Metagame SS OU Metagame Discussion Thread v7 (Usage Stats in post #3161)

Honestly, I don't have much to say about the top 40 that most other people haven't already said. I agree that all of them have a good reason being in this general area (maybe Mew is overly generous, but that's it) and I think all the observations of other have been fairly spot on. As such, I thought I'd take a look at the "also-rans": those that saw some notable degree of usage but wouldn't quite hit OU if this month actually had a tier shift. Looking at a handful of mons from 41-80, I'll be discussing which of these mons are trash best left on the outskirts and which might deserve at least a bit more usage.

Why use this, exactly?
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Regeleki (42)
: The consensus appears to be that Regieleki is the token noob mon of the tier right now- and I can't argue with that assessment. The abundance of Ground types, plus its utility being blanked by one of the best mons in the tier automatically put Eleki at a disadvantage, its Specs set in particular being too easily walled to be good. Eleki is pretty much limited as a screen setter on HO teams (an archetype that is not exactly dominating right now) with Spin and Volt Switch or Explosion, but even in this role it is outclassed by multiple mons. Koko provides Taunt, unblockable pivoting in U-turn and Terrain to prevent sleep, Grimmsnarl's Prankster guarantees it'll get at least one screen off and it packs Prankster Taunt and Spirit Break to further weaken special attackers, and Alolatales only needs one move to set while also packing disruption like Encore and Hypnosis alongside passive Hail chip. When you're a suboptimal part of an already niche playstyle, you have no business seeing this level of usage.

Pelipper & Barraskewda (47 & 58): Rain has had an uphill battle all gen thanks to the loss of Mega Swampert, who was able to serve as both Swift Swim user and necessary Electric immunity; Barraskewda may be pretty strong, but its lack of defensive utility forces additional team slots that teams might not be able to give. Weather in general has just been rather suboptimal this gen. Sand is pretty much the only weather that has seen an consistent success in OU, and even that's pretty much been whittled down to Setter + Excadrill. Maybe the pair can grant some success, but the days of full weather teams may be over for now.

Chansey (48): Seriously, less-good Blissey made it to 48? Chansey is really only usable on dedicated stall teams, and even there you might be better off with Bliss since it has the option to ignore hazard chip. OU has no shortage of defensive staples right now; in a meta with Blissey, Clefable, Corviknight, Toxapex, Ferrothorn, the Slow twins, Zapdos, Mandibuzz, Hippowdon and several others I'm probably forgetting, Chansey just doesn't offer anything of note and is really just a hinderance once it loses Eviolite (which is not too hard to accomplish). Even Quagsire and Pyukumuku do more to justify their place on hard stall teams due to Unaware. The fact this got so high despite the VR not ranking it at all is astounding.

Cloyster (49): The main argument for a possible King's Rock ban, the issue of RNG really highlights how inconsistent this thing is. It mainly only fits on HO (that again) and its defensive typing and pitiful special bulk do it no favors. When your best strategy is "hope I get a flinch" by giving up the item slot, that should tell you just how reliable you are.

Hey, that's pretty good.
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Tangrowth (45)
: All things considered, Tangrowth is a pretty good physical wall. Able to take hits from the likes of Kartana, Urshifu and Rillaboom and punish with Rocky Helmet gives it a decent role in the meta, having an advantage over rival Amoonguss since it can provide worthwhile utility even if Koko is keeping everyone up. It also pairs well with fellow Regen users Slowking and Toxapex, who handle its Fire and Ice weaknesses while Growth tanks Electric and Grass hits, plus taking EQs for Pex; additionally, King can switch into it directly with Teleport, packs great special bulk to compliment Growth's physical bulk and forces positioning with Future Sight, while Pex switches into Toxics that would greatly annoy Growth. Growth can be overwhelmed by special attacks and would prefer not being weak to U-turn (although it usually doesn't take much damage from it), but overall provides some great support.

Buzzwole (59): Buzzwole's typing and bulk allow it to take little damage from Grassy Glides, EQs, CCs, Knock Offs and U-turns, aka some of the best physical moves in the meta, and heal them off with Roost. Buzz itself packs a ton of great offensive moves, between Close Combat, EdgeQuake, dual STAB recovery, Poison Jab and Punches of Ice and Thunder; these alongside Bulk Up allow Buzz to potentially serve as a rare bulky sweeper with Roost and your choice of attacks, complemented by Beast Boost. You can also swap BU for a third attack or Toxic to whittle checks further, and a Choice set could potentially see niche usage, although bulky is THE way to go with Buzz. Just watch out for powerful special attackers and you're good.

