np: Doubles Stage 2 - Suspect Discussion

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Pocket

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Now that we had 10 days to play in a sleep meta, I am opening the discussion about your stance on this suspect. I know a lot of this discussion has already been taking place in the metagame discussion thread, but please bring the discussion to this thread. Here are some discussion points:
  • Is Sleep broken/too powerful or simply another viable aspect of Pokemon? Is it overcentralizing?
  • Does it restrain teambuilding too much? How much preparation does a team require to combat sleep?
  • Does Sleep limit or increase diversity of the metagame?
  • Does Sleep have an overall positive/neutral/negative impact to the Doubles metagame? How does Sleep affect the metagame?
  • Does the opportunity cost of using sleep balances out the rewards from sleep spam?
  • What are the different checks or counter strategies to combat sleep?
  • Are there any suspects independent of Sleep that you want to raise attention to the council? Explain your reasoning
Note that your participation in the metagame discussion thread and this suspect discussion thread is crucial for being selected as a suspect test voter. I've seen some excellent points being introduced in the other thread, so don't be afraid of repeating the same points to facilitate your argument here. No hostility or ad hominem attacks allowed; treat every participant with respect. The voting will begin on March 12th, so make sure you immerse yourself in these discussion threads before the voter pool has been selected.
 
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Laurel

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Copy pasted from the other thread to start conversation: here we go

I still do not like no sleep clause.

Everyone saying grass types are an answer to sleep spam how do they handle a sludge bomb from Venusaur?

So far I've noticed 4 different types of sleep combinations and there are probably more.

Mega Charizard-Y + Venusaur: The best check to this is weather preferably Sand... Charizard-Y can stall one turn with protect then switch out.
Mega Venusaur: The bulkiest way to put things to sleep just slap a Mega Venusaur on your team and pair it with like an Aegislash for Psychics and Flying types, and spam Sleep Powder. The best way to deal with this guy is to attack it with everything you have... Usually thats not enough... Also it can't be put to sleep by Sleep Powder + Spore ... I might run this with max SpDef and Hidden Power [Rock] for Lulz to beat the 1st combination.
Jumpluff: Seen this a few times. Leech Seeds until you are forced to switch out, then it sets up a sub, then it puts everything to sleep. The best way to handle this is to just spam attack its position, or have an offensive grass type like Shaymin-S to hard wall it
Gravity + Fast Hypnosis: This strategy is just stupid, but it works. Gravity boosts Hypnosis accuracy, Darkrai is base 125 Speed and gets Hypnosis, nothing is immune to its sleep, and you need to pray for a miss, or have priority mach punch and sand to threaten it. People are running Sash for good reason.

Obviously, the best answer to most of this stuff is Mega Kangaskhan. However, that thing is downright obvious, the opponent just protects the thing getting fake outed or switches to something safe, and burns the Kangaskhan or something.

Safeguard is another check, but there are so many Prankster + Taunt users that are viable, especially Liepard which gets Fake Out, and Thundurus-I. If the opponent gets off the Safe Guard before you can spam sleep you wait out the next few turns with your other mons, then Taunt them once you see Safeguard... So far I've only seen it on Latis and Meowstic.

There is just no way to counter all forms of Sleep spam on a team. Of course, you can never counter every play style or win vs everything, but against Pokemon just putting you to sleep, you do not even stand a chance.

I'm not saying relying on spamming sleep is broken because that as a strategy is terrible, and it more than likely loses, but having sleep spam as a piece of a team with 4 or 5 other mons is just awful to play against. So it takes me 1.5 mons to kill Jumpluff and it put something to sleep... I pretty much have no shot here unless I completely outplay or my opponent chokes.

New Stuff

To answer one of the discussion questions:

Does Sleep limit or increase diversity of the metagame?

It limits the metagame because sun spam got even better. Gravity + Fast Hypnosis and the addition of Jumpluff on a lot of teams are the only big differences with "diversity" and I guess Latias and Latios using Safeguard.
 

Laga

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alright I am going to start off by echoing zach on what is probably the pinnacle of this entire suspect.

Sleep Clause lift vs Sleep Clause retain is going to be a vote for each individual completely based upon opinion, since neither option is broken or unhealthy for the metagame in any way. No matter how much your opponent's team is devoted to Sleep spam, you can always play around it with proper technique and skill. No matter how much you discuss and point out that Sleep Clause is pointless, it will only ever be an opinion.


My opinion is definitely that Sleep Clause should be lifted. As probably already mentioned by others and myself, I do not believe there are any overcentralizing sleep-inducing Pokemon in the current suspect meta, and I believe that dedicated Sleep spam is an outright bad strategy / team structure. Please don't take any offense from that if you destroyed the ladder 20-0 with a Sleep spam team; this is just my opinion.

Another point I brought up myself is that the moves and Pokemon you use to counter sleep are going to be popular and viable options anyway. Things like Talonflame, Taunt Thundurus, Protect (mindgames), and Shaymin-S are all extremely popular Pokemon / moves in the first place, and this is just scratching the surface in the pool of viable ways to deal with Sleep spam.

Sleep Clause lift definitely opens up for use of otherwise overlooked Pokemon, such as Mega Venusaur and Breloom, as well as add a new thing to keep in mind with teambuilding – I like when teambuilding is very dynamic, and having to prepare a little for Sleep is both a challenge but not challenging to the point of having to "over-prepare" for it. To put this into perspective, think about how Mega Kangaskhan changed teambuilding in Singles. Basically, if you didn't bring on of the following,

1) A Ghost-type with WoW
2) Rocky Helmet Skarmory
3) A Terrakion or Keldeo that you had to keep at full health
4) 3+ Pokemon that can OHKO it

you'd straight up just lose from team preview if your opponent known how to play this game. This was extremely restricting to teambuilding, but I believe Sleep Clause only adds to the dynamic and difficulty level of teambuilding.

I don't think I have much else to say, let's keep this thread clean of bashing other's opinions (looking at you and ur latest post in the other thread Pwne :V) and most of all

please stop saying abuse sleep :|

edit:
22:37 <&Laga> what is the mindset behind
22:37 <&Laga> posting suspect discussion in a thread
22:37 <&Laga> for metagame discussion
22:38 <&Laga> and then copy pasting it into a suspect discussion thread

Laurel
~_~
 
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In my opinion, restrictions based on "Well I don't much care for this thing" should not exist. The restrictions placed on teambuilding and game play (ie bans & clauses) should be made only when absolutely necessary to retain a competitive and diverse metagame.

That being said, I cannot understand why someone would be absolutely against removing Sleep Clause, this test has shown to all of us that being able to put multiple pokemon to sleep on your opponents team and having them be able to do the same to you, has not changed the way the game has played, nor has it forced effective teams to run a specific counter to sleep spam. While it would be unwise to disregard sleep spam entirely when building a team (especially for the ladder) I have not found it necessary to have a dedicated counter.

If your only arguement to reinstate sleep clause is "I like it better" then I suggest you reevaluate your position and look at the metagame from an objective standpoint. However, if you have some legitimate reason/evidence to suggest that sleep is causing the metagame to overcentralize I would love to be shown that I'm wrong.

Otherwise I say let's remove as many restrictions as we can, as long as we can keep enjoying a balanced doubles metagame :]
 

Biosci

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So echoing a lot of what Laga said about this suspect, especially the first paragraph. Keeping or taking away sleep clause will really have no huge toxic effects with either action. I could talk more, but the post I made in the metagame discussion thread echos my thought on this suspect:

So when Smogon Doubles first started out, I had a very low opinion for sleep clause in doubles. It really isn't needed in a 2v2 environment where there are so many options that can make sleep spam screw you over. I never really minded it being there, I just didn't really see the point of having it. People will complain "but I lost to it, this stupid shit can't happen!" but a majority of the time that's due to play that could've been done better or lack of a good team.
I didn't really care much to actually try to get reqs until lately, but I would still see the talk about it in #doubles. People saying "Scarf Breloom is OP", "Jumpluff is the shit", etc. which I would hardly agree with from my experience in the doubles environment. Doing the 40+ battles on the ladder I saw about 3 Scarf Breloom and countless Jumpluff, and if I lost to them neither of those Pokemon were really contributing factors to that loss. It might've been just my team, but none of these Pokemon really had the chance to sleep spam as much as they wished and they usually just ended up being a liability to the player. So from the experience I got from the ladder, it was pretty much the same thing with more Jumpluff.

