NP: NU Stage 7 - Back in Black

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Hootie

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#1

Hello, going into NU's next stage, we're moving forward by retesting Sneasel.

Sneasel returns once again as NU's current suspect. Sneasel's traits should be fairly familiar at this point; it possesses a strong Pursuit and Knock Off alongside a great 115 Speed tier that lets it effectively threaten and trap the targets it needs to, while still being of use in a majority of matchups due to Knock Off crippling most of its defensive checks. These qualities directly influence the viability of certain Pokemon and thus limit options when teambuilding. Since the last test, the metagame has undergone shifts that arguably make Sneasel an even more polarizing force than it was previously. Such examples include balance teams dominating in the current metagame due to Sneasel's effectiveness at trapping key offensive threats as well as the loss of Emboar limiting offensive playstyles' means to check it. These changes led the NU council to unanimously agree on retesting Sneasel.

Sneasel will be allowed on the ladder during this suspect test.

The voting requirements will be a minimum of 79 GXE as well as a minimum game count + GXE of 120 (more details below). This suspect period will last for 2 weeks, ending Wednesday, April 11th at 11:59 PM EST.

GXE ≥ 79
GXE + battle count ≥ 120

Here are some examples of GXE and battle count to give you a better idea of the goal:
79 (GXE) + 42 (battle count) = 121 ≥ 120 Reqs Achieved (Both Minimum GXE and GXE+battle count total meet the requirements)
87 (GXE) + 34 (battle count) = 121 ≥ 120 Reqs Achieved (Both Minimum GXE and GXE+battle count total meet the requirements)
82 (GXE) + 34 (battle count) = 116 ≤ 120 Reqs NOT Achieved (Minimum GXE + Battle count total does not meet the requirements)
78 (GXE) + 52 (battle count) = 130 ≥ 120 Reqs NOT Achieved (Minimum GXE not achieved)

Council voting requirements are a mandatory post in the NP thread and a minimum of 30 games played on the NU ladder, with a decent record (up to the discretion of Kiyo and myself).

Tagging the The Immortal for the ladder.

/!\ Rules for posting in this thread /!\
  1. No one liners nor uninformed posts;
  2. No discussion on other potential suspects;
  3. No discussion on the suspect process;
  4. 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.
 

Kiyo

jk Haikyuu is my favorite anime.
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#2
Hi everyone, this time around we will be offering an additional opportunity to earn suspect voting requirements in the form of suspect tours. These will be live tours conducted on the smogtours server, and will function similar to that of Smogon Tour. There will be two suspect tours, hosted by me, on the dates listed below:

Saturday March 31st at 6:00 PM EDT (GMT-4)
Sunday April 8th at 12:00 PM EDT (GMT-4)

Sneasel will be allowed in these suspect tours. The number of people who earn voting requirements will be dependent on the size of the tournament. If you have any questions in the meantime you can consult the Smogon Tour rules, browse the Live Tournaments forum to get a feel for things (including reading OP from our last suspect tour https://www.smogon.com/forums/threa...our-1-tauros-is-allowed-won-by-ttftw.3577283/), or ask me a question directly via smogon, ps!, or discord.
 
#3
Sneasel is definitely a mon I feel is unhealthy in the tier. Sneasel is probably one of the mons that benefited the most from Emboar being banned earlier this gen. This ban took away one of the best ways offense had to deal with sneasel. One of the problems with sneasel is that it has no real checks. With some chip, it can beat nearly all of the pokemon that would try to switch in, barring perhaps only incineroar due to it's new found access to intimidate and resisting both of Sneasel's powerful Stabs. Sneasel can beat many of it's best checks by simply attempting to flinch them with Icicle Crash. It also allows for most offensive threats to teams to be dealt with by either knocking them off or using pursuit to trap them and taking them out of the game fully. Sneasel warps the entire tier around itself and makes it difficult for teams, even with proper preparation, to deal with it.
 
#5
Sneasel is a pokemon I have said for a while to be susect worthy however even after so long under the light it took someone on ladder to point me out a new little toy it got in US/UM that I have not seen anyone mention the utility of; Throat Chop.
252 Atk Choice Band Sneasel Throat Chop vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Colbur Berry Slowbro: 108-127 (27.4 - 32.2%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
252 Atk Choice Band Sneasel Throat Chop vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro: 216-254 (54.8 - 64.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 Atk Choice Band Sneasel Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Colbur Berry Slowbro: 129-153 (32.7 - 38.8%) -- 99.1% chance to 3HKO
252 Atk Choice Band Sneasel Knock Off vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro: 174-206 (44.1 - 52.2%) -- 16% chance to 2HKO

This is a 2HKO on Colbur Slowbro with stealth rocks up, a 2HKO on Waterium regardless, and a chance to 2HKO a regen switched Slowbro if rocks are put up. It;'s not that major because you want to run Knock in the majority of cases, but this effectively lets you deal with Slowbro, so it's a cute tech.

Ignoring the small new toy it shows ever pressence against our metagame for it's main points; high speed, adaquent attack for Choice Band to 2HKO the balanced meta, strong stab priority and finally Pursuit. Pursuit lets it shape the meta the most as this one can heavily punish the user even if done rightly by set up pokemon like Incineroar, Scrafty, Toxicroak, Aromatisse, you name it. However it also shows a heavily unhealty limitation to numberless pokemon in our metagame from AV Slowking, Mismagius, Rotom, Delphox and more being required into using suboptimal sets such as Colbur lure Slowking, Mismagius dies regardless, Scarf Rotom as colbur dies regardless and Scarf Delphox. Many of these don't invite in wide versatility in current metagame making their overall viability not only drop but hard to justify without specific punishing set up(like Scrafty) to make up for losing them. Incineroar is another pokemon to mention as it fills the void emboar left... except it misses on the most important aspects of emboar which are splashability and a usefull Scarf Set. Incineroar misses out on this utility in the big lines(no one will stop you form using scrarf Incineroar but we know it doesn't replace it, Sneasel even outspeeds it). Just like previous time I see how our meta adapted to not suit sneasels needs, exept once again it seems we fall short on limiting it's capabilities and it still rewards far too well for such heavy prepairation. Even the mentioned counter play often involves sacking that what it wants gone, and this is just mentioning how well it does as a Pursuit Trapper. It also provides revenge killing with Ice Shard, Knock Off support of strengths few pokemon could provide and can always gamble it up if you ever need to with a flinch. In the grandsceme I find the aspects that make a mon good in sneasels regards the most minor as Pursuit is to major to it. But for some, Low Kick can provide with even more strength taking a close to 2HKO on; Bulky(after sr) and Offensive Incineroar, 2HKO Hariyama and 2HKO Steelix;
-1 252 Atk Choice Band Sneasel Low Kick (80 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Incineroar: 154-182 (39 - 46.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
-1 252 Atk Choice Band Sneasel Low Kick (80 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Incineroar: 154-182 (46.5 - 54.9%) -- 62.1% chance to 2HKO
252 Atk Choice Band Sneasel Low Kick (120 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Hariyama: 238-280 (55.4 - 65.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Choice Band Sneasel Low Kick (120 BP) vs. 244 HP / 0 Def Steelix: 172-204 (48.8 - 57.9%) -- 78.5% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

I don't find those calcs reliable or worth the last slot but I felt it was usefull to mention anyway as it is part of the mons very limited versatility. If anything, I could find myself laddering to get this mon banned this time.
 

Rabia

IM ME, I DO ME, AND I CHILL
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#6
Thoughts going into the suspect test that hopefully can sway people to think the correct way :^)

Sneasel is an overcentralizing force in the current metagame and is 100% deserving of a ban in my opinion. I want to address some points people typically do make in regards to Sneasel being balanced, and while I will acknowledge these points aren't faulty, I'll do my best to refute them and explain why they aren't great reasoning for Sneasel being healthy for the tier:

1) Sneasel has switch-ins which eat up hits, such as Steelix, Mega Audino, and Incineroar, among others (basically bulky Water- and Steel-type Pokemon).
2) Sneasel has a terrible weakness to hazards which, when combined with its sub-par defenses, makes getting Sneasel in a difficult task.
3) I can only really recall those 2(3?) points lol

I won't deny that Sneasel is able to be switched in to; as I stated there are Pokemon which don't take much from Sneasel's attacks either by virtue of typing, natural bulk, or some combination of the two. The problem with Sneasel's checks, in general, are that they are quite easy to either wear down or just aren't splashable enough (or, again, some combination of the two). Steelix, having no form of recovery outside of Leftovers or some other held item, hates getting hit by Knock Off. Defensive Hariyama hates losing its item. Incineroar is used as a pretty common switch in to not only Sneasel, but also Delphox and friends, making it really easy to weaken. Incineroar also has this habit of being cited as literally the best Sneasel switch in to ever exist; it resists both STABs, doesn't care about Knock Off since Incinium Z is best set (any viable Z really is fine), and has Intimidate to invalidate Choice Band's attack boost. The problem with Incineroar is a lack of splashability - Incineroar only really fits on balanced/bulky offense teams because it only fits the role of a slow wall-breaker, meaning you can't really use it on more offensive builds (primarily because of its speed). To make a comparison to Emboar here for the sake of comparing a former Sneasel check: Emboar had just enough speed to viably run Choice Scarf meaning it could be run as a revenge killer on more offensive builds, could run Choice Band to break shit, E-Belt lure, and could run Bulk Up Z - one versatile lad we had here.

