Re: King’s Rock (and other “luck items”)

pokemonisfun

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Sorry for the short post but I think if we just defined "considerable" in the tiering policy framework, this could save a lot of headache and make our arguments more consistent. I'm not saying you need to put a # on what "considerable" means, just having a more detailed definition is going to be helpful.


Emphasis added:

IV.) Probability management is a part of the game.

  • This means we have to accept that moves have secondary effects, that moves can miss, that moves can critical hit, and that managing all these potential probability points is a part of skill.
  • This does NOT mean that we will accept every probability factor introduced to the game. Evasion, OHKO moves, and Moody all affected the outcome "too much", and we removed them.
  • "Too much" is if a particular factor has the more skilled player at a disadvantage a considerable amount of the time against a less skilled player, regardless of what they do.
 

Punchshroom

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I think another approach to handling this is to consider how universally applicable the "hax" is. I have less problems with things like Serene Grace, (post weather-nerf) Sand Veil/Snow Cloak, Quick Draw, and Leek, because those abilities & item are only applicable for specific Pokemon and/or are limited by specific conditions, which makes them easier to handle on the spot. If any abusers of these abilities turn out to be problematic, we usually look at the abuser(s) itself rather than the general ability. In cases where those Pokemon start to stack other "hax traits", namely Serene Grace + paraflinch, or Scope Lens + Focus Energy, it starts to feel less like "hax" rather than a deliberate strategy that the mon is working towards. On the other hand, I have more issues with the likes of Quick Claw, Brightpowder/Lax Incense, and Focus Band because damn near everything could use it to similar effect.

From a counterplay perspective, it's also important to assess how practical the counterplay is, or how much the problem strategy outnumbers the counterplay. For example, we have Evasion Clause not only because most of the counterplay (never-miss moves) are too weak to be good counters or can simply be responded to by the right evasion abusers, but also because Double Team can be learned by damn near everything so the evasion user will always have more options than the defender. The same went for Swagger too; everything learns Swagger, and the Swagger user could just counterprep your Swagger answer by running a Swagger mon that beats it. Conversely, we've never touched upon accuracy-drop moves since the counterplay is as simple as just switching out. The more specific hax-enablers, like the aforementioned Serene Grace and friends, at least can be seen coming so you can better position yourself against it, and even more general hax situations like 'paraflinch' needs some effort to be executed.

This leads to my stance on King's Rock overall. While it is a 'general hax-enabler item' like Quick Claw, Brightpowder, and Focus Band, it differs from them in the sense that it has a prerequisite to be useful: the holder needs to be faster than the target. That criteria alone limits the potential users of this item to faster but consequently frailer Pokemon, which can make the list of King's Rock users more vulnerable to practical counterplay options such as priority or status (particularly paralysis, though burn also cripples most of the better King's Rock abusers). Speaking of abusers, Cloyster is more or less the only one even worth worrying about, since it's the only one with a good speed-boosting move as well as guaranteed 5 hit moves that do not make contact. Other King's Rock users do not approach the consistency Cloyster has; Weavile's multi-hit moves have inconsistencies that can be worked around (Beat Up requires a deliberate team structure and none of those mons can be statused/KOed, while Triple Axel is unreliable), Urshifu-Rapid-Strike has infamous issues against contact punishers and fat Water resists, and lol Cinccino, etc.. Even the argument of "King's Rock being an item that has no place in competitive" feels weak when Stench, despite functioning similarly to King's Rock (but does not stack) and has users with multi-hit moves, is left alone because its abusers are not at all noteworthy, proving that we also acknowledge the effectiveness of the abusers when trying to ban something simply for being "uncompetitive".

To me, this feels like a clear case of the Pokemon being the one to break the item, not vice-versa, so tl;dr: King's Rock is not on the same level as general hax items like Quick Claw/Brightpowder/Focus Band (which should be banned) since it's more restrictive and easier to counterplay against, and with Cloyster being the only real problematic user of the item, there feels like there is more basis to ban Cloyster than to ban Quick Claw tbh.
 