I think I'd feel perfectly fine with removing sleep clause from this ruleset. It's not overpowered at all, and the common sleep inducing moves got nerfed this gen as well. Now is as good of a time, if any, to remove sleep clause.
The clause was only initially brought into Smogon Doubles because the tier started out by using the OU banlist and freeing some select mons. I still believe it would've been fine if it was gone in gen 5, not much would change for any good player in the tier. Gen 6 brought so many new tools to play against sleep as well with the nerf on powder moves on Grass-types, more Prankster Pokemon with access to Safeguard, etc. so there really isn't a better type to trim the fat of the tier.

I have still yet to see a quality match where sleep was ever an overpowering and deciding factor in one game in my time on the ladder and watching others ladder+replays. Yes it's a good scrub stomper, but there's many other things that fit that bill. Mega Kangaskhan for example, look at how that suspect went. 90%+ voting to keep it, even though it is a very potent threat in doubles. That's sort of how sleep clause should be taken into view, but to me I still view Mega Kangaskhan better than most sleep spamming Pokemon.

So if it wasn't clear in this post, I'm definitely on the stance of removing sleep clause.
 
Will make this as brief and to the point as possible.

  • Is Sleep broken/too powerful or simply another viable aspect of Pokemon? Is it overcentralizing?
Sleep is really just another aspect/strategy in the game. It's not broken in any way and is perfectly counterable. I would judge it is a tad centralizing, but this is probably due to the fact everyone is trying it out.
  • Does it restrain teambuilding too much? How much preparation does a team require to combat sleep?
I honestly did perfectly fine using teams I had made before sleep clause was suspect tested. Honestly, teams don't need much preparation for sleep, if any. Now I'm not saying you could spam a bunch of frail Pokemon like Deoxys-A and Gengar and expect to overcome sleep teams, but in general the typical team archetypes that were successful beforehand are still successful, which means sleep doesn't have all that large of an impact in terms of teambuilding.
  • Does Sleep limit or increase diversity of the metagame?
I'd judge it mildly limits diversity, as now people are more inclined to use Grass-types and the likes on teams. But in general you can do perfectly fine without any major sleep counters so long as you have defensive answers to Grass-types & the like. On the other hand, some less common choices like Breloom and Amoonguss will gain popularity, so its really a double-edged sword.
  • Does Sleep have an overall positive/neutral/negative impact to the Doubles metagame? How does Sleep affect the metagame?
Sleep does mean you will have to deal with the occasional troll teams hoping to get lucky and hit Hypnosis repetitively. On the other hand it brings some new strategies/tactics into the metagame and makes less common choices more viable, so I'd judge the positive effects outweigh the negative ones.
  • What are the different checks or counter strategies to combat sleep?
There are various options, which is nice as it helps keep diversity around. Grass-types, Safeguard, Taunt, Safety Goggles / Lum Berry and so on can all patch up any weaknesses to sleep a team might have.
  • Are there any suspects independent of Sleep that you want to raise attention to the council?
Granted Sleep Clause is lifted, once the metagame has settled a bit I think we may want to keep our eye on Chlorophyll + Sun teams. I don't really see it as a problem as of now but it'd probably be a good idea to consider the possibility of banning Chlorophyll + Sleep Powder or such if Sun team archetypes become too centralizing (though once again I do not really think this will be the case).

Conclusion
My view is that Sleep Clause can safely be lifted (not saying "should" because honestly I don't mind either way).
 

Pocket

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Laurel said:
Obviously, the best answer to most of this stuff is Mega Kangaskhan. However, that thing is downright obvious, the opponent just protects the thing getting fake outed or switches to something safe, and burns the Kangaskhan or something.
Fake Out Kangaskhan allows you to set up Substitute with your partner, safely bring in your anti-sleep counter, set up Trick Room, set up Tailwind, set up Dragon Dance/Quiver Dance etc. Basically even if they nullify Kangaskhan's Fake Out with Protect, the move has given you a free turn to set up and force the opponent on the defensive. Fake Out more often than not puts the opponent in the situation where they cannot sleep spam effectively.

Granted the sleep user can also lead with a Mega Kangaskhan and hinder your set-up, but that's the power of Fake Out. It facilitates your own set up while disrupting others.
There is just no way to counter all forms of Sleep spam on a team. Of course, you can never counter every play style or win vs everything, but against Pokemon just putting you to sleep, you do not even stand a chance.
How can you say this when there are handful of Pokemon immune to the very sleep move? Stalling out Safeguard turns isn't as easy as you think, and those are five turns that your sleep inducer cannot perform its primarily function. Prankster/faster Taunt shuts down Sleep users. There are many Pokemon that can threaten to OHKO frailer sweep inducers like Jumpluff, and Jumpluff cant Sleep only one at a time. If you're desperate, there's always Safety Goggles, which provides permanent protection from Spore/Sleep Powder (also lets you ignore Rage Powder, which is a nice bonus).

Granted Gravity + Hypnosis can bypass many of the safety measures listed above, but it's too dependent on Gravity, and there aren't many viable Gravity users. You are also slightly vulnerable the turn you're setting up Gravity. As someone who has tried this strategy out, it's not easy to successfully pull this off.

I agree with The Leprechaun's post in the metagame thread. Sleep spam requires significant support; too much support to always work consistently. There's a lot of room for you to undermine the opponent's attempt to sleep spam, and the opponent would lose precious turns in the process.
 
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M2H

formerly MewtwoHidden
Is Sleep broken/too powerful or simply another viable aspect of Pokemon? Is it overcentralizing?
Personally I think Sleep Clause Should Stay simply due to the fact of sleep spamming teams posing a problem. If you look in the discussion thread, many times Safety Goggles Rotom-H, using Lum Berries on Pokemon that normally shouldn't run Lum Berry, and putting Safeguard on Pokemon that normally need that moveslot for another move are mentioned. This might just be hype from it being unbanned, but I personally feel that this is overcentralizing and that Sleep Clause should stay.

Does it restrain teambuilding too much? How much preparation does a team require to combat sleep?

Teambuilding is restrained quite a bit by sleep with people having to use less common Items, Pokemon, and Moves to defeat the playstyle. It doesn't restrain it that much though, as I was able to get reqs without a single precaution against sleep.

Does Sleep limit or increase diversity of the metagame?

Sleep really does go both ways in diversity.

Sleep limits diversity because....:
Pokemon unable to cope with Sleep, or the users of the Sleep, become lesser used. hint: Water types and Rock types. Slower Pokemon or Pokemon unable to deal out large amounts of damage also suffer due to being unable to OHKO the sleep users, and thus getting sleeped.

Sleep increases diversity because.....:
Making sleepers such as Jumpluff, Breloom, and Darkrai usable.
Making otherwise unused items used for the sake of checking sleep. Lum Berry, Safety Goggles, etc.

Does Sleep have an overall positive/neutral/negative impact to the Doubles metagame? How does Sleep affect the metagame?
Personally I think Sleep is neutral or somewhat negative. It's just another cheap strategy that people would end up using. I've personally only lost to Sleep once in over a hundred battles and my team isn't that prepared for it. We don't lose that much from banning it but it could become a problem later on when more people abuse it.

