above posts. dcae, Merritt, and tahu have provided very quality posts you can model your posts after. As for "argumentative" posts, Coconut does a good job in clearly and respectfully pointing out flaws in other arguments as well as supporting her own.

C - Ask questions! I might be just lurking in the community a bit but some of these names look like they're new faces to LC, and this could be one's first time with an LC suspect test, or even a suspect test in general! Suspect tests are very important in shaping the metagame, and core LC players as a whole agree that some of the aforementioned arguments above don't really contribute to the overall discussion of whether or not Torchic should be banned, be it by bad reasoning or irrelevant information.

I implore new users to ask for advice in the LC room or our discord on how to strengthen your posts / proofread them. We have a lot of quality contributors who would be more than happy to help. Cheers, and happy laddering.
 
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Gummy

...three, smiles go for miles!
is a Pre-Contributor
#15
honestly, before this suspect i was pretty adamantly in favor of a ban. after thinking about it a bit, though, i have to reluctantly admit that torchic is just...not banworthy. it's annoying as hell, makes games frustrating pretty quickly, but not being fun isn't grounds to ban anything. i'm going to argue against a ban here, but honestly i'd probably be happier if we banned it because it makes the game unfun :mehowth:

i think torchic is a lot like vulpix. they're both mons that are not broken/annoying on their own, but rather because of the team support they provide. the only difference here is that sun abusers were a FAR bigger deal than speed abusers.

the biggest warning flag for me is that torchic didn't get anything. there's no reason that it should suddenly be broken. the transition to USUM didn't give it any new moves, and we haven't banned any torchic checks. it's kinda like wingull in that it just suddenly got good. i feel like the idea that "torchic is broken" makes people play worse against it. in early SM when you fought a torchic and got your ass kicked by it, the idea that torchic was broken wasn't even around, so you just thought "i played badly/sacrificed my torchic checks/didn't think ahead/whatever". but now that torchic is "broken", people go in thinking that the battle will be impossible, or significantly harder than if some other unfun mon was there like, say, abra or vullaby. you can't panic vs torchic, which should go without saying but w/e. you just have to think hard and play carefully, like you would for any strong mon. this isn't exactly a solid argument though and more just my observations so moving on

the second thing is that torchic checks aren't unviable. mareanie has always been good. ponyta, for sure, has always been a top tier mon. going back to sun, a huge thing that made it broken was that the only things that hard countered it were unviable. think munchlax, hippopotas, amaura (to an extent). however, torchic checks aren't terribly hard to slap on a team. you can't call it overcentralizing just because you need to run a check to it. you need to run a check to basically anything above B+. there's coverage moves you can use for already-viable mons that easily take care of it; roar onix and haze mareanie exist, and its not like these are terribly gimmicky. what i hear a lot is that the thing that makes torchic broken is its ability to just hop out as soon as it sees a threat; the only problem is that its really fast, so whatever its passing to is guaranteed to take a hit. as coconut said, most mons in LC aren't very good at taking hits. if you get stuck in a position where there is a torchic in front of you, and your check is either not on field or dead, and it baton passes to something that cleans your team, then you can't automatically label torchic "broken". if you say "there's no way my team could have handled it", then that's on you. of course, there's exceptions, and obviously some matchups are harder than others, but i feel like sometimes people are quick to blame torchic for their own misplays. if they pull it off, then it can be incredibly strong, but you can say so about any good setup sweeper. the keywords are "if they can pull it off".

tcr made a point saying that "most people carry a timburr/snivy/mudbray check but not a +2 Spe check to those things". i don't really agree? i mean, foongus/grimer-a/vullaby have no trouble beating snivy at whatever speed, spritzee/snubs can still deal with timburr, mudbray is easily chipped by basically any special attacker, and so on.

last point is mainly agreeing with one coco made: getting some speed boosts doesn't immediately win you the game. not even a smashed shellder, which gets speed and attack boosts, will give you an insta-win. torchic puts a load of pressure on, sure, but as said several times before, that's normal. that happens all the time in LC. you need to get the momentum and try to never give the chic a free turn. is it hard? yeah. but just because you can't play brainlessly doesn't mean you can't play at all.

may you have good luck on ladder and not miss your hjks. pce
 
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Nineage

A Merry Pachyderm
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#16
Here are my thoughts, which I have shared with a couple of you in the past. I'll try and be concise because long suspect posts are boring and suck.

