More Thoughts on Stealth Rock

Do you support the testing of a Stealth Rockless metagame?


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Tangerine

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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.
If you realized I have revised the definition so that instead of "sweep", we have instead "accomplish the first two characteristics", and for "obvious reasons" (It was an oversight on my part the first time around and I forgot to change it)

The argument you need to make is that the move SR makes it consistently easier for Pokemon(s) to be capable of sweeping through a significant portion of teams in the Metagame with little effort, and I think that's the argument that the SR ban supporters need to consider. In order to do this, find a Pokemon that can sweep and prove that this pokemon "is indeed uber" when you assume SR damage, but not uber when you don't assume SR damage.

Also, you make the assumption that "it damages everything, therefore it makes it easier to sweep", sure, but I believe it is on the SR-test supports to prove that this is significant.

Good, intelligent effort though, it is much appreciated =)
 
The argument you need to make is that the move SR makes it consistently easier for Pokemon(s) to be capable of sweeping through a significant portion of teams in the Metagame with little effort, and I think that's the argument that the SR ban supporters need to consider. In order to do this, find a Pokemon that can sweep and prove that this pokemon "is indeed uber" when you assume SR damage, but not uber when you don't assume SR damage.
Alright Stealth Rock haters, Tangerine has told you what you need to prove to convince anyone in power here that Stealth Rock is suspect. The burden of proof for showing that Stealth Rock makes it substatantially easier for a pokemon to sweep a majority of standard pokes is on you guys, so get to it. Cuz that is honestly way too much damage calcs and usage statistics for me to bother with.
 
Tangerine said:
In order to do this, find a Pokemon that can sweep and prove that this pokemon "is indeed uber" when you assume SR damage, but not uber when you don't assume SR damage.
I'll note that this was indeed one of the arguments ban-supporters used (albeit not a very prominent one) several months ago, with Garchomp. Supposedly there are a number of pokemon who would be able to rise up and wall Garchomp should they no longer need to worry about Stealth Rock, but I had (and still have) a number of problems with that argument being used to justify a Stealth Rock test.

First of all, I didn't think banning Stealth Rock would particularly hurt Garchomp in the first place, which was "proven" in the Stop the Rocks tournament that Garchomp dominated; obviously a single elimination tournament isn't the best way to judge the merit of this sort of change, but anyone who has a hint of fear about the current Suspect metagame becoming "centralized around dragon and steel" knows that a Salamence with near complete residual damage immunity is not something to celebrate about with Garchomp introduced.


My second problem is that banning a defining aspect of our metagame such as Stealth Rock just because one out of 493 Pokemon can abuse it is the exact opposite of what we should be doing. To suggest that Stealth Rock is to blame for, say, Salamence being overpowered, is akin to saying that we should ban Yache Berry in order to keep Garchomp in the game. It flat-out doesn't work that way, but especially because Stealth Rock is so prominently featured in 4th gen play. A Yache Berry-less metagame wasn't what I was worried about; I was more concerned with the principle behind banning it then, but with Stealth Rock, are we not changing the game at its core by removing something ? I would literally have a problem in a metagame without Stealth Rock, especially if I could just look at something like Azelf, ban it instead, and have a balanced metagame that still retains one of the key defining aspects of 4th gen competitive Pokemon.


So no, I would disagree with anyone who used your criteria to justify a Stealth Rock test; if "Salamence is too good in a Stealth Rock metagame," that's just SR-ban speak for "Salamence is too good." You would need to prove that one of the unique defining traits of Stealth Rock is inherently broken, or that a significant portion of OU somehow became "Uber" in a Stealth Rock metagame (but otherwise would remain OU), to convince me that a Stealth Rock test is needed. That said, I suppose most members aren't as adamantly opposed to a test as I am so maybe that won't end up a problem for anyone!



edit: In fact, I'd say that this is something to be considered for the Support Characteristic in general. For example, maybe Deoxys-S would have been OU if Farfetch'd were banned. Do we ban Deoxys or Farfetch'd? I'd say we'd have to weigh the same two things I alluded to above: which is "to blame" and which is "more important," as well as considering "which is being tested" because of the obvious bias that will result (for example, let's say the community decided that Farfetch'd did indeed "cause" the problem. In order to ban him, they'd have to vote Deoxys-S OU, push for Farfetch'd to become a Suspect, test him for a month, and then vote Farfetch'd Uber. It's much easier and less time-consuming to just vote Deoxys out of OU, regardless of which is more deserving of a ban). I also think that this could have immediate relevance when the time comes to vote on Latias; if one of the primary pro-ban arguments continues to be "the metagame is too centralized around dragons and steels," do we worry about Latias being banned despite perhaps being inferior to Salamence, who it arguably "consistently sets up a situation in which it makes it substantially easier to accomplish the first two characteristics of uber"?
 
