Metagame Metagame Discussion Thread

Hi. So this thread is dead again sooo similar to what Sken did about a year ago and others probably did before then I'm gonna share a few brief meta thoughts and stuff I've seen that have not been discussed much as of late. Keep in mind some of these will be my opinion.

Wingull

Sometime during USUM this beast of a pokemon rose to power and is one of the premier offensive threats right now. With incredible water+flying STAB along with being incredibly fast at 19 speed Wingull is very hard to switch into especially when holding a Z crystal as almost all do. One of the most terrifying things about Wingull is how much a lot of its defensive counters dislike the current meta. Its safest defensive counters in BJ Chinchou and Munchlax both hate a meta filled with Knock Off and Foongus+Mienfoo respectively. Stuff used to check it right now do not do it 100% of the time. Bulky answers like Pawniard and Tirtouga risk Scald burns while tanks like Spritzee and Slowpoke are KOed by a combination of rocks+hurricane+Fly Z. Wingull is also a pain to revenge kill as Protect is almost mandatory on it meaning it can scout Scarfers trying to revenge it like Pawniard, Magnemite and Snivy. Wingull does have downsides though; it is extremely frail and hitting hurricanes at times seems impossible however paired with a bulky pivot like Vullaby or Mienfoo it gets ample oppurtunities to throw them out and generally doesn't need to hit more than 1 or 2 a game to do it's job of breaking teams down. It is also one of the best abusers of Z crystals whether Waterium to dent its normal switch ins like Eviolite Pawn and Tirtouga or the current best set in Flynium which just nukes whatever switches in without risking Hurricane missing. There hasn't been any discussion really on this bird despite it being a top 20 Pokemon easy right now.

Foongus' Impact

Foongus wars and preventing or winning them is commonly the meta at this point, whether that's through which Shroom gets knocked first or who pivots into their Steel Type to waste a Sludge Bomb for late game and/or preserving Syntheses through doubling and more. Foongus is also affecting the viability and coverage of Pokemon. Are you running a steel type? How about a Sleep talk or Taunt user? A Grass Pokemon? Maybe you've got Psychic, Ice, or Fire coverage on something that has become common place. Foongus is making all of these common and meta due to it being one of the most common, reliable LC Pokemon. It's even made an overall bad pokemon in Chespin viable mainly due to its ability to counter the fungi while avoiding trappers. Spore is an exceptional move and gives Foongus the potential to 1v1 Pokemon that in theory beat it like Abra, Scarf Pawniard and Wingull to name a few which is insane. Every team has to have at least 1 defensive check and 2 offensive checks whether it's a Diglett to Trap it when it gets low, Pokemon to threaten KOing it, or Pokemon to knock it off and keep it consistently low. Overall this fungi is affecting and influencing LC teambuilds as well as the meta as a whole immensly.

The Big 3

These Big 3 are consistently the best, most used and most splashable Pokemon in LC. Mienfoo is what makes U-turn so amazing in LC. It is on almost every team and for good reason. Whether bulky or fast eviolite as well as Scarf, Flynium, even Band to chunk its normal switch ins Mienfoo is the most splashable and best Pokemon in LC bar none. Similar to Mienfoo, Vullaby is incredible in its ability to run so many incredible sets all of which are either incredibly terrifying offensively or super splashable defensively. Weak Armor Onix is literally only used because of how ridiculous Vullaby is to switch into and even then Vullabies have ways to get around this with HP Grass becoming common. Flying types in general are top 2 in offensively spammable typings (The best in my opinion, #2 being Fighting) and Vullaby is the premier reason for this. Mixed Vullaby is ridiculous to find a switch in or check to, Offensive Defog breaks down its own counters throughout the game, Spdef Defog is incredibly splashable as well and spamming Knock Off is ridiculously valuable as well as softly checking the scariest offensive threats atm such as Timburr, Gastly, Abra, Wingull and Snivy to name a few with 1 team slot. Nasty Plot and Scarf can catch players off and pick up a crucial kill or surprising sweep as well. Foongus was discussed shortly earlier in Lily's gif and by Shrug earlier in a small post that I completely agree with as well as my own small Foongus writeup. Essentially it's the best dedicated wall in LC and completely defines todays LC metagame. Recent LC Tours such as LCPL, Swiss and multiple Seasonals have showed the dominance of these 3 above the rest. To give an idea of these 3 were the 3 most used EVERY single Week during LCPL. Other terrifying offensive threats are deemed those simply because they break these Big 3 down. Terrifying offensive Pokemon such as Abra, Gastly, Pawniard, Timburr, opposing Vullaby/Mienfoo, Wingull and Ponyta to name a few are so terrifying and amazing simply because they have the ability to break these 3 down and beat them and these 3 are so common place and are the meta. Overtime the meta has continually evolved and these 3 Pokemon have defined and created the meta.

Short Closing
While the meta is currently dominated by a select few number of Pokemon, that's how LC is and I enjoy the meta as it is currently. You have a variety of options whether you want to continually try to outplay with safer builds, or try using trapper+abuser cores or offenses. The tier also has balanced cheese such as Webs and Veil that are still viable, as well as type and core spam such as GastBra, Fighting, Flying and Dark Spam to break down standard defensive cores. There's still plenty I personally will be messing around with and testing/building around as Slam approaches. I could rant about LC for awhile and likely could have made this much longer than it is but I'm not a great writer nor am I the best person to talk about it. There's still plenty of discussion that could be had that just tends not to happen in here unfortunately so figure I'd leave some room for others to chat about what they're enjoying using or think is great atm.
 
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Altariel von Sweep

Yoooo Mista!
is a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributor
Time to express my opinions on the actual metagame. First, this post will divided in different points: Big 3, Pokemon that have improved, Pokemon that have worsened and a special mention. Second, take in mind that this is my own opinion, so if something is off here, don't be surprised. I would have done a meme which summarises the actual metagame, like I did on 2017 New Year's Eve, but my means of communication and design are brutally limited. This apart, let the post begin.

BIG 3

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Mienfoo is the greatest Pokemon in the metagame and by far, it has a lot of sets which can make use of, going from bulky pivot that get their Speed reduced to outslow Pokemon such as Timburr and Mareanie to U-turn safely into trappers such as Diglett, passing through fast sets that deal with the mirror match-up Mienfoo, to more offensive sets such as Scarf, Flyinium and Band which do a great job at wallbreaking and 2HKOing many bulky threats. Due to this, it's an excellent glue on many teams, and everytime I try to build, this Pokemon almost usually pops up on my team, thanks to its splashability as a pivot and Fighting-type, making it a big threat that gets hard to beat, and in my experience, usually falls on late-game. Many common VoltTurn teams have this Pokemon in the vast majority of cases due to said traits, being great partners with Pokemon such as Magnemite and Vullaby. Easily #1 in my personal list.

