The First Smogon Council - Salamence

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SJCrew

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lol more semantics

Oh please. Your team isn't necessarily better than, or even utilized more efficiently, than mine.
even a player who finds himself with an overall team disadvantage
Unless I'm misinterpreting your use of the words "overall team disadvantage", you're saying that I built the better team but you won anyway because you had a Salamence. It's kind of like your team being particularly weak to a specific sweeper like Infernape or Lucario, except they can never stop being weak to it because it has no counters.
 

Chou Toshio

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Ok, I'm sick of all this complaining about countering/not countering or whether you can counter mence. It's really not that important.

What matters is not whether a pokemon can be countered or not-- what matters is how much advantage it nets you over the course of a battle.

Heatran (and a bunch of other pokes) can switch into Skarmory all day, but that doesn't matter because Skarmory will be netting advantage by setting up spikes every time they do.

You can switch any number of things into Vappy or Flygon with relative safety, but does that really matter all that much when they just U-Turn/Wish a switch into something that beats on your ass? Or Gliscor agili-passing or toxicing you for that matter.

Those pokemon are powerful, and they don't give a damn about being forced out, because they can always come back to do their job again. Nothing's stopping Skarm from just switching to a Heatran counter and then setting up more spikes later. Nothing's stopping Vappy from being a bitch ALL BATTLE. Nothing stopping Flygon as long as he doesn't commit to Outrage/EQ.

If you want to talk about pokemon who don't have counters, just look at all those pokemon who are pretty much guaranteed to accomplish their goals regardless of what switches in: Trappers, spike users, Wish/screen users, U-turn users, fast baton pass, suicide leads, Breloom, etc. etc.

Salamence is simply on a different pace from all that. On one hand, he has the power to put an end to all that piddling around between "solid counters," (though none all that solid mind you) and on the other, he's got the weakness to external damage that he doesn't have the choice to play that switching game. I think this makes him unique certainly (in a good way actually), but also balanced.
 

TheValkyries

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Of course tiering is about power. It has been about power for almost two years now, with the descriptions of the Uber Characteristics. And we must adhere to these descriptions or else the "slippery slope", or rather, a more ban happy environment can possibly occur, where people can arbitrarily complain about things that annoy them, and desire them to be banned for "detracting from the game." While that may seem an exaggeration, I feel that such a stance is entirely the wrong stance to make when creating the perfect competitive environment. It no longer becomes a specific set of rules that dictate what we ban, but rather whatever we feel should be banned to make a more fun battling environment, and while that is a seemingly noble effort, a system like that would do more harm than the one we have now, which, like it or not, is based around the power of the pokemon.

It seems to me, however, that the controversy around Salamence is around the fact that he doesn't truly fulfill one of the three characteristics. I will even concede that he does not. He is, in my mind, the definitive borderline case of how close we should stick to the Uber Characteristics. I admit he cannot wield the ability to say that under standard conditions he can sweep large portions of teams with little to no setup. Nor does he make it easier for others to sweep by breaking walls (Which I frankly find to be a rather roundabout and unjustified way to argue Mence as Uber, that only came to surface because they know they can't argue him under Offensive). And it is because he cannot claim these, he cannot be defined as a true Uber.

However, I believe to fully understand why Mence should be Uber one must rather look towards why we had to create the characteristics and why he fits into that reason. I think it's fairly obvious that the reason we ban Pokemon is to make it so that the Metagame doesn't overcentralize to a handful of overpowered pokemon, and to, as a side-effect of the ban (and not the reason), create a more fun environment to play competitively in. It is for this reason I think Mence should be banned, as he DOES centralize the metagame to himself, and without him we no longer have to bottleneck our teams to having a Bulky Water and a Steel Type to take care of him. This allows more diversification in team building, and more variety in overall play creating an arguably more fun environment to play in.

While one could argue that the metagame has been Bulky Water heavy and Steel Heavy for a very long time, and also argue that they have other valuable uses, one must also remember that 3 out of the 5 banned suspects in Generation 5 have been the Dragon Type, which directly affects the usage of those pokemon. Bulky Waters have been around for the purpose of abosorbing the extremely powerful STAB Dragon Moves and OHKO with Ice [Insert attack name here], and the Steels became prevalent not just for their fantastic defensive typing, but also for their sole ability to resist the Dragon STABs. Now, in an environment with Garchomp and Lati@s gone, the Bulky Waters and Steel tanks are still very prevalent. This is because of Mence. Salamence is the last bastion of the powerful, overcentralizing Dragons in OU. It is for this reason I argue that he be banned, because while he cannot claim to easily sweep teams, he is still able to overcentralize the metagame by, through sheer might, keeping the now overlooked tradition of using the natural Dragon type "counters" in the Meta.



