Metagame SS OU Metagame Discussion Thread v7 (Usage Stats in post #3539)

Myzozoa

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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".
 

Clone

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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.
 
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).
 
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.
I think the differnece is with stealth rock your opponent has various counter play options

Preemptive or simultaneous countermeasures:
Magic Bounce
Taunt


After the fact countermeasures:
Rapid spin
Defog.

With boots, you have to get knock off off on the specific mon that you wish to cripple, and they can simply switch out to avoid it and keep their HDB and keep returning in the game unpunished. Unlike with rocks removal, where you simply only need good timing and only need to sacrifice some momentum to remove the hazards.

This is why I think knock offrillabloon, kartana, bisharp, and weavile are pretty good rn among other mons since they lure, force in, or put pressure on the common abusers of HDB with knock off.
 
Jesus it's annoying after having to contend with hazards restricting team building so severely for decades that people are arguing that one of its most effective countermeasures should be banned. The idea that hazards are as essential a part of the game as switching is of course completely absurd. Hazards are a small group of many forms of passive damage, whereas switching is utilized by every player in every match throughout the entire match. I have to think that most of those arguing Boots are overcentralizing must have missed the competitive generations before Defog. Most teams couldn't afford to run mons weak to Rock because Rapid Spin was poorly distributed and nearly every spinner got dunked on by OU's resident Ghost types. All of this culminates in a conclusion that seems to be missing from these conversations: the extremely widespread use of Boots speaks to the metagame warping effect of Stealth Rock, which we have now dealt with for almost 15 years. Getting rid of the most effective countermeasure to the move will restrict team-building, not open it up.

Despite the fact that Knock Off is widely distributed and easily slotted, the counterplay extends far beyond this. There is an opportunity cost with running Boots, as items that increase longevity or power must be foregone. This means that many Pokémon that run them are far more easily walled while having their own walling abilities compromised in a 1v1 setting. The issue really seems to lie with a handful of Regenerator mons, which can all easily be banned individually.
 
I think boots / stealth rock situation boils down to "broken checking broken". An item that flat out IGNORES all entry hazards is pretty insane, it would probably be more balanced if it halved the damage dealt by entry hazards rather than fully ignoring it.

However, stealth rock is BY FAR the single most broken thing in competitive singles to me (tied with arena trap/shadow tag). You can click one move ONCE and invalidate pretty much every Pokémon unfortunate enough to be weak to Rock. Unlike every other entry hazards, it hits everything that doesn't have magic guard AND has the highest damage potential at a frankly absurd 50%. It would have been A LOT healthier if it just dealt I don't know 5% to rock resists, 10% to rock neutrals and 15/20% to rock weak pokemon.

Of course game freak can only retroactively rework stealth rocks and boots, and we all know this ain't happening, but boots are merely a consequence of stealth rock's absurdity. Even if it's a conceptually broken, S+ tier item, I'd rather have it than not, even if it was only one pair of boots per team.
 
Boots are not the only item that completely invalidate a specific type of passive damage. Leftovers cancel sand chip or burn, pads ignore contact effects and safety goggles ignores weather chip (and spore). All of these can only be removed by trick or knock off. This has been accepted without much fanfare. Stealth Rock has conditioned the player base that you are entitled to 50% (!!!) of Volcorona’s health just for switching in. Stealth Rock is a poorly designed move that has completely destroyed the viability of countless mons going back to DPP and it seems clear that rather than modify how its damage works Game Freak added Boots and buffed defog. The only universe it would be remotely fair to limit them is in the context of item clause, which hurts passive builds far more than it helps them.
Leftovers can be overcome with toxic, or by stacking hazards with wisp.

The leftovers mon cant run boots and switching out of toxic or wisp means unless they also have something like heatran or clefable in the back something is getting crippled.


But with boots, you have the same thing. You can switch out of health reducing status moves to your heatran or w/e, except heatran and your other hdb mon can both run hdb and now you have sealed off wisp, toxic, and hazard damage all at once.

But let's say you don't have a status absorber, you still have ignored all entry hazards whereas leftovers can be overpowered by SR and just one layer of spikes, so each time the leftovers mon comes in it can still be chipped away at even If they switch out to avoid status moves.
 

Myzozoa

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There are already are and always have been effective counter measures to hazards outside of HDB.

There is no competitive basis to any argument so far seen in the recent pages of this thread against banning boots.

There is no principle of competitiveness that says Volcarona and xyz pokemon that are weak to rocks need to be unoppressed by Stealth Rocks, in fact it is the opposite:

A characteristic of a competitive meta is that players have a reasonable capacity to build a team that covers most of the metagame. As more and more pokemon are introduced, threats proliferate and building a reasonable team becomes more impossible. Moves like hazards which could restrict a vast segment of pokemon, and centralize team construction around moves (which are the basis of competitive outcomes) become more vital than ever to maintaining a playable game.
 
