Metagame NP: PU Stage 6 - Hate to see you K.O., Love to watch you leaf (storm) (Exeggutor-A Banned)

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Personally I don't think there's anything wrong with the meta, nor am I having a massively difficult time building, although Drampa may be too much now that it's starting to see more use which I'll get onto later. I agree Quagsire is not an issue in the slightest, although I appreciate where the sentiment comes from.

:ss/articuno-galar: :ss/silvally-ghost:
I really don't like some of the arguments being used to justify bans right now, namely that a Pokemon "doesn't offer anything to the meta anyway". All the Pokemon mentioned have a lot of benefits worth keeping them for offensively, even if they can lack defensive utility, and even if you're specifying defensive utility I don't think it's even true.

GArticuno is one of the few checks we have to opposing Psychic-types like Mesprit, it's a Defog deterrent, and works well as a pivot with or without Future Sight. Ghilvally is one of our few offensive spinblockers, and having offensive checks to Passimian should always be welcomed because quite frankly using Weezing/Sandaconda etc. gets boring.
Benefits to the meta aside, Ghilvally in particular I can't see as broken at all; it has its fair share of defensive answers and its typing typically limits to only getting set up opportunities once per game unless played dangerously. It's also reliant on Double-Edge and Dragon Claw to hit its best answers in Scrafty and Drampa which not only needs a lot of chip to set up (and in the case of Double-Edge cuts into its survivability massively) it but also leaves it in a tough spot against blanket physdef mons like Quagsire, (PhysDef) Aggron, Tangela etc. that it rarely if ever breaks through.
There's a better argument for GArticuno and it pretty clearly centres around the Future Sight & phazing combination, which I do believe is inherently broken as a mechanic when its abusers are good enough, but I think it's fine in PU if only because of how much effort goes into getting it to work. The most common phazer I've seen thus far, Aggron, has to take a huge risk against two of our most common Psychic-"resists" in Gigalith and opposing Aggron because it cannot comfortably take Earthquake or Body Press, and unless you get really lucky with the Roar RNG it is often just not worth it, especially when it's at risk of losing your answer to Ribombee Mesprit etc. While it has a better matchup against other SpDef mons (namely Togedemaru, opposing GArticuno) it's not like the defensive player doesn't have outs, whether it's clicking Wish or Taunt on the Roar turn to largely nullify it, or getting a well-timed double into something that maybe doesn't handle GArticuno but can handle Aggron, e.g. Scrafty, Coil Sandaconda. My mind could change on this Pokemon in time, especially if this sees more experimentation; I saw tlenit getting some wins with Roar RestTalk Scrafty earlier, for example, and I imagine Rhydon has some merit worth playing with as a more offensive phaser, but at the moment I can't see GArticuno as an A+ rank Pokemon, let alone a banworthy one.

:ss/drampa:
If anything is to be considered broken, I think it has to be Drampa. It can be offensively overwhelmed but if you have a single slower Pokemon that can't tank a hit you're playing on your toes trying to make sure it doesn't get a kill every time it's in. It also doesn't really have any answers outside of arguably Golbat or specific cores cores typically limited to stall like Audino & Articuno, as even Mr. Mime, Carbink etc. can be taken out with coverage options (Fire Blast, Surf, Energy Ball etc.) leaving defensive counterplay largely restricted to guessing games with immunities/strong spdef resists like Gigalith/Silvally-Fairy/Charizard cores which are typically more skewed towards the Drampa user making [a large amount of] progress.

:ss/silvally-steel: :ss/charizard:
The only other Pokemon that I think come even close to broken are Steelvally and Charizard.

Steelvally's offensive typing is almost as spammable as Ghost's, Rock Slide is far more compatible coverage for Multi-Attack than any other form can boast, and most importantly it has a typing that can make much better use of its natural bulk. It gets far more set-up opportunities, a Toxic immunity, and best of all has amazing compatibility with Healing Wish users (namely Choice Scarf Mesprit) to let it get past answers like Lanturn, Aggron, Jellicent etc. long-term. This also isn't mentioning how suprisingly decent fishing for Rock Slide flinches ends up being in endgame scenarios, particularly against the fat waters reliant on Scald. Quagsire hard walls, and while they aren't impossible to break, Palossand/Weezing clearly do a lot against it, but overall I think Steelvally might be too consistent even in a metagame that has already largely adapted to it and I'd personally like to see more discussion on it.

Charizard meanwhile has a few fairly reliable counters (Lanturn, Gigalith, Archeops, Gigalith-lite mons like Carbink and Lunatone which I've seen people playing with recently), but arguably forces more centralization than any other Pokemon in the tier bar maybe Scrafty, and unlike Scrafty is able to massively shake up its available counterplay through the Dragon Dance set while still offering defensive utility (see: set-up opportunities) and simultaneously hiding its set to keep an opponent on their toes. It's incredibly good at making progress even with the standard Toxic set, and Decem's covered that ground so I won't bother retreading. A suspect would definitely be warranted.

Even then, I don't think either of these Pokemon are so disgustingly oppressive that immediate action has to be taken - Drampa feels like the only immediately pressing concern and as far as Steelvally and Charizard go I'm happy to just sit back and see how things develop during SCL.
 

termi

the eye of the needle
is a Tiering Contributor
Just throwing in my 2 cents.

I disagree with the notion that Drampa is broken or suspect-worthy. While Drampa is powerful and has no true counters, it still needs to hit the right button to get a kill and in a meta where Fairy types are very common, some level of prediction is always necessary. If this were a bulkier or faster mon it'd be problematic, but most of the things Drampa might want to switch into are not too slow and can do enough to it to limits the amount of times it can switch in. Weezing for example needs like 80 Speed EVs to outcreep max Speed Modest Drampa and is likely to 3HKO Drampa with Sludge Bomb, meaning a well-played Weezing shouldn't give Drampa more than 1 switchin. Unlike Alolan Eggy, Drampa does not force unreasonable amounts of speed creep or bizarre sets like Dragon Rush Sandaconda, since everything it can switch in on can either hit it decently hard with their standard movesets or at least Volt Switch/U-Turn on the switch. The only things that are really hurt by Drampa's existence are walls that 1: cannot afford to outspeed Drampa, 2: cannot hit it hard enough to discourage it from coming in, and 3: don't have room for Protect. This primarily means Palossand, Quagsire, and Tangela are harder to build with than they otherwise would be. Of course this makes Drampa is a nuisance in the builder if you're looking to avoid 50/50s, but I wouldn't say it's any more annoying than things like i.e. Charizard which forces you into running very specific mons on every team in order not to lose to it long term. I'm somewhat inclined to say that people are having a kneejerk reaction to the existence of a popular and decently splashable capital W Wallbreaker in a meta that is otherwise dominated by things that are better at making gradual progress.

Guno is certainly annoying and the FS + Roar combo is cheap, but I would have to see that combo gain more usage in order to really make a call on this one. I've tried building with it before but running Aggron without Protect or non-BU Scrafty is pretty significant opportunity cost and, as has been said before me, the strategy is just not that reliable. There's a reason we haven't seen it as much as one might expect, I feel.

Silvallies are always a complicated topic. I found Steelvally broken a little while ago but the surge in usage in better bulky Waters than Lanturn (which is to say, all of them, but primarily Jellicent and Wishiwashi) has made it a lot less effective at breaking or cleaning teams with its standard SD set than before. Ghostvally meanwhile remains really hard to prep for but much like FS + Roar, it is not seen much despite how potent it is on paper. We really need more high quality replays of Ghostvally teams tearing stuff apart, I am not opposed to a suspect but it really needs to be proven in practice.

Scrafty is fine. It is something you need to be prepped for if you don't wanna be 6-0d, but the list of checks and counters isn't so dire. Of our Fairy types, Ribombee and Whimsi are unquestionable great and splashable, but beyond that Fighting types, Quag, Coil Conda, bulky Mesprit with Fairy move, Taunt Cursed Body Jelli, and Taunt NG Weezing can all do a number to it. Due to Scrafty's relatively limited defensive utility it is also not especially difficult to prevent it from getting too many free switchins on most teams. DD sets can mess some typical checks and counters up but also is a pain in the ass to build with and really wishes it had a little more speed. Once again, something we would expect to see more yet we don't.

I think Charizard and Tsareena are the best candidates for a suspect if we are having one at all. Zard has the unique advantage in this tier of being able to outlast most of its checks thanks to decent bulk, great typing, Boots, and reliable recovery. Its already limited pool of switchins is easily worn down, with nearly all of them hating taking a Toxic and/or being vulnerable to hazards. The only balancing factor is that Knock Off makes things really hard for it, but even though Zard is one of the few mons we have that is properly centralizing, I'm not sure if it centralizes the meta in a positive way. Tsareena is probably too valuable in the tier as an actually viable and splashable hazard remover, but it's got so much going for itself and so few counters that it feels very overwhelming. Nothing viable other than Weezing and Roost Drampa really wants to come in on Power Whip + Knock coming off that power, especially since our Steels either do not resist Grass, are too frail, or too easily worn down once Knocked. Thanks to flexibility in its last slot, you can make Tsareena into a pivot with U-Turn, a durable breaker with Synthesis, a cleric with Aromatherapy, or an even more fearsome breaker with HJK. This is without even mentioning the free speed boost that comes with Rapid Spin, which sometimes leads to situations where the offensive utility mon turns into a lategame cleaner.

These thoughts mostly could be expanded upon further but yeah, this is basically where I'm at. I don't think a suspect is strictly necessary but worth considering, building right now is a bit constrained and I think the meta would benefit from being freed up somewhat. I don't know what the ideal approach would be though, since the mons that (supposedly) don't add much to the meta also don't strike me as especially problematic, whereas a ban on a highly influential mon like Zard or Tsareena could leave the meta in a worse shape.
 

Heracross2.0

Man, what a bunch'a jokers!
is a Pre-Contributor
Everything Is Fine: A Semi-Passionate Defense About The Meta's Current State

Hello there! I've been seeing a lot of discussion lately about what's banworthy and what's not, and I feel I can offer a unique viewpoint in the current discussion. Personally, I am quite satisfied with the tier's current state as is, and find accusations of Pokemon being broken/banworthy to be mildly overblown. When building, I find myself able to at least have a solid out vs most viable threats, and in practice, even mons that have good matchups against teams can often be overwhelmed. Below, I've decided to go over each Pokemon brought up in the past few days and underline why I do not think they're banworthy.

:ss/charizard:
Decem's post about Charizard is what started this recent discussion and what led me to considering making a post like this, but before long so many other people started posting, which expanded the length of this post. Regardless, I think my reasons for Charizard being balanced can be summed up in 4 points.

1. 4MSS

I remember that about a year ago before DLC hit, Charizard was a viable Pokemon in RU, a tier I played heavily before shifting over to PU. In that tier, Charizard had massive 4MSS in that it constantly wanted at least 6 moves at any given point in order to succeed (Fire STAB/Flying STAB/Roost/Defog/FBlast/Wisp/Toxic). This issue seems to have carried over into post-Crown Tundra PU, a tier with arguably the same power level are pre-Isle Of Armor RU. Charizard always wants more moves than it can have, and this severely limits its potential on the field and in play. You want dual STABs for obvious reasons as well as Roost for recovery, but you also want Defog since you force so many switches in a tier with little hazards removal, Wisp so you actually check the Vally forms not named Steelvally and other slower setup sweepers instead of just chipping them, and some way to deal with Rock-type switchins (in order from most common to least, I've seen Toxic, Scorching Sands, and Focus Blast used to hit Rock-types). On paper, this should mean Charizard has a flexible movepool that should make it hard to prepare for; but in practice, only its 4th moveslot is flexible as dual STABs and Roost are mandatory on most Zard sets. This leaves Charizard at a significant disadvantage, as it constantly wants a bunch of moves but is pinholed into one option, which leaves it lacking depending on what move it choses. This is different from something like Tsareena, a Pokemon with an equally flexible 4th moveslot, but its initial options offer enough utility for its role (Spin/KOff/STAB) that its 4th move exists moreso to cover its fault and it feels significantly less hindered by lacking the right move, whereas Charizard's necessary moves offer considerably less utility beyond "hitting hard".

