Metagame np: Ubers Stage 0 - The Journey

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Nayrz

silver will
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Ubers Leader
#1

Welcome to the new era of Ubers. It should be no secret at this point that Ubers going forward will be treated as a tier closer to that of other Smogon metagames, and this naturally comes with suspect testing as a method to improve our metagame. This thread aims to give everyone from both inside and outside of Ubers the chance to voice their concerns with the metagame and aim to find solid ground as a community to move forward with. This is not the place for discussion on the community level... it isn't going to get us anywhere. We should all know how to better ourselves by now and if you do not, you will learn the hard way.

For those unfamiliar with Ubers’s current policy, check out this thread. The bottom line is that our main goal with Ubers is to achieve a Smogon tier that offers a competitive metagame with a minimalist approach to bans. This does not mean Ubers will become ban happy in nature. This is kept in check by myself with suspect approvals and the 66.6% ban rate required for a suspect test to pass, meaning that substantial community support is required for anything to be banned or unbanned. However, it doesn’t mean we will shy away from metagame elements deemed detrimental to its growth by a majority of players. Ubers may not be for the purists of Pokemon anymore - AG now exists as the substitute for that. We strive to separate ourselves from it (and OU) within reason.

Suspect tests must have at least some level of community backing to avoid wasting our time. We have the Smogon Grand Slam coming shortly with the Smogon Snake Draft not far behind it, both official tournaments that Ubers will feature in. Let's look to impress. What I want to see from posts in this thread is clear, substantiated discussion on USM Ubers so that we can find our way to progress as a tier in the ideal way. I will be infracting any posts that do not contribute to the purpose of this thread, so let this be your warning.
 

Nayrz

silver will
is a member of the Site Staffis a Community Leaderis a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Ubers Leader
#2
I'm going to start off this thread with my personal opinion on USM Ubers.

I believe that USM is, for the most part, as good as it will get. I do understand the arguments behind wanting things like Primal Groudon or Dusk Mane Necrozma gone, but I believe they offer more to the metagame than they take away. An important aspect I believe that should be taken into consideration is that as Ubers we must strive to maintain playability with the minimal amount of bans. I believe that the argument of "well if we ban x and y becomes broken, ban that too" should not apply to Ubers as strongly as it does to other Smogon tiers. I think Ubers should give strong consideration to the potential state of the metagame after a suspect test, or else a snowball of bans can begin that is difficult to stop. If banning one element needs 4 more bans to stablize the metagame, then that can be a problem to the spirit of Ubers. The line between theorymon of the metagame's state after the ban of something and a reasonable analysis is an educated guess at best, however. It is a difficult call.

I feel like USM Ubers holds itself together for the most part. There are variations of teams. There is no overwhelmingly dominant strategy that warps the metagame, or a niche one causing large problems to high tier play. However, I do believe that there is one element to USM Ubers that has a strong likelihood to improve the metagame's playability and tournament play without much collateral damage.

That element is Gothitelle / Gothorita. There have been many complaints around its effect on the metagame, crippling defensive teams to the point that they require excessive preparation just on the chance that someone brings these Pokemon to the match, or ignore preparation and simply lose when coming across them. Why Gothorita as well? With Eviolite, its bulk is so similar to Gothitelle that removing one leaves the problem unaddressed. They ruin the viability of would-be good additions to the metagame, and does so in a manner that lacks ideal counterplay as would be fitting for a balanced metagame with player interaction between both players. The removal of this element improves the overall look of the tier as defensive checks to Ubers' powerhouses grow in viability. It improves the spectator point of view as they no longer have to watch a Pokemon simply drain PP without much skill expression from either player. This most importantly helps to balance the metagame and gain a true assessment of Pokemon that could be seen as an overwhelming problem.

So that's how I currently stand. What about the rest of the community?
 

mags

Tournament Banned
#3
Personally I think Ubers should only ban on the basis that something is uncompetitive or just broken. An example of uncompetitive would be hypnosis mgar and an example of broken would be mega ray. If a mon doesn't fit one of those requirements then the ban itself seems pointless. It's like banning a mon because you don't enjoy the aspect it brings to the metagame. Over centralizing should never be an argument to get a mon banned. Every ubers generation has had a couple of mons with usage rates through the roof and for some reason people had an issue with it in oras with pdon. Did they forget that in adv if you paired lati twins together they had over 90% usage? How about dialga/gira o in dpp or gene/ogre/ghostceus in bw? It's clear that the ubers pool of viable mons is smaller than something like ou. That is obviously gonna make the tier more centralizing around the mons that are actually viable so we shouldn't worry about if a mon is slapped onto every team unless they are broken or uncompetitive. Another thing to take into account is that if we banned mons for reasons other than being broken and uncompetitive is that we would be leading towards a meta similar to ou or close to identical. Obviously there will be a snowball effect if you ban one of the crucial mons in usm and sooner or later the best mon in the tier will always be ban worthy until we reach ou standards. Ban pdon then you need to ban pogre and maybe geomancy. Sooner or later you need to ban duskmane. Then ban this and then that. Now its essentially uubers and that's not the plan.

