Announcement National Dex - On The Radar Vol. 3

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:sm/latias-mega: :ss/blissey: :ss/magearna::ss/slowbro::ss/spectrier:

Hi everyone!

As always, the National Dex council has been closely following the developments of our metagame during and after the assessment of Dragapult and Cinderace. We have come to the conclusion that the degree of centralization, the amount of strain on the teambuilder, and the resulting matchup-based nature of many matches is not something desirable for a metagame that strives to nurture a healthy environment in which diverse teambuilding is possible and matches are decided by skill. We have narrowed down the cause of these issues to a quintet of culprits: Blissey, Mega Latias, Magearna, Slowbro, and Spectrier. I'll make an attempt at laying out our reasoning to stamp each one of these as the perpetrators. Since it's quite a lot of info to take in, I will be attaching it in a separate post underneath the OP.

With this thread, we are opening up discussion on how tiering should move forward in order to address these issues as effectively as possible. If you believe you have well-constructed thoughts that may add to the discussion on how the above five Pokemon should be tackled, please feel free to chime in. However, be sure to take a look at the rules first.
 
Reasoning


:ss/blissey:
Blissey has been warping the metagame around itself to an extent for quite some time now. It's not an understatement when I claim that the viability of every single set of every single special attacker is influenced by the extent of progress it can make against Blissey. Take a look at Ash-Greninja and Nasty Plot Hydreigon; once two of the most formidable metagame-presences, they have now been reduced to nothing but a wisp of their former selves, solely because they lack the means to make meaningful progress versus Blissey. Special attackers that háve established themselves as good Pokemon, all have done so partly due to their ability to combat Blissey: Mega Latias has Psyshock; Magearna can Volt Switch out, exploit Blissey with Pain Split, and neutralize Seismic Toss with a boosted Draining Kiss; Heatran can overwhelm Blissey with the combination of Magma Storm, Toxic, and Taunt; and Clefable sports the necessary resiliency to continually boost up against Blissey and overwhelm it eventually.

Beyond this sheer influence, Blissey is also a tremendous enabler for many wallbreakers that otherwise have a hard time finding opportunities to switch in, courtesy of its huge special bulk and Teleport. There really is no other Pokemon that provides nearly as many opportunities for its teammates as Blissey is able to. Add Heavy-Duty Boots and Natural Cure to the equation, and you are looking at a Pokemon that is beyond a doubt the most effective, influential, and hard-to-punish enabler in National Dex. It has gotten to a point where forgoing Blissey on a bulky team feels like a genuine opportunity cost, a clear sign that it might be executing its job a bit too effectively for its own good.

:ss/latias-mega:
Calm Mind Mega Latias is a tremendous wincondition. It lacks a true Achilles heel other than a weakness to Toxic, between its ginormous defenses, access to setup and recovery, great Special Attack, a good Speed tier, and a wide repertoire of coverage options. Mega Latias's most common set, Psyshock + Aura Sphere, is a really hard-to-contain set in itself. Make no mistake, this set does have a pretty sufficient amount of checks on paper. Examples include a healthy Mega Mawile or Crunch (Mega) Tyranitar, Mega Scizor, the combination of Corviknight / Slowbro / Blissey + Weavile / Ghostium Z Spectrier, Heart Swap Magearna, and the stray Slowbro, Blissey, and Clefable running Toxic. The issue, however, stems from Mega Latias's ability to overcome most of these checks on its own in practice with its sheer staying-prowess. Mega Tyranitar fails to stand up to a healthy Mega Latias at +1. Weavile has to risk the unpredictable Triple Axel to stand a realistic chance of revenge killing Mega Latias and will be taken out by Aura Sphere, should it fail to connect all three hits. The OHKO from Spectrier's Never-Ending Nighmare is avoided after just one Calm Mind boost. Heart Swap Magearna has to wait until Mega Latias has accrued multiple boosts, else it will be dragged into a sequence of using Heart Swap against a continuously boosting Mega Latias, a sequence it is doomed to lose because of Psyshock.

To add, the flexibility Mega Latias can afford is definitely noteworthy as well; while Psyshock + Aura Sphere is the common set, Thunderbolt + Ice Beam and Refresh variants should not be overlooked. Both set variations add depth to Mega Latias as a whole, with Thunderbolt + Ice Beam overwhelming traditional checks in Slowbro and Corviknight, and Refresh removing Mega Latias's weakness to the aforementioned stray Toxic users. All things considered, it's not hard to imagine why Mega Latias would contribute to a constricted teambuilder and matchup issues.

:ss/magearna:
Magearna lacks counters, period, and it establishes this statement with merely a Choice Specs attached to it. Choice Specs Magearna boasts an insanely high ceiling in the right hands, since it faces a grand total of one insurmountable matchup in the extremely niche Shedinja. It's capable of overwhelming its traditional checks like Blissey, Mega Scizor, and Aegislash by continuously chipping them down with a strong Volt Switch -especially with entry hazards and Future Sight in the full context- before sealing the 2HKO with either Fleur Cannon or Focus Blast / Aura Sphere. Magearna also has the luxury of possessing over an unblock-able Volt Switch; even the sturdiest Volt Switch-blockers in Gliscor and Gastrodon are cleanly 2HKOed by Fleur Cannon without any prior chip damage required. Fighting-coverage further jeopardizes your chances of scouting Choice Specs Magearna properly, swiftly taking down the likes of Heatran, Excadrill, and Ferrothorn. Trick is the cherry on top, crippling just about any defensive Pokemon, notably including Amoonguss and Galarian Slowking, the only Pokemon that could have somewhat maintained a neutral momentum trade against Magearna otherwise.

Beyond Choice Specs, we have also seen Double Dance Kisspower rising to stardom in the past few weeks. In retrospect, this isn't surprising; Kisspower Magearna also has a painful lack of true checks, with Heatran, Excadrill, and Gyro Ball Ferrothorn being some of the only ones. The combination of these two sets allows Magearna to really test the limits of this metagame and its teambuilder. Choice Specs really only can be contained by meticulous positioning and offensive pressure, which Kisspower benefits from due to how it uses pivots to Choice Specs such as Blissey, Toxapex, and Amoonguss as setup bait. Conversely, Kisspower has a minimal amount of checks as is, all of which crumble to Choice Specs Focus Blast.

