Metagame np: USUM DOU Stage 2 - Fat Bottomed Girls

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kamikaze

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#1


Welcome to the fifth Suspect Test of SM Doubles OU! Snorlax has not really had a place on the center stage of Doubles OU until Generation 7 rolled around. Similar to Kangaskhan before it, Snorlax can thrive in the generation 7 metagame due to increase in Fairy types which has discouraged the use of Fighting types. Movepool and Ability wise Snorlax did not get anything too notable in Generation 7 beyond single target Ground coverage in High Horsepower. The biggest change that helped Snorlax rise up in viability are the arrival of the 50% pinch berries which only healed 12.5% in prior generations. Snorlax's Gluttony Ability isnt anything new but it enables Snorlax to eat these pinch berries when its health drops below half as opposed to other pokemon needing to drop to a quarter of their health. This combined with Recycle enables Snorlax to have a reliable form of recovery for half its health any time it drops below half health. Snorlax's common sets in DOU are setup with either Curse or Belly Drum. Curse was the most popular set throughout SM but Belly Drum saw increased usage when USUM came out. Players discovered how to abuse the immediate offense pressure of a +6 Belly Drum Snorlax. Though it could be seen in some cases supported by redirection or Shadow Tag Gothitelle, Snorlax found its place on teams being a massive threat even without support due its self sustaining recovery move and inherent massive bulk. Due to the immediate rebirth of Snorlax after the banning of Marshadow, some players have also began using Clear Smog, Knock Off, and Haze, as well as some techs that previously dropped in usage during the generation shift such as like Taunt and Will-o-Wisp to try to combat Snorlax. This suspect will analyze Snorlax's impact on the metagame and whether it should stay in the tier.

As usual, the only requirements to vote for the suspect are the ladder points required further below on the post. There are NO posting requirements; still, we advise everyone to actually read the arguments others present for and against Snorlax's overbearing metagame presence (or lack thereof) and still attempt to participate in discussion on this thread. A sheer volume of people saying one thing or another will change nobody's opinion so make sure you're actually doing something to make people think.

Important Info!: The ladder will only be open for one straight single session of nine days. This is different than our previous suspect system we were running with 2 separate small length ladder sessions.
Ladder Period
Start: Saturday 2/24 12:01 am (GMT -5)
End: Sunday 3/4 11:59 pm (GMT -5)
Snorlax will be allowed on the suspect ladder.
We will not be using COIL for this suspect. One will instead satisfy the following criteria in order to qualify to vote....

GXE > 80.0
GXE + battle count ≥ 120


For example, a player who has a GXE of 80 and plays 40 battles will qualify to vote.

Please be wary and ladder with your own accounts, whether it be your main account or your alts. Do not under any circumstances ladder with an account that either belongs to someone else or you share with someone else. Any suspicious accounts found that are submitted for reqs will be voided and infracted for.

Thoughts from the Council:

I believe Snorlax is one of the driving forces of the current metagame. Prior to the Swagger ban we saw a lot of slow setup with Curse and Swagger. Marshadow ended up having an impact significantly dropping Snorlax usage as players didnt seem to feel as comfortable with using it anymore. This somewhat changed near the end of Marshadow meta prior to its ban and we did see some Snorlax tear through teams despite the opposing team having a Marshadow. After the Marshadow ban, a big change happened with Players opting to use the more committal setup move in Belly Drum.

The simple buff that Snorlax got this generation with the new 50% pinch berries existing has allowed it to become a setup pokemon with reliable recovery thanks to Recycle, similar in fashion to CM Cresselia in Generation 6. Unlike CM Cress, Snorlax has a lot more immediate offensive pressure due to its greater offensive stat and access to a high base power in Return, but the big thing it has is Belly Drum to max out its attack stat immediately in one turn just like Azumarill previously has been known for. I think there is a severe danger when you combine a Setup mon that can provide almost immediate offensive pressure while also having self sustainability with both its incredible 160/65/110 defenses and reliable 50% healing. There arent too many reliable ways to OHKO Snorlax and as such it often forces double targets for not just one turn but multiple in some cases because of the Berry activating.

Some people are opting to use Haze, Taunt, Knock Off, Clear Smog and Will-o-Wisp a lot more due to how much of a threat Snorlax can be if it gets its wheels rolling, but even despite this I have seen Snorlax still able to walk away with the game in some cases with the right support. Regarding support we occasionally see redirection but we saw a big rise in Gothitelle due to Level 51's popularizing it in DOU. Goth providing Heal Pulse, Trick Room, and abusing Shadow Tag to get an incredibly good setup opportunity to walk away with the game made it so playing vs GothLax was on an extreme tight rope where you could not allow the opponent to get in the correct switchins or you will be abused by the combination, which was often paired with Snarl and Intimidate support to make the setup process even easier. Even beyond Lax's pairing with redirection or Gothitelle, it found its way naturally on teams with no super specific supporting mon and was still able to do its job due to its very much self reliant nature of setup and healing that I mentioned prior.

I dont believe this pokemon should stay in Doubles OU due to the nature of how much of an immediate threat it can become at very little cost forcing one to be extremely careful when taking KO's and allowing switches; its bulk which makes it extremely difficulty to ko even after setting up; and its ability to fulfill its role of setting up and tearing through a team with or without support in some cases even despite supposed counterplay being used against it.

Simply, my opinion on Snorlax is that it is too dominant for the Doubles OU metagame. Its ability to just eat up most attacks with ease and its ability to set up and do damage quickly is something that the meta isn't equipped to handle. It's really too much of a threat in-game as there's few in the metagame that can actually threaten it; its high bulk, recovery, and typing that grants it a weakness to Fighting, a type discouraged in this meta, gives it little counterplay that can actually stop it from just boosting so easily. With positive matchups against most of the meta, it can be quite simple for Snorlax to just have its way with teams. Its ability to just BD / Curse up + constantly heal itself with Recycle lends it the ability to smash past teams on its own. Its ability to boost up and recover + the lack of actual threats gives it the ease of play that allows it to become the ultimate wincon of the metagame. The dominance of Snorlax has warped part of the meta already. I personally find it ludicrous that SubTox Aegi is being run in this meta with Finis due to Lax being just that too good; on another note, teams are forced to run multiple checks to it just not to get run over. The strain Snorlax puts in building and its strength in-game is something that makes me think of Snorlax as banworthy.