my beliefs on the big stuff thats being discussed. Stag isn't broken or uncompetitive but goth is. Just because goth is hard to fit onto a team and it's doesn't get as many mu wins as before doesn't mean its not broken or uncompetitive. People have evolved to stop losing vs it... which means that goth isn't being used yet it still affects the meta immensely in an unhealthy way. Pdon is overcentralizing yes but its not broken or uncompetitive. I think most people will agree it got worse from oras with the introduction of zygarde and plenty of other defog mons to account for. The reason it stayed high on vb rankings and why the usage stayed up is because it's still a very strong pokemon in every aspect. It's super versatile which makes it splashable. It can blanket check almost anything in the tier which is extremely helpful because of all the powerhouses in ubers which are hard to find a way to check everyone of them on the same team. Being a blanket check also makes it more splashable. Pdon just really acts like a glue to the metagame. Xerneas and geomancy... not even a strong set atm in the metagame. Zgeo got heavily nerfed as well. Idk why people wanna ban it,,, it might have been a cheap set back in xy or oras but in usm it's pretty hard to pull off a sweep so is it really a braindead set? Duskmane I have mixed opinions about but I'm leaning towards just classifying it as a pdon like mon but less splashable but more dangerous. Marsh is a hard mon to check and its basically the most perfect offensive threat gamefreak could make without making it completely broken.. think it should stay obviously but it def gives me headaches.

anyways I would like to see a goth suspect test even tho I think the suspect test won't help much considering it's not good atm but still restricts teambuilding etc. I think it would actually be pointless to have the suspect test because most people won't have a changed opinion by the end of it but if you wanted to get a poll for the ban but make it for players that have proven themselves first it makes sense.
 
#4
I feel like we’ve been theorymoning way too much. There have been many metagame trends (such as pdon, geomancy) that aren’t necessarily broken or uncompetitive, but result in a significant shift in teambuilding priorities in that they can heavily constrain teambuilding and thus make it difficult to experient with niche ideas while still having a effective team, which is why there are a select few mons that are overly prevalent on certain playstyles. If more threats are made viable due to the removal of some of these trends balance and stall builds will need to become more varied and adaptable to deal with them. This can also fall under the “unhealthy” aspect of suspect testing. Basically given how few successful suspect tests ubers has had, and how unlikely discussion alone will result in new perspectives after so long, it would be helpful to suspect stuff with a large metagame presence such as pdon, geoxern, zygarde etc just to see how the metagame fares while one or more of these threats are missing. even if the bans don’t go through we might find some aspects of the meta that improve when these threats are absent and we can refine suspecting from there.
 
#5
First off, I think its great that Ubers is taking steps to solve the problem, and hopefully this is our path towards a better and tier in general. Now my personal thoughts on the matter haven't really changed since around the beginning of UPL, which is that USM as of now has a lot of problems as a tier because teambuilding is far too restrictive, and some things like threat stacking make teams always have some sort of matchup problem. I think a large part of this originates in the fact that there are too many large threats in the meta to truly cover in one team, and you often feel that you are either spread thin (maybe like 2 fairy resists or smthg) or have glaring weaknesses in certain areas. I do have the belief, like many people above that banning things like Primal Groudon and Duskmane directly isn't the solution however, and that is mostly because the effects they would have the meta aren't necessarily beneficial (banning pdon for example would also probably lead us to ban pogre), and also because I believe like Nayrz that we should strive to do a minimalist ban list. So to move on to where I actually present what I believe the problems in the metagame are Solgalium Z, Gothitelle/Gothorita and Geomancy. I am proposing to suspect any one of these, not all at once just for clarification, and each provide different routes to allow more diversity and balance to come back to the tier.

I'll go through each one by one and why I believe that they could significantly help the tier if they are banned. The first is Solgalium Z, which may seem at first like a weird pick, but hear me out. I believe that duskmane's main problems right now lie in its Double Dance set, which can sweep many teams easily and it can notably break through the majority of its resists pretty easily. And in large part this is because of Solgalium Z, as without it, pokemon like defensive yveltal can check it (the 10% drop from solgalium to steelium is pretty big) and other defensive checks like primal kyogre, hooh and the like aren't pressured as hard by the duskmane who will suicide zmove into them. While it may seem minimal, I think it will make a big difference. It also is notable because without the zmove, defensive sets can now be trapped by mgar giving it a more defined weakness. A big reason why I want to reduce the impact of duskmane is the current strain on teambuilding it provides. Much like xerneas, you must bring multiple resists often times and it can be disgustingly good even when prepped for (unlike xern its much harder to play around and can run many more viable sets that you have to play around in different ways).

The next one is Goth, which Nayrz already mostly went into. The reason these mons are so disgusting is because unlike mgar, the other stag user, you dont have the 1 turn buffer which can be really huge as you can often force the opponent to trade a mon to be able to mega or at least put pressure on him. Goth can often eliminate key components to a defensive core and this has been really troublesome as of late and has caused stuff like DD Zygarde to become a large threat because many of DD zygarde's checks can be trapped by goth pretty easily. On top of this, it feels very much uncompetitive when your opponent has to only make 1 read out of like potentially 20+ turns and they get rewarded for making that one play, when you often don't get rewarded. Going back to a teambuilding perspective, Goth is one of the biggest offenders because it limits the ability to run a lot of defensive cores because they are in fact weak to Goth + some threat or similar. While, Goth by itself can generally be agreed to not be an amazing mon, its the threat of Goth that is really scary and this can force you into bringing suboptimal stuff just to deal with it.