The common theme here is just how little risk there is to spamming Knock Off; outside of Mega Audino and Silvally forms (Steel- and Water-type are the only two I would really use in the tier, but others may have uses idrk) all of Sneasel's checks would really rather not lose their items because it makes them that much easier to weaken. And if we take a larger scope, think of how most of Sneasel's checks are used commonly as checks to other Pokemon; Steelix is literally one of the most common blankets in the tier, defensive Hariyama is the only real defensive "answer" to SD Incineroar, etc. Sneasel providing really nice offensive utility by virtue of Knock Off spam, and easily being the most effective user of Knock Off (imo imo) makes Sneasel a great Pokemon outside of the image "I trap shit and I Ice Shard shit".

Sneasel's offensive utility, as briefly mentioned prior, is really damn good; Sneasel compresses three amazing offensive tools into its most common set really easily: Knock Off (ko is literally THE big dumb), trapping, and strong priority. I'd like to focus more on the latter two since I already beat the dead horse with Knock Off.

Sneasel's presence has shafted the viability of Pokemon such as Mismagius, Haunter, and other Psychic- and Ghost-types pretty unfortunately. Sneasel is able to force obnoxious 50/50s because "oh I might click Pursuit if you try to switch!!!! or Knock Off who knows!!!!", making it so hard to justify ever switching in a Pokemon that can get trapped. Switching in your Mismagius with an opposing Sneasel alive means risking losing it trap, or losing the item of your Sneasel check if they click Knock Off. But these honestly aren't even 50/50s with some of the Pokemon because either a) Sneasel hits too hard or b) many of the things Sneasel checks are literal paper (irdk which it is lol); Pursuit smacks Haunter and Mismagius whether they switch out or not. The Sneasel user is almost always at an advantage not only because they dictate the result of "let's play what will sneasel use", but also because of how strong Sneasel hits, and because of the low risk of just clicking Knock Off. I won't touch on Ice Shard too much because I think what it does is pretty clear, but for mentioning's sake Sneasel being as common as it is and having access to Choice Band Ice Shard makes Pokemon like Vivillon (Ice Shard-weak Pokemon) not necessarily bad, but using them as a higher opportunity cost than using a set-up sweeper that doesn't get blasted back by Sneasel's Ice Shard.

People commonly cite this idea of Sneasel being super hard to get in because of it being hazard weak and it being frail, and you being limited to PartingVoltTurnShot™ as means of getting Sneasel in. This is false, and I'll make two main points as to why.

Hazard control is really easy to come by in USUM; Pokemon such as Silvally (again, I refer mainly to Water and Steel), Rotom-N, Cryogonal, etc. are all very viable sources of hazard control which provide nice utility outside of simply clearing hazards, be it as a defensive switch in to scary breakers or spreading status. Not much else to say here - hazards aren't as strong an argument anymore against a Pokemon (they aren't irrelevant don't get me wrong; it's just much easier to fit a good source of hazard control in the current meta given how many Pokemon get Defog and are viable users of it).

Sneasel does not have to be brought in post-death of a teammate or by some sort of pivoting move; I hope that is clear. Part of the game of Pokemon is making predictions, and so it should come as no surprise that double switches are literally the best way to get in Sneasel; doubles get Sneasel in just as effectively as pivot moves or sacking a Pokemon.

Lastly, Sneasel is just straight up so splashable that it has really not much opportunity cost to use it. Every archetype appreciates Pursuit-trapping, and Sneasel's kit is easy to fit on teams given all it lets Sneasel do. Sneasel even provides a really pitiful amount of defensive utility given its resists to Ghost-, Dark-, Ice-, and Psychic-type moves. This isn't to say you want to be switching Sneasel in directly a whole lot, but it does give Sneasel some defensive uses should the case arise.

Summary of arguments:
1) Sneasel's checks are easy to weaken throughout the battle because most of them have no source of recovery outside of Leftovers, and Sneasel can easily spam Knock Off with low opportunity cost of doing so. Incineroar in specific, while a solid switch in, is not splashable enough compared to Emboar to in my eyes give an end-all-be-all check (and Emboar really wasn't that either).
2) Knock off is broken and Sneasel is the best user of it.
3) Sneasel compresses too much offensive utility between Knock Off, strong priority, and Pursuit trapping, with the latter invalidating a large array of Pokemon such as Haunter and Mismagius, by forcing 50/50s that are heavily in the Sneasel user's favor.
4) Extra access to hazard control makes Sneasel easier to switch in than commonly cited, along with double switches literally being a thing that exist and being arguably the most effective way of getting said weasel into the battle.
5) Sneasel has some key resists which may allow it to have some defensive utility, but don't use it like that because lol.
6) Sneasel is way too splashable and has virtually no opportunity cost when using it. Even Stall appreciates Pursuit-trapping.

BAN THE WEASEL LADS
 
#7
Thoughts going into the suspect test that hopefully can sway people to think the correct way :^)

Sneasel is an overcentralizing force in the current metagame and is 100% deserving of a ban in my opinion. I want to address some points people typically do make in regards to Sneasel being balanced, and while I will acknowledge these points aren't faulty, I'll do my best to refute them and explain why they aren't great reasoning for Sneasel being healthy for the tier:

1) Sneasel has switch-ins which eat up hits, such as Steelix, Mega Audino, and Incineroar, among others (basically bulky Water- and Steel-type Pokemon).
2) Sneasel has a terrible weakness to hazards which, when combined with its sub-par defenses, makes getting Sneasel in a difficult task.
3) I can only really recall those 2(3?) points lol

I won't deny that Sneasel is able to be switched in to; as I stated there are Pokemon which don't take much from Sneasel's attacks either by virtue of typing, natural bulk, or some combination of the two. The problem with Sneasel's checks, in general, are that they are quite easy to either wear down or just aren't splashable enough (or, again, some combination of the two). Steelix, having no form of recovery outside of Leftovers or some other held item, hates getting hit by Knock Off. Defensive Hariyama hates losing its item. Incineroar is used as a pretty common switch in to not only Sneasel, but also Delphox and friends, making it really easy to weaken. Incineroar also has this habit of being cited as literally the best Sneasel switch in to ever exist; it resists both STABs, doesn't care about Knock Off since Incinium Z is best set (any viable Z really is fine), and has Intimidate to invalidate Choice Band's attack boost. The problem with Incineroar is a lack of splashability - Incineroar only really fits on balanced/bulky offense teams because it only fits the role of a slow wall-breaker, meaning you can't really use it on more offensive builds (primarily because of its speed). To make a comparison to Emboar here for the sake of comparing a former Sneasel check: Emboar had just enough speed to viably run Choice Scarf meaning it could be run as a revenge killer on more offensive builds, could run Choice Band to break shit, E-Belt lure, and could run Bulk Up Z - one versatile lad we had here.

The common theme here is just how little risk there is to spamming Knock Off; outside of Mega Audino and Silvally forms (Steel- and Water-type are the only two I would really use in the tier, but others may have uses idrk) all of Sneasel's checks would really rather not lose their items because it makes them that much easier to weaken. And if we take a larger scope, think of how most of Sneasel's checks are used commonly as checks to other Pokemon; Steelix is literally one of the most common blankets in the tier, defensive Hariyama is the only real defensive "answer" to SD Incineroar, etc. Sneasel providing really nice offensive utility by virtue of Knock Off spam, and easily being the most effective user of Knock Off (imo imo) makes Sneasel a great Pokemon outside of the image "I trap shit and I Ice Shard shit".

Sneasel's offensive utility, as briefly mentioned prior, is really damn good; Sneasel compresses three amazing offensive tools into its most common set really easily: Knock Off (ko is literally THE big dumb), trapping, and strong priority. I'd like to focus more on the latter two since I already beat the dead horse with Knock Off.

Sneasel's presence has shafted the viability of Pokemon such as Mismagius, Haunter, and other Psychic- and Ghost-types pretty unfortunately. Sneasel is able to force obnoxious 50/50s because "oh I might click Pursuit if you try to switch!!!! or Knock Off who knows!!!!", making it so hard to justify ever switching in a Pokemon that can get trapped. Switching in your Mismagius with an opposing Sneasel alive means risking losing it trap, or losing the item of your Sneasel check if they click Knock Off. But these honestly aren't even 50/50s with some of the Pokemon because either a) Sneasel hits too hard or b) many of the things Sneasel checks are literal paper (irdk which it is lol); Pursuit smacks Haunter and Mismagius whether they switch out or not. The Sneasel user is almost always at an advantage not only because they dictate the result of "let's play what will sneasel use", but also because of how strong Sneasel hits, and because of the low risk of just clicking Knock Off. I won't touch on Ice Shard too much because I think what it does is pretty clear, but for mentioning's sake Sneasel being as common as it is and having access to Choice Band Ice Shard makes Pokemon like Vivillon (Ice Shard-weak Pokemon) not necessarily bad, but using them as a higher opportunity cost than using a set-up sweeper that doesn't get blasted back by Sneasel's Ice Shard.

