Metagame np: SS DOU Stage 10: Running up that Hill | Ally Switch Remains Unbanned

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And if I only could
I’d make a deal with God
And I’d get him to swap our places
Be running up that road
Be running up that hill

The next DOU Suspect is upon us! After receiving approximately 50% of survey responses desiring action to be taken on Ally Switch, DOU Council has decided now is the time to decide whether it belongs in DOU.

While not frequently used, Ally Switch is seen as a cheap trick, looking to take your opponent unaware and swap the positions of your Pokémon. This allows the user to turn the tables, often keeping a Pokémon that would normally be koed by the opponent alive, and able to attack back. It’s a surprise trick, and even once revealed it still can force mind games between you and your opponent, forcing them to predict whether you will click it the next turn. It’ll truly require making a deal with God to hit the desired Pokemon. Many Pokémon in the tier are capable of learning it, especially bulky Pokémon such as Mew, Porygon2, and Cresselia. There’s even lesser known users that can really take advantage of Ally Switch’s surprise factor, such as Dragapult, Metagross, Dusclops, and Indeedee.

It’s not without its faults however, as Ally Switch does leave the Pokémon using the move to spend its turn to employ it. Spread attacks also laugh in the face of Ally Switch by being able to hit both targets. Further, Ally Switch takes up a move slot that could be used for other options, such as coverage moves or speed control. Despite this, many feel that it’s a cheese strategy that has no place in the tier.

As usual, 60% of the vote must be in favor to ban Ally Switch.

Important: The laddering period will last for a total of nine days.

Laddering Period
Start: Friday, September 30th at 8:00 PM Eastern time (GMT-4)
End: Sunday, October 9th at 8:00 PM Eastern time (GMT-4)

All games must be played on the Pokemon Showdown! Doubles OU ladder on a fresh alt with a name of the form "DOUAS [name]." For example, I might use the account "DOUAS Actuarily" to ladder.

To qualify to vote, you must achieve a minimum GXE of 80 with at least 50 games played. In addition, you may subtract 1 game for every 0.2 GXE you have above 80 GXE, down to a minimum of 30 games at a GXE of 84. As always, needing more than 50 games to reach 80 GXE is fine.

GXEminimum games
8050
80.249
80.448
80.647
80.846
8145
81.244
81.443
81.642
81.841
8240
82.239
82.438
82.637
82.836
8335
83.234
83.433
83.632
83.831
8430

Ally Switch will be legal during this suspect.
 
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Nails

Double Threat
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Ally Switch is a weak move. On the turn you click it, your opponent gets to deal damage with both of their pokemon while you only get to deal damage with one. This isn't necessarily everything; Follow Me is one of the strongest moves in doubles, and certain Ally Switchers like Cresselia and Chansey would be broken if they learned Follow Me, but Ally Switch is not Follow me. It's best used to protect a fragile threat, and at its peak can have some pretty funny results (swapping a heatran into a fire blast while saving it from a stomping tantrum), but it is extremely difficult and inconsistent to set up these scenarios. Usually the best it can hope for is forcing a 50/50, and it often cannot do that. Ally Switch additionally is never better than a 50/50; your opponent will always have the option to call you on it and waste your turn. Ally Switch only has +2 priority, meaning that Fake Out can always deny an Ally Switch, and Extremespeed (a very relevant move in the current DOU metagame) can go before it as well if the Espeed user outspeeds the Ally Switcher. Additionally, Ally Switch also depends on having the user and the mon to protect on the board together, ready to deal damage; if your damage dealer and its support managed to get on the field together, then the player either traded something to get that positioning or outplayed to attain it. The payoff for your favorable positioning getting to be the option to force a 50/50 instead of dealing damage with both of your pokemon shows how lopsided the math is against Ally Switch.

tl;dr: Ally Switch is a weak move. If it worked every time it'd be ok, but it doesn't. If you spend your time dealing no damage with your pokemon you'll lose more games to opponents who spend their turns clicking stronger moves or switching to pokemon who can then deal damage.

tl;dr: if you think ally switch is broken git gud l2p
 
As much as I love ally switch can we put to bed this idea that ally switch is a 50/50?

Facing ally switch is only a 50/50 if you know that your opponent has the move: 50% chance they click 50% chance they don’t (edit: yes there’s always more going on, obviously, but we can simplify it for the purposes of an example).

What needs factoring in is the % chance of the opponent having the move in the first place, which is of course up in the air and a big part of (maybe the whole reason) why the move is so divisive.

I’m against a ban, I quite enjoy the move, but let’s at least be honest about what’s going on
 
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Noelle

Trying my best
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Thoughts on Ally Switch

Before i start, let me clarify a few things: These are simply my opinions on ally switch, i am not immune to being wrong and take full accountability if I am (though i don’t think am). I also don’t really care if ally switch gets banned or not. I have no strong opinions on ally switch and don’t really care either way, it’s a pretty irrelevant move in my opinion

With that out of the way, here’s what I think about ally switch

I am firmly in the Do Not Ban camp. I don’t think its used enough or is unhealthy enough when it is used to be banned or considered broken. Ally Switch straight up loses to spread moves, has deceptively limiting distribution (we’ll get to that) and if predicted can straight up do nothing.

Common arguments against ally switch

”It creates unfair 50/50s”

Pokemon is literally 50/50s the video game. They are everywhere. Why is ally switch any different? This game has a ton of rng involved, and it’s not like we don’t have to play guessing games in the tier without ally switch. Look at mew for example. Mew’s several different sets can swing games just as much as if not more than ally switch can, but that doesn’t mean we should ban mew. This game is already filled with guessing and rng and i have yet to be convinced that ally switch is any different. Personally, i dont even think its a 50/50, but Kyle’s post explains that quite well already.

”Ally Switch‘s distribution is too good”

Ally Switch has fairly misleading distribution. Let me explain:
1664493190074.png


These are the pokemon that get Ally Switch in the tier (plus naganadel and cresselia). While this may look problematic, its much more manageable than you may think. Like, does genesect get ally switch? Yes, but you’d be hard pressed to find a single soul willing to run it in any serious setting whatsoever. Does Dragapult get it? Yes, however not only is it uncommon, absolutely no one is thinking about running ally switch dragapult. Naganadel gets it, but it struggles to even fit protect in its moveset, let alone ally switch. This is what i mean by misleading distribution. A lot of pokemon get it, but a much smaller number of them would realistically use the move, and it’s actually an optimal option on so much fewer.

