Metagame Metagame Discussion Thread

You're not necessarily wrong that checking Abra becomes a lot easier with Arena Trap gone, but that's because AGrimer, Scarf Magnemite, and Pawniard become easier to use. Onix is already good but not exactly a great Abra check while Elekid and Meowth probably won't be great even with ATrap banned, and they're definitely not the best Abra answers.

Yeah I know this post is sorta short but I don't have much else to say. My preference goes to testing Arena Trap before Abra but honestly both would solve the issue in the short term. Arena Trap is just better long term imo.
I actually disagree with the first part of this post; the removal of Diglett and Trapinch would absolutely not make reliably checking abra a lot easier considering that these two pokemon, especially diglett, are the most reliable ways of dealing with abra currently because of the formers ability to use beat up and the latter's ability to take a hit. Their removal would make grimer and pursuit pawniard less of a liability to use, sure, but I think people are massively overlooking the existing problems that these two pokemon have checking AbraGast even ignoring the existence of trappers. Both are considerably less reliable than Trapinch and diglett at dealing with Abra and Gastly because of their ability to use Counter and Destiny Bond, respectively. Once either mon has taken down the pursuit trapper, their counterpart becomes very difficult for the opposing team to deal with.

I know that saying that one mon if banned would hypothetically make another one too powerful is frowned upon, but I think this is an instance where it reveals Abra as the problematic part of the core, not trappers.
 

sister

Banned deucer.
I'm not really used to posting a lot and I really don't claim to have an excellent level, but I think that suspect Abra would be extremely dangerous for the metagame.

The fact is that the GastBra core is indeed very powerful at the moment, that's a fact and you only have to look at the LCWC usages to be convinced. However....

I think it would open a Pandora's box to talk about banning Abra. I think very seriously that Abra is a mon that cannot be banned from the LC without completely unbalancing the third. Paradoxically, I think that banning Abra would be a huge victory for heavy offense players.

My overall reasoning would be as follows: in LC, the speeds are quite low, and more or less any boosted pokémon can exceed the entire metagame without scarf. In parallel, wallbreakers are quite numerous and extremely powerful for the third in terms of pure statistics, like Bunnelby / Scraggy / Omanyte / Zigzagoon / Clamperl. Pokémon like Clamperl and Zigzaton can OHKO more or less all the big walls of the tier after a boost depending on their set. To make it short, you only have scarf users and priorities to revenge kill them. But you also have Abra.

For all these pokémon, Abra is a real thorn in the side. Abra's simple vision in the preview team forces heavy offense players to play in a much more cautious and thoughtful way, delaying their placement. Even without being a sash, it greatly influences the game by its very presence. Indeed, many heavy offense lacking defensive solidity, the time lost to delay the placement of a pokémon because of Abra often allows the balanced to be able to keep the momentum, which balances the match-up.

Ban Abra is a huge boost for all the boosting threats in the tier. With a Z-Move, it is now quite easy to destroy any wall supposed to "counter" a pokémon. I don't claim to be a "good player" at all, on the contrary, nevertheless to be a player used to playing very aggressive teams, I have the impression that Abra is really the keystone of the metagame, probably even more than a pokémon like Mienfoo.

You will certainly tell me that these pokémons will always keep countermeasures; yes, they will. Nevertheless, because I play from time to time extremely aggressive teams, especially on the high ladder (which is absolutely not a level reference, I understand it) based on spam of extremely powerful wincons (eg Scraggy + Shellder + Zigzagoon), the fact is that most LC walls do not survive taking several wincon in succession. And I really don't think it's just a matter of how well you play or not, it's just that if the player who plays the defense misses an anticipation or takes the haxx at the wrong time, it can finish a game.

Abra, by his offensive presence and his aspect of "safety net" is probably one of the best regulators of the metagame against this kind of team. I really fear that banning it could open the cage to lions, and eventually force players to run things such as scarf diglett more and more often, at the best. In the worst case, that this ban may result in a completely unbalanced and overly offensive metagame. Because in general, the best way to stop a pokemon that has been boosted in LC is not to be able to takes its blows (often, it is difficult to do so) but rather to have something to revenge kill it. Hence my theory that Abra's ban would lead to an extremely offensive metagame, with an increasing number of priorities and scarf choices, to compensate to compensate for the new power of offensive threats such as Clamperl, Omanyte, Scraggy...etc

Of course, you will certainly tell me that it is only theoretical, and you will be right. I do not claim to be right here, I may be totally wrong. Simply, no matter how much I think about it, I have a hard time imagining that a possible abra ban would have more of a positive impact than a negative one.
Suspecting Arena Trap makes a lot more sense to me. In fact, I would say more that it would be less damaging to suspect Arena Trap for the metagame than Abra.
Banning Abra would certainly pave the way for more offensive set-up sweepers becoming prominent, but my assessment of that possibility is much more optimistic than yours. In my opinion, the fact that Abra is a blanket check for so many threats is exactly why it should be banned. Abra's presence auto makes most set up sweepers unviable because getting around Abra is so frustrating and limiting.

I think you are overestimating the extent which sweepers and wallbreakers will break the meta. The best way to beat a set up sweeper is to either A) Prevent the set up or B) Set up first. I find the clash between two players fighting to set up their win con first to be much more compelling than holding your Abra in the back to prevent the player from making any moves.

Anyway, I also disagree with the assertation that banning trappers is better for the long-term success of the metagame vs. banning Abra. In the context of LC, trapping is a team support method. Trappers trap a threat that needs to be removed for a another threat to move in. Basically, the less threats to take advantage of trapper's services, the less of a grip they'll have on the metagame.

Obviously, there will always be a top threat for trappers to support; but none will be as limiting and overall as powerful as Abra. In my opinion, Abra is definitely the ring leader in the Gastbra mob.

All that said I definitely agree that trapping should be looked at it very closely due to all the reasons others have shared above.
 

Sken

pink matter
is a Tiering Contributor
I'm not going to take part in this for now but I just wanted to point out that the focus of the discussion should be the current state of little cup and the possible issues it could or could not have rather than how removing A or B from the tier would affect it since this is just theorizing and doesn't really lead anywhere

oh and please avoid double posting :pimp:
 
I've remembered something that I've been wanting to talk about for a while. I realize that it may be a departure from the discussion we're having currently, but I'd like to make this argument now as I predict that LC will be discussing suspects of Abra and BP for a while and I want this to happen before gen 8.

At the beginning of SM I think that people were still in the process of figuring out what works in this meta, and one of the things that arose quickly were heavy usage of mons like staryu, foongus and mareanie, all of which fell victim to a set that had very recently been popularized: CM RestTalk Gothita. Gothita was subsequently banned as at the time people held that defensive cores just could not handle this set; it warped the meta too much. I believe that regardless of whether or not you think that it was justifiably banned at the time, it is undeniable that the metagame has shifted since then to a point where goth would have a radically different role in the meta. I think it is worth examining what kind of pokemon gothita would be in this current meta, considering how different the metagame that it got banned in was.

Sets:
I think it is fair to say that gothita was banned because of the CM rest set as opposed to scarf set that was more popular in ORAS. I'm going to go into theorymonning a bit here, but I believe that because of the rise of offense recently that CM gothita would really suffer, and while the set would still exist it would not overshadow CM gothita in the way that it did at the beginning of oras. I'll quickly go over the pokemon that CM gothita was banned for trapping and how they've changed over time.
Foongus: While foongus has remained more dominant than some of the other pokemon I will soon mention, its usage has been declining at high levels of play recently as cores that are not hindered by it continue to rise.
Spritzee: Spritzee has likewise become more rare over time, and the set that has rose to more prominence recently is the Nasty Plot set, one that doesn't particularly care about CM gothita in the same way that the wish set does.
Staryu: Staryu was incredibly prominent at the beginning of SM and really fell from grace for a long time. Its been coming back recently with offensive z sets and LO sets but its not an integral part of many defensive cores anymore.
Mareanie: Mareanie has remained fairly consistent over time (except at the beginning when people were just trying it out), falling a little in popularity recently. It has never really been super prominent, though it has had periodical fads over time.
Gothita can trap other pokemon like croagunk and abra but these pokemon are either obscure to begin with, or weren't integral to defensive cores in the way that these four pokemon are. I think that the meta, with the exception of foongus, has shifted away from these defensive cores making CM gothita much less good than it used to be at dismantling defensive cores consistently. I'm going to evidence this in the best way that I can considering that goth has not been in our meta for years: by going through recent high level replays to see how it affects common builds. To avoid selection bias, I'm just going to go through the last few exhibition games.

Replays:
Replay #1: Luthier vs TCR
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-850262789

Here we see a sticky web offense team against a fairly standard trapinch balance team.
Scarf Gothita: Against sticky webs scarf gothita is going to have more trouble than usual being effective, it would likely play a role in either killing a weakened unboosted corphish with thunderbolt or weakening abra. Against Luthier it has a choice of revenging Timburr, Mareanie, Abra or a weakened Vullaby, but is liable to be revenged by Trapinch, especially in the case of the latter two. 236+ SpA Gothita Psychic vs. 156 HP / 76 SpD Trapinch: 13-16 (56.5 - 69.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO, Earthquake + Feint will KO barring a very rare low roll
CM Gothita: CM Gothita can trap surskit or abra on TCR's team at the cost of signifigant momentum, and can trap a mareanie at the risk of getting knocked off, abra and a weakened timburr on Luthier's team. If it does not boost or is knocked off it cannot sufficiently threaten trapinch enough to avoid getting trapped. 0 SpA Gothita Psychic vs. 156 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Trapinch: 7-9 (30.4 - 39.1%) -- 17.6% chance to 3HKO. The rolls are identical on the specially defensive variant.

Replay #2: LilyAC vs London13
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-850239012

Two very standard teams, one with a PonyPinch core and the other with the dreaded AbraGastTrapper.
Scarf Gothita: This set can revenge a weakened mienfoo or foongus on both teams, and can additionally revenge abra on london's team or a weakened vullaby on Lily's team. It is then liable to be revenged by trapinch
CM Gothita: It can only trap foongus on Lily's team, and can trap foongus or abra on london's team.

