np: USUM UU Stage 6 - Chanel (Ninetales-Alola banned, see post 19)

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Since the council has already made up its mind on the voting process, further discussion regarding that would be moot. In regards to my own opinion on Azumarill and Serperior, contrary to what a lot of other players think, I believe that they should both be banned.

Azumarill's versatility is truly something that should be feared. Perhaps you expect a CB Liquidation, so you switch to your Amoonguss, only to trapped by a Perish Song Whirlpool Trapper. Maybe you want to scout for its set with Protect, but to your horror, it opts to belly drum instead. In that regard, unless you have prior knowledge of their Azumarill set, it becomes more or less a guessing game, one mis-predict and all of a sudden you're fighting an uphill battle. Furthermore, the number of Pokemon that actually resist Azumarill's STAB moves are few and far between, especially given the fact that CB sets can run Knock Off or Superpower for additional coverage. And lastly, late-game, if you lose your water resist to some misplay or misfortune, an Azumarill with Z-Belly Drum can walk straight through your team. In my mind, this Pokemon is not suited for the UU tier, it has almost everything, Insane Power, Bulk, Stellar Typing, Versatility and Sweeping Capability.

In regards to Serperior, it's versatility is also an issue. 'Contrary' to what TSR has posted, Blissey (Skill Swap is a Gimmick), Togekiss, Amoonguss and Muk are not reliable counters to Serperior. SubSeed variants have little issues dealing with many of the above, and +2 Breakneck Blitz gives almost every one of its switch-ins like Latias and Amoonguss a hard time. The only reliable counters to Serperior are Crobat, SS Azumarill and somewhat Chandelure (which gets chipped away). Being forced to run one of these Pokemon on your team makes Serperior far too centralizing. This is not at all a healthy Pokemon for the meta and should be banned.
 
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CBU

soul castigation...
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ok i might be a little late but i feel like there are some things left unmentioned that really highlight the root of the existing problem. "why should a person w/o UU knowledge, a person that started playing the tier yesterday have a saying to whether or not a pokemon gets banned or not?". Perfectly valid question. However, my question to you is what stops that person from logging on smogon, reading the arguements posted on the suspect discussion thread and form an actual opinion based on what people that play UU more consistently say?
And as utopian as that scenario sounds like, we all the know the answer to that is ''absolutely nothing''.
What makes a vote unhealthy and toxic for the community and the meta is personal bias. Because at the end of the day, the council does consist of people that know UU very well, but they are just people and people do have bias(some more, some less). And yes the UU council might know today whats best. Who/what guarantees that they will know tomorrow?What guarantees that the new members that will eventually get added will always know what is best for the tier?Nothing.
If you really want to move to a more well defined, objectively healthier suspecting process you need to accept that every vote carries some sort of bias whether it comes from a council member, myself, a guy that started playing yesterday etc. If you are willing to work on that and eliminate the bias from the votes, that will lead you to a clear, beneficial result, whether the people that are voting are 6 or 3006.
 

GunGunJ

El patrón del mal
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I consider that Serperior is an unhealthy presence in the metagame. Why? Well, first of all its versatility is an issue as it is able to beat its “counters”. While we all know that Serp has 100% of the time Leaf Storm and Hidden Power Fire, we don’t know what the other two more are. Togekiss, Amoonguss, Crobat, Muk-A, SS Azu, Latias and the unusual Moltres are the best Serperior answers in UU, but SubSeed Serp beats many of them, and +2 Breakneck Blitz gives almost every one of its switch-ins like Latias and Amoonguss a warm welcome. Only SS Azumarill can reliable beat it, and Crobat, that in the worst case will be paralyze. Despite its low SpA stat without boost and that its better move only has 8 PP, we are talking about a Pokemon with a good Speed, a decent bulk, a typing that resists Aqua Jet, but that also is unpredictable in the predictable, as I said we know 2 of its 4 moves, but if our answer is Amoongus and it is at 88% we cannot send it if there are SR in the field, as Leaf Storm into +2 Breackness Blitz will kill it; in the other hand we have Muk-A and Togekiss, that lose if they face SubSeed variants. Serperior is one of those mons that choose who wants to kill, turning it into a unhealthy and overcentralizing presence in the metagame that should not be considered only as a S Rank mon.

Now, Azumarill is a tougher situation, as while you are facing a unpredictable mon you find yourself in a tier that already has a lot of Pokemon ready to stop it. Let’s see, CB Azumarill hits like a truck but it has little opportunities to come in and do its job, as Manectric, Electric ZMove Latias, Serperior, Amoonguss, Scizor and others are everywhere right now (for example, watch this matchup, not the battle as Azumarill dies in the beginning, Azumarill had no opportunity to do anything as Lycans had Scizor, Macne, Lati and Prima). We also have BD Azumarill, who takes advantage of revenge killers to try to setup and win, but we find ourselves in the same thing: Serperior, Scizor or Latias are in the other side and they will have to be very damaged if Azumarill wants to do something. The last set is SS Azu, which gets rid of annoying mons and walls Serperior, turning it into a good support mon. However, I think that Azumarill is not healthy for UU as you don’t know what you are facing, it could come in vs Hippowdon so you switch into Amoonguss because it is a good answer in general but… it is Perish Trap Azumarill and you have lost you Amoonguss in exchange of nothing, and of course if you fear this you can try to make a midground play with the possibility that a CB Play Rough is coming to your face. So, if you manage to guess what kind of Azu you are facing (which sometimes is easy), you will not have many problems dealing with it, but if you don’t, you will be facing a Pokemon with 438 Atk that is able to increase that stat even more or that wants to trap your Amoonguss/Alomomola/Passive Mon.