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Vullaby and its absurdly high number of sets make it the best Flying-type in the metagame, with offensive Defog sets to threaten Fighting-types, Nasty Plot and mixed sets, which lately have been running HP Grass, and defensive Defog sets which act as a solid check to things like Abra, Gastly, Snivy, and even a less common Scarf set makes it absurdly hard to play against. Such defensive traits make it an splashable pivot, Defogger and/or attacker, that teams are forced to run Weak Armor Onix or Tirtouga. Not to mention the ability to condtantly spam Knock Off, which makes it a big threat that can easily cripple its counters, to pivot onto them and remove them with another Pokemon. Lately, I have been playong Flying Spam of Vullaby + Wingull, and it surprisingly does well, with Vullaby removing hazards and beating Pokemon along with Wingull, which can nuke out with Supersonic Skystrike. They are accompanied by Trapinch, which I'll deal with later. A remarkable #2 in terms of splashability.

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This. Motherfucker. Foongus wouldn't seem useful on paper, but in practice, you absolutely need something that deals with it. Spore acting as a momentum drainer is detrimental for many teams that don't use a Grass-type, and even if you use it, you risk to take a Sludge Bomb. The search for actually good answers is reduced to Foongus itself, Ferroseed, and Chespin, which became good and will deal with later. Moving on the team plan, something that beats Foongus' Spore, can watch over Snivy and makes sure Diglett doesn't run over your team is... Yeah, Foongus. How detrimental is Spore means that your possible wincon can get put to sleep, making it hard to win, and being forxed to switch to another Pokemon while it can restore its health or switch, whivh in both cases, remains incredibly healthy. Synthesis is being more and more run to avoid being countered by itself, which is kind of sad, but having different ways to deal with it, Hidden Powers can be used to take on Ferroseed and Pawniard, if the team cannot properly handle them. Clearly an annoying Pikemon to deal with, #3.

POKEMON THAT HAVE IMPROVED

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Though metagame has clearly adapted to it, Magnemite is a really big threat that can punch severe holes thanks to its ridiculously high Special Attack, along with its STABs and Analytic, which turn into 2HKO against bulkier threats that switch onto it. Diglett cannot risk to Volt Switch fearing to get hit by Flash Cannon, so does Onix. Many Pokemon fear entering, as Volt Switch boosted by Analytic is really powerful, and makes it a good pivot due to its raw power. It can also run trapper sets that can remove Ferroseed or Pawniard in the spot to ease the work of Abra or Gastly, for example. On a personal take, my favourite set is Electrium Z Trapper, which can easily take on Pawniard and KO it with a Modest Gigavolt Havoc, while messing up with Ferroseed + Spritzee thanks to HP Fire + Flash Cannon. Truly a threat to take in mind, even if metagame is unkind to it.

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Well, not a big surprise nowadays. Wingull blows almost the whoel metagame up thanks to a rather unhealth STAB combo of Scald + Hurricane backed up by momentum in U-turn and Protect. Protect is a big must in a frail Pokemon like this, allowing it to scout Scarf Pokemon like Pawniard, a good answer to Wingull, Mienfoo, Magnemite..., as well as scout priority attacks that would leave it on a bad spot. Different options in Substitute, Defog and Roost can be used too, but Protect is easily #1 in filler. Now, on wallbreaking potential, Flyinium Z makes Wingull even more threatening, able to knock bulkier threats such as Spritzee after a bit of chip damage, Vullaby after rocks and such. Easily between #20 and #10.

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The search for aactual decent Flying check that can handle both Vullaby and Wingull ended with the resurgement of Tirtouga, a really bulky Stealth Rock setter that can scare Diglett out with Aqua Jet, while having an insane bulk to make use of and withstand HP Grass Vullaby variants. Due to this, it's the second best Flying-type check in the tier, due to how easy is for it to switch onto strong attacks and scare out Pokemon to set Stealth Rock or Knock Off the entrant Pokemon's item.

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Spritzee suffered a drop with Magnemite running, but it didn't stop it from imrpoving. It can use Psychic to actually threaten Foongus, as well as Covet toy steal its Eviolite and make it easier to knock out. Its a insane blanket check to many metagame threats, going from Flying-types, passing through Fighting-types, to sweepers such as Shellder and Abra. Recently, Trick Room offensive sets have seen a bit of usage, with Spritzee giving up Eviolite for Berry Juice without the need of using Wish and improve its offensive coverage with either HPs, Psychic or Nasty Plot to make it able to break through it's checks. Definitely a Pokemon that can tailor its set to act whatever it's needed to win.

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Gastly right now gets favoured by the god balance cores of Foongus/Mienfoo/Vullaby, as it can easily break them with its offensive presence. Sludge Bomb is a must, while its three attacks can vary from HP Fire, HP Fighting, Shadow Ball, Energy Ball, Thunderbolt, Dazzling Gleam, Substitute, Will-O-Wisp (required by Hex sets, which are also good). All of this allows Gastly to take on the whole metagame with no effort, and can also run Twinkle Tackle if it needs to cripple an answer such as Vullaby, Pawniard or Alolan Grimer. Worth trying right now.

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Trapinch is currently outclassed by Diglett as a Arena Trap user, but it has seen a rise in usage thanks to Giga Drain. Giga Drain gives Trapinch a quite worth ability that differs it from Diglett by trapping both Onix and Tirtouga, which becomes in my opinion, the best partner for a Flying spam that can remove Flying-type checks. Its bulk can be easily tailored to trap either Pawniard or Magnemite, which is also insane, and Feint allows it to trap weakened priority user such as Timburr. Another obvious trait that makes it usable is its ability to switch onto Alolan Grimer and trap it. Giga Drain right now is better coverage than Superpower, though trapping Ferroseed might not be a bad idea either. Worth a shot, you'll have ensured laughs.

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Praise the MK007. Meowth has seen a swell in usage asla a efficient revenge killer thanks to Technician STAB Fake Out + Feint, which both have priority and allow to revenge kill Diglett and Shellder, for example. Aerial Ace is a must on it, as hitting Fighting-types hard is quite excellent on a Pokemon like this. The filler is a special attack, commonly Water Pulse, which beats Onix straightforward, or HPs, getting both boosted by Technician and killing Pawniard with HP Fighting, hitting Ferroseed with HP Fire, and so on. Looks cool.

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The question for this metagame is how to deal with Foongus. Well, here you have ana antimetagame pick, Chespin. Thanks to Bulletproof and typing, it's able to take on Foongus and counter it, as well as take on Gastly, no matter which coverage uses. The ability to force both out and set Spikes or restore health makes it a really great pick right now, and benefits offensive teams with both a defensive backbone and entry hazards. Just make sure to have an additional answer to Snivy, as Chespin cannot properly handle it.