2. Charizard's different sets make it unable to deal with previous checks

Wish I had a snappier name for it, but that's the best thing I can think. I remember people bringing up SD, DD, BD, and other possible Charizard sets as reasons why it was problematic. These sets took advantage of its normal answers in order to take them out. While this is true to some extent (Gigalith needs a bit of chip for the +2 EQ to kill, and even more so for a +1 EQ, which the current Lanturn spread also lives), this also has the unfortunate impact of turning things it beat into things it now struggles against. Before, you were hard pressed to find a Tangela staying vs a Charizard, but it feels significantly safer coming in on an SD or DD and neutering it with a Sleep Powder. Same goes for Regirock, which has a shaky matchup with the standard set due to meh special bulk + Rocks neutrality, but it just sits in front of the physical (non-BD) variants and usually KOs back with Rock Blast. BD could be problematic but in a tier without Xatu and few viable ways to keep hazards off the field (try out Hattrem though, it's pretty cool), it struggles to actually do anything, and its absence on the field until it gets a setup opportunity means stuff it's supposed to beat like Ferroseed or Tangela are significantly less scared of it. I think the point that it has different sets would hold more water if checks for its physical sets did not lose to special sets (apart from Ferroseed), considering they do + the fact that most teams naturally have a special Zard check and a physical Zard check, just because Charizard has different sets doesn't make it overwhelming.

3. Disappointing offensively

This isn't me saying that Charizard is bad at breaking. It's clearly good, and even though I don't think of it as highly as everyone else (Gigalith supremacy FTW), I find it hard to admit that Charizard doesn't have a centralizing presence in the teambuilder. What I am saying is that, compared to other breakers that have been banned such as Virizon or Clawitzer, and even breakers currently in the tier like Drampa or Whimsicott, Charizard simply lacks the speed, bulk, and power to compete with most of these, only being as good as it is due to the utility provides via its typing, both offensively and defensively. None of its stats are anything to write home about barring a solid speed tier and a good SpAtk stat, but neither of these can really be augmented due to it being forced to use Boots. Adding onto this, Charizard's bulk is disappointing. It fails to pivot into strong netural hits successfully, and has to rely on either resisting a move or a smart double switch to get in safely. Compare this to Virizion, which had similar physical bulk but much greater special bulk so it could tank more hits in a pinch, a better speed tier leaving it forced out by less, not being forced to use a specific item, and while its power was similar, its greater coverage allowed it to hit more depending on what switched in, and its switchins were more passive and easier to take advantage. While a comparison to a PUBL mon has its flaws (e.g. different meta it was banned in), the roles they served were similar, and Charizard underperforms in the role of breaker in terms of being banworthy.

4. Healthy centralization

I have said before that if a Pokemon is truly banworthy, then no matter what positive traits it brings to the table, then it should be banned because if a tier is centralized around a broken/unhealthy/uncompetitive mon, then that generally means that the tier is unstable, and keeping the banworthy Pokemon would only delay the problem. However, as I have gone over how I don't believe Charizard to be banworthy, I can safely say that what it provides for the tier is a net positive. Despite its lacking bulk, its typing makes it an important check to the Grasses and Faries running around in the tier; without it, teams would be forced to use more passive checks like Tangela or Gigalith, which are harder to fit on more offensive teams to fit. While stuff like KOff Whimsicott do exist to bait it, I see this more as heavily development than anything else, as most Whimsicott have a flexible moveslot or two, and KOff is great at forcing progress against its other checks like Ferroseed. Charizard's checks are also diverse, viable, and are not forced to play perfectly against Charizard like Virizion's checks were (I only say this because Virizion's checks being viable was a popular anti-ban sentiment, and as someone who was previously anti-ban I do not want to make that mistake again), with its checks ranging from defensive Pokemon like Gigalith or Lanturn, to more offensive Pokemon like Archeops or Lycanroc. Finally, its centralizing presence does not make other similar Pokemon like Magmortar, another Fire-type breaker, completely unviable. While it does generate competition, if Charizard's centralization was truly bad, not only would Pokemon like Magmortar be close to unviable (it isn't), but we would reach a state where teams are stacking 2-3 Charizard checks on a team and still losing to a Charizard with minimal support (I have not seen this in any of the PUPL games or other games I've watched but am always open to seeing examples of this).

In conclusion, between Charizard's 4MSS, different sets that fail to beat checks to its regular sets, disappointing offensive ability and utility for a supposedly banworthy breaker, and healthy centralization, I do not believe it to be banworthy at this time.

(also please stop using Archeops as a Charizard switchin, it's okay but falters in the long run because of lame bulk)

:ss/articuno-galar:
I have made it clear than I am not a big fan of the Galar bird. While I certainly see the appeal in it and agree that it's become a solid threat, I personally find it difficult to build with, occasionally dead weight, and lacking defensive utility for a pivot. Psychic/Flying isn't a particularly good defensive typing, being weak to Rocks, Knock, and Ghost, although I guess the Fighting resist and Ground immunity are cool. However, I find its typing is disappointing offensively, considering Steels are on every team and every team's Zard check usually does well against Galarcuno. What I've found it usually does throughout a match is spam FS + U-turn, force (admittedly awkward at times) opponent positioning, and then die 30 turns later. The impact of FS + Fighting breaker isn't that huge in PU considering the multitude of Protect mons running around, or just the amount of stuff that can threaten it out while chipping the breaker you bring in. FS + Roar does sound mega dumb on paper but I agree with the general(?) consensus that there hasn't been too much of its being shown in practice to warrant a ban. There really isn't much for me to say here, it's just whenever I use it, I find myself either disappointing or saying "yeah this is fine".

:ss/silvally-ghost:
I'm writing these out of order and over the course of a week or so because I'm otherwise busy, but over the course of that week I've found I have little to say about Ghostvally that already hasn't been said. I think this is a testament to how linear and predictable of a mon Ghostvally is. On paper it should be hard to guess which Vally it is at team preview, but usually it's easy to figure out what a team has defensively and work from there (e.g. if they have a Whimsicott but no Steel-type then it's probably Steelvally, Togedemaru but no Fairy-type is usually Fairyvally, and both of those means it's probably Ghostvally or a fringe defensive Silvally like Watervally or Poisonvally). Its movepool is also very predictable: SD/Multi-Attack/Flame Charge/filler (filler being DEdge, X-Scissor, or Explosion) does hit quite a lot, but what it doesn't hit usually is a solid stop to Ghostvally, like Miltank, Scrafty, Regirock, etc. And if it is killing one of them, it's either dying in the process or getting chipped enough to the point of death. Ghost is also a pretty bad defensive typing, which means it's much more wary of chip damage and being revenge killed than Steelvally, Fairyvally, or even Groundvally. Ghostvally, to me, feels more like something you just have to respect than something that's outright broken, as even teams lacking solid Ghost resists can play around it.

:ss/tsareena:
I get Tsareena being powerful. If you're not building with Weezing, Defensive Zard, PhysDef Togedemaru (viable mon), Druddigon, or nicher mons like Golbat, it can be a pain to switch into. But as I see it, Tsareena's breaking prowess isn't anything broken. There are enough viable Grass resists, such as the ones I mentioned above, as well as others I didn't mention like Altaria (yes Triple Axel exists but that leaves you weaker to some of the mons I mentioned above), that don't hate switching into Knock Off as much as they should. Tsareena's low Speed and poor defensive typing (it resists Water but doesn't have the bulk to consistently pivot into stuff like Arctovish or Basculin) means it HAS to spin if it wants to revenge kill something like Zard, and considering how weak of a move Rapid Spin is, it's very easy to punish a +1 Tsareena even later in the game. Lots of what's been said about Tsareena doesn't really seem broken to me either; in fact, a powerful STAB move + Knock + U-turn + good coverage sounds exactly like Passimian, and I see no one in this thread saying Passimian is broken. Of course Tsareena and Passimian have differences (e.g. different typing, Tsareena gets recovery and removal while Passimian gets more colorful coverage, one is speed control and the other is removal usually), but their similarities line up in a way where the current arguments being made about Tsareena aren't persuading me.

:ss/scrafty:
I voted Scrafty a 2 on the recent survey, and by default I find it to be the most "problematic" of the Pokemon listed here. Unlike others such as Ghostvally or Charizard, Scrafty is significantly easier to support and provides much more in a match, even when it has a bad matchup. The sheer utility of Knock Off is something hard to underestimate, and Fairy-types like Aromatisse and Whimsicott are surprisingly vulnerable long-term checks. I think more highly of Aromatisse than the average player, but during the early and midgame stages, it's very easy to abuse by a Scrafty partner like Togedemaru or Aggron. Whimsicott is harder to abuse, but if it lacks U-turn then it becomes a sitting duck for what does switch into it. Scrafty also has a myriad of options at its disposal: DD is obvious enough, but I've seen the rising Intimidate RestTalk set, AV, and 3 Atks + Rest all used pretty well. And of course, BU is a win con that absolutely has to be prepared for.

So, why don't I think Scrafty is problematic? It feels much more like an "on paper" mon than an "in practice" mon. On paper, it's very devastating, with Knock to weaken the checks it does have and a bunch of options...but in practice, I have found it easy to limit the number of opportunities Scrafty gets, while a majority of the time, the set its using is obvious from team preview (and if it's not then Intimidate reveals itself). Scrafty, despite its great bulk and unique defensive typing, hates the fact that Fighting-types and Fairy-types are everywhere, so even during the late game you probably have an out versus an opposing Scrafty. Adding onto this, standard defensive cores like Zard check + Fighting resist + Fairy check (Gigalith + Weezing + Togedemaru for example) usually have enough wiggle room to deal with a Scrafty. Using the core I just talked about, Gigalith can lay Rocks to limit the healing Leftovers gives it, Weezing can run NGas to force it to Rest, and Togedemaru can use U-turn to pivot into a breaker that threatens Scrafty, like Passimian. The way teams are built naturally gives them the opportunity to play around Scrafty, and because of this I can't really see Scrafty as being an issue. I do also think that Scrafty adds some defensive value to the tier in the form of a Knock absorber, status absorber, and Knock spammer rolled into one, which only Rest Guzzlord could do before it rose to NU. While I could possibly be swayed on Scrafty, I see no reason to take action on it now.

:ss/drampa:
Like Scrafty, I gave Scrafty a 2 on the survey, and like Scrafty, this is because I find it much easier to support than the rest of the mons mentioned here. Specs sets (on paper) have unwallable coverage; a set of Draco/HVoice/FBlast/Flamethrower with Cloud Nine hits basically everything in the tier for a clean 2HKO, apart from SpDef Mr. Mime and random AV mons. However, this by itself does not make it broken. I believe no matter how absurd the numbers of a breaker may be, it should be its impact on the teambuilder as well as the options available at its disposal that make it consistently hard to prepared for, and so far I haven't seen this with Drampa. I've seen Drampa compared to Eggy-A (in terms of both breaking power and unhealthy impact of teambuilding) more than a few times, and I find these comparisons to be flawed for a couple reasons.

1. Eggy-A had a much better speed tier and bulk. At max Speed with Modest, Eggy-A hit 189 Speed, which was enough to outspeed a majority of the defensive staples in the tier. Only Miltank, Togedemaru, Uxie, Golbat, max Speed Aggron, Regirock, and Altaria could outspeed a Modest Eggy-A, with most of these being uncommon or not really consistent answers. By comparison, Drampa hits 171 Speed if Modest. This means Pokemon like Claydol, max Speed Modest Vikavolt, Hitmontop, and Lanturn (with a tiny amount of speed creep), as well as more niche options like Poliwrath, Rhydon, and Lunatone, can either force damage onto it, pivot out, scout its move, or do a combination of the three. This significantly widens the counterplay available to Drampa. Eggy-A's bulk and typing were also superior, with Eggy-A's 95/85/75 bulk being overall better than Drampa's 78/85/91 bulk, despite Drampa having a slight edge in special bulk. Eggy-A's weakness to U-turn and Flying-types wasn't awful considering it could live stray U-turns if it needs to, and Flying coverage was rare beyond Dual Wingbeat Archeops, which also really wanted STEdge/Quake/Roost/U-turn. Drampa's possible immunity to Grass, immunity to Ghost, and being less weak to Ice do not outweigh the weakness to Fighting imo, since Fighting is generally more common than the 3 types I listed combined.