Edit: Seems as if the conversation shifted from when I started writing this post. Oh well, point still stands.
 

FlareBlitz

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I don't understand the whole "Mence can't keep switching in" argument. A cursory examination of his analysis page here on Smogon shows Roost showing up all over the place, either in OC, slashed in, or as a main option. Mence doesn't really sacrifice anything by running Roost either, all MixMence needs to ruin your day is DragoMeteorrr, [physical attack], and Fire Blast. Edit: Although no one has convinced me that Mence is any better than Dragonite as far as running a mix set goes, so I'm not saying "Mence is broken" or anything. Just pointing out facts.
 

shrang

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Salamence is the last bastion of the powerful, overcentralizing Dragons in OU. It is for this reason I argue that he be banned under the Offensive Characteristic, because while he cannot claim to easily sweep teams, he is still able to overcentralize the metagame by, through sheer might, keeping the now overlooked tradition of using the natural Dragon type "counters" in the Meta.
Powerful threats will always do this, and centralisation is never a basis of which a Pokemon should be banned. Dragon types are the dominant force in the metagame right now, and rightfully so, since GF made them so overpowered. Right now in Suspect, the F/W/G core is quite centralising, especially Heatran.
 

TheValkyries

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Powerful threats will always do this, and centralisation is never a basis of which a Pokemon should be banned.
Centralizing, no. Centralizing to the point where your options in team building itself are limited, yes.
 

Chou Toshio

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Centralization occurs no matter what. Period. When we banned Garchomp and before adding latias, almost every team (amongst good players) was Heatran/Celebi/Bulky Water/Zapdos +2 out of (Tyrantar/Dragon/Ghost/2nd Steel Type). Sound familiar? Yeah, it's just like the fire/grass/water teams people keep going on about on suspect.

Steel and Water are the best two types in the game besides dragon. You don't even need to see the pokemon themselves to discern that-- just look at the type chart.

Steel:

The greatest typing for a specific Wall/Tank.

expanded: Those resistances are AWESOME, dragon or no. PSYCHIC was a broken offensive typing before dark and steel were introduced, and without steel, it probably would still be at least "good."

Water:

Greatest general defensive typing for a tank.

expanded: Neutral or better to everything except the crappy grass type and electric which is immuned by ground and rarely learned on non-electric types. Ice, Fire, Steel and Water are all very useful resistances. Not weak to Pursuit, U-Turn or SR.

The best STAB offensive type next to dragon.

expanded: Zero immunities outside abilities. Neutral or better (neutral coverage is most important with STAB) against everything except Dragon, Grass and Water, all except Water being hit Super Effective by the water types' universally learned Ice Attacks. Water being the only thing that sits on Water/Ice just makes water types that much more valuable.

As to why "bulky waters" instead of offensive waters, the answer is simple: Have you SEEN the water type's sweeper stats?? They suck! Starmie and Floatzel are the only water types with Speed and ATK/Sp.ATK of 100+, and the Floatzel suffers seriously low base power on its moves.

So while Water is obviously one of the best types just by looking at the type chart (and has the greatest diversity of usable members to choose from of any type), almost all its members have to pick strategies that relies on bulk. Hence Bulky Waters.

When you look at it that way, there is a lot more to cause and effect than simply blaming it on dragons.
 
Given that number of OU is about the same as UU now (except Electivire should go down), they do have a point. However there ought to be some kind of centralisation in a metagame. I mean, for example, in the English Language, there are certain words that you would use more often. Why? Because they are usually more suitable/ easier.

In the metagame this is how I define centralisation:

Use:
A xxx tactic;
An anti-xxx tactic;
An anti^2-xxx tactic;
or lose
But if you think about it, many things can be fitted into xxx. For example, Stall, offense, Garchomp, Double Team (hmm?), etc. (EDIT: omg Stealth Rock, even someone said Dragon typs lol)

Therefore I believe to make or not make Salamence Uber, we should stick to the three principles.
 