That being said, I think that both Serperior and Azumarill should be banned. :blobstop:
 
I consider that Serperior is an unhealthy presence in the metagame. Why? Well, first of all its versatility is an issue as it is able to beat its “counters”. While we all know that Serp has 100% of the time Leaf Storm and Hidden Power Fire, we don’t know what the other two more are. Togekiss, Amoonguss, Crobat, Muk-A, SS Azu, Latias and the unusual Moltres are the best Serperior answers in UU, but SubSeed Serp beats many of them, and +2 Breakneck Blitz gives almost every one of its switch-ins like Latias and Amoonguss a warm welcome. Only SS Azumarill can reliable beat it, and Crobat, that in the worst case will be paralyze. Despite its low SpA stat without boost and that its better move only has 8 PP, we are talking about a Pokemon with a good Speed, a decent bulk, a typing that resists Aqua Jet, but that also is unpredictable in the predictable, as I said we know 2 of its 4 moves, but if our answer is Amoongus and it is at 88% we cannot send it if there are SR in the field, as Leaf Storm into +2 Breackness Blitz will kill it; in the other hand we have Muk-A and Togekiss, that lose if they face SubSeed variants. Serperior is one of those mons that choose who wants to kill, turning it into a unhealthy and overcentralizing presence in the metagame that should not be considered only as a S Rank mon.

Now, Azumarill is a tougher situation, as while you are facing a unpredictable mon you find yourself in a tier that already has a lot of Pokemon ready to stop it. Let’s see, CB Azumarill hits like a truck but it has little opportunities to come in and do its job, as Manectric, Electric ZMove Latias, Serperior, Amoonguss, Scizor and others are everywhere right now (for example, watch this matchup, not the battle as Azumarill dies in the beginning, Azumarill had no opportunity to do anything as Lycans had Scizor, Macne, Lati and Prima). We also have BD Azumarill, who takes advantage of revenge killers to try to setup and win, but we find ourselves in the same thing: Serperior, Scizor or Latias are in the other side and they will have to be very damaged if Azumarill wants to do something. The last set is SS Azu, which gets rid of annoying mons and walls Serperior, turning it into a good support mon. However, I think that Azumarill is not healthy for UU as you don’t know what you are facing, it could come in vs Hippowdon so you switch into Amoonguss because it is a good answer in general but… it is Perish Trap Azumarill and you have lost you Amoonguss in exchange of nothing, and of course if you fear this you can try to make a midground play with the possibility that a CB Play Rough is coming to your face. So, if you manage to guess what kind of Azu you are facing (which sometimes is easy), you will not have many problems dealing with it, but if you don’t, you will be facing a Pokemon with 438 Atk that is able to increase that stat even more or that wants to trap your Amoonguss/Alomomola/Passive Mon.

That being said, I think that both Serperior and Azumarill should be banned. :blobstop:
i'm glad you used my team as an example for your post because it's what i was planning on doing for serperior. a lot of the pokemon you used as examples were actually responses to a +2 serperior and not a unboosted one. it's actually not that tough to keep up momentum against a neutral serperior with "less reliable" answers to it. take the team i used last week for example. nobody would claim that it has the best serperior answers in the world but the fact is because i'm able to ensure that i can keep up momentum with u turn from gliscor, hydreigon, priority from scizor, overheat from manec, nido also lives an unboosted attack...you get the idea nothing really allows serperior to get the ball rolling and there are several pivots in the tier that can accomplish that as well like scarf infernape, scarf scizor, scarf infernape, scarf chandelure, mega beedrill and mega pidgeot to name a few and the reason counterplay like this is very feasible during a battle is that serperior just isn't a naturally strong pokemon so it's not as simple as spamming leaf storm freely and then being able to automatically dominate the opponent. i disagree with the notion that it's extremely centralising too. you aren't forced to run obscure pokemon like goodra or whatever just so you have a prayer against it you're actually using some pretty fucking top tier mons that do a multitude of things. i'll use the pokemon you provided as examples: togekiss - good stall breaker / dragon check / glsicor check, muk - dragon check / psychic check / fairy check / ghost check..you get the idea, even the so called "obscure moltres" beats most stealth rock users with its defog set and completely shuts down pokemon like cobalion (unless the rare stone edge), scizor etc.

there hasn't been a single battle when i've had a decent team where i've felt like serperior got out of hand either from a team building standpoint or a playing one.

your azumarill argument is pretty interesting considering you list some real good points as to why it's not broken but argue that it should be banned. granted rotom wash leaving has made azumarill a lot better but there are still so many checks that fit organically onto teams just because it's such a slow pokemon. it's just like crawdaunt, in theory it seems like a complete beast due to it's crazy power but the speed drawbacks are incredibly significant considering that just reduces the amount of chances it has to attack. we have plenty of water resists in this tier to ensure that bd doesn't get out of hand as well. also the effectiveness of the sap sipper set might be a bit overblown. i know that some people have started using gastro acid on their serperior effectively making the game a 6-5 thing, z sludge bomb on their amoonguss etc. the z amoonguss set beats every single trendy azu set btw. but you have to look at this as well. it is a versatile pokemon for sure, nobody would deny that but there isn't a single game where it's going to blow away your amoonguss and then proceed to clean your team. it's just not gonna happen. the vice versa is also true. all of its sets have enough counterplay in practice to the point where i feel like it isn't broken.
 
I got maybe misunderstood something but why does the council ask our advices for Azu and Serp if anyway the people "have no idea about what they are talking about" ? Tell what you've decided between you and don't make this scene plz. Everyone knows here that whatever we write it doesn't get any influence. Just be honnest, post the result of the suspect and close the topic. It's simply a matter of respect.
 