One common question we get every suspect is: "This has been around for so long, why is it only being suspected now?", with various arguments appended to the end generally to show that the said suspect is not broken. It's interesting to note that Snorlax, or more specifically Goth/Lax/Mane, didn't rise to prominence until January this year, shortly after the Marshadow ban, despite all of its components being legal since the start of the SM format. This is probably because prior to the Swagger ban, most players saw self-Swagger + Curse as being able to boost Snorlax's Attack "fast enough"; furthermore, self-Swagger + Zygarde was a notable and fairly common threat in the format which was able to outdamage the healing of a Belly Drum Snorlax, and before its ban Kangaskhan was able to consistently do upwards of 40% to a Snorlax regardless of its boosts, making Belly Drum Snorlax a pretty uncommon option back then. The Swagger ban then occurred after Marshadow's release, by which point Snorlax was extremely difficult to use anyway.

Ever since Marshadow's ban from the format, though, Snorlax has been one of the most controlling presences in the format. One of the main reasons hard setup teams (like Goth/Mane/Lax) tend to not be overpowering in a format is because they tend to be susceptible to a random critical hit here or there, or a random freeze, which is further amplified by the high number of hax-free turns they need to fully set up. Snorlax gets around these issues with a single-turn setup move which perfectly complements its ability as well as its high defensive stats, which are augmented by the fact that it doesn't need to invest into its offense as much as most Pokemon, since Belly Drum does all that for it. Take, for example, the Week 4 game between miltankmilk and stax, where stax gets two critical hits and a surprise Low Kick on Snorlax, correctly pulls off two turns of Ally Switch, and gets a one-turn freeze on Gothitelle, but still isn't able to beat Snorlax (due in part to his lack of foresight to capitalise on the Gothitelle freeze).

I think the replay showcases two tiers of how good Snorlax has become. Firstly, its pull on the metagame is huge: it demands notable levels of counterplay during the teambuilding phase, as can be seen by the use of Low Kick Mew, which is objectively a suboptimal set in all other aspects besides its ability to check Snorlax (and even that wasn't exactly sufficient given how the game turned out). We've seen this in other sets, too: Substitute / Toxic Aegislash, for example, has seen a rise in usage this SPL primarily as a way to outdamage Snorlax in the long run. The extent to which Snorlax warps the metagame around it is, to say the least, a little concerning.

Secondly, it shows how resilient Snorlax is as a playstyle. The fact that Snorlax is commonly run with Trick Room (and has such a low Speed stat) really decreases the amount of viable counterplay to it, and its high defensive stats, especially after bulk investment, mean that it's fairly hax-resistent too, as far as setup builds go. The fact that it's often paired with a Heal Pulse user, and also that it's a relatively fast setup, also lowers its vulnerability to Knock Off or Toxic, since in the former scenario it can continue to take KOs and in the latter it can set up fairly quickly again with minor support. Even Toxic isn't a great answer to it since its +6 Attack allows it to take quick knockouts before Toxic overpowers it.

I should note that the reason the DOU Council has chosen to suspect Snorlax instead of Gothitelle is that Gothitelle is generally not broken if the Pokemon it's supporting isn't capable of both taking and outputting damage at significant rates. Compare Belly Drum Snorlax, for example, to the next best Belly Drum user in Azumarill, which can't use a Pinch Berry like Snorlax does, relies far more on an ally's Heal Pulse, carries significantly less bulk and a worse defensive typing, and hits with Aqua Jet instead of the stronger Return. Without intending to insert bias, I think it's at least clear to see that Snorlax far outclasses all other Pokemon which could potentially play a similar role to it.

I personally believe Snorlax is unhealthy for DOU and hope to see some interesting arguments for and against its inclusion or removal from this format.

While I don’t think Snorlax in and of itself is inherently broken, I don’t think anyone disagrees that the way that the metagame has shaped itself around Snorlax has led to an unhealthy environment. Snorlax has a few partners that make setting it up a bit too easy, which, in my opinion, promotes incredibly lazy habits both in teambuilding and in actually playing games. Gothitelle in particular allows players to mindlessly spam Intimidate/Snarl/Heal Pulse/what have you until they get a free switch into Snorlax and can set up a Belly Drum for free. While it may seem like Gothitelle is the problem based on this description, I don’t think Gothitelle itself is an issue unless it has something busted to support. Gothitelle might still see some use if Snorlax is gone, Snorlax being stupid is what gives Gothitelle its merit right now. Back to Snorlax though. The reason I think Snorlax is worthy of a suspect is that given the right position, which is frankly pretty easy to find, it becomes something of an unstoppable force. Goth + Lax in particular is the issue in my opinion, but like I mentioned earlier I think Snorlax can be pretty simply identified as the key suspect in this trial. I’m not going to come right out and say that Snorlax deserves to be banned because I don’t think I’ve fully gotten to that point yet, but I definitely think a suspect test is appropriate and I’m looking forward to seeing what everybody else thinks.