Is there any opportunity cost in using Sleep?
There really isn't much of a difficulty of fitting a Sleeper on a team aside from the fact that most mainstream sleepers tend to have poor offense perhaps? Breloom and Mega-Venusaur are exceptoions to this, but Breloom is really frail especially assuming that since it's in doubles, it might have to take two hits and not just one.

What are the different checks or counter strategies to combat sleep?

-Safeguard can stop Sleep and Cresselia can defeat Amoonguss, Mega-Venusaur, and Breloom.
-Talonflame can defeat any Pokemon that causes sleep, but cant do anything against the Sleep itself. Sleep Talk can be used on Talonflame to switch on Spore/Hypnosis/Sleep Powder and kill with Brave Bird or Flare Blitz from Sleep Talk.
-Lum Berries can give you a one time stop against sleep.

I'd like to say for people to stop saying that Grass types can check/counter Sleep BECAUSE THEY DON'T please explain to me how any Grass type (except Ferroseed and Ferrothorn which cant do anything back anyways) is going to want to take a Sludge Bomb from Mega-Venusaur? and what exactly can these grass types do back except for allowing your other Pokemon to stay asleep and get bombarded with attacks.

Are there any suspects independent of Sleep that you want to raise attention to the council?
To me at least, Mega-Venusaur is more of a problem than sleep in general, with very few flaws as a Pokemon in general, but with Sleep it becomes much harder to deal with and it pretty much guarantees the user to get a Sleep Powder off before going down.
Mega-Gengar is also a pretty big threat from what I've seen while using it. It pretty much shuts down your opponent from gaining any momentum and pretty much always puts you in a good situation, being that even without Mega Gengar's offensive prowess itself, You can simply switch your other pokemon to something that can deal with both Pokemon. Access to Destiny Bond and Perish Song, Mega-Gengar can often bring at least 2 Pokemon down with it if played well.



Another thing I'd like to point out is that it's not a problem if there is only a single abuser, the problem is entire teams built around using it.
 
Also saying grass types are good checks to sleep isn't all that true because most grass type at most stop the opponent from putting one of your pokemon to sleep but other than that they can't do anything.For example amoonguss can switch in to a sleep powder from venusaur but other than that he can't do anything so most grass types at most just eat up the sleeping move but a lot of them lack a way to deal with the sleep user(shaymin does work).

Is Sleep broken/too powerful or simply another viable aspect of Pokemon? Is it overcentralizing?
Sleep isn't broken because there are many ways of countering sleep and because the amount of turns a pokemon is asleep is random so you can't really abuse it to a level were it can really affect the metagame to the point it can be considered its broken.It's just one of the many viable aspects of pokemon.


Does it restrain teambuilding too much? How much preparation does a team require to combat sleep?
it doesn't really restrain teambuilding much because many viable pokemon work as sleep checks already and its really not much a skilled player has to put on teambuilding to counter sleep.

Does Sleep limit or increase diversity of the metagame?
Sleep increases the diversity because pokemon that were seeing low usage are now being used and others that had average usage also got a boost and it really didn't affect much because the top pokemon still remain at the top.It just adds another layer of viable pokemon into the metagame.

Does Sleep have an overall positive/neutral/negative impact to the Doubles metagame? How does Sleep affect the metagame?
Honestly i would have to say positive because like i said before it makes other pokemon viable adding more strategy to the metagame.Sleep isn't hard to counter so it really doesn't affect the metagame negatively but it adds another strategy for teams.


Is there any opportunity cost in using Sleep?
It's not hard to put one sleep pokemon on a team but its not easy building a team around it because the strategy in itself needs a lot of support to work best and building a full team of sleep is really adds luck in sleep powder missing/early wake ups/late wake ups which usually end up being worst for the sleep team.

What are the different checks or counter strategies to combat sleep?
Simple moves like safeguard can check sleep easily and items like lum berry,safety googles,etc work pretty well at stopping sleep also.Abilities like sap sipper work well.Having a faster pokemon that can kill them before they can put you to sleep also works for example talonflame can kill most sleep pokemon with brave bird.Grass types also help eat up spore so your partner can kill them.

Conclusion:
Sleep clause should be lifted.
It effects the metagame positively because of making a lot of new pokemon viable.
 
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BLOOD TOTEM

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  • Is Sleep broken/too powerful or simply another viable aspect of Pokemon? Is it overcentralizing?
In short no. A lot of the ways of handling sleep are kinda staple for a good doubles team anyway. Strategies such as Taunt were employed long before sleep turned up. I would argue sleep is just another new viable aspect of the metagame albeit an inconsistent one. I've found that multiple teambuilding philosophies are still viable in the meta with both Hyper Offense and Goodstuff still working fine for me. I trust Nollan and his judgement on TR still being viable though I am yet to use it myself.
  • Does it restrain teambuilding too much? How much preparation does a team require to combat sleep?
As I said in the above point, sleep is handled in a similar way to many of the other strategies you see in doubles anyway so I don't think this is a huge issue. There are a couple of countermeasures that are handy to take against sleep, a grass type comes in really handy and I've found that Skymin puts in some good work against some of the more common setters thanks to that Flying-type STAB.
  • Does Sleep limit or increase diversity of the metagame?
I hasten to say that it makes the metagame more diverse but I don't think it limits it by any stretch of the word. If anything I expect to see an increase in sleep users and a decrease in common TR mons, the rest of the meta should stay the same. As the sleep meta re-establishes itself I expect to see a rise in the amount of TR teams as people begin to experiment and see what's what.
  • Does Sleep have an overall positive/neutral/negative impact to the Doubles metagame? How does Sleep affect the metagame?
Neutral imo, lazy post but I kinda worked this into everything else so shadup :<
  • Is there any opportunity cost in using Sleep?
Yes is the simple answer. If a player is prepared, odds are you have a deadweight mon, sorry YJ but Jumpluff is kinda lame if you can't sleep stuff. A lot of the other common sleep inducers don't have a great offensive presence in my opinion. Stuff like ChloroSaur doesn't really cut it in terms offense, Breloom is the closest one to good but even then I feel it falls just short due to it's lackluster speed and kinda lame coverage.
  • What are the different checks or counter strategies to combat sleep?
Safeguard, Fake Out, Taunt, Safety Goggles, TALONFLAME, Grass-types, Skymin.
  • Are there any suspects independent of Sleep that you want to raise attention to the council?
Yeah, ban Protect, Cresselia and spread moves please.


Reposting this because I think it's important, input pls.
I'm wary that removing sleep clause could have a negative effect on the playerbase of doubles, there is a possibility that players of a low skill level may not know how to effectively prepare for sleep and this could lead to people not wanting to continue with playing doubles. A lot of you don't really go in the doubles room but I've seen countless occasions where people have complained about sleep and want sleep clause to be reinstated. I'm unsure whether alienating a chunk of the playerbase is a good idea just because the #metagamepros think it's OK.
 