If using the support definition in regards to Stealth Rock, I think the hardest question you're going to have to deal with is:

What makes Stealth Rock fit the support definition any more than Reflect, Light Screen, or Trick do?
 
If using the support definition in regards to Stealth Rock, I think the hardest question you're going to have to deal with is:

What makes Stealth Rock fit the support definition any more than Reflect, Light Screen, or Trick do?
The first two are easy: Screens end after 5-8 turns. Stealth Rock is permanant, and there is no 100% way to get rid of it. As for trick, I as a player can block a trick by switching to a scarfed pokemon, regardless of what pokemon I have in play. Stealth Rocks on the other hand cannot be "blocked" unconditionally this way, you have to have a situation where you have a taunt user already in play that is faster the stealth rock pokemon.

So basically it's stealth rocks permanance and difficulty to stop that makes it different from the screens, trick, and a lot of other support moves out there.
 
The first two are easy: Screens end after 5-8 turns. Stealth Rock is permanant, and there is no 100% way to get rid of it. As for trick, I as a player can block a trick by switching to a scarfed pokemon, regardless of what pokemon I have in play. Stealth Rocks on the other hand cannot be "blocked" unconditionally this way, you have to have a situation where you have a taunt user already in play that is faster the stealth rock pokemon.

So basically it's stealth rocks permanance and difficulty to stop that makes it different from the screens, trick, and a lot of other support moves out there.
The problem with this is that screens are a much larger boost for those 5 or 8 turns than SR is during the same duration, and are just as difficult to remove. Using Brick Break while Salamence or Gyarados sets up is less effective than just hitting them with strong attacks with the screens still up. Now, Reflect and Light Screen can create an extra turn or two for a pokemon to set up, which is a much larger benefit than any pokemon actually gains from SR being on the field. Or a screen can act in much the same way a Focus Sash can under the right circumstances - giving a powerful sweeper a way to beat something which would ordinarily counter it. Then you have to worry about that same pokemon while you're missing your (likely) best check to it.

Furthermore, if the presence of SR can be accounted for (as it is reliably up in any given standard game), we can adjust to it. There are countless mentions of SR in every single analysis, and EVs are usually placed 'assuming SR'. This is much more difficult to do for screen use. Should Starmie EV to beat Infernape assuming Light Screen? Can Starmie EV to beat Infernape with Light Screen up?


As far as trick goes, your choice scarf scenario is limited, and not only because it requires you to run a scarfer who can usually switch into whichever pokemon is using trick. Other items can be tricked as well, including Specs and Band, which your scarfer might really not want at all. Hell, I run a Black Sludge Trick Gengar from time to time. How many pokemon are going to be happy about getting that tricked to them?
 

zorbees

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Manaphy is a suspect to be tested in OU. If Tail Glow became an illegal move, I highly doubt anyone would seriously consider Manaphy Uber. Tail Glow makes it substantially easier for Manaphy to sweep in OU. So, I ask, is Tail Glow a bannable move?

[Insert Hypothetical Sweeper] is a hypothetical suspect to be tested in OU. If Stealth Rock became an illegal move, I highly doubt anyone would seriously consider [Insert Hypothetical Sweeper] Uber. Stealth Rock makes it substantially easier for [Insert Hypothetical Sweeper] to sweep in OU. So, I ask, is Stealth Rock a bannable move?

(Note: The hypothetical example is what Tangerine wants people supporting the ban of Stealth Rock to find)
 

Tangerine

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From now on I'm going to delete and possibly infract all irrelevant posts that doesn't add anything to the argument at hand since everything else was covered by the first 15 or so pages in this thread. I don't think we should be going in circles talking about something that was mentioned over and over again.

FYI

1) We're not testing SR "for the sake of testing it"
2) We don't care if the SR-less metagame might be "better" or even "worse", that's not a reason to test it. You have to show that SR is broken now, before we consider banning it.
3) Everything has a centralizing effect. The presence of a Pokemon will make another Pokemon less usable, for example. So "SR makes some pokemon unusable" is not a valid argument. in fact, we have less of a reason to care since they're now being used in the new UU ladder.

