Metagame np: SS DOU Stage 1: When I Grow Up | Dynamax Suspect

talkingtree

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It's time for the first suspect of Generation 8, where we'll be taking a look at the Dynamax (and, as pictured above, Gigantamax) mechanic. Dynamax, at its worst, has the ability to blow up small weaknesses in teams to levels that can't be handled. Whichever team better utilizes their Max turns can run away with games by shifting momentum strongly enough that you can't come back. Various different elements of the metagame are enabled and exaggerated by Dynamax; Weakness Policy's inherent risk of taking a supereffective move is removed by doubling your HP. "Setup" Pokemon don't necessarily need setup moves thanks to Max Quake / Max Steelspike / Max Airstream, and more rarely, Max Knuckle and Max Ooze, and they retain all their attacking moves after the Max turns are over. In addition, gaining the additional offensive power from Dynamax also comes with a dramatic increase in bulk, making offensive answers that remove this threat from play very difficult to come by. These traits have made stat dropping an incredibly important part of handling an opponent's Dynamax, but even then there are offensive threats like Dragapult and Scope Lens Super Luck Togekiss that can circumvent these strategies.

However, Dynamax isn't always a gamebreaking mechanic. In many games, it's a strategic tool that elevates team synergy but requires some skill and forethought to utilitze adequately. If we had reacted immediately to generation-centric mechanics in the past like Mega Evolution, Terrains, and permanent weather, then they might not have remained despite now being recognized as manageable, salient elements. Whether you see Dynamax as the common denominator of some issues in the meta or simply an important factor to consider in SS DOU gameplay, this suspect is your chance to weigh in.

The council is not unanimous in believing that this mechanic needs to go, so this should not be seen as a joint Ban vote, but in the end we voted it to be the most pressing issue to bring to the community for input. Since Dynamax is such a large part of this metagame, it's a pretty big step to ban it. As before, there will be *no* posting requirement for this suspect, but if you are voting then you should read the other posts in the thread and discuss. Debate is wonderful and welcomed, but with a suspect thread being an important element of the forum, it will be moderated accordingly. Just make sure your post adds to the discussion around Dynamax and avoid personal jabs or unnecessary one-liners.

EDIT: Per the suggestion made in this post, there will be a third option of Ban Weakness Policy when the voting thread is set up. More details can be found in the post here.

Important: The qualification will last for a period of nine days, which will be slightly delayed so as not to interfere with DLT qualification.

Ladder Period (pending confirmation)
Start: Friday, March 27th 8:00 PM EDT (GMT-4)
End: Sunday, April 5 8:00 PM EDT (GMT-4)
All games must be played on the Pokemon Showdown! Doubles OU ladder on a fresh alt with a name of the form "DOUD7 (name)." For example, I might register the name "DOUD7 tree" to use during this suspect test.

To qualify to vote in this test, you must fulfill BOTH of the following requirements:
  • You must play at least 45 games
  • You must have a minimum GXE of 81
Dynamax will be legal during this suspect.
 
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dynamax suspect!?
[22:54:33] Grandmas Cookin: kinda poggers
[22:54:38] %qsns: definitely poggers
[22:54:45] +daawesomedude1 (: poggers indeed

im hesitant to hate on mascot mechanics in new generations, but im not a huge fan of dynamax myself. but the biggest issues i have with this format as it is right now all boil down to dynamax being the issue.

i saw someone say “being weak to weakness policy in previous formats meant you were weak to diance” or something along those lines, and i think that fits perfectly.

coming from a vgc background, dynamax has proven there to be the most centralizing part of each game, often making bad matchups even worse, or matchups that should be free a lot harder to win.

pro ban from me on this
 
Despite what others might think, I always believe Dynamax is unbalanced. I'm going to repeat some of the points I've made in np 0, so bear with me.

Not to the extent of how it performs in OU, but Dynamax's biggest problem is that its unpredictability since it doesn't require a specific held item, thus allowing any Pokemon in the party to Dynamax. It having flinch immunity makes it more difficult to use Fake Out before Dynamax occurs since you risk losing precious momentum from doing so and Justified + Beat Up strategy in its most broken iteration we've seen so far. Another huge issue comes with all Max Moves having ground-breaking secondary effects, and it only won't have its effect activate if it hits Max Guard. Flying-type strived as an offensive type again because of Max Airstream's speed boost and nothing is immune to it. And the x2 HP boosts from Dynamax turned out to be abusive as it makes the Pokemon too bulky and punishing the opponent for using a super-effective attack that didn't OHKO it with Weakness Policy, and Knock Off can't cut it if it's weak to Dark. Yawn turned out to be a good check to Dynamax before Venusaur came out as it would have to force them to switch out to risk not getting sleep or wasting their Dynamax turns from being asleep, but in my opinion, that isn't enough to stop its reign of terror.

As a more personal note, Dynamax makes me not want to run Roar at all since they gain immunity from being forced to switch out (except Red Card but you have to do it in an impractical way). On paper, Haze would seem like a good check to Dynamax, but it never plays out in practice with the lack of relevant users.

If I have the chance to vote (wish me luck), I will vote ban as Dynamax has proved to be overcentralizing and it would be more problematic as time progresses.
 
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Dynamax is very fun, but also very broken with weakness policy. One of them has to go. Maybe make it so your max mon cant max if it has wp. Will be a good compromise to not have to ban either. Because if max gets to stay obviously the very next suspect will be weakness policy anyways. None max mons shouldnt have to be punished with a wp ban just to keep max alive. Just like beat up was sacrificed because of max terr.

It will be sad to miss out on using all the new gmax mons/moves that are about to be released in the dlc, but oh well. I'm voting ban.

None of us wants to deal with max beast boosts and lando/zygarde. If dynamax does not get banned now it will be banned when the dlc drops. Lets just kill it now and get it over with.
 
In my opinion, I think the dynamax is what makes the use of beat up + terra, and the use of sure weakness are broken. In previous metagames the beat up + terra have not been a motive for ban, nor has there been any abuse of the WP.