The last one is Geomancy, which seems kinda childish or nooby to suggest, but Geomancy for a long time has been a huge issue in the Ubers metagame. Prior to this, because it was one of the few threats you had to deal with, it could be dealt with as devoting a slot and a half to Xerneas was fine, but now that you have to use those slots to also cover new major threats like Marshadow, DD Zygarde, duskmane and mixogre, it makes it much harder to safely feel like you aren't Xerneas weak. I think that geo isn't even close to Xerneas' best set in the current meta and removing it will still see Xerneas be a top tier pokemon. I also think that Geo isn't really a problem by itself as we have seen in the past. It is moreso the combination of all of these large threats coming together that you have to prep for. However, I will say that Geomancy is probably the biggest target or one of them (duskmane being the other major one), and that eliminating geo will reduce the strain on teambuilding. Think about it this way, right now you have to cover all the threats of Duskmane, Zygarde, Xern (both sets), Yveltal, Pdon (2/3 major threats), cm arc forms, ekiller, marshadow, Pogre (2/3 sets) among others, and some of those mons listed near the beginning require a specific slot or multiple slots dedicated to stopping them. With Geo gone, its a huge strain off the building process.

TL;DR Problem in Ubers rn is that teambuilding is far too restrictive, and too many threats are in the current metagame to really cover. 2 ways about it, either target the actual threats (Xern, Duskmane) and ban specific "problem" threats or ones that are hard to cover, OR ban goth and allow a lot of the defensive teams and mons a lot more breathing room when forced to check many of these mons.
 
#6
Currently while I find the ubers metagame to be extremely diverse more so than a lot of tiers, I would say that there are some issues. A lot of people complain that dusk mane is over powered or too centralizing, I would agree that it is an extremely good mon but I think that the meta has adapted to it and while it is still extremely good I do not think that there is any reason to suspect it. From an offensive standpoint I would even argue that the ultra form is better, and defensively while it is very good it is threatened by many common pokemon. My biggest grievance with the meta at the moment is Gothitelle and gothorita. I do not think that these pokemon are necessarily broken, they see nowhere close to the usage of dusk mane or m-gar or honestly a lot of the pokemon in the meta. However I do think that they are both extremely uncompetitive. specifically the flatter gothitelle + mgar core that some people like to run. this core can seemingly win upon mu given a lack of marsh + a scarfer on the other team. Now this strat obviously does not work all the time if it did it would see far more usage. I do think though that it is a strategy that requires very little skill and is not good for the meta as a whole. A more common strategy with goth is to pair it with something like dd zygarde. the idea is to use it to remove that support arc that checks zygarde. While I do find this to be a bit more competitive because you often have to at least double to catch the support arc, it is still rather hard to overcome depending on the mu if being used by a solid player.

In regards to geomancy and things like pdon, Ive never personally found geomancy to be that big of an issue. Yes you have to play games a specific way as to not lose to geo in the late game, but I do not find that to necessarily be a bad thing. Also with the introduction of dm there is at least a soft check to geo Xern on nearly every team. Don however I do think is undoubtedly the best mon in the meta, its usage is insane and for good reason, it is without question the most versatile pokemon in the meta. That being said i think that due to this overwhelming impact it has on the meta it would be extremely hard to ban it. the removal of groudon would either also force the removal of ogre or cause ferro to become one of the most common pokemon in the tier. I would also reconsider the geo ban if groudon were to be removed because then geo Xern would lose one of its best checks so team restriction would grow even more troublesome. These are just things that come to mind straight away I'm sure it would have an even greater impact than just these things.

So to conclude I think the current meta is not as limiting as some people might say, It is rather easy in my opinion to find creativity in building. I do however strongly dislike the impact that goth has on the meta as it does not take very much skill to use and is just generally uncompetitive.
 
#7
I play Uber since 2 years now and I must say this current metagame is imho preferable to the metagame we had, when Gothitelle ran around like crazy and was on a lot of teams.
I feel the metagame tends to be more offensive again, which resulted into less Gothitelle Usage. I cant deny Im happy seeing less of it's presence.
The Times it ran around and trapped the defensive checks to Marshadow like Fairyceus was an ugly metagame tbh. 1. It needs too long to kill / PP-Stall Support Arceus Variats 2. of all the games were slow paced.

To Geomancy: I never had issues with a GeoXern. I ran Spdef Pdon in early SM OU and later on Spdef Dusk Mane. Both are incredible good checks. Also there are Mons like Magearna, Ferrothorn, and some Ho-Oh variants, which can deal with GeoXern pretty well with the likes of Heart Swapping away their boosts.

Dusk Mane: I kinda feel Dusk Mane itself is not broken in any way. You can kinda see out of some attacks and calcs if this is offensive or rather defensive. The Issue is the Unpredictableness of it's many many Sets it can run. You are kinda forced into a position to scout, unless they give you via Teampreview an obvious build. what the role compendium of Dusk Mane is on this kinda team. It is managable, but it forces you to run certain checks to it.

Primal Groudon: Never had issues with him, even the RP, Overheat / Fire Blast set is managable. Is a needed mon in my eyes to keep Primal Kyogre / Kyogre away from spamming their Water STABs in the rain. O Pulse has not many switchins, also scarf Water Spout is pretty much freed up to spam without Pdon. I dont mind Pdon at Ubers at all.
 