People commonly cite this idea of Sneasel being super hard to get in because of it being hazard weak and it being frail, and you being limited to PartingVoltTurnShot™ as means of getting Sneasel in. This is false, and I'll make two main points as to why.

Hazard control is really easy to come by in USUM; Pokemon such as Silvally (again, I refer mainly to Water and Steel), Rotom-N, Cryogonal, etc. are all very viable sources of hazard control which provide nice utility outside of simply clearing hazards, be it as a defensive switch in to scary breakers or spreading status. Not much else to say here - hazards aren't as strong an argument anymore against a Pokemon (they aren't irrelevant don't get me wrong; it's just much easier to fit a good source of hazard control in the current meta given how many Pokemon get Defog and are viable users of it).

Sneasel does not have to be brought in post-death of a teammate or by some sort of pivoting move; I hope that is clear. Part of the game of Pokemon is making predictions, and so it should come as no surprise that double switches are literally the best way to get in Sneasel; doubles get Sneasel in just as effectively as pivot moves or sacking a Pokemon.

Lastly, Sneasel is just straight up so splashable that it has really not much opportunity cost to use it. Every archetype appreciates Pursuit-trapping, and Sneasel's kit is easy to fit on teams given all it lets Sneasel do. Sneasel even provides a really pitiful amount of defensive utility given its resists to Ghost-, Dark-, Ice-, and Psychic-type moves. This isn't to say you want to be switching Sneasel in directly a whole lot, but it does give Sneasel some defensive uses should the case arise.

Summary of arguments:
1) Sneasel's checks are easy to weaken throughout the battle because most of them have no source of recovery outside of Leftovers, and Sneasel can easily spam Knock Off with low opportunity cost of doing so. Incineroar in specific, while a solid switch in, is not splashable enough compared to Emboar to in my eyes give an end-all-be-all check (and Emboar really wasn't that either).
2) Knock off is broken and Sneasel is the best user of it.
3) Sneasel compresses too much offensive utility between Knock Off, strong priority, and Pursuit trapping, with the latter invalidating a large array of Pokemon such as Haunter and Mismagius, by forcing 50/50s that are heavily in the Sneasel user's favor.
4) Extra access to hazard control makes Sneasel easier to switch in than commonly cited, along with double switches literally being a thing that exist and being arguably the most effective way of getting said weasel into the battle.
5) Sneasel has some key resists which may allow it to have some defensive utility, but don't use it like that because lol.
6) Sneasel is way too splashable and has virtually no opportunity cost when using it. Even Stall appreciates Pursuit-trapping.

BAN THE WEASEL LADS
Look, I have been a strong advocate against the banning of sneasel; however I will admit most of the points I typically use in arguments were brought up and pretty successfully refuted. I still hold that sneasel is very tough to get in and loses to priority and can be as much a guessing game for the sneasel wielder as it is for the opponent. That said, I still don't believe it breaks the meta, even if it is considered a little unhealthy. I like the argument that you made and I find myself agreeing with nearly everything. I won't say ban sneasel or even vote to do so, but I'll admit that a pokemon with the implacable ability to cripple its checks as well as having a very good wincon in defeating one or two checks using the other 5 mons makes sneasel very difficult to handle. For example, say I had defensive Hariyama as my main sneasel check. My opponent brings SD 'Roar and Sneasel. Now, if I break out the yama for the sneasel and it loses its recovery, I might easily lose the battle. If I bring out my hariyama to deal with the inceroar and it deals enough damage, then sneasel can destroy my team. Basically, not only is it dangerous to play ghost or psychic types, but it even becomes dangerous to play sneasel checks because once their gone, the battle becomes extremely difficult.
 
#8
sneasel is not broken.

a point people havent brought up yet is the pokemon that can take advantage of choice-locked sneasel (the best set). klinklang, vaporeon, and omastar can setup on choice-locked icicle crash, knock off doesnt do much to z sets, and of course just about any setup mon can take advantage of pursuit. people are giving pursuit way too much credit.

252 Atk Choice Band Sneasel Knock Off vs. 88 HP / 0 Def Klinklang: 114-135 (40.2 - 47.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
 

Finchinator

IT'S FINK DUMBASS
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#9
sneasel is not broken.

a point people havent brought up yet is the pokemon that can take advantage of choice-locked sneasel (the best set). klinklang, vaporeon, and omastar can setup on choice-locked icicle crash, knock off doesnt do much to z sets, and of course just about any setup mon can take advantage of pursuit. people are giving pursuit way too much credit.

252 Atk Choice Band Sneasel Knock Off vs. 88 HP / 0 Def Klinklang: 114-135 (40.2 - 47.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
While this is true, it’s hardly logic against Sneasel being broken. You can literally apply his to any choiced Pokemon with a resisted STAB (so all of them...).

For example and to just prove how irrelevant this point is in perspective, let me make a complete parallel of your post with a Pokemon that would obviously be broken. Before I do so, please don’t take this as me going off-topic and trying to discuss Moltres as this obviously isn’t the case and people seem to like taking things out of context to improve their own arguments in these threads, so yea.

“Moltres wouldn’t be broken

a point people havent brought up yet is the pokemon that can take advantage of choice-locked moltres (the best sets are specs and scarf). vaporeon, and omastar can eat either STAB and set up easily. Incineroar, Delphox, and Samurott also set up when you’re Fire Blast locked and HP Grass let’s just about anything do the trick. people are giving being an actual problematic offensive threat way too much credit.”

There are a ton of other comparisons as well and I think this limited scope is not one to actually look at and try to prove that anything isn’t broken (not that it’s your only point as your post seemed to express the sentiment that you also agreed with previously expressed anti-ban arguments, too). All things considered though, this shouldn’t be used against Sneasel too much. Giving away momentum and free turns is only really a major downside to a Pokemon in this light of it does so without accomplishing anything in the first place. For something like Klinklang or Omastar to switch-in and set-up, they need to get a free turn first. They cannot comfortably take two Knock Offs and then be in a position to do much afterwards. This means Sneasel is either getting a kill/forcing a fodder, came in on a turn where both sides switched, or attacked a user who proceeded to use U-turn/Volt Switch/Parting Shot. These conditions all imply that Sneasel made some significant progress, the Sneasel user got outplayed, making this a moot point, or the opponent went out of their way to provoke this sequence respectively. Needless to say, none of these conditions hold much practical value or attest to the fact that Sneasel having to choice lock is a major pitfall or argument against it. Seems like more a stretchy nitpick than anything else.
 

allstarapology

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#11
The arguments that Sneasel isn't impossible to check (be it defensively or even offensively in some instances), impossible to take advantage of, hates entry hazards, and lacks the bulk to take even neutral hits have been seeing slight usage, but the fact that no one denies this and that it doesn't prevent Sneasel from being a problem prevents me from accepting such claims.

Sneasel is one of the most punishing Pokemon due to the combination of Knock Off and Pursuit and its presence alone just kind of invalidates certain Pokemon due to their vulnerability to either one or both of these moves. Using stuff like Haunter and Sigilyph becomes a liability because of it, and it's forcing Pokemon like Xatu to just change their entire moveset in order to not get fucked by it. Not much that checks it really appreciates switching in on Knock Off besides Incineroar and Mega Audino, though the former lacks recovery and is vulnerable to Stealth Rock as well and the latter doesn't appreciate Icicle Crash. As mentioned above, this isn't limited to offensive builds either. Defensive builds adore Sneasel's ability to remove annoyances like NP + Taunt Mismagius and CM Delphox. There's very little reason to not use the thing, and in some cases, it feels like a waste to not do so. Simply put, I feel that Sneasel should be banned.

Short post ik, but a lot of what I was going to say originally ended up being said all ready.

edit: i messed up and said 'is' instead of 'isn't' for the first bit and stuff, but my point still stands
 
Last edited:

Kiyo

jk Haikyuu is my favorite anime.
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#12
Hi everyone, this time around we will be offering an additional opportunity to earn suspect voting requirements in the form of suspect tours. These will be live tours conducted on the smogtours server, and will function similar to that of Smogon Tour. There will be two suspect tours, hosted by me, on the dates listed below:

Saturday March 31st at 6:00 PM EDT (GMT-4)
Sunday April 8th at 12:00 PM EDT (GMT-4)

Sneasel will be allowed in these suspect tours. The number of people who earn voting requirements will be dependent on the size of the tournament. If you have any questions in the meantime you can consult the Smogon Tour rules, browse the Live Tournaments forum to get a feel for things (including reading OP from our last suspect tour https://www.smogon.com/forums/threa...our-1-tauros-is-allowed-won-by-ttftw.3577283/), or ask me a question directly via smogon, ps!, or discord.
Hey I got the date's mixed up originally in this post, but since I'm the one that fucked up I don't wanna switch days on y'all. This is gonna be at 7:00PM EDT instead.
 