Chou Toshio

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I don't understand the whole "Mence can't keep switching in" argument. A cursory examination of his analysis page here on Smogon shows Roost showing up all over the place, either in OC, slashed in, or as a main option. Mence doesn't really sacrifice anything by running Roost either, all MixMence needs to ruin your day is DragoMeteorrr, [physical attack], and Fire Blast. Edit: Although no one has convinced me that Mence is any better than Dragonite as far as running a mix set goes, so I'm not saying "Mence is broken" or anything. Just pointing out facts.
I'd say sacrificing Earthquake, Outrage or Fire Blast is a pretty big loss for mixmence dude. Without them all he's a lot less scary than all these folks have been wining about.

. . . plus most pokemon could simply smack mixmence for over 50% damage, or otherwise maim it in some other shape or form. If mixmence wasn't so easily maimable by the vast majority of OU, there wouldn't even be a question as to if it was Uber or not (because if it was also bulky with good endurance against status/external damage, than its name might as well be Garchomp).

For the most part, Roost is pretty situational/gimmicky in my book.
 

shrang

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There is a MixMence set that runs Roost. It's called Classic MixMence. However, it isn't anywhere near as effective as New MixMence (At least only REALLY effective on Stall). This is not to mention that MixNite actually functions better with it's better bulk (I'm not counting Intimidate for the time being) and Superpower to shove a pole up Blissey with.
 

SJCrew

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Although no one has convinced me that Mence is any better than Dragonite as far as running a mix set goes, so I'm not saying "Mence is broken" or anything. Just pointing out facts.
For exactly the same reason Salamence is better than Dragonite in general: speed.

Dragonite can get nailed with a Toxic or Will-o-Wisp by Gliscor and Rotom-A respectively before it gets a chance to attack, Breloom running max Speed can Spore it (the people who run it will try it too because Dragonite almost never runs max speed), base 100s will stomp it out every time, Heatran, Gyara, Suicune, and Kingdra also beat it with max speed, and Dragonite can't stop a Lucario sweep, or at all if it runs Stone Edge/Ice Punch.

Basically, anything close to Dragonite's speed range can justify using it more than it can, and will be outspeeding it most of the time.
 
One flaw with the existing Uber criteria is they do not take into account metagame changes caused by the suspect - consider Blissey. To argue that it could 'stall out a significant portion of the metagame' is ludicrous - the metagame is dominated by big physical hitters. Why is the metagame full of big physical hitters? Because Blissey exists - ironically this factor is now leading to the big blob's decline in usage too. It could be argued that Blissey 'stalls out' a greater proportion of the 'potential metagame' of viable Pokemon that exist in her absence - and as noted earlier, 'Salamence is one of those Pokemon that forces you to use standards'.

In defence of my earlier argument, I'd like to point out that the line drawn between lower Uber and top-tier OU is quite arbitrary and mostly based on tradition. Tyrannitar, the Soul-Dew less Lati twins, Salamence, Garchomp, Jirachi and Mew are all about equally proficient (Jirachi is superior to Mew, in typing and ability, and his movepool is incredible). If the majority of these top-threats were banned, and the metagame re-centred around Bronzong, Mammoswine, Umbreon level, it was have no more or less 'legitimacy' than today's standard. This thread indicates that 'Uber' is wholly subjective.

The question quickly becomes about overcentralization and broadening the fields in variety and thus competition - making team building and prediction a more interesting process both in choices available and new threats, which is something difficult to predict, justify or explain.
 
@MrConsideration, thats very true, but remember that Blissey gets its ass handed to it by 99% of all Physical sweepers, I mean it really cannot take a physical hit, and it can't do much to cripple a team, not to mention its capabilities are extremely reduced because it has to choose between options like Toxic OR Thunderwave, Flame Thrower OR Ice Beam.
 

Chou Toshio

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Let's stay on focus.

Mr. Consideration-- you're pretty much right on the money. Uber is wholly subjective-- but then that should be taken as a given.

That's why the only real purpose of this thread is to argue it out to try and convince as many people as possible about whether you yourself are right, and that the metagame is better off with/without said (relatively) arbitrary pokemon. This made even more arbitrary by BW's september release date.

. . . and now you know why this thread is going to the shitter . . . not that any of us can stop posting in it even knowing all this . . .
 
. . . and now you know why this thread is going to the shitter . . . not that any of us can stop posting in it even knowing all this . . .
I stopped.

In fact, I only posted once to state my opinion why mence should be uber, and that's it. After that, all I do is laughing at all of you while you all go insulting each other from having different opinions.

Don't say that I haven't contributed anything to the discussion, I have posted something, and not just a one liner ( a good amount of text in fact), which luckily no one seemed to notice.

yes, uber is very subjective. That's why we should influence people to think like we do. Now back to banning mence... I mean, trying to ban mence...
 