:ss/slowbro:
It may not get as many opportunities as Blissey does, but Slowbro remains a disgustingly effective enabler with Teleport that distinguishes itself with Future Sight and Regenerator. This combination allows Slowbro to set up very favorable situations for its teammates that are sometimes nigh-inescapable for the opponent, all the while letting it preserve momentum well courtesy of Regenerator and Heavy-Duty Boots. For the sake of some examples, let's analyze a situation where Slowbro sets up Future Sight and Teleports into Mega Lopunny, Weavile, or Mega Charizard Y. The opponent, being a competent builder, has obviously brought a check to these Pokemon in Toxapex. Regardless, they now find themselves forced into a checkmate position; they either send out Toxapex, which is bound to falter to Future Sight + any combination of two attacks the aforementioned Pokemon can dish out, or they find themselves hard-pressed to sack another Pokemon in their attempt to preserve Toxapex. The same dynamic can be observed in many more situations: the likes of Mega Medicham, Garchomp, and Kyurem find themselves breaking through Clefable, and the likes of Kartana, Mega Lopunny, and Excadrill face no issues in making progress against hard-checks like Zapdos or Tangrowth. This interaction obviously adds up to the strain on teambuilding, invalidating otherwise perfectly fine checks and even counters to tons of offensive Pokemon in an overall pretty foolproof way.

In short, Slowbro's combination of Future Sight + Teleport + Regenerator ensues inevitable progress-making, almost being reminiscent of infamously broken elements in Shadow Tag and Arena Trap. It's not hard to imagine why this interaction would be regarded as unhealthy enough to put Slowbro on the radar for now.

:ss/spectrier:
The topic of Spectrier's position in the metagame has been beaten to death ever since it was discovered after Dragapult's ban. This is not surprising; slowly but surely, Spectrier has indeed been showing off unhealthy qualities. Don't let its seemingly deserted movepool fool you. Spectrier has plenty of tools to run through teams in full gallop between Nasty Plot, Grim Neigh, great Speed and Special Attack, STAB-moves that know a mere handful amount of resistances, and access to Z-Moves to shatter most of these resistances. There are no splashable checks to Spectrier outside of Mega Tyranitar, its base form, Mega Lopunny, and bulky Snarl Hydreigon. As a result, bulky-inclined teams are now forced to equip one of these four in order to not auto-lose to Spectrier, which puts massive strain on diverse teambuilding. Even in the face of its checks, Spectrier has the means to make an impact. Mega Tyranitar and Tyranitar need to stay fairly healthy to take on a boosted Never-Ending Nightmare, and detest Will-O-Wisp, especially if Spectrier is paired with Pokemon like Mega Latias or Heatran. Similarly, Mega Lopunny doesn't appreciate Will-O-Wisp and can only hold up for so long with its pretty measly defenses. Hydreigon needs to stay in pristine condition to come out on top versus a healthy Spectrier that uses Nasty Plot after forcing a switch and goes for another Nasty Plot before living the first Snarl: the subsequent +3 Never-Ending Nightmare has a chance to take Hydreigon out, should it be anywhere under 98% of its total health.

Simply put, Spectrier not only strangles the teambuilder as a result of a painful lack in counterplay, it forces a huge element of matchup in the metagame, ruthlessly punishes teams without counterplay, and is even capable of coming out on top against the Pokemon that dó check it with patient execution, after which it almost inevitably seals the match with bonus Grim Neigh boosts and its excellent Speed tier. As a result, it convincingly lands itself a spot in this discussion.
 
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I personally think the biggest issue right now in this meta has to be Magearna as it can use defensive pivots as free setup on kisspower but I think the thing that really makes this mon broken is that it has no true counters even without hazard support, this mon has an amazing typing and stats as well as a decent ability that allows it to both apply great offensive pressure and has the ability to come in many times, and the kisspower set has a lot of longevity. While other mons benefit from futureport greatly this mon is still broken even without it as it doesn't need checks weakened to 1v1 them with both specs and the kisspower sets. While specs many not have the same longevity it simply doesn't need it as it is 2hkoing most mons and outspeeds many common defensive mons, not to mention good enough defensive to take many neutral and super effective hits at least once and with calm mind special hits become no problem after a certain point. Magearna at least deserves a suspect as many members of the community would agree that magearna is at least a problem in the metagame if not the biggest at the current moment due to the restrictions that it places on teams.

Another mon that I see as a big issue is Spectrier as it forces either a dark type or blissey with shadow ball which means you have 1 slot dedicated to checking it as it has the bulk to survive at least one hit, physical or special, as long as they aren't super effective. This mon causes problems for many teams and has become a premier special attacker and win condition being able to bypass offensive checks with a little damage with ghostium z at plus 1 as many wouldn't want to switch even at plus 0. This mon should be looked at but I think Magearna should be looked at first as it causes the biggest issues both during teambuilding and battles compared to many other mons mentioned and just with mons in the tier.
 

ShionShadows

Soaring to Greatness
I honestly think the move here should be to take care of either Magearna or Spectrier.

:ss/magearna:

Ever since Isle of Armor was released, this mon has really taken off. With new moves Trick, Stored Power, and Draining Kiss it makes for the dangerous sets spoken about. This is not considering that Magearna still has other sets, while not as centralizing, still have value such as Double Dance Boltbeam and AV. As Guard stated, the fact that Specs sets beat the answers to KissPower can really set a match on its head if you predict wrong. I would easily say chuck this mon into the fire if there wasnt a different culprit on the loose.

:ss/spectrier:

Everyone knows what this thing does. Tears apart anything that doesnt resist ghost and even those can be worked around due to Spectrier's surprisingly good support movepool. With moves like Wisp, Sub(although universal this applies to Spec more than others), and Disable, alot of answers are merely snuffed out. Being forced to such few Pokemon to answer this mon, with even them being able to play around somehow, cements it in my mind that Spectrier is the #1 target to go.

The other culprits of NatDex should be looked at afterwards but dont take this as me saying they aren't problems.

So basically
Spectrier>Magearna>M-Latias>Blissbro in order.
 
if u want these images, u can find them in the pokemondb sprite gallerythis is also the order of which mons i think are most broken from left to righthihello你好

In my opinion, Spectrier is the most broken out of these 5. I personally want it to be quickbanned but I know that's not possible.

Anyway, when you look at it's counterplay, one can see it has much less compared to Magearna and Mega Latias. For Magearna, mons that can handle some sets are Jirachi, Volcarona, Mega Venusaur, Aegislash, Ferrothorn, Heatran, opposing Magearna, Shedninja, opposing Calm Mind users (Mega Latias, Clefable, Reuniclus), Blissey/Chansey, and Toxapex. And that's not mentioning the numerous checks it has too, like Landorus-Therian, Excadrill, Garchomp, Cinderace, and Mega Swampert. Another thing I would like to say is that while Specs Magearna is impossible to switch into, it's not impossible to revenge kill because of it's common weaknesses, Fleur Cannon drops, it being choice locked, and most importantly, it's low speed.

