More Thoughts on Stealth Rock

Do you support the testing of a Stealth Rockless metagame?


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Stealth Rock is what balances the game. Without it, we'd have to be much more prepared for switching constantly. I do support a test though, hopefully it will stop people from saying "but then salamence and gyarados and focus sash will be on liek all teams!1!"

Fact is, Salamence and Gyarados are ALREADY on every team. And nobody will use Sash, everybody knows they are crap and there is always a better item to choose.
Well, that seems kind of silly considering the usage statistics. Consider the competitive pokemon that Focus Sash more often than any other item:


| Aerodactyl | Item | Focus Sash | 71.4
| Roserade | Item | Focus Sash | 50.6
| Azelf | Item | Focus Sash | 46.0
| Yanmega | Item | Focus Sash | 35.5
| Weavile | Item | Focus Sash | 35.4
| Froslass | Item | Focus Sash | 28.1


Most of these are pokemon who are able to be OHKOd by most strong attacks (obviously). Usually these are leads, and Focus Sash makes sense on leads because SR isn't there to 'ruin' the trick.

Frosslass is an interesting exception, as it's used on mostly hail teams in OU (the stats are from the November OU usage) and not as a lead. It does continue with the theme that the Sash is best used when you're more likely to be free of residual damage, though.


| Infernape | Item | Focus Sash | 27.4


Infernape uses Focus Sash second only to Life Orb. The fact that such a powerful offensive pokemon is willing to give up the boost for a Sash fairly often does tell you something though.


| Lucario | Item | Focus Sash | 12.2


This is perhaps the most interesting of all. That's actually Lucario's second most used item (to Life Orb of course), beating out even Specs. What does that say about things?

So, you have a bunch of pokemon who are using Focus Sash quite often, usually in situations where SR is not in play... often in order to put SR in play. Keep in mind these are also some of the strongest offensive pokemon out there doing this, too. Some are even running Fake Out strictly to counter other sash leads. All in all, I'd say Focus Sash is a pretty strong item when it's not rendered useless by residual damage (which would certainly happen less often in a SR-free metagame).



Another thing I found interesting mentioned in this thread recently is that a SR-free metagame would benefit offensive teams even moreso now because of the decrease in residual damage. I tend to agree with that, actually. Generally stall teals use spikes and toxic spikes as well, but they're just not as exceptional. Levitators, flyers, steels that are immune to poison, pokemon who terrorize stall teams not caring about or benefitting from the poison (Heracross, Breloom, etc) are all over the place now. I've personally noticed that recently a couple of my teams don't even have a single pokemon who worries about toxic spikes.

However, the real losers in all of this are the balanced teams. Offensive teams put up SR to help them with 2HKOs and such, and they tend to lead with the suicide 'I will get stealth rock up at all costs' focus sash stealth rockers and go straight to attacking. Stall teams can afford to put up SR (and spikes) easily, because they usually have all standard pokemon covered to an extent and can afford to spend the turn. Balanced teams, though, usually rely on sketchy counters and often putting up SR means you're going to get Swampert frozen by an Ice Punch because the guy refuses to switch Weavile out, or something close to that. The real kicker is that balanced teams would also be screwed by the lack of SR, wherein they would likely be forced to actually do damage to break the sashes of offensive pokemon they can hardly wall in the first place.

This really leads into the main things I worry about when considering a SR-free metagame, which are:

- Flying types are already incredibly strong this gen, even when factoring in SR damage
- Focus Sash is already prevalent (and incredibly powerful) in a lot of the SR-free situations
- Offensive teams don't really need any more 'help' (though neither do stall teams, it's the balanced teams that are hurting right now)


You could say I don't take the 'SR isn't broken' stance as much as I take the 'a metagame with SR isn't any more broken than a metagame without'.
 
