Other Tiers LGPE OU - Spectre (Mega Gengar is now Banned)

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Eve

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(get it?)
Gengar_Mega.gif
Hello again! We've got another suspect test for you all- the council has identified Mega Gengar as a problematic presence in the metagame.

Mega Gengar was... well, a Ghost at the start of LGPE's lifespan. It took a while for its talents to be noticed as people assumed Mega Alakazam was better. That, however, couldn't be farther from the truth, as we realised fairly soon. Mega Gengar's STAB Shadow Ball is far superior to Mega Alakazam's Psychic, with Normal-types being sparse and Mew and Melmetal being in almost every game. Not only that, but Mega Gengar has the movepool to compliment Shadow Ball and cover every defensive counterplay option- Sludge Bomb and Thunderbolt are staples for providing perfect, strong coverage, with Gengar's last move being free space for a utility option that completely changes how you have to approach dealing with it. Substitute, Will-O Wisp, Mega Drain, Taunt, Brick Break for Chansey, etc.. Gengar has a way to beat or heavily disrupt all of its counterplay options, and this adaptation doesn't come at the expense of any offensive presence unlike other set-diverse Pokemon (Mew being a good example). The biggest problem we have with Gengar, however, is that teams are almost always forced to run one of three Pokemon to avoid being required to make a sacrifice whenever Gengar hits the field- those being Alolan Muk, Snorlax and Chansey. Even these answers aren't entirely safe due to being worn down and Gengar's utility options making it much harder for them to function. While it's true that fast offensive counterplay is effective at pressuring it in return, nothing faster than Mega Gengar can switch in on its attacks more than once. As a result of these factors, Mega Gengar greatly restricts successful teambuilding in a completely unique and disproportionate way while dominating on a game-to-game basis regardless.

As we don't have a ladder on Showdown currently, voting privileges will be given to our active council members and the winners of scheduled room tournaments in the LGPE Overused room. We're still working out exactly when these will take place, so stay tuned! This thread will serve as the hub for discussion on Mega Gengar and its suspect.

Upcoming Room Tournaments:
Thursday 23rd - 6PM EST
Friday 24th - 6PM EST


  1. No one liners nor uninformed posts;
  2. No inappropriate / meme posts that would be deemed off-topic.
  3. No discussion on other potential suspects;
  4. No discussion on the suspect process;
  5. You are required to make respectful posts.


Users currently qualified to vote:
Active Council: Eve, Funbot28, McCoolDude
Best Player: Hayburner (this vote is his reward for winning the latest LGPE OU Tournament)
Roomtour Winners: Rag, CasualPokePlayer, Vengeance417, Ishtarrr, mc56556
 
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Technically, this is banned, although that's probably more a mistake since M-Gengar lost Shadow Tag.


Anyways, this thing is absurdly good. I found out that there are 3 overall counters:

1.) Pokemon faster than M-Gengar, like M-Alakazam, M-Beedrill, and M-Aerodactyl (Electrode doesn't count). They're all respectable megas (in fact, at the time of the LGPE ladder, I used M-Beedrill to climb up to the top 10 of the ladder), but all force you to run something other than M-Gengar. Not to mention, Bee and Rock Birb are weak to rocks, and there is no way to remove rocks in the current meta, and they all are worse than M-Gengar at dealing with Melmetal.

2.) Priority users, but this isn't that reliable. Ice Shard has 2 actually good users (A-Sandslash and Cloyster) and isn't that strong, Sucker Punch is countered by Subsistute (or even Will-O-Wisp), and Gengar is immume to the other priority moves (Quick Attack and Extreme Speed).

EDIT: Forgot about Aqua Jet, but it falls under Ice Shard as having very few good users and just not that powerful, I forgot about Fake Out and Feint too, but they're Normal type so Gengar is immune to them, and also Zippy Zap, which can only be used by Pikachu-S, who isn't really that strong and is extremely frail, not to mention that Nidoqueen and Dugtrio-A just counter it lol

Mega Gengar Sludge Bomb vs. Pikachu-Starter: 121-144 (100.8 - 120%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Pikachu-Starter Zippy Zap vs. Mega Gengar on a critical hit: 45-54 (33.3 - 40%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

3.) Pokemon able to take a hit from M-Gengar and hit back. Examples include A-Muk, Melmetal, and Chansey. A-Muk resists both STABs, but Gengar has access to Thunderbolt, which can 3HKO A-Muk after rocks, not to mention Will-O-Wisp. Melmetal can take a hit, but it could be crippled by Wisp, and Melmetal doesn't like major chip. Chansey pretty much only wins with Psychic, but M-Gengar wins with Brick Break.