Moltres (62): I already brought up this blazing bird in the vr discussion, but Moltres holds a lot of key matchups in the current meta. Able to roast many prominent Steels (even 2HKOing Heatran with Scorching Sands off 0 SpA EVs), threaten scary physical attackers with burns off Sands or Flame Body, preying on multi-hit moves and completely blanking Rillaboom, and even 1v1 rising star Volcarona by constantly weakening it with Mystical Fire and blanking its attacks aside from Psychic (even that only has a 10% chance to 2HKO at +1); it you can't slot Heatran onto your team for whatever reason, Molt is a great alternative Volc check. Molt provides a decent utility combo between burn spreading, Defogging hazards and weakening special attackers with Mystical Fire, alongside recovery in Roost. Now, Molt hates Knock Off since Rocks tear through it, plus it can be forced to Roost a lot by several notable attackers, but its utility and great match-ups make it criminal to let this thing stall at 62.

Grimmsnarl (75): Probably my hottest take today, but I feel Grimm is the only screen setter besides Koko that is seriously worth considering. As I mentioned with Eleki, Prankster makes Grimm the only setter guaranteed to get a screen off, while also shutting down Defog with Taunt and providing additional special security with Spirit Break. Prankster does mean it can't Taunt Mandibuzz, but it can catch Buzz on the switch thanks to Spirit Break 2HKOing while 4x resisting Buzz's only offensive option; plus, Mandibuzz tends to be the most passive of Defoggers, meaning the Grimm player can easily pivot to a teammate and force it out, especially if paired with Defiant Bisharp or Gapdos (1 of these 2 is probably mandatory on HO teams for this reason). Also Dark/Fairy means it walls both of Dragapult's STAB, so that's something since Infiltrator Pult can often slice through HO. Again, HO teams are not that great right now, and Grimm can be worn down due to lacking recovery and low speed making it take hits, but if you must run Koko-free HO, Grimm is your go to. Still not as good as the others in this section, but I can at least see it higher than 75.
252+ Atk Grimmsnarl Spirit Break vs. 248 HP / 60+ Def Mandibuzz: 210-248 (49.6 - 58.6%) -- 98.8% chance to 2HKO

Honorable Mentions
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Gapdos (41)
is an odd case; on paper, it has a lot of great match-ups, but it can't come in on many dangerous attackers and physically defensive mons can wear it down with good prediction, not hard when it's almost always choiced. 100 is an awkward speed tier, letting it prey on slower mons while also not being enough against many offensive staples. That said, it has many great match-ups, and Defiant makes it a staple on HO teams alongside Bisharp to dissuade Defog, but honestly I think its current usage is about right.

Azumarill (43) looks threatening, but even after a Belly Drum it can't 1v1 common offensive staples like Rillaboom, Kartana, Dragapult and Kyurem. Band sets hit hard but are again very predictable, especially since its low Speed means it usually wants to click Jet. This is another mon that greatly appreciates screens, and its reliance on team support make this another placement I don't see changing too much.

Latios (52) is a mon that should be a lot better than it is in practice; it hits hard and fast, can cripple walls with Trick, has Mystical Fire and Aura Sphere to blow through STAB counters, packs Defog, and can potentially serve as a strong CM sweeper. And yet, so much of the meta just doesn't give this guy room, especially with Weavile, Bisharp and Volcarona on the rise. That coverage deceptively results in 4MSS, as it needs Aura Sphere to not be walled by Heatran and Tyranitar, but Mystical Fire is better for the other defensive Steels, namely Corv. Competition from the amazing Dragapult and Icy Yandere Dragon also don't do it any favors, both outclassing it due to superior secondary STAB and greater set versatility. A Pult ban might let it find some niche, but for now this jet is probably grounded.

A. Ninetales (53) is Aurora Veil; with one less move-slot, it can enable HO teams alongside utility like Encore and Hypnosis. So why is it not in the underrated bin with Grimm? Well, because it has far more downsides; getting the most of Veil makes it an Ice type that can't afford Boots, which is already pretty bad, but it also sets screens slower than Koko or Grimm, is reliant on a 60% accurate move for utility, has pitiful power since its stuck running Freeze-Dry off 81 SpA, and can be denied setting Veil altogether if Hippo or Ttar exist. Ultimately, I think these downsides make it too unreliable to compare with Koko or even Grimm, even if Veil is good enough that I can't label it outright trash. Still better than Eleki, at least.

Well, that's all the ones I have thoughts on. What mons from the lower rungs of usage do you think are overrated/underrated?
 