Teddeh

I'm up and coming like I'm fucking in an elevator
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
#13
I spoke a lot about my thoughts and opinions about sneasel in the podcast - but i was cutting out due to my internet / mic being really shitty.
I think the overall opinion I gave was that this suspect test is more subjective than any other suspect test as by definition, sneasel really isn't broken in game or in the team builder. I don't think that sneasel is hard to check on paper, defensively or offensively and there are plenty of ways to punish it whether that be with setup sweepers or with massive wall breakers. 90% of the time, the user is choice locked and we can all agree that being choice locked leaves you vulnerable.
I spoke that using sneasel on offensive teams would often leave you extremely weak to certain sweepers because you don't have the defensive synergy to avoid being locked into moves or you would potentially be swept. Things like omastar / sd incineroar / toxicroak / z-celebrate venu all punish sneasel teams very well while as a sneasel user, you're almost handicapped the whole game on what you can lock yourself into.
Specifically talking about sneasel's effect on the team builder is the only thing that I would consider it to be "unhealthy" - but we have to weigh up the factors influencing why sneasel has this effect. in my personal opinion, there are a lot of defensive pokemon that are in the tier able to check sneasel - even more so when you know that 90% of sneasels are choice banded. I don't think that sneasel has an extremely limiting effect because some of the best pokemon in the tier check it from the team builder and role compress excellently - things like slowbro, steelix, vaporeon, hariyama - who can switch in on both stabs reliably (slowbro scouts very well on the first switch) and as long as you have the dark or ice resist backing it up, you can pivot accordingly. With that being said - with sneasel being so frail, often at times you're unable to force pokemon out due to their bulk outweighing yours and with naturally awful defensive typing, you're going to struggle to find offensive switch ins without doubles (that always include some risk) or slow volt switch or u-turn which doesn't really exist all that well in this tier.

That leaves me to believe that sneasel is a pokemon that requires a lot of skill to use effectively - not something that people can slap on teams and just sweep people with *cough* z-celebrate venusaur *cough*... But I can accept that sneasel has an effect on the meta that limits team building.
People have mentioned that they can't use nasty plot mismagius / cm delphox very well due to sneasel's popularity and that it forces 50/50s - well sneasel doesn't always switch in first time un harmed (there have times where i have been bopped by z-rockium power gem from missy) and hard switching in on a delphox when the majority of foxes are scarf - you would have a death wish. With that being said - it's as much of a 50/50 for the sneasel user as it is for the delphox or mismagius user coming in to revenge kill and 90% of the time, they will just click knock off as it would be too much of a risk to click pursuit unless you were already weakened. This same argument can be used for xatu usage - most xatus are running protect now - so naturally as a player who is playing a xatu, you're much more likely to click icicle crash or knock off first time round on the scout to actually force xatu out. Because of these in-game situations - i believe that the 50/50 argument to do with pursuit is much overstated. In all honesty it's more of a 80-20 whereby they are much more likely to click knock off because most of the things that are trapped by sneasel can potentially ohko.
Moving on from this point however - i don't think that using frail as fuck ghost types or psychic types should be a reason to ban sneasel. There is a reason why they have been moved out of the meta by pursuit being a factor - that's just people adapting to make sure they have the best chance of winning a pokemon match consistently (not using an easily pursuit trapped pokemon). And adding onto this - this reason just adds to much subjectivity into what makes an S rank pokemon good or broken.

From my pov - sneasel is definitely not broken in game as it clearly has many flaws and i think that most people accept that. I also don't think sneasel is broken in the team builder as it has a lot of defensive checks as well as offensive setup sweepers that punish it effectively. I can accept that sneasel is restrictive in the team builder as it puts you off using frail ghosts or psychic types that are potentially pursuit trapped. Nevertheless - I think that overall this suspect comes down to people preferring to be able to use ghosts or psychics more often - whilst banning something that isn't (at least in my opinion) broken on paper or by definition. Which leaves the question of should we ban steelix because it allows more flying and normal types to do better in the tier despite it not being broken by definition?

Without rambling too much - I'm of the opinion that we shouldn't ban sneasel. It's too subjective a ban because it isn't broken on paper - nor should we ban things because we want to use less currently viable pokemon.
 

dodmen

Tournament Banned
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#14
Agree 100% with Teddeh, Sneasel's effects on the tier are being hugely overstated in this thread.

"Warps the metagame" - things like AV Slowking, Mismagius etc are not only common despite Sneasel being in the tier, but are considered good. Just look at the viability thread, where a third of the A ranks are theoretically invalidated by Sneasel, but are still able to do their job just fine because of how hard it is to get Sneasel in and trap them successfully, not to mention various ways these Pokemon have to either play around Pursuit (Protect, Substitute, Colbur), or punish it hard with a sweeper.

Also, this argument can literally be reversed against Sneasel - just replace "Sneasel" with "AV Slowking, Mismagius, Haunter", and replace "Klingklang and Omastar" with "Sneasel":
For something like Klinklang or Omastar to switch-in and set-up, they need to get a free turn first. They cannot comfortably take two Knock Offs and then be in a position to do much afterwards. This means Sneasel is either getting a kill/forcing a fodder, came in on a turn where both sides switched, or attacked a user who proceeded to use U-turn/Volt Switch/Parting Shot. These conditions all imply that Sneasel made some significant progress, the Sneasel user got outplayed, making this a moot point, or the opponent went out of their way to provoke this sequence respectively.
"Steelix, Hariyama etc hate losing their items/are chipped down for Sneasel's teammates" - guess what, that's Pokemon, no different from some Z move user luring Slowbro for its teammates, and it's basically what this game has been about for 20 years. If you're relying on one recovery-less Pokemon to provide a long term answer to two or more offensive mons, it's just not gonna work out against a good team or player. Besides, between things like Steelix, Hariyama, Incineroar, Audino, Vaporeon, two viable Silvallys, and various softer checks, it's not like Sneasel is getting a kill every time it comes in. All of these Pokemon can switch in at least twice, and with the hazard weakness and frailty, it's really not that hard to limit Sneasel to two or three times on the field. Hell, Steelix can take a couple Knock Offs and /still/ be good enough to beat Klingklang and some other stuff it hard walls.

There's also the fact that Sneasel gives some bulkier teams the ability to not be fucked over from turn 1 by some dangerous threats like Vanilluxe, Vivillon, Jynx, even Venusaur to an extent. And again, it's not like these Pokemon are completely invalidated by Sneasel, there's risk involved for Sneasel when it tries to check all of these. All in all I think it's one of the best Pokemon in the tier, but not unhealthy whatsoever. If I'm being honest, both Venusaur and Vanilluxe are "worse" for the tier due to having like literally one good answer each, but I don't consider them broken either.
 
#15
"but not unhealthy whatsoever. " Sure, you can say it's not broken, but not unhealthy whatsoever is going a little too far. You're acting as if Sneasel is a threat you can handle as calmly as Luvdisc. It may be chackable, but I have many reasons to believe that the meta would improve greatly if Sneasel were to be removed. If the tier changes, and or Sneasel is deemed healthy enough for the tier, but if you want to fully explore the options in the tier, you have to see what it would be like without that kingpin that's barely hanging in the tier. Yes, I agree that sneasel is not broken, but the effect it has on Psychic and ghost types you have largely understated. AV Slowking is crushed by Sneasel with ease. Basically, if there is no Sneasel on the opposite team, the chance of your psychic type surviving longer increases exponentially. When you see a Sneasel in the team preview, you know your Slowking/Mismagius/Whatever it is that isn't Slowbro, isn't going to be able to help in the battle as much. You switch your Slowking into "dangerous threats like Vanilluxe," Jynx,etc, just to see a Sneasel staring down at you. Bulky Psychic,Ghost,Or defensively weaker walls that take supereffective damage from ice, can be either killed or crippled by Sneasel so that the threats you mentions from above can annihilate your team. You came prepared to check them, and Sneasel defeated that purpose. To sum it up, you simply cannot say that Sneasel is 100% healthy in this tier, and that the tier wouldn't benefit from its absence.
 

