Suspect Mix and Mega Suspect #9: Gouging Fire

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Redflix

Forgiven and Hanged
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributor
Mix and Mega Council has decided to suspect Gouging Fire!

:SV/GOUGING FIRE:

Ever since its introduction, Gouging Fire has risen quietly through the ranks and has proved itself to be a notable threat that one needs to keep in mind while building for the current metagame. A solid pre-mega typing in Fire / Dragon and well-rounded stats when combined with Dragon Dance and strong STABs often ends up punching holes even against the strongest defensive cores of Mix and Mega. Its access to Morning Sun has established itself as one of metagame's best sweepers. Pinsirite DD is one of its strongest sets, allowing it to set up against common defensive staples such as Arceus-Ground , Arceus-Fairy, Hippowdon or even Lunala and using this boost to nuke such mons with Aerilate boosted Double-Edge or Flare Blitz. Pinsirite Gouging Fire can also choose to delay evolving, allowing it to set up on Arceus-Water or Slowbro which would otherwise beat it. Heracronite and Metagrossite are another 2 strong wallbreaking options for Gouging Fire, both making use of Scale Shot or TC boosted Outrage respectively. Heracronite, in particular, can capitalize on the surprise factor of it not being Pinsirite, and beat Mandibuzz, Arceus-Water and Garganacl on the switch. The recent rise of Screens HO in the meta is also extremely beneficial to Gouging Fire further enhancing its influence in the builder.

Answers to Gouging Fire do exist but are a bit situational. Most of the counterplay revolves around KOing it before it sets up or making use of strong offensive checks like Iron Boulder, Urshifu or Great Tusk. Defensively, Arceus-Ground can beat both Heracronite and Metagrossite but is a sitting duck against Pinsirite. Arceus-Water beats Pinsirite but loses to the other two. Defensive Helmet Lunala and Garganacl can 1v1 all varients for the most part. Red-Orb ursaluna and Raging Bolt, Sablenite Mandibuzz and Pecharunt too are a strong check for all varients. Finally, Altarianite Regieleki and Dragonite can revenge kill it which is especially the case of Pinsirite version as it puts itself in range thanks to both STABs having recoil.

Overall, Gouging Fire has established itself as a very influential threat and we believe its best for the community to decide its fate.

Requirements:

Requirements can be achieved by getting 78 GXE in 25 games on the Mix and Mega ladder. In order to participate in the suspect, you must create a fresh alt (creation date no earlier than 5 May 2024) with the prefix MNMGFF at the start of the name. When you have obtained the reqs, make sure to post proof of your alt's record (generally a screenshot) in this thread, and if you wish to do so, you can also share your thoughts on the test here.

Voting:
Once the suspect period is over, everyone who has obtained reqs will be tagged. The post will then outline a process of blind voting, which will be clarified once the time arrives. For now, follow the above "Requirements" subheading to ensure that you have posted your reqs correctly. You must post on this thread in order to be tagged in the voting thread, however you do not need to include your vote on this thread.

A super-majority of 60% ban votes is required to restrict Gouging Fire from Mix and Mega.

TL;DR:
- Gouging Fire is permitted on the suspect Ladder
- The GXE requirement is 78 and the minimum game count is 25
- You must ladder on a newly-created alt using the prefix MNMGFF
- You must post your reqs in this thread, though the voting process will happen in a separate thread in blind voting. You are not required to state your vote in this thread.
- The suspect test will conclude at 11:59pm GMT -5 (EST) on Sunday, May 19th .
 
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Slither Wing

used First Impression!
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Ran basic 5-min built team: :urshifu-rapid-strike: :raikou: :arcanine-hisui: :lunala: :arceus-ground: :mandibuzz:(Don't really wanna post teams since it attracts TC hunters but it's a tradition so I gotta)

I personally don't think that Gouging Fire is blatantly overpowered; there's a lot of walls that can in theory shut it down, such as Waterceus, PhysDef Etern, Venu Solgaleo, or Garganacl to name a few. The issue however, is that these can't check all of Gouging Fire's sets at the same time, giving the Gouging Fire's player the option to pick it's checks, which is very restraining in the builder. On top of that, Gouging has access to some hella annoying tools, be it bulky Msun sets letting it setup on more passive walls or Burning Bulwark to cripple PixiSpeed users looking to revenge-kill it. It also has ridiciously good stats, with great bulk and attack while not being omega-slow, giving it ample opportunities to setup with DD as well as live most revenge-killing attempts. Overall, it's a pain in the ass to prepare against, and lot of the time it either trades into 1-2 of your mons for it or it gets the sweep off right away, so I'll be voting Ban.
I would also like to encourage other people to speak up if they have ideas on what the want to vote in mind, as there's not a lot of discussions regarding Gouging Fire public, and Mix & Mega ladder sure doesn't paint a proper picture as to what it's capable of, so if other people would chime in it would be appreciated, it doesn't have to be much but just some thoughts would be great, cheers all.
 