I think dynamax makes these things very broken, so I think dynamax should be banned. In addition to some gigamax side effects that condition team building, such as lapras or charizard and who knows if more pokemon in the future with new moves that are too conditioning. If I get the voting requirements, Ban del dinamax will vote.
PD: sorry for my english is very bad haha.
 
I was the council member most opposed to this Dynamax test and here's my reasoning why:

It is absolutely true that the meta sucks right now. Laddering for DLT put me in a homicidal rage for two big reasons: Weakness Policy and Charizard, and I'll admit that both of these are probably only broken because of Dynamax. (Melmetal is a distant third, and JailMew fourth, but those are even more broken without Dynamax lol). But I think that we should have banned Weakness Policy and Charizard, not the whole mechanic. While it's a "shorter banlist" to just ban Dynamax than two, three, four other elements that are broken because of Dynamax, it is absolutely a "bigger ban." The analogy I've given in live chats is that when Mega Evolution came out in Gen 6 there were 4 unbelievably broken megas in OU: Blaziken, Gengar, Kangaskhan, Lucario. They could have chosen to suspect the Mega Evolution mechanic but they instead chose to suspect those four Pokemon, and I don't think there's anyone who wishes they had done it the other way.

So I hope people don't ban Dynamax to save a short list of cancerous abusers. If we're going to ban Dynamax, I hope it's because you think the vast majority of battles with Dynamax, no matter what is maxing, the Dynamax mechanic just completely ruins. I wish we could have got rid of the obvious cancer first to not have it muddy the conversation.



On that front, let's talk about KyleCole's statement that tree echoed in the OP, which is that Dynamax exacerbates tiny matchup deficiencies to be unwinnable. This is the most common sentiment I've seen for why Dynamax as a whole is completely busted. I don't really agree with this. What Dynamax absolutely does do is prioritize defensive answers to threats. Dynamax Pokemon are nearly unkillable (except by other Dynamax), so you are forced to wait out the Dynamax turns.

But I don't think the demand for defensive resources that Dynamax places is too great, because it doesn't ask you to perfectly wall them. If your opponent manages to kill two entire Pokemon with their Dynamax turns, that is just the break even point imo. They've traded 100% HP and access to Max moves for 200% HP. So basically all I feel like I need to do to not get completely blown up by Max Pokemon is not get OHKOed and not trade stupidly, which I don't think is too much to ask. (Theoretically max effects complicate this math a bit, but in my experience they are rarely impactful except with Weakness Policy and Charizard). There's a reason that a statement I've heard from a lot of top DOU players is "Usually whoever maxes second wins."

Returning more directly to Kyle's point, let's say I have a slight weakness to a Pokemon and I'd normally expect it to claim about 150% HP from me. With Dynamax, it is able to claim 250% HP from me. That is the exact same spread because it spent 100% of its own team's HP.

Man I dunno, I don't think I'm getting my point across on this part very clearly, but I have to go to work so fuck it. Hope this made sense lol
 

Nails

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I think that Dynamax is a perfectly healthy mechanic and that if anything should be banned Weakness Policy is the broken part. Poison and Fighting are both pretty weak, held in check by the devs preemptively giving them a powerful smack with the nerf bat, and boosting your speed or defenses when you are unable to cheese out a +2 boost in your favorite attacking stat is much less game winning than it is right now. Swords Dance/Nasty Plot and then pop max and start going ham is still in the same neighborhood but it offers way more counterplay than Weakness Policy, which makes unrealistic demands of "keep your Togekiss on the field and able to redirect at all points of the game unless you can deal with my +2 max mon". Dynamax offers extremely interesting, skill-demanding and skill-rewarding gameplay and it'd be a shame to throw it out when the worst abuse cases feature WP.

I'd like the council to add a third option to the vote:

Ban Dynamax
Ban Weakness Policy
No Bans

and use instant runoff voting (pick your favorite options in order, remove losing options until a majority is reached). This won't make the vote take any longer than it will currently, it's easy enough to tally, and it will allow voters to (imo) target the true culprit while preserving gen 8's defining mechanic.
 

Martin

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I really don't think Dynamax is a problem, and the arguments I've seen people push from the "dynamax is the real problem" angle reek of the same horrendous, flawed, nonsensical thought processes as banning Shadow Tag>the Goths.

I don't have a huge amount to add that Stratos hasn't said already, so I won't make this post much longer than this, but I will say that this is the first time I've felt that one of Game Freak's new-fangled generational gimmick mechanics has actually added depth to the game, and I think it would be a massive shame to scapegoat it instead of attacking the actual problems, being Charizard and WP.
 
I think dynamax is not as big of an issue as people make it out to be. I 100% agree with Stratos and Nails' posts. We shouldn't throw away gen 8's main mechanic just because keeping it would mean less bans. Instead, we should look at the elements that make dynamax so threatening (namely weakness policy) and ban them instead.
 
I agree with Stratos and Nails, I don't really think that dynamax is that big of a problem. Especially in Doubles, Dynamax is quite easy to play around and you can easily take out their dynamax threat. The only real time it becomes a problem is with Weakness Policy, (Like the Coalossal strat)
I dont think we should ban Dynamax as that's not the real problem here
 

n10sit

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I would like to say that I don't think a comparison between Dynamaxing and Megas is fair at all, not every Pokemon could mega, dynamaxing isn't permanent, and it essentially gives you z moves over the duration of the max. There exists way more variance with dynamaxing than with megas. I don't inherently disagree with Nails' idea about runoff voting between WP and dynamax, but the argument for preserving the core mechanic of the generation doesn't make a lot of sense, we're here to ensure we have the most fun possible while playing competitive Pokemon. There's no obligation for any part of Smogon to "honor" mechanics introduced to us as part of the game if we see reason to think those are hurting our enjoyment of the game. Lastly, I think banning specific Pokemon from dynamaxing is an extremely slippery slope. We can ban Mega Stones because there are a finite amount of them. But if we start banning certain Pokemon from dynamaxing (an arbitrary ban that isn't actually possible on cartridge without banning the Pokemon afaik) we're going to find ourselves in August with 20-30 dynamax bans and what the fuck is the point of that
 
I would like to say that I don't think a comparison between Dynamaxing and Megas is fair at all, not every Pokemon could mega, dynamaxing isn't permanent, and it essentially gives you z moves over the duration of the max. There exists way more variance with dynamaxing than with megas.
I'm not trying to equate the power level of Dynamax and Megas. If you think Dynamax is really broken on a ton of mons, by all means vote ban. The purpose of my illustration was to say that if you think Dynamax would be fine if we could just ban a few problem elements, we should go for those elements.