I personally think the issue with Torchic comes from the combination of Torchic + Diglett in the metagame. No, I am not claiming that Torchic+Diglett is a good offensive core (really, please don't use this). HOWEVER, I think the fact that both exist as common threats in the metagame exerts a ton of pressure on teambuilding.

Any decent Pokemon in LC requires you to run checks, and Torchic is no exception. The issue that I run into when teambuilding is that Torchic checks generally can't compress roles very efficiently because they are trapped by Diglett. Mareanie, for example, doesn't work all that well as a lone Fighting check because it is susceptible to being trapped by Diglett. Thus, Torchic checks end up only as Torchic checks, and more roles need to be compressed into the other 5 slots on the team. This applies to most other common Torchic checks. Torchic is not broken -- it has plenty of viable counters which it can't break past. However, I think we should look at it as an (over)centralizing force. Most Torchic checks/counters are useful in the Torchic matchup but become deadweight in the common matchup against Diglett. This puts a constraint on teambuilding that I think needs to be discussed.

I'm not sure where I stand on Torchic as of now (I'll probably mess around on suspect ladder later on and post again). I just think we should move the discussion away from "oh no it makes things faster!" to taking a look at the influence it has on team construction.
 
#17
I personally think the issue with Torchic comes from the combination of Torchic + Diglett in the metagame.
In light of seeing this combination, and its potential, I offer up two solutions:

Wingull, which resists Torchic's STAB, and takes neutral damage from HP Grass, which could become HP Electric to deal with this threat, and also is immune to Diglett's Earthquake.
I ran some calculations, and got these:
200+ SpA Torchic Fire Blast vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Wingull: 11-13 (57.8 - 68.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO,
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Scald vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Torchic: 31-39 (147.6 - 185.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO,
And 200+ SpA Torchic Inferno Overdrive (185 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Wingull: 18-21 (94.7 - 110.5%) -- 68.8% chance to OHKO,
But the last one would use Torchic's Z-Move, and you only get one of those per battle...

My other solution is Mantyke, a floating tank, boasting an impressive, by any standard, 120 SpD. The resists and immunities are the same as Wingull's, but this time, the damage is a lot less.
200+ SpA Torchic Hidden Power Grass vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Mantyke: 5-6 (26.3 - 31.5%) -- guaranteed 4HKO,
200+ SpA Torchic Fire Blast vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Mantyke: 5-6 (26.3 - 31.5%) -- guaranteed 4HKO, and this surprised me, for it did the same as HP Grass,
And 200+ SpA Torchic Inferno Overdrive (185 BP) vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Mantyke: 9-11 (47.3 - 57.8%) -- 68.4% chance to 2HKO, just for Mantyke defending. When you turn the tables, you have two options. HP Ground, in case you wish to not miss, and Hydro Pump, for ultimate power.
200+ SpA Life Orb Mantyke Hidden Power Ground vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Torchic: 16-21 (76.1 - 100%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO,
And 200+ SpA Life Orb Mantyke Hydro Pump vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Torchic: 42-49 (200 - 233.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO.

I hope you liked these, but Torchic would be able to change its HP to Electric, unless the meta didn't allow such a thing.

I forgot about Diglett.
Same two choices for a defense, and they mostly survive, but Mantyke wins in the end.
236 Atk Diglett Rock Slide vs. 0 HP / 36 Def Mantyke: 14-18 (73.6 - 94.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO,
200+ SpA Life Orb Mantyke Air Slash vs. 36 HP / 0 SpD Diglett: 16-19 (88.8 - 105.5%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO,
And 200+ SpA Life Orb Mantyke Hydro Pump vs. 36 HP / 0 SpD Diglett: 42-55 (233.3 - 305.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO.

