it's all gone pear shaped
|Palkia-O||Ban||Ban||Do Not Ban||Do Not Ban||Do Not Ban|
Terastal has been a difficult topic in every meta and now BH is having its turn in the spotlight. BH has a fairly unique stance on Terastal in that it's an almost entirely offensive mechanic - Terastallizing a defensive Pokemon is only used as a reaction to an opposing threat. We ultimately judged that Terastal is linked to the two main issues in the meta, being that offensive Pokemon (such as Gorilla Tactics or Orichalcum Pulse attackers) are really difficult to wall and bulky setup Pokemon (like Fur Coat Quiver Dance users) spiral out of control too easily.
Defensive Terastallization is largely a healthy aspect of the mechanic - being able to shore up a weakness to a random demon breaker helps reduce matchup inconsistency and creates more stable games. Offensive Terastallization is the much more problematic element due to the sheer offensive power it gives to already-dangerous threats, arguably making them unreasonable to withstand long-term and (in some instances) very hard to actually threaten with damage. In places where a Terastallized threat can't brute-force its way through walls, it can also threaten 50/50s whenever Terastallizing is a possibility, and guessing wrong almost always leads to the loss of a Pokemon (which is signficantly more impactful than most other tiers). In addition to this, defensive Terastallization is arguably fringe and in many cases used only as a response to offensive Terastallization from an opposing threat, which creates many inflexible situations and could be symptomatic of offensive Terastal being too overbearing. Finally, Terastallizing can further haze matchup consistency by blanking Imposter users, which don't copy Terastal, allowing offensive threats to make the matchup completely one-sided or simply OHKO the Imposter user with the damage boost (see: Tera Fire GT Zacian-C).
However, there are arguments that Terastallizing is a healthy mechanic. First off, as said above, defensive Terastal helps to patch up emergency weaknesses in a team and help increase matchup consistency while not being flexible enough to let players get away with poorly built teams. Terastallizing also offers creative new ways to break past checks and gives newfound viability to would-be fringe coverage like Water, Grass, and Fairy, most often seen on Choice Item users. Finally, and while it's subjective, Terastallizing is arguably just a fun mechanic that makes games more dynamic and less like drawn-out wars of attrition, and so tiering on it ultimately falls to where you personally draw the line between balance and enjoyability.
As stated above, the only reason we're suspecting Terastallizing is because of offensive Pokemon. There are 2 main categories, being STAB Tera and non-STAB Tera, and both have defensive applications intertwined. STAB Tera is generally the most common as it provides a significant power boost to a Pokemon's (typically) strongest and most spammable attack, helping break through walls with sheer damage alone. Some of the more common Pokemon in this category are Palkia-O, Zacian-C, Arceus-Ghost, Arceus-Fire, Arceus-Fairy, Groudon, Ursaluna, and Miraidon. The second category is non-STAB Terastallization, where Pokemon Terastallize into the same STAB as their coverage in order to give it the kick necessary to break past walls. Common Pokemon included in this category are Zacian-C (Choice Band sets sometimes use non-Tera Fairy), Enamorus, Palafin-Hero, and Slaking. A problem arises for some of these threats in that these categories aren't mutually exclusive - some Pokemon like Zacian-C and Slaking enjoy both, which adds an additional element of unpredictability, and even among STAB Tera-only Pokemon, it's sometimes not evident which Tera Type they're using. Many also have an inherent defensive use, such as Tera Electric Miraidon removing the Fairy-type weakness or Tera Fire Zacian-C flipping the Fire-type weakness into a resistance, which can make offensively pressuring these threats quite difficult.
If you looked at the voting table above, there were only 2/5 Ban votes on Palkia-O. Palkia-O is the most problematic Terastal user thanks to an excellent STAB combination and brutal wallbreaking power. Tera Dragon is most notorious, with +1 Dragon Energy OHKOing RegenVest Dialga-O and 2HKOing Chansey or +0 OHKOing Arceus and 2HKOing Ice Scales Dialga-O, whereas Tera Water offers a much better defensive profile that allows setting up on Zacian-C and PixiSpeed users like Arceus-Fairy. Ultimately we decided that Palkia-O wasn't warping in the same way that Slaking and Poison Heal were, and that it should remain legal for the suspect despite the massive power. This is mostly due to Palkia-O's limitations as a Pokemon rather than as a Terastal user, where it struggles heavily to break past dedicated checks like Desolate Land Zacian-C, and so it should be considered a part of Tera's applications.
HOW (SUSPECT DETAILS):
During a suspect test, players must register an alt account and climb the Pokemon Showdown! ladder in order to reach a certain GXE and earn the rights to participate in the vote. The alts need to follow the below guidelines:
- Have a creation date no earlier than today (February 27th).
- Games must be played on the official Pokemon Showdown! site.
- Terastallizing is allowed on ladder during the suspect period.
- Accounts must begin with the prefix "BHTERA", and this must be at the start of the name (eg. "BHTERA Tea" is allowed, but "Testing BHTERA" is invalid). This name requirement is mandatory.
- To qualify for voting, players must reach 80% GXE with at least 30 games, decreasing by 0.2% GXE for every game played (down to 76% GXE with minimum 50 games). There is no upper limit for how many games you can qualify with.
- The suspect will last for two weeks, ending on Monday, March 13th at 11:59PM GMT+0.
- Posting proof of ownership of the alt account is mandatory. Post a picture of you logged into your alt account with reqs and forum name visible.
- (Optional) Feel free to discuss your stance on the matter when posting proof of reqs.
Tagging Kris to set up the suspect on PS.