2. Eggy-A had more options available at its disposal. At the end of its suspect test, Eggy-A could viably run Miracle Seed, LO, Dragon Fang, and Eject Pack sets, with viable moves consisting of Synthesis, Substitute, Trick Room, Sleep Powder, Sludge Bomb, and Knock Off, and even the ability to run Timid over Modest. The issue was that any Eggy-A set could be any of these, with any given move, at any time, with a very small opportunity cost to the Eggy-A user. By contrast, the most popular non-Specs Drampa sets seem to be using resists berries, with mostly the same moves barring the occasional CM Sub set. These sets aren't bad at all (in fact by saying this, I've cursed myself to lose to Haban Glare Drampa next time I ladder), but compared to the viable sets Eggy-A was able to run, these seem lacking in the ability to beat otherwise solid checks. Harding your Gigalith into a C9 Drampa is a pretty bad move, but if it clicks Sub or the Draco damage is less than Specs, then you come off winning the interaction, or at least not lose your Gigalith.

Of course, I'm open to the possibility of Drampa becoming broken in the future because it remains relatively underexplored right now. If further exploration gives Drampa enough options at its disposal to dispense of most of its checks with ease, while adaption cannot keep up with in, then I will fully support a Drampa ban. But right now, I see a call to ban Drampa as a kneejerk reaction, as simply having big numbers does not mean it's broken.

:ss/quagsire:
As someone who laddered with multiple versions of stall during the first week of PULT and still occasionally does, I see no reason believe Quagsire or stall is currently problematic. Quagsire does provide notable utility by walling some very important Pokemon. Scrafty, SDvally forms, Hitmonlee, Scyther, and other random physical sweepers all struggle to get past Quagsire without support; however, stall's nature as a matchup fish means that it is impossible to prepare against certain Pokemon without making big concessions in the teambuilder. Arctovish, Perrserker, Charizard (with Knock support), HJK Tsareena, Drampa, Cofagrigus, and even hazard stack builds all have very good matchups against stall, and prepping for them is either impossible (very hard for stall to beat Drampa without specific countermeasures and/or perfect play) or possible, but doing so leaves massive gaps in your team and gives you shakier matchups against other mons (e.g I used Alcremie over Scrafty on a stall to setup on Cofagrigus, but that made the Ghostvally MU harder due to lacking a physically bulky Ghost resist). There are plenty of viable ways to deal with stall, and while the inclusion of Quagsire did improve the playstyle, it still has its inherent flaws that can be played around. As for Quagsire itself, as a standalone mon, it is stunningly weak to Toxic, Grass-types, hazards (if Lefties), and special attackers. While it's not hard to build around Quagsire, this makes your team much more passive and easier to abuse by some of the Pokemon I mentioned above, like Drampa. To me, Quagsire just feels like a solid defensive mon with clear advantages and disadvantages over its competition.

Between preparing for 3 different Silvally forms, Charizard, Arctovish and Arctozolt, Scrafty, Tsareena, and other Pokemon, it's so hard to make a consistent team that matches well with a majority of the metagame because there are a ton of borderline broken threats sitting in the tier.
Although I disagree with this statement, as I have said both here and in the survey that I find building manageable, I want to point out this specific quote from Decem because this seems to be a consistent talking point during the conversations I've seen among PUPL players and other skilled PU players. In fact, I've seen this as far back as April, right after Talonflame left. The general gist of the conversations, regardless of what the players think is specifically banworthy, is that there's just too much to prep for. This is due to the highest power level (or at least highest in this gen, I wasn't around for Gen 6-7 so they may have had higher ones) PU has seen, and as the power level of a tier rises, the threats grow in numbers, and suddenly you are asked to prepare for more than one team can ask to without leaving itself wide open for other mons to take advantage of it, at least on paper.

What I would like to suggest is a survey similar to the one just sent out, except sent to qualified players. I do not know what this qualification could or would be, but the reason I suggest this is because if the past few posts have shown anything, it's that, regardless of my personal opinions, skilled PU players want some form of change, even if they don't necessarily agree on what needs to change, or at least aren't actively opposed to a suspect test. I think this survey would do a good job of figuring out what the top players who play PU want, and narrow down the answer(s) enough that they can be dealt with. Of course, I am not a PU tier leader nor do I have the influence of any of the players who posted above me, so I understand if this suggestion is ignored.

Thanks for reading this stupidly long post! Will try to fix grammar later because it's super late for me and I need sleep.
 
Hey, I appreciate the feedback but this post is confusing to say the least. Most of the reasoning given for Pokemon to remain in the tier seems misinformed at the very least. I don't have the strongest of opinions when it comes to the requirement for some of these Pokemon to leave the tier but it's not too difficult to see the flawed logic here.
:ss/charizard:
Decem's post about Charizard is what started this recent discussion and what led me to considering making a post like this, but before long so many other people started posting, which expanded the length of this post. Regardless, I think my reasons for Charizard being balanced can be summed up in 4 points.

1. 4MSS

I remember that about a year ago before DLC hit, Charizard was a viable Pokemon in RU, a tier I played heavily before shifting over to PU. In that tier, Charizard had massive 4MSS in that it constantly wanted at least 6 moves at any given point in order to succeed (Fire STAB/Flying STAB/Roost/Defog/FBlast/Wisp/Toxic). This issue seems to have carried over into post-Crown Tundra PU, a tier with arguably the same power level are pre-Isle Of Armor RU. Charizard always wants more moves than it can have, and this severely limits its potential on the field and in play. You want dual STABs for obvious reasons as well as Roost for recovery, but you also want Defog since you force so many switches in a tier with little hazards removal, Wisp so you actually check the Vally forms not named Steelvally and other slower setup sweepers instead of just chipping them, and some way to deal with Rock-type switchins (in order from most common to least, I've seen Toxic, Scorching Sands, and Focus Blast used to hit Rock-types). On paper, this should mean Charizard has a flexible movepool that should make it hard to prepare for; but in practice, only its 4th moveslot is flexible as dual STABs and Roost are mandatory on most Zard sets. This leaves Charizard at a significant disadvantage, as it constantly wants a bunch of moves but is pinholed into one option, which leaves it lacking depending on what move it choses. This is different from something like Tsareena, a Pokemon with an equally flexible 4th moveslot, but its initial options offer enough utility for its role (Spin/KOff/STAB) that its 4th move exists moreso to cover its fault and it feels significantly less hindered by lacking the right move, whereas Charizard's necessary moves offer considerably less utility beyond "hitting hard".

2. Charizard's different sets make it unable to deal with previous checks

Wish I had a snappier name for it, but that's the best thing I can think. I remember people bringing up SD, DD, BD, and other possible Charizard sets as reasons why it was problematic. These sets took advantage of its normal answers in order to take them out. While this is true to some extent (Gigalith needs a bit of chip for the +2 EQ to kill, and even more so for a +1 EQ, which the current Lanturn spread also lives), this also has the unfortunate impact of turning things it beat into things it now struggles against. Before, you were hard pressed to find a Tangela staying vs a Charizard, but it feels significantly safer coming in on an SD or DD and neutering it with a Sleep Powder. Same goes for Regirock, which has a shaky matchup with the standard set due to meh special bulk + Rocks neutrality, but it just sits in front of the physical (non-BD) variants and usually KOs back with Rock Blast. BD could be problematic but in a tier without Xatu and few viable ways to keep hazards off the field (try out Hattrem though, it's pretty cool), it struggles to actually do anything, and its absence on the field until it gets a setup opportunity means stuff it's supposed to beat like Ferroseed or Tangela are significantly less scared of it. I think the point that it has different sets would hold more water if checks for its physical sets did not lose to special sets (apart from Ferroseed), considering they do + the fact that most teams naturally have a special Zard check and a physical Zard check, just because Charizard has different sets doesn't make it overwhelming.

3. Disappointing offensively

This isn't me saying that Charizard is bad at breaking. It's clearly good, and even though I don't think of it as highly as everyone else (Gigalith supremacy FTW), I find it hard to admit that Charizard doesn't have a centralizing presence in the teambuilder. What I am saying is that, compared to other breakers that have been banned such as Virizon or Clawitzer, and even breakers currently in the tier like Drampa or Whimsicott, Charizard simply lacks the speed, bulk, and power to compete with most of these, only being as good as it is due to the utility provides via its typing, both offensively and defensively. None of its stats are anything to write home about barring a solid speed tier and a good SpAtk stat, but neither of these can really be augmented due to it being forced to use Boots. Adding onto this, Charizard's bulk is disappointing. It fails to pivot into strong netural hits successfully, and has to rely on either resisting a move or a smart double switch to get in safely. Compare this to Virizion, which had similar physical bulk but much greater special bulk so it could tank more hits in a pinch, a better speed tier leaving it forced out by less, not being forced to use a specific item, and while its power was similar, its greater coverage allowed it to hit more depending on what switched in, and its switchins were more passive and easier to take advantage. While a comparison to a PUBL mon has its flaws (e.g. different meta it was banned in), the roles they served were similar, and Charizard underperforms in the role of breaker in terms of being banworthy.

4. Healthy centralization

I have said before that if a Pokemon is truly banworthy, then no matter what positive traits it brings to the table, then it should be banned because if a tier is centralized around a broken/unhealthy/uncompetitive mon, then that generally means that the tier is unstable, and keeping the banworthy Pokemon would only delay the problem. However, as I have gone over how I don't believe Charizard to be banworthy, I can safely say that what it provides for the tier is a net positive. Despite its lacking bulk, its typing makes it an important check to the Grasses and Faries running around in the tier; without it, teams would be forced to use more passive checks like Tangela or Gigalith, which are harder to fit on more offensive teams to fit. While stuff like KOff Whimsicott do exist to bait it, I see this more as heavily development than anything else, as most Whimsicott have a flexible moveslot or two, and KOff is great at forcing progress against its other checks like Ferroseed. Charizard's checks are also diverse, viable, and are not forced to play perfectly against Charizard like Virizion's checks were (I only say this because Virizion's checks being viable was a popular anti-ban sentiment, and as someone who was previously anti-ban I do not want to make that mistake again), with its checks ranging from defensive Pokemon like Gigalith or Lanturn, to more offensive Pokemon like Archeops or Lycanroc. Finally, its centralizing presence does not make other similar Pokemon like Magmortar, another Fire-type breaker, completely unviable. While it does generate competition, if Charizard's centralization was truly bad, not only would Pokemon like Magmortar be close to unviable (it isn't), but we would reach a state where teams are stacking 2-3 Charizard checks on a team and still losing to a Charizard with minimal support (I have not seen this in any of the PUPL games or other games I've watched but am always open to seeing examples of this).

In conclusion, between Charizard's 4MSS, different sets that fail to beat checks to its regular sets, disappointing offensive ability and utility for a supposedly banworthy breaker, and healthy centralization, I do not believe it to be banworthy at this time.

(also please stop using Archeops as a Charizard switchin, it's okay but falters in the long run because of lame bulk)
Going to start by saying that I'm going to mostly ignore the second point you're arguing against. While in the past people may have mentioned the prominence of Belly Drum or Dragon Dance Charizard sets, these have mostly been long forgotten. Most people have an issue with the standard special attacking set (Flamethrower / Hurricane / Toxic / Roost) and similar specially offensive sets, so that is what I'll be focusing on. My main issue with this reasoning is that you claiming this Pokemon is disappointing offensively is somewhat laughable. While there are in fact checks to this Pokemon, as there are with any others in the tier, they can be easily whittled down allowing Charizard to potentially break through. People are resulting to sets like Rest Gigalith and Rest Lanturn in an attempt to prevent this, or using specially defensive Wishiwashi and Audino much more frequently just because of the offensive pressure this Pokemon provides. Even then it has ways to get around most of these Pokemon like you've conveniently mentioned. Given this fact, most people would struggle to understand how this Pokemon is even remotely "disappointing offensively".