#8
USM Ubers is a metagame that is mostly stable as a playability factor and comfortably holds itself together at highest level play. Suspects themselves in ubers can be a difficult subject to discuss due to the Ubers philosophy and the fact most ban discussions can be quite controversial and Pokemon such as Necrozma-DM, Geomancy and Primal Groudon, which are common discussion topics that I’ve seen in recent times. I feel neither of these deserve a ban or suspect in the current state of ubers and something some players tend to overlook is the amount of collateral damage that would be inflicted on the metagame, such collateral would lead to an “x amount of bans are now required to counteract broken stuff” scenario, which is obviously not ideal under Ubers tiering philosophy and something any tier really wants to avoid on a grand scale.

Additionally, Necrozma-DM, Primal Groudon and Geomancy Xerneas actually hold the quality of the metagame together and bring a lot more positives over a potential ban. Numerous players argue that they are over-centralising with their high usage, but Ubers has historically had patterns of over-centralising Pokemon that keep the tier together and the fact Ubers has much less shallow pool of viable Pokemon compared to OU or any other lower tier, this is always going to be a constant issue and the tiering construct of Ubers indicates that over-centralisation is never a factor of a potential ban, nor does it evidently harm the competitiveness of the tier in the weight of it all.

The only Pokemon I feel is worth discussing for a potential suspect is Gothitelle / Gothorita. While this post is going to be focusing on Gothitelle’s current state of play in Ubers. Nayrz pointed out in his post the Gothorita can also serve the role of Gothitelle, which would lead to an ineffective ban as Gothitelle would simply be replaced by Gothorita.

Gothitelle effectively has a chokehold on bulkier balances, stall teams and defensive Pokemon by itself, simply by just existing in the tier. It forces teambuilding in such a way that significant amount of Gothitelle countermeasures or preparation is required which is very taxing for defensive teams and some balances. This means these kinds of archetypes face a predicament of equipping themselves to deal with the top powerhouses in Ubers such as Swords Dance Primal Groudon, Primal Kyogre, Necrozma-DM, Ho-Oh, Zygarde-C, Geomancy Xerneas, Ultra Necrozma and Swords Dance Arceus formes, in exchange of a Gothitelle being capable of forcing almost a whole team to crumble to Gothitelle alone or prepare for Gothitelle and not have a sufficient defensive backbone to handle the aforementioned threats.

A strong combination that is utilised at the moment is Thousand Waves Zygarde + Gothitelle, which I am actually surprised players haven’t been using as much as I would have hoped for. Gothitelle invalidates Zygarde’s sole defensive answers such as support Arceus. Thousand Waves guarantees a Gothitelle switch in to these defensive pokemon. Gothitelle can simply remove it from the game with ease and this can put a lot of pressure on the opposing team or even collapse.

One could argue that Gothitelle usage is low in USM and doesn’t really appear much, but I feel this only exemplifies the significant amount of impact Gothitelle has had on the metagame. Players have been adapting teams away from usual balances and stalls even avoiding Defog on Arceus formes that isn’t Arceus Dark, which has spiked in usage, with Gothitelle being one of the main factors. While support Arceus formes such as Arceus-Water and Arceus-Ground which have been the core of the defensive backbones on most Uber teams players are still steering away from myriad of defensive Pokemon that are considered viable due to the fear of Gothitelle such as Ferrothorn, Celesteela, Tyranitar, Chansey and Pokemon such as defensive Necrozma-DM or defensive having to run techniques such as Z-Crystals to avoid being beaten, similarly, Pokemon like Lugia have been adapting by crippling their effectiveness via moveset such as being forced into running Dragon Tail, just to avoid being removed by Gothitelle.

Another potential point I expect to be brought up, is what about Shadow Tag as a whole? What about Mega Gengar? The thing about other Shadow Tag users is they aren't the issue at large, Wobbufett isn't worth using for it's niches as a Shadow Tag user like Gothitelle or Mega Gengar. The main thing about Mega Gengar vs Gothitelle, is that Mega Gengar can't make the use of Shadow Tag like Gothitelle does. Mega Gengar requires the highest skill ceiling of any Pokemon to use in Ubers and can't even trap all of its intended targets and eventually gets worn down too much trying to remove more than one target in most games. Gothitelle can trap all its intended targets with one set only every game and requires a low skill ceiling to get an efficient use out of it. I understand a blanket ban from a tiering perspective would look less controversial than Ubers banning two PU Pokemon completely from it's metagame, but I absolutely feel Shadow Tag isn't the element that is causing the issues, but is instead Gothitelle for the reasons highlighted in my post.

The final factor about a Gothitelle suspect is that it allows for almost no or very little collateral on the metagame if the end result ended in a ban. This would actually allow for metagame development, as worthwhile stall teams and stronger balances would appearing as an end result, which is a huge positive. This encourages smart teambuilding and players to consider having proficient wallbreakers such as Lunala, Primal Kyogre or Ultra Necrozma, to cover these now viable existing team structures as there will essentially be no ‘easy button’ option of Gothitelle to fall back on. Furthermore this rewards players who are invested in Ubers at the highest level, such as tournaments as a potential Gothitelle ban would almost like allow for a higher level of competitive Ubers play.
 
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#9
Stag: I agree with goth being broken but I think it’s stag that’s the problem. Banning stag from ubers will benefit the tier and more playable. One pokemon in particular I think sould be looked at is Mega Genger with Stag it can pick off support pokemon with it’s sets like taunt+Dbond or Sub+taunt and let X pokemon sweep or break the team more easier. I think the ability is just uncompetitive and should be looked at.

