Metagame NP: NU Stage 16- Toxic

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Eternally

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Hello everyone! NUBL Retests will be temporarily put on hold. After months of discussion and listening to feedback from the community, the NU Council has decided it's time Vileplume was given a formal suspect test!


Vileplume has been a mainstay in the tier since the beginning of the gen, however it rose to dominance following the discovery of its specially defensive set which shuts down an extensive and diverse range of Pokemon including but not limited to; Comfey, Sceptile, Whimsicott, Passimian, Steelix, Vikavolt, and Heliolisk. With access to a boosting move in 'Growth', Vileplume can muscle past almost any wall and shred through balance cores. Strength Sap allows it to neuter physical attackers that may try to break through it while also healing it at the same time. Strength Sap allows Vileplume to win unfavourable matchups versus many physical wallbreakers that dont have enough power to OHKO it in one swoop. To top things off, it has a fantastic ability in Effect Spore which has the potential to punish any contact moves with the threat of being statused for little to no risk, which can make dealing with Vileplume a real pain. Despite it being a defensive Pokemon with great bulk and an impressive typing, Vileplume has fantastic raw power, and is very difficult to switch into even without any offensive investment. It is so incredibly consistent at what it does that there is little to no risk in using Vileplume on any archetype. The positives and role compression it provides teams in one slot is astoundingly high, and it all comes with zero risk involved for the Vileplume user. Due to the lack of secure Steel-types in the tier, Grass / Poison coverage goes a long way, particularly in conjunction with a boosting move and recovery to muscle past most resists. This is a big reason why Vileplume itself is one of the best initial Vileplume switch-ins in the tier. Vileplume isn't without its flaws however, as it can easily be overpowered by Fire- and Flying types such as Incineroar, Delphox, Braviary, Vivillon, and Magmortar. It is also fairly slow, and can be worn down quickly if the opponent has ways to get around Strength Sap such as Xatu's Magic Bounce or bringing in Special Attackers with low Attack stats in as it attempts to heal.

This is a very important suspect test for the progression of the tier, and not everyone will have the same opinions on whether or not Vileplume should be banned, but we ask that you approach this with an open mind, and consider both sides of the argument before coming to conclusions. Feel free to discuss Vileplume and it's place in the metagame as much as you want in this thread, as it will be helpful in making an informed vote at the end of the suspect.

There will be no suspect ladder. Instead, we'll be using the normal NU ladder which will remain open for the duration of the test. A message will pop up at the beginning of ladder games to indicate that the suspect is going on. (Tagging Marty to implement, thank you!) Vileplume will be legal for the entirety of this suspect test. Anyone who wishes to participate in this suspect test will use a newly-made alt with a suspect-specific tag to indicate that you are trying to achieve reqs. The requirements for this suspect test are the following:​
  • All games must be played on the Pokemon Showdown! NU ladder on a new alt with the following format: "NUVAL (nickname)" For example, I might register the alt NUVAL Eternally to ladder with.
  • Do NOT impersonate other people in your ladder alt, do NOT use any usernames which are offensive, flame-baiting, or targeting specific users, and do NOT use usernames which could be interpreted as breaking any of the username rules on Pokemon Showdown! Failure to abide to this will result in you being barred from voting in this suspect, and potential infractions.
  • Do NOT ask for wins on the ladder or ask people to forfeit for your friend, you will both be infracted and barred from participating in the suspect test.
  • To qualify for voting, your alt must play a minimum of 35 games, and achieve a minimum GXE of 82.
You have until Sunday, June 16th at 11:59 PM GMT -5 to meet voting requirements.

  1. No one liners nor uninformed posts;
  2. No inappropriate / meme posts that would be deemed off-topic.
  3. No discussion on other potential suspects;
  4. No discussion on the suspect process;
  5. You are required to make respectful posts
Failing to follow these simple guidelines will result into your post being deleted and infracted without any prior warning and at the complete discretion of the tier leaders. We reserve the right to deny you from voting in this suspect if you break any of the rules of the suspect test.
 

Finchinator

IT'S FINK DUMBASS
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Vileplume is a weird case. Obviously, it is not blatantly overpowered and it is not even unreasonably bulky as common Pokemon can break it. However, I still believe Vileplume is banworthy due to the sheer lack of reliably pivots that it has coupled with how often in games it can abuse this. For a Pokemon that plays like a defensive tank, Vileplume is able to get in the battle safely consistently much like other walls and defensive pivots. Once it gets in, the combination of pressure from Sludge Bomb, Giga Drain, and various potential methods of status being inflicted goes a long way. Aside from the increasingly common Golbat, there really is not much that reliably pivots in to Vileplume. If you look through NUPL replays, you will see how potent Growth variants can be. This is not even going into detail on what may very well be the true breaking point for Vileplume, which is Strength Sap, that is a huge boost to its defensive presence and the offensive holes that then open up for it. While I can understand why some people may be hesitant to ban it due to it not fitting into the preconceived notions of banworthiness that most of us form within the confines of our heads when rationalizing how to feel on any given suspect, I believe that in practice Vileplume is too much for the NU metagame and should be banned.
 

elodin

Tournament Banned
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Vileplume is an interesting case because a couple months back I would've never considered this Pokemon to be broken in any capacity. After SPL and more recently NUPL it is amazing just how much my opinion has shifted regarding it, a Pokemon I now see as completely broken and that is actively ruining the NU metagame more than anything else.

