On The Radar Vol. 2 [See Post #336]

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Hello everyone!

In light of recent events, namely the banning of Dynamax, the OU council has decided to move on to addressing other problematic aspects of the metagame. Even though we feel like we have a solid grasp on most people's stances regarding our first topic of discussion, we will be monitoring this thread closely in order to address any concerns that the community might have, so feel free to chime in. This thread is by no means a guarantee that immediate action will be taken; it is a place where we can gauge the overall attitude of the players regarding SS OU in its developmental stages. Rest assured though, your voice will not go unheard. All we ask is that you do your best to keep the conversation civil and respectful.


If you've been keeping up with SS OU, it should come as no surprise to you that Darmanitan-Galar is currently the elephant in the room. The tactical gorilla has many things going for it. Its sky high attack stat of 140 combined with the newly introduced ability, Gorilla Tactics, a great physical movepool, and a very usable speed stat of 95 have made Darmanitan-Galar a problem for most teams. Even though it only commonly runs two sets, Choice Band and Choice Scarf, Darmanitan forces players to run very specific answers to it. The problem lies in the fact that even when we take these so-called answers into account, Darmanitan has the sheer power to muscle through a huge portion of them; it puts a huge strain on both the teambuilding and playing aspects of the game. Because of these and other reasons, Darmanitan is on our radar as the most glaring issue with SS OU right now.

Please bring up anything that you feel might add to this discussion. We would like to avoid one liners and would appreciate posts with actual substance to them. For any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us via PM. Happy posting!
 
Darms pretty crazy simply because the only mons that really want to switch into it are Jelicent, defensive rotom-h and Milotic to name a few. Even then with a simply item change from scarf to band it pretty much changes everything. Generally speaking thats my biggest issue with darm simply cause while band isnt as good as scarf, Band has a easy time breaking past the 3 mons i mentioned that would otherwise safely switch into it normally. The combination of Ice/fire/ground coverage is really strong when combined with sky high attack and Gorilla tactics. Its def not a unbeatable mon but You pretty much need a means of dealing with it on every team so as to not get obliterated by it. Thankfully stuff like conk exists for BO to use and is actually decent at RKing darm.
 

PsyducksChili

Banned deucer.
Alright why do we need ANY discussion page. It's pretty obvious it isn't broken lol

Darm is NOT banworthy. Yeah, it has amazing coverage, but since the most relevant set at the moment is choice scarf, Jellicent, Corsola, Rotom-H, Rotom-W, Centiscorch, Corviknight, and Ditto all pivot around it easily and have the tools to beat it. It also makes it especially harder for Darmanitan to break thru Pex, Ferro, Corv, etc. now with dmax banned, so it's even easier to beat. Gorilla tactics is a great ability and it helps it get kills a lot easier, but with a choice lock, it makes it limited in what it can do. You don't see any LO Darms running around, do you? Choice lock and dmax ban help balance this boy out a lot in my opinion. Suspecting Darm would be a pussy move.
 
Alright why do we need ANY discussion page. It's pretty obvious it isn't broken lol

Darm is NOT banworthy. Yeah, it has amazing coverage, but since the most relevant set at the moment is choice scarf, Jellicent, Corsola, Rotom-H, Rotom-W, Centiscorch, Corviknight, and Ditto all pivot around it easily and have the tools to beat it. It also makes it especially harder for Darmanitan to break thru Pex, Ferro, Corv, etc. now with dmax banned, so it's even easier to beat. Gorilla tactics is a great ability and it helps it get kills a lot easier, but with a choice lock, it makes it limited in what it can do. You don't see any LO Darms running around, do you? Choice lock and dmax ban help balance this boy out a lot in my opinion. Suspecting Darm would be a pussy move.
Band also works too.
 

lyd

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this mon is insane! between band and scarf it really doesn't leave much counterplay options to deal with it, there's really nothing that outspeeds and koes choice scarf darmanitan reliably except like choice scarf dragapult that you really don't want to have to run in most teams and sand rush drill but then, sand rush isn't all that consistent is it? however when you consider the fact that it still hits absurdly hard it leaves more offensively biased teams pretty helpless against it, because of the gorilla tactics boost.

for choice band variants it's the opposite, literally nothing—even on more defensive teams—can stomach two hits from this beast and its still bulky enough to not be ohko'd by a lot of stuff so it can definitely nab a kill versus more offensive teams at the very worst. the few walls that quote on quote deal with it still crumble to darm if it makes the right prediction, and assuming theyd be in a bulkier team anyway you can bet darm gets a decent number of opportunities to predict correctly.

a great counterplay would be simply getting up hazards, as darmanitan vastly prefers choice items to boots. issue is that darmanitan teams often account for this and this gen has really good removers, which results in double removal teams being a common sight and even a single removal is often still enough to make darm still a threat under the right hands.

overall, i feel like this mon has vastly limited counterplay options and could definitely be suspected in the near future!
 
Alright why do we need ANY discussion page. It's pretty obvious it isn't broken lol

Darm is NOT banworthy. Yeah, it has amazing coverage, but since the most relevant set at the moment is choice scarf, Jellicent, Corsola, Rotom-H, Rotom-W, Centiscorch, Corviknight, and Ditto all pivot around it easily and have the tools to beat it. It also makes it especially harder for Darmanitan to break thru Pex, Ferro, Corv, etc. now with dmax banned, so it's even easier to beat. Gorilla tactics is a great ability and it helps it get kills a lot easier, but with a choice lock, it makes it limited in what it can do. You don't see any LO Darms running around, do you? Choice lock and dmax ban help balance this boy out a lot in my opinion. Suspecting Darm would be a pussy move.
What? Theres a severe lack of metagame knowledge, (edit:) mechanics* knowledge, and any sense of forum etiquette and tact with this post. First of all, if it was so obvious, the council would not have made this thread in response to a large portion of the community calling for a suspect test. It's rude and makes me question if you've even played a single game of SS OU when you say eye-roll worthy things like "Suspecting Darm would be a pussy move" and pretentiously posting "alright why do we need ANY discussion page this is so obvious lol".