@QibingZero

This has been beaten to death over the last 23 pages, but I think it's worth noting that if you banned Stealth Rock, suicide leads would be much less prominent and Focus Sash uses should drop. Focus Sash is a necessity (almost) right now because if you don't land SR, you're at a major disadvantage.
 
wrong tanner, and I realize this is stepping into theorymon but it's pretty sound. Suicide leads would become less popular, true, but focus sash users would still be everywhere, just now being used on Reversal/Counter/Salac Berry sets because they no longer need to use a moveslot for endure
 
wrong tanner, and I realize this is stepping into theorymon but it's pretty sound. Suicide leads would become less popular, true, but focus sash users would still be everywhere, just now being used on Reversal/Counter/Salac Berry sets because they no longer need to use a moveslot for endure
To go and play devil's advocate, those sorts of things can be beaten with priority fairly easily, which has become far more common thanks to a certain red bug.
However, since Focus Sash could frankly be shoved on a whole bunch of frail Pokes and used to devastating effect. Removing Stealth Rock would definitely dramatically increase the amount of Sashers
 
Focus Sash is only used by those Pokemon for leading purposes, they are irrelevant.
How is that irrelevant? In the majority of the battles I play, SR is up on the first turn of the game and stays there until the last (and I don't even use a SR lead on half my teams). The lead pokemon is the only regular situation wherein we can make claims as to what a SR-free metagame might look like, and the lead pokemon often use Focus Sash in order to not only get SR up, but to beat other pokemon and gain the advantage. For instance, if I lead with Yanmega I use Focus Sash because then I can just straight up attack all the suicide leads that start out using SR. Unless they have priority and attack first turn, I will force the action in the direction I want it.
 

Seven Deadly Sins

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Let's see if I can get this through to you, since apparently you missed it.

All of the Pokemon you just listed as common Focus Sash users ALL do it because they are leading, which makes Stealth Rock irrelevant in their calculations. Note that ALL of these Pokemon are susceptible to Sandstorm, thus making their Sash useless in 99% of other situations. They are also susceptible to Toxic Spikes and Spikes. The current discussion about Focus Sash refers to using it in order to stop set-up threats or prepare for a sweep, NOT in a situation where you are 100% guaranteed for Focus Sash to activate and be useful to let you set up Stealth Rock or do other things.

Honestly, why would you think that the lead mindgames have anything to do with how SR affects the use of Focus Sash?
 
Now I can see why people are complaining about beating a dead horse here. I don't think you realize you're missing my point even more than I'm missing yours.

Is it that hard to understand I'm saying Focus Sash is generally a viable item only on leads because of the fact SR is not in play at the time? Following that, I'm saying that if SR was not in play very often, Focus Sash would have much more potential on more than turn one. Sandstorm is not present in anywhere near 99% of situations, nor does it affect every pokemon I listed. In addition, 3 of 8 are not affected by Spikes. 5 of 8 are not affected by Toxic Spikes (one even absorbs them).
 

Seven Deadly Sins

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You seem to have still missed the point. It's not just when SR is absent. Sandstorm and Hail haven't done damage yet, Spikes and TSpikes aren't down, neither side has switched into an attack, and really, nothing has happened. This is a situation that almost never happens in the current metagame, if only for the fact that in order for this to happen something has to die. Most decent teams won't give half a shit about Focus Sash. Stall doesn't care- it relies on Spikes and small amounts of indirect and direct damage to wear down opponents, which Focus Sash won't actually impact in the slightest. Offensive teams probably won't care, as a lot of potential Sash users really need the Life Orb boost to be scary even after stat ups. It might be annoying as a defensive full stop measure, but the only kind of Pokemon it's really viable for is Sandstorm-immune Pokemon, and most of them don't have any business being Sashed outside of Lucario.

Bottom line, Focus Sash is simply too circumstantial and too unreliable to be heavily abused in an SRless metagame. The only Pokemon I ever think about abusing Sash with is Endeavor Clefable, the best full stop ever, and only because it is 150% immune to every form of damage other than physical hit me in the face damage, and even then it doesn't care about SR.
 
Were you playing in shoddy's earlier days, mid-late '07 or so, when SR use was regular but not suicidal? A good chunk of the metagame didn't start out using SR, and it was almost considered (much like spikes, tspikes) something only worth it if you were running a TSS-type team. The problem was, people were using things like Shedinja and Focus Sash much more often back then.

What I'm getting at, is that when I first started running SR it had nothing to do with wanting to punish fire or flying pokemon from switching too often, or 2HKO stuff I couldn't otherwise, or any of the common arguments for SR use. It was strictly to improve my teams' winning percentage because I would lose to late-game Focus Sashes when using any team that wasn't running a bunch of entry hazards or weather, regardless of how badly I had outplayed my opponent beforehand. Losing to sash Weavile or sash Zam (or that bastard Shedinja) when you're up 4-1 is a serious pain in the ass. That's why I put SR on even my most offensive teams at the time. And that is why I seriously question those who downplay the power of Focus Sash.

