Pokemon specific bans in OU

Let me put it like this: why do you think people don't ban certain moves on certain characters in fighting games?
Because you can only enforce that with a very observant referee or by hacking the game. You can ban a Pokemon move by just having an impartial referee check the teams once, rather than having to watch the whole battle like a hawk. (Shoddy can of course do it automatically).
 
The problem is that we're trying to implement an arbitrary tiering system to 'balance' a game which wasn't created with balance in mind.

As soon as we define what can be allowed where, people will experiment and eventually come up with 'the best' sets. This means that very quickly in every metagame, you start to see certain pokemon rising to predominance. (Scizor, Blissey, I'm looking at you >_>)

The thing that I find funny is that if there was no tiering/banning system at all, and people were free to play any and all pokemon with any and all legal moves, of COURSE people would be using the more powerful pokemon that we've banned to the Ubers, and we'd see a lot less use from the pokemon which aren't quite on par with them.

The problem then is that the top 10 or 20 pokemon in ANY metagame become the pillar around which the metagame functions. They set the standard for teams and will appear on most of them.

Banning them or handicapping their movesets doesn't change this phenomena. It just means that the 'next rung down' become the new elites and centralise the metagame. Sure, the metagame changes dramatically, but it doesn't fix the problem, just replaces old pokemon which were the most powerful in the metagame with new ones.

As we look further down the ladder of power scaling, we see that the power differences become smaller and smaller, until down in the UU tier we've created, we see a much MORE balanced metagame, owing simply to the fact that the pokemon in it are largely of comparable ability. You still have the metagame centralisation factor, but it is greatly reduced because the pool of 'top' pokemon is that much wider, spreading from 10 to 20 that see frequent use, to 30 or 40 that see frequent use. This lends itself to a more diverse metagame and greater potential for balance.

It is STILL imperfect, however. Obviously we can never HAVE a perfect system since a caterpie is never going to be able to compete with TTar or Scizor. Just not gonna happen. I think in terms of finding the most diverse 'top' set of pokemon (which is all a tiering system can really do) Banning everything OU and up is the way forwards.
 
Would you take issue with utilizing Pokemon specific bans alongside the suspect process for Generation Five?
Only if it compromised the efficiency of the process. Honestly I think that the whole voting thing is just too inefficient. It;s nice to have a say in things but when it takes over a year to come to a decision on one suspect, it;s just too much. I would prefer if some council just picked what was standard, similar to what aeolus outlines in this thread, If the council wanted pokemon specific restrictions, on moves, levels, EVs IVs or whatever, I wouldn't really mind
 
Personally I would love to band pretty much every single Platinum move tutor move. Get rid of that Iron Head Jirachi crap, Outrage on Mence...Platinum screwed up a lot of the metagame.
 
The suspect testing wasn't spun out just because it's a public vote. The "supermajority or two successive majority votes" thing extended it badly. It could have been done in one month of testing and a vote if people had wanted, but the testing team wanted to be more thorough, test Pokemon on their own rather than all suspects together, and so on.

@Instinctive: Maybe you should try and promote a pure DP revival?
 
Personally I would love to band pretty much every single Platinum move tutor move. Get rid of that Iron Head Jirachi crap, Outrage on Mence...Platinum screwed up a lot of the metagame.
In words of one syllable or less:

Yes. Plat fucked over a lot of stuff and made it more centralizing than need be.
 

Jumpman16

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If you'll notice, we're tending towards a council type suspect process in 5th gen, simply for practical reasons. We don't want to spend 2+ years again determining the metagame. This council will be making all decisions on experience based theorymon. We will play, and make decisions on that theorymon. Theorymon is obviously not 100% free of an arbitrary element, regardless of experience time.
To be clear, we are implementing this Council system in the interests of increased practicality, but this doesn't have much to do with reducing the actual time spent finalizing the Gen 5 tiers. The reason it won't ever take two years again has much more to do with the fact that "we" took a full six months to arrive at a definition of uber in the three Characteristics, and bounced around many different testing methods that best allowed our users to be genuinely involved in the tiering process. Even if we were sticking with this traditional process it would take much less time (~8-9 months if I had to guess) because this Gen IV Suspect Test Process was very much a pilot we all had to trust would take us to some eighth continent none of us knew the whereabouts of, experiencing many bumps and "stoppages for fuel" along the way.

But in case anyone here has forgotten or hasn't thought about it, I'll make a few "objective" comments. The Platinum Tutors and Level Up moves have had a great impact on how long this test has ultimately taken. If it weren't for the Outrage tutor, we would be testing the Clauses right now instead of Salamence, which only started to really use the move in October 2008, a full two months after we learned of the Platinum move tutors (literally doubled in usage September to October). If it weren't for the Trick Tutor, Latias would very comfortably be in OU still, a statement that's still objective as I'm basing it on the 3-5 Suspect paragraph submissions of every single Uber voter. We wouldn't have had to use another month sorting out the curious case of Latias, even if Latios would have been more borderline.