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AM

GMT-4
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1. What were the most notable increases and decreases, and why do you think these mons are used more/less now?
Nobody packs Volcarona checks, well they didnt, so it was a pretty obvious raise. The safeguard variant is what I felt pushed this raise though. Think once people start running things Tyranitar and actual speed control that isn't named Dragapult/Zeraora it'll be like everything else. The Zama test skewed a lot of stuff though and Volcarona was better in that meta than the current cause Zama invalidated all its checks (good ones not Victini lol).
2. What increases or decreases surprised you the most?
Nothing this meta is actually really easy to predict what's going to get better or worse just by looking at what's regularly used in tours mostly. The only prediction I've been off with so far was the large ban margin for Zama (thank goodness) every other trend and every banrate during a suspect I've been close or right on.
3. Among the mons with increased usage, what sets have you been using and enjoying?
Just the defensive Dnite sets idk nothing really new Zama suspect skewing some of these stats anyways.
4. Among the mons with decreased usage, what are your favorite sets for those mons?
Nidoking (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Sludge Wave
- Earth Power
- Ice Beam
- Flamethrower/Thunder
5. What are your favorite mons to use in the current metagame?
Chomp, Pult, Lando-T because they're the easiest to use.
6. What mons do you predict will continue to see increased usage?
Not sure about continue but Slowbro should get more increase and its bad assumption to say Slowking does what it does better because most Slowking structures are really weak to Urshifu-R and SD chomps more than Slowbro structures are. Slowking pivots into two things better in Tapu Lele and Heatran, and Heatran only if it's like non Toxic or offensive paired with Rillaboom running Power Herb Solarbeam or Nature Power.
7. What mons are you expecting to see a declining usage from?
Ferrothorn dropped but it's not displayed in the quoted post but it will probably continue dropping, not by a big margin but it faces a lot of matchup issues right now. Still a good mon just worse than before.
8. What are some of your favorite cores to use?
Cores are a myth.
9. How do you feel about the metagame?
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10. Have you used any of the rising stars mentioned above? If so, how did they perform for you?
I've used mostly everything and they performed as expected which is normally good.
11. Are there any prominent replays from recent tournaments that you enjoyed and want to share? Any highlights worth discussing?
Couple bodybags, messy games in WCOP recently I watched but WCOP doesnt really start until that stage is over, which then we'll get to see the better stuff. Melmetal will see more use.
12: I hope you have a great rest of your day!
Thanks.
 
Probably my hottest take today, but I feel Grimm is the only screen setter besides Koko that is seriously worth even considering.
what about Azelf? It has access to U-turn or Explosion for momentum, has access to stealth rock if you need it, as well as taunt alongside a decent 115-speed tier. It has flaws but I'm surprised it's #120 on the usage chart, so I wonder why it's not so good in practice now when a generation or two ago it seemed to be pretty common.
 
what about Azelf? It has access to U-turn or Explosion for momentum, has access to stealth rock if you need it, as well as taunt alongside a decent 115-speed tier. It has flaws but I'm surprised it's #120 on the usage chart, so I wonder why it's not so good in practice now when a generation or two ago it seemed to be pretty common.
I don't think azelf is totally unviable as a screens setter, but I think it gets directly outclassed almost all the time.
If you want to run taunt and u-turn, Koko is faster and bulkier in both defenses (assuming you are max speed max hp for both, and admitting that the difference in special bulk is virtually nothing).

If you want to run explosion and u-turn, then you face some competition with regieleki. This is a more even comparison, since azelf trades speed for a stronger boom and slightly better bulk (assuming both are maxing out attack, with azelf uninvested in hp and regi running 96 hp evs, although I don't know if that is still optimal).

However, I feel that an underrated aspect of regieleki, as weird as it might sound, is actually it's one-dimensionality. Threatening a strong electric move from a fast attacker can force a lot of switches, and this can lead to some of the easiest double switches of your life. You can also take advantage of this to run rapid spin over explosion, clearing hazards on switches with regi, which you cannot do with Azelf.

Grimmsnarl and Ninetales-Alola each have a well defined niche that neither of the electrics can cover, giving even less reason to use azelf (even if they don't compete with it as directly).

I suppose you could run screens + explosion + stealth rock, but I think this is suboptimal because using stealth rock means that either you lose a turn of screens or you give your opponent a free switch before setting screens up, and unlike taunt you aren't using this turn to prevent your opponent from removing your screens (plus booming right away means no screens for the rest of the game).