“Ally Switch is annoying”

I do not disagree in the slightest. I completely understand why people think its annoying because i do too. However, if we banned everything that was “annoying” this tier would be like 20-25 mons. Something being annoying does not justify banning it. Sand veil is annoying, but no one’s clamoring for a ban. Shedinja is annoying, but most of the playerbase doesn’t even acknowledge its existence, let alone want it banned. Granted, this isnt generally used as the main crux of one’s argument, but i still felt the need to address it as I’ve seen it a lot

”Ally Switch has no healthy impact”

This is also an interesting point, as it is true. Ally switch has very little positive impact due to its general dislike and low usage, but this also does not prove it’s unhealthy. Bright Powder has no positive or healthy impact, but it has so little usage no one cares. Audino has no positive impact, but its also not unhealthy in any way so no one would ever want a ban for it. I dont disagree that it has no healthy impact, but i’m not entirely convinced its unhealthy either


Keep in mind, these are all just my opinions and the arguments against ally switch that I have seen, this is in no way an exhaustive list and, as I said earlier, I am not immune to being wrong, and am willing to take full accountability for being wrong. Anyway, have a nice day :D
 

DaWoblefet

Demonstrably so
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I imagine the council and those who recommended Ally Switch for a suspect were not thinking Ally Switch is broken, but rather that Ally Switch is uncompetitive or unhealthy. You are going to be hard-pressed to defend Ally Switch being broken; you'd have to show it to be metagame-warping, oppressive in the teambuilder, or something similar, and that is just so obviously not the case that nobody should defend it seriously in this thread. Just taking one metric, recent ladder statistics, no Pokemon DOU by usage runs Ally Switch even more than 15% of the time. Of the Pokemon that do run Ally Switch in their movesets 35% of the time or more, none are ranked on the current viability rankings.

Is Ally Switch uncompetitive? Consider how Smogon defines uncompetitive:
Uncompetitive - elements that reduce the effect of player choice / interaction on the end result to an extreme degree, such that "more skillful play" is almost always rendered irrelevant.
  • This can be matchup related; think the determination that Baton Pass took the battling skill aspect out of the player's hands and made it overwhelmingly a team matchup issue, where even the best moves made each time by a standard team often were not enough.
  • This can be external factors; think Endless Battle Clause, where the determining factor became internet connection over playing skill.
  • This can be probability management issues; think OHKOs, evasion, or Moody, all of which turned the battle from emphasizing battling skill to emphasizing the result of the RNG more often than not.

Ally Switch doesn't line up nicely any of the three examples given. You don't bring Ally Switch to matchup fish or build teams around Ally Switch. Ally Switch doesn't bring in any external factors. And Ally Switch isn't RNG in the same sense as OHKO moves or evasion. Perhaps you can try to broaden the third example to include "decision RNG", akin to rock-paper-scissors. But I think this sort of "decision RNG", or "50/50s", or "predicting your opponent" are a perfectly normal and an expected part of the game. Example: will they Protect on the Fake Out + partner attack play, or can you read the Protect, Fake Out the ally, and take advantage of the turn and set up? I think it's very difficult to consider Ally Switch uncompetitive in the typical Smogon sense.

Is Ally Switch unhealthy? Consider again Smogon's definition:
Unhealthy - elements that are neither uncompetitive nor broken yet are deemed undesirable for the metagame such that they inhibit "skillful play" to a large extent.
  • These are elements that may not limit either team building or battling skill enough individually but combine to cause an effect that is undesirable for the metagame.
  • This can also be a state of the metagame. If the metagame has too much diversity wherein team building ability is greatly hampered and battling skill is drastically reduced, we may seek to reduce the number of good-to-great threats. This can also work in reverse; if the metagame is too centralized around a particular set of Pokemon, none of which are broken on their own, we may seek to add Pokemon to increase diversity.
  • This is the most controversial and subjective one and will therefore be used the most sparingly. The Tiering Councils will only use this amidst drastic community outcry and a conviction that the move will noticeably result in the better player winning over the lesser player.
  • When trying to argue a particular element's suspect status, please avoid this category unless absolutely necessary. This is a last-ditch, subjective catch-all, and tiering arguments should focus on uncompetitive or broken first. We are coming to a point in the generations where the number of threats is close to overwhelming, so we may touch upon this more often, but please try to focus on uncompetitive and broken first.
This criteria is the most subjective, intentionally included for edge cases where things aren't broken or uncompetitive but still gotta go. There aren't too many DOU examples of us banning "unhealthy" elements in this sense; maybe one might be Gen 7 Dark Void. It was only usable by Darkrai, a horrible Pokemon, with only 50% accuracy, in a metagame where anti-sleep Terrains were widely accessible.

So, does Ally Switch inhibit skillful play? I'd argue it doesn't. Beyond all the counterplay available (spread moves, Fake Out, picking options that cover both Ally Switch and non-Ally Switch plays simultaneously, etc.), it just doesn't seem to me that Ally Switch even is that bad. If you took the opportunity cost to add Ally Switch, click it, and get rewarded for catching your opponent off guard, how is that a bad thing? And if you have revealed Ally Switch and predict your opponent's option again later in the game with it, how exactly is that unhealthy? I for one am down for a methodical, position-heavy game where I slowly bring all my pieces together in just the right ways, but the more wild, turn-by-turn style of Ally Switch or hyper offense seems to me to also be a perfectly legitimate, healthy alternative to play the game.
 
couple points.

first things first, there's no reason wrong with being liberal with suspect testing. I was so so happy we got a lando-i test after SCL last year even if it was a bit late, and here again even though the gen is seeing its final games played as a cg tier, I could not be happier with this test. The tiering survey showed that a considerable amount of the playerbase either felt that it was broken or would not oppose subject action. Personally I fall into the ladder, neutral category, but I digress.

I'm glad we have TLs who are willing to listen to the playerbase and I hope that this liberal philosophy keeps going into S/V because honestly, it's what we need in our tiering.

Let's break it down further though. I think that the DNB side of the argument is mostly fine, for a lot of the reasons Nails and DaWoblefet listed above: it's not oppressive in the builder, it isn't dominating dozens of tour games, and you are empirically doing less damage than your opponent if you happen to click two attacks into an ally switcher. If you think reasons like this are significant enough to not vote ban, more power to you, I'm not splitting hairs with anyone on a relatively inconsequential test like this end of gen.


As much as I love ally switch can we put to bed this idea that ally switch is a 50/50?

Facing ally switch is only a 50/50 if you know that your opponent has the move: 50% chance they click 50% chance they don’t (edit: yes there’s always more going on, obviously, but we can simplify it for the purposes of an example).

What needs factoring in is the % chance of the opponent having the move in the first place, which is of course up in the air and a big part of (maybe the whole reason) why the move is so divisive.

