Announcement np: SS OU Suspect Process, Round 1 - Boom Boom Pow

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Ugh... Haven't done this in a while.

I'll start with saying I'll be voting BAN there's no doubt in my mind on whether Dynamax should go or not. With that said, it's a bit unlike most things we've seen. Because, despite what everyone wants to make it out to be, Dynamax, on its own, is not "broken". When we talk about Dynamax as a problem, I think it's safe to say we are more so talking about specific Pokemon (Gyarados, Ditto, Darmanitan, pretty much all of your offensive threats this gen). Let's be honest, Dynamax Toxapex isn't "broken", neither is G-Max Copperajah (at least not right now (because of the much scarier Pokemon mentioned earlier)). The latter hits hard as hell, and the former doesn't die right away, but they aren't "broken". They're most certainly manageable. So, unfortunately it's not as "black and white" as many people on the "ban side" want it to be. In most situations we would ban the Pokemon that are an issue, not the mechanic (see: Megas). Because of this, I initially leaned on the side of "do not ban" and would prefer to ban the Pokemon themselves rather than the mechanic. That "leaning" stopped very quickly, because I realized just how many Pokemon we would have to suspect... I'm not trying to go through 25+ suspects when we can just do 1. I still don't believe the mechanic on its own is inherently broken but, it's broken on enough Pokemon to warrant a removal. And I do mean complete a removal. G-Max Copperajah may be my favorite Pokemon introduced this generation, but this "leave G-Max alone" stuff needs to be nipped in the bud quick. While yes, we could, in theory, test G-Max pokemon like we would have Megas, it's dancing around a problem we could solve now rather than later. In short there is no real reason to leave it untouched when, for the most part, they function the exact same as Dynamax. Copperajah still hits 896 HP and drops 130 BP moves with guaranteed secondary effects, in what world is that "healthy"? And Copperajah is the least of our worries.

At the end of the day, get rid of this mechanic. It's not inherently broken, which could leave way for some dumb "bAn X" posts in the OU room, but they will fade away after long enough (no one takes them seriously anyway). I like what they were trying to do with the "every Pokemon can be good" mentality, but it did not work out as they intended.

TLDR; Dynamax isn't broken on its own, however there are enough Pokemon that it is broken on to warrant a full removal of the mechanic.

BAN
 
TLDR- Dynamxing causes some fundamental changes to the way we play the game, but rather than destroying or making an unhealthy meta, creates a world in which more skill is celebrated and creativity is encouraged, if only treated with a different mindset.

I'm going to give my two cents on why I'm voting NO BAN, but I feel like my argument will be hard to textualize, and may be conceptually abstract for some to the point where it is likened to lesser reasoning. Thus, I will begin by stating why the pro-ban arguments don't sway me.

The typical pro-ban argument goes something like "There are so many options that it creates a bunch of 50/50s, where the victor of the 50/50 is likely to snowball out of control". This breaks down into three parts: 1. Too many options, 2. The 50/50, and 3. The snowball. The idea that there are too many options seems absurd to me coming from a community who plays pokemon competitively, but I agree that it is theoretically hard to wrap your head around all the possible outcomes that dynamaxing provides in a match. In practice, though, it is already evident that many strategies (Gyarados/Togekiss) are the "meta", and thus there is little more to it than any other resource management element of any game, where you either save your max for the best possible strategy, or use it on a worse pokemon to a lesser effect to possibly get greater situational value. IMO, this promotes creative team building in the same way that tech moves do, but to an extent where it more often can actually impact a match, and is a reason to keep the mechanic. The second part, the 50/50, is only somewhat valid, as the mechanic does shorten the time you get to figure out how your opponent is playing and what their sets are. However, again, this is a positive in my opinion, because Dynamax isn't an auto-win button, so if you are allowing yourself to get put in a spot where they're at least 50% likely to Dynamax and end your game then and there, and you are randomly guessing at your best course of action, you are the inferior player in that situation. The third part, about snowballing, has always been a possibility in pokemon games, and there are always going to be turns where you can guess wrong and lose, dynamax or no. If you're in a position where you'll get swept by three turns of a speed-boosting Gyarados, there's either something wrong with your team or your opponent has put you in that situation, which are typically both acceptable reasons to lose.

Real quick, because this is going longer than I had hoped, there are three other arguments I'll address- It's over-centralizing, it has little to ditto counterplay, and it breaks choice lock. The last two are pretty valid, I'll get to them later, but the first hasn't shown to hold much water. In saying that, I don't mean that is hasn't become a central part of the metagame or defined how we now build teams/win games, but that it has opened as many strategies as it has cut out. It is a big part of how we now play the game, but that's inherent in it being a mechanic, and thinking of it like a super strong mon or even Z-moves belittles it's potential. Nothing before could be defined as "game-changing" in the way dynamxing can, and pushing against it for adding a new dimension to the gameplay and requiring different skills.

What I said at the end of that last paragraph gets at my core argument too- Gen 8 OU doesn't have to be Gen 7 OU minus half the dex, and Dynamaxing isn't something that's just sprinkled in to make it taste a little different. The way I see it, Dynamaxing doesn't reward a lack of skill (any more than, say, scarf jirachi) and allows for lots of previously impossible outcomes (tanks based around max moves boosting defense, beating soft counters). Yes, it will require us as a whole to change the way we think about pokemon. We will have to be more creative in team building. No more easy ice moves to beat Lando-T. Choice items too strong? Maybe we need knock off like we think we need stealth rocks. Ditto the only counterplay? That's the traditional logic for set-up sweepers, but moves like topsy-turvy, trick room, or memento are yet largely unexplored. We also have to be a little more improvisational in our play. If we're rigidly prepared for them to max Hawlucha, then they max pex in our face, a good player will be able to recognize that as a possibility and have an out. The idea of an OU metagame where creativity in team building and adaptability in play are encouraged sounds pretty nice to me.

The only argument I can't refute is whether or not it's still pokemon at this point. For me, I welcome this addition and new challenge, but there are people who have put a lot of time in to learning pokemon as it was in Gen 7 and will be very resistant to this change. There is also a very slim possibility that there is absolutely nothing to be done about Dynamaxing and letting a meta that includes it mature will result in matches decided in three turns, but thinking like that has rarely been true or resulted in much fun at all (And breaks the rules of this banning discussion as a hypothetical about a future meta lol). I hope I've done well enough to at least get my point across without offending anybody, and good luck on your laddering.
 