Latios and Latias were of course branded Suspects well before Platinum came out, so ultimately tiering them accurately would have been impossible thanks to late developments. Salamence is the more drastic case, as it did not gain its "Suspect" move until October 2008, and had to gradually grow into that suspicion in much the same way Latias did for the entire calendar 2009 year. In addition, current #1 Scizor and #3 Salamence have been greatly impacted by the Platinum Tutors—roughly 70% of the latest Top-10 (Scizor, Salamence, Latias, Rotom-A, Metagross, Gengar, Jirachi) has been very positively impacted by the release of a later game, a release with ramifications not fully realized until a year later in some cases. This is going to happen in every single Generation no matter what we try to look out for because metagame adaptation takes months, not weeks.

And the Council won't be making any decisions on theorymon, though when you say "experience based theorymon" it seems like a complete oxymoron to me so I doubt you really meant theorymon as most of us define the word.

edit: yeah, Instinctive knows what's up
 
I'm referring to theorymon simply as the science of pokemoning, not as it is sometimes used in the predictive sense.

So, not "Draco Meteor will be useless imo" but "we've played with salamence for 2.75 years, without salamence for (eventually) a month, and we think banning salamence will improve the metagame for years to come because it will both increase team building diversity by allowing people to not focus so intently on checking it and improve long term thinking skill in battles by reducing the significance of short term 50-50 decisions."

I know theorymon is used by people for predictive statements but I don't really have a term for discussing the "science of pokemon."

Which is why I usually just stick to experience based theorymon.
 
Well, this type of ban may sound good on paper, but if these suspects are allowed to be banned this way, what about others? Such as Gyarados banned with Dragon Dance, Infernape banned from having Fire Blast, Close Combat, Grass Knot and HP [Ice] on 1 moveset, etc. To what extend will this end?

Furthermore, as the leading community of Pokemon battling, I feel like this type of ban would be too hard to follow as a "standard metagame rule". No one really want to use a list of rules that has 30 billion specifics needed to be stated before a battle.
 
I don't think many pokemon have a sigle move that tiers its anyway. For example even if you wiped out half of Mewtwo's reasonable movepool with bans it still would be uber. Not a good uber but still uber never the less.
 

TheValkyries

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Well, this type of ban may sound good on paper, but if these suspects are allowed to be banned this way, what about others? Such as Gyarados banned with Dragon Dance, Infernape banned from having Fire Blast, Close Combat, Grass Knot and HP [Ice] on 1 moveset, etc. To what extend will this end?

Furthermore, as the leading community of Pokemon battling, I feel like this type of ban would be too hard to follow as a "standard metagame rule". No one really want to use a list of rules that has 30 billion specifics needed to be stated before a battle.
That's a bit extreme considering Gyarados and Infernape aren't broken even with those moves. If you're going to make a slippery slope argument at least make a better one than that.

You're second argument is also rather ludicrous. It'll really only end up being a handful of bans, and once you know what they are it'll be very easy to navigate around them.


I also fully agree with SJCrew and Efermera in this thread. I really have nothing to add in that regard.
 
I find this entire discussion to be almost hysterical. I've read approx. 60% of the thread, but I haven't seen any mention of this being suggested before. There were quite a few threads requesting that Garchomp not be allowed to to use Yache berry during its banning process, and every thread was subsequently locked before reaching a second page.

I believe the responses were "because yache berry isn't broken, Garchomp is." It seems as though proposals or opinions in this forum aren't about the quality of the idea, but rather who suggests them.
 
Opinions of the moderation staff, and prevailing views, are not constant. If repeated "Just ban Garchomp from holding Yache" threads were being made and being locked, it's likely that the matter had been thrashed out, maybe in PR or even on IRC. Or it may be that those posts should have been somewhere else, or were considered "too late".

I was a bit surprised that the "Do we really need the Uber tier" thread was left open though. It's developed well, but I for one was somewhat confused by the OP.

I don't doubt, however, that the mods hesitate before locking a thread if it's started by a respected member. But I don't hold that against them, it stands to reason, especially when it's a topic the mods aren't themselves experts on (how many of the Stark Mods are suspect testing people for example?)
 
Mean Look+Sleep Move+Perish Song. The combination is banned. I don't see why people are so objective-driven here to why we can't just ban random stuff that are deemed too broken.
Also, for a more recent (4th Gen) example, move combinations gotten from the Transform/Mimic glitch are all not currently implemented and banned under the justification that Pokemon with those moves could simply be denied entry into battle. With that being the case, I wouldn't really have much of a problem with something similar being done in individual cases, as the same basic logic/justification would apply.
 