Excal

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This leads to my stance on King's Rock overall. While it is a 'general hax-enabler item' like Quick Claw, Brightpowder, and Focus Band, it differs from them in the sense that it has a prerequisite to be useful: the holder needs to be faster than the target. That criteria alone limits the potential users of this item to faster but consequently frailer Pokemon, which can make the list of King's Rock users more vulnerable to practical counterplay options such as priority or status (particularly paralysis, though burn also cripples most of the better King's Rock abusers).
I think this may be trying to imply that potential abusers can't really be slow Pokemon, which is not true at all. Just build around paraspam/webs/slowing down an opposing team then in a general sense it should be feasible. You can make any potential abuser work to some capacity in the builder if you try hard enough.

To me, this feels like a clear case of the Pokemon being the one to break the item, not vice-versa, so tl;dr: King's Rock is not on the same level as general hax items like Quick Claw/Brightpowder/Focus Band (which should be banned) since it's more restrictive and easier to counterplay against, and with Cloyster being the only real problematic user of the item, there feels like there is more basis to ban Cloyster than to ban Quick Claw tbh.
I think this misses the mark completely. I find the conclusion here bizarre because it's clearly the combination of both "breaking each other": Skill Link and King's Rock. Cloyster may be the most obnoxious abuser of King's Rock, but it's not the only one.

I mentioned this before but banning Cloyster rather than the item should not be considered here. I said this in the baton pass thread and I think this holds true here:
W/ old gens I think we should only act if necessary & minimize the impact tiering decisions have there as much as possible.
Banning Cloyster as opposed to King's Rock is a significantly more drastic measure when there is a clear avenue to get rid of an item that is contributing nothing of value to the metagame. Cloyster is a unique Pokemon that provides nuanced strategy and options in the teambuilder; without King's Rock, it is a complete non-issue, and we shouldn't be sacrificing strategic venues in the teambuilder to preserve cheese.

Although I mentioned that the combination of Skill Link and King's Rock breaks each other, in a more general sense it's King's Rock and multi hit moves. I think the abusers of this item we've seen clearly indicate that King's Rock is going to become more and more of an issue as new strategies are found and as new generations of Pokemon arrive. We've seen King's Rock actually be used in SPL in several tiers/gens. It's influencing competition in a volatile, clearly negative way. Regardless of the other luck items, this is by far the most pressing matter to attend to. We should stop analyzing who's breaking whom between King's Rock and BW Cloyster. Ban King's Rock at the expense of nothing and for the benefit of practical metagame balance and improvement.
 
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Punchshroom

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I think this may be trying to imply that potential abusers can't really be slow Pokemon, which is not true at all. Just build around paraspam/webs/slowing down an opposing team then in a general sense it should be feasible. You can make any potential abuser work to some capacity in the builder if you try hard enough.
If you have to work to this extent to 'enforce the hax', it starts to feel less like "cheese" and more like something the King's Rock player actually had to earn. General paraflinch is less effort/more flexible than this anyway.

Banning Cloyster as opposed to King's Rock is a significantly more drastic measure when there is a clear avenue to get rid of an item that is contributing nothing of value to the metagame. Cloyster is a unique Pokemon that provides nuanced strategy and options in the teambuilder; without King's Rock, it is a complete non-issue, and we shouldn't be sacrificing strategic venues in the teambuilder to preserve cheese.

