Announcement LC Suspect - Kanye West Hurricane Katrina (Wingull is now banned.)

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Corporal Levi

ninjadog of the year
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#1

The next Pokemon we are suspecting in Little Cup is Wingull. This Pokemon's Water/Flying typing combined with its high 19 Speed allows it to put severe amounts of pressure on an opposing team because of the lack of reliable switch-ins despite it's average Special Attack. Would-be checks such as Pawniard and Tirtouga become crippled by Scald burns, and Hurricane's inaccuracy can be remedied with the use of Flyinium Z or simply being fast enough to afford another attack. Wingull's most reliable checks are those that can effectively tank Water- and Flying-type moves without being punished too heavily by their secondary effects, however, those Pokemon are few and far between and can hurt the consistency of your team because of their lack of usefulness outside of checking Wingull (Lookin at you, Chinchou). For these reasons, the Little Cup Council has decided that Wingull is too overbearing of a presence in the metagame and deserves to be suspected.

The voting requirements are a minimum GXE of 84 with at least 40 games played. For this suspect test, we will be using the regular LC ladder, so you must create a new account that begins with LCWS to qualify. The suspect will end on November 20th, 11:59 EST.

GXE ≥ 84​
Battle count ≥ 40​

You must use a fresh account registered after the posting of this thread for your reqs. This alt must begin with LCWS, e.g. LCWS levi
e: notice that it says LCWS, not LCWC

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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Merritt

literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
is a Community Contributor
#2
I believe that the suspect reasoning in the thread's OP is incredibly poor, as it seems to be trying to make the claim that Wingull is uncompetitive rather than broken. It also makes some bizarre assumptions. Let's break it down.

Despite not usually being seen as traditionally broken, Wingull's strong tendency to leave games up to chance is arguably unacceptable for an upper tier threat.
This is an interesting lead-in, since all games can be decided by luck on some level, whether that be an unlucky critical hit or an Air Slash/Dark Pulse flinch from NP Vullaby. However, this sentence does state that it's 'arguably unacceptable', so let's take a look at the arguments to support this.

Wingull's average strength across all games is almost surely worse than that of the S ranks, in part due to its reliance on the inaccurate Hurricane.
This is certainly true - Wingull is held back by the low accuracy of Hurricane. However, this cannot justifiably be called uncompetitive since it's a choice made entirely by the user of Wingull. If it was forcing the opponent into low accuracy then I could see the argument but this is a risk/reward decision on the part of the Wingull user. They choose to run Hurricane instead of the far more accurate Air Slash simply for the power, and accept the trade off of lower accuracy.

However, it has a significant chance to break through any and all of its upper tier checks with a single well-timed Scald burn.
This is not only false (Tirtouga still beats Wingull even when burned and Magnemite doesn't particularly care if it's burned or not), but also a bizarre justification for why Wingull is broken, as this kind of logic can be applied to many, many various threats in LC. Snivy can break through its checks with a well timed paralysis from Glare. Pawniard can break through its checks with a well timed Iron Head flinch. NP Vullaby can break through its checks with a properly timed Air Slash flinch.

In the reasonably likely scenario where Wingull manages to get through its checks, a combination of its Speed and Hurricane's base power will often allow the opposition minimal counterplay outside of hoping for a Hurricane miss.
"In a scenario where [POKEMON] beats its checks, [POKEMON] has minimal counterplay."

thanks, i had no clue

This makes the claim that Wingull is able to consistently get past its checks in LC, as it states this is "reasonably likely" to happen. If we look at Snake, this is pretty clearly not the case from its winrate, as the second lowest among the top 11 used Pokemon.

| 1 | Mienfoo | 53 | 71.62% | 43.40% |
| 2 | Vullaby | 44 | 59.46% | 56.82% |
| 3 | Diglett | 31 | 41.89% | 51.61% |
| 4 | Pawniard | 27 | 36.49% | 55.56% |
| 5 | Foongus | 26 | 35.14% | 57.69% |
| 6 | Ferroseed | 24 | 32.43% | 33.33% |
| 7 | Onix | 22 | 29.73% | 54.55% |
| 8 | Abra | 20 | 27.03% | 65.00% |
| 8 | Wingull | 20 | 27.03% | 40.00% |
| 10 | Gastly | 17 | 22.97% | 64.71% |
| 10 | Spritzee | 17 | 22.97% | 41.18% |

Chinchou can act as a hard check to Wingull, but is otherwise difficult to justify in the current metagame.
If a Pokemon that perfectly counters a debatably broken Pokemon is rarely used because it's not justifiable, that's not exactly a strong argument for the 'broken' Pokemon actually being broken. Beyond that, there are other rather solid Wingull checks that do see significant use, such as Magnemite or Tirtouga.

Because of the large number of games that are decided through whether Wingull is able to burn its checks and land its Hurricanes, we have decided to suspect Wingull.
This is reductionist and a weak argument. Every Pokemon has some level of reliance on luck in order to perform well. Why not suspect Mienfoo for whether or not it can hit HJK? Rufflet for whether or not it can hit its Brave Birds and Superpowers?

I believe that the argument presented in the OP is incredibly weak and fails to justify this suspect. I hope to see the people who pushed for this suspect bring up far stronger arguments within the thread.
 

Corporal Levi

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#3
e: Other than the straight up factual errors, there's quite a lot of pretty serious misinterpretations of the OP in the above post. I'm just addressing those here, will post my thoughts later

This is an interesting lead-in, since all games can be decided by luck on some level, whether that be an unlucky critical hit or an Air Slash/Dark Pulse flinch from NP Vullaby. However, this sentence does state that it's 'arguably unacceptable', so let's take a look at the arguments to support this.
Wingull being luck-based is fine, the potential issue is that it's more luck-based than other mons. A game is much less likely to be decided by Vullaby's Air Slash than by Wingull's Scald.