When considering this, how can you make the argument that its centralisation is healthy? You state that teams are not being forced to run more passive checks like Gigalith. But they are? You go on to mention Archeops and Lycanroc are suitable offensive checks when you later advocate for people to "stop using Archeops as a Charizard switchin". Additionally, for Lycanroc, this isn't remotely the case, as it can't even switch in twice. At most, both Pokemon force out/revenge Charizard in a metagame plagued by balance and bulkier playstyles. You mention Magmortar as a Pokemon that would be close to unviable if Charizard were unhealthy. Not only is this a moot argument, but Magmortar IS close to unviable. It doesn't get anywhere near enough playtime in relevant tournaments because it is almost entirely outshone by Charizard. Your entire argument just seems to be a giant contradiction.

:ss/articuno-galar:
I have made it clear than I am not a big fan of the Galar bird. While I certainly see the appeal in it and agree that it's become a solid threat, I personally find it difficult to build with, occasionally dead weight, and lacking defensive utility for a pivot. Psychic/Flying isn't a particularly good defensive typing, being weak to Rocks, Knock, and Ghost, although I guess the Fighting resist and Ground immunity are cool. However, I find its typing is disappointing offensively, considering Steels are on every team and every team's Zard check usually does well against Galarcuno. What I've found it usually does throughout a match is spam FS + U-turn, force (admittedly awkward at times) opponent positioning, and then die 30 turns later. The impact of FS + Fighting breaker isn't that huge in PU considering the multitude of Protect mons running around, or just the amount of stuff that can threaten it out while chipping the breaker you bring in. FS + Roar does sound mega dumb on paper but I agree with the general(?) consensus that there hasn't been too much of its being shown in practice to warrant a ban. There really isn't much for me to say here, it's just whenever I use it, I find myself either disappointing or saying "yeah this is fine".
I think difficult to build with can be a fair criticism of this Pokemon, but beyond that I'm a little bit lost. Dead weight is not really something I'd consider when thinking about Galarian Articuno. You mention most teams have a Steel-type / faux Steel-type (Gigalith) with Protect, but this is largely because of Galarian Articuno. I wouldn't consider it to the same extent as Charizard's centralisation in this regard as the move's presence largely helps with Passimian and other choiced Pokemon. You do however mention "every team's Charizard check doing well against Articuno-Galar" when this simply isn't the case, Wishiwashi, Lanturn and other Rock-types you previously mentioned to be checks of Charizard just don't work well here. Teams often either run Gigalith, Audino or separate checks for both. "Healthy centralisation" enters my mind here. I'm starting to get annoyed by the argument that keeps coming up of Future Sight + Roar having no showing. Like how many times does it need to happen before people start taking it seriously as a valid argument. A few that come straight to mind:
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8pu-1397596782-jqneqdewm5c1d1mi0rl9kq7mg9j65e2pw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8pu-1408803894-pptsiuhw1z669o8n25kbwrlflpn2n7ipw
I think Galarian Articuno has shown enough consistency to at least be in the conversation for a ban, and find your disappointment in it to maybe be the cause of lack of exposure to it. I don't personally see it as outright broken but I definitely understand the arguments at least.

:ss/silvally-ghost:
I'm writing these out of order and over the course of a week or so because I'm otherwise busy, but over the course of that week I've found I have little to say about Ghostvally that already hasn't been said. I think this is a testament to how linear and predictable of a mon Ghostvally is. On paper it should be hard to guess which Vally it is at team preview, but usually it's easy to figure out what a team has defensively and work from there (e.g. if they have a Whimsicott but no Steel-type then it's probably Steelvally, Togedemaru but no Fairy-type is usually Fairyvally, and both of those means it's probably Ghostvally or a fringe defensive Silvally like Watervally or Poisonvally). Its movepool is also very predictable: SD/Multi-Attack/Flame Charge/filler (filler being DEdge, X-Scissor, or Explosion) does hit quite a lot, but what it doesn't hit usually is a solid stop to Ghostvally, like Miltank, Scrafty, Regirock, etc. And if it is killing one of them, it's either dying in the process or getting chipped enough to the point of death. Ghost is also a pretty bad defensive typing, which means it's much more wary of chip damage and being revenge killed than Steelvally, Fairyvally, or even Groundvally. Ghostvally, to me, feels more like something you just have to respect than something that's outright broken, as even teams lacking solid Ghost resists can play around it.
There's not as much to say here but I do have a few issues. Scrafty and Regirock are far from reliable checks. Scrafty switching in on the Swords Dance allows Silvally to Swords Dance again and 2HKO without getting 2HKO'd back from Knock Off. Regirock struggles immensely with Substitute sets. Miltank either has to run Scrappy or Thick Fat as it can't choose both. The former allows it to hit Substitute Silvally-Ghost at all. The latter allows it to live 2 +6 Flame Charges. It can run Thick Fat Earthquake which is suboptimal? I'd probably more highly rate Quagsire and Drampa as checks than the three you listed. Quagsire can't be overcome by any of the moves commonly run by Silvally here and Drampa is only really hit by Dragon Claw, which can be difficult to justify over Substitute, but is for the record the only alternate option I'd consider (not X-scissor, what does that hit?). Ghost is a solid enough defensive typing in my opinion. Allows it to switch into Passimian Close Combat, allows it to Swords Dance multiple times behind a Substitute against the omnipresent Weezing, is weak to relatively little other than Knock Off which it takes less from due to its Ghost Memory. For what it's worth, I don't believe it's broken, but your argument here leaves a lot to be desired.

:ss/tsareena:
I get Tsareena being powerful. If you're not building with Weezing, Defensive Zard, PhysDef Togedemaru (viable mon), Druddigon, or nicher mons like Golbat, it can be a pain to switch into. But as I see it, Tsareena's breaking prowess isn't anything broken. There are enough viable Grass resists, such as the ones I mentioned above, as well as others I didn't mention like Altaria (yes Triple Axel exists but that leaves you weaker to some of the mons I mentioned above), that don't hate switching into Knock Off as much as they should. Tsareena's low Speed and poor defensive typing (it resists Water but doesn't have the bulk to consistently pivot into stuff like Arctovish or Basculin) means it HAS to spin if it wants to revenge kill something like Zard, and considering how weak of a move Rapid Spin is, it's very easy to punish a +1 Tsareena even later in the game. Lots of what's been said about Tsareena doesn't really seem broken to me either; in fact, a powerful STAB move + Knock + U-turn + good coverage sounds exactly like Passimian, and I see no one in this thread saying Passimian is broken. Of course Tsareena and Passimian have differences (e.g. different typing, Tsareena gets recovery and removal while Passimian gets more colorful coverage, one is speed control and the other is removal usually), but their similarities line up in a way where the current arguments being made about Tsareena aren't persuading me.
Defensive Charizard isn't a switchin, neither is Golbat really unless you have another means of reliable removal. A Knock Off user with such a strong STAB, that allows it to Rapid Spin against teams with almost any Ghost-type in the tier. One that requires Pokemon like Weezing, Druddigon or Tangela to reliably switch into it. I believe Tsareena is for sure one of the better candidates for a suspect test here. "Tsareena's low Speed and poor defensive typing means it HAS to spin if it wants to revenge kill something like Zard, and considering how weak of a move Rapid Spin is, it's very easy to punish a +1 Tsareena even later in the game." Tsareena isn't a set-up sweeper. Tsareena isn't a Charizard revenge killer. This isnt its place in the metagame. The entire second half of your argument is what really ruffled my feathers. To paraphrase you say "it has Knock Off, U-turn, powerful STAB, good coverage = it's essentially Passimian, but no one's arguing for Passimian's ban" to go on to say "of course they perform different roles but they're similar enough that these arguments aren't persuading me". What are you intending to say here? This makes no sense. They're completely different Pokemon that perform completely different roles that have completely different stat compositions, typings, movepools. Passimian is a Fighting-type with an abundance of Pokemon that can switch into it. Its main issue is it forces in defensive Pokemon that can be abused by strong offensive threats say Drampa. Compare that to Tsareena, a Grass-type with very little switchins, one that Rapid Spins against virtually the entire metagame, one that switches in easily on several very common Pokemon with ease, one with recovery, several potent utility moves. How can you really compare them really?

:ss/scrafty:
I voted Scrafty a 2 on the recent survey, and by default I find it to be the most "problematic" of the Pokemon listed here. Unlike others such as Ghostvally or Charizard, Scrafty is significantly easier to support and provides much more in a match, even when it has a bad matchup. The sheer utility of Knock Off is something hard to underestimate, and Fairy-types like Aromatisse and Whimsicott are surprisingly vulnerable long-term checks. I think more highly of Aromatisse than the average player, but during the early and midgame stages, it's very easy to abuse by a Scrafty partner like Togedemaru or Aggron. Whimsicott is harder to abuse, but if it lacks U-turn then it becomes a sitting duck for what does switch into it. Scrafty also has a myriad of options at its disposal: DD is obvious enough, but I've seen the rising Intimidate RestTalk set, AV, and 3 Atks + Rest all used pretty well. And of course, BU is a win con that absolutely has to be prepared for.

So, why don't I think Scrafty is problematic? It feels much more like an "on paper" mon than an "in practice" mon. On paper, it's very devastating, with Knock to weaken the checks it does have and a bunch of options...but in practice, I have found it easy to limit the number of opportunities Scrafty gets, while a majority of the time, the set its using is obvious from team preview (and if it's not then Intimidate reveals itself). Scrafty, despite its great bulk and unique defensive typing, hates the fact that Fighting-types and Fairy-types are everywhere, so even during the late game you probably have an out versus an opposing Scrafty. Adding onto this, standard defensive cores like Zard check + Fighting resist + Fairy check (Gigalith + Weezing + Togedemaru for example) usually have enough wiggle room to deal with a Scrafty. Using the core I just talked about, Gigalith can lay Rocks to limit the healing Leftovers gives it, Weezing can run NGas to force it to Rest, and Togedemaru can use U-turn to pivot into a breaker that threatens Scrafty, like Passimian. The way teams are built naturally gives them the opportunity to play around Scrafty, and because of this I can't really see Scrafty as being an issue. I do also think that Scrafty adds some defensive value to the tier in the form of a Knock absorber, status absorber, and Knock spammer rolled into one, which only Rest Guzzlord could do before it rose to NU. While I could possibly be swayed on Scrafty, I see no reason to take action on it now.
Mainly my disagreement with this comes down to an opinion you state early on you don't share with the majority of PU players which I think is probably one of the more reasonable things I've seen in this post so far. I am really not a fan of Aromatisse in a metagame plagued by Charizard, but if you are that's whatever. If you're comfortably using Aromatisse, then you're probably going to have no real issue with Scrafty. However, I think past this one Pokemon and Neutralising Gas Weezing like you stated, it's difficult to have reliable answers to Scrafty. Whimsicott gets whittled down way too easily. Ribombee gets its HDB removed early on and suddenly you can force it in every time you go Scrafty, while doubling into a check like Gigalith, Aggron, Togedemaru, Charizard or Ferroseed and forcing it out. Silvally-Fairy sucks a ton as a defensive Pokemon (in my opinion) and its Swords Dance sets get whittled down rather quickly throughout the course of a game as well. It's just all round difficult to have a reliable answer to a well played Scrafty, which you alluded to in your paper vs practice debate. Scrafty isn't broken in my eyes though so that's as far as I'll go here.

:ss/drampa:
Like Scrafty, I gave Scrafty a 2 on the survey, and like Scrafty, this is because I find it much easier to support than the rest of the mons mentioned here. Specs sets (on paper) have unwallable coverage; a set of Draco/HVoice/FBlast/Flamethrower with Cloud Nine hits basically everything in the tier for a clean 2HKO, apart from SpDef Mr. Mime and random AV mons. However, this by itself does not make it broken. I believe no matter how absurd the numbers of a breaker may be, it should be its impact on the teambuilder as well as the options available at its disposal that make it consistently hard to prepared for, and so far I haven't seen this with Drampa. I've seen Drampa compared to Eggy-A (in terms of both breaking power and unhealthy impact of teambuilding) more than a few times, and I find these comparisons to be flawed for a couple reasons.