Snorlax is one of the biggest presence in the DOU metagame. With huge initial bulk thanks to the Gluttony + Pinch berry, lack of weaknesses, and reliable recovery with Recycle, Snorlax finds plenty of opportunity to completely take over the game. The curse set takes minimal damage from almost everything in the metagame while its counters struggle to outlast it. Even more problematic is the Belly Drum set, which can take a KO every turn once it is set up in Trick Room. Granted, Snorlax does usually take at least 1 turn to set up and become a big offensive threat. This means that there are ways of shutting down this Pokemon, such as Clear Smog, Knock Off, Encore, Taunt, Spore, as well as just nuking down the Pokemon from above half HP with Z-moves and offensive powerhouses like Deoxys-A. However, these counterplay are often not enough to stop Snorlax from warping the metagame on itself and dominating the game with minimal support. Even before setting up, the fact that Snorlax can win the game after a turn of setup means that it demands immediate attention. As a result , most supporters pair incredibly well with Snorlax, which can singlehandedly win matches if paired with some key supportive mechanics such as Trick Room, Redirection, Shadow Tag, Heal Pulse, and Transform. In addition, Snorlax is highly splashable and the Curse set can do its job with minimal support. As a result, many people believe Snorlax is too strong and yields too much reward for too little investment, and deserves a suspect test.

Snorlax is a pokemon that in an earlier stage of the meta I probably would have defended and tried to save from banning. A seemingly low powered pokemon with good set up options, doesn’t seem like its that difficult to check. But in the post-Marshadow meta Snorlax has been anything but easy to handle. The ‘gothlax’ archetype specifically is far too easy to pilot and difficult to handle for the DOU meta. Snorlax as a set up sweeper is incredibly hard to stop from setting up and equally as hard to revenge after it has set up. Snorlax often gives up protect in favor of coverage, and even while lacking Protect it becomes very difficult to punish this with the aid of Shadow Tag or Intimidate. Yes, counterplay exists to lax but its incredibly restrictive and often requires multiple pokemon and multiple moveslots specifically dedicated to checking snorlax (haze, sacred sword on aegis, toxic) which can also be subverted by high level play by the snorlax user or even just the other 5 pokemon accompanying Snorlax. Snorlax is incredibly burdensome on teambuilding and in-game play and I definitely believe it warrants a BAN.

As the person with likely the most experience using Snorlax in both tour and ladder play, I do not think Snorlax is banworthy. The main problem with Snorlax is players’ unwillingness to adapt to it. I’ll note that I’ll only speak on the “gothlax” archetype only since it is where I assume this suspect is coming from and where I have the most experience regarding Snorlax. I can see the notion that Snorlax or “gothlax” to be more specific is “broken” through its com bination of bulk, power and recovery. However people fail to note the fragility of such teams. From my experience of such teams it is often that if the snorlax is neutered then the team essentially falls apart due to how invested it is to keeping and preserving it. And since the more common belly drum set requires delicate timing to pull off I think people are overstating how difficult it is to stop. Start incorporating techs like phazing moves, eliminating pokemon that give it free rein to set up, having an actual plan to prevent the set up, and take advantage of its immediate lack of offense. Though these teams are effective they are also predictable and exploitable.

Snorlax has been a controversial presence in the metagame during a couple of different eras, and if anything it’s surprising that this is the first time it’s been put up for a suspect. The Fall of Fighting-types™ has left only Scrafty, Marshadow, and Terrakion as ever being viable; now, Marshadow’s been banned and Terrakion’s a very rare sight. Snorlax’s multitude of positive traits - its incredible bulk, solid healing option in Gluttony + Figy Berry, and two great options for setup in BD and Curse - pairs incredibly well with this pseudo lack of weaknesses. Especially in tandem with Gothitelle and Mega Manectric, the Belly Drum set was what made me tune in to Snorlax’s potential to be unhealthy for the tier. Trapping and the lowering of both Attack and Special Attack gives Snorlax the opportunity to set up, and while Intimidate or Knock Off could be reliable checks to the slow setup of the Curse set, Belly Drum simply plows through those answers. This development of Snorlax as a metagame titan is fairly recent, so it could be argued that it will be able to adapt and Snorlax will fade into being more manageable. However, I’ve already seen the grasping at straws some SPL players have resorted to in an attempt to avoid losing to GothLax. In my personal perspective, these reaches have gone past the line of creativity and reached unviability - resorting to multiple techs on a team for one specific Pokemon that are otherwise near useless. For the above reasons, I’m currently leaning towards voting to Ban Snorlax from this tier. I’m not entirely set in this opinion yet, so I’ll be reading and hopefully responding to any posts that I think are moving discussion in the right direction to helping community members come to an educated decision.

Remember to keep an open mind in this suspect! Please respect the opinions of others; remember, just because you believe in your side does not mean the other is wrong!

Have Fun
 
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#2
Sorry for the block of text and really run-on thoughts, but it's late and I wanted to get my thoughts out quickly

Snorlax's dominance, as has been already identified, became most prominent after the ban of marshadow. While it was legal, marshadow was on just about every team and this really deprived lax of many opportunities to setup as a cc would simply ko it. Now with only two viable fighting types in the tier, lax has become almost impossible to check offensively. It has respectable bulk, but this is not what makes it so difficult to kill, as mons with comparable defensives can be knocked out by simply double targeting the slot with mons who provide decent offensive presence. However, lax's ability to heal after dropping below fifty percent means that it will almost always take a minimum of two turns to deal with properly and this is often at the expense of ignoring lax's teammate. Snorlax teams are easily able to capitalize on this by setting up a belly drum and using lax's normal ground coverage to OHKO nearly every mon in the tier. Now, as with any setup mon, there are a myriad of counter-play options. For Snorlax these include, but are not limited to: phasing via roar or dragon tail, resetting Snorlax's boosts with haze and clear smog, taunting Snorlax so that it cannot set up or heal, and knocking off its berry to minimize its longevity. With so many ways to stop Snorlax from sweeping your team, it would seem as though as Snorlax is just like any other set up mon, such as zygarde or azumarill. It is scary once it gets the ball rolling, but most teams have outs to stop them from doing so and at first, I believed just that; Snorlax was just another powerful sweeper that one needed to keep in mind while team building. However, after recently building and playing with lax myself I see that this is not simply true and I believe what pushes Snorlax from being a "dominating presence in the meta" to "broken and over-centralizing" is the "gothlax" archetype that has been rising in usage lately, specifically those that feature mega manectric. Now teams are forced to run a way to stop lax on nearly every mon. If they don't the lax player simply bring in goth and set-up on the unprepared mon's I do agree with stax in the sense that snorlax is usually these teams only win condition. All other mons simply facilitate a snorlax sleep with goth's help and if Snorlax goes down teams of that specific build often have a very difficult time playing out of that hole. With that said, it is often times not incredibly difficult to pilot these gothlax teams and to be able to wait to bring lax in until the opponent's mons have been worn down with intim cycle and snarl. A tech that I have personally come to like is reflect goth makes it near impossible for offensive checks for mons like groundium lando and low kick scrafty to try and ko lax before it begins to sweep. Also once snorlax has set up, it is often difficult to stop as it will usually be attacking under trick room and can ohko just about any mon bar celesteela (unless of course the lax is running fire punch>ground punch) I also agree that the problem is definitely lax and not shadow tag. Gothitelle has not shown itself broken with other set-up sweepers and other users like Mega Gengar have shown they are are not a problem for the tier. As of right now, I am definitely leaning ban (due to it's ability to setup explained above and it's overcentralizing effect of making teams have several checks to it), but I am certainly keeping an open mind and look forward to reading the rest of the communities thoughts as well!
 