This means that if you don't have a switchin to it, you can still play around it. If you don't have a Spectrier switchin, you're screwed. Hoopa-U can also demonstrate this since, correct me if I'm wrong, it has no switchins and doesn't need a bunch of Volt Switch pivoting to just straight up 2hko or 1hko Hyperspace Fury switchins. Specs Magearna is also pretty prediction reliant, while Spectrier isn't very reliant on them. Against KissPower Magearna, my previous reasoning doesn't really apply as well, but one can still try to prevent it from setting up or use Heatran (just gonna say that this isn't a DNB argument for Magearna, it's just part of an argument of how Spectrier is the biggest problem).

Spectrier on the other hand, has 130 speed making it pretty hard to check AND counter. Spectrier's switchins consist of Hydreigon, Mega Lopunny Tyranitar, Mega Tyranitar, and Blissey/Chansey, and Porygon2. This list in comparison to the one I made about Magearna is much shorter. While both of these mons can break through most of not all of the mons on their lists, Spectrier's list is much shorter along with Spectrier being much harder to revenge kill due to it's speed.

Now let's take a look at Mega Latias's list. Aegislash, Chansey/Blissey, Heatran, Toxapex, Tyranitar, Mega Tyranitar, Ferrothorn, Mega Scizor, Mega Mawile, and opposing CM users (Reuniclus, Clefable, Magearna). There are also some other ways of handling it, such as any mon with Toxic, and repeated U-Turns and other super effective hits from faster mons after weakening it. Just like Magearna, it can break through most if not all of these and also like Magearna, the list is smaller than Spectrier's.

When it comes to Slowbro and Blissey, I don't really feel like they're all that comparable but I still think Spectrier is a bigger problem than those two. Especially Blissey, since most teams should be able to handle it naturally.
 
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This I don't even see as a problem. Mag has atrocious speed which is only somewhat ameliorated by its excellent defensive typing. Despite its aforementioned typing, the lack of bulk investment on the Specs set means its 80/115/115 defenses wont allow it to take super effective hits the way the AV set can. Furthermore, the two most common moves on the set, Volt Switch and Fleur Cannon, both have horrible downsides, as most teams have either one of a Ground type or Heatran, and oftentimes both. Its quite common to see several natural checks to Magearna on more offensive teams without even accounting for it in the teambuilder. All of Ferrothorn, Mega Swampert and Thundurus-T are quite common on rain teams, forcing Mag to play guessing games and punishing the opposing team with either Spikes or a powerful hit. The Draining Kiss set can potentially sweep unprepared teams, but thats only if you allow it to set up in the first place. As mentioned above, it can really only set up on defensive mons, as all of Cinderace/Excadrill/Garchomp/Offensive Heatran will blow it away without problems. Mag fulfills the traditional role of slow, powerful wallbreaker with few switch ins but offers worse matchups against offensive teams.



While recovering a third of your HP for simply switching out is a stupid ability as a whole, I think FS+Teleport forcing progress onto bulky teams is healthy for the metagame in the state that its in right now. Generic Pex+Clef+Gliscor+some other fat mon cores really enjoy mons like Dragapult being gone, as there is less punishment for passivity in the metagame as a whole. Future Sight actually forces these teamstyles to do something other than mindlessly going into Toxapex on half the wallbreakers in the game. Slowbro is held back as a defensive mon by its bad special bulk, meaning its 2HKOd by almost any special attack. It also is quite suspectible to Toxic which greatly hinders its ability to take on dangerous physical attackers like SD Garchomp, SD Excadrill and Flyinium Z Landorus.



Another mon that I think has only become good in the more passive state of the current metagame. No SP Atk investment means that its surprisingly weak without a couple of boosts under its belt. Almost any mon can be threatening if you allow it to get +3 in an attacking stat, and M-Lati is no exception. Its quite easily overwhelmed by common mons like SD Mega-Scizor, U-Turn Landorus-T, Banded Weavile(Icicile Crash always KOs after Stealth Rocks) as well as almost any variant of Mega Mawile.Lacking a Dragon STAB move means its actually threatened by Dragons it outspeeds, such as Z-Outrage Garchomp or NP Hydreigon. Furthermore, its extreme weakness to stray poisons from mons it would prefer to use as setup fodder means that it won't be sweeping most teams unless everything has been severely weakened, which can be said about almost any mon with its speed tier. Again, the main teamstyle that this threatens is the generic bulky Pex+Clef+Zapdos+Bliss do nothing cores, and even those mons have ways to stop it if its not carrying Refresh.
 
magearna.gif

In my opinion, Magearna is the most broken legal pokemon we have in National Dex OU and I will explain why it is for me.

The first set I wanna talk about is the Choise Specs set. This set usually runs Fleer Cannon, Volt Switch, Trick, and one coverage move that can be Focus Blast or Aura Sphere, Ice Beam, Energy Ball or Grass Knot, Shadow Ball, or Flash Cannon. This Magearna set has no good switch ins, which is a very big problem. And it has no good switch ins, because the only mons that could tank everything, like Chansey and Blissey, can be tricked and get the Choise Specs from Magearna, or it can just use Volt Switch and bringing in an answer against the opponents pokemon.

The next set I wanna talk about is a set up sweeper set, which runs Drain Kiss, Stored Power, Calm Mind and Shift Gear. This set mostly runs Leftovers or Weakness Policy if it has Screen support. It mostly has a Grimmsnarl which makes screens, Magearna comes in then and can set up easily. You can't make a lot of damage to this, if you haven't got a very effective move, which means that it can set up easily. But if you use a very effective move against Magearna in Screens and it has a Weakness Policy, glhf to stop Magearna from sweeping if you haven't got a Shedinja. Cinderace for example loses to Magearna with Weakness Policy and Screens, because Stored Power kills, if Cinderace uses Pyro Ball. Here is the damage that a Cinderace takes from a Stored Power after 1 Shift Gear and Weakness Policy:

+2 252 SpA Magearna-Original Stored Power (160 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Cinderace: 442-520 (146.8 - 172.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO

This shows how broken Magearna is.

Magearna also can run Shift Gear, 3 coverage moves and 1 Z move. This set could have Fleer Cannon, Flash Cannon, Energy Ball, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam and Focus Blast. If you want to kill a special pokemon, you can add the Z crystal you need.

It has a great ability, which rises it's special attack +1 if it sees a pokemon fainting (Magearna must not even be the pokemon that killed the opponent unlike Spectrier with Grim Neigh), it has the best devensive typing a pokemon can have which makes it so difficult to wear down, Magearna has a perfect coverage, great stats and 10 or more viable sets. It's only problem is it's bad speed which isn't a problem after a Shift Gear. Heatran for example has also like 10 sets, but it's answers are still the same unlike Magearna.