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TSR

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In regards to Serperior, it's versatility is also an issue. 'Contrary' to what TSR has posted, Blissey (Skill Swap is a Gimmick), Togekiss, Amoonguss and Muk are not reliable counters to Serperior. SubSeed variants have little issues dealing with many of the above, and +2 Breakneck Blitz gives almost every one of its switch-ins like Latias and Amoonguss a hard time. The only reliable counters to Serperior are Crobat, SS Azumarill and somewhat Chandelure (which gets chipped away). Being forced to run one of these Pokemon on your team makes Serperior far too centralizing. This is not at all a healthy Pokemon for the meta and should be banned.
Skill Swap has plenty of practical uses outside of Serp, being that it can remove Pressure from Vincune and SubRoost Kyurem which essentially 1v6 stall teams with TSpikes down thanks to Pressure stalling PP, removes Poison Heal from Gliscor, Serene Grace from Togekiss (which helps Quagsire and Blissey not get flinched down from Togekiss since the bulky Togekiss variants fail to 2HKO either of them, at +6 in Blissey's case), Tough Claws from Mega Aero, and Pixilate from Mega Altaria. I know anything other than a Fire Blast Blissey without Soft-Boiled seems gimmicky to you, but it actually does help put a stop to some of the top Pokemon and some of the more prominent stallbreakers. :blobshrug:

I consider that Serperior is an unhealthy presence in the metagame. Why? Well, first of all its versatility is an issue as it is able to beat its “counters”. While we all know that Serp has 100% of the time Leaf Storm and Hidden Power Fire, we don’t know what the other two more are. Togekiss, Amoonguss, Crobat, Muk-A, SS Azu, Latias and the unusual Moltres are the best Serperior answers in UU, but SubSeed Serp beats many of them, and +2 Breakneck Blitz gives almost every one of its switch-ins like Latias and Amoonguss a warm welcome. Only SS Azumarill can reliable beat it, and Crobat, that in the worst case will be paralyze. Despite its low SpA stat without boost and that its better move only has 8 PP, we are talking about a Pokemon with a good Speed, a decent bulk, a typing that resists Aqua Jet, but that also is unpredictable in the predictable, as I said we know 2 of its 4 moves, but if our answer is Amoongus and it is at 88% we cannot send it if there are SR in the field, as Leaf Storm into +2 Breackness Blitz will kill it; in the other hand we have Muk-A and Togekiss, that lose if they face SubSeed variants. Serperior is one of those mons that choose who wants to kill, turning it into a unhealthy and overcentralizing presence in the metagame that should not be considered only as a S Rank mon.
Moltres is hardly unusual, its a pretty good Pokemon that people should use more often :/

+2 252 SpA Serperior Breakneck Blitz (200 BP) vs. 252 HP / 72+ SpD Amoonguss: 304-358 (70.3 - 82.8%) -- 62.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock and 1 layer of Spikes
This doesn't do as much damage as you think it does lol. Amoonguss coming into neutral Leaf Storm (less damage than 1 Spike) and Rocks would recover almost all of that damage with Black Sludge and still be out of range of the +2 Breakneck Blitz. And hey, maybe if you don't see Leftovers on the Serp you can kinda infer what set it could be and then all of your answers that lose to SubSeed won't lose to this set. To echo what Cynde said, there's plenty of viable mons that stop Serperior from getting out of hand while also serving other important roles on a team; Serp is pretty weak initially and only starts accumulating boosts and free SubSeed locks if you let it.

Now, Azumarill is a tougher situation, as while you are facing a unpredictable mon you find yourself in a tier that already has a lot of Pokemon ready to stop it. Let’s see, CB Azumarill hits like a truck but it has little opportunities to come in and do its job, as Manectric, Electric ZMove Latias, Serperior, Amoonguss, Scizor and others are everywhere right now (for example, watch this matchup, not the battle as Azumarill dies in the beginning, Azumarill had no opportunity to do anything as Lycans had Scizor, Macne, Lati and Prima).
All of these mons are common staples on offensive teams, matchups like this aren't one in a million.
We also have BD Azumarill, who takes advantage of revenge killers to try to setup and win, but we find ourselves in the same thing: Serperior, Scizor or Latias are in the other side and they will have to be very damaged if Azumarill wants to do something. The last set is SS Azu, which gets rid of annoying mons and walls Serperior, turning it into a good support mon. However, I think that Azumarill is not healthy for UU as you don’t know what you are facing, it could come in vs Hippowdon so you switch into Amoonguss because it is a good answer in general but… it is Perish Trap Azumarill and you have lost you Amoonguss in exchange of nothing, and of course if you fear this you can try to make a midground play with the possibility that a CB Play Rough is coming to your face. So, if you manage to guess what kind of Azu you are facing (which sometimes is easy), you will not have many problems dealing with it, but if you don’t, you will be facing a Pokemon with 438 Atk that is able to increase that stat even more or that wants to trap your Amoonguss/Alomomola/Passive Mon.

Think about this scenario for a second. having Azumarill come in on Hippowdon is kind of scary but it shouldnt be particularly hard to play around it in scenarios like this. It's likely taking sand damage and maybe even rocks damage if its not turn 1. If it doesn't recover with Leftovers, congrats you have an Amoonguss that can come in. Leftovers does proc? Just Whirlwind it with Hippo, Whirlpool will do laughable damage. Like I said last night, yes Azumarill has good sets that all can do different things but its not as much of a guessing game as you'd think. I think it's far from impossible to have sufficient ways of dealing with all of the sets if you take it into account while teambuilding instead of writing it off as broken.
 

GunGunJ

El patrón del mal
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TSR I think you misunderstood what I said man.

1-Moltres is unusual and it is good. It is like Kyurem, I said that it is unusual, I didnt said it is bad. Actually I love Moltres as it deals with Scizor very easily and is a good mon in general in the actual metagame.