Dusk-mane: I have mix feelings about this pokemon I can understand why people want it gone with it’s DD set and being at 2+ w/Z move OHKO’ing the meta seems ridiculous but they’re counter play to this pokemon. On the other hand this is best Geo Xern check that isnt passive like magearna and more easier to fit in teams

P-Don: I heavily disagree whoever said p-don needs to be tested or talked about. This pokemon is just a gule that keeps the tier together with it gone stuff like Kyorge will run through teams and will put the tier in a bad spot.
 

Minority

Numquam Vincar
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Moderator
#10
The only game element in USM Ubers that sees some kind of common use that is even worth considering for a suspect is Goth. Support in regards to a suspect on Shadow Tag, P Don, Necrozma-DM, Geomancy, etc. is so absurd it's not worth addressing.

While I probably lean more toward the pro-ban side in regards to Goth, I can acknowledge that this thread doesn't really present strong argumentation based in Ubers tiering policy and game theory as to why such a ban is warranted. If you step outside the mindset of your typical Pokemon tiering parrot, you'll quickly realize why several of the arguments in this thread are weak. Think about the following questions in regards to a FPS, a fighter, a card game, or even a board game - Why would something be worth banning simply because it impacted the viability of a family of game elements? Why would a ban on a game element with little to no execution skill be warranted? Why would there be a ban on a game element that is able to cause a "boring" exchange for spectators? While such arguments aren't dismissed for all games in all circumstances, in the vast majority of situations they are. Why? Because they rarely address the heart of the matter and more often than not are the cries of a scrub. You're diagnosing symptoms rather than curing the disease.

The strongest arguments I can see being made for a Goth ban are able to support one or both of the following:
- Goth is able to take control of and alter the fundamental premise of teambuilding and / or play
- Goth decreases competitive edge by virtue of having little to no discrete and effective counter-play in teambuilding and / or play

There may be more good arguments out there, but I think most of the ones I've seen fall into one or both of these claims. These are not easy statements to prove conclusively, but I think there is probably more evidence to support them than to dismiss them. Banning often becomes a complicated issue for competitive games, but when it's warranted it at least needs to be based on good arguments.
 
#11
In regards to suspect tests, I think that Gothitelle and, by extention, Gothoritia are currently the most uncompetitive element in USM Ubers because there is absolutely no counterplay potential to its use beyond perfect prediction paired with pursuit trapping and its extremely wide range of trapping targets. This is unreasonable because the Goth user typically loses little from mispredicting and effectively makes certain Pokemon dead team slots due to their inability to net a KO (which doesnt even need to be the mon they're supposted to check, could be a 2 hp suicide lead) without getting removed by Goth.

However, despite Shadow Tag being the primary reason why both Goths are uncompetitve it stands that the other users of this ability are dedicedly not broken. For example, Mega Gengar has a number of limiting factors, one crucial one being its lack of bulk which makes it very hard to use. Even the Pokemon its supposed to check can play around or run specific tech against it, such as Earth Power Fairyceus, something which usually is complete food for Mega Gengar. It is also very vulnerable to pursuit trapping due to its lack of bulk and required mega evolution turn, giving teams which are weak against it a viable tech option to make it basically useless without significant chip damage on the pursuit trapper's part. Gothitelle has none of these problems, which makes the only option simply not running things such as Support Arceus or Support Dusk Mane or many other crucial things to make defensive or balanced teams function. This wouldn't be too bad if it's trapping range was smaller, but alas every support mon without some way to ohko it, shed shell, taunt, volt switch/u turn or dragon tail loses to Goth.

tldr: goth broken because no counterplay options other than dont use these common mons but theres no problems w stag itself and banning it would get rid of arguably healthy metagame elements
 
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Aberforth

Californium is PoMMan now.
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#12
Are there examples of Gothorita being able to do the same stuff as Gothitelle, as effectively? When I was playing, one of the elements I thought made Gothitelle effective at what it did was its ability to passively recover from damage from things like hazards and while resting. I asked briefly in the ubers discord for this, but it does seem to be more an element of theorymon here. ABR showed that Gothorita could take the place of Gothitelle on stall teams in OU, but I dont think it's necessarily going to be the case that that would carry over to Ubers. Despite Ubers not being the place for purists, I still dont think we should ban/suspect something that we only think could be an issue.

Note: I'd be fine with just replays where it was used on a goth team, doing the same things, between two good players. I just do think that the difference leftovers makes might be enough that Gothorita might not be nearly as effective as Gothitelle.
 
#13
First of all I would like to commend Nayrz for opening up this discussion...personally it's something that I think has been long overdue in Ubers. I was going to talk about Pdon / Duskmane, but seeing as the first few posts have all singled out Gothitelle (not going to comment on Gothorita as I've never seen nor used it), I guess I'll give my thoughts on that first.

Gothitelle is NOT broken.

1. Gothitelle is currently A- on the VR

There's been a trend recently on smogon of banning shit that's below S-rank. Maybe that works for OU (current and past) and under, but this is something that absolutely should not happen in Ubers. Granted, none of the members of the most successful baton pass chains were very high on the VR, but that was more about a certain playstyle, not the pokemon themselves, so any argument comparing baton pass to Goth is moot. Goth being A- means that it isn't as effective and splashable enough to be banworthy. And I think this is evident in practice too. Gothitelle, despite being slow and just bulky enough, is an offensive mon. A very good offensive mon, to be sure, but one with almost non-existent defensive utility and a terrible speed tier / mediocre bulk that is abused by some of the most terrifying sweepers and wallbreakers in the tier. Again, the community seems to have decided that Gothitelle is not among the very best of the metagame and more in line with pokemon like Toxapex, which nobody can argue is anywhere near broken. If Gothitelle is going to be suspected, then it has to first rise to at least S.

