Re: Hail and Slush Rush in SS NU

Finchinator

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Recently the SS NU tiering council voted to ban Slush Rush with a strong majority of support. In short, Hail teams featuring Slush Rush users such as Sandslash-Alola and Beartic proved to be very threatening, limiting teambuilding and invalidating certain archetypes.

This ban created a unique situation where Sandslash-Alola was (practically) relegated directly to NUBL due to both of Sandslash-Alola's abilities being banned thanks to this and OU banning Snow Cloak. Players from other communities wished for the ban to be discussed further than just the NU council due to it impacting their tiers as well with Sandslash-Alola effectively being banned.

Ultimately there were a few options for NU:
  • ban Slush Rush
  • ban Sandslash-Alola
  • ban Snow Warning
The NU council and playerbase believes that the approach of banning Slush Rush was the best for their metagame and proceeded accordingly. The reasoning for this ban included Slush Rush limiting offensive counterplay to Hail abusers as revenge killing these Pokemon with Hail up was seldom possible and the fact that there were multiple users of the ability causing trouble rather than a single abuser to isolate and ban.

Going off of that, Beartic became a staple on Hail teams with Slush Rush and had limited counterplay, causing major headache for offensive teams and forcing one of a limited pool of checks/counters. Sandslash-Alola was the more consistent of the two due its Swords Dance set and better typing, but banning it alone would have left Beartic Hail in the tier and there were many complaints about this among the playerbase. We did not believe banning Sandslash-Alola alone, thus leaving Slush Rush and Beartic unbanned, would have been a sufficient solution.

NU had previously banned Snow Warning, but this took place in a very different metagame that included things like Aurora Veil and different counterplay to Slush Rush users. As it stands, Aurora Veil with Light Clay is no longer in the picture and, given the aforementioned points, Slush Rush abusers were proving to be too problematic. Snow Warning users such as Vanilluxe are not seen as problematic alone and actually provide valuable offensive presences to the tier when not paired with the problematic Slush Rush users. Given this, we did not feel the circumstances were similar to the past and we did not believe Snow Warning itself was the right ability to target here.

Ultimately, banning Slush Rush does effectively remove Sandslash-Alola from PU and below, but this is not the responsibility of the NU council and similar outcomes occur with tier shifts every few months. The intent of the NU council was to better its own metagame, not limit metagames below it, but the former took precedence over the latter in our eyes. With this said, the ban created a unique set of circumstances that understandably prompted discussion among players of those metagames, so we thought a thread would be appropriate to discuss proper handling of this situation.
 

Togkey

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Recently the SS NU tiering council voted to ban Slush Rush with a strong majority of support. In short, Hail teams featuring Slush Rush users such as Sandslash-Alola and Beartic proved to be very threatening, limiting teambuilding and invalidating certain archetypes.

This ban created a unique situation where Sandslash-Alola was (practically) relegated directly to NUBL due to both of Sandslash-Alola's abilities being banned thanks to this and OU banning Snow Cloak. Players from other communities wished for the ban to be discussed further than just the NU council due to it impacting their tiers as well with Sandslash-Alola effectively being banned.

Ultimately there were a few options for NU:
  • ban Slush Rush
  • ban Sandslash-Alola
  • ban Snow Warning
The NU council and playerbase believes that the approach of banning Slush Rush was the best for their metagame and proceeded accordingly. The reasoning for this ban included Slush Rush limiting offensive counterplay to Hail abusers as revenge killing these Pokemon with Hail up was seldom possible and the fact that there were multiple users of the ability causing trouble rather than a single abuser to isolate and ban.

Going off of that, Beartic became a staple on Hail teams with Slush Rush and had limited counterplay, causing major headache for offensive teams and forcing one of a limited pool of checks/counters. Sandslash-Alola was the more consistent of the two due its Swords Dance set and better typing, but banning it alone would have left Beartic Hail in the tier and there were many complaints about this among the playerbase. We did not believe banning Sandslash-Alola alone, thus leaving Slush Rush and Beartic unbanned, would have been a sufficient solution.

NU had previously banned Snow Warning, but this took place in a very different metagame that included things like Aurora Veil and different counterplay to Slush Rush users. As it stands, Aurora Veil is no longer in the picture and, given the aforementioned points, Slush Rush abusers were proving to be too problematic. Snow Warning users such as Vanilluxe are not seen as problematic alone and actually provide valuable offensive presences to the tier when not paired with the problematic Slush Rush users. Given this, we did not feel the circumstances were similar to the past and we did not believe Snow Warning itself was the right ability to target here.

Ultimately, banning Slush Rush does effectively remove Sandslash-Alola from PU and below, but this is not the responsibility of the NU council and similar outcomes occur with tier shifts every few months. The intent of the NU council was to better its own metagame, not limit metagames below it, but the former took precedence over the latter in our eyes. With this said, the ban created a unique set of circumstances that understandably prompted discussion among players of those metagames, so we thought a thread would be appropriate to discuss proper handling of this situation.
worth mentioning Aurora Veil is still legal, but Light Clay is not. This post was much-needed for many thanks Finch

finch edit: I edited to fix wording, thanks bud!
 