Although I mentioned that the combination of Skill Link and King's Rock breaks each other, in a more general sense it's King's Rock and multi hit moves. I think the abusers of this item we've seen clearly indicate that King's Rock is going to become more and more of an issue as new strategies are found and as new generations of Pokemon arrive. We've seen King's Rock actually be used in SPL in several tiers/gens. It's influencing competition in a volatile, clearly negative way. Regardless of the other luck items, this is by far the most pressing matter to attend to. We should stop analyzing who's breaking whom between King's Rock and BW Cloyster. Ban King's Rock at the expense of nothing and for the benefit of practical metagame balance and improvement.
At the end of the day, I don't really have a problem of "banning for the sake of less collateral"; I'm fully aware banning Cloyster is clearly more drastic than banning King's Rock. As far as I can tell, the only other King's Rock abuser to even approach Cloyster's level of consistency is Swords Dance Beat Up Weavile, though I even came up with some meme shit like "Shell Smash + Beat Up Barbaracle", "DD Beat Up Hydreigon", and "DD Beat Up + Dragon Darts Dragapult" along the way, so I'm not about to entirely scoff at the notion of being afraid of this kind of potential cheese.
 

Finchinator

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Is this a joke thread like most others, or is anything being planned regarding these rng items and abilities, whether to ban or not ban.
Please provide an update.
I have been actively working with both the SS OU and BW OU councils on the topic of King's Rock specifically; progress has been made in both discussions. You will likely see an update in the near future, but please be patient as a lot goes in to these decisions. I can promise that we will be as transparent and efficient as possible if people respect the process. Please let me know if you have any questions, thank you.
 
Not sure if I'm adding anything meaningful to the discussion, but here are some personal thoughts.
  • King's Rock should be banned, specifically because the RNG is too high.
    • On normal mons, this is a situational item because 10% flinch is far too low of an activation rate
      • Flinching past defensive checks may win you games here and there, but is extremely unlikely and rarely worth the opportunity cost
      • On average 2*0.1+1*0.9 = 1.1, which is a fair deal worse than standard power boosting items like Life Orb, Metal Coat, etc. and about on par with Wise Glasses / Muscle Band
    • Beat Up + Multi-hit moves have roughly a 40% - 50% chance to flinch the opponent, which is too much.
      • Defensive checks need to win a coin flip every turn in order continuously check Kings Rock mons
      • On average, damage increase is 1.4 - 1.5, which noticably higher than Power boosting items.
      • Beat Up isn't affected by Rocky Helmet so it avoids traditional defensive counterplay to multi-hit moves
    • Many Pokemon such as Bisharp, Cloyster, Weavile, etc. have access to a boosting move in addition to Beat Up / Multi-hit move
      • Kings Rock Beat Up is more broken than Serene Grace Togekiss / Jirachi because Beat Up has better Type coverage than Iron Head / Air Slash.
      • Kings Rock Skill Link is more broken because it affects multiple different coverage moves rather than one single attack.
  • Bright Powder can be banned, but I don't see it as a huge problem due to its low activation rate
    • Situational item that's best general use case is avoiding a revenge killing attempt from a faster mon
      • Having run this item on a few defensive mons, too much utility is compromised for it to be a worthwhile options over Heavy Duty Boots / Leftovers from my experience
      • May also be really good on a fast mon using Sub since they can fish for misses. In ideal circumstances, the mon in question would have a 35% chance to avoid at least one enemy attack if the move has 100% accuracy
        • There is still a bit of a trade off here if facing a mon that already runs a low accuracy move since no Leftovers means that you can't create a 5th sub
          • EDIT: I f'd up the probabilities, Bright Powder is more likely of evading an attack even with Leftovers.
        • i.e against a mon spamming Fire Blast
          • Leftovers: mon has a 0.4437053125 of hitting every attack if 5 subs are created
          • BrightPowder: mon has a 0.34248830062 of hitting every attack if 4 subs are created
    • Defensive Counterplay isn't limited as much as it would be by a King's Rock flinch
      • Toxic & Thunder Wave can miss, but these moves are already inaccurate
      • Defensive mons can still phase out mon, use Haze, use setup moves, etc.
    • Sand Veil And Snow Cloak should be banned
      • 20% activation rate is the point where I think accuracy checks become a bigger issue.
      • Lets fast mons like Chomp & Frosslass use the sub strat I mentioned earlier to fish for misses, only they get increased evasion & the luxury of running Leftovers.
      • Biggest hurdle to this strat is that Hail & Sand only last 8 turns.
  • Quick Claw should be banned.
    • As I said before, a 20% activation rate is the about the point I draw the line for Items and abilities
    • Against bulky and fast sweepers like Manaphy & Mew, they don't fall down easily to priority, so revenge killing them with one faster mon, or using multiple fast mons to whittle them down into KO range
    • Quick Claw completely destroys these strategies since your revenge killer will just get killed and the bulky setup sweeper will still be in prime condition, putting you in an extremely awful position.
    • Quick Draw + Quick Claw is arguably even more busted since the odds are too high
    • https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1178204763
      • This replay isn't the best since its from the Isle of Armor meta and the opponent seemed to not have Sucker Punch on his Urshifu, but it should give an idea of how busted this combination can potentially be.
 