Offensive Characteristic
A Pokémon is uber if, in common battle conditions, it is capable of sweeping through a significant portion of teams in the metagame with little effort.

Defensive Characteristic
A Pokémon is uber if, in common battle conditions, it is able to wall and stall out a significant portion of the metagame.

Support Characteristic
A Pokémon is uber if, in common battle conditions, it can consistently set up a situation in which it makes it substantially easier for other pokemon to sweep.
Why? Because "little effort" and "significant portion" is subjective. It's just that centralisation exists everywhere, it is nature. (game mechanics ok?) Game Freak gave us more viable physical moves, so it is natural that the mtagame is on the physical side.

but seriously, look at these characteristics. I would even want these to be on the first post of this whole thread.
 
I say we just ban the use of moves that come strictly from the Platinum Move Tutor. That crap let hell break loose with Scizor getting bullet punch and Salamence getting outrage.
 
We don't ban specific moves on Pokemon other than evasion-raising moves.
O really? Check back in the G/S metagame, I'm sure smogon did this with a pokemon beginning with M..... ;p

Oh Shaymin is effective on the standard ladder as well, I think with latias gone, it has done it favours
 
The Platinum Move Tutor didn't give Scizor Bullet Punch, it was simply a level up move in Platinum. I agree that Platinum did shake things up quite a bit (and Salamence would be much easier to take care of without Outrage) but I think it's mostly for the best. Trick, for one thing, allowed Special attackers to actually do something to Blissey.

On topic, provided I have SR up and Salamence doesn't have Roost, I can usually just scare it out/out predict it with switches and the residual damage kills it. Often times, I send in Mamoswine after my Metagross KOs something with Explosion and I immediately force out any Salamence my opponent sends in. Other times I can just switch Blissey into a Draco Meteor and send in Skarmory on the Outrage/Earthquake. So for me, Salamence is a powerful sweeper/stall breaker, but it can be played around and taken out.
 

Jumpman16

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One flaw with the existing Uber criteria is they do not take into account metagame changes caused by the suspect - consider Blissey. To argue that it could 'stall out a significant portion of the metagame' is ludicrous - the metagame is dominated by big physical hitters. Why is the metagame full of big physical hitters? Because Blissey exists - ironically this factor is now leading to the big blob's decline in usage too. It could be argued that Blissey 'stalls out' a greater proportion of the 'potential metagame' of viable Pokemon that exist in her absence - and as noted earlier, 'Salamence is one of those Pokemon that forces you to use standards'.
http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2387865

reason Blissey doesn't stall pokemon like Alakazam and Glaceon and Jynx and Raikou out of the metagame is because they are not actually a part of it....Alakazam and Glaceon and Jynx and Raikou have always been available for use in this metagame, as has Blissey. The would-be special threats have had every opportunity to show that they actually are special threats since the metagame started, in the middle of 2007, and began to take shape throughout the rest of the summer and year. If they failed to do so in this timeframe, they failed to become part of the true, Standard metagame, and it's as simple as that.
Read that post in its entirety to gain a little more perspective on why Blissey arguments are faulty.

In defence of my earlier argument, I'd like to point out that the line drawn between lower Uber and top-tier OU is quite arbitrary and mostly based on tradition.
Not anymore is isn't. We have tested or are testing four of the seven pokemon you mentioned through the Suspect Test Process expressly because the concept of tradition has no place in an ever-changing game like competitive Pokémon.

Tyrannitar, the Soul-Dew less Lati twins, Salamence, Garchomp, Jirachi and Mew are all about equally proficient (Jirachi is superior to Mew, in typing and ability, and his movepool is incredible). If the majority of these top-threats were banned, and the metagame re-centred around Bronzong, Mammoswine, Umbreon level, it was have no more or less 'legitimacy' than today's standard. This thread indicates that 'Uber' is wholly subjective.
Most here with any sort of competitive experience would hesitate to put Tyranitar and Jirachi on the same level as Salamence and Garchomp. And Mew is a lot more uber than your realize or are willing to give credit—it certainly has a more incredible movepool than Jirachi (and every other pokemon besides Smeargle and arguably Arceus). Mew can Baton Pass anything it wants to and can OHKO literally everything in OU after just one turn of set up (sorry Cresselia, but you're not OU anymore).

