grubbing in the ashes
UU & Tour Head
For two and a half years now, Drizzle has been banned from UU. It is easy to just assume that rain is simply far too overwhelming to be considered; after all, rain HO is a top offensive playstyle in OU. However, at the time, it was a very controversial ban. Drizzle was voted on by the UU Council during its beta period three times before finally getting banned in a very close vote. This final vote occurred just before a tier shift that would have seen Mega Swampert and Kingdra dropping to UU. Many people felt then that Drizzle was not consistent enough to be worth banning, and others felt that if it turned out Mega Swampert or Kingdra unbalanced rain, we should ban them rather than the ability.
Fast forward to the present and we have a markedly different metagame than the one of February of 2017. Many of rain's previous staples have departed: both of the Thundurus formes have been banned, Azumarill is back to UUBL, Keldeo is a distant memory. While powerful Swift Swim threats like Kingdra, Kabutops and Ludicolo remain, Drizzle stands out among UUBL as an element that could perhaps use a second look, and therefore we have decided that it deserves a public suspect test.
And what about Drought? This has its own storied history in the tier, and remains one of our tier's most controversial bans. Drought was always the lesser of the two weathers, and very few people found it remotely unhealthy, especially once the deadliest Fire-type in UU, Victini, was banned. From there it existed comfortably in the tier, never being anything more than an extremely niche option, until June of 2017, when Hikari posted about how potentially threatening Mega Houndoom was under sun. Add up Mega Doom's naturally great Special Attack, Solar Power, STAB, the high BP of Fire Blast and sun's boosting of Fire-type moves and you have an absolute nuke capable of doing things like 2HKOing Blissey without a boost. The reaction was swift as people all began sharing calcs of just how threatening Solar Power-boosted Doom could be, and the council immediately voted to ban Mega Houndoom.
This ban was immediately controversial. After all, Mega Houndoom was certainly far from banworthy without Drought, and hadn't we banned Drizzle less than six months prior? Why deny the tier access to Mega Houndoom when we could just ban Drought? And so, six months later, we reversed the ban, freeing Mega Doom and banning Drought to become more consistent with our previous ban of Drizzle. Of course, this too was met with controversy and outrage: why ban an entire playstyle (albeit a niche one) and effectively ban a Pokemon just to preserve Houndoom? Firium Z Ninetales had been beginning to see some play, and suddenly that was taken away in favor of a niche Mega (one that still to this day only sees approximately 1% usage in UU). And to add insult to injury, tiers below UU campaigned to break transitivity so that they could continue using Drought, where it was amply demonstrated that in RU at least, Drought was far from gamebreaking. And now, with the discussion of potentially freeing Drizzle, Drought rears its ugly head again: if the main impetus for reversing the original Houndoom ban was to make things more consistent with the Drizzle ban, then doesn't freeing Drizzle mean we should also go back to the original Mega Houndoom ban?
And another question that hasn't even been asked: were we too hasty in banning the combination of Drought + Houndoom in the first place? Mega Houndoom was banned so quickly that the metagame never was allowed the opportunity to adjust to it. It is an absolutely terrifying wallbreaker with the sun out, and it has a great Speed tier and resistance to the most common priority in the tier. However, its mediocre bulk, Stealth Rocks weakness and Solar Power damage sharply limit the number of turns it can come in. It's also something that can be awkward to bring in safely while the sun is out, as most of the good switchins to Ninetales or Torkoal are also things you would not want to switch a Houndoom into. It often requires Nasty Plot to successfully threaten stall or Flame Charge to keep from immediately getting revenge-killed by non-stall teams, but its awkward bulk and typing afford it few setup opportunities.
So with all of that said, we have decided to allow the public to decide. Voters will first be asked whether they wish to unban Drought or keep it UUBL, and then will look at Mega Houndoom itself to consider whether it is banworthy.
And so, we are suspecting Drizzle and Drought. This suspect test will operate similarly to all of the most recent suspect tests. There will be no suspect ladder. Instead, the standard UU ladder will remain open, and Drizzle and Drought will be allowed on it. Those who wish to participate in this suspect test will instead use a fresh, suspect-specific alt. The requirements for the suspect will be as follows:
- All games must be played on the Pokemon Showdown! UU ladder on a fresh alt with the following format: "WTUU (Nick)." For example, I might register the alt WTUU Hogg to ladder with. You must meet the listed format in order to qualify.
- To qualify for voting, your alt must play a minimum of 45 games, and
- You must have a minimum GXE of 81.
PSA: While a little humor has never killed anybody, please refrain from clogging up the thread with posts that don't add anything of substance to the discussion at hand. Use your judgment, really. You can post all memes you want (within Smogon's rules, of course), but make sure to at least try adding a short paragraph to get the discussion going. Same for voting requirement posts; there will be a thread for those. If you want to post them here, that's fine. But posts such as "I just qualified, I'm voting x" without anything else will be deleted. That should be it, I think. Happy posting!