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Finchinator

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As promised above and alluded to in our new SS OU council minutes, the OU council has continued to discuss this topic. It is important we follow through on matters that are important to our community.

Moreover, our current plan is to hold a council vote on King's Rock in the SS OU metagame later this week. We are keeping this thread open in the meantime in case anyone else has further input on the topic in the same vein that RU and UU did prior to their council votes in this thread recently. Please do note that the vote will only be on the item King's Rock, but other topics discussed in this thread may be discussed more in the future if deemed appropriate.
 

xImRaptor

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Hey, I hope u had a nice day today.

King's Rock


I'm going to talk a little bit about what I think of King's Rock item on current SS OU metagame. I'll go straight to the point: You can only run this item on Pokémon that learn Beat Up or have Skill Link as an ability, now, which Pokémon are viable with this? Beat Up Bisharp/Weavile and Skill Link Cloyster. Now, is there a viable team with any of these (while holding the item) that's actually having an impact on the meta? The answer is just no. Currently, there's no HO team (or something similar to a Cheese team) that's causing an unbalanced impact on the meta that have either Skill Link users or King's Rock users. I think King's Rock it's not broken just because only very few Pokémon can actually abuse this item, and even then, people will usually lean for safer Items as their preference (Heavy-Duty Boots Weavile or Choice Band Bisharp). Only Cloyster could be a real threat with this item, but it's still a very frail Pokémon (specially defensive-wise) that has a very hard time setting up against a great portion of the current metagame. This item can't be banned just because since it's VERY limited to VERY specific situations, and can also force some games to not be as long as they should (Such as the ones we've seen at wcop lol)


Other "Luck Items"

Future Sight and Teleport

Heavy-Duty Boots

Other Potential Suspects


I'll leave this to talk in a few days
 

Shurtugal

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On what grounds can King's Rock be banned? I thought you'd have to prove that King's Rock is broken on everything that uses it, but instead I am only hearing about 1-3 viable Pokemon that can run it, and none of which are overwhelming in current gen OU. It is just scary to me that the council can "council vote" anything they want and ban it, regardless of whether it is actually ban worthy. More often than not, King's Rock is inferior to pretty much any other item option, with the exception of multi-hitting attacks, and even then, you'd either need Beat Up or Skill Link. The number of Pokemon that can make use of this are limited, and even then, the strategy is not consistent enough to be overwhelming. Are there any current gen tournament games we could look at?

Mind you, I don't really mind if King's Rock gets banned; however, I am worried about the precedence it sets. Current gen OU council can bypass a suspect test & can bypass the need for something to be broken in order to ban it? Does this mean we can ban other things that aren't broken? Where would the line be drawn?
 

Apathetic Inaction

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Aspects of a metagame can be banned for being broken, yes, but they can also be banned for being uncompetitive. For example, evasion boosting isn't banned for being broken (you could argue for minimize being broken, but I really doubt you can for double team), it's banned for shifting the balance between a purely skill-based game, where the better player always wins, and a purely rng game, where games are nothing but a coin flip, too far towards the side of rng.