POKEMON THAT HAVE WORSENED

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Shellder is dissapointing on my personal view right now. With many bulky threats such as Spritzee and Ferroseed, a lot of priority going and coming, as well as the raise of Tirtouga as a fat Water-type makes it unable too effortlessly sweep. It needs Protect to handle threats, but again, it's just underwhelming.

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The presence of fat things such as the Foongus + Mienfoo core, as well as Diglett presence makes it really hard to justify Chinchou's use. Its quite difficult to make it fit, unless you struggle a lot with Magnemite and Wingull, but if so, you should use better things.

Special mention:

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Alolan Geodude, while very uncommon, has gained a place in my heart as a decent trapper that can take Ferroseed, Pawniard and Scarf Magnemite trapped in Electric attack on and trap them, as well as set Stealth Rock. Being outclassed by Magnemite in such task, it has an advantage of taking Vullaby more reliably.

I hope you like my sight on the metagame. I'm gladly looking for it to develop and also, fuck Foongus.

AvS out.
 
gonna dump the stuff I used in LCPL that's mine to dump, imo ORAS is a very underrated metagame so hopefully access to teams might increase its play a little.

w1 vs teal6
https://pokepast.es/f6ae3293ba8fb67e

I didn't really know when I was building this who teal would be getting his team from, so I just built a team that's about as standard as you can get. Majas even independently built that exact same team and used it the following week. Basically the idea is to remove checks to pory and fletching with diglett while still having the ability to check most of the meta. Fire punch and SD were used on snubs and fletch over their more standard coverage options as I had seen Levi's team use squads they might be useful against. I used speedy fletch in order to alleviate the concern of only having one flying resist.

In action the team worked well, unfortunately in the actual match I received some nasty hax early on and the match ended up coming down to a speed tie, which I lost.

w2 vs Alice Kazumi
http://pokepast.es/75da256167e01ea0

This week I knew exactly who was building the teams, so by looking through many of Alice's replays I noticed that she very rarely used snivy or fletchling, and favored rapid spin users as opposed to defog users (well, she used vullaby often, but almost never ran defog on it). So, pumpkaboo webs seemed like the perfect fit to face her. This team is a bit more customized than the last as it was built for a specific person, but it's definitely solid and a great mixup team.

The replay wasn't saved but in action it did end up being a matchup that was very in my favor. Alice admittedly outplayed me early on, but by playing the matchup I was able to pull out the win.

w3 vs tahu

http://pokepast.es/0f600c18e976a65d

tahu uses very similar team comps in almost every match, so I attempted to make a team that would exploit his overuse of foongus as a fighting check with CM goth. cotton was used as my fighting check as he loves gothita himself

Unfortunately I didn't scout thoroughly enough as I didn't know that he used gastro acid on foongus (10/10 set btw, it should definitely be used more, especially if you like foongus and use it a lot) and as gothita was my prime method of defeating foongus this quickly turned into a difficult matchup. I was able to get this one down to a speed tie, but ended up losing the tie.

w4 v Holiday

http://pokepast.es/b4be73f452eb8815

Holiday is one of my best friends on this site and throughout both this LCPL and the last one I tested and played with him constantly, so we knew each other's play styles very well. I knew that he would bring a team that wasn't typical of him, so I decided to do the same. I almost never use gastly or omanyte, so I decided I would try it out. It's definitely a solid team, but it's high risk high reward as it has no fighting resists, so play with it carefully.

In the actual match we ended up bringing almost identical teams. He anticipated me bringing a webs team (he wasn't wrong; I was very close to doing so) so he bought snivy. Because I had omanyte and he didn't I had the matchup advantage. Both of our teams were very offensive, so when I got some lucky predicts early on in the game I could just play the matchup and be safe. The match could have gone either way for sure though.

w5 I was on vacation

w6 when I played we had already tied the week at minimum, guaranteeing us a spot in the playoffs. I really wanted to use sun, so I c/p'd lucysun vs zeril. The matchup was awful for him, he didn't really have the checks necessary to deal with it.

w7 I played bw. I used sand but as I didn't build the team it's not mine to give.

This was one of the funnest seasons of LCPL ever, I can't thank trash enough for drafting me. It's unfortunate that we got unlucky in semis, I think we could have gone all the way. Thanks to everyone on the trashes for helping me test, especially the #1 up-and-coming LC player right now taranteeeno the true MVP of the team. Also thanks to Holiday for helping me test teams this LCPL, bring back 2 ORAS slots so I can be on his team again ;-;.
 

Altariel von Sweep

Yoooo Mista!
is a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributor
wait why isn't arena trap diglett banned yet
Being there only two Arena Trap users in Diglett and Trapinch, making complex bans like this goes against the LC suspect policy. Also, Diglett was suspected once in this generation (December 2016), but didn't get banned.

E: there is a lot of counterplay to this Pokemon, being the reason why Foongus is on the rise, and such.
 
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Ok so, some time ago I started a journey to make a sort of classification of teams that I consider meta or standard. Now, I've been very inactive and unconsistent lately and my teambuilder is a mess, so I decided to do some spring cleaning and post here the results of this trip.
I've been attempting vgc for some months and you are all thinking: "What do I care?". Well, I saw a tendency there to classify and give names to common cores. The most emblematic example is prolly Chalk, which is an acronym but also means something like "expected" in english (I think? not sure, not my lang) to underline how used that core was some time ago. In lc, the corresponding core is arguably the Onix/Mienfoo/Foongus/Vullaby.
This core has it's weak points, the main treats I can think of now being Wingull, Abra and Shellder but, hey, there are two free slots to cover for them. On the other side this core is solid against a lot of stuff: Foongus is checked by Foongus, Pawn by Foo, Foo by Foongus, Birds by Onix, Fire by Onix, there's a ground immunity, a psychic immunity, a electric immunity, two mon potentially with weak armor to gain momentum, hazard, hazard control, two regen mons, two u-turners... let's not drag this any further, you all know this better than me.
This was all to point out the road I tried to follow in this meta classification. I took the skeleton of the Onix/Foo/Gus/Vully and studied how the change of the fight check and the hazard setter affected the core. I divided the cores into three big cathegories based on the fight check (Foongus, Mareanie and Fairy (Snubbul and Spritzee were considered as equivalent)), then for each cathegory I considered which rock setter sitted well between Onix, Tirtouga, Ferro, Pawn and Mudbray.


FOONGUS BASED CORE
lc cores gus.JPG
So here we go. A variation to the OMFV is slapping Tirtouga over Onix. The dude does more or less the same job of Onix at checking birds and fires. It does a better job at checking Wingull but leaves the team without a ground type. For that reason, Diglett is a common chioce that is added as fifth.
An alternative is running Mudbray over Onix. This leaves the team without a bird check so it's common to add a steel between Magnemite and Pawniard but an electric type can work as well. The core is left without a Ponyta check so this should be kept in mind in choosing the sixth.
At last, Pawniard can be used as a flying check too. It helps checking Abra but also leaves the core weak to fires. For this reason, Staryu can be used as hazard remover instead of Vully.
A year ago, I think Onix/Foo/Foongus/Staryu was more common than the actual OMFV we have now. Nowadays Staryu dropped and physical WA Vully rose.
In the names of the teams I wrote Fight and Bird and not Mienfoo and Vullaby because Timburr and Wingull can fill their role too, but the first two are much more common.