If you're in a position where you'll get swept by three turns of a speed-boosting Gyarados, there's either something wrong with your team or your opponent has put you in that situation, which are typically both acceptable reasons to lose.
This misses the mark in such an amazing way.

Your post wasn't abstract, it was surface level at best, and comes off as you scrounging to try and explain away something you can't explain away.

It's not just a speed boosting Gyarados. It's a Gyarados with 662 HP, firing off 130 BP flying moves and getting a dragon dance per kill who can also set their own rain so that their 130 BP water moves do even more damage. You tried to address the snowballing, without addressing the... snowballing. I'll be honest, I stopped reading here, and most of what preceded it wasn't much of a "defense" either. Your "promoting creative teambuilding" point misses the mark too. It doesn't promote creative teambuilding, it promotes running the mentioned Dynamax abusers and removing their ditto or hoping you get your sweep running before they do.

The fact Ditto has a 33% usage rate is a clear indication of just how absolutely absurd the snowballing actually is. I'm fine with people not wanting it banned, you're obviously entitled to your opinion (whether you can properly defend it or not), but everything you said up until that point was a horrible misrepresentation of the actual issue.
 
I've been casually playing randbats since BW2. The introduction of Dynamax has definitely changed this experience for the worse. The sheer power of this mechanic causes weird mindgames throughout the match. People tend to hang on to it until way too late in the match, unsuccessfuly waiting for their opponent to use it first so they can hope to countersweep. Alternatively, they'll waste it very early when they have just a little bit of momentum but before they've adequately scouted their opponent. The game is just not as fun to play with Dynamax around.
 
Hello everyone

I try to keep this post short that many people can read this quickly. Firstly, I won’t list all disadvantages or advantages of Dynamaxing here because I think others did that way better and precisely than I can (so, I recommend reading other posts in this forum). So, what I want to discuss is another possibility than Ban or No Ban. I want to Ban all other Dynamaxing Pokemons and allow the other Pokemons who have a special Dynamax-Form, known as Gigantamax. I really dislike the idea of excluding the main feature in Gen 8 from competitive despite it’s very overpowered and way too unpredictable since every Pokemon can use it. If “Gigantamaxing” is allowed, then only those Pokemons can use it and this is way easier to predict. I think you can compare it with MegaEvolutions.
These Gigantamax-Forms have such cool designs (just look at that huge AppleDragon <3) and I really don’t want them to disappear in competitive. I think those forms aren’t that overpowered as others Pokemons like Gyarados, Hawlucha and co.
If you agree with me than let’s try to keep the Gigantamax alive.

Say NO to Dynamax and YES to Gigantamax.

Thank you for reading
 

Srn

5/6 Doctors agree Russian Roulette is totally safe
is a Pre-Contributor
Hello everyone

I try to keep this post short that many people can read this quickly. Firstly, I won’t list all disadvantages or advantages of Dynamaxing here because I think others did that way better and precisely than I can (so, I recommend reading other posts in this forum). So, what I want to discuss is another possibility than Ban or No Ban. I want to Ban all other Dynamaxing Pokemons and allow the other Pokemons who have a special Dynamax-Form, known as Gigantamax. I really dislike the idea of excluding the main feature in Gen 8 from competitive despite it’s very overpowered and way too unpredictable since every Pokemon can use it. If “Gigantamaxing” is allowed, then only those Pokemons can use it and this is way easier to predict. I think you can compare it with MegaEvolutions.
These Gigantamax-Forms have such cool designs (just look at that huge AppleDragon <3) and I really don’t want them to disappear in competitive. I think those forms aren’t that overpowered as others Pokemons like Gyarados, Hawlucha and co.
If you agree with me than let’s try to keep the Gigantamax alive.

Say NO to Dynamax and YES to Gigantamax.

Thank you for reading
1. Excluding the main feature of gen 8 is irrelevant. There is no reason we as a competitive community need to keep any mechanic of the game that is deemed grossly uncompetitive, defining or not. Evasion wasn't safe, OHKO moves weren't safe, and gigantamax certainly won't be safe either.

2. You're absolutely correct that if limited only to certain pokemon, the unpredictability of dynamax drops as a whole. However, is allowing gmax any different from us just choosing shitty pokemon like beedrill to restrict dmax to? GF just randomly happened to choose certain pokemon to dmax a special way, why in the world would we preserve that, especially after everybody already understands how powerful dmax is?

3. You really can't compare dmax/gmax (double hp, having access to item slot, breaking choice lock if that item is a choice scarf/band/specs, access to max moves, immunity to phazing, flinching, disable, destiny bond, weight moves and w/e the fuck else i'm missing) to mega evolutions, even if they would both be limited to certain mons at this point. Gmax is way, way stronger.

4. You say these forms aren't that overpowered as others, but imagine fighting a pokemon that can, at any time, double its hp, use max moves, etc etc compared to pokemon that can't. The ones that can gmax certainly seem overpowered to me now, and if not being overpowered was the reasoning for keeping gmax, I think it fails this test.
 
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Sorry for commenting again. I do not speak English and I am avoiding making a long text because the translator will be confused.
At first, I don't think Dynamax is broken. Even breaking the choices lock, if your team is well prepared you will only lose one pokemon. Yes, it makes no sense to lose more than one because you will also have Dynamax. Those who say they lose 3 or more are certainly planning badly. Also, if the opponent has Gyarados, it is kind of obvious who he will choose for Dyna.
The real problem for me is not the buff you get during Dyna, but whether or not to use Substitute. Without the presence of Substitute a Ditto can reverse the situation, a Clefable with Unaware can handle the attack well and counterattack. A Corsola is an integral part of almost every team and loses nothing to Gyarados, of course, if not with Substitute.
Do not let Gyarados, Hawlucha and Corviknight to merge Dynamax with Substititue and see the positive effects. Maybe not only these pokemon, others also need this restriction as it becomes quite abusive against robust pokemon.

One thing that makes no sense is complaining about Ditto's constant use in the game. He is just on the new meta. Landorus T. was more used in gen 7 than Ditto is being used now. This does not mean that the meta is abusive. But it focuses a lot on buffs and Ditto is good in these situations. I'm sure some here remember the Dragon Dance meta and how important Ditto was at the time.
 