This is because Magearna should be quick banned or at least suspect tested as soon as possible. Thanks for reading and have a nice day. :)
 
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peap

ohhooo hoo ho hoo HO
is a Tutoris a Tiering Contributor
:magearna: Agree on the viewpoint that Specs Magearna has a high af ceiling, but in practice requires good prediction skill and a bit of accuracy luck to reach full potential. Getting locked into a mispredicted Fleur Cannon/Volt Switch or missed Focus Blast is a precarious position with plenty of downside; a free Heatran for example will likely get a KO/Toxic/Rocks up, or Mega Scizor/Blissey can recover from Volt Switch progress. And it is revenged easily by common fire and ground coverage.

However I think the reason this set is so effective right now is because the double dance sets reduce the number of reliable checks to 0. Plenty of players will go into their answers to setup Mag, only to be Volt Switched on or Fleured into oblivion. Mag acts as its own decoy, using its broad offensive presence to carve up its usual checks, and the lack of consistent counterplay bothers me.

:spectrier:/:latias-mega:: Ghorse is a nightmare and as Shion said, its movepool provides surprisingly deep support for its narrow attacking range. If this goes I'd expect Mega Latias to become much more widely used and effective; just as Dragapult held back the usage of Mlati and Spectrier, I see Spectrier as the next highest on the food chain before Latias.

:slowbro:/:blissey:: Slowbro and Blissey are very low-risk picks to any team. If using one and/or the other has a consistent flaw, it would be stacking vulnerabilities to Koko/Kyurem/Kommo-o and several others that start with letters besides K.

I'm still not decided on the brokenness of Future Sight. The possible issue as Chazm has pointed out is setting up a full 4-turn sequence: switch Bro in (1), use Future Sight (2), Teleport (3), Pivot /Attack (4). When it works, you'll nab a KO. This is nice, feasible and even welcome against bulkier teams. But against offense, turns 1-3 offer your opponent the opportunity to outdamage/ko Slowbro beyond its Regen, often forcing it to pick between Fsight and Slack Off, going within KO range or giving up momentum. Just saying that it can be harder to set up than on paper.

Bliss also has tremendous utility, but again doubling in before the Teleport is exploitable (have noticed a lot of Kommo-o taking advantage of this recently). And its bulk is quite inferior to Chansey's, so that strong special attackers (Magearna, Charizard Y, Ash-Gren) can 2HKO from a 50-60% health range.

Excited to see if :spectrier: > :magearna: / :latias-mega: are suspected next!
 
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pannu

「GO BEYOND」
is a Social Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributor
a bit of a lower effort post, sorry if it ends up being rough/rant-y, just wanted to say some of my thoughts abt these mons

:latias-mega: is a mon im very 50/50 about, around the start of dlc2 meta i was convinced this thing was stupidly broken but now that ive been playing more with/against it i have to say that this thing is not all that bad ime. Do i think it warrants a suspect? probably. Should it be the number 1 priority? nah. The only somewhat problematic thing ime against mlati is how any not well prepped team just gets cleanly 6-0d but this goes for most mons. Some of the mons ive been using for checking mlati are Spdef Aegi, Spdef Mage (not av dear god that set is horrible) twave bliss + slower breaker (smthng like mmaw) and weavile.

:magearna: im also 50/50 about this mon. Its biggest point for banning it imo is the amount of sets it has and its very "pick-my-counter" nature. Mage can run anything from 3a Z shift gear to specs to cm pain split to physdef heal bell to kisspower and i honestly think that no matter how well you build a team, there'll always be a mage set to give you trouble. However i will admit that ive yet to seen a mage replay/match that just has me sold on the mindset of "yeah, this is a problem.", however i wouldnt be suprised if this changes in the near future.

:spectrier: this thing is so dumb, its singlehandedly become the most overcentralizing and unfun mon in the tier and lowkey killed any enjoyment i had for this tier. As of recent ive been avoiding playing nd as much and spectrier is the biggest reason why. building teams with spectrier in mind is literal torture, it practically forces you to run one of its 4 checks (spdef hydrei, mandi, mlop or megatar) or some stupid niche mon (porygon-2, umbreon, zarude) or a totally stupid tech (psywave/sball blissey, scarf hoopa-u). Its the literal definition of unhealthy and i fail to see how anyone can think this mon is healthy. Its making the tier less fun literally by just existing and i cannot wait untill its banned.

:blissey: :slowbro: ill be more quick about this. they are very similar in that theyre big bulky walls that use boots + teleport to freely get in big breakers like hoopa-u, mmedi, specs mage and others with solid utility moves like stealth rock, twave, toxic, scald, stoss and ive even seen stuff like flamethrower slowbro or heal bell bliss. However i think that blissey in indeed not broken meanwhile slowbro is and this is because of 2 big reasons.
Slowbro has regenerator and Future sight, i believe that the combination of regenerator, future sight, teleport and heavy duty boots makes slowbro a very unhealthy mon to the metagame as its basically impossible to ko as you need to OHKO it to prevent it from switching out with teleport and gaining back a third of its health, and without a big super effective hit this is near impossible. Future sight is also dumb because of how well it enables offensive threats like cinderace, mega lopunny, ash greninja or mega medicham to 2hko nearly the entire metagame, future sight is a stupid move that forces switches alot of the time and it can quickly turn into a game of "which pokemon do i have to sack"

TL;DR: spect and bro broken, unsure abt mage and mlati, bliss healthy (atleast how i stand rn)
 
:ss/magearna::ss/spectrier:

Magearna and Spectrier must be suspect tested before anything else. Both are clearly the largest offenders when it comes to teambuilder centralization and forcing matchup. I don't particularly care in which order this is executed and will settle with what the community wants, but I do slightly prefer Magearna being assessed first. I realize this doesn't line up with what the over-majority has in mind, so I'll try to justify my opinion and hopefully spark some discussion / provide a fresh perspective.

My arguments revolve around an undeniable fact: Magearna is versatile, Spectrier is fairly one-dimensional. Let’s take a look at the overall offensive versatility these two Pokemon boast:
  • Magearna: Choice Specs, Life Orb Kisspower, Weakness Policy Kisspower, Iron Defense Kisspower, Calm Mind + Pain Split, Agility variants
  • Spectrier: Substitute + Nasty Plot 2 Attacks, Will-O-Wisp + Hex, Substitute + Nasty Plot + Taunt / Disable
This results in a few interesting and highly relevant discrepancies between the two, which have to be stressed in this thread for the sake of leaving no doors closed.

To start off, let's take a look at how this defines the way Magearna centralizes the teambuilder.
For the record, in practice it's not too hard to deduce what set Magearna is running and act accordingly, but I'm not arguing this from a player's perspective as much as I'm arguing this from a teambuilder's perspective.