In every instance, sandstorm/hail/spikes/tspikes are mentioned, as if they are each equivalent to SR in culling sash use. Let's think about this, while keeping in mind that each option doesn't work on every pokemon like SR does.

You have:

- 2 sandstream pokemon
- 1 snow warning pokemon

All of which limit effective choices to place alongside them on their teams.

- 4 competitively viable spikers (Skarmory, Forretress, Roserade, Frosslass)
- 3 competitively viable toxic spikers (Forretress, Tentacruel, Roserade)

That's only 5 total pokemon. Cloyster, Qwilfish, and Cacturne are there as well, but the ones listed can actually run utility moves without completely gimping themselves in standard.

So we're left with a situation in which either Focus Sash runs wild, or the metagame is forced to heavily centralize to stop it, picking from a pool of about 8 pokemon. With Stealth Rock out, you deal with sash 100% of the time, and you have at least 20 viable pokemon to choose from to carry the move in the first place. That's a bit of a disparity. This is why I say that a metagame with SR isn't any more broken than a metagame without would be.
 
I doubt Focus Sash would be used much or effectively because you have to:

1. Get them in without taking any damage.
2. Make sure they don't get hurt by Spikes or Toxic Spikes.
3. Not take weather damage.
4. Not get hit by a priority move.
5. Make sure they are faster than their opponent (plenty of Scarfers still being used).
6. Not get Tricked.

There's a lot of pokémon who have access to one of the above. I don't think that's much centralization...

If its Gyara or Mence they are using a Sash instead of something else like a Life Orb that would let them hit a lot harder. Not to mention Ice types with Ice Shard are usable.
 

cim

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Can you stop throwing the word "centralization" around? Thanks.

I agree with MTI that Sash wouldn't be broken in an SRless metagame and it's stupid to not test because of it. However, there are much better reasons not to test it, such as it not being broken and everyone having their minds made up anyway and everything else I've ever said.
 

reachzero

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I have a question for any and all people in favor of testing to answer: how would you propose we test this? As a separate ladder distinct from the Standard and Suspect Ladders? As a Suspect? For how long? Three months? Six months? It seems to me that testing Stealth Rock would be incredibly labor-intensive and time consuming.
 

Legacy Raider

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Testing Stealth Rock is a waste of both time and resources. I have not voiced my opinion of the matter until now, but I wholeheartedly have to agree with reachzero. This is not simply a matter of having a SR-less ladder for a month. A test of this magnitude would require many, many months to yield any accurate and valid results. To be frank, we have better things to be doing with our time. There is a whole list of suspects in the 'Order of Operations' thread which I believe are not only more viable, but take far less time to get through. If we want to do a test to determine SR's 'brokenness' it will take at least as long as all the specific pokemon tests on that list.

In the end it comes down to a matter of personal preference, really. You can never make everyone happy and there is always going to be someone who is going to complain about one thing or another. Stealth Rock is a central part of the DPP generation. It has always been a part of it, and I dearly hope it remains that way. Just because it is an annoyance to a minority does not mean we need to spend the half a year or so seeing if we prefer the new metagame.

Why do people want to ban SR? It increases variety in a metagame? You want to see Charizard, Moltres, Yanmega and Articuno in OU? Well firstly, a ban on SR effectively means the end of all stall teams. So there's you variety argument out the window. It will no longer be possible to use the residual damage strategy to stall out an opposing team into submission, as any flying type will not be taking entry hazard damage upon switching in. To get any semblance of a residual stall strategy you would have to use ridiculous things like Gravity Blissey lol. The very fact that a ban on SR makes stall unviable shows that it will not increase the diversity in the metagame, as it would mean the end of an entire playing style, not just a couple of flying types.
 

Tangerine

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Well firstly, a ban on SR effectively means the end of all stall teams. So there's you variety argument out the window.
Really. Are you sure?

I think SR may be able to promote stall because Flying Types are now more viable for stall, which lets them allow spikes and toxic spikes damage, meaning that stall teams don't even have to bother with a Toxic Spike absorber or even Rapid Spin. Pressure Stall becomes more viable with Zapdos/Articuno/Moltres not having to deal with SR. Bulkydos and Bulkymence also seem quite viable for stall considering they are able to switch in with intimidate, and can set up a lot easier.

