Policy Review Sword and Shield Ability Banlist Update

DHR-107

Robot from the Future
is a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Pokemon Researcheris a Smogon Media Contributor
Orange Islands
Hey all!

It's that time again!

Gen 8 has seen a host of new abilities added to the game, and I think it's about time we sorted them out in to a CaP banlist as the next CaP might be just around the corner! Many of the new abilities are likely to be banned outright due to their mechanics, but as usual we will have an open discussion about them.

Here is the current Ban List:

Air Lock
Arena Trap
Aura Break
Bad Dreams
Battle Bond
Color Change
Dark Aura
Defeatist
Delta Stream
Desolate Land
Disguise
Fairy Aura
Flower Gift
Forecast
Full Metal Body
Fur Coat
Huge Power
Illusion
Imposter
Moody
Multitype
Neuroforce
Parental Bond
Power Construct
Primordial Sea
Prism Armor
Protean
Pure Power
RKS System
Schooling
Shadow Shield
Shadow Tag
Shields Down
Slow Start
Soul Heart
Stance Change
Teravolt
Truant
Turboblaze
Victory Star
Water Bubble
Wonder Guard
Zen Mode

Battery
Big Pecks
Friend Guard
Healer
Honey Gather
Illuminate
Pickup
Power of Alchemy
Receiver
Run Away
Symbiosis
Telepathy
Air Lock
Arena Trap
Aura Break
Bad Dreams
Battle Bond
Color Change
Dark Aura
Defeatist
Delta Stream
Desolate Land
Disguise
Fairy Aura
Flower Gift
Forecast
Full Metal Body
Fur Coat
Huge Power
Illusion
Imposter
Moody
Multitype
Parental Bond
Power Construct
Primordial Sea
Prism Armor
Protean
Pure Power
RKS System
Schooling
Shadow Shield
Shadow Tag
Shields Down
Slow Start
Stance Change
Teravolt
Truant
Turboblaze
Victory Star
Water Bubble
Wonder Guard
Zen Mode

Beast Boost
Comatose
Drizzle
Drought
Electric Surge
Fluffy
Grassy Surge
Innards Out
Magic Bounce
Magic Guard
Misty Surge
Prankster
Psychic Surge
Sand Stream
Snow Warning
Speed Boost
Stamina
Triage

Battery
Big Pecks
Friend Guard
Healer
Honey Gather
Illuminate
Pickup
Power of Alchemy
Receiver
Run Away
Symbiosis
Telepathy
Air Lock
Aura Break
Bad Dreams
Battle Bond
Color Change
Dark Aura
Defeatist
Delta Stream
Desolate Land
Disguise
Fairy Aura
Flower Gift
Forecast
Full Metal Body
Fur Coat
Huge Power
Illusion
Imposter
Moody
Multitype
Parental Bond
Power Construct
Primordial Sea
Prism Armor
Protean
Pure Power
RKS System
Schooling
Shadow Shield
Shadow Tag
Shields Down
Slow Start
Soul Heart
Stance Change
Teravolt
Truant
Turboblaze
Victory Star
Water Bubble
Wonder Guard
Zen Mode

Arena Trap
Beast Boost
Comatose
Drizzle
Drought
Electric Surge
Fluffy
Grassy Surge
Innards Out
Magic Bounce
Magic Guard
Misty Surge
Prankster
Psychic Surge
Sand Stream
Snow Warning
Speed Boost
Stamina
Triage

<Plus any ability we deem to be competitive on a Pokemon at any stage of discussions. This may include abilities such as the -Ate abilities, Type Immunity abilities (such as Volt/Water Absorb, Dry Skin) or Power Boosting abilities (such as Sheer Force, Tough Claws)>


A quick look at the New Abilities shows there are a few which should be automatically banned.

Dauntless Shield - Zamazenta; Raises Defence by 1 on battle entry
Gorilla Tactics - Darmanitan G; Choice Band like Effect (+1 Attack)
Gulp Missile - Cramorant; Spits out Arrowcuda/Pikachu depending on HP. Effects designs for artists, Hardcoded and could be argued as Forme change
Hunger Switch - Morpeko; Effects design for artists and effects Aura Wheel
Ice Face - Eiscue; Blocks damage from one attack, rebuilds in hail. Also changes Stats. Effects designs for artists, Forme Change, Hardcoded
Ice Scales - Frosmoth; Halves the damage from Special Moves
Intrepid Sword - Zacian; Raises Attack by 1 on battle entry
Libero - Cinderace; Protean clone (which is already banned)
Mimicry - Stunfisk G; Changes Types depending on battlefield terrain. Causes issues with the Typing stage

These are up for debate, but I would be incredibly hesitant to allow any of them as they break Typing/Stats/Artists in some way or another.