You guys are to show that SR is indeed "broken" one way or another. Don't use "overcentralize", usage/predictability etc is the consequence of how useful something is, so you would have to argue saying "how useful" SR is. Use the characteristics of Uber, or use your own awesome definitions. Just make sure it is well argued.
 

zorbees

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Tangerine, and others I suppose, how do you feel about my previous post? Essentially, it says that if you think that finding an Uber pokemon that would be OU without Stealth Rock proves that SR should be banned, or at least tested, then you should also want a Tail Glow ban/test for the same reason.
 
So we are currently trying to make the following statement true to rationalize that SR is suspect:

SR makes it consistently easier for [PokemonX] to be capable of sweeping through a significant portion of teams in the Metagame with little effort.

And so the to make this true, the SR is Suspect camp needs to find an actual pokemon that can replace [PokemonX]. However, I am seeing a problem with this. Namely the word Metagame.

Stealth Rock is currently the #1 non-damaging attack in Standard by usage. [trim] 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. [trim]
The problem is that the current metagame has been molded around Stealth Rock, as I posted above. Therefore we might not be able to find a pokemon that matches [PokemonX] because the metagame has adjusted in such a way as to prevent a [PokemonX] from appearing by minimizing the effects of Stealth Rock on standard teams.

But what if there was a [PokemonX] in a metagame that was not adjusted for stealth rock but where stealth rock was still allowed? As if we had been playing DP for a year with Stealth Rock banned, and then decided to let it into standard play for a suspect test. And during the test,[PokemonX] was discovered to be able to sweep through the standard metagame teams with the help of stealth rock, because the metagame was not centered around Stealth Rock the way it is now. Would we consider it broken according to Tangerines definition?

And just because that is argumentation of ignorance does not change the fact that it is the next correct logical step from "SR is uber if you can find a [PokemonX] that sweeps standard teams because of SR". Trying to answer the quoted sentence just leads to "Well, because we don't know what standard would be like without SR, we don't know if [PokemonX] could be possible in a SRless metagame but be suppressed in the current metagame, so we need to test a SRless metagame to figure out if theres a [PokemonX] in it which would help us find out if Stealth Rock is broken". That reasoning is retarded for obvious and previously stated reasons, basically being "We need to test a metagame without Stealth Rock so we can decide if a SRless metagame should be tested". For this reason I would like to abandon this line of reasoning and attack Stealth Rock from another angle.

In the competitive metagame, as a strategy's predictability increases, it's competitive viability decreases.

A strategy may be uber if there is not an inverse relationship between its viability and predictability.
This was DougJustDoug's proposed definition for what makes an uber an uber. I suggest you read his entire post here, once you've finished reading mine of course. Once again, I have changed the word Pokemon to strategy, to reflect the spirit of the thread. Notice that I did not use the word attack, as I still believe there is a fundamental difference between moves that have a lasting, cumulative effect on the battle and moves that just deal or heal damage on the turn they are used. If you think that I am misapplying Doug's postulate by using it this way, please give me a good reason you think so.

I personally believe that this definition is what should be used to figure out what is broken, as this can be proved with objective information like usage statistics and player leaderboards. Tangerine's definitions, as correct as they may be, still require speculation (theorymoning) in order to prove. Tangerine's definitions may be the virus that causes Uberia, but Doug's definition is the symptom that proves that virus is actually present, and is what we should be using to make our diagnoses.

Anyway, to explain Doug's definition, a strategy should become less effective as more and more people expect it to be used and learn how to deal with it, and should drop in usage as time passes and the metagame adjusts. Garchomp was declared suspect because it defied this law by continuing to rise in usage after hitting number 1 even though the usage and predictability of SD+Yache did not decrease. Note: The reason Yache was not declared suspect instead of Garchomp was because it was Garchomps typing, stats and movepool that made combining it with Yache berry broken, not Yache berry's effect of removing dragon pokemon's 4x Ice weak. Salamence is still checked by rock attacks and Thunder Wave while yache berry is attached, and Flygon cannot raise it's stats to a level capable of sweeping teams.

So lets look at Stealth Rock's predictability compared to it's effectiveness(usage) over the course of 3 months, which is how long we've had Platinum.