This is certainly true - Wingull is held back by the low accuracy of Hurricane. However, this cannot justifiably be called uncompetitive since it's a choice made entirely by the user of Wingull. If it was forcing the opponent into low accuracy then I could see the argument but this is a risk/reward decision on the part of the Wingull user. They choose to run Hurricane instead of the far more accurate Air Slash simply for the power, and accept the trade off of lower accuracy.
This wasn't an argument used against Wingull at all - it was just a statement explaining why Wingull isn't as good as other S ranks. Relying on a 70% accurate move does not make the mon noteworthy, it's in conjunction with Scald burns and Wingull being a relevant mon.

This is not only false (Tirtouga still beats Wingull even when burned
Standard (defensive) Tirtouga loses to Wingull if it's burned, as Wingull can stall out Stone Edge's PP.

Magnemite doesn't particularly care if it's burned or not
Scarfmag doesn't care if it's burned, but it also doesn't check Wingull to any serious degree because Protect renders it a liability. SturdyJuice Magnemite absolutely cares if it's burned.

Snivy can break through its checks with a well timed paralysis from Glare. Pawniard can break through its checks with a well timed Iron Head flinch. NP Vullaby can break through its checks with a properly timed Air Slash flinch.
Snivy, Pawniard, and Vullaby can break through some of their checks with luck. They a) rely on said luck far less often than Wingull does, b) require more luck to actually pull through in most scenarios - Snivy and Pawniard will often need multiple paras or flinches to win where Wingull only needs an initial burn, and c) do not get around their counterplay to the same degree with said luck. Fastfoo will still beat Pawniard every time, Snivy is revenge-killed by far more mons + put into far more scenarios where it's punished when Glare doesn't work out than Wingull and Scald, Vullaby isn't really comparable because it needs a turn to set up and that alone leaves quite a lot of counterplay.

"In a scenario where [POKEMON] beats its checks, [POKEMON] has minimal counterplay."

thanks, i had no clue
You address this later but there's really no need for this remark - "reasonably likely" (a 30% chance to burn) is the key phrase.

This makes the claim that Wingull is able to consistently get past its checks in LC, as it states this is "reasonably likely" to happen. If we look at Snake, this is pretty clearly not the case from its winrate, as the second lowest among the top 11 used Pokemon.
The suspect isn't looking at Wingull as a high win rate, must-use mon. Can you elaborate on how this goes against the claim that Wingull is reasonably likely to break through its checks?

If a Pokemon that perfectly counters a debatably broken Pokemon is rarely used because it's not justifiable, that's not exactly a strong argument for the 'broken' Pokemon actually being broken. Beyond that, there are other rather solid Wingull checks that do see significant use, such as Magnemite or Tirtouga.
It means that if you want a solid Wingull check, you're weakening your team to almost everything else i.e. not worth it. Magnemite and Tirtouga are not solid Wingull checks.

This is reductionist and a weak argument. Every Pokemon has some level of reliance on luck in order to perform well. Why not suspect Mienfoo for whether or not it can hit HJK? Rufflet for whether or not it can hit its Brave Birds and Superpowers?
Wingull is being suspected because of the large number of games that are decided through whether Wingull is able to burn its checks and land its Hurricanes. This implies that it's used a lot, its luck-based elements are used a lot, and its luck-based elements are often decisive. Scarf Rufflet isn't viable enough to see any real use in competitive play, a far cry from Wingull (and Bulk Up Rufflet tends to be fairly consistent in its performance). Mienfoo isn't being suspected for hjk because it's not the bulk of foo's strengths - it'll be clicking knock and u-turn just as often - and compared to Wingull, it has quite a lot of counterplay even if its checks have been removed. (Not related to my point but fwiw it's on the plate for a suspect at a later date for being a really good mon)
 
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Quote

Cautiously Optimistic
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#4
Hi everyone, I'd like to apologise if the original OP for this thread gave you the wrong idea about the Wingull suspect. I've updated the post to accurately reflect the council's stance on Wingull and show our true intentions with this suspect. We are not trying to suspect a Pokemon because of its "RNG dependency", but because it is an extremely potent offensive presence which has the ability to cripple it's checks with Scald burns, speed, and Z-Moves.

I haven't decided whether I think Wingull should be banned or not, so I'll leave some simple notes to cover my current thoughts and then expand on them later once I've made up my mind.

- It's hard to switch in against because Water/Flying is almost impossible to dual resist. Chinchou and Helioptile are the only two Pokemon in LC that can do it, but Chinchou has limited use beyond checking Wingull and Magnemite, and Helioptile sucks.

- If Wingull is Flyinium Z you have to bait it in most situations to properly play around it, because in nearly every situation where you could theoretically tank a Fly-Z powered Hurricane your opponent can click Scald instead and screw you over. You have to put the Wingull user in a position where they 100% feel like they need to use it, but at the same time not be in that position because you've let all of your Hurricane switch-ins perish.

- Protect Wingull (which should be on most Wingull btw) means it's harder to catch it with scarfers because they're likely to have resists/immunities in the back which creates annoying switch situations, although it does present the opportunity for both players to take advantage of that.

- Will include more in the future maybe
 

Altariel von Sweep

YOU'LL NEVER SEE IT COMING
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#5
Glad this was edited, I felt something was off on the explanation. Anyways, here are my thoughts about it.

Wingull is a very threatening presence that can blow past anything it wants and very hard to manage, even with enough coverage. No viable Pokemon has dual resist to Flying + Water STAB combination, and decent checks to it such as Chinchou are underwhelming due to the ubiquity of Diglett and the common Mienfoo + Foongus core that forms the standard balance teams which is easily exploited by Wingull, and would-be checks such as Pawniard and Tirtouga can be crippled for the rest of the game if Scald strikes the burn, meaning that Wingull can still be annoying to face, as it can drain Stone Edge's PP, for example.

Another trait that makes it very influential is that it is mostly the responsible of the resurgeance of Ferroseed + Spritzee, which is one of the best defensive cores in the metagame, which handles Wingull very well, as well as other metagame threats not relevant to the topic. I think this trait shouldn't go underseen, as it's a drastic change in the metagame provoked by this Pokemon.