Replay #3: Heysup vs Kingler12345
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-847065693
Two offense teams, one based around webs and the other around clamperl.
Scarf Gothita: It can trap Kingler's doduo or surskit if webs aren't up, and is really useless if they are. It can trap a weakened mienfoo on heysup's team at the risk of becoming fodder for setup.
CM Gothita: Can trap surskit on kingler's team or omanyte once the Z move is gone, but not without many hazards going up, and can't do much of anything against Heysup's team if cottonee is knock off. It can also become set up fodder for clamperl if encored into psychic.

Replay #4: Fatty vs Taranteeeeno
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-847159292
A very unusual team from fatty, a fairly standard team from Taranteeno
Scarf: Can revenge a weakened foongus, croagunk or staryu on fatty's team, and can revenge a weakened mienfoo or foongus on teeeno's team with the risk of being trapped by trapinch
CM: A rare case of a team where CM goth does shine, as it can trap half of fatty's team. It can only trap foongus on Teeeno's team.

Replay #5: Myself vs Shrug
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen7lc-410660
A fairly standard team from myself, an unusual one from Shrug.
Scarf: Has a choice of trapping a weakened timburr, vullaby, foongus, or staryu but will be trapped by diglett. On shrug's team it can trap a fighting move locked crabrawler or weakened vullaby, but might be trapped depending on the diglett variant.
CM: It can trap foongus or a weakened timburr on my own team but will likely be trapped by diglett, and can trap fighting move trapped crawbrawler or spritzee on shrug's team but will also likely be trapped.

These analyses only account for what CM gothita can actually trap, but before i'm done with this post I think its important to bring up the historic drawbacks to using CM gothita. In ORAS pawniard was run on almost every team, so using gothita to trap things was not without risk, as you really had only one attack and risked losing significant momentum. If anything this is worse in SM, as vullaby is just as prominent and arguably even more offensively threatening, and is often run in tandem with pawniard. I'd also like to point out that diglett and trapinch in most cases trap just as much or more as gothita, but they are allowed.

There are some exceptions like fatty's team, but even without consideration of the threat of gothita these teams really aren't especially weak to it, especially the more offensive ones. Gothita in oras was always good at giving trouble to slow balance (if they didn't run a pursuit trapper, which they did many times), but it wasn't broken because when building teams using it carried the significant risk of being matched up against offense. I think that the meta has shifted in such a way that this is true once again in SM; It might be good in specific matches like any mon (Fatty's team is a good example of this) but I think it's fair to say that CM Gothita is nowhere near as threatening as it was at the beginning of SM.

I will acknowledge that this is all theorymonning and I can't predict how the meta would adapt around gothita, but I think that considering these metagame shifts and considering the role that gothita might take in this very different meta, it at the very least is deserving of a retest. I'm very aware that this is somewhat of a radical opinion among some groups, but I think that much of the hostility to this proposal stems not from gothita being super problematic but from dislike of trapping in general, along with many newer users flatly not remembering what gothita was like. Much of the opposition to gothita comes from the idea of some in the lc community that the trapping mechanic is fundamentally uncompetitive. I don't see this as a justifiable reason to keep goth banned because it was banned for being broken, not uncompetitive; whether trapping is competitive or not is a seperate issue. I hypothesize that gothita would be less prevalent now than diglett and trapinch, even, but again I can't prove this without a much needed gothita retest.
 

tcr

sage of six tabs
is a Tutor Alumnusis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Live Chat Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
The reasons that Gothita was banned was that it forced an unhealthy amount of 50/50s and instituted a guessing game as to what set it had, what Pokemon it could potentially trap and KO, and thus presented too much reward for the risk involved with using it. I think Heysup put it best in the tiering thread of its initial ban, when he mentioned that it forces a 50/50 in common scenarios at the time, such as Croagunk vs Carvanha, where you're going to lose 1 mon if you predict wrong on this 50 (either something gets sacced to Carvanha as you attempt a failed double, you click vaccuum wave and kill, or Gothita traps Croagunk). I don't see how the function of what Gothita does changes in the slightest, as it still commonly breaks through common cores like FerroSpritz with ease, tailors itself to the team that its on, and facilitates easy sweeps by trapping literally any Pokemon. Yes, it can be counter trapped, but it still performs its job, essentially nullifying Pokemon like Spritzee, Foongus, Ferroseed, and other slower Pokemon.

It was also not solely banned because CM Goth invalidated defensive cores, but banned because it had insane customization. Heysup in one post mentions Sleep Talk Scarf Goth, regular Scarf Goth, CM Goth, random tech like HP Poison to deal with things like Cottonee, and in my personal interpretation this was the breaking point for Gothita. It could hold a wide variety of sets, each with different counters, and forces, like Diglett games, to have the receiving player play on the backfoot, forcing guessing games at specific turns.

Moreover you theorymon quite a bit in that post, proposing certain scenarios in a vaccuum that may not necessarily play out how you think they would. One should remember to in most instances avoid theorymonning for future metagame development, as it is entirely inaccurate. I think that posts like this should be reviewed first before any type of re-suspect. From a metagame standpoint, yes, things have changed since the early introduction of SM, however Gothita's unhealthy warping of the metagame still remains the same, because Gothita would still perform the same function as a cherrypicking trapper.
 

Coconut

W
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Okay, so I've seen this thread get some awesome attention and that's great! I'm going to quickly respond to some people's posts as I see fit. Note for the record I am currently leaning towards an Arena Trap suspect, but I am going to do my best to stay as neutral as possible when working with everyone's posts. Basically just playing devil's advocate. On that note, to show that I am unbiased, I will now pander to the Abra suspect supporters with their own diction and language.

BAN ABRA BAN ABRA GIVE THIS POST LIKES BAN ABRA.

I also need to make it clear that I don't want to act like I'm bullying the users specifically that I'm responding to, there's absolutely nothing personal in regards to what I'm saying. With that out of the way, let's begin.
arena trap is used pretty much exclusively on trapping mons weak to ground (fire/electric)
Diglett's main job is to revenge kill threats. Weakened foes that are slower, regardless of type, are the main things to be trapped. If Diglett can score a kill on it with it's paltry 15 attack, it's possible to be trapped. That includes things like Abra and Gastly with moves like Beat Up or Sucker Punch.

A banning of Abra would make those mons significantly less reliable since right now the only way to check Abra once Stealth Rocks are up is Elekid.
Elekid is not a check to Abra, it outspeeds Abra.

if your Abra is scarfed
If your abra is scarfed it should probably be deleted. Over the last few months, the ladder stats, which aren't representative of the metagame at a top level, show that Abra runs a scarf set less than 10% of the time, a very minute number. I touch on this a tad later, but it's still a really poor argument to claim a gotcha set as a reason for banning something.

Personally, I view arena trap in the same light as wingull, something I could bring without having any major drawbacks.
Bringing something like Diglett or Trapinch could potentially stack weaknesses for a team, these pokemon are not flawless by any means.
A case could be made for Arena Trap being suspected (???) but the idea of banning all trapping seems really inconsistent
This would be consistent with the rest of smogon, who mind you we haven't really followed in the past, but I don't believe it is off the table in this case.
to my knowledge no abra runs scarf, life orb is the best set currently with sash going down in usage as well.
The effect of Abra being able to run a surprise set is still viable though. Ninjadog touches on this better than I could.

but then just die instantly to trap or dig depending the threat by what im running
Putting yourself into a position to not die to Diglett is far from impossible. As long as your opposing pokemon doesn't have a myriad of coverage covered by an enormous special attack stat.

abra and yes it can sweep but it ONLY HAS 4 moves
This is the issue though. While it might suffer from 4MSS, determining the item and moves chosen is extremely difficult and could potentially cost you several mons if you happen to guess incorrectly. Futhermore, some teams rely exclusively on using these soft checks to find out what set Abra is running, putting them at an inherent disadvantage.

The fact is that the GastBra core is indeed very powerful at the moment, that's a fact and you only have to look at the LCWC usages to be convinced.
Absolutely untrue. Gastbra has been very relevant in the meta for a very long time. This is the first time, however, that it has been extremely good.
I think it would open a Pandora's box to talk about banning Abra. I think very seriously that Abra is a mon that cannot be banned from the LC without completely unbalancing the third.
We try to avoid using theorymonning for the basis of our arguments, as it can be misconstrued to say whatever we want it to, my ideal meta might be different from yours, what I believe is balanced is significantly different from yours. It's a shortsighted way of looking at the current metagame, so we need to ensure we stick to balancing the current metagame, not the future metagame—we can always make changes to that one too.
in LC, the speeds are quite low, and more or less any boosted pokémon can exceed the entire metagame without scarf.
Our speed stats are actually a wider range than most high tiers.
Pokémon like Clamperl and Zigzaton can OHKO more or less all the big walls of the tier after a boost depending on their set.
These are sweepers, not wallbreakers. Their main focus is to clean a team after significant chip has happened and key threats have been removed.
Abra's simple vision in the preview team forces heavy offense players to play in a much more cautious and thoughtful way, delaying their placement.
HO and Voltturn Offense teams have absolutely no trouble when facing an Abra-centric team. In addition, many of them have feasible ways to handle just Abra accordingly. Factoring in other mons into the equation is the main issue.
Abra's presence auto makes most set up sweepers unviable because getting around Abra is so frustrating and limiting.
This is blatantly turning facts. These pokemon still get usage. The amount of success they have might vary, or potentially might increase with the removal of Abra, but claiming they're unviable is not honest to the metagame.
I find the clash between two players fighting to set up their win con first to be much more compelling
Using your own opinion is not a valid argument to what makes the metagame objectively better. In theory, I could say this is the worst part of the metagame, as it becomes a contest of whoever sets up first wins the game. This would be indicative of a toxic metagame, as the better player does not always win.
the context of LC, trapping is a team support method.
In the line of Diglett, sure this could be argued. But I would say the main goal of trapinch is to wallbreak and remove various SR users and bird checks.
Basically, the less threats to take advantage of trapper's services, the less of a grip they'll have on the metagame.
Still theorymonning but what's stopping another fast powerful threat from moving in and taking Abra's place? Teams like Ponypinch also have very high success. More importantly, the trappers effect on the metagame does not correlate to the offensive mons directly, it correlates to the defensive pokemon who are trapped and the option-select being used to determine how to handle them accordingly.


not even going to touch the goth posts oh hell no. we discussed those on discord enough.


