Please reconsider the approach to Shadow Tag in generation 8

Martin

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Spinning thos off separately so as to avoid derailing the Dynamax thread
Shadow Tag was an obvious ban and getting that out of the way limits complication when it comes to handling this problem; I do not think anyone is actually upset with this development or considers that a problem when it comes to handling this.
Please don’t assume that “noone is actually upset” at the fact Wobbuffet is getting shafted yet again for no reason. I’m sick and tired of sitting through policy decision after policy decision, watching people conflate Gothitelle and Wobbuffet because of their ability despite the scope of each being totally incomparable. And, just to highlight how little actual thought has been put into this decision, I would like to point out how the announcement thread cited the removal of Pursuit as a justification for banning Shadow Tag despite it actively making Wobbuffet worse (no more Tickle Wobbuffet+Pursuit Tyranitar cores—y’know, the only thing which made it even remotely close to being “on the radar” as a trapper).

This decision is hypocritical. The council says they want to give everything a fair shake and take the time to see the effect that various Pokémon have on the metagame at large—even going as far as doing next to nothing for almost a full generation despite having multiple obvious suspect candidates at their fingertips (in no particular order: Toxapex, Ash Greninja, Magearna, Kartana, Mega Mawile, and for most of the gen Zygarde)—and yet they are seemingly unwilling to take the time to individually evaluate the Wobbuffet line in the same fashion to see whether it specifically causes a problem.

With the Thanosdex providing a perfect opportunity to take the time to re-evaluate this approach to policy for the first time in years, I kindly ask that the council changes the Shadow Tag ban to a ban on the Gothitelle evolutionary line.
 
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PK Gaming

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There are better ways of making your point without resorting to vitriol. Moreover, you can't expect the council to take you seriously after you essentially called them incompetent.

Yes, "Shadow Tag was an obvious ban and getting that out of the way limits complication when it comes to handling this problem" is a dismissive statement, but it's a statement that's supported by years of precedent.

And despite criticizing the council for making decisions in bad faith, you're not entirely being impartial yourself when your argument is partially predicated on the idea of "not wanting to screw over Wobuffet."

I'm going to be honest; I think Shadow Tag is a terrible ability for competitive play and banning it wholesale, instead of banning Gothitelle is preferable to me. I think it's disingenuous to compare wanting to remove an ability that objectively removes depth from the game to a reluctance to suspect test several problematic Pokemon.
 
Honestly, switching is the single biggest bedrock of competitive play, and anything that prevents it is going to make the game less competitive. Sometimes this effect is weak enough to be fine anyway, like how magnet pull can only trap steel Pokémon, or how digglet can’t trap much of anything in ou, but shadow tag is an entirely different kettle of fish and given how bad all the stag users are otherwise the broken factor is the ability.

OU council definitely made the right decision here.
 

chaos

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Martin, your post is straddling the line of acceptability, please just make your point without the vitriol in the future. I have slightly edited it instead of removing it because I think you are making a good point--the ban reasoning is laser focused on the Goth family, and then at the end just asserts "this would apply to Wobb too" even though it clearly doesn't.

We had a pretty long discussion in the staff discord about this issue, and the takeaway for me was that folks indeed just want to ban the Goth family + STag but also don't want a complex ban. Regardless of the final decision, the ban reasoning should not try to skirt why Wobb is gone.

I personally think there is no problem with the complex ban in this case, but most of the staff seem to feel a different way. Some favor just banning the two Goths individually.
 
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Ophion

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Spinning thos off separately so as to avoid derailing the Dynamax thread

Please don’t assume that “noone is actually upset” at the fact Wobbuffet is getting shafted yet again for no reason. I’m sick and tired of sitting through policy decision after policy decision, watching people conflate Gothitelle and Wobbuffet because of their ability despite the scope of each being totally incomparable. And, just to highlight how little actual thought has been put into this decision, I would like to point out how the announcement thread cited the removal of Pursuit as a justification for banning Shadow Tag despite it actively making Wobbuffet worse (no more Tickle Wobbuffet+Pursuit Tyranitar cores—y’know, the only thing which made it even remotely close to being “on the radar” as a trapper).