Usage: October - November - December
Stealth Rock: 10.75% - Not Found - 10.68%

Well look at that. *_*. Stealth Rock usage has actually decreased from October to December. A miniscule .06% yes, but it still decreased. It seems that the metagame has in fact found an equilibrium with Stealth Rock and that Stealth Rock is obeying the law of a balanced metagame set forth by Doug.

But then again, this data could be an erroneous reflection of the metagame, since it takes into account the moves used by players who don't play competetively (like the players that are using Camerupt and Ampharos in OU) and therefore are not a part of the metagame.

If we could get move usage percentages for Stealth Rock for the last 3 months of only players that had a conservative rating of 1400 or better (or whatever rating you guys think is appropriate), we could get a much better representation, I think, of what Stealth Rock's usage is in competitive battles (the metagame).
 

reachzero

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So we are currently trying to make the following statement true to rationalize that SR is suspect:

SR makes it consistently easier for [PokemonX] to be capable of sweeping through a significant portion of teams in the Metagame with little effort.

And so the to make this true, the SR is Suspect camp needs to find an actual pokemon that can replace [PokemonX]. However, I am seeing a problem with this. Namely the word Metagame.

The problem is that the current metagame has been molded around Stealth Rock, as I posted above. Therefore we might not be able to find a pokemon that matches [PokemonX] because the metagame has adjusted in such a way as to prevent a [PokemonX] from appearing by minimizing the effects of Stealth Rock on standard teams.
There are definitely some serious problems with finding "PokemonX", but I'm not at all certain that I agree with TvBoyCanti as to what those problems are. He contends that one such problem is that the Metagame is designed to keep that from happening by minimizing the effect of Stealth Rock. As we know, there are two ways to minimize the effect of Stealth Rock; by choosing Rock-neutral and resistant Pokemon, and by using Rapid Spin. Neither of these seems to me the sort of excessive check required to bring an otherwise-Uber Pokemon back into Standard.
Instead, I see the problem with finding "PokemonX" to be the fact that we are currently playing in a Metagame with Stealth Rock. To contend that Stealth Rock makes a certain Pokemon or strategy (nearly) unbeatable virtually requires the person making the accusation to nominate a Pokemon from one of three categories: a Pokemon that is presently marked as Uber, a Pokemon that is presently marked as a Suspect, or a Pokemon that should be a Suspect, but it presently being overlooked. This makes the list of possibilities for PokemonX much shorter, of course. Of all the present Ubers and Suspects, the only one that we could reasonably expect to perform much worse in a Stealth Rock-free Metagame is Deoxys-E; yet the decision to make Deoxys-E Uber was based not primarily on its role as a suicide lead (though this contributed), but on its ability to set up screens with almost no means of stopping it, causing the Baton Pass strategy to become almost unstoppable.
In summary, there is most likely no presently Uber or Suspect Pokemon that would not also be Uber or Suspect in a Stealth Rock-free Metagame. There is therefore no reason to believe that Stealth Rock makes a certain Pokemon or strategy nearly unstoppable. There is no PokemonX as far as Stealth Rock is concerned.
 
Even if there is no PokemonX, perhaps the second part of TVboyCanti's argument holds: that the predictability of Stealth Rock may not be decreasing its viability. This can easily be laid to rest by analysis of our current statistics, I think.
 

zorbees

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Doug's definition can in no way be applied to moves. Every move except for Metronome, Assist, Sleep Talk, and anything similar I might be forgetting is predictable.
 

reachzero

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Even if there is no PokemonX, perhaps the second part of TVboyCanti's argument holds: that the predictability of Stealth Rock may not be decreasing its viability. This can easily be laid to rest by analysis of our current statistics, I think.
This argument would be more compelling if Stealth Rock were a strategy rather than a move. Admittedly, as an entry hazard (a supporting move) it is significantly different from attacking and recovery moves, yet it is not in itself a team strategy. It is simply one of the building blocks that goes into a team strategy. A team cannot have Stealth Rock as a defining strategy the way it can have Rain Dance or Baton Pass as a defining strategy, for example. And as was noted in the PR threat dealing with this topic, all the predictability/viability ratio does it point us to Pokemon that may be broken, not prove their brokenness. If this is all we have to go on, the "Stealth Rock should be banned" argument is essentially dead.
 
Doug's definition can in no way be applied to moves. Every move except for Metronome, Assist, Sleep Talk, and anything similar I might be forgetting is predictable.
I think you're missing the point. If only Azelf had the ability to use Stealth Rock, any strategy to get Stealth Rock on the field would be significantly more predictable, and usage would stop rising as soon as people merely discovered a way to stop Stealth Rock Azelf. If Azelf developed another way to get Stealth Rock on the field, or another pokemon was given the ability to use the move, then those strategies would become less predictable and usage would rise.


