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

Roost on a Choice Item is not a good idea since something like Dragon Dance Tyranitar or Calm Mind Tapu Lele will get the advantage to set up when Dragonite is locked to Roost forcing it to switch out.
The point is that if you force a switch and predict well you can get some recovery on your free turn, then switch out.
Choice band Dragonite appreciates Inner Focus as its ability, since it can't really benefit from HDB or Roost anyway, and that prevents Lando-T's Intimidate from checking it.
Good point, I’ll try that.
 
I think Quick Claw as well as all other purely RNG-based items (Bright Powder, Lax Incense, and Focus Band namely) should simply be banned. This has actually been my opinion for... like ever, now. I know that some of these items might not be broken, but they objectively fit the definition of uncompetitive that Smogon's tiering philosiphy is based on. Their activation is purely RNG-based and there's no realistic way to play around their effects. They take an element of control over the battle completely out of the hands of both players and leave it at the mercy of the random number generator instead. There is no reason why they should be allowed in a competitive metagame.
On paper, that is Smogon's tiering philosophy. In practice, we have almost never banned moves, items or abilities merely for being "uncompetitive". We ban them for being broken. There are numerous examples of "uncompetitive" strategies that were considered fine (and are still legal in old metas) up until they started winning games by themselves. One of them (SwagPlay) was unbanned after several nerfs placed it under the threshold of broken.

Cloyster with King's Rock was a legit threat, able to 6-0 teams with a single lucky flinch. Glowbro hasn't proven itself to be anywhere near as powerful, it's one of many 30% winrate gimmicks in the game.

---

Speaking of cheese, I've had a lot of fun with this XY-era TankChomp set:

Garchomp @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 252 HP / 136 Def / 120 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Toxic
- Endure

By switching out Protect, you are essentially trading one turn protection + 6.25% damage on poisoned opponents for 29% damage (1/8 + 1/6) against users of contact moves. Pads are annoying but they're still a fairly niche item on Melm + Kart
 
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I kinda think that Kings Rock Cloyster is genuinely less uncompetitive than QC. The chance was much higher, making it more consistent/less RNG reliant and if you saw a Cloyster back then, you knew that the chance for KR was high. QC can just pop up unexpected and has a 20% chance to ruin your day
 
On paper, that is Smogon's tiering philosophy. In practice, we have almost never banned moves, items or abilities merely for being "uncompetitive".
Yeah, but actually no. I never made any claim that we're particularly consistent with our bans (but maybe it's about time that we are), but it's undeniable that some bans are predicated entirely or almost entirely on a mechanic being uncompetitive, not being broken. OHKO moves are the most obvious example; in BSS and other formats where they are allowed, they're rarely ever used, but they're uncompetitive as shit and so we don't allow them. Evasion moves are in a similar bin, but at least there you could argue that some users of evasion moves would genuinely be broken.

Either all mechanics that are purely RNG-based with no competitive element to them should be banned, or none should. This is exactly the kind of arbitrary hair-splitting that I've always had an issue with, and if the purpose of Smogon's tiering system is to build a balanced, competitive metagame (That is the purpose, is it not? Or has 12 years of playing Smogon tiers completely mislead me?) blatantly uncompetitive mechanics have no place within it. It really is that simple. "We've been lax with tiering philosophy in the past" is frankly a really bad argument.
 
Yeah, but actually no. I never made any claim that we're particularly consistent with our bans (but maybe it's about time that we are), but it's undeniable that some bans are predicated entirely or almost entirely on a mechanic being uncompetitive, not being broken. OHKO moves are the most obvious example; in BSS and other formats where they are allowed, they're rarely ever used, but they're uncompetitive as shit and so we don't allow them. Evasion moves are in a similar bin, but at least there you could argue that some users of evasion moves would genuinely be broken.

Either all mechanics that are purely RNG-based with no competitive element to them should be banned, or none should. This is exactly the kind of arbitrary hair-splitting that I've always had an issue with, and if the purpose of Smogon's tiering system is to build a balanced, competitive metagame (That is the purpose, is it not? Or has 12 years of playing Smogon tiers completely mislead me?) blatantly uncompetitive mechanics have no place within it. It really is that simple. "We've been lax with tiering philosophy in the past" is frankly a really bad argument.
Well, the point with OHKO moves at least is that they are extremely high risk high reward. That is, they do not see that much serious use in BSS and such, because the probability of working is quite low. However, if a OHKO move hits, you surely lose 1 mon, which can be game changing. Other "purely RNG-based" stuff, such as Sand Attack, Confuse Ray, Attract and dare I say Quick Draw/Claw, have a similar probability of achieving something, but the something is not quite a detrimental as a OHKO move (to various degrees of course). As such, these are very different things from OHKO moves. I would argue that how effective an RNG element is, should be taken into account when considering banning it.