1. Eggy-A had a much better speed tier and bulk. At max Speed with Modest, Eggy-A hit 189 Speed, which was enough to outspeed a majority of the defensive staples in the tier. Only Miltank, Togedemaru, Uxie, Golbat, max Speed Aggron, Regirock, and Altaria could outspeed a Modest Eggy-A, with most of these being uncommon or not really consistent answers. By comparison, Drampa hits 171 Speed if Modest. This means Pokemon like Claydol, max Speed Modest Vikavolt, Hitmontop, and Lanturn (with a tiny amount of speed creep), as well as more niche options like Poliwrath, Rhydon, and Lunatone, can either force damage onto it, pivot out, scout its move, or do a combination of the three. This significantly widens the counterplay available to Drampa. Eggy-A's bulk and typing were also superior, with Eggy-A's 95/85/75 bulk being overall better than Drampa's 78/85/91 bulk, despite Drampa having a slight edge in special bulk. Eggy-A's weakness to U-turn and Flying-types wasn't awful considering it could live stray U-turns if it needs to, and Flying coverage was rare beyond Dual Wingbeat Archeops, which also really wanted STEdge/Quake/Roost/U-turn. Drampa's possible immunity to Grass, immunity to Ghost, and being less weak to Ice do not outweigh the weakness to Fighting imo, since Fighting is generally more common than the 3 types I listed combined.

2. Eggy-A had more options available at its disposal. At the end of its suspect test, Eggy-A could viably run Miracle Seed, LO, Dragon Fang, and Eject Pack sets, with viable moves consisting of Synthesis, Substitute, Trick Room, Sleep Powder, Sludge Bomb, and Knock Off, and even the ability to run Timid over Modest. The issue was that any Eggy-A set could be any of these, with any given move, at any time, with a very small opportunity cost to the Eggy-A user. By contrast, the most popular non-Specs Drampa sets seem to be using resists berries, with mostly the same moves barring the occasional CM Sub set. These sets aren't bad at all (in fact by saying this, I've cursed myself to lose to Haban Glare Drampa next time I ladder), but compared to the viable sets Eggy-A was able to run, these seem lacking in the ability to beat otherwise solid checks. Harding your Gigalith into a C9 Drampa is a pretty bad move, but if it clicks Sub or the Draco damage is less than Specs, then you come off winning the interaction, or at least not lose your Gigalith.

Of course, I'm open to the possibility of Drampa becoming broken in the future because it remains relatively underexplored right now. If further exploration gives Drampa enough options at its disposal to dispense of most of its checks with ease, while adaption cannot keep up with in, then I will fully support a Drampa ban. But right now, I see a call to ban Drampa as a kneejerk reaction, as simply having big numbers does not mean it's broken.
I find it much easier to ignore Drampa when building than other Pokemon mainly because it really doesn't have a viable consistent answer. I'm not going to waste time trying to come up with some simple means of outplaying Drampa in the builder, when no single Pokemon (other than arguably Articuno-K and Audino to an extent) really does that. I don't think the difference in speed tier is as important as you make it out to be, Drampa is only 16 points slower, and they have very similar bulk. Being slower than all these borderline unviable Pokemon you list isn't really that huge a deal. Overall, I don't find it that helpful to argue based on the merits of it being similar, or relatively worse to a banned Pokemon personally, I'd rather look at what it does in the current metagame. So arguing, well yeah, Exeggutor-Alola had Sleep Powder or Teleport or whatever is all swell and all, but it's important to remember we had a different metagame when it was still around. It's hard to outdo Drampa as a breaker in the current metagame really, and that's what you should probably be focusing on when forming a conclusion around it.

:ss/quagsire:
I think Quagsire isn't even remotely banworthy so I'm not going to entertain that argument.

I appreciate the time and effort you put into writing this post, I just believe a lot of your points of view come from a point of misinformation I believe multiple people in the community may share, so I think it's important to point out how they don't stand ground in some aspects. Thank you for reading.
 

Heracross2.0

Man, what a bunch'a jokers!
is a Pre-Contributor
Hey, I appreciate the feedback but this post is confusing to say the least. Most of the reasoning given for Pokemon to remain in the tier seems misinformed at the very least. I don't have the strongest of opinions when it comes to the requirement for some of these Pokemon to leave the tier but it's not too difficult to see the flawed logic here.
Thank you for the in-depth and detailed response. I appreciate you taking your time to respond to my point, and after reading your response, I have realized that some of my points were lacking in proper reasoning. But I contest the claim that most of my post contains misinformed/flawed logic, and would like to have the chance to defend some of my points.

My main issue with this reasoning is that you claiming this Pokemon is disappointing offensively is somewhat laughable. While there are in fact checks to this Pokemon, as there are with any others in the tier, they can be easily whittled down allowing Charizard to potentially break through. People are resulting to sets like Rest Gigalith and Rest Lanturn in an attempt to prevent this, or using specially defensive Wishiwashi and Audino much more frequently just because of the offensive pressure this Pokemon provides. Even then it has ways to get around most of these Pokemon like you've conveniently mentioned. Given this fact, most people would struggle to understand how this Pokemon is even remotely "disappointing offensively".
Firstly, I do not believe Rest Gigalith and Rest Lanturn are as popular and indicative of Charizard's impact as you imply them to be. I do not have the time to comb through every single PUPL replay and check whether or not a Gigalith/Lanturn was running Rest, but looking through the replays for Weeks 6/7, Semifinals, and Finals, I did not find a single instance of Rest Gigalith/Lanturn in any of these games. The closest I found was Rest Carbink used by Osh in his game versus dalhi. Ladder usage stats (for August) also agree that Rest Gigalith/Lanturn are quite unpopular. Even in the lower echelons of ladder in the 0 and 1500 stats, Rest Gigalith/Lanturn both have around 3% usage rate. In the 1630 stats, Gigalith's Rest usage is surprisingly high at 7.5%, while Lanturn's Rest usage was nonexistent. Knowing that August was a month where the PULT was being played, stall was popular, and a version of stall being used featured Rest Gigalith, its usage might be artificially inflated. Again, I have not seen all PUPL replays, so if multiple of them do use Rest Gigalith/Lanturn, I am willing to concede the point that these are uncommon sets.

Secondly, this is mostly my fault because I can struggle with phrasing at times, but by Charizard being "disappointing offensively", what I intended to mean was it lacks the power, ability to fit coverage, and speed tier that define powerful offensive breakers, and instead relies on its typing, the utility offered by its typing, and its consistency to break. This makes Charizard much different than something like, say, Arctovish, which relies on a nuclear STAB option with solid coverage in order to break, but its poor defensive typing and even worse speed limit its ability to break, and makes a more consistent option like Charizard more appealing. Understandably, the distinction between an powerful, but more inconsistent, breaker compared to a consistent, but less powerful, breaker is not that important for those who think Charizard is potentially banworthy, as they think Charizard is banworthy due to being unhealthy rather than broken (although these can be used interchangeably), but I wanted to make that distinction to point out the difference between Charizard and previously banworthy breakers. Speaking of which, I only said Charizard was disappointing offensively in comparison to PUBL mons, who were too strong for the meta. I do not think Charizard is the undisputed S Tier like the Viability Rankings state, but it would be foolish of me to state that Charizard is a disappointing breaker period. Again, I apologize for any subpar phrasing on my part.

You go on to mention Archeops and Lycanroc are suitable offensive checks when you later advocate for people to "stop using Archeops as a Charizard switchin". Additionally, for Lycanroc, this isn't remotely the case, as it can't even switch in twice. At most, both Pokemon force out/revenge Charizard in a metagame plagued by balance and bulkier playstyles.
When I say check, I am using the official Smogon definition found here under Smogon's article about checks and counters. Here it states the definitions of a check and a counter as:

Pokemon A checks Pokemon B if, when Pokemon A is given a free switch into Pokemon B, Pokemon A can win every time, even under the worse case scenario, without factoring in hax.
Pokemon A counters Pokemon B if Pokemon A can
manually switch into Pokemon B and still win everytime, even under the worst case scenario, without factoring in hax.

Under this definition, Archeops and Lycanroc are, in fact, checks, while stuff like Lanturn, Gigalith, and Regirock are counters (at least at the start of the match). Like you said, they force out Zard in a meta where balance and bulky offense are popular. However, this implies that it is very hard for these two to not make progress against their switchins, or take advantage of forcing Zard out by doing a double switch into something that threatens the switchin. There is also the issue of getting these breakers in, but from there, we get into the mindgames that competitive Pokemon is famous for. This argument on whether or not Archeops and Lycanroc are checks does come down to semantics more than anything really, and I will admit I have used the words "check" and "switchin" interchangeably at times, even in the post you quoted, but this is something I plan on being more consistent with in the future.

You mention Magmortar as a Pokemon that would be close to unviable if Charizard were unhealthy. Not only is this a moot argument, but Magmortar IS close to unviable. It doesn't get anywhere near enough playtime in relevant tournaments because it is almost entirely outshone by Charizard.
How exactly is "If a mon was super centralizing then all competition would either be unviable or close to it" a moot argument? I'm genuinely curious about this considering I've seen this point in multiple arguments and has never been contested before. I find it hard to understand exactly why this point would be moot. Even if it is moot, the argument that Magmortar is close to unviable is one I disagree with. Magmortar's greater power, access to useful utility options like Taunt and Teleport, Magmortar's Thunderbolt hitting bulky Water-types like Wishiwashi harder than a Charizard's Hurricane, and ability to run these options at a small opportunity cost give Magmortar a distinct niche compared to Charizard. Yes, Charizard is the better option most of the time, but using Magmortar on a team is not a death knell to your team, and often it fits on similar teams that Zard can. In a meta like PU, you can build around options like Magmortar and not significantly hinder yourself, and I do not believe Charizard has done anything out of the ordinary (there will always been some centralization around a top tier mon) to infringe on that.

I'm starting to get annoyed by the argument that keeps coming up of Future Sight + Roar having no showing. Like how many times does it need to happen before people start taking it seriously as a valid argument. A few that come straight to mind:
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8pu-1397596782-jqneqdewm5c1d1mi0rl9kq7mg9j65e2pw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8pu-1408803894-pptsiuhw1z669o8n25kbwrlflpn2n7ipw
Thank you for providing replays showcasing FS + Roar. Allow me to analyze them to judge the value that FS + Roar had in these matches.

The first replay is a good showing of FS + Roar, with tlenit bringing it against zS, with two phasers in Intimidate RestTalk Scrafty and Persian-A. What I found interesting here is that FS + Roar ended up being an extremely risky play early on, which brought in the opposing Galarcuno on turn 3 so it could set up a Future Sight, at the cost of its own life. This put tlenit in a very awkward position he had to play carefully around, which was ultimately due to the bad luck of the one Psychic resist on the team getting pulled in. Here, this shows that FS + Roar can backfire depending on luck, and tlenit is put on the backfoot when his Drampa switchin takes the FS and is forced to Rest, proceeding to get two bad Sleep Talk pulls later. However, this procceds to not later, when he sets up FS + Roar again, only for the Fighting type, Passimian, to be pulled in. This puts zS from a worse position than he put tlenit in at the beginning, and results in his loss. I think that turn showcased the main claims of FS + Roar being unhealthy in that it forces guessing games and relies on luck to succeed. However, I think it's important to note that it backfired at first, which means there is some grounds for calling it inconsistent.