Dorron

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This is what happens when OU bans affect every other tier automatically. Why can't councils decide if they want to keep something unbanned instead of having to deal with decisions none of them had a slight chance to discuss? They should at least have the chance to ask their community and like a whole week to decide if they also want to ban whatever is being banned in a higher tier.

I agree that most of the time, they will agree unanimously, but the slight chance of situations like this one are enough for me to change the current system. I don't think asking lower tiers councils nor making a thread to discuss it for any tier in which the affected mechanic is viable takes a lot of time, 90% of the times the answer will be clear.

I don't know why or when lower tiers transitivity was implemented, so tell me if this breaks any unbreakable sacred holly rule.

Edit: when I say OU in the first sentence, I wanted to mean any tier affecting tiers below it in general, nothing specific against OU.
 
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Going off of that, Beartic became a staple on Hail teams with Slush Rush and had limited counterplay, causing major headache for offensive teams and forcing one of a limited pool of checks/counters. Sandslash-Alola was the more consistent of the two due its Swords Dance set and better typing, but banning it alone would have left Beartic Hail in the tier and there were many complaints about this among the playerbase. We did not believe banning Sandslash-Alola alone, thus leaving Slush Rush and Beartic unbanned, would have been a sufficient solution.
This is very interesting assumption of Beartic being by any means alone an issue to NU metagame. Now council is purely assuming that Beartic would create some sort of unbalanced and unhealthy metagame due to its ability with slush rush. Looking at the current stage of NU tournament wisely there is zero big or more seriously taken tournaments up and running right now. The only tournament running right now is first seasonal of circuit and I find this as a perfect opportunity to test Beartic in practice instead of going as extreme as to ban entire ability and affect tiers below. Beartics biggest flaw is absolutely it's poor speed tier paired with its godawful typing. Under slush rush it hits either 398 (adamant) or 436 (jolly) max speed, which is in practice outsped by every scarf users in the tier. Base attack 130 doesn't look too threatning alone when we are talking about a tier where 135base attack scrappy user called Sirfetch'd or guts user called Machamp is basically picking kills all day long thanks to their better speed tier and better movepool.

I would like to see deeper/better explanation to Beartic, if you guys don't mind. An actual proof that Beartic really is in practice as stupid as its given to be wouldn't hurt either.

e: if your concerns are defensive answers being limited, I have hard time not to see Araquanid, Vaporeon, Poliwrath and Colbur Jellicent to not be proper answers in first place by quick look of calcs w. adamant life orb and having access to SD + plausible 4 attacking moves (icicle crash, superpower, throat chop, aqua jet.

In nutshell: give beartic (or in other words: slush rush, but keep A-Slash ban) suspect as a bottom line
 
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Finchinator

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This is very interesting assumption of Beartic being by any means alone an issue to NU metagame.
It is not an assumption whatsoever and you do not know what you are talking about if you believe it is one. Beartic has been common for weeks on Hail teams.

Now council is purely assuming that Beartic would create some sort of unbalanced and unhealthy metagame due to its ability with slush rush. Looking at the current stage of NU tournament wisely there is zero big or more seriously taken tournaments up and running right now.
The second biggest NU team tournament all year long is happening right now and we are deep into it. NUSD II has been huge for Beartic and Hail teams in general. Last week alone we saw four Hail teams and a bunch of reactive balanced teams because everyone is hard-pressed to check this strategy

The only tournament running right now is first seasonal of circuit and I find this as a perfect opportunity to test Beartic in practice instead of going as extreme as to ban entire ability and affect tiers below.
We largely banned it when we did to avoid it ruining the circuit or playoffs of NUSD. We had a ton of playerbase complaints and a near unanimous council. This was not extreme. If anything, it was a week or so late on our part. Your perception is incorrect and there are gaps in your knowledge of the situation.


Beartics biggest flaw is absolutely it's poor speed tier paired with its godawful typing. Under slush rush it hits either 398 (adamant) or 436 (jolly) max speed, which is in practice outsped by every scarf users in the tier. Base attack 130 doesn't look too threatning alone when we are talking about a tier where 135base attack scrappy user called Sirfetch'd or guts user called Machamp is basically picking kills all day long thanks to their better speed tier and better movepool.
Neither of those fighters has an ability making it twice as quick. Scarf users outrunning does not help when there are only a couple of viable ones and teams with them largely get picked apart. You do not see net-positive sequences from offenses relying on scarfers to RK Beartic.
 

Rabia

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This is very interesting assumption of Beartic being by any means alone an issue to NU metagame. Now council is purely assuming that Beartic would create some sort of unbalanced and unhealthy metagame due to its ability with slush rush. Looking at the current stage of NU tournament wisely there is zero big or more seriously taken tournaments up and running right now. The only tournament running right now is first seasonal of circuit and I find this as a perfect opportunity to test Beartic in practice instead of going as extreme as to ban entire ability and affect tiers below. Beartics biggest flaw is absolutely it's poor speed tier paired with its godawful typing. Under slush rush it hits either 398 (adamant) or 436 (jolly) max speed, which is in practice outsped by every scarf users in the tier. Base attack 130 doesn't look too threatning alone when we are talking about a tier where 135base attack scrappy user called Sirfetch'd or guts user called Machamp is basically picking kills all day long thanks to their better speed tier and better movepool.