I think you're missing the point on Darmanitan completely. Yes, Scarf is the best set right now, but Choice Band is also very good. Literally every Pokemon you listed is 2HKOd or OHKOd by CB Darmanitan, all of them are out outsped by it besides Scarf Ditto, and even the resisted moves 2HKO. Hell, Choice Scarf OHKOs Corviknight and Ditto with the right move and 2hkos otherwise, so how are you supposed to switch in? Even Scarf Earthquake does a ton to Jellicent. The Rotoms are commonly running Choice Scarf sets right now with no recovery and are super prone to getting chipped down, and Darmanitan only needs a bit of chip to run through an entire team, whether it be from teammates or hazards. You bring in your Rotom once or twice to a U-turn and next thing you know you are 2HKOd by Icicle Crash.

Do you even know how Gorilla Tactics works? You don't see any LO Darmanitans running around because Gorilla Tactics is essentially a functioning Choice Band on top of whatever item Darmanitan chooses to run, so it has literally no drawbacks to running Choice Band or Choice Scarf. It has outrageously high base Attack, great coverage, U-turn (which is part of the reason lead Choice Scarf Darm is so damn good, it chips everything for WAY too much), and a speed tier that puts it in a really great position in the metagame even without a Choice Scarf. Choice Lock doesn't matter when you get a free 1.5x Attack boost to any move of your choosing (in addition to U-turn sending you out anyway), and the Dynamax ban actually helps Darmanitan a lot since you lose the option to defensively Dynamax to eat a hit with the HP boost and avoid the 30% chance of getting flinched by Icicle Crash. Dynamaxing means you lost the boost given by the Choice Item and Gorilla Tactics anyway so the ability to switch moves was only a slight perk for Darmanitan. The Dynamax ban was, in my opinion, a net gain for Darmanitan in this metagame.
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Now, I personally believe Darmanitan is a bit too much to handle right now. The reasons stated above are a huge part of it, but I'd like to again mention U-turn as a serious breaking factor on this Pokemon. It has an uncanny ability to get massive amounts of chip damage, for example a Choice Scarf U-turn doing 30% to a physically defensive Rotom-Wash is just crazy amounts of damage for no reason that can lead to a later game Darmanitan sweep. Threats like Clefable or being so powerful as well being able to get chip damages on very specific checks like Rotom-Heat (Centiscortch as well I guess? This mon kinda sucks, theres a reason its in RU alpha at the moment) also pave way for late-game Darmanitan sweeps. A lack of Steel-types or Water-types resistant to Icicle Crash or other coverage as a result of Dexit is also a big factor in why Darmanitan is so unstoppable in the current metagame. I believe that Darmanitan has a severely limited amount of counterplay in the current metagame and could definitely be looked at for a suspect test sometime soon.

e: had metagame twice instead of mechanics in the first sentence
 
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Hayburner

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I've posted this on discord before, but I honestly see no reason to suspect darm. It would end up wasting 2 weeks for a massive ban majority vote so why bother and just quickban it so the tier can adapt and we can focus on the next problematic thing that pops up.
 

Taptricity

Formerly BackAtYouBro
is a Pre-Contributor
Alright why do we need ANY discussion page. It's pretty obvious it isn't broken lol

Darm is NOT banworthy. Yeah, it has amazing coverage, but since the most relevant set at the moment is choice scarf, Jellicent, Corsola, Rotom-H, Rotom-W, Centiscorch, Corviknight, and Ditto all pivot around it easily and have the tools to beat it. It also makes it especially harder for Darmanitan to break thru Pex, Ferro, Corv, etc. now with dmax banned, so it's even easier to beat. Gorilla tactics is a great ability and it helps it get kills a lot easier, but with a choice lock, it makes it limited in what it can do. You don't see any LO Darms running around, do you? Choice lock and dmax ban help balance this boy out a lot in my opinion. Suspecting Darm would be a pussy move.
Alright I’m just gonna list all of your counterplay:

:Jellicent:Viable purely to counteract Darm (and Dracovish to a lesser extent). It’s niche and CBCBDARM breaks.
:Corsola-Galar:+1 252 Atk Darmanitan-Galar Icicle Crash vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Corsola-Galar: 106-126 (32.7 - 38.8%) -- 99.3% chance to 3HKO I forgot to calc Eviolite in but my point still stands. No passive recovery+Check all mon+ppl finding ways to pivot around Strength Sap means this mon can have issues. Say hello to my Choice Band.
:Rotom-Heat: It’s a Rotom so it has the catch all blanket check power. Stealth Rock+keeping other mons in check+Darm being fucking Darm means this mon isnt reliable and Band ;-;
:Rotom-Wash: Spamming U-turn until its chipped enough. Anyway teams like these often opt for Washtom and Ditto and call that sufficient enough Darm counterplay (tbf idt any core is sufficient enough to be Darm counterplay)
:Centiskorch: A niche mon that also checks Clefable. Too lazy to calc Band tho.
:Corviknight: lol
:Ditto: Is benched to only be a revenge killer.
You somehow try to justify this argument and you don’t even bring up Milotic which is arguably one of the better Darm “checks.” Still a niche Water tho. There’s a serious lack of knowledge in this post especially considering that Darm can just go Band and fuck all of these over, or just click U-turn and pressure tf out of the majority of these mons.

My main gripe with Darm though, is just how spammable this Pokemon is. It synergizes too well with most mons in the tier and overwhelms too many checks far too easily. Darmanitan can just click U-turn for the entirety of the match until it just powers through everything else in the late-game. You could say its main flaw is how frail it is which prevents it from cleanly switching in but there is almost literally nothing stopping a Darm from claiming a kill or getting a huge amount of chip on one of its “checks.” It’s so easy to have Darm’s teammates chip its checks for it and then just win the endgame by spamming Icicle Crash. Most teams that aren’t pure fat are often forced to sack and then revenge kill it by Ditto especially offense. You pretty much rely on fat to be fully healthy so that it can even stomach the blow from a Darm but with all these stallbreakers roaming around (Dracovish, Clefable, Hydreigon) it’s so difficult to keep any consistency. So yeah, Darm should be the first mon to be suspected (with Dracovish being next).
 
