Terastallization Tiering Discussion

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While there is nothing set-in-stone, preliminary discussions on a Terastallization suspect test are well underway internally. The OU council has discussed matters within their chat extensively while I have also personally reached out to other prominent tiering figures during this important time as well.

Many points from this thread and the ongoing tiering survey will help guide us in the decision making process. We have been taking this very seriously given the monumental, generation defining nature of the subject matter. We also appreciate all of the communal feedback we have received along the way.

As it stands, it is likely (not confirmed) that we have a suspect test on Terastallization next week. This suspect will likely last a bit longer than a standard suspect to give voters even more time to decide. In addition, it could include a unique voting structure tailored towards the complex nature of the topic of Terastallization. It is possible voters will get to elect if they believe action is necessary or not followed by an election as to which action is most appropriate out of a select group of outcomes, for example. It is also possible we have a suspect now and then another months after the fact to reassess the verdict of the initial in light of metagame developments and evolving communal sentiment. However, we are not married to any singular structure and this post is mostly an attempt at transparency in a time of great uncertainty and peaking interest.
Just to give food for thoughts, the official VGC rulesets for first season were just released. The big change compared to previous generations is that a lot of informations will be displayed publicly, and most notably the Tera type. Smogon could definitly try to take the same route and be as close as possible of officials tournament regarding terastalling. At least it's good to take it into account I think.

It seems to show that they realize how unbalanced the mechanic if it is left as it is in game. So at least we know restricting it is the right way to do it as well !

I attach the official ruleset if that interests you, the precision about the tera type made public is page 5-6

''The 2023 Video Game Championship Season will utilize an open team list format. Players are required to provide a legible and accurate list of the Pokémon that comprise their team. All Pokémon information provided on the team list (see below) will be made available to the opponent except for the Pokémon’s stats (Speed, etc.).''

Have a nice day !



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The chief reason VGC is adopting open team sheets is not because of Terastallization being broken, or uncompetitive, or anything similar; it's because Scarlet/Violet don't have a mechanism to lock Battle Boxes at in-person events anymore. Without open team sheets, it is too easy to prepare multiple similar Pokemon and easily cheat by swapping in different Pokemon between games of a set or between rounds. Consider Item Clause, for example: Smogon formats don't adopt Item Clause just because VGC does. Open team sheets are far more than just revealing Tera Type: all 4 moves, items, and Abilities are also available. Smogon formats aren't team-locked, so they do not have this problem unique to VGC with in-person live events.


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We have the results of the responses to our first SV OU tiering survey up here!

It seems increasingly likely that we are approaching the first suspect of generation, and the subject of it is set to be Terastallization. As alluded to previously, the plan is to make it a two-prompt suspect (it will likely be a single-time vote, but in order to complete that vote, you have to respond to two simple questions rather than just one). We feel this creative and novel solution best captures the unique situation we are attempting to tier, but also acknowledge that there is no outright perfect solution either.

If the playerbase votes on taking action, which will likely require over 60% support to begin with, then the current options the council are considering for tiering action are as follows:
  • Outright banning Terastallization
  • Limiting Terastallization to a single user per team
  • Showing Tera type at Team Preview
  • Limiting Terastallization to previously held STAB types only
We will likely adopt ranked-choice voting for the second prompt's results in order to generate the most specifically fair verdict that represents the sentiments of those who obtain suspect requirements.

Please note that this is NOT set-in-stone and we continue to discuss matters so we can serve our community in the best way we know possible. Thank you.


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Limiting Pokemon to only tera to their STAB type would be an abject failure on the part of the smogon tiering system. The primary arguments in favor of keeping tera in the metagame are its novelty as a mechanic from a play/teambuilding perspective as well as the fact that banning tera could possibly discourage new players from picking up smogon formats.

Limiting tera to only being usable within the confines of your STAB combo completely destroys the identity of the mechanic from a competitive perspective. Changing your type allows you to flip your defensive profile, which can be useful when teambuilding, allowing you cover more threats in the builder. Additionally, it introduces some interesting forms of skill expression that can result in big outplays in-game, such as being able to tera to Steel or Ground type to dodge Toxic and Thunder Wave on status-prone Pokemon.

From the perspective of preserving tera to draw in new players to the format, limiting it to STAB type only would work against the point of keeping it in the first place. The reason why the mechanic is so cool in the first place is being able to change your type and basically become a completely new Pokemon. Seeing that you can only keep one of your original types would discourage new players from playing the format from the second that they realize how the rule works in a way that illustrates exactly why smogon is so wary to implement complex bans in the first place.