If you do want to use azelf, I think it might be best as a suicide HO rocks lead with focus sash like in the old days. Explosion Landorus definitely does this better as a whole, but azelf has a slightly faster speed and access to taunt to set itself apart, and can use fire, ice, or electric coverage in the fourth slot which can be handy on occasion.

also you could always run life orb with some mix of psyshock, NP, flamethrower, t-bolt, energy ball, knock off, and explosion (usually a kind of weaker but faster nidoking) like an insane person but I promise nothing [EDIT: lol wow so upon doing some calcs in turns out life orb timid azelf and sheer force life ord timid nidoking actually are identical special attackers (maybe nidoking does like one or two hp more damage), which is better than I anticipated, I may look into this at some point for meme set]
 
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However, I feel that an underrated aspect of regieleki, as weird as it might sound, is actually it's one-dimensionality. Threatening a strong electric move from a fast attacker can force a lot of switches, and this can lead to some of the easiest double switches of your life. You can also take advantage of this to run rapid spin over explosion, clearing hazards on switches with regi, which you cannot do with Azelf.
I actually think that's a pretty optimal set, running Rising Voltage (or even it's trapping move that I forget the name of at the moment), Dual Screen, and spin.

Regileki with explosion can revenge kill Volcorona at +1 which is nice though, among other things.

Running jolly means you can outspeed and revenge kill some scarfers or +1 dragon dancers etc, even without rapid spin boost. and after a spin essentially nothing can stop your next move from going off first bar priority moves.

So I don't think Regieleki deserves to be unranked, it has a few niches.
 
I don't think azelf is totally unviable as a screens setter, but I think it gets directly outclassed almost all the time.
If you want to run taunt and u-turn, Koko is faster and bulkier in both defenses (assuming you are max speed max hp for both, and admitting that the difference in special bulk is virtually nothing).

words

If you do want to use azelf, I think it might be best as a suicide HO rocks lead with focus sash like in the old days. Explosion Landorus definitely does this better as a whole, but azelf has a slightly faster speed and access to taunt to set itself apart, and can use fire, ice, or electric coverage in the fourth slot which can be handy on occasion.
I agree with this. In general, Koko and Regieleki are better screens setters, and so is Grimmsnarl, because they have far better longevity; Azelf's only niches are access to Stealth Rock and not having to fear the OHKO from a lead Scarf Lando's Earthquake unlike Koko. Azelf is better off sticking with its classic suicide rocks set because it's outclassed as a screens lead but not as a rocker. This is because Azelf is faster than Urshifu-R, which can OHKO other sash leads like Excadrill and Lando with Surging Strikes before they can get rocks up. Azelf can also threaten Corviknight and has Taunt.

However, I personally believe suicide leads are no longer a good option for HO teams and frankly may be unviable in general. First off, there's the classic issue of the Defog mon being able to remove the rocks later, if it's able. But this gen has Heavy-Duty Boots, which really reduces the potency of hazards in general. All the viable Defog users either wear boots, like Zapdos, or aren't rocks weak, like Corviknight. And plenty of offensive and defensive pivots, such as Zeraora and the Slowdudes, respectively, wear them too. Sure, they can be knocked off over the course of the game. But if the rocker dies after a few turns, this doesn't matter anymore. Hazard stacking, while still rewarding, is a game-long process and cannot realistically be established in the first few turns; accordingly, suicide leads are not optimal. This is also why I think Sticky Web is trash right now. For anyone still inclined to use Azelf, I added a couple sample sets below.

Azelf @ Focus Sash
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Taunt
- Fire Blast
- Explosion

The classic set. Fire Blast is for steels, bar Heatran, and Explosion is for everything else. Taunt and rocks are self-explanatory. The UU set listed in the damage calc has Knock Off over Fire Blast, which I suppose is usable.

4 SpA Azelf Fire Blast vs. 252 HP / 88 SpD Corviknight: 200-236 (50 - 59%) -- 72.7% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
4 SpA Azelf Fire Blast vs. 252 HP / 88 SpD Corviknight: 200-236 (50 - 59%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (Rocky Helmet)

If it's lefties you can't guarantee a 2HKO unless you have 80 SpA EVs, and tbh I'd rather have a stronger Explosion than invest more into SpA.

Azelf @ Light Clay
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Taunt / U-Turn
- Reflect
- Light Screen

This set is pretty shit but hey it compresses roles with screens and rocks. Taunt is better imo but U-Turn can pivot. Despite Azelf's frailty it always survives Zeraora's Knock Off and Shadow Ball from non-specs Dragapult, and lives both Koko's specs Thunderbolt and Scarf Lando's Knock Off about 80% of the time. It is severely allergic to Weavile.
 
However, I personally believe suicide leads are no longer a good option for HO teams and frankly may be unviable in general.
I haven't gotten comfortable with using them in battle yet.

For example, I copied a team that used a Suicide lead Heatran alongside Zamazenta-C during the suspect test and I couldn't shake the urge to use it to actually check the opponent's Volcarona instead of suiciding it off in the early game.

I also tried lead Lando post-suspect test, but Urshifu was pretty annoying.

I been trying to strike a balance with using my suicide leads as actual suicide leads but trying to keep them alive a little longer if they check something worthwile.