Clas

pixibursting
is a Tiering Contributor
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Used a few older teams + one of zastra's builds (please dear god find a better mon to build around PLEASE) to degrees of success, ended up settling on rain once again. Red Orb may be broken, but my Swift Swim fish is even more broken.

ANYWAY, yeah uh Gouging Fire is really fucking stupid. The amount of set variety this thing has makes it absurdly unreasonable to answer, to the point where its own supposed counters are fainting in the process just to stop this thing from sweeping. Oh and the funnier part is that it has 5 goddamn sets that you should expect. Here's the list of them in case you wanted to torment yourself by trying to prepare for all of these, ranked top to bottom
Gouging Fire @ Pinsirite
Ability: Protosynthesis
Tera Type: Fire
EVs: 96 HP / 188 Atk / 224 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Double-Edge / Body Slam
- Flare Blitz / Heat Crash / Earthquake
- Morning Sun

Gouging Fire @ Aerodactylite
Ability: Protosynthesis
Tera Type: Fire
EVs: 32 HP / 252 Atk / 224 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Flare Blitz / Heat Crash
- Dragon Claw / Outrage / Earthquake
- Morning Sun / Burning Bulwark / Iron Head / Earthquake

Gouging Fire @ Heracronite
Ability: Protosynthesis
Tera Type: Fire
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Heat Crash
- Scale Shot
- Burning Bulwark

Gouging Fire @ Metagrossite
Ability: Protosynthesis
Tera Type: Fire
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Heat Crash
- Dragon Claw / Outrage
- Burning Bulwark / Iron Head / Earthquake

Gouging Fire @ Latiosite
Ability: Protosynthesis
Tera Type: Fire
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Heat Crash
- Dragon Claw / Earthquake
- Morning Sun
Honestly the worst part about fighting Gouging Fire isn't the fact that it's so absurdly strong but the fact that each variant has its own checks and counters, and even a simple moveslot change from Morning Sun to Burning Bulwark and vice versa so absurdly skews the matchup that it's not even funny. For example, Altarianite Dragonite can decently comfortably answer Tough Claws and Heracronite variants, except not really because they could be running Iron Head and just 2HKO it instead. Arceus-Ground can answer those same sets, but loses to Pinsirite without Stone Edge, Power Gem, or Gravity, and Latiosite requires Gravity to not lose to it in the long run. Arceus-Water beats the really stupidly strong Pinsirite variants, but will lose to Tough Claws, Latiosite, and Heracronite. You get the idea. The issue with Gouging Fire is that there's quite literally no one-size-fits-all true counter because its bulk is too high and its damage potential skyrockets in MnM, and so you either have to use a Pokemon like Rocky Helmet Lunala and pray its not Heracronite or stack answers and just hope it's enough (that's right, you won't even have them always work!). I've even begun to see Garganacl, a Pokemon deemed to be Gouging Fire's best answer, straight up lose to Heracronite variants because +1 Scale Shot does too much before Garganacl can respond with a Curse or Iron Defense of its own.

Now, unfortunately, I can't really gather replays because nobody is using the suspect tested Pokemon on ladder (again ;-; how did ursh survive...), but speak to any experienced MnM player that's played a decent chunk recently and they'll let you know how stupid that thing is. However, I would instead suggest trying this sample team by Redflix that really just showcases the potential stupidity of Gouging Fire. The number of games this thing can win on its own is astounding, and getting it into a sweeping position is so much easier than it should be. As such, I'll be voting ban.
 