I’m against a ban, I quite enjoy the move, but let’s at least be honest about what’s going on
I don't like how dismissive this post is but frankly the core message is true. It isn't that every time I load into a ladder game against Porygon2 or Tapu Lele I'm gonna start running a coinflip simulator, but that I'm conditioned into expecting other more common sets, and can very easily get punished by a swap freeing up something like Zygarde or Heatran to chunk my leads.

That is the real power of ally switch: it bites you most when you least expect it. It's just a pest that I'd rather have removed from the meta, one less thing to think about. Even if on a mathematical simulation of 100 games or whatever where ally switch doesn't put the user more ahead than their opponents, it will still rob a significant handful of games. I would be shocked if it gets the support it needs but I'm pretty happy to vote ban and put my mind at ease when I play SS Cup in classic next year.

all love
 

zoe

Tragic Decision
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ok yeah addressing prim's post, I'm not even entirely sure what side I'm on myself but thought'd I respond to this one anyways

Pokemon is literally 50/50s the video game. They are everywhere. Why is ally switch any different? This game has a ton of rng involved, and it’s not like we don’t have to play guessing games in the tier without ally switch. Look at mew for example. Mew’s several different sets can swing games just as much as if not more than ally switch can, but that doesn’t mean we should ban mew. This game is already filled with guessing and rng and i have yet to be convinced that ally switch is any different. Personally, i dont even think its a 50/50, but Kyle’s post explains that quite well already.
First line is an extreme exaggeration and objectively incorrect for starters, I have zero clue where you got that from and would love for you to provide an example to back it up. And Ally Switch is different because it literally isn't a 50/50 the first time it's used. Unless you know the team beforehand or found out it had Ally Switch through like Transform or blocking it with Taunt, you cannot see it coming, giving total control of the situation to the Ally Switch user. This is usually made problematic due to the fact Ally Switch is seen most commonly used on teams that operate at a faster pace and can make that single turn go a long way, not to mention the further turns they can potentially get after the first use.

Mew is an ENTIRELY different thing as well, the immediate surprise factor is arguably similar, but once the Mew set is revealed it doesn't force 50/50s after it's revealed. In addition to that, Mew's sets don't have the same surprise factor I'd argue due to some sets being telegraphed on preview (i.e Mew on Psyspam most likely having Expanding Force) or just being scoutable at this point (SnarlWisp and Earth Power are the main two I'm thinking of). I already outlined why Ally Switch is different, so I won't say it again. Also the "guessing and rng" line isn't a very good argument, ideally we should strive for a metagame with as little as possible as both as long as the means to achieve it are reasonable (such as not modding the sim to ban flinches or something). I have, once again, zero clue where you got the idea that Pokemon is a game filled with guessing, but even ignoring that you can't just justify something being OK because there's a lot more things like it, that's like saying a politician being corrupt is a ok because a ton of other politicians are ok (this is a kind of logical fallacy iirc, just can't remember the specific name of it). Something promoting negative and undesirable aspects of a game isn't alright because other things also do that, if anything we should be trying to limit the things that cause those as much as possible.



These are the pokemon that get Ally Switch in the tier (plus naganadel and cresselia). While this may look problematic, its much more manageable than you may think. Like, does genesect get ally switch? Yes, but you’d be hard pressed to find a single soul willing to run it in any serious setting whatsoever. Does Dragapult get it? Yes, however not only is it uncommon, absolutely no one is thinking about running ally switch dragapult. Naganadel gets it, but it struggles to even fit protect in its moveset, let alone ally switch. This is what i mean by misleading distribution. A lot of pokemon get it, but a much smaller number of them would realistically use the move, and it’s actually an optimal option on so much fewer.
zee pretty much hit the nail on the head explaining what I wanted to say so I'll just quote that here:
It isn't that every time I load into a ladder game against Porygon2 or Tapu Lele I'm gonna start running a coinflip simulator, but that I'm conditioned into expecting other more common sets, and can very easily get punished by a swap freeing up something like Zygarde or Heatran to chunk my leads.
Ally Switch not being an optimal pick also may increase its strength funnily enough, as like zee says, you're conditioned to expect certain sets and can get punished for doing so. Not going to go into that much depth this time with this due to the fact I would basically be repeating either what I or what zee had previously said.


Not much to say about the last two points because they're littered with strawman arguments. This doesn't immediately make the claim they support incorrect, but they significantly weaken the evidence around the claim, making it much easier to attack due to the fact you aren't actually addressing the original argument. I would keep this in mind for the future.
 

Teals

Banned deucer.
ALLY SWITCH: A HORRIBLE NO GOOD VERY BAD THING

Once upon a time, a very sick and twisted person at GameFreak decided to make a move strictly to plague the Doubles scene. That move was "Ally Switch." It sounds relatively harmless in concept: your two pokemon on the field swap places. However, there is much more going on here. According to the in game description, " The user teleports using a strange power and switches its place with one of its allies." Clearly this is a form of witchcraft that this random dev decided to code into the game with malice. Ally Switch is an evil curse and when used in battle, it is very evident.
Often times you will find yourself on ladder, minding your own business when BAM! Your opponent whips out an Ally Switch and you lose a pokemon. These users are getting themselves in witchcraft and while banning them would be the ideal situation, we need to focus on the root of the issue. Ally Switch doesn't appear strong when you take certain factors into account. Spread moves, Fake Out, Double Targeting are all ways that one can counter such wickedness. Any turn your opponent is clicking Ally Switch they are not attacking. So what's the problem? The problem is the turn Ally Switch is revealed is a turn that is almost always going to favor your opponent. Many pokemon learn Ally Switch, and all of them are better off not using the move. However lesser skilled opponents may opt to abuse the power of the ancients to try and cheese their way out of a bad situation they got themselves into. VGC shows us that even without clauses the better players will win more often. However Smogon prides itself on being the main spot for competitive pokemon and removes stupid moves just for the sake of it. Ally Switch won't ever be a dominate force, but it isn't a competitive move and it was created for the sole purpose of being evil. What determines if a move is competitive? It's a pretty subjective topic but I think the best way to determine is if the move is lame and annoying. Ally Switch is a stupid move used by stupid people. So it'd be better off banning it so that way we can cleanse the community of this curse, make ladder players annoyed that they can't use a stupid move, and so we won't have this conversation at some point during SV's lifecycle. In conclusion: Ally Switch is a dumb move made for babies made by a deranged lunatic at Gamefreak.
 