2-The Amoonguss and Serp thing: if Amoonguss is a 88% and there are rocks on the field this is what happens: it comes in, takes rocks damage and now it is at 76% takes the Leaf Storm that does 9%, now it is at 67% it recovers with Black Sludge and now it is at 73%, so it dies to Breackness. I was very specific with that.

3-In the Azu part you are right if Azumarill switch ins in rocks for example, but I was talking about a free switch when it does not take Sand damage. I should have put that, my bad. The same when you mention rocks and lefties with Serp, I was talking about Serp coming in for free.

4-The replay was an example man xd. I wanted to show the hard time that CB Azumarill has in general.

5-I said that the Azumarill situation was very different and tough to say, but in any moment I said that Azumarill was broken, I said it was unhealthy, at least for me those are diferents things.

I also want to say that I agree with you, Cynde. I have never said that Serperior is a God and you autolose to it, because if that was the case, it would have been quickbanned. In the team that you used against Lcans you had a good matchup in general vs Serperior teams, but there are very few teams that have five mons to deal with Serp, and I know you know that most teams only have 2 answers (or at least measures) to Serperior.

My thoughts in general are that this two mons are unpredictable and also have ways to win a game by themselves, so you don't know if your "answer" is really an answer. For example, Gliscor is also unpredictable but common... Gliscor is not going to BD or LF in your face and win.
 
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YABO

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Serperior is being overblown. Defensive teams have a choice between several viable and good answers while offensive teams have more than enough ways to pressure serp and pick it off when the time comes. In theory, it should win a lot of matchups, but in practice it's not all that difficult to play around.
 
I've seen some good arguments on both sides for Serperior and Azumarill so I just want to add a few things I haven't seen mentioned in favor of banning both. With a mass influx of new defoggers in the tier I feel like Serperior punishes defog in a way that is really not competitive. Boosting evasiveness through catching a defog won't be happening in every game but when it does happen it really takes control away from the player. Sure players could not defog when there's an opposing Serperior but because hazard stacking teams are relatively common sometimes its unavoidable. I wouldn't really see a problem with this if Serperior wasn't already such a fantastic Pokemon in this meta.

As for Azumarill, I think the effect its PerishTrap set has on bulkier teams has been understated. When Azumarill gets in on something passive it can trap, you either have to switch to something that can break free/beat Azumarill quickly or lose your passive Pokemon. This creates a situation which is incredibly high risk for the opposing player and gives a very low risk opportunity that the player using Azumarill can punish. Even though the PerishTrap set has a poor match up against offensive teams that doesn't mean its not highly threatening to the point of being uncompetitive against more defensively oriented teams.

Regarding the changes in UU's suspecting process, I think it sounds like a good direction to take things in. Even if sometimes the council will make decisions not everyone agrees with the tier will never get to the point where it's unplayable.
 
Skill Swap has plenty of practical uses outside of Serp, being that it can remove Pressure from Vincune and SubRoost Kyurem which essentially 1v6 stall teams with TSpikes down thanks to Pressure stalling PP, removes Poison Heal from Gliscor, Serene Grace from Togekiss (which helps Quagsire and Blissey not get flinched down from Togekiss since the bulky Togekiss variants fail to 2HKO either of them, at +6 in Blissey's case), Tough Claws from Mega Aero, and Pixilate from Mega Altaria. I know anything other than a Fire Blast Blissey without Soft-Boiled seems gimmicky to you, but it actually does help put a stop to some of the top Pokemon and some of the more prominent stallbreakers. :blobshrug:
I thought we were on the topic of Azumarill and Serperior, but if you insist. Forgive me for being sceptical, but do you actually have any evidence with Skill Swap Blissey? Maybe a sample size of 10 replays, so that we can actually gleam some idea of the effectiveness of this set, aside from your own verbal reasoning. I'm sure many sets seem appealing on paper, but practically speaking, upon testing, the shortcomings and limitations will present itself. Have you even laddered with this set in the 1600s or even the 1500s? Is it even worth losing Natural Cure on Blissey? Is it worth losing out on the utility of a Heal Bell, Toxic or Wish + Protect? Sorry if I come off as a bit harsh, but you've really given me nothing to work with here.

Even if we assume the validity of Skill Swap Blissey, the fact still remains that only an extremely small minority of players will even run that set. Subseed Serperior still beats the 99% of other Blisseys it encounters, so it's really quite misleading to list Blissey as a counter to Serperior.
 
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Serperior and Azumarill are really good Pokémon, but I don't think they're actually broken. Your team will need some preparation to win against Serperior but that can even be as simple as using Scarf Infernape so it doesn't need a dedicated check. Something notable about these two is that Serperior and Azumarill are both very good checks to each other: Serperior checks most of Azu's sets, but Azu can check Serp if it runs Sap Sipper, but Serp can circumvent that with Gastro Acid or Z-Hyper Beam at the cost of losing coverage against other things (like Dragon Pulse for Hydreigon and Goodra) or Synthesis to outlast most non-Clear Smog Amoongus variants and beat it 1v1.

Also, PerishTrap azumarill isn't unovercomable for defensive teams, as it can't do anything to Mantine except for Toxicing it. The problem is that if you switch Mantine into Azumarill thinking it's PerishTrap and it proceeds to set up Belly Drum, you're in a very bad position. Neither of the sets is broken in its own right, but it's the fact that each set has completely different counters (some checks still remain the same) that makes it so risky to go up against Azu.
 