Teddeh

I'm up and coming like I'm fucking in an elevator
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
#16
"but not unhealthy whatsoever. " Sure, you can say it's not broken, but not unhealthy whatsoever is going a little too far. You're acting as if Sneasel is a threat you can handle as calmly as Luvdisc. It may be chackable, but I have many reasons to believe that the meta would improve greatly if Sneasel were to be removed. If the tier changes, and or Sneasel is deemed healthy enough for the tier, but if you want to fully explore the options in the tier, you have to see what it would be like without that kingpin that's barely hanging in the tier. Yes, I agree that sneasel is not broken, but the effect it has on Psychic and ghost types you have largely understated. AV Slowking is crushed by Sneasel with ease. Basically, if there is no Sneasel on the opposite team, the chance of your psychic type surviving longer increases exponentially. When you see a Sneasel in the team preview, you know your Slowking/Mismagius/Whatever it is that isn't Slowbro, isn't going to be able to help in the battle as much. You switch your Slowking into "dangerous threats like Vanilluxe," Jynx,etc, just to see a Sneasel staring down at you. Bulky Psychic,Ghost,Or defensively weaker walls that take supereffective damage from ice, can be either killed or crippled by Sneasel so that the threats you mentions from above can annihilate your team. You came prepared to check them, and Sneasel defeated that purpose. To sum it up, you simply cannot say that Sneasel is 100% healthy in this tier, and that the tier wouldn't benefit from its absence.
All you have told me in this post is that sneasel beats av slowking / mismagius and stops people from using psychic / ghost type pokemon effectively. Which is effectively what every pursuit trapper does. I'm going to reiterate what I said in my post because I don't think your reasoning is good enough reasoning to ban this pokemon. Yes the tier would change, but the tier would also change if you were to remove slowbro, steelix, delphox, vanilluxe, the tier would change if you removed anything that has a decent amount of pressure on team building or is a key component in common team building in NU at the moment. What I stated in my post is that wanting to use "less viable pokemon" - for example mismagius, slowking without a colbur berry or haunter is not a good enough reason to ban sneasel. I think the one thing that everyone has parroted in this thread and in discussion is that sneasel is not broken. The stress on the team builder is largely overstated and in game, it often finds a hard time switching due to rocks weakness, weak defensive stats and typing and a reliance on pivoting for it to work well. If you want to ban sneasel because you want to use a haunter without the fear of being pursuit trapped, then i feel like that's haunter's problem and not sneasel being too good. We've established there are lots of options for counterplay, vulnerabilities in team building when using sneasel, for example it cannot fit on offense and for the most part it does its job very well.

But conclusively you can't ban a pokemon because you will have a worse match up when you use a mismagius or an av slowking and you want it to check ice types (ftr jynx is also pursuit trapped by jynx or other variations of scarfers in the tier), it's just not a good enough reason to ban it imo, nor does it set decent precedent for future suspect tests. Next we should suspect dodrio because when we face a dodrio when we're not using a steelix or rhydon, we have a significantly harder match up at team preview - it just shouldn't work like this.
 
#17
Some of the anti-ban arguments are being too unreasonable in regards to how limiting Sneasel is and just how much it can trap. It's not just Ghost- and Psychic-types and certain things like Haunter, Sigilyph etc being invalidated (although I dont think anyone can deny that Sneasel is far and away the most effective trapper in the tier for eliminating those things because of it's Speed, Typing, and access to Knock Off.) You've got things like Offensive Venusaur, Heliolisk, Magmortar, Vanilluxe, Gallade, Togedemaru, (even Scarf Houndoom takes upwards of 50% from Pursuit) and the list goes on. Clearly Sneasel's pursuit trapping doesn't discriminate or restrict itself to a specific typing; it's universal. Additionally, there's this idea floating around that clicking Pursuit is risky and it lets in stuff like Z-Omastar for free, and while that may be true in the linear sense, a good team is going to be prepared to deal with that and a competent player will know when it's appropriate to click Pursuit, and when it's more rewarding to simply click Knock Off which is the most spammable move in the game, hands down. Sure, some offensive teams might find less opportunities to risk locking into Pursuit but Sneasel isn't only used on offense; in fact I'd even argue that you can get much more use out of it on a lot more balance, semi-stall, and stall teams that can afford to let certain Pokemon in and have the capacity to react accordingly. Basically, my point is that this suspect and the "Ban Sneasel" mindset has nothing to do with wanting to use certain Pokemon and it has nothing to do with having worse matchups, it's about getting rid of an unhealthy force whose presence in the tier warps teambuilding and has the potential to take games out of players hands. That being said, it's impossible to pinpoint a sole, standout quality of Sneasel that makes it overbearing. We could argue for hours on whether or not Sneasel's trapping and ability to hinder it's checks with Knock Off make it broken, unhealthy, or a necessary evil but at the end of the day the result of this test is going to depend on one thing, does Sneasel's presence as a whole hinder or enhance the quality of this tier? It's a tough question, and there might not be a right or wrong answer. I was thinking about this a lot as I was getting reqs, and I've come to my own personal conclusion that Sneasel's presence is unhealthy, and is currently hindering the growth and progression of the NU metagame. The combination of everything it brings to the table pushes it over the edge for me and I feel that the tier as it stands now will improve for the better without it. That being said I could definitely see it being revisited in the future one way or another, but it's impossible to speculate on anything major apart from the meta as it is now. Therefore, I'll be voting to Ban Sneasel.
 

Punchshroom

Paralysis is slightly less of a devil
is a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributor
#18
There's no denying that Sneasel checks do exist in the tier, but Sneasel's access to Pursuit means we must first look at the amount of Pokemon that Sneasel threatens before we assess the number of switch-ins it has, because the latter may well prove irrelevant if Sneasel is able to trap enough of the tier to render your efforts moot. Like Eternally said, Sneasel isn't just limited to Dark-weak targets because high Speed and access to Ice STAB, especially priority Ice Shard, greatly expand its range of targets. The sheer safety and threat that its fast Knock Off provides also pressures its targets to flee nearly all of the time since Sneasel has little to lose from it, which makes its Pursuit game all the more easier and dangerous. This goes far and beyond any other Pursuit trapper in the tier, so they can't be compared at that point.

Sneasel's Speed itself also happens to be an incredibly influential factor as well, especially considering its Ice Shard greatly stings pretty much any Pokemon naturally faster than it, while its STAB combo alone threatens a huge majority of offensive mons in the tier. This makes Sneasel an extremely difficult Pokemon to check offensively, not to mention that Sneasel is by far the biggest reason that the most common Choice Scarf users in the tier are Fighting-type, and not just because they happen to KO Sneasel easily, but because a majority of other would-be Choice Scarfers (examples including but not limited to Delphox, Rotom, Braviary, Vanilluxe) suffer heavily for either being forced to tread carefully around Sneasel or come under heavy pressure from being picked off.

Even discounting the poor matchup most offensive Pokemon have against Sneasel, the more defensive Sneasel answers in the tier still have to deal with the fact that they either have very exploitable recovery, such as RestTalk or WishTect which consume two moveslots and burn valuable turns, or have no recovery to speak of (bar some very specific picks like Miltank and Pyukumuku). This makes these Pokemon easy to whittle down and pressure even for Sneasel itself, much less its teammates, and the only real way Sneasel is going to lose out in this war of attrition is its Stealth Rock weakness, which I don't consider to be enough of a downside to hold it back in this regard.

These factors lead me to believe that Sneasel is applying a multitude of chokeholds on the meta, albeit admittedly still less constraining for a decent percentage of people that are comfortable with adapting to Sneasel. That said, even if Sneasel doesn't limit teambuilding for bulkier playstyles, it's still very capable of cornering at least two Pokemon against offense or even balance, or even threaten to close out games thanks to its blistering Speed, great STABs, and the limited presence of its checks. Normally I hate to bring up parallels with other metagames, but if the majority of the UU playerbase, with their greater number AND more reliable Weavile checks and counters, decided it was best for the weasel to leave the tier, then I don't see NU's great argument for its respective similarly performing Dark/Ice mon, with the rather limited/easily exploitable answers as is, to stay in the tier.
 

dodmen

Tournament Banned
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Community Leader Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnus
#19
Even discounting the poor matchup most offensive Pokemon have against Sneasel, the more defensive Sneasel answers in the tier still have to deal with the fact that they either have very exploitable recovery, such as RestTalk or WishTect which consume two moveslots and burn valuable turns, or have no recovery to speak of (bar some very specific picks like Miltank and Pyukumuku). This makes these Pokemon easy to whittle down and pressure even for Sneasel itself, much less its teammates, and the only real way Sneasel is going to lose out in this war of attrition is its Stealth Rock weakness, which I don't consider to be enough of a downside to hold it back in this regard.

These factors lead me to believe that Sneasel is applying a multitude of chokeholds on the meta, albeit admittedly still less constraining for a decent percentage of people that are comfortable with adapting to Sneasel. That said, even if Sneasel doesn't limit teambuilding for bulkier playstyles, it's still very capable of cornering at least two Pokemon against offense or even balance, or even threaten to close out games thanks to its blistering Speed, great STABs, and the limited presence of its checks.
You're really arguing that Sneasel, with a rocks weakness and horrible bulk, is somehow going to make it on the field enough times to win a "war of attrition" against something like Vaporeon? Somehow, a Sneasel is getting in safely a million times and outlasting Pokemon with Wish and Rest? As I said in my previous post, expecting Sneasel to be able to come in more than two or maybe three times against even a balance team is simply unrealistic. How are you going to allow a frail, rocks weak, high-risk (because it will die if it gets a Pursuit wrong) Pokemon to "corner at least two Pokemon" per game? Limited presence of checks? Steelix, Hariyama, Incineroar, Audino, Vaporeon, and two Silvallys are the ones that I listed in my last post; all of these bar maybe Vaporeon are splashable and will fit on most offensive or balanced teams, and as you yourself said, there are even more that fit onto more specific builds.