Ash Borer

I've heard they're short of room in hell
sleep
  • Is Sleep broken/too powerful or simply another viable aspect of Pokemon? Is it overcentralizing?
To me, sleep has not be broken in the slighest. Lum / Safety goggle lures, simple protect + target sleep user tactics, grass types, safe guard, taunt, poor accuracy of sleep moves, poor consistency of turns sleeping, and many other factors offer sufficient counterplay to sleep spam. After playing against, observing and play with sleep inducing pokemon, at no point did I find sleep spamming to be overly effective.
  • Does it restrain teambuilding too much? How much preparation does a team require to combat sleep?
Teambuilding restriction is barely noticeable. Carrying a grass type is a good idea, perhaps a stray lum, or safety goggles on a poke that counters a wide number of sleep users (talonflame @ safety goggles new meta), a fast taunt user, safegard or more might be a good idea to carry, but even completely unprepared teams I found were able to play with sleep and not get bowled over
  • Does Sleep limit or increase diversity of the metagame?
I'd say it increases. On one hand more items become viable, and a number of pokemon, like jumpluff become more viable. At the same time carrying a grass type, or something might be more necessary limiting diversity. OVerall the net effect hasnt been too apparent
  • Does Sleep have an overall positive/neutral/negative impact to the Doubles metagame? How does Sleep affect the metagame?
In my opinion it's positive. Sleep tactics are a simply another method of victory on top of what already exists. Lack of sleep clause doesnt really make anything unviable
  • Is there any opportunity cost in using Sleep?
Certainly. The pokemon required to use that have passable sleeping moves are limited, some are kind of poor outside sleep induction. When I tried to use umpluff I found my team missed the offensive presence that team slot once provided. Further still wide lens is a very useful item for inducing sleep, I tried my hand at wide lens darkrai because darkrai is a pokemon with a wide movepool, and good stats who would be really great at putting shit to sleep if hypnosis didnt miss nearly half the time. Not only was its accuracy still pretty damn poor, missing the moveslot for coverage and the itemslot for power was a huge cost, not even worth it in most cases. These kinds of things ust make me feel as if sleep is balanced.
  • What are the different checks or counter strategies to combat sleep?
Lum lures (my jumpluff was defeated quite easily by a lum volcarona in one of my matches, I had to sleep powder it because it would have killed umpluff with a fire move should I slept the other pokemon), safety goggles, safeguard, aromatherapy after sleep inducers are gone, fast substitutes, sleep talk users, fast taunts, simple protect + sleep targeting, grass types, and all kinds of already existing viable tactics can be used to disrupt sleep use. There's probably a viable insomnia user out there too :]
  • Are there any suspects independent of Sleep that you want to raise attention to the council?
Last round I brought up looking at ubers to be played instandard play to see what would happen. Most players thought this was mad. Now that the "drop an uber" tour is in its final round, what did players think of these ubers? Were they over centralizing and overpowering? Just wondering :]

also trick room is OP as fuck, pls ban

These are my thoughts on the sleep clause thus far.
 
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jas61292

used substitute
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Well, I suppose the easiest way to go about a first post here is just to address the questions in the OP directly.

Is Sleep broken/too powerful or simply another viable aspect of Pokemon? Is it overcentralizing?
So, first off, do I think Sleep is too powerful or over-centralizing? No, definitely not. In my experience battling without Sleep Clause, it never really seemed to matter whether one teem tried to abuse sleep, both teams did, or neither. Regardless of the matchup, Sleep was very rarely a dominating force in a battle. That's not to say it was never important, or that the lack of a Sleep Clause never cause a game to be won by someone who would not have won it had Sleep Clause been into effect. However, the influence that Sleep has gained by enabling players to inflict it on more than one Pokemon is not all that high. Certainly, when compared with the other forces of the metagame, the effect Sleep has is nearly negligible. I think the most important thing to keep in mind here with regard to the power of Sleep is that Sleep with out Sleep Clause does not need to have no real increase in power for it to be worth allowing. Sleep is definitely stronger than it ever was before. However, I do not think that the power it provides is anything unacceptable for a metagame like this.

Does it restrain teambuilding too much? How much preparation does a team require to combat sleep?
I personally never really found that the threat of Sleep caused me to change anything I did when making teams. Now, to be fair, I am definitely more of a very quick build, try, and adjust player than one who spends hours thinking about what to put on a team. Yet even so, never did I ever go back to adjust a team with the intent of making it more prepared for sleep. In almost every battle where I face off against someone trying to use the lack of Sleep Clause to their advantage, it was the way I played against them that had a much bigger impact on how successful their sleep strategy was than any individual part of my team itself. The common natural immunities, such as the grass type immunity to spore moves, and common weaknesses of sleep inducers, play a big part in this, as I am more likely than not already going to have something to use against Sleep on any given team. Is it theoretically possible to to have a team that is overly weak to Sleep abuse? Sure. However, I don't think it is any more likely than a team that is naturally weak to one of the hundreds of other normal elements of the doubles game.

Does Sleep limit or increase diversity of the metagame?
I think diversity has only increased by the elimination of Sleep Clause. An increase in use of more dedicated sleep inducers, such as Jumpluff, are the most obvious increases in diversity, but I do believe that it really does go far beyond that. Overcoat, which was not an incredibly useful ability, now can be very handy, increasing use of things like Escavalier. Grass types in general, whether or not they carry Sleep moves themselves, got a boost, due to them being immune to something that has become more common. These are all fairly minor increases in diversity, but they are definitely real. What's more, its not like anything has become less viable to counterbalance this. As others have mentioned, for the most part, you could very easily use almost any team that was made for the Sleep Clause meta and have it work out nearly as well without the Sleep Clause. Nothing has become less useful, other than via acceptable levels of normal metagame drift, while multiple Pokemon have become more viable. And I'd even argue that the diversity increase goes beyond just the Pokemon themselves. Items have seen a great increase in diversity. While, as I mentioned, no team necessarily seemed to have any severe problems with Sleep, one could very well take advantage of Safety Goggles or a Lum berry to turn a situation very much against someone trying to abuse sleep. This is not a case of being forced to run a counter, and I vehemently disagree with people who claim otherwise. And no Pokemon shouldn't be running these items. It's simply a case of people being given an option to try and use their item slot in a new way to potentially give them advantages that were previously unavailable.

Does Sleep have an overall positive/neutral/negative impact to the Doubles metagame? How does Sleep affect the metagame?
So overall, what is the effect of the removal of the Sleep Clause on the metagame? I think it is a net positive. It is not that big of an effect, but it is there, and I think it is a good thing. It increases diversity, without really having any real negative effect. I don't have much more to say on this one. Everything was pretty much covered by the last 3 paragraphs.

Is there any opportunity cost in using Sleep? (EDIT: Nice wording change on this one)
Well, pretty much by definition, unless you are choice locked / encored into a move, cannot switch out, and can only choose one target, there will be an opportunity cost. Further, in the game of Pokemon, it is very rare for the maximum possible opportunity cost not to exceed the most probable outcome of choosing a given action. For example, say you are using a Venusaur, and you think you will need 3 attacks (2 from partner and 1 from Venu) to take out an opponent, and you don't want the opponent to be able to do anything before that happens. Using Sleep Powder might be, on average, the best way to take it out, but by going that route, you forgo the chance of getting double crits and a Poison from Sludge Bomb, which might do the job in a single turn. In other words, yes, Sleep has an opportunity cost, but so does everything else. The real question is whether or not, on average, using Sleep moves has an average opportunity cost greater than or less than the returns provided by the sleep move itself.

This is something that I think is really hard to measure, but I think I can say with some certainty that the average returns from sleep moves are definitely not so much greater than their average opportunity cost that their existence is a bad thing for the metagame. To put this into less economic terms, I think sleep is not obviously better or worse than any other given strategy on a given turn in your average battle. Beyond that I think it is really hard to judge. There is however one thing I think I can say regarding this: I believe that the usage of sleep moves has diminishing returns to scale. The advantage gained by Sleeping one opponent is significantly larger, on average, than the advantage gained by Sleeping a second opponent. Passing up a 2 on 1 scenario to vie for the possibility of having a 2 on 0 scenario is frequently not worth it. Sometimes it is, but I don't think that could be called the normal situation.

What are the different checks or counter strategies to combat sleep?
Honestly, I don't think there are much worth mentioning, because you really shouldn't need a specific strategy or check in order to beat sleep. I pretty much agree with the sentiment of Pwnemon's recent post in the other thread that, really, the best counter to sleep is being a smart player. Smart switches, subs, protects and the like are by far the easiest way to beat any player trying to take advantage of Sleep. I personally feel that if you are running anything on your team specifically to counter sleep, then either you are not playing smartly with your team, or your team was just not up to snuff to begin with.