A day or so ago I would have considered myself an undecided voter on whether Dynamax should remain in OU or not. I honestly believe there are a greater number of anti-ban arguments that are persuasive to me than pro-ban, but there are two arguments that have pushed me to the other side and as a result, I would vote to ban Dynamax as a mechanic. However, I want to say at the outset that some of the pro-ban arguments are totally unpersuasive to me, and me voting to ban Dynamax is not an endorsement of those points whatsoever.

First, the Ditto usage argument is totally unpersuasive and a non-starter. Usage statistics are the absolute weakest argument you can make as a standalone point because there isn't one obvious conclusion to be drawn from them. The game just game out, the tier is obviously unstable (see more on this later), an OU cutoff list was formed days ago, Ditto usage was already rising at the end of Gen 7, it is good against virtually every playstyle anyway, and even if there were solid defensive countermeasures to Dynamax, Ditto is the easiest, lowest risk and highest reward countermeasure that exists against Dynamax. It is a highly accessible pokemon for newer players, and like any choice item holder, its interaction with Dynamax allowing it to cut short sweeps while breaking choice-lock is too good to pass up. All these points lead me to believe that Ditto is incredibly good in Gen 8 OU, not that Dynamax is a broken mechanic. If you want to say that high Ditto usage means something above and beyond the average pokemon having high usage, then say it, but don't leave it for undecided voters to figure it out.

Second, arguing that "generational flavor" or generational identity isn't a concept worth preserving or considering is ridiculous. It absolutely matters and it is the reason why players who have been playing for 10+ years casually and/or competitively like myself still play and enjoy past tiers. Old tiers are often defined by their signature traits, e.g. commonly used pokemon/cores and unique mechanics. Gen 1 has whacky speed and hax mechanics, DPP OU lacks Team Preview, Gen 6 and 7 had Megas and then Z-moves, etc. These traits differentiate the tiers from one another and keep people engaged in actually playing them. As such, I strongly believe that Smogon should strive to both create a competitively balanced 6v6 singles metagame while also keeping players interested and invested enough in the tier to actually play it. Gen 8 having no signature "feel" with no new mechanic and a fraction of the pokemon is something that concerns me greatly, but it does not overcome the need to banish potentially broken mechanics from the game, and it is just my perspective (and others in the thread too).

Third, I do not honestly feel that Dynamax is "broken" on every pokemon that gets it - which is every pokemon. You absolutely do not get the same value out of Dynamaxing a defensive pokemon than you do an offensive sweeper with a greater movepool, an ability designed to snowball momentum and generally stronger, faster offensive stats. So not only is the counterplay unbalanced, but the risk reward of which pokemon to Dynamax is skewed, and as such I don't think it's truly a "50/50" on which pokemon gets Dynamaxed outside the context of full offensive teams, where it could reasonably be one of 3-5 candidates at any given time. But if Dynamax isn't truly broken on everything that gets it, as we have addressed in other suspects (e.g. Shadow Tag, Moody???), why is a blanket ban the only proposed solution to vote on? I strongly believe a complex ban option was worth more discussion and should not have been restricted, because we all know which pokemon are greater abusers of the mechanic than others, but I will leave my discussion of that to a single sentence.

Despite these anti-ban points, I do feel Dynamax should be banned from the tier, largely for the following two arguments:

In the context of risk management, Dynamax is not intrinsically unique just because it's a special mechanic; it's unique because it occupies an otherwise mostly barren extreme of the risk/reward scale. Whereas typical decisions tend to carry with them costs and payoffs of at most a single Pokemon, this is frequently Dynamax's minimum reward, scaling up to two or three Pokemon, if not entire teams. . . The ability to snowball from properly-timed Dynamaxes frequently forces scenarios on this same level, and you can only extrapolate so much from decisions that operate on far smaller stakes. I might relax my original statement to be less absolute, but the sentiment still stands: I believe there tends to be an unacceptably low amount of information that can be gathered to reasonably inform play around the 50/50s that arise from Dynamax.
This is the best argument made in the thread, in my opinion. I will not paraphrase it or editorialize it because it is well-written and the logic speaks for itself. What I will personally add is that Pokemon is nothing more than a game of managing risk and recognizing patterns. I have always argued that "un-predictability" is a weak argument for banning something, because I believe the better player generally knows what his and his opponent's best (and therefore likely) moves are at any given time. The ability to predict or discern what that "best" move is in a Dynamax metagame is totally obscured because of the number of variables it introduces in just three turns, and sometimes in a single turn. Even if the "best" players do adapt to the mechanic and manage it better than others, you are still making it more difficult for players who would otherwise be very consistent to remain consistent at the highest level, simply because they got a guessing game wrong.

Lastly I will say that this point is worth recognizing as well, and I found it persuasive:
With Dynamax in the metagame, it is as far from stable as any main generation OU tier has been throughout my 8+ years playing competitive Pokemon.
This post doesn't need to be any longer, and I think the point here is very clear. The lack of stability in the tier is beyond what I have personally experienced in several years, to a point where I do not think it would get much better given the nature of what Dynamax brings to the table.

I don't apologize for the long post but I do think certain arguments thus far are more persuasive than others, and I do not believe a major game mechanic such as this should be banned for silly reasons. With that said, the last two points have led me to conclude that Dynamax should be banned from OU.
 
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I just wanted to say this,

A comp pokemon game normally has a abundance of roles ever since gen 6 but recently more than half the dex has been cut obviously. Add a mechanic that is a combination of mega+ z moves that increases your bulk immensly in a already role compressed meta game theres 0 reason that you would ever want maxing unless you just wanna fuck around lol. I dont think anyone else noted role compression due to gen 8's workings yet so just wanted to say it.