PK Gaming

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But in case anyone here has forgotten or hasn't thought about it, I'll make a few "objective" comments. The Platinum Tutors and Level Up moves have had a great impact on how long this test has ultimately taken. If it weren't for the Outrage tutor, we would be testing the Clauses right now instead of Salamence, which only started to really use the move in October 2008, a full two months after we learned of the Platinum move tutors (literally doubled in usage September to October). If it weren't for the Trick Tutor, Latias would very comfortably be in OU still, a statement that's still objective as I'm basing it on the 3-5 Suspect paragraph submissions of every single Uber voter. We wouldn't have had to use another month sorting out the curious case of Latias, even if Latios would have been more borderline.

Agreed.

Doesn't it feel wrong that we can't do anything about these changes? Platinum is very well integrated into our metagame and even if were to go *pure* DP, there are some pokemon who greatly benefited with these changes without being broken. It's damn shame because I won't be the first to say, I'd liked using Latias.
 
Let me put it like this: why do you think people don't ban certain moves on certain characters in fighting games? The moves are part of the fighter and essentially make the fighter what it is. As far as a competitive level is concerned, Pokemon are nothing more than stats and numbers on a screen. Altering those stats and numbers changes the Pokemon itself and that's completely outside of our jurisdiction. We're playing competitive Pokemon, not "Smogon's version of Pokemon".

For example, we have Phione, the completely watered down version of Manaphy that's not even viable in standard UU play. It's about exactly the same, minus the moves or stats that made Manaphy broken...oh wait, that's exactly what Manaphy is.

Some may say, "Well, we can just draw the line at moves, right?"

Nope. We already have a standard set for ourselves here at Smogon, which is to remain faithful to the game mechanics. This ensures that we're still playing competitive Pokemon rather than our own game, and sets a reasonable line for us not to cross in the policies we implement. This is the main threshold that shouldn't be crossed.

Basically, if we ban ANY aspect of a Pokemon inherent to the Pokemon itself, we are no longer playing competitive Pokemon, we're just changing the game. We should not be able to do that because it goes against the very essence of competitive Pokemon, which is the Pokemon themselves. I believe that crossing this threshold compromises the integrity of the game we play, and leads to an entirely different product, invalidating all the time and effort we've spent over the years to ensure that this would not happen.

Writing general rules that apply to all aspects of competitive play (like evasion clause, OHKO clause, banning certain Pokemon from standard) is quite alright as far as I'm concerned, but getting specific is crossing the line, and is more of an indicator that the Pokemon itself should be banned rather than the move.
As RBG is fond of saying, 'we can control what comes into battle but not how the battle goes'. We can control what's allowed in one's party / team without crossing the mechanics line. An example of this is disallowing Soul Dew on one's Pokémon. Another example is the tradebacks we banned as a result of the Mimic phenonemon. Yet another example is what MoP cited (the GSC move ban). Getting specific is, yes, an indication that the Pokémon is possibly broken, but getting specific may allow us to stop that Pokémon from being broken -- if we can ban something, shouldn't we ban the least extreme thing?

ETA: Hidden Power on legendaries? Naxte beat me with specifics. As you can see, while this is a unique approach, it's certainly not unprecedented in its entirety.
 

Destiny Warrior

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Before anything else, I have to think those kind souls who create these kind of threads in Stark Mountain rather than Policy Review. Thanks a bunch people, at least here, some of the non-PR people who aren't absolute morons can comment. Of course, you do get the weirdo or two, but still.

The biggest problem with Pokemon specific bans is that you're altering cartridge mechanics in a way unlike other bans. For example, the tiers might be considered a violation of cartridge mechanics since they can't be enforced on wifi, but they are more of an honour code like the Sleep clause, and generally, more acceptable to everybody, since they ban a Pokemon in entirety, rather than a set(ignoring whiners obviously).

On the other hand, if we go ahead in banning specific things, it isn't likely to end very soon. At first, you'll ban stuff like Outrage on Mence, but soon, we will reach a metagame which is completely different from something achievable on the cartridges. Majority of the clauses are honour codes(and its no point arguing about them here), which were invented to attempt balancing a specific metagame. If we were to go for Pokemon-specific bans, we have to test these clauses(note: only related ones), since they may not be necessary any longer.

For example, hypothetically banning Spore on Breloom leads to a necessity to test Sleep Clause(council or otherwise, I'm not in a position to comment about that), which will take at least a month(basing off Jumpman's post). And when 5th gen comes out, we need to do a complete overhaul, retesting a lot of things. For example, say we got a 103 base Speed Ice-type with excelllent Defense and Special Attack Stat. We have to do a retest of Garchomp to see if it is not broken in the new metagame. It might even steeply drop to BL, just because it lost Outrage/SD/whatever you want to ban on it, when it might have been able to much better pre-specific ban(which will also have to checked by the council, prolonging things even further). I don't think we really want a metagame where things are nerfed to the point that they can be used, just for the sake of using them, since it is a honour code which seems worse than our clauses, which seem to actually serve a specific purpose.
 