I would like to see deeper/better explanation to Beartic, if you guys don't mind. An actual proof that Beartic really is in practice as stupid as its given to be wouldn't hurt either.

e: if your concerns are defensive answers being limited, I have hard time not to see Araquanid, Vaporeon, Poliwrath and Colbur Jellicent to not be proper answers in first place by quick look of calcs w. adamant life orb and having access to SD + plausible 4 attacking moves (icicle crash, superpower, throat chop, aqua jet.

In nutshell: give beartic (or in other words: slush rush, but keep A-Slash ban) suspect as a bottom line
Finch already explained why much of this post is fallacious, but I also want to note how much of the counterplay you list is really awful. Araquanid is quite niche and gets OHKOed a good bit of the time after hail chip, and Poliwrath/Jellicent are literally absent in the tier (and were even before the ban!). Even your claim about poor Speed is pretty misleading because you seem to just be ignoring that Slush Rush more than makes up for that issue when comparing it to other similar wallbreakers.
 

czim

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I don't really play NU so this is more of a question than anything. Is there any evidence that justifies Beartic being broken in a meta without Alola-Slash? I looked at replays and I haven't seen teams that rely on solo Beartic like semi-hail teams that have only Slash. Only way I can see of justifying a ban as wide as Slush Rush would be if banning Slash-A wasn't enough, so I get why this looks messy for some people.
Just to add, I find it personally weird to tackle Slush Rush because it isn't like Chlorophyll/Swift Swim, where if you ban one abuser, there's another one a bit worse that does pretty much the same thing and would keep the archetype alive. If you ban Slash there's no other (fully evolved) Slush Rush mon to fill in the gap which would pretty much guarantee that dedicated Hail teams would be nuked.
Again, I don't play NU so this is more me trying to actually understand what caused that decision than anything else. Thank you for reading!
 
It is not an assumption whatsoever and you do not know what you are talking about if you believe it is one. Beartic has been common for weeks on Hail teams.
I am more than aware of NU meta game and been actively playing for entire year. Beartic being common is mainly, if not only bcs it's "match made in heaven" with alolan-sandslash thanks to their abilities to spam slush rush together. Beartic alone creating this sort of unbalanced metagame is something I cant imagine at all.

The second biggest NU team tournament all year long is happening right now and we are deep into it. NUSD II has been huge for Beartic and Hail teams in general. Last week alone we saw four Hail teams and a bunch of reactive balanced teams because everyone is hard-pressed to check this strategy

We largely banned it when we did to avoid it ruining the circuit or playoffs of NUSD. We had a ton of playerbase complaints and a near unanimous council. This was not extreme. If anything, it was a week or so late on our part. Your perception is incorrect and there are gaps in your knowledge of the situation.

Neither of those fighters has an ability making it twice as quick. Scarf users outrunning does not help when there are only a couple of viable ones and teams with them largely get picked apart. You do not see net-positive sequences from offenses relying on scarfers to RK Beartic.
It is last week of preseason. You will lock the metagame regardless to playoffs in case suspect goes live. Lets not act like that wouldnt be the case. Looking at the replays, Beartics usage is only 50% under hail teams meanwhile A-Slash has very modest 100%. Its fair take (in later point) that theres not too many scarfers that would outspeed A-Slash. Beartic (if jolly) is outsped by base 85 and faster and Nu as a tier has plenty of them and two of them (Toxicroak and Heliolisk) are immune to priority. Not to mention special toxicroak w. vacuum wave prio without scarf is a thing too. Unless you guys are calling this thing irrelevant and bad as well. I would rather still give community an option to adapt to the new meta game that A-Slash leaves behind :mehowth:. Teams in general relies too much speed controlling field w. Talonflame (Sabella-Confide w.6 NUSD game is prime example) instead of having scarfers/prio spams to actually cover faster teams.

Is it also too early to question Arctovish's reasoning to stay banned and not be unbanned/relooked in case you are not considering to relook your latest take regarding Slush Rush.
 

Tuthur

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Ultimately there were a few options for NU:
  • ban Slush Rush
  • ban Sandslash-Alola
  • ban Snow Warning
Reading the rest of your post and other posts made by NU players, I think this premise is inaccurate. As someone who doesn't play NU but followed the whole hail thing due to it directly impacting my main tier, I think the real choices were:
  • ban Slush Rush, Alolan Sandslash, and Alolan Sandshrew
  • ban Arctovish, Beartic, and Alolan Sandslash
  • ban Snow Warning
NU can't act like banning Slush Rush is just an ability ban when it effectively removes two Pokemon from other tiers. The first option is definitely better than the second one, because it allows PU and NU to use Arctovish and Beartic which are much more relevant than Alolan Sandshrew. However, it is not necessarily better than last one, Snow Warning used to be banned over Arctovish, and the tier had no more problem with Hail teams. As far as I know, NU tried to reverse this non-Pokemon ban with a Pokemon ban to better fit to the tiering policy, so it would make sense to assume the Hail issue could be fixed solely with a Snow Warning ban which would avoid two Pokemon ban while keeping one non-Pokemon element ban.