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#3
My view is quite simple... it's extreamly hard to stop once it gets rolling in trick room and you can't really check it (or counter it for that matter) if it's faster than everything on the field with +4 attack, very high bulk, and reliable recovery. When marsh was in the mix, it wasn't hard to deal with... now that fighting types are pretty rare it's become a bit overpowered. Not to mention the curse set which can make it very hard to kill with any phisical attacks.
 
#4
honestly, for a Pokemon that takes one or even two turns to setup, when everybody knows what is being done, it would just make sense to let it stay. it poses a little threat, and is fun to use; but easy to counter. if your team has a mega Lopunny, (which i see a lot,) you can get it easy and fast.
 
#5
honestly, for a Pokemon that takes one or even two turns to setup, when everybody knows what is being done, it would just make sense to let it stay. it poses a little threat, and is fun to use; but easy to counter. if your team has a mega Lopunny, (which i see a lot,) you can get it easy and fast.
I'm gonna disagree with your thoughts on Snorlax posing a little threat. It wouldnt have been suspected at first place if it wouldnt pose a little to no threat in the DOU metagame.
The fact that not alot of solid snorlax revenge killers exist right now and some of them running fighting coverage are rather shaky at best makes snorlax threatening enough. Also Snorlax gets often paired up with Gothitelle, Mew and Dual Screen setters to make setup oportunities much easier for this mon. It (Snorlax) with the loss of marshadow recently got also alot better imho and due to its amazing overall bulk it will always find its way on teams and with little support find its way to setup - Goth traps mons, which are not threatening to lax, so lax can setup on them with curse or bd and the factor that lax has gluttony helps it even more in longevity.
Lax got really metagame defining with the rise of clear smog, haze and taunt users in popularity. There is also the fact that i see recently a good amount of MewLax pairings, due to Lax settin up with a BD and Mew transforms into it, means u have to deal basically twice with this threat. I think Snorlax suspect is the correct way to handle this threat.
I would vote BAN on Snorlax.
 

miltankmilk

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#6
honestly, for a Pokemon that takes one or even two turns to setup, when everybody knows what is being done, it would just make sense to let it stay. it poses a little threat, and is fun to use; but easy to counter. if your team has a mega Lopunny, (which i see a lot,) you can get it easy and fast.
Not just as a response to you but for anyone reading, Lopunny is not seen a lot in high ladder or tournament play. Here are Lopunny's usage stats from SPL9 (so far).
| 47 | Lopunny | 1 | 1.67% | 0.00% |
1 use, 0 wins. Lopunny's presence is definitely not a reason that lax poses no threat as both of these assertions are false.
 
#7
Not just as a response to you but for anyone reading, Lopunny is not seen a lot in high ladder or tournament play. Here are Lopunny's usage stats from SPL9 (so far).
| 47 | Lopunny | 1 | 1.67% | 0.00% |
1 use, 0 wins. Lopunny's presence is definitely not a reason that lax poses no threat as both of these assertions are false.
Even if lop was aloud it would be irrelevant because lax is primarily used on TR teams where it could outspeed and OHKO under TR.
 
#8
Even if lop was aloud it would be irrelevant because lax is primarily used on TR teams where it could outspeed and OHKO under TR.
Lax isn't even really used on fullroom. It's supported by a trickroom setter to make semiroom sometimes yes, but curse sets especially don't need trickroom to function.
 
#9
well, snorlax it's being suspect, i would like to tell you my thoughts. When meta just started wasn't really a dangerous centralizing mon, and marsh not even haven't appeared, however, i think we was so young and innocents guys. About January? i think? (...) snorlax gotten so much use, that he deserved, you know "gothlax". And then we wondered (people who use it) "oh my!, shadow tag is pretty intense broken with belly drum, and trick room" that was the start of the end, ladies and getlemen. Curselax is also good, but worst, such abusive, healing himself using recycle, but it need more time, belly drum set, is just like "puts tr, having a lax+4 attack" gg izi, if you are smart, and know how to play that (me not) all that facts including the freaking luck wich is an important part of this game, makes so stupid play with other things that aren't lax on tr.
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#10
ik or feel like i dnt have rite to speak bc my ladder is low, i came upon alot of snorlax. with it only having 1 weakness and somewhat of a tank in my opinion, i barely see alot of fighting type poke or fighting type moves. even with neutral hits, many snorlax i came across hav common movesets includign recycle. i have a rain team and even if i use mega swampert waterfall and kingdra choice spec scald with rain, the mlst damage iv done was about 40% total. and with it using recycle along w trick room( i also have a trick room rain team) snorlax can easily boost it attack while soaking up attacks after using belly drum. in my opinion snorlax should be banned. again ik or feel i dnt hav the rite to speak bc of my ladder but still, for a poke to easily belly drum plus soak up moves after using belly drum plus recycle plus the fact i barely see any1 use fighting type poke or even fighting type moves, snorlax should b banned. and ik swampert has superpower, but i tried and with max atk it wil only do about 40% average from my exp plus the fact afterwards ur def and sp def lowers so ur vunerable to snorlaxs return or fustration
 

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#11
I'm locking this thread for 24 hours so people actually have time to come up with thoughtful posts and good points to make before they post in here.