Wingull fared somewhat well, but would have to risk an OHKO in the process.
236 Atk Diglett Rock Slide vs. 0 HP / 36 Def Wingull: 18-22 (94.7 - 115.7%) -- 62.5% chance to OHKO,
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Scald vs. 36 HP / 0 SpD Diglett: 31-39 (172.2 - 216.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO,
And 236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 36 HP / 0 SpD Diglett: 21-27 (116.6 - 150%) -- guaranteed OHKO, just because.

Any other solutions would be nice, but seeing as these are only two (and one isn't certain to survive), I'd say the combination is terrifying, but not too hard to deal with. Thanks for listening!
 
#18
Sorry as just a curious person I was losing myself into the posts I was found wondering which part of your argument you forgot Kamen Galaxy.
Didn't you use Mantyke and Wingull as an option to avoid Arena Trap? Because in which case I don't see the need to expose your Torchic check that can't be trapped to face Diglett.

Not to mention it is not a 1 turn situation as the Torchic has to BP to Diglett in which case Diglett allready took a hit. Which then mean: if Wingull use scald while torchic BP it's just a OHKO there is no turn on which Diglett use Rock Slide and Scald is effective on both Diglett and Torchic. There is no OHKO risk for Wingull in such situation. And same goes for Mantyke as you use 2 Hydro Pump unless your luck as runned out.

Both pokemon have for common weakness water and diglett can't trap them so why even bother switching on Diglett when Torchic is facing either of those?

Now I ain't a pro of this meta but from data usage from January (10% usage which seems pretty big for LC) I see that Wingull is fairly used done properly can fully break the combo on his own. Simply by switching in on a protect turn and we all know torchics love their protect turn so a little pressure this pokemon end this contingency point. (PS same goes for mantyke but only 2% usage so didn't find it worth mentionning but its lack of existance in the meta might just prove that either it is too weak for the general metagame or that this Torchic+Diglett issue might not be that big I leave the considerations to you guys)

On a side note, those 2 pokemons had their usage grow between december and january (Mantyke 1.5% and Wingull time 0.5%) Which considering the fact that they weren't really played (especially Mantyke). You can see that either part of your playerbase meta changed to adapt to those tread in a healthy manner (considering they didn't have as much a bubble as others for the same time frame) or simply that because people talked of BP Torchic some of the playerbase overestimated the treat and felt obligated to play those. Then again I'm not familiar enough to voice an opinion.
 

Fiend

the hound.
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#19
I'm not too sure that Torchic + Diglett is a common, and even generally viable, piece of the metagame. It feels like a rather overtly idealistic arguement as, a) I cannot recall a team which has used it [I know a few have, such as Dundies], which generally gives me the impression it isn't really stellar
b) You have 2 pokemon with paper defenses on a team with shared weaknesses.
c) It generally disrupts your ability to handle some pretty important mons (let's start with Doduo, zWingull, other Torchic, Gastly, Diglett, Ponyta).
d) The marginal gain of making torchic incredible seems heavily outweighed by the loss of having a team ensured to have multiple defensive (and probably offensive...) holes.

Can someone please share me a team, and maybe even a few replays, which show me how this is something relevant? I'm genuinely not seeing this as as a tangible issue.
 

tcr

stay trippy little hippie
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#20
not ban worthy
not over powered
unfun? with access to bp and speed boost i dont think anyone would have "fun" playing against this mon
i will be voting no ban
welp speed boost and protect... i used that and well its powerful imo
In light of seeing this combination, and its potential, I offer up two solutions:

Wingull, which resists Torchic's STAB, and takes neutral damage from HP Grass, which could become HP Electric to deal with this threat, and also is immune to Diglett's Earthquake.
I ran some calculations, and got these:
200+ SpA Torchic Fire Blast vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Wingull: 11-13 (57.8 - 68.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO,
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Scald vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Torchic: 31-39 (147.6 - 185.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO,
And 200+ SpA Torchic Inferno Overdrive (185 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Wingull: 18-21 (94.7 - 110.5%) -- 68.8% chance to OHKO,
But the last one would use Torchic's Z-Move, and you only get one of those per battle...

