Announcement LC Suspect - Chickens In The Pen

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#26
This is like an unofficial poll isn't it?! Even I am giving my opinion, not imposing on someone. You just misunderstood my message.
No, this is not an unofficial poll, and you treating it like one ruins the flow of it. This is a discussion thread, where one brings good and sound arguments in favour of or against a Torchic ban. Anything that doesn't bring anything good to the discussion should not be posted, nor will it be taken seriously (At worst it can damage your image within the community). If you feel like Torchic should stay, then I suggest you hop on the ladder and try it out for a couple matches, or ask someone you find good to bring Torchic vs you in a couple games and see how it feels both playing and playing against it :) After that you should come back here and tell us your opinion, what you think makes it banworthy or why you think it isn't broken and should stay in this tier !
 
#27
i personally would support a ban of torchic
i think one of the biggest issues is how well popular Pokemon in LC synergies with torchic pokemon such as vullby and mienfoo who are already very strong pokemon on there own and with a single speedboost and the right investments can out speed most non scarfed pokemon, with protect torchic will always get the plus 1 to speed. the synergies with other strong pokemon means you don't need to run specific recieves for batton pass and allows for chic to be very supportive and less about setting up for major sweeps. i disagree with saying that pokemon like staru and ponyta check torchic yeah individually then can threaten torchic but they dont stop torchic from serving as a Baton passer.
 

Imanalt

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#28
I want to sort of reply to both fatty and jake's posts from the last page. Both mentioned focusing on the support aspect of torchic, which is definitely relevant and important... I don't think anyone would even think torchic was even particularly good without bp. But I don't think focusing on the support aspect captures the whole picture either. Passive purely passing torchics are honestly only alright, and the reason torchic is as dangerous as it is comes down to the interaction between its offensive abilities and passing. One of the best ways to handle speed passing in general is to threaten the pass to limit which pokemon they can safely pass to. Torchic's offensive abilities are huge in denying this counterplay, as you're forced to go into generally passive fire resists against torchic, which allows for very safe passes into pokemon like snivy that aren't threatened by most of torchic's checks. Obviously, there are a few exceptions that leave you in pretty good shape against torchic (roar onix and haze mareanie), but if teams without those two pokemon can't at least do a pretty good job handling torchic that's a problem.

To me the thing that pushes torchic over the edge is how conservatively it forces opponents to play in the early-mid game. You know that (for example), you can't let your primary snivy counter get worn down, because torchic will find an opportunity to pass into snivy at some point, and will get +2 before you can go into your counter (or on the switch), because you can't go into just about any snivy counters on torchic without them getting beaten by chic. But this isnt just about snivy, its usually about several potential bp receivers... You need to keep a lot of your team healthy throughout, which is additionally difficult because of the threat of trapping as well. The other option is to try to pressure so torchic doesn't have opportunities, but pressuring a very fast pokemon that can also hit really hard is kind of difficult... If you're trying to maintain pressure, you can never take out a pokemon with anything that loses 1v1 to torchic, which usually means you're limited to only 2 maybe 3 things on your team. Against a lot of the torchic players on ladder this is possible, because the ladder has been (at least primarily, there are probably a handful of people who know what they're doing) using torchics incredibly badly, tending to just send them out early with no clear wincon in mind and then just protect once and pass. They don't abuse the threat of torchic limiting the opponents options in the early game, they just immediately throw out torchic and pray.

Torchic while providing this threat also doesn't even limit the team much. It still can do a lot before it decides to commit to a bp. Its ability to provide very solid revenge killing for a team is a huge benefit that takes it way beyond what most support pokemon can do. That's largely why I think torchic should be banned: it does everything an offensive team could want (revenging, threatening a sweep, and helping others sweep), all very well, and all 3 of those things help it do the others even better.
 

Drew

formerly LitsYaBoi1337
is a Contributor to Smogon
#29
Whats the difference between torchic and, say, carvanha?
Baton pass.
The thing is, in a meta filled with SR and priority, frail.sweepers as the chicken and the piranha imo, are not meta-defining. So the main issue here is, as someone said before, torchic's support capabilities. How many mons you need to sack in order to kill a +2 spe Timburr? These are the problems of not banning BP.