If your English isn't especially strong, don't be ashamed to ask someone else to look at your write-up before posting, since being able to get your thoughts across clearly increases the persuasiveness of your argument!
 
#13
while my opinion is by no means the most expert, what I've experienced from laddering for reqs and watching high level DOU games in general is that it's disproportionally easy to get yourself in a good position as a snorlax user (I consider 'good position' TR up and belly drum clicked) compared to how hard it is to constantly play so that said situation cannot happen as someone playing against snorlax. especially with screens support (i got reqs with a light clay koko / fake out tr transform mew / lax build) it's ridiculously difficult to always put yourself in a situation where at no point can your opp just decide to pull the trigger, switch mew and lax in on some weaker hitting mons, trick room + bdrum -> transform + recycle/frustration, take 3 or 4 mons down at least before TR runs out, clean up with the rest. literally all it takes for this line of play to be viable is for the lax answers on your opponent's team to not be on the field at any given moment. putting yourself in a situation where this is never possible is very restrictive to both teambuilding and playing itself, and while counterplay certainly exists, i don't think a centralization around snorlax strategies and their counters is particularly healthy for the tier, nor does it produce more skillful play. that said, if someone with a deeper understanding of the metagame wants to try to convince me otherwise I'll be keeping an eye on this thread :)
 
#14
I can only write about Snorlax from the perspective of a VGC player who has played ~200 games total of Gen 7 DOU, most of them with Marsh legal. I'll try to explain why Snorlax is (barely) manageable in VGC and why that doesn't translate well into DOU. In the most recent VGC regionals, 4 of the top 8 teams featured a Belly Drum Snorlax as one of the key damage dealers. All but one had sufficient other ways to deal damage (4v4 operates in a really strange way), but Snorlax was the main way of busting teams open. One of the Snorlax teams ended up winning the tournament. So when I say that Snorlax is not overpowering in VGC, take that with a grain of salt.
Snorlax is not overpowering in VGC because it can be focussed. What I mean is that, in 4v4, targeting the partner until you can double the threat is a viable strategy if the threat takes long enough to set up. As a Snorlax tries to set up, you can just kill the TR setter, the additional support mon, and the less bulky threat (this is an overly optimistic exaggeration: TR + ally switch Cresselia is terrifying). You can also pressure Snorlax while it's setting up, giving you more time to hit the partners. Once snorlax is alone, however, it's a different story. You just double the Snorlax until you luck it. You flinch it or you crit it or you flinch + crit or para or whatever. Since Snorlax has to spend a lot of time recycling etc., luck is often sufficient to seal games like that. This is the only reason I believe Snorlax is managable: doubling Snorlax with secondary side effect moves is a good enough strategy to take it down with balance teams (sometimes).
That is not the case in DOU. 6v6 means that there are a lot more pokemon that you need to take down in order to be able to deal with the snorlax properly. In addition, snorlax got a some new partners (relative to VGC) in things like mew, which with transform, fake out, and TR is a massive threat alongside the Snorlax. It's impossible to double the snorlax consistently by the time it gets relatively set up, so it is much more threatening.
Gothlax poses even more of an issue. With the easy potential in DOU to put yourself in a bad position to volt switch/u-turn (switching in a special attacker into a double u-turn/volt can be game losing if you don't have enough switching options on the mons you have in), Snorlax can get a far easier setup than it can in VGC because of the **number of situations that are advantageous for the snorlax player**.
In conclusion, I believe that Snorlax is banworthy because there is too much advantage given to the snorlax player for running it, especially considering the fact that running Snorlax with Gothitelle can beat the common counters to Snorlax (clear smog, haze, roar) by setting up snorlax and taking a quick knock out and following up with taunt, and even setting up snorlax a second time. I'm not entirely sure of the standards of banworthy, so if I haven't appropriately addressed that, please let me know. I'll be talking to more experienced players to inform my opinions as the week goes on, but this is how I stand now.
 

Pinoy

formerly Pinoy Pwnage
#15
So I'd like to share my thoughts on Snorlax suspect...

Ever since the Marshadow ban, there have been little to no viable checks for Snorlax. The meta as it currently stands has a lack of good Fighting types outside of Scrafty, which is unfortunate because Snorlax's only type weakness is essentially nonexistent. I find it ridiculous that in order to KO Snorlax, I have to be careful not to bring it under 50% HP, lest I activate its berry, and then use a Z-move to finish it off. Yes, you can use Knock Off to prevent that, but that's assuming Snorlax hasn't eaten the berry through Belly Drum setup, or simply taking damage and recovering HP. I've personally ran two Knock Off users and one Haze/Dragon Tail user on one team with the main purpose of dealing with Snorlax, and yet this isn't enough in some cases. I'll briefly discuss two common cores that utilize Snorlax, and other options you could run that I believe makes Snorlax overcentralizing.

With the GothLax archetype that is prominent in the current meta, you can trap the opponent into an extremely bad position and easily setup and sweep. Also, even if Snorlax has its Berry knocked off, Goth can just use Heal Pulse on Snorlax after the opponent wasted the last two turns double targeting in hopes of landing a lucky crit to KO. Literally, that core alone is enough to destroy the opponent's entire team, and even if the player is successful in defeating that core, you have four other mons you have to worry about.