This decision is hypocritical. The council says they want to give everything a fair shake and take the time to see the effect that various Pokémon have on the metagame at large—even going as far as doing next to nothing for almost a full generation despite having multiple obvious suspect candidates at their fingertips (in no particular order: Toxapex, Ash Greninja, Magearna, Kartana, Mega Mawile, and for most of the gen Zygarde)—and yet they are seemingly unwilling to take the time to individually evaluate the Wobbuffet line in the same fashion to see whether it specifically causes a problem.

With the Thanosdex providing a perfect opportunity to take the time to re-evaluate this approach to policy for the first time in years, I kindly ask that the council changes the Shadow Tag ban to a ban on the Gothitelle evolutionary line.
D9FC41F5-9B08-470C-9FB5-B4CE94FE9FEC.jpeg

:pikuh: Totally not unbiased, surely.

Anyway, I think your take is misguided and you’re letting preconceived bias form your opinion when you shouldn’t be letting it. The fact you went on a tirade against the council for making, let’s be honest here, a decision pretty universlly agreed upon (by those who, you know, actually play the game) is pretty telling. Gothitelle was for sure the main offender but Wobb isn’t totally off the hook and would very likely cause issues. We can theorymon about it all we want but Colonel M’s post found here sums up the issues likely to come up from it. Also, Wobb is still usable, just with no stag. I and likely many others are not opposed to giving other shit a good shake but stag is kind of a special case where it’s just uncompetitive nonsense no matter what gets it really. And we did give stag a fair shot, and it proved broken as expected so yeah. Sorry this post was so scattered.
 

Martin

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Gonna keep paragraphs short for readability's sake.

Firstly, I apologise for the vitriol—I'm not normally the type of person to throw out insults, but I was fairly tired when I posted this and it’s something that has been simmering away in my head around three years now, with gen 7 OU just kinda fuelling the flame. That stupid, presumptive comment from Finch just made me boil over. I released this when I got to the end of the post, hence the polite tone of the last paragraph+title, but I didn't want to go through and re-write stuff bc I was on my phone and it was, like, 11 PM.

That said, I do stand by the statement that generation 7 OU was grossly mismanaged and that the decision to dodge addressing Wobbuffet separately goes directly against statements I have seen council members make regarding their tiering philosophies in the past, but they’re points that stopped applying past the OP and which are both things that can be improved over going forward so I won’t keep pushing them. Attacking the council perhaps wasn't the right way to go about it, but at the same time it's not like they haven't made themselves a very easy target as of late.

Onto the main point though, it's genuinely astounding just how pretty much everyone in the thread except Chaos has completely missed the point of my OP. To all the people arguing that I take issue with the act of Wobbuffet being banned, I implore you to re-read my post and point out the point where I explicitly say "Wobbuffet is not broken". The only thing that could even be loosely interpreted as that would be the line about how the Pursuit justification in the thread is flat out bad, and even then it doesn't take a genius to connect the dots and see that this is just an example of me asking for people to evaluate scope.

I may technically have something which could bias my view of Wobbuffet in a vacuum, which Ophion so readily went out of his way to point out :jynx:, but that also wasn't the point of my post at all, so I don't see how it's at all relevant to the discussion. And yes, I was aware of the fact that's there when making my post, which is the whole reason why I made no attempt to ever comment on whether I felt it was, as a matter of opinion, broken.

Title: "Please reconsider the approach to Shadow Tag in generation 8" (other trapping abilities implied)

I don't take issue with the act of banning Wobbuffet—if people are able to demonstrate meaningfully (keyword) that Wobbuffet specifically (other keyword) is a problem, I will take a Pokemon-level ban lying down. Despite what I'm sure lots of people believe, I'm neither a moron nor the type of person to throw a hissy fit if the only reason for it is because I can't use something I like using, despite the way people seemed to have (misguidedly) interpreted the OP.