The same can be said of several other bans/clauses: without gen 1's freeze clause I doubt the optimal team would include moves with a chance to freeze on every pokemon: freeze clause doesn't exist because the strategy of fishing for freezes is overpowered, but because in the rare case where you get two freezes it almost completely invalidates the play of your opponent. OHKO moves are probably broken as well as uncompetitive since they close to invalidate stall, but they're banned because clicking a button and having a 30% chance to kill a mon regardless of what your opponent does leads to a more luck-based metagame.

There is a legitimate point that King's Rock is different from other uncompetitive aspects in that it's only uncompetitive on certain mons. I don't think that seriously matters since the only mons you would ever want to use King's Rock on are the mons with the qualities that make King's Rock uncompetitive, but that's certainly something you could disagree on. The best precedent for uncompetitive aspects of a metagame not requiring all their users to be uncompetitive is probably swagger, which from what I understand (which may very well be wrong) it was only really uncompetitive enough to actually be banworthy on prankster pokemon. In that case though swagger is still at least somewhat uncompetitive on its other users, to a far greater extent than King's Rock is on non-multihit pokemon.
 

Finchinator

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On what grounds can King's Rock be banned?
While this is a vote, not necessarily a ban, the argument is that it is an uncompetitive item.
I thought you'd have to prove that King's Rock is broken on everything that uses it, but instead I am only hearing about 1-3 viable Pokemon that can run it, and none of which are overwhelming in current gen OU.
This is not true and there are historic bans on non-Pokemon can be used as rough precedent even. For example, we have banned Sand Veil across multiple generations despite the ability never seeing usage on a number of possible Pokemon with it because it was uncompetitive on the Pokemon that did use it. In addition to this, Soul Dew was banned for the sake of preserving two Pokemon in OU before as well. Finally, Light Clay was banned from lower tiers this generation as an item despite clearly not being banworthy on absolutely everything that used it.

There is nowhere saying every single Pokemon that uses an item has to be banworthy in order for it to be banned. This would contradict a number of past bans.
It is just scary to me that the council can "council vote" anything they want and ban it, regardless of whether it is actually ban worthy.
To make it as abundantly clear as possible, the SS OU council can by no means council vote "anything they want" and we have followed an extensive process to get to this point. The process up to this point is as follows:
  • There have been dozens of posts about King's Rock in our metagame discussion threads over the course of the entire generation
  • I made a thread on this topic independent of the SS OU council and even included mentions of BW OU
  • The thread gained traction and received strong, but not unanimous, support
  • I brought this up in the SS OU council chat
  • We discussed the best way to proceed with people in charge of tiering, including multiple SS members who have past and present experience as TLs
    • Nobody at all believes King's Rock is a topic worthy of a fully-fledged suspect
  • Ultimately, the decision was to bump this thread to announce that we intended to vote, but give people a few more days to void any final thoughts on the matter
We took our time, we consulted the community, we made sure there was support, we approached the proper authorities, and we were fully transparent throughout the process. If you still believe this is an abuse of our power and us being able to council vote on "anything they (we) want", then by all means make a separate thread to discuss how you believe the council should function. I do not believe this thread involves any misusage of the council given what I outlined above. And speaking strictly as an individual (not on behalf of the entire council), I find your concerns to be genuine, but misguided.
Mind you, I don't really mind if King's Rock gets banned; however, I am worried about the precedence it sets. Current gen OU council can bypass a suspect test & can bypass the need for something to be broken in order to ban it? Does this mean we can ban other things that aren't broken? Where would the line be drawn?
Council votes have plenty of precedence, especially when going hand-in-hand with related PR threads. As I alluded to in my prior post announcing our intention to vote, this happened as recently as a week ago with UU and RU council voting to ban Light Clay. Notice how that thread -- like this one -- had a thorough discussion with both sides presenting their opinions, had the councils notifying the public they intended to vote, and culminated with council votes. We are doing the exact same thing here, but there was even more time and discussion on this topic here. Any issues with the process oriented precedent have no place in this thread and should be addressed in general elsewhere.
 