To get any semblance of a residual stall strategy you would have to use ridiculous things like Gravity Blissey lol.
That statement is a bit extreme and you know it... I mean Stall was viable in ADV (I'm assuming here!) without SR *or* Toxic Spikes so why wouldn't it be viable now?

I think the your entire last paragraph is invalid, but that doesn't matter anyway since SR is most likely not going to be tested. There is no reason to test it unless someone provides a really convincing, indepth argument on how SR will lead to a more "balanced" metagame and how this is what we want as a competitive community. Considering no one even bothered to put together a coherent Garchomp argument, "don't count on it".

Can you stop throwing the word "centralization" around? Thanks.
Why? centralization is a valid concept. Overcentralized is valid if you can support it with a valid argument. Don't do this - it gets very annoying especially since you're using semantics to throw away an argument to a certain degree.

In the end, I would appreciate it if someone would summarize what went on in this 15 pages and make a coherent and solid case on why Smogon should consider banning SR. Because to me all this looks like is a "test for the sake of a test", and I'd like for someone to show me otherwise. We're not testing anything because anyone "feels like it" - we want solid theorymon evidence that SR is broken to even consider it, which no one has managed to pull off so far.
 

Legacy Raider

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I think SR may be able to promote stall because Flying Types are now more viable for stall, which lets them allow spikes and toxic spikes damage, meaning that stall teams don't even have to bother with a Toxic Spike absorber or even Rapid Spin.
Whilst flying types become more viable on the stall teams because they don't take any spike damage, the same applies to the opposing team as well. If you can pressure stall with a Moltres, what's to stop the opponent from using a ResTalk DD Gyarados to set up all over you? Or a CM Refresh Latias if we want to be meticulous here. I wasn't too sure I understood what you were meaning when you said that flying types on stall teams 'let them allow spikes and toxic spikes damage', but the fact remains that getting residual damage on everything bar Clefable is the way stall teams operate. With SR gone, that is all the flying types in the game with nothing to hit them upon switching in, meaning that stall teams will find it very difficult to deal with them. That is one of the reasons that a CM Clefable can almost assuredly beat a stall team - its immunity to residual damage. Without SR, stall becomes that much harder (to the point where it's not competitively viable any more) as any bulky flying type with rest and a set up move has really nothing to fear from it any more.

That statement is a bit extreme and you know it... I mean Stall was viable in ADV (I'm assuming here!) without SR *or* Toxic Spikes so why wouldn't it be viable now?
I agree that my statement about Gravity Blissey was a bit facetious, but stall in ADV and DP are two completely different things. In advance, things like Salamence and Gyarados were pathetic offensively, with Earthquake, HP Flying and Rock Slide as its primary offensive options. It didn't matter back then if Mence got in for free against a stall team, as it was such a small threat back then, and could be completely walled by something like a Milotic.

In DP, a stall team simply cannot afford to let MixMence come in on it without any punishment whatsoever. For the majority of stall teams nowadays that is their only way of dealing with it - let the residual damage wear it down and possibly get some paralysis on it, or let it get a few SpA drops against a Blissey and send in Hippowdon to Roar it away or Ice Fang it. If the MixMence user can simply withdraw Salamence, safe in the knowledge that it can come in and launch a Draco Meteor or Outrage with next to no consequence, the stall team is going to be very hard pushed winning the battle.
 
Honestly, I think it should be tested. I'm neutral on the matter, but there are all these statements flying around about 'Focus sash users will rise in popularity', 'Stall teams will benefit', 'Stall teams will be worse', etc, but honestly you have to remember something. These are predictions. No matter how educated the prediction, you can not say that 100% what you say will happen.

Whether or not removing SR is good or bad, I can't really say, but I know that we won't know until its tested.
 

Tangerine

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If you can pressure stall with a Moltres, what's to stop the opponent from using a ResTalk DD Gyarados to set up all over you? u? Or a CM Refresh Latias if we want to be meticulous here.
Switching.

I wasn't too sure I understood what you were meaning when you said that flying types on stall teams 'let them allow spikes and toxic spikes damage',
That was my mistake, I think my keyboard hiccuped. Anyway, I meant that Stall Teams don't even need to bother rapid spinning since they don't have to worry about residual damage :P

With SR gone, that is all the flying types in the game with nothing to hit them upon switching in, meaning that stall teams will find it very difficult to deal with them.
Well Articuno and Zapdos have STAB Super Effective moves. So does Rotom. And the idea is to pressure stall anyway, which I'm sure is also valid! But then again, I think you are arguing for the case of a "pure stall" teams where they wouldn't hurt as much but I think its still important to consider.