Lastly, I think banning specific Pokemon from dynamaxing is an extremely slippery slope. We can ban Mega Stones because there are a finite amount of them. But if we start banning certain Pokemon from dynamaxing (an arbitrary ban that isn't actually possible on cartridge without banning the Pokemon afaik)
Nobody is suggesting that. The most anyone is suggesting is sending specific Pokemon to Doubles Ubers.

we're going to find ourselves in August with 20-30 dynamax bans and what the fuck is the point of that
You will always see this slippery slope argument in any suspect thread, but I don't really buy it, particularly with Dynamax. They are primarily offensive Pokemon, primarily checked defensively. So it's pretty rare for one mon's Dynamax to be holding another mon's Dynamax down. What I'm saying is if there were multiple banworthy Pokemon at the moment, we would probably be seeing them all; they wouldn't suddenly appear once we knock down the first domino. (Notable exception being Dragapult, maybe, but that's far more likely to get banned than any of its checks anyway so).

Apart from the current meta, on PS you mentioned the possibility that the DLC will come out and Dynamax will become very broken then. This is certainly possible. If it happens, we can ban Dynamax at that time, and immediately free anything that no longer needs to be banned without Dynamax. We aren't slaves to any process. As long as we trust the council to take the right action in the future, we don't need to bend over backwards to future-proof ourselves now. (This also applies to the situation where we keep finding things we need to ban before the DLC drops but as I already said I think that's super unlikely).
 

Yoda2798

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but the argument for preserving the core mechanic of the generation doesn't make a lot of sense, we're here to ensure we have the most fun possible while playing competitive Pokemon. There's no obligation for any part of Smogon to "honor" mechanics introduced to us as part of the game if we see reason to think those are hurting our enjoyment of the game.
It's important to note that we don't tier just based on "fun", and that fun is a subjective quality anyways. On that point, I'll say that like many others, I also don't really enjoy the current meta. However, I don't think Dynamax is to be blamed and banned for it. I found the pre-home/drops meta fun, and didn't at all feel Dynamax was banworthy, with most people seemingly the same after the first week of getting used to it (referring moreso to Dynamax here). As Stratos has pointed out, there are other elements in the current meta at fault as well. I really hope people aren't going to vote based on fun either way.

On the idea of whether or not we should try to "save" Dynamax, I agree with the sentiment that we should only ban such a big mechanic if it proves to be fundamentally problematic (which the dreaded hypothetical case of banning 10-20 Pokemon because of it would show, but isn't actually happening). I would rather ban Weakness Policy and even a handful of Pokemon which are pushed over the edge by Dynamax if needed. You can include Beat Up in that list as well but that one would still be pretty dumb without it, Dynamax wasn't the only thing that made it better this gen.

To address a couple of other arguments that have been made in this thread, the "Dmax breaks Beat Up/WP therefore it should be banned" is for that reason unconvincing to me, as is the argument of banning Dynamax due to it being centralising. Centralising isn't inherently bad, other mechanics like Mega Evolution, Z-moves, terrain, and weather have all been central parts of battles in their respective gens, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're a problem.

I'm not completely against the idea of banning Dynamax, but I would need to be convinced that it's fundamentally broken, which so far I have not. There have been a few arguments made in this vein, mainly Kylecole's statement mentioned in the OP, but nothing that's changed my mind. I hope that future pro-ban arguments in the thread are along this line rather than the ones mentioned above.
 
On that front, let's talk about KyleCole's statement that tree echoed in the OP
Returning more directly to Kyle's point
mainly Kylecole's statement mentioned in the OP
No one misrepresented me or anything, but in case you didn't catch it on discord and are wondering exactly what my statement was:

Screen Shot 2020-03-21 at 3.46.33 PM.png


Some slight exaggeration for hilarity obviously, but now you're up to date. Like I also said in discord (and this will serve as a good precursor to my pro-banness) I'm surprised and flattered that my opinion is considered anywhere near relevant enough to reference and respond to (it probably shouldn't be, I'm washed up), and since I'm here, I'll make my pro-ban case. I'm not married to this opinion and looking forward to hearing responses!

As several anti-ban posts have alluded to or directly stated, something is rotten in the state of current DOU. To attempt to sum it up, I think the perception is that big mons with big boosts creates an environment where the importance of player skill in team building and playing is lower than we might like.

I would be heavily in favour of Nails suggestion for an instant runoff vote in order for voters to pick and choose how they want to change things, but as it stands, my goal is simple: to ban/or not ban based on what will give me the most fun playing DOU now and going forward.

To put it plainly, I am not at all bothered that banning Dmax might be an overcorrection. Let's break it down and assume that:
  1. A no ban vote has a 5% chance of me accomplishing my goal of maximum fun (say, some small chance that the meta corrects itself over time) and 0% of overcorrection, that is, a 0% chance of banning too much--banning something that didn't need to go

  2. A Ban Weakness Policy vote has a 80% chance of accomplishing maximum fun (assuming 20% chance that dmax really is the problem or that Dmax pokemon released in the future require another suspect, or the problem is something else. Pick your own % here if you want) and 0-5% chance of overcorrection

  3. A ban Dmax vote has a 95% chance of accomplishing maximum fun (say, 5% chance that the problem this whole time is really just gmax zard and that's it so we should've just banned zard, or that the problem is something else), and a 15% chance of overcorrection (again pick your own %s.)
For me, I don't care about an overcorrection/banning more than is necessary. If you care a lot about that, then you're probably a ban WP vote! If I "accomplish maximum fun", then I consider that an absolute win. Therefore, I'm likely a ban vote. If my perception of these %s change then my vote will change too. To reiterate, I am voting to maximize the chance that I have a fun metagame in the future. If you're voting to maximize the fun chance AND minimize the chance of an overcorrection, then you do your thing!