The question quickly becomes about overcentralization and broadening the fields in variety and thus competition - making team building and prediction a more interesting process both in choices available and new threats, which is something difficult to predict, justify or explain.
We've been very clear for two years now that "the question" has nothing to do with overcentralization. As far as "broadening the fields in variety and thus competition", I'm honestly starting to feel more and more that our efforts with UU and LC and eventually NU serve to broaden the variety of competitive pokemon more than singular efforts with OU/Standard.
 
As one guy said, you can't ban a pokemon for being over centralized. Salamence is a dragon. Dragon's are good. When the "weakest" dragon is one of he premier walls in its section then you know that type is powerful.

Salamence is good. But he doesn't deserved to be banned just because of it.
 
@ Jumpman16

Well, some of those special sweepers might have been OU and part of the metagame if their users didn't go "Oh, I can't really use this, Blissey is everywhere and will screw me over". Most of the ones that are actually used that I can think of use Explosion/Trick/101 Subs/Focus Punch/etc. Being able to beat Blissey became a deciding factor in whether you're a good sweeper or not. So basically, while Blissey doesn't wall a huge portion of the metagame anymore, the metagame is arguably the way it is because Blissey was already there, and Pokemon that could not threaten her just stayed out of it. Blissey being #1 a while back might be the reason we have a physically-based metagame today; it evolved based on the assumption that your opponent will usually have Blissey. If that's true, that's extreme centralization and metagame influence. It's amazing that Nasty Plot Azelf is hardly even viable in our metagame considering how broken it looks on paper (for reasons other than Blissey though)

But Blissey is probably a necessary thing to have with all the super-powerful special attacks in the game or too-good coverage of things like Starmie. She's kind of a liability to use outside stall anyway.

EDIT: @ capefeather: Like I said, the perfect banlist is when the bitching stops or significantly slows. That's how my server is going to do things, anyway. We'll see if that really results in a better metagame, or if it ever really stops.
 
I know that this is ultimately off-topic but I wanted to comment on the arbitrary tier thing.

To people who want to test everything: You are basically assuming three things:

1. A "perfect banlist" exists.
2. If 1. is true then it is desirable.
3. Attempting to achieve 1. will somehow be practical even with unlimited time.

We really don't know whether 1. is true, which is why we have the other metagames at all. As for 2., for all we know, the "perfect metagame" will have Bulbasaur/Charmander/Squirtle being the common FWG core (using Magikarp is so cliché). Is this necessarily what we want? For 3., there are many more reasons that testing everything is impractical than just time. Would we really want to wait 20 years or 30 years or however long it will take to get a solidified banlist?

Smogon policy atm seems to be trying to achieve a compromise between blind tradition and blind skepticism. We start off with everything except "superboss" Pokémon because that "tradition" is largely justified. Game Freak may not be able to control its metagame the way they want (to be fair that would be a hell of a feat indeed), but it does succeed well enough on many counts. From that initial list, the OU and Uber tiers change hands depending on what we think might not give the metagame problems, or what might be giving the metagame problems.
 
PSYCHIC was a broken offensive typing before dark and steel were introduced, and without steel, it probably would still be at least "good."
I don't understand why that hasn't been fixed yet. It doesn't even make conceptual sense in-universe: Alakazam is holding two steel spoons which he BENDS with his PSYCHIC powers. Bending Steel should count for a neutral hit. They hastily remove Poison's 2x on Bug but keep this in for ages... but I digress...

As to why "bulky waters" instead of offensive waters, the answer is simple: Have you SEEN the water type's sweeper stats?? They suck! Starmie and Floatzel are the only water types with Speed and ATK/Sp.ATK of 100+, and the Floatzel suffers seriously low base power on its moves.
That's why you give Kabutops some support.

And there's no need to outline the offensive prowess of the Water type. Anyone who's ever played in Ubers knows full well what Kyogre and Palkia can do.

But even so, the true flaw with the offensive Water-type is that it is it's own worst enemy: it's not the stats that hinder it, it's its own typing abundance.
You pointed it out yourself: Water is the most abundant and choice-full type. This gives you plenty of options to choose from in countering an offensive Water type.
That's the true hold-back: Anything with way too many successful counter options will never rise to prominence.

It's Mence's lack of any definitive counter, not it's typing, that made it rise. And is the reason why we are here now. It's not that Dragons overcentralize the game, it's that the CURRENT Dragons do.
Problematically, they also serve a balancing purpose, as has been noted in many previous posts. Getting rid of the 3 top Dragons in one fell swoop like this is going to have a definite ripple effect, tantamout to its own overcentralization...


Gen V can't come soon enough...
 
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