I see one reason for keeping Slush Rush banned over Snow Warning, let me know if there is another. It preserves relevant tactics in NU and PU turning some Pokemon viable and allowing for Aurora Veil gimmicks. So Snow Warning is actually a more restrictive ban than Slush Rush for NU. Since NU council shouldn't care about PU and unofficial tiers like ZU while taking decisions, it makes sense for it to have chosen it. However, I don't believe this premise should be followed to the letter, imo, a council should take into account consequences on other tiers when they have the opportunity to. I don't think preserving niche options in one lower tier is worth removing prominent elements in even lower tiers. I think NU should have at least talked to PU council or Tier Leaders before taking this ban to see what consequences banning Slush Rush or Snow Warning had on PU. NU council isn't forced to take the decision preferred by PU, however it sucks to completely ignore other official tiers.

Also I have to agree to some extent with czim and tlenit, if banning Arctovish + Alolan Sandslash is enough to keep Hail balanced in NU, the best would be to only ban those two as, even if we ignore Alolan Sandshrew, banning one Pokemon is always better than one non Pokemon element. In my opinion, NU has to suspect test on Beartic quite soon to prove that a non Pokemon ban was necessary.
 

Finchinator

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I don't really play NU so this is more of a question than anything. Is there any evidence that justifies Beartic being broken in a meta without Alola-Slash?
No, that metagame does not exist and this has never been a necessary burden of proof (or else dozens of other non-Pokemon bans would have been handled differently and drawn out far more).

On a plethora of different occasions, we have banned the non-Pokemon elements from our metagames when confronted with multiple problematic abusers. If it was just one broken Pokemon with Slush Rush, then we absolutely focus on the singular Pokemon, but that’s simply not the case here and to imply otherwise would be implying that a near unanimous council was incorrect in their assessment of their metagame.

The confounding variables here with Beartic existing in a supposed non-Alolan Sandslash space are moot. Beartic has been assessed for its place in the metagame with Hail support as an individual Pokemon and the counterplay was still deemed to be too thin after lengthy discussion. It is true that Sandslash-Alola helps, but Beartic also helps for it — just like any other teammate — and you have no grounds for claiming a specific order of operations that has no precedent and would largely stall metagame developments with no ultimate changes.
I am more than aware of NU meta game and been actively playing for entire year. Beartic being common is mainly, if not only bcs it's "match made in heaven" with alolan-sandslash thanks to their abilities to spam slush rush together. Beartic alone creating this sort of unbalanced metagame is something I cant imagine at all.
Not sure what to say beyond the fact that I disagree with this assessment and believe Beartic has been a large part of the issue, not just a complimentary piece. My council and community agree as well. I am sorry you feel this way and you could have spoken up about Beartic’s relative neediness and ineffectiveness in the public metagame discussion thread when the opportunity was there.
It is last week of preseason. You will lock the metagame regardless to playoffs in case suspect goes live. Lets not act like that wouldnt be the case.
This is getting egregious.

You can’t just say there are no big NU tournaments going on, refute clearly present metagame developments, and then call two months of players slaving away at the builder, creating better Hail teams, and then clearly being forced to overcompensate or losing outright “preseason” or ignore it altogether. We have had a large sample size of a major NU tournament with massive community and council support. You cannot sweep that under the rug. The fact that your first post forgot about the tournament and ignored these developments altogether was a major red flag and this doubling down is not ok.
Is it also too early to question Arctovish's reasoning to stay banned and not be unbanned/relooked in case you are not considering to relook your latest take regarding Slush Rush.
We plan to unban it once this thread is sorted, yes.

Tuthur where is there any precedent or tiering policy saying NU has to take the consequences on PU and below into consideration when doing what is best for our tier? The consequences on those tiers did not impact our decision and there is no reason it should. We do what is best for NU just like OU did what is best for OU with Snow Cloak.

I will gladly respond to the rest after work, but that premise in your post is inaccurate.
 

S1nn0hC0nfirm3d

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I am more than aware of NU meta game and been actively playing for entire year. Beartic being common is mainly, if not only bcs it's "match made in heaven" with alolan-sandslash thanks to their abilities to spam slush rush together. Beartic alone creating this sort of unbalanced metagame is something I cant imagine at all.



It is last week of preseason. You will lock the metagame regardless to playoffs in case suspect goes live. Lets not act like that wouldnt be the case. Looking at the replays, Beartics usage is only 50% under hail teams meanwhile A-Slash has very modest 100%. Its fair take (in later point) that theres not too many scarfers that would outspeed A-Slash. Beartic (if jolly) is outsped by base 85 and faster and Nu as a tier has plenty of them and two of them (Toxicroak and Heliolisk) are immune to priority. Not to mention special toxicroak w. vacuum wave prio without scarf is a thing too. Unless you guys are calling this thing irrelevant and bad as well. I would rather still give community an option to adapt to the new meta game that A-Slash leaves behind :mehowth:. Teams in general relies too much speed controlling field w. Talonflame (Sabella-Confide w.6 NUSD game is prime example) instead of having scarfers/prio spams to actually cover faster teams.