My other solution is Mantyke, a floating tank, boasting an impressive, by any standard, 120 SpD. The resists and immunities are the same as Wingull's, but this time, the damage is a lot less.
200+ SpA Torchic Hidden Power Grass vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Mantyke: 5-6 (26.3 - 31.5%) -- guaranteed 4HKO,
200+ SpA Torchic Fire Blast vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Mantyke: 5-6 (26.3 - 31.5%) -- guaranteed 4HKO, and this surprised me, for it did the same as HP Grass,
And 200+ SpA Torchic Inferno Overdrive (185 BP) vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Mantyke: 9-11 (47.3 - 57.8%) -- 68.4% chance to 2HKO, just for Mantyke defending. When you turn the tables, you have two options. HP Ground, in case you wish to not miss, and Hydro Pump, for ultimate power.
200+ SpA Life Orb Mantyke Hidden Power Ground vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Torchic: 16-21 (76.1 - 100%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO,
And 200+ SpA Life Orb Mantyke Hydro Pump vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Torchic: 42-49 (200 - 233.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO.

I hope you liked these, but Torchic would be able to change its HP to Electric, unless the meta didn't allow such a thing.

I forgot about Diglett.
Same two choices for a defense, and they mostly survive, but Mantyke wins in the end.
236 Atk Diglett Rock Slide vs. 0 HP / 36 Def Mantyke: 14-18 (73.6 - 94.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO,
200+ SpA Life Orb Mantyke Air Slash vs. 36 HP / 0 SpD Diglett: 16-19 (88.8 - 105.5%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO,
And 200+ SpA Life Orb Mantyke Hydro Pump vs. 36 HP / 0 SpD Diglett: 42-55 (233.3 - 305.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO.

Wingull fared somewhat well, but would have to risk an OHKO in the process.
236 Atk Diglett Rock Slide vs. 0 HP / 36 Def Wingull: 18-22 (94.7 - 115.7%) -- 62.5% chance to OHKO,
236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Scald vs. 36 HP / 0 SpD Diglett: 31-39 (172.2 - 216.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO,
And 236 SpA Life Orb Wingull Hurricane vs. 36 HP / 0 SpD Diglett: 21-27 (116.6 - 150%) -- guaranteed OHKO, just because.

Any other solutions would be nice, but seeing as these are only two (and one isn't certain to survive), I'd say the combination is terrifying, but not too hard to deal with. Thanks for listening!
Torchic should be banned:
Because it has higher total stats and a better ability than most of lc tbh if it had access to endeavor it might have been a fear pokemon too and it still has access to speed boost and quick attack like this it has a pure 70 base special attack so that means you can throw a flamethrower to the opposing attacker and finish it with quick attack (not that it was going to get outsped or anything) and by that time it is going to have 2 speed boosts and it will outspeed the opponent to go for an annoying baton pass which will give the incoming pokemon plus 2 speed and the torchic will have some hp left to attack another pokemon so just ban this lil' monster
yeah can a mod like please moderate this thread? these types of posts (these arent even the best of the bunch...) are not conducive to a quality discussion and in fact detract from the “pro ban” side of the argument. When youre talking about “flame charge being OP” but also not quite sure whether Torchic even learns flame charge (it does) it shows you dont really know what youre talking about. This thread thus far has been filled with these bunk posts and nonsequiturs and it bothers me that this thread has not been pruned correctly.