MewLax is also a fairly common core that creates a situation in which you have too potentially deal with not one cancerous thicc boi, but two cancerous thicc bois. Mew can either Fake Out first turn to help Snorlax setup and TR second turn, or if there isn't a huge threat to Snorlax in the opening lead, Mew can simply TR first turn and Transform into a +6 Snorlax. And 99% of the time, Mew also runs a 50% Berry, so you have to deal with even more Recycle cheese.

Although not as common, you can also run Aurora Veil or even Light Clay + dual screens, which makes Snorlax even more difficult to KO, as if it's sheer bulk wasn't enough. There's also the option of CurseLax, albeit slower, but also easily mitigates its low Defense stat after just one boost.

I will push for Snorlax to be banned based on what I have said above. In this meta, you automatically lose if you do not have some way to deal with Snorlax, unless your opponent is just bad or you hax to victory. It's unhealthy for the meta and I believe it takes away from the competitiveness as I have witnessed many high-level players play perfectly and yet still lose just because they don't have a way to deal with Snorlax. I am open to any other arguments that counter mine, but as I stand, I am strongly for banning Snorlax.
 
#16
I have witnessed many high-level players play perfectly and yet still lose just because they don't have a way to deal with Snorlax.
they arent high level players if they arent packing ways to beat snorlax lmao. you act like they have no agency over the teams they bring.

banning pokemom is degenerate. every time we do it we realize we put a big hole in the metagame and the balance of the game is upset. just stop. do you think the metagame is going to be a magical candy land if we ban lax? its not. this entire metagame shift was literally caused by the marsh ban. just how short sighted can you all be???

lax is a pokemon you have to beat in teambuilding. just like tapu lele. you need to run berry destruction or haze, or consistent offensive pressure, or some way to disrupt it, or you are going to fall over to it. just like you need steel types/other tapus to beat lele.

further, lax running away with 'high level games' isnt even an argument for banning it, unless you have data to support it winning an outrageous number of games, which i do not think is the case because there are games when it is unable to set up and is a useless piece of shit. believe it or not, some pokemon or other has to be the cause of every win, and if a setup pokemon is good, we would expect it to win by setting up and killing everything sometimes.

not really trying to single out pinoy, i just wanted to quote that specific sentence. this is more of a rant about my frustrations with the community as a whole with regards to ban policy.

peace
 
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talkingtree

Using headphones to drown out your mind
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Doubles Captain
#17
It sounds to me like you're advocating for the removal of banning Pokemon in general from Smogon's practices, which is a whole other issue. I don't believe that these metagames can balances themselves out naturally, so these suspect tests are necessary to keep things in check. After something is banned, there absolutely are large shifts, and something can get out of control, but then look at what we're doing literally right now - handling it. Marshadow was a problem, which we removed, and now Snorlax has been brought up as a potential issue, and if the community comes to a consensus that it's too restrictive on the metagame, it will also be removed and we'll focus on keeping the resulting subset of Pokemon in balance. We also literally called setup/Snorlax being a potential issue if Marshadow was removed, but I specifically asked for people to try to avoid focusing on that when deciding whether to ban Marshadow in my post last suspect. Leaving broken/unhealthy elements in the metagame to prevent something else from getting out of hand is poor practice, and I believe it should always be avoided.

I agree that Pinoy could have worded that section of his post better. In this metagame, if you're not overpreparing for Snorlax, you're probably not building correctly. It's that mentality of needing to pack multiple dedicated answers to a single Pokemon and still feeling worried about it that makes me want to bring down the ban hammer. Snorlax and the styles of teams it has found itself on have done quite well in both SPL and seasonals matches (56% winrate in SPL is nothing to scoff at, and Gothitelle, which has only ever been used with Snorlax, sits at an 80% winrate, with Mega Manectric at 75%).

To address a few of your more specific points about Lax: Just because there are games where it's unable to set up, that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be banworthy. There are exceptions to every rule. Snorlax shouldn't have to win every game at Team Preview to be deserving of being sent to Doubles Ubers. If it did, Snorlax would be quickbanned long ago. Berry destruction also only really checks Curse Snorlax sets. Belly Drum Snorlax cuts its HP to eat the Berry before you can destroy it and is nearly always paired with either a Heal Pulse user or a Transform + pinch berry user, so Knock Off doesn't help you much.

I think it's pretty clear that your mind is made up, so I'm not under any false impressions, but hopefully you can at least understand where I'm coming from on the issue.
 

Pinoy

formerly Pinoy Pwnage
#18
they arent high level players if they arent packing ways to beat snorlax lmao. you act like they have no agency over the teams you bring.

banning pokemom is degenerate. every time we do it we realize we put a big hole in the metagame and the balance of the game is upset. just stop. do you think the metagame is going to be a magical candy land if we ban lax? its not. this entire metagame shift was literally caused by the marsh ban. just how short sighted can you all be???

lax is a pokemon you have to beat in teambuilding. just like tapu lele. you need to run berry destruction or haze, or consistent offensive pressure, or some way to disrupt it, or you are going to fall over to it. just like you need steel types/other tapus to beat lele.

further, lax running away with 'high level games' isnt even an argument for banning it, unless you have data to support it winning an outrageous number of games, which i do not think is the case because there are games when it is unable to set up and is a useless piece of shit. believe it or not, some pokemon or other has to be the cause of every win, and if a setup pokemon is good, we would expect it to win by setting up and killing everything sometimes.

not really trying to single out pinoy, i just wanted to quote that specific sentence. this is more of a rant about my frustrations with the community as a whole with regards to ban policy.

peace
I may have overexaggerated in my post in regards to the "high level" statement I made, but speaking from experience and laddering with a Snorlax team myself, Lax has been the sole reason why I was able to win so many games. That's not to say teams with Snorlax automatically win, but it definitely gives them a huge advantage. From my own games and from observing other games in the DOU meta, it's definitely something that is overcentralizing.