Without SR, stall becomes that much harder (to the point where it's not competitively viable any more) as any bulky flying type with rest and a set up move has really nothing to fear from it any more.
...This sounds like the "Deoxys E destroys offensive teams" argument. But yes, "pure stall teams" won't work as well they did before, but what stops stall from adjusting a little and including a stat upper or a trick user of their own, etc?

This leads to another point - "Destroying one valid strategy" (or "pure stall", as you would call it) isn't necessarily a bad thing considering the change can bring for many more valid strategies. I think that is one thing to consider - things will have effects and will make certain strategies less viable and more viable. Its not necessarily a 'bad thing', I honestly dont know where that mentality came from.

For the majority of stall teams nowadays that is their only way of dealing with it - let the residual damage wear it down and possibly get some paralysis on it, or let it get a few SpA drops against a Blissey and send in Hippowdon to Roar it away or Ice Fang it. If the MixMence user can simply withdraw Salamence, safe in the knowledge that it can come in and launch a Draco Meteor or Outrage with next to no consequence, the stall team is going to be very hard pushed winning the battle.
Well, considering I've used Gyarados as a Mence counter before in a stall team and it isn't all that bad! What stops Gyarados from Dragon Dancing now? But yes, your point is that "in a pure stall team" that are currently used today, it will have trouble? But like i said - what stops them from adjusting a little and using different ways to stall? And "why is the destruction of pure stall" bad when SR ban may promote the use of new strategies?

Honestly, I think it should be tested. I'm neutral on the matter, but there are all these statements flying around about 'Focus sash users will rise in popularity', 'Stall teams will benefit', 'Stall teams will be worse', etc, but honestly you have to remember something. These are predictions. No matter how educated the prediction, you can not say that 100% what you say will happen.
Well, unless someone makes a case for a SR Ban "being a really really good thing" or the presence of SR "being a really really bad thing" I don't think the site has any resources to invest in testing a move that "is not broken" as far as we are concerned.
 
I have a question for any and all people in favor of testing to answer: how would you propose we test this? As a separate ladder distinct from the Standard and Suspect Ladders? As a Suspect? For how long? Three months? Six months? It seems to me that testing Stealth Rock would be incredibly labor-intensive and time consuming.
In the very least we need 2 months. The first month would get many gimmicks out of the way and start to let a real metagame form. The second month would have a somewhat developed metagame and people should be able to make some decisions based on that. I think it would benefit from taking additional time, but two months would be the bare minimum for this test to work.

I think that a Suspect ladder would be fine, as it would get treatment as a Suspect.
 

Fabbles

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Just thought I would remind everyone of the SR-less tournament that Brawley and I hosted a few months back.

Overall:

Number of times used in 85 Battles:

Spikes: 7
Toxic Spikes: 16
Rapid Spin: 1
Focus Sash: 12

Total Pokemon: 506

Garchomp: 45
Gyarados: 35
Celebi: 34
Tyranitar: 25
Metagross: 25
Gengar: 25
Salamence: 21
Deoxys-e: 19
Heatran: 18
Moltres: 15
Lucario: 15
Suicune: 13
Magnezone: 13
Jirachi: 12
Forretress: 11
Yanmega: 11
Roserade: 10
Starmie: 10
Togekiss: 9
Cresselia: 9
Bronzong: 9
Machamp: 9
Swampert: 8
Zapdos: 7
Blissey: 7

Weavile: 7
Infernape: 7
Heracross: 6
Vaporeon: 6
Dugtrio: 5
Raikou: 5
Dragonite: 5
Tentacruel: 4
Mamoswine: 4
Walrein: 3
Abomasnow: 3
Breloom: 3
Regice: 3
Shuckle: 3
Snorlax: 2
Azelf: 2

Cloyster: 2
Spiritomb: 2
Mismagius: 2
Dusknoir: 2
Articuno: 1
Clefable: 1
Gliscor: 1
Uxie: 1
Claydol: 1
Exeggutor: 1
Clefable: 1
Crobat: 1
Medicham: 1
Rampardos: 1
Alakazam: 1
Jolteon: 1
Rampardos: 1
Honchkrow: 1
Froslass: 1

A few notes:
- Pokemon bolded were ones that were out of place of the current tiering lists at that time.
- All of the Focus Sashes that were seen in the battles were either used by leading Roserades or Yanmegas. There could have been more but they were not used, aka they were useless in the battle.
- There were only 3 Hail teams, and none after the second round of a six round tournament.
- There were 4 tentacruel and 11 forretress used, but only 1 time was Rapid Spin actually used in a battle.