In what respects to sets, the aforementioned would-be checks can not guess correctly when to switch in and shrug off SSSS, as it can lead to potentially get burned by Scald, thus leaving them renderless. Protect is the central stone of it's success, as not even Scarf users can pick it up properly, knowing Wingull's teammates can back it up once it has scouted the enemy. A prime example is Magnemite, which risks getting in a pinch once it has used Protect (getting trapped by Diglett or Trapinch stuck into Volt Switch or Thunderbolt), forcing it to do some prediction games to either knock Wingull out or damage its teammate. Taking for example the Magnemite vs Wingull + Ground-type trapper, the result varies whether Wingull stays or not, and Protect is key in this 50/50 situation, and it can be applied to other situations, making it one of the reasons why it's great.

I want to remark something Levi said about Magnemite vs Wingull matchup. It pretty much depends on the set, although Magnemite is not a serious Wingull check (not even a serious Flying-type check, lol). Choice Scarf does not care about the burn but Berry Juice relies on not getting statused to succeed in the matchup. If it gets burned, say goodbye to it.

All in all, while I think Wingull is a decent trend for the metagame, these traits show how difficult and outrageous can be fighting against it and make it broken, and so, I'm leaning towards the ban.
 
#6
Honestly, I agree with Merritt at first sight about that. I think Wingull would be used more than it actually is used if it was so broken. And "if it's burned" it is not something always happens, it's not a objective fact so "reasonably likely " since we know how much speed tie could be there on a LC game. Otherwise I'm ready to suspect all pokemons with Air Slash and Dark Pulse too.
 

Heysup

I'm your rational mind.
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#7
There are tons of hard counters to wingull (chinchou, lax, ferroseed, bulky/juice mag, frillish, tirt, like, general bulky (spritzee, vullaby, a bunch of random lower tier Mons)). People use checks like scarf mag, pawn and physical tirt for the sole reason that you don't need to have a hard wingull check because you can basically revenge it with any scarf or anything bulky. It relies on a 70 acc move to beat what it's supposed to force out.

To me this looks like a "we are bored, suspect something" topic. Very disappointing.
 
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Quote

Cautiously Optimistic
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#8
There are tons of hard counters to wingull (chinchou, lax, ferroseed, bulky/juice mag, frillish, tirt, like, general bulky (spritzee, vullaby, a bunch of random lower tier Mons)). People use checks like scarf mag, pawn and physical tirt for the sole reason that you don't need to have a hard wingull check because you can basically revenge it with any scarf or anything bulky. It relies on a 70 acc move to beat what it's supposed to force out.

To me this looks like a "we are bored, suspect something" topic. Very disappointing.
This isn't a "bored" suspect. The council made it clear that this was an issue worth addressing. I am more than happy with never suspecting anything again if it isn't warranted.
 

dcae

naughty list
is a Pre-Contributor
#9
I am in favor of banning Wingull. There are a few reasons why I believe Wingull is unhealthy for the metagame and thus banworthy. I want to highlight this because I've noticed a lot of people are comparing Wingull to other broken stuff that were previously banned and seeing that in terms of pure power and stats it is not as potent as stuff like Murkrow or more recently Aipom. However, Wingull is moreso banworthy due to its advantageous traits and the significant luck that it entails. I will explore these in context of the Smogon tiering policy and how Wingull interacts with the LC metagame.

There are several traits that make it such a potent mon: unresisted STAB (other than Chinchou), high quality resists (Fighting aka the most relevant type in LC, immunity to Ground), a multitude of sets that allow it to handle different situations (running Knock or Sub to take advantage of the more reliable Wingull checks), and the fact that it hits 19 speed. However, all these traits are exacerbated by what pushes Wingull into unhealthy territory: Scald and Hurricane and its lack of reliable checks due to this.

Let's examine the most common (read: viable) checks used in the meta to handle Wingull: Pawniard, Magnemite, Spritzee, Ferroseed, Tirtouga. There are a couple secondary checks that are lesser used (Frillish) and outright unviable (Chinchou) and those will be discussed after. We will first observe how the standard Protect/Roost Z Fly Wingull handles these checks.

Of the 4 main checks used, only Spritzee has a form of recovery, the semi-reliable Wish. This automatically means the checks are on a timer bc they have no way of regaining health and can very easily be chipped down. Note that other than Pawn, none of these mons have a way to trap Wingull (Dig also cannot with its ability). Thus, Wingull has the capacity to easily switch out and threaten again in later portions of the game. The ubiquity of Protect helps this, as it can scout for moves (namely Scarf Pawn's Pursuit and Mag's Volt Switch) and force the opponent into 50/50s that are weighted against them. This essentially means that there is almost no reliable way of disposing of Wingull (unlike the other two major offensive forces in LC aka Abra and Gastly). This factor coupled with the unreliability of the checks simply based on recovery already make Wingull extremely threatening. What pushes it over the edge here is Scald. The burn chance of Scald allows Wingull to bypass ALL of these highly used checks. Pawniard and Tirtouga can no longer 2HKO Wingull and Roost handles them easily. Scarf Magnemite hates getting burn + SR chip every time it tries to come in and threaten Wingull, especially when Protect can increase this chip damage. Berry Juice Mag on the other hand loses its ability to Endure/Recycle and is no longer a reliable check. Spritzee and Ferroseed are in a slightly different situation but since both lack regen the chip damage adds up quickly. Look at these calcs which illustrate a very common sequence of events:

236 SpA Wingull Scald vs. 212 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Spritzee: 7-9 (25.9 - 33.3%) -- 0% chance to 3HKO
Possible damage amounts: (7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 9)
236 SpA Wingull Supersonic Skystrike (185 BP) vs. 212 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Spritzee: 15-18 (55.5 - 66.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Possible damage amounts: (15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 18)

Spritzee switches into Scald while taking SR dmg and gets burnt (a total of 10 hp) then takes 15-16 dmg from Z Hurricane. This places it at either 1 or 2 HP. Now accounting for any potential chip dmg (such as taking SR or just getting U-turn'd on) this makes Spritzee an entirely unreliable check that relies on winning a weighted Protect vs Z battle. This is, of course, not even accounting for Spritzee getting knocked, which is a common situation as it is a Fighting check primarily. The calcs above do not even account for Spritzee switching into Hurricane, which places Spritzee in Z range without any prior chip other than SR.