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Colonel M

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Efficiency is the name of the game for Galarian Darmanitan. Gorilla Tactics offering a near-free Choice Band boost either makes Darmanitan a breaker (Choice Band equipped) or a powerful cleaner / scout (Choice Scarf equipped. While some teams have adapted to using methods such as Baneful Bunker Toxapex, Galarian Darmanitan is a Pokemon that forces strong Ice resists (mostly Waters) on a team. Steels and Ice-types like Corviknight and Avalugg aren't safe either - the former takes a fuckton from Banded Crash or gets KOed by Scarf Flare Blitz, while Avalugg has to fear Flare Blitz or Superpower from Scarf or Band, respectively. Like Durza has pointed out U-turn is really the icing on the cake for Galarian Darmanitan. U-turn helps Darmanitan "bypass" some of its checks and counters by heavily denting them while responding with another Pokemon on the team.

Darmanitan is flawed by its choice lock to some extent, sure, but another critical factor is that there is no Pursuit to punish a choice lock either. Scenario - you're using Scarf Darmanitan and using Icicle Crash / Flare Blitz / EQ / U-turn. If Darmanitan Flare Blitzed into a Corviknight switch-in, there's no method for, say, Choice Band Tyranitar to punish this. Fairly niche, but keep in mind faster Pokemon like Weavile can't punish Darmanitan for its locks or being chipped down either.

I'll keep it short and sweet this time. Either way, don't see Galarian Darmanitan being healthy for the tier...

...and why did I seriously read Life Orb Galarian Darmanitan? I'd like my badges stripped after reading that post alone.
 

Gary

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You don't see any LO Darms running around, do you?
No I don't. Because why would anyone purposely run an item that takes 10% of your health away when you can just run Band and accomplish the same thing except with 20% more damage?

Anyway's, so far with my experience post Dynamax I think Darm as a whole is undeniably busted. I think anyone who's played enough can definitely agree with that. While Band is impossible to switch into, I think it's definitely manageable offensively. As dumb of a Pokemon it is, it reminds me a lot of Dracovish. While Dracovish has legit full on counters, it's still a Pokemon that clicks buttons and deals insane amounts of damage without really requiring much thought, absolutely smashing through anything that isn't immune. CB Darm is similar to this, except with a wider range of coverage. Its Speed tier is definitely very solid but it's pretty frail and with minimal chip it can pressured or forced out by a decent amount of commonly used offensive Pokemon, mainly Specs Dragapult and Hydreigon, Scarf Driller, Cinderace, Duggy can trap it, and priority from Bish or Conk are often pretty problematic for it. This sets power is absolutely stupid and has practically zero defensive switch-ins to a point where it's relatively unfair, but it can at least be pressured decently well offensively and with hazards.

Now take everything I just said, and ignore most of if not all the offensive checks I listed. That's Choice Scarf Darm. This set is absurdly busted and has zero place being in this game. It's a Pokemon that can not only function as a powerful breaker with extremely limited switch ins but also something that is very difficult to pressure offensively. Common forms of Speed control such as Dragapult are obviously fucked up, Scarf Rotom-W takes like upwards of 45% from an unstabbed U-turn, and is usually unable to reliably pivot into it fearing being 2HKOed by Crash with just a small amount of chip (which is very easy to exploit considering Rotom has no recovery this gen). Scarf Driller has like a 50% chance to die from FULL with a neutral Icicle Crash, and obviously gets popped by its other moves. The only true way I've found to pressure this thing reliably is to run like shit tier Scarfers that serve no real purpose outside of solely revenge killing Darm, and proceeding to be pretty much dead-weight otherwise. Some examples include Scarf Pult (this set is so weak it legit can't kill anything from full), Scarf Hydreigon (okay set but definitely not anywhere near as good as Specs or Sub Nasty), and Scarf Cinderace (whose niche is Court Change, which it can't really abuse when it's Choiced). Conk is probably the most reliable way to revenge kill Scarf sets because Mach Punch just drops it. But yeah, that's about it. Any other form of priority (which we don't have much of this gen) needs a good amount of chip. All of these require free switch-ins, otherwise they lose.

Unless you run these sets, you're in a situation where checking Scarf Darm usually comes down to very precise pivoting with perfect prediction, which is entirely in favor of who ever is using Darmanitan. All it takes is one good prediction on the opponents part and you're most likely going to lose your only means of beating it reliably. Aside from that, you basically just spam hazards as much as humanely possible and hope to god that you can kill their remover before Darm is able to get too many free switch-ins. I disagree that Darm limits team building, because you can't reliably build a team that beats Darm anyway. You either attempt to pressure it with offensive Pokemon and lose to Scarf, or you opt to check it defensively, and lose to Band (or Belly Drum Zen sets lol, which just invalidate anything even remotely considered a Darm check). Actually prepping for it defensively can still lose to Scarf lol. Having the ability to use a Pokemon that can not only outspeed a majority of the metagame but also function as a near unwallable breaker in the same set is just laughably unhealthy. I don't know how you can possibly see this Pokemon as balanced.
 
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Darmanitan is really weird. It is the best pivot in the entire game with choice scarf, the best breaker in the game with choice band (except for maybe dracovish but fuck that thing), and zen mode belly drum kills literally everything when properly set up. So it should be over-centralizing and immediately bannable, right? Well, not quite.

Two common counters - jellicent and rotom-heat (and rotom wash to an extent I suppose, although I’ve seen a lot less of that for some reason) - are very common metagame picks and good even without darm. Jellicent is one of the only dracovish checks and is generally useful against offense, while rotom-heat (and wash) is both another great pivot with a choice scarf and an effective nasty plot user. Both get killed by the choice band set; however, there’s then a lot of faster mons that can easily kill it, like Barraskewda, Dragapult, and Gengar, all of whom are useful outside of darm. Most teams I’ve seen naturally include things that work against those two sets. Meanwhile, zen-mode is killed by almost any priority and takes multiple turns to set up, meaning it can be effectively played around.