While I clearly did not touch everyone's posts, and I deffo showed a bias to the pro-abra posts, there were simply more of them to handle. My hope is that people focus a tad more on their arguments and try to stay away from making broad claims and theorymonning. Let's focus on making concise, clean points which will hopefully make it clear to decide the direction of the metagame for the future.

Thanks for participating everyone!
 
I'm going to address different parts of your post independently, and not in order, sorry about that. Also I say 'you' a lot in this post; when I'm doing that I'm not only trying to address your justifiable concerns, but also the concerns of the people (hopefully) reading this. The points I'm trying to make are as much addressed to you as they are to general concerns.

Also I realize this is a long post, if you don't have the time for this stuff look for the paragraphs that begin with "in summary" or "to wrap up."

Moreover you theorymon quite a bit in that post, proposing certain scenarios in a vaccuum that may not necessarily play out how you think they would. One should remember to in most instances avoid theorymonning for future metagame development, as it is entirely inaccurate.
I think that you're absolutely right about this in most scenarios, but when it comes to arguing for or against unbanning anything, especially for something thats been out of the meta for a long time, thats kind of the name of the game. The entire point of the post was to get a scenario where I wouldn't have to theorymon, i.e a suspect where we could play a meta game that is concrete and not in theory.
I think that posts like this should be reviewed first before any type of re-suspect. From a metagame standpoint, yes, things have changed since the early introduction of SM, however Gothita's unhealthy warping of the metagame still remains the same, because Gothita would still perform the same function as a cherrypicking trapper.
Before delving into this post I'd just like to say, again, that the state of the metagame was very different at the time that this post was made. CM Gothita benefits more from balance metas than offensive metas (I can elaborate more on this later but I'm saying this from the perspective of an ORAS player), and this post was made in a balance meta where many of the downsides to using CM gothita were greatly reduced.

I'm not going to address the correctness of the linked post at the time it was made; I'm going to address if it remains true, and what is doesn't account for in this meta. I honestly agreed with the banning of Gothita back then, but I think this post examined in a different meta begins to have a few holes, or, at the very least, doesn't examine some very important aspects of CM Gothita.

I think that, when applied to the current meta, this post is great at highlighting the things that make gothita great as a trapper, but fails to bring up and address significant shortcomings to using gothita that were not necessarily existent to a great extent in the meta this was posted in.

In my opinion, Gothita is the single biggest issue to deal with in our metagame right now. There is no other Pokemon in the metagame that can completely shut down otherwise viable opposing Pokemon simply by existing. If Calm Mind Gothita is on a team, Pokemon such as Spritzee, Foongus, and Mareanie literally do not factor into the battle. This isn't even inherently an issue with trapping. Although Diglett can trap and remove Ponyta from a battle, Ponyta can still perform its role, albeit to a much lesser degree, in spreading Wil-O-Wisp burns and scaring Physical attackers. The Pokemon CM Gothita checks, however, stand no chance whatsoever because Gothita can directly switch into them and remove them from the battle. This causes two possible metagame adaptations: first, these Pokemon can run sub-optimal moves in order to deal with Gothita, or second, they can be replaced by other Pokemon. Either way, the metagame is becoming centralized.
I'm going to respond to this using examples from ORAS. I know that this is SM, but I think that this comparison is perfectly comparable and useful when discussing this quote because all of these points about the nature of how CM gothita traps remain completely true in ORAS. The comparison is also necessary because goth is banned. I say this as an oras player, but I'll back it up with replays later. These same defensive mons (with the exception of mareanie, but I don't think that its addition changed the nature of defensive pokemon) were just as liable to trapping and removal then as they were at the time of this post, and would still just as useless theoretically. They were, however, still relevant in this meta; this replacement didn't happen. Suboptimal move use did happen occasionally, but it was by no means the norm. Why did this metagame adaptation not happen?

First, I think it is worth noting that the completely shut down argument is not true in all scenarios. In fact, I'll give you an example of a team that demonstrates this: Pursuit Eviolite Pawniard/Mienfoo/Foongus/Defensive Staryu/Archen/Trace Porygon. This is not a hypothetical team, by the way: This was the team that TDK used against me in LCWC recently, and while you can see that Gothita might be a big threat, it can't just invalidate half the team by switching in with impunity because it has to fear double switching and revenging from pursuit pawniard. This is a minor nitpick, but still worth establishing.

Speaking as an ORAS player, the reason that the surgical removal of defensive pokemon was not broken was because of two reasons: 1. The prevalence of a pawniard that could gain significant momentum in the event that something was trapped made CM goth a liability against many teams, and 2. more offensive teams made bringing CM goth actually very risky, as it could not efficiently trap anything without giving the opposing team the momentum is so loves. An example of the former being the case is the team I linked that TDK used, and I'll give you a team where the latter is the case from my teambuilder (and everyone reading this post gets a free oras team. Not bad, huh?) I know that I have the advantage of giving you a team to prove my point, but if you're not content with one team I can link you many high level replays of teams where this is the case, they were kind of everywhere.

I would argue that both of these points hold true in the current SM meta. I'm not going to link you a case where the former is true because if you play the meta it should be pretty obvious to most who have played this meta: the prominence of Vullaby and Pawniard is comparable in both offensive presence and usage to pawn in ORAS. As someone who has played both etas extensively I’d even say that the combined presence of vullaby and pawniard are even more offensively potent than pawniard in ORAS. The second part, I feel, wasn't true when this post was made because of the dominance of balance, which is part of the reason why I think that the banning of goth was justified: the offensive meta that hindered it in ORAS was simply not there anymore. Now, however, I feel that this second part holds true. here, here and here are some high level replays where this is the case. And these are replays that don't consider gothita while building at all; I would imagine that a meta considering gothita might become even more unkind to it.

In summary, I think that while the post describes a great aspect of using gothita, recent developments in the metagame have created an environment that is potentially similar to ORAS where CM goth cannot shut down otherwise viable pokemon simply by existing.

Normally, I hate arguments which revolve around centralization in suspect threads, since the metagame will always adapt around certain Pokemon which are a cut above the rest. However, Gothita centralizes the metagame around it to a degree which is unhealthy. If Pokemon run specific moves to deal with it, such as Payback Foongus and Skill Swap Spritzee, they are sacrificing a potentially useful moveslot to have a move to deal with one Pokemon (we can go in circles about how Skill Swap sort of helps vs Regenerator Pokemon, and Payback Foongus alsodeals with Gastly, but the fact of the matter is that were Gothita not in the metagame these moves would be replaced by moves that are effective in a wider variety of situations and against a wider variety of Pokemon). The only Pokemon I can think of that has forced prominent Pokemon to give up a moveslot only to deal with it was Gligar, and banning Gligar opened up that moveslot and significantly diversified the metgame in doing so. The other option, which is running Pokemon over these Pokemon, severely restricts teambuilding. Again, I understand that prominent Pokemon in metagames will always restrict teambuilding to a degree. The difference lies again in Gothita's ability to completely shut down the Pokemon it checks. If a Pokemon is weak to Pawniard, you may be more likely to run something else, but it doesn't completely keep you from using the Pokemon alongside good Pawniard checks. If you are using Snubbull over Spritzee because Spritzee is trapped by Calm Mind Gothita, you can't just run something that KOs CM Gothita alongside Spritzee because the nature of trapping renders Spritzee unable to come into the battle. The remaining option is to use Spritzee with a limiting move, which as discussed earlier, centralizes the metagame. I challenge anyone who disagrees with this to come up with a single Pokemon in the LC metagame (except maybe Diglett) which deters players from using a Pokemon in the way that Calm Mind
Gothita does.
This is another paragraph that makes great points about the metagame at the time, but changes a bit when you apply it to this metagame. I would like to emphasize again that this is a damn good post, but I simply believe that the assumptions it makes have changed from the time it was posted in ways that warrant reexamination of the banning of Gothita.

I'm going to nitpick on the last part of this paragraph the most because I believe that it is not fair to exclude diglett from the comparison. In fact, I believe that Trapinch and Diglett restrict the usage of pokemon to a degree that is completely comparable to gothita, if not more considering that they do not lose as much momentum. Diglett does this in a huge way, but I'm going to make this point using the relatively recently popularized trapinch because the trend of pokemon restriction is much harder to see in Diglett because Diglett has pretty much always been around.

Before the introduction of Trapinch, Onix, Tirtouga and Magnemite were massive forces in the meta, being used on some of the most prominent team builds (Tirtouga/mienfoo/foongus/magnemite/vullaby/diglett is a great example of this, being one of the most famous teams of the time period being spammed by users like Osh). Magnemite especially could be argued as being huge in perpetuating the foongus meta, as ferroseed could not reliably check foongus because of it, but I shouldn't get too off topic.

If you've been following the meta, I think its fair to say that pokemon like magnemite, tirtouga, and onix (to a lesser extent) faced a massive downturn is usage, and I think its also fair to attribute this to Trapinch. I don't think that this is a bad thing, for me its a normal meta game fluctuation, but I think its undeniable that trapinch is deterring people from using these pokemon. I would argue, even, that if anything trapinch is deterring usage to a higher degree, as the things that gothita trapped were more prominent in ORAS than defensive tirtouga and magnemite are now.

Additionally, people use moves specifically for prominent pokemon all the time, flame charge ponyta, waterfall defensive tirtouga and counter abra all come to mind.

In summary of this paragraph, I think its absolutely true that gothita reduces the use of pokemon, but I don't really think this is necessarily an awful thing. I think that when considering the brokenness of a mon like this, I think you have to consider if it restricts pokemon usage too much. I think it restricted the use of pokemon too much at the beginning of SM, but it didn't really during ORAS and considering metagame shifts and considering what we've seen with the rise of Trapinch I think it is plausible enough that this too much part isn't true, at least enough to warrant a retest.

For the sake of time (I'm tired) and length I won't go over the remaining two paragraphs explicitly, as I think that I've adequately addressed them in my application to this meta of the first two. If you feel that they have something massive that I didn't adequately address feel free to tag me, I will be happy to respond when I can't feel gravity weighting down on my eyelids.