Let's examine Ferroseed now (which has no reliable recovery).

236 SpA Wingull Hurricane vs. 84 HP / 228 SpD Eviolite Ferroseed: 7-9 (31.8 - 40.9%) -- 17.6% chance to 3HKO
Possible damage amounts: (7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 9)
236 SpA Wingull Supersonic Skystrike (185 BP) vs. 84 HP / 228 SpD Eviolite Ferroseed: 12-15 (54.5 - 68.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Possible damage amounts: (12, 12, 12, 12, 12, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 15)

As you can see, all Wingull needs is 2 HP chip on Ferroseed (once again, an extremely easy task due to Ferro's lack of recovery) and Ferroseed loses. It's not a reliable check because Bullet Seed is also not even a guaranteed OHKO and Wingull still outspeeds after Twave in case the Wingull user just attacks. Berry Juice Ferro, on the other hand, takes 75% minimum from Z Fly, which makes it clearly not a check.

Frillish is the most reliable answer to Wingull due to consistent recovery, the ability to tank Z Hurricane, and a resistance to Scald. However, Frillish is not exactly a mainstream mon bc it limits teambuilds significantly and can make the team much weaker to other threats. Furthermore, there exist alternative sets (such as Knock Off Wingull or Sub Wingull) that can exploit this (more on these sets later). Also, its not a surefire check either.

236 SpA Wingull Hurricane vs. 236 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Frillish: 7-10 (28 - 40%) -- 98.9% chance to 3HKO
Possible damage amounts: (7, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10)
236 SpA Wingull Supersonic Skystrike (185 BP) vs. 236 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Frillish: 13-16 (52 - 64%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Possible damage amounts: (13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 16)

Accounting for SR, 2 + 9 + 15 means the most common roll results in Frillish dying.

Notice the common trend here. Z Flynium is in my eyes one of the biggest issues with Wingull, as it allows it to bypass the more defensive checks that otherwise would be able to handle it. It forces the opponent into a series of weighted 50/50s in favor of the Wingull user.

Chinchou is unviable and thus does not warrant much discussion. However, only Evio can check any form of Wingull. Scarf cannot switch in more than once.

How is Wingull able to push so many weighted 50/50s on the opponent and fire off Scalds to fish for burns? As aforementioned, its superb typing and speed and unresisted coverage allow this to occur. If you examine the upper echelon of viable mons, you can note that Wingull forces out all of the S rank mons [Mienfoo, Foongus, Vullaby (depending on set), Diglett (if not LO)]. Of the A+ rank mons, it forces out Onix, Timburr, and often Abra (which does not want its Sash broken on a risked speed tie). Thus, it has a ton of opportunities to force the opponent into weighted predictions and further fish for Scald burns on its supposed checks. Only 1 viable mon outspeeds Wingull (Diglett) and it does not always force it out. Wingull's ability to offensively check a large portion of the elite LC meta enables it to abuse its threats to a greater degree than otherwise, which maximizes its luck factor.

Furthermore, Wingull is only actually required to run 2 moves. Even Protect and Roost are not mandatory. Wingull can still entirely bypass its checks named above through the use of legitimate move options such as Knock, U-turn paired with a trapper, and Sub. It can even adjust its item to Waterium and handle Pawn/Mag/Tirt without having to rely on Scald burns. It is in fact one of the most versatile offensive mons in LC, perhaps only surpassed by Gastly. This tremendous versatility is yet another fact that supplements its already aforementioned strengths. However, these factors only push Wingull to the boundary of brokenness. What pushes it over into banworthy, in my eyes, is its luck based game.

Hikari said:
III.) Broken - elements that are too good relative to the rest of the metagame such that "more skillful play" is almost always rendered irrelevant.
  • These also include elements whose only counters or checks are extraordinarily niche Pokemon that would put the team at a large disadvantage elsewhere.
Let us examine its unhealthy luck-based game.

People have tried to equate this to flinches from Pawn or Vullaby and Focus Blast misses. However, Wingull is different because every time it attacks it relies on a chance - even to the detriment of the user. 30% chance to fuck up its checks with burn, 30% chance to fuck up its checks with confuse, 30% chance to miss, 50/50 to trigger the Z-move. This does not even mention the 50/50s it creates with Protect, which are natural but also a part of this mon. Essentially, gameplay with Wingull is almost entirely luck-oriented. You cannot plan for Wingull because it can ruin all your plans with luck. This type of mon is unhealthy for the game because it does not always reward the better player but rather rewards the luckier player. This is not a one off Iron Head flinch. This is SYSTEMATIC abuse of luck percentages to a degree greater than any other mon in LC history. This type of gameplay should not be rewarded and as such Wingull is tremendously unhealthy and inherently opposed to skill-oriented play, which is the ideal for any tier. Some may say that the 30% chance for Hurricane to miss balances out the other luck it brings but this is incorrect due to 2 reasons: a reasonable opponent of Wingull will not rely on the miss chance when facing it with Mienfoo or Foongus or whatever, the opportunity cost is far too high. The second reason is that I believe that 30% chance to miss is in and of itself a problematic part about Wingull, because even the user can lose to Wingull's luck.

Hikari said:
II.) 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.
  • This can be probability management issues; think OHKOs, evasion, or Moody, all of which turned the battle from emphasizing battling skill to emphasizing the result of the RNG more often than not.
IV.) 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.
  • These are elements that may not limit either team building or battling skill enough individually but combine to cause an effect that is undesirable for the metagame.
Wingull is essentially a Russian roulette weighted in favor of the Wingull user. This, in addition to its lack of reliable checks and the other reasons listed above, push Wingull into broken, unhealthy, and uncompetitive territory, and this is why I will be voting Ban. The sourced quotes from the tiering policy demonstrate that though Wingull does not entirely fit a broken definition or an unhealthy/uncompetitive one, it fulfills enough of both to be banworthy. Banning Wingull also adheres to the overall aim of Smogon tiering, as seen below:

Hikari said:
Overall Goal and Purpose of Tiering Policy:

I.) To create a metagame that is conducive to the more "skilled" player winning over the less "skilled" player a majority of the time.
 