While Plume looks totally manageable on paper by bulkier Steel-types, NU really lacks Pokemon of this typing. The most used Steel-type in the tier right now is Togedemaru, which does pitiful damage to Vileplume and needs to risk a 10% chance of being slept every turn to deal with it. What we end up seeing is people trying to check Vileplume with Fire-types, but the fact that all of them are hit neutrally by Sludge Bomb and risk a 30% chance of being poisoned when switching into it means they're incredibly easy to wear down for the Vileplume user, not to mention their Stealth Rock weakness. Golbat seemed like a great answer to Plume at first, but people recently realized it can't really break through Strength Sap + Effect Spore 20% hax chance with the standard pivot set (Brave Bird / Poison Fang / U-turn / Roost). The only way for Golbat to really beat Vileplume now is by running Nasty Plot, which is a considerably worse set whenever you're not facing Plume. The best alternative to check Vileplume recently has been using your own Growth Vileplume set and EV it to be faster than most others, which is completely ridiculous and an easy indicator of how broken this Pokemon is right now. I originally voted to retest Camerupt-Mega because I felt like it'd be a good addition to the tier by making Vileplume's use more punishable. As it turns out that line of thinking was wrong because I was essentially trying to balance out a broken Pokemon with another broken one.

Despite the fact that it is basically impossible to switch into effectively, I believe what contributes to making Vileplume so stupid is the fact that it is the Pokemon that rewards bad plays and bad players the most. It puts in way too many luck factors into play, whether it's via his super spammable STAB Sludge Bomb which has the potential to poison every switch-in 30% of the time, whether it's through abusing Effect Spore to status opposing Pokemon 30% of the time. If you lack a way to reliably OHKO Vileplume without making contact with it, there's a chance this Pokemon will win the game on its own if it gets a sleep or a paralysis on the right turn. It also has a ridiculously easy time forcing opponents to risk these hax chances because of Strength Sap, meaning Incineroar's Flare Blitz, Aerodactyl's Aerial Ace, Pangoro's Knock Off, Passimian's U-turn and a bunch of other contact moves that should put Vileplume in check might end up benefiting the Plume user in the long run if he gets lucky enough.

If that wasn't enough, Vileplume is also a sturdy special wall that beats very prominent threats across different playstyles. It single-handedly made all of Whimsicott, Sceptile, Comfey and Heliolisk become a lot worse, and those were some of the best special attackers / sweepers NU had just a few months ago.

For these various reasons I believe Vileplume should be banned. In my opinion it would be a tremendous improvement to the NU metagame without a doubt.
 
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idk about you guys since I'm new but I think Vileplume is manageable so I'm probably going to vote no ban once I finish reqs. Sp.def Vileplume is the best set rn I guess since it does beat a few things but at the same time it's not 100% reliable when doing that especially because it's relying on typing / luck at times since its bulk is good not great,

For example, Specs Heliolisk still has a decent chance to 2HKO after rocks and clicking Hyper Voice forces Plume to recover meaning you'll have an easier time switching in something else. Comfey can force out a switch and get a calm mind boost, it's more than likely to 2HKO with HP after rocks and not be OHKO'd by sludge bomb and LO. No Plume set switches into Specs or Z Vikavolt (unless you can predict z buzz) since both will 2HKO. Again with rocks up, psychic whim 2HKO's and not to mention being crippled by Passimian's knock off which makes it harder to check these and any other additional targets. It seems to me when Plume is trying to check something, it often a times relies on being at full health with black sludge. What if you take a scald burn it just then makes things annoying situational. but this isn't to say Vileplume isn't obnoxious to play against sometimes effect spore is annoying to play against and half the time it makes me not want to click u-turn.

Finch already mentioned it but there are enough wallbreakers/set up sweepers that outspeed and easily OHKO/2HKO with just sheer force alone (CB Pangoro, Alolan Eggy, Decid, z druddigon, aerodactyl, NP Mismag and Klinklang to name a few). It sucks that there aren't too many reliable switch ins b/c most are weak to rocks / hate poison but I've been seeing lots of Sp Def Garbodor and I like using sp def weezing :3 (I guess Sigilyph is an ok switch for balance/offense since sludge bomb only has a 20% to 2HKO. (Bulky CM Roost is goat too) but again you can force to Plume to click recovery to watch it lose momentum when you send something to threaten it.

annoying mon but no ban n_n
 

lax

i'm uuuuuuuuuuup
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There isn't much to say about Vileplume's utility and effectiveness as a Pokemon and why it is unhealthy because I think elodin and Finch covered it pretty well. Instead, I would like to focus on why people believe Vileplume should NOT be banned and attempt to refute the more common arguments.
idk about you guys since I'm new but I think Vileplume is manageable so I'm probably going to vote no ban once I finish reqs. Sp.def Vileplume is the best set rn I guess since it does beat a few things but at the same time it's not 100% reliable when doing that especially because it's relying on typing / luck at times since its bulk is good not great,
This last point is actually the quintessential reasoning for why I oppose Vileplume. The fact that everything about its most common set relies on luck with absolutely no skill involved and little-to-none drawback is insane. Switch into a contact move? 30% chance to be poisoned, paralyzed or slept. Click sludge bomb in a tier that lacks solid Steel types? 30% chance to poison on a 90 BP + STAB move. Then, if you do go to a Pokemon that resists both STABs like Golbat, you fail to OHKO and end up fighting the odds of Effect Spore. I disagree that you think Vileplume's walling capabilities are not reliable because its bulk is relatively solid for the NU tier and its typing carries a lot more weight than its base stats. It has access to easy recovery in all of giga drain, synthesis/moonlight, and strength sap.