It was also not solely banned because CM Goth invalidated defensive cores, but banned because it had insane customization. Heysup in one post mentions Sleep Talk Scarf Goth, regular Scarf Goth, CM Goth, random tech like HP Poison to deal with things like Cottonee, and in my personal interpretation this was the breaking point for Gothita. It could hold a wide variety of sets, each with different counters, and forces, like Diglett games, to have the receiving player play on the backfoot, forcing guessing games at specific turns.
I talked about this with many users who were active at the time before making the post, they're all asleep right now so I can't call them out to vouch for me (I will in the morning when they wake up) but my impression both from talking to people who were involved in its banning and from reading the thread is that while CM Goth was not the sole reason it was banned, it was at the very least the primary broken set. I didn't really get the vibe that people were complaining mostly about having to guess about a plethora of sets at team preview; I think that CM Goth was by far the most common set and that it was the one people wanted to ban. Some posts even explicitly said this. From a fiend post:
Scarf Gothita is not broken, and I feel that this as objective as an opinion can be.
Looking through the actual council votes many people did mention the factor of the scarf sets, but again I think the general focus in terms of brokenness was the CM set. I hate to bring up ORAS again but I again think its comparable; Unpredictability there was a factor that made it better but not broken. I think that CM being broken was what got it banned, with scarf sets being the figurative cherry on top.

To wrap up, I think that I kind of addressed the beginning of your post already, I don't think it forces 50/50s moreso than other trappers, sure it did in early SM but again thats changed since then. What gothita does hasn't changed, sure, but what it does is exactly the same as what it did in ORAS and it wasn't broken there, so I don't see how its not plausible that it could be not broken now, considering how much the meta has changed.

not even going to touch the goth posts oh hell no. we discussed those on discord enough.
We did discuss it a lot on discord but that was in a channel that frankly a lot of people do not read. I think it is more productive to address the disagreements we had in that channel here where people can read them so that readers can form their own opinions. This is the metagame discussion thread, after all.
 
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dcae

Tournament Banned
is a Tiering Contributor
I'm going to express some thoughts I have on the discussion points brought up. Some of these points may be familiar for those who I've discussed with on Discord.

I'd like to first address the Goth discussion. My question posed to those opposing a Goth re-test/unban at this time, based on the arguments brought up: how can the logic applied (for example, in Heysup's quote or Nineage's post, both linked by tcr) only hold true for SM while Goth remains legal in ORAS? From what I've seen, and the fact it remains unbanned supports this, Goth is balanced in ORAS and this paragraph will operate under this fact. The existence of Fletchling and its consequent checks/counters make Goth more effective in ORAS than it would be in the current iteration of SM because it forces the metagame to be bulkier rather than offense oriented; CM Goth, the widely acknowledged broken Goth set, thrives in these bulkier settings. As such, I don't see how one can argue for its maintained illegality in SM when it is currently fine in ORAS, a tier where it potentially succeeds in better. In effect, the (largely theoretical) assumptions that Goth would invalidate defensive mons via its CM set do not hold up when we already have a metagame where its impact can be observed - an impact that is not as dire as Goth ban proponents above implied.

Now, I'd like to address the outcry over Arena Trap. I do not think this outcry is remotely warranted; in fact, this is the metagame where trapping is least overwhelming in a traditional sense since last LCPL. Trapinch has risen to prominence but is not in fact the main engine behind the most potent core in the game (Gastbra), as exemplified by the numerous very successful teams using that offensive core without any trappers (for example, trash's recent Dwebble HO). In fact, Trapinch's prominence has diluted the usage of Diglett, which once had a legitimate argument to be broken. As such, trapping currently consists of two distinct Pokemon, both with their benefits and downsides, part of healthy offensive cores such as PonyPinch, with a large role in the metagame without dominating it.

I think this is distinction is crucial because trapping is not inherently unhealthy, despite the common narrative that it is uncompetitive. Trapping has historically been an element of the Little Cup metagame like any other, and though some metagames are more conducive to its success, it is not feasible to argue that trapping as it is today is any more broken than it has been. In an ideal tier, the goal is for a skillful player to beat a less skilled player. If trapping were uncompetitive, this goal would not be achieved. However, trapping has not served to dilute the effect of skill; consequently, it is not accurate to decry trapping as a concept.

Since we cannot dismiss trapping as an uncompetitive concept, someone in favor of an Arena Trap ban must thus demonstrate effectively why Arena Trap is broken on both Diglett and Trapinch. As I mentioned above and will touch upon further, the arguably broken core of Gastbra is not great due to Trapinch but rather the mons that compose the offensive core itself. Diglett, on the other hand, finds itself less effective than ever because it can be reverse trapped by the popular Trapinch and finds less opportunities in today's more offensive metagame. Neither Pokemon can be said to be dominating the current metagame and neither truly fulfills the criteria of a broken mon.

The final discussion point I will tackle is Abra. I think this is the Pokemon we should be taking a look at in a suspect. I am still leaning towards do not ban but I would like to outline the points both in favor of a ban and against one in order to build a complete picture of the situation.

Abra has several points in its favor making a very compelling ban case. It is one of the fastest viable mons in the metagame in a tier where speed is more important than anything, has superb coverage, and extremely effective utility moves (ex. Counter) that allow it to bypass its usual checks. It is currently the more powerful partner in the most potent offensive core today and is not a one trick pony; it has two sets (Sash and LO) that are both equally threatening and guessing wrong is very costly. It lacks consistent defensive checks based on its item and moveset and the Magic Guard makes revenging very difficult. Furthermore, Abra's additional versatility beyond the above two sets means viable Scarf and Z sets exist to make it even more difficult to handle. The pairing of Abra with Gastly makes it even harder to deal with, as the two combined do an excellent job of shredding classic balance builds and are still effective against offense by virtue of their speed and strength. The combination of these traits make banning Abra an attractive option.

On the other hand, there still exists a robust do not ban case. This case begins with the idea that Abra as a Pokemon has not changed. It is still the threat it always has been. It has several checks [Pursuit mons, Beat Up Diglett, Spdef Vullaby, Pawniard (depending on moveset), Priority mons, etc] and most critically has a difficult time getting into the game due to its absolute lack of defensive utility. Though this is a subtle issue, it limits an Abra user in a way different than Gastly or the late Wingull, both of which have useful immunities in order to find ways to switch in. Furthermore, the prevalence of Scarf mons, especially as the metagame adjusts, means that Abra loses more opportunities to wreak havoc. In effect, as the meta shifts to a more offensive iteration full of Scarf mons and priority, as it has been, Abra becomes less potent than when it is simply facing slow cores. Furthermore, as I quickly mentioned earlier this paragraph, trappers are in fact the most effective Abra checks. As a result, the current popularity of trappers detracts from the effectiveness of Abra. Furthermore, Abra is limited to 1 coverage move, unlike its fellow partner Gastly. The necessity of utility moves means that once that 1 coverage move is revealed, it becomes a relatively simple task to dispatch it.

In conclusion, whether you agree with the ban points or the do not ban points, Abra is quite clearly the most suspect worthy mon currently in the LC metagame. Furthermore, do not dismiss a Goth ban without fully considering the well thought-out points tazz brought up.
 
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Quote

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While I appreciate the crazy amount of discussion this thread has had in the past few days, I would appreciate if we only talk about what is currently in the metagame right now. I don't think the meta is in a state where it would right to try and re-test any of the banned Pokemon, and we're much better off dealing with what's on our plate now. In the future I'll be more receptive to it but for now I'd like to keep it to what we have.
 
Really happy about the discussion going on in this thread right now, it's refreshing to see some thought out posts in the forums rather than memey shitposts on discord. While there's a lot of topics going at the same time here (some more warranted than others imo), I'll try to get my initial thoughts out there on most of them. I'm not writing any dissertations right now, though, and probably focusing more on replying to specific points made so far.

To start, I think I'd just like to get Goth talk out of the way because I feel we should try and steer this discussion to a more linear frame. While I see some merit in possibly retesting Goth eventually, right now is absolutely not the time. There are serious concerns with the current metagame as it stands, and Abra and Trappers are clearly at the forefront of that. I also believe that with trapping being such a hot issue topic right now, it's slightly in bad taste to even be bringing up introducing Goth atm. It feels as though the detractors of a trapping ban not only are completely disregarding valid reasoning for why trapping is at the very least suspect worthy, but so much so in fact that we should add ANOTHER one to the mix. Not to say that this is what is exactly behind it, just saying that it comes off this way.

While we're on the topic of trapping, I'd specifically like to address dcae 's post mostly because it has probably made the best points so far and because I am also in disagreement on pretty much all of it lol. (the arena trap portion at least)

Now, I'd like to address the outcry over Arena Trap. I do not think this outcry is remotely warranted; in fact, this is the metagame where trapping is least overwhelming in a traditional sense since last LCPL.
I actually have issue with how you even start this topic. "Remotely warranted" just seems like you're completely disregarding any salient points being made about trapping, and I honestly don't know how someone can have played in this meta and not at least comprehend these aspects. Trapping has been one of the most common reasons for banning things in metagames throughout smogon, and Diglett / Pinch I would argue are possibly the strongest trappers in regard to metagame aside from possibly Mega Gar in Ubers, so this is not something that's coming out of left field. Looking at Arena Trap most certainly has merit, and to just completely disregard that right off the bat just makes me wonder why I'm even arguing if the receptivity to an arena trap ban is absolute 0 for you.

The second part of the statement is also eyebrow-raising. First of all, I don't really know what you mean about "trapping in a traditional sense". Is there a non traditional way of trapping a mon? I think the trappers are clearly defined. Trappers being the least overwhelming since last LCPL also doesn't make much sense because what tourneys have we had since then? Nevertheless I actually disagree with this fairly strongly, as currently Dig has been used 48 times and Pinch 39 times in LCWC, leading to a total of a 60% of teams using trappers. This is absolutely insane lol. I think this clearly shows that trapping is at its highest point this gen, and I would definitely qualify this as overwhelming. For reference, in the LCpl you're referencing Dig + Pinch usage was at 38%.