Is it also too early to question Arctovish's reasoning to stay banned and not be unbanned/relooked in case you are not considering to relook your latest take regarding Slush Rush.
As a NU council member and ZUTL, I can say with absolute certainty that banning Slush Rush was the correct coarse of action. Even though ZU is a madeup fairy tale tier, we absolutely used Slush Rush users just as much, if not more, than NU. This is to say that I was totally aware of the repercussions of banning Slush Rush in NU; Alolan Sandslash was S tier in ZU! And lastly, anyone in NU would tell you that I’m the go-to hail abuser, and it’s my full hail team that’s seen in tours where Beartic sees the most legitimate use. Hopefully that modest introduction will give weight to my explanation for the ban.

Slush Rush is 100% the most broken aspect of hail. Doubling a wallbreaker’s Speed for no setup is ridiculous. Now I shouldn’t say completely no setup as you do require a Snow Warning user to get in the field, but auto-weather in low tiers is almost never balanced. When tiering hail, the NU discourse in-and-out of council chats has always been what to ban, and this discourse is over a year old. Yes, we’ve been dealing with hail bans for over a year, and the general consensus now is to: 1) ban the most broken elements of the weather, and 2) use the least amount of bans possible. Over time, we’ve had multiple bans regarding hail, but now we only need one. Banning Slush Rush is a single ban that completely addresses the core problem with hail teams whilst preserving Pokemon like Vanilluxe, Aurorus, Abomasnow, and Arctovish for lower tiers.
Sand teams aren’t as popular in NU’s current meta, but if that changes and Sandslash + Lycanrock end up being broken, then we can go from there. For now, sand isn’t a concern,

Here’s a post I wrote last march about hail, and I’m almost certain this is post is mentioning Beartic for the first time this gen in an NU NP thread. My concluding words: “How many more nerfs to hail do we need to show that it's not worth the hassle and that sweepers are still going to be a problem? Ban the ability and wash your hands with the mess that is hail.” This philosophy holds true today.

I don’t think it’s fair to assume Beartic could be balanced when we already know Slush Rush is broken itself. Yes, Beartic was only used on full hail, but that’s just because we had Alolan Sandslash. Guess what; Alolan Sandslash used to only be used on full hail, but that’s because we had Arctovish. Semi-hail Beartic is entirely possible and is more likely unbalanced than fair. Here’s a semi-hail team that went 3-0 in NU snake and had some good tour use like a win in this year’s NU circuit poffs. Replace slash with bear and keep getting dubs.

We shouldn’t theorymon here when we know for certain Slush Rush is the broken aspect of hail. When it comes to tiering transtivity or whatever it’s called / asking low-tier TLs about upper-tier bans, I think that’s worth a different thread entirely. Feel free to hmu if you want another history lesson of hail… would that make me a historian or weatherman? Hmm. Maybe just a nerd :P
 

czim

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ZU Circuit Champion
On a plethora of different occasions, we have banned the non-Pokemon elements from our metagames when confronted with multiple problematic abusers. If it was just one broken Pokemon with Slush Rush, then we absolutely focus on the singular Pokemon, but that’s simply not the case here and to imply otherwise would be implying that a near unanimous council was incorrect in their assessment of their metagame.
That's the thing though, there really aren't multiple abusers to worry about. If you ban Slush Rush or Sandslash-Alola, you're banning Sandslash-Alola regardless. Since both decisions mean Slash-A is getting the boot, can't we assume that you guys technically want it gone and focus on what's left? Beartic losing Slush Rush just seems like unjustified needless collateral in what seems like an "overkill" tiering decision.
I know the ban of Slush Rush also means that Arctovish could be freed, but is it worth the ban of an ability and the collateral of banning Sandshrew-Alola? I don't know but it doesn't seem correct.
 

Finchinator

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That's the thing though, there really aren't multiple abusers to worry about. If you ban Slush Rush or Sandslash-Alola, you're banning Sandslash-Alola regardless. Since both decisions mean Slash-A is getting the boot, can't we assume that you guys technically want it gone and focus on what's left? Beartic losing Slush Rush just seems like unjustified needless collateral in what seems like an "overkill" tiering decision.
I know the ban of Slush Rush also means that Arctovish could be freed, but is it worth the ban of an ability and the collateral of banning Sandshrew-Alola? I don't know but it doesn't seem correct.
Let me try to make this clearer since I think we may not be on the same page and that’s ok because this it a unique topic.
We believe Beartic is problematic with Slush Rush in the metagame. We believe Sandslash-Alola is problematic (more than Beartic) with Slush Rush in the metagame. We do not believe either Pokemon is problematic in NU without Slush Rush. Because both Pokemon are problematic with the ability, handling the ability rather than banning both individually is the proper tiering decision. It has been done in many similar situations previously, it saves precious time conducting multiple suspects, and it received heavy support from our playerbase and council.