That being said, I have since changed my stance on Torchic. I believe that dcae tahu Kingler12345 and Nineage have all made good posts and convinced me with their arguments. After further testing and playing around, Torchic seems manageable and is not itself worthy of a ban. That being said, I believe that something should be done, but banning Torchic is not the right move. As others have said, Torchic’s issues stem from a combination of Baton Pass as well as other threats in the meta that limit options to answer Torchic directly. As stated, Torchic is easily handled by a mixture of Pokemon, such as Ponyta, Houndour, Endure Onix, Haze Mareanie, Slowpoke, certain Staryu sets, certain Vullaby sets, Endure Magnemite (or other endure users for that matter), Tirtouga, Archen, Corphish, Timburr, etc. As a single Pokemon, it is easily handled and is honestly on its own maybe a B tier threat at best, comparable to Bunnelby in my opinion, or better yet slightly worse than Carvanha.

As Nineage eloquently stated, the main problems that stem from Torchic’s impact on teambuilding and the “limitations” people impose on themselves that lead them to the illusion that Torchic is too tough to handle come from Diglett’s impact on the meta. Note I am not advocating for anything else to be suspected or tested or whatever I am simply offering my musings on the meta. Now, Diglett’s prescence greatly impacts teambuilding in a way that is just not suited to dealing with Torchic. A majority of the options available to deal with Torchic also happen to be trapped by Diglett, so most of those options are null right from teambuilder. This in my opinion is the main reason Torchic is so “op” and the reason its spot in the meta is a little iffy right now. l have come to this conclusion mostly after reading Nineages post and fully realizing that it is exactly how I feel but also slightly due to experience from playing. For example I am an avid Diglett user, I think it and trapping is fundamentally broken and so make sure to abuse the heck out of it, and nothing is more satisfying than running double fight and leading Diglett against their Mareanie and making the match infinitely easier. Its not that the combination of Torchic+Diglett is amazing but its more the combined nature of both individual pokemon limits the metagame as what checks Torchic happens to be trapped by Diglett. Diglett’s nature of a negative impact on teambuilding (reactive as opposed to proactive. You can’t make a team “better” against Diglett you can only make it “not weak” to Diglett).

I have already delved into my thoughts on Speed Passing. However unfun I might find it however, it is not fundamentally broken, as Coconut stated. Passing to Mudbray or Timburr makes games incredibly difficult for the other party to play through but not impossible, technically. It is certainly a difficult and frustrating strategy to play against but I attribute that to the nature of Baton Pass as opposed fo Torchic specifically.

Anyway those are my new updated thoughts. I think the no ban argument is compelling enough for my opinions to change. If I end up getting reqs, I think that i will end up voting No Ban. The arguments for banning of Torchic seem to not really be the fault of Torchic itself and more of a coalition of different things. The meta already seems to be adjusting to deal with Torchic with the rise of Pokemon like Slowpoke / Mareanie / Tirtouga, and I can only imagine that there will be more meta changes to deal with Torchic in the future. While i dont believe that tour matches are a good indicator of what is and is not OP due to their small sample size and inclusivity, I can also wonder why Torchic has not been seen to be abused on the tournament scene in a practical manner. Anyway, those are my thoughts. As I said I will more than likely end up voting no ban if my internet even allows me to ladder in the first place
 

Fiend

the hound.
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#21
I'm thinking I maybe misread what Nineage was trying to lay out here. In fact I'm still not sure what he's getting at, since what I'm getting now is against how smogon (and LC!) look at suspects. I'm inclined to find his point moot.

I'm still not seeing the connection between Diglett and Torchic, and especially one making the other too much. Sure, you can lament the existence of Diglett and I'll let that be. But you can't really connect these two if they seem middling usage together, if that. Mini-Pex is an amazing Pokemon in the metagame, and while it is very trappable, that's not proving to hold it back. It handles Torchic well, in fact, it is probably the best way to keep Torchic in check. This gives it a distinct niche over Slowpoke, sure, and I'm not inclined to describe this as a negative to Torchic. And even in a Diglett filled metagame, Mini-Pex is still incredibly potent in games where Torchic doesn't exist. Slowpoke is another, and I find notably worse, example as a stellar Torchic answer that's good in its own right. And it is very unconcerned with Diglett. Admittedly, these two are broken regen Pokemon, but they seem to point towards Diglett not being the teambuilding cockblock that it is made out to be.