What I take issue with with is the policy and process which led to Wobbuffet being effectively banned, not only now but also back in ORAS, SM, and BW. It was banned as a matter of policy as opposed to as a matter of necessity, and it is a policy that not only has a habit of conflating incomparable factors, but one that is also built on top of largely self-defeating and/or otherwise faulty logic imo.

In the current generation of Pokemon, Wobbuffet:
- Continues to lack the ability to directly damage its target, excluding the obvious case of it busting the Dynamax which would be better spent on fuelling an offensive teammate (unlike every other trapper other than Wynaut)
- Continues to be inconsistent vs different archetypes depending on its choice of variant (unlike Scarf Gothitelle/Gothorita and arguably Dugtrio)
- Lacks any way of permanently crippling its target when outright removal is either not possible or otherwise not optimal (unlike Gothitelle/Gothorita (Trick, Thunder Wave etc.))
- Has lost perhaps the best form of second-Pokemon support that it could possibly ask for (Pursuit)

Above I have outlined a number of reasons why I feel that Wobbuffet can't be judged under the same scope as either itself in past generations or other trappers in the current generation--namely the Gothitelle line--and from that line of reasoning I can only conclude that it should be be treated with the same "innocent until proven guilty" philosophy as the entire rest of the pokedex, as opposed to the "guilty until proved innocent" philosophy that this community only ever seems to adopt when someone brings up the term "Shadow Tag". I'll also add that noone has actually provided a valid point against this sentiment itt yet--and no, "trapping bad therefore wobb bad" is not a valid counterpoint here because it misses the entire point.

I am a firm believer that, in cases where an ability's direct effect does not persist past the Pokemon being active (i.e. the difference between field-impacting abilities like Drizzle and individual abilities Swift Swim, Speed Boost or, indeed, Shadow Tag/Arena Trap), users should be assessed on an individual basis. More specifically, if an ability can't persist past a Pokemon's vaccum of activity, the logical conclusion is that the problem must be the combination of options available+ability. As such, short of introducing complex ban*, the only element which is reasonable to address is the user. Flow charts/logic trees that follow similar processes to the one outlined above are, imo, the only way that parallel policy can be designed in a way which is logically consistent across all components in the game due to the fact that they address the issue of definition far better than other approaches, and I feel that cutting out "aimless" subjective steps in policy making (i.e. subjectivity revolving around defining aspects) is the only way to do this.

* Not gonna argue about whether complex bans are appropriate because that is its own kettle of fish that I don't want to open, but I'm in favor of them provided that we have set, carefully defined processes that we use to identify what they are/when they are used.

If it turns out that Wobbuffet does, in fact, pose a problem (after a decision is made about Dynamax, obviously), then it can be just be suspect tested at a later date. I don't understand why this is such a seemingly controversial statement to make, considering that there isn't a single downside to it. And best of all, it is an approach which improves the banlist and mends faulty precedent by increasing the emphasis that is placed on Pokemon-level bans and which doesn't leave a trail of bad+short-sighted precedent in its wake. Or, if you are really worried about its potential impact on SPL/whatever other major is next in line on the Smogon circuit, you could approach it as a re-suspect rather than an exit test, although I don't believe this is ideal because it doesn't provide ample time for meaningful exploration.

Hopefully I did a better job of explaining my view point in this post. I mostly just wanted to start discussions about re-evaluating the approach to policy going forward (which worked, by the way!), and it just so happened that Shadow Tag posed as a very convenient way of doing so+had demonstrated what I feel is exactly the wrong way to address policy just a day or two prior. I didn't want to wait to do it because if I had I would've been left in a position where, by the time I'd gotten around to thinking about it, too much time had passed. This perceived need to rush, alongside a combination of other factors, led to me initially misassessing how I needed to approach this--hence the kinda shitty OP. Though at the same time I do kinda wonder whether anyone would've actually bothered to read it if I'd not been so loud lol.
 

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