The second replay, compared to the first one, does not feature FS + Roar to as great of an extent. It takes a few turns for Squash to set it up to begin with, burning the Psychic resist, Mesprit, in the process. Once he finally gets in a good enough position to set up FS and bring the phaser, he clicks Roar, only for it to bring in Mesprit. It was important for chipping down a Mesprit with Lefties, but considering Decem had a Quagsire and Passimian (most likely) did not have Seed Bomb, Decem still had a safe switchin for Passimian. FS doesn't have any presence for the remainder of the game, apart from it being clicked Turn 30 to no effect, until after Turn 35, where Decem sacked his win con and drastically decreased his chances of winning. From there, Galarcuno was able to freely click FS to its heart content, slowly wearing everything down and winning. I didn't see FS + Roar have a big presence in this game, nor did I see it influence any suboptimal plays that Decem made. To me, it just looks like Squash outplayed his opponent even after getting unlucky with FS + Roar.

These two games are a small sample size, but to me, they do not look like anything broken or unhealthy. In fact, in both games, bad luck meant the FS + Roar users had to work from a worse position than they would have otherwise, which I think can be used as a defense of FS + Roar, saying it's not consistent enough to be banworthy. Like I said before, these two replays are too small of a sample size to jump to any conclusions on whether Galarcuno is banworthy or not, but I am going to look at more replays, analyze them, and see if the impact of FS + Roar is as annoying as it sounds on paper.

Defensive Charizard isn't a switchin, neither is Golbat really unless you have another means of reliable removal. A Knock Off user with such a strong STAB, that allows it to Rapid Spin against teams with almost any Ghost-type in the tier. One that requires Pokemon like Weezing, Druddigon or Tangela to reliably switch into it.
Later on, you say you fail to understand why I am comparing Tsareena with Passimian, yet these first 3 sentences stand out to me as reasons why they can be compared. If you remove the point about Rapid Spin, this sounds like something about Passimian: explaining that Flying-types aren't switchins, that it's a Knock Off user with a strong STAB, and one where the switchins are physical walls that either resist or are netural to a majority of its moves. Does this not sound like Passimian to you? Both Passimian and Tsareena are both solid breakers that provide necessary utility to teams, with Passimian being solid speed control, while Tsareena has hazard control under its belt (yes they can run different sets, but for the sake of consistency I am talking about the Choice Scarf and Heavy-Duty Boots sets, respectively). The fact that they have different roles matters little when they are often featured on the same team, share common switchins, and have similar advantages and flaws. It makes little sense to narrow the ability to compare two things just because their roles are slightly different. Although after thinking about it further, making a comparison and saying one mon is balanced does not necessarily mean the other is balanced. I apologize for making that unfair connection.

"Tsareena's low Speed and poor defensive typing means it HAS to spin if it wants to revenge kill something like Zard, and considering how weak of a move Rapid Spin is, it's very easy to punish a +1 Tsareena even later in the game." Tsareena isn't a set-up sweeper. Tsareena isn't a Charizard revenge killer. This isnt its place in the metagame.
Yes, it is a breaker with a poor Speed tier and lackluster defensive typing. Again, bad phrasing on my part, but what I intended to get across was not that Tsareena was a set-up sweeper/Zard revenge killer, but that it lacks the speed and typing necessary to not be forced out by a myriad of offensive threats. This heavily hinders its breaking potential to breaking mostly fat teams, which struggle to punish it without explicit counters. A +1 Tsareena clean isn't the most uncommon thing either; despite its Speed tier being poor enough for other offensive mons to force it out, its Speed tier is great against slower teams, which cannot exercise the required offensive pressure necessary to deal with Tsareena. In the late-game, it is most likely that many faster threats are either gone, or worn down enough that a +1 Tsareena can beat them. I will concede that Tsareena does have a more limited number of switchins than I initially though, but I still believe that offensive counterplay can balance a mon's limited defensive counterplay, and in my eyes, Tsareena's offensive counterplay is viable, varied, and common enough to keep it in check.

I don't think the difference in speed tier is as important as you make it out to be, Drampa is only 16 points slower, and they have very similar bulk. Being slower than all these borderline unviable Pokemon you list isn't really that huge a deal. Overall, I don't find it that helpful to argue based on the merits of it being similar, or relatively worse to a banned Pokemon personally, I'd rather look at what it does in the current metagame.
I agree that judging what a Pokemon does in the current metagame is more important than what a banned Pokemon did in past metagame, but regardless, I find it important to compare them anyway. This helps discern the standard for what should be banworthy and what should not, regardless of past states of metas. This is because the reasoning for bans often remains consistent. For example, when Vaporeon rose, Clawitzer (and other Pokemon, but I want to focus on Clawitzer) was banned because it had a too powerful STAB combined with coverage to limit its defensive counterplay to an extent of nonexistence. This was a similar reasoning for Exploud's ban, with Scrappy Boomburst being too powerful and its coverage hitting what few switchins it did have. Despite both of these metas having different power levels, the reasoning for both bans remains consistent, mostly due to tiering policy being unchanged during these times. It's the same thing with Eggy-A and Drampa for me; while both of their metas were different, explaining why one mon was banned can help us understand why another might be banned, especially if comparisons between both begin to come up. Speaking of which, another reason I wanted to compare them is that I have seen more and more comparisons between Eggy-A and Drampa, both in this thread and in the PU room, and I wanted to tackle these because I don't believe them. Also, I don't think many of the Pokemon I listed were borderline unviable, and even if they are, it's still an increase in the options available for Drampa counterplay compared to Eggy-A counterplay.

I think Quagsire isn't even remotely banworthy so I'm not going to entertain that argument.
I'm glad we agree! Although to structure the post in a way I was satisfied with, I wanted to include all the Pokemon mentioned in this thread as possibly banworthy since Decem's first post. Quagsire was one of them. I hope this helps explain why it otherwise feels like a sore thumb sticking out.

I appreciate the time and effort you put into writing this post, I just believe a lot of your points of view come from a point of misinformation I believe multiple people in the community may share, so I think it's important to point out how they don't stand ground in some aspects. Thank you for reading.
And I, too, appreciate the time and effort you put into your response. Tbh when I first read it, I was a bit upset that my post I spent a week on was dissected in less that 3 hours, but reading your response allowed me to reflect on my views, why I thought the way I did, and came to my various conclusion. I always find introspection important, so thank you for allowing me to see that. If I did not respond to something, that means I generally agree with it. I hope I have explained myself adequately and I can answer any future questions if need be.
 
Two more drampa checks bite the dust....
Come to think of it, both tended to run tools to deal with Scrafty, Zard, Tsareena, and Garticuno in various ways too. I guess it might be easier to run defog and webs now, I guess.

Oh, and Qwilfish too!
 
For faster Fighting-types, the only two that really come to mind now are Sawk and Hitmonlee. While both have the power, neither have the same amount of surprising bulk, let alone the pivoting ability. That being said, Sawk's Sturdy is a nice niche being able to check certain mons in a pinch. Ofc its best when you rid yourself of hazards. Hitmonlee has not the worst special bulk, and a nuclear STAB option. (Though High Jump Kick is very easy to work around)

The lack of pivoting really hurts these two as Pass 'replacements'. FightingVally has pivoting but can't hold a real item like a Choice Scarf or even Band.
 
For faster Fighting-types, the only two that really come to mind now are Sawk and Hitmonlee. While both have the power, neither have the same amount of surprising bulk, let alone the pivoting ability. That being said, Sawk's Sturdy is a nice niche being able to check certain mons in a pinch. Ofc its best when you rid yourself of hazards. Hitmonlee has not the worst special bulk, and a nuclear STAB option. (Though High Jump Kick is very easy to work around)

The lack of pivoting really hurts these two as Pass 'replacements'. FightingVally has pivoting but can't hold a real item like a Choice Scarf or even Band.
I have found that until Primeape returns, none of the fighting options have that important overlap of strong reliable STAB + resists hazards + offensive pivot move + is faster than Jolteon. You can have most of those, but not all of them with a fighting type.

As for mons that cover that right now, it's awfully tough. I have found most success with Scarfed Togedemaru, though it's certainly lacking in power compared to stab close combats. Between that and Mesprit, I am not sure if there are any other options that check all four though..
 
For faster Fighting-types, the only two that really come to mind now are Sawk and Hitmonlee. While both have the power, neither have the same amount of surprising bulk, let alone the pivoting ability. That being said, Sawk's Sturdy is a nice niche being able to check certain mons in a pinch. Ofc its best when you rid yourself of hazards. Hitmonlee has not the worst special bulk, and a nuclear STAB option. (Though High Jump Kick is very easy to work around)

The lack of pivoting really hurts these two as Pass 'replacements'. FightingVally has pivoting but can't hold a real item like a Choice Scarf or even Band.
aside from the ones you listed, I think gallade's a really cool mon right now; scarf, band, and SD sets are all viable. trick is really nice for a scarfer, letting it cripple one of the mons that walls it, such as.... tangela (though it is hard to come up with an example of a mon that resists fighting + psychic + knock off. not much walls it!).

i've tried sawk some as well and think scarf and band have merit. mold breaker eq in weezing meta is very nice

overall dont think the meta has changed much at all, except for... drampa getting better somehow with one less fighting type and steel type. this mon is able to tech in so many different ways, but often doesnt even need to since specs + amazing coverage + 145 spatk can pick apart any defensive answers. calm mind is also excellent and preys on the counterplay to specs, since such counterplay takes exactly 2 forms: a) protect spam and b) carbink, an otherwise completely inferior gigalith/regirock. i really hope that drampa is acted upon ASAP through a suspect test or council vote, and i view it as the single biggest problem with an otherwise solid tier.
 
aside from the ones you listed, I think gallade's a really cool mon right now; scarf, band, and SD sets are all viable. trick is really nice for a scarfer, letting it cripple one of the mons that walls it, such as.... tangela (though it is hard to come up with an example of a mon that resists fighting + psychic + knock off. not much walls it!).

i've tried sawk some as well and think scarf and band have merit. mold breaker eq in weezing meta is very nice

overall dont think the meta has changed much at all, except for... drampa getting better somehow with one less fighting type and steel type. this mon is able to tech in so many different ways, but often doesnt even need to since specs + amazing coverage + 145 spatk can pick apart any defensive answers. calm mind is also excellent and preys on the counterplay to specs, since such counterplay takes exactly 2 forms: a) protect spam and b) carbink, an otherwise completely inferior gigalith/regirock. i really hope that drampa is acted upon ASAP through a suspect test or council vote, and i view it as the single biggest problem with an otherwise solid tier.
I am very pro Drampa, and was very please with it's rise in usage in the aftermath of Aloha-Eggs getting the boot. Wallbreakers are curious beasts, they are awfully hard to wall by definition. The question is how well do they do other work, such as off sweeping or reliably coming in multiple times (or being able to stay in). And while I know, yes, calm mind Drampa exists and can maul certain teams, the problem isn't Drampa sweeping. It's the bulk and typing. I have noticed in a post-pass world, a number of revenge killers and utility checks are pulling some disappointing numbers against Drampa.

Scarf Mespirit
252 SpA Mesprit Dazzling Gleam vs. 140 HP / 0 SpD Drampa: 164-194 (49.3 - 58.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rocks

Utility Whimsicott
0 SpA Whimsicott Moonblast vs. 140 HP / 0 SpD Drampa: 180-212 (54.2 - 63.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock

Special Attacker Charizard
252 SpA Charizard Hurricane vs. 140 HP / 0 SpD Drampa: 172-204 (51.8 - 61.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock

252 Atk Archeops Stone Edge vs. 140 HP / 0 Def Drampa: 198-234 (59.6 - 70.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock

A lot of 2HKOs, why should that matter? Because if the revenge killer can't revenge kill Drampa, Drampa goes from killing a defensive mon to killing a defensive and offensive mon. A lot is made on Draco Meteor's power and it can absolutely kill things at -2, like Archeops there, but if it is locked into something like hyper voice? It can just keep hammering away. Drampa's bulk (especially on the special side) is what's making me more and more concerned on in regards it's healthiness; I am not opposed to a wallbreaker that breaks walls, but I am concerned with a wallbreaker that crushes walls, and is really hard to revenge kill without a scarfed fighting or offensive fairy types (or maybe Hitmontop)... Which without a pivoting pass the first is a lot easier to exploit now.