To wit, Wonder Guard would be banned immediately if it were released on almost anything other than Shedinja. Of course, that would be because it would be broken, not uncompetitive. But why should those two concepts be held to different standards?
 
Well, the point with OHKO moves at least is that they are extremely high risk high reward. That is, they do not see that much serious use in BSS and such, because the probability of working is quite low. However, if a OHKO move hits, you surely lose 1 mon, which can be game changing. Other "purely RNG-based" stuff, such as Sand Attack, Confuse Ray, Attract and dare I say Quick Draw/Claw, have a similar probability of achieving something, but the something is not quite a detrimental as a OHKO move (to various degrees of course). As such, these are very different things from OHKO moves. I would argue that how effective an RNG element is, should be taken into account when considering banning it.
Again, this is exactly the kind of hair-splitting I'm talking about. How much of an effect should we allow a purely RNG-based mechanic to have before we ban it, and how did you determine that? Would we lose any competitive value if we simply banned these mechanics? If not, why should they stay? Taking control out of the hands of the players is antithetical to the core concept of a competitive game, so I see no reason why mechanics that do exactly this and nothing more should have any place in a competitive metagame.
 
Again, this is exactly the kind of hair-splitting I'm talking about. How much of an effect should we allow a purely RNG-based mechanic to have before we ban it, and how did you determine that? Would we lose any competitive value if we simply banned these mechanics? If not, why should they stay? Taking control out of the hands of the players is antithetical to the core concept of a competitive game, so I see no reason why mechanics that do exactly this and nothing more should have any place in a competitive metagame.
But, whether we like it or not, RNG is part of playing this game competitively. Critical hits, random side effects, full paralysis etc. are all RNG elements that are part of the game. If you feel that any RNG is bad for the competitiveness of the game, you should want to ban all of this.

Of course, I do not think you want that, especially since you talk about "purely RNG-based mechanics". However, what exactly is a purely RNG-based mechanic? Sand Attack probably is, as is Quick Claw, but what about Water Pulse or Muddy Water? Or Thunder Wave? These all have their uses, but you could argue that choosing these moves over Surf or an attacking move respectively is done for the sole purpose of adding RNG. At that point, you arrive at what you call hair-splitting. So wanting to ban all "purely RNG-based mechanics" sounds simple, but it isn't, since it is not clear what a purely RNG-based mechanic is.

As such, the only way to handle this is to look at a case-by-case basis. Which is what the current policy is. And based on the level of uncompetitiveness, which intrinsically includes the effectiveness and impact, you either ban a mechanic or not.

About your question "why should they stay", I ask you, why shouldn't they? The ones diverging from the status quo should be the ones arguing why something should change, not the other way around.
 
Sigh... Now we're getting into the really bad arguments I've had a thousand times before.

So wanting to ban all "purely RNG-based mechanics" sounds simple, but it isn't, since it is not clear what a purely RNG-based mechanic is.
No, it actually is pretty simple. If a mechanic takes control over the match out of a player's hands and does nothing else (see evasion moves and the items I mentioned for examples), it's purely RNG-based. The entire function of the mechanic is purely predicated on RNG.

Sand Attack probably is, as is Quick Claw, but what about Water Pulse or Muddy Water? Or Thunder Wave?
You've tacitly admitted here that there's a difference between these two mechanics and you recognize it, even though you're pretending not to for some reason. Each of these other moves does something besides remove player agency. Sand Attack and Quick Claw do not.

I'm not even trying to argue about exactly how much RNG should be involved before a mechanic should be considered uncompetitive, my point is that as long the answer is anything other than 100% pure RNG-based mechanics should be allowed, certain mechanics (Specifically RNG-based items; you could probably make an argument for accuracy-lowering moves like Sand Attack too although that one isn't really on my radar to be honest) should go, and if we want to say 100% pure RNG-based mechanics should be allowed, we need to reconsider the premises upon which things like OHKO and evasion moves were banned under. I think the metagame would objectively be healthier with no OHKO moves, no Evasion moves, and no RNG-based items, broken or not.
 