Unsure whether this thing should be banned or not, but banning has a really strong case.
 
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Looking back on the Mew suspect a year prior, I mentioned how despite the fact Mew was considered to be one of the best Pokemon in the meta at the time (and tbf it still kinda is), that doesn't mean the Pokemon itself is broken or even unhealthy for the metagame. Mew's arguably the most versatile mon in LGPE OU, but it's not the best at each role it decides to take on, and there are plenty of viable strategies that involve checking Mew without being too specialized for the sole purpose of defeating Mew.

Mega Gengar is a bit of a different story. To state the obvious, MGar sits at a phenomenal Speed-tier only rivaled by some of its fellow Megas and Electrode, and has strong breaking power in the form of a unique STAB Shadow Ball (AlolaWak has it too, but come on now...) and solid coverage options as stated in the OP. I personally think Modest is the best nature as Timid only gives it insurance against regular Aero (which isn't as common as it used to be) and opposing MGar via speed-tie. It still outspeeds Starmie and everything slower, and the only mons it loses to without Timid are regular Zam, which doesn't really exist when its Mega form is much better, and Starter Pikachu which is a bad mon. Modest lets it dish out that much more chip damage to its defensive checks.

Substitute, in particular, also messes up its defensive answers, especially Chansey who is pressured to run Psychic as a 4th move unless it wants to completely lose momentum against Sub MGar - or it can just get 2HKOd by Modest/Timid Brick Break, that works too. Snorlax can break Sub with EQ/Crunch but is threatened by Sludge Bomb Poison.

Even Alolan Muk, who is considered to be one of MGar's best switchins, is worn down fairly easily as Modest Thunderbolt is a guaranteed 3HKO after rocks. Shadow Ball's doing 20% min and Sludge Bomb's doing 22% min (almost the same amount of damage as MZam's Dazzling Gleam, and within that range depending on rolls), and that adds up over time especially with rocks up and if MGar decided to burn AMuk on the switch with Wisp earlier. At least MZam has no choice but to think twice about clicking Psychic when up against a team with AMuk, but MGar doesn't really care all that much if it decides not to predict the incoming AMuk as it's still doing sizable chip to it with its STABs alone, making it less prediction-reliant than MZam.

Moving on to offensive checks, Alolan Dugtrio is sometimes put into 50/50 situations - "do I click Sucker Punch or predict a Sub and click Earthquake?" The issue is Modest Shadow Ball has a very high chance to OHKO ADug and is pretty much guaranteed after rocks, and Sucker Punch isn't even an option until MGar is at around half health, which is kinda difficult to get to besides rocks / sub as no sane player's letting MGar take a decently-strong hit, and it's one of the few offensive mons immune to Toxic. The faster Megas can dispatch MGar with SE coverage most of the time, but MGar can sometimes opt to run the niche Sucker Punch in the last slot with a Mild nature to pick off weakened MBee and MZam as well as opposing Timid MGar. I'm not saying this is a common occurrence, but it's happened before with success.

To conclude this post, the case to ban Mega Gengar is considerably stronger than Mew's case was when it had its suspect, but even with all that said, I'm still on the fence regarding if it should be banned or not, kinda leading towards ban atm. I have to disagree with the notion that running another Mega proves to be too much of an opportunity cost since you can't run MGar as I still think MBee, MZam, MAero, and MGyara are great alternative picks in their own right and aren't completely invalidated by MGar's existence. Said Megas also offensively check MGar decently well and hit it hard/OHKO with SE coverage, although none of these can directly switch in at all. Despite that, it's no shock to anyone that MGar is without a doubt the best mega in the metagame, but not as wide of a margin as some claim it is.
 
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Eve

im love them
is a Site Content Manageris a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Forum Moderator Alumnus
Apologies for the delay! It's time to get this going- here are the first roomtour times. They'll be hosted by me.
Monday 20th - 6PM EST
Tuesday 21st - 6PM EST
Thursday 23rd - 6PM EST
Friday 24th - 6PM EST


The first two times are not subject to change due to their proximity- however, if there's enough demand for tournaments accessible in other timezones, existing times for the rest can be changed. Further tournaments may also be scheduled if there is enough activity to warrant them.
Once again, they'll be hosted in the LGPE OverUsed chat room.