GenOne

DOU main. GMT-7. PS!: GenOne
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I think I'm one of the more recent people to have used Ally Switch in serious games - in my case a few early-mid sets of OSDT. My position going into this suspect is:
  • I'm glad the suspect is happening, it needed to
  • But also, I think Ally Switch should not be banned
  • And finally, Actuarily absolutely killed it with their NP song selection :blobthumbsup:
Thoughts on the suspect

I'm definitely one of the people who has been advocating for an Ally Switch suspect, despite personally being in the DNB camp. Ally Switch has been a somewhat contentious and polarizing topic for a long time in DOU, so if nothing else I like this suspect because regardless of the outcome we will finally be able to say that Ally Switch was given due process to address people's concerns.

The first serious discussion thread about the move dating back to this thread in 2017 during SM DOU. Search "Ally Switch" in the DOU Discord and you'll see no shortage of discussions with people shouting "ban ally switch!" at different points of time, and as is mentioned in this thread's OP, in the most recent DOU Tiering Survey 50% of respondents said it would be a good idea to give Ally Switch a serious review (this does not mean 50% of ppl want it banned).

I will say, my observation has been that people feel less strongly about Ally Switch right now as it hasn't been used in a serious game in a while, which is a common theme I think: Ally Switch goes long periods of time without being used and people just forget about it until the next time someone pulls Ally Switch out in a serious game as a surprise tech and turns around a game. I think I am one of the most recent people to use Ally Switch in serious games and I remember the DOUCORD discussions about ally switch being pretty heated around that time (which was like roughly mid-OSDT).

Examples of Ally Switch being used

So far nobody who has posted their opinions about Ally Switch has provided real examples, just hypotheticals. I wanted to base my opinions on as much fact as I could find, so I searched for any relevant DOU replays I could find where Ally Switch was used meaningfully in competitive games. This is not an all-inclusive list, just what I could find at the time of writing this post and quite possibly may be missing DPL examples:


SCL I - Spurrific vs Qwello Lee (Turn 7) - Oct 10, 2021

On Turn 7 of this SCL 1 game, Spurrific's Porygon2 reveals Ally Switch to save Landorus from a Metagross Ice Punch while potentially dodging a Kommo-o Body Press. Landorus then gets to Earth Power the Metagross in return.


SCL I - Z Strats vs Frania (Turn 10) - Oct 10, 2021

On Turn 10 of this SCL 1 game Z Strats's Porygon2 reveals Ally Switch, presumably to let their Naganadel eat a Close Combat and ohko the Ursifu back, while letting Porygon2 sponge the opposing Naganadel's Draco Meteor. However, Frania made a really good play of doubling into the P2 slot, which resulted in both P2 and Naganadel getting KO'd.


OSDT II - KyleCole vs Nido-Rus (Turns 15-16) - Jul 8, 2022

In this OSDT game, KyleCole's Cresselia reveals Ally Switch on Turn 15 to protect his Nihilego from Cresselia's Psychic attack, helping to preserve it in Turn 16 to again attack Nido-Rus's Landorus-T. This is one of the best examples I could find of Ally Switch imposing and winning a 50/50 after the initial reveal, as it is again deployed to preserve Nihilego so it can get its killshot on Nido-Rus's Cresselia on Turn 17. It is worth noting however that even if Nido-Rus's Cresselia was 252 SpA EVs and Modest, its Psychic attack only had a 31.3% chance to OHKO Nihilego (252+ SpA Cresselia Psychic vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Nihilego: 180-212 (50.1 - 59%) -- 31.3% chance to OHKO) so while the second Ally Switch still put in work and defended against a high-roll or crit KyleCole still possibly won without the second Ally Switch.


OSDT II - KyleCole vs Nido-Rus (Turn 11) - Jul 8, 2022

I'm ngl, this entire game was a hax fest so probably not the best example ever. Nevertheless, Kyle's Comfey used Ally Switch to good effect on Turn 11, saving his Volcanion from a double-target of Buzzwole Thunder Punch + opposing Volcanion Earth Power. Ended up giving KyleCole enough momentum to win the game.


OSDT II - GenOne vs Starmaster (Turns 2-3) - Jul 9, 2022

So this team is basically just Z Strats's SCL I team vs Frania, but with Chansey > P2. My logic in bringing Ally Switch Chansey is just that I thought it would be an effective bait and fish vs a non-DOU main who likely wouldn't expect Ally Switch. On Turn 2, I use Ally Switch to save my Urshifu from Landorus-I; Chansey eats both Kyurem-B's Icicle Spear and Lando-I Earth Power, letting me to use an Ursifu that otherwise would've been KO'd to instead take down Landorus. Then the following turn, even though Starmaster has a Tapu Fini on the field, they have to correctly guess a 50/50 chance of hitting my Urshifu with Moonblast while I in return can comfortably target their Kyurem with Close Combat.


OSDT II - GenOne vs Z Strats (Turn 16) - Jul 15, 2022
On turn 16 of this OSDT game (which I def made bad plays in), it looked over for me until my Cresselia revealed Ally Switch to save my Volcanion from a Landorus Earth Power, and in return I was able to Steam Eruption the Landorus back which would not have been possible without Ally Switch. I still didn't play the endgame righ and Z Strats won this game, but Ally Switch gave me a second chance to win an endgame I otherwise had no way of winning. Made for an epic streaming moment though ;)

Other games??
Did I miss any other relevant games? Let me know!

My thoughts on Ally Switch
  • 50/50s are not usually relevant, pls stop citing them :x
    In almost every replay I cited above, which to my knowledge is all of the relevant ones (please correct me if I'm wrong), all of Ally Switch's power came from revealing and deploying it at an opportune time that made use of type synergies between allies. 50/50s were rarely a relevant factor, other than in this KyleCole vs Nido-Rus replay where an additional 50/50 kinda mattered and, to a lesser extent, this GenOne vs Starmaster replay where they played the 50/50 bad anyways. In general, I don't think there is much evidence that Ally Switch presents meaningful 50/50s in competitive games after the first reveal of Ally Switch with a few exceptions.


  • The relevant Ally Switch distribution is damage sponges that can bluff other (better) sets and be ok with the tradeoff running Ally Switch requires
    All of the Ally Switch users that I think are viable (Porygon2, Cresselia, Chansey, and ig Comfey) can bluff other movesets that they'd generally rather be using than Ally Switch - mainly because they should be using other moves over Ally Switch. It's a double-edged sword because usually dropping another move for Ally Switch mean you are dropping something important for Ally Switch (like recovery options on P2 or Cress) but at the same time this is what makes Ally Switch descreet enough to be a viable surprise tech. Fwiw, I think Spurrific's SCL I game is the best example of an Ally Switch mon used without trading off other valuable moves; P2 was Icy Wind > TR for speed control, so fitting Ally Switch onto the mon was a very low-risk high-reward teambuilding decision. But in general, using Ally Switch on any viable Ally Switch user means you are dropping another valuable move for it.