I am very confused about the ability beast boost.
its text seems somewhat missleading and I wonder if it is a translation error from japanese.

the text says"this pokemon's highest stat is raised by 1 if it attacks and KOes another pokemon".

the part with "the highest stat" does not make much sense.
is it refering to the highest base stat?or stat in general?

my opponent had a kartana and for some reason its beast boost boosted the speed instead of the attack,while whenever I use kartana the attack is the stat that always raises.
what on earth did my opponent do there?

and why doesn't choice scarf affect beast boost?(I am glad it doesn't,but why?).

if 2 stats are the same then what happens?does the game pick one at random?
 

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I am very confused about the ability beast boost.
its text seems somewhat missleading and I wonder if it is a translation error from japanese.

the text says"this pokemon's highest stat is raised by 1 if it attacks and KOes another pokemon".

the part with "the highest stat" does not make much sense.
is it refering to the highest base stat?or stat in general?
The highest raw stat, not base.
my opponent had a kartana and for some reason its beast boost boosted the speed instead of the attack,while whenever I use kartana the attack is the stat that always raises.
what on earth did my opponent do there?
Timid Kartana with 19 Attack IVs has lower Attack than Speed.
and why doesn't choice scarf affect beast boost?(I am glad it doesn't,but why?).
That's simply not how it works.
if 2 stats are the same then what happens?does the game pick one at random?
It's not random: Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed are prioritized in that order.

In the future, use the Simple Questions, Simple Answers thread for questions like these (or better yet: look it up on a website like Bulbapedia or Smogon).
 
I kinda think that Kings Rock Cloyster is genuinely less uncompetitive than QC. The chance was much higher, making it more consistent/less RNG reliant and if you saw a Cloyster back then, you knew that the chance for KR was high. QC can just pop up unexpected and has a 20% chance to ruin your day
Didn't I mention that Inner Focus blocks King's Rock flinch?
 
Oh sure use Crobat in OU. Or a Dragonite, Mienshao, or Alakazam with a much worse ability than they like to use.
This is completely correct. Kings rock cloyster and kings rock weaville were a problem because the only good counter play to flinches is inner focus, which has no users that have a good matchup vs the kings rock spammers, or steadfast which is the most gimmicky of counter play possible. The only way to stop your team getting melted by rng is to outspeed the opposing threat while being survive a hit (which is difficult due to the limited amount of mons that can outspeed shell smash cloyster) or ohko the opposing mon (which isn’t reliable vs aurora veil teams). The unreliable counter play means that you have to consistently risk the 50/50, which is uncompetitive.

TL/DR: The good counter play is bad/non existence meaning that you have to risk the flinch, so it is really uncompetitive
 
Didn't I mention that Inner Focus blocks King's Rock flinch?
wow you can't get flinched thats crazy, but then you realise that 1) no mon really runs inner focus and 2) all the inner focus mons either suck or lose to cloyster

now onto qdqc. Glowbro kinda sucks. It's incredibly luck reliant and it doesn't really do much unless you hit the jackpot. Even if you are the luckiest human on earth, its hard enough to set up glowbro. even then, it still sucks. as said, its luck reliant, more in your favor than the other persons. It may activate at a lucky time but then again, the chances of it happening again and again for them to win is low enough where it doesn't matter. on ladder, its just one game. its usage isn't high for it to even matter. (https://www.smogon.com/stats/2022-08/gen8ou-1825.txt-it has .17% usage). You pick it off easily, and it usually doesn't sweep. Even if it does, its not common enough to matter alot.

kings rock was banned because it was uncompetitive. it was geuniunely broken cuz cloyster could sweep through entire teams with it with actually high usage. it was usable and could set up on more things then glowbro could.

rng dependent things should not be banned unless they are actually restricting with outplay potential. glowbro can be outplayed by switching around and not letting it set up in the first place. kings rock had no outplay potential as you can't unflinch and cloyster set up alot easier. this is my opinion on qdqc
 
It may activate at a lucky time but then again, the chances of it happening again and again for them to win is low enough where it doesn't matter. on ladder, its just one game. its usage isn't high for it to even matter.
Some time last year I got trolled by 3 back to back QCQD activations in a game against a belly drum Glowbro. It isn't common but it can happen.