No signups are required- you just have to show up, play, and if you win provide me with your Smogon username.
 
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Eve

im love them
is a Site Content Manageris a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Forum Moderator Alumnus
The next tournament is starting on the hour! This post will be appended with an announcement of the winner once the tournament ends. Tomorrow's tournament will be taking place at the same time, and will be the absolute last chance to gain reqs!

Edit: Congrats to ironbrony75!
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Eve

im love them
is a Site Content Manageris a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Forum Moderator Alumnus
Aaaand... Congratulations to mc56556 and Type Nullified for winning the last room tournament! Only mc wishes to vote, bringing our voter count to a nice 9. Voting will open tomorrow, and will remain open until either everyone has cast a vote or a week has passed. Thank you to everyone who took part!
 

Eve

im love them
is a Site Content Manageris a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Forum Moderator Alumnus
:gengar-mega:
Let's begin voting, shall we?
As a small bandwagon is a much bigger deal for small voter pools, this vote will be entirely blind. To cast your vote, send it to me via Smogon's messaging feature- DON'T post it here. You may choose Ban, DNB (Do Not Ban) or Abstain (if you don't feel confident in making a judgement). Do not try and persuade other voters to follow your decision. You may also include reasoning for your vote in your message- these will be included in the final announcement.

Voting will close at 12am GMT(0) on Tuesday 4th Feb, or once a simple majority is reached (in this case, 5 votes towards either Ban or DNB). Votes may still be cast after such a majority is reached, but they won't have any effect on the outcome.

As always, feel free to continue discussion on the suspect test in this thread or the LGPE Discord if you wish. Have a good day!

 
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Eve

im love them
is a Site Content Manageris a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Forum Moderator Alumnus
7 out of 9 votes have been submitted- 5 of these votes are to Ban Mega Gengar, and as such Mega Gengar is now banned from LGPE OverUsed.
You can find the individual votes below, along with reasoning if provided.

Ban
Warning: this is really long, you can skip to the last paragraph if you want as it's a summary

Mega Gengar is a very odd case. It doesn't lack offensive responses due to being outsped by 3 very viable Mega Evolutions, and it doesn't OHKO many things despite its raw power. So what makes me vote Ban here? To be honest, I was really close to voting against the ban. I don't actually think Mega Gengar is too overbearingly powerful compared to other Mega Evolutions- statwise it's outclassed by others in different regards. Mega Gengar is simply too well situated to exploit LGPE's restricted options.
Lets start with the obvious- Mega Gengar pressures Melmetal better than any other Mega similar to it, a really massive deal in LGPE. Its dual STAB is only resisted by a single Pokemon, which has a tendency to get worn down heavily throughout a match as it's often also pressured to deal with Mew. Mega Gengar, unlike other offensive Mega Evolutions, isn't ridiculously frail, isn't weak to Stealth Rock and is even immune to Toxic. This results in a threat that can't be dealt with passively- while Mega Aerodactyl and Beedrill will have their health rapidly depleted if used throughout a match, Gengar won't, and Alakazam simply can't switch in on much at all while most teams have too many answers to it at any one time anyway. Gengar can even switch in on would-be threats to it such as Snorlax if it doesn't use Earthquake, as it is immune to both Toxic and Facade, and pick them off. Gengar also requires far less predictive play to be effective compared to other offensive Mega Evolutions, as most teams can only afford to have one Shadow Ball resistance or immunity and said immunity is vulnerable to Gengar's other options on switchin or the following turn. This is another distinguishing factor, as the other 3 fast offensive Mega Evolutions don't carry any useful utility outside of their Speed tiers- for example, Gengar can force an extremely useful burn on Alolan Muk that lets its teammates switch in on it much more easily and even allow Gengar to take a Crunch if necessary.
I should address its competition in Mega Alakazam a bit more directly. Zam has potential to be better than Mega Gengar given a perfect matchup, but that matchup never happens because Melmetal and U-Turn Mew are on the majority of teams alongside a special wall. In this sort of matchup, Gengar is way better as it can actually exploit Mew as well as chipped Melmetal, leaving only the special wall as a consistent answer. While Alakazam's team can considerably ease these issues with tools such as Self-Destruct Lure Mew for the special walls and Poliwrath to help vs Melmetal and potentially land a Toxic on the opposing Mew, This is support that Gengar simply doesn't need to function. That's not to say Gengar doesn't benefit from team support though, as it definitely does. Gengar also functions as a makeshift pivot due to its immunities to Normal, Fighting and Toxic, something that Alakazam can't really claim- every special attacker in the meta, the only things it could hope to switch in on, has a way to either hurt it or severely cripple it. Examples include U-Turn Zapdos and Thunder Wave Starmie. Gengar can even safely switch in on some variants of Mega Venusaur and various U-Turns. Mega Alakazam's main role over Mega Gengar is as a volatile sweeper, a role that doesn't really suit the hit-and-run environment LGPE promotes and is better done by options with defensive presences such as Dragonite.
So, what's the result of Mega Gengar's advantages? It's pretty simple- every team is forced to run one of a very select pool of special walls, lest they lose a Pokemon every time Gengar gets in on something in KO range. Teams can't really afford to run multiple of these without compromising other matchups. If they choose Muk, they risk giving Nidoqueens free entry to set up Stealth Rock or spread damage and being crippled by Will-O Wisp. If they choose Snorlax, they have the option most vulnerable to being worn down throughout a match with relative passivity against bulky foes outside of Toxic. If they choose Chansey, they sacrifice a slot that can deal any meaningful damage and risk losing outright to Brick Break Gengar (a viable option for this reason). Unlike Aerodactyl, whose omnipresent answer in Melmetal is found on every team regardless due to its power level, these special walls are ran out of complete necessity for solely Gengar- without Gengar, they're far from necessary but still respectable choices due to their ability to help deal with Mew and Alakazam. Other Mega Evolutions are also simply weaker than Gengar or have worse coverage, meaning that more Pokemon on a given team can be used to check them throughout a match and significantly lowering the necessity for a dedicated check.