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Manipulative

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I've practically had my mind set on Serp for a while and my mind hasn't really changed after the tier shift. I still find it to be pretty obnoxious both in the teambuilder (especially when shying away from just slapping on an Amoonguss) and in practice. The loss of Rotom-Wash gives it one less thing to take advantage of, but I don't think it's a huge blow to Serperior at all. Marowak-Alola probably won't be relevant enough to have more than a minor impact on Serp's viability, and Gengar surely finds itself an issue with Pursuit being as rampant as it is. Serp definitely has the speed and can pretty easily build up the power to threaten any team archetype. It puts a bit too much restraint on teambuilding and I find it to be unhealthy for the tier.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about Azumarill though. It's certainly a top tier threat, and honestly, one that you can't prepare too well for. Slapping on an Amoonguss definitely doesn't work here since it only covers one of its three main sets, or potentially two if you're using Z-Sludge Bomb. Honestly, I didn't really question whether I thought it was unhealthy or not until it became able to run Perish Song + Whirlpool. That set is often overlooked, but if anything, it's what pushes me more towards wanting to ban it. Clearly Azu is able to threaten every team archetype as well and is just as difficult to be well enough prepared for as Serp if not more. That said, I don't think it's as unhealthy as Serp and I'll give it some more thought. Though, if I don't abstain from voting on it, I'll vote ban.
 

Lycans

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As I said in the beginning when these 2 mons were tested in UU, serperior proved to be a fairly solid wallbreaker with its diverse sets of z move or sub seed which are its most used sets. you had to take these into account when you build a team if you didnt want be swept by leaf storms. Besides all this, its good speed tier make it even stronger but as the meta progressed i realized that its sets arent impossible to counterplay. Now that rotom has gone to ou and the viability of mons as Crobat Chande Salazzle Moltres have increased, this has undoubtedly affected the performance of serperior right now.

looking at usage stats of the first weeks of the SPL, you can see that serperior isnt even in the top 10 of mons used contrary to some mons that I've already named, certainly there are things about Serperior like giving a free sub can mean the end of the game or that other variants of z moves (Dragon / psychic) are able to beat certain counters / checks of it would make me think everything I said before but if I had to choose rn I'd go for No ban

Azumarill has proved to be a fairly consistent wallbreaker and that can fit very well in several teams for its good typing, abilities, access to priority. Besides that, it has the capacity to use the combination of sap sipper + Perish song which has given it even more versatility to face its checks, rotom and amoongus were the main ones. One is no longer in the tier and the other is forced to have to use z sluge boomb if he does not want to die to knock off at +6 or be trapped. Just a fast view at tier list its enough to realize that few mons can check it well (and it depends on the set it uses) i cant see a mon with this many capabilities be healthy for the tier. Ban it
 
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Hikari

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I feel like the issues with Serperior are overblown and I honestly find the Pokemon to be too unreliable for my own taste. On paper Serperior sounds incredibly threatening, super snowbally, and you can theorize specific sets to play around its checks and counters. In practice, you have a Pokemon that can only switch into a handful of Pokemon and directly threaten about 5 Pokemon total without any boost, has a good chunk of reliable defensive and offensive answers, and even at +2 Serperior's power is mediocre. You need minimal preparation to not be weak to Serperior (something as dumb as having Latias + Cobalion + any Scarfer on your balance team pretty much makes you Serp proof) and Pokemon hitting hard at +2 with a Z-move is literally the standard in Gen 7, the difference is that Serperior needs chip damage and a boost to do anything with Z-Hyper Beam. while others Pokemon are OHKOing through everything that doesn't resist or worse under the same conditions.

The tier changes were small, but they actually made Serperior significantly weaker. Marowak is hot garbage, Gengar is OKish and Stakataka is a shaky check at best, but Serperior lost it's main Leaf Storm target in Rotom-W and getting the ball rolling became that much harder.

It's not a coincidence this Pokemon is getting pretty much ignored in SPL and even people like Manipulative, who is extremely pro ban, haven't used it despite running offensive teams twice. Dominant Pokemon consistently see tournament play, such as Mega Latias and Weavile, and Serperior is anything but dominant.

I believe Azumarill is significantly better than Serperior, but I don't feel is that much more threatening that other "slow, powerful nuker". Playing around Azumarill attacks is hard, but so is doing the same against Primarina, Crawdaunt, Volcanion, Mamoswine, etc. Yes, I know Azumarill has a fantastic typing and bulk, unlike some of the other Pokemon I mentioned, but jus being "better" doesn't make it "too much" for the tier. The BD set is extremely overrated and its unpredictability is overstated, as you are pretty much forced to save it for the late game (making it obvious your are BD), show your lack of power early on while risking blowing your Sitrus Berry before setting up, or setup BD while the foe's team is healthy. Sure if you weaken all its would-be checks and get rid of all the Pokemon that can deal with +6 Aqua Jet, which is a significant number in UU, you will clean, but at that point you are simply being the better player. If there's anything that pushes it over the edge is the is the absolute cheesyness of Trapper Azumarill, which completely changes the way you are supposed to play against it, but luckily it's mediocre against most playstyles. For me Azumarill is a massive threat, but not enough to call it broken.
 
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I feel like the issues with Serperior are overblown and I honestly find the Pokemon to be too unreliable for my own taste. On paper Serperior sounds incredibly threatening, super snowbally, and you can theorize specific sets to play around its checks and counters. In practice, you have a Pokemon that can only switch into a handful of Pokemon and directly threaten about 5 Pokemon total without any boost, has a good chunk of reliable defensive and offensive answers, and even at +2 Serperior's power is mediocre. You need minimal preparation to not be weak to Serperior (something as dumb as having Latias + Cobalion + any Scarfer on your balance team pretty much makes you Serp proof) and Pokemon hitting hard at +2 with a Z-move is literally the standard in Gen 7, the difference is that Serperior needs chip damage and a boost to do anything with Z-Hyper Beam. while others Pokemon are OHKOing through everything that doesn't resist or worse under the same conditions.