Banning Sandslash-Alola still leaves Hail teams with Beartic, which has been an integral member of them and forced the hand of many balanced and bulky-offensive structures to be very limited (in a similar fashion to Sandslash-Alola). I agree Sandslash-Alola is the stronger presence, but we would be doing our vocal community a disservice by ignoring their complaints and setting the metagame back a period of time by coming up with a partial solution to a larger problem by just banning Sandslash-Alola.

The presence of Sandshrew-Alola and the unbanning of Arctovish did not factor into our decision. The former is not something we see in our metagame and we have no obligation to tier on behalf of other metagames. The latter is a welcome addition, but not something we prioritize in tiering.
 

Tuthur

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Tuthur where is there any precedent or tiering policy saying NU has to take the consequences on PU and below into consideration when doing what is best for our tier? The consequences on those tiers did not impact our decision and there is no reason it should. We do what is best for NU just like OU did what is best for OU with Snow Cloak.
I never said there were precedent, I am just sharing my opinion on what I think optimal tiering should be. I thought the lack of precedent of a similar case was the reason why this was posted in PR. If someone could name instances of other time where a lower tier had the choices between banning two different elements allowed in an even lower tier, I would be glad, otherwise I'd like this thread to set precedent for next time such a thing happens.

When it comes to tiering transtivity or whatever it’s called / asking low-tier TLs about upper-tier bans, I think that’s worth a different thread entirely.
Your post and Finchinator's one lead me to wonder what's the goal of this thread. The ban announcement in the NU NP thread already provided the explanations given in this thread and even if I missed it, I could just have asked in the SQSA thread, so I would like to know why this thread is in PR forum and not in NU subforum. As you said NU doesn't care about PU and ZU, so why did you, Finchinator, invite PU and ZU forum moderators to reply to it, what answers did you hope to get?
 

Specs

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Weather is not easy to tier (especially this gen), I definitely resonate with that

My one question is if it isn't actually known that Beartic-only hail is broken then why was it caught up in the vote and eventual ban

The combination of the two abusers is broken. Sandslash-Alola on its own has proven to be ridiculous. There is a piece missing here and it's evidence of Beartic being too strong on its own on hail.

Its just a bit confusing why posts about Beartic alone on hail are being ridiculed so much, its a perfectly reasonable question that is relevant to the conversation

I don’t think it’s fair to assume Beartic could be balanced when we already know Slush Rush is broken itself.
Without even a couple replays of Beartic-only hail I just can't get behind this, I don't think your line of reasoning works without it. Even just putting Beartic on that team you posted and posting some replays of getting really easy wins would work, instead of saying it would without posting any proof

I trust the NU community and councils opinion on this all, just hoping to clarify what people are asking for here

Related: If what S1nn0h says is true, that banning Slush Rush is 100% the best option and there aren't any better ones in NU because the ability itself is simply that broken then yeah I would love a thread about getting rid of lower tiers transitivity. Hail abusers are just simply not an issue at all down in PU and if we would be able to keep Beartic with Slush Rush and maybe potentially Sandslash-Alola if it doesn't catch on to the NU ladder enough to rise that would be sick. This would also allow NU to make the best decision for their tier in their minds without it affecting the tiers below them (which is not my entire angle here just to be clear)

Your post and Finchinator's one lead me to wonder what's the goal of this thread. The ban announcement in the NU NP thread already provided the explanations given in this thread and even if I missed it, I could just have asked in the SQSA thread, so I would like to know why this thread is in PR forum and not in NU subforum. As you said NU doesn't care about PU and ZU, so why did you, Finchinator, invite PU and ZU forum moderators to reply to it, what answers did you hope to get?
I can answer this, the general procedure for talk of Item/Abilitiy (more "complex" lol) bans is to have a PR thread, because it affects a good bit of tiers below. This ban happened without it, I and some others had talked with both meri and Finch and this thread was set to drop. Their goal (and mine) is to just have an open talk here about the now banned ability, and here we are. Even if they "don't care" about the tiers below this is just how it should go and I appreciate them making it
 
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Togkey

Ashley
is a Tiering Contributor
I'm not sure the nicest way to put this so I won't even try; we do not care, and should not care, about the effects an action made to better the NU tier have on lower tiers. If your issue is tier transitivity, go to a different thread and complain. Regardless, Alolan Sandslash being banned due to technicality is only 50% NU's doing anyway, don't forget the Snow Cloak ban made in OU, a tier with no remotely viable Snow Cloak users; why don't you go whine over there instead?