Please, vote no ban. In order to ban the isuue here, which is Baton Pass. Even in Ubers BP is banned, come on
What? I'll start out by saying I'm currently anti-ban, but I disagree with this post a lot. First of all, our meta is currently defined by frail, hard-hitting sweepers. Wingull, Torchic, Carvanha, Abra, Gastly, Diglett (kinda), Doduo, Elekid. No one can say these Pokemon aren't meta defining, plus when you take into account Vullaby, arguably the best Pokemon currently in LC, a Pokemon very weak to Stealth Rock and whose Weak Armor sets despise priority, claiming the mere presence of those 2 things as making frail sweepers "not meta-defining"is frankly foolish in my opinion. The difference between Carvanha and Torchic isn't Baton Pass. Yes that is a very important part about what makes them different, and I'm not going to claim its anything but the MAIN difference, but there are many other differences. Take Carvanha being more weak to Fighting-types or Torchic preferring Firium Z to Life Orb. Or perhaps take the fact that Torchic needs more hazard support on both sides. Finally you say because Ubers banned Baton Pass LC should too. Let's examine LC BP vs. Ubers BP, shall we? The most famous instance of BP in LC is TahuPass, where literally the only move that doesn't directly help the Baton Pass chain, either by increasing the longevity of the Pokemon in or the Baton Pass chain, boosting stats, or directly using stat boosts to finish off a battle (Power Trip, Beat Up, Stored Power), and that move is Mienfoo's Drain Punch, which, in a way, is only there to ensure Mienfoo's longevity anyways. LC BP needs to devote literally every single team slot, every move, every item, every ability in order to be effective. Now let's take Ubers' most famous BP team. You'll see that the only Pokemon on this team that can only abuse/boost Baton Pass is Eevee, and debatably Espeon although Dazzling Gleam is coverage. Ubers BP can then devote every other slot to helping the BP chain indirectly by, something LC BP can't afford. This means the team, although reliant on Baton Pass, can still survive a failed chain, something LC BP can't do. Take these replays for example, showing how a mon that can't directly use Baton Pass can sweep an entire team. I have never played a game with full LC Baton Pass in which I have failed a BP chain and come back with something other than another BP chain. To address using only Torchic to make BP OP, there is much more of an argument. It can be very hard to stop a boosted mon like Timburr or Vullaby, but Torchic is extremely easy to wear down if played right, and if you're using Clear Smog Foongus, Haze Mareanie, or any other phazer, BP can be super hard to pull off. All in all, I still agree that Baton Pass could be broken, and that it is one of the main factors why Torchic is, but none of the reasons in the above post actually matter for anything other than a passing mention, bar maybe the part about sacking stuff to a boosted Timburr. tl;dr BP may be broken but not for the above reasons
 
#30
What? I'll start out by saying I'm currently anti-ban, but I disagree with this post a lot. First of all, our meta is currently defined by frail, hard-hitting sweepers. Wingull, Torchic, Carvanha, Abra, Gastly, Diglett (kinda), Doduo, Elekid. No one can say these Pokemon aren't meta defining, plus when you take into account Vullaby, arguably the best Pokemon currently in LC, a Pokemon very weak to Stealth Rock and whose Weak Armor sets despise priority, claiming the mere presence of those 2 things as making frail sweepers "not meta-defining"is frankly foolish in my opinion. The difference between Carvanha and Torchic isn't Baton Pass. Yes that is a very important part about what makes them different, and I'm not going to claim its anything but the MAIN difference, but there are many other differences. Take Carvanha being more weak to Fighting-types or Torchic preferring Firium Z to Life Orb. Or perhaps take the fact that Torchic needs more hazard support on both sides. Finally you say because Ubers banned Baton Pass LC should too. Let's examine LC BP vs. Ubers BP, shall we? The most famous instance of BP in LC is TahuPass, where literally the only move that doesn't directly help the Baton Pass chain, either by increasing the longevity of the Pokemon in or the Baton Pass chain, boosting stats, or directly using stat boosts to finish off a battle (Power Trip, Beat Up, Stored Power), and that move is Mienfoo's Drain Punch, which, in a way, is only there to ensure Mienfoo's longevity anyways. LC BP needs to devote literally every single team slot, every move, every item, every ability in order to be effective. Now let's take Ubers' most famous BP team. You'll see that the only Pokemon on this team that can only abuse/boost Baton Pass is Eevee, and debatably Espeon although Dazzling Gleam is coverage. Ubers BP can then devote every other slot to helping the BP chain indirectly by, something LC BP can't afford. This means the team, although reliant on Baton Pass, can still survive a failed chain, something LC BP can't do. Take these replays for example, showing how a mon that can't directly use Baton Pass can sweep an entire team. I have never played a game with full LC Baton Pass in which I have failed a BP chain and come back with something other than another BP chain. To address using only Torchic to make BP OP, there is much more of an argument. It can be very hard to stop a boosted mon like Timburr or Vullaby, but Torchic is extremely easy to wear down if played right, and if you're using Clear Smog Foongus, Haze Mareanie, or any other phazer, BP can be super hard to pull
I agree with most of your post, except 1 thing:

If you will ban some mon, it's because it's meta-defining, in the sense that you need a dedicated check to it that you don't normally need. This leads to teambuilding restrictions. So the question is: do we really need a dedicated torchic's check in the actual meta? Or what we need in the current meta, is a dedicated hazer or phazer? On the first question, I should say no, priority + SR is enough to kill the chicken, and a fat mon like minipex will wall it easily. But the thing that turns torchic broken is, again, BP. You need to sack something in order to check a +2 spe mon no matter what, causing you to lose momentum among other issues. Which leads us to question BP, the core of the alleged brokeness of torchic.
 

jake

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#31
I'm still undecided personally, but let's refocus on the part that makes Torchic potentially broken rather than its middling offensive output IMO
I've been mulling over Torchic for the last couple of days and I think I've come to a conclusion for myself. Torchic is broken because it provides overwhelming team support with the following qualities:

a) Passing boosts is not stoppable unless you are running one of a handful of specific phazing sets (Haze Mareanie, Roar Onix, etc).
b) Torchic is extremely consistent thanks to a powerful offensive set, passive boosting, and overall lack of matchup difficulties.
c) It is impossible to prepare for the variety of good receivers in the tier, especially since speed tiers are so incredibly important in LC.