However, I'm not exactly following how Stealth Rock would become broken if we discovered the best possible way to stop Stealth Rock, and yet its usage continued to rise. To take the Garchomp example, wasn't it just rising towards some absurdly high level of usage that was our "equilibrium"? Obviously the fact that YacheChomp kept rising despite our best attempts to stop it was an indication that something was probably wrong, but not by mere definition that "it's predictable but keeps increasing in usage." I think we just discovered a strategy that was so good that the metagame would only finally reach equilibrium when Garchomp dominated to some utterly extreme extent (which could be considered a problem for a number of concrete reasons). I also take issue with Doug's Wobbuffet example. The fact that it was "viable despite being predictable" doesn't really mean anything to me, besides "Wobbuffet's limited strategies are really really good." It was the strategy itself that we took issue with, for reasons of our own that, again, weren't necessarily tied to predictability.

In the end, is there reason to have a problem with a pokemon/strategy being #1, being predictable, and yet consistently dominating and rising in usage despite our best efforts? I think that's situational. If Stealth Rock became the #1 most used move in the game and continued to rise despite being used in the same way over and over again, you'd need to give me a concrete reason why that's probably bad, just like people did for Garchomp and for Wobbuffet.


reachzero said:
This argument would be more compelling if Stealth Rock were a strategy rather than a move. Admittedly, as an entry hazard (a supporting move) it is significantly different from attacking and recovery moves, yet it is not in itself a team strategy. It is simply one of the building blocks that goes into a team strategy. A team cannot have Stealth Rock as a defining strategy the way it can have Rain Dance or Baton Pass as a defining strategy, for example.
I think this is more of an issue with TVboy's wording than anything; I actually would have said "pokemon/move" as opposed to "strategy." Yes, Stealth Rock isn't a "defining strategy," but neither is a pokemon in most cases. Stealth Rock is a move that supports a number of different strategies, just like Garchomp is a pokemon that supports a number of different strategies. Considering that Garchomp was banned for supporting a strategy deemed "too good" (YacheChomp), I suppose it wouldn't be a stretch to suggest a Stealth Rock test on the basis that "one of the strategies it supports is broken." At that point we run into my previous objection, though: with Garchomp, precedent didn't allow us the option of simply destroying its dominant strategy by banning Yache Berry, but we'd have that option if, say, Azelf became dominant only when using Stealth Rock (and vice versa).
 
Overcentralizing? Stealth rock maybe one of the most commonly used move on most teams but it's a move, not a pokemon. Ice beam and earthquake can probably also be found on most teams.

I think just because stealth rock is as common as McDonalds doesn't mean it's overcentralizing. Plenty of Pokemon can set it up, and plenty of Pokemon can counter it, and in the end if you think your team out well enough you can still play the game how you want it to be played. I think overcentralizing is cases where teams have to carry a choice that only ranges from one to three Pokemon to counter a very specific and very oft-used threat.

It's just one of those things that is so useful that everyone feels they need it it to be a successful player. You wouldn't enter the jungle without your trusty machete (Just thought that would be fun to say, it doesn't really have any purpose).

If some people want to support a game where stealth rock isn't around, I say let them do it on a different setting. I would not, however, support a full ban of it on the main server at any time.
 
Doug's definition can in no way be applied to moves. Every move except for Metronome, Assist, Sleep Talk, and anything similar I might be forgetting is predictable.
Dude, nobody's talking about predicting what a move is going to do, we're talking about being able to predict how often a move is going to show up on our opponent's team.

And reachzero is correct in pointing out that stealth rock by itself is not a strategy the way that wish+protect or rain dance + swift swim or gyarados + electivire are strategies, or garchomp+SD+yache for that matter. Single moves like stealth rock and reflect and baton pass and earthquake are all technically tactics*, which are the building blocks of strategies. You cannot win a pokemon battle by just using individual tactics, you have to combine tactics to form something that is greater than the sum of its individual pieces. Winning in pokemon means bringing multiple tactics together to form a strategy and being able to disrupt opposing strategies that beat yours by negating key tactics that form your enemies strategy.