During our process of discussing the King's Rock vote internally, I ended up writing a little analysis on on the damage distribution of multi-hit moves 'boosted' with King's Rock. By popular request I am sharing this doc here, for the interested reader. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments. I will probably re-attach / reference this when we end up taking our vote and posting our thoughts. Enjoy!
 

Attachments

Hipmonlee

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Just cause I am not very smart, is what you are saying, that if you outspeed your opponent and attack with a 2-5 hit move, without skill link, and your opponent had infinite HP then you increase the ratio of damage dealt to damage received by 1.694 on average?

And assuming your opponent is 3hkoed its 1.49 times?

Because, that is, quite frankly, pretty amazing.
 
Just cause I am not very smart, is what you are saying, that if you outspeed your opponent and attack with a 2-5 hit move, without skill link, and your opponent had infinite HP then you increase the ratio of damage dealt to damage received by 1.694 on average?

And assuming your opponent is 3hkoed its 1.49 times?

Because, that is, quite frankly, pretty amazing.
Yes, though you need to have skill link. The calculations I did are particularly for the case where you have 5 chances per attack to flinch with King's rock. You could however, easily adjust it by modifying the p and q values which govern the distribution (i.e. for a full beat up, you could use p = 0.9^6). If you wanted to consider multihit moves without skill link, then p itself would have a probability distribution which would make it a bit more complex but still entirely possible to analyze.

Of course, there is also a large variance, but it's tricky to fully realize the implications of that unless you start looking at the average total damage across a very large sample size (which would have a normal/gaussian distribution characterized by the calculated mean and variance). For our case, it's more practical to look at the distributions where you 2hko or 3hko everything, especially as King's Rock is almost exclusively paired with set-up.
 

suapah

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Thanks to everyone for participating in the discussion! As Finch alluded to in his previous post in this thread, the OU council had a council vote on King's Rock. With that, here are the results from the OU council's vote on King's Rock:
suapahBAN
FinchinatorBAN
talahBAN
TPPBAN
xrayDO NOT BAN
FlamingVictiniDO NOT BAN
imaDO NOT BAN

Reasonings for each person's vote:
I am voting ban, but it is something i thought about a bit because it has been more fringe.

cloyster and king's rock are not as common as they once were, but after experiencing it being a main option on HO and seeing it on occasion now on ladder (albeit sporadically), that's what swayed me.

there are item choices that give you the ability to increase damage output or increase longevity which give you tangible ways to break opposing counterplay or increase your own counterplay, right. but this is an active choice a player makes to nullify that counterplay through sheer chance. there is nothing more to it. sure, there is a degree of rng/odds management, but there is no real way to combat the % flinch chance for each hit.

that makes me feel like it creates an uncompetitive dynamic. i do not believe we need to litter the banlist with random things even if they may be banworthy by principal, but i have seen enough of this theory being applied in practice to be ok banning kings rock from ss ou rn
king's rock is an element of the game that is used purely to create situations that would not be possible under normal gamestates. i believe such elements are inherently uncompetitive, as they are wildly inconsistent in both application and counterplay, with no reliable way to counteract it while playing against it despite it having probable changes to immediately swing games in ways that should not occur. the question of whether or not existing abusers that can be categorized as 'broken' exist is a misguided one; it is, by nature, an element of the game that disregards building and playing skill, and it does so frequently enough to be worthy of a ban. i simply see no positive to keeping such an element a part of the metagame.
I'll vote to ban King's Rock

My largest issue with it is that it turns defensive counter play into a chance to be counter play. By that I mean when you want your bulky water/steel type to check something like Cloyster, they're not guaranteed to work solely due to King's Rock + multi move abusing RNG to break past them. Every mon in the tier should have some form of offensive and defensive counter play, and I believe King's Rock pushes its users past an acceptable threshold. While maximizing odds such as setting up a paralyzed mon before attacking it with a move to flinch is generally advised, King's Rock doesn't require as much set up to have its devastating effect. All it takes is the item slot and then require the user to have a multi hit attack (skill link or beat up). In the case of Cloyster, which is capable of boosting it's speed, it forces players to rely on defensive pokemon such as Toxapex to attempt to handle it. However, King's Rock giving Cloyster a rather sizable chance to break through Toxapex anyways is a common story and I believe it does this while at a very small opportunity cost compared to other power boosting items such as Choice Band and Life Orb.