The rest of the new Gen 8 abilities (listed below) would fall into "normal usage" in my opinion apart from Sand Spit and Ball Fetch.

Ball Fetch - Yamper; Flavour Ability Only
Cotton Down - Eldegoss; Reduces Speed
Mirror Armour - Corviknight; Reflects stat changes
Neutralizing Gas - Weezing G; Blocks other abilities
Pastel Veil - Rapidash G; Blocks Poison
Perish Body - Cursola; Causes Perish Song on contact
Power Spot - Stonjourner; Powers up Ally moves (Useless in Singles)
Propeller Tail - Barraskewda; Ignores redirection and Abilities (Useless in Singles)
Punk Rock - Toxtricity; Boosts Sound based moves and reduces damage of the same
Ripen - Applin; Doubles the effects of Berries
Sand Spit - Sandaconda; Causes Sandstorm when hit
Screen Cleaner - Mr Rime; Removes all screens
Stalwart - Duraludon; Ignores redirection and Abilities (Useless in Singles)
Steam Engine - Coalossal; Boosts Speed by +6 when hit by a Water or Fire Typed move
Steely Spirit - Perrserker; Powers up Self and Ally Steel moves
Wandering Spirit - Runerigus; Exchanges abilities on contact

Sand Spit should probably be a Secondary Ban to place it with the other Weather Setting abilities even though it is a lot weaker. The rest of these abilities should be fine as picks at any stage in discussions.

I think most of the new abilities are fairly clear cut on bans/not bans. But this is why this thread exists! If you would also like to bring up an ability which you think should be changed, go for it and we can have a discussion over whether or not its still worth keeping its position.
 
Last edited:

LucarioOfLegends

Master Procraster
is a CAP Contributor
I almost completely agree with the list presented, but I want to touch on a few regardless.

Intrepid Sword/Dauntless Shield: Legendary exclusives, Complete Ban as usual.
Gorilla Tactics: One of the leading contributors to why G-Darm was banned and locks a certain type of set into usage, Complete Ban.
Gulp Missile/Hunger Switch/Ice Face: While Gulp Missile would actually be sick for a process, to my knowledge these are most likely hard-coded onto each, and Ice Face is bonefide forme change anyways.
Ice Scales: Almost the same case with Fur Coat, in that it vastly restricts Stats Stage. It doesn't have a clear drawback like Fluffy, so Complete ban obv.

Only one that is hard for me to make a decision on is Mimicry, but words are not coming out why and I see why it is in there. And before I go I want to touch on a few of the others because I think they are kinda of important.

Steely Spirit: Should go exactly where Steelworker should go since they are essentially the same, but deciding which one will totally suck for polls.
Steam Engine: This is an ability that would be good on any Pokemon not name Coalossal so we kind of need to be really careful on how we put this on a mon to be honest. A +6 is practically transcendent of speed tiers on anything even decently fast. I would say hard Secondary Ban.
Punk Rock: Kinda tricky to put a finger on but considering Punk Rock Boomburst/Overdrive is quite strong on anything that can learn it I also urge caution since its a 30% boost. I'd like to say Secondary Ban for this as well but I can also see flavor instead.
 

Bughouse

Like ships in the night, you're passing me by
is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
I'm almost tempted to argue to allow Gorilla Tactics as primary, since it actually is an interesting mechanic and could be interesting on a Pokemon with less borked stats or movepool for the ability, but I think this may be a bit much to ask of CAP.

Power Spot, Propeller Tail, Stalwart, and Ball Fetch should all be banned in Primary and Secondary since they belong in the category of flavor only alongside Illuminate, etc

Steam Engine and Punk Rock should be banned in secondary as they're both way too defining of an ability to be tacked on after the fact (second ability comes after stats). I would lean towards putting Sand Spit there too. Calcs that are being done without Sand residual damage during stats would then suddenly have sand involved after the fact.

tl;dr I agree with the changes already mentioned above lol

Some other things to potentially discuss:
If there are any abilities that were "dexited" ie not in the game data?

Additions to the secondary banlist. In particular, I feel like EVERY CAP, people suggest type immunity abilities in the secondary stage and this is rarely ever going to be a good idea.