Truly solid counterplay to Choice Specs Magearna doesn't exist; your best best is to maximize the degree of prediction Magearna has to pull off in order to actually come out on top. This immediately entails the dedication of multiple slots to Choice Specs Magearna, and Choice Specs Magearna alone; you need a Pokemon that allows you to make midground plays against it [e.g. Blissey, Amoonguss, Mega Venusaur, Toxapex, Galarian Slowking, etc.], you need a Ground-type to block Volt-Switch, and you need Speed control to force it out (not necessary if the Volt Switch-blocker is Sand Rush Excadrill or Choice Scarf Landorus-T). We are already looking at three slots consistently being dedicated just to limit Choice Specs Magearna properly.

With Choice Specs out of the way, we now need to focus on Kisspower. Immediately, it becomes clear that Kisspower beats almost every single Pokemon that enables midground-pivoting against Choice Specs. All of Blissey, Amoonguss, Mega Venusaur, and Galarian Slowking simply lose to Kisspower. Haze Toxapex comes closest to limiting both Choice Specs and Kisspower, but nowhere near consistent enough to a point where it can suffice as the only means of counterplay. Thus, you now need to dedicate another slot to Kisspower [eg. Heatran, Mystical Fire Moltres, Excadrill, Gyro Ball Ferrothorn, Swords Dance Mega Scizor, etc.], except if your Volt Switch-blocker / form of Speed control against Choice Specs already happened to limit Kisspower [i.e. Choice Scarf Landorus-T, Cinderace, Sand Rush Excadrill, or Choice Scarf Victini].

Let's take a look at what we have now. We have established that, to check Magearna's two most common sets, we need to fit in a midground-pivot to Choice Specs, a Volt Switch blocker, Speed control, and a check to Kisspower. At the least, this can be done in three slots, at the most, in four:
  • [3 Slots]:toxapex:/:venusaur-mega:/:amoonguss:/:blissey:/:slowking-galar: +:excadrill:+ :tyranitar-mega:/:tyranitar:/:hippowdon:
midground pivot + Sand Rush Excadrill (Volt Switch-blocker + Speed control + Kisspower check) + Sand setter to activate Sand Rush
note: this loses to Choice Specs after just one correct prediction with Focus Blast on an incoming Excadrill
  • [3 Slots]:toxapex:/:venusaur-mega:/:amoonguss:/:blissey:/:slowking-galar: +:garchomp:/:gliscor:/:gastrodon:/:landorus-therian: + :cinderace:/:victini:
midground pivot + Volt Switch-blocker + Speed control that limits Kisspower
note: still not entirely foolproof; one correct prediction versus any of these Volt Switch-blockers is all it takes to open up the match
  • [3 Slots]:toxapex:/:venusaur-mega:/:amoonguss:/:blissey:/:slowking-galar: + :landorus-therian: + :heatran:/:moltres:/:ferrothorn:/:scizor-mega:
midground pivot + Choice Scarf Landorus-T (Volt Switch blocker + Speed control) + Kisspower check
note: still not entirely foolproof; one correct prediction versus Landorus-T is all it takes to open up the match
  • [4 Slots]:toxapex:/:venusaur-mega:/:amoonguss:/:blissey:/:slowking-galar: + :garchomp:/:gliscor:/:gastrodon:/:landorus-therian: + :lopunny-mega:/:spectrier:/:greninja-ash:/:tapu-koko: + :heatran:/:moltres:/:ferrothorn:/:scizor-mega:
midground pivot + Volt Switch-blocker + Speed control + Kisspower check
note: still not entirely foolproof; one correct prediction versus any of these Volt Switch-blockers is all it takes to open up the match

I don't think I need to expound on this a lot more than this. The fact that you háve to dedicate at least three slots to allow yourself the room to somewhat dance around both Choice Specs and Kisspower, and can still be forced into suboptimal situations if Magearna gets to take out the Volt Switch-blocker, is frankly insane. Spectrier's overall grip on the teambuilder comes nothing close to this. Your matchup against Spectrier is good enough if you just fit one of its checks into your team. I realize the amount of options to check Spectrier is infinitesimal, but it still doesn't take away the fact that Magearna's impact on the teambuilder is larger than Spectrier's impact. Therefore, I think it makes more sense to get rid of Magearna first, and see if that sufficiently frees up the teambuilder to a point where fitting Spectrier-counterplay doesn't feel so impossible, than the other way around. Getting rid of Spectrier first does close to nothing for Magearna-counterplay other than situationally freeing up one of the three slots needed to check Magearna properly.

My second gripe with Magearna is the way it forces matchup; it does so in a way that cannot be feasibly solved by any teambuilder ever. Sure, Spectrier forces matchup too, but Spectrier's one-dimensional way of forcing matchup can actively be prevented by any teambuilder. Fitting counterplay to Spectrier is a choice in the hands of a teambuilder, albeit a strained choice, whereas fitting counterplay that sufficiently limits every Magearna set is an impossibility. We have already seen what it takes to somewhat check both Choice Specs and Kisspower, but we mustn't forget the full picture Magearna comes with. Calm Mind + Pain Split thrashes every midground-pivot to Choice Specs and even takes advantage of a few checks to Kisspower. Agility sets swiftly remove Kisspower-checks with All-Out Pummeling and Volt Switch-blockers with Ice Beam, and can boost their way past a lot of midground-pivots to Choice Specs with Calm Mind. Kisspower itself showcases a lot of depth too, with Weakness Policy variants defeating traditional checks like Cinderace and Moltres, and Iron Defense variants defeating other traditional checks in Ferrothorn and Mega Scizor. This depth Magearna innately possesses, is not replicable by any Pokemon in the current metagame, which should lead into the following crystal-clear conclusion: Magearna's ability to enforce elements of matchup into games is more inevitable and multi-dimensional than Spectrier's.

To summarize, Magearna is exponentially more versatile than Spectrier. As a result, Magearna has a much vaster grip on the teambuilder than Spectrier can ever claim to have, and introduces elements of matchup into the metagame in a way that simply isn't in the hands of teambuilders, contrary to Spectrier's way of forcing matchup. Getting rid of Magearna frees up the teambuilder and reduces the overall matchup-based nature of this metagame a lot more effectively than getting rid of Spectrier. Magearna should be suspect tested first, on the off chance that getting rid of Magearna frees up the metagame to an extent where Spectrier feels healthy / healthier.
 

Zneon

bocchi rocks
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Hi people, I want to shed some insight onto the Pokemon at hand, and I'm going to be splitting into 2 sections. The Pokemon I feel should be suspected as soon as possible and the Pokemon I feel should be suspected in a later date.