Choice Band can allow Pokémon to suddenly 2HKO or even 1HKO opposing threats they normally couldn't KO, but this comes at the cost of being locked into a single move, and this is punishable as the opponent can send in a Pokémon that resists or makes use of the move the Choice locked mon used. Life Orb lowers the longevity of its users and can force recovery moved to be used more often, or at least, minimizes the overall number of times that Pokémon can attack in that game. With King's Rock, the downside to using it is incredibly small (occupies the item slot) and it provides such a tremendous upside (the chance to flinch through any and all defensive counterplay). While it may only be a chance, this still takes the control out of both players' hands and rewards whomever happens to be more fortunate with RNG. The amount of skill required to successfully pull off a sweep with Cloyster is not that high, but the completion of the sweep is largely affected by RNG rather than skill.
Just going to keep my thoughts relatively simple. When deciding which way to vote, I didn't hold any particularly strong opinions. Like what FV and xray mentioned in their posts, there doesn't really exist any immediate broken / top tier abusers of King's Rock. That fact alone made it difficult for me personally to fully agree with a ban initially.

However, after further thinking, I realized my stance more closely aligns with the sentiments talah made. As a general rule of thumb, I have always felt that "RNG" items such as KR/Bright Powder and abilities (like sand veil) that pretty much only exist to change RNG (differs from other moves where secondary effects may offer some sort competitive benefit) detracts from overall competitive metagame while virtually offering not real net positive besides increasing RNG rlly shouldn't exist. Ultimately at the end of the day, I believe we should be less concerned about the "broken abusers" aspect of King's Rock and focus on eliminating proponents of the metagame and rather we should strive to create a metagame that reduces elements that strictly limits gameplay to chance scenarios. For this reasoning, I'll be voting BAN.

Personally I’m not in favor of banning it, though i am a little bit on the edge. I think there is a significant enough opportunity cost to using kings rock (prevents you from using other valuable items, and as a result may mean you have less flexibility / utility overall or force you to take lines that are not favorable probability wise due to lack of damage boosters), and this outweighs the fact that it opens up new ways of breaking for fast enough mons with multihit moves. but i do think this is also partly because the main abusers in cloyster and weavile (please tell me if there are any other relevant ones, i've seen bisharp but that seems quite niche) in particular benefit hugely from other items.

It's a bit tricky because there are so few effective abusers that it's a little tough to separate the item itself from those. Pokemon using King’s Rock need to have skill link or beat up essentially, and also must be either naturally fast or have a way to boost their speed / paralyze the opponent. This is already incredibly limiting. The top abusers rn, Cloyster and Weavile, can also find themselves significantly missing the value of other items like HDB, Sash, White Herb, etc. Also, I recognize that King’s Rock is basically only used in combination with-setup, but I have to point out that it’s raw value as a damage multiplier is not *that* good. In the case where you only need one flinch to 2hko a Pokemon, the performance is strictly worse than Choice Band, with less expected damage and huge variance. For two flinches to achieve a 3hko, the EV is slightly higher than choice band with again high variance. In the limiting case it is indeed quite powerful (EV = 1.694, Var = 1.174) but this is unrealistic for actual Pokemon gameplay. Not to mention due to the reliance on flinch mechanics, there can be many other issues like priority, abilities, speed tiers, or even limited turns due to status / weather / other game state.