Abilities that had new/changed effects, though I don't think any should change where they are in the banlists (or not). But for completeness sake, here are the abilities that changed effects in SS:

Disguise - still Mimikyu hard coded, so change is irrelevant
Moody - change removed accuracy/evasion from stat changes, but as seen in OU, still a broken ability
Flash Fire - change is overworld only
Harvest - change is overworld only
Infiltrator - change is overworld only
Lightning Rod - change is overworld only
Storm Drain - change is overworld only
Super Luck - change is overworld only
Synchronize - change is overworld only

Inner Focus - now also can't be Intimidated, but not a big enough factor to make a ban
Oblivious - now also can't be Intimidated, but not a big enough factor to make a ban
Own Tempo - now also can't be Intimidated, but not a big enough factor to make a ban
Scrappy - now also can't be Intimidated, but not a big enough factor to make a ban
Rattled - now also boosts Speed when Intimidated, but not a big enough factor to make a ban
 

DHR-107

Robot from the Future
is a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Pokemon Researcheris a Smogon Media Contributor
Orange Islands
Ok so how are we feeling about this addition list so far:

Outright/Primary Banned - Due to broken mechanics, hard coded or breaks a step in the CaP process
Dauntless Shield
Gorilla Tactics
Gulp Missile
Hunger Switch
Ice Face
Ice Scales
Intrepid Sword
Libero
Mimicry

Secondary Ban - Can only be used as a Primary Ability
Sand Spit
Steam Engine
Punk Rock

Free Abilities - Falls into "free usage" as likely not broken in any particular way
Cotton Down
Mirror Armour
Neutralizing Gas
Pastel Veil
Perish Body
Ripen
Screen Cleaner
Steely Spirit
Wandering Spirit

Flavour Only Abilities
Ball Fetch
Power Spot
Propeller Tail
Stalwart

Additions to the secondary banlist. In particular, I feel like EVERY CAP, people suggest type immunity abilities in the secondary stage and this is rarely ever going to be a good idea.
We could also add a clause that "Type Immunity" abilities should always be primary only too, much like we soft ban any Primary/Secondary abilities (that have been discussed as competitive) from being Hidden abilities.
 
I agree with the proposed banlist exept for Punk Rock, which I believe shouldn't be restricted at all. Many other abilities like Sheer Force and Tough Claws offer a similar boost in power to many more moves, yet are still allowed. Additionally, this ability works on relatively few moves (The most notable ones are Boomburst, Hyper Voice, Overdrive, Clanging Scales, Bug Buzz, and Snarl) so it many cases it will only boost niche coverage moves and the defensive effect could also have uses as a weaker alternative to Soundproof in cases where the boosted moves are irrelevant.

I don't think that restricting Type-immunity abilities is necessary either. It's true that they can be extremely overwhelming sometimes, but in many other cases they can also be not that powerful, especially if the type you're neutering is something you are not naturally weak to, or when the primary ability is necessary to make the main sets function. In general, I think that it's better to use the secondary banlist only for abilities that would very obviously warp the entire project around them, if something is problematic 80% of the time, there's still a 20% chance it could be useful, so I'd rather deal with these kind of abilities at the criteria of the TLT, which can always ban them individually if they derail the discussion too much.

Also, now that Ice Scales is on the table for discussion, I'd like to bring up again the topic of unbanning abilities that double a stat, which was brought up a while ago and had people arguing on both sides, but a final decision was never made. I personally lean toward allowing them, although I don't really care that much either way, as they would only be useful in very specific scenarios and their effects can be replicated to an extent with other abilities like Intimidate or Tough Claws.
 

DHR-107

Robot from the Future
is a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Pokemon Researcheris a Smogon Media Contributor
Orange Islands
As no one has really given any dissonance and the majority of people have agreed with how we've placed abilities, the post above will serve as the Ban list going forwards.

I'll assimilate this into the main list over the weekend.
 

DHR-107

Robot from the Future
is a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Pokemon Researcheris a Smogon Media Contributor
Orange Islands
So during this ability discussion I've been informed Punk Rock is only a 30% boost to the power of Sound Based moves (and reduces damage from them by 50%).

As such, I now believe this is not worth a Secondary Ability Ban as it is no more constricting than Strong Jaws, Tough Claws or Sheer Force (of which none are limited). I would like to see some brief discussion about this as we would need to make a quick decision prior to CaP 28 Secondary Ability (as it may be relevant).
 

quziel

I am the Scientist now
is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Top CAP Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a member of the Battle Simulator Staff
Moderator
As I've said in the discord, Punk Rock is no more impactful / mon defining than something like Sheer Force, and is arguably less impactful than something like Strong Jaws, with the only real issue being Boomburst, which is not guaranteed. As such, I don't believe it fits the current definition of a secondary ability ban.
 