Usage itself in this context is a weak argument imo. In the context of RNG hax items (or abilities) like these, they're generally inconsistent due to relying on that dice roll which 8s why they aren't used. It's also not like Glowbro is the only "viable" user of QC. Something like Melmetal can use it too. And there are probably slow hard hitters I am not thinking of which do as well.

I mean imagine this: you've got a CB Urshifu out and Lele in back. Your opponent only has Melmetal left. By all rights, in this situation you deserve the win. You played better. And yet as you click CC, suddenly Melm reveals a QC proc and thunderpunches Urshifu who was chipped from earlier hazards and helmets and is KOd. You can't really do anything. Your player choice was invalidated. You played better but the dice roll of QC decided the opponent gets to ignore speed tiers.

The fact that QC (and QD) can ignore established speed tiers purely based on a dice roll, to me is the issue. The potential to suddenly let a mon invalidate offensive counterplay purely by a dice roll is dumb. You could also feasibly gleam a KR Cloyster, KR Weavile or KR Excadrill at team preview. Good luck doing so with QC outside Glowbro. And worst of all, QC has zero strategic merit. You run it with the hopes of getting lucky and cheesing wins.
 
A notable thing people seem to forget to consider is realistic counterplay you can bring up sand attack if you feel like it but that's a move that has immunities loses to one switch and is not making any progress (edit I'm a moron was thinking of mud slap tho just switch out). Twave a more viable thing and ye I understand when people want it gone but not the level of qc with it having other utility out of hax (the main distinction) and immunities. When someone gets lucky with quick claw where's this counterplay if glowbro gets up a np or god forbid a belly drum where's your answer then other than relying on the inconsistency of quick claw. Also did someone say outplay potential what's that doing other than letting something get chipped even perfect positioning for something to revenge is dependant on not getting quick claw which is kinda the issue. Also just don't let it setup not even worth talking about may as well say just win
 
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On paper, that is Smogon's tiering philosophy. In practice, we have almost never banned moves, items or abilities merely for being "uncompetitive". We ban them for being broken. There are numerous examples of "uncompetitive" strategies that were considered fine (and are still legal in old metas) up until they started winning games by themselves. One of them (SwagPlay) was unbanned after several nerfs placed it under the threshold of broken.

Cloyster with King's Rock was a legit threat, able to 6-0 teams with a single lucky flinch. Glowbro hasn't proven itself to be anywhere near as powerful, it's one of many 30% winrate gimmicks in the game.

---

Speaking of cheese, I've had a lot of fun with this XY-era TankChomp set:

Garchomp @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 252 HP / 136 Def / 120 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Toxic
- Endure

By switching out Protect, you are essentially trading one turn protection + 6.25% damage on poisoned opponents for 29% damage (1/8 + 1/6) against users of contact moves. Pads are annoying but they're still a fairly niche item on Melm + Kart
I mean no offense, but would like to start off by saying this is an incorrect take on QDQC. Actively playing with gameshark anywhere from 20% to almost 50% of the time limits the majority of offensive counterplay necessary to deal with Quick Draw and Quick Claw. This straight up wins games by itself in absurd cases, and the general unpredictability of QDQC makes it difficult to properly manage risk. Here, you describe exactly that through numerous examples of uncompeittive strategies that were considered fine up until they won games by themselves, which QDQC already does. Now, does this mean it's broken in the same sense as other uncompetitive aspects were? Certainly not. QDQC involves tradeoffs including trading a more useful item for a 20% chance to move first in its priority bracket, the 56% - 80% chance to not move first in the priority bracket, and generally being matchup fishy. However, when it manages to activate the result can be game ending. As I previously mentioned, operating under the assumption that QDQC activates, the pool of offensive counterplay dramatically shrinks. Fast and powerful attackers that may have had no issues picking off their target otherwise are all of a sudden threatened with the possibility of being removed. This forces more passive counterplay, which is simply non-existent for some teams or is limited for the specific Quick Draw and Quick Claw abuser. Not to mention the fact that said abusers span a long range thanks to Quick Claw's general splashability on almost anything offensive that wants to catch faster offensive checks.