Are there any suspects independent of Sleep that you want to raise attention to the council?
Well, I kinda want to say something to do with sun, but I can't really pinpoint what. I don't think sun itself, or even Zardy or anything is specifically too powerful, but something about that overall strategy makes me feel like it might be worth a look at. However, as far as individual suspects, I really got nothing.
 
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From personal opinion, I believe the purpose of restrictions and clauses in a tier is to maintain a competitive environment, although the removal of Sleep Clause in the suspect test has shown it hasn't really impacted the Doubles metagame in a significant way. Therefore, I propose that Sleep Clause be lifted from the Doubles metagame.

Yes, having no Sleep clause can provide a gateway for annoying Sleep spam, but it really goes to show that you will be punished for poor teambuilding. There are a ridiculous amount of checks and counters to Sleep, and simple downright prediction can easily overcome Sleep spam. Teams centered around the concept of putting all Pokemon to Sleep will not win consistently on the ladder, just saying.

I recently discovered a neat strategy that is great for countering Sleep for all you people out there who struggle against Spore and Sleep Powder. We all know of the common Sleep counters like Talonflame itself, Taunt and the like, but I believe Follow Me Togekiss with Safety Goggles can be very effective in countering Sleep; not to mention Max HP and Max SpD with a Calm nature makes Togekiss a specially defensive wall that's difficult to take down.

But going back to what I said, the removal of Sleep Clause won't make a huge difference in the Doubles metagame. Darkrai has always carried Hypnosis and Chlorosaur has always been common. But what I would really like to see is the suspect testing of OHKO moves! I've played a lot of VGC prior to Smogon Doubles and from personal experience the absence of OHKO Clause hasn't really made a huge impact on the VGC metagame. So why not here in Smogon Doubles? I could finally start using the Crowncune set from VGC 2012. Now that would be really fun to witness. :)
 

Knight of Cydonia

dance commander
I don't think sleep clause is needed for a few reasons. Probably the stand out one for me is how teams that were built in the meta before it was lifted are still effective. It doesn't really affect most teams since they should have basic disruption techniques anyway to stop the opponent having their way with tailwind, trick room, etc. It's manageable with Taunt, Fake Out, Follow Me, double targeting, predicting with protect, substitute, Lum Berry and other less common things that can/should be somewhere on every team. It helps that sleep users are obvious unlike say some tailwind users so the correct counter plays are much easier to make. You should be able to limit sleep to one pokemon most of the time.

Yes, sleep can be powerful with good support and when well played, but no more so than any other strategy that is well supported and well played. I'm personally more scared of good trick room teams than having both pokemon put to sleep. Its just another viable strategy in my eyes and increases diversity if that is the sort of thing you look for in a metagame.

Also the sleep users aren't really optimal in the meta if you look at what they can bring beside sleep, there are definite disadvantages with every user so you really have to want sleep to use them. Plus the luck issues of sleep powder accuracy and sleep rolls mean that it is not the most reliable way to try and win.

Of course I don't want to downplay the strength of sleep and it is difficult to deal with if you mess up, but purely from my ladder experience it just doesn't feel like sleep clause is necessary.
 

Electrolyte

Wouldn't Wanna Know
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Prelude-to-post: I tend to favor teambuilding pattern based discussion, so if you're not big on that, much of this post won't mean much to you, so you should move on.

Does it restrain teambuilding too much? How much preparation does a team require to combat sleep?

Two major things have happened to the metagame with the removal of Sleep Clause- the promotion of Hyper Offense and the further dichotomy between competitive and ladder based strategy. I will discuss both.

One major asset to the removal of Sleep Clause is that Hyper Offense is not only much more viable but also a very legitimate strategy now. Sleep inducers aid HO teams very well, spreading Sleep and creating massive opportunities for otherwise inept sweepers such as Deoxys-A or Sylveon to flourish. This is obviously healthy for the metagame; more plausible styles means more diversity and a more balanced metagame. Sleep has increased the amount of viable Pokemon, in my opinion, and has become one of the premier 'support options' in teambuilding. Pokemon that require lots of support but can deal lots of damage pair well with Sleep and can make up very unique team styles.

However, if you think about the root cause of this change, things get dirtier. Why is the absence of Sleep Clause and the abuse of Sleep moves so beneficial to Hyper Offense? The answer is quite simple- it is a low risk, high reward strategy that doesn't take too much skill to pull off in order to succeed, especially against a relatively lower-skilled ladder like the one we have. Very few people have dedicated counters to Sleep, and it's not their fault, either; if you think about it, there are no guaranteed and obvious Sleep-countering strategies out there. Safeguard is bypassed by Jumpluff, Grass sponges are thwarted by Sludge Bomb from Venusaur and Amoonguss, and every in-battle strategy requires time and attention that could otherwise be used to great effect elsewhere.

As Laga mentioned, yes, it is possible to play around Sleep, but I think many of us truly underestimate the actually difficulty of doing such a thing. The problem is that it's so hard to truly counter Sleep that most of the community might as well just consider it broken. Experienced players from the community obviously have no trouble, but what about the rest of the community?

This is where the issue of dichotomy sets in. Sleep Clause is fine and unbroken in the more competitive environment of Smogon, but on the ladder, it's nothing short of broken simply because it takes so much skill and experience to defeat, something most people lack. Beating Sleep isn't a simple send-in-a-counter; the moment you lose a Pokemon, you lose a large amount of momentum, and you can't possibly expect everyone to be able to react immediately all of the time. I was very concerned with how easily I almost peaked the ladder with a YungPluff team I threw together in 2 minutes (I eventually reached #2 with 1620 Elo, but fell after a match lost to server lag)

I discussed this with Pwnemon on IRC and am a little relieved about this issue since he claimed that it's not our purpose to consider Showdown players and the ladder. He's right about that, but this is still something we should consider. The ladder shouldn't be held as a separate entity to Smogon; the ladder is where most people practice, and if you consider it a worthy enough environment to gain experience for a suspect vote like this, then it better darn well be.


Does the opportunity cost of using sleep balances out the rewards from sleep spam?

There are multiple different angles in which to apply Sleep onto a team, which naturally leads to different levels of risk / reward balance. Not considering Gravity / Hypnosis, the rest of the viable Sleeping strategies are based around the use of Grass-types. If you choose to analyze this from a general perspective, I feel that Sleep does reap benefits however it severely limits team infrastructure, which is very alarming.

Obviously, we all agree that slapping on a Sleep Pokemon will usually benefit almost any team. My concerns are the fact that very few viable Sleep strategies exist besides your chip-off-the-block Grass-type. Jumpluff, Amoonguss, Breloom, and Venusaur are the main sleepers, and while they do aid their teams well with Sleep, they are dangerously one-dimensional. Jumpluff is frail and weak, so it's not only an offensive but also a defensive burden in cases where it can no longer support its team as it should. Amoonguss is a very defensive styled Pokemon, and is out of place everywhere but bulkier balanced and defensive teams. Venusaur incites Mega Char Y for Sun, not only linking a whole strategy but also a type pattern that eventually leads to a whole string of other build necessities. Plus, it sparks weather wars. Those are never fun. Breloom is also very restrictive- as a Spore Pokemon, it serves a support role, when in reality its stats and typing are so geared towards offensive that not letting it go in that direction would mean utter disaster in teambuilding. A lot of support is needed to cover for Breloom's many common weaknesses, which it can no longer handle itself, simply for the sake of abusing Sleep.

These things in turn lead to further problems. If you want to run an offensive based Sleep abusing team, you have two major options- Jumpluff and Venusaur. Running the first one takes up your Flying-type slot, which is really key for many offensive teams and need to be used more efficiently than Sleep abuse. The presence of Jumpluff restricts the usage of other Flying-types, such as the Therians / Incarnates, Talonflame, and Shaymin-S. The fact that it literally has no offenses yet holds the weaknesses of other Flying-types make it very restricting. Venusaur is problematic as well. Carrying Venusaur usually leads to carrying Sun, which leads to Mega Char Y, which leads to Intimidate support to beat Rock-types and Sand, and before you know it, you're pigeonholed into cookie-cutter Sun. Not only does using Sleep through Venusaur basically force you into Mega Char Y, it creates a whole slew of other teambuilding burdens, especially the issue of upholding the weather.