Voltage

OTTN5
is a Pre-Contributor
I too am alrightwith removing the ban on Punk Rock.Obviously, the flavor aspect is a little tricky, and the spectre of Boomburst is enticing, but I have to agree with Quziel here. Punk Rock is no more impactful than Strong Jaw or Iron Fist for example. Additionally, the defensive merits are quite niche and would make little impact outside of checking itself.
 

LucarioOfLegends

Master Procraster
is a CAP Contributor
Agree with the change. The fact that it is only 1.3 is far less devastating than 1.5, and considering that it is similar in nature to other abilities like Strong Jaw and Iron Fist, which are allowed as a secondary ability. My largest worry about Punk Rock comes in the form of its inherent implication of Boomburst, which is a move boosted by Punk Rock that is far stronger than any move that the latter abilities can boost (Plasma Fists is the closest, but is exclusive to Zeraora and still is 40 BP weaker), but I think that more comes down to the element of being more careful with Boomburst as a moveset option than an inherent broken element of Punk Rock. Its defensive capabilities would be a much larger concern if sound moves were an actual element, but outside of Toxtricity which is far from usable it really isn't a factor and certainly doesn't make it much better than Strong Jaw and Iron Fist.
 

DHR-107

Robot from the Future
is a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Pokemon Researcheris a Smogon Media Contributor
Orange Islands
Punk Rock will no longer be a Secondary Banned ability and moves down to a "Free" ability.

We will make sure this is updated for Ability 2 Discussion.

I would also like to hear thoughts on Quick Draw/Unseen Fist (the two new abilities in IoA). I don't believe either of them are particularly broken, but Unseen Fist is a Legendary Exclusive ability which we tend to ban outright (even if it isn't that powerful in singles).
 

MrDollSteak

CAP 1v1 me IRL
is a Community Contributoris an Artist Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnus
Quick Draw strikes me as fine. It does somewhat invalidate Speed discussions but it isn't very consistent which I think makes it less problematic. Certainly not something that requires building around.
Unseen Fist on the other hand I think is really quite powerful, and if it were to be allowed I think it should be kept for primary only as it significantly raises the power ceiling and has some implications on how we want to set up stats.
 

Quanyails

is a Top Artistis a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor Alumnus
CAP Co-Leader
I had a go at quantifying what it is about each ability on the banlist that makes them ban-worthy on the primary ability banlist. Here are some categories I've come up with:

Primary ability banlist:
  • legendary-exclusive abilities
  • abilities hard-coded to an existing Pokemon
  • abilities that can be replaced with stats
  • abilities that change the user's type
  • abilities that are no longer accessible in-game
  • abilities that are debilitating
  • "uncompetitive" abilities
Air Lock - legendary-exclusive
Arena Trap - uncompetitive
Aura Break - legendary-exclusive
Bad Dreams - legendary-exclusive
Battle Bond - hard-coded
Color Change - changes type
Dark Aura - legendary-exclusive
Dauntless Shield - legendary-exclusive
Defeatist - debilitating
Delta Stream - legendary-exclusive
Desolate Land - legendary-exclusive
Disguise - hard-coded
Fairy Aura - legendary-exclusive
Flower Gift - hard-coded
Forecast - hard-coded
Full Metal Body - legendary-exclusive
Fur Coat - acts as stat boost
Gulp Missile - hard-coded
Huge Power - acts as stat boost
Hunger Switch - hard-coded
Ice Face - hard-coded
Ice Scales - acts as stat boost
Imposter - changes type
Intrepid Sword - legendary-exclusive
Libero - changes type
Mimicry - changes type
Moody - uncompetitive
Multitype - legendary-exclusive
Neuroforce - legendary-exclusive
Parental Bond - not accessible
Power Construct - legendary-exclusive
Primordial Sea - legendary-exclusive
Prism Armor - legendary-exclusive
Protean - changes type
Pure Power - acts as stat boost
RKS System - changes type
Schooling - hard-coded
Shadow Shield - legendary-exclusive
Shadow Tag - uncompetitive
Shields Down - hard-coded
Slow Start - debilitating
Soul Heart - legendary-exclusive
Stance Change - hard-coded
Teravolt - legendary-exclusive
Truant - debilitating
Turboblaze - legendary-exclusive
Victory Star - legendary-exclusive
Zen Mode - hard-coded


The following abilities currently on the primary ability banlist are not covered of the above criteria:

Gorilla Tactics
Illusion
Water Bubble
Wonder Guard

Thoughts on the remaining abilities:
  • Gorilla Tactics, Illusion: These abilities really define how you play with the Pokemon, but how do you quantify what makes them more ban-worthy than, say, Magic Guard or Regenerator?
  • Parental Bond: nerfed from 1.5x damage to 1.25x damage since Gen. VII. We've had arguments about how Parental Bond might've been a really interesting direction to take for CAP 25 that were never realized. I could see this coming off the primary ability banlist. DHR also pointed out that Parental Bond isn't really available in Gen. VIII, so I created a category for it.
  • Water Bubble: We've recently had discussion in CAP 28 about whether this ability was considered "broken". I could see us either adding a criteria that an ability "can't give more than a 1.5x damage boost to specific attacks" if we want to keep it, or otherwise consider removing it.
  • Wonder Guard: I think we can agree that this is a really, really defining ability, so how do we quantify that? E.g., would you agree that any ability that "gives immunity to more than 3 damage types" would be ban-worthy?
To clarify, these criteria aren't used as a replacement for the banlist. These criteria are used to quantify what is currently on the banlist and to quantify any decisions we make in the future about what abilities belong on what banlists. In other words, we can't look at the list and argue, "Why is X banned but not Y when both Z"? In addition, these criteria can be used to justify any additions to these banlists we forgot to cover, such as (say) Sand Veil.

I'm also working on quantifying the criteria that are used for the secondary ability banlist--I'll get to that when I have time!
 
Last edited:

Bughouse

Like ships in the night, you're passing me by
is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
We are already currently banning other legendary signatures that aren't particularly broken like Neuroforce or Victory Star. There's no reason to break that precedent for Unseen Fist. If it ever stops being a legendary exclusive, I'm fine to include it with no restrictions, as breaking protection is not all that relevant in the singles metagame. But for now, ban entirely.

Quick Draw I think promotes bad design. It's not uncompetitive to nearly the same degree as Moody, so I don't know for sure if it needs to be banned from even primary, but it certainly promotes luck far more than would be ideal. It's definitely too much of a distraction from a primary ability to be allowed as a secondary ability so at the very least it should be banned there. Personally, I'd ban entirely.

Re: Gorilla Tactics, Illusion, Water Bubble, Parental Bond, and Wonder Guard: all should remain fully banned

I think it would be fair to say that if Skill Swap fails on an ability that's probably a good sign of its problematic nature (usually that it's hard coded). That would cover Illusion and Wonder Guard. Somewhat frustratingly this fact is also true for Neutralizing Gas... but I suspect this is because of the coding complexity of "restarting" Neutralizing Gas mid turn when none of the swapped abilities actually take effect but then need to take effect later when the Neutralizing Gas mon leaves the field, etc. It's also true that Skill Swap fails for Comatose, which we've allowed too. So it's not perfect, but it's a pretty good hint.
Honestly, I wouldn't mind classifying these two as uncompetitive. They really are in the general sense and have immense power to be broken if they weren't on Pokemon as bad as Shedinja and Zoroark.

Water Bubble falls under the category of "too many buffs". I don't really know how to quantify it but generally if an ability is doing more than 1 thing it's a distraction. Concepts and threat lists should be targeted enough that we never need an ability that does so many distinct things. 2 things may sometimes be ok, but Water Bubble does 3 and that's clearly too many.
Water Bubble reduces damage from Fire, increases damage dealt by Water, and protects from burn status.

Parental Bond boosts the power of ALL attacks that use the damage formula, whether physical or special and regardless of damage effectiveness (so this is essentially ability masquerading as stats) while also taking advantage of duplicated chances at secondary effects. Essentially, it's Serene Grace + a stats boost and there's no reason we can't just give it better stats and Serene Grace. The only unique benefit here is related to Substitute, but if the goal is to threaten Pokemon that use Substitute, we could do that in far more targeted ways like Infiltrator, sound-based moves, etc. This sort of falls under the category of "too many buffs" like water bubble, but imo it could also just fit as "acts as stat boost."

Gorilla Tactics pretty clearly is "acts as stat boost" but could also be thought of as debilitating since it forces choice lock.
 

quziel

I am the Scientist now
is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Top CAP Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a member of the Battle Simulator Staff
Moderator
Water Bubble falls under the category of "too many buffs". I don't really know how to quantify it but generally if an ability is doing more than 1 thing it's a distraction. Concepts and threat lists should be targeted enough that we never need an ability that does so many distinct things. 2 things may sometimes be ok, but Water Bubble does 3 and that's clearly too many.
Water Bubble reduces damage from Fire, increases damage dealt by Water, and protects from burn status.