I think that, with the differentiation having been made between strategies and tactics, we need to come up with a new definition for what broken means when applied to a move, as we can't apply the definitions for what makes a pokemon broken, as pokemon are actually strategies attached to a sprite. I'd like to put these out as possible definitions for what makes a move broken, based on what moves we have already banned.

Offensive Characteristic
A move is broken if it is capable of sweeping through a significant portion of teams in the Metagame without using any other different moves.

Defensive Characteristic
A move is broken if, in common battle conditions, it is able to allow its user to wall and stall out a significant portion of the metagame without using any other different moves.

Note that there is no support characteristic, because as soon as a move starts to support another move, it becomes a strategy, and needs to be banned as a whole (by banning the sprite attached to the strategy). Also note that the word consistent is not in the definitions. If it's possible for it to do what's described, than its broken.

*Tactics include moves, types, abilities, items, and switching.

EDIT:
Blame Game said:
Yes, Stealth Rock isn't a "defining strategy," but neither is a pokemon in most cases.
Even though I already refuted this statement in this post, I'd just like to address your point directly. The first part of that sentence is correct, but I disagree with the second part. A pokemon is a strategy, it is literally a combination of four moves, a typing, an ability, an item and six base stats. All of those combine to form something greater than the sum of those individual parts. Garchomp doesn't "support" SD Yache set, it is the SD Yache strategy. That is why I believe we need seperate definitions for what makes a strategy broken (and how to unbreak that strategy) and what makes a move broken.
 

Tangerine

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I don't think you can define moves the same way as Pokemon... I think the way you are approaching it, you are overly complicating it and missing the point. At the very least, you shouldn't be copy pasting definitions and just changing words and "hope they work" because they don't.

I don't think moves are inherently broken - moves may make a Pokemon broken. OHKOs are probably a very special case. I think someone can make an interesting discussion out of this if they wanted to and make a decent exploration of each case and work out a definition.
 

zorbees

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Predicting how often a move will be used on a team is nothing X-Act or Doug can't do.

Also, using your banable move characteristics, Stealth Rock is not banable.
 
I don't think you can define moves the same way as Pokemon...
I tried my best to make it clear that moves, which are tactics, are not the same as pokemon, which are strategies attached to a sprite, and should therefore be dealt with seperately with separate definitions for both. But I guess it got lost in my rambling and I failed.

I think the way you are approaching it, you are overly complicating it and missing the point. At the very least, you shouldn't be copy pasting definitions and just changing words and "hope they work" because they don't.
Well, it seemed convenient that the first two definitions you gave for what makes a pokemon broken also matched what makes Sheer Cold and evasion moves broken in the eyes of most players. I was simply using them as a jumping off point for trying to define what could possibly make a move broken. And please don't think me so arrogant that I think those definitions should be the definitions, it was simply meant to promote further discussion and give people an example. edit: rereading my last post, I realize the way I worded the introduction to the definitions did sound extremely arrogant, so I edited it be a little less so.

I don't think moves are inherently broken - moves may make a Pokemon broken. OHKOs are probably a very special case. I think someone can make an interesting discussion out of this if they wanted to and make a decent exploration of each case and work out a definition.
I am actually starting to come to the same conclusion that moves aren't broken by themselves. But I don't want to play in a game where I can lose out to one move and the RNG, and I don't know how to consolidate my rational conclusion and my knowledge that a game that can be one purely by luck is not strategic enough to be fun.

It seems we have strayed off the topic of Stealth Rock yet again, mostly because we have no definition for what makes a move broken. Kinda like when "PokemonX is uber" threads would go nowhere because nobody agreed what uber meant. Would it be more appropriate to start a new thread for "what makes a move broken"?
 
It seems we have strayed off the topic of Stealth Rock yet again, mostly because we have no definition for what makes a move broken. Kinda like when "PokemonX is uber" threads would go nowhere because nobody agreed what uber meant. Would it be more appropriate to start a new thread for "what makes a move broken"?
It might be. I actually started a discussion thread on those moves and it got moved to policy review where I can't comment on it :pirate:. But my two cents is evasion and OHKO I feel aren't banned because they are broken, more because several people feel it makes the game unenjoyable. Moves aren't broken, but the Pokemon that use them can be. For example, if an extremely defensive Pokemon with no or very weaknesses little could phaze and shuffle while being able to heal the damage done to the pokemon would be broken, not the move. Maybe a farfetched example only specific to stealth rock but other things help prove the point of broken Pokemon, not moves. Wobbufet is broken with shadowtag and immense HP, but the moves Mirror Coat and Counter are not broken.
 