For example, Specs Heliolisk still has a decent chance to 2HKO after rocks and clicking Hyper Voice forces Plume to recover meaning you'll have an easier time switching in something else. Comfey can force out a switch and get a calm mind boost, it's more than likely to 2HKO with HP after rocks and not be OHKO'd by sludge bomb and LO. No Plume set switches into Specs or Z Vikavolt (unless you can predict z buzz) since both will 2HKO. Again with rocks up, psychic whim 2HKO's and not to mention being crippled by Passimian's knock off which makes it harder to check these and any other additional targets. It seems to me when Plume is trying to check something, it often a times relies on being at full health with black sludge. What if you take a scald burn it just then makes things annoying situational. but this isn't to say Vileplume isn't obnoxious to play against sometimes effect spore is annoying to play against and half the time it makes me not want to click u-turn.

Finch already mentioned it but there are enough wallbreakers/set up sweepers that outspeed and easily OHKO/2HKO with just sheer force alone (CB Pangoro, Alolan Eggy, Decid, z druddigon, aerodactyl, NP Mismag and Klinklang to name a few). It sucks that there aren't too many reliable switch ins b/c most are weak to rocks / hate poison but I've been seeing lots of Sp Def Garbodor and I like using sp def weezing :3 (I guess Sigilyph is an ok switch for balance/offense since sludge bomb only has a 20% to 2HKO. (Bulky CM Roost is goat too) but again you can force to Plume to click recovery to watch it lose momentum when you send something to threaten it.

annoying mon but no ban n_n
This is one of the worst arguments that could be used against Vileplume and its relevance/subjective healthiness in NU, so I'd like to touch up on this. The entire premise of rw's post is listing out mons that can maybe guess the turn correct and maybe beat Vileplume in a 1v1 scenario... which is highly unlikely. Vileplume is not ridiculous because it is supposed to sit on every single mon in the tier, no, Vileplume is ridiculous because of its typing which grants it powerful offensive and defensive capabilities, the statuses it can spread, and its sweeping potential. Basically every single Pokemon you listed is required to make the correct judgement play in order to have a SLIGHT chance of actually beating Vileplume, and you forget that Vileplume is one of six total Pokemon on a team. Ok yes, Specs Heliolisk has a chance of 2OHKOing if you have rocks up and get the correct play, Z-Druddigon MIGHT kill it if it stays in on the Z-Outrage, Specs Whimsicott MIGHT threaten it out assuming you have rocks up and get the Psychic correctly... and so on. The underlying factor behind every single Pokemon you posted is that there is a chance that they beat it, a mere chance.

Now imagine this: your opponent switches out on your Z-Outrage and now the move is gone and cannot be used again. Imagine if you are CB Pangoro and attack the Vileplume only to fall asleep or get paralyzed, and it strength saps on you back to full. Imagine if your opponent has a Steelix so Klinklang is utterly useless. The fact that there is a counter scenario for every Pokemon you listed is absolutely ridiculous. Pokemon is a six vs six, and Vileplume's utter dominance and practicality when used with the team is what makes it an incredibly potent nuisance that requires minimal skill to utilize.

My main wish for people that plan on voting on this suspect test is not to look at what mons can check Vileplume, but look at what actually counters it and how this plays a role in the tier.

Emboar was clearly a massive threat in NU, and it obviously had numerous checks. Most scarf mons, water types, flying types, the list goes on and on. Many things could force it out and threaten it, but how many things could truly handle it? How many Pokemon could switch in and live to click another move? I think Vileplume acts to a lesser extent because its not an inherently powerful offensive mon stats-wise, but when you factor in things like spreading status and its typing, the gap narrows. The fact that other Pokemon beat it is an absolutely ridiculous argument because no Pokemon will ever have no weaknesses that cannot be used against it. Zygarde was banned in OU because of how centralizing it was and its insane sweeping capabilities, and it had a 4X weakness to ice. Its Pokemon; of course other Pokemon can check every Pokemon, but that weakness does not make it any less potent in most suspect ban cases.

The next argument people will use involves a lot of What if?'s. What if Vileplume being banned makes other things too broken? What if Vileplume makes Passimian too oppressive? What if Vileplume makes Sceptile the best mon in the tier? Well, who the fuck knows? We can sit down and theorycraft how the tier changes if a ban does occur, but what does any of that mean?

As of right now, I would consider NU an extremely unhealthy tier. People's motivation in building is at an all-time low and all across NUPL I consistently see people resort to Vileplume bulky offense builds. How many games have been won just off of Vileplume? Too many to count. We've had practically an entire NUPL season dominated by Vileplume and I'm tired of giving the tier more chances to figure out how to stop it. Whether or not Vileplume's potential ban leads to an extremely different meta or an even worse meta is unforeseeable and should not be the main factor in your vote. Instead, think of these questions: "Do I believe NU is in a healthy state right now?", "Do I really want to see Vileplume speed creep wars determining entire games?" and "Do I really want my Passimian to get slept from effect spore for literally no reason?". If the answer to any of these questions is no, I suggest you vote ban.