I can already hear some of you frothing and slobbering at the keyboard ready to pick apart the fact that I put some value to not having future suspects in situation 2. The thing is, having a future suspect requires me to play an unfun meta for some stretch of time (or not play, perhaps this has the highest value after all) until we can get the additional ban(s) done. If that's not what official smogon legislature dictates to be proper behaviour, I don't care. I just want fun.
Big +2 perior, Big +2 melmetal, Big +2 draga, and big +2 +speed togekiss are not fun for me. Big zard is also not fun for me, WP or not, so that's where I'm at now.
 
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talkingtree

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**These are just my words and not a joint statement from the council**

I can definitely see the value in holding IRV with Weakness Policy as another option. Stratos and I were talking about how in an ideal world, we could just do IRV with DMax/WP/Torkoal/Melmetal/Nothing or something like that; unfortunately, that makes discussion nearly impossible. The fact that we wanted to be able to hold such a vote shows that there really are quite a few potential issues with the meta. As it stands, I'm not sure we can get enough of the community to agree on which one to go first, so as tier leader I've been worried about picking the wrong thing, having people complain and/or protest vote, and then nothing changes.

Instant Runoff Voting would have been perfect towards the end of XY when we were dealing with the Jirachi + Azumarill combination, arguing over which part of the broken combo needed to go. Everyone agreed that the reason we were suspecting them was because of their combined power, but couldn't agree on which was the culprit, and so multiple suspects and muddled communication / discussion led us down an entirely unhelpful and unproductive path.

I'm a little worried that some of the pro-ban arguments have been warped by this discussion though -- If the whole discussion is whether DMax should go or WP should go, then it communicates that, like it would have been for AzuRachi, it's the combination of DMax and WP that's being tested, and we're just arguing over which is the broken element. However, I personally see three camps of opinion:
  1. The combination of Dynamax and Weakness Policy is broken, and Weakness Policy is the true culprit, so we should just ban Weakness Policy
  2. The combination of Dynamax and Weakness Policy is broken, and Dynamax is the true culprit, so we should just ban Dynamax
  3. Dynamax has a whole host of issues with it, Weakness Policy being only one of them, so Dynamax is inherently broken and should be banned
(There is probably also a smaller camp of people that believe Dynamax + WP isn't an issue, but for the sake of argument I'm going to focus on these three)

Splitting up the options into Ban Dynamax / Ban Weakness Policy / Ban Nothing entirely centers the topic of this subject around camps 1 and 2, ignoring the other concerns from camp 3. I'll do my best to lay out some of these other, non-WP related, concerns:

There are very few scenarios where a DMax'd threat can be dealt with offensively. So, if there is any one Pokemon on the opponent's team that gives you trouble, they can Max it and get powerful moves, favorable field conditions, stat raises/drops, or even GMax effects without you being able to take out the source. No one is forced to always Max the same Pokemon, so many teams will bring 3 or 4 solid Max targets and change it up depending on which can exploit the opposition. The only way you're likely to be able to deal with a DMax Pokemon offensively is to have a very strong super effective attack and favorable speed control. This is a lot to ask for taking out any one threat, especially if that threat can be whichever Pokemon the opponent wants.

There is no opportunity cost in Dynamax. Pokemon like WP Dragapult, Durant, Charizard, NP Rotom-W, WP Necrozma, and Scope Lens Togekiss are already very solid team choices without Dynamax/Gigantamax. Not only that, but these Pokemon get "free" moveslots to set up. Of these: Charizard, Togekiss, and even Dragapult can raise their Speed; Durant and Necrozma can boost their Special Defense; Dragapult and Dark Pulse Rotom-W can lower foes's stats.... all without sacrificing the ability to run their best attacks.

The defensive options for beating Dynamax are too easy to circumvent. Stat drops from Intimidate, Parting Shot, Snarl, and your own Max moves are usually great ways of neutering a powerful threat. However, Dragapult and Scope Lens Togekiss will still attack at full strength (most of the time). Status effects like Burn and Sleep stop this threat in its tracks or severely weaken it, but Togekiss is everywhere to redirect it, Max Starfall blocks both effects, and Max Lightning prevents Sleep. Fake Out isn't an option for stalling turns because they're immune to flinches, and Protect isn't as useful because you still take damage *and* the DMax Pokemon gets whatever Max effect it wanted. Therefore, you're limited to bulking out the attacks, switching around to immunities or resistances, or getting the stat drops and status effects through those other barriers mentioned.

Dynamax's momentum swings are too great, resulting in a snowball effect. Games are often decided in 6 or fewer turns -- the three you have to Dynamax and the three the opponent has. If you use your Dynamax turns correctly, you take out foes' Pokemon, boost your stats, set favorable conditions, and put yourself in such a commanding position that the enemy cannot come back. If you don't, then you haven't accomplished enough, and it's going to be an uphill battle. It doesn't matter who Dynamax'es first -- I believe qsns ran the numbers and found that the person who Max'd second won exactly as often as the person who Max'd first in SPL. There definitely are games that will be decided outside of the max turns, but if you can "just win" a game, somewhat routinely, with the same mechanic, then it's broken and needs to go.

These arguments aren't perfect, but I did my best to summarize them and I think they're worth considering. I'm still open to IRV, and we're discussing it within council right now, but I felt it important to open up another part of the discussion while we decide what makes the most sense going forward.
 
The analogy I've given in live chats is that when Mega Evolution came out in Gen 6 there were 4 unbelievably broken megas in OU: Blaziken, Gengar, Kangaskhan, Lucario. They could have chosen to suspect the Mega Evolution mechanic but they instead chose to suspect those four Pokemon, and I don't think there's anyone who wishes they had done it the other way.
The problem with this analogy is that you can treat Mega as just forms, since they are just that, with the only difference between Megas and regular forms being 1 Mega per game and requiring a Mega Stone.
Megas also were something you can control in the teambuilder.
And lastly, Megas had a limited amount of potential users.
Dynamax does not fit any of these descriptions. And if anything, Dynamax is closer to Z-moves than Megas. A “super buffed lower risk higher reward with a sprinkle of immunities no one asked for” Z-moves that is.
Really, Dynamax is at its core a bad mechanic.