Okay so before I go unnecessarily in-depth about the Pokemon at hand I want to briefly talk about the metagame at hand and what in my eyes is making it harder to play in. It's already been stated in the OP but I feel the need to mention it again because its very important, so I feel the metagame has fallen into 2 things, those being:

  • Very constricted teambuilding to the point where the metagame has become matchup based
  • How punishing it is to lose momentum
The second point is more interesting but in a nutshell, losing momentum in this metagame can leave you behind throughout the entire game to the point because with how easily enabled the Pokemon in this metagame are and how easy it is to consistently get an advantage over the opponent if get the upper hand at the beginning for example. I feel all of these Pokemon play a role in this but in my opinion no other Pokemon exemplifies this more than Spectrier and Magearna. I feel these Pokemon need to be tested before anything else by a pretty significant margin in my eyes.




This has been beaten to death, but I feel Spectrier is the most dumb out of the 5 and should be the first suspected. It has a whopping total of 4 checks, Mega Tyranitar, regular Tyranitar, Mega Lopunny and SpD Hydreigon. The former 2 can pursuit trap Spectrier but at the same time they can be burnt by it and lose their effectiveness throughout the rest of the game, but they are still incredibly good checks, Mega Lopunny can revenge kill it but just like those former 2 it being burned can limit its effectiveness and its less than stellar bulk doesn't really help, Snarl Hydreigon is something that I do not consider viable whatsoever besides being a Spectrier check and the fact that SpD Snarl Hydreigon is picking up steam just because of how it is one of the only few consistent answers to Spectrier really goes to show how sparse Spectrier answers are in the metagame. If you don't bring one of these Pokemon you are going to be in extreme trouble because of how easily it snowballs. If I'm being honest I find Spectrier to be almost as bad as Dragapult even though its less bad because its so much easier to snowball with this mon because of its insane Speed tier and Grim Neigh making it harder and harder to revenge kill and if you don't have a Pursuit mon, you are going to lose a lot against this mon.

I agree that Spectrier has become a big factor when it comes to the matchup based issues in the metagame because without a mon to check Spectrier its so easy to lose against it after it gets a kill especially if its behind a Substitute. Again, the fact that SpD Snarl Hydreigon is getting usage for no other reason but checking Spectrier is a terrible influence on teambuilding and that's what makes Spectrier very unhealthy. It's a true blemish in the metagame with nothing to add outside of tightening teambuilding to an unhealthy degree.



This Pokemon just has a complete lack of checks and counters overall really since it can just pick and choose them however it pleases. Choice Specs is insane and despite its very high skill ceiling, a skilled player using Specs Magearna can get multiple kills in a game because of how low its switch ins are. Switching into Specs Fleur Cannon without something like a Heatran, Toxapex or Blissey is nigh impossible and even then Magearna can still cripple them in one way or another. Heatran can get 2HKOd by Focus Blast, Toxapex can be Volt Switched on and used as momentum for another teammate and Blissey can be Tricked and have its effectiveness neutered. Choice Specs Magearna just has a lack of answers overall and that's just Specs; Double Dance Kisspower Magearna has been picking up steam over the past few weeks and its not hard to support whatsoever especially when you are using hyper offense, which is in my opinion the most consistent playstyle right now. Anyway, once Magearna gets going it is incredibly hard to stop to the point where it can easily just win games consistently when positioned right, which is bound to happen, a lot. Shift Gear on its own is just very unpredictable because Kisspower is such a lethal set but it can also run 3 attacks Shift Gear with Weakness Policy or give it Shuca Berry to make Lando-T and Garchomp winning matchups.

So yeah I feel Magearna is a very problematic Pokemon in the metagame as it stands and in my eyes the 2nd biggest issue in the metagame outside of Spectrier.





=============

Okay now with the 3 problems out of the way I want to get to the final 3, being Slowbro, Mega Latias and Blissey. Now I feel they are all fantastic Pokemon however I don't find them to be as problematic as the other 2 Pokemon in my opinion. Starting with Slowbro first.



Slowbro is different from Spectrier and Magearna because while it doesn't do anything ground breaking offensively, its Future Sight support certainly does. The way it enables stuff like Cinderace and Ash-Greninja is very alarming and the problem is how consistent it is at doing it on a game to game basis. Its Future Sight + Teleport + Regenerator combo is excellent at doing what it needs to do because when it gets a Future Sight up and a breaker that abuses it like Ash-Greninja if your only check to it is Toxapex for example then you are going to be forced to sack a Pokemon either way, Toxapex dies to the Future Sight or Ash-Greninja gets a kill if you stay in or switch into another Pokemon that isn't Blissey. That is very unhealthy because no matter what you build, Future Sight Slowbro + Breaker is always going to do something against your team, whether its getting considerable damage or a kill in almost any game, and when you combine it with Slowbro's ludicrous longevity with Regenerator and you got something that is very unhealthy for the metagame as it stands. So yeah Slowbro is the 3rd biggest issue in my opinion but I don't find it as problematic as Magearna and Spectrier.



Mega Latias is a Pokemon that I am very split on, because in the context of this metagame I don't really find it to be broken but I do find it to be big part of the matchup issues in this metagame. Do I find it suspect worthy? Definitely. Do I find it banworthy? Eh, in comparison to the rest of the Pokemon on the list I would have no for now. I feel it will be potential banworthy in the future since its ability to 6-0 teams without a check or counter to Mega Latias is very alarming but at the same time teams will always have a way to stop it from setting up since it needs a couple of boosts to effectively overwhelm teams and while its really good at setting them up, something like Spectrier, Weavile, Toxic Blissey, Mega Scizor, CM Magearna, Aegislash, Tyranitar forms with Crunch will either limit Mega Latias' setup opportunities or make its life hard when it comes try to setup.

Another issue in my opinion is how much less threatening Mega Latias becomes without Psyshock + Aura Sphere. I feel this variant of Mega Latias is the most dangerous specifically because of the fact that would be hard counters or checks like Mega Tyranitar are no longer consistent answers to Mega Latias and have to be in top condition or in Weavile's case have the inconsistent Triple Axel to really revenge kill it. Psyshock + Refresh is probably its worst variant in my opinion because it requires excessive team support and while its a huge threat when the Dark-types are taken care of since not even stuff like Toxic Blissey can check it anymore, checking it overall would never be more easy considering how the option to threaten its checks would be gone and if those aforementioned Pokemon are alive in a battle is pretty bad and in general its just an inconsistent variant all-around. BoltBeam is more straightfoward and while I don't consider it to be as bad as CM Refresh I still prefer Psyshock + Aura Sphere for how dangerous and consistent it is in most games.