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Melon

Best Fruit
is a Tutor
#10
Hello fellow Little Cuppers! It's Melon, here with my takes on the Wingull Suspect. Some of you may be surprised to see me posting here, seeing as I no longer play Little Cup and am now a professional Civilization V player and streamer. In spite of that though, I decided that this was a pivotal enough moment in LC history to pop in and give my much anticipated thoughts. Due to me being almost pathetically out of touch with current LC I decided to look for a more simple way to view the suspect. Eventually I remembered a bitchin' post from the Drifloon Suspect that would make interpreting this new and confusing suspect test a breeze. A flowchart, of course! I decided I would apply the flawless and painstakingly precise algorithm used in that flowchart to this suspect, and the results may shock you.

FlowChartFinished.png


As you can see, the flowchart clearly indicates that Wingull is an obviously broken and unhealthy Pokemon for the meta. I may spend my time nowadays decimating LCTL Corporal Levi in Civ V on a near nightly basis, but even someone as blind and out of touch as myself can follow arrows and reach the correct conclusion. The conclusion is that Wingull is a broken sack of shit and needs to fly down to sunny LC Ubers for Winter.
 
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Heysup

I'm your rational mind.
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#12
I guess my first post was optimistic because our benchmark for banning things has historically already been so much higher than Wingull to the point where it is an absurd thought to me.

That being said, it seems no one else is going to reply to dcae, so I will do it while on my poop breaks over the next few days.

I don't feel the need to break dcae's post up into little bits because I believe it's easy enough to summarize the 3 billion words into a few sentences as follows:
  1. Wingull is a "potent" mon because of its typing, movepool, and speed;
  2. Wingull's counters either lose to a burn or are not viable;
  3. Wingull meets the criteria of being "unhealthy" under smogon tiering policy because its attacks have a 30% to burn or confuse its counters which makes lots of them unable to do their jobs;
  4. Things that are unhealthy and good are banworthy; and
  5. Therefore, Wingull is banworthy.
I think I covered it all there but feel free to let me know if i missed anything.

1

Turning our attention to point 1, which you state that Wingull is "potent" because of its typing, movepool and speed. I do not believe this deserves much of a reply because to me you haven't even aimed to cover the threshold of something being broken. I think this was also done deliberately as you had other reasons to ban Wingull. The specific points I feel you are overselling, however, are its typing and its movepool.

Typing/Movepool

Yes, offensively, flying/water is amazing, but Wingull's stats, other than it's Speed, are underwhelming. For its water STAB, it is not Hydro Pump that it gets. It's strongest special water-type attack is Scald. I am not going to pretend that Scald isn't a good move, but it is not a powerful one. It does not make use of its offensive water-typing because it still needs to 2HKO things that it should either be checking or are very threatening and can force it out. Here's an example: 236 SpA Wingull Scald vs. 116 HP / 0 SpD Eviolite Mudbray: 14-20 (56 - 80%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Possible damage amounts: (14, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 20). It's fairly obvious from the extensive time spent on discussing Scald burns that we know the calcs against neutral targets are also very underwhelming (doesn't do any of this: OHKO mag, 2HKO pawn, 3HKO tirt, etc.) This also makes the Water-type Zmove underwhelming and nothing more than a lure.

Second, it's flying-type attack is Hurricane. I don't need to remind anyone here that Hurricane misses 30% of the time. You know how you're arguing that 30% for scald is like, so problematic? Well that logic goes both ways. On paper, Hurricane is also a powerful attack but I really want to drill home the point that Wingull is fucking weak. People really overestimate how much damage this does. So much emphasis is put on its ability to beat the infamous foo foong core. But does it really?

236 SpA Wingull Hurricane vs. 124 HP / 160 SpD Eviolite Foongus: 18-24 (72 - 96%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Possible damage amounts: (18, 18, 18, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 24)
236 SpA Wingull Hurricane vs. 156 HP / 196 SpD Eviolite Mienfoo: 18-24 (78.2 - 104.3%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
Possible damage amounts: (18, 18, 18, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 24)

These mons don't exactly take much chip damage due to their abilities, so dropping them to 20 from 25 and 23 respectively is very difficult. You can hit them with knock off, obviously, but that a ridiculous argument to make not only because it applies to so many Pokemon, but because a ton of LC games are decided by what tanks the knock offs and it's almost never a good idea for it to be Foongus, and Foo is usually used as a last resort if not needed.

Defensively, flying/water is solid but has a ton of drawbacks made even more evident by its stats. You mention that it has a resistance to fighting and immunity to ground. Well that's awesome, but does it actually matter? As a fighting-check, Wingull loses to Timburr's Knock + Mach Punch, is OHKOed by Scarfoo's HJK (or 2HKOed by bulk foo and fails to OHKO back without SSSS), OHKOed by Croagunk's Sludge Wave and Scraggy's +1 Knock after SR. It's defensive typing is only useful for avoiding being RK'd by Mach Punch, but that's basically it. As Ground immune, it can in theory switch into Earthquake, but it doesn't KO Mudbray or Drilbur back and is cleanly OHKOed by Rock Slide. Onix is rarely at +0 Speed or is Sturdyjuice, which also cleanly beats Wingull if it comes in on EQ. It's EQ immunity vs. Diglett is only helpful for being able to switch out (and risk Pursuit or Sub), but it is also cleanly OHKOed after SR by Rock Slide.

I don't want to spend too much time discussing the "multidude of sets" because I think it's generally just a weak argument being thrown around once you think about it. The

Speed

Lastly, it's Speed is good but it's also overstated. It's a very weak Choice Scarfer (though i like it as a lure), and tons of mons hit 21+ that can plainly OHKO it because they have the attack stat to back it up. Life Orb and Specs are not really options for Wingull (again, i do also like LO as a lure) because it relies so much on zmoves to be viable.