Trapinch has risen to prominence but is not in fact the main engine behind the most potent core in the game (Gastbra), as exemplified by the numerous very successful teams using that offensive core without any trappers (for example, trash's recent Dwebble HO). In fact, Trapinch's prominence has diluted the usage of Diglett, which once had a legitimate argument to be broken. As such, trapping currently consists of two distinct Pokemon, both with their benefits and downsides, part of healthy offensive cores such as PonyPinch, with a large role in the metagame without dominating it.
I happen to agree with you that trapping is not the most concerning part of Gasbra. I actually don't think they need a trapper so be successful, but that's mostly because Abra is so good and has ways of breaking its own counter anyways, especially with the help of Gastly. I do not, though, take this as meaning that Trappers are balanced. These two topics are not mutually exclusive and I feel like there's a line in the sand trying to be drawn between whether trapping or abra is the problem, when there is a very real possibility both are broken There's a shit ton of cores that can use these two trappers properly, they just simply aren't as powerful as Gasbra. Pony, Vullaby, Mienfoo, Shellder, hell there isn't a single mon that doesn't benefit from trappers in some way. Yes they are separate pokemon, but together they can tailor themselves to trap a very healthy portion of the metagame, and I personally believe the more a metagame incentivizes trapping, the worse it is overall. Also, I feel like you're using Pinch as an argument for making Dig healthier for the meta, but I do not see the correlation at all. As referenced earlier, Dig still has a fairly healthy edge in usage (8-10%) so its not like it made it obsolete, and if anything it has just almost doubled the usage of trappers in general over the past two major team tours. Lastly on this point, I'm curious as to what these downsides are for trappers. I honestly can't think of a more positive aspect of including something on your team than it allowing you to guarantee a kill. Teams can be structured in ways that completely take advantage of these pokemon being gone, thereby completely bypassing the supposed negatives or downsides of using generally balanced mons under regular circumstances.

I think this is distinction is crucial because trapping is not inherently unhealthy, despite the common narrative that it is uncompetitive. Trapping has historically been an element of the Little Cup metagame like any other, and though some metagames are more conducive to its success, it is not feasible to argue that trapping as it is today is any more broken than it has been. In an ideal tier, the goal is for a skillful player to beat a less skilled player. If trapping were uncompetitive, this goal would not be achieved. However, trapping has not served to dilute the effect of skill; consequently, it is not accurate to decry trapping as a concept.
Again, I don't know what is so inconceivable about Arena Trap being unhealthy. As I've alluded to a couple times now, I firmly believe trapping is at its absolute height, and I don't really know how you can argue with the stats that have been showing up throughout lcwc. I think it is more broken then it has been, and this is coming from a dude who has been advocating for a Diglett ban forever now. Yes, I guess trapping isn't inherently broken, I don't really think anything is inherently broken. Gamefreak doesn't add concepts with the intent of breaking things, hell they barely even care about competitive, so nothing is really inherent. Of course everything we argue about is subjective, that's partly why this is such a hot topic. What I am arguing is that in this metagame that we as players have a say in, I personally think that Arena Trap puts too much stress on the team building and playing aspects of the game for it to be in its healthiest state. I am also not alone on this as trapping has clearly been a hot button issue throughout smog metagames. I dont' think trapping rewards the better player as a arena trap supporter would make it out to be, in fact I think it lends itself much closer to an "easy button".

Since we cannot dismiss trapping as an uncompetitive concept, someone in favor of an Arena Trap ban must thus demonstrate effectively why Arena Trap is broken on both Diglett and Trapinch. As I mentioned above and will touch upon further, the arguably broken core of Gastbra is not great due to Trapinch but rather the mons that compose the offensive core itself. Diglett, on the other hand, finds itself less effective than ever because it can be reverse trapped by the popular Trapinch and finds less opportunities in today's more offensive metagame. Neither Pokemon can be said to be dominating the current metagame and neither truly fulfills the criteria of a broken mon.
I don't really have to prove anything. Nothing in pokemon tiering philosophy really proves anything, it all comes down to subjective opinions on what people want out of a metagame. Nobody proved that Wingull was broken, people made up their individual minds or were swayed by rhetoric at the time in order to make a decision. If there was provability in tiering, suspects would not be needed and we could actually probably use everyones favorite flowcharts. I can argue my points, but its still up to you to agree with me or not. Arena Trap happens to be a very divisive topic in regards to this as it often comes down to personal tiering philosophy rather than uncompetitive vs healthy. I don't think guaranteed KOs are a good thing, those against an arena trap ban would probably argue it's good for the meta. I find a hard time finding equal footing when arguments devolve to this and it's part of why suspect are so subjective. I personally believe that Trapping does more of taking out checks for offensive threats rather than helping keep offensive threats in check. This is where my argument stems from, not from me thinking I have to prove it that Dig / Pinch are broken in the traditional sense of an overpowered mon, but rather me stating I don't think the dichotomy it creates in the meta is conducive of a healthy one. Also, again, I think you're overplaying the effect of Pinch on Dig. It still edges Pinch in usage, and definitely has more customization available to it with zeq, evio, scarf, hell even special all having their own positives. Also I really do not get how Diglett is worse in an offensive meta. It is notorious for perpetuating offense, and it literally outspeeds the entire meta.

---

Moving away from this specific post, I'd like to delve into Abra as well. I don't have as strong of an opinion on Abra as I do Trappers, but I feel it positions itself very closely to being ban worthy. I believe the best course of action would be to conduct an Arena Trap suspect first on the basis of it obviously being one of the easiest ways to support offensive pokemon throughout generations, so some credence can lent to its priority. Despite Abra being possibly broken or even more broken afterwards, I don't think this matters at all really and history would tell you Arena Trap has more precedent as possibly being broken than Abra does.

Abra is a 19 speed mon with top tier power and wallbreaking ability, while simultaneously having the defenses of a paper bag. This is very similar to a pokemon that was just recently banned by a fairly large majority in Wingull. In fact, Abra seemingly has even more going for it, with it being able to run functionally more diverse sets than Wingull, having more consistent power and a crazy amount of coverage options, and sash / counter meaning almost any check is shaky at best just on principle. It's also not weak to SR (well, nothing for that matter due to magic guard) so it can be used fairly consistently through a match. The same definitely cannot be said about gull. Now, this isn't a free wingull post, but it's more of a way of trying to pick your guys brains on if Wingull was pretty convincingly banned, what makes Abra balanced? I've heard the scald argument brought up, but I find it really hard to comprehend that a 30% burn chance makes a Wingull that much more broken than Abra. Just something to think about.
 
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dcae

Tournament Banned
is a Tiering Contributor
Going to preface this by apologizing for some of the exaggerating language I used, such as 'remotely warranted'. It was unnecessary and inaccurate.

Regarding the idea of trapping not being as overwhelming in a traditional sense - I meant this mostly in terms of the idea of a trapper repeatedly finding success at trapping in a single game. From the vast majority of the games I've played, trapping in the current iteration of the meta is more of a 1 for 1 trade because several offensive mons, such as the resurging Staryu, find ways to exploit the momentum drain brought upon by Trapinch for example. In earlier iterations of the USM meta, Diglett for example had the ability to come in and threaten and obtain several kills by trapping per game. This is not as prevalent now.

With respect to your other expressed opinions, I am in complete agreement that to a large extent this discussion is subjective. I have rarely seen someone change their perspective on the concept of trapping. I am, however, glad we agree that trapping as a mechanic alone is not uncompetitive. This brings me to my main point, which is something I realized when thinking both about the points you brought up as well as rereading some of the Goth ban posts. I believe we are doing a disservice to trapping by grouping Trapinch and Diglett together. I think your points about stress on teambuilding are valid; however, I do not believe the stress on teambuilding by trapping in general is any more unhealthy than other top mons in LC. However, the more I think about it, the more I realize that specifically it is Trapinch's stress on teambuilding is unhealthy, in a very distinct way from Diglett. Before anyone brushes this off as yet another attempt to save Dig, hear me out:

Trapinch shares its traits as a trapper much more with Goth. It is very bulky and can switch into and completely invalidate some of LC's best mons. Magnemite and Tirtouga have both seen drastic usage drops as a result of the rise of Trapinch, and Onix is not as prevalent as it was due to this same reason. Even Pawn can be invalidated by switching Trapinch in. As a result, we are in a situation like Gothita; a mon bulky enough with the moveset necessary to hard switch into a specific type of mon (Goth with defensive mons, Trapinch with Rock and Steels) where those mons have no outs whatsoever. I think this distinction is significantly different from the effect Diglett has, a mon that cannot switch in and invalidate mons with the same impunity.

I will reiterate what I said in my original post about the idea that someone who wants to ban Arena Trap and the fact that they have to prove its broken on both mons. You're incorrect when you say you don't have to prove anything. Yes, tiering is subjective to a large degree. However, we have historical standards and requirements. When a mon is suspected, we adhere to these standards and specifically look at how the mon is problematic in accordance with those expectations. You used the terminology of broken and unhealthy interchangeably, and this is an issue because it glosses over the very real difference between Trapinch and Diglett. If you believe trapping is in fact unhealthy then you are going back on your word when you said you don't find trapping uncompetitive as a mechanic. If you believe trapping is broken, you must, in accordance with Smogon policy, demonstrate why it is broken on each mon in question, because that is the only objective standard we have.

I am aware you are a proponent of a Diglett ban, but I would like lay out why I do not believe it is broken. I have already outlined above why I do not believe the mechanic is uncompetitive, so I will focus on Diglett's qualities as a mon specifically. Though it is the fastest mon in the meta, Diglett is both weak and frail. As a result, it must specialize and thus finds itself remarkably limited. As a player, when you see Diglett on the other team, you acknowledge its threat inherently, just like any other mon. You are still able to use your mons that are weak to Diglett to a great extent; there exist numerous playable outs. At no point are your mons legitimately invalidated by the mere existence of Diglett. This is empirically proven by the enormous popularity of Dig weak mons such as Magnemite, Mareanie, and Ponyta in the meta prior to the rise of Trapinch. However, Trapinch has changed this via its existence. Unlike Diglett, an Onix, for example, cannot do anything in a matchup against Trapinch. To quote your terminology, this is too much stress on both teambuilding and playability. Your mon is outright invalidated.