The tier changes were small, but they actually made Serperior significantly weaker. Marowak is hot garbage, Gengar is OKish and Stakataka is a shaky check at best, but Serperior lost it's main Leaf Storm target in Rotom-W and getting the ball rolling became that much harder.

It's not a coincidence this Pokemon is getting pretty much ignored in SPL and even people like Manipulative, who is extremely pro ban, haven't used it despite running offensive teams twice. Dominant Pokemon consistently see tournament play, such as Mega Latias and Weavile, and Serperior is anything but dominant.
I'm disagreeing with most of what you said about Serperior. There are a lot of different bulky waters and grounds that let Serperior in safely, and at least 15 or so Pokemon that Serperior can force out with just its STAB. Most of its slower answers have trouble dealing with SubSeed, while the few faster offensive threats can be crippled by Glare. Serperior applies the chip damage it needs to KO things with Z-Hyper Beam as it boosts with Leaf Storm and hitting hard with Z-moves is also the standard of most of the non-megas in BL.

Rotom-W leaving in my opinion has actually been good for Serperior. Most teams still need to use a Water type and now that Water type cannot pivot out when Serperior comes in which gives it better opportunities to setup even if they are less common. Stakataka has even lead to a resurgence of bulky grounds that Serperior can take advantage of too.

As for why it hasn't been used much in the small sample of SPL games, my guess is that players think it is too predictable to use Serperior. Over preparation can really stop any Pokemon from having much of an impact in a game. To be honest I wouldn't put much stock in the SPL usage stats until we have a bigger sample size, otherwise you could reason that something like Salazzle or Chandelure are much more meta defining than things like Mega Aerodactyl just because they have more usage over 10-15 games.

From what I've seen the best argument that makes Serperior seem OK is that it has 4MSS and therefore it's not broken because it can't beat everything at once. That argument really doesn't hold up for me with Serperior because it does most of what it needs to do to be very threatening with only Leaf Storm. The rest of the move set can be tailored to whatever you want Serperior to have a better match up against.

I don't have a vote in this but I'm hoping Serperior will be banned.
 

Amaroq

Beasts all over the shop...
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
My opinion on Serperior lies somewhere between Hikari's and xMarth's. I think Hikari is underselling Serperior to some degree, but he's right in that building counterplay (not necessarily hard counters) into teams isn't difficult. The tier has plenty of ways of dealing with fast, frail Pokemon (priority, other fast offensive Pokemon, etc.) and offensive teams needing to deal with threats by revenge killing them and trading effectively has been a thing for ages now. Balance teams have relied on speed control to handle threats they don't cover defensively before and will again, and stall has countermeasures to Serperior in the form of Pokemon like Moltres, Mega Altaria, and Blissey, depending on the set. xMarth is correct when he says that Serperior can take advantage of common bulky Water- and Ground-types, but top threats, almost by definition, can take advantage of some aspect of the meta. He's also right when he says that SPL represents a small sample size, but Serperior can still be compared to other meta-defining Pokemon like Scizor and Gliscor, and doing so reveals that those Pokemon receive considerably more usage. Overall, Serperior is a fast, powerful wallbreaker, but I don't think it's too much for the tier to handle and will be voting Do Not Ban.

As for Azumarill, I feel more or less the same way Hikari does. I'm not going to bother rehashing his arguments because he said pretty much everything I'd want to. I've lost to every Azumarill set (and won with every Azumarill set), but I never felt that I did so because it was broken. If I lost, I either got outplayed or lucked. If I won, I either outplayed or lucked. I will vote Do Not Ban on Azumarill.
 

Hogg

grubbing in the ashes
is a Tournament Directoris a member of the Site Staffis a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris an Administrator
UU & Tour Head
The council has voted. In a 6-5 vote and a 10-1 vote respectively, the council has decided that both Azumarill and Serperior will remain UU. I'll post explanations for those council members who have not yet posted in this thread tomorrow, but in the meantime here are the votes:

AZUMARILL
Ban:
Christo, Lycans, Manipulative, Sacri', Tony
Do Not Ban: Amaroq, Cynde, dodmen, Eyan, Hikari, Hogg

SERPERIOR
Ban:
Manipulative
Do Not Ban: Amaroq, Christo, Cynde, dodmen, Eyan, Hikari, Hogg, Lycans, Sacri', Tony

Thanks to everyone for your input. This thread will stay open to discuss the current metagame.
 

Hikari

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Community Leader
To be fair that poll is unfairly structured. You can also look at it this way

Ban Anything = 55%
Ban Nothing = 45%
You can't manipulate the votes in a way that fit your narrative. People who wanted Azumarill gone voted for either "Ban Azu" or "Ban both", people who wanted Serperior gone voted for either "Ban Serp" or "Ban both". You cannot group the people who wanted to ban one but not the other because their votes are completely different.

To be honest, 80-90% of the players who vote on these polls won't meet the COIL requirements during a suspect test so you can't really use that as a frame of reference.
I'm the one trying to make the system more exclusive and people in this thread were mad about it. Letting everyone vote is a flawed concept and I'm not the one defending it, I only want proven top players (by objective measures) voting. But many of the people who were against "elitism" are suddenly extremely upset by a decision that coincidentally fits the opinion of the public, showing they don't care about being "democratic", they simply want their own flavor of elitism.
 

pokeisfun

UU player and community member
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributor
You can't manipulate the votes in a way that fit your narrative. People who wanted Azumarill gone voted for either "Ban Azu" or "Ban both", people who wanted Serperior gone voted for either "Ban Serp" or "Ban both". You cannot group the people who wanted to ban one but not the other because their votes are completely different.