I am not sure if Drampa is quite there yet, but I am getting more and more suspicious over time.
 
passimian's departure did little to benefit drampa. yes it beats it, but passimian was like tsareena in that its biggest selling point was how much it carved its role as a playmaker. the way it blended its kit together that solidified many team compositions is not easily replicable, and losing that pivot that helped offensive juggernauts exert pressure was more of a nerf to those teams than otherwise.

could someone explain drampa's non-specs sets and how they find them oppressive in its ability to punish teams that prepare for specs? the more i've observed new team developments and the current mediocre showcasing of these sets in scl, the more i question how this perspective translates from paper to practice. meanwhile, specs has some well-documented results that prove it consistent but not overbearing.

imo drampa is a mon that you need to prep beyond adopting a "hard counter" policy, but we have measures to do so even if they're outside of many players' comfort zone. we've seen some whip out carbink and clef (although it's a roll for modest specs to 2hko clef, drampa has to commit to two choice-locked hyper voices), and protect to mitigate risk from choice specs. there are even more adaptations like adjusting ev spreads to outspeed and pressure it, and even survive specs hits like scrafty, alolan sandslash, spdef aggron, body press regi/carbink, fat frosmoth, golbat, miltank, spdef jellicent, c-gas/dbond weezing, dbond qwilfish, and pressuring it via momentum/knock off to keep it maintained as it tries to come in. that's why i find jhang's calcs dubious; it assumes a perfect scenario of it coming in on multiple pokemon that can't touch drampa and outspeeding everything. it also ignores that ribombee has emerged into one of pu's most common offensive pokemon (to put it into perspective, of all scl matches, it literally has only been absent in 4 or so games) due to scrafty's dominance + steelvally's departure + draco immunity.

this shows that not only can you mitigate its freedom in switching in, but you can exploit its speed with adaptational means after the fact. frankly, i can appreciate a breaker that 1. is among our only splashable ghost/tsar/grass/water/fire/electric checks in one, and 2. promotes more creativity in defensive cores/evs/moves instead of seeing the typical giga/ferro/quag/weezing core over and over.
 

Vulpix03

is a Forum Moderator
Moderator
passimian's departure did little to benefit drampa. yes it beats it, but passimian was like tsareena in that its biggest selling point was how much it carved its role as a playmaker. the way it blended its kit together that solidified many team compositions is not easily replicable, and losing that pivot that helped offensive juggernauts exert pressure was more of a nerf to those teams than otherwise.

could someone explain drampa's non-specs sets and how they find them oppressive in its ability to punish teams that prepare for specs? the more i've observed new team developments and the current mediocre showcasing of these sets in scl, the more i question how this perspective translates from paper to practice. meanwhile, specs has some well-documented results that prove it consistent but not overbearing.

imo drampa is a mon that you need to prep beyond adopting a "hard counter" policy, but we have measures to do so even if they're outside of many players' comfort zone. we've seen some whip out carbink and clef (although it's a roll for modest specs to 2hko clef, drampa has to commit to two choice-locked hyper voices), and protect to mitigate risk from choice specs. there are even more adaptations like adjusting ev spreads to outspeed and pressure it, and even survive specs hits like scrafty, alolan sandslash, spdef aggron, body press regi/carbink, fat frosmoth, golbat, miltank, spdef jellicent, c-gas/dbond weezing, dbond qwilfish, and pressuring it via momentum/knock off to keep it maintained as it tries to come in. that's why i find jhang's calcs dubious; it assumes a perfect scenario of it coming in on multiple pokemon that can't touch drampa and outspeeding everything. it also ignores that ribombee has emerged into one of pu's most common offensive pokemon (to put it into perspective, of all scl matches, it literally has only been absent in 4 or so games) due to scrafty's dominance + steelvally's departure + draco immunity.

this shows that not only can you mitigate its freedom in switching in, but you can exploit its speed with adaptational means after the fact. frankly, i can appreciate a breaker that 1. is among our only splashable ghost/tsar/grass/water/fire/electric checks in one, and 2. promotes more creativity in defensive cores/evs/moves instead of seeing the typical giga/ferro/quag/weezing core over and over.
Passimian was one of the few Pokemon in the tier that could ohko drampa and threaten it out, while also not being a momentum sink. Yes passimian could act as a pivot to safely bring in drampa, however this tier is full of pivots (ribombee, tsateena, lanturn / wishi, etc) so the loss of passimian in that department didn't really hurt anything.
As for your replay. You linked 3 replays of support drampa. These run defog and a lot of bulk. Is this particular drampa set overbearing? No. It's a great set that can reliably keep them off vs certain teams but not broken. What is broken is the choice specs set. It has no true defensive switch ins (I have broken many a Clefairy team with drampa, it's very easy to take advantage of) You stated that drampa is nice because it forces people to shake it up and not run giga Ferro quag every team. My answer to that is why should we allow a mon that basically invalidates common defensive structures. "Shaking it up" is not a good reason to keep an overbearing Pokemon in a tier, and I can assure you that giga quag Ferro will not be as dominant as you think if drampa is banned because the ban will also free up a lot of other options in the builder.
Basically drampa is easy to bring in safely due to the tiers immense amount of pivots. It's bulky enough that it can live hits from Pokemon such as ribombee, and it can ohko said Pokemon in return. And it is so strong that every time it comes on it is a 50/50 that always favors the drampa user. The choice specs set is definitely overbearing imo, and this is amplified by the tier just having too many offensive threats in general and forcing you to run certain Pokemon. I pray that drampa is looked into sooner rather than later. I know I'm not the only person in scl who wants a suspect to happen. Also I'm on phone (as usual) so sorry if this is choppy.

Ps. In passimian meta drampa would primarily run chople berry to lure and fuck passimian. Calm mind is another option and those were the "other sets" that were mentioned in earlier posts.
 

termi

the eye of the needle
is a Tiering Contributor
the more i've observed new team developments and the current mediocre showcasing of these sets in scl, the more i question how this perspective translates from paper to practice.
These SCL replays can't really be held to be representative of anything. neider was using a support Drampa set with Defog in both games if I'm not mistaken; obviously this set is not meant to break much of anything. As for my game, I used a Chople CM Drampa with Draco + Flamethrower for coverage and ran into Carbink stall, which is the absolute worst matchup that set could possibly get. The use of this set, and the reason it can be seen as problematic in tandem with its Specs set, is to exploit the kinds of balance teams that rely on Protect in order to prevent 50/50s vs Specs Drampa. My week 2 SCL team is actually a good example of such a team. Between Ferroseed, Gigalith, and Ribombee, it has plenty of soft switchins, and moreover, it restricts Specs Drampa's ability to work its magic by having Protect on anything slower and ways to cripple it on anything faster. This is how one ideally should be prepped for Drampa. The problem is that the team can literally get 6-0d by aforementioned CM Drampa set, and in fact this did happen to me in a test game vs mushamu that I unfortunately did not save. The gist is that when Drampa finds opportunity to come in on Ferroseed, the rational move is to click Protect assuming Specs Drampa, but then Drampa uses CM and you lose a mon at worst, and if your Fairy is also your primary Drampa revenge killer, that special defense boost can straight up mean the end. In any case, CM Drampa and other non-choiced sets can effectively mess with precisely the type of counterplay that should keep its Specs set at bay. While non-Choiced sets are arguably worse overall, they can effectively switch up what does and does not count as counterplay as the defensive meta starts revolving more around not losing to Drampa. This seems like an unhealthy development to me.

Just to throw some replays into the mix, I do have this and this one to show. Although Drampa arguably didn't determine the outcome of either match, both do show how I can freely click CM as purported checks (Scrafty and Aggron, respectively) come in, proceed to be unable to KO Drampa, and get taken out of play in turn. Notice how I did not even have to make a prediction in either instance, both players simply made the rational move by going into their check and proceeded to get smacked because they were facing the wrong set.

imo drampa is a mon that you need to prep beyond adopting a "hard counter" policy, but we have measures to do so even if they're outside of many players' comfort zone. we've seen some whip out carbink and clef (although it's a roll for modest specs to 2hko clef, drampa has to commit to two choice-locked hyper voices), and protect to mitigate risk from choice specs. there are even more adaptations like adjusting ev spreads to outspeed and pressure it, and even survive specs hits like scrafty, alolan sandslash, spdef aggron, body press regi/carbink, fat frosmoth, golbat, miltank, spdef jellicent, c-gas/dbond weezing, dbond qwilfish, and pressuring it via momentum/knock off to keep it maintained as it tries to come in.
None of these measures are especially convincing. Not only are the relatively solid defensive answers we've recently seen popping up still 2HKO'd by the right move (Water/Grass coverage for Carbink, Hyper Voice for Clef, Focus Blast to nail Audino which otherwise can provide a decent midground), but they are also pretty mediocre beyond their role as Drampa checks and would rarely appear in tournament play if not for that. Something like DBond Weezing isn't sufficient either, for one because it's hard to fit the move and for two because you often cannot afford to trade such an essential part of your defensive core (especially in a meta in which Tsareena is arguably the best mon). Basically all the other checks mentioned lose to the right coverage move and/or non-choiced sets, so they're really not reliable enough unless your team generally can prevent Drampa from getting free turns at all. The latter is very difficult to do in a balance-heavy meta, so currently I believe anything other than a shift away from fat balance is insufficient to deal with Drampa, and at this juncture I'm not sure that i.e. a Tsareena ban or whatever would give the meta a push into a more offensive direction given the tools we have to work with and the great amount of threats one has to cover in the builder.
 
Hello all! Thought I would drop my opinion on the hot mon of the moment, Drampa.

I view the slow breaker archetype as having 2 main qualities that can make them unhealthy for a tier:

1. Spammable, low risk moves
2. Significant switch in opportunities/longevity.

Sometimes it's just a lot of one, more often it's a bit of both of these qualities that pushes slow breakers into brokeness. It boils down to this dynamic - does it have a strong enough and spammable enough move that progress is made even through limited switchin opportunities or does it have enough switchin opportunities across a match to alleviate reliance on correct reads? Taking examples from current PUBL, Clawitzer falls heavily into the first category with very strong middle ground moves making prediction minimal, but its switch in opportunities weren't all that frequent. Eggy has a little bit of both- two very high powered STAB moves, albeit with common resists/immunities, and solid bulk with key ground, grass and electric resists and some longevity with Giga Drain, albeit with significant weaknesses to bug, fairy and ice.

The lack of ability to completely wall a slow breaker is not an indicator of unhealthiness on its own. There are plenty of bad Pokémon/sets in the tier that fit the slow wallbreaker archetype that are near impossible to wall. What 100% answers do we have to a band Sudowoodo? To a specs Aurorus? To a specs Beheeyem? Very few! But something like Aurorus lacks the switchin opportunities to fire off a relatively safe hyper voice/freeze dry against most teams, while the others lack both spammable moves and have meagre switchin opportunities.

So, away from my broader tiering philosophy and onto the specifics of Drampa. Specs is by far the most prominent set and what I will focus on - I really don't think CM sets are particularly worthwhile and stuff like defog is more a "I need a silv ghost check and removal in one slot" last resort rather than something you would ever build with in most scenarios.

Specs Drampa is obviously very strong offensively, the key points being its ridiculous spattk, STAB Draco and coverage for every mon under the sun - with the right spread of moves there's nothing that completely walls a specs set. As previously mentioned, this isn't enough alone. Despite it having absurd power, Draco Meteor is not a move you can click freely because Fairies are on every team (thank you Scrafty!) and will gobble up a Draco regardless of their bulk or current hp. Drampa has coverage for them, but the pressure is always there. Hyper Voice is obviously not a very spammable move and coverage is not breaking walls at neutral, so I won't labour those points. Drampa is thus a relatively prediction reliant mon - there's no safe option for it to guarantee progress when given an opportunity. No broke moves like Knock Off and U-turn here!