  • Tiering policy technicalities: Ally Switch is "unhealthy," not "uncompetitive"
    Yes, for the reasons said in Wob's post.

  • pls don't be a jerk
    Us inferior simpletons who don't play, let alone go positive in, official smogon tours just wanna learn and get better. watching top-tier players help us do that. pls be patient with us we're not bad ppl :blobsad:
    1664520817066.png

    1664520717137.png
Final Verdict

Losing to a random Ally Switch is one of the most soul-crushing experiences you can face in DOU. However, I think based on the replays and observations I've provided above, I believe that the successful use of Ally Switch in a serious/competitive game usually hinges on the bringer of Ally Switch having put serious thought into how Ally Switch fits on their team and in what positions they could reveal Ally Switch as a surprise tech to regain momentum. Random, mindless Ally Switches aren't all that effective. For this reason, I think Ally Switch should not be banned, yet I am happy this discussion is finally being given due process :blobthumbsup:

Edit 1: KyleCole flagged an additional (and better) replay of his Nido-Rus set I missed. This has been added, and my statement about 50/50s has been slightly re-worded in light of it.
 

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Crunchman

Banned deucer.
I don't really want to make a post arguing a specific way as most of what needs to be said has already been said, but this is everything I've been thinking. (Some things have been said already, and I feel some bring unique perspective).
For ease of reading,
- Means I think this supports banning Ally Switch and
+ Means I think this supports keeping it

- Ally Switch could fall under the category of Uncompetitive. I'm going to simplify the definition of Uncompetitive as basically having to do with how a players skill in a game is reflected by the outcomes. In general, I think Ally Switch does not promote particularly skillful gameplay, as opposed to Follow Me and Rage Powder (which can still create 50/50 situations, such as whether a Pokemon will attack or click redirection, but also come with a number of ways to be played skillfully).
- While it's not always the case, there are times where Ally Switch can simply force players to take the 50/50. While neither player may have necessarily played better or worse to get to that point, it can remove the possibility for making plays.
+ Pokemon is a game of odds, so managing those odds is simply part of the game. Ally Switch used smartly increases a player's odds of winning a game, and it is still a display of skill.
- Ally Switch is often not a good move, and to Doubles purists it may be sacrilegious to see players win games through Ally Switch.
- Ally Switch tends to be an extremely easy play for the player using it. It can be an easy way out of a tough situation by relying on chance that is often not particularly nuanced (and this differentiates it from other variant strategies or plays that are considered more "skillful")
- To build on the point of it being easy, its also more difficult for the opponent to deal with; while they may be able to successfully counter an Ally Switch, the effort : reward ratio is probably much better for the Ally Switch user than the opponent.
+ DaWob touched on this but I think it's going to be near impossible to prove anything about Ally Switch when it has almost no tournament usage. It's difficult to form opinions based on meta understanding about something that isn't vaguely in the meta. (For this reason I think this vote will be, even more than other votes really motivated by personal vendetta: IE "I lost to it in the past" or "I've never lost to it" kind of stuff).
+ To continue the above point it's kind of weird because while it does seem a tad premature, at the same time maybe it is broken and we just don't know, and since the gen is ending soon there's some pressure to get everything in order before it becomes an oldgen. So idrk what the best method to address all that is, but we do have a suspect test upon us.
 

Noelle

Trying my best
is a Community Contributor
Idk how to start this

I tried not to repeat any arguments ive seen before as much as i can, but I do that a lot in this post, so all previously used arguments i’ll just quote to give credit to the person who said it wherever i can

First line is an extreme exaggeration and objectively incorrect for starters, I have zero clue where you got that from and would love for you to provide an example to back it up. And Ally Switch is different because it literally isn't a 50/50 the first time it's used. Unless you know the team beforehand or found out it had Ally Switch through like Transform or blocking it with Taunt, you cannot see it coming, giving total control of the situation to the Ally Switch user. This is usually made problematic due to the fact Ally Switch is seen most commonly used on teams that operate at a faster pace and can make that single turn go a long way, not to mention the further turns they can potentially get after the first use.
Honestly, most of this is true. The first line was an exaggeration, which is completely fair, but there is some truth to it. As for examples of 50/50s in pokemon, keep in mind none of these will be 1 to 1 with ally switch, as ally switch is a pretty unique case and there‘s a very limited number of things like it (at least in this tier): A lot of pokemon plays follow similar logic to rock paper scissors. You may have a play that covers one option but not another, so you have to decide which play your opponent is more likely to make. Granted you could argue that your opponent played to put you in a position where you have to guess, but the same argument can be made about ally switch. Nails says this better than i can, so i’ll just quote him:
Additionally, Ally Switch also depends on having the user and the mon to protect on the board together, ready to deal damage; if your damage dealer and its support managed to get on the field together, then the player either traded something to get that positioning or outplayed to attain it. The payoff for your favorable positioning getting to be the option to force a 50/50 instead of dealing damage with both of your pokemon shows how lopsided the math is against Ally Switch.
You also make a fair bit of assumptions as soon as turn 0 at team preview. A lot of people see a tapu fini alongside 2 fake outs and assume calm mind, and it ends up being specs or scarf, which you dont necessarily play around the same way. This is part of the reason why people dont like ally switch. They assume that the opponent is running a common set and get caught off guard by ally switch. People do not like getting caught off guard. Going back to the mew example from my previous post, sure, you can assume what mew set it will be on preview, but thats all it is. An assumption. You can think mew is gonna be fake out tailwind and it ends up being scarf and sniping your urshifu with psychic, or landorus with ice beam. Is the fact that you made a wrong assumption and were punished for it the fault of scarf mew? And if not, why can the same logic not be applied to ally switch? The fact that you assumed a more common set is not the fault of the uncommon set or move.

As for the argument of the types of teams ally switch finds itself on, i agree that one turn can make a world of difference, however this argument can alao be applied to mew. There are examples of games where mew being a certain set isnt revealed until the end of the game, but that one turn is all that needed to happen to turn a lost position into a win. https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8doublesou-643286 this replay is a good example of that in action. Scarf mew isnt revealed until the end, but thats all it took. I understand mew isnt a 1 to 1 comparison with ally switch, but as i said, that doesnt really exist as ally switch is pretty unique.