Parental Bond boosts the power of ALL attacks that use the damage formula, whether physical or special and regardless of damage effectiveness (so this is essentially ability masquerading as stats) while also taking advantage of duplicated chances at secondary effects. Essentially, it's Serene Grace + a stats boost and there's no reason we can't just give it better stats and Serene Grace. The only unique benefit here is related to Substitute, but if the goal is to threaten Pokemon that use Substitute, we could do that in far more targeted ways like Infiltrator, sound-based moves, etc. This sort of falls under the category of "too many buffs" like water bubble, but imo it could also just fit as "acts as stat boost."
Small post, but disagree that "too many buffs" is a problem; the ability basically act like adding a third typing to the mon, which is something that no other ability can accomplish, and which is something I could see being relevant to future CAPs. I think its definitely something that will be brought up more than it is relevant, but the mix of attributes it offers is useful enough that I don't think hard banning it is necessary. After all, its not the only ability that combines a ton of stuff into one, with Magic Guard giving immunity to hazards, status, and a free Life Orb, or Drizzle giving 1.5x power on water moves, a fire resistance, and powerful team support.

Parental Bond is similar but different; I could see it being relevant for Snake's 1000 kicks concept thanks to its interaction with Seismic Toss, though feel less strongly here, as well, its definitely a power boost.
 

Quanyails

is a Top Artistis a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor Alumnus
CAP Co-Leader
Posting for Talpr0ne:

--

Basically the gist of my argument is that while not all moves work in SwSh (and therefore those who don't should be excluded), all abilities in SwSh work, without requiring Game Freak to flip more switches in their internal code when they are reintroducing a Pokémon that has them.

If we are willing to exclude Parental Bond because no already available Pokémon has it (even though we are creating Pokémon from scratch) we should exclude all the following abilities (based on datamines of returning Pokémon).
Air Lock (legendary exclusive, available on a CAP)
Aura Break (legendary exclusive)
Beast Boost (legendary exclusive)
Dark Aura (legendary exclusive)
Defeatist (hindering)
Fairy Aura (legendary exclusive)
Multiscale
Power Construct (legendary exclusive, hard coded form change)
Refrigerate
Slow Start (legendary exclusive, hindering)
Victory Star (legendary exclusive)
Aerilate
Bad Dreams (legendary exclusive)
Battle Bond (hard coded form change)
Color Change (banned)
Comatose (available on a CAP)
Delta Stream (legendary exclusive)
Desolate Land (legendary exclusive)
Dancer
Dazzling
Forecast (hard coded form change)
Galvanize (available on a CAP)
Grass Pelt
Magma Armor
Multitype (legendary exclusive, hard coded form change)
Neuroforce (legendary exclusive)
Normalize
Parental Bond (currently banned with a case for unban)
Poison Heal (available on a CAP)
Power of Alchemy
Primordial Sea (legendary exclusive)
Protean (banned)
Pure Power (banned)
Shields Down (hard coded form change)
Toxic Boost
Truant (hindering)

If it sounds unreasonable, it's because it is, considering it would also require changing the abilities of multiple CAPs for no reason and the ones that would be involved are already not the greatest. But it is either this or allow all abilities (as there is no technical constraint). There is no logical argument for banning only Parental Bond for not being obtainable in game legitimately. It also means that, if these are banned for not being available, that they should not ever be allowed even in special occasions that would allow rule bending such as another celebratory or peculiar concept CAP.

As an unrelated note I think Beast Boost should be banned as Ultra Beasts are legendaries for all intents and purposes, and Unseen Fist should be banned for also being legendary exclusive. Quick Draw is probably ok but potentially treading into uncompetitive territory in combination with Quick Claw and an adequate stat spread; should probably be considered at least for a secondary ban. Abilities can also be banned for multiple reasons (i.e. Multitype) so listing them all is only fair.
 