I'd welcome this move, I'll say the pokemon who have been made suspect, should be the ones to be looked into and see what needs to be banned to make them balance for the metagame we are playing in right now. It has been done befoe in the GCS metgame, why not here? But we need to think what set/item/move made them to be so dangerous in the first place, it could be nothing to do with moves/items, their raw stats are too powerful no matter what we ban.

In salamence's case Outrage, noone would dare to label mence as uber pre-platinum.
Latias would have to be trick
Garchomp hmmm this is kinda hard, what did make Garchomp broken? Swordsdance or yache berry. To be honest if i remember we allowed garchomp happily in OU for quite a while until the yacheset started becoming popular and was such a pain. I'd say yache needs to go off chomp.
 

Skymin_Flower

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Also, for a more recent (4th Gen) example, move combinations gotten from the Transform/Mimic glitch are all not currently implemented and banned under the justification that Pokemon with those moves could simply be denied entry into battle. With that being the case, I wouldn't really have much of a problem with something similar being done in individual cases, as the same basic logic/justification would apply.
The Mimic/Transform Glitch is a completely different situation. This glitch allows Pokemon to have any 3 moves, including moves they would normally be unable to learn, plus one of their own egg/level-up/tutor moves. If this glitch were implemented, it would break the metagame beyond reason. To a certain extent, GameFreak limits the movepools (I mean to the extent of not giving Shedinja Endeavour/Shadow Sneak combination, Ninjask Taunt/Stealth Rock, stuff that would be insanely broken) of Pokemon, so that they are *kind of* balanced. I think that this whole ban move X or item Y on Pokemon Z is ridiculous. I can see this getting completely out of hand. Like many posters before have said; The manpower and time this would take to determine which items and moves should be banned on certain Pokemon would be enormous. It takes quite a long time to even decide if a Pokemon as a whole is too over-powering to be banned. One move would just take way too long. Then there would be clamouring for "We need to test Pokemon Z without move X". It would just be madness IMO.
 
The Mimic/Transform Glitch is a completely different situation. This glitch allows Pokemon to have any 3 moves, including moves they would normally be unable to learn, plus one of their own egg/level-up/tutor moves. If this glitch were implemented, it would break the metagame beyond reason. To a certain extent, GameFreak limits the movepools (I mean to the extent of not giving Shedinja Endeavour/Shadow Sneak combination, Ninjask Taunt/Stealth Rock, stuff that would be insanely broken) of Pokemon, so that they are *kind of* balanced. I think that this whole ban move X or item Y on Pokemon Z is ridiculous. I can see this getting completely out of hand. Like many posters before have said; The manpower and time this would take to determine which items and moves should be banned on certain Pokemon would be enormous. It takes quite a long time to even decide if a Pokemon as a whole is too over-powering to be banned. One move would just take way too long. Then there would be clamouring for "We need to test Pokemon Z without move X". It would just be madness IMO.
...Which is pretty much the point. All moves gained from the glitch are banned, because certain combinations gained from it could potentially be game-breaking. Note what you're saying though. They're banned because they're game-breaking; in other words, "Uber." It's the exact same logic here, just as I said in my first post. If moves gained from the Transform glitch can be banned for being potentially broken, then so can any other move combination. Yeah, the Transform glitch is a glitch, but that doesn't change the fact that the logic being used to justify the ban doesn't really rely on it being a glitch, but that a judge could stop players from using movesets deemed invalid before the match. As long as this is so, there's precedent enough to extend this to other movesets and the like, if we so decide to.
 
It's actually a rather good idea to at least consider the possibility of specific bans. What it really comes down to is whether or not we would like to play with a Pokemon that has been limited down to a certain status.

I mean, it's not like we can't do it. Implementing the rule is beyond easy. It's just if it is necessary. Is it really? Do we really need to ban Garchomp from using hold items just so we can use it in OU or take away Outrage from Salamence so it doesn't leave the standard metagame?

In essence, it comes down to what the benefits are. If it isn't broken, don't fix it. Likewise, there's no point in making OU regulations on Ubers Pokemon so we can use them in OU if there is no benefits in doing so. Doing it just for the hell of it isn't a wise choice.

However, it is quite possible to do. Fighting games do it and those games have tiers just as Pokemon does. Take Super Smash Bros Brawl, for example. Metaknight, the top character in the game, cannot perform a certain technique that is done using his down-b attack. It is a game-breaking technique, and thus banned. Additionally, many feel that Ledge Grab Limits were put in place to make sure Metaknight couldn't camp a stage's ledge and win the game by stalling or abusing his already-powerful air game.

There's no reason why we can't do it. The real thing is if we truly need to.
 

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