Vileplume is insanely similar to UU's Scizor, and that is why I pushed for a suspect test. Both tiers are threatened from this said "glue" mon whose resulting ban could supposedly throw the entire tier into chaos and enable all the wrong mons. I want people to look before that at the current state.

Banning that ass fo sure
 
Excellent post lax. Agree with all your points, especially your inclusion of the 6v6 scenario and how we shouldn't just be looking at Plume by itself, but rather its menacing place in the "big picture."

178301


I'm going to be voting ban on Vileplume because the metagame has been given time to adapt yet Vileplume still sits at astronomically high usage in NUPL and from what we've all seen has carried many people to wins because of how potent the Growth set is and how it never seems to do nothing in a game because of all it's defensive qualities (Effect Spore, broken ass Strength Sap, typing, etc.). I understand the POV of those that are worried about a post-Vileplume metagame, but I don't think conjecture about what a meta could look like is particularly productive to the tiering process, as the status quo has always been to remove the broken elements and then deal with collateral damage later.

Sorry this post is short and not that useful, I just wanted to share my thoughts on the suspect and throw in support to the arguments that have already been posted. Bigger names have already covered what I want to say. You guys rock.

Good luck laddering to everyone :psyglad:.
 
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Rabia

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My thoughts have been summed up well by most of the posts above, so I'll try to keep this short. I think Vileplume is extremely low risk and high reward, and while this isn't necessarily a problem in general (see: Pokemon like Slowking, Passimian, etc.), Vileplume takes this to a bit of an extreme given how luck based it makes games through the combination of Effect Spore and Sludge Bomb. It's such a stupidly hard Pokemon to punish through any means other than aggressive double switches, and common pivots are forced to play so much differently just because of Effect Spore. A big part of Vileplume's dominance comes from the tier's lack of Steel-types; we're pretty much relegated to Silvally-Steel, which has seen better days, Steelix, which is not a Vileplume answer, and Togedemaru, which has to mess around with Effect Spore. I also really don't like what Growth Vileplume does to bulky builds; these teams generally lack a great way to pressure Vileplume as it is, but Growth enables Vileplume to just end their hopes and dreams. This set combined with Vileplume's ubiquity has rendered fat nearly obsolete (although, you can argue this is simply a contributor; the tier has like, way too many wallbreakers that make running archetypes like stall nearly impossible without encountering poor matchups entirely too frequently).

I do want to recognize what rw said with regards to Vileplume's deceptive bulk though. Vileplume's bulk really does falter at times versus the Pokemon it's meant to check; Choice Specs Heliolisk blasts it with Hyper Voice, while Comfey threatens to straight up 1v1 Vileplume with a Calm Mind boost. While I don't think that this matter is enough to really outweigh the negatives that having Vileplume in the tier causes, it is certainly a point to consider against it. People do tend to overrate Vileplume's defensive traits a fair bit.

No idea if I give a fuck about getting voting requirements, although I am leaning towards being pro ban. e: ok I lied I have reqs lol..
 
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I believe Vileplume should stay unbanned.
the combination of pressure from Sludge Bomb, Giga Drain, and various potential methods of status being inflicted goes a long way.
Sludge Bomb is the only dangerous move because of the poison hax. The rest of its moves are easy for the tier to switch into; Giga Drain is pretty weak. Strength Sap only invalidates some physical attackers so special attackers like Delphox, Magmortar, and Sigilyph really don't care (specs Heliolisk beats non-Synthesis really easily). Strength Sap has counter play in Braviary and Xatu; and Passimian becomes somewhat threatening if Vileplume depends on Strength Sap to heal. I've seen some Passimians adapt to Vileplume by running Acrobatics. Sleep Powder can be troublesome even though it's a little more rare since people prefer to run Growth, but even Golbat and Togedemaru can burn off sleep turns by switching back into Vileplume later in the game. Growth does great against fat cores, but Vileplume is easily revenge-able due to its slow speed.
Golbat seemed like a great answer to Plume at first, but people recently realized it can't really break through Strength Sap + Effect Spore 20% hax chance with the standard pivot set (Brave Bird / Poison Fang / U-turn / Roost). The only way for Golbat to really beat Vileplume now is by running Nasty Plot, which is a considerably worse set whenever you're not facing Plume
Hi so I hate to break it to you but the standard Golbat set does not run U-turn. It actually runs either Defog or Taunt, while defog doesn't really beat Vileplume it does its purpose easily against Vileplume; Taunt shuts Vileplume down completely and can even pp stall Vileplume if it doesn't want to risk effect spore hax
Despite the fact that it is basically impossible to switch into effectively, I believe what contributes to making Vileplume so stupid is the fact that it is the Pokemon that rewards bad plays and bad players the most. It puts in way too many luck factors into play, whether it's via his super spammable STAB Sludge Bomb which has the potential to poison every switch-in 30% of the time, whether it's through abusing Effect Spore to status opposing Pokemon 30% of the time. If you lack a way to reliably OHKO Vileplume without making contact with it, there's a chance this Pokemon will win the game on its own if it gets a sleep or a paralysis on the right turn. It also has a ridiculously easy time forcing opponents to risk these hax chances because of Strength Sap, meaning Incineroar's Flare Blitz, Aerodactyl's Aerial Ace, Pangoro's Knock Off, Passimian's U-turn and a bunch of other contact moves that should put Vileplume in check might end up benefiting the Plume user in the long run if he gets lucky enough.
Hax sucks sometimes, but I actually think it's healthy for the metagame because it is difficult to punish U-Turn since it's one of the most brainless moves in the game. Keep in mind though that Z users have ways around the Hax too. You are right that Strength Sap does make physical attackers more susceptible to hax, but there are also plenty of special attackers capable of checking Vileplume.