I also disagree with the notion that mew loses its surprise factor after its set is revealed. Using the replay above as an example, even after scarf is revealed, the mew still has two unrevealed moves which could also have swung the game. Tricking a scarf to something, earth powering a heatran, ice beaming lando, these are all things that could have hypothetically happened with mew’s last two moves, so it still has the potential to swing the game and force 50/50s even after its set is revealed. Not to mention mew can also run ally switch itself funnily enough

Ally switch isn’t a 50/50, this is true. In fact, if we calculate the actual chance of seeing ally switch come into play in a game, its actually much, much worse odds than that, and saying 50/50 gives it way too much credit. As wob said in his post, no ranked pokemon on the viability rankings has ally switch usage above 15%, so any given pokemon that gets ally switch in the tier has, at most, a 15% chance to run it. That 15% at most that does have it is then divided by 2, for the 50% chance they click it and the 50% chance they don’t. It’s actually much worse odds than i made it out to be. You could also argue that its low usage and the fact that its unoptimal on literally everything that isnt cress or p2 further contributes to its surprise factor, which honestly is a fair argument, but going back to the mew example, surprise moves/sets that aren’t necessarily optimal win games literally all the time. Specifically scarf mew games are good examples of this.
Even ignoring the usage entirely, its still never better than a 50/50 chance. Ally switch always has a chance to straight up not work if your opponent makes a play that covers both options (ally switch and non ally switch plays i mean) Wob explains the opportunity cost of ally switch better than i can, so i’ll also quote his post:
If you took the opportunity cost to add Ally Switch, click it, and get rewarded for catching your opponent off guard, how is that a bad thing? And if you have revealed Ally Switch and predict your opponent's option again later in the game with it, how exactly is that unhealthy?
As for my last two arguments being strawmans... how?
1664538404192.png

This is the definition of a strawman, and i dont understand how my argument fits either of these definitions. I had no intention of misrepresenting the pro-ban arguments, as both of the last two arguments were real things i had seen as reasoning for a ban, and i wanted to address them. As for how i addressed them, I didn’t directly disprove either of the arguments because i agree with them, i just dont think its sufficient reasoning for a ban. I do agree that they are weak arguments and i could have picked stronger ones to illustrate my point better, but i wanted to respond to these because they are weak arguments and i didnt want to see them repeated. Then again, maybe i’m just dumb or using a wrong definition, so if i actually did do something wrong in my approach i apologize.

I meant to quote every individual part i disagree with, but i‘ve already said everything i want to say in response to this post, so i’m ending it here. If i didn’t respond to something it’s because i either agree with the point or i just forgot. Anyway, have a lilligant :D

:xy/lilligant:
 

FloristtheBudew

I'm just tired
I'll just add a quick thought. I don't think all switch is a concerning move for this meta at all. Previous metas? Sure maybe. But for this current one I barely see it anywhere. Which to me doesn't indicate at least initially of something unhealthy, as it's not reflected in player's teams.

Pretty surprised we're even suspecting this.
 

Yoda2798

Not the user you are looking for
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Doubles Leader
Something pro-ban people really need to do is explain how Ally Switch is worse than any other move.
I don't like how dismissive this post is but frankly the core message is true. It isn't that every time I load into a ladder game against Porygon2 or Tapu Lele I'm gonna start running a coinflip simulator, but that I'm conditioned into expecting other more common sets, and can very easily get punished by a swap freeing up something like Zygarde or Heatran to chunk my leads.

That is the real power of ally switch: it bites you most when you least expect it. It's just a pest that I'd rather have removed from the meta, one less thing to think about. Even if on a mathematical simulation of 100 games or whatever where ally switch doesn't put the user more ahead than their opponents, it will still rob a significant handful of games. I would be shocked if it gets the support it needs but I'm pretty happy to vote ban and put my mind at ease when I play SS Cup in classic next year.
Like in this instance, how is Ally Switch different from any other lesser used move / set? Ladder is well known for using stuff which will catch you out for expecting more common sets, Ally Switch is far from the worst in that regard. Factoring in the chance of your opponent using more unusual sets, and playing around worst-case scenarios as much as you can is a big part of the game and an important skill. The use of "rob" is also a loaded term here to describe winning games (that you wouldn't otherwise) with Ally Switch. This again equally applies to other moves, where using it lets you win some games you could not without that move, the fundamental idea of teambuilding is comparing these deltas to determine what set choices will let your team win the most games. Ally Switch clearly isn't the best option in that regard, so what makes the wins from Ally Switch unearned in comparison to wins from using other moves? There will always be lesser used move options which will win certain games over the more standard option but lose more overall, losing to them might be annoying when you feel like you "should" have won but that doesn't make it banworthy.

First line is an extreme exaggeration and objectively incorrect for starters, I have zero clue where you got that from and would love for you to provide an example to back it up. And Ally Switch is different because it literally isn't a 50/50 the first time it's used. Unless you know the team beforehand or found out it had Ally Switch through like Transform or blocking it with Taunt, you cannot see it coming, giving total control of the situation to the Ally Switch user. This is usually made problematic due to the fact Ally Switch is seen most commonly used on teams that operate at a faster pace and can make that single turn go a long way, not to mention the further turns they can potentially get after the first use.

Mew is an ENTIRELY different thing as well, the immediate surprise factor is arguably similar, but once the Mew set is revealed it doesn't force 50/50s after it's revealed. In addition to that, Mew's sets don't have the same surprise factor I'd argue due to some sets being telegraphed on preview (i.e Mew on Psyspam most likely having Expanding Force) or just being scoutable at this point (SnarlWisp and Earth Power are the main two I'm thinking of). I already outlined why Ally Switch is different, so I won't say it again. Also the "guessing and rng" line isn't a very good argument, ideally we should strive for a metagame with as little as possible as both as long as the means to achieve it are reasonable (such as not modding the sim to ban flinches or something). I have, once again, zero clue where you got the idea that Pokemon is a game filled with guessing, but even ignoring that you can't just justify something being OK because there's a lot more things like it, that's like saying a politician being corrupt is a ok because a ton of other politicians are ok (this is a kind of logical fallacy iirc, just can't remember the specific name of it). Something promoting negative and undesirable aspects of a game isn't alright because other things also do that, if anything we should be trying to limit the things that cause those as much as possible.
Describing Pokemon as "literally 50/50s the video game" was a bit simplistic (as practically anything talking about "50/50s" is) but I think I get what prim was trying to get at. Compared to say, Chess, there's a few key differences which set Pokemon aside: imperfect information, simultaneous turns, and the presence of RNG. The result of this is that in many situations, there is no singular "best move" like there is in Chess: rarely is there a play that perfectly covers everything your opponent can do, regardless of what sets they have and move they go for, or if RNG goes against you. More common is the case where there's several viable options, and you need to weigh them up based on how likely you think your opponent is to have certain sets, and how likely you think they are to go for certain moves. Seldom does this mean an exact 50/50, but it is true that Pokemon revolves around decision making points where there isn't simply a "correct" option, that's the nature of the game, and I would argue a defining aspect of it. Being able to play those turns right, and being able to recognise the cases where a seemingly "50/50" situation does actually have a "correct" choice is an integral part of player skill expression.