Tangerine said:
I don't think moves are inherently broken - moves may make a Pokemon broken. OHKOs are probably a very special case. I think someone can make an interesting discussion out of this if they wanted to and make a decent exploration of each case and work out a definition.
"A move or item is bannable when every pokemon that can use it is defined as broken when they use it."

Soul Dew is bannable because the only Pokemon that can use it are broken (not that it matters). OHKOs are bannable because we've deemed their defining features as "broken" or "unskillful," so by definition even Horn Drill Rhyhorn is "broken" or "unskillful" (the same goes for Double Team for now, though I understand why you didn't bring it up).

So to extend this to Stealth Rock, it would be bannable if every Pokemon capable of using Stealth Rock were broken when using it. This means that we'd either have to test the metagame about a thousand times figuring out if things like Stealth Rock Larvitar are too good, or, more realistically, someone would have to come up with a good argument explaining how Stealth Rock is broken, but by its very nature. Even if Stealth Rock starts to make too much of its presence felt on the metagame, we should be looking at the Pokemon that use it and not the move itself, until such an argument actually arises.


I can think of two good reasons to treat Pokemon differently from moves/items and to agree with your statement that "moves make a pokemon broken," or at least that we should treat things that way (I still think that, besides these two reasons, the parallel between Stealth Rock and Garchomp that I made earlier would still be valid, and that your characteristics otherwise work for moves, items, and Pokemon equally well. Please correct me if you think otherwise though):

1) That's how we and Nintendo have done it forever. We treat Pokemon like the "characters" of the game, and ban them whenever they're perceived as too strong just like in any other competitive game, like Street Fighter; if we treat moves and items as "characters" too, every time we try to make a balance decision we'll run into a mess. There's pretty good reason to just pick one of the three and go with it.

2) Pokemon are much more replaceable. Even something unique like Rotom has multiple alternatives that could rise up and fill his niche for the most part. This basically justifies the initial decision to treat Pokemon as the "characters" of Pokemon (besides storyline, which is Nintendo's justification).


I think we have good enough justification to say that banning Moves and Items is literally a "last resort" even behind banning Pokemon; I was actually second-guessing my belief that Yache Berry didn't deserve a ban for a while until I fleshed this out. Hopefully this covers everything, but in particular I'd be happy to see another reason to treat Pokemon differently from moves/items, but from a more competitive standpoint (I think reason #2 is sufficient for that actually, but I think it's pretty important that we come up with a concrete reason to say that "we're going to blame the Pokemon," especially when there could theoretically be situations in which multiple pokemon are "made broken," and people could theoretically try arguing that the move or item is broken instead).
 

Tangerine

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Soul Dew is bannable because the only Pokemon that can use it are broken (not that it matters). OHKOs are bannable because we've deemed their defining features as "broken" or "unskillful," so by definition even Horn Drill Rhyhorn is "broken" or "unskillful" (the same goes for Double Team for now, though I understand why you didn't bring it up).
Soul Dew is bannable because its effects are rather clear and it only applies to two specific Pokemon. We have the information to make such a decision in this case.

Remember, "there is no good reason why we banned OHKO moves yet". You can't use OHKO moves as an excuse, but sure, we can modify the definition so we can also justify OHKO moves.

"A move or item is bannable when every pokemon that can use it is defined as broken when they use it."
Don't use "every". Or else I can come up with exceptions such as "Random NU X isn't broken"

Well, it seemed convenient that the first two definitions you gave for what makes a pokemon broken also matched what makes Sheer Cold and evasion moves broken in the eyes of most players. I was simply using them as a jumping off point for trying to define what could possibly make a move broken. And please don't think me so arrogant that I think those definitions should be the definitions, it was simply meant to promote further discussion and give people an example. edit: rereading my last post, I realize the way I worded the introduction to the definitions did sound extremely arrogant, so I edited it be a little less so.
The current argument for OHKO moves is that they're extremely high reward for little to no risk, and some consider the "30%" chance of their counter getting demolished has a devastating on the game itself.

I am actually starting to come to the same conclusion that moves aren't broken by themselves. But I don't want to play in a game where I can lose out to one move and the RNG, and I don't know how to consolidate my rational conclusion and my knowledge that a game that can be one purely by luck is not strategic enough to be fun.