As for alternative actions that could have been made, such as banning 4 different Pokemon when the ability is what enabled them to be broken anyway, it was never about the stats behind the Slush Rush abusers. The issue with Slush Rush comes with the unchecked, zero commitment speed control that only accentuates the incredible breakers such as Freeze Dry Vanilluxe and Abomasnow, who can together overwhelm common Ice checks such as Vaporeon or Tlenits imaginary Poliwrath (bringing up shitmons to justify broken stuff really comes across as uninformed, Avalugg beats Zygarde so it must be balanced!). Finch and Rabia clean up these questions pretty well which leaves me not too much to say but a lot of posts in here seem to think Beartic is just plain garbage even while under Hail and is simply a backup plan to Alolan Sandslash which is just not true. Beartic is significantly more powerful than Alolan Sandslash, has respectable bulk, and great coverage, and although it is slow, even in Hail, it still outspeeds every non-Scarfer in the tier and Scarf Passimian, while capable of eating hits from Scarf Rotom-Mow and Heliolisk (Heliolisk is quite bad rn!). Another abuser who was already banned due to Slush Rush being broken is Arctovish, who can now be unbanned from NU and is just another example of how a Slush Rush ban is simply a 1 in 3 coverage. For everyone clamoring to just ban Alolan Sandslash; there would be complaints of it being taken from lower tiers regardless, and I know y'all aren't using Beartic even in ZU that thing sucks, and Alolan Sandslash is not broken without Slush Rush and in fact would have had a pretty cool niche as a Spikes setter, Snow Cloak being banned isn't our fault lmao.

edit: I only mean to come across as as rude as others in this thread >:)
 
I think how this issue and thread has been addressed is a shame. I know you will not care about my post or anything else (because you do not care about other tiers or anything else, as I am reading here) but I think that how you answered some of these above posts was really disrespectul. I agree with some points in each band, and I think anyone that is rational would do it too. But a discussion like this is completely useless. I would recommend you to close this thread as soon as possible before being more shameful.
 

Finchinator

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I think how this issue and thread has been addressed is a shame. I know you will not care about my post or anything else (because you do not care about other tiers or anything else, as I am reading here) but I think that how you answered some of these above posts was really disrespectul. I agree with some points in each band, and I think anyone that is rational would do it too. But a discussion like this is completely useless. I would recommend you to close this thread as soon as possible before being more shameful.
Every single shift there is a chance UU takes something from RU, RU from NU, NU from PU, etc.

Every single time something is banned from UU, there is a chance that it leads to a Pokemon from RU or even NU being eventually taken to compensate or because it’s now better. Same goes for RU to NU or NU to PU.

This is no different.

Construing that as me not caring about PU, a tier which I play in many tournaments of, advocated for the inclusion of in multiple official tournaments as recently as last month, and care about the community of is what is disrespectful.

I opened this thread upon request and I defended the decision of my council because that’s my job. And our decision was absolutely backed by precedent and the tiering guidelines. But because this is such a unique circumstance, I am happy to let people argue as such and present my case. I am also happy to defer to tiering administration to make the final call if they see a change fit because this does involve multiple tiers.

But where I draw the line is you guys slandering me and my council for acting within our right. Tlenit spreading misinformation and then disregarding a things that are outright facts and you calling us disrespectful for trying to open a dialogue that may help you is downright unfair.
 
Tlenits imaginary Poliwrath (bringing up shitmons to justify broken stuff really comes across as uninformed, Avalugg beats Zygarde so it must be balanced!). Finch and Rabia clean up these questions pretty well which leaves me not too much to say but a lot of posts in here seem to think Beartic is just plain garbage even while under Hail and is simply a backup plan to Alolan Sandslash which is just not true. Beartic is significantly more powerful than Alolan Sandslash, has respectable bulk, and great coverage, and although it is slow, even in Hail, it still outspeeds every non-Scarfer in the tier and Scarf Passimian, while capable of eating hits from Scarf Rotom-Mow and Heliolisk
I know right, adapting to meta changes must be from some sort of imaginary world. Calling Poliwrath shitmon and not knowing how much it can actually provide with its typing and ability must be tough when we re spamming barely ranked Beartic. My posts in the first was all about to understand the NUs point of view to all of this. Im entirely talking about NU and its meta game as i have been part of it and know it in and out. Not that i have been most verbal and put my thoughts out publicly that much (except private talks) and to be fair, your outcome doesnt sound like NU welcomes new faces. I do appreciate Finchs fast responds and i might come back to them when i have more time. Posting just to be the dick yourself sounds weird to me, but you do you, enjoy your weekend at least!
 
i had assumed that the largest point of contention between NU and ZU over this ban was the loss of Sandslash-Alola, one of the tier's few good steel-types (disclaimer that I don't play the tier so this could be inaccurate). Hail with Sandslash-Alola in NU is broken; there is a small pool of viable Pokemon that answer hail well. The list tlenit provided is mostly mons that aren't NU viable, and one of the ones that is, Araquanid, can easily lose to Rock Slide Slash-A which became common a week or two ago. This means that being reliable against hail is very hard, severely restricting NU teams in the builder. I tried a lot of things out but the only teams I felt good against the hail sweepers with used one of Vaporeon, Snorlax, or Scarf Salazzle (which is outright worse than normal Salazzle in 90% of matchups outside of the surprise factor). This means that Slash-A had to go either way, whether we banned the ability or the mon.