In my opinion, I do not feel the need to test SR over any current suspects. I wouldn't mind putting it to the test after all of the other current suspects being talked about in Policy Review have been tested.
 
Fabbles, the irony is that you posted that right as discussions were ongoing about exactly how long it would take to adjust to a SR-free metagame. How much can a single tournament really tell us, especially when there is little room for adaptation?
 

Seven Deadly Sins

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I'm going to post this here instead of the SR thread in PR because this gets more airtime.

I was a member of a fairly successful DotA clan for a while during my WC3 days. For those that are not familiar, DotA is a custom map for Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne that has risen to fame in the competitive world- so much so that it is now a part of the World Series of Gaming. In this game, heroes match off against one another in teams of five, attempting to defeat one another and destroy the opponent's base.

Anyway, in DotA, there is an item called Kelen's Dagger of Escape, or the Blink Dagger as it is known. This item gives no stat boosts, but allows its holder to teleport a short distance instantly. It is inexpensive and benefits almost all types of heroes equally: Tanks love it to get into the middle of the action, casters love it to either get into position or get away, and offensive heroes love it to chase or to flee. It didn't have a huge impact, but it was arguably the single best item in the game, so much so that the beginning of the game was usually concentrated on getting this item to gain an advantage. Other more offensive teams could forego getting Blink Daggers in exchange for other items early game, giving them a small advantage, but in the long run Blink Dagger was almost always more useful. In addition, a number of heroes renowned for the fact that they have Blink as a natural ability were outclassed by the fact that any hero can buy that ability, thus reducing their usefulness massively.

There was a massive outcry of members of the public saying to nerf the Blink Dagger heavily because of how amazingly useful and good it is. Yet in the end, the nerf to Blink Dagger was very small, and didn't actually have any tangible effect on reducing its usefulness or its widespread usage. This was because above all else, the people in charge realized that despite the fact that Blink Dagger is arguably the best item in the game, better than any other option, it is not in itself inherently broken. It is a moderate boost to every single character in the game, and a limiting factor, but it does not break the metagame and is not worthy of a ban/massive nerf.
 
I thought changing the blink dagger to not being able to be used for a few seconds after taking damage was a huge, huge change. It was ridiculous beforehand, and the nerf limited it's use to what the design best intended - getting heroes like Sand King, Centaur, Ursa, etc into the spots they needed to be in to be effective. I don't really see the parallel, even though I agree with what you're trying to say.
 

david stone

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After thinking long and hard on this, I have decided to cast my vote for "No". My reason is simple:

The game as it is is the test. You don't test things by seeing what it's like when they're gone, you test them by seeing what it's like when they're there. If the game is considered balanced (for instance, by looking at the distribution of Pokemon usages, among other things), then nothing allowed can be 'broken'. Until someone can make a cogent argument that there is a problem with what we have (and can find some sort of link between that and Stealth Rock, so complaining about things like move accuracy and critical hits would be invalid), my vote will remain a no.

If an argument can be made that there is a problem, and that SR is a possible culprit, then a valid test would be to see what happens when it's gone. If the problem still exists, then SR cannot be the cause.
 
Ugh all this stuff about spikes and moltres and regice and focus sash and double team. And Blink Daggers...

Seriously though, for the sake of improving my own argumentative skills, I am going to play devil's advocate here and try to provide the intelligent argument that Tangerine is looking for and that MTI and his supporters probably already know inuitively but are unwilling to give. In fact I'll even give two:

One common definition of an Uber is that it overcentralizes the metagame around itself and forces players to use less effective strategies just to counter the "Uber strategy". Stealth Rock is currently the #1 non-damaging attack in Standard by usage. I think it is important to separate attacks that strictly do damage on the turn they are used from strategy moves that have lasting effects after they are used that are cumulative to the former type of attacks. Even if you lump stealth rock in with all the other attacks, #4 is still extremely high considering that a team using stealth rock will only have it filling one of their 24 movelsots, while moves like Stone Edge and Thunderbolt can effectively be used on more than one pokemon in a team. With Stealth Rocks usage so high, the metagame is currently centered around Stealth Rock, with players either looking for ways to maximize its effect on their opponent, ways to stop it from hitting the field, ways to get it off the field, or ways to minimize its effects on one's team. All players must go through one of these four thought processes if they hope to make their team competitively viable. This overcentralizing factor makes Stealth Rock obviously suspect.