It's not just Ghost- and Psychic-types and certain things like Haunter, Sigilyph etc being invalidated (although I dont think anyone can deny that Sneasel is far and away the most effective trapper in the tier for eliminating those things because of it's Speed, Typing, and access to Knock Off.) You've got things like Offensive Venusaur, Heliolisk, Magmortar, Vanilluxe, Gallade, Togedemaru, (even Scarf Houndoom takes upwards of 50% from Pursuit) and the list goes on. Clearly Sneasel's pursuit trapping doesn't discriminate or restrict itself to a specific typing; it's universal.

Basically, my point is that this suspect and the "Ban Sneasel" mindset has nothing to do with wanting to use certain Pokemon and it has nothing to do with having worse matchups, it's about getting rid of an unhealthy force whose presence in the tier warps teambuilding and has the potential to take games out of players hands.
I touched on this in my previous post. The proof that Sneasel does not "warp teambuilding" lies in the fact that all of the Pokemon you listed are still heavily used and considered good or great Pokemon despite the fact that they can potentially be trapped by Sneasel. Additionally, in my opinion, it is not unhealthy for Sneasel to provide more defensive teams with some form of counterplay to Vanilluxe and Heliolisk in particular, but to a lesser extent to Venusaur, Sigilyph, and other such attackers. I can understand why people would disagree with this argument, but to me, having some sort of punishment for these wildly dangerous threats (Vanilluxe firing off specs boosted Blizzards, Heliolisk Z moving everything into oblivion, Sigilyph doing whatever it wants at no cost) is absolutely not unhealthy for the metagame. There is already so little that defensively oriented teams can do to cover all of these threats, is it really that bad for Sneasel to apply at least some risk to using these Pokemon to beat the hell out of anything defensive?
 
#20
Since I'm going to be voting I'd like to also explain my stance. I'd like to preface by saying I agree with dod and Teddeh's posts for the most part. When I first discussed Sneasel in the NU room, I made the mistake of misunderstanding the suspect test in general. I was focused too much on the impact Sneasel's absence would have and not on the actual standing of Sneasel in the current metagame, so I apologize.

On the other spectrum, I actually advocated for Sneasel's ban a couple months back after the first failed suspect because I liked the idea of more viability among other mons. I changed my view recently due to many things, including how I changed my own teams to handle Sneasel as well as the rise of Z-Incineroar and the acquiring of its HA Intimidate. Right now I firmly believe Sneasel is not busted in the current metagame, excluding any potential rises in viability among other mons. and that's the most important part. As stated a countless amount of times, Sneasel is one of the most frail offensive threats as of now. That coupled with its weakness to Rocks really proves that for the most part, Sneasel is a high skill high reward mon. Sneasel only really threatens this plethora of mons if its doubled into on that mon (such as Slowking, Sigilyph etc) or if the two are lead vs each other. Sneasel can hardly, if ever, switch into attacks from the mons that it can trap or use knock on. This means the player wielding Sneasel has to play it correctly but can easily lose its life on a poorly predicted turn or bring it in after one of his mons have already fainted to revenge. If you think about these scenarios, is that really so bad? Excuse the poor analogy, but in a way it is kind of like Mega Medicham in OU. Medicham is the 2nd hardest hitter in the tier and many teams struggle to switch in but it requires perfect doubles and momentum from the user in order to really be effective. You really don't see Medicham switching into anything unless the user predicted hazards or a double on their opponents part. Now, I'm not even trying to say Sneasel is as strong as Mega Medi, for the record. Sneasel has solid base attack at best so it always requires CB or sometimes LO. It has strong, spammable moves like Knock and Icicle Crash, but these moves are not impossible or even that hard to switch in to by any means, as opposed to Medicham.

Many people seem to be upset with how "stale" the metagame is becoming due to how limiting Sneasel is. I wholeheartedly disagree, though, because making good teams that are unique depend on the builder's own capabilities. I'm not bragging whatsoever, but the last 4 teams I built did not even take Sneasel into consideration. I built 6 mons for each team that I thought meshed well together and seemed interesting, and there were numerous ways to punish Sneasel and switch in to it. In SPL, I don't remember a single time where Sneasel was restricting a team so much that it was able to spam Knock with 0 repercussions. If players of the highest caliber in NU can handle it, what's the issue? I'm unsure of the other players' opinions, but I know that Teddeh, dodmen, meeps, and myself have not once called out Sneasel for fucking up our building. This may seem like a weak argument, but what I am trying to convey is Sneasel's dominance over NU is sort of exaggerated and it's not as bad as numerous people seem to think. I'm not sure what even changed between the last suspect and this one, why did people have a chance of heart? Hell, I even switched from pro ban to no ban so I'm interesting in what people think of how Sneasel has changed. In my opinion, the only thing that has changed is that because the meta progressed, people such as myself got an even better grasp of how to handle Sneasel.

Tl;dr - Focus on the current implications Sneasel has on the metagame, ignoring any potential "cool" mons that may arise due to its ban. Have you seen teams truly struggle and if so, what if that was due to poor building in general? Think about how much you really think of Sneasel when building and how often you have to adjust your team because of it. Sneasel is high risk and reward, and good players deserve the benefits from utilizing it well. I tried not to repeat too many points, but the following reasons are why I am voting No Ban.
 

Blast

BWA-HO-HO
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Team Rater Alumnus
Moderator
#21
You're really arguing that Sneasel, with a rocks weakness and horrible bulk, is somehow going to make it on the field enough times to win a "war of attrition" against something like Vaporeon? Somehow, a Sneasel is getting in safely a million times and outlasting Pokemon with Wish and Rest? As I said in my previous post, expecting Sneasel to be able to come in more than two or maybe three times against even a balance team is simply unrealistic. How are you going to allow a frail, rocks weak, high-risk (because it will die if it gets a Pursuit wrong) Pokemon to "corner at least two Pokemon" per game? Limited presence of checks? Steelix, Hariyama, Incineroar, Audino, Vaporeon, and two Silvallys are the ones that I listed in my last post; all of these bar maybe Vaporeon are splashable and will fit on most offensive or balanced teams, and as you yourself said, there are even more that fit onto more specific builds.
Kiyo and kay covered this in one of their podcasts, but to summarize them, double switching plays a big role in letting Sneasel come in unscathed, and it requires a higher skill cap than other Pokemon we've banned in the past. It isn't a Pokemon you can just slap on a team and score easy wins with, but its presence causes bigger overall problems in the metagame, which I'll get to later. Hence why most of us are arguing it as unhealthy rather than outright broken.

I would actually agree with you that on the most basic level, we do have a sufficient amount of Sneasel answers. The problem is that it doesn't matter what checks there are on the not-exactly-low chance that Sneasel actually predicts correctly and kills whatever is currently on the field. You say that Sneasel dies if it gets a Pursuit wrong, which is true, but Sneasel's opponent is on even more pressure to predict correctly. I talked about this in my post from the previous np thread: the prediction war is almost always in Sneasel's favor because there's no risk in just clicking Knock Off. Even if you manage to get a defensive answer in safely, it's lost its item and a good chunk of health, and Sneasel can just put you through the same mindgame later.
I touched on this in my previous post. The proof that Sneasel does not "warp teambuilding" lies in the fact that all of the Pokemon you listed are still heavily used and considered good or great Pokemon despite the fact that they can potentially be trapped by Sneasel. Additionally, in my opinion, it is not unhealthy for Sneasel to provide more defensive teams with some form of counterplay to Vanilluxe and Heliolisk in particular, but to a lesser extent to Venusaur, Sigilyph, and other such attackers. I can understand why people would disagree with this argument, but to me, having some sort of punishment for these wildly dangerous threats (Vanilluxe firing off specs boosted Blizzards, Heliolisk Z moving everything into oblivion, Sigilyph doing whatever it wants at no cost) is absolutely not unhealthy for the metagame. There is already so little that defensively oriented teams can do to cover all of these threats, is it really that bad for Sneasel to apply at least some risk to using these Pokemon to beat the hell out of anything defensive?
The reason why Pursuit-bait Pokemon are ranked so high is because they're necessary for the tier, not because Sneasel has no unhealthy effect on them. When you use Delphox, or Haunter, or Slowking, or even Heliolisk, it's because they play certain roles for teams that only they can play and can't be replaced. You end up just having to live with the knowledge that they'll end up being either trapped or repeatedly capitalized on every time they come in. In fact, I'd actually argue that IS what makes Sneasel banworthy: the fact that it's able to remove many of the most important Pokemon in the tier just for predicting correctly (which, again, is in Sneasel's favor because of how safe of a play Knock Off is).