I also experimented with Mamoswine, but kinda liked its ice shard and ability to check Lando, Chomp, and Dnite.


I actually had already been using your second Azelf set for a bit, because I couldn't really fit stealth rock on another mon for a particular team, so I liked that azelf could run both Stealth Rocks and screens, and still have the option for taunt/u-turn/explosion which I think is its niche over the other 3 setters, even if it might be inferior overall.

But the suicide Lead Azelf set isn't something I have tried yet and you have peaked my interest in it now.
 
I think banded zapdos-G is ok. Scarf is weak as shit, but it's good vs offence (like most scarfed mons). And I've not seen dual dance since isle of armour was first released.
Base 100 speed is cool, but when you look at other good band mons in the tier (boom, urshifu, weavile, bisharp, kart) they're all either fast, running priority or both bc that lets them still do good vs offence while having enough power to break fatter mons.
Being fast enough to revenge kill band Urshifu, boom, specs lele and specs kyurem is quite nice, and it's dual stabs + FS break through most defensive mons.
However Zap lacks weavile and kart's speed tier and it also lacks priority. It also struggles to break through certain defensive mons like zapdos and slowbro.
So while it's still strong and can most break fat mons quite well, especially when paired with future sight support, it's matchup vs faster offensive mons and some defensive mons leaves you wondering why you should use it over other band mons in the tier.
 
What do people think about Icicle Crash vs Triple Axel on Weavile right now? Weavile saw a big rise in usage last month which I predict will only continue since Zama-C didn’t drop, and I’m curious to know what everyone thinks. I’ve been messing around with Banded Weavile and having a ton of fun with it, it’s such a powerful breaker and there are very few defensive mons that resist its dual STAB. I find Icicle Crash tends to be better in most situations-not making contact is huge against stuff like Ferro and and RH Skarm, and Icicle Crash is more reliable as well. I’ve also found the flinch chance to be really helpful in RNGing past stuff like Corv, Skarm and even Buzzwole, as all it takes is one lucky flinch and Weavile is through (This is also a possible discussion point amid the whole King’s Rock thing). Does anyone prefer Triple Axel for the extra power or is Icicle Crash the go-to move?
 
So is the Kings Rock discussion dead because a few pedants in the PR thread whined about slippery slopes and how Cloyster and not KR should be banned?

View attachment 338026Ban all the bullshit, it’s very simple, has literally no downsides, and if people want to use Kings Rock go play AG ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Even if you want King's Rock banned, there's no reason to insult the people that bring up these concerns and generalize their arguments in a derogatory way (especially since you don't even address why their arguments are wrong or give examples of them using "slippery slopes").

What we do now affects how we'll approach situations like these in the future so its important to bring up these concerns now so managing situations / issues like this are easier in the future.
 
What do people think about Icicle Crash vs Triple Axel on Weavile right now? Weavile saw a big rise in usage last month which I predict will only continue since Zama-C didn’t drop, and I’m curious to know what everyone thinks. I’ve been messing around with Banded Weavile and having a ton of fun with it, it’s such a powerful breaker and there are very few defensive mons that resist its dual STAB. I find Icicle Crash tends to be better in most situations-not making contact is huge against stuff like Ferro and and RH Skarm, and Icicle Crash is more reliable as well. I’ve also found the flinch chance to be really helpful in RNGing past stuff like Corv, Skarm and even Buzzwole, as all it takes is one lucky flinch and Weavile is through (This is also a possible discussion point amid the whole King’s Rock thing). Does anyone prefer Triple Axel for the extra power or is Icicle Crash the go-to move?
icicle crash 100% for me. triple axel's power is unreliable and makes contact, which is bad bc of helmets and abilities that punish contact being common. flinching is also pretty neat. breaking random sashes and substitutes isn't worth risking all of this in my opinion
 
I find Icicle Crash tends to be better in most situations-not making contact is huge against stuff like Ferro and and RH Skarm, and Icicle Crash is more reliable as well. I’ve also found the flinch chance to be really helpful in RNGing past stuff like Corv, Skarm and even Buzzwole, as all it takes is one lucky flinch and Weavile is through
icicle crash 100% for me. triple axel's power is unreliable and makes contact, which is bad bc of helmets and abilities that punish contact being common. flinching is also pretty neat. breaking random sashes and substitutes isn't worth risking all of this in my opinion
What are some calcs? what does banded Icicle Crash fail to 2hko that Triple axel does for example?
 