Somehow Lax made an essay about situations where the plume user predicts right all the time. There's enough mons in the tier to pivot into Vileplume. While the argument has been made that our 2 most common steel types Steelix and Togedemaru can't really threaten Vileplume out, they can switch into Sludge Bomb which is what's necessary to prevent poison hax, and then into something else to take Giga Drain / Strength Sap which are easy to switch into moves. Lax did say pokemon is a six vs six, so you do have other pokemon to switch into Vileplume's weaker moves.

I believe the metagame can adapt to Vileplume if it needs to. Vileplume rose to S because it shuts down alot of top tier threats. The metagame will adapt to Vileplume by finding lures, possibly underrated threats, and the pokemon that are currently in the tier can adapt. A few things that come to mind are Sigilyph, Acrobatics Passimian, Icium Sawk (i think it's bad tbh, but it worked against me!), SD Sceptile, psychium z whimsicott, Z outrage Druddigon, Psyshock Xatu, Aggron can switch into Sludge Bomb and OHKO, and Aurorus to name some. Get creative!
 

elodin

Tournament Banned
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Hi so I hate to break it to you but the standard Golbat set does not run U-turn. It actually runs either Defog or Taunt, while defog doesn't really beat Vileplume it does its purpose easily against Vileplume; Taunt shuts Vileplume down completely and can even pp stall Vileplume if it doesn't want to risk effect spore hax
Just to be clear, I did point out Golbat as one of the main answers to Vileplume in the tier right now, but it can't do it without specific moves or it'll be setup fodder. Taunt is obviously a great 4th option on Golbat but I don't think it "completely shuts down" Vileplume by any means. If you switch Golbat into a Strength Sap you're not 2HKO'ing Vileplume anymore, and you have to risk Effect Spore to effectively kill it. PP stalling it might be useful in a 1v1 scenario late game I guess? I'm not even sure if it's feasible without risking Effect Spore to be honest. I'm fairly sure Vileplume has enough PP to stall out Golbat's Taunts and Roosts, but I guess if it's running Toxic over Poison Fang then it guaranteed beats Plume without risking Effect Spore. PP stalling under any other scenario just seems to me like an opportunity for the Vileplume user to sit on the field until it's back to full HP and then eventually switch out to something else, which doesn't seem like a massive setback. Of course this is assuming unpredictable circumstances which vary from game to game.

Anyway, Defog "does its purpose easily against Vileplume" is so inaccurate in describing the actual in-game consequences of having a Golbat that is setup fodder to Vileplume... yeah you can Defog hazards off, but you're letting a Pokemon that literally has no switch-ins set up a free Growth or recover back to full HP over removing hazards. What happens the following turns when Golbat is forced out?

Hax sucks sometimes, but I actually think it's healthy for the metagame because it is difficult to punish U-Turn since it's one of the most brainless moves in the game. Keep in mind though that Z users have ways around the Hax too. You are right that Strength Sap does make physical attackers more susceptible to hax, but there are also plenty of special attackers capable of checking Vileplume.

Somehow Lax made an essay about situations where the plume user predicts right all the time. There's enough mons in the tier to pivot into Vileplume. While the argument has been made that our 2 most common steel types Steelix and Togedemaru can't really threaten Vileplume out, they can switch into Sludge Bomb which is what's necessary to prevent poison hax, and then into something else to take Giga Drain / Strength Sap which are easy to switch into moves. Lax did say pokemon is a six vs six, so you do have other pokemon to switch into Vileplume's weaker moves.

I believe the metagame can adapt to Vileplume if it needs to. Vileplume rose to S because it shuts down alot of top tier threats. The metagame will adapt to Vileplume by finding lures, possibly underrated threats, and the pokemon that are currently in the tier can adapt. A few things that come to mind are Sigilyph, Acrobatics Passimian, Icium Sawk (i think it's bad tbh, but it worked against me!), SD Sceptile, psychium z whimsicott, Z outrage Druddigon, Psyshock Xatu, Aggron can switch into Sludge Bomb and OHKO, and Aurorus to name some. Get creative!
I'm sorry but Effect Spore should not be considered a good answer to U-turn when you're essentially losing HP and momentum over a 30% hax chance. It's not like Scald which is free damage to the opponent + burn chance, you're literally making a play that puts you behind 70% of the time, I don't see why we'd be celebrating over the other 30% where the user who clearly made a bad play is being rewarded.

U-turn can be punished in multiple ways, be it with Rocky Helmet, hazards, or just staying in on predicted U-turns to kill momentum when possible. U-turn and Volt Switch are both excellent moves in basically every metagame, but I don't see the Effect Spore punish as healthy at all in most cases. Maybe the underlying issue you have with U-turn is actually Passimian, which is indeed a hard Pokemon to shut down, but I don't see VoltTurn strategies as a major problem in NU at all.