These factors in combination with one another create a threat that is virtually uncheckable, except with a handful of specific sets, and one that limits the possibilities for teambuilding to an extreme degree. This list does not include various other factors that make Torchic good, such as having the option to always outspeed unboosted Pokemon (Protect; can also outspeed Scarfers that come in on the switch thanks to Protect fail -> Protect), tanking most priority comfortably enough to pass or attack, and hazard clearing being at an all-time high.

To add to each thought:

a) Passing boosts is not stoppable unless you are running one of a handful of specific phazing sets (Haze Mareanie, Roar Onix, etc).

Pretty obvious. You cannot prevent Torchic from passing unless you run those, or unless you make a prediction and get a faster Scarfer in on the Protect (or Corphish). It's hard to dismiss or argue "counterplay" in a suspect discussion, but in a average reasonable game with two players who know what they're doing, it's fair to say that such plays are difficult to make and require a lot of risk, especially when Torchic gets completely free turns against Pokemon like Ferroseed or Foongus.

b) Torchic is extremely consistent thanks to a powerful offensive set, passive boosting, and overall lack of matchup difficulties.

I will mostly be talking about the Firium set because it's the best IMO. Torchic gets opportunities to KO basically anything that is sub 14 Speed and is either weak to Fire or knocked/chipped. This is super detrimental to Torchic's opponent, because it removes the need to make plays. Torchic can just click Z-Fire Blast (btw why don't we run Z-Overheat? confirms stuff like OHKO on unbulky timb, has much better rolls vs basically everything, and not often are you using Torchic to clean) and get a risk-free turn with passive boosting.

Overheat: 200+ SpA Torchic Inferno Overdrive (195 BP) vs. 116 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Vullaby: 16-21 (64 - 84%) -- 50% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
Possible damage amounts: (16, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 19, 19, 19, 19, 19, 19, 19, 21)
Fire Blast: 200+ SpA Torchic Inferno Overdrive (185 BP) vs. 116 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Vullaby: 16-19 (64 - 76%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
Possible damage amounts: (16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 19)

Additionally, Torchic does not typically face a bad matchup. You literally cannot have a bad matchup with Torchic unless you're playing against mono(resist) or Onix/Mareanie or Slowpoke/Staryu/x/x/x and even those are workable because you need a Snivy answer and Torchic can boost on basically all of those.

c) It is impossible to prepare for the variety of good receivers in the tier, especially since speed tiers are so incredibly important in LC.

This is the critical part of the argument. You cannot prepare for Torchic because you cannot prepare for all possible receivers, and it's crazy difficult to check things like (edit) Mudbray at +1 Speed. Even with options available like Haze Mareanie, Torchic always nets its user momentum. Passing into a Snivy means Snivy can knock Foongus for itself, Mienfoo, and Mudbray later in the game. Passing to Mudbray means its going to 2HKO *something* (reminder: Mudbray 2HKOs everything), etc.

Plus, there's flexibility in what can receive boosts thanks to the vast majority of LC-viable Pokemon being either reasonably bulky or strong, or often both. I built a Torchic team with Krabby as a receiver and it worked fine.

The fact is, one Pokemon cannot check everything, and Torchic can always put its player into a favorable situation (often not just a favorable matchup, but one with a boost on a PKMN that can't be easily revenged) thanks to BP.


Torchic's constant advantage state forces players to build teams to deal with it passively (unless you run Corphish or Tirtouga or something), which leads to the influx of teams with the same structure we've been seeing on ladder. Even teams with a reasonable matchup against Torchic must rely on handling it passively, by taking its hits and trying to KO the receiver in return. I'm not even going to touch the Torchic-answers-are-weak-to-Diglett meta discussion, which has already been brought up plenty and is also true.

P.S. This is a good calc: 132 Atk Tirtouga Aqua Jet vs. 0 HP / 36 Def Torchic: 14-18 (66.6 - 85.7%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
Possible damage amounts: (14, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14, 18)


In summary: I don't think "Torchic can be beaten with Haze Marinara and friends" is a good enough argument. These Pokemon can become a liability with Baton Pass, and they cannot handle each possible receiver that Torchic can pass to. Torchic is head-and-shoulders above the rest of the competition in terms of consistently generating advantage, and the boosts make its receivers nearly impossible to handle offensively. These in combination put too much of a limitation on teambuilding, leading to a passive metagame that centers itself on handling Torchic. I believe the bird is broken.
 
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Star

Tournament Banned
is a Tiering Contributor
#32
This is gonna be on the shorter end cuz I'm mid exam season and busy as fuck. I'm personally in favor of banning Torchic.

