Announcement Palafin and Iron Bundle are banned from SV OU

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Today, the SV OU council held its second vote on potential quickbans based off of the updated radar.

This post is to discuss bans that happened while sharing the results of our vote to create transparency between the council and the userbase. For a Pokemon to be quickbanned, a supermajority is necessary from 2/3 of the tiering council, which would mean that 7 of the 9 councilmen need to favor the ban. Since we are only a week into SV OU, the threshold necessary is higher than typical suspects and council votes. Our goal is to ban the egregious presences from the metagame to open development as much as possible, but not get too carried away as counterplay and options continue to be discovered. If you wish to learn more about this or have any questions regarding this process, please message the OU tier leaders Finchinator and Ruft.

The results are in... and Palafin and Iron Bundle are banned from SV OU effective immediately! Tagging Kris and Marty to implement, thank you so much!

:palafin::palafin-hero: Palafin :palafin-hero::palafin:

When looking at Palafin, it can be easy to be skeptical of its prowess. Its base form is extremely underwhelming, adorned with low BST and ruinous offenses. If this were all that Palafin was, it would not be seeing any OU play, much less even be unanimously quickbanned in the early stages of the metagame. What makes Palafin such a potent Pokemon? The answer lies in Zero to Hero, an ability that allows Palafin to transform from a Pokemon competing with the likes of Lumineon for a slot in your Untiered team to a Pokemon rivaling box legends just by switching out. For starters, Palafin-Hero hits a staggering 650 BST, and much of this is well-distributed. Palafin-Hero comes adorned with great bulk, a solid defensive typing, a ludicrously high Attack stat, and a fairly respectable Speed tier. This makes it an offensive superstar in every sense of the word that can not only deal damage even the Avengers would respect, but also take it well, too.

What's more is that Palafin comes with a superb signature move in Jet Punch, a 60 BP Water-type priority move that synergizes well with its sky high Attack stat, letting it jet through faster threats such as Iron Valiant, Rapid Spin-boosted Great Tusk, or Choice Scarf Chi-Yu. Jet Punch alongside its natural access to Flip Turn, Wave Crash, and great coverage makes Choice Band sets very potent at wallbreaking and revenge killing, especially with the aid of Tera Water to let it storm through resisted targets. Eat your heart out, Flash.

If this were the end of the story, Palafin would likely find a very strong, but potentially fine place in the metagame. It lacks a secondary STAB and can be worn down naturally through Rocky Helmet, Wave Crash recoil, and hazards, especially seeing as it needs to exist on the field before changing into its Hero form. However, shortly following the ban of Flutter Mane and Houndstone, Bulk Up + Taunt sets fully caught on, which take advantage of just about everything that makes Palafin naturally strong and dials it up to 11 to wipe unprepared teams. Due to its naturally good Speed tier and Jet Punch covering the difference against faster Pokemon, this set can afford significant HP investment, which in tandem with its innately good 100/97/87 bulk, solid defensive typing, Leftovers, and Drain Punch makes it very durable. Furthermore, with Taunt, it is capable of denying defensive counterplay like status from Clodsire, forcing more passive Pokemon to challenge its superb bulk directly and lay at the mercy of repeated Bulk Up usage. Because of the combination of these factors, Palafin can achieve astounding feats like 1v1ing Dondozo, the physically bulkiest Water-type resistant Pokemon available in the metagame that even packs Unaware. This set is even worse with Tera support, as with Tera Steel it can shut down potential counterplay like Sludge Bomb Toxapex or Giga Drain Amoonguss.

While the set isn't unstoppable as constant focus fire and options like Choice Scarf Trick or some faster targets packing health and a Jet Punch resistance like Iron Bundle can hold it off from seizing games, it will almost always create trades overwhelmingly weighed in the Palafin user's favor and/or leave unhealthy constraint on team options and gameplay that is capable of invalidating a bevy of Pokemon. Overall, it is far too powerful, demanding, and low-cost to be a healthy presence in the SV OU metagame, and it has been voted upon to be quickbanned in unanimous fashion.

:iron-bundle: Iron Bundle :iron-bundle:

It was the night after Thanksgiving, and all was well... but then robot Santa came and brought OU hell. Yes, we live in the timeline where a Delibird form is quickbanned from OU, and, yes, it is absolutely hilarious. But what's not hilarious is how ridiculous Iron Bundle is. To put a bow on it, Iron Bundle's take on Pokemon Santa is more akin to Futurama's Robot Santa Claus than the one we know and love. Iron Bundle comes with a ludicrous offensive profile, packing the unresisted STAB combo of Freeze-Dry and Hydro Pump off of a truly insane Speed tier that gets the jump on the entire unboosted metagame barring Dragapult, and a very good Special Attack stat to boot. This by itself is the making for a truly elite offensive Pokemon, limiting consistent defensive counterplay to Blissey. There is truly a finite list of Pokemon that are willing and able to stomach repeated hits from Iron Bundle, and often-times they cannot even afford to.

There have been several sets aiming to take advantage of its natural strength and STAB combination. It certainly can use Booster Energy, often with Agility, but typically Iron Bundle finds itself preferring Heavy-Duty Boots or a Choice item. Heavy-Duty Boots is the best option in most scenarios, playing to its unresisted STAB combo leveraging moveslots to afford options like Taunt, Flip Turn, and Encore to block defensive counterplay from its few checks, accrue momentum and chip damage, or compromise a Pokemon attempting to outlast it. However, it's definitely a fine user of Choice items with removal support, and this can even mitigate potential forms of counterplay in opposing Choice Scarf users. Alongside shockingly good physical bulk to take on priority and Tera Water at its disposal to stomach priority options like Bullet Punch and Mach Punch that also bolsters its damage output further, it is extremely difficult to consistently take out. Gamestates can be greatly warped by Iron Bundle, often requiring offensive counterplay due to its obscenely commanding kit and how well it adorns Heavy-Duty Boots to enter the field more easily. To get in a position to force it out, chip it down, and/or remove it from the game, fodder is often necessary.

It's true that Iron Bundle can be played around, but when this is reliant on getting predictions right, dodging Hydro Pump, and sacking Pokemon, it winds up being a Pokemon that is often heavily constraining for most structures to play against in practice. As such, Iron Bundle has been voted by the council to be seen as an unbalanced presence and will be removed from the SV OU metagame. Hopefully this doesn't put us on the naughty list!

Full vote results below:

PalafinIron BundleCyclizarChien-PaoRoaring MoonGholdengoAnnihilape
ausmaBanBanBanDo not banDo not banDo not banDo not ban
FinchinatorBanBanBanDo not banDo not banDo not banDo not ban
FlamingVictiniBanDo not banDo not banDo not banDo not banDo not banDo not ban
imaBanBanDo not banDo not banDo not banDo not banBan
Ox the FoxBanDo not banDo not banDo not banDo not banDo not banBan
RuftBanBanDo not banDo not banDo not banDo not banDo not ban
StarBanBanBanDo not banDo not banDo not banBan
talahBanBanBanDo not banDo not banDo not banDo not ban
TPPBanBanBanDo not banDo not banDo not banDo not ban
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