I may be no Psychic type, but seeing how banning strategies that were fine before Dynamax didn’t help the meta, then maybe banning perfectly legitimate strategies fine before Dynamax will just lead to “Oh no! This perfectly fine strategy in previous gens is now dominating the meta” isn’t the right move.

And really, what do we gain from keeping Dynamax?
With keeping Megas, we got healthy team compositions and a great Special Attacker under trickroom, and with keeping Z-moves, we get multiple strategies utilizing Status moves and made metagame knowledge a deeper skill.
With Dynamax, we just get to Nope out of punishments and forgo most drawbacks from moves and even Item.
 
Dynamax and Weakness Policy are both pretty huge problems in this meta, but I think Dynamax is a bigger culprit at the moment.

Weakness Policy is only one of many tools a Dynamaxed Pokemon can use to snowball quickly. Fake Out immunity + high-damage boosting moves + 3 chances to set desirable Dynamax effects is already a recipe for a complete steamroll. I think the closest thing we had to a Dynamax mon in previous generations was Kommo-o in Gen 7. Not a perfect comparison, but hear me out: it could use Clangorous Soulblaze to set up while dealing strong damage, and it proved very capable of steamrolling matches before Mega Gengar was banned.

Unlike Dynamax mons, however, Kommo-o last gen had some pretty exploitable weaknesses:
  • it only had one chance to set up
  • it risked burning Clangerous Soulblaze into double fairies or a fairy + fainted Pokemon
  • it wasn't immune to Fake Out, so good timing mattered for setting up
  • Dragon/Fighting typing left it wide open to strong Fairy attacks even after it had set up, so the game wasn't decided just because Kommo-o managed to +1 all of its stats
  • Kommo-o had to forego an item in able to get its Z move
Dynamax may not immediately give a +1 to all of a Dynamaxed Pokemon's stats but an immediate HP buff, upgrade to the Base Power of its attack, and opportunity to get one favourable stat buff / effect each turn effectively achieves a similar thing (not to mention your partner also gets the boosts). Now, pair this with the fact that any of your four moveslots can be used to achieve a boost/effect, and we now have what I would consider equivalent-ish to Clangerous Soulblazes with 4 options to hit your foe super-effectively (or at least neutrally). And then on top of that you have fake out immunity, three chances to set up with OP attacks, resistance to would-be supereffective damage, and last but least you still have a held item that can boost your power even further -- be it Weakness Policy or just Life Orb.

I think this makes for an uninteractive metagame in a franchise that has otherwise been centered around strategically balancing risks and rewards, using knowledge of type charts, stat distributions, and status moves to outbuild and outplay your opponent.

That said, I still think Weakness Policy could be a problem even without Dynamax. Many WP abusers -- particularly all the common TR sweepers like Rhyperior and Melmetal -- are very easy to set up using bulldoze Dusclops/Torkoal or Low Sweep Gothitelle, or in the case of balance teams, stuff like Mach Punch + Bullet Punch + Sucker Punch hitmontop.

Just as a proof of concept, I threw together a fullroom team (paste here) with triple weakness policy (including a WP Incineroar) and laddered. It's not necessarily a good team, and I didn't nessesarily play good with it, but here are a few replays that show what's wrong with this meta:
Even without Dynamax, the WP Rhyperior and Melmetal would've been quite dumb. But the fact I can lead Incineroar + TR on turn 1, then use bulldoze on turn 2 to attack with a +2 Dynamaxed Incineroar that doesn't incur Flare Blitz recoil shows how wide open Dynamax leaves us to gimmicky strats.

And with more Pokemon like Landorus-T on the horizon with DLC, I can see new Pokemon becoming troublesome later on if dynamax isn't addressed now.

One last thing I will say is I don't think all Max Move effects are created equal. Some are healthy whereas others are completely busted - not to say that I think a complex ban on Max Moves should ever be on the table, but I think it's worth isolating the aspects of Dynamax that make it problematic.

Tier 1 max moves (really busted):
  • Max Airtstream: A +1 Speed boost that kicks in immediately gives you an insane amount of momentum in balance team vs. balance team matchups.
  • Max Steelspike / Quake: A +1 Def / SpD boost makes an already hard-to-KO Dynamax user even more untouchable
Tier 2 max moves (slightly less busted):
  • The weather moves: the new speed mechanics already make weather wars volatile, but being able to disrupt them every turn for 3 turns makes weather in Gen 8 completely unstable
  • Max Phantasm / Darkness: dealing big damage AND dropping your opponent's defenses lets you pick up insane momentum, but at least your foe can switch out their mons to erase the stat drop
  • GMax Wildfire: Zard is broken.
Tier 3 max moves (good, but healthy):
  • Max Whyrmind / Flutterfly: The latter of these two gets kinda bad distribution, but being able to drop opponent's offenses while dealing damage presents a healthy way to slow their momentum and deal with a runaway Dynamaxer.
  • The terrain moves: terrain wars aren't really a thing right now, so I think moves that set terrains add an interesting layer to the metagame without making anything feel OP.
    (edit: forgot 2 of the moves - see below)
  • GMax Smite: Hatterene is less relevant in the current meta, but a 100% chance to spread confusion is a potent side effect to a Fairy move that's already very strong. Would've placed this in Tier 2 pre-home.
  • GMax Resonance: Lapras being able to set dual screens while dealing damage is very potent, and again exasperates an already prominent issue with the amount of bulk Dynamax mons get. Would've placed this in Tier 2, but Lapras kinda sucks outside of its GMax move.
Tier 4 max moves (nothing special):
  • Max Knucle / Ooze: A +1 boost to your offenses, tempered by the fact that these moves have low Base Power, makes these pretty niche. Usually fighting-types are better off just clicking unmaxed Close Combat, and the only relevant Ooze user, Venusaur, hardly needs the +1 boost to be a threat.
  • The other GMax moves I didn't mention: I don't know if I missed a relevant one somewhere, but other than Zard I kind of feel like most mons prefer just the regular Max Moves??
Tier 5 max moves (quite bad):
  • Max Strike: The only mons I can think of that would use this are TR sweepers, so dropping your targets' speed is counter-intuitive.
  • GMax Beffuddle: fuck butterfree :fukyu:
 