To reiterate, an Arena Trap suspect under the logic of it being broken must demonstrate the brokenness on both mons. As I outlined above, there are very legitimate arguments that Trapinch is broken. Such arguments do not hold up when analyzing Dig's impact. As a result, I reject the grouping of Arena Trap and the idea of a trapping suspect; on the other hand, I am much more amenable to a Trapinch suspect because I feel the reasons you brought up are valid there.

Gotta conclude by saying that even though I can see the valid reasons for a Trapinch suspect, I still believe Abra should be the significant priority.
 
On the topic of Hypnosis, I think that Sleep Clause handles most of these problems. If you want to risk the sleep counter, keep the mon in. If not, consider them dead and swap them out to a check mon. First-turn losing a coin flip feels bad, but there's counterplay and risk/reward to keeping them in or swapping them out. I watched that Gastly/Munchlax game ( https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen4lc-370609 ) and Gastly won his time out because of 2x Hypnosis into a fuckton of Sludge Bomb. If Mantyke had been swapped out at first, the small risk would have been averted and forced a swap from Gastly and we'd be in a game where Gastly can't sleep anyone.

Just my two cents. It's a 50/50 with outplay that requires a bit of guessing/outwitting to determine what to throw in (Is it Psychic? Sludge Bomb?) and if you guess wrong you lost a second mon - if you guess right, you force a switch back and can play at par.

Alternatively, you can try for the sleep RNG. If you really think you can tank two turns or so, go for it. Maybe you'll get lucky. But saying (kinda strawmanning/paraphrasing here) "The fact that Gastly can get 3x sleep on two mons means Hypnosis is strong" is wrong. It does have some element of "wow, i got bullshit RNGed and the game is over," but then again, so does High Jump Kick in current-LC. Or Thunder. Or confusion. I think that the RNG nature of sleep isn't a problem - it only would be if there wasn't multiple ways to play around it. Since there is, I think it's reasonable. Even if it's the most dominant strategy.

But don't necessarily mind me, I'm just another shitter on the internet who probably doesn't know what he's talking about.
 
tcr can we please keep this thread related to USUM Little Cup.

To counterpoint: Spectator's entertainment shouldn't matter in regards to banning, and I don't see how relying on a 60% accuracy status move is any worse than a 75% accuracy status move (Sleep Powder). By the same token, you could argue that something with Focus Blast (or Gunk Shot in newer gens) relies on RNG just as much. How is (to cite a DPP OU example) Gengar hitting Tyranitar with a Focus Blast, which has a pretty good probability of missing any less RNG dependent? The short is, pokemon is an inherently chance dependent strategy game, and although there are strategies reduce it, it happens. It's something we accept when we play this game. In using Hypnosis the user is already taking a gamble that it will hit, and if it misses they have wasted a turn and momentum has shifted back to the opponent.
 
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I would like Hypnosis to be looked at in older generations of LC. I find Hypnosis to be a pretty dumb move that on paper seems garbage. A 60% accurate move that all it does is cause sleep seems like it wouldn't really be that great, but in older generations, specifically DPP and BW, I find it to be a problem. Despite its nigh literal 50/50 nature, Hypnosis has found extensive usage in tournament games, namely for DPP but also in BW. This prolific use signals to me that something is wrong, and what seems wrong to me is the mechanic itself. For those who don't know, in Gen 4 Sleep has a minimum of 1 turns, maximum of 4 turns, while in Gen 5 the minimum is 1 turn, maximum of 3 turns, but you reset your sleep counter upon switching out (meaning that you could go with two turns of sleep once, switch out, and get 3 extra turns next time that Pokemon is in). You might be wondering, "why is he railing about only Hypnosis? Shouldn't Spore and Sleep Powder fall under this as well?" Sleep Powder and Spore have a much more specialized group of individuals who can use them, most of which just simply aren't threats at all in a metagame.

For example, in Gen 4 Hypnosis' spread is:
Bronzor, Chingling, Drifloon, Drowzee, Exeggcute, Feebas, Gastly, Glameow, Hoothoot, Meowth, Mime Jr., Poliwag, Ponyta, Psyduck, Ralts, Vulpix, Zubat

Of these, the most prolific users are Bronzor, Drifloon, Gastly, Glameow, Meowth, Poliwag, and Ponyta, making it around 8 Pokemon of various common usage (Gastly and Bronzor being two that are fairly high usage).

In Gen 5 Hypnosis' spread is similar, with the addition of Pidove, Patrat, and Munna. The notable Pokemon are Bronzor, Drifloon, Gastly, and Ponyta.

For reference, in Gen 4 Sleep Powder's spread is:
Bellsprout, Budew, Bulbasaur, Exeggcute, Hoppip, Oddish, Venonat

Of these, Bellsprout and Venonat are the most viable with none of the others being used at all.

In Gen 5 Sleep Powder's spread is similar, with the addition of Petilil. Of these, only Venonat is viable as a Compoundeyes BP Pokemon.

In Gen 4 Spore's spread is: Shroomish and Paras. Paras is the only one of which is 'viable' and to my knowledge it has been used on exactly 1 team: alongside Wynaut as a Pursuit trapper, which is an incredibly insane niche over the course of 4+ years.

In Gen 5 Spore's spread increased by 1 with the addition of Foongus. Foongus is the most viable out of all of these Pokemon (with the noted exception of Gen 4 Gastly). Foongus has somewhat middling usage in BW LC, having only 9 games played in LCWC (alongside things like Riolu and Slowpoke).

Hypnosis' broad application to Pokemon and the crippling nature of Sleep means that any Pokemon that gets it can often find itself just slotting Hypnosis in the 4th slot (Poliwag, with Belly+Hypnosis can find itself its own niche). In Gen 4 there are several Pokemon that are literally solely used so they can Sleep the opposing team's lead, such as Glameow, Meowth, Drifloon and Gastly leads. Gen 5 has less usage of Hypnosis however there are still applications of it, notably in Drifloon, Gastly, and Bronzor.

To me, I find this problematic. Many games are won or lost depending on whether the opponent hit their Hypnosis, and that players feel a need to be incentivized to use a 60% accurate move seems wrong to me. It is clear to me that Sleep itself is the problem, as many players feel that it is an incredibly strong mechanic. However I think that getting rid of Sleep in some uber Sleep clause would be the wrong way to go about it, because people aren't going out of their way to use things like Paras in gen 5 just because it gets Spore. Similarly in Gen 4. Hypnosis however, finds itself on many LC Pokemon and can easily be slotted on a 4th move to give an otherwise bad Pokemon relevancy (Glameow??) It's accuracy lends itself to coinflips on the spectator side, taking player skill out of the equation and referring more to dumb RNG, which negatively impacts tour games in LCWC and LCPL (or any other oldgen tour) while just being downright unfun to watch happen. How many times have you heard "DPP LC is a coinflip metagame?" I would find it incredibly hard to believe that the culture of Hypnosis has not led to at least some perceptions being shaped into a coinflip, RNG based metagame.

I think that when tour games are impacted and quality of matches drops that the issue should be looked at. It's clear that Sleep is not the problem because no one's out there complaining about Spore, Foongus is not on every team, Paras is not on every team, and the problem is solely isolated onto Hypnosis. Below are some tour games I've located where Hypnosis played an extreme role into the outcome of the game:

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen4lc-829553711
Melon v Alkione Week 1 LCWC
In this match Alkione loses two pokemon to Hypnosis Ponyta, gets unfortunate sleep turns, allowing Sub Ponyta to wreak havoc on the team. Had Ponyta missed the Hypnosis, the outcome of the game would have been totally different, allowing Munchlax to actually be a factor in the game preventing the Chinchou from doing much.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen5lc-407331
Vileman v Finchinator
Here you see the absolute garbage shit that is Drifloon, 1v1ing Stunky (a Pursuit trapper who should beat it any day) while also crippling Slowpoke. Yeah Finchinator lost because he was a garbage zf Riolu set and got crit on Magnemite (min speed riolu ;; jk love you zf) but he basically just relied on RNG for a solid 4-5 turns, and almost got away with it, and manipulating RNG like that to work in your favor is hardly favoring the better player (making zero comments on the skills of either player involved).

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen4lc-838783617
Fran v Mikaav
Here you see fishing for Hypnosis, and the Hypnosis Sleep on Duskull allows Mantyke to get several free turns to set up Rain Dance and get 3 free turns on Duskull that would have allowed for easy chip on Mantyke, which would potentially change the outcome to allow Scarf Gligar to OHKO Chinchou and win the game.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen5lc-408364
Serene v Neomon
Here you see an example of Hypno fishing and RNG manipulation working out not in favor of the Hypno user, and yet 5+ turns of straight RNG still happen and is deemed "the optimal play."