Also, Elekid is viable and outspeeds it, I don't know if you just forgot about that Pokemon or actually think it's not.

2

There are four notable false premises that you base this argument on.

First, you disqualify Pokémon like Chinchou and Frillish as either not viable or crippling for team building. You put way too much emphasis on the ongoing jokes that are the viability rankings and usage stats. If Wingull was as busted as it's being made out to be, you would see these Pokémon literally everywhere and they would be rated higher. Frillish is an unbelievable Pokémon and is very underrated and has more uses than just spinblocking. Additionally, chinchou is essentially only not used because of Diglett+Foongus, both of which we should be talking about before even considering banning Wingull. I would even go as far to say as the nonexistence of Chinchou as a Wingull counter is as conclusive proof of consensus that Diglett and Foongus are more prevalent than Wingull as you can get.

I think you're also forgetting other Pokémon that stop Wingull like Munchlax and less common sets like Evio Vullaby.

The second false premise is basically that you think because the Mons can't trap they aren't adequate counters. Especially with a frail Mon weak to SR, forcing out is enough to counter. It can't come in that often without a sac or uturn. Additionally, with respect to Tirt, its ability to use SR and force Wingull out makes it even better.

The third false premise is that you state that Scald burning stops Mons from countering Wingull. First of all, this is not exactly likely to happen and only has a chance of happening with Scald on the switch. As discussed above, hurricane is essentially needed to KO common mons, so this is not an easy prediction to make. There are sets that Tirt and Pawn, for example, can run that let it beat Wingull after a burn. It's just that it's not worth it. I mean, Tirt that doesn't use enough attack to beat Wingull while burned is probably not worth using. It needs attack investment to do other things as well, like guarantee the KO against Diglett with jet. Obviously Sturdyjuice Magnemite does not like Scald burns. But it doesn't stop its ability to counter Wingull because Wingull only does like 78% max with Scald and it has the added advantage of being able to switch into foongus with impunity, which you did not touch on.

The fourth false premise is this nonsensical analysis of SSSS. This is a one time use move. You don't bypass those counters you listed automatically because of this z move. You have at best a 50/50 shot to nail pawn, Tirt or even Onix which can still counter Vullaby after tanking this attack instead of one of the many Mons you rely on it to beat. And some of them use protect which is even more difficult. Even if you do get the prediction right, it also means you cant use it again. You can't ohko foongus or foo if you use SSSS on a juice ferroseed that you luckily got to 75 without popping juice or something like that. Your zmove Pokémon should get a KO most of the time. This is the same with almost every zmove Pokémon. Plus, once you've used Wingull as your zmove Mon, you're unable to use a zmove on other Mons.

3

Here it really seems like all you have done is convince me that Wingull is annoying the same way many luck-based aspects of this game are annoying.

The fact that it causes 50/50s with Protect is a weak argument. This is literally what the game is and what the move does regardless of the situation. You literally predict every turn. The 50/50 from protect can literally be applied to any Pokémon that uses protect Vs a scarfer.

And I think you've done your argument a disservice by bringing up the fact that hurricane can miss. Unhealthy aspects of the metagame require that they at least be broken on some level. For example, swagplay Vs confuse ray. I don't think you've adequately shown that Wingull is good enough to be banned despite its annoying luck components. Reliance on Hurricane hitting is a clear negative.

I also don't think you've adequately shown how Wingull is more unhealthy than some asshole using parafusion or flinching, though i appreciate that you made a clear attempt to distinguish the two by saying that Wingull just does this by nature of its best moves rather than dedicate an entire strategy to %'s. It's just simply not different enough, and I would say not even "better. I think there are just as many times when a pawn iron head flinch or a Vullaby Dark Pulse/Air Slash flinch impacts the game as a Wingull burn or confusion. As shown above, the burns don't matter nearly as much as you're emphasizing when actually countering Wingull.

I mean, you were the one semi-quoting the smogon tiering policy, how about this one?

Smogon Tiering Policy said:
IV.) Probability management is a part of the game.

  • This means we have to accept that moves have secondary effects, that moves can miss, that moves can critical hit, and that managing all these potential probability points is a part of skill.
  • This does NOT mean that we will accept every probability factor introduced to the game. Evasion, OHKO moves, and Moody all affected the outcome "too much", and we removed them.
  • "Too much" is if a particular factor has the more skilled player at a disadvantage a considerable amount of the time against a less skilled player, regardless of what they do.
Have you shown that these moves put the more skilled player at a disadvantage "too much" "regardless of what they do?" The clear answer is no. You've shown that sometimes, Wingull cripples its counters with a burn (though they still counter it if they are properly EV'd....) and, even less often, gets a rare confusion.

4

And lastly, I think you even know that this argument is weak. Why else would you essentially doctor up the tiering policy and omit clearly relevant parts?

What you posted:

IV.) 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.
  • These are elements that may not limit either team building or battling skill enough individually but combine to cause an effect that is undesirable for the metagame.
What the policy actually looks like:

Smogon Tiering Policy said:
IV.) 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.
  • These are elements that may not limit either team building or battling skill enough individually but combine to cause an effect that is undesirable for the metagame.
  • This can also be a state of the metagame. If the metagame has too much diversity wherein team building ability is greatly hampered and battling skill is drastically reduced, we may seek to reduce the number of good-to-great threats. This can also work in reverse; if the metagame is too centralized around a particular set of Pokemon, none of which are broken on their own, we may seek to add Pokemon to increase diversity. [Mostly irrelevant]
  • This is the most controversial and subjective one and will therefore be used the most sparingly. The Tiering Councils will only use this amidst drastic community outcry and a conviction that the move will noticeably result in the better player winning over the lesser player.
  • When trying to argue a particular element's suspect status, please avoid this category unless absolutely necessary. This is a last-ditch, subjective catch-all, and tiering arguments should focus on uncompetitive or broken first. We are coming to a point in the generations where the number of threats is close to overwhelming, so we may touch upon this more often, but please try to focus on uncompetitive and broken first.
The entire premise and crux of your post depends on this policy being enough to ban Wingull alone, but this policy clearly dictates that it is a last ditch effort. Is there drastic community outcry? Objectively, not. Is Wingull's banning able to make the better player win more often? Clearly not, looking at tournament victory stats. You really needed to focus on it being broken or uncompetitive first. You spent like one sentence discussing the uncompetitive characteristic (like, this means to the extent of moody and evasion, so I understand why you didn't delve deep into it) and clearly faltered at the "broken" characteristic. If you could show that it's broken, or almost broken, and then perhaps you can argue that it's unhealthy enough to ban away. It is clearly not something that's possible given the amount of Pokemon much more powerful than Wingull in the metagame.