So, is it worth it? Well, my question is, does it matter if it's not inherently and obviously broken? I think the issue of greater importance is that it reaps great benefits but also at great teambuilding cost. People will be lured into the strategy by its numerous advantages and will fall into repetitive teambuilding traps and restrictions because of the limited distribution of the strategy. This is obviously not good.



Despite the impressions I've probably given in this post, I still support the removal of Sleep Clause. I believe that 1. Yes, it can be countered and that 2. It is not an uncompetitive strategy. Those two aspects outweigh almost everything else you can possibly consider about any suspect, so I'm forced to agree with most of the rest of the people in this thread. However, I strongly believe that, after this suspect, notions must be made to further emphasize the teambuilding restrictions Sleep abusing Pokemon inhibit as well as to improve the public battle experience and ability so that the community is more prepared to deal with the strategy.
 

Braverius

snowls
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No hostility or ad hominem attacks allowed; treat every participant with respect.
fuck


Is Sleep broken/too powerful or simply another viable aspect of Pokemon? Is it overcentralizing?
I've said it before, will repeat what I said: it's FAIR AND BALANCED. It's not overcentralizing, it's a viable aspect of Pokemon. It will all come down to opinion, not viability.

Does it restrain teambuilding too much? How much preparation does a team require to combat sleep?
It forces teams to become slightly more offensive and much less gimmicky. Players can't dick around for a few turns anymore vs anything with sleep, which is a really good thing. I got up to +6 with Lucario far too many times on ladder without sleep, couldn't do that anymore with sleep. That's a good thing.

Does Sleep limit or increase diversity of the metagame?
I think it actually limits diversity in terms of "WHAT CAN GIMP ME TODAY?!" which is really good. No more shitty Dusclops sitting around and pressing buttons and being a useless sack of shit. No more Baton Passing into things and setting up and making you realize you have no way to beat something you're going to see once or twice in your lifetime. It covers the diverse bullshit that's on ladder. That's a good thing. The things toward the top of the ladder will stay there because they're pretty consistent. The only change you'll see is being able to get through the first 20 or so battles on ladder a little more quickly since you won't be getting beat by those one or two retarded gimmick teams.

Does Sleep have an overall positive/neutral/negative impact to the Doubles metagame? How does Sleep affect the metagame?
Probably an overall positive impact, although I think if people find a way to abuse it a bit (see: Jumpluff) and use Pokemon that do essentially nothing but throw sleep at everything, it could get ugly. I haven't heard of any serious cases of "are you fucking kidding me?" from respected players yet so I don't think this will develop into an issue, but you never know. Either way, the positives will outweigh the negatives.

Is there any opportunity cost in using Sleep?
I dunno, this could differ drastically for everyone. It's going to take a long time to answer this question accurately, honestly. I need to test a lot more teams before I can do so.

What are the different checks or counter strategies to combat sleep?
Attacking, not sitting around and watching the world go by is probably the best way to do it. Although Jumpluff is sort of janky, I think it's hilarious how it's capable of beating the SMOGON DOUBLES SPECIAL, substitute Heatran. You're going to have to actually attack and not sit around and wait for something to happen now.

Are there any suspects independent of Sleep that you want to raise attention to the council?
I went to bed before 1:30am the last two nights and woke up before 10am, which is really unusual. Because of this, I wasn't able to respond to Level-51 PMing me at 4:30am.


[18:11]PwnemonSLEEP CLAUSE: FAIR AND BALANCED
[18:11]PwnemonTHE AMOONGUSS GOES IN THE AMOONGUSS GOES OUT
[18:11]PwnemonYOU CANT EXPLAIN THAT
Oh,and I support the removal of sleep clause.
 
Sleep isn't broken. It's mainly very powerful if your opponent is bull shitting around or is packing slowmons as Zach emphasized. Sleep can have an impact against offensive teams though, but usually only as a pivot and balanced threat inducer. Pwnemon has shown that Jumpluff and company aren't hard to limit if you make a point of it.

I think it has become apparent to most people that sleep punishes bad playing/preparation. Sharply executed teams with offensive pressure have little trouble against sleep(or at least not any more trouble with it than other common threats). The issues mainly occur when a couple of slow-paced turns or mispredicts spirals into your whole team being asleep. Yea it sometimes sucks that it punishes misplays to the point where you can't come back from it short of a miracle, but sleep is a fair in-game mechanic.

If we go by straight opinion, I like the sleep meta a lot more than I thought I would. It feels like sleep is just another disruption technique like Fake Out or Protect. These are also powerful moves, but they ultimately increased the amount of skill it takes to compete in this meta.

Sleep is a game mechanic, the games don't have sleep clause and sleep isn't broken. It kind of seems like we are just being pussies if we don't remove the clause.
If we were to cater to lesser skilled ladder players, then we should remove all the disruption moves like Wide Guard and Follow Me as well that they struggle to manage against.
 
  • Is Sleep broken/too powerful or simply another viable aspect of Pokemon? Is it overcentralizing?
After playing many more games on the ladder (and actually getting reqs), my opinion on sleep has actually changed to the point where I think there isn't a need for Sleep Clause in the metagame. Although sleep is undoubtedly a very powerful strategy, I found that unless your team was completely focused on sleep, the sleeper could probably be replaced by another pokemon and perform just as well.
  • Does it restrain teambuilding too much? How much preparation does a team require to combat sleep?
Not that much, as other people have said Amoonguss is already very good and shuts down the majority of sleepers, and Safeguard has decent distribution as well. Certain slower teams lacking Amoong might struggle with sleep, but that can be said for other threats as well.
  • Does Sleep limit or increase diversity of the metagame?
Neither really, Sleep doesn't limit diversity in the sense that it doesn't make anything worse to run, but it doesn't increase the diversity significantly besides making Sleep moves slightly more viable to run.
  • Does Sleep have an overall positive/neutral/negative impact to the Doubles metagame? How does Sleep affect the metagame?
This is where I'm still a little hesitant, because I think in the right situations Sleep can be extremely gamebreaking, where if the opponent makes small mispredicts, you can come away with a massive advantage, and Sleep Clause limits the damage that sleep can do in these situations.
  • Does the opportunity cost of using sleep balances out the rewards from sleep spam?
It can be heavily matchup dependent. If your opponent has a slower team then your sleeper may do a lot of work, but if the opponent has a faster team, than you're typically going to be restricted to one sleep target, and in that case, your team might be worse off than it would if you had a better check to those teams. Overall, I'd say no, but that may be because many people on the ladder did not prepare for sleep spam.
  • What are the different checks or counter strategies to combat sleep?
Amoonguss is a big one, as well as Shaymin-S destroys the majority of sleepers. Safeguard works decently well, and something like Cresselia with Lum can work because Cress is huge sleep bait. I've heard of Safety Goggles being used on things like Chandelure, which seems interesting but I don't know how viable it truly is.
  • Are there any suspects independent of Sleep that you want to raise attention to the council?
The metagame seems pretty balanced right now as it is, although Charizard-Y is a pretty big burden on teambuilding as it essentially forces you to run Heatran or Scarf Tyranitar in order to not get destroyed.
 

TGMD

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Is Sleep broken/too powerful or simply another viable aspect of Pokemon? Is it overcentralizing?

With enough support, sleep is a very viable and effective strategy. However, in my opinion, it's not broken. It can be rather difficult to combat, and as a result, I can picture it centralizing the meta game a little bit, but not to the point where it should be banned on over centralization alone. Overall, I think it's simply not good enough without support, and I just can't see teams relying entirely on sleep being very reliable.