MAREANIE BASED CORE
lc cores meanie.JPG
Second dude, Mareanie. Switching Foongus out leaves the core without a spore resistor, so a grass type like Chespin can be used to cover ground attacks instead of the bird.
Bird and Grass were here divided into two cores because they can be run separately but they work well together too.
Even tho they do very different jobs, Snivy and Chespin are the most common choice here as grass type. Months ago Snivy was more common, now Chespin is on the rise.
Mudbray: same stuff as I said before, but here Meanie>Foongus covers for the fire weakness. For the same reason, Pawniard is maybe a better choce as a rock setter than it was with Foongus.


FAIRY BASED CORE
lc cores fairy.JPG
Another long time used core is Ferro-Spritz. Spritzee is a free switchin for Gastly tho, so here GrimerA is an important choice. Otherwise psychic should be run on Spritz imo (Or Snubbul instead of Spritzee). Spritzee is not that safe of a Vullaby check however (now that the vulture is designed to do 30->60% to it with bb) and this core, even tho it has the infamous wishpass, does not has all the good points of the OMFV. For this reason, even tho I left a fighting type here to draw a parallel with the previous cores (and because it checks Pawn and does stuff) it's not that mandatory (it is not that mandatory anywhere tbh, but it's a lot common).
Different combinations can be made by using Snubbul over Spritzee, Chespin over Grimer, Onix and Tirtouga over Ferro. Foongus+Spritzee is also a thing because even tho Foongus doesn't help against Gastly, it helps against Foongus. Or I would be better saying viceversa, that Spritzee helps Foongus by coveting the opposing Gus to make ours win Fongi's wars. Also by trowing the pink thing on Koffs we can preserve Foongus evio for late game.


CONCLUDING​

Now, again, you are all thinking: "I see a Mienfoo sprite in every single core lol noob" and "I build and win without a fight check becuz I'm a pro player ez gg".
"Yes (rude)" and "Good for you", but this is not the point.
While I think that hazard are pretty mandatory in a good team, I also think that hazard removal, a fight type and a fight check are not that necessary in some cases (especially the fight type/Mienfoo).
To make some examples, hazard removal can be neglected if your team has a hazard stacker or if you have ways to easily remove the opposing setter. HO teams focus much less on checking stuff and much more on removing treats that prevent sweeping. Flying spam can do without a Mienfoo check if it succedes in keeping the pressure high. A good combination of Vullaby and Gastly, in some situations can work better than a bulky poison/fairy, discouraging the opposing fight type from randomly Knockoff/Hjk to not trigger WA or crash in bad situations.
However this three components (hazard removal, a fight type (usually Mienfoo) and a Fight check) make a team much more solid, especially for new players which do not have that "entire game field of view" which long time players have.
So this is no guide to team building. It would have been much more complicated to include all those situations were some components can be neglected because there is some strategy behind covering for that. Also, to account for everything, I would probably have had to vary from the 4/5 mon parallel scheme I've tried to follow. Not all good teams follow this scheme, but from when I've started to compare the teams I encounter with this type of classification, I've been surprised by how many of them it fits.
Feel free to tell me if I neglected something or if I said some heresies.
Sorry for the english, I'm rusty. Cya.
 

Serene Grace

Live for the applause
is a Tiering Contributor
With LCPL over I thought I would post some of my teams. (BW)

Team: Sand Double Rush
Week: 1, 2, 3, 6 ,7
Result: W, W, W, W, L


So I ended up using essentially the same team 5 times just because sand is pretty broken. In a meta with permasand and two very good sweepers, it's very easy to break down even prepared teams. Sand's only real threat is Snover, and even that is manageable through pursuit trapping and its weakness to Stealth Rock. Eviolite SD Drilbur and Sandshrew both are insane sweepers considering their bulk and their ability to outspeed the entire metagame. Hippo and Lileep combine to form a pretty solid defensive core, especially with Lileep's tremendous special bulk in sand. Pawniard acts as a offensive Snover check as it can pursuit trap it while Tentacool acts as the defensive Snover check when you don't want to risk Pawniard to a potential Hidden Power. Pawniard also leverages its good typing and access to knock off to check a myriad of threats and weaken bulky pokemon. Tentacool checks fighting types and provides Toxic Spikes support. Week 1 I had Pursuit Croagunk instead of Tentacool with enough spdef to live 2 blizzards but that was just ass lmao.



Team: BU Timburr + Diglett
Week: 4
Result: W


As the season went on I realized Timburr, particularly Bulk Up Timburr, was really fucking good in a tier with no fairy types. I added Diglett to remove poison types like Tentacool and help support Timburr as well as allow Tentacool to toxic spike freely. Snover was the scarfer of choice as it gave me a sand check and the residual damage of hail+Tspikes would go a long way in chipping down the opposition. Misdreavus is the best pokemon in the tier and belongs on every single BWLC team unless you're using double rush. I opted for a classic NP set on this team. Bronzor is a cool rocker in BW because of the lack of knock off and Steels extra resistances.
Team: Volturn
Week: 5
Result: W


This is the team that got shambled but fortunately it was still able to come through.
I wanted to use Foongus because the feeling of sporing something and then stun sporing the switch the next turn makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I decided to build with a volturn core of Magnemite+Vullaby because dcae kept whopping me with scarf Vullaby in tests. Trapper mag removes steels and Vullaby can start plowing through. Pretty standard stuff, Misdreavus+Timburr are brokens and formed a set up tandem while Foongus + Tirtouga made up the defensive backbone. This team's weak to sand, but then again, every team is. I also wasn't expecting sand that week.

Team: Dark Spam
Week: Semifinals
Result: W


Something that caught my eye was Sandile, its one of the few pokemon that can threaten an OHKO on Misdreavus while also having the ability to pursuit trap it. I doubled down on that idea and decided to go with dark spam with Scarf Moxie Sandile as the finisher. Knock Off + Taunt Mienfoo is Mienfoos best set and is instrumental at controlling the game's momentum while also weakening bulky dudes like Foongus for a Sandile sweep. This team was a bit weak to fighting types so I opted for Destiny Bond on Misdreavus to lure and Remove stuff like Payback Timburr. Double scarf is rather unconventional, but I needed a sand check so Snover looked like a good option.
Team: Clam Slam
Week; Finals
Result: W


For finals, I decided to use an offensive core of SD Pawniard and Clamperl. I really liked the idea of Clamperl because in a relatively slow tier like BWLC it downright abuses bulky cores while also deterring scarfers like Snover. SD Pawniard is a lot less explosive but uses its typing to find a lot of set up opportunities. I reused some concepts like Foongus+Tirtouga and Taunt+Knock Mienfoo because they perform well in almost every game. Choice Scarf Misdreavus was used instead of standard NP because i needed some speed control and I was weak to double rush sand so I wanted something to at least outspeed and lure Sandshrew.