Other forms of counterplay such as Knock Off and Trick do not all fix the problem either. The Ability Quick Draw still exists and is unpreventable, and as previously noted the surprise factor of QDQC can be difficult to manage even with prediction which limits how effective Knock Off and Trick can be. Now, true priority moves such as Aqua Jet, Ice Shard, Shadow Sneak, Sucker Punch, and Grassy Glide certainly add a level of counterplay to the regular turn priority that QDQC has, but are specific and are not available on all teams. Aqua Jet is only available to Urshifu, Barraskewda, and Crawduant; Ice Shard is only available to Weavile and Mamoswine; Shadow Sneak is only avilable to Aegislash; Sucker Punch is only available to Bisharp and notable on Dragapult; and Grassy Glide is only available to Rillaboom. The variety of pokemon that benefit from QDQC are not all threatened by the same priority, which means this is not a surefire answer either.

This doesn't even touch on QDQC's relation to other rng related components in the game or how it specifically violates Smogon's tiering philosophy, which I plan to cover later in a more detailed and straight-lined post which has been in the works for months since I first brought up QDQC.

This is completely correct. Kings rock cloyster and kings rock weaville were a problem because the only good counter play to flinches is inner focus, which has no users that have a good matchup vs the kings rock spammers, or steadfast which is the most gimmicky of counter play possible. The only way to stop your team getting melted by rng is to outspeed the opposing threat while being survive a hit (which is difficult due to the limited amount of mons that can outspeed shell smash cloyster) or ohko the opposing mon (which isn’t reliable vs aurora veil teams). The unreliable counter play means that you have to consistently risk the 50/50, which is uncompetitive.

TL/DR: The good counter play is bad/non existence meaning that you have to risk the flinch, so it is really uncompetitive
This is a good example of what I mean. In cases where QDQC manages to activate, it creates unreliable offensive counterplay which means that your risk management is artificially decreased, which is uncompetitive. Speaking on what was said earlier, being broken and being uncompetitive are certainly not mutually exclusive of one another, but I think failing to gauge the brokenness and uncompetiveness of QDQC or shifting too far in either direction isn't correct.

I implore those of you who still have thoughts regarding QDQC to keep the conversation going and post your thoughts. Following the most recent surveys it looks like a lot of the community is still either confused or indifferent to the situation, and correcting that is a necessary step in further deciding on tiering action from the council.
 
Bro this is so stupid

You roll the dice more with Focus Blast than with quick claw

And cloyster should have been banned instead
I have to heartily disagree with this. Focus Blast relates to accuracy rather than turn priority, not even to mention the disparity between 20-44% activation rate and 70% accuracy. Additionally, King's Rock was inherently the issue from the beginning because of its flinch rate.
 
This has been a smogon problem for a long time. Recently freeze clause got shut down because it’s “not a cartridge mechanic” despite both sleep clause and the timer we use not being on cartridge either. It’s a little silly to me that we have a guiding policy that just straight up gets ignored on a seemingly random basis, and we have to cause a big outrage about it for it to change
 
I have to heartily disagree with this. Focus Blast relates to accuracy rather than turn priority, not even to mention the disparity between 20-44% activation rate and 70% accuracy. Additionally, King's Rock was inherently the issue from the beginning because of its flinch rate.
I do know that Focus Blast Never misses during Gravity. That's because the effect of Gravity makes all pokemon have their accuracy multiplied by x1.67.
And I know that Focus Blast has the Same Accuracy as Thunder, Blizzard and Hurricane outside of their benefiting weathers.
 
I'll be honest, I think this discussion is kinda whack

QC and KR add an unnecessary RNG element that's uncompetitive and can be easily avoided by banning them. I personally don't mind losing to bullshit, but losing an important game because some whacky 20% odd that can't be played around or even considered in most cases can be super frustrating. So I think banning those items is a good idea

It doesn't even ruin certain mons. Cloyster can still work without KR, Glowbro without QC and putting it on any other Mon is a waste of an item slot anyway
 
This has been a smogon problem for a long time. Recently freeze clause got shut down because it’s “not a cartridge mechanic” despite both sleep clause and the timer we use not being on cartridge either. It’s a little silly to me that we have a guiding policy that just straight up gets ignored on a seemingly random basis, and we have to cause a big outrage about it for it to change
I believe that sleep clause is considered a controversial choice that should not be made again. In my opinion, any match on showdown should be possible, exactly as it happened, on cartridge. Battle timer is also a feature that somewhat exists on cartridge and I consider it to be an outside of battle mechanic, in a way.

If I play on cartridge with others and we give ourselves the same time limits as on showdown, any showdown match is again replicable on cartridge. This does not apply to sleep or freeze clause
 

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