I know it's not necessarily a bad thing to be able to punish the tier's big heavy hitters, but I think it's going too far when that risk is being outright killed for switching out. It's one thing to apply risk to using a certain Pokemon, it's another to punish them for making one of the most basic plays that make the game possible (switching something important out against a threat it loses to). I mean, between you and me, I actually do kind of think Pursuit in general is rather unhealthy, but that's an argument for another day. The most important takeaway here is that Sneasel applies this risk way too thoroughly to way too many crucial mons.

And honestly, if Sneasel is the only factor preventing all those threats you mentioned from breaking the tier, once again I think that speaks for a bigger problem with the tier as a whole. Like, even if Sneasel isn't the only factor contributing to this, I can't see how you can argue it's not contributing at all. Even if you think Venusaur or Slowbro or whatever are "more" problematic, the idea that Sneasel is not a problem at all is just confusing to me.
 
#22
with the suspect wrapping up figured i should make my post now before it gets to late / before my thoughts escape me.

honestly ive been feeling a lot of the same things as i was w/ the last sneasel suspect where i was on the fence for the majority of the test, despite being fairly anti-ban @ the start i ended up voting ban and went into this test w/ the same mindset as i did @ the end of the last test. i still feel a lot of what made me vote ban still stands through though. i honestly cant type up anymore than i have on sneasel as i wrote a fairly long post in the last np thread on my thoughts then, and they can still be applied here.
shiloh said:
personally when the subject was brought up in council i voted for sneasel in terms of what to suspect. while it was only suspected a couple of months ago i think it was still a fairly close vote and that the meta has changed enough since then for it to warrant another test. personally i think one of the biggest examples of how much sneasel has actually shifted the meta w/i the past few months is the rise of a niche xatu set solely due to the fact its always going to lose to sneasel + rocker / spiker otherwise. if you look @ the stats from snake, xatu was much more commonly seen running psychic / u-turn / gknot / roost as its main set because thats what you used to handle the common rockers / spikers. however w/ sneasel being more and more omnipresent as of late, the set has transitioned to night shade / roost / u-turn / protect almost always, with a few colbur sets also thrown in. a lot of what i said about sneasel during the last test still applies to it now, but i think theres just a lot more evidence now of it being fully unhealthy for the tier as its almost impossible to check on hyper offense w/o having to use sweepers like scrafty.

i also feel there is a lot of people that argue that sneasel is only being brought up due to pursuit, and thats not an unhealthy element. while i do agree that pursuit on its own doesnt make sneasel unhealthy, i personally think knock off is a lot scarier in the current meta. while we do have z moves to discourage knock spam to an extent, there is still very little that wants to hard into a cb knock off, especially if you manage to get rocks up as a lot the current solid dark resists dislike taking the combination of the cb knock + rocks multiple times a game. emboar being banned basically forces passimian onto a lot of balance as well, as a lot of other scarfers are pursuit trapped and therefore unable to rk sneasel successfully (delphox / rotom), especially w/ pursuit rhydon catching on right now as well.
i do want to address a few of the general arguments i have seen though. i think the one i have the biggest problem w/ is the idea that sneasel is necessary for the meta due to how it checks a few mons that might be problematic if it is banned. i think the biggest problem is the word might, as its impossible to say what standing sneasels ban would have on a future meta & mons that might be an issue with it banned. this argument starts to go along the lines of broken checks broken, therefore neither should be banned. nobody knows what will happen if sneasel is banned, whether or not mons like helio / slowking / etc will rise in viability is yet to be seen and idt has much weight for an anti-ban argument.

another argument i dislike is the argument saying sneasel isnt banworthy since it can be taken advantage of when it chooses a move to lock into. i dont get why this is being brought up when most sneasel teams should be built in a way that it wont allow things that gain free setup to sweep after sneasel gets in. this applies to just about every choice locked mon in the tier, as there are mons that can take advantage of almost every move that can be locked into, and its up to the builder to account for that in building. also z move incin isnt a great sneasel check @ all imo, as w/ rocks up it has trouble coming in more than twice, and its easy enough to take advantage of in this meta atm since i think sd is honestly quite mediocre in terms of what you can run on incineroar.

however i did say that i was more on the fence than i was earlier, and i think the main reason for that is i find myself resorting to using sneasel less and less in the current meta. the main reason behind this is bc i think pivot incineroar covers a lot of what sneasel wants to & more, while picking up momentum w/ u-turn. the set i use is iapapa @ knock / fire blast / u-turn / wisp | eq, and it both serves as a fairly hard sneasel counter as well as meaning sneasel wont really fit on the build as you dont want two rock weak dark types w/ similar weaknesses on the same build. sneasel has taken a big dip in splashability atm, which is one of the main reasons im more on the fence, but i think ill still end up voting ban when it comes to it.
 

Finchinator

IT'S FINK DUMBASS
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OU Forum Leader
#24
I am going to be arguing that Sneasel is banworthy due to two different facets of its presence in the current metagame, one focusing more on its impact in the teambuilder and the other in battle itself. The former would be a bit more of a broad, cause-and-effect oriented argument that Sneasel's current place in the tier holds back the viability of a number of other threats and largely contributes to a sub-optimal metagame state. The latter is far more straightforward and perhaps conventional of an approach, centering around the effect Sneasel's Pursuit has on gameplay when it is utilized.

To preface the former, I would like to site the Tiering Policy Framework that can be found here.

Tiering Policy Framework said:
IV.) Unhealthy - elements that are neither uncompetitive nor broken yet are deemed undesirable for the metagame such that they inhibit "skillful play" to a large extent.
  • These are elements that may not limit either team building or battling skill enough individually but combine to cause an effect that is undesirable for the metagame.
  • This can also be a state of the metagame. If the metagame has too much diversity wherein team building ability is greatly hampered and battling skill is drastically reduced, we may seek to reduce the number of good-to-great threats. This can also work in reverse; if the metagame is too centralized around a particular set of Pokemon, none of which are broken on their own, we may seek to add Pokemon to increase diversity.
  • This is the most controversial and subjective one and will therefore be used the most sparingly. The Tiering Councils will only use this amidst drastic community outcry and a conviction that the move will noticeably result in the better player winning over the lesser player.
  • When trying to argue a particular element's suspect status, please avoid this category unless absolutely necessary. This is a last-ditch, subjective catch-all, and tiering arguments should focus on uncompetitive or broken first. We are coming to a point in the generations where the number of threats is close to overwhelming, so we may touch upon this more often, but please try to focus on uncompetitive and broken first.
If you are looking at Sneasel through the scope of raw checks and counters, I think it is safe to say that it is not one the most problematic, consistently hard to switch-in to things in the metagame, let alone broken. Sneasel has a passable number of switch-ins when you factor in how common Steelix and Colbur Slowbro are, especially with Incineroar, Hariyama, and a few others not being strangers to common structures in the current metagame. I do not think Sneasel is broken (or, for those who associate the word 'broken' with 'banworthy', I will hone in a bit more on this and say that I believe Sneasel has sufficient defensive counterplay in the current metagame).

For a lot of people, the argument tends to stop here, even for some people who think it is broken, especially those who try to spin the situation to say that because Slowbro has to run Colbur, Sneasel is broken (which is an atrocious argument on a number of levels, by the way). For those who actually expand beyond this one-dimensional argument and look at Sneasel's actual impact on teambuilding and gameplay as opposed to merely what can check or counter it, there is a large variance in what comes of it. I feel like a fair amount of people tend to tackle the other facets of potential banworthiness in a suboptimal fashion and I want to address this specifically now, especially when it comes to the topic of Sneasel being "unhealthy" or not.

While most arguments have two sides and a lot of aspects of any given Pokemon have an opportunity cost, making pretty much all of any suspect argument a two-way-street of sorts, I think that this does not necessarily extend out to the branch of "unhealthy" arguments in the way that many people seem to believe, especially throughout discussions I have first-hand been exposed to throughout the past few weeks. The entire basis of "unhealthy" arguments revolve around impact on the metagame and I think that we should only focus on direct, proven consequences of a Pokemon's impact on the metagame/battles played in it as opposed to prospective, theorized ones that have been frequented as reasoning thus far. Therefore, saying that Sneasel's prospective departure from the metagame will cause other Pokemon (i.e: AV Slowking, Vanilluxe, etc.) to emerge as problematic should not only be ignored in the context of a Sneasel suspect, but also refrained from being said at all as it is pure theorymon at this point in time. If we ban one thing and another thing becomes broken, our suspect process can handle banning the new broken threat in the near future -- everything is cause-and-effect related in suspects and this is a very basic, fundamental aspect of our tiering process. Regardless of this and moreover, suspects normally form around two different camps of thought and typically arguments pointing out pros and cons making up these two sides. There are often direct parallels and contradictions between the two arguments making up each camp's point-of-view, but not often is it that they directly counter each other in this fashion. When discussing if something is unhealthy or not, there should be a clear focus on countering any arguments for it being unhealthy if you are on the other side as opposed to resorting to future metagame theory that holds no weight. And to be honest, I do not see much of that throughout anti-ban posts (there has been some in the past few posts, I suppose, but still), but that does not mean it should be banned by any means if those who claim it is unhealthy do not have the actual justification to change the status quo themselves on the basis of Sneasel being unhealthy.