I'm the one trying to make the system more exclusive and people in this thread were mad about it. Letting everyone vote is a flawed concept and I'm not the one defending it, I only want proven top players (by objective measures) voting. But many of the people who were against "elitism" are suddenly extremely upset by a decision that coincidentally fits the opinion of the public, showing they don't care about being "democratic", they simply want their own flavor of elitism.
Or in another way, the public vote wasn't so different from the council vote. Meaning that apparently the public is just as qualified as the council.

You know what Hikari? Nobody should have been upset at the tiering system you've talked about with harder reqs. If all you said in response to Freeroamers first question was:

"The council is voting one last time because we were concerned with the quality of some posts in previous suspects such as [example here]. We will be moving towards an updated public system with harder reqs in the next suspect."

I doubt anybody would be upset, I know I wouldn't have been. But instead, you post this drivel about top players, heavily insinuate people who voted differently with Mega Latias were wrong and decide to meme about how your council vote matched a room poll if all things. What's sad is that the system isn't even changing that much, but by only critiquing the public system and making it seem like only top player's have relevant opinions, you're making an unnecessary divide between the PS community and the more Smogonish/tournament community.

I was part of the council, so I know you guys actually deliberate and am 100% confident in your decisions. Can't you give your user base, the ones who are just decent in laddering and make the effort to post here (including cookeees) that same respect?
 

Jordy

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This 'elitism' shit is complete bullshit and I can definitely see where Hikari is coming from when he says that letting everyone vote is a flawed concept, because there are certainly flaws in it, anyone with a good amount of time and little to no metagame knowledge can get reqs, this does not help with getting a healthy and stable tier, not at all as the [said person with good amount of time] will just vote whatever they want, even if they dont actually know why they're voting for that. I do however think that Hikari could have said that the suspect process was gonna change in a kinder manner to the player base.

To not make this a completely worthless post I'd like to talk about Roserade and Suicune, together they form a pretty potent core that I've had a lot of fun with, Roserade covers Suicune's weaknesses very well and vice versa, Roserade also provides Suicune with Toxic Spikes, which Suicune abuses very well, especially with SubCM. Not a lot people use Roserade however and I'd like to know other's opinions on it.

 
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Hogg

grubbing in the ashes
is a Tournament Directoris a member of the Site Staffis a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris an Administrator
UU & Tour Head
Yeah, this has turned into a shitfest, including (I'm sorry to say) posts by council members. There's not a reason to turn this into being about elitism or populism or who was right or wrong in prior tests. I'm deleting a slew of the meme posts; save them for Discord.

Hikari and I have been discussing refining the tiering process from long before the Latias-Mega vote. Certainly we both personally disagreed with the direction of that particular vote, but this isn't about trying to tailor the voting process to match our opinions. We've wanted to refine the voting process for a long time, and since we were planning on switching to council votes for the release of USUM regardless, this was a good time to do it. I'm sorry that this has turned into such an unnecessary back and forth.

This is the last I'll personally say about the subject until we have the new voting standards ready to go (and they're close, we're just fine tuning the details). I'd like to see more discussion about the tier itself. If you want to keep discussing the voting process I won't stop you, but leave out the memes and the personal attacks.
 

Hikari

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Community Leader
Or in another way, the public vote wasn't so different from the council vote. Meaning that apparently the public is just as qualified as the council.

You know what Hikari? Nobody should have been upset at the tiering system you've talked about with harder reqs. If all you said in response to Freeroamers first question was:

"The council is voting one last time because we were concerned with the quality of some posts in previous suspects such as [example here]. We will be moving towards an updated public system with harder reqs in the next suspect."
"Because the public test system everyone's been using and UU has used in the past has some major flaws. The one thing that makes that system "good" is the main problem with it: everyone can vote, as long as they have free time and decent level of skills. The system isn't for the top, knowledgeable players, it's for the people who can grind on the ladder. The general opinion of the "top players" (ie: the ones actively playing the tier in the highest levels of competition available) regularly differs from the opinion of the general public and the biggest example of this was in the Mega Latias vote, in which it got banned by a huge 73% majority despite the fact most top players were against the ban.

Being pro-Latias ban doesn't mean "we" consider you bad, in fact Manipulative was pro-ban and he got council after the vote, but after reading the NP thread and other UU areas it was pretty damn evident that most pro-ban voters had no idea of what they were talking about. I mean shit, in the thread we had people saying "if you don't prepare for Latias, it's likely you lose it" as a pro ban argument. This tiering decision was the last drop; we decided to start focusing on the highest level of UU play and balance the tier around that."

"That's the key part. The vote was evenly split among the top players, but add the rest and you end up with an extremely one side pro-ban vote. The results don't reflect the opinion of the people who play the tier and the highest levels and that's a major problem. This isn't something that suddenly showed up during Mega Latias vote, this has been a problem since the very first public suspect, the results of that vote was when we decided we had enough of that flawed system."

You interpreted that as "if you voted ban Latias, you are wrong", which was not the message I was trying to get across. I mean, people from the current council voted ban, including new members invited post Latias vote, and this simply wouldn't be the case if your interpretation was correct. Most of the posts in Latias threads were straight up bad and most people were simply ignoring anti-ban arguments, as in not even trying to reply to them. Both sides of argument tend to be filled with completely uninformed posts and a handful of good posters, but Mega Latias thread was particularly bad.

I could have done absolutely nothing and ignored the small complaints / questions, and the backlash would be borderline nonexistent, but I rate honesty higher than bullshit PR-friendly announcements.

I doubt anybody would be upset, I know I wouldn't have been. But instead, you post this drivel about top players, heavily insinuate people who voted differently with Mega Latias were wrong and decide to meme about how your council vote matched a room poll if all things. What's sad is that the system isn't even changing that much, but by only critiquing the public system and making it seem like only top player's have relevant opinions, you're making an unnecessary divide between the PS community and the more Smogonish/tournament community.