There are already are and always have been effective counter measures to hazards outside of HDB.

There is no competitive basis to any argument so far seen in the recent pages of this thread against banning boots.

There is no principle of competitiveness that says Volcarona and xyz pokemon that are weak to rocks need to be unoppressed by Stealth Rocks, in fact it is the opposite:

A characteristic of a competitive meta is that players have a reasonable capacity to build a team that covers most of the metagame. As more and more pokemon are introduced, threats proliferate and building a reasonable team becomes more impossible. Moves like hazards which could restrict a vast segment of pokemon, and centralize team construction around moves (which are the basis of competitive outcomes) become more vital than ever to maintaining a playable game.
I think a pokemon and team builder using it should still have the option of being able to lessen how stealth rocks affect it.


I dont think HDB in principle is flawed.

There is a balance to be struck. You want a diverse metagame to avoid over- centralization.


SR is unkind to flying, bug, ice, and fire types, and having an option to make that go away should be a thing, it should just have a strong opportunity cost or weakness so it cant just be mindlessly abused.
 
Hdb does have a big opportunity cost on paper imo:

You lose the opportunity for any sort of recovery or power/speed increase by running boots which can be crucial to hit 1/2hkos or surviving attacks, it has no use as long as there's no hazards on the field, and knock is more spammable than ever this gen. It synergizes well with switch moves but coming back without getting knock off is a bit of a struggle.

The issue is simply that stealth rocks are so big that not only do you get rid of one of the downsides (its very rare to have a game with no hazards on), the boons are just too good to pass.

I'm not sure if banning boots would lead to a healthier metagame, it's nice to not have to worry about hazard control for once in my life, but it's hard to argue that boots aren't somewhat game warping by themselves. I kinda just accepted this as a quirk of the generation, though
 
There are already are and always have been effective counter measures to hazards outside of HDB.

There is no competitive basis to any argument so far seen in the recent pages of this thread against banning boots.

There is no principle of competitiveness that says Volcarona and xyz pokemon that are weak to rocks need to be unoppressed by Stealth Rocks, in fact it is the opposite:

A characteristic of a competitive meta is that players have a reasonable capacity to build a team that covers most of the metagame. As more and more pokemon are introduced, threats proliferate and building a reasonable team becomes more impossible. Moves like hazards which could restrict a vast segment of pokemon, and centralize team construction around moves (which are the basis of competitive outcomes) become more vital than ever to maintaining a playable game.
Your last sentence can be flipped entirely. We do play by effectively 'clicking moves', but pokèmon aren't the only things that are introduced each generation: abilities, moves and items keep growing in numbers as well. Moves are being affected by both abilities and items since Gen 3, all three are basically what Pokémon battling is about. Items have even defined new overarching mechanics in Gen 6 and Gen 7, with Megas and Z-crystals. This is to say, you can't just single out moves being the main basis of competitive outcomes when you choose your movesets with abilities and items (and typings of course) in mind.

With this premise, the way you tackle on HDB has to be reconstructed in a different light: how do you measure its impact on the competitive scene? How restrictive can it be? Does it negatively affect the viability Pokémon, moves, abilities? Does it make entire playstyles more broken? Does it create unhealthy circumstances?
I agree with you that in a vacuum HDB is an absolutely crazy item, top 2 alongside Leftovers for sure. If you try to answer the questions I raised, you'd realise that they are difficult to answer in an objective way. For example, in this generation you use SR a lot to pressure the opposing defensive backbone by forcing passive damage and/or gaining momentum by forcing Defog/Rapid Spin. I've not seen many games where Stealth Rock were just BAD or not worth setting up. You could even argue that limiting the effectiveness of Stealth Rock a bit more is a good thing because of how easy it is to force chip damage with it, considering that it naturally hits everything. You are given the choice to ignore it by sacrificing the item slot or deal with it and use the item slot.

Speaking of this is HDB's drawback (admittedly the only one): you can't use power- or speed-boosting items, leftovers/black sludge or other miscellaneous items like helmet or berries. Many mons that use HDB would love being able to receive passive recovery from Leftovers (mainly defensive mons) or holding Life Orb/Protective Pads/Choice items/Lum Berry/whatever (mainly offensive mons). Chip damage stacks on the generic HDB Pokémon (Regen+HDB is another issue entirely and the broken-ness of it to me is mainly brought by Regenerator), and sources of chip damage aren't only entry hazards: contact-punishing abilities and rocky helmet, sandstorm or hail, burn and poison, damaging trapping moves. Of course, Volcarona and company couldn't have asked for a better item, but that goes to show the power of Stealth Rock as much as the power of HDB.