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen4lc-841224643
Eternal Spirit v Alkione
Here you see the essential sacking of Munchlax on several Pokemon that it's supposed to "counter" such as Porygon and Duskull (as the premier special wall of the tier). Munchlax leaving gave Alkione a pretty hefty advantage for Porygon to just bop half of ES' team, altho some good predicts with Porygon also helpd to do that.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen4lc-845848328
Alkione v Heysup
Another turn where the "optimal play" was to just fish for a Hypno a second time creating "quality" gameplay from a spectator side.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen5lc-423537
star v fitzy
Here is a recent example of gen 5 Sleep mechanics coming in pretty shittily, preventing Ferroseed from getting Stealth Rock up to break Gastly's Sash while also preventing Ferroseed from doing the most minor of chip, resulting in Star losing the game. Banking the outcome of a game on 60% (without factoring in Sleep turns) is very very lame.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen5lc-737113831
tcr v fitzy
fishing for double hypnosis to win, not gonna say anything else because the bias is personal here.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen4lc-739156189
eseque vs raseri
another hypnosis riddled game with two hypnosis having chances to hit that manipulated the outcome of the game (hypnosis on croagunk was way more impactful than hypnosis on Munchlax but both are egregious abuse of the mechanic)

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen4lc-370609
imanalt vs nails
Hypnosis lead Gastly plus maximum sleep turns comes in clutch again to win the game

Anyway, at this point I've grown very tired from watching every single lcpl / lcwc replay, but if you wanted to actually look through and count the usages (there were FAR more games I did not add and I only linked the replays that stuck out the most to me), you would find that Hypnosis is almost present on every single team (excluding most Heysup teams). To me this screams that there is something wrong with either Sleep, Hypnosis, or like Gastly (lol). There are many cases of abused Sleep turns turning into won games, and the risk vs reward for a 60% accuracy just doesn't seem to be there at all, as clearly a great many players use it, abuse it. I think that the 50s it forces in these oldgens is incredibly unhealthy to the playability of the tiers. I, as a spectator, find it incredibly stupid when I just see Hypnosis fishing after Hypnosis fishing in DPP games, a tier I find incredibly fun and interesting, and while this is in part due to a lack of great depth in the tier (with Heysup honestly being the only dude to really use other strategies rather than a Hypno balance squad), I think that new players feel they are forced into these plays and that the oldgen tiers simply don't have the novelty to really progress as a meta. I think that the coinflip nature of Hypnosis is akin to some of the issues that Wingull had, in the amount of chance and RNG that it forces into a metagame, and in no way do I find that a healthy concept. I would not necessarily mind Sleep itself being suspected, but I feel that Sleep is a mechanic in BW that helps to define the tier (I do not speak for defining DPP at all and would rather other more experienced players to give their voice), and that if we were to ban Sleep itself then we might as well also ban things like Freezes, and at that point its trying too hard to eliminate RNG as a concept (which is something the games shouldnt do as they are accurately trying to simulate the cartridges). I feel that Spore has a total of 1 viable Pokemon (lol if you still think Shroomish is viable, coming from the dude who uses shit like Buizel), and Sleep Powder simply doesn't have the usage to warrant it being lumped in, although if in a hypothetical Hypno was banned and the DPP meta just shifted to Paras on every team or Sleep Powder Bulbasaur on every team then I would definitely be open to revisiting the idea of a Sleep suspect.

edit: I focused mostly on DPP mechanics but I would not mind extending it to BW. There are far less games involving Hypnosis in BW than DPP but due to the sleep mechanics and certain abuse that has changed outcomes of games (namely on Pokemon like Drifloon that have the potential to take out 2-3 Pokemon a game), I think that it could be looked at, or failling the move suspect an actual Sleep suspect.

Anyway, those are my thoguhts, what are your guys' opinions on Sleep in oldgens, and specifically Hypnosis?
I just wanna say the only reason I even cosidered using drowzee was stupid ass bw sleep mechanics. I tried a few things ranging from yawn slowpoke to sub hypnosis gastly and even if you have to hit hypno and yawn takes a turn they are still really annoying to play against a lot of the time

I don't think this is reason for a vote/suspect test though since you lose a valuable move slot unless you are mad enough to actually use scarf drowzee which barely has 3 nmoves you want lol and running the move has as many drawbacks as it has posivite aspects
 
On the topic of Hypnosis, I think that Sleep Clause handles most of these problems. If you want to risk the sleep counter, keep the mon in. If not, consider them dead and swap them out to a check mon. First-turn losing a coin flip feels bad, but there's counterplay and risk/reward to keeping them in or swapping them out. I watched that Gastly/Munchlax game ( https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen4lc-370609 ) and Gastly won his time out because of 2x Hypnosis into a fuckton of Sludge Bomb. If Mantyke had been swapped out at first, the small risk would have been averted and forced a swap from Gastly and we'd be in a game where Gastly can't sleep anyone.

Just my two cents. It's a 50/50 with outplay that requires a bit of guessing/outwitting to determine what to throw in (Is it Psychic? Sludge Bomb?) and if you guess wrong you lost a second mon - if you guess right, you force a switch back and can play at par.

Alternatively, you can try for the sleep RNG. If you really think you can tank two turns or so, go for it. Maybe you'll get lucky. But saying (kinda strawmanning/paraphrasing here) "The fact that Gastly can get 3x sleep on two mons means Hypnosis is strong" is wrong. It does have some element of "wow, i got bullshit RNGed and the game is over," but then again, so does High Jump Kick in current-LC. Or Thunder. Or confusion. I think that the RNG nature of sleep isn't a problem - it only would be if there wasn't multiple ways to play around it. Since there is, I think it's reasonable. Even if it's the most dominant strategy.

But don't necessarily mind me, I'm just another shitter on the internet who probably doesn't know what he's talking about.
tcr can we please keep this thread related to USUM Little Cup.

To counterpoint: Spectator's entertainment shouldn't matter in regards to banning, and I don't see how relying on a 60% accuracy status move is any worse than a 75% accuracy status move (Sleep Powder). By the same token, you could argue that something with Focus Blast (or Gunk Shot in newer gens) relies on RNG just as much. How is (to cite a DPP OU example) Gengar hitting Tyranitar with a Focus Blast, which has a pretty good probability of missing any less RNG dependent? The short is, pokemon is an inherently chance dependent strategy game, and although there are strategies reduce it, it happens. It's something we accept when we play this game. In using Hypnosis the user is already taking a gamble that it will hit, and if it misses they have wasted a turn and momentum has shifted back to the opponent.
The difference between "considering a mon dead" and having a mon actually faint is momentum. When a pokemon faints the momentum is given to the person losing a mon, while if a pokemon has fallen asleep, the momentum lies with the Hypnosis user (since that is what is being brought up), which in turn means that they either get a free sub (Ponyta and Gastly) or even a free kill on the switch, which can often be more game winning than killing a single mon, especially in such an offensive metagame as dpp. Specific example of such can be found in multiple of the replays tcr linked. As for bw I am uncertain. Ftr I'm not for or against a Hypnosis ban as I don't do old gens, just making sure we don't continue the discussion based on arguments like these.

Hypnosis vs Sleep powder: Relevance. tcr already touched on this with the amount of viable mons being able to use either of the moves.
 
So with the banning of baton pass and soon unbanning of torchic, does cutiefly fall that it was only broken with baton pass? Or does Cutiefly have other qualities that make it overwhelming?
 

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So with the banning of baton pass and soon unbanning of torchic, does cutiefly fall that it was only broken with baton pass? Or does Cutiefly have other qualities that make it overwhelming?
While Baton Pass was definitely a contributor to Cutiefly's banning, offensive Quiver Dance sets also wrecked havoc in the tier at the time. Being the only mon having access to the setup move alongside reliable recovery and great Fairy STAB really sweeped teams preetty efficiently.

Although it may be possible for a suspect, I doubt it.
 
I thought I would make a post on the metagame trends that I've recently been seeing in exhibition and other tours. I'll identify some of the winners and losers of the recent metagame shifts and why I think that most if not all of these shifts revolve almost entirely around two Pokemon to a potentially unhealthy degree.
Big winners:
Trapinch
I don't think anyone who has been following the meta game recently can deny how amazing trapinch is right now. I would even go as far as saying that Trapinch is currently better than diglett to a fairly obvious degree, and can do things that diglett can only dream of. What sets Trapinch apart from diglett as the premier trapper right now? I think the answer to this should be fairy obvious: Trapinch can invalidate Pokemon in a way that diglett simply cannot. Whereas Pokemon like Ponyta and Marinara still retain quite a bit of utility when a diglett is present on the opposing team, this is not true when it comes to the Pokemon Trapinch traps. And the pool of Pokemon that Trapinch can reliably trap, while much smaller than diglett's, happen to be some of the most important defensive and offensive Pokemon in the metagame. All of the the available flying resists that don't lose to Vullaby's knock off as well as the unfortunate diglett lose to Trapinch in the 1v1. It would be one thing if they could sufficiently threaten Trapinch in order to prevent it from switching in on them, but the flying checks, with the exception of rare variants of onix and tirtouga that are usually sub-optimal, cannot do this. I will go more into the effects that this ability has on the meta later.
Abra
Abra is the other big winner of this current metagame, enough so to warrant an upcoming suspect test. Abra has always been a topic of concern for some users (namely shrug, who has been pushing for a ban for years), but I think a couple factors have really pushed it over the edge recently. throughout early SM its fair to say that the main Pokemon keeping Abra in check was diglett, but with Trapinch keeping diglett from effectively checking abra its offensive potential has skyrocketed. This is not to say, however, that Abra+Trapinch is the only context where Abra is problematic. Paired with its counterpart Gastly it can muscle through most of its defensive checks without the help of Trapinch or Diglett through the use of counter, dazzling gleam or just sheer offensive prowess, as we've seen on many hazard stack and sticky web teams. I'm sure how this ability to muscle through checks is problematic will be discussed at length in the upcoming suspect test, so I'll keep my opinions of how this affects the meta saved for that thread.
Other winners:
Mareanie
Mareanie is, in my opinion, the premier defensive Pokemon right now, even more than foongus. Its unreal win rate in exhibition (somewhere in the 90s, last time I checked) is easy to explain when two things are taken into account: Its ability to check timburr, and, more importantly, the rise of Trapinch (and resultant fall of Diglett) and Abra. I'll give you a replay of a team (my own) that somewhat demonstrates what I'm talking about: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7lc-860437497
Mareanie is massively helped by the rise of Trapinch as it benefits both from the presence of Trapinch on one's own team and from the presence of Trapinch on another team. On my team in this replay, for example, Mareanie can some degree escape the former main offensive means of taking it down, Diglett, because it is paired with Trapinch. If an opponent with Diglett decides to trap my Abra, suddenly through Trapinch they've lost their best means of dealing with my Mareanie. Conversely, if my opponent decides to trap my mareanie, they've lost their best means of dealing with my Abra. In the context of facing Trapinch teams, Mareanie can once again shine defensively as Trapinch cannot trap it without foregoing another Pokemon and risking a burn.
Timburr
I already went into the rise of Mareanie and how it is made better by the rise of Timburr, but I guess I should also explain why Timburr has gotten better. Timburr, at least in my opinion, is currently at least as good as Mienfoo, and I think that its usage in Exhibition reflects that. With most of the meta's most prominent offensive Pokemon being not too troubled by the presence of Mienfoo, the defensive all around role that mienfoo used to shine at has gotten a lot worse (The replay I shared above is a demonstration of this: On both teams that only Pokemon that Mienfoo is really switching in on is Pawniard). Timburr, in the absence of Mareanie on the opposing team, can pressure the opposing side offensively much more effectively. Additionally, priority is enormously valuable in breaking Abra's sash, something extremely obnoxious for Abra as it wants to be able to effectively pressure fighting types out (It is also useful for Bunnelby, a Pokemon Mienfoo struggles with. Mienfoo is still great obviously, but I think these factors make timburr more attractive for many teams.
Staryu
Staryu, especially offensive sets, had fallen significantly later in SM because of the massive rise in Groundium diglett. Offensive staryu has recently made a comeback, however, because of its ability to put massive pressure on trapinch teams. With massively powerful analytic Hydro pumps paired with the occasional Z move (though it is almost impossible to tell what set Staryu is, as Icium z, LO, evio, Psychicium z are all viable of offensive variants), Trapinch teams with few 19 speeders can struggle to deal with Staryu when their means of removing bird checks necessitates something taking an analytic Hydro pump. Strong waters in general like smash tirtouga and corphish have improved recently, but I think staryu is the greatest beneficiary.
Anything that pairs well with Abra or Trapinch, or that has a good matchup against them
I'm not going to spend too much time on the beneficiaries beyond the ones I already named as most of the rest should be fairly obvious: Ponyta and offensive birds have improved massively through pairing with Trapinch, as have offensive teams like hazard stack and sticky web that not only don't care all that much about their Pokemon getting trapped as they are momentum based but themselves benefit massively from common defensive cores being less good. They also tend to pair well with Abra whilst having ways of dealing with opposing Abra. Lastly, gastly has improved from the prominence of both of these Pokemon by pairing well with the former and being able to use substitute on the latter.
Biggest Losers:
Any defensive Pokemon that is unable to withstand pressure from offensive Pokemon that benefit from Trapinch (Ponyta, Birds) or Abragast
I mentioned earlier that I thought Mareanie was currently at least as good as Foongus defensively, and this is mostly why: When all of the best offensive Pokemon in the metagame are able to consistently do massive damage to Foongus, if not straight KO it, it has a very hard time shining defensively as it used to. This is only compounded by a rise in Timburr usage, as it can no longer switch into the undisputed best fighting type. I also think its fair to say that, in general, foongus thrives more in slower and more balance-heavy metagames, which is why it was so incredible in mid SM before Pinch's rise in popularity. I don't think that its usage among most users has dropped as much to reflect this, but I think more and more you're seeing top players forego foongus (often just foregoing a grass type entirely) and that this is why.