Typically you won't be fully expecting Ally Switch because it's a rarer move, but again that's the same with other lesser used stuff. I disagree though that you can only see it coming if it's been revealed, as with any move you should be aware of it to some extent from the outset, and particularly so in situations where it's one of your opponent's few outs. Deducing sets is an important skill, what moves a Pokemon has and hasn't used reveals valuable information about it's remaining set (e.g. a Pokemon doesn't use a typically carried move in a situation where it would be clearly the best move, hinting it's been dropped for something else like Ally Switch), team structure also leaves clues (like having setup, especially with no Follow Me / Rage Powder, could indicate Ally Switch), plays which don't make sense without the move in question should also raise your eyebrow (such as they have a threatened boosted Pokemon out, and on a free switch bring out a possible Ally Switch carrier instead of Fake Out). Scouting for Ally Switch can also be an option. It's not like you always know the Mew set but can never see an Ally Switch coming, and even if you do know the broad Mew set that doesn't mean you know it exactly, for example you may need to bank on what coverage move/s it has. Playing around set uncertainty is a big component of the game, especially in situations where different sets require completely different responses. I don't get the point about Ally Switch being different because of not being a 50/50 when first used, there's the same level of your opponent gauging if you have it or not that there is with other lesser used sets, and they can also have a big impact when revealed.

I also disagree about Ally Switch giving "total control" of the situation. There's always the possibility for the opponent to play around Ally Switch, even on the turn it's first revealed, so it can never provide total control. Having a surprise up your sleeve is an advantage, but it isn't absolute, especially in the case of Ally Switch. An opposing Choice Scarf or coverage move you weren't expecting can easily pick up a big KO or win the game, there's nothing unique about Ally Switch in that regard, just that it's less effective at it since the opponent always still has an option to beat it, which is not necessarily the case when your opponent reveals something else you weren't expecting. Having lessened effectiveness after being revealed but still offering different utility over the standard option/s also applies to other lesser used sets too.

- Ally Switch could fall under the category of Uncompetitive. I'm going to simplify the definition of Uncompetitive as basically having to do with how a players skill in a game is reflected by the outcomes. In general, I think Ally Switch does not promote particularly skillful gameplay, as opposed to Follow Me and Rage Powder (which can still create 50/50 situations, such as whether a Pokemon will attack or click redirection, but also come with a number of ways to be played skillfully).
- While it's not always the case, there are times where Ally Switch can simply force players to take the 50/50. While neither player may have necessarily played better or worse to get to that point, it can remove the possibility for making plays.
+ Pokemon is a game of odds, so managing those odds is simply part of the game. Ally Switch used smartly increases a player's odds of winning a game, and it is still a display of skill.
- Ally Switch is often not a good move, and to Doubles purists it may be sacrilegious to see players win games through Ally Switch.
- Ally Switch tends to be an extremely easy play for the player using it. It can be an easy way out of a tough situation by relying on chance that is often not particularly nuanced (and this differentiates it from other variant strategies or plays that are considered more "skillful")
- To build on the point of it being easy, its also more difficult for the opponent to deal with; while they may be able to successfully counter an Ally Switch, the effort : reward ratio is probably much better for the Ally Switch user than the opponent.
I don't see how Ally Switch takes away from player skill expression but Follow Me doesn't. Both are support moves which do no damage and are vulnerable to being exploited in a number of ways (Fake Out, spread moves, plays which work regardless of if they're used, free switch or setup / Tailwind / Substitute since they're not attacking) and neither involve RNG. Mindlessly clicking Ally Switch is a good way to lose, so there is skill in using it effectively, especially when it's most effective when first used. Both of them mean you need to consider two different lines of play depending on whether it's used or not, and both of them encourage using the aforementioned counterplay to beat them. Follow Me is the more restrictive of the two though, as it forces your opponent to target that Pokemon, while with Ally Switch that isn't the case, meaning your opponent has the ability to express their skill by playing around it in a way that cannot be done with Follow Me.

There's a lot of talk about Ally Switch "forcing" 50/50s which isn't quite accurate. It's not like the mere presence of the move turns the situation into a 50/50, far from it. As mentioned above there's several forms of counterplay, and even when one of those isn't available then it still doesn't guarantee Ally Switch is good in that situation. Avoiding or intentionally getting into those 50/50 situations is also a skill, just as it is with those that can arise from Follow Me or other moves. If you could force 50/50s it would be far stronger and see more use as you could just coinflip whenever you're losing, a la Swagger in gen 5/6. We also need to put to bed this idea that having Ally Switch puts you at an automatic advantage versus your opponent, that's evidently not the case or it wouldn't see so little usage. I don't see how Ally Switch is an "easy" play either, in what way is it easier than clicking anything else? Clicking Fake Out or Follow me are "easy" in that you can restrict what options your opponent has and that you need to consider, threatening KOs before they move can also do this, but Ally Switch isn't like that. Other moves are also "easy" in being good options to mindlessly click a lot more of the time than Ally Switch is. Being an unreliable method to get out of a tough situation doesn't make it an "easy" way out, it makes it difficult one, an easy one wouldn't be susceptible to the opponent's play like that. The only "chance" involved is your opponent always having the ability to be able to play around it, which makes it easier for your opponent to deal with than other options without that chance always available for them.

Ally Switch is a move which does not use RNG or inhibit skill expression. Getting stunted by an unexpected move is not unique to Ally Switch, and neither is reaching a "50/50" situation where there isn't a play available that perfectly covers all the opponent's options. When revealed, Ally Switch is only at best a 50/50, but is often worse than that, in part due to readily available counterplay that every team should have which can circumvent it entirely. Ally Switch is a bad, inconsistent move that you're generally better off using other moves instead of, and its usage reflects that accurately.
 

