OU & UU Leader
Hi everyone, the OU Tiering Council will be testing the Dynamax (and Gigantamax) mechanic.
The Dynamaxing mechanic is the latest gimmick GameFreak has created, sharing similar traits to Mega Evolutions and Z-Moves from the previous two generations. However, Dynamaxing is an entirely different beast. Should a Pokemon Dynamax, its current HP doubles for three turns, granting any Pokemon with absurd bulk temporarily. Pokemon with x4 weaknesses can shrug off attacks with ease now, due to the buff in their HP. But there's more to Dynamaxing than just the HP buff. Dynamaxing shares similar traits to Z-Moves, but it ups the ante. Dynamaxing grants Pokemon Max Moves, which cap at 150 base power while also having additional side effects, but also lasts for three turns. Similarly to Z-Moves, you can activate them when you please, and its immediate effects last for three turns, while the side effects of its Max Moves can linger beyond that. Just from the descriptions, the buffs are significantly better than what Mega Evolutions and Z-Moves.
In addition to the buffs given, any Pokemon can Dynamax and it does not require an item to utilize. Dynamaxing Pokemon have absurd buffs, and the player has absolute luxury to use them whenever they so please. This allows for an abundance of randomness and a lack of skillful gameplay. While it isn't a straight up guessing game, the sheer randomness and luxury that Dynamaxing presents to a player is quite absurd. Beyond these simple buffs, there are a multitude of other immunities that Dynamax Pokemon have access to. This list includes immunity to: being flinched, being phased out (Roar, Dragon Tail, etc), fainting to Destiny Bond, all weight related moves (Heavy Slam, Low Kick, etc), the effects of Encore, the effects of Disable, and the move lock from Choiced items (boosts from the items disappear while Dynamaxed).
Within the metagame that we've had for a little over two weeks, Dynamax Pokemon have completely ruled the metagame. It's entirely evident to anyone who has played Generation 8 that the centralizing force is, without question, the Dynamax mechanic. A multitude of Pokemon have rose from lower levels of viability to rule the metagame. Due to the fact any Pokemon can Dynamax, there are an extremely high amount of Pokemon which frequently utilize it. The nature of Dynamax prevents there from being a single, or even a handful, of abusers that break the metagame and warrant a suspect test. There are a few abusers that can be pointed out as the most prominent, but it's an exaggeration to label them as such, because there are a multitude of Pokemon that frequently abuse it. Any Pokemon could Dynamax in any given game. Setup sweepers can Dynamax to increase their power, bulk and potentially even get a stat boost; breakers can Dynamax to make their attacks stronger or simply tank an attack that would have otherwise knocked them out; bulkier Pokemon can Dynamax to withstand an attack and net a surprise kill. Throughout the first few weeks of the generation, nearly every Pokemon used has Dynamaxed, for one reason or another.
To briefly go over a few examples of the multitude of Pokemon that can viably run Dynamax:
- Gyarados is the one most people point the finger at, largely due to the effects of its two typings Max Moves. Max Airstream grants Gyarados +1 Speed, which couples incredibly well with Moxie, and Max Geyser summons Rain, which further increases Gyarados power. This, alongside the increase in bulk, make Gyarados incredibly formidable.
- Hawlucha, although it has died down since, is a frightening example. Hawlucha has a multitude of options should it Dynamax. With access to Max Moves, Hawlucha can summon its own Terrain through Thunder Punch, to activate Electric Seed, should it so please. Hawlucha also can run a Mold Breaker set to break stall, to which the speed boost granted from Max Airstream becomes incredibly useful. On top of it all, Max Knuckle moves grant Hawlucha an attack boost, should it get the opportunity to use it.
- Corviknight, due to its incredible bulk, is a surprising behemoth when Dynamaxed. It becomes near impossible to take out in one hit, even should you also Dynamax, due to its incredible natural bulk, coupled with a doubling in HP. The speed boost granted by Max Aistream also gives Corviknight a lot more tools to sweep.