Just to go a bit further, Ponyta is a moderately successful Torchic check, and more than holds its own in the metagame. It can abuse the hell out of Diglett teams. The only Torchic + Diglett team I've seen should theoretically should smash anti-Torchic teams left and right. Yet even when played correctly, the team I have in mind really just clicks x or crits Ponyta twice and tries to PP stall it with a Spritzee and then lose to the other 5 Pokemon. I digress. Slowpoke, Mini-pex, and Ponyta are the most prominent, surefire (well, Ponyta is somewhat shaky) ways to check Torchic directly. These are very valid Pokemon. Diglett does not nullify their existence like every post ever against Diglett claims.

Beyond these three, however, you don't have too many awesome checks and counters to Torchic (beyond outplaying). You have Chinchou the Worthless, Staryu the Frail, Mienfoo and Timburr who soft checks the meta, and the niche Frillish. I missed a few things that are generally unviable here, and maybe a thing or two which are viable answers, but the point which stands out to me is that Diglett isn't the issue. The lack of surplus viable checks is. And while Diglett just so happens to make the few outstanding ones not so brainless to use, I'm thinking that's fair game.

As per
I have already delved into my thoughts on Speed Passing. However unfun I might find it however, it is not fundamentally broken, as Coconut stated. Passing to Mudbray or Timburr makes games incredibly difficult for the other party to play through but not impossible, technically. It is certainly a difficult and frustrating strategy to play against but I attribute that to the nature of Baton Pass as opposed fo Torchic specifically.
I think this in a very awkward stance to take on this. The ""technically"" piece here is pretty rough, and I think it fails to align with the logic which places Diglett at fault for metagame woes. And you can't seperate the Torchic from Baton Pass like this, as per the Cutiefly suspect precident, the way trapping is talked about, Porygon ban, and a few other bits and pieces of LC's history and discussions which pretty much culimate in Torchic being the only notably user of BP, and therefore the broken aspect.

In same vein of getting this thread to be worthwhile, can we please refrain from reductionist arguments which lack naunce and instead reflect on the suspect and tangible affects on the metagame it itself has engendared? Yes, we might won't ban Torchic and it is probably not broken in a traditional sense, but fuck if it isn't a distinctly unhealthy aspect of LC.
 
#22
I do not currently support a Torchic ban.

That said, let me play devil's advocate for a sec. There really aren't many good pro-ban posts being made in this thread, in part because few good players support a ban, and in part because there are a lot of things about Torchic that are distracting people from the big reason it's problematic. I'll try and keep this short because I know that I never actually read the long suspect posts, I just skim them and click like.

In my opinion, the biggest problem with Torchic is that it reduces skill-based play. Torchic teams are almost mindless to play--you just knock a couple things off with your Mienfoo, grab free speed boosts against something you force out, and pass to the appropriate Pokemon to beat the other team. And if it doesn't work the first time, hey, if you've played your chicken right, you've probably got enough HP to try again. On the other hand, Torchic places a tremendous amount of pressure on the opposing player just by being on a team, because if you mess up just once and let it snag boosts and pass to, say, Snivy or Mudbray, you're in a really bad spot.

Sure, any well-built team should have counterplay to Torchic, and this counterplay is viable. Mareanie, Slowpoke, Onix, and Ponyta would still be good if Torchic were banned. But there are a couple problems with these Pokemon, which my buddy Nineage covered in his post above. With the exception of Slowpoke, all these Pokemon are trapped by Diglett. No, Torchic and Diglett do not make a good core, but including any of these Pokemon on your team to check Torchic makes you weaker to Diglett. This means that even when Torchic isn't in a battle, its effect of increasing matchup volatility is still there.

Metagames with more volatile matchups are less healthy and less skill-based, because they immediately place one player at a disadvantage. That said, matchups are an important part of a metagame. Without different team matchups (in something like, say, RBY LC UU, which has like seven different Pokemon), the game is essentially a crapshoot, and not skill-based. In my opinion, building a team to have a good matchup against your opponent while also covering the general metagame threats is the second most important part of tournament play, after actually playing the games.