I'm mostly gonna be echoing zeb here cuz he summed up the pro-ban argument quite nicely. The problem with Torchic clearly lies in it's ability to avoid punishment from the opposing player by using Baton Pass. Fire/Grass is very good coverage and its ability to force switches easily (especially w/ firium) allows Torchic to accumulate boosts several times over the course of a game. Torchic is able to keep momentum much more easily than any other mon due to its ability to "escape" with baton pass. It is easy to surround Torchic with pokemon like Snivy, Mudbray and the like to punish its common switch ins. Passing speed boosts to these pokemon not only allows the Torchic user to regain momentum but also threaten a sweep considering that most teams deal w/ pkmn like mudbray or gunk by outspeeding them. Obviously there is counterplay to this passing of boosts but it is extremely limited. Basically the only viable options are Haze Mareanie and Roar Onix. Both pokemon already struggle to fit these moves as Knock/Tspikes and Endure respectively are much more generally useful on them. This is not to say that the only way to beat Torchic teams is with either of these mons but counterplay is severely limited without them (mostly setting up hazards and aggressively maneuvering to keep them up forever while praying u dont lose to one of torchics 4 passes).


basically I think all torchic's existence supports is matchup fishing no skill dogshit where u force smth out and click bp and hope to god u set up and win. I think the lack of counterplay and the general uncompetitiveness of passing speed to other mons warrants a ban
 
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#33
I think you guys are way overestimating how consistent torchic is (I'm pretty sure I've used it more than most so I could attest to this), it really isn't some momentum machine that will just swing the game in your favor most of the time. Regardless, infamy's post regarding team building constraint was a pretty good one, and it's made me reconsider this suspect. I'm not sure if I'll have the time or motivation to get these reqs but if I do, I'll be a lot more undecided than I was going in. Torchic being banned probably is objectively good for the tier's building, and while it isn't strictly broken, there are multiple factors to consider here.
 
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Sken

choose wisely
is a Tutoris a Tiering Contributor
#34
I'm going to write it short as well because I have stuff to do and I'm awful at writing long posts but I want to support a Torchic ban even though almost everything has already been said above.

Torchic is very strong. It can nuke stuff with LO/Z fire blast and has a good coverage move in hp grass. It's hard to revenge kill by a scarfer due to speed boost + protect and hard to take hits from if you don't have a bulky enough resist. The issue with it is the support it provides to a team. Once it can't kill what it has in front anymore it can just baton pass out its boosts into something else that can abuse the speed. There is no drawback for doing this which is the most annoying thing this mon. It's not hard to fit into a team since it's normally the type of mon you make a team around instead of just adding it later, and dedicated teams to speed boost. LC is an very offensive metagame in which you mostly check fast and strong mons with faster and stronger ones. Torchic's ability to pass speed to its teammates makes it really hard to revenge kill any +2 or +3 mon like some bulk up gunk, mudbray, snivy and many others. The counterplay to this is either roar onix or haze mareanie which are mostly moves they would rather not run if torchic was not around, being onix unable to take an hp grass if rocks are up since they don't run endure + roar and mareanie not being the most reliable fighting/fire resist due to its ability to get trapped by diglett. More cheese-y sets like cursepass or sdpass can become even harder to stop if they're given a few turns to work. Torchic doesn't make you lose momentum either since it literally uses baton pass, so the space you have to counterplay is extremely limited and you can also hard baton pass instead of mindlessly protecting or attacking a slower mon you can kill so you can get all the momentum back or trap something.

tl;dr torchic can hit really hard and when it can't anymore it just passes speed out to another threat that kills your chic answer. it can gain momentum through using move: baton pass and it can give its teammates boosts they shouldn't be getting in normal conditions with a very limited and rather underwhelming counterplay. torchic sucks and it should be banned thanks for reading.

e: i'm also leaving home right now so I haven't even read this twice so sorry for my probably awful grammar
 
#35
  • Chic has viable checks but they have 4MSS already and have to run bad sets
  • Specifics on Onix, Marinara, and Tirt
  • lol Slowpoke
  • Mudbray and Snivy are the best partners because they beat Torch checks
  • 50/50s are bad for the metagame and Torchic forces a lot of them
  • Disproportionate pressure on non-Chic user--it's worse if they lose a 50/50 than if Torch does
  • lol just BP out vs. stuff the chicken doesn't beat
  • your Torch checks rely on luck
  • Torch is super easy to use and even if you're good it's hard to beat
  • makes metagame less skillful
  • bad for metagame diversity
  • me gusta queso


To add on to what Star, Zeb """jake""", Kingler, and Sken said, there are viable checks to Chic in the tier, and these Pokemon are good without Chic. The problem is that the presence of Chic forces you to run suboptimal sets. For the purpose of this post, I'm assuming every Chic is the standard Firium Protect/Fire Blast/HP Grass/Baton Pass.