2. Practical Performance

To me, Gothitelle's performance in tournaments is the most damning evidence against it being suspect worthy. I don't have any data for seasonals or other ubers tournaments, but in UPL, Gothitelle was used a mere 7 times and sported an absolutely abysmal 28% win rate. Compare that to Groudon, which was used 135 times (91%) usage and managed a 51% win rate, no small feat when it appears on almost every team. The same goes for Necrozma-DM. Zygarde, a mon people often cite as a reason Gothitelle is so good, did very well with a 32% usage rate and a massive 64% win rate. To me, this signifies that a) the highest level USM players do not think that Gothitelle is worth using (otherwise it would have been used more than seven times on the highest stage) and b) dangerous offensive threats like Zygarde, Pdon, DM, Marshadow, etc. do not need Gothitelle support to be effective. Now, this is not to say that Gothitelle isn't a good mon. It is, and it's gotten wins in tournament. The risk-reward is skewed in the Gothitelle user's favor (although this skew is often greatly exaggerated), and that's what makes Gothitelle worth using. But it doesn't make Gothitelle broken or even suspect-worthy.

I think that the meta has adapted to Gothitelle fine. Yeah, Chansey is a better wall than Blissey, but Shed Shell Blissey still does its job admirably. Arceus-Dark is a good pokemon with or without the existence of Gothitelle. Lugia running Dragon Tail sucks but at the end of the day it's a one-moveslot fix. Is it frustrating sometimes to build and play against goth? Sure, but if we're going to start suspecting things in Ubers, let's make sure that we start with actually broken mons.
 
#14
The only thing that should be suspected in ubers is Primal Groudon. That thing is so over centralising it's disgusting - there is literally no logical reason not to use it on your team. Need a bulky SR setter? Done. Need a physical sweeper? You got it. Need a mixed wallbreaker? Here you go. Need a special sweeper? Yep. I disagree that without it stuff like Xerneas and Primal Kyogre would run rampant, as there are other Pokémon that can check them, such as Lugia, Necrozma-DM, Blissey, Ferrothorn and various support Arceus forms. And anyway, since when has broken checking broken ever been a valid argument to keep something?
 

Aberforth

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#15
ogasian said:
I mean... it sounds like you're arguing against a point people havent made. Very few people have said Goth is broken, but that it's uncompetitive and unhealthy for the tier. That the way it restricts teambuilding just by existing makes dealing with the powerful offense that the tier has nearly impossible, making non-broken pokemon far more difficult to deal with comfortably. By these metrics, Goth's win rate isn't an accurate way to measure its meta-based performance. You even bring up the Zygarde example, where it performed brilliantly due to the way teambuilding is forced to work to prepare for Gothitelle, meaning Zygarde answers are few and far between. People didn't bring goth in UPL partly because they didn't have to, their opponent (and indeed, they themselves) could not afford to risk making a team that was Goth-weak. Marshadow et al dont need Goth to be effective because Goth's presence on the teambuilder side of things limits their counterplay in ways that mean they benefit from Goth existing even when it isn't brought.

As for something needing to be S-Ranked to be banworthy... uh why? Something can be unhealthy for a metagame without being able to be fit on literally every team without much effort. Viability rankings arent a ranking on how much effect something has on the meta, they're a ranking of how easy to use each pokemon is, and no shit Goth isn't as easy to slap onto a team as a DM Necrozma or a Groudon. It doesn't mean it shouldn't be banned.
 
#16
Really, Pdon is simply way too overcentralizing for the meta. There’s absolutely zero reason to not run it. It’s gotten to the point where it’s S+, which afaik means other Pokémon lose viability significantly just by a mon existing. I also doubt Xerneas and PKyogre would trample the meta. Xerneas is still walled to hell by Duskrozma (which imo doesn’t need to be banned), and Pkyogre, while a bit shakier, has counters in Chansey and the like. Frankly I think Goth should probably be suspected first, if only due to more people supporting it than a pdon test. Probably the best way to go about this is to suspect Goth first, and if it gets banned, see how the meta adapts. I wouldn’t be angry if pdon stayed, but frankly it at the very least it should be tested. Goth is dumb btw, please ban
 

Jibaku

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#17
And anyway, since when has broken checking broken ever been a valid argument to keep something?
Since the tier is Ubers and needs to draw a significant border between OU and AG to maintain a unique identity. By definition, the tier is broken and tries to maintain competitive playability with minimal bans. To separate it from AG's goals we keep it clear from excessively uninteractive playstyles (i.e heavy flowchart teams, highly simplified play and strategies) and from forces that overly linearize playstyles in general (i.e a mon is so strong that you can only bring a specific archetype to be successful because the amount of resources needed to handle it leaves very little to no room for other goals). While Groudon's incredible flexibility gives it a presence rivaling that of past gen gods like RBY Tauros and GSC Snorlax in a much wider field (and thus looking bonkers as a result), there's really not an issue as long as there are sufficient ways to interact against it, and as long as a variety of playstyles is available.