5

In summary (and tl;dr):

Your post only contains 30% of an argument based on your reliance on 30% of the above policy, Scald burns and Hurricane confusion.

The crux of your post is based on an tiering policy that you omitted 70% of, most of which entirely contradicts your use of the policy.

You overstate Wingull's typing and movepool because its stats are so weak that it fails to OHKO foongus or mienfoo with Hurricane.

You dismiss many situations where burns don't actually matter and lots of relevant Pokemon that do a great job stopping Wingull practically every time but are just less common because you don't really need to have hard counters for Wingull due to it being weak and frail.

Your examples rely on Wingull having zHurricane ready to use at all moments and over emphasize its ability to wallbreak with it's z-move, as if that's not generally what z-moves do.
 
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#13
this is perhaps a more policy-focused post than anything, but i will put it here anyway. I dont think using the words of the tiering policy in debates - by anyone - is very good. legal texts can mean anything - just look at u.s constitutional interpretation - there's little common meaning. and putting emphasis on interpretation distracts from the actual core of the debate. which i will myself contribute to, so dont delete this post coconut.
 
#14
I'm Bored :cwl:

Wingull is a Pokemon which boasts numerous traits: Unresisted STAB (bar Chinchou), a great speed tier, typing which allows it to come in on Pokemon such a Mienfoo and quite a customisable moveset; all of which contribute to its prominent placement in the metagame, ultimately resulting in it being suspected.

I think one of the main factors which contributes to Wingull's prominence in the metagame is its strong and borderline unresisted STABs. As a result, Wingull only needs two moves, Scald and Hurricane, in order to be viable. This leaves room for some flexibility in the last two slots with moves ranging from: Protect, Roost, Knock Off, U-Turn, Defog and Substitute; all of which have their merits. Knock Off, for example, allows Wingull to cripple Pokemon such as Spritzee and Ferroseed which attempt to pivot on Wingull, allowing it to knock them out with Supersonic Skystrike. Protect allows Wingull to play around other checks such as Scarf Magnemite and when paired with Diglett or Trapinch, it makes it incredibly risky for the Magnemite user to click Volt Switch and attempt to gain momentum whilst simultaneously causing the Magnemite user to play a specific way, creating great openings. Similarly, U-Turn also allows Wingull to play around its checks whilst also gaining momentum; and even having the potential to trap the likes of Pawniard and Magnemite, making it easier for the Wingull user to spam Hurricane late game. Both Substitute and Defog allow Wingull to take great advantage of the switches it forces and either give it the ability to get a safe hit off, without fearing a potential Hurricane miss, or clear hazards. Roost allows Wingull to stay healthy throughout the game and allows it to proceed punching holes. Why do I say all this? Wingull has a way to get past majority of its counter play, even being able to U-Turn and trap the likes of Chinchou, without sacrificing much.

Now, onto its main STABs, Hurricane and Scald. These moves are somewhat of a double edged sword, the former ia incredibly inconsistent albeit is very strong whereas the latter is, in my opinion, one of the main reasons for Wingull's strength in the metagame. The fact that Wingull is able to manipulate RNG and cheese around its so called "checks" just adds to its devastation, and is what pushes it over the edge for me (Beats burnt Pawn 1v1, Beats burnt Magnemite 1v1, Can beat burnt Tirtouga 1v1). One particular replay I would like to highlight is my Seasonal Finals game vs Serene's Grace (https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-801811211 - Turn 28), albeit clicking Stone Edge gave him better odds, the burn was crucial, as without the burn, Knock + Aqua Jet would have been enough for the Flash Cannon sweep. This is a prime example of Wingull manipulating RNG in order to get past its checks, ultimately, deciding the game. Wingull also has the ability to run Waterium Z in conjunction with Scald in order to blast past common checks such as Magnemite, Pawniard and to an extent, Tirtouga (Some Chip Needed); either out right removing them or weakening them to spam Hurricane late game.

Pawniard vs Scald: 236 SpA Wingull Scald vs. 0 HP / 116 SpD Eviolite Pawniard: 7-10 (33.3 - 47.6%) -- 0.4% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock
Pawniard vs Hydro Vortex: 236 SpA Wingull Hydro Vortex (160 BP) vs. 0 HP / 116 SpD Eviolite Pawniard: 15-18 (71.4 - 85.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock

Magnemite vs Scald: 236 SpA Wingull Scald vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Magnemite: 12-15 (63.1 - 78.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
Magnemite vs Hydro Vortex: 236 SpA Wingull Hydro Vortex (160 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Magnemite: 22-27 (115.7 - 142.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock

Tirtouga vs Scald: 236 SpA Wingull Scald vs. 84 HP / 156+ SpD Eviolite Tirtouga: 7-9 (30.4 - 39.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock
Tirtouga vs Hydro Vortex: 236 SpA Wingull Hydro Vortex (160 BP) vs. 84 HP / 156+ SpD Eviolite Tirtouga: 13-16 (56.5 - 69.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO


Hurricane, on the other, is a great nuke, especially in conjunction with Flynium Z; albeit I don't think I need to talk much about this, as it does what it does. However, Hurricane also has one main con. The 70% accuracy. At times, this is a massive drawback as Wingull can lose specific scenarios vs Pokemon it should usually beat. Wingull involves some RNG, it can either backfire (Hurricane), or heavily work in your favour (Scald). A double edged sword.