But how many chances is it given to make the right prediction? Drampa has decent bulk and its resists are pretty useful - grass, electric, fire, water and ghost are all handy enough. Most of the offensive mons with these STABs have other ways to hit or cripple Drampa, so it's not too useful in that context unless given a free switch, but it can get in rather easily on a selection of our defensive mons. Weezing, Quag, Palo, Lanturn and Jellicent all provide opportunities for a Drampa switch, which is theoretically a pretty good spread! But I feel like practically it doesn't work out so well due to a few things - the main one being that Drampa is so so slow. As previously mentioned, Weezing 3hkos Drampa and requires little creep to outspeed. If you don't make the right read on that switch then you're not likely to get another chance the whole game. With a tiny bit of spdef and a tiny bit of speed creep Jellicent can recover in a specs Drampa's face to full hp, live a Draco and then outspeed and recover again next turn. Without Eball there's not much Drampa can do. Lanturn either volt switches as Drampa comes in or pretty regularly runs Protect. The others are full grandpa dragon bait though!

Altogether, in practice I never find Drampa really gets that many switch in opportunities, besides those created by the player in the form of pivot moves and double switches. This is not unique to Drampa however and I'm not convinced that the level of pivot support within the tier pushes it over the edge. Ultimately, I don't find Drampa particularly constraining - I'm already near enough guaranteed to be running a fairy or spdef steel independent of Drampa's presence, and so I never find myself scrambling to answer to it last minute in the teambuilding process. Due to its slow speed and relatively common weaknesses it's easy to deny it much room to work even on teams defensively vulnerable to it. I don't think removing Drampa will free up building or improve the state of the tier in any way (which I think is in a pretty good position fwiw).
 
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tlenit

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Looked like we had bigger conversation regarding Drampa on our discord which led me to do quick research. This is based on its show offs in SCL and stats for last month. One of the arguments were Drampa been too much in SCL, but I have personally failed to see it in this meta.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8pu-590003 tj chlo w8 SPL, Drampa hits once and dies afterwards https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8pu-588522 tlenit sjneider w7 SPL, Drampa hits few times, and drops Lanturn with a help of crit. Rest of the game it remains as pretty neutral breaker.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8pu-588481 zomog Lax w7 SPL, drampa never finds its way on field. https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8pu-588778 tj raiza w7 SPL, drampa picks Ferroseed late game and thats it. Cant break Jolteon.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8pu-587316 stresh greybaum w6 SPL, on first rotation drampa cant break spdef jellicent and on second rotation Greybaum makes over prediction and eballs the incoming Jellicent which opens the game for him more. Not a broken looking replay regardless to me. More so Greybaum making a good play and being rewarded for it. This is pretty much only replay where Drampa finds it breaking point in past month
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8pu-587325 vulpix-raiza w6 SPL, CM drampa wasnt able to break through. Finds lot of field time, which is nice to see.

W8 usage 1, 0% winrate
W7 usage 3, 30% winrate
W6 usage 3, 0% winrate
Overall drampa usage after 6 weeks (not updated since, but would be lower winrate overall)): |8| Drampa |16uses| 43.75% winrate.

Cant go through all 8 weeks for now, bcs im middle of something, but the only game I can remember Drampa being too much is week 3 tj vs excal (https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8pu-581904). To be fair, i think the issue is team structure here. Drampa out speeding everything expect Charizard (which cant really hit Drampa unless it is focus blast. This was never revealed, but doubt it carrying it) and Ribombee gives it a field day. Regardless, I have hard time seeing Drampa being clearly broken. In SCL its been mediocre on its best for now expect on that one game. Clearly I have missed few weeks since I dont have time to dig up for all of them, but last weeks trend with current meta been tough time for drampa.

Just like Skankovich above pointed out, i dont think Drampa finds as many opportunities as it wants (and needs) to. Its speed tier holds it back too much compared to other faster breakers. I dont think removing Drampa would free teambuilding, might actually hurt it. Drampa offers defensively a lot and can be used as wall. What I find more restricting to builder is Tsareena personally, but thats off the table it looks like.

Good night pals
 

Vulpix03

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What I find more restricting to builder is Tsareena personally, but thats off the table it looks like.
I feel the same and I believe both Drampa and Tsareena should be addressed. Obviously the main focus from the community is on Drampa at the moment but once that is settled appropriately Tsareena is definitely something worth looking in to, and shouldn't be "off the table".

I believe that Excal vs TJ and myself vs Expulso are examples of (specs) Drampa being overwhelming for teams. Most of the replays posted are with defensive or cm Drampa, which are good sets in their own right but not as overbearing or threatening as specs. I personally find Drampa very restricting in the teambuilder, hence why I brought pretty much the same team 3 times in SCL (it was in my opinion the most solid team against Drampa that also covered the majority of other threats the tier has to offer). Specs Drampa invalidates a lot of defensive structures due to its raw power and coverage, and it has ample opportunities to come in safely. This tier has a plethora of pivots and wish users that can not only bring Drampa in but also heal it up. I disagree with any statements that "Drampa has limited opportunities to come in".

Drampa and Tsareena have the metagame in an unhealthy death grip at the moment, which is why I have repeatedly posted / brought up discussion about them. Now obviously not everyone agrees with my view on Drampa (and Tsareena), however a suspect test is definitely in order.

Hoping to see one for Drampa soon.
 
Thought I'd just post my thoughts on the current metagame. Mandatory disclaimer that my post does not necessarily reflect the thoughts of council.

:ss/drampa:
I come to a completely different conclusion after seeing the replays above, tlenit.
  • In my match vs TJ, I had Clefairy against Eject Button Drampa. Clefairy has mainly risen in usage due to the inability to reliably check the multitude of offensive threats we have in the metagame. You're forced to run a blanket special check a lot of the time just to deal with Drampa + Charizard + Mesprit + etc. Clefairy isn't a sign of positive adaptability in my eyes. The fact that it's seeing so much usage along with Audino suggests that teambuilding in this metagame is not optimal, and I would agree with that conclusion.
  • Your match vs neider, you had Protect Toxic Tangela, to prevent Drampa from gaining any advantage. Tsareena is an extremely potent force in this metagame and you yourself agree with that, but virtually every single reliable defensive answer allows Drampa to come in for free. Weezing, Tangela, Miltank, Druddigon, Silvally-Poison. The fact that you're running Protect Toxic Tangela as a Tangela check that doesn't let Choice Specs Drampa in for free is insane and speaks miles for its potency. You must be aware of how easily Drampa can just overwhelm all our prominent defensive cores.
  • lax's match against zomog, Drampa didn't even come in because the team was completely unprepared for BD Zard. This initially says nothing for Drampa, BUT it does speak for how easily our current Charizard checks can be overwhelmed by physically offensive sets. You look at this replay in tandem with my match against TJ and you can see that the current group of defensive answers people are using for Charizard (Audino, Clefairy) which are also seeing incredibly high usage due to Drampa, in our unhealthy metagame are just abused incredibly easily. In my match, TJ used specially defensive Aromatisse as a Drampa/Charizard check but due to the nature of the metagame and the overreliance on anything remotely close to reliably checking Drampa, physically offensive Charizard sets can easily cause havoc.
  • TJ vs Raiza, I'm not sure how you try to spin this as a positive. He could've switched out if he wanted to hit Jolteon but at this point the game was won? Doesn't say much for Drampa yet again.
  • Greybaum vs stresh, it did 72% to specially defensive Jellicent (not a good set). The fact that all viable Jellicent sets are now EV'd to come in on Choice Specs Drampa's Draco Meteor is very daunting, but obviously this isn't the problem here. Drampa predicts right, just as it did here and it claims a kill. A 30% Jellicent isn't accomplishing much unless you somehow manage to get it back in and up to full again. In addition to this, Drampa could run Calm Mind sets which easily break Jellicent.
  • Raiza vs pix, Drampa literally broke through its "best check" in Audino. Why can't we at least have one reliable answer for this Pokemon? Choice Specs Focus Blast has the same effect.
In addition to this, if you take more than a two second look at how high both the Pokemon we consider its best checks have risen since the start of SCL. This is insane usage for Pokemon like Audino and Clefairy which we are using on over a third of our balance teams.

Code:
Latest Recorded PUPL Usage:
| 21   | Audino             |    3 |   9.38% | 100.00% |
| 27   | Clefairy           |    2 |   6.25% |  50.00% |

Overall SCL Usage:
| 9    | Audino             |   13 |  21.67% |  61.54% |
| 14   | Clefairy           |   10 |  16.67% |  70.00% |
BUT neither of these Pokemon reliably check Drampa.
:audino: | 252+ SpA Choice Specs Drampa Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Audino: 350-414 (85.3 - 100.9%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
:clefairy: | 252+ SpA Choice Specs Drampa Hyper Voice vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Clefairy: 157-186 (45.6 - 54%) -- 45.3% chance to 2HKO

It'd be nice if a single Pokemon in the metagame could adequately deal with all Drampa sets, but the way things are at the moment, our best checks get 2HKOd at worst. The metagame has warped into this ugly thing where Protect Tangela is unironically used in an SCL game just to deal with how easily Drampa abuses common metagame staples and cores.

:ss/tsareena:
I believe this problem is only exacerbated by the fact we have two very obviously unhealthy elements in the metagame. Tsareena simply put, does not have sufficient defensive counterplay. Initially a well balanced Pokemon within the metagame, Tsareena has repeatedly lost checks and counters such as Garbodor, Toxicroak, Talonflame, etc and has as a result forced weaker Pokemon such as Weezing and Druddigon into the spotlight. Most teams are therefore relying on multiple weaker checks such as defensive Togedemaru, Tangela and even in some cases Ferroseed just because of how easily Tsareena's reliable answers are easily taken advantage of.

Weezing is Tsareena's most prominent check, but as a Pokemon it's generally very underwhelming otherwise. With the loss of Passimian, its defensive capabilities were put into question. It acts as a blanket physical check, however most teams are required to rely on multiple Pokemon to achieve this purpose due to how disappointing Weezing actually is. Its most redeeming factor is its access to Toxic Spikes, in a metagame that lacks substantial removal or grounded Poison-types. However, this is undermined by how Weezing is so easy to take advantage of due to its rather passive nature and reliance on Poison-type STAB. Pokemon such as Drampa, Choice Specs Jellicent, offensive Mesprit and any Poison-type resist with Substitute can switch in with relative ease and take advantage of it.

Examples of Weezing being a colossal disappointment to all his friends and family:
SCL | chlo vs false - Choice Specs Jellicent
SCL | termi vs chlo - Choice Specs Jellicent
SCL | tlenit vs Lambovino - Substitute Perrserker
SCL | Excal vs false - Coil Sandaconda
SCL | termi vs false - Quiver Dance Frosmoth

Teams that don't rely on Weezing, or the similarly passive Rough Skin Druddigon are subject to Tsareena commonly going ham. Sludge Bomb Tangela is another answer, but in order to do this it will be hit by a Knock Off and hence become a weaker defensive presence for anything else, and Tsareena is able to gain substantial momentum by just clicking U-turn. God forbid it runs Triple Axel and knocks out either of these Pokemon after a Knock Off. Sap Sipper Miltank is, well, an answer, but it's incredibly difficult to justify or fit on anything that isn't stall for the most part and it can be defeated if Tsareena chooses to run its Fighting-type coverage. Defensive Togedemaru takes 50% from Knock Off and is then situationally a wall to Tsareena, but it's scared of High Jump Kick sets and is, post-Knock Off, going to be hard pressed in finding opportunities to recover. Ferroseed is walled by any Synthesis variant and just gets whittled away with ease. Alternatively, you can stack your team with faster Pokemon like Charizard and Ribombee and attempt to limit Tsareena's impact within a match but its important to mention that the majority of our glue Pokemon are way too slow to justify this as a valid option. You will lose your slower Pokemon in this scenario.

Tsareena's wallbreaking prowess in addition to its general lack of defensive counterplay easily puts it over the edge in my eyes and I'd like to see it removed from the tier via suspect. However, not before we see action taken on Drampa. Drampa is far too powerful and clearly the main culprit in my opinion. I'd support a suspect test on Drampa, followed by swift consideration on Tsareena after the conclusion of that test. Thank you for reading.
 
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