What are some calcs? what does banded Icicle Crash fail to 2hko that Triple axel does for example?
three big names are ferrothorn, skarmory after rocks, and corviknight. axel 2hkos them, icicle crash doesn't. since all of them usually have means to punish contact, you don't lose half your health or more by attacking them. pick your poison with these ones
other minor interactions: doesn't 2hko spdef tyranitar, doesn't ohko zeraora, doesn't ohko kyurem after rocks (low kick still does but axel eases prediction), needs rocks to always ohko lele (knock does but same point as kyurem), 4hkos shifu and buzzwole instead of 3hko (interesting because after one turn of full axel, shifu can't switch into it safely anymore but still somewhat fringe)

you could run full stab with three ice stabs and knock off since zama isn't around anymore but idk low kick is useful
 
Even if you want King's Rock banned, there's no reason to insult the people that bring up these concerns and generalize their arguments in a derogatory way (especially since you don't even address why their arguments are wrong or give examples of them using "slippery slopes").

What we do now affects how we'll approach situations like these in the future so its important to bring up these concerns now so managing situations / issues like this are easier in the future.
Slippery Slope 1
Slippery Slope 2
Slippery Slope 3
Slippery Slope 4

The concerns about slippery slopes are wrong because it's a well known logical fallacy. You can ban any element and not have to ban any other element (See me arguing fruitlessly to get Magnet Pull banned using similar arguments to Stag and Arena trap). Any tiering decision is the product of the informed consent of TLs and/or voters. If they want to further root out hax in the meta one day in the future that's also their prerogative; it has no zero bearing on whether or not Kings Rock or Brightpowder have any place in today's competitive meta. It's the exact same thinking that always comes into suspect threads where someone says element x will be broken if element y is banned - which has no bearing on whether or not element y should stay or go. Keeping Kings Rock around out of fear one day Serene Grace will be banned seems... nuts
 
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Baloor

scoobert doobert
is a Tiering Contributor
we simply moved on from this conversation due to it effectively being more of a policy discussion as its more of a "problem" that stems across multiple generations and the result of whether we consider it ban worthy or not effects the tiering philosophy we've been using for all this time. the way tiering is done constantly changes from suspect to suspect but this is a special case because we can't really just go "well heres a hax ability/item suspect have fun" and come up with a effective decision on how we should deal with these hax central strategies moving forward as its a very complex argument that is relevant to current and past metagames. i agree with removing some of these strategies from play altogether but I'm not sure why you're so passionate about banning these as they are actually quite niche strategies in the current metagame (more of a problem in older generations) and doesnt really effect anything's immediate viability in the tier, with the exception of maybe cloyster, however cloyster is still very meh with kings rock so i don't see why this is a pressing issue like you're making it out to be. sure it sucks to lose to kings rock cloyster flinching you down but how many times are you seeing kings rock cloyster, personally i have not played versus it in at least a month. discussing this again in this thread feels like a step back from what we have been talking about and frankly quite redundant, we should focus on figuring out what the bigger problem with SSOU is rather complain about something that's out of our hands now and honestly a minuscule issue in the context of how it effects the current meta.
 
So is the Kings Rock discussion dead because a few pedants in the PR thread whined about slippery slopes and how Cloyster and not KR should be banned?

View attachment 338026Ban all the bullshit, it’s very simple, has literally no downsides, and if people want to use Kings Rock go play AG ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
There's two separate discussions to have about King's Rock: Is it overpowered? Is it unfair?
Overpowered, no. We have items like Life Orb, Choice X, Leftovers that are viable on almost every pokemon and will often show up multiple times per team, we have things like boots that can boost specific mons multiple tiers, and then there's King's Rock, which is usable on like 3 mons and isn't even a good pick for them. No way it's too powerful.
Is King's Rock unfair? There's a debate to have there, but I'd say no. It's a 40% chance to work. Not guaranteed, but nothing is. If you've ever put Scald on a water type over Surf/Pump so you can fish for burns*, then you're more of a lucker than someone going for a flinch with Cloyster/Weavile.

*And literally everyone here has
 

Myzozoa

to find better ways to say what nobody says
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Past WCoP Champion
So I heard we're all at a loss for what thing to suspect next, but fortunately a worthy and talented user, skilled in the profession of tiering jurisprudence has arrived to rescue you from your malaise and give you fresh ideas on how to improve the meta.

1. Ban Dragapult.

Has ever there been a pokemon so strong compared to the meta it finds itself in as Dragapult? Doubtful. Dragapult is the DPP Salamence of gen 8 only twice as centralizing. People who are bad think its physical sets are underwhelming, but how feckless must you be if you can't find away to abuse a Ghost-Dragon with Dragon Dance and 120 base attack? Anyone who says such sets aren't good is just telling on themself. So moving beyond such garbage notions, we understand that when you play in a Dragapult meta you have the incredibly restrictive Specs set which is probably the root of people saying this metagame doesn't reward anything besides guessing at 50-50s, and then you have this DD set which just doesn't seem like it's OU safe in the first place, so we have to play a stupid guessing game against a Dragapult where you will lose at the minimum one valuable pokemon to guessing wrong, be it guessing the set wrong or guessing wrong on U-turn, fireblast, shadow ball, dm. Luckily we have the incredibly fair, and not at all a broken thing for which to check other broken things, HDB Unaware Clefable to keep the DD menace under control, but basically nothing keeps the special attacking U-turn sets in line. As a cleaner on stall it's basically giratina-0, and Infiltrator is an incredibly degenerate ability, which nearly single handedly invalidates whole archetypes like screens when in the hands of something like Dragapult.