Wingull puts immense constraints on team building, similar to Xerneas in Ubers; it forces us to use Pokemon that maybe we don't particularly want to run. The fact that people are genuinely running Pokemon like Chinchou, Munchlax or Stealth Rockers like Tirtouga over Onix really shows the strain it has on what we can and cannot use. Onix, on paper, is the best rocker in the tier, but its downfall lies on the upsurge of Wingull; this consequently has made a significant up surge in the use of Pawniaird. The impact of Wingull is so huge, it's gone as far as making certain Pawniards Berry Juice, which should never be ran on Pawniard. Take Heysup vs Teal in Snake, for example, though it worked, it shows how desperate sets have become to beat this Pokemon.

LC as a whole is a tier full of sequences, muscle memory and important leads. Wingull is a huge part of all those. Wingull heavily impacts leads, beating consistent ones such as Mienfoo; this can heavily change the course and sequences of the game, often forcing you to let something get heavily crippled, or bait out a Z Move. This can have consequental effects in the long run.

Of course, Wingull is far from perfect, having some flaws which hinder its performance. As mentioned before, Hurricane is almost a double edged sword; it allows Wingull to nuke a good chunk of the tier with Supersonic Skystrike, however, by itself, it's quite unreliable and missing it can potentially decide the fate of a game. Minor hinderances such as suspectibility to Pursuit and Rocks Weakeness prevents it from coming in as freely as it would like, and without roost, its longevity is quite poor at times. Wingull also often relies on speed ties with other Pokemon in the 19 speed tier, such as Abra and opposing Wingulls; this, again, can either go well for you, or backfire. Knowing when and when not to approach a speed tie is a key part of LC, as I mentioned earlier, it decides the fates of many games; a close endgame may come to a speed tie vs Abra, and this once again is related to the RNG manipulation that is a factor when using Wingull; games without Wingull usually lean towards being more well thought out (Like, my games with Simbo are always very close if we're not running busted fast Pokemon such as Abra or Wingull).

Overall, Wingull has a combination of speed, typing and a deadly STAB blend, all of which contribute to this suspect. Its ability to run specific moves for specific Pokemon without sacrificing much and its able potential to brawn checks via Scald further adds to Wingull's unhealthy placement in this metagame. However, with that being said, Wingull comes with downsides; risking speed ties, suspectibility to rocks and pursuit and inconsistent powerful STAB without a Z Move. Do you really want to be playing a metagame where you're using niche Pokemon such as Munchlax and Chinchou as well as obscurbe Berry Juice Pokemon solely for the purpose of this one Pokemon? By doing this, you're severely limiting the capabilities of your team, which consequently can bite you in the arse if you're facing matchups that don't involve Wingull. As of now, I'm leaning towards ban; however, I'm not sure if the RNG Manipulation is truly enough to warrant a ban, but it would for sure make the metagame a more healthy one to play in than it is now. Personally, I do love using Wingull, my favourite team has it and honestly, I would despise to see it go; but all good things come to an end, but I think it's for the better.
 
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ABR

is a Tournament Directoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a defending SPL Championwon the 13th Official Smogon Tournamentis a defending World Cup of Pokemon Champion
OU Leader
#15
I'm not going to comment on Wingull's "brokenness" as I'm not really qualified to do so. However, I would like to comment on the argument of Wingull being uncompetitive and/or luck based, as some people in this thread are claiming.

Let us examine its unhealthy luck-based game.

People have tried to equate this to flinches from Pawn or Vullaby and Focus Blast misses. However, Wingull is different because every time it attacks it relies on a chance - even to the detriment of the user. 30% chance to fuck up its checks with burn, 30% chance to fuck up its checks with confuse, 30% chance to miss, 50/50 to trigger the Z-move. This does not even mention the 50/50s it creates with Protect, which are natural but also a part of this mon. Essentially, gameplay with Wingull is almost entirely luck-oriented. You cannot plan for Wingull because it can ruin all your plans with luck. This type of mon is unhealthy for the game because it does not always reward the better player but rather rewards the luckier player. This is not a one off Iron Head flinch. This is SYSTEMATIC abuse of luck percentages to a degree greater than any other mon in LC history. This type of gameplay should not be rewarded and as such Wingull is tremendously unhealthy and inherently opposed to skill-oriented play, which is the ideal for any tier. Some may say that the 30% chance for Hurricane to miss balances out the other luck it brings but this is incorrect due to 2 reasons: a reasonable opponent of Wingull will not rely on the miss chance when facing it with Mienfoo or Foongus or whatever, the opportunity cost is far too high. The second reason is that I believe that 30% chance to miss is in and of itself a problematic part about Wingull, because even the user can lose to Wingull's luck.
There's a difference between making the game into pure chance and a potent pokemon using moves with chance as a mere factor. An example of the former would be something like Swagger (particularly in its potent xy form), because it literally makes the game come down to breaking out of confusion or not, and there's no opting out of the situation once your opponent begins it.

With the former, a pokemon like Wingull is primarily an attacker while its moves have positive or negative odds associated with them. Scald can burn yea, but that's neglecting its primary purpose as a water type attack. Hurricane can miss, but if anything that's an argument against Wingull's ban because it has to use unreliable attacks, and thus is less potent. I'd also like to point out that the combined odds of hitting hurricane, confusing the opponent, and having them lose a turn to the confusion only occurs 10.5% of the time.

Regarding "50/50s", this argument only holds up if you're simplifying an entire game's outcome to something that always depends on Wingull protecting or using its Z on a specific turn. Games are a lot more fluid and flexible than you seem to be giving them credit for. A lot of these scenarios can be avoided either in the teambuilder or in the battle itself. Midground/safe options exist.

Even if you want to say that Wingull games depend on Z move timing and whatnot, this is more indicative of it being an overpowered, threatening presence than a lottery. If Scald burns would-be checks too frequently, that signals Wingull's brokenness in the sense that it bypasses answers easily. This isn't about the odds themselves but rather Wingull's ability to use them in its favor.

All that being said please don't take this post as either pro or anti ban. I simply want the right arguments to be made so healthy discussion can occur and the LC community can reach the right decision.
 
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