But at the same time, even if darm’s checks are common mons in the metagame already, they’re still mandatory to win against it. Come in without a jellicent or centiskorch and choice scarf kills you; come in without something fast and you get shredded by CBCBDARM, and zen mode can easily sweep if you’re unprepared and don’t have priority. So it’s weird; its checks are good regardless of it existing or not (even if they’re bolstered in viability via it existing), but they’re 100% necessary on a team so you don’t lose on preview.

And, of course, icicle crash has a good flinch chance, and can ruin whatever counters it’s supposed to have. Reminds me of ash-greninja in USUM in that way, even if darm is much better at killing literally everything (although it does provide less utility, since ash-gren had spikes).

I don’t think it should be quickbanned, like some people above have advocated. But I fully support a suspect test, since it presents an obvious constraint in teambuilding and mandates a full check on its sets for one to not simply die against it. I personally don’t fully know how I would vote on a test yet, although if I’m being honest I’d probably lean ban.
 

PsyducksChili

Banned deucer.
What? Theres a severe lack of metagame knowledge, metagame knowledge, and any sense of forum etiquette and tact with this post. First of all, if it was so obvious, the council would not have made this thread in response to a large portion of the community calling for a suspect test. It's rude and makes me question if you've even played a single game of SS OU when you say eye-roll worthy things like "Suspecting Darm would be a pussy move" and pretentiously posting "alright why do we need ANY discussion page this is so obvious lol".

I think you're missing the point on Darmanitan completely. Yes, Scarf is the best set right now, but Choice Band is also very good. Literally every Pokemon you listed is 2HKOd or OHKOd by CB Darmanitan, all of them are out outsped by it besides Scarf Ditto, and even the resisted moves 2HKO. Hell, Choice Scarf OHKOs Corviknight and Ditto with the right move and 2hkos otherwise, so how are you supposed to switch in? Even Scarf Earthquake does a ton to Jellicent. The Rotoms are commonly running Choice Scarf sets right now with no recovery and are super prone to getting chipped down, and Darmanitan only needs a bit of chip to run through an entire team, whether it be from teammates or hazards. You bring in your Rotom once or twice to a U-turn and next thing you know you are 2HKOd by Icicle Crash.

Do you even know how Gorilla Tactics works? You don't see any LO Darmanitans running around because Gorilla Tactics is essentially a functioning Choice Band on top of whatever item Darmanitan chooses to run, so it has literally no drawbacks to running Choice Band or Choice Scarf. It has outrageously high base Attack, great coverage, U-turn (which is part of the reason lead Choice Scarf Darm is so damn good, it chips everything for WAY too much), and a speed tier that puts it in a really great position in the metagame even without a Choice Scarf. Choice Lock doesn't matter when you get a free 1.5x Attack boost to any move of your choosing (in addition to U-turn sending you out anyway), and the Dynamax ban actually helps Darmanitan a lot since you lose the option to defensively Dynamax to eat a hit with the HP boost and avoid the 30% chance of getting flinched by Icicle Crash. Dynamaxing means you lost the boost given by the Choice Item and Gorilla Tactics anyway so the ability to switch moves was only a slight perk for Darmanitan. The Dynamax ban was, in my opinion, a net gain for Darmanitan in this metagame.
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Now, I personally believe Darmanitan is a bit too much to handle right now. The reasons stated above are a huge part of it, but I'd like to again mention U-turn as a serious breaking factor on this Pokemon. It has an uncanny ability to get massive amounts of chip damage, for example a Choice Scarf U-turn doing 30% to a physically defensive Rotom-Wash is just crazy amounts of damage for no reason that can lead to a later game Darmanitan sweep. Threats like Clefable or being so powerful as well being able to get chip damages on very specific checks like Rotom-Heat (Centiscortch as well I guess? This mon kinda sucks, theres a reason its in RU alpha at the moment) also pave way for late-game Darmanitan sweeps. A lack of Steel-types or Water-types resistant to Icicle Crash or other coverage as a result of Dexit is also a big factor in why Darmanitan is so unstoppable in the current metagame. I believe that Darmanitan has a severely limited amount of counterplay in the current metagame and could definitely be looked at for a suspect test sometime soon.
Alright I’m just gonna list all of your counterplay:

:Jellicent:Viable purely to counteract Darm (and Dracovish to a lesser extent). It’s niche and CBCBDARM breaks.
:Corsola-Galar:+1 252 Atk Darmanitan-Galar Icicle Crash vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Corsola-Galar: 159-187 (49 - 57.7%) -- 96.9% chance to 2HKO
:Rotom-Heat: It’s a Rotom so it has the catch all blanket check power. Stealth Rock+keeping other mons in check+Darm being fucking Darm means this mon isnt reliable and Band ;-;
:Rotom-Wash: Spamming U-turn until its chipped enough. Anyway teams like these often opt for Washtom and Ditto and call that sufficient enough Darm counterplay (tbf idt any core is sufficient enough to be Darm counterplay)
:Centiskorch: A niche mon that also checks Clefable. Too lazy to calc Band tho.
:Corviknight: lol
:Ditto: Is benched to only be a revenge killer.
You somehow try to justify this argument and you don’t even bring up Milotic which is arguably one of the better Darm “checks.” Still a niche Water tho. There’s a serious lack of knowledge in this post especially considering that Darm can just go Band and fuck all of these over, or just click U-turn and pressure tf out of the majority of these mons.