I think its clear King’s Rock by itself is not broken, and its raw merit in its best case scenarios is certainly good but nothing that screams uncompetitive. Given this, to me this means when judging whether to ban King’s Rock or not, I’m really considering whether I find it uncompetitive on its best abusers. For me this is clearly a no. While arguably the best option for Cloyster it has other very significant item choices, and Cloyster by itself has numerous flaws. For Weavile, there is a similarly huge opportunity cost for not using Boots on SD (or just using Band as it has similar/better raw damage output of King’s Rock) and also for having to run Beat Up. Overall I also don’t really think King’s Rock is a problem in the metagame or in the general scope of competitive Pokemon. Yes, I agree that having your Cloyster counter get flinched down is very annoying and frustrating. However, I think this is just part of the game, and the flinch chance provided by KR is not good enough to make it uncompetitive.
Kings Rock is obviously an item which fishes for odds. However, I think that this is not necessarily a negative aspect at all. Pokémon is all about managing these odds well and minimizing the odds against you, while maximizing those in your favor. I personally do not think that this item provides anything more related to that than other moves or items such as Bright Powder or Thunder Wave. Using Kings Rock can not only be a punishment for yourself if it doesn't work, it also is only really seen on Cloyster since Weavile usually doesn't want to give up on its item. In addition to that, the metagame is very well suited against Cloyster itself. Bulky water types are everywhere and usually get multiple chances to avoid flinches and there is also a decent amount of other mons to revengekill Cloyster. Cloyster is only really viable on a single style of team (Heavy Offense) and often struggles to even get setup.

Kings Rock is an aspect of the game and (to me) in no way broken or overwhelming. While it does rely on maximizing the odds in your favor, the amount of factors that need to go together for it in order to sweep are low enough. I do not think that any action needs to be taken.
so after reminiscing the time when FV used a kings rock cloyster to flinch like 5 of my mons in OST, I really considered voting ban just because of how annoying that item itself is. I'm not going to vote on anything I don't thoroughly research though, so here are my thoughts:

When you look at it this way, the main abuser of King's Rock (Cloyster) is already on the backbone just by using this item because of how the meta is right now. They would need to overcome hazards, and find the perfect time to set up (which is hard in some cases, but if you have some sort of team like memento/encore + cloyster its definitely easier). Weavile is another potential abuser of this item, but also suffers the same fate albeit worse, seeing that it would 100% benefit way more from an item such as boots, choice band or even wide lens (for triple axel). I haven't seen Bisharp with kings rock yet but its intrigued me a bit, though I think it would definitely have an easier time using something such as a berry, band or even life orb.

Now that we got the main abusers out of the way I wanted to look at the bigger picture. Inherently, I do not think that King's Rock is broken as an item itself. There's priority, weather, hazards and so forth that you can apply to any game that hinders Cloyster or any other abuser alone. I might be repeating FV a bit when I say that but I genuinely do not believe the item itself is broken. However I don't think that is really the argument at bay here; it's whether or not King's Rock is deemed noncompetitive or not. When you put it into the bigger picture, I can understand why you could say it's not competitive at all -- you rely on this item through sheer chance, and that's it. Despite that, I really don't think that justifies it enough to say that King's Rock should be banned. When I took a look at FV's PDF of King's Rock, in the grand scheme of things despite relying on the flinch mechanics to save you from the game you also have to take multiple other things into account, which in most scenarios, the odds of this item actually taking control of your game are actually lower than you'd expect. I wanted to say this though real quick -- I do think eventually, an ability such as Sand Veil should be discussed and this topic should be revisited (re: Evasion) as I think that the more this current metagame progresses the more problems we will see with veil Chomp and stuff of the sort. I don't want this to be the end of all evasion / luck based items in general but as the meta is right now I don't really see the justifiable reason as to why King's Rock should be banned right now.

Since the votes were split 4-3 and the voting % is under the standard OU ban threshold of 60%, King's Rock will REMAIN UNBANNED in OU! This thread will remain opened for discussions of King's Rock in other gens. For the SS OU side, expect an updated survey + council minutes thread within the near future.
 

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