Basically every Torch check has 4MSS without the bird in the tier, and it makes them even worse. Mareanie wants to run Scald and Recover and then has to pick 2 of Sludge Bomb or Gunk Shot (Gunk does more damage on a few important calcs)/Haze/Toxic Spikes (seriously great in this meta)/Knock Off (great support tech) not to mention techs like HP Psychic (which is surprisingly unbad), and Torch forces it to run Haze. And even if you do Haze the Torchic, they can just pass out into Mudbray and threaten you out, and at best Torchic's taken 25% from Stealth Rock. Similarly, Onix wants Stealth Rock, Rock Blast, and EQ and has to pick one of Endure (the best option against every team without a Chic)/Taunt/Roar, and Torchic forces you to run Roar, so you can't run the best, most usable set just because of one mon that beats you if it has SR up. PLUS, you also can't run the other Really Good Onix set, so Chic is taking a mon that ordinarily (see: before Chic got popular) can run a whole bunch of sets and forcing it to run one very particular and niche set just so you don't autolose to Torchass, which is pretty dumb. And supposing you do Roar the Torchic out, assuming a very standard Chic team, you've got at least a 40% chance to end up with either Snivy or Mudbray threatening you out.

I've been running a shitty veil team in a futile attempt to get reqs (because I like to pretend I have better things with my time than play internet Pokemon), and I threw a Tirt on there to check Chic. But Tirt is another Chic check that has 4MSS, because you want Smash, ZHB for fights and regencore, Edge for a good STAB (especially nice for destroying grasses), Liquidation for a nice STAB that doesn't miss, Earthquake for Steels, maybe even Knock to help the other mons win later, but oh wait, you've got to run Aqua Jet because otherwise you lose to Chic. Now, checking Chic is nice, but that basically forces you to either have 0 way to break through regencore teams (no ZHB) or one STAB move that misses and means you're walled by Pawniard (no Liquidation).

Slowpoke is an option to check Torchic without altering its set, if by "check" you mean "sit there and do nothing and let Chic pass into Snivy and at best win a 50/50 and hit an 85% accurate Fire Blast that's barely gonna do half." TWave is an option, but then stuff like Ferro and Pawn come in on you for free and either get hazards or a free Knock, plus you can't TWave Bray, which has 9/16 odds to 2HKO you after SR and you've got a 30% chance to burn with Scald, hooray. And it's not like it's easy to keep your regenmons holding their Evios at 100% health. Poke is also really passive and can't take advantage of the switches it forces (which are far fewer than Marinara forces) with anything, unlike Marinara, apart from spamming Scald and praying for burns. If you couldn't tell, I don't like Scald, and Scalding things is not a reliable strategy to win.

The two most significant partners/BP receivers for Torchic are Snivy and Mudbray because together they beat pretty much every Chic check. If you're not using them on your Torchpass team, you're (no offense!) probably using a bad team. People were talking about Torchdig, but that's a nonsense core that only really works if you never ever make mistakes (so basically only usable by Star who doesn't use the chicken) because it's a really unforgiving core. Mudbray and Snivy, particularly the horse, can take hits, unlike Diglett.

Mudbray beats Onix and Mareanie. Onix can't do anything to Bray and is forced to switch, giving you free SR, and then Onix doesn't check Chic anymore--unless you're somehow able to get your BJ back and even then you only check Chic for as long as you don't switch out it's not--and next time Chic comes in it'll basically win. Against Marinara, Adamant Bray OHKOes 24/14 3/4 times and 24/16 1/16 times, so unless you've kept your fish super healthy and un-Knocked (both spreads only need 4 HP chipped for the OHKO), you're either forced to sack or switch (hint: switch), and if you switch you give Bray a free attack, which is especially bad because 1) it hits 20 Attack, 2) it has EdgeQuake coverage, and 3) it has Heavy Slam which is 120 BP vs. basically the entire meta bar Onix. At best, you've got a 50/50 between staying in and praying for a burn or switching to a bird.

Snivy beats Onix and pretty much every non-Mareanie random-water-to-check-Chic. You're not staying in with Onix to try and win speed ties and get extremely variable, unreliable Rock Blast damage and give Snivy free boosts, nor are you staying in with a water to get OHKOed, lose your Chic check, and give Snivy free boosts. The thing that makes Snivy so absurdly good is that it takes advantage of free turns better than any other mon in the metagame (except maybe Torchic), because it boosts and attacks in the same turn. It has bad coverage, but all it needs is one Hidden Power and it can tear through any team if you give it free turns. And Snivy gets free turns against most Chic checks. Onix can Roar you out, and Mareanie can Haze and Sludge Bomb you (although it really doesn't do that super reliably), but other than that, basically all the other Torch checks drop.

Snivy and Mudbray are threatening to Torch checks without Speed boosts, but if you pass them Speed, they're absurd. Both have tremendous offensive presence and the bulk to deal with priority easily. The only priority that could possibly threaten Mudbray is Corphish Aqua Jet, and Snivy is only bothered by full health Fletchling (RIP).

The thing that makes momentum moves (BP/U-Turn/Volt Switch) so good in the current LC metagame, is that they're slower than switches. Say that you have a Mienfoo in, your opponent has a knocked Foongus--common sense says they have the upper hand, because obviously Foongus beats Mienfoo! But you can just click U-Turn with your Foo, if Foongus stays in that's free damage it's gonna have to recover later and you can just go to your Foongus, and if they switch you get free damage on the switchin and go right into whatever checks that. In essence, you're actually in a better position than the Foongus player.