My main gripe with Darm though, is just how spammable this Pokemon is. It synergizes too well with most mons in the tier and overwhelms too many checks far too easily. Darmanitan can just click U-turn for the entirety of the match until it just powers through everything else in the late-game. You could say its main flaw is how frail it is which prevents it from cleanly switching in but there is almost literally nothing stopping a Darm from claiming a kill or getting a huge amount of chip on one of its “checks.” It’s so easy to have Darm’s teammates chip its checks for it and then just win the endgame by spamming Icicle Crash. Most teams that aren’t pure fat are often forced to sack and then revenge kill it by Ditto especially offense. You pretty much rely on fat to be fully healthy so that it can even stomach the blow from a Darm but with all these stallbreakers roaming around (Dracovish, Clefable, Hydreigon) it’s so difficult to keep any consistency. So yeah, Darm should be the first mon to be suspected (with Dracovish being next).
i didnt put much effort into this post honestly. this is just my opinion. ig its fair to call it bad, cuz it is, but i think shit shouldnt be banned.

i wrote the post solely because i really dont care for darm. it's easy for me to deal with. i 100% see why my post is dumb and makes me look unexperienced, but im keeping it up because, frankly, because it's what came to my mind when i saw people saying ban darm. i apologize to anyone offended by my lack of " etiquette " lmao.

and im not saying i was just pissed and wrote it ina hurry, but it def isnt the best thing ive posted, likely due to the fact that i strongly disagree with any form of suspect
 
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Yung Dramps

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Once again, I would like to restate the confusion I presented on the SQSA thread at why people including the council are looking into a ban/suspect on Darmanitan-Galar itself over just banning Gorilla Tactics and letting Zen Mode Darm stay. Basically, my reasons for why I feel this is the superior option are as follows:

-There is precedent for banning broken abilities over the abusers themselves: Shadow Tag, Power Construct and most recently the re-ban of Moody come to mind
-Gorilla Tactics is undeniably the central issue with Darmanitan that makes it so overbearing: Without that ability, a ton of immediate power is lost and Darm has to rely on the much more inconsistent Zen Mode. Hell, even the Zen Mode sets indirectly get worse because now they can't rely on the threat of Scarf/Band Gorilla Tactics sets to scare out stuff and make room for Belly Drum sweeps.
-Since Gorilla Tactics is the signature ability of Galarian Darmanitan and Galarian Darmanitan only, there is 0 collateral damage done by a flat ban on the ability itself unlike Speed Boost Blaziken or Gen 6 Protean Greninja.

Ultimately I'm not gonna throw a hissy fit if this idea is rejected, but I do think not giving Zen Mode Darm a chance just because the other ability is broke is a huge shame and would like clarification on what exactly is wrong with this approach that makes it less desirable than a ban on Darm itself. Whether this idea is accepted or not, it's pretty undeniable that Gorilla Tactics Darmanitan is hella absurd. Defensive checks do exist, but the issue is that you are basically forced to run those checks to even stand a chance, and with the exception of Jellicent even many of those fall to Choice Band. It's one of the biggest restraints on teambuilding right now to an unhealthy degree. In addition, whether it's on Darm itself or Gorilla Tactics, I fully agree with Hayburner that a quickban is the way to go. The community (or at least what can be seen on this thread so far) pretty unanimously feels Darm is busted and unlike Dynamax a quickban wouldn't be a potential PR shitstorm of immense magnitude at all: Pokemon quickbans are pretty standard affair, nobody's gonna care if we did that.
 
I definitely think darmanitan should be suspect tested soon and I thought that even before the dynamax ban. the main thing about this imo is that it's not that hard to just whittle down it's checks and then sweep (if you're scarf) and if you're banded it just doesn't have any defensive checks and has to be revenge killed pretty much. for scarf, the main checks are stuff like jellicent, rotom heat, rotom wash etc. rotoms just get easily u turned on and picked off (not to mention they can't even take that many hits) jellicent is probably the best check and it's pretty good against scarf, but with a little bit of chip banded eq can just kinda beat it depending on the circumstances. other than these there's not much to stop it outside of offensive revenge killers. to me that's a sign of an unhealthy offensive mon, when the defensive counterplay is almost non existent and the offensive counterplay isn't even that consistent because very few things outspeed scarf crash and if they don't it can just kill many offensive mons with a neutral hit. the only real thing keeping this in check imo is hazards, so to me that just shows an unhealthy mon
 
To start, I want to say that I really appreciate this post for the sake of transparency and to allow a place specifically for the community to discuss potentially problematic forces in the meta. I imagine this will be constructive and will help organize the other threads by giving a place specifically for this talk, and I hope this is normal going forward.

I fully support a suspect test of Darmanitan, but I think a quickban is too extreme. The point of suspect tests should be to test threats in the meta that might be banworthy, and quickbans should only be for extreme cases like Zygarde-100% in SM or Shadow Tag in SS. I don't believe Darmanitan is as extreme as the other mons that have been quickbanned in the past. It could still deserve to be banned, but it should be judged after a suspect test. Dynamax was banned only just a few days ago, and calling for a quickban now in this drastically different meta is hasty because there is still room to develop.

Without Dynamax, Darm can no longer break free from choice lock, and this opens up realistic counterplay that outweighs the loss of defensive Dynamaxing against it. The loss of Dynamax makes Protect and its variants significantly more effective.

Toxapex should always be running Baneful Bunker at this point. Aegislash can run King's Shield. Protect on Seismitoad is very useful. Sylveon, Flareon, Vaporeon, and Umbreon all use Protect, and there are more. Darm can't switch up its moves on a Protect scout. These aren't shitty moves specifically to counter Darm. They help with other things like Wish passing and Leftovers recovery.

I agree that CB Darm is nuts and you should just concede checking it defensively, but offensively it is very frail, has a shitty defensive typing that is weak to rocks, and its speed tier isn't the greatest without a scarf.

Choice Scarf Cinderace isn't a meme pick, it's good with how strong Pyro Ball is + it can offensively pressure Clefable and its speed tier genuinely helps. This is probably the best offensive counterplay to all Darm variants since it always threatens Darm out with an OHKO, and Cinderace itself has U-Turn.

Dugtrio, Aegislash, Toxapex, Vaporeon, Rotom-Heat, Rotom-Wash, Milotic, Corsola, Centiskorch, Cinderace, Jellicent, and Ditto can all handle Darm under different circumstances (item of Darm, what move Darm used, Protect scout, revenge kill, etc). Are any of them 100% counters/checks? No, and that's why Darmanitan deserves a suspect test, but counterplay exists. All of those mons listed are viable outside of being able to do stuff to Darmanitan. Darmanitan isn't some completely unmanageable Pokemon that's warping the meta around it, and I think it's scarier on paper than it is in practice.