However, banning a move or an item is incredibly more complex than banning an ability or a Pokèmon, because - as I said earlier - competitive Pokémon is based on MOVES, ITEMS AND ABILITIES and how they interact.
Let's take Cinderace as an example. With Boots, has Cinderace always been broken from the start? No. We had Blaze Cinderace in the tier and it was a perfectly fine Pokèmon. Then again, without Boots, would have Libero Cinderace been broken? Also no. HDB made Ace the ultimate pivot that thanks to Libero+crazy coverage also had pretty phenomenal breaking power. How do you assess this situation? Is HBD the issue, or is it Libero? The answer is: the combination of both. The same logic can be applied to Regenerator mons, ESPECIALLY the Slowtwins which abuse the holy trinity of RegenPort+HDB. This combination is one of the best move-ability-item interactions we have ever seen, but none of the single components individually pushes either Slowtwin over the edge by itself. I would argue HDB is the least valuable of the three, seeing how Slowbro worked perfectly fine with Rocky Helmet, although HDB is definitely still very valuable.

What HDB does can ultimately be divided in two sections:
1) Give viabilty to SR weak Pokémon, mainly defoggers
2) Give even more viability to PIVOTS - the understandable part of the ban-HDB argument.
The first point I can only see as a good thing honestly. The more viable Pokémon we have, the better it is. I understand that for the longest time, keeping stealth rocks up was the way to deal with a certain portion of the metagame, but these pokèmon can also be dealth with outside of rocks. The ones you can't, get banned (kyurem-black, ace), but that's clearly because of their other traits IN CONJUNCTION with the boots, it's never just because of the boots. Secondly, HDB is a gen 8 item and - since we've established how difficult it is to evaluate an item like this outside of subjective frustration - we gotta deal with it: as Lemingue said, it's the quirk of our generation.
The "principle of competitiveness" you are searching for is simply that this item was created for this purpose: make rocks less punishing. Is it less competitive just because it makes it easier or is it competitive exactly because it gives another layer of counterplay around hazards?

The second point is where it gets tricky, because HDB definitely sinergyzes VERY well with pivots, as hazards have been notoriously their worst enemy and of course the boots negate them as long as they don't get knocked/tricked. it creates longer games exactly because we are used to entry hazards doing a big amount of work against pivots, limiting the amount of switches they can afford. In gen 8 we have developed other ways to defy pivots but they are absolutely living their best lives, especially regen mons, especially the slowtwins that have regenport.

Massive TL;DR.
HDB is definitely a strong item that has defined gen 8 so far. It created a more pivot-centric meta where you can't constantly deal that 6%/12% chip even when rocks are up, and where already good abilities like regen now effectively got boosted. I personally think it's fine right but I can see the issues you guys bring up.
 

Finchinator

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The dispute between “boots is the problem” and “stealth rocks warp the game” is going to spiral into a “what came first: the chicken or the egg” caliber shitshow at the rate we are going. Both sides will repeat the same thing and not technically be wrong without being fully correct either. Let’s drop that circular debate for the sake of whatever may be left of my sanity

I’m going to bring it (boots) up to council and we will likely use the upcoming WCoP to gauge the metagame anyway, so don’t worry — we will be on top of everything we can be.
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.
A discussion on everything relevant to the metagame will occur, but the community is not in the disarray your post implies it is and we do not rule without checks/balances, which include the community and their input.

Council involvement and decisions are important, but the suspect process exists for a reason. Keep that in mind and we will likely be providing more on what’s happening from the council chat in the future anyway as we plan to make a council minutes thread.
 
Honestly while I personally disagree with a boots ban right now, I think that one of the benefits of suspecting it would be the potential of looking into things like a semi-item clause, or other similar-ish bans/experimentation. There's a lot of potential, although the potential to become unnecessary/complex bans is a real one.
 

Finchinator

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I think a boots clause sounds good. The problem isn't necessarily the way that mons like Torn get to do their jobs better, it's more in the way that they become too much and make wayyyy too many mons immune to hazards. The aspect of Volcarona's 4x weakness meant that if you wanted to use it efficiently, you had to be really smart about how to do it, and you needed to play well and read your opponent to get it done. Nowadays, a slow U-Turn or teleport gets that guy in regardless of what's happening regarding rocks, which as fun to use Volcarona as it is, doesn't seem too great for that whole meta thing to me at least.
 