The principle is similar with Baton Pass. Your opponent gets Chic in for free, say by sacking something, on something it threatens, say Snivy. You, knowing that this is a dangerous chicken, switch out to your Mareanie on the Protect. Aha, you think, I got them! and you click Haze, but the Torchic clicks Baton Pass and goes to Mudbray, which still outspeeds you and OHKOes you with Earthquake. If you switch, something's taking that Earthquake unless you've got a bird, in which case you're on the bad side of a 50/50:

1. Mudbray clicks EQ, you stay in and Scald. Winner: Mudbray 70% of the time, assuming you're 16 Defense and not the analysis spread to live EQ.
2. Mudbray clicks EQ, you go bird. Winner: bird, but it can still Rock Slide you and do a bunch of damage.
3. Mudbray clicks Rock Slide, you stay in and Scald. Winner: assuming no miss/flinch, Mudbray 70% of the time, because though you've activated BJ, now it's at full health with a Defense boost, EQ is a guaranteed OHKO now, and you've only got a 30% chance to burn.
4. Mudbray clicks Rock Slide, you go bird. Winner: Mudbray, now you've got one mon fewer and the horse still hasn't taken any damage.


That's one of the most important factors in making Torchic problematic (again, I'm still undecided, which means I can criticize the metagame after this suspect either way because I was too busy/bad/unlucky to get reqs): the number of 50/50s it forces. You're forced to predict what Torchic's gonna pass into, you're forced to predict if it's gonna Z Fire Blast here, you're forced to predict if it'll Fire Blast or HP Grass, while Chic can just sit there attacking whatever's in front of it and grabbing free Speed, and if you go into something that scares Chic, they can just pass out to their appropriate check. These aren't true 50/50s, they're weighted in Torchic's favor, because there's far less pressure on the Torch. If you mess up, you lose a mon or find a +6 Speed Snivy staring your team down. If the Torch player messes up and Fire Blasts the Staryu switchin, that's fine, because they can just pass out to something that beats Staryu.

Most Torchic checks are also reliant on luck in some way to beat it. Mareanie needs Scald burns to beat its switchins on Torchpass, Onix needs Roar not to pull Mudbray or Snivy. Neither of these have good odds: Onix's chance, at best, of not getting snake or horse, is 60%, and that goes down as mons die--it's a coinflip once one mon on the Torchpass team is KOed. Mareanie has a 70% chance of losing to Bray. Relying on chance to win you games is never a good idea, because you're essentially relinquishing control of the game to random decisions. This is also how full Baton Pass loses a lot of the time--you've snagged a whole bunch of boosts, you're almost ready to sweep, and you get crit and die and all your hard work is for naught. Basically, Torchic forces people to use luck-reliant strategies to check it, which is not good, because they remove skill from the metagame.

Torchic also removes skill from the metagame by being really, really simple to use. I'd write more about this, but I'm tired, so the gist of it is: Torchic is easy to use and extremely volatile to face, since one misplay can lead to you getting swept, which basically means "worse" players can beat "better" players just because they have Torchic. Torchic users get to play pretty mindlessly, while there is constant pressure on the opponent not to let Torchic set up. In an ideal world, metagames would be totally skill-based, but Pokemon has luck built into the game at so many different stages that it's impossible to remove (move accuracy, crits, damage rolls, speed ties, secondary effect chances, paralysis, sleep turns, etc.). If you want a completely skillful, 0 luck metagame, go play chess.

That said, though, our responsibility in suspects is to try and ensure that the metagame is optimally skillful and diverse, and Torchic is harmful to both metagame diversity (there's only a handful of reliable Torch checks) and the importance of skill in the metagame. I'm not going to say we should ban it or not, because I didn't get reqs and I don't want to force my opinions on anybody, but I think we should definitely give a ban serious thought.

Sorry this post is so damn long it started out small and just kinda grew and grew.
 
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#36
Alrighty, time for my views on this suspect; at the start of writing this post I'm undecided, so I may decide by the end of this post. I don't really have the time to make the reqs, and I'll have to keep this concise. A lot of these points will have been mentioned above, but hopefully this post will conglomerate them.