My final thoughts: Don't quickban Darm while the post-Dynamax meta is so new and there is a good amount of conditional counterplay options. Suspect test it instead and see how the meta develops with a specific focus on Darm.
 

hero

amiwos :J
is a Tiering Contributor
I don't know if quickbanning is an option on the table right now but I hope it gets seriously considered. Darmanitan is a nuisance in both teambuilding and battle, as the scarf set has very few counters and none of them can take on the band set outside of very niche mons like Piloswine, forcing you to either run suboptimal mons to deal specifically with Darm or dedicate two or more slots to mons that can pivot around its moves. In battle, specially against bulkier teams, Darm gets multiple opportunites to make the right prediction and 2HKO any so called counter, and even then just clicking Icicle Crash will always be a no drawback play against these teams since the ridiculous amount of damage it does will always force any switch in to heal. Fat teams are forced to either let somebody die/eject button into duggy, (and I don't even wanna get started on Arena Trap, I think that is just as broken as it was last gen). In any case, if you're using duggy-less balance Darm will take out multiple mons and offense has to worry about scarf, of course.

I personally have very high hopes for SS because of its limited dex and it being the first new gen with no gimmick now with Dynamax gone, but I think it is extremely clear by now that Darmanitan has no place in this tier if we want it to be balanced.
 
Once again, I would like to restate the confusion I presented on the SQSA thread at why people including the council are looking into a ban/suspect on Darmanitan-Galar itself over just banning Gorilla Tactics and letting Zen Mode Darm stay. Basically, my reasons for why I feel this is the superior option are as follows:

-There is precedent for banning broken abilities over the abusers themselves: Shadow Tag, Power Construct and most recently the re-ban of Moody come to mind
-Gorilla Tactics is undeniably the central issue with Darmanitan that makes it so overbearing: Without that ability, a ton of immediate power is lost and Darm has to rely on the much more inconsistent Zen Mode. Hell, even the Zen Mode sets indirectly get worse because now they can't rely on the threat of Scarf/Band Gorilla Tactics sets to scare out stuff and make room for Belly Drum sweeps.
-Since Gorilla Tactics is the signature ability of Galarian Darmanitan and Galarian Darmanitan only, there is 0 collateral damage done by a flat ban on the ability itself unlike Speed Boost Blaziken or Gen 6 Protean Greninja.

Ultimately I'm not gonna throw a hissy fit if this idea is rejected, but I do think not giving Zen Mode Darm a chance just because the other ability is broke is a huge shame and would like clarification on what exactly is wrong with this approach that makes it less desirable than a ban on Darm itself. Whether this idea is accepted or not, it's pretty undeniable that Gorilla Tactics Darmanitan is hella absurd. Defensive checks do exist, but the issue is that you are basically forced to run those checks to even stand a chance, and with the exception of Jellicent even many of those fall to Choice Band. It's one of the biggest restraints on teambuilding right now to an unhealthy degree. In addition, whether it's on Darm itself or Gorilla Tactics, I fully agree with Hayburner that a quickban is the way to go. The community (or at least what can be seen on this thread so far) pretty unanimously feels Darm is busted and unlike Dynamax a quickban wouldn't be a potential PR shitstorm of immense magnitude at all: Pokemon quickbans are pretty standard affair, nobody's gonna care if we did that.
The thing is, it's not Gorilla Tactics that's inherently broken. It's that, combined with its already naturally absurd Atk and solid movepool. If the logic here is "Gorilla Tactics should be banned because it increases the Pokemon's Atk by 2x", then by the same logic every Pokemon with Huge Power should be banned, as it's a straight upgrade to Gorilla Tactics with zero drawbacks. Yet Pokemon like Medicham, Mawile, Azumarill, and Diggersby were never put on the chopping block based on their abilities, or in most cases really at all, barring Maw in X and Y. Gorilla Tactics does nothing that inherently breaks a Pokemon like Shadow Tag does, as the ability itself limits the opponent's ability to switch Pokemon. Gorilla Tactics, and by extension Huge Power, merely increase the Atk of the Pokemon, with the former being weaker and tacking on the inability to effectively run any items other than Choice Band/Scarf. It's that COMBINED with Galar Darm's movepool, offensive typing, general stats, and particularly high base Atk that push it over the edge, not any singular element.
 

chimp

Link Together With All
I am so, so, so close to defending Darmanitan. But I don't know if I can.

Have you ever wondered why Brazil is such a powerhouse when it comes to pumping out world-renowned soccer players and championship winning teams? Why is it that so many amazing soccer talent manages to come out of Brazil, compared to the rest of the world? Well, the reason boils down to a combination of many tings, but there is one little-known factor that can't be denied- and its the popularity of a different, though similar-enough sport: futsal. Futsal is like soccer in many ways, but played on a harder, flat court (similar to a basketball court) and with a much smaller and heavier ball. Many world-renowned soccer players, such as Pele, grew up with futsal, with some never even having touched a soccer ball until their teens. Its been documented how much playing futsal translates into skill on the soccer pitch- perhaps even moreso than practicing *on* the soccer pitch. Futsal is a much more constrictive sport than soccer. As mentioned, the court is cramped, the ball is harder to hit and its weight limits its bounce. There is a wide margin of error, because, unlike in soccer, if you're surrounded by the opposing defense, you can't just kick away the ball. Futsal requires you to hone your ball control skills. Simply, futsal compresses all the skills required in soccer, and when these skills are trained in a more restrictive and less forgiving environment, such as the one bred in futsal, you're going to naturally develop skills faster and deeper than others.

Playing against a Darmanitan-G is a lot like playing futsal.

Darm's power is immediate and obvious. I think other posts in this thread do enough to demonstrate that. Playing against Darmanitan is restrictive and frustrating. Facing down a Darmanitan requires you to be on the next level in terms of your prediction skills. This Pokemon really has the tool set to just straight up KO everything. But, the inherent balancing mechanic of Gorilla Tactics isn't something to ignore. There is part of me, small though it may be, that feels as if Darmanitan hasn't quite gotten the true due process just yet- that maybe, just MAYBE, there is potential for it to move the metagame to one focused on heavy prediction skill and long-term, speed conscious strategies, which is something I prefer. I've had some interesting and dynamic interactions when both using and facing Darmanitan- in terms of making predictions, scouting, etc.