There's a Goldilocks zone of matchup volatility, because you obviously want to have a different variety of team genres and playstyles in a metagame, but you also don't want to have a metagame where, in order to check one threat, you make yourself inordinately weaker to another. It's up for debate whether or not Torchic does that, but it certainly pushes the metagame in that direction.

Additionally, to reiterate what Nine said, Torchic checks, because of how easily they are trapped, force you to compress the other necessary roles for your team further into the other Pokemon you're using. Roar Onix (sidenote: I've seen a lot of people on ladder using Dragon Tail Onix--don't use it, it's objectively worse), for example, forces you to forego the best property of the Sturdy set (THREE LIVES) and places significant pressure on you to keep hazards off your side of the field and avoid chip--basically, if you've got Roar Onix and your opponent has a Torchic, you have to save Onix just for Torchic, which means you're also going to need another bird check and another catch-all check to sweepers. Similarly, if you have a Slowpoke and your opponent has a Torchic, you'd better have other checks to waters and grounds, because Slowpoke's not gonna be doing a great job of checking Torchic once it's knocked off.

This really restricts teambuilding, because it forces you to cover all your bases more than once with just 6 Pokemon. This is why you see so many teams on ladder that are just the same cores of Foongus/Onix/Vullaby/Mienfoo, regencore/Onix, Ferroseed/Mareanie/Mienfoo/Vullaby, Ferrospritz/Onix, etc. This creates a less diverse metagame, and leads to a lot of quasi-mirror matches, which are either basically crapshoots or an easy win for one player because one of the Pokemon they slapped on the basic skeleton (it feels wrong even calling them cores, because I've always thought of cores as two or three Pokemon--really these are more skeletons, because while you can build around a core, these combinations of Pokemon already dictate the way the team will be played).

Basically, Torchic reduces the amount of skill necessary for its user to win, and beyond that, it decreases the importance of skill by making the metagame more matchup-reliant and putting major restrictions on teambuilding, leading to a less diverse metagame. Ultimately, it's unhealthy for the metagame.

Again, I personally don't believe Torchic should be banned, I just wanted to present some pro-ban arguments because I felt there was a lack of good ones in this thread, and there are legitimate concerns about Torchic. These arguments are probably a bit muddled, because it's late and I'm tired, but hopefully you get the point.
 
#23
hello friends! been away for a bit, but, as a humble servant to the lc community, it is my duty to help maintain a quality metagame. thus, this suspect test has beckoned me. I don't have any hard hitting opinions as of right now because I want to see what the community has to come up with. as my fellow council members may already be aware of, I have been pro bp ban for the entirety of this generation dating back to the cutiefly ban. this suspect is taking a slightly different route though, and again, I wanna finish my laddering session before I post anything regarding this suspect.

having said this, though, I would like to attempt to steer people away from what seems to be a misguided theme here. after having read most of the posts (I mostly glanced tbh), it seems many are trying to determine whether torchic is broken based on its sweeping capabilities. this is wrong imo. torchic is not a sweeper, it's a support mon at heart. yes, it has speed boost and that tasty 17 spa fire blast, but that is essentially it. the lo / firium sweeper sets have been the after thought when it comes to torchic. these sets have mostly been effective due to the fact people have to take special precautions against bp oriented torch, those leading to openings that offensive torchic can possibly take advantage of. I get lo torch can be a solid cleaner, but lets get things straight in saying that boosting torch is what possibly pushes over the edge.
 

jake

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#24
fatty beat me to it but i'm postin anyway

I think Coconut (and others, too) made a great post about why it shouldn't be banned, and infamy made a great one about metagame volatility for the pro-ban case.