Now, that argument may be a little bit oversimplified, and some of you will undoubtedly question the "uber means overcentralizing" argument that I came up with, so heres a definition of uber that was posted by Tangerine him/herself and that paraphrased by Jumpman16, two very credible resources in the Smogon community.

Support Characteristic
A move is uber if it can consistently set up a situation in which it makes it substantially easier for other pokemon to sweep.
For the sake of staying in line with the purpose of this thread, I have replaced "pokemon" with "move". I'm sure most of you will agree that any definition of "uber" that can be applied to a pokemon can also be applied to an attack. For those of you that disagree, I'm going to enjoy reading your supporting arguments and I'm sure I will find them very interesting. Anyway, this was one of the definitions for Uber posted by Tangerine in Policy Review. The main purpose of this definition is to justify the banning Wobbufett and Deoxys, pokemon that didn't fit into the common definitions of "its uber if it can sweep a standard team" and "its uber if it can wall a standard team without support". Lets see if Stealth Rock fits into this definition shall we?

Stealth Rock is a move that causes all pokemon bar one to take damage when coming in. This makes the situation of dealing damage while switching consistent, although the damage itself is decided by the users opponent. This extra damage will make it easier for a pokemon to sweep, though how much easier is decided by how much damage is being taken by stealth rock (de facto, by the stealth rockers opponents team and playstyle). It could be slightly easier or it could be substantially easier, but it will be easier as long as that extra damage is being done. Thats one check for consistency and another check for making it easier to sweep.

Well, if my opponent can stop me from setting up stealth rock or remove stealth rock from play, it's not really consistent right? Right, so let's find out how plausible stopping stealth rock is. There are currently 4 ways to consistently get stealth rock off the field or consistently stop it from hitting the ground first turn, which are sleep, flinch, taunt, and rapid spin. The only move that flinches consistently is Fake Out, and the fastest fake out user, Weavile, is unable to outspeed and ko the fastest stealth rock user, aerodactyl, so flinch cannot always stop stealth rock from hitting the field first turn. The only pokemon that has access to 100% sleep and can outspeed aerodactyl is choice scarf smeargle. The only taunt user allowed in standard that outspeeds aerodactyl is Electrode. There are currently 15 pokemon allowed in standard that can use rapid spin. However, it can be argued that rapid spin cannot consistently remove stealth rocks because rapid spins effect does not work when there is a ghost type. And that's not theorymon, it is a fact that rapid spin does not always remove stealth rock from the field when used, making its effectiveess less than 100%. Conversely, when I use the attack Stealth Rock it will always have the desired effect of having my opponent affected by stealth rock for the rest of the game. So to sum up, the only consistent (100%) way to stop me from using stealth rock on the first turn is to use Electrode or Choice Scarf Smeargle. However, there is no way your going to stop me from getting stealth rocks up at some point during the game, which adds another check mark to stealth rocks consistency.

So to insert Stealth Rock into Tangerines definition: Stealth Rock is Uber as it can consistently set up a situation that makes it *substantially* easier for other pokemon to sweep.

The words in bold are things that I have already proved through objective unbiased facts based on game mechanics and not theorymon. The word *substantially* is the only part of that sentence that is truly subjective as I pointed out in the second paragraph after the quote box. For the people that say Stealth Rock is not suspect, I would like to see some arguments, preferably backed up by objective info, that stealth rock does not make it substantially easier for another pokemon to sweep, or disprove my claims stealth rock can be set up consistantly and/or that dealing extra damage every time a pokemon switches makes it easier to sweep.

I would also like to make it clear that I have no desire to test stealth rock as a suspect, not because I don't think its suspect but because most of the site staff dislike me enough already without aligning myself against them in a thread like this. I am simply doing this to make myself a better poster, as I believe a skilled debater should be able to argue the merits of both sides of an argument regardless of their opinion.
 
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