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One thing I've noticed (and I know I've said this at least once before, but I think it's worth reiterating) is that virtually every time someone calls for something to be banned, the case almost always seems to involve something Dynamaxing (e.g. Beat Up was banned because of Dynamax Terrakion, people want Weakness Policy banned because of how easily various Dynamaxed Pokemon can abuse it, etc.). So I think there's a valid reason to be suspicious of whether Dynamax is actually healthy considering how much it gets brought up when putting other items or strategies on the chopping block.

And honestly, Dynamaxing in general is absurd. Basically, you get the opportunity to fire off three Z-Moves in a row with a Pokemon that has twice as much HP as it normally does (without needing a Z-Crystal to use them, might I add). That alone would be one thing, but Max Moves also have the added bonuses of boosting stats, lowering opposing stats, summoning weather or terrain, and in the case of several G-Max Moves, inflicting status conditions. And might I add, the stat boosts from Max Moves also benefit the Dynamaxed mon's teammate, and stat drops and status conditions impact both opponents even if only one was targeted. So even after the three turns have passed, the Pokemon that Dynamaxed is still capable of being an unhealthy presence if it or its teammate have enough stat boosts or if the opposing player gets unlucky with status conditions. You don't need Weakness Policy to be able to do any of that.

As for the whole Dynamax versus Weakness Policy debate, what I personally have yet to see is a convincing reason to believe Dynamax would become healthy without WP, whereas I would bet 10 Comet Shards that only about 5% of WP abusers would be able to continue doing so if they couldn't Dynamax. WP is just another symptom of the problem caused by the baseball-sized tumor that is Dynamax. So if I do get the chance to participate, I will be voting to ban Dynamax.
 
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From what I can gather, people are dissatisfied with the meta as it stands. That is reasonable--the meta feels off in some way. The proposed solution is banning Dynamax--this seems silly to me. I will give a few reasons why I am in favor of ranked choice voting with an instant runoff instead of just a dynamax ban, and why I feel that dynamax is not the culprit, or at least not broken.
The main reason I believe that we should have instant runoff voting is that I do not believe that Dynamax is banworthy, and I would like to see weakness policy tested at the same time.
Let's start off with the basics. Banning a mechanic, as opposed to a pokemon, should be understood differently than the normal ban process. This is because one important element of banning individual mons is the benefit of running the mon vs. not running it, e.g., a mon gives too much advantage to use that it is a mistake to not use it. This doesn't really make sense with Dynamax, as it is automatically accessible to both players. To be sure, players can make teams that make better use out of dynamax, as they could make teams that made better use out of Z moves and super sitrus berries, but the mechanic is available to all players, no matter how they build their teams.

Second, when banning, we should try to create a simpler ban list. Simpler, however, doesn't mean shorter. Banning dynamax is a massive move, and even if the ban list is shorter as a result, that does not necessarily mean that it is better.

On what I feel is a pretty bad argument: in order to save dynamax we have to ban a lot of stuff, so we should just ban dynamax. This is a question of throwing the baby out with the bath water, and of course that is a bad idea. The question remains, however: what is the baby and what is the bath water? I think that if we ban dynamax to save a number of things that no one cares about in the first place, then we have made a mistake.
First, I don't think anyone honestly liked beat up + justified as a mechanic, and we didn't bother to ban it because it wasn't particularly strong in the first place. If it had ever been truly strong it would have been banned for being cancer. We didn't ban it because it wasn't a real strategy.
Similarly for weakness policy. Weakness policy found a home last gen on Diancie and only Diancie. That's ok! it's a cool item and I like it. But it seems to me that we don't lose much by losing weakness policy, in a non-Max format, whereas we do lose a lot by losing Dynamax as a mechanic.
Finally, even if we have to ban Charizard as well to save Dynamax I'm completely fine with that. If Dynamax gets banned, zard very well might be unviable. It might as well be banned except for one line on the ban list.

To me, at this point in time, Dynamax seems like the baby and Zard/Beat up/Shadow Tag/Weakness policy all seem like the bath water, if we even have to ban all of them. If Dynamax gets more broken later, e.g., Max Ultra Beasts turn out to be broken, or max Landorus, then I would be happy to revisit it. A relatively small banlist to save a massive mechanic is fine by me.

With all that said, I will survey some of the better arguments.

Why would we ban dynamax? I think that there are arguments here are better than the ones people have been giving, and I'm going to link a game I played in seasonals to demonstrate.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8doublesou-1083324860
This game I start off in a reasonable position with an Incin Dragapult lead, and Memoric decides to take advantage of that by trying to blow holes in my team with Keldeo. I seriously consider maxing my Pult here, but choose not to, and am rewarded as I am able to stall out the max turns. Then all I have to do is put one of my pokemon that can max in a decent position and I almost automatically win the game, assuming memo doesn't do the same to me.
The point here is not to brag about my win vs memoric, but to show that Dynamax can place a lot of pressure on leads and turn 1 decisions in a way that is not necessarily healthy. The amount of swing in a game from this one decision that is, to some extent, a 50/50 so early can make it difficult to play healthy games of pokemon and instead play games of chicken.
Check out this game I had vs SMB. https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8doublesou-479426
Just look at the turn 1, and assume Mimikyu has shadow sneak and Necrozma has Weakness policy (they do). How do you play this first turn in a way that doesn't instantly lose you the game if you're wrong? I played aggressively turn 1 and was rewarded for it, but got really scared turn 2 by the potential to just set up the weakness policy there (which was a mistake).
Decisions and calls are important in pokemon, and I'm not arguing that we should take away high pressure situations. I'm merely arguing that having them all be turn 1 is not necessarily healthy.