Does it restrain teambuilding too much? How much preparation does a team require to combat sleep?

Like any viable strategy, sleep spam will need to be checked when team building, and players will have to be very cautious around sleep users, but it's nothing a competent player can't handle.

Does Sleep limit or increase diversity of the metagame?

In my opinion it definitely limits diversity, but not in a bad way. There are a lot of stupidly gimmicky defensive teams on the ladder that will be absolutely crushed by sleep spam, which will hopefully make the ladder less painful. Yes, Overcoat users, Magic Bouncers, Grass types, and even Chesto / Lum berries will all receive a nice bump in usage, so will pretty much anything that pairs well with Venusaur, especially Mega Charizard Y, but their usage increase won't outweigh the usage decrease of all the gimmicky stally shit I saw near the start of laddering :o

Does Sleep have an overall positive/neutral/negative impact to the Doubles metagame? How does Sleep affect the metagame?

Really hard to say at this point to be honest, I doubt it will have a very positive effect on the meta game per se, as it's just another thing for people to bitch and moan about if they lose, lol, but at this point I'll say neutral. Sleep affects the meta in various ways, but mostly by increasing the usage of certain play styles, such as offense, sun, etc. Overall though, it seems it will just shift the metagame to the offensive, and we'll likely see more weather wars.

Does the opportunity cost of using sleep balance out the rewards from sleep spam?

Yes.

What are the different checks or counter strategies to combat sleep?

I mentioned most of them in the other thread, so I'll just copy paste some of the stuff from my post in the other thread: I can imagine Pokemon such as Skymin will work wonders, as it's immune to sleep and has access to Earth Power to take care of good Jumpluff partners such as Heatran and Jirachi. There's Thundurus who not only has access to Prankster taunt, but can also naturally outspeed and one shot Jumpluff with an LO boosted Hidden Power [Ice]. However, double sleep spreaders on the field at the same time or the aforementioned Follow Me Jirachi + Jumpluff core will result in Thundurus' nap time. You can also slap a scarf on Heatran, spam Heat Wave, and pair it with something that takes care of opposing Heatran, which will likely have hilarious results against unprepared sleep spam teams. Scarf Cloyster can work too.
 

Nani Man

__what__ does nani mean
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  • Is Sleep broken/too powerful or simply another viable aspect of Pokemon? Is it overcentralizing?
Sleep is just an effective tactic and strategy that teams can use. I believe in time it WILL be overcentralizing and people will start to find much more effective teams with great synergy to use this 'strategy' to its fullest potential. For now though, I would class it powerful and very annoying. Not broken.
  • Does it restrain teambuilding too much? How much preparation does a team require to combat sleep?
As of now, majority of teams on the ladder are not focusing on sleep tactics, therefore the push to adjust your team to handle such strategies is not strong yet. I assume in future once the suspect test is over, many more people dedicating strategies of this kind will be very popular and then force you to add preparation to combat sleep (assuming sleep clause is removed, of course).

  • Does Sleep limit or increase diversity of the metagame?
I'd say the diversity would decrease in some points, but expand in others. For example, new gimmick sets could arise that are designed to exploit sleep or remove sleep inducers, as well as Lum Berry and Safety Goggle items being more popular. Also, the new, stronger threat of sleep inducers could also remove BP teams as well as stall teams as it decreases the viability of those teams. That itself removes some diversity from the metagame.
  • Does Sleep have an overall positive/neutral/negative impact to the Doubles metagame? How does Sleep affect the metagame?
I'd say neutral, because it is a cheap tactic though it would have an significant impact on the meta in regards with changes, as explained above. Change is usually good and I believe this would open more doors to different styles of teams as well as new sets for pokemon. Therefore, the 'cheap' part and the 'change' part are both negative and positive aspects, which made me believe it is neutral overall.
  • Does the opportunity cost of using sleep balances out the rewards from sleep spam?
Yes and no. Depends what pokemon are being used as well as the matchups...Well, I guess that makes it a yes as if the matchups don't suit you well, you are going to have a hard time.
  • What are the different checks or counter strategies to combat sleep?
Taunt, Magic Coat, Lum Berry, Safety Goggles and Safeguard are all viable moves and items. This helps combat sleep greatly. Other than that, strong offensive pokemon puts a great strain, though like everything else, has its own risks. Mega Charizard Y is probably the best tbh as it puts a great threat on deadly grass types that utilize sleep very well, those being amoongus, venusaur and jumpluff for example.
  • Are there any suspects independent of Sleep that you want to raise attention to the council?
Not in my opinion.
 

Blizzard

@ NeverMeltIce
Sleep spam and teams dedicated to spamming sleep are not something i've seen work properly. Sleep is probably best made use of just to temporarily disable one noticable threat, at a time. Most of the times, one turn of sleep is enough for a few pokemon to set up and demolish teams. Take mega-kangaskhan, for example. One turn is enough for it set up using Power-up-punch and start hitting hard right away. Charizard and Heatran would benefit from landorus-t being disabled for at least one turn so they can set up or hit hard right away.

Spamming sleep is not very economical since some sleep moves have very low accuracy, are are, therefore, unreliable, and you might be facing a good player, who will most definitely not let you have your way. Even then, most sleep-inducers are either too slow, or are too one-dimensional to work very effectively and consistently. Mega-Venusaur may not be too slow or one-dimensional in that regard, but it has only the unreliable sleep powder to work with, when it comes to inducing sleep. Amoonguss appreciates Trick Room support to spread sleep reliably. Also, add to this the fact that you can only sleep one pokemon at a time, making your sleep-inducer vulnerable to being weakened easily. Keeping your sleep-inducer healthy whenever needed is not easy. Therefore, all this, in my opinion, constitutes to sleep not being broken.

Like Laga mentioned, most ways to combat sleep are already common and effective in the metagame. Fake Out, Protect, Rage Powder, Follow Me, Safeguard, berries, Taunt, etc. Safety Goggles is also quite effective and is becoming more popular. Talonflame, Shaymin-sky, Amoonguss, and other grass types are quite popular and good choices for many team styles. This sort of makes sleep already prepared for and is the reason why we find sleep not broken. That being said, sleep is not something one shouldn't be wary about.

I can't think of anything else to say. Sleep does put some pressure on Trick Room teams, a dangerous strategy in doubles, and makes it a little easier to handle. I do believe it's not harming the metagame in any way and just makes a few more pokemon and combinations viable. This makes the metagame more interesting without compromising its competitiveness. Therefore, I'm all for removal of Sleep Clause. Anything redundant that does not change the metagame for good should be removed.
 