Eventually, I believe that we'll arrive at a combination of both of the other preservation proposals if tera even stays in the metagame in the first place. I personally favor showing tera type at preview, but limiting tera to one user per team is also a great way to limit it. I would be fine with any of the other proposals that Finch posted above, just PLEASE do not limit it to STAB type only, we would legit be better off banning the mechanic entirely at that point.
Is it possible to combine the restriction of “showing Tera types at preview” with banning the move Tera Blast? I think this combination would be much more palatable for most people than simply showing Tera types at preview. I understand on its own banning Tera blast does not do much to restrict, but removing the ability of any Pokemon to have a free 80 BP Hidden Power STAB physical or special move does make a difference with regard to mitigating the voluminous options to prep for regarding tera.

Of course this is only if the vote makes it to a restriction in the first place, but I think this addition to the Tera preview option will go a long ways. I think the rest of the options are good options to choose from, I just think this would be a good modification to that one option.


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i don't think limiting terastalizing to only STAB or one pokemon per team should be entertained at all. if we're going to use some extremely arbitrary rules, we should look at also freeing dynamax. why are we entertaining so many arbitrary limitations of terastalizing when we didn't do the same for dynamax? you could obtain pokemon at different dynamax levels, which lowers how much hp they gain upon dynamaxing, even all the way down to no boost at all (i believe). but for terastalizing we are looking into extremely random limitations?

the only viable options are to do nothing, reveal types at preview, and an outright ban. while tpci's decision is not a balance decision, having a somewhat official precedent that is easily replicated both on cart and on the simulator makes a ton more sense than to do something totally random. while open team sheet is obviously a step up, having the way we balance terastalizing for singles be something that is also done for vgc makes a very easy introduction for the casual player to smogon tiers.

i have no opinion on what the right decision is as i've played a very limited amount, but from a tiering perspective entertaining anything other than an outright ban and revealing types at preview is just wrong in my eyes.
Doing Nothing - 1/10

A heinous option that... does nothing (haha) about the issue. Anyone in disagreement with this is playing for flavor not for competition.

Outright banning Terastallization - 6/10 ***

A clean option that removes the broken elements, but only a last resort. Let's see if we can click our other moves first, then get back to this.

Limiting Terastallization to a single user per team - 3/10

Admittedly sloppy and arbitrary, and said single user is likely to still be plenty broken. However, better than doing nothing, and there is some value in keeping the mechanic.

Showing Tera type at Team Preview - 3/10

Knowing whether or not a resist becomes a weakness or vice versa doesn't make the specific turn much less random. Any 6 mons being able to do this is still dumb as fuck. Ideologically sound but practically a big issue still.

Limiting Terastallization to previously held STAB types only - 2/10

I liked this initially because it was clean and simple but broken and does defeat the mechanical purpose, gg.


Is a 6/10 our ideal state? No, but in practice we go for the best we can get. Just because you can't get a 10 doesn't mean you should remain lonely forever. In this case, we should not remain in the lonely pit of terastallization - and it sucks but we gotta ban it to make the best of the hand we were dealt.
i don't think limiting terastalizing to only STAB or one pokemon per team should be entertained at all. if we're going to use some extremely arbitrary rules, we should look at also freeing dynamax. why are we entertaining so many arbitrary limitations of terastalizing when we didn't do the same for dynamax? you could obtain pokemon at different dynamax levels, which lowers how much hp they gain upon dynamaxing, even all the way down to no boost at all (i believe). but for terastalizing we are looking into extremely random limitations?
Now i fully agree with you on your other points but I will say specifically with dynamax, that the dynamax levels would only change a small bit of the main issue with it. Yes, not doubling your health pool would be a help, but it's the snowballing capabilities were the bulk of the problem. Max airstream on its own broke almost any threat with acceptable stats, excadrill was among the mostbroken abusers as well as other weather abusers, and really almost any setup sweeper became truly absurd. In a lot of these cases, you had to setup before you dynamax'd to begin with to wreak havoc with exceptions like Moxie Gyarados.

If anything, I'd wager the doubled health pool almost made the snowballing easier to handle because you could dynamax back to stall it out and maybe take a hit your normally wouldn't. Without it, the snowballing and threat level of nearly every sweeper in the game would still be far too much. Regardless of how we'd restrict it, that mechanic is genuinely irredeemable.

As for terastalization, I'm personally very torn on my stance, but I do find merit in attempting restrictions, specifically the one in your 2nd paragraph, anything else would likely fail to do it's job. Will the one restriction i prefer do it's job, I dont truly know, but there's merit in trying to. If you pulled my leg, I'd say to ban it. But the reasoning to not try to restrict it being the precedent with dynamax falls flat to me in multiple areas

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Ok, so after playing a lot of ladder games and getting nearly to the top of it with different alts, I changed my opinion about tera.
Before I started playing, I thought that tera was going to be like dynamax and completely broken, but it has actually been an interesting mechanic that has made games more fun and has added more strategic depht to it. However in my opinion tera has a very broken element to it, and it is the element of surprise because you don't know whats the tera type of the opponent, and against some powerful threats like DD Roaring Moon, guessing wrong can easily cost you the game (tera flying and steel are the 2 most common tera types, and they have very different answers).