So Mega Latias is a more complicated one for me and while I don't find it as problematic as the other 3 its definitely a big part of the matchup issues in the metagame right now and while I do not think the rest of its variants are as good as the standard one, those do add a layer of complexity to it. I'm just very 50/50 on it right now and I feel this should be suspected when the other 3 before I come to a conclusion on it.



Yes, I in fact do not think Blissey is that problematic Pokemon right now. Blissey does do a lot of great things right now and it pretty much decides the viability of special attackers in the metagame. However I feel that teams will have a way to deal with it one way or another, it can be overwhelmed or exploited by stuff like Mega Mawile, Cinderace, CM Split Magearna, CM Clefable for example, and I feel the frustration is coming from how it influences the metagame and how it can enable wallbreakers really well with Teleport, but honestly the way it enables wallbreakers doesn't really guarantee progress like it does with Slowbro, its support unlike Slowbro isn't too much to handle because really the main thing it will be doing is spreading status and spamming Seismic Toss outside of slow pivoting and I don't really think it's too much to handle really, I feel it's just outstanding at what it does but it's not too good at it in my opinion. I feel there are a lot of arguments that could be made on the pro-ban side, like how it has made would be great Pokemon like Nasty Plot Hydreigon and Ash-Greninja a lot more awkward to run and less viable overall and the way I'm explaining Blissey is really weird but I don't think its that problematic in the context of the metagame.

==========

Centralization will always be a be a thing, but these Pokemon especially the first 3 I mentioned are making teambuilding the most tightened its ever been since June, and while I do not think this metagame is as hard to play in and, well, unbearable as the big 5 era I feel our new big 5, and more specifically the first 3 strangle teambuilding to a significant degree to the point where you win or lose games based on the mons you run into, Spectrier and Magearna especially are the biggest offenders and Slowbro I feel isn't far behind either.
 
Last edited:

Sputnik

Bono My Tires are Deceased
is a Contributor to Smogon
Just going to post my thoughts here

:ss/spectrier:
This thing is so, so unbelievably stupid. You have to go out of your way to check this thing properly, and every check that it has loses to some set. Even bulky Snarl Hydreigon runs the risk of being Z-Moved to Death if the Spect player wears you down just the right amount. People have said above, the fact that Defog Snarl Hydreigon is now...a thing at all is a testament to how borked this thing really is. The horse just feels like it always puts in work no matter what matchup it gets. Pursuit Trappers get burned or get SubDisabled around. Mega Lopunny gets subbed on. Hydreigon is the best that we have, again, but it's not great outside of checking Spect. Hell, we're starting to see shit like Psywave/Shadow Ball Blissey, both of which make me want to gouge my eyes out but are seeing legitimate usage because Spectrier is such a huge issue. Spectrier is by far the most busted thing in the tier for me at the moment, and I would very much like for this to be the first suspect so we can remove this demonic entity as quickly as possible.

:ss/magearna:
Magearna isn't quite as cut and dry for me, however, I do still believe that it is suspectable, and, by extension, banworthy. <agearna isn't like Spect in this regard. Spect's list of solid checks and counters is almost the X-Button at this point. Mage has several checks and counters that can fit onto a standard team.

The problem, however, comes with the fact that checking every Magearna set consistently is...extremely hard. Guard, as usual, puts it really well in his post above, and I share many of the same sentiments. The main issues, for me at least, come from Choice Specs and Kiss Power. Properly checking Specs Mage, while doable in theory, is extremely hard. Magearna's access to Volt Switch is a big part of what makes this set so deadly, as none of our Volt Blockers really want to switch into a Fleur Cannon or a Trick. This makes Volt Switch fairly free, meaning that even teams with Blissey will get overpowered as time goes on. Mage only needs one prediction to end your Ground-type too, if it does choose to switch in, meaning that if it gets the prediction right it's back to Volt Switching all over you. Even things like Heatran get Focus Blasted with one nice prediction. KissPower compounds the problem by having limited overlapping checks. The checks to KissPower are extremely limited anyway, as it is basically restricted to a small list of bulky Steel-types, and certain offensive Fire- and Ground-types (the latter only work if Mage hasn't set up yet, and the existence of Weakness Policy variants means that this has the potential to backfire horribly) and all of those don't really like facing Specs Mage either due to the treat of Focus Blast, Trick and Volt Switch. Some might argue that these two sets can be handled with Heatran+soft checks to both, however, what if Mage runs CM+Split? Agility+Fightinium Z? Any other of its seemingly limitless number of sets? These sets see less usage than some, sure, but this is not because they are unviable. Quite the contrary; some are quite good in their own right. Checking everything Mage throws at you is virtually impossible, and even discounting its absurd flexibility, the combo of Specs and Kisspower is just too much in my opinion.

:ss/slowbro:
I've made my thoughts on Slowbro clear in the past, and while I no longer consider it the frontrunner for action being taken, I do believe that the thing is overall really dumb. Fsight+Port+Regenerator, especially with Cinderace still in the picture, is as busted as it ever has been, and it feels like there is always a matchup where this thing makes progress. I've made my thoughts clear about this thing here, but to keep it short I do think that Slowbro is the third biggest problem here.

:ss/latias-mega::ss/blissey:
I'm lumping these two together because I don't think they are on the same level as the aforementioned threats. While both are extremely good, I do not really view them as being suspect worthy at the current moment in time. Latias, while very flexible with what it can do, can have some issues with the abundance of super bulky, slower pivots that can scout it (especially Blissey) and pivot into an offensive answer. And yes, people have mentioned that BoltBeam, Refresh, and Mystical Fire sets all exist and can theoretically break through established checks to the standard Psyshock+Aura Sphere variant. However, I do not find scouting and pivoting accordingly around this thing to be impossible with most builds at the moment, and the other variants all have their own issues that can be taken advantage of once scouted by most teams. It is extremely good, absolutely, and I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to a suspect, however I do not currently view it as a banworthy Pokemon nor do I think it should be our top priority at the moment.

Blissey, while admittedly extremely annoying at times, is also not something I believe to be a huge, pressing issue at the moment. Its ability to shut down many Special Attackers while being one of our best pivots is notable, however I feel that many teams have ways around the blob. Many of our good Physical attackers, such as Cinderace, Mega Medicham, Weavile, and Mega Heracross can put on the pressure, and if you're looking for a Special Attacker that can answer it then we have a rather solid list as well. Spectrier and Gengar both beat it unless Blissey is handicapping itself by running Shadow Ball or Psywave, and other options like CM Clef, CM+Split Magearna, SM+Taunt Tapu Fini, Refresh Mega Latias, and even things like Specs Psyshock Tapu Lele can all really put the pressure on. Bliss is excellent, but I do not view it as a top priority at the moment.
 