That said, I wanna talk more about Torchic counterplay. So far, we've acknowledged that there are plenty of mons that do beat Torchic by itself, including Ponyta, Mareanie, Slowpoke, priority, Staryu, Corphish, etc. There are even a couple that prevent it from passing effectively: namely Roar Onix and Haze Mareanie. Which is a pretty small number of things that prevent it from passing effectively.

Basically, I think we should expand the counterplay discussion to include dealing with the pass, which has so far not been talked about much at all. BP is the centerpiece of Torchic's strengths; while Slowpoke is good, we can't just say that Slowpoke beats Torchic. What if it BPs into Snivy? Or what if it BPs into Mudbray on Ponyta?

It's the support aspect that makes Torchic incredible. The offensive capabilities just give it free turns against Pokemon that are common on just about every team, like slow grasses, and free turns lead into speed boosts which leads into Pokemon that you suddenly can't revenge anymore. While it's definitely not the same thing as Vulpix and Drought, the bit about suddenly being unable to outrun powerful Pokemon in a metagame with very centralized speed tiers is still applicable.

I'm still undecided personally, but let's refocus on the part that makes Torchic potentially broken rather than its middling offensive output IMO
 
#25
fatty beat me to it but i'm postin anyway

I think Coconut (and others, too) made a great post about why it shouldn't be banned, and infamy made a great one about metagame volatility for the pro-ban case.

That said, I wanna talk more about Torchic counterplay. So far, we've acknowledged that there are plenty of mons that do beat Torchic by itself, including Ponyta, Mareanie, Slowpoke, priority, Staryu, Corphish, etc. There are even a couple that prevent it from passing effectively: namely Roar Onix and Haze Mareanie. Which is a pretty small number of things that prevent it from passing effectively.

Basically, I think we should expand the counterplay discussion to include dealing with the pass, which has so far not been talked about much at all. BP is the centerpiece of Torchic's strengths; while Slowpoke is good, we can't just say that Slowpoke beats Torchic. What if it BPs into Snivy? Or what if it BPs into Mudbray on Ponyta?

It's the support aspect that makes Torchic incredible. The offensive capabilities just give it free turns against Pokemon that are common on just about every team, like slow grasses, and free turns lead into speed boosts which leads into Pokemon that you suddenly can't revenge anymore. While it's definitely not the same thing as Vulpix and Drought, the bit about suddenly being unable to outrun powerful Pokemon in a metagame with very centralized speed tiers is still applicable.

I'm still undecided personally, but let's refocus on the part that makes Torchic potentially broken rather than its middling offensive output IMO
Hey, just to name potential pokemon that are occasionally able to handle a baton pass from Torchic, I tend to go with sturdy berry juice shell smashers. Assuming in the best case scenario Torchic has not received a speed boost yet, when facing Dweeble it is forced to protect or sustain heavy damage from an earthquake. In this scenario you would shell smash to double your stats. Should the Torchic decide to go on the offensive the first turn thinking you will shell smash, and then protect the following turn, Dweeble reaches 30 speed which is a speed tie should the Torchic be max speed. A 2x Dweeble may not kill every pokemon that switches in, but it should outspeed most 1.5x boosted pokemon and deliver a strong blow to 2x ones. Dweeble has access to rock blast, earthquake, and knock off which can deal damage to a large field of pokemon.

Tirtouga also is a capable abuser of Torchic using speed pass. Where Tirtouga lacks the speed Dweeble brings, it does carry the presence of an aqua jet for priority. After a Tirtouga shell smash, it also has a lethal Zen Headbutt which will take massive amounts of health off of a fighting type or a Foongus. Tirtouga also has some versatility in its move pool with access to both earthquake and rock slide/stone edge to eliminate flying/electric types.

Using these requires a defogger on your team, but Vullaby is a pretty easy and strong partner which is widely used so it shouldn't cause a builder massive headaches by incorporating Vullaby.

Hope this helps or at least offers an idea not discussed yet.


edit: I understand that there are a lot of flaws to this idea and that there are a good number of scenarios this doesn't work in so I rephrase this to just being an avenue available to use and for others to try out and see if they have some success with it.
 
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