Even with all that said, Dynamax is balanced. Z moves were hidden and put a lot of pressure on opponents to play around each of them. Optimizing your Z move timing was important and taking a key knock out with it could end the game. In a game I played with Stax, I managed to hide my Z move and then punish him for not respecting my options. it is a similar manner with dynamax. You have to respect which pokemon your opponent wants to dynamax, when they want to do it, and what they're going to go for. That doesn't make it broken, as dynamaxing in response, or even just stalling it out tends to be sufficient.

So far in the post-home meta, the only pokemon i've been super scared of dynamaxing are the ones with multiple boosts already set up. Zard is scary because it has the Sun boost, Solar Power boost and the life orb boost. Weakness policy mons are scary because they max and have boosts at the same time. If a pokemon is required to set up in some way before it maxes, then it can take chip and won't be at full health when it maxes. This enables offensive counterplay as an option, as if pokemon don't max at full health then maxing in response can deal with them offensively (if a +2 60% rotom maxes, I can make it go away. I can't do that to a +2 +2 full health Pult). The problem with dynamax is when the max mons get their boosts for free (using your max moves to get a boost is not free, you only have 3 of those). Most mons can take LO boosted max moves, allowing the possibility of pivoting around the max until it runs out. The problem comes when the max mons get multiple boosts quickly and the boosts can't even be dealt with pre-emptively (as snarling necrozma activates the policy).

Overall, this is less well written than I would have liked. To summarize: we should do nails' suggestion. Dynamax is only banworthy because of the pressure put on it in each game, as a result of it being a mechanic. However, that pressure has been seen in previous mechanics and was similarly game deciding, but was fine. Dynamax is a resource and resource management is important. However, if dynamax is too good offensively (because of weakness policy) then it becomes a problem. I think that Dynamax without WP is manageable offensively and defensively and should at least be given a shot.


P.S.
It's possible that the meta would be better without Dynamax. However, we play pokemon, and as a result we should try to stay as close to the cartridge as possible. Pokemon involved z moves and megas last gens, and now it involves Dynamax. That's what pokemon is now.
 
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Let's start off with the basics. Banning a mechanic, as opposed to a pokemon, should be understood differently than the normal ban process. This is because one important element of banning individual mons is the benefit of running the mon vs. not running it, e.g., a mon gives too much advantage to use that it is a mistake to not use it. This doesn't really make sense with Dynamax, as it is automatically accessible to both players. To be sure, players can make teams that make better use out of dynamax, as they could make teams that made better use out of Z moves and super sitrus berries, but the mechanic is available to all players, no matter how they build their teams.
I'd say that resorting to the argument that Dynamax is "automatically accessible to both players" is actually more of an indictment of how unhealthy it is in this current game. You're literally suggesting countering a strategy by using that same exact strategy yourself. Should Zacian-C, Moody, or Double Team be legal for that reason as well? Because this exact same argument could be rehashed in order to suggest that they should be.

Second, when banning, we should try to create a simpler ban list. Simpler, however, doesn't mean shorter. Banning dynamax is a massive move, and even if the ban list is shorter as a result, that does not necessarily mean that it is better.
Not really. It's banning one mechanic that causes many moves and items to be unhealthy instead of trying to find every single thing that Dynamax takes over the top and banning all of them one at a time.

On what I feel is a pretty bad argument: in order to save dynamax we have to ban a lot of stuff, so we should just ban dynamax. This is a question of throwing the baby out with the bath water, and of course that is a bad idea. The question remains, however: what is the baby and what is the bath water? I think that if we ban dynamax to save a number of things that no one cares about in the first place, then we have made a mistake.
I disagree. When virtually every single item or move brought to the chopping block revolves around something Dynamaxing, banning the latter isn't so much throwing the baby out with the bathwater as it is cutting out a tumor so the problems it causes will eventually go away. That's not to say that banning Dynamax would be some miracle pill that would magically solve every problem, but if it is the reason why so many things are problematic, it does no good to let it continue to fester and potentially make even more items or moves banworthy. Is it really worth moving heaven and earth in order to keep Dynamax intact when banning the mechanic would keep them from being problematic in the first place?

To me, at this point in time, Dynamax seems like the baby and Zard/Beat up/Shadow Tag/Weakness policy all seem like the bath water, if we even have to ban all of them. If Dynamax gets more broken later, e.g., Max Ultra Beasts turn out to be broken, or max Landorus, then I would be happy to revisit it. A relatively small banlist to save a massive mechanic is fine by me.
I don't see preserving a "massive mechanic" as a convincing reason to believe Dynamax should be kept around instead of the other things you listed. You yourself just correctly admitted that Beat Up and Weakness Policy were hardly ever used last gen. Why did they, as well as the other things you listed, become problematic in the first place? Because of Dynamaxing (and I suppose, in the case of Beat Up, Dragapult being able to spam Ally Switch and status moves may have also contributed). Again, what good is it to save a "massive mechanic" if that "massive mechanic" is what is causing WP and Beat Up to be broken in the first place?

Even with all that said, Dynamax is balanced. Z moves were hidden and put a lot of pressure on opponents to play around each of them. Optimizing your Z move timing was important and taking a key knock out with it could end the game. In a game I played with Stax, I managed to hide my Z move and then punish him for not respecting my options. it is a similar manner with dynamax. You have to respect which pokemon your opponent wants to dynamax, when they want to do it, and what they're going to go for. That doesn't make it broken, as dynamaxing in response, or even just stalling it out tends to be sufficient.
I'm not buying this comparison. You could only use one Z-Move per game, you had to give up an item slot in order for a Pokemon to use it, you could only use a Z-Move of the corresponding type to the Z-Crystal it held, and if the Pokemon holding a Z-Crystal got KOed before it could use its Z-Move, the only way to get the chance to use another would be if you had another Pokemon on your team holding one. With Dynamax, there are no such strings attached. Yes, there are ways to play around opposing Dynamaxes. Yes, it requires a degree of skill to use Dynamax effectively yourself. And once again, someone could potentially use those same arguments to imply that Zacian-C is healthy for this metagame too.