Moving forward, I personally believe that this is the case -- that Sneasel is an unhealthy presence in the SM NU metagame and it promotes/defines a suboptimal metagame state. There are a couple ways of approaching this and reaching this conclusion, one of which has some merit, but is admittedly a weaker point, and the other of which I believe proves my point fully and also perhaps investigates a controversial aspect of the game that is often overlooked or only seen as controversial in other forms (trapping). As for the former, it is saying that Sneasel's presence in the tier holds back the viability of Pokemon that are not currently prominent in the metagame (Jynx, Haunter, Froslass, etc. -- what they are does not matter, just using for example's sake). While this aligns with one of the merits that has been utilized as justification of other unhealthy Pokemon in the past, most notably Aegislash in OU the past two generations, that does not necessarily make it sufficient alone seeing as there is a flaw in this logic. That flaw being that you can make the case that these Pokemon may not be prominent regardless, which leads to this only being partially effective logic as you cannot truly place the burden of unhealthiness and limitation on Sneasel itself unless there has been a prior metagame lacking it where these Pokemon have shown more promise (there has not been a metagame like this during generation 7 and because we elected to keep Sneasel on the suspect ladder, which I personally opposed because we already suspected it and I knew this point would come up btw, there still has not been one and will not before the culmination of this suspect). Seeing as the "Sneasel limits the viability of other potentially healthy Pokemon" logic is met with the same curse of future metagame theory (aka theorymon) that we must avoid in these discussions, there must be some definitive burden of unhealthiness to actually push Sneasel over the line in order for it to actually fit the description of being unhealthy, in my eyes.

This leads me to my second point, one that is much better in this context and seemingly ignored throughout discussions -- that would have to be what the impact of Sneasel's Pursuit on gameplay and teambuilding patterns. This can not only be proven as limiting in nature, but also it can be proven borderline uncompetitive to have such a prominent Pokemon eliminate things from the game on such a consistent basis while still posing a clear threat, being 'speed control', and having the ability to cripple any opposing wall/defensive pivot not holding a Z-Crystal (ok, besides Silvally forms and Mega Audino) with Knock Off. Any of these characteristics alone, aside from Pursuit perhaps, does not add up to a ton, especially not in the context of a suspect, but if you put them all in conjunction with each other, then it is pretty clear that many Sneasel balanced teams simply provoke game sequences where the opposing team cannot make progress without it all being made-up afterwards due to the presence of Sneasel (with Pursuit) on some teams, thus also causing much more than a mere 'headache' in teambuilding trying to manage this before encountered in battle.

Honestly, this draws so many parallels to the other tiering decisions involving trappers lately. Personally, I feel like whenever a "trapper" hits a certain point of relevance in a tier and can effectively trap numerous other relevant things,especially those with defensive utility, it becomes inherently unhealthy no matter other things (yes, this is an assertion that can stretch to the bread-and-butter of DPP/BW OU with Tyranitar Pursuit being deemed as an element that undermines competitive practice, but that is water so deep under the bridge that our tiering systems will simply never let realistically surface and it is another discussion for another thread in another subforum on another day). Getting back on topic, Sneasel's Pursuit is nowhere near as practical and consistent with trapping as something like Dugtrio with Arena Trap in OU, but it makes up for that and more with other attributes, especially when you consider that trapping invalidates a competitive and fair aspect of counterplay that is used in every single game ever aside from fucking TMan vs Manipulative -- switching your Pokemon. If another Pursuit trapper rose to prominence through legitimate claims to viability and usefulness and has a role like that of Sneasel -- one of the best Pokemon in the tier without a doubt due to a number of reasons, I would also deem that as unhealthy. Hell, I'll go as far as saying if a Pokemon with an ability like Magnet Pull, which can only trap such a limited pool of Pokemon, rose to the top of a Steel-heavy metagame, in terms of viability and niche, then there would almost definitely be an underlying unhealthy nature to it, too. Yes, this is a tangent, but I hope that it proves a point as it is something nobody else has touched upon and I'm sure many have not yet considered this at all, so I would very much like to open some eyes! Going on, my point is that you cannot look at Sneasel in a vacuum, but you have to actually consider it in practice and this applies to any trapper in similar contexts. Seeing how prevalent Sneasel is in conjunction with what I described above about its impact that can be proven in the current metagame without any reasonable doubt or theory employed, I think that Sneasel is banworthy on the merit of being unhealthy in the SM NU metagame.
 

Punchshroom

Paralysis is slightly less of a devil
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#25
You're really arguing that Sneasel, with a rocks weakness and horrible bulk, is somehow going to make it on the field enough times to win a "war of attrition" against something like Vaporeon? Somehow, a Sneasel is getting in safely a million times and outlasting Pokemon with Wish and Rest? As I said in my previous post, expecting Sneasel to be able to come in more than two or maybe three times against even a balance team is simply unrealistic. How are you going to allow a frail, rocks weak, high-risk (because it will die if it gets a Pursuit wrong) Pokemon to "corner at least two Pokemon" per game? Limited presence of checks? Steelix, Hariyama, Incineroar, Audino, Vaporeon, and two Silvallys are the ones that I listed in my last post; all of these bar maybe Vaporeon are splashable and will fit on most offensive or balanced teams, and as you yourself said, there are even more that fit onto more specific builds.
Of course, Sneasel is not outlasting Vaporeon in a direct sense, but the fact that Sneasel switch-ins all have rather similiar exploitative flaws makes them quite easy to take advantage of multiple of them in a single teamslot. For instance, the likes of Hariyama and Incineroar can't even safely attack into a Sneasel without fear of getting chipped away by Rocky Helmet Garbodor / Druddigon, while something like a damn Roar Venusaur (or more specific examples like Roar Steelix vs Mega Audino or Roar Blastoise vs Vaporeon) can help deny WishTect recovery for a considerable, if not sufficient, length of time. While you say people are overexaggerating Sneasel's effect on the meta, you're also overestimating the risk Sneasel takes when using Pursuit because of how safe its Knock Off already is, and the opponent (should) always play against Knock Off spam in mind. These moves working together combined with Sneasel's Speed makes them extremely punishing, and the only real times Sneasel would be subjecting itself to risk is if the target isn't already in Knock Off range.

When I meant 'limited presence', I didn't mean lack of splashability but more so their overall survivability; of which their longevity is either awkward or nonexistant, which is an uncomfortabe situation for Pokemon that are supposed to be Sneasel's best answers. Sure, Sneasel is unlikely to break through a team with a Wish user + some other counter, but really, any suspect can look bad when having to confront more than one of its responses, but Sneasel's access to Knock Off and Pursuit means it still doesn't manage to be deadweight even against its supposed worst team matchups.

I touched on this in my previous post. The proof that Sneasel does not "warp teambuilding" lies in the fact that all of the Pokemon you listed are still heavily used and considered good or great Pokemon despite the fact that they can potentially be trapped by Sneasel. Additionally, in my opinion, it is not unhealthy for Sneasel to provide more defensive teams with some form of counterplay to Vanilluxe and Heliolisk in particular, but to a lesser extent to Venusaur, Sigilyph, and other such attackers. I can understand why people would disagree with this argument, but to me, having some sort of punishment for these wildly dangerous threats (Vanilluxe firing off specs boosted Blizzards, Heliolisk Z moving everything into oblivion, Sigilyph doing whatever it wants at no cost) is absolutely not unhealthy for the metagame. There is already so little that defensively oriented teams can do to cover all of these threats, is it really that bad for Sneasel to apply at least some risk to using these Pokemon to beat the hell out of anything defensive?
I'm also not of the opinion that Sneasel's presence is severely crippling the presence of several Pokemon to the point of limiting or outright invalidating their use. However, I'm not of the opinion that we should have a Pokemon that can blanket check that much of the offensive meta on its own that easily. While you may see Sneasel as a good punishment to many offensive threats (and by extension admit to Sneasel's very potent offensive prowess), there are others who view Sneasel as being way too good at killing offensive mons; these two viewpoints go hand-in-hand and make Sneasel appear as a crutch. It's not even like Sneasel is the only mon that can check dangerous threats; something like a Choice Scarf and/or Pursuit Houndoom is capable of checking the 3 mons you mentioned in your example while being much less ridiculous against other offensive Pokemon. What I'm saying here is that there are other alternatives that can still be specialized for your intended role, which is usually a better option than trying to blanket check things anyway (cough*Ditto*cough), so relying on Sneasel to serve as a one-mon answer against the majority of offensive threats isn't what I consider a valid reason to keep it in the meta.
 
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