Ban dynamax imo

Edit:Due to role compression losing even 1 mon has serious effects and we all know how easy it is to snag at minimum 2 kills with max, max can break teams at any point due to gen 8's compact design especially
 
One thing that makes no sense is complaining about Ditto's constant use in the game. He is just on the new meta. Landorus T.
I think a lot of people are misunderstanding the Ditto argument. This isn't about centralization around a single Pokemon, something that has been seen historically in many tiers, it's about Ditto's specific role and what its prominence tells us about the surrounding meta. Ditto is completely unlike anything else in that it does nothing on its own, and is very literally a reflection of the meta around itself. Landorus-T was "the meta" because it had several distinctly viable sets, each of which fulfilled different roles in the party. The same goes for Primal Groudon in Ubers, which fulfilled a lot of diverse roles. Ditto, however, has exactly one set with two roles: being a blanket revenge killer to dangerous sweepers, and winning PP wars. And there aren't very many PP wars going on in SSOU.

High Ditto usage in SSOU is indicative that normal means of counterplay are too inconsistent to rely upon, necessitating Ditto's unique properties to stop threats from running amok. Ditto's prominence is itself evidence of an unhealthy meta that cannot handle its own power level through any means other than copying the threat in front of them and its using its own power against it. Many teams simply cannot fit checks to every possible fast threat without compromising themselves in other ways. Nor will this get better as the metagame develops; Ditto is also stabilizing force at the team-builder level, keeping down the usage of dangerous threats that have no good means of Ditto-proofing themselves and threaten to allow a reverse-sweep of their team. If by some miracle Ditto usage were to fall as the metagame matures, previously niche threats that were held at bay at the team-builder level would rise in prominence, driving Ditto usage right back up. Just look at UU Alpha to get an idea of what a Ditto-free meta looks like, and all the sweepers that might come out of the woodworks.

I still wouldn't be surprised if Ditto ends up OU this generation anyways with dynamax banned, since it has been on the rise in recent years and the smaller Galarian dex means a catch-all is legitimately appealing for teams that just don't have a good fit for the last slot. However, I'd expect something more like its traditional Ubers usage, which is in the 5-7% range.
 
First post here.

I've read a bunch of posts in this thread, each side with their own reasons. However, I still land on the side of BAN DYNAMAX at the end of the day. This opinion has only gotten stronger the more I play SS OU. This mechanic is not healthy for the metagame in general. I do get the concept behind Dynamax, which is to make "any" Pokemon viable. This fall flat in practice, since it will only ensure that the strongest users of the mechanic are the ones who dominate the meta, and anyone who challenges this falls flat. I'll present the reasons why I think Dynamax is unhealthy below.

1. HP increase
Half the effect of Dynamax is the issue of doubling HP. This instantly makes it better for offensive users much more than defensive users. Coupled with the point below, offensive users can stack their boosts and steamroll to win the game. Defensive users very rarely, if at all, have this luxury.

2. Secondary Effects
Each offensive Dynamax move has a secondary effect. This includes raising the user's stats, lowering the opponent's stats, or setting up terrain/weather. The only defensive Dynamax move is Max Guard, which is just a somewhat better Protect. As stated before, this definitely favors offensive users, which typically run 4 attacks of different types or 3 attacks + status, giving them a plethora of high BP Max Moves that they can use to boost themselves further. A defensive Pokemon does not have this option without heavily gutting its utility. Some Max moves can be compared to PUP and Flame Charge, but those were balanced to give a boost but have low BP. Dynamax Moves, even for just 3 turns, give a high BP boost and that itself is unbalanced.

3. Choice Lock
Dynamax bypasses Choice items. While the effect of the Choice item is disabled during Dynamax, this puts any long term planning against an opponent's Choice user down, because they can easily Dynamax and switch their move to boost themselves. We can see examples of this with G-Darmantian and Ditto. The Choice item is inherently balanced around giving a power/speed increase for being predictable. Dynamax throws this balancing out of the water.

4. The opposing (Gyarados/Hawlucha/Darminatan-G/Excadrill) blocked the effect!
Dynamax blocks phasing and non-damaging status moves that do not induce a status effect, like Encore. There is very little counterplay to stop an opponent from Dynamaxing and steamrolling your team, apart from Dynamaxing yourself or correctly predicting all their moves and taking as minimal damage as possible. The fact that weight based moves just fail does not make sense to me, since Dynamax users should still keep their regular weight from before. Granted, Dynamax would be slightly weak if a simple Whirlwind could end a monstrosity's setup.

On ladder, these are the most common Dynamax users that I've used and faced.

Gyarados
The big bad, Moxie gets a DD boost for every kill with Max Airstream. Clears Water/Ground with Max Overgrowth. Sets its own rain with Max Geyser. Very few Pokemon can come to check and most will just be 2HKO.

Hawlucha
This luchador can set up its own terrain and sweep after Max Knuckle/Max Airstream boosts or SD.

Darmanitan-G
You may think it's banded or scarfed and your Toxapex is safe on his IC/FB, but he just Max Quakes. While not getting the ATK/Choice boost from ability and item, it can still deal stupid amounts of damage.

Ditto
Probably the weakest user I've listed in the section, Ditto's Scarf is broken and it mitigates its own HP problem, while boosting its shady Imposter stats.

Note that these Pokemon are all mainly Offensive. I haven't remembered a defensive Dynamax that was effective in comparison to one of these Pokemon or another offensive threat, since I don't recall any that are.

These points have probably been reiterated a trillion times by now, but I wanted to include my thoughts and experiences in this discussion. Thanks for reading this long post!

TLDR: BAN DYNAMAX
 
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A day or so ago I would have considered myself an undecided voter on whether Dynamax should remain in OU or not. I honestly believe there are a greater number of anti-ban arguments that are persuasive to me than pro-ban, but there are two arguments that have pushed me to the other side and as a result, I would vote to ban Dynamax as a mechanic. However, I want to say at the outset that some of the pro-ban arguments are totally unpersuasive to me, and me voting to ban Dynamax is not an endorsement of those points whatsoever.

First, the Ditto usage argument is totally unpersuasive and a non-starter. Usage statistics are the absolute weakest argument you can make as a standalone point because there isn't one obvious conclusion to be drawn from them. The game just game out, the tier is obviously unstable (see more on this later), an OU cutoff list was formed days ago, Ditto usage was already rising at the end of Gen 7, it is good against virtually every playstyle anyway, and even if there were solid defensive countermeasures to Dynamax, Ditto is the easiest, lowest risk and highest reward countermeasure that exists against Dynamax. It is a highly accessible pokemon for newer players, and like any choice item holder, its interaction with Dynamax allowing it to cut short sweeps while breaking choice-lock is too good to pass up. All these points lead me to believe that Ditto is incredibly good in Gen 8 OU, not that Dynamax is a broken mechanic. If you want to say that high Ditto usage means something above and beyond the average pokemon having high usage, then say it, but don't leave it for undecided voters to figure it out.