Atleast, thats what I was hoping for when Dynamax got banned. But, the one thing that pushes Darmanitan over the edge for me, the thing that makes it twice the monster it should be, is U-turn. U-turn just makes pumping out damage and gaining momentum stupidly effortless, and when combined with opportunistic teammates, a favorite of mine so far has been Toxtricity, its both incredibly easy to use yet incredibly infuriating to play against. There is some counterplay with Protect and hazard stacking, but it is just very, very easy to take a vicegrip on the momentum turn 1 and give your opponent absolutely no breathing room whatsoever.

I am going to continue playing over my winter break and, while I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that my opinions change, I don't think it'll be likely.
 
I am so, so, so close to defending Darmanitan. But I don't know if I can.

Have you ever wondered why Brazil is such a powerhouse when it comes to pumping out world-renowned soccer players and championship winning teams? Why is it that so many amazing soccer talent manages to come out of Brazil, compared to the rest of the world? Well, the reason boils down to a combination of many tings, but there is one little-known factor that can't be denied- and its the popularity of a different, though similar-enough sport: futsal. Futsal is like soccer in many ways, but played on a harder, flat court (similar to a basketball court) and with a much smaller and heavier ball. Many world-renowned soccer players, such as Pele, grew up with futsal, with some never even having touched a soccer ball until their teens. Its been documented how much playing futsal translates into skill on the soccer pitch- perhaps even moreso than practicing *on* the soccer pitch. Futsal is a much more constrictive sport than soccer. As mentioned, the court is cramped, the ball is harder to hit and its weight limits its bounce. There is a wide margin of error, because, unlike in soccer, if you're surrounded by the opposing defense, you can't just kick away the ball. Futsal requires you to hone your ball control skills. Simply, futsal compresses all the skills required in soccer, and when these skills are trained in a more restrictive and less forgiving environment, such as the one bred in futsal, you're going to naturally develop skills faster and deeper than others.

Playing against a Darmanitan-G is a lot like playing futsal.

Darm's power is immediate and obvious. I think other posts in this thread do enough to demonstrate that. Playing against Darmanitan is restrictive and frustrating. Facing down a Darmanitan requires you to be on the next level in terms of your prediction skills. This Pokemon really has the tool set to just straight up KO everything. But, the inherent balancing mechanic of Gorilla Tactics isn't something to ignore. There is part of me, small though it may be, that feels as if Darmanitan hasn't quite gotten the true due process just yet- that maybe, just MAYBE, there is potential for it to move the metagame to one focused on heavy prediction skill and long-term, speed conscious strategies, which is something I prefer. I've had some interesting and dynamic interactions when both using and facing Darmanitan- in terms of making predictions, scouting, etc.

Atleast, thats what I was hoping for when Dynamax got banned. But, the one thing that pushes Darmanitan over the edge for me, the thing that makes it twice the monster it should be, is U-turn. U-turn just makes pumping out damage and gaining momentum stupidly effortless, and when combined with opportunistic teammates, a favorite of mine so far has been Toxtricity, its both incredibly easy to use yet incredibly infuriating to play against. There is some counterplay with Protect and hazard stacking, but it is just very, very easy to take a vicegrip on the momentum turn 1 and give your opponent absolutely no breathing room whatsoever.

I am going to continue playing over my winter break and, while I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that my opinions change, I don't think it'll be likely.
Gigalith is the scientist.

Just so this isn’t a one-liner, Darm is pretty broken. Scarf both wallbreaks and crushes offense so now we’re seeing stupid stuff like scarf dragapult, which is just such a suboptimal set. Please do suspect. Or quickban, just get it out of here.
 
Darmanitan-Galar is for sure an overpowered threat. I wouldn't necessarily say that protect (& other forms of it like king's shield) are good for scouting, main reason: You can't tell if it's scarf or band which is very important in determining how to check it. If it's banded, you'd want a fast mon to check it, if it's scarf then a bulky mon. But there's no safe way to go about seeing which one it is. Tailwind & sticky webs also make Darm-G really obnoxious to deal with if it's banded. And hazard stacking teams with Dragapult + Bisharp make scarf Darm super difficult to take on. Darm-G just fits on so many teams naturally while still having very limited options in dealing with it. Which leads to my next point: since either set fits so well on so many teams, it makes it that much harder to tell which one it is so, if you toss in a fat mon to handle scarf, it could get OHKO'd by band.
People are also trying to surprise KO it with scarf Cinderace & scarf (adamant or modest) Dragapult. This mon is just ridiculous.
I've noticed many games (including my own) being won by Darm-G. It's the lead, the mid-game breaker, the sweeper, he is the beginning & end in literal definition.
I agree with a lot of other people in saying that Darmanitan-Galar should be quickbanned.
And I do think we should get quickban it as fast as possible because, I think there are some other threats that are not so obviously broken but do deserve suspects. I always felt Dragapult & Dracovish can be very overwhelming (others have pointed this out, especially for vish) and I think those two mons could see very solid arguments on both sides.
 

hero

amiwos :J
is a Tiering Contributor
I am so, so, so close to defending Darmanitan. But I don't know if I can.

Have you ever wondered why Brazil is such a powerhouse when it comes to pumping out world-renowned soccer players and championship winning teams? Why is it that so many amazing soccer talent manages to come out of Brazil, compared to the rest of the world? Well, the reason boils down to a combination of many tings, but there is one little-known factor that can't be denied- and its the popularity of a different, though similar-enough sport: futsal. Futsal is like soccer in many ways, but played on a harder, flat court (similar to a basketball court) and with a much smaller and heavier ball. Many world-renowned soccer players, such as Pele, grew up with futsal, with some never even having touched a soccer ball until their teens. Its been documented how much playing futsal translates into skill on the soccer pitch- perhaps even moreso than practicing *on* the soccer pitch. Futsal is a much more constrictive sport than soccer. As mentioned, the court is cramped, the ball is harder to hit and its weight limits its bounce. There is a wide margin of error, because, unlike in soccer, if you're surrounded by the opposing defense, you can't just kick away the ball. Futsal requires you to hone your ball control skills. Simply, futsal compresses all the skills required in soccer, and when these skills are trained in a more restrictive and less forgiving environment, such as the one bred in futsal, you're going to naturally develop skills faster and deeper than others.