I was part of the council, so I know you guys actually deliberate and am 100% confident in your decisions. Can't you give your user base, the ones who are just decent in laddering and make the effort to post here (including cookeees) that same respect?
You consider posting the opinion of the public and saying it matched the council vote a "meme", but the screenshot exists because the same people who were asking for "democracy" in the PS room were actively complaining about the result that would have been the exact same under proper democracy. Some will complain until they get a system that specifically appeals to them, they don't care about the public in general or about getting the best results possible.

The divide between "top players" and "others" has existed since the beginning of competitive Pokemon and it's not a matter of "smogon vs ps", it's a matter of "X group of people tend to understand this game better than Y group of people". Top tour players are better than mid-ladder dudes, but top ladder dudes are also better than mid-ladder dudes; both kind of top players will be allowed to vote in the next system and we have mentioned this multiple times. Everyone can voice their opinion (in fact, there's only one person in this thread implying "your opinion is bad if you haven't achieved x") and not being a "top player" doesn't make your opinion bad by default, but just like in many other games (eg: dota), the game balance will be based around the highest level of skills and we needed a new system to do this.
 

Darksafadao

best of the second options
is a Pre-Contributor
Hi, I would like to give my quick thoughts on a recent drop UU had: Stakataka.
At first, I really thought it wouldn't be that great, but right now I've seen how it's been affecting the meta in an unhealthy way imo, mainly against offensive teams. While a lot of teams can afford to run a bulky and slow ground type - which has been the most popular way to stop Staka from what I've been seeing - offensive teams can't really fit a Hippowdon or a Swampert (although I've seen hippo HO twice and it kinda scares me). Styles like HO can easily be punished by Stakataka, because while it has two 4 times weaknesses, it also has a lot of resistances, and combined with its bulkiness, it's able to put TR up versus most offensive teams quite freely, such as right after Scarf Lati locks itself into Draco/Psychic, and after this proceeding to spam Gyro Ball and get some kills.
From what I've seen the best offensive answer in general to Staka for most offensive teams is Kommo-o. Although it works well I don't think it's that nice to have all HO teams having to run that in order to not lose to Staka. And in general I don't think Staka is broken, just really unhealthy for this playstyle and could deserve a closer look. I can see stuff like Vacuum Wave Infernape/Lucario also becoming more popular in this playstyle, but I'm still not sure how well that fits in HO.
On a side note, the banded set is really fun and I think if Staka didn't get TR itself it would be very balanced for this meta.
Also, if it eventually leaves, I hope Rotom-W eventually comes back because recently I've been having trouble with finding bird resists that fit my teams well other than m-aero, but that's probably my fault lol.
But feel free to agree/disagree with the points in this post, I'd love to read opposing opinions. Thanks for reading.
 

pokeisfun

UU player and community member
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributor
Nobody is saying do nothing Hikari . I agree with you and the council that a new system with harder requirements and requirements outside of laddering will make if not a better system, at least one worth exploring.

And you never responded to my first point: yes you can interpret that as poll as the public getting what they wanted. But you can also interpret it as they came to the conclusions of council people and top players. Yes some of us, or at least me, want more "democracy" and more input. So far, I haven't seen any evidence that council votes lead to a better metagame than public votes. In fact, you just provided us evidence to the contrary.

You can't just say most posts on banning Mega Latias were bad, give one example of a good user, and then say you didn't mean to say we were all bad. This is what I meant by insinuating Mega Latias voters were flawed, especially when coupled with the announcement that because the posts were so bad, a new system was needed.

It's possible to both be friendly and be productive you know? You can tell us to our faces that posts in previous discussions were bad. Few would disagree. And you could tell us an updated public system was incoming. Also fine.

So why do you feel the need to keep insisting that top players have some type of knowledge unavailable to the rest of us? We all play the same metagame with the same rules. A lot of this tiering just comes down to opinions and preferences. I'm glad you know a divide exists between the best and the rest so to speak. I'm just saying I think you're needlessly reinforcing it with your words.
 

Hogg

grubbing in the ashes
is a Tournament Directoris a member of the Site Staffis a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris an Administrator
UU & Tour Head
Alright, all. We've come to a conclusion regarding the methods we will be using for future suspects. We hope that these changes address a wide number of problems, including the length of suspects, lax requirements for both suspect ladder players AND council alike, low incentive for tour players to contribute, etc.

The new requirements will be as follows:
  • The N value for suspects will remain the same, but the game limit will be reduced to 65 games. This functionally requires a minimum GXE of 82 to achieve ladder reqs.
  • Members of the UU Council now have the following requirements in order to vote in a suspect (bolded is a new requirement):
    • A minimum of 35 games on the suspect ladder, with a GXE of 82 or higher, and
    • One "decent quality" NP post (decent quality is to be determined by the tier leaders).
  • Players with recent official tour success in the meta may qualify using council requirements rather than ladder requirements.
    • Any player with a top 8 finish in the most recent iteration of an official SM UU tour may vote in a suspect test after playing a minimum of 35 games on the suspect ladder, with a GXE of 82 or higher.
    • Qualifying tours include UU Majors, UU Open, UU Ladder Tour and UU Championships. Only the most recent iteration of the tour qualifies.
In addition, we will be streamlining the suspect process itself in a couple of ways. Most significantly, suspect ladders will now be up for nine days instead of two weeks. This should still allow voters ample time to achieve reqs and come to a conclusion regarding their votes, but will reduce the total time involved in the process by almost a week. Hikari and myself will work closely with PS staff in an effort to ensure that ladders go up quickly.

This system will be in place for suspects going forward. Thanks for all who assisted us in collating data and providing input for this process.
 
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