2. Ban one of future sight or teleport.

Hard to say really, neither of these seem too bad, it's hard to really make the argument for banning either. I'd hate to see anyone argue for banning a move rather than banning a pokemon. And future sight is practically a skill move, a janky entry hazard, in a metagame defined by an endless series of highly consequential 50-50s desperately risked, often with no compensation for the user who's match-up has been fished.

3. Ban heavy duty boots.

Now there is an idea that actually seems to have a competitive basis. An item is not a move, and a competitive game is decided by moves above all else. Hazards are moves which have defined pokemon since their introduction, and now this item causes us to abandon all of our principles and understanding and play a long series of 50-50s to decide many games rather than a strategy game based on careful calculation and planning. The best hazard is probably currently sandstorm, rocky helmet, and hail (in that order) because of this degenerate item. I wonder, why do we do this to ourselves? 50-50s are of course a beautiful part of pokemon, but there is only so much frequency of 50-50s that can be tolerable. In the past, you might play 2-3 turns of 50-50s to decide a carefully plotted game as it neared the end, or attempted a 50-50 to turn around a losing position, and almost always with compensation for each player in the form of passive damage or set-up opportunity. But now they come nearly from the start of a match and continue on and on, exhausting any pretense of an outcome based on skill. On the metagame level they disincentivize and reduce the counterplay to regenerator mons that have proliferated and lead to a situation where no matter how good one is at clicking moves in the face of high risk and minimal compensation, no progress can be made. It's quite disgusting the level of match-up fishing that such a situation consists of. The level on which this operates has confounded even the most experienced and venerable tierers on this site, who have been habituated to these situations to such an extent that they can no longer analyze a pokemon such as Dragapult or Zamacenta-C as broken, because these pokemon are vulnerable to the most common forms of 'match-up fishing' (the neologism we use for the situations we all have experienced) that an item such as heavy duty boots enables.

Remember in any reply to this post that "the chorus master sings slightly too high so that others may reach the correct pitch".
 

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Re: Boots

Just gonna say it. These things are flat out bad for the game in their current state. It's ridiculous that you run into teams where 3+ mons are flat out immune to hazards. Hazards have been a core part of the game since GSC (Spikes), and even more so after DPP (Stealth Rock). Gone are the days where you get that ever important spike + sr on the field after the defogger is dead that guarantees *insert mon here* only has a limited number of switchins remaining, or you get enough chip to get the sweep with your mon. Instead, there are games where hazards are flat out useless because of the amount of boots on the field. Abusers like Slowking, Blissey, Pult, Zeraora, etc get to come in multiple times a game without any drawbacks thanks to boots, which leads to these drawn out games you're seeing in WCoP where some defensive cores are impossible to break. It's actually quite comical to watch if you have no stakes in the game. And to nip the Knock Off argument in the bud right now, none of the mons I listed are staying in on a knock unless it's from a Ferro or Pex, and even then the mons I listed usually switch out cuz keeping the boots is important for the long term game plan. Boots are unhealthy in my opinion given how abusable they are. This doesn't even mention that boots are what pushed Cinderace over the edge and without them it would still be OU. People (including myself) are starting to question if Volc is OP and I can tell you it wouldn't be an issue if boots weren't a thing.

With all that being said, there is a positive aspect of boots that shouldn't be ignored. Mons that are Stealth Rock weak, such as Moltres and Volcarona, really appreciate not losing half their health because someone clicked a button 20 turns ago. They also let mons like Zapdos and Torn have much better longevity and fulfill their roles much more effectively. In this aspect, boots are a good thing. They bring more viability to mons that would be unviable otherwise (Moltres), or struggle to perform as effectively (Volcarona, Zapdos, etc). I don't think outright banning boots is the answer.

I think the answer is a boots clause, where only 1 mon per team gets them. Yeah, I know it's complex ban and Smogon hates complex bans, but there is precedent for something like this. Back in XY/ORAS there was a Baton Pass Clause that attempted to nerf BP chains but keep the move. It eventually got banned outright since BP was impossible to keep balanced, but I see no reason not to try the same thing with boots. Worst comes to worst, it's still OP and you ban it outright later. Best case is that without multiple abusers on a team, you get the best of both worlds, certain mons retain their viability without entry hazards becoming useless. It's worth a try in my opinion because it has the potential to vastly improve the metagame without banning them outright.