Bughouse

Like ships in the night, you're passing me by
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  • Is Sleep broken/too powerful or simply another viable aspect of Pokemon? Is it overcentralizing?
Most definitely not overcentralizing. Most Sleep inducers just aren't that good overall, and those that are good are still definitely beatable. You can manage with Taunt, Substitute, Lum Berry, Grass types, Safeguard, Heal Bell, or frankly just killing the sleep inducer (usually a Grass type, so Talonflame or Heatran are good bets, etc.) It is still a good strategy, when paired with Pokemon that greatly appreciate free turns, such as DD Ttar or SubTran, but I wouldn't characterize it as broken.
  • Does it restrain teambuilding too much? How much preparation does a team require to combat sleep?
The one potential teambuilding restriction is that you may have troubles with a team that contains none of the things above. But a team with none of the above things is still capable of having success. Nor do you need to have a ton of the above. I succeeded just fine with a team that had a Ludicolo and a Lum Scizor to absorb sleep moves. Beyond that, it just muscled through Sleep users in general. I don't think too many teams would be made unviable by releasing Sleep Clause.
  • Does Sleep limit or increase diversity of the metagame?
This isn't the most important factor by any means, but it is true that no Sleep Clause makes life harder on Trick Room teams. Still, they can get around it somewhat by using Trevenant or Gourgeist or just a Safety Goggles Cresselia or something, which is hardly bad. Meanwhile, Trick Room teams themselves can abuse Amoonguss. The problem here though is how badly Amoonguss beats up Trick Room teams, and how much their composition has to change in order to get around it. This is a concern, but I'm not sure it matters enough.
  • Does Sleep have an overall positive/neutral/negative impact to the Doubles metagame? How does Sleep affect the metagame?
It's a neutral effect on the competitiveness, though in my opinion at least a negative impact on the fun. We have a status quo bias to consider Sleep Clause as needed (particularly from our Singles experiences) and so any time we lose to being slept multiple times, we feel as though its inherently unjust, rather than an aspect of a different metagame with a different ruleset. As someone who doesn't VGC, I basically have no experience with any meta without Sleep Clause and this definitely distorts my opinion. I found facing Sleep teams rather obnoxious, even if I won.
  • Does the opportunity cost of using sleep balances out the rewards from sleep spam?
I did better with a standard team than any of the sleep teams I tried to make. So for me at least it was a negative opportunity cost.
  • What are the different checks or counter strategies to combat sleep?
See question 1.
  • Are there any suspects independent of Sleep that you want to raise attention to the council?
I'd still like to do a proper test of Kangaskhanite where we actually have a suspect ladder at some point.
 
  • Is Sleep broken/too powerful or simply another viable aspect of Pokemon? Is it overcentralizing?
No, not all I found. I've played with teams that used sleep as a win tactic, I've used teams that haven't. I found it to be just as prone to disruption as Trick Room, weather wars, discharge spam. It was just another arrow in my quiver or another thing to consider when team-building and I expected to run into it a LOT more times than I truly did when laddering which leads me to conclude that it wasn't so over-centralising as I myself had expected it to be. Even after getting my reqs I've continued to play and see how the meta is evolving and I can put my hand on my heart and say that sleep felt more powerful in MY hands than it did on any of my opponents.
  • Does it restrain teambuilding too much? How much preparation does a team require to combat sleep?
I find that Charizard Y and Mega-Khan deserved my consideration more than sleep did when team-building. Sleep tended to come from a Grass type pokemon. Actually no, when I laddered it ONLY came from a grass type pokemon and was either sleep powder or spore, I didn't run into a single Hypnosis, Grass-Whistle or Yawn. And Grass type pokemon have easily exploited weaknesses (hello Talonflame!) and the Grass type sleep moves have an abundance of counters from typing to abilities to items so more often than not I found myself building teams that were naturally able to handle the threat of sleep just from considering other overlapping threats.
  • Does Sleep limit or increase diversity of the metagame?
Definitely increases it. I have successfully used Breloom, a pokemon that was rarely if ever seen in doubles prior to this suspect test - and I just love my derpy little mushroom man! Sap Sipper Goodra also did good work for me as well and was always good at throwing people off their game when a Spore failed to take effect. I've heard of people using the likes of Jumpluff, Victreebell etc and while this may at first seem to just boost Sun, it also had the effect of making Rain and Hail more viable in my opinion as people search for ways to slow those fuckers down!
  • Does Sleep have an overall positive/neutral/negative impact to the Doubles metagame? How does Sleep affect the metagame?
In my opinion it has a neutral effect, it adds to the diversity of the tier both in the usability of pokemon/items while requiring further consideration for teambuilding which raises the skillcap on being a successful doubles player which can go 2 ways - It can be healthy for competition overall and increase the general level of play seen in Smogon Doubles or it can have the negative effect of turning people off the tier if they lack the ability to team-build successfully and are not confident enough to ask for help. It's yet to be seen how this will impact on numbers of people playing the tier but as I've not personally run into any trouble dealing with sleep and didn't find the ability to sleep more than one pokemon a massively fun thing to do my feeling are neutral on the matter and so my only concern would be on the levels of fun people experience when playing Smogon Doubles in a metagame with no Sleep clause.
  • Does the opportunity cost of using sleep balances out the rewards from sleep spam?
First off, sleeping a pokemon costs a turn for half your team. Then the opposing pokemon has an increasing chance of waking up before you reap the full 3 turn benefit of sleep so the opportunity cost depends on what you do with the turns you are given. Good players are right in there with powerful set up sweepers, setting up and taking advantage whereas others I've faced have kind of bummed around; sometimes trying to fish for more sleeps and generally being ineffective. So in the hands of a good player, yes sleep definitely affords you opportunities to reap a high reward but no more than other moves such as Fake Out, Trick Room, Sky Drop, T-Wave, Swagger etc.
  • What are the different checks or counter strategies to combat sleep?
Stopping the sleep from landing of course, whether by Fake-Out, KO'ing, double targetting etc. Switching to a sleep immune pokemon is also an easy way to go if one is available.

Lesser seen methods are of course the items, such as Chesto/Lum/Safety goggles.

Rarely seen methods would be using your own grass type mon to Worry Seed it's partner or a move like Uproar on a strong special attacker (like Exploud. Yes I did see this once while laddering and it completely fucked me up).
  • Are there any suspects independent of Sleep that you want to raise attention to the council?
None at this time, I feel the metagame if healthy and stable even with the lifting of Sleep Clause.
 

The Leprechaun

wear nike not fila
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
Ok so although I've felt throughout this process that Sleep Clause isn't necessary right now in doubles I still have a couple of concerns with getting rid of it. The first thing I want to say is that spamming sleep moves will never win you games and even if you have the opportunity to put more than one thing to sleep it may not be the best move to go for. Putting multiple opponents to sleep is situational, it's not a strategy in itself. But, when the situation occurs that you are in a position to put multiple opponents to sleep it can easily go from manageable to game-breaking. I think the best examples of this can be seen when using any sleep inducer with some offensive presence against a trick room team. From the TR users point of view you have a few options to support your tr setter. You have fake out to nullify anything move that threatens to stop tr being achieved, wide guard to keep it healthy, quick guard to beat any other fake out, prankster taunt to stop other taunts/ sleep, mental herb and maybe a couple of others that I've missed. The problem is, you can only have one or two of these at a time which means that you are going to lose sometimes and maybe not get tr up on the first turn; possibly you'll have to switch to another setter because of sleep or taunt. With sleep clause removed however, if you can't get trick room up on the first turn, you're in a position where every single one of team is vulnerable to sleep and in turn become useless, especially with hypnosis users. This doesn't entirely apply to TR either. Any time you manage to generate a good matchup between one out of two of your opposing pokes, a fast inducer can turn what used to be a a good situation into an instant win. Without sleep clause, a bad match-up can go from a difficult situation into an un-winnable game. I'm aware that I am theorymonning to an extent but this is what I've experienced playing against users on the sim with a rating of above 1500.

I am however, still on the side of 'no sleep clause' mainly because I believe that it should only be kept if absolutely necessary. If we are to consider this a competitive game/ meta, there needs to be as little restrictions as possible for consistency and legitimacy.
 
Like Laga mentioned, most ways to combat sleep are already common and effective in the metagame. Fake Out, Protect, Rage Powder, Follow Me, Safeguard, berries, Taunt, etc. Safety Goggles is also quite effective and is becoming more popular. Talonflame, Shaymin-sky, Amoonguss, and other grass types are quite popular and good choices for many team styles. This sort of makes sleep already prepared for and is the reason why we find sleep not broken. That being said, sleep is not something one shouldn't be wary about.
Just saying like almost every sleep pokemon is grass and will by pass rage powder.
Amoonguss is not a check to sleep it merely stops 1 pokemon from being put to sleep but amoonguss can't do nothing to stop the pokemon to put other people to sleep,most grass types are the same for example ferrothorn can eat up a sleep powder from mega venusaur but it can't do anything to stop mega venu from putting other things to sleep.
 
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