Is Beartic hail broken by itself? Who knows lol, probably not -- but do we really need to carve out an exception for it? Beartic was a C-rank Pokemon in the ZU VR. I made a hail team in PUWC and can confidently say that this strategy would suck there with only 1 sweeper, particularly when it is as slow as Beartic is. Another weather setter, Gigalith, is S/A+ rank, and there are plenty of bulky waters, Ferroseed, and Scarfers that outspeed the bear. Why the hell does it matter if Beartic is usable in PU/ZU or not? It wouldn't be worth using to a significant degree anwyays.

If Sandslash-Alola could be preserved, I would understand the chagrin among ZU players that lost a defensive backbone of their tier. Unfortunately it really can't be under Smogon's tiering system; as a sole sweeper it is still very strong in NU due to its ability to outspeed most common Scarfers, so we (the NU community) campaigned hard for it or Slush Rush to be banned. There have been successful hail teams that use Slash-A as the only hail sweeper.

tl;dr: we are sympathetic to yall that we had to ban Slash-A: we know it was important to ZU but Slash-A hail was broken in NU and the NU council is obligated to make the tier the best that it can. but who cares if we save beartic, who would be unviable as a solo hail sweeper and was C-rank in ZU before the ban? why are we discussing an unviable mon this much? lol
 

Togkey

Ashley
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I know right, adapting to meta changes must be from some sort of imaginary world. Calling Poliwrath shitmon and not knowing how much it can actually provide with its typing and ability. My posts in the first was all about to understand the NUs point of view to all of this. Im entirely talking about NU and its meta game as i have been part of it and know it in and out. Not that i have been most verbal and put my thoughts out publicly that much (except private talks) and to be fair, your outcome doesnt sound like NU welcomes new faces. I do appreciate Finchs fast responds and i might come back to them when i have more time. Posting just to be the dick yourself weird to me, but you do you, enjoy your weekend at least!
I was hoping it wouldn't come to people defending Poliwrath in NU of the year 2022 yet here we are. I'm fully aware of what my friend Justin :poliwrath: can do; checking Blastoise, Vaporeon, Glastrier, Scrafty, Drapion, and more. A tier already struggling to deal with many other potent breakers and potentially broken Pokemon was overwhelmed by an easy-to-pilot playstyle that was dominating the tournament scene (one of which you just failed to acknowledge for some reason) and so the council did their job and acted accordingly. You fully knew what NU's intent behind this ban was, as it was explained in grave detail by multiple figureheads of the community and also should be quite obvious to anybody who has actually played the tier during the past couple weeks. Unfortunately when my tier and friends are met with hostility I may reciprocate that back to the community firing it, but have a great weekend yourself.
 
On phone so i wont bother to use the "reply" thingy to respond both, to expulso and togkey;
Dont get me wrong expulso, i do agree with a-slash ban, but beartic alone under hail is something i cant see being too much. Togkey, thanks, will absolutely enjoy it! Just like you pointed urself, its viable. Sounds like u guys have then more other broken elements based on ur respond that u and ur friend in ur tier needs to take into account, but thats entirely irrelevant to this discussions so i would recommend to focus on topic, cheers buddy
 

Lily

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Here's a quick reminder from tiering policy as someone completely uninvolved with any of NU/PU/ZU:

A higher tier does not have to consider the tiers below them when banning anything. We (UU) banned Arctozolt earlier this gen when it was what, ZUBL? and rightfully did not really give a shit about its relevance in RU or below. NU is completely free to ban both Alolan Sandslash and Beartic as they please and the tiers below them.

This thread is not to discuss counterplay to Beartic or Snowslash or whatever. It is a policy review thread, not NU Metagame Discussion. The sole intention of this thread is to figure out whether or not it is appropriate for NU to ban Slush Rush as a result of having minimum three broken abusers of it, or whether they should ban those abusers themselves. We should not be seeing any more mentions of shit like Poliwrath in here.
 

Togkey

Ashley
is a Tiering Contributor
On phone so i wont bother to use the "reply" thingy to respond both, to expulso and togkey;
Dont get me wrong expulso, i do agree with a-slash ban, but beartic alone under hail is something i cant see being too much. Togkey, thanks, will absolutely enjoy it! Just like you pointed urself, its viable. Sounds like u guys have then more other broken elements based on ur respond that u and ur friend in ur tier needs to take into account, but thats entirely irrelevant to this discussions so i would recommend to focus on topic, cheers buddy
when a tier is overwhelmed with broken stuff something is typically done about it, sorry it had to be the option that affected whatever tier you play. I fail to see how that's irrelevant to the discussion seeing as you are wondering why a particular action was made in the first place, but I have a feeling everything being said here is going in one ear and out the other so I won't be responding to you anymore

Thank you to Specs, Turthur, Czim and others for holding an actual conversation with actual weight behind it, basically second to what Expulso said I'm only somewhat familiar w ZU/PU but ik the tiers are actually hurting from the loss of Slash and I think your suggestions for alternative actions should legit be considered, such as just banning Slash and Arcto (although imo what was done already was the right action)
 

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