Any Pokemon reliably trapped by Trapinch
This should be pretty clear: Magnemite, defensive tirtouga and Onix went from being staples on almost every team to being comparatively rare. The only Pokemon that has escaped this is Pawniard, mostly due to its ability through knockoff to keep Trapinch from trapping something after its death, as well as its general incredible utility.

I'm probably missing some smaller meta game trends but I think characterizing the meta game as increasingly offensive is fair, and I think the rise and fall of the mons I mentioned is pretty clear. As I hope I made clear, almost all of these shifts that we're seeing are, in my opinion, directly or indirectly attributable to Abra, Trapinch, or both. I actually quite like the meta game now so I don't know what my vote will be concerning Abra, but I think that considering these trends and their clear roots Abra and then potentially Trapinch are clearly the most suspect worthy Pokemon currently due to their frankly unrivaled influence on the metagame.
 

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So the most recent suspect wrapped up and Abra wasn't banned. So what happens next? Do we immediately put the spotlight on Trapinch as a problem and try to have it removed from the meta?

I know I say this a lot, but I really wanna see how the metagame develops with what we have now. With the notion of Trapinch being the de facto trapper and Vullaby being its partner in crime I think we're going to see some fascinating developments. I think Water-types are going to be amazing moving forward, particularly Staryu which can run coverage to scare the aforementioned duo and ward off other offensive Pokemon as well. I really wanna say Chinchou could make a comeback as well but that's a bit of a stretch.

One thing I like about Trapinch being good is that it makes some of the lower speed tiers more relevant because it means some of those Pokemon might not be trapped as often, or at the very least are able to make Trapinch less useful.

Also, we freed Torchic! I'll probably do a laddering video in honour of this momentous occasion in the coming weeks, once I manage time in between work and classes. I don't think it's going to be a huge influence on the meta because it has to complete with Ponyta as a Fire-type attacker and if Water-types do become more popular that's going to hinder it.

I'm sure a massive tcr post is on the way :^) so I'll let him go into more detail about some more things that are potentially good or bad about this meta.
 

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I think having a suspect test for Trapinch, or more preferably Arena Trap is the best decision to make. The Abra suspect resulted in a no ban meaning that the status quo has not changed. Seeing as Abra has been talked about for several months, since before the start of the new year, I don't really see the meta changing or adapting to anything in the near future. More that, the changes that were already taking place will simply continue to take place (things like Modest Abra, Staryu usage). I think immediately putting the spotlight onto Trapinch or Arena Trap as a whole (considering that Diglett has oft been considered a problem pokemon as well by a sizable amount of people in the community) would be good, especially since LCPL is only a couple months away and we can start suspecting those and see how the metagame develops afterwards in the event of a ban, leaving LCPL for a huge boost in meta development and highlighting of potential new problem Pokemon for a suspect immediately afterwards.

I think that Arena Trap is the move to make despite Diglett not being as prominent in this metagame anymore. Arguments have been made that Diglett's declining usage and winrates mean that it is no longer considered broken (such as by council member dcae) but I attribute this to the rise of Trapinch. Naturally Trapinch's effect on countering Diglett will push the other trapper out of the meta seeing as both cannot viably be used on the same team without serious flaws, but to state that that means the problems that Diglett tends to enforce on the metagame as a standalone Pokemon are invalid is ridiculous in my eyes. Trapinch leaves and Diglett still does the same things that it did pre-Wingull meta as the meta shifts back to before. I do not think that Wingull had as much collatoral as people would have you believe, more that it gave rise to the usage of Trapinch since Trapinch was no longer a liability and as a result cores like Abra Trapinch or Ponyta Trapinch or Vullaby Trapinch started to become more and more common, helping to beat regencores that were last seen around the time of the post Wingull ban (teams like trash's team or osh's staryu / pawniard team come to mind as representing that sort of playstyle).

I don't believe that Torchic will have any impact on the meta. It is simply too weak and faces competition from more immediate threats like Ponyta, and it struggles to break through some more common Pokemon like Tirtouga and Staryu now.
 
I agree with tcr. Torchic is kinda butt. It's movepool (or lack thereof) leave's a lot to be desired. Not to mention, you're almost required to run Prot/HP Grass/Ground/Fire Blast/Move of choice. Defog is cool, but I'd rather use other choices. Mirror Move/Mimic are cool, but very opportunistic. Ponyta has better bulk, Darmuka or whatever it's name is has better coverage (so does Ponyta). What is Torchic's role? 17 SpA is cool and all, but it doesn't have much to take advantage of it. It's physical movepool contains no STAB moves of use (Flame Charge) so it can't much take advantage of access to SD. You could do a cheeky Z-Bounce or Z-Dig which is fantastic for beating Dewpider or Mareanie/Ponyta respectively, but that's about it. I don't think Torchic will quite make an impact.

Also I believe Trapinch is 110% deserving of a suspect, at the moment, although I think it would be better to wait a bit (few weeks, couple of months) to see if Torchic affects it's usage in any way. Not that I would expect it to, but we can't take for granted that Trapinch will continue to dominate the way it has previously when a new variable is introduced. I do think it's beyond absurd how effective it is at deleting threats, but who know what may change.

All in all, excited to try the new toy in the current environment and see how it plays out.

e: after playing with it some last night, Evio with 12 in SpD lives a Sash Abra Psychic (unless whoever I was playing was running some weird set) and can 2HKO with Fire Blast + HP, but the tradeoff is less firepower. Although, some calcs for consideration:

236 SpA Abra Psychic vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Eviolite Torchic: 12-15 (57.1 - 71.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
200+ SpA Torchic Fire Blast vs. 0 HP / 76 SpD Abra: 16-19 (84.2 - 100%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO

Other calcs of interest:
200+ SpA Torchic Hidden Power Ground vs. 0 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Ponyta: 8-10 (38 - 47.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO (2HKO after Rocks) (LO: 47.6 - 61.9%)
200+ SpA Torchic Fire Blast vs. 212 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Spritzee: 10-13 (37 - 48.1%) -- 56.3% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock
200+ SpA Torchic Hidden Power Ground vs. 76 HP / 0 SpD Chinchou: 12-16 (48 - 64%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock (LO does a bit more)
200+ SpA Torchic Fire Blast vs. 116 HP / 156 SpD Vullaby: 13-16 (52 - 64%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock (Fat Vull can't OHKO with BB [47.6 - 61.9%])
200+ SpA Torchic Fire Blast vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Eviolite Mienfoo: 12-15 (57.1 - 71.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
200+ SpA Life Orb Torchic Fire Blast vs. 0 HP / 36 SpD Eviolite Mienfoo: 16-19 (76.1 - 90.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
200+ SpA Life Orb Torchic Hidden Power Grass vs. 236 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Frillish: 10-13 (40 - 52%) -- 12.1% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock
200+ SpA Life Orb Torchic Fire Blast vs. 36 HP / 36 SpD Eviolite Grimer-Alola: 16-19 (64 - 76%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
200+ SpA Life Orb Torchic Hidden Power Grass vs. 116 HP / 0 SpD Eviolite Staryu: 13-16 (61.9 - 76.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock

The biggest gains in for LO though:
200+ SpA Torchic Hidden Power Ground vs. 196 HP / 100+ SpD Eviolite Mareanie: 8-10 (33.3 - 41.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock
vs:
200+ SpA Life Orb Torchic Hidden Power Ground vs. 196 HP / 100+ SpD Eviolite Mareanie: 10-13 (41.6 - 54.1%) -- 12.1% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock

That's all the calcs I'm running, but it should give you an idea of it's utility. Limited because of a shit movepool, but being able to run Modest helps cover that weakness a bit. I still find myself preferring Ponyta most of the time though.
 
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