Second, arguing that "generational flavor" or generational identity isn't a concept worth preserving or considering is ridiculous. It absolutely matters and it is the reason why players who have been playing for 10+ years casually and/or competitively like myself still play and enjoy past tiers. Old tiers are often defined by their signature traits, e.g. commonly used pokemon/cores and unique mechanics. Gen 1 has whacky speed and hax mechanics, DPP OU lacks Team Preview, Gen 6 and 7 had Megas and then Z-moves, etc. These traits differentiate the tiers from one another and keep people engaged in actually playing them. As such, I strongly believe that Smogon should strive to both create a competitively balanced 6v6 singles metagame while also keeping players interested and invested enough in the tier to actually play it. Gen 8 having no signature "feel" with no new mechanic and a fraction of the pokemon is something that concerns me greatly, but it does not overcome the need to banish potentially broken mechanics from the game, and it is just my perspective (and others in the thread too).

Third, I do not honestly feel that Dynamax is "broken" on every pokemon that gets it - which is every pokemon. You absolutely do not get the same value out of Dynamaxing a defensive pokemon than you do an offensive sweeper with a greater movepool, an ability designed to snowball momentum and generally stronger, faster offensive stats. So not only is the counterplay unbalanced, but the risk reward of which pokemon to Dynamax is skewed, and as such I don't think it's truly a "50/50" on which pokemon gets Dynamaxed outside the context of full offensive teams, where it could reasonably be one of 3-5 candidates at any given time. But if Dynamax isn't truly broken on everything that gets it, as we have addressed in other suspects (e.g. Shadow Tag, Moody???), why is a blanket ban the only proposed solution to vote on? I strongly believe a complex ban option was worth more discussion and should not have been restricted, because we all know which pokemon are greater abusers of the mechanic than others, but I will leave my discussion of that to a single sentence.

Despite these anti-ban points, I do feel Dynamax should be banned from the tier, largely for the following two arguments:



This is the best argument made in the thread, in my opinion. I will not paraphrase it or editorialize it because it is well-written and the logic speaks for itself. What I will personally add is that Pokemon is nothing more than a game of managing risk and recognizing patterns. I have always argued that "un-predictability" is a weak argument for banning something, because I believe the better player generally knows what his and his opponent's best (and therefore likely) moves are at any given time. The ability to predict or discern what that "best" move is in a Dynamax metagame is totally obscured because of the number of variables it introduces in just three turns, and sometimes in a single turn. Even if the "best" players do adapt to the mechanic and manage it better than others, you are still making it more difficult for players who would otherwise be very consistent to remain consistent at the highest level, simply because they got a guessing game wrong.

Lastly I will say that this point is worth recognizing as well, and I found it persuasive:


This post doesn't need to be any longer, and I think the point here is very clear. The lack of stability in the tier is beyond what I have personally experienced in several years, to a point where I do not think it would get much better given the nature of what Dynamax brings to the table.

I don't apologize for the long post but I do think certain arguments thus far are more persuasive than others, and I do not believe a major game mechanic such as this should be banned for silly reasons. With that said, the last two points have led me to conclude that Dynamax should be banned from OU.
Ditto usage was on the rise, but didn't ever reach such a sky-high record. It's also disingenuous at best saying that usage stat doesn't matter at all, becasue not only it's objectively not true (how can you value or understand overcentralization without it?) but also Ditto is a special pokemon because of its ability and role as an anti-sweeper and adapter.
It's really quite telling that Ditto has 33% usage overall and highest usage at the top of the ladder, saying that it doesn't matter is just plain dumb and you are just trying to force your own bias into the argument when data does not lie.

Generational flavor was pretty much never the point. It is not stated in the policy tiering framework, and everyone and their moms knows that what we are trying to do, our motto so to speak, is creating a game as competitive and fun as possible.
"Preserving flavor" is senseless and subjective. Shit also has a flavor, would you like to taste it? I don't think so, but you do yourself. Z-moves and Megas did not get banned (yet) because people and the council don't deem them against the tiering framework, simple as that.

Complex banning the whole OU tier, which means basically banning every offensive user, makes no sense. I can't understand what you want us to do, spam suspects till only defensive dynamaxes are left? Banning offensive moves when dynamaxxed? lol, just lol. Yes there are strong abusers of dynamax, so we should ban half a dozen of those and then wait till another kind of offensive mon takes their place? Since any pokemon with offensive moves can actually statup itself into the stardom? And what about defensive dynamaxes? Why is it okay for toxapex to avoid 1hko from diggersby's earthquake? It's just plain stupidity.
 
Will a ban for Dynamax in OU automatically carry down to lower tiers? It would be extremely silly to have to conduct one for 4 more tiers and most likely let those tiers sit and rot for a few months before conducting the test, when it is already glaringly obvious it is broken in OU.
 
It's hard to even begin with the problems of this mechanic. I think the best argument for the ban ultimately boils down to the effect on player's ability to make long term plans within games. The exponential increase of outcomes when looking multiple turns ahead reduces our ability to judge plays based on the factors we associate with skill (ability to weigh risk reward/understanding of win conditions etc.)

There are great arguments above showing why dynamax is stronger than the other mechanics in the past, and why it is more centralizing than other mechanics, but the biggest problem as far as I'm concerned is the devaluation of skill.
 
Ditto usage was on the rise, but didn't ever reach such a sky-high record. It's also disingenuous at best saying that usage stat doesn't matter at all, becasue not only it's objectively not true (how can you value or understand overcentralization without it?) but also Ditto is a special pokemon because of its ability and role as an anti-sweeper and adapter.
It's really quite telling that Ditto has 33% usage overall and highest usage at the top of the ladder, saying that it doesn't matter is just plain dumb and you are just trying to force your own bias into the argument when data does not lie.

Generational flavor was pretty much never the point. It is not stated in the policy tiering framework, and everyone and their moms knows that what we are trying to do, our motto so to speak, is creating a game as competitive and fun as possible.
"Preserving flavor" is senseless and subjective. Shit also has a flavor, would you like to taste it? I don't think so, but you do yourself. Z-moves and Megas did not get banned (yet) because people and the council don't deem them against the tiering framework, simple as that.