I think the reason why it seems like lax is always making the Plume user predict right is because in most matches the Plume user is actually very free to make those predictions. Pivoting into Togedemaru or Steelix doesn't mean Vileplume can't just Sludge Bomb again on a predicted switch. Meanwhile what can Steelix / Togedemaru do in return? Earthquake it for 35%? Iron Head for 35% while risking a chance to be put to sleep? Vileplume has much more leeway to play aggressively because it can recover to full hp easily if it predicts wrong, but also because it is protected by Effect Spore and his 2 STAB moves hit basically the entire tier. It's not that lax is making it seem like the Vileplume user always gets his predictions right, it's just that it is much harder to punish Vileplume for making the wrong prediction than the other way around.

Vileplume did not rise to S just because it beats top tier threats. That's just another great quality it has, but its sweeping potential and robbery are what really pushes it over the edge of brokeness. I think lax already covered that, but when you need to resort to Z moves to effectively kill Vileplume you're not really proving a point because Z moves are not only your most precious moveslot on your whole team, but they're also not reliable answers as they can all be scouted. If you get the turn wrong with Icium Sawk, Psychium Whims or Dragonium Druddigon they're legit setup fodder for Vileplume for the rest of the game. Acrobatics Passimian is a fun tech and imo the best 4th moveslot on it right now, but it really needs to be knocked off before being able to actually beat Plume, and you're also risking Effect Spore hax. Sigilyph is a good answer to Vileplume on offensive teams, but you have very limited switch-ins considering Sludge Bomb does around 50% and you fail to OHKO back in most cases.

I don't know what your "get creative" is supposed to mean because that's legit what we've been doing over the past months as the only option to beat Plume. Nasty Plot Golbat, Flareon, faster Poisonium Plume are all things my NUPL team and lax's came up with as alternatives to beat opposing Vileplume, but that doesn't make it any less broken. If you need to resort to strategies considerably worse than standard ones to reliably shut down 1 threat in some circumstances than I think it's safe to say there's something wrong with the metagame.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen7nu-444627
  • Jarii vs Jytcampbell for NUPL week 6. Notice how Jyt gets both Pursuit turns right, but since his Plume was slower than Jarii he inevitably ended up losing 6-0 to Jarii's Plume alone pretty much.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen7nu-442435
  • col49 vs tko for NUPL week 4. col basically won the game on the first 3 turns when his Vileplume killed tko's with a +2 Acid Downpour. After a few turns it swept tko's entire team.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen7nu-438117
  • Lopunny Kicks vs yeezyknows for NUPL week 1. yeezyknows ends up in a late game situation where his Pangoro is put to sleep by Effect Spore and can't kill Vileplume because CB Knock Off does 80% while Strength Sap recovers Plume to full and puts him at -1 Atk. Lopunny Kicks kills the last mons with Plume.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen7nu-438995
  • Lopunny Kicks vs Kushalos for NUPL week 2. Lopunny Kicks' Vileplume crits Kushalos' Vileplume and KOs it, pretty much ending the game on the spot. Kushalos had a Choice Band Aerodactyl but it showed why it's useless at dealing with Plume after it took 78% from Aerial Ace and recovered back to full with Strength Sap, then took 50% from the following Aerial Ace and recovered back to 86% with Giga Drain while killing Aero in return.

I obviously could go more in-depth on these games and comment on all their plays, but I think it's needless to say they all make it evident that Plume is extremely broken. Whether it is by deciding games on Growth wars against itself or by shrugging off damage with Strength Sap and sweeping or by getting lucky with Effect Spore... this Pokemon is actively ruining our metagame and deserves to be banned.
 
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Ktütverde

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Hi!

The last time I played in NU was during the gigalith thing, and for some reason I found funny to see Vileplume being suspected, cuz it actually sounds like a "strength sap" suspect test. I've read most of the posts above so as to have an insight of what the 'competitive NU metagame" looks like. Laddering was extremely interesting, I'm capable of beating 99% of the existing ambipom squads, that's pretty good to know.

Anyway -as a player who only spends some days in NU every 6 months-, I believed plume was dumb af because most NU people said it just above. The NUPL replays were also very useful, thanks for helping out NU newcomers. However after some testing I realized plume could be pressured by the ever-so-common fire types and most physical attacks (been using spdef plume cuz the physical one wasn't working wonders). So I started thinking: "maybe all these dudes are a bit too focused on their NUPL builds which aren't that great actually?". Don't take it as an offense, but I've heard rumours about "heatran is broken" and "mega-mawile should be banned" in OU, and the people who were saying that were either SPL players or SPL fans.

The problem with plume is mainly that you can lose momentum if you strength sap on the wrong turns, or when you click gigadrain when the oppo sends their fire types. There's so many wallbreakers able to OHKO plume, especially if it is statused or not at 100% HP: band pangoro, incineroar, deplhox, aerodactyl, magmortar, specs eggy, glalie, and offensive rhydon/torterra to a lesser extent (do heavy damage). However as probably someone already pointed out, all are stealth rock weak, so plume+steelix/rhydon is more than a good core, because in addition to having good type synergy, plume also loves SR support. Then, you will usually add a fat water type to check fire types, hazard removal cuz plume doesnt like hazards, and here is your team. All plume teams will look the same (structure-wise) but that definitely doesn't make it less broken, because with all this support, it's almost impossible to kill it: you just have to get rocks up asap, bring plume in from time to time, and wait till there's nothing left to kill it.