- Galarian Darmanitan, despite losing the boost from Gorilla Tactics should it choose to Dynamax, is a fearsome user. Due to the fact the vast majority of Darmanitans are Gorilla Tactics, they are all choice locked, thus giving plays the opportunity to go to a resist on a locked move. However, it's not that simple. Darmanitan can Dynamax to net a surprise kill on a Pokemon that would wall the move it was locked into, or even to grant an incredible amount of bulk and net a surprise kill against a Pokemon that would otherwise outspeed or kill. Darmanitan can also beat Dugtrio, despite being trapped by Sash + Reversal, by Dynamaxing and using Max Hailstorm, summoning Hail and killing Dugtrio.
- Hydreigon is a potent Dynamax abuser, largely thanks to it gaining Nasty Plot this generation, but also the incredible bulk given by Dynamaxing. While Dynamaxed, Hydreigon can shrug off even 4x effective Fairy-type moves, and knock them out in return with a +2 Max Steelspike. The effects of its moves also have a lot of utility; Max Darkness lowers the opponents SDef and Max Flare sets Sun, further boosting its power, while its other potential moves give it an increase in bulk.
- Togekiss is an unexpected face in OU, but thanks to Dynamaxing, it's a terror in the tier. Beyond the increase in bulk, which makes Togekiss incredibly hard to take down, the speed boost from Max Airstream then allows it to play games with Serene Grace + Air Slash, making it in the Togekiss' favor to flinch any given turn, thus not moving. Togekiss typing and access to Nasty Plot make it good, but Dynamax makes the fact it no longer has Roost forgettable.
- Typical Setup Sweepers
- Kommo-o, similarly to Hydreigon, can shrug off powerful attacks thanks to the increase in bulk, and has the ability to boost itself and pummel threats with its Max Attacks.
- Tyranitar already has incredible natural bulk, alongside a boost from Sand, which it sets itself, can increase its bulk even further by Dynamaxing. After a Dragon Dance, a Dynamaxed Tyranitar is truly a powerful threat.
- Dragapult has absurd speed off the bat, access to Dragon Dance, and an incredible offensive typing, make it a threat to a multitude of teams. Thanks to Sucker Punch, it can even counteract the ever prominent Ditto should Dynamax wear off.
- Bulky CM Pokemon such as Reuniclus and Hatterene, can Dynamax to increase their already superb natural bulk to absurd levels, and make their boosted attacks take down any potential threats in their way.
- The Rotom forms all make potentially fearsome Dynamax options, thanks to its newly gained access to Nasty Plot. Rotom-W and Rotom-H can set weather to further boost their STAB moves, and Rotom-F even has found a niche, due to the increase in speed given by its Flying-type STAB.
- Defensive options. There are a vast amount of scenarios where Dynamaxing your Pokemon to net a surprise kill or to survive a specific encounter can be utilized. Reactionary Dynamaxing is extremely potent, even if it the Dynamaxed Pokemon isn't a flashy setup sweeper.
- A multitude of very viable other options exist, but listing all of them fill up the remainder of this post.
However, with all of this in mind, Dynamaxed Pokemon are not by any means an autowin button. Ditto has seen astronomical usage to help counteract all of the potential setup sweepers, and it is a very efficient option for the majority of them. You can also counteract Dynamaxing by either baiting a Dynamax and switching to a resist or immunity, or you can Dynamax yourself to tank an attack and fire back. Should you pull off the latter, your opponent won't be able to Dynamax anymore, and you still came out of the exchange successfully. Pokemon that have Dynamaxed are also not unkillable or unwallable. Even with the incredible increase in bulk, Pokemon can still be hit by Super Effective attacks for massive chunks of their health before they can get going. They are also far from unwallable; setup sweepers in particular can be counteracted by bulky walls, bulky setup mons, or Unaware Pokemon.
Another aspect to consider is the fact that this is this generation's gimmick. Obviously, we play a vastly different game than Nintendo envisions. But to what degree should we deviate from it? Should we accept what Nintendo has created and do what we can to play in it, rather than ban the core mechanic of the generation? We do not wish to argue for this because this will come down to a matter of opinion, but please keep in mind voting ban removes the central part of the generation.
Gigantamax Pokemon, similarly to Dynamax Pokemon, receive all the buffs regular Pokemon do, while also getting access to a special signature move for each Pokemon. See here if you'd like to find out what each move does. The only differences between Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing are that the Pokemon that can access the latter make up a smaller pool than the former and the names of each are different. There is no reason to tier what is essentially the same thing in the games differently, especially seeing as they both run through the same exact mechanic and functionality in the game itself. If you'd like to read some more discussion on this distinction, you may read these posts from the Dynamax Discussion thread in the Policy Review subforum. Post 1, Post 2, Post 3.