Also uncompetitive is the worst word this forum has ever invented.
 
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#19
The only thing that should be suspected in ubers is Primal Groudon. That thing is so over centralising it's disgusting - there is literally no logical reason not to use it on your team. Need a bulky SR setter? Done. Need a physical sweeper? You got it. Need a mixed wallbreaker? Here you go. Need a special sweeper? Yep. I disagree that without it stuff like Xerneas and Primal Kyogre would run rampant, as there are other Pokémon that can check them, such as Lugia, Necrozma-DM, Blissey, Ferrothorn and various support Arceus forms. And anyway, since when has broken checking broken ever been a valid argument to keep something?
uh no

Yes, pdon does have many different sets (defensive sr, offensive sr, rp, double dance, mixed double dance, etc.), many of which are quite unpredictable and dangerous.

But pdon holds the tier together and prevents things like kyogre, xerneas, and even things like duskmane from becoming broken.
Obviously, if there were no pdon, pogre/scarfogre would run over the whole tier with rain-boosted stab and every team would have to run ferrothorn. Xerneas isn't broken, especially since the release of duskmane, but pdon is a major factor keeping it in check. If pdon were banned, pogre would also have to go immediately, followed by xerneas (only hard check now would be duskmane, bc av ho-oh is bad) and maybe duskmane (which now has a much easier time setting up).

I agree that ubers should have a minimal banlist - don't ban unless something is uncompetitive or broken. Shadow tag goth does seem to be quite uncompetitive, but that's a topic for another day. Meanwhile, no pokemon, including pdon, are broken. Versus stall, it gets toxiced and put on a timer (idt anyone uses rest). Pdon is very easy to chip down. Versus offense, it gets outsped and 2hkoed or at worst 3hkoed by most neutral attacks. Balance sometimes has issues though, but that's like kyu-b in ou and no one complains about that being broken anymore. Unless you give it multiple turns to set up, pdon isn't that dangerous. (I suppose people who tried to set up a 50% health mence against pdon got a nasty surprise from overheat, but that's their fault.)

Conclusion: pdon holds the ubers tier together, and it is dealt with without too many issues by offense and stall alike. Banning pdon would cause threats like kyogre to become broken, and that could lead to a long chain of bans, which is not what ubers wants.
 
#20
No offense, but why are the only ppl arguing against pdon, ppl who don’t actually play the tier? Anyways, if you ask my stance on it, I think the only thing that should be suspected is goth. Like, I’m saying at least suspect it. For reasons stated above (multiple times), the meta will most likely be a lot healthier without it. Do I think it’s broken? No. Do I think it is uncompetitive? For damn sure. Pdon is extremely good and versatile, but every single set is not outright broken if you ask me. As for banning geoxern, I don’t even think it should’ve been banned in oras, let alone usm, where you have mons like necrozma-dm and uncommon steeltypes becoming more prominent again. Anyways, that’s it, props to Nayrz for actually doing this, didn’t think the day would come. Oh, also I think Jibaku was pretty spot on when it comes to what ubers is about. I like this, but please don’t try to make it another ou. That’s it, pce.
 
#21
The only thing that should be suspected in ubers is Primal Groudon. That thing is so over centralising it's disgusting - there is literally no logical reason not to use it on your team. Need a bulky SR setter? Done. Need a physical sweeper? You got it. Need a mixed wallbreaker? Here you go. Need a special sweeper? Yep. I disagree that without it stuff like Xerneas and Primal Kyogre would run rampant, as there are other Pokémon that can check them, such as Lugia, Necrozma-DM, Blissey, Ferrothorn and various support Arceus forms. And anyway, since when has broken checking broken ever been a valid argument to keep something?

Regarding to Primal Groudon. I don't think it is unhealthy nor is it (I hate that word) uncompetetive. Sure you have to scout for it's sets, sure it is without a doubt the best mon in the tier, sure it has some kind of impact in the tier, but with impact I mean it in a rather positive way. Things like Primal Kyogre / Kyogre, Geomancy Xerneas, Dusk Mane and others will be kept at bay for being too overcentralising in teambuilding. When Pdon leaves you are restricted in the teambuilding process even more, when it comes to the Whale, Pogres/Kyogres checks are very limited and players would start to run obscure mons at the very end. I don't think that's the spirit of it.
Primal Groudon was, is and will be fine in the uber tier overall in my opinion. It was never near (oh I hate that word) uncompetetive.


_____

Regarding to Solgalium Z. I think Dusk Mane is a fine mon in the tier, not restricts you too much neither has it some kind of brokeness on it. The only thing what makes it pretty pushing is its Z Move. Solgalium Z OHKOs almost everything after +2. I think the Z move really restricts you to play different. You basically have to pick your best sack, if you fear the Z move is comin'.

Regarding STAG vs GOTH. Imho just ban STAG on the Goth's, Mega Gengar does entirely different things, traps different mons, and is nowhere near that bulky and slow paced as Gothitelle. Keep STAG on Mega-Gar but Ban it on Goth's.
 