I don't think banning Snorlax will leave a huge hole in the metagame. But the purpose of banning and holding suspect tests is to continually make the metagame more balanced and stable. As I see it, I don't think a single mon will be "broken" if Lax is banned, but we shouldn't make assumptions for a metagame that we might not even experience.

Yes, I do agree there is a bit of an issue in regards to people just riding the wave just because everyone is saying "ban lax! ban lax!" I myself have said this, but I believe it's justified in this case. Of course every setup mon we could expect to win after setting up multiple times, but what sets Snorlax apart from other set up mons is that it can immediately go +6, ignoring any Intimidate drops and restoring itself to full health. It's like a free Z-Belly Drum except it has the option to Recycle the berry over and over again. Other common setup sweepers, namely DD Mega-Mence, Zygarde, and Mega-Tyranitar can lose it's boost through an Intimidate switch in and don't have the option to heal and are simply not as bulky.

Of course there are always mons you always have to beat in teambuilding, but in order to deal with Snorlax, the player must have multiple ways to deal with Snorlax. Using your argument with Tapu Lele, I can just run Mega-Metagross or Celesteela and it's easy to deal with. I'll go through more of the popular choices in the current meta. Let's say with Tapu Fini, a very popular choice in the meta, can be dealt with by just Tapu Bulu or Tapu Koko and some other mons. Landorus-T can be dealt with by just running Ice Beam on a mon. Mega-Metagross and Mega-Gengar can be dealt by using a solid Dark-type or Ghost-type. But with Snorlax, I will emphasize it again, one's team has to have numerous ways to deal with Snorlax. There is not a single mon in the meta that can directly threaten it. Fighting-types are just not as good this gen, especially with the dominance of the Tapus. Snorlax just takes hits so well and Belly Drum + Gluttony + 50% berry is just too good.

I believe it's banworthy simply because it takes just so much to deal with Snorlax, as opposed to the many other common threats in the DOU metagame.

I appreciate your argument and I do believe people should be strong in their own opinions and not simply ride the bandwagon, and I know this has been an issue since I started playing in the XY days. However, I do personally feel strongly about banning Lax not because of what other people say, but based on my experience spending a good amount of time playing the USUM DOU meta.
 
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GenOne

Moving forward...
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#19
I'm voting ban, mainly because of the Belly Drum set.

CurseLax is still good, but now that we've moved away from a bulky offense bias, we've figured out enough techs to deal with this imo.

Belly Drum Snorlax is this generation's Azumarill, but unlike Azumarill, it doesn't need nearly as much support to set up a Belly Drum and it also has a consistent recovery option. Return + High Horsepower give it perfect neutral coverage, which at +6 means OHKOing everything but Ferrothorn and maybe Scizor (good thing Snorlax NEVER runs Fire Punch!) It risks being double-targeted outside of Trick Room, which held it back when we sucked at building Trick Room, but we don't suck at that anymore. We've also simply explored/innovated the metagame enough to understand which Pokemon are good at supporting it (e.g. Manectric and Gothitelle), whereas before we considered these to be unmons simply because we hadn't figured out a niche they could fulfill. Now that we fully understand how to support Belly Drum Snorlax...yeah, it definately lacks counterplay in the hands of the right opponent, and we'd be better off without it.

I also just want to say, Marshadow's entrance (and exit) distracted us from this conversation, but I think we would've gotten to this point after Swagger was banned had Marshadow not interrupted the course of this meta. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I'd assume a lot of people knew this was coming when they voted for or against a Marshadow ban...twice.

Belly Drum Lax and Curselax have both been around since the beginning of SM, and serious discussions about suspecting it didn't happen for a full year and a bit. Here's why I think that is:

In the early SM meta (pre-Jirachi ban) we were still struggling to build Trick Room teams that could reliably set up in the face of Tapu Lele, and a lot of the Trick Room sweepers we have in USUM like Mega Camerupt and Stakataka weren't available yet. Jirachi + Snorlax was a decent core if you wanted Belly Drum, but that saw limited use and there were generally more reliable setup sweepers like Zygarde and Dragon Dance Salamence that paired fantastically with Jirachi.

Then we entered a phase were bulky offense was the hot new thing. Fini + Zap cores were the golden standard, and Mega Kangaskhan was the premier bulky Normal-type. This was also around the time that people really started using Curselax, as it was an excellent wincondition that thrived in a metagame built around generally passive teams. There were definitely a few people that started saying "damn, we're suspecting the wrong Normal-type."

I also feel like the brokenness of Snorlax was overshadowed by the fact that Swagger + Heal Pulse Tapu Fini was raising alarms, not just for powering up Snorlax but also other physical attackers like Zygarde and Hoopa-U...

...and by the time we banned Swagger, Marshadow had entered the metagame and Snorlax became a lot less relevant.

So, we never really closed the loop on Snorlax, post-swagger ban, until after Marshadow got banned. If Marshadow had never came and left, I still feel like we would've ended up having this suspect eventually.

We also just got a lot better at building Trick Room over the past year, which is a huge factor. When SM dropped, everyone freaked out because you couldn't just slap a Scrafty next to two setters and guarantee a TR set. When Marshadow dropped, we learned how to build fullroom teams that could withstand a powerful Ghost-/Fighting-type with a strong priority attack. And, we've also just observed enough SPL, Snake Draft and Seasonals matches to feel more comfortable experimenting with more obscure Pokemon like Gothitelle, which has paid dividends for Snorlax's viability.
 
#20
I agree that Pinoy could have worded that section of his post better. In this metagame, if you're not overpreparing for Snorlax, you're probably not building correctly. It's that mentality of needing to pack multiple dedicated answers to a single Pokemon and still feeling worried about it that makes me want to bring down the ban hammer. Snorlax and the styles of teams it has found itself on have done quite well in both SPL and seasonals matches (56% winrate in SPL is nothing to scoff at, and Gothitelle, which has only ever been used with Snorlax, sits at an 80% winrate, with Mega Manectric at 75%).
What is Snorlax's winrate without Gothitelle? It seems like it would be negative (as a result of gothlax's being so high). I hate to do this (so ignore this if you feel like it) but maybe a complex ban on gothlax is the correct way to go about this. The pair seems to be broken, not snorlax by its lonesome. Even mewlax teams aren't particularly compelling once you put the appropriate fighting pokemon in position, and are really broken by haze (thus have reasonable counterplay), as opposed to gothlax teams, which can taunt away the haze or kill the clear smogger.
Food for thought.
 