Overall, the Dynamax mechanic is what has everyone has been talking about, what everyone has been paying attention to, and this suspect test is what many have been waiting for. We, the council, believe this mechanic has many incredible aspects, and banning it may potentially lead to the betterment of the metagame. Despite it being the core mechanic of the generation, we wish to have a quality metagame, where the better player wins. Should Dynamax hinder that, we believe it has no business in the tier.
- To achieve voting requisites, you must reach a minimum GXE of 81 with a minimum of 40 games played on the Pokemon Showdown! OverUsed (OU) ladder
- You must signup with a newly registered account on Pokemon Showdown! that begins with the appropriate prefix for the suspect test. For this suspect test, the prefix will be OUTM. For example, I might signup with the ladder account OUTM TDK.
- Laddering with an account that impersonates, mocks, or insults another Smogon user or breaks Pokemon Showdown! rules may be disqualified from voting and infracted. Moderator discretion will be applied here.
- We will be using the regular OU ladder for this suspect. We will not be creating a new Suspect Ladder. At the beginning of every battle, there will be an announcement denoting the ongoing suspect with a link to this thread.
- The aspect being tested, Dynamax Evolutions, will be allowed on the ladder.
- Any form of voting manipulation will result in swift and severe punishment. You are more than welcome to state your argument to as many people as you so please, but do not use any kind of underhanded tactics to get a result you desire. Bribery, blackmail, or any other type of tactic used to sway votes will be handled and sanctioned.
- Do not attempt to cheat the ladder. We will know if you did not actually achieve voting requisites, so don't do it. Harsh sanctions will be applied.
- Unlike previous tests, we will be posting the voting identification thread immediately after this thread. Your voting requisites will be confirmed by a Council member or OU moderator, to which we will edit in confirmation. Please avoid getting more games before getting confirmed.
- The suspect test will last for two weeks from right now, lasting until December 15th at 11:59 pm (GMT-5), and then we will put up the voting thread in the Blind Voting subforum.
This thread will be open to allow all users to share their thoughts on this suspect test and discuss with one another their thoughts. However, this thread will be strictly moderated, moreso than the average OU forum thread. Our moderators will apply discretion as to what is appropriate. Please read and keep in mind the following before posting:
- No one liners nor uninformed posts;
- No discussion on other potential suspects;
- No discussion on the suspect process;
- You are required to make respectful posts;
- You are required to read this thread before posting.
- Failure to follow these simple guidelines will result in your post being deleted and infracted without any prior warning.
- Please also take a moment to read over some suggestions from the OU Council and the OU Moderation team for posting in this thread; adhering these will help out our time moderating the thread and present your arguments better and more educated.
- Do not argue because it's your favorite Pokemon. This should he common sense, but please don't do this, because we will delete posts like this.
- You do not need a boatload of experience to have an informed opinion, but please try to minimize the theorymon aspect and use your experiences watching and playing. Playing some on the ladder before posting is plenty if you're concerned about this.
- Do not flame, belittle, or be disrespectful to users in this thread. While not everyone will read this post in its entirety nor will everyone have informed opinion, please be sure not to be disrespectful. If there's an issue, bring it up to a moderater.
- Do not use the argument of broken checking broken. Should your argument rest on your opinion that banning the Pokemon or mechanic being tested in this suspect test will make a Pokemon or mechanic broken, overpowered, and/or uncompetitive; don't. If something needs to be banned because of the result this suspect, then so be it.
- This thread is not to voice complaints about the suspect process or decisions of the council. While we are more than open to hearing complaints that may arise, this isn't the place for it. I suggest you message the OU Council, PM our Tier Leader, Finchinator, or make a post in Senior Staff requests, should you have a badge.
Should you have any questions about the suspect test, feel free to message the OU Council. And if you have any questions about the moderation of this thread, feel free to message the OU Moderation team.
Each member of the OU Council will write up their thoughts on this suspect test, which can all be found in the second post.
Keep in mind that our suspect tests are decided by the community; anyone who achieves voting requisites is allowed to vote. The outcome is up to you. Happy posting and laddering!