P.S.
It's possible that the meta would be better without Dynamax. However, we play pokemon, and as a result we should try to stay as close to the cartridge as possible. Pokemon involved z moves and megas last gens, and now it involves Dynamax. That's what pokemon is now.
We have BSS and VGC for that (and Ubers as well). Being a flagship feature of a generation doesn't mean that it's good for the game.
 
You keep beating this drum of "we have to ban dynamax to save one million things" when actually the list of things we have to ban to save dynamax is:

beat up (debatably broken without dmax)
weakness policy
zard
maybe goth line (debatably not broken)

this is a list significantly short of one million items, unless i'm missing a bunch. What am I missing?
 
For all its hassle, the two main issues I have with Dynamax specifically (to differentiate from Gigantamax) are:
-Max Airstream: I don't know if I've ever won a game in which my opponent got this off. Speed control with a powerful move is really debilitating, at least against my playstyle
-Weakness Policy+D-Max: what makes Weakness Policy better in this generation than any before it is that you couldn't use the power-up of a given generation AND carry this item - you either carry a Z-move/Mega Crystal, or you carry Weakness Policy. Without Snatch,

G-Max is mostly all right; notably though, really finding Lapras and Snorlax to be debilitating - Charizard isn't so bad, TBH...Coalassal either, but that's because they seem more balanced - the former isn't that fast, and the latter requires a teammate to activate. (Quite notably, the Coalassal combo would be way less degenerate without Weakness Policy) The main arguments for letting the latter two stay though, in my opinion, are that they both have quad weaknesses and they are less bulky. Even Pokémon who are reasonably tough defensively don't get nearly the same bonus from G-Max because they don't have gargantuan HP levels - the proportion-based HP bump really exacerbates the benefits of G-Max for Lapras and Snorlax to an unreasonable degree, I feel.

My opinions above are mostly from VGC battling experience. I think that in 4v4, D-Max definitely fits within that frame. For 6v6 Doubles, it does seem a little more out-of-place conceptually, but so far I haven't found it to be game-breaking (new to SwShOU Doubles, though).

My present opinion: please keep D-Max and G-Max...but I would like to see Lapras and Snorlax banned. I don't see a feasible way to do anything about Max Airstream specifically, but I do still find that one problematic. Probably a bad idea, but we could also...ban D-Max but not G-Max? The G-Max Pokémon that are too good can be pushed up in tiers up to and including getting banned (Doubles AG, anyone?). My reasoning is that this keeps the flavour of the Gen 8 mechanic by focusing on the Pokémon who got the direct attention from the developers. It is also a sort of adapting the mechanics to be like Mega Evolution and enables the use of the good and janky options, whilst also keeping the boosting more in check by restricting the variability - a player COULD run multiple Pokémon with a G-Max form, which was also a viable strategy with Pokémon with Mega Evolutions, but you would at least be able to know it's any of those Pokémon which can get the power boost, as opposed to ANY Pokémon on your player's side of the field.

Another thought: is it possible to play around with the HP boost? I would say minimising it would be best. Not sure how much testing you'd like to do, but this could resolve the biggest problem with D-Max, no?
 
I'd say that resorting to the argument that Dynamax is "automatically accessible to both players" is actually more of an indictment of how unhealthy it is in this current game. You're literally suggesting countering a strategy by using that same exact strategy yourself. Should Zacian-C, Moody, or Double Team be legal for that reason as well? Because this exact same argument could be rehashed in order to suggest that they should be.
I think you are missing the point here. The point isn't "both players can dynamax so it isn't broken", the arguement being made is more "this mechanic is available to both players without making concessions in the builder, we can't evaluate it like we would a pokemon because the definition of broken
They are broken because they almost dictate / require usage, and a standard team without one of them facing a standard team with one of them would be at a drastic disadvantage.
can't be applied, as it's literally impossible to build a team without dynamax".

To answer a few other points made in this thread:

You yourself just correctly admitted that Beat Up and Weakness Policy were hardly ever used last gen. Why did they, as well as the other things you listed, become problematic in the first place? Because of Dynamaxing
No not really (at least for beat up). The reason it became prominent this gen was mostly the beat up users being tier 1 instead of being unviable outside of beat up strats, in addition to a lack of pokemon capable of outspeeding terrakion and OHKOing it (last gen, for example, mega metagross dunked on whimsi+terrak). Sure, the problem was made even worse by the +6 mon getting twice the hp and base 130 moves, but beat up would probably be banworthy even if we got rid of dynamax. As for weakness policy, everyone recognizes that it poses a problem only in conjunction with dynamax, I think that the decision of which to ban comes down to personal philosophy.

Probably a bad idea, but we could also...ban D-Max but not G-Max?
I don't know if this is feasible, we might have to follow the precedent set by OU, which considered dynamax and gigantamax the same thing for the purpose of tiering.

Another thought: is it possible to play around with the HP boost? I would say minimising it would be best. Not sure how much testing you'd like to do, but this could resolve the biggest problem with D-Max, no?
This has already been discussed before (I can't find the post though :psycry:) and not every G-max pokemon is available in-game with the lowest possible dynamax level, so you would have to ban those without them being broken or uncompetitve. Also, having a 1.5x multiplier rather then a 2x is all but guaranteed to solve the problem.

And just so this post isn't just me responding to other people I'll throw my two cents in: I think we can all agree that neither dynamax nor weakness policy are banworthy in a vacuum, the problem is the union of the two. In my opinion dynamax as a mechanic is neither broken nor uncompetitive, it adds a level of strategy to games that goes far beyond just using your big mon to punch holes in the opponent's team. It's true that the player that makes the better use of their dynamax turns has a much better shot at winning, but the same can be said of all resources, like megas, Z-moves and team preview. Personally I'd prefer banning WP and specific abusers, but I can see why people would rather get rid of dynamax as a whole.
 

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