  • Why is torchic being suspected? Speed boost + baton pass, along with a movepool of z-fire blast and hp grass (if this is news to you, you haven't been paying attention tbh)
  • What counters does torchic/torchpass have?
    Haze mareanie - would rather not run haze, but decent
    Ponyta - torchic can't do much to ponyta, especially flash fire
    Corphish - aqua jet does heavy damage and hits torchic before it can pass its boosts
    Tirtouga - see corphish, however takes heavy damage from hp grass
    Slowpoke - hp grass 3hkos iirc, so it can switch in and slack off damage. Thunder wave can cripple a non ground switchin (ie snivy) and scald/psychic can hurt other common receivers (mudbray, timburr)
    Onix - sturdy juice does well against torchic, especially if running roar. It can set rocks when torchic protects
    Hazards also limit torchic's ability to switch in and out at will
    A noticeable absence here is pursuit - if pursuit affected baton passers, it would reduce the viability of the team style, and would possibly force a choice between HP grass and HP ground. Edit: an 80bp pursuit from alolan grimer doesn't ohko torchic
    Otherwise these checks are all viable and fit into a lot of different teamstyles
  • How often is torchpass used? Usage stats from january show that torchic is used 7% of the time overall, but interestingly that rises to 14% for higher level play (1760 glicko) which implies that higher level players use torhcpass more, which leads to my next point
  • Torchpass teams are hard to build - trying to abuse the speedpass whilst covering common threats and being able to remove torchpass checks is rather difficult, and as such this teamstyle favours experienced builders
  • How much would the meta shift if banned? Judging by the replays below from the first round of the Ban That Mon tour, the meta wouldn't change that much in terms of what mons people would bring (compared to a diglett ban for instance).
  • How much flexibility does torchic have? Barely any, it's offensive movepool is pretty much fire move hidden power for special and on the physical side it has flame charge as it's only STAB move. This means for the offensive firium/lo set, you know with very high probability what the opponent's moveset is.
  • Relating to the above, torchic's plays are rather predictable. The average player will use protect to get a speed boost, which they can pass off, or use an attack. This can lead to 50/50 where the torchpass user can either protect, or use a different move expecting that the other player will think they are going to use protect.
  • Is speed boosting that important for receivers? The speed boost matters against scarfers and other fast glass cannons, as it forces them out. Mudbray in particular becomes very potent with speed boosts due to its high attack stat and bulk.
  • Torchpass is not used much in tournament play; see Merritt's post for more on this tbh
  • Baton passing out of trouble prevents torchic from being worn down, but it does mean that the recipient has to take a hit; it's swings and roundabouts
  • Role compression - going through the checks, Mareanie doubles as a fighting check, ponyta doubles as a fighting check, tirtouga doubles as a bird check, as does onix, while slowpoke checks shellder and abra. Corphish is the only torchpass check that can't be squeezed into fitting two roles for a team, but it does serve purpose offensively and as a wincon.
  • Strain on teambuilding - some of these checks are prone to diglett. This is relevant because if facing a team with diglett (with or without torchic) the team may lose its check to other threats rather easily.
  • Defensive presence - torchic is frail, and cannot switch into attacks, meaning the team it's in is forced to cover for it, which is part of why building a torchpass team is difficult, and torchic can only switch in on
  • My personal experience against it - I have found that when facing torchpass, I'm not normally overrun by the recipients of baton pass, but I've definitely noticed that battling torchpass requires a higher concentration level than against other team styles (not neccessarily a bad thing). Torchpass is punishing of unforced errors moreso than other styles. However, playing against torchpass does present opportunities, particularly on turns where protect is needed, which can allow recovery or hazard setting. I don't particuarly enjoy playing against torchpass (or with it either) which as a factor that I don't think should be ignored.
That's all I can think of for now; this post reads back as an pro-ban post to me, so I guess I'm leaning toward pro-ban . I feel though that it's marginal and it would only take a single change for it to not be broken. That's all folks (except for when I edit stuff to clarify my points)
 
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Quote

Cautiously Optimistic
is a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Battle Server Moderatoris a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnus
LC Co-Leader
#37
So after some deliberation, we realised that this suspect came at something of an awkward time for a lot of people, so we're going to increase the suspect length by 5 days. It will now end on March 16th @ 11:59PM EDT. If you gave up on laddering because of a time constraint, this should give you just enough time to make that final push. Good luck!
 

Shrug

It's Good Scalia Is Dead
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a defending Smogon Snake Draft Champion
#39
ban torchic.

torchic itself needs to be countered. the power of fire / grass coverage with a z forces you to play it mostly honestly defensively. this opens you up to the pass. the speed from torchic invalidates the best way to check a lot of powerful 14-17 mons: beat them with speed. you have to have the hard defensive stop to them if your torch strat involves allowing the pass. how do you check fast Snivy / Mudbray / Bu Ruff? not all at once. you're usually relying on beating something with a faster mon. of course u can go to the techs to avert the pass. Haze marenenene is garbage. Delete it immediately. and tirt is forced into doing too much - it has to both come into torchic, being careful to avoid hp grass, and set the rocks that are its primary check, and also you need to be ready for the pass to snivy on the ajet that full health torch lives. it's an impossible fork often. nothing else invalidates well-considered teams as quickly as torchic (well, maybe abra). hook this shit
 
#40
I do not think that Torchic should be banned.
1521235895294.png

I do not believe that Torchic is uncompetitive or broken personally, although I can see the other side of the argument. Whether Torchic is unhealthy is something I'm still deciding on, but as of right now, I am leaning towards no.

Before going into the specifics on the tiering policy thread, I would like to bring up two points that I believe support my argument.

1) Torchic has a hard time coming in
2) Torchic gets worn down easily and has enough counterplay to remove it in time

Torchic can only get in safely when a Pokemon dies or from a VoltTurn user. This is because Torchic is very frail, and most of the things it wants to come in on can KO it or cripple it heavily. When you add a VoltTurn user to a Torchic team, you have fewer sweepers that you can use, and a lot of the time a VoltTurn user can't come in on things that Torchic wants to come in on. Even with a pivot, if you wanted Torchic in, you would have to sacrifice something most of the time, giving up the pressure. When a Pokemon dies for Torchic to come in, it makes it easier to beat the team as a whole.