Playing against a Darmanitan-G is a lot like playing futsal.

Darm's power is immediate and obvious. I think other posts in this thread do enough to demonstrate that. Playing against Darmanitan is restrictive and frustrating. Facing down a Darmanitan requires you to be on the next level in terms of your prediction skills. This Pokemon really has the tool set to just straight up KO everything. But, the inherent balancing mechanic of Gorilla Tactics isn't something to ignore. There is part of me, small though it may be, that feels as if Darmanitan hasn't quite gotten the true due process just yet- that maybe, just MAYBE, there is potential for it to move the metagame to one focused on heavy prediction skill and long-term, speed conscious strategies, which is something I prefer. I've had some interesting and dynamic interactions when both using and facing Darmanitan- in terms of making predictions, scouting, etc.

Atleast, thats what I was hoping for when Dynamax got banned. But, the one thing that pushes Darmanitan over the edge for me, the thing that makes it twice the monster it should be, is U-turn. U-turn just makes pumping out damage and gaining momentum stupidly effortless, and when combined with opportunistic teammates, a favorite of mine so far has been Toxtricity, its both incredibly easy to use yet incredibly infuriating to play against. There is some counterplay with Protect and hazard stacking, but it is just very, very easy to take a vicegrip on the momentum turn 1 and give your opponent absolutely no breathing room whatsoever.

I am going to continue playing over my winter break and, while I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that my opinions change, I don't think it'll be likely.
I am a little compelled by the futsal argument. Since it's an interesting argument I want to give my thoughts too. Firstly it can't be emphasized how big of a constraint in teambuilding Darmanitan is. It's the first question I and I'm sure a lot of people have when I look at a team. This is relevant because I don't think a metagame where prediction is the end all be all of the battle is a good metagame, I think teambuilding must be just as important of a factor in a Pokemon meta. The mastery of both teambuilding and battle is what characterizes the best players around, and while prediction is an important skill I think with Darm it becomes way less about prediction and more about guessing and just weighing in who do you sac so you don't lose to Darm later or heavens forbid any of the other huge threats in the metagame.
 
In case it isn't obvious, I think that gorilla tactics should be suspected, not G-Darm as a whole. No need to give zen mode the boot when it's not overpowered.

Furthermore, I think Dracovish should be looked at down the road as well. I understand that seismitoad is OU's reliable check for it, but forcing most teams to run the same mon just to not insta lose to one thing is unhealthy. Vish=Centralizing, not necessarily OP rn. Yeah Toad is a good user of Stealth Rock, but I don't think it warrants the stupid high usage it has right now, and I think that suspecting Dracovish would allow for a more diverse meta game. I understand Darm, in my opinion, is too strong, but people can and will make the argument "we have avallug!". Running one mon to handle another is not healthy, a la ditto and D max situation. I think this is a very similar situation.
 
I don't personally think Darmanitan is as obviously and blatantly broken as some previous suspects from previous generation, however I feel like it's a little too much for the tier right now.

Its presence just puts so much pressure on both teambuilding and playing. Offensive teams need something like Rotom-W in order to deal with the Scarf set, while Defensive teams need a bunch of bulky Waters and extra physical walls, preferably with Protect and Protect-like moves to have a chance against Band Darmanitan. And even then, Darmanitan can still bust past its checks and counters thanks to U-Turn chipping them down and Earthquake smacking most bulky waters.

It's a pretty mindless Pokemon to use that can perform even better if you know how to predict and play mindgames, but doesn't even require that level of skill to be effective. I feel like, if you compare it to Dracovish (who I also believe should be suspect tested), it has a lower floor of effectiveness but a higher ceiling, dependent on the player's skill. There are times where it fails to do well, but overall, it gives such an advantage to its user that I find it unhealthy for the metagame

A quickban would be going too far but I would like it to be suspected tested at the very least
 
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In case it isn't obvious, I think that gorilla tactics should be suspected, not G-Darm as a whole. No need to give zen mode the boot when it's not overpowered.

Furthermore, I think Dracovish should be looked at down the road as well. I understand that seismitoad is OU's reliable check for it, but forcing most teams to run the same mon just to not insta lose to one thing is unhealthy. Vish=Centralizing, not necessarily OP rn. Yeah Toad is a good user of Stealth Rock, but I don't think it warrants the stupid high usage it has right now, and I think that suspecting Dracovish would allow for a more diverse meta game. I understand Darm, in my opinion, is too strong, but people can and will make the argument "we have avallug!". Running one mon to handle another is not healthy, a la ditto and D max situation. I think this is a very similar situation.
I think the thing that puts Darm on a different level from Dracovish has to do with how much of a prediction game Darm creates, and how advantageous it is to the Darm player. When Dracovish comes in, you know 9 times out of 10 it's clicking rend. Sure it may drop a psychic fangs on Pex or a crunch on Jellicent but if you're running Vaporeon, Seismitoad or even your own Dracovish you have a strategy for the next turn that pretty much always wins.

When Darm comes in against you, you have no strategy that on its own is likely to win unless you pack Jellicent, but even then you're relying on Darm being scarfed. Meanwhile, Darm can click U-turn for unavoidable huge damage and this strategy can only lose if its target doesn't switch and the Darm player has nothing else that can check the original target. The fact that winning this game as the non Darm user relies so heavily on winning a low-probability mind game _in addition_ to having explicitly prepared at team building is what makes Darm so overbearing. Dracovish may set off a red flag for making otherwise weaker Pokemon viable (though one could argue that dexit and decreased distribution of rocks/toxic had a lot to do with that too), but Darm takes it to a level beyond. I won't say ban or no ban, but a suspect test makes sense.
 
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