Complex banning the whole OU tier, which means basically banning every offensive user, makes no sense. I can't understand what you want us to do, spam suspects till only defensive dynamaxes are left? Banning offensive moves when dynamaxxed? lol, just lol. Yes there are strong abusers of dynamax, so we should ban half a dozen of those and then wait till another kind of offensive mon takes their place? Since any pokemon with offensive moves can actually statup itself into the stardom? And what about defensive dynamaxes? Why is it okay for toxapex to avoid 1hko from diggersby's earthquake? It's just plain stupidity.
This is blatantly insulting and if this isn't taken down by the moderation team then I do not know what more would qualify (and please delete my reply if it is). But in case it isn't, you are totally distorting what I said, despite us both coming out to the same overall conclusion. I will put my reply in a hide tag so everyone can just keep scrolling, because this is ridiculous.

On Ditto: I am not saying usage statistics themselves do not matter at all, please quote for me where I said that. I said that you cannot imply from barely two weeks of ladder play that Ditto's usage means Dynamax is broken. At most, you can argue that Ditto's high usage is a reflection of the metagame's inability to handle too many strong, offensive threats, and if you go to the policy review thread, there are numerous points about Ditto's increasing usage at the end of Gen 7 that echo that same sentiment without Dynamax at all. Speculating on what Ditto's usage % should be is pure theorymon, and usage stats are never reliable after only a few weeks of ladder play. I don't know what you are talking about, what "bias" do I have lol, I literally said I want Dynamax banned, and I don't care how often people use Ditto?

On generational flavor: You didn't even make a counterpoint to what I said. You accused me of wanting to taste the flavor of shit, speculated about megas and Z moves getting banned (??), and made some arbitrary comment about "people and the council" which has nothing to do with the suspect at hand. There is nothing to even respond to here.

On complex bans: We were instructed not to discuss this. I left one sentence on my perspective, which was also advocated for several other times in the PR thread (which is where I got the idea). You strawman me here once again - I never said I wanted to suspect the whole OU tier, or every offensive user. I didn't defend Dynamax Pex being able to live certain moves, I just said I question whether defensive uses of Dynamax are "broken" or just irritating/something else. This isn't even on the table anyway so I don't know why you bothered to highlight one sentence of my post when it doesn't even lend to the overall conclusion I came to.

I do not deserve to be personally insulted for making nuanced points that go against the side of the suspect I have chosen. Your reply is beyond toxic and this is the last response I will make, because you aren't arguing in good faith by saying I want to taste shit when I want the mechanic banned.
 
Will a ban for Dynamax in OU automatically carry down to lower tiers? It would be extremely silly to have to conduct one for 4 more tiers and most likely let those tiers sit and rot for a few months before conducting the test, when it is already glaringly obvious it is broken in OU.
It would be banned in lower tiers by default if this decision passes through.
 
Also, another ladder was made for the Unrestricted ruleset until it was removed because nobody played it, leaving it as a challenge option until recently when most of the LGPE stuff got purged, save for LGPE OU and LGPE Randbats.

tl;dr, GF already put in a mode where AVs were banned and if they didn't make this mode there would be an actual legality issue with banning this, unlike Dynamax which is just "don't click the button."
There was a clear policy decision early on in LGPE's lifetime to not use the candied metagame as official OU. You're right, it wasn't a ban like this is, but it was a mechanic that was disregarded. You can find the original thread on this here: https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/lgpe-overused.3644015/ Heck, you can even see my original opinion on having Candied as the official format for OU before I knew better.
 
I agree the way Dynamax is being used currently is ridiculous and makes sweepers like Gyarados far too potent.
But it is also a generation defining mechanic and I think banning it outright is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
For example Copperajah has a G-Max move where it throws a "steel type clone of stealth rocks" on the ground, an interesting move that players won't be able to explore if it it is banned. However, an interesting thing about Copperajah is that due to its slow speed and defenses it may be lower tier mon. The problem with dynamax is mostly the sweeping potential it grants to already quite potent sweepers in the right hands which has seen mons lie Togekiss and Gyarados move up as front runners for that reason.
So I think another option might be to limit dynamax to only Pokemon that fall under lower tiers than the one it is being used in.
Using Copperajah as an example again since it resides in UU right now, its gigamaxing grants it additional HP but this is tempered by its slow speed and that many of the attacks it can use while unmaxxed (such as heavy slam, heat crash) already have similar BP to the ones it can use when Gigamaxxed.

While Dynamaxxing is ridiculous for upper tier mons this might be a fun and challenging way for players to utilise novel mons that have always resided in the lower tiers within the OU metagame. Flygon immediately comes to mind, a fan favourite but I've heard many people despair that it is not usable outside of RU. This doesn't personally bother many (including myself) since they enjoy RU's metagame but this could be a fun way to grant agency to players who want to use novel tactics and underutilized mons.

Pokemon that novel abilities or spreads but have difficulties that keep them in lower tiers such as:
Butterfree
Golisopod
Sigilyph
Lapras
Tsareena
Kingler
Goodra
Machamp etc
Could see new life in the OU metagame as mons that are able to boost their deficiencies with dynamax moves while keeping abilities like Queenly Majesty and Gooey in that game. It might even be the thing that stops the OU game from getting as stagnant with the same repetitive strategies as it does every gen by unleashing the potential for new strategies to brought to the forefront as old mons are reintroduced (hopefully) back into the game.
This would obviously take A LOT of suspect testing over the games life cycle as new dominant and game breaking strategies emerge but I think dynamax is a concept that has been introduced by GF as an answer to the power creep and usability of older mons and it would a shame for the metagame to not capatilise on that potential.

So my main point can be boiled down to: Ban already powerful OU Pokemon from using dynamax while allowing lower tier mons to use dynamax in OU.
 
For example Copperajah has a G-Max move where it throws a "steel type clone of stealth rocks" on the ground, an interesting move that players won't be able to explore if it it is banned.
Actual terrible move (even though steel-type sr are cool), hazards get removed with a spin or a defog and this move is a one-time only. You're also wasting your dyna/giga on... copperjah. Not only that, but you are also wasting one turn to set special hazards that get easily removed.
 