Squirtled Squad: LCPL Champions
Personal Record: 8-1
Overall, I was satisfied with this season (well duh we won lcpl) and it was cool to play a tier I've never played before and the team was really fun to be on. Team FAlRY was unfortunate but the season was still a success despite him. Shoutouts to all of Squirtle Squad, dcae for building and testing and team support and scouting especially in the semifinals, and also to Levi and Trash for bwlc teambuilding and test games. Sand broke btw. Also if you see Protect on something and you don't know why, its for Prankster Roar Riolu.




 

sister

Banned deucer.
Why Diglett is Healthy For the Little Cup Metagame

Another Great Post by Award-Winning User: sister

I recently read through Corporal Levi's Top 10 most metagame-influential Pokemon list and wanted to make my own, it was an idea I was toying around with for a while and was curious to see how it would change after being adapted to the current meta. Not that many changes have went down since it was posted back in March, but it could be interesting to see. My first few drafts had, of course, Mienfoo at the top. I don't think I have to explain why. I think Diglett was originally around 4th. But each time I came back to the idea Diglett rose more and more, and as I continue to sink my teeth into teambuilding and battling in this LC meta, I'm starting to appreciate how Diglett influences the metagame in a positive way.

Diglett is perhaps the meta's most controversial Pokemon. Many believe it should be banned. And that isn't surprising, really. Trapping abilities, Arena Trap and Shadow Tag, have been the source of pages of debate within Smogon these past few months. It all resulted in the abilities being banned in OU. The big argument you usually see regarding them focus on their inability to be countered. And that is true, when a Pokemon with either ability is on the field- with some exceptions- they cannot switch out, removing all possible counterplay. The argument against that argument is that Pokemon is not something you can take turn by turn. To succeed in a Pokemon match, you have to be thinking two, three, even ten turns ahead. The endgame has to be constantly on your mind, and you have to factor in both your and your enemy's wincons, and the conditions that need to be set up for either to win.

With all this in mind, my final Top 10 Most Influential Little Cup Pokemon list (a names sounds like a bad watchmojo video), had Diglett at number 1. I don't think I need to go too in depth into what exactly makes Diglett so good. Arena Trap on a Pokemon that outspeeds the entire unboosted metagame, with a decent attack and movepool to boot. As a result you have a Pokemon who, despite puny 10/25/45 defenses, provides so much defensive utility to a team that it makes the likes of Onix and Foongus flush with envy.

Diglett's presence in the metagame is killer for anything that is weak to its Earthquake. Electric, Poison, Steel and Rock types tremble before the almighty mole. Diglett's solid movepool and power means it can be tailored to take out any threat your team might need, from Abra with Beat Up to Shell Smashers with a Choice Scarf. But what I'm mostly going to be focusing on its seemingly most popular set: Tectonic Rage.

Tectonic Rage gives Diglett a one-off 180 base power STAB nuke to launch off. Lets look at the calcs:

236 Atk Diglett Tectonic Rage (180 BP) vs. 156 HP / 116+ Def Eviolite Mienfoo: 15-18 (65.2 - 78.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
236 Atk Diglett Tectonic Rage (180 BP) vs. 124 HP / 156+ Def Eviolite Foongus: 15-18 (60 - 72%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
236 Atk Diglett Tectonic Rage (180 BP) vs. 212 HP / 196+ Def Eviolite Spritzee: 13-16 (48.1 - 59.2%) -- 85.9% chance to 2HKO
236 Atk Diglett Tectonic Rage (180 BP) vs. 0 HP / 156 Def Eviolite Timburr: 15-18 (62.5 - 75%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
236 Atk Diglett Tectonic Rage (180 BP) vs. 84 HP / 108+ Def Eviolite Ferroseed: 12-15 (54.5 - 68.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
236 Atk Diglett Tectonic Rage (180 BP) vs. 116 HP / 76 Def Eviolite Slowpoke: 15-18 (55.5 - 66.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
236 Atk Diglett Tectonic Rage (180 BP) vs. 36 HP / 116+ Def Snubbull: 21-25 (91.3 - 108.6%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO
236 Atk Diglett Tectonic Rage (180 BP) vs. 116 HP / 36 Def Eviolite Mudbray: 15-18 (60 - 72%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Ok, not the most impressive calcs, I know. But look closer and you'll see something all those calcs have in common: Eviolite. This leads me to my next point: Knock Off.

As you're all aware, Knock Off is great. It's probably the best move in the metagame right now. Not only does it deal a decent amount of damage, but it's chucks away the targets item. It goes without saying why thats amazing in LC metagame, where a lot of Pokemon rely on their Eviolites and their Berry Juices to keep up their defensive pressure. There are some games that simply come down to who gets their eviolites knocked off. For example, a knocked off eviolite means the difference between Carvanha OHKOing Foongus from full HP and not. That might not sound like a big deal, but when that Foongus is the only thing standing between your opponent and their sweep, it makes all the difference.

This has obvious implications for every Pokemon, but applying it to Diglett's Tectrage set is an important consideration. All the calcs above turn into OHKO or highly-likely OHKOs after the Pokemon's item has been knocked off. This puts the Diglett user and their opponent in a weird sort of stand-off. One where both players have to weigh the importance of their Knock Offs and their Knock Off-ers and Knock Off-ees. Sometimes getting a Knock Off is so important that its worth sacrificing your own Pokemon.

Of course, this doesn't extend just to Knock Off, that is perhaps just the most straight-forward way to do it. Take the damage roll on Foongus- 60-72%. It's not a OHKO, but it's still a lot of damage. Get Foongus to a position where its in that KO range and it becomes automatic Diglett bait. Admittedly not an easy task, but consider this match from LCPL 7, dcae vs. Plasmagby: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-740234870

It was a good match by both but in the end it was Plasmagby who took the W. One of the most critical parts of the match was on Turn 16, when Plas' Tectrage Diglett KOs dcae's Foongus. Unless you snag a majorly risky prediction, switching Diglett onto a Foongus is a terrible idea. So how do you get your Dig in against a weakened Foongus? You can see the steps Plas takes to get to this position. It may have started when NOT leaving in a weakened Tirtouga to die. It would have been easy to let Tirtouga die to snag momentum back from Mienfoo, instead the decision was made not to so, even if meant potentially sacrificing Vullaby. Now, I'm not in Plas's head, so I can't for certain, but I think this was one of the steps he took to set up removing Foongus. Foongus is clearly a big problem for Plas's team, having a positive or neutral match-ups against 5 of his mons, so removing it was definitely important. Saving Tirtouga's death to pivot from a Foongus war to Diglett Z-rage was pretty smart, in my opinion, and shows the complexity of using Diglett effectively.