1609169186333.png


Spectrier is far and away the most constraining, and arguably broken Pokemon in the current metagame. I don't have much to say that has not already been said, or much to add that is not abundantly obvious to anyone who has tried to play this tier recently. There aren't enough viable Normal types in this tier, and the preeminent Blissey does not do the job without Shadow Ball, or praying Spectrier is running a Choiced set. I personally like and still use Hydreigon despite it having seen better days in the metagame, but it is not a sufficient standalone check whatsoever. Hex+Wisp sets overwhelm standard spreads easily, and running SpDef Hydreigon eliminates any desire I had to use Hydreigon in the first place. It also loses outright to Z-move sets, which are surging, and these sets are what really push this over the edge for me. Even the unviable (or niche) lower-tier mons that actually check Spectrier well, e.g. Obstagoon, Zarude, Incineroar, Muk-Alola and some other fringe Dark types, get completely obliterated by +2 Breakneck Blitz if you bothered using them at all. The existence of Pursuit in this tier means nothing, as the only viable Pursuit user that does not lose to this set is Tyranitar, yet again. Even if you run Mega Tyranitar, which is an otherwise great pokemon in the metagame for performing other roles, you're still likely to get burnt in the process of checking this thing more often than not, which opens the door for other teammates that Mega Ttar was supposed to check. Mega Lopunny is a decent offensive check in a truly 1v1 scenario, but switching it in only to get burnt and do nothing back to Spectrier is further evidence of what this pokemon can do to circumvent its own counterplay. So while I can agree that your matchup against Spectrier will be good enough if you just fit one of its checks into your team, in practice, it often feels as though there is only one check to pick from (:tyranitar:).

Rarely do I ever come out and advocate for something to be suspected or banned, but I've seen enough to conclude that its presence is not, and will not be healthy going forward in this tier. The potency of Spectrier's Z-move sets, sparse list of defensive and offensive checks, and ability to neuter its own counters as support for the rest of its teammates is too much for the tier.

1609170583430.png


I want to start by acknowledging that Guard's post is a great example of a well-written pro-ban argument, and I appreciate that the analysis goes deeper than simply listing off checks in a vacuum or by identifying the many viable sets that Magearna can run. I find many of the arguments made to be persuasive and/or objectively true statements, and so to the extent that I can, I fully endorse it as a valid way of looking at Magearna's presence in the metagame. All I can really share in response is my personal experience using Magearna - both on the ladder generally, but mostly in the last seven suspect tests (~300 games over many different metagame states).

There is no doubt that Magearna has always been able to make use of its versatility to some degree in choosing what its checks will be, as well as having the freedom to play around the checks the opponent might have with some high-reward, lower-risk predictions. I'm not sure if Choice Specs is objectively the best set at the moment, though you could certainly conclude that, but it is certainly the set that requires the greatest level of preparation in the teambuilder. You need all the tools Guard mentioned - a Volt Switch blocker, a midground pivot (often a bulky steel or poison), and some form of speed control. The only observation I have is that most teams naturally need and run these components anyway, and so strictly from a teambuilding perspective, the only constraint I feel Magearna uniquely adds to an otherwise normal building checklist is that middle component - the need for a bulky steel or poison to sponge Fleur/Flash cannon.

Unlike Spectrier, the list of options to choose from are many, as identified above. As a result, I feel as though the concern with Specs Magearna is a bit less about being mandated to fit its answers and more about how you play those answers in the course of a game. As compared with the DLC 1, SS OU metagame where I did actually call for Magearna to be banned on the basis of this single set's effectiveness, I am just not sold yet that we've reached that point here. In the metagame where I felt this Magearna set was truly banworthy, the limited answers it had were often telegraphed as coming into play, and moreover, the sequences that forced those checks into play always favored the Magearna user: Excadrill and Cinderace would still be 2HKO'd by Fleur Cannon on the second mandatory sequence, and nearly every single Fleur Cannon resist was Volt Switch food. It was not uncommon to see, in that limited and slower paced metagame compared to what we have here, a Specs Magearna claim a minimum of 2-3 kills every game. I have not seen Specs Magearna take off in quite the same fashion here, and while it doesn't necessarily need to get that bad to be considered banworthy, I personally don't view the risk/reward in running this Magearna set to be as unhealthy here as it needs to be to call for a ban at this time.

Regarding DoubleDance (or "KissPower") sets, there is a bit of flexibility in how they can be played. Shift Gear + Calm Mind has been far more common than Iron Defense + CM, as the latter I feel needs a bit more team support (usually through Grassy Terrain and by holding Leftovers), which makes it less splashable on teams, less immediately threatening in games, and requiring even more extra turns to set up. Shift Gear + Calm Mind sets have also seen some innovation over time in terms of its item (Life Orb is gaining traction now, Leftovers is still viable, and obviously there is Weakness Policy which I often use on Screens HO). I am very firm in my belief that these sets are not broken, and unlike the aforementioned Specs set, having something even as simple as a faster Taunt user, Haze user, or faster speed control shuts these sets down before they can get started. These sets are also quite obvious to scout at team preview, and they play as more of a free-turn-reliant sweeper in the late game, more than a self-sufficient wallbreaker whose presence is felt anytime it is let into play.

As for the other sets, while Calm Mind + Pain Split sets do retain some effectiveness against bulkier teams generally, this set feels like more of an attempt to counterteam Stall rather than a consistently used option for other purposes. SG+3 Attack sets have always been coverage/matchup reliant, and again, I find that fitting the same answers that you would for the Specs set will provide enough breathing room to scout out whatever these sets are running (with Mega Scizor, Jirachi, AV Magearna and even Blissey/Pex/Heatran at times being enough if you aren't too chipped down in the late-game).

In conclusion (or just skip here for the TL;dr) --> I think the Specs set is manageable enough at the moment to where its effectiveness is dictated by the skill of the players rather than repeating inevitable sequences which unhealthily favor the Magearna user. KissPower sets are more easily scouted, have softer/more situational forms of counterplay, and require more free turns to be effective in the later stages of games. Other sets are coverage/matchup reliant, with a higher ceiling with appropriate coverage and a much lower floor if you're walled, and tend to be covered by the same checks you would otherwise bring to scout the Specs set. All of this is not to say that Magearna isn't a dangerous offensive threat in any game, or that the arguments made above aren't very compelling. I simply need to see more evidence that Magearna is anything less than a very good offensive threat, as opposed to a constraining or even broken presence in the metagame.
 
Hello everyone! I'm glad to announce that the council has reached unanimous consensus on our next step forward.

1609780439356.png




I would like to thank everyone that stayed on topic and provided input. Expect a Spectrier suspect test sometime soon!

This thread will be locked for the time being.
 
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