#21
What is Snorlax's winrate without Gothitelle? It seems like it would be negative (as a result of gothlax's being so high). I hate to do this (so ignore this if you feel like it) but maybe a complex ban on gothlax is the correct way to go about this. The pair seems to be broken, not snorlax by its lonesome. Even mewlax teams aren't particularly compelling once you put the appropriate fighting pokemon in position, and are really broken by haze (thus have reasonable counterplay), as opposed to gothlax teams, which can taunt away the haze or kill the clear smogger.
Food for thought.
Snorlax sits at 6 wins / 7 losses without Gothitelle. I feel like this sample size is small enough that you can't draw too many conclusions from it regardless and I'd be focusing on other factors in making my decision, but I guess that depends on your own personal stance on tiering.
 

MajorBowman

mountain biking vampire witch from the future
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Doubles Colonel
#22
Not gonna make this a big post because I already dropped my thoughts in the OP but I laddered with gothless BD Snorlax for this suspect to see what it was like and it was still stupid. Let's all just make a gentlemen's agreement to vote ban so we can stop using random toxic and random knock off and random haze and random clear smog and random dragon tail and random roar and random whirlwind and random embargo

or we could just free marsh
 
#23
im not agreeing to that. this is a non-argument.
when the opponent has that shit lax is very often useless. Speaking from my laddering experiences, I think it would have been easier to make reqs if i took the snorlax off of my team that was dedicated to supporting snorlax and replaced it with a random A-rank pokemon, because so many people had techs that shat all over it. (i lost to a guy with a life orb drain punch mimikyu once after setting up double lax. it was humiliating.) Snorlax is fair because bringing it to a game is a massive risk depending on what your opponent can bring, leading to a 5v6 or a clean sweep.

It's actually quite funny seeing you list all of the 'random' things you feel compelled to put on a team because of lax, because the list is so long. there are a ton of things that shit on this mon that can be used. in addition to the ones you listed, i can think of: (some of them depend on which snorlax set the opponent is bringing)
bug bite sciz
seed hoopa or any hoopa that can reliably shed its item
incinerate on an AV volc or some other mon
seeds steela or ferro
sub aegis
offensive pressure

you just can't get away with using a ton of passive mons like kyurem-b or tyranitar anymore unless they have a way to pivot or beat lax
 
#24
After reading the posts on this forum, one would think that Snorlax was a monster that one could splash on any team and get 2-3 kills a game. Nothing could be further from the truth. Honestly, this is the first suspect I've participated in where after I laddered I had to ask myself "why is this being suspected again?" I'm more confused after laddering than before.

During my ladder run, every time I played against the snorlax the opposing snorlax just, well didn't do anything. I didn't even prepare for lax, I literally just clicked the 6 mons on the top of the viability thread and made a team because idk the tier. I faced gothlax twice (celes/goth/lax/lando/mega man/fini is what I'm assuming because that's what I faced) and won twice, honestly just putting offensive pressure on lax and using things that hit harder than a wet paper towel is generally sufficient.

When I used snorlax, I felt that it was more of a splashable check to playstyles such as rain and tr than anything else. IMO snorlax actually eases teambuilding by making TR and Rain much easier to deal with. Curselax got a sweep in only 2 games, and in the others it would get flinched/crit/knocked off/clear smog'd/encored/frozen/etc or just get overwhelmed by offensive pressure. I'm probably going to vote no ban, because I fail to see why this is getting suspected in the first place.

but I've played less than 40 games of DOU in my life so what the hell do I know

Landorus-Therian @ Groundium Z
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Rock Slide
- Earthquake
- Knock Off
- Stealth Rock

Metagross @ Metagrossite
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Iron Head
- Zen Headbutt
- Earthquake
- Protect

Tapu Fini @ Leftovers
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Calm Mind
- Protect
- Muddy Water
- Moonblast

Tapu Lele @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moonblast
- Psyshock
- Dazzling Gleam
- Shadow Ball

Snorlax @ Figy Berry
Ability: Gluttony
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Curse
- Return
- High Horsepower
- Recycle

Tyranitar @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Rock Slide
- Crunch
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake
 

Level 51

are graph theorists edgelords?
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Moderator
#25
but I've played less than 40 games of DOU in my life so what the hell do I know
I'll take you up on this criticism. Your general inexperience with the tier shows through numerous facets of your team - most glaringly, the fact that you're running the setup-heavy (and inferior set) Curse Snorlax with no real way of supporting it through its first few boosts, and with a glaringly suboptimal spread too. The fact that you didn't use a good set on a good team is probably the reason you saw it not put in much work. With regards to opposing Snorlax, in particular Goth/Lax, at the risk of sounding arrogant I'd guess that your opponents were just not great. I know one of them was lax (I think?), who is similarly new and inexperienced in Doubles in general, and that he didn't handle his wincons correctly around your team.

Snorlax is not meant to be splashable on any team; if a team isn't meant to support Snorlax, adding Snorlax will probably worsen the team because the typical Snorlax set is a huge momentum sink for at least the first turn of its stay on the field. Snorlax is a huge threat in a team centred around it if the team is handled correctly. The idea of putting offensive pressure on Snorlax to beat it is negated by the fact that Snorlax is often run on teams designed to dissipate that pressure, for example; similarly, you can't remove a Snorlax's item if it's already drummed (under TR) and eaten its berry.

so instead of doing some sarcastic self-deprecating why don't you actually patch that up with some experience
 
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