zastra

勝つ
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idk if ill complete my reqs (like 12-1 rn but i hate laddering lol) (will edit this post if i do) rn but i thought of posting about gfire
edit: got off my lazy ass and did
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I would also like to encourage other people to speak up if they have ideas on what the want to vote in mind, as there's not a lot of discussions
i think the main problem mnm is facing rn is excess building strain. Redflix has constantly complained about the lack of good special walls in the tier outside of like, corv. while building, one has to keep in mind about the following threats:
  • Eternatus (Both defensive and offensive, primarily offensive)
  • Red Orb users (Lugia / Raging Bolt / Landorus, and other "niche" ones like Raikou / Azelf. Checks generally don't overlap and this could honestly be 3 points)
  • Urshifu-R
  • Arceus formes
  • Solgaleo (Physical + CM)
  • Extreme Speed users (Harc / Eleki / Dnite)
  • Gouging Fire (5 million sets)
suppose you covered for all this, great. but then some rando shows up with ceru psyspam and a random annihilape you immediately fold. or maybe they load up a deoxys. maybe a random CM user. if you take an offensive approach to building, you are always in the fear of encountering espeed users, whihc can rly hinder you. or a psyfangs solg. or a fogger / spinner.
-------------------------------
it is obviously impossible to cover for all threats on teams. ofc at times you have to rely on "shaky" methods-- out-offensing, out-playing, early hazards game. gouging fire is a 'mon that not many people have seen in action-- and ngl, it's unsurprising to me, considering

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ladder usage stats for april. somehow, Mega Charizard X has more usage than 'mons like Raging Bolt, Gouging Fire, and Solgaleo! this is our suspect ladder. we had an open, but the sample size wasn't nearly enough, with multiple people even using sample teams; a lot of people including me believe the meta is still underdeveloped and somewhat undiscovered. ompl is a great tour for meta dev, but unfortunately this suspect happened befoee that, so we have little statistics to work on. i advise you not to vote based on your ladder experience alone. read the posts in the thread, ask questions if you have to, and form ur opinions.

in the limited 25 ladder games / a few open games perhaps, people may think "yeah gfire is rly easy to handle. lemme just put a garganacl and a boulder and an espeeder and a hazard setter and im good". but is that right?
for the record, as someone who has voted DNB in most of the suspects of the generation, i hold a pretty high standard for bans. if a 'mon is outright broken, for example iron bundle, sure, ban it. we have seen enough and we know enough about its shenanigans. others, however, if theyre not incredibly unhealthy and cross the line, they should stay, for we are here to play 'mons and not the lack thereof. i also voted dnb on urshifu-r. where is the line though? to me, whether or not a 'mon should be banned based on teambuilding strain should be assessed based on the following points
1. if there's rly a great deal of prepping just to deal with a specific threat
2. if, even after prepping, the 'mon is able to deal with its answers by minor optimizations
3. if the 'mon's positives outweigh the negatives or not. will the tier benefit significantly from its ban?
is gouging fire banworthy based on the points?
let's do this simple experiment. build 50 MnM teams. are your teams able to deal with gfire without sacrificing its ability to handle anything else? mainly the 'mons i mentioned at the start of the post.
another question. is your team able to deal with ALL gouging fire sets?

imo gouging fire is a nuisance that needs to be removed to fix this tier. building wise, again as someone whos been building for mnm since the very start of gen 9 (and even before), the building strain gfire provides is not healthy. we already have multiple threats that need to be taken care of (check list at the start of post), and covering for gfire is simply not something i, as a builder, want to do. gfire is a 'mon that has the ability to win games just by gaslighting its opponent. guess wrong, and it would blow holes to your team. waterceus as ur check? lol. have fun if thats ur only check. it's insanely bulky and hits like a truck. it has the ability to pick & choose its answers, which is not a sign of a healthy 'mon. Slither Wing and Clas put forward excellent points about gouging fire counterplay, and i recommend giving a read to their posts.
Honestly the worst part about fighting Gouging Fire isn't the fact that it's so absurdly strong but the fact that each variant has its own checks and counters, and even a simple moveslot change from Morning Sun to Burning Bulwark and vice versa so absurdly skews the matchup that it's not even funny
The issue however, is that these can't check all of Gouging Fire's sets at the same time, giving the Gouging Fire's player the option to pick it's checks, which is very restraining in the builder.
(pt 2) all it needs to do is change its sets to deal with its so called answers! what are the postives of gfire? steel check? we have red orb. phys wallbreaker? we have mons like shifu phys solg etc. premier offense pick? ye ok but we have others too, including premier spiker hamu. easily nuking stuff is certainly appealing, but hey not if ure the one facing it. i believe gfire's negatives outweigh the positives. quite easily so.

i would be voting ban. this tier would benefit from 1 less physical monster. i also think a red orb ban would be beneficial for the tier and would ease building and playing a ton, but id talk about it some other day
 
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