It's this complexity that makes Pokemon so interesting to me and why I'm so excited to see more of Little Cup. The meta isn't perfect right now, but I think Diglett brings it to a compelling place. In a game full of random chance and unpredictability, its nice to have something so consistent and calculable. Also it fucks over Foongus which is really great seriously fuck that thing.

And all of this is not even considering its other sets. I especially like the Choice Scarf, it has a good surprise value and snags kills on things that otherwise don a scarf to beat Diglett. It's a little cheeky I guess and sometimes Diglett misses the nuke of Tectonic Rage, but pairs really well with mons like Wingull and Corphish.

All in all, Diglett's effect on the meta, both in teambuilding and in the meta is incredibly evident. Whether or not it is more so then Mienfoo is indeed debatable- I'd probably be inclined to say Mienfoo because even its bulkier sets can run circles around unprepared teams, while Diglett is held back by its lower attack. That said, I think Diglett puts us in a good spot, and I look forward to seeing how the meta continues to develop throughout the next year. I mean it's probably going to be a whole year until GF graces us with Gen 8 so, either way, we're stuck with it.

Also sorry for killing the meme streak.
 
Many interesting metagame formats exist for LC but unfortunately most of them are both underplayed and underdeveloped.
Great examples include LC monotype, LC inverse, LC Ubers, LC UU and to some extent old gens LC formats.

I'd suggest creating a forum thread for LC other metagame of the month. This way we could play and develop fresh LC based metagames which would be appreciated as the current LC meta isn't really changing anymore.
 
Hello there guys, I'm new to the competitive scene of the Pokémon games and am checking things out here and there. I have a question about a LC ban. I just made an account on Showdown and after creating an anything goes team, I proceeded with trying a LC team. But the second Pokémon I wanted to add, was banned - Vulpix *cries a river*. So I looked around and I saw the reason was Drought... so, is there a reason why Flash Fire Vulpix is also banned and not only Drought Vulpix? That would make more sense to me as a complete noob who just wants to use their favorite cute little fire foxy.
Or are all bans seriously just, if one setup of a Pokémon would get them banned, the Pokémon is banned entirely? That's so sad :(

Speaking of bans, is it possible to check a division's/tier's full ban list in PS! directly? Could not find such an option.

Thanks in advance!
 

Altariel von Sweep

Yoooo Mista!
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Hello there guys, I'm new to the competitive scene of the Pokémon games and am checking things out here and there. I have a question about a LC ban. I just made an account on Showdown and after creating an anything goes team, I proceeded with trying a LC team. But the second Pokémon I wanted to add, was banned - Vulpix *cries a river*. So I looked around and I saw the reason was Drought... so, is there a reason why Flash Fire Vulpix is also banned and not only Drought Vulpix? That would make more sense to me as a complete noob who just wants to use their favorite cute little fire foxy.
Or are all bans seriously just, if one setup of a Pokémon would get them banned, the Pokémon is banned entirely? That's so sad :(

Speaking of bans, is it possible to check a division's/tier's full ban list in PS! directly? Could not find such an option.

Thanks in advance!
Our ban policy attaches to banning the bad element, not the element that makes said Pokemon a bad element (in brief words, we try to avoid complex bans). Vulpix case is quite specific, as it was the only Pokémon with Drought in the metagame, so banning it considering the actual system was correct. Regarding banlists, doing /tier [tier's name] shows you the ruleset/banlist it follows. Hope it helped!
 
Hello there guys, I'm new to the competitive scene of the Pokémon games and am checking things out here and there. I have a question about a LC ban. I just made an account on Showdown and after creating an anything goes team, I proceeded with trying a LC team. But the second Pokémon I wanted to add, was banned - Vulpix *cries a river*. So I looked around and I saw the reason was Drought... so, is there a reason why Flash Fire Vulpix is also banned and not only Drought Vulpix? That would make more sense to me as a complete noob who just wants to use their favorite cute little fire foxy.
Or are all bans seriously just, if one setup of a Pokémon would get them banned, the Pokémon is banned entirely? That's so sad :(

Speaking of bans, is it possible to check a division's/tier's full ban list in PS! directly? Could not find such an option.

Thanks in advance!
Well the policy tries to simplify the bans as much as possible. In the case of Vulpix it's easier to ban the pokemon rather then the ability as the only defining feature of Vulpix was it's ability to set Drought, without it there is no viable feature really worth using it for.
For example when you start to play LC or any other meta you did have to learn which of many combinations did be banned had we gone the route of banning say, recycle on drifloon or baton pass on Cutiefly. It's much easier to ban the pokemon then leave a pokemon without it's defining features and have a cluster of complex bans.
 
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Alright, thanks for explaining. It's still hard for me to understand why ' anyone could do this!', but that's seriously just bias talking, Vulpix being in my top 10 favorite pokemon after and all that ;) I understand your reasoning. But this does mean I could only use it in Anything Goes then, in which it would proceed to get absolutely demolished.
Guess I need to find some friends to battle with in friendly matches using Vulpix. Flash Fire, Drought, I don't care :P

Thanks for the quick replies!
 

sister

Banned deucer.
Alright, thanks for explaining. It's still hard for me to understand why ' anyone could do this!', but that's seriously just bias talking, Vulpix being in my top 10 favorite pokemon after and all that ;) I understand your reasoning. But this does mean I could only use it in Anything Goes then, in which it would proceed to get absolutely demolished.
Guess I need to find some friends to battle with in friendly matches using Vulpix. Flash Fire, Drought, I don't care :P

Thanks for the quick replies!
LC Ubers is a LC-OM that allows any LC-legal Pokemon to be used, so you could use Vulpix there. There is no way to play it officially on PS, though, but ask around in the discord or LC room and you might find someone interested in battling.
 
LC Ubers is a LC-OM that allows any LC-legal Pokemon to be used, so you could use Vulpix there. There is no way to play it officially on PS, though, but ask around in the discord or LC room and you might find someone interested in battling.
Ah, thanks again :D
 
Hello there guys, I'm new to the competitive scene of the Pokémon games and am checking things out here and there. I have a question about a LC ban. I just made an account on Showdown and after creating an anything goes team, I proceeded with trying a LC team. But the second Pokémon I wanted to add, was banned - Vulpix *cries a river*. So I looked around and I saw the reason was Drought... so, is there a reason why Flash Fire Vulpix is also banned and not only Drought Vulpix? That would make more sense to me as a complete noob who just wants to use their favorite cute little fire foxy.
Or are all bans seriously just, if one setup of a Pokémon would get them banned, the Pokémon is banned entirely? That's so sad :(

Speaking of bans, is it possible to check a division's/tier's full ban list in PS! directly? Could not find such an option.