Next, even when Torchic comes in, it and its team can get worn down easily with Stealth Rock or the removal of the sweepers using everyday checks. With Stealth Rock up, Torchic has a very hard time coming in multiple times. While Stealth Rock can be removed, the removal loses momentum and Stealth Rock can be set up more than once. Due to the many things that can force Torchic out, Torchic is forced to take Stealth Rock damage multiple times.

To quote what infamy said in his post:
That's one of the most important factors in making Torchic problematic (again, I'm still undecided, which means I can criticize the metagame after this suspect either way because I was too busy/bad/unlucky to get reqs): the number of 50/50s it forces. You're forced to predict what Torchic's gonna pass into, you're forced to predict if it's gonna Z Fire Blast here, you're forced to predict if it'll Fire Blast or HP Grass, while Chic can just sit there attacking whatever's in front of it and grabbing free Speed, and if you go into something that scares Chic, they can just pass out to their appropriate check. These aren't true 50/50s, they're weighted in Torchic's favor, because there's far less pressure on the Torch. If you mess up, you lose a mon or find a +6 Speed Snivy staring your team down. If the Torch player messes up and Fire Blasts the Staryu switchin, that's fine, because they can just pass out to something that beats Staryu.

If Stealth Rock is up, Torchic loses a lot. If a check to Torchic switches in, and the Torchic makes an incorrect prediction, the Torchic is now in a bad position. In the example infamy used with Staryu, Staryu could predict the Snivy and gain a big lead. The 50/50s are even most of the time, and can be in the favor of the non-Torchic user. Even if the Snivy comes in safely, most teams carry a Snivy check that can force it out and more. Even with the added Speed, Snivy can still be checked by common Pokemon like Foongus. The same applies to Mudbray and other Torchic recipients.

To build more on this point I would like to focus on why exactly Torchic doesn't have the lead in most 50/50s. If you miss a 50/50 with Torchic you lose all of the effort it took to bring Torchic onto the field in the first place. These fits hand in hand with my other points explaining how hard it is to get Torchic in and the chip damage Torchic can take. If Torchic loses the 50/50 not only does it get chipped by stealth rocks next time it comes in, but the Torchic user loses a lot of momentum. This is arguably equal to the potential benefit of getting a clean sweep off of a prediction that rarely happens which I will explain in further detail now.

Even when Torchic wins the 50/50s there are only about 2 things it can do. These being hitting with a powerful attack and baton passing out. Almost all teams have ways to deal with this, however. Many pokemon live 2 hits from Torchic so even if Torchic predicts correctly on them the pokemon can still force it out. Versus these pokemon Torchic (when it wins the 50/50) could click baton pass but this once again makes the Torchic user have to struggle to get the Torchic back in. If teams do not have these answers to Torchic it is obviously harder for them, but usually these types of teams have enough offensive pressure and sweepers to beat Torchic before it can come in.

A lot of people say that it is unhealthy for someone to be playing on the back foot the whole game and playing "reactively" but I do not think this is the case. If you look at examples such as stall in other tiers or even Aurora Veil against balance in LC, people play reactively all the time and win these games. They wear down the Pokemon and play around them defensively. Even if you don't think this is healthy, you aren't playing on the back foot against Torchic for a lot of the game, as you have momentum when the person needs to sacrifice something to get Torchic in or when the person needs to get Torchic out on a prediction.

Looking back on the Tiering Policy Framework page, it is now clear to see why there might be some uncertainty, which I would say leans towards no ban.

Going by the Tiering Policy Framework thread's definitions, these are the things we should ban Pokemon based on.
(https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/tiering-policy-framework.3628026/#post-7678097)
1) Uncompetitive - elements that reduce the effect of player choice / interaction on the end result to an extreme degree, such that "more skillful play" is almost always rendered irrelevant.
2) Broken - elements that are too good relative to the rest of the metagame such that "more skillful play" is almost always rendered irrelevant.
3) Unhealthy - elements that are neither uncompetitive nor broken yet are deemed undesirable for the metagame such that they inhibit "skillful play" to a large extent.

1) Is something really uncompetitive if it is not overcentralizing and can be beaten by the better player without a good matchup? Almost all teams have at least one Torchic check that can force it out and a Stealth Rock setter, and Torchic hasn't seen much usage in tournament play. Even in the tournament games, it has lost most of the time, as shown by Merritt in his post.

2) Is something broken if there are many checks that are not niche and most people can beat TorchPass, as shown in play via tournaments and in theory? Almost all of the main Torchic checks are generally viable and work to do other things. Once again, as shown by Merritt, Torchic is not used much, and when it is it usually loses. This shows that more skillful play is relevant in these games, and Torchic can be beaten.

3) Finally, is something unhealthy if someone can beat it most of the time in high-level play and is not overcentralizing? This is once again shown by Merritt in his post and most tournament games in which Torchic is used. (Thanks Merritt)

If anyone wants to talk to me about this post hit me up on discord, I am sure I forgot something here but I hope this is enough to make my point clear.
 
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