For that reason, I think that the first step should be revealing the tera type, something that is already done in official Nintendo formats, so we are not creating any random rule to try to keep the core mechanic of the gen.

After tera types are revealed, you remove that broken element of tera, allowing you to plan the game better, knowing what to expect. In my experience playing SV OU, when the tera types were predictable, I never felt that the mechanic was broken or unfair, and as I said earlier I think it adds a strategic element to the game that makes games different than earlier gens. In fact, I think that zmoves were a more broken mechanic (which doesn't say much because I would have banned zmoves). Will tera still be broken? Maybe yes maybe no, but the most broken and unfair element of it (in my opinion) will be gone.
My opinion after playing the meta:

Ban entirely is the preferable option for me, it adds way too much variance both in Team Building and in actual battles

However, since the majority thinks otherwise, looks like some kind of restriction will be done. If so, Non-Stab Tera looks like the better one to preservepreserve, not only due to it being the main part of the core mechanic of the generation, but for Competitive merits too. Yes, something like Chi-Yu or even (unlikely) Roaring Moon might become broken due to changing the type, but at least, changing the type is something defensive Mons often do too to check some threats better, unlike the Super Stab, which almost always only offensive threats use. If only one of Changing Type vs Super Stab is to be preserved, Changing Type for me is the one that should stay.

Of course, revealing Tera at preview I also consider to be a step in the right direction.


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I have very little stake since I'm mostly retired atp, but it's a very global issue that'll affect the way the website tiers for the remainder of Gen 9 so I'm gonna say my thoughts anyway. First of all though - kudos to OU council lmao, I can't imagine how much pressure must be on you guys atm since you guys tier arguably the most observed metagame across the internet and this is the generational mechanic.

I don't think restricting Terastallizing is a feasible option, but I also think the people arguing this are arguing against restrictions for the wrong reasons. We don't know if restricting it will work or not, and hypothetically, it could, whatever Smogon chooses. But it also couldn't. That's ultimately a gamble we'll have to decide on, but the other side of restricting Terastallizing is that you'll have to make every subsequent tiering decision with the restriction in mind. This means that if a Pokemon is restricted to only being able to Tera into its STAB type, you'll have to wonder if the Pokemon is broken or if it's another example of Tera being broken (bc superstab helps the Pokemon force its way past checks). There's also still some defensive examples of Tera with that in mind (Dragapult Teraing and Chien Pao not being able to RK w/ Ice Shard or Sucker and having to pick the correct move + other stuff), but again, you'd have to wonder if the Pokemon would be broken regardless or if Tera is what breaks it. This'd be awful.

If you make people reveal Tera type, the unpredictability still exists, except to a lesser extent, but the same concerns still apply. Is x Pokemon broken because it can Tera into some type and negate my check? Knowing what a Pokemon is meant to lure helps this to some degree, but ultimately if your answer is the only answer to that Pokemon, then it doesn't matter if you know the lure or not. I think that the question that'd arise if Tera types were public is whether or not the Pokemon is broken or the Pokemon is only broken because Teraing makes circumventing checks too easy.

The list goes on and on. I think the course of action that'd make tiering for the rest of the gen less of a headache is doing away with Tera entirely while the meta gets stabilized. Restricting Tera would cause tiering to be too much of a headache IMO, especially if we eventually revisited Tera, and I do think that outright banning it and revisiting it once the meta becomes healthy is a better call because at that point we'll know what Pokemon are broken by themselves and we won't have to ask ourselves if Tera is what breaks them (bc it doesn't exist).

But it ultimately comes down to the way the playerbase wants to tier. There's no reason my thought process is better than anyone else's, so if players want to ask that question whenever a Pokemon that uses Tera well is suspected, then I think it's a reasonable sacrifice for the generational mechanic, but not one I'd personally want to do because we'll probably have to revisit this mechanic sooner or later anyway.
I think it would be worth experimenting w/ Tera types at preview before outright banning the mechanic. The largest issue w/ Tera that I've encountered is that I make an assumption about the opponent's Tera-type, but they turn out to be something else and are able to completely dismantle whatever initial gameplan I had to deal w/ the threat. I suppose this is part of the strategy in this game and being punished for making deductions that are incorrect, but it can be a bit much to deal with atm, esp due to how potent and impactful the initial turn of the type change is. Deducing what different Tera-types the opponent is also impossible to scout until the opponent just shifts to that type. With moves and items, you can at least narrow down whats being used based on various points in the game state, but the only way to see what the opponent Tera type is is when they use it themselves and that initial turn is at its most potent level to deal lethal damage, usually by guaranteeing a free turn of setup or potential status to neutralize the unsuspecting opponent. Tera-types at preview will help tone down the surprise factor to a more reasonable state I feel, particularly against Pokemon such as Espathra that would otherwise be able to one-up its usual checks w/ Tera Fire or Fighting if it forgoes Tera Fairy.
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