Thanks in advance!
Here's also the lc ban list with ban reasons for each mon
 
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Why Diglett is Unhealthy for the LC Metagame
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So, first of all, I guess this is a response to sister's post earlier in this thread, certain council conversations, and general rumblings about Diglett’s effect on the metagame. This might seem like it’s coming out of nowhere but I assure you these have been thoughts I’ve had for a long time, and despite my recent relative inactivity when it comes to LC, I believe these ideas still ring true.

Diglett has been a divisive topic essentially the entire generation thus far, and was even suspected multiple times last generation. At this point, I believe we all know what Diglett does in a general sense: traps and kills shit. It won’t be sweeping your team, and obviously, it has the defensive clout of a paper bag. It doesn’t need to be these things though due to how powerful of a support Pokemon it is. It is my opinion that Diglett is the single strongest support pokemon any metagame has ever seen, beyond Dugtrio in OU, Wobbuffett when it was allowed in DPP OU, and any other support you can think of. My issue is that we are failing to see the negative impact this is having on our metagame simply due to it having been in the metagame for so long. We’ve simply accepted the idea of living with it. I don’t want this claim to be just a shout in the wind, though, and as such I’ve compiled a list of concrete ideas that depict why I believe this to be.

Speed and Power

If you did not already know, Diglett is the fastest non-boosted pokemon in LC, only rivaled by Elekid. This is to say that in a metagame that puts so much emphasis on speed tiers, there is not a single pokemon that doesn’t run the risk of being trapped by Diglett other than Elekid and Flyers / Levitators. Right off the bat, this is an insane thing to think about. Any other trapper in any other meta (of which all of the dominant ones have been banned, mind you) fails to be able to make this claim, and due to this fact, had to pick and choose fairly specifically when and what they would trap. Dig doesn’t have this problem, because if you get it in safely, you will be outspeeding something most likely, and you will have the chance to fire off a nuke in the form of z-eq. I say nuke because that is exactly what it is. Sister already posted some important calcs earlier in the thread so I won’t bother reposting, but I’ll say doing 50% to Spritzee, possibly the bulkiest pokemon in the metagame, with its eviolite intact is not to be taken lightly. And that’s with eviolite intact, because otherwise lord have mercy there is next to nothing that can take that Z-eq comfortably. This means that Diglett isn’t just choosing ground weak mons like Dug did in OU, or defensive momentum suckers like Goth was so happy to see, it literally has the potential to get rid of any singular threat you might want gone from a match as long as you set it up right.

Consistency

Not veering too far away from my initial point, I believe Diglett’s speed, power, and obviously its ability make it one of the most consistent support pokemon there is. As stated, all that is needed for Diglett to do it’s job is to enter the battlefield without dying, which is definitely not as hard as it might seem. Yes, Diglett is piss weak defensively, but by utilizing U-turn from Mienfoo, Vullaby (the two most dominant mons in the metagame), or anything else, smart doubles, or even weak knock offs / sludge bombs, there are definitely ways to get Diglett in on a game-in, game-out basis. From there, it’s going to do it’s job almost every time: trap something and kill it, or at least severely neuter it. I really don’t know what’s more consistent than having a pokemon that outspeeds everything else and doesn’t allow them to switch, that’s essentially the definition of a consistency.

Lose / Lose Situations

I sort of alluded to some possible partners previously by mentioning Mienfoo and Vullaby, but Diglett partners are nothing new as a concept. We’ve had FletchDig, ShellDig, LoonDig, and *insert any mon here*Dig. The point is, there is not a single Pokemon who doesn’t benefit with having Diglett around to get rid of would-be threats. This sort of relationship is only exasperated when the Pokemon on the receiving end of that support is as dominant as Mienfoo or Vullaby, or as strong as Shellder / Clamperl. These types of pokemon force you into certain situations and specific moves due to the sheer fact of how strong they are. Playing vs these mons is already tough enough, but throw on the fact that you can’t switch Mareanie in, your perfect Mienfoo check, in because shit the opponent has Diglett and that makes playing vs these top tier mons almost impossible. The same can be said for Vullaby, or Bunnelby , or name any strong pokemon. When the opponent has a Diglett, yes I get it forces you to “think more”, but there’s a difference between promoting good thought processes and deciding between what poison you would like to drink. Diglett limits the amount of moves you can make and even the amount of pokemon you can feasibly run on a team to absurd amounts, to the point where I don’t think it promotes good play, but rather puts players in a corner.

Complete Invalidation of Certain Pokemon

While metagame trends are always going to be a thing, and obviously some pokemon are gonna be better than others, I believe Diglett restricts the usage of pokemon more than any other LC mon, and it’s not even close. Why isn’t Trubbish a thing? We all know how good spikes are, damn this mon soaks up knock that’s cool, fighting check I’m in, and even a nice 17 spe tier to top it all off. But wait, it’s complete Diglett bait, so nope not running that. I’d love to be able to run bulky Larvesta to cockblock those mienfoo’s, but yknow what scares me more than stealth rocks when running this thing, a mienfoo uturning out into a rock slide diglett. There’s many more examples of this, but it doesn’t even stop at completely eliminating mons from usage, the effects of Dig can be seen in certain sets pokemon run as well. For essentially all other purposes, SturdyJuice Onix should be the dominant set. It basically has three lives, being able to check almost any offensive threat in the meta reasonably well, and gets rocks up with ease. Unfortunately, sturdy Onix is too susceptible to Dig, so if you want your physical Vulla check to stay around, you’re probs running weak armor. Ponyta is another example. A mon with great power, very good defensive stats, the speed to back it all up, and well, there’s no reason to run it unless you’re running flame charge / z sunny day coz Dig. What’re you giving up? Healing / longevity or coverage? You can’t even reasonably run Offensive Staryu because that shit’s getting trapped by Dig. The point is that no other pokemon in the metagame comes even remotely close to working the metagame in this way, and it all goes back to Diglett not allowing you to do a fundamental part of competitive pokemon by switching out. It is incredibly hard to get your top tier win cons, offensive threats, or even defensive checks to work on a consistent basis with Dig around, let alone mid-tier pokemon, which just continues to siphon the metagame into the haves and the have nots.