Actual terrible move (even though steel-type sr are cool), hazards get removed with a spin or a defog and this move is a one-time only. You're also wasting your dyna/giga on... copperjah. Not only that, but you are also wasting one turn to set special hazards that get easily removed.
So? It's fun to use novel moves and strategies, even if you personally think it's useless in the metagame people will still want to explore the uses of it.
A lot of unique sets aren't strictly competitive but most of the fun in this game for a lot of people is finding unique exploits and strategies.
 
So? It's fun to use novel moves and strategies, even if you personally think it's useless in the metagame people will still want to explore the uses of it.
A lot of unique sets aren't strictly competitive but most of the fun in this game for a lot of people is finding unique exploits and strategies.
If your concern is fun and not competition why are you so concerned about the competitive balance of OU? Smogon does not exist to make Pokémon "more fun" but rather to make it more competitive.
 

p2

Banned deucer.
When I first came back to this game and the new gen, I was quite looking forward to playing around with the new mechanics and all, I actually found it quite bearable for the first little while until I ran into players who were utilising it properly and actually playing off surprise factor/maximising use out of it.

Point is, Dynamax adds another dimension of play into the game, and it gives you one of two options, turn your offensive pokemon into unstoppable behemoths that are almost nearly impossible to ever OHKO or realistically do over 50% to a lot of the time and on top of this they get super buffed moves that throw out all sorts of buffs/effects into the match.

One example of dynamax that I actually really liked is Max Flare, its very useful in a meta where that Water/Dragon guy is extremely powerful, having a back up option to neuter rain without actually running weather is huge because that mon is absolutely insane (50%+ to pex come on lmao its nuts, resists DONT WORK)

Back to my main point, dynamax kinda just brings together this whole broken checks broken thing, you think you're away to get swept by some nuts breaker at +1? Chuck out a Dynamax Clef and you can somewhat control the situation better, it gives you a back up option that doesn't immediately point to a fast scarfer or Ditto. Or something like throwing out a Dyna Pex to control something like Dragapult / Darm better, there's a whole lot of situations that can be used for and against Dynamax here.

I think the real deal breaker with Dynamax is definitely when it comes to things that are very powerful on their own, AND when you have very stupid stat boosting moves alongside powerful mons. For the first category lets use some examples like Dragapult, Ice Darm and Dracovish. All very powerful mons that also have the luxury of running choice items, my main problem here is that it lets them bypass their choice lock and that opens up a whole different level of play, it becomes guessing games "Do I Max Quake the Pex here or do I Icicle Crash again" - I'm sure everyone that has laddered has ran into this exact scenario. I don't think this is healthy in terms of playing mons, because it is a coinflip situation and it is EXTREMELY common (you can change the Darm/Pex situation into 2 other mons and it would be very similar). Flying types are just flat out broken with this 90% of the time because of the Speed boosting (Gyara, Toge, Corviknight are all extremely strong with set up + flying Dyna move). Again this makes it very difficult to reliably handle birds without ditto, and in Corvi's case, it can run Bulk up to mitigate Ditto cus its bulky as hell and can't hit itself hard enough.

tl;dr Dynamax has potentially some very healthy uses because it provides some legitimate options like weather control and breathing life into Pokemon of lower viability, but the overall effect it has on the metagame does not make it an option worth keeping - some pokemon are simply far too powerful with it available, and you would have to ban far too much to make Dynamax worth preserving. Consider this: Aegislash in Gen6, arguably healthy as it could help deal with all the very powerful fairies/Mega evos gen6 had to offer, but the strength of it, the meta warping potential, and the whole kings shield debate was enough to deem it not worth keeping in the tier.

Again I've played this for like 3 hours total but I got reqs and I got a very good glimpse at what Dynamaxing does to the game, I think it should definitely be banned, the pros of it don't outweight the cons of keeping it.
 

TDK

is a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Past WCoP Champion
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Copperajah is an underrated Pokemon in my opinion; its signature Max Move can be extremely useful and it's very powerful and super hard to take down, especially when it can Dynamax. It can be absolutely killer with a TR setter. But that's beside the point. Please, let's not nitpick at someones argument over something like them saying Copperajah could be viable or whatever.

However, I'd also like to say we under no circumstances will be using a complex ban where only specific Pokemon are not allowed to Dynamax. We aren't going to make silly and arbitrary rules like that. Allowing Pokemon to Gigantamax and not Dynamax was discussed at length, which is stated in the OP, and ultimately was decided to treat the two the same because they're functionally the exact same mechanic. If you'd like to read more into it, please check out the OP and the links in it.
 

guilt trips

flawless creation
Hi, i go by Flawless Creation on PS. I was able to achieve voting reqs with 81+ GXE easily on the first day in a little over 2 hours, and have consistently been top 25 on both Gen 8 OU Beta ladder (before it was removed) and regular Gen 8 OU ladder before the suspect test. I'm typically an extremely anti ban individual, however for this particular suspect its so crystal clear for me. Dynamax (and by extension Gigantamax) is so blantantly broken that it warrants a BAN.

There are a multitude of individual factors that push Dynamax over the edge, and when you combine all these factors together it makes for one of the most broken mechanics ever to exist in Pokemon. Comparing this mechanic to other mechanics such as Mega Evolutions and Z-Moves is just absurd and incorrect.

1) THE DOUBLE HP BOOST FOR 3 TURNS. The most obvious visual effect of dynamaxing is the instant double HP every Pokemon can obtain for 3 turns. This, for all intents and purposes, essentially means that everyone can choose a Pokemon to have Zygarde Complete levels of HP for 3 turns, and I don't think anyone here would be disputing how broken that was when it was quickbanned at the start of SM OU.