Quanyails

is a Top Artistis a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor Alumnus
CAP Co-Leader
I think it would be fair to say that if Skill Swap fails on an ability that's probably a good sign of its problematic nature (usually that it's hard coded). That would cover Illusion and Wonder Guard. Somewhat frustratingly this fact is also true for Neutralizing Gas... but I suspect this is because of the coding complexity of "restarting" Neutralizing Gas mid turn when none of the swapped abilities actually take effect but then need to take effect later when the Neutralizing Gas mon leaves the field, etc. It's also true that Skill Swap fails for Comatose, which we've allowed too. So it's not perfect, but it's a pretty good hint.
Honestly, I wouldn't mind classifying these two as uncompetitive. They really are in the general sense and have immense power to be broken if they weren't on Pokemon as bad as Shedinja and Zoroark.
Shedinja and Zoroark are usable in lower tiers. The abilities are not uncompetitive in of themselves like Moody and Arena Trap are. Usually, when an ability itself is considered uncompetitive, the ability gets banned, not its user. I'd rather tighten the criteria to be "all abilities banned in the OU tier", although metric is shaky considering that OU may not have these abilities banned at the start of a generation.

--

Water Bubble falls under the category of "too many buffs". I don't really know how to quantify it but generally if an ability is doing more than 1 thing it's a distraction. Concepts and threat lists should be targeted enough that we never need an ability that does so many distinct things. 2 things may sometimes be ok, but Water Bubble does 3 and that's clearly too many.
Water Bubble reduces damage from Fire, increases damage dealt by Water, and protects from burn status.
If you want to quantify "too many buffs" as a metric, you'll need to word it in a way that explains why Water Bubble should be included but not something like Magic Guard, which can act as Heavy Duty Boots + Overcoat + Rock Head. Would Water Bubble still be considered "broken" if it boosted Water-type moves by 1.3x or 1.5x damage instead of 2x? I'm not sure, which is why I proposed that "no damage boosts beyond 1.5x damage" could work. Quziel brings up excellent counterexamples to "too much compression" not being valid using our current criteria.

--

Parental Bond boosts the power of ALL attacks that use the damage formula, whether physical or special and regardless of damage effectiveness (so this is essentially ability masquerading as stats) while also taking advantage of duplicated chances at secondary effects. Essentially, it's Serene Grace + a stats boost and there's no reason we can't just give it better stats and Serene Grace. The only unique benefit here is related to Substitute, but if the goal is to threaten Pokemon that use Substitute, we could do that in far more targeted ways like Infiltrator, sound-based moves, etc. This sort of falls under the category of "too many buffs" like water bubble, but imo it could also just fit as "acts as stat boost."
A lot of primary ability options, such as Magic Guard, rely on serving multiple purposes to make the ability worthwhile. E.g., Magic Guard stops status/entry hazard damage and lets you use Life Orb better. Parental Bond serving as a way to bypass Substitute and get two chances to trigger effects (or even unique interactions, like Seismic Toss) can make it much more appealing than one of Infiltrator, Serene Grace, or Simple.

The only argument I can reasonably see for Parental Bond not coming off the primary ability banlist is that it's exclusive to a mega Pokemon, to put it along the same line as abilities we ban for being exclusive to legendaries. Otherwise, it provides a unique mechanic that I think is worth exploring.

--

Gorilla Tactics pretty clearly is "acts as stat boost" but could also be thought of as debilitating since it forces choice lock.
The same criteria would also apply to Fluffy, given it boosts defense but adds a Fire weakness. What makes Gorilla Tactics worth banning but not Fluffy? Gorilla Tactics is really unique in how it operates, and I'm honestly interested in knowing what it is it should be banned for!
 

Bughouse

Like ships in the night, you're passing me by
is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
I think you’re mistaken that Magic Guard and Drizzle have many effects. They don’t. They have one.

drizzle summons rain that lasts for 5 turns. The fact that rain then does many things is not drizzle’s fault.

magic guard removes all passive damage. The fact that there are many kinds of passive damage like status or hazards or leech seed or life orb is not magic guard’s fault.

water bubble has 3 distinct effects. The burn immunity is water veil. The extra fire resistance is heatproof. And the doubled power on water type attacks has no similar effect anywhere else in the game, even for other types. That’s basically one signature effect plus two other abilities all in one.
 

DHR-107

Robot from the Future
is a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Pokemon Researcheris a Smogon Media Contributor
Orange Islands
Small post, but disagree that "too many buffs" is a problem; the ability basically act like adding a third typing to the mon, which is something that no other ability can accomplish, and which is something I could see being relevant to future CAPs.
I just want to point out that this is wrong as Steelworker grants this exact effect. Water Bubbles effect is actually stronger than giving it a third type. Even mediocre water moves become as powerful (if not better) as good STAB options.
 