Common Retorts

While those are my main points in a nutshell, I’d like to also reference some common arguments against a Diglett ban so that I can get ahead of the game and show that I am indeed trying to understand why Diglett shouldn’t be banned. For starters, and not to specifically call you out sister but you were the one to post your reasoning in the thread, the recent post about why Diglett is good for the metagame… failed to actually state why it’s good for the metagame. The first 75% of it actually seems to fall more on the side of pro-ban than not, and the last 25% is best summed up as “and this is why diglett is good for the meta”, without any concrete proof or statements that I can point to that you indeed proved your point. The only really salient point I could find as to why you might think this way is when you stated “its nice to have something so consistent and calculable. Also it fucks over Foongus which is really great seriously fuck that thing.” Well, I firmly believe consistency is part of why Diglett is broken, and I don’t think Dig “fucks over Foon”, as you mentioned yourself it takes quite the amount of maneuvering to get in that position, and despite that fact what a mon checks or doesn’t check should have no baring on whether it’s banned or not

Moving away from that specific post, there are also some other common arguments made pro-Diglett that I’d like to address. One of the most ubiquitous ones is that Diglett is hard to get in due to it’s poor defenses. While yes, in a vacuum this is true, in the metagame we play today I find there is really no excuse, unless you play really bad, to not get Diglett in safely and trap what you want to trap. The u-turners in this metagame are too good and if we’re talking about high level play here I’m sorry these players will find a way to get it in on a double or something or some convoluted play like Snubbull behind a sub forcing a Sludge bomb or w/e.

The second main thing I hear a lot, especially from council members, is the fact that it would simply be dumb to do another Diglett suspect because it was suspected before and was not fruitful. To me this is flawed logic. Sorry I am not a logic major, but simply because something wasn’t voted as a majority a time before doesn’t make it automatically right, it only means at that specific time and for those specific voters it wasn’t deemed appropriate. If you live in the United States, which I’m assuming a lot of you do or have similar ways of passing laws in your own country, then take the example of how a bill is passed. Rarely do these pass the first go around, and many take countless tries and continual effort to pass, and when they do it’s often by small margins. What they don’t do is throw these proposals in the trash never to be heard from again. What’s right is right, and if it takes countless tries to get to where we should be, then keep them coming. Now, if you don’t think it’s the right course of action, then by all means fight it, but don’t stifle attempts for change simply because change wasn’t deemed right in the past. I think this is a pretty basic concept tbh, and for those worried about pissing off voters in the past, sentiments change, and if the logic behind keeping Diglett in the meta is so sound, then what’s there to be afraid of with another suspect?

Lastly, something I hear a lot is that Diglett is "good" for the metagame. I don't have much retort to this idea as much as I do questions. I've heard this idea spread around, but largely with nothing to substantiate its claim. If anyone firmly believes Diglett is in fact good for the metagame, I'd be happy to hear as to what positives it brings to the table because from my point of view the restrictiveness it harbors mostly brings negative ramifications.

---

To conclude, while I do believe Diglett is worthy of a ban and has been for a long time, I really respect the opinions of others on this matter, especially those who think they have an even better grasp of the meta than I do atm (snake players for example). I am not trying to pass my thoughts off as fact, but rather to ignite an exchange of thoughts into something I think is long overdue for a formal discussion, so please feel free to reply and pick my thoughts apart.
 
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Merritt

literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
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Lastly, something I hear a lot is that Diglett is "good" for the metagame. I don't have much retort to this idea as much as I do questions. I've heard this idea spread around, but largely with nothing to substantiate its claim. If anyone firmly believes Diglett is in fact good for the metagame, I'd be happy to hear as to what positives it brings to the table because from my point of the view the restrictiveness it harbors mostly brings negative ramifications.
Sure thing.

I'm very firmly of the belief that Diglett isn't broken or unhealthy for LC, just very good. However, I want to address this specific part since it's one of my strongest feelings for why Diglett shouldn't be banned.

There's two main things that Diglett provides that I feel are good for LC. Diglett provides a consistent way to guarantee removal of dangerous Pokemon who are otherwise difficult to actually KO - think Pursuit Trapping but better. Diglett also helps keep some Pokemon not just down but nearly non-existent which I'd also say is definitely desirable in LC. I'll start with why I believe the first is important, then move to the second.

First, guaranteed KOs. Diglett provides strong, tangible counterplay to the "bulky Pokemon that sticks around forever" trope that's existed ever since BW and Eviolite dropped. This is Pokemon like Mienfoo, Foongus, even Pawniard and Spritzee to an extent. For Mienfoo and Foongus a lot of points as to why Regenerator isn't exactly the most balanced thing ever were brought up (although Regenerator shouldn't be banned either), and Diglett's presence forces Mienfoo and Foongus to play more conservatively after they've been weakened, rather than being able to continuously wear down the opponent while not suffering similarly.

Responses to this might include examples of other metagames, where bulky Pokemon who stick around for a long time are prevalent in stall and how that, while subjectively 'unfun', isn't unhealthy. The different lies in the fact that the bulky LC Pokemon in question are nowhere near as passive as stallmons usually are - Mienfoo, Foongus, and Spritzee are all rather powerful and can actively win games as opposed to the "not losing" that stall attempts to do. Diglett allows playstyles like HO to overcome balance or bulky offense, rather than having to fight and be taken out by a Pokemon that refuses to die.

The second one is related to reducing diversity. While people might complain that LC looks very samey, that there's no room for experimentation, or that there's no reason to use lesser seen Pokemon, I definitely disagree with that and encourage you to actually try and break the mold yourself before giving up. We've seen Clamperl be rediscovered and rise to prominence, Tirtouga not be considered just "Onix/Kabuto but better vs Torchic", and even Drowzee used successfully. Having a Pokemon work to moderate levels of success is not a particularly high bar to achieve, even in LC's current state.

LC has over 250 legal Pokemon. While more than a quarter of those Pokemon are directly outclassed in every way or are unusable (things like Weedle or Fomantis), many more fill the spot of "usable with some team support". Pokemon like Cyndaquil, Binacle, Skrelp, Blitzle, all of them can be used, they just aren't as good generally speaking. However, Diglett keeps many of them in check hard enough that they won't be used, making the teambuilding burden of checking them significantly lessened. There's a claim that Diglett puts a heavy burden on teambuilding - imagine how much more you'd have to stretch to account for Z-move Skrelp, bulky 2 move coverage Ponyta and Larvesta, NP 3 attack salandit, recycle Magnemite being used even more, bulky chou, voltturn being absolutely everywhere, ect ect. Diglett means you can't easily use some Pokemon, yes, but it also means there's a low risk that you'll have to fight them. And there's a lot more potential threats than there are slots to cover them all.

While increasing diversity isn't a bad goal for a meta, having it as the reason for banning something should only be if the meta has reached an extreme level of centralization or lack of ability to use different Pokemon successfully. LC is not at that level.

On a more personal level, I also speak from the time we did a suspect test and banned Diglett from the ladder. While this was in another gen and things could certainly have changed since then, I have not so fond memories of that incredibly shitty metagame where fat things didn't die for ages, burns were spread freely, and if you went two games without encountering half a team of voltturn mons you were lucky.

These are the main reasons behind why I believe Diglett is healthy for the metagame, although they're not the only (or even main) reasons I think Diglett shouldn't be banned.
 

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