Yeah, some people are gonna push back on this because "nO coMPlEx BaNs" but fuck it, what's the worst that can happen? Smogon's tiering philosophy is all over the place anyways and there's very little precedent for items.
 
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Daily irrelevant post, unpopular opinion in this case: Item Clause would make the game more fun and challenging. When I build teams that don,t repeat items, somehow they usually tend to be better on average than those that do repeat. The clause would also train people for the eventual (unlikely though) situation in which VGC becomes a Singles format.

Boots Clause is dumb though. Boots are not (that much) better than other items and in fact Lefties are still the best one. I don,t see a reason to have a hazards centered meta again, there are 67363883 other ways to make passive damage. Boots should be treated like any other item and they are far from being uncompetitive, unhealthy or broken.
 
Boots are fine. Hazards have had an outsized and ever growing impact going back to GSC. The fact that teams would rather forgo damage boosting items or leftovers speaks to how utterly centralizing Stealth Rock is (and to a lesser extent, spikes and webs). Once rocks go up you just get free advantage until they are removed, it’s not like it’s particularly skillful to click SR. The style of play that makes progress in Gen 8 is going to be different in the same way every Gen plays differently. If Boots had been introduced with Spikes back in 1999 there would be little to complain about, but now people feel entitled to free passive damage the entire game. Even in the boots meta all relevant teams still run hazards because the risk reward of clicking them is still so high.
 
Daily irrelevant post, unpopular opinion in this case: Item Clause would make the game more fun and challenging. When I build teams that don,t repeat items, somehow they usually tend to be better on average than those that do repeat. The clause would also train people for the eventual (unlikely though) situation in which VGC becomes a Singles format.

Boots Clause is dumb though. Boots are not (that much) better than other items and in fact Lefties are still the best one. I don,t see a reason to have a hazards centered meta again, there are 67363883 other ways to make passive damage. Boots should be treated like any other item and they are far from being uncompetitive, unhealthy or broken.
I think that the argument that Leftovers are somehow more broken than Boots is completely redundant. Sure, in gen 2 they porabaly were suffocating and made the entire metagame too bulky, but gradually many better items were released making leftovers less of a necessity each generation. On the other hand, Boots are new and have so far managed to warp the metagame around itself heavily. To me hazards are as fundamental to competetive pokemon as switching and having an easy way to almost never get punished by them makes the meta worse in pretty much every way and forces a lot of battles into boring and repetetive loops because no one gets punished for switching. Sure, Boots make some mons like the aforementioned Volcarona better but in general it makes offensive pivots harder to punish and defensive cores much harder to crack. Overall it makes punishing mistakes much harder and it makes many battles telegraphed. To me the payoff of outplaying someone and getting 1 or 2 layers of hazards on is just not there, because my opponent plays 3 boots pokemon (and probably 1+ with regenerator) thus making all the attempts at wearing down their team futile. All in all, I believe Boots fundamentally make competetive singles worse and less skillful to play.
 
Let me preface this statement by saying that I am almost always pro-ban.

I don't think this conversation around boots/teleport/regenerator/etc. is worth having. This is not a decision that the playerbase can make, but there is too much dissension in the masses, where outcries for "no don't ban this, ban that" is causing constant muddying to the point where no action is taken. It's confusion to the point where inaction is the only logical concensus.
Therefore, I would like to propose that this is a question SOLELY FOR THE COUNCIL. And perhaps this goes a step higher than the OU Council, but it is a question for the overall "council of Smogon (I don't know how Smogon-wide changes are made).
The playerbase is constantly in a state of "x is broken" "no, y is broken, not x."
I do not believe any suspect test of any of the following five topics will result in constructive conversations, nor fruitful results for the playerbase.
It is ultimately this conflict that requires a decision point from our trusted power to be made.
Teleport
Regenerator
Heavy-Duty Boots
Future Sight
Slowtwins specifically

A long, internal discussion around these five things is probably already happening. Your decision is invaluable (please move/share this to the necessary members/communities if need be) to resolve the dissent amongst members of the community.

Thank you as always for your hard work in shaping OU, and Smogon's Competitive environment as a whole. I trust the Council to make the decision, and hope players can respect the choice(s) of the Council.

P.S. Please note that I have neglected to include certain hot-button topics such as Volcarona, Heatran, Dragapult, and the like. I think these are things that could be reasonably suspected through conventional means, and I wouldn't feel bad to see any of them go (after all, I'm always pro-ban).
 

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