Quanyails

is a Top Artistis a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor Alumnus
CAP Co-Leader
I got a moment to follow up on Water Bubble here:

No one would be saying that Water Bubble would be broken if it combined something like Water Veil + Heatproof + Hydration instead. In addition, as discussed in #prc, I wonder if it would be considered broken if it boosted Water-type damage by 1.3x or 1.5x instead of 2x. Punk Rock "combines two effects", one of which is a damage boost to specific attacking moves, and yet it's recently been unbanned from Secondary Ability. If Punk Rock gave a 2x damage boost to all Sound-based moves instead of giving them a 1.3x boost, what banlists would we see it on?

I think we all agree that the incredible damage boost Water Bubble gives to Water-type attacks is the key to its inclusion on the banlist, and I'm happy to use that as a quantifier.
 

quziel

I am the Scientist now
is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Top CAP Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a member of the Battle Simulator Staff
Moderator
Again, is having a specific typing be beyond all your other options somethign we cannot work around? Should we ban Electric Surge because it could give access to a 182 BP electric move (the same power as a Water Bubble boosted Surf)? Saying that there's a 2x power boost is not something I think really matters. It places constraints on the power of moves we can give, but there is no other ability that gives "Burn Immunity + Offensive Presence" and frankly that specific combination is something I think is very valuable to future CAPs.

My thesis is basically "Water Bubble looks threatening in a vacuum, but the low power of water moves is a issue for it and many other abilities can offer higher power than it". Water Bubble Boosted Waterfall is on par with Sun Boosted Weather Ball or Rain Boosted Weather Ball, and we allow both of those options.

The number of effects is not a reason to deny an ability, as the only reason it seems overwhelming is listing all three at once, rather than them being implicit as in Magic Guard (Recoil Immunity + Status Immunity + Life Orb Recoil gone) or Drought (Half Water Damage + 1.5x Fire Damage + 33% Bonus to Special Grass moves, that is Solar Beam over Energy Ball).

Saying that we are so inable to work around these constraints that we have to ban it from any and all future processes (I tried to argue for an unban here), and that we can never use it is a vast underestimation of the CAP process's ability to work around constraints, and because this ability does not interfere with any stage of the CAP process (typing, moves, stats) in a fundamental way like every single other ability does (see wonder guard) means it should be unbanned. As of now it is the single ability that is on the banlist because it is "too powerful", and frankly, that is not a good reason to be on the banlist, nor is it substantially more powerful than legal abilities in practice.
 

jas61292

used substitute
is a Community Contributoris a Top CAP Contributoris a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
My thesis is basically "Water Bubble looks threatening in a vacuum, but the low power of water moves is a issue for it and many other abilities can offer higher power than it". Water Bubble Boosted Waterfall is on par with Sun Boosted Weather Ball or Rain Boosted Weather Ball, and we allow both of those options.
While the power levels of those things may be similar, Water Bubble warps the process in a way that those options do not. The fact is that things like Waterfall and Surf are very common moves, and if we are a water type or are considering water type coverage (the only reasons to consider the ability in the first place), the question is not "will we get Surf?," but "will we get Hydro Pump." We will get Surf. That is a huge distinction between this and Weather Ball. That is a rare move that is not even of the same type. There is no reason we would have to give it out. Same thing with Rising Voltage or Expanding Force. While one can argue that Rising Voltage is pretty close to universal on Electric types, these are special moves with unique effects, not just the basic standard moves of that typing. We can choose to not give Rising Voltage while still giving out and electric move of standard competitive power level. We cannot do the same with Surf because it is the move of that standard competitive power level.

By allowing Water Bubble to be chosen we basically are saying we have these options: have offensive moves far beyond normal acceptable power levels, or bypass an important part of our ability by only giving moves well below standard power level. The former case greatly warps the project, while in the later case we would have been better off not picking that ability at all.

Personally, I don't really see a need for us to have categorized all these abilities more specifically in the first place as to why they are banned. There are ultimately only two real reasons, as far as I am concerned. Optics (legendary/hard coded), and process warping. Doesn't matter whether its a debilitating ability like Defeatist or a type changing one like Color Change, or a stat effecting one like Huge Power. All of these are banned because they would warp the project around themselves to an unhealthy degree. I fully believe that Water Bubble would have the same kind of effect on the process, causing massive issues with stats and move related poll jumping.
 

quziel

I am the Scientist now
is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Top CAP Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a member of the Battle Simulator Staff
Moderator
Minor thing:

Defeatist does not interfere with any stages, is clearly not overpowered, and has a very unique gameplay interaction that is theoretically applicable to several concepts (here the idea of "Slowking has to hit you to weaken you instead of switching out" is very relevant). It should be unbanned from the primary ability banlist.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)

Top