Fishy

tits McGee (๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)
i don't have any deep thoughts to share, but i love ally switch so much that this is the first suspect test i've EVER participated in :D

edit: okay i decided to give SOME thoughts without having exhaustively read the posts above me (oops!!)

some of my favorite mons/abilities are those where i can redirect attacks or otherwise control the outcome of a turn based on what i'm doing defensively on my side vs. what i am doing offensively to the enemy side. this includes stuff like worrying about speed ties or taunting away strategies before they get pulled off. for ages i've been obsessed with using alolan-marowak, mainly for its typing but also for its stats, ability (Lightning Rod) and its one support move, ally switch

frankly, i think anyone who wants to ban ally switch is extra incensed having been surprised by it once or twice in battle, and they don't want those surprises ever again. it does not inherently introduce a 50/50 scenario after a single use, but it sure does CONVEY that that could be the case. it introduces a new element to the turns, much like speed, weather, terrain, and other field factors that are almost constantly in play. what's more detrimental, using ally switch or landing a double protect? i think another huge thing that irks the pro-ban-squad with ally switch is that it's not exactly a move that you can influence from the opponent's side as easily, ie you cannot taunt the user unless you're anticipating taunting the user's swapped spot it will go to IF it uses ally switch, ally switch is always faster than grassy terrain grassy glide, most(?) prankster'd moves, etc. this means that the best you can do to fight ally switch is either ignore it and use spread moves, or you hope you can out rock-paper-scissors your opponent. this extra layer of play might be annoying as hell, but i certainly don't think it's actually an ISSUE as much as it is a nuisance
 
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Hugo

Rain Main (+2 GMT)
is a Tiering Contributor
Honestly I don't think it really matters that much if it gets banned or not. If it gets banned you won't ever see it and if it doesn't get banned you will almost never see it. It is no doubt somewhere in the top 5 most annoying moves ever list and I think its more of a question of annoyance and personal prefrence then game balancing. I would say tho that it might be good for the low ladder if it got banned since thats bassicly the only place where it gets used somewhat often and I expect that low ladder players might find it more dificult to deal with then mid and high ladder players, but as I said I don't think we will even notice the result no matter what that might be since its just such an irrelevant move.
 
This is one of those suspects where the final result seems pretty certain before any voting has taken place. Something like half the people think we could suspect Ally Switch, but a solid majority wouldn't ban. Anyway, maybe there's nothing else urgent to do at this late stage in the Gen--though it would be awesome to ban Rilla right before Gen 9 drops for posterity's sake :pimp:-- and I guess it doesn't hurt to get people's thoughts on Ally Switch. GenOne's post with embedded battle scenes is one of the most awesome I've seen (and kudos to Actuarily for finding that theme song, which is probably from before he was born), but I still find it hilarious how you guys think only a few high-level tour battles matter and the ~250K+ battles per month (in current Gen 8 DOU) on the ladder don't factor into your calculations at all.

I am actually OK with Ally Switch. It got wider coverage in Gen 7, which seemed to extend to Gen 8, but (as has been noted) the mons on which it is actually usable are relatively limited (if it were somehow given to every Pokemon, I might have other thoughts). For the low/mid ladder, I think dealing with Ally Switch provides valuable experience and builds character. For the high ladder (at least in Gen 7 DOU), it's not seen too much and when it is I'll usually know the team and know that it's a consideration. Honestly, the scariest user of Ally Switch is Goth (banned in Gen 8 DOU), because you are often desperately trying to KO her to get out of the trap. I do enjoy using Ally Switch occasionally on fun teams, however I have found it is inherently risky and not really consistent enough for superior ladder performance generally. I don't think it messes up tours too much (and historically that hasn't been the case).

One of my enduring memories from my early Pokemon days (a few years ago) is being faced with a Rotom Wash and an Amoonguss, successfully predicting the Ally Switch, and Ice Beaming and Energy Balling them into oblivion.
 

GenOne

DOU main. GMT-7. PS!: GenOne
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I still find it hilarious how you guys think only a few high-level tour battles matter and the ~250K+ battles per month (in current Gen 8 DOU) on the ladder don't factor into your calculations at all.
If you have good replays of Ally Switch being used effectively on ladder show me them and I’ll add them to my post for ladder representation!
 
If you have good replays of Ally Switch being used effectively on ladder show me them and I’ll add them to my post for ladder representation!
I really appreciate the offer, GenOne, but my point wasn't that the replays provided weren't sufficient or excellent for illustrative purposes (they were), just that a major consideration should also be whether Ally Switch has a significant negative impact on those who play with it on the ladder every day. I haven't seen that. The low-level ladder gives one exposure to a lot of different tactics, including Ally Switch, and that's not a bad thing at all. Also, I haven't played Gen 8 DOU in many months (and the proposed ban would be for Gen 8, rather than Gen 7), so I'd be the wrong person to ask for those replays :psynervous:. That does sort of segue into another interesting point though. Gen 8 will become an Old Gen very soon. Banning Ally Switch now would be a major change, and then one would question whether it should be legal in previous generations. I just don't see why we'd want to open that can of worms for the Old Gens when most people don't have a major issue with it at the moment. I'd say better to wait till Gen 9 drops and see if it gets observably worse in that. Then change it quickly if need be, so the change could actually become part of the Meta.
 
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eragon

(un)retired unmon enthusiast
is a Tiering Contributor
Let me preface this by saying that I absolutely despise ally switch as a move. I think it adds a whole new and rather annoying component to the game and it's probably one of the most frustrating ways to lose a game. If AS got removed in gen 9, I think I would be in the majority in not complaining about it.

However, with that being said, I don't think ally switch needs to be banned from this format. In my (admittedly brief) time playing doubles OU, I have not seen the move used more than maybe 3 times. While it might be an annoying move, that doesn't by itself mean the move deserves to be banned. Compared to the other things banned from this tier, AS is far less egregious than something like kartana. Finally, as DaWoblefet pointed out, it's hard to exactly specify why this move is a problem, and I think it would set a bad precedent for the tier to ban something that is so difficult to be justified as ban-worthy.
 
So for the first time in the generation, at its very end, have I bothered to create an alt for trying to get reqs for a Suspect Test. To record some initial thoughts:

The way I understand the pro-ban camp is that Ally Switch creates unfair scenarios where your opponent can save a Pokemon from being KO'd and then force 50-50's for the rest of the game. I think there is something to this argument, especially if the opposing player is good and knows how to make reads. Ally Switch is a powerful tool and with the correct reads can give the user a chance to win games they might have otherwise lost.

However, I don't know that that's enough reason to justify its banning. Comparing it to the most infamous 50-50 I can think, I'll compare it to Gen 6 King's Shield in singles. Whereas King's Shield created a 60-40 in the user's favor with little to no counter play, Ally Switch forces both its user and the opponent to guess. It is almost never entirely safe. If we define uncompetitive as something that takes away the ability to react or play the game, I don't think Ally Switch does this. It adds another dimension to the game, but it doesn't turn the game into a flow chart. Ally Switch is certainly not centralizing- its considered a niche option that's seen on occasion.

So while I think Ally Switch is a strong option on many teams, and infuriating to play against, I don't think its worthy of banning.
 

Hugo

Rain Main (+2 GMT)
is a Tiering Contributor
I got my reqs around 2 days ago and I know this is a stupid question but I wanted to make sure anyways. I don't have to post my reqs anywhere just yet right? I need to do that when the ladder perioding is over? Its been a little while since I did this and its the last one I need for my badge so it would be a shame if made a mistake
 
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