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#22
Regarding to Primal Groudon. I don't think it is unhealthy nor is it (I hate that word) uncompetetive. Sure you have to scout for it's sets, sure it is without a doubt the best mon in the tier, sure it has some kind of impact in the tier, but with impact I mean it in a rather positive way. Things like Primal Kyogre / Kyogre, Geomancy Xerneas, Dusk Mane and others will be kept at bay for being too overcentralising in teambuilding. When Pdon leaves you are restricted in the teambuilding process even more, when it comes to the Whale, Pogres/Kyogres checks are very limited and players would start to run obscure mons at the very end. I don't think that's the spirit of it.
Primal Groudon was, is and will be fine in the uber tier overall in my opinion. It was never near (oh I hate that word) uncompetetive.


_____

Regarding to Solgalium Z. I think Dusk Mane is a fine mon in the tier, not restricts you too much neither has it some kind of brokeness on it. The only thing what makes it pretty pushing is its Z Move. Solgalium Z OHKOs almost everything after +2. I think the Z move really restricts you to play different. You basically have to pick your best sack, if you fear the Z move is comin'.

Regarding STAG vs GOTH. Imho just ban STAG on the Goth's, Mega Gengar does entirely different things, traps different mons, and is nowhere near that bulky and slow paced as Gothitelle. Keep STAG on Mega-Gar but Ban it on Goth's.
Isn't that a complex ban? Has Uber ever done that in the past? Ban abilities on only one Pokémon but not on others??
 
#23
As ubers player, I dont think banning Stag would solve problems, since if we do that, Ultra Necrozma becomes too dangerous and loses one of it main checks (Gengar Mega), I think the main issue is Gothitelle, banning Goth could bring back wobbuffet and have a new offense era on this metagame, actually even with Goth its hard to build, a new issue im finding is Ditto on stall, but dont have arguments to request a suspect to that.

I think test Goth would help, Ban STAG just leaves Ubers more unbalanced.
 
#24
I'd like to agree with most of the aforementioned thoughts listed above on Gothitelle/Gothorita while giving some additional thoughts and an interesting comparison.

First and foremost, Shadow Tag Gothitelle and Gothorita in my opinion are definitely worthy of a suspect test at the very minimum. The ability to trap and remove virtually most defensive mons like Supportceus forms and Defensive Ho-Oh or offensive mons stuck on a weak move like Scarf Yveltal trapped on Oblivion Wing is truly incredible. Goth is a pokemon that every defensive team needs to be wary off and forces players to redefine the method of building their teams. In a way, it forces creativity so that the best stall players can overcome it (http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ubers-759859327). Now obviously, just because it can be played around doesn't mean it's not worthy of a suspect test. As many have stated, the sheer ability of a player utilizing Goth to trap and stall out an opposing mon with little to no opportunity cost is game changing and is worthy of a suspect. In my humble opinion, USM Ubers without these two mons would just be much healthier.

Now onto a more drastic yet interesting idea. I started getting into USM Ubers a few weeks ago after watching a bunch of UPL replays. It seems that to build at least a semi-competent/decent team, one needs to have ways to deal with mons such as Dusk Mane Necrozma, Primal Groudon, Primal Kyogre, Geomancy Xerneas, and for defensive builds, the rather infamous Gothitelle/Gothorita. After having a rather long chat in the Ubers room, I realized that if these threats were to be removed, the metagame would seemingly become a lot healthier. First of all, an obvious counterargument would be that the Ubers tier wouldn't really be Ubers anymore. I'd like to think that banning the aforementioned threats shifts the metagame to how it was Pre-ORAS (so it's reminiscent of XY Ubers, except getting rid of Geomancy makes it a lot more healthy). Sure, there will be certain pokemon that dominate the tier such as Scarf Xerneas, Kyogre, Ultra Necrozma and Mega Gengar to name a few (though nearly not as much as Primal Groudon and Dusk Mane Necrozma are able to currently), but banning these top threats from the meta altogether creates a blend of arguably the best aspects of Gen 5 Ubers and XY Ubers. Weather War teams have become null thanks to the inclusion of Primals, but with the removal of Primals, they'd come back very strong and be just as viable as any other team build. All in all, it would involve a few bans but would probably create the healthiest version of USM Ubers Possible. Thus, I was thinking that the things listed below should be suspected. Perhaps even a new version of Ubers can rise from this. Every now and then, the Ubers Room has tours which ban certain moves or items (and I'd like that idea to be extended in the long run) because I can see a metagame that would probably be more distinct and interesting to play in and the team building methodology would be more creative. Thus, in conclusion, at the cost of five mons and one move (Dusk Mane Necrozma, Primal Groudon, Primal Kyogre, Gothitelle, and Gothorita), a totally different yet still competitively viable tier can be molded - now whether that is a practical idea or not is up for debate. I do think this idea truly is drastic but at the same time, it arguably creates one of the healthiest versions of USM Ubers.

Potential Future Ubers Banlist: Dusk Mane Necrozma, Red/Blue Orb, Geomancy, and Gothitelle/Gothorita.
 
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#25
To make like the 3 posts above easier to understand and answer them at the same time: yeah, it is a complex ban. Ubers has done (as far as I know) only one complex ban in the past by banning hypno m-gar, to allow people to still use the (again, extremely good) non-broken sets the mon can use. I don’t think goth will/would have any usage in ubers if it no longer had stag, so there’s no reason to only ban stag on it. I don’t think wobb will become an issue either because it lacks (defensive) set-up, can be caught with a toxic, and can be outsmarted in general. Anyway, let’s suspect it first before trying to ban stuff, cause in the end it might not even get banned because of the 66.6% pro-ban vote rate.
 
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