I don't think some people in this thread realize just how bulky a Dynamax pokemon is. For example, Gyarados is probably the most dominant Dynamax Pokemon atm, and for good reason. Due to Gyarados' snowball effect when it Dynamaxes, a bunch of players resort to Ditto to reverse check Gyarados if it ever sets up. However, Ditto copies every single stat besides HP, so it doesn't copy the Dynamax HP boost, meaning Ditto actually LOSES to most Dynamax users (including Gyarados) 1 v 1 because the Pokemon it transforms into has double HP. Just for simplicity, lets assume that your opponent sends out their Gyarados vs your Seismitoad. You quickly switch out Seismitoad for fear of grass knot, and lets just say you go to another Pokemon, such as Dragapult, while the Gyarados uses DD on the switch. Turn 2, the Gyarados dynamaxes, and OHKOes the Dragapult with Dynamax Bounce, and gets the moxie and speed boost, so Gyarados is now at +2/+2, with 2 more turns of Dynamax. You might think this is okay because you have a Ditto in the back so you can just steal Gyarados' boosts and reverse sweep it, however that doesn't doesn't actually work. Gyarados has 331 HP unboosted. When it dynamaxes, this becomes 662 HP, which is essentially a base 255 HP mon with 44 HP EVs. Ditto, copying a +2, fails to OHKO a 662 HP Gyarados; it doesn't even come close. So you might think the best play is to sac another Pokemon to allow Gyarados to get +3, that way Ditto will surely kill it that way right?

+3 252 Atk Gyarados Bounce vs. 44 HP / 0 Def Gyarados: 409-483 (61.7 - 72.9%) (That Gyarados has 255 base HP with 44 HP EVs to make it have 662 HP in the calc) It doesn't even kill the Dynamax Gyarados even after SR, and then of course Ditto just gets OHKOed back. Because of this, you essentially have to sac 3 of your Pokemon to Gyarados before going to your Ditto, which I shouldn't have to explain why thats absurdly broken. Not only that, the Gyarados user if they're smart, will see that they are prone to being reverse swept by Ditto, so they can just as easily Dynamax, grab their 2 kills, and then switch out on their last turn so your Ditto cant reverse sweep. There is an easy fix to this, of course. You can just dynamax your own Ditto; however since you lose the scarf boost when you dynamax, the whole thing would essentially boil down to a speed tie. This is just one of the broken aspects of Dynamax; it makes every single potential sweeper absurdly bulky that traditional means of attacking back won’t even stop their sweep. Gyarados is used in this example; however there are countless of sweepers that can also be illustrated in this scenario, such as Togekiss, Hydreigon, Tyranitar, etc.

2) NEGATING THE EFFECTS OF CHOICE ITEMS ON DYNAMAX USERS. The most significant offender of this is Ditto, although Darmanitan Galar also seems to be an issue for numerous players. Choice items are traditionally seen as a high risk, high reward item that rewards smart prediction and risk management. Dynamaxing choice locked Pokemon throws this whole concept completely out the window. Since Pokemon with choice items now can use any move they want, with additional beneficial side effects freely now for 3 turns, they are essentially getting all the reward with 0 the risk. This should be the opposite of what Smogon strives to be in a competitive environment because we should be rewarding the player that plays and predicts better with a better sense of risk management, and thus has no place in competitive battles.

Let’s use the previous scenario of Ditto transforming into Gyarados as an example. Due to Gyarados’ moxie ability its very easy to snowball. Normally, a Ditto transforming into a +2/+2 Gyarados would be fine if it remained Choice locked, since if you lock yourself into Waterfall the opponent can just stop the reverse sweep by halting it with their Seismitoad or something. However, in this case, Ditto can choose not to Dynamax so it can outspeed and kill Gyarados the first turn with rain boosted waterfall. The opponent then sends out Seismitoad, and Ditto can then dynamax and use any move it wants for three turns. This lets it kill Seismitoad with grass knot, and now you have a +3/+2 Ditto that can use any move it wants for 2 more turns, more than likely boost its attack for these 2 turns, and the game is pretty much over.

Darmanitan Galar is a similar case too where traditionally you can play around with boosted, choice locked moves by switching into a resist, but Dynamax eliminates this whole concept by letting the choice user choose a coverage option to eliminate the Pokemon you sent out to resist the locked move in the first place. Again, this is giving the Dynamax user all the reward, with 0 the risk.

3) DYNAMAX MOVES ARE EXTREMELY POWERFUL WITH 0 DRAWBACK, AND ADDITIONAL BENEFICIAL EFFECTS. the best example off the top of my head relates to weather wars. Traditionally, weather wars can be seen as a game of outlasting your opponent by having your opponent’s weather setter die before yours, so you can set up your preferred weather with no disturbances and have a field day. This is similar to rewarding the better, smarter player since you need to manage risk management to determine just how significant keeping your weather is. Sometimes when the manual weather setter dies (Tyranitar, Pelipper), that team can still win by manually setting up rain with Rain Dance. Thats okay, because for one, it takes up one of your moveslots, and two, you have to waste a turn setting up this weather and thats one less turn you have on getting a kill.

Dynamax turns this whole strategic planning of weather wars upside down, because it allows these attackers on weather teams to manually set up their own weather, while not sacrificing a valuable moveslot, while getting a kill at the same time, which is extremely broken. For instance, if a sand core of Tyranitar/Excadrill was able to kill off the opponent’s Pelipper, and sand is up, the sand team would be able to traditionally win since Sand Rush Exca kills Barraskewda. However in context of Barraskewda vs Tyranitar, Barraskewda can dynamax, OHKO the Tyranitar with waterfall, and set up rain so it outspeeds and OHKOes the Excadrill next turn as well. In another scenario, lets change the roles. Lets say the rain team was able to kill the Hippo/Tyranitar, rain is up, you have a Pelipper vs your opponent’s Excadrill with your Dracovish/Barraskewda in the back. Normally, of course, this would be a sure win for the rain team. However the Excadrill can dynamax, kill the Pelipper with rock slide AND set up sand so it gets the speed boost, and then OHKO the barra/dracovish the next turn. Dynamax moves are simply too strong, with no negative drawbacks, and the beneficial effects are simply too much.

It goes way beyond weather though. Numerous of these side effects make Dynamaxed Pokemon incredibly frustrating to deal with, such as bulk up Dynamax Corviknight being able to boost its speed, defenses, AND have double HP for 3 turns, or Hawlucha being able to set its own terrain or boosting its speed and attack.

Because of these 3 reasons above, as well as normal conventional methods of stopping sweepers such as phazing or flinching or destiny bond being useless vs them, I believe Dynamax to be incredibly broken in every metagame it will be allowed and should be banned to allow metagame development. Dynamax defensively to prevent yourself from being overrun from offensive dynamax Pokemon just illustrates how blatantly unhealthy this mechanic is for the tier.
 
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