It seems we have strayed off the topic of Stealth Rock yet again, mostly because we have no definition for what makes a move broken. Kinda like when "PokemonX is uber" threads would go nowhere because nobody agreed what uber meant. Would it be more appropriate to start a new thread for "what makes a move broken"?
Your first quandary is easy to reconcile - use the fact that Pokemon is a game of managing probabilities and taking risks based on the probability and being rewarded according to the risk taken. I think this is the best way we have of arguing for moves because each move has a rather direct effect on this probability.

And sure, we're sort of moving towards that anyway, if someone can sum up the ideas of the last few posts and make a thread out of it it would be appreciated. But remember the danger of trying to do something where nothing has been defined before - you can easily make a definition that singles out a specific move to be "banned". This means that one thing you guys need to do when working on this is to consider the real effect a move has on a situation.
 
Tangerine said:
Don't use "every". Or else I can come up with exceptions such as "Random NU X isn't broken"
The idea is that there's either "something that we can define as intrinsically wrong with the move" (which is how I view OHKOs; I don't think I'd ever have a reason to use them, but the idea of being hit by them by some random idiot is what bothers me, regardless of whether it's Lapras or Phanphy), or "it's absolutely, positively 100% the move/item's fault that all of these Pokemon are broken." Yes, that technically allows for us to ban 99% of the metagame just because there's one obscure Pokemon that works perfectly fine with an otherwise broken move. As extreme as that sounds, I don't think it's a really big deal because it'd have to be a really absurdly extreme situation. I really couldn't ever see it happening though, I mean, if Stealth Rock were so good that everything except Geodude were broken with, but OU without it, do you really think we couldn't come up with an extremely good reason to consider the move "broken by its nature," unless there were just something terribly wrong in general (either in the game or in our judgment)? I don't really have much of a problem with the "every" in there because it doesn't leave room for silly loopholes and whining, and I feel that any problems with "exceptions" would only become relevant if the game were in complete ruins to start with.



That said, I understand that if we really did determine that, say, Rhyperior became broken with Horn Drill, people would be in support of banning the move rather than the Pokemon, whether because Rhyperior probably brings more to the game, or because OHKOs were an "addition." This becomes even more of an issue when there are possibly 2 or 3 Pokemon instead of just one... I think that's a problem, which is why I tried to justify treating move/item bans differently from Pokemon bans; "we can only choose one of the three to 'take the blame' when it's otherwise not 100% clear," or else every single time we decide something in the metagame is too good we'd have to look at whether it's a Pokemon's fault, a move's fault, or an item's fault, even if removing any of the three would "solve the problem" and there are subjective advantages to all three of them.

YacheChomp was a decent example of this. If we really had reason to believe that Garchomp was no longer broken without Yache Berry (and many people on both sides of the "ban/don't ban Garchomp" argument did agree with this), then we're in a situation where "Garchomp isn't broken without Yache!" "Yeah but Yache isn't broken without Garchomp!" If we're going to treat items (or moves) and Pokemon the same way, this is the part where we'd have to weigh out the advantages and disadvantages of just banning Yache Berry instead of Garchomp, none of which are particularly conclusive. On the one hand, the metagame isn't changing as much in one way if we ban Yache Berry, because we're only really losing one moveset option for a few pokemon (Dragonite, Salamence, Gliscor). On the other, we all know that there are probably a good 5 or 6 Pokemon who have something to gain from a Garchomp ban and would be able to fill its niche, whereas banning Yache Berry is pretty much banning a completely unique option. Hell, we have enough Pokemon in the game to make probably 4 or 5 good balanced tiers with minimal overlap, but do people value the fact that Pokemon are generally more "expendable," or are they looking for what causes the most immediate change? It's all so unnecessarily subjective, considering that we've never actually banned a move or item that wasn't considered "universally broken (or unskillful)" on some level in the first place. We'd end up with something like this:

"A move or item is bannable when any Pokemon that are broken only when using said move/item are deemed as 'more important' and/or 'less at fault' than the move/item."

I can't possibly fathom how we would be able to determine which is "more important" or "less at fault" without getting into at least a million arguments and often ending in a poor decision, which is why I said "every" instead of "most" or whatever; if there are ten pokemon that are broken when using Stealth Rock, it's really hard to say that the game is "bad off enough that we have to ban ten pokemon" and it looks better to say "well we got rid of the dumb little Stealth Rock problem, cool I love 4th gen Pokemon," even if it's not necessarily justified to do so, or any better for the game for that matter.
 
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