I think a boots clause sounds good. The problem isn't necessarily the way that mons like Torn get to do their jobs better, it's more in the way that they become too much and make wayyyy too many mons immune to hazards. The aspect of Volcarona's 4x weakness meant that if you wanted to use it efficiently, you had to be really smart about how to do it, and you needed to play well and read your opponent to get it done. Nowadays, a slow U-Turn or teleport gets that guy in regardless of what's happening regarding rocks, which as fun to use Volcarona as it is, doesn't seem too great for that whole meta thing to me at least.
I dont necessarily agree, as while boots seems like an item you can just slap on to make a mon usable, there are some obvious downsides to them. First, knock off is still in the game, and it is very prevalent and widespread. The chance to have this important item completely removed is a good reason why it's not super busted. Another thing is that running boots means you cant run anything else. For example prior to boots, volcarona usually ran something like lum berry or leftovers. If volcarona now uses boots instead of something like lum berry, its much more susceptible to status conditions, which halts its sweeping potential. Another example is if kyurem, a powerful wallbreaker, chooses to run boots instead of specs. Its no longer stealth rock weak, but the lack of specs means that it cuts into its damage output, and wallbreaking becomes harder. So there is some nuance to HD boots.
 
I dont necessarily agree, as while boots seems like an item you can just slap on to make a mon usable, there are some obvious downsides to them. First, knock off is still in the game, and it is very prevalent and widespread. The chance to have this important item completely removed is a good reason why it's not super busted. Another thing is that running boots means you cant run anything else. For example prior to boots, volcarona usually ran something like lum berry or leftovers. If volcarona now uses boots instead of something like lum berry, its much more susceptible to status conditions, which halts its sweeping potential. Another example is if kyurem, a powerful wallbreaker, chooses to run boots instead of specs. Its no longer stealth rock weak, but the lack of specs means that it cuts into its damage output, and wallbreaking becomes harder. So there is some nuance to HD boots.
There's a downside for sure, and I'm not acting like boots suddenly makes a mon like Volcarona better in ALL cases, but it makes it way easier for it to come in and removes a lot of the counterplay and difficulty around using Volcarona, especially with Teleport's prevalence, which can get it in for free pretty easily. The problem is that it removes having to play around an important part of the game, and while yes, there's counterplay, there's always counterplay to anything unless it gets REAL bad. Boots just makes it way easier than it should be to use the high-risk, high-reward stuff like Volcarona, and makes it far too easy to get it in without addressing an important part of the game, but at the end of the day that's just how I see it.
 

Finchinator

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I highly doubt Boots clause happens in any form. If the item is problematic enough to warrant tiering action, we ban it. If it is not, then we do not. There is no true midground here enough to justify taking a preservationist stance on a lone item, essentially throwing out any semblance of precedent or tiering priority for the sake of arbitrarily enabling use of an item.

Even Item clause would make more sense than this, as it at least is a recognized clause and handles items universally rather than singling out a lone item. This is not me proposing we add item clause either -- I am not a fan of this proposal personally, but it easily makes more sense than creating a new boots clause. To me, the real options are just ban the item or not ban the item. I prefer to keep them around right now, but it's clearly controversial enough to warrant more discussion here so long as we do not continue to try to move the goalposts unrealistically.
 
I think an OU Item Clause could lead to some more diversity, especially when it comes to something like leftovers, but it would in a sense give a little bit of an edge to Toxapex for black sludge over leftovers. I think it could be cool overall tho, we could get to see some new items or rarer ones, maybe discover some cool new tech along the way
 
Sleep Clause's whole idea is that you can't just win a game by spamming a sleep move, and honestly it's more because it makes the game uninteractive and unfun. It's fundamentally the same idea as when Minimize and Double Team, it's an unfun strategy that makes the game unfair to one side. And having a limit on one sleeping mon makes it so you have to choose a mon to get slept, and so that it can be a sort of strategy around which mon you need the least. Overall, Sleep Clause removes an unfair and unfun strategy so I see literally no issue with it.
 
I've always loved item clause in vgc. It really changes how you approach team building and breaks some of the monotony (is that the correct word?) of the metagame. It's probably a long shot to implement in current OU, and may be more of a policy review topic, but I think even just trying it out would be worth it. I think it would kill stall even more though lol

In theory, the "galar symbol only" moveset would be pretty interesting (no more knock spam let's goooooooo), but I'm unsure if it should actually be applied to in practice.
 
I'd say HDB and Item Clause are something that the council COULD evaluate with the next playerbase survey they do, just to gauge the perception of the players. I'm not saying they should, there's a council for a reason and they decide the best course of action. They would have to discuss the topics thoroughly before deciding to do something like that, especially because the idea of item clause is very related to the HDB issue so I'm assuming there are many implications and HDB needs to be discussed before doing so for the Item Clause.
I don't know if this is feasible or not, I don't want to mess with their job which is difficult enough already. I'm just giving my input.

...but since I'm here I'm giving my opinion. HDB is very busted with certain mons but I like having it in the meta, HDB Clause is bad and doesn't make sense, but Item Clause I like it a lot! Imma try to build my teams with self-imposed Item Clause now lol
 

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