I've seen several people using plume very poorly: too reckless, which is a bad idea when the oppo feels pressured by plume and goes berserk. People should actually use plume carefully, since it is a nightmare late game when all its checks are worn down (most teams only have 2 checks). You can use it like a wall and take risks. Or you can remember that what's broken is Strength Sap here, and make sure plume remains healthy until nothing can take it down anymore, and then spam growth+sap. I did it wrong at the beginning, and lost my plume trying to switch into a rhydon or passimian. But now that I've harnessed the flower's power, I really find ridiculous how it "strength sap sweeps" late game. Incin dead? Psyshock users dead? Just growth and sap. Sludge bomb is also stupid mid-game, 30% more like 90%, and absolutely ruins its checks: for instance, would-be checks like roost braviary, vikavolt or malamar struggle a lot vs the combination of SR+poison, and otherwise solid switchins like druddigon are completely ruined and lose momentum where they should be gaining because of the -12.5% poison damage.

Therefore I just want to say this to anti-ban people: are you slapping plume into teams and overrelying on it to check stuff? Or are you building around plume once it has entered your team so it can sweep? The second option is what makes it a real nightmare, and strength sap's sweeping potential really needs to be stressed, for it is unique and not necessarily obvious.

So I'll be definitely be voting Ban, for being 100% unhealthy (massive mindgames and haxx involved in plume games), and just broken when used by people who know what they are doing with it.

My counterplay to plume:
-stacking spikes and voltturning.
-making 'steelix into incin' plays (they click gigadrain or sap whereas u go into your fire type).
-trick users (rotom).
-golbat (takes 25% and plume doubles out, yay. Annoying af).
-making wild plays and bringing in Band pangoro/dhelmise/etc as often as possible.
 
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178637


over read the NUVAL thing apologies if you want me to redo it I will if not sweet. I am going to vote ban, not to pretend that I have much if any knowledge about Nu but I generally find that removing a mon that is able to role compress to a great deal usually allows for more development in the meta, and that is always better imo.

edit: just gonna edit this with the Nuval alt when i do that
 
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Funbot28

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Was kinda funny going into this suspect as there are some parallels here in comparison to a previously "broken" threat in Venusaur a couple metas back. The reason I say this is not solely due to the pairs shared typing, but the fact that both mons take on the role of a bulky wincon that can abuse resistances to common types such as Fighting, Water, Fairy, and Grass in order to ease setup and ensure a sweep. Now its important to note that Venu took this to a more offensive route with its Z-Celebrate + Growth set which cleaned the majority of teams lacking solid checks such as Steelvally, however I find Vileplume just to be as broken as our previous toxic plant friend due to the combination of Strength Sap + Effect Spore which more often then not enables Plume to find so many opportunities to get a Growth up and clean up from there. While Plume is not unbreakable and common mons such as Delphox, Magmortar, Braviary, Incineroar, Xatu, and Golbat can all stop it in its tracks, they all are rlly hard to bring in without good hazard removal support due to SR + Bomb poison chance as people mentioned previously. This is a problem when considering when of the two best removers atm imo (in Blastoise and Dhelmise) gets hard checked by Plume. This often leads to scenarios where the opponent needs to play at a disadvantage just to bring their proper Plume answers in as they are all either fragile or susceptible to hazards (with Weezing being the only real exception to this). Ive seen many games boil down to Plume wars which is really boring and does not promote a stable metagame in my honest opinion. Because of this and other great points those brought up above me, I will comfortably vote to ban the Plume.
 

Kushalos

Everything is better when you're everything
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not gonna read all the other posts thoroughly so might repeat some stuff.

discovery of growth being amazing on plume just pushes it over the edge in conjunction with strength sap. finding checks is way too hard as steels cant damage it properly so golbat is left as the only somewhat decent counter as fires just get sludge bomb poisoned on the switch. bat isnt a good counter either since its hard for him to keep rocks off the field and it has to crit plume through attack drops if the endgame comes down to it. gonna vote ban for this one.
 
Back from the dead because this thing is stupid. Pair Vileplume with Rocks support and half a brain, this thing becomes a nightmare to deal with. Honestly wouldn't have that much of a problem if sludge bomb didn't hit the majority of his checks so damn hard. Definitely voting ban

179186
 
It took a long time to do suspect test to Vileplume. Compared with Venusaur, this is better suited to the tier, has more special attack and access to Strengh Sap, a move quite broken.
I'm surprised that nobody has developed a version with chlorophyll.
Ban
 
i will be voting ban. plume is undeniably one of the strongest mons in the tier, regardless of it pretty much exclusively running one and the same set. i would argue it's not the most centralizing mon out there right now but it's centralizing nonetheless and i'm definitely interested to see what a ban would do to the meta.

179876
 

Finchinator

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OU & NU Leader
Just a reminder to everyone who posted their reqs here and perhaps others who have not seen it: the voter ID thread is up and you should post your reqs there before the deadline! Good luck to everyone else getting reqs, too, and I am glad to see a decent amount of discussion
 

Funbot28

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Ok so it has been a couple of months since Plume was banned and I wanted to take a look at the current NU metagame as we near the end of the generation and wanted to open up the discussion in this thread (as it has been lacking) as to whether or not we should (or should not) address any potential mons (or moves, will get to that in a bit) for a potential ban to stabilize the tier before our attention shifts away from the SM generation. I will just list various topics of contention that I myself or others I have interacted with have deemed "problematic" in the past to again, open up the discussion on a more broader scale.