Basically, Gengar forces one of a few answers that it can break through with a little persistence or the right set regardless, or simply exploit with its team, and then becomes an entirely unparalleled wallbreaker. Gengar's staying power and useful typing lets it stick around to do its job from the start of the battle to the end, and its combined offensive prowess and utility is unmatched by any other Mega Evolution (outside of the deeply flawed Mega Charizard Y). With Mega Gengar removed from the tier teams won't be as pressured to lock in a slot, an extremely desirable change when two other slots are often guaranteed already. I definitely have concerns about removing one of Mew's best revenge killers, but that's the one and only way I'd consider Mega Gengar to be a healthy presence that improves the tier- there are perfectly viable alternatives such as Mega Beedrill regardless, and Toxic or strong special attacks work well versus most sets as always. In conclusion, Mega Gengar's presence in the metagame has an almost strictly negative impact and I will be voting to ban it.
Ban.

Gengar's strength was extremely underestimated in the beginning of the meta (even by me!), but as our understanding of it grew, the effect it has had on the meta is undeniable. Gengar has the singular effect of forcing a specific counterplay against every team (that is, switch in Chansey, Snorlax, or Muk-A), and having multiple ways to punish all of these counterplays depending on its set. Often Gengar hitting the field forces a sacrifice, even as early as turn 2.

The most telling thing is, to me, the fact that I cannot list a single counter that a viable Gengar set cannot change to a check after one switch-in.
CasualPokePlayer
Hayburner
Vengeance417

Do Not Ban
I choose to vote DNB. I feel like the meta really never evolved with MGengar as the central meta threat. I think lots of the standard sets and Pokémon are not optimal for a Gengar meta. I never see people use things such as Sing Chansey with Shadow Ball or Psychic, Bonemerang Marowak, Rest AMuk/Snorlax, more priority, etc. I can't really justify a ban for the time being. I think it's good, I think that a lot of the time, it will get at least one kill per game. It stomps on underprepared teams. However, that goes for a lot of megas. It's not even the best mega to have as a win condition in my opinion as it loses to the four other most common megas in the meta. I'd say it's even 2nd to MGyarados in terms of getting in and killing something. It's not overwhelmingly good. Overall, probably the best but I don't think a ban is warranted.
mc56556

Thanks once again to everyone who participated, even if the turnout was somewhat lacking at times. Our next focus as a tier is to start work on developing UU, as well as this new OU landscape. We hope to see new faces taking part in this process!
 
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