Incineroar


Now the big cat has been a main stay in this generation for the great part of the last year and a half or so ever since the introduction of it's hidden ability making much more useful as a defensive pivot (probably the best glue mon in the tier as a matter of fact). However, it has become more apparent to me and others that Swords Dance sets utilizing either a Z-move or 50% pinch berry has become really hard to play around and properly defensively check without resorting to saccing / crippling a mon or two throughout the course of the game. The threat of Knock Off + Incin's great coverage that let's it target common switchins such as Rhydon, Vaporeon, Weezing, and opposing Incineroar makes it hard to prevent Incin from severely denting opposing teams, opening up big holes for great partners such as Heliolisk, Sceptile, and Aerodactyl to take advantage of. The influx of great formes of hazard control as of recent (mainly being Toise but also Dhelmise and Rotom are noteworthy examples as well) also patches Incineroar's most notable flaw in sustainability due to it's susceptibility in being worn down throughout the course of the match. I just feel the Incin's ability to be placed on the majority of balance / bulk offensive teams and provide such huge role compression has instilled a negative framework when it comes to teambuilding as of late. Games often rely on checking opposing Incineroar with one's own and it can just be really hard to counteract at times especially when considering it can recover the majority of it's health via a berry. There has been new strides in keeping Incin check as of late, with mons such as Z-Aero and fast Toise being commissioned to sponge hits from Incin and revenge kill it in return. However, yet again most of Incin's check are easily worn down or simply cannot switch into it repeatably throughout the match (think Scarf Pass as main example). I know this may be considered a more controversial nom to put on the chopping block due to how long Incin has been in the meta and how many consider it the sponge that glues tier together, however I would like people to question whether the positives outweigh the strain it puts on teambuilding and how it centralizes (buzzword ik but i can't think of anything more eloquent) the tier around itself. In my true opinion, removing Incin will just make NU teambuilding more flexible and can help create a more diverse framework when it comes to building bulky offense and balance in the meta (since those playstyles are the most dominant rn).

Toxic Spikes


I have seen the complaints of Tspikes in the current meta (post Plume ban to be specific) be more apparent, and for good reason. Garbodor is risen immensely as a threat and is by far one of the most consistent hazard setters in NU rn despite checks to it such as Steelix, Rhydon, and Rotom still see great usage. It's ability to threaten most hazard removers with powerful Gunk Shot alongside setting Spikes and target checks via coverage or just explode has made removing it's dual hazards become increasingly difficult (esp with the decline in Xatu usage, as it could at least block defensive Garb sets somewhat well). Garb also pertains value in absorbing opposing Tspikes, a trait that can be invaluable for most bulky offensive teams considering hazard removal are usually allotted to grounded Rapid Spinners, meaning that removing Tspikes can come with too much of a punishment for mons like Blastoise and Dhlemise due to their susceptibility of being worn down. Weezing also sees good usage as a Tspiker and also has added benefit in checking Fighting and Ground types which can be really good to counteract the influx of Passimian and Rhydon usage. With this in mind, many consider Tspikes consistency in staying up (or being forced to run a Garb to prevent them from staying up as a result) gives too much support for breakers such as Heliolisk, Sub BU Braviary, and Delphox to break through their usual checks and secure a win condition. While I do personally acknowledge the impact that Tspikes have on the meta, I personally do not consider it as much of an issue to warrant any sort of ban per say. I believe that if we do need to take a course of action to nerf the move in a sense, we should be targeting Garbodor as it is definitely the most consistent setter and sees the most success in tournaments as a result. I am still finicky on addressing this though and rather we give it more time and thought before going into a potential suspect of the move / Garb (or Weezing ig), but I wanted to highlight concerns I have been seeing from the community at large.

Heliolisk


Lastly, I would like to touch on another mon that greatly appreciated the removal of Plume in Heliolisk. To me, Lisk is right behind Incineroar as one of the most difficult mons to account for when building despite it having solid checks in the tier. I say this since like Incineroar, most of it's most common checks, mainly being Dhelmise, Togedemaru, Steelix, and Rotom are either susceptible in being worn down or fall to a common coverage move in either Surf of the more rare Dark Pulse. Specs Heliolisk grabs momentum like no other mon and is why it's support to other offensive breakers such as Medicham, Incineroar, Aerodactyl, and Passimian can be considered overbearing at times. While it's frailty and susceptibility to be worn down by hazards and the status it's commonly inflicted with, Lisk can almost always manage to significantly dent the opposing team due to it's superb coverage, great speed tier, and just it's ability to take advantage of common meta trends (think Tspikes, Volturn cores, common Electric resists falling to coverage). Playing against a Lisk to me is just overbearing at the moment and can really skew momentum towards the Lisk player since risking blocking Vswitch from it can often mean the death to your Rhydon, Lix, or other means of preventing it from gaining free momentum from the opposing team. While I am not 100% convinced it should be suspected per say, I cannot deny the impact it has been having on the meta.

That's it for me. I would really like to hear people's opinion and create an open discussion about the three main points I have addressed here. Feel free to voice other issues as well, but I just displayed the most popular grievances that NU players have been having atm.
 

0NI

j'arrive
Vileplume was an answer to these things and it wasn’t broken

Weezing sucks bc Garb teams have a solid advantage vs Weezing teams now that plume is banned

Incineroar is less strong since vileplume ban because entry hazards are everywhere

Heliolisk is ok

Conclusion : play roselia

ban comfey and rank silv steel/poison/flying
 
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