OU The future of RBY OU in Smogon

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I've avoided weighing in because I don't really play anymore, but honestly? I agree with peng (and I LOVE that Monopoly analogy). RBY was way better before the Crystal_ changes. I was writing here a big long post about how much variety there used to be, and how much more fun it was, the kind of wacky teams you could create (and win with!), then versus now, but I'm deleting that to cut to the chase. RBY used to be really fun, and then it got less fun. And exactly as peng describes, when the game got less fun, it became harder to justify my spending so much time and energy on it. So I stopped. I know there are other staple or old staple RBY players who feel the same. And I would 100% play again (probably way too much) if the mechanics reverted.

I doubt it'll happen, but man it would be cool if it did and I just wanted to say that. That's all.
 

peng

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we can't change the mechanics because we follow the mechanics on cartridge no matter what

We simply don’t though. Sleep Clause and Freeze clause are impossible to implement on a cartridge of Pokemon Yellow. There is currently no way of playing Smogon-rules RBY outside of simulators.
 
I dont think playing without clauses would be even remotely good, so clauses were introduced for common sense. Changing mechs would just be a personal preference, and it wont happen anyway (not like Id decide anything on that matter), so no point discussing that
 
Simulator vs Cartridge is a discussion that already took place somewhere, at some point: I remember some statements about HP being visualized as percentage versus a bar, PPs count being unavailable and so on. It's pretty clear that they're different in terms of comfort.

On the other hand
Sleep Clause: you know you can't sleep twice and if you sleep a second pokemon on turns where you try to anticipate a wakeup (for the first one), you let your opponent wake wasting turns with some switches (then go back to the two pokemon who are supposed to be on the battlefield).
Freeze Clause: you freeze two pokemon, you just turn the GB off and start a new game, possibly re-creating that scenario (GB on the table and you can't cheat by changing team members). Click an Ice move only if needed... I mean don't fish for a second freeze and you'll be fine more often than not!
Awkward as it gets (especially with PPs in case you try to recreate), but it kinda works.

Changing mechs for tournament games depends on who you ask, but it won't happen here and even though I hate paraslam immunity it's easy to understand why good part of the community refuses paraslam mechs.
If you have access to a couple GBs, cartridges and an opponent who's not an idiot it's surprisingly easy to play games that are close to the ones you play on the simulator. That's not possible if the simulator/tournament scene turns to paraslam mechs.

TL;DR: this part of the discussion leads nowhere in terms of competitive play, you might get access to old mechs for fun at best (which would be great) but this is not the best place to ask. Need to focus on what can be done under current mechs.
 
I am not and never will claim to be an RBY player. I sometimes play it for fun and cause it's something I don't take too seriously. But I am a big fan of old gens (up to DPP) and am a bit of a luddite in that I don't like the idea of tampering with old gens after we've moved on (unless it's a newly discovered game mechanic or something, which is incredibly unlikely).

Most gens, especially the old ones, were around for years and had thousands if not millions of games put into creating them as they were, years of suspect testing and community building and coming to some kind of communal "this is good" decision. Now there is a much smaller community involved or interested and while that may be a boon it can also be a burden. RBY has been around for like 15 years or something and has been relatively untouched, and now in some vain attempt to try to "save it from itself" it needs a complete overhaul? I don't really see how it would improve things, given that it's survived thus far. Getting rid of reflect does what exactly? How does not having wrap make the game any better? RBY is, more than any other generation, a game of tradeoffs. If you bring a wrapper you aren't bringing something else. If you carry reflect on a normal, you're not carrying another move. I think as Timothy Ultra said on the previous page, pretty well sums up my thoughts.

Lastly, based on what I can surmise, this seems to be a very reactionary thread because of SPL and people not liking the teams that were being brought, but if anything this shows how RBY can adapt to create new "sub-metas" within the existing meta. I would almost be willing to bet money that next year's RBY SPL would be quite different from this years, as this years was different from the previous and so on. Additionally, given that this is (apparently) a reaction to SPL, a comparatively small sample size when compared to RBY historically, I don't know if it should be taken as an indication of a paradigm shift or a "this is working really well for me let's ride this wave" deal. Just my 2c as an outsider and preserver of things old.
 
Untouched for 15 years? Just 4 years ago a big boom happened and the Body slam mechanics totally changed leading into what it is today. I apreciate everyone's opinion but please don't state wrong stuff or more people trusting your comment will just learn the story wrong.

I just wish old rby was implemented as a sub tier on ps, just to have fun sometimes, obviously this "new" rby should be the official regardless.

I don't agree at all with you Alan, you make it look too simple and as if every move is just as important as any other which is not, Reflect is absurdly dominant and strong, saying that losing coverage makes it fair is wrong
 
There’s nothing wrong with this meta at all though. It’s just that people played the game for years with improper mechanics and without wrap, so they developed this idea that RBY is supposed to be fast-paced and explosive. Now they’re playing the game the way it was supposed to it feels different to what they got used to.

This meta isn’t more centralising than any other meta. It’s just that people banned a strategy that does well against reflect users back an in era where people were happy to create clauses and ban moves. As I’ve said before, if wrap teams were more common people would think twice about taking reflect on Chansey and lax.

Just because the game become slower and more strategic doesn’t mean it’s become worse. It’s become more like GSC, and that meta is considered more skill-centric than RBY.
 

Ortheore

Tournament Banned
Yeah, although I was slow to adapt to the modern meta (I think of it as the 20XX meta, and no, I have no connection to whoever it is on ladder with the name RBY 20XX), I've come to actually enjoy it. Tbh it reminds me a bit of GSC in that your usual match will play out over many turns, steadily accumulating small advantages that coalesce into something more concrete, rather than just a steady cycle of switching in wallbreakers to chip at the opponent. And just like GSC, you do have the option of playing all out offense if you want, it's just not something that's commonly seen.

Also regarding the whole clauses thing, I don't like using them as precedent to justify further mechanics changes, as they're so deeply embedded into the overall landscape of competitive pokemon (or just rby and kinda gsc I guess in the case of freeze clause), that to me it's easy to partition them off from any further deviations from mechanics.

That said, I still think the clauses as they're currently implemented are abominations that should not exist. Freeze clause ought to be scrapped altogether, as second freezes are so vanishingly rare that it's simply not justified, nvm the fact that paralysis is king, and is ofc mutually exclusive with fishing for freezes, while being crucial to actually making consistent progress in a match. As for sleep clause, it should be reworked so that it's replicable via gentleman's agreement- no selecting a sleep move when you've already put an opponent to sleep. Simple. This changes play slightly (you can't preempt a wake), but has the same overall effect while not violating game mechanics.

Also Marco, you can't be serious with your stuff on replicating clauses on cart. Switch off the game if there's a second freeze? Really? That in no way resembles what we currently do and would drastically alter play if it were to occur. There's no two ways about it- those two clauses are explicit modifications of game mechanics that ought to be reworked into something replicable via gentleman's or scrapped entirely (freeze is not reasonably replicable via gentleman's)
 
Of course, nobody wanted to finish those games because that's not supposed to happen in competitive RBY because that's a total joke. We were fine with that as 12 years old playing battles with teams made up of random, weak pokemon with dirty moves (vale tudo, OHKO and minimize allowed) plus Mewtwo; in all honesty I'm not challenging 12 yo anymore.
FC is not replicable in real life tournaments only due to the time you need to recreate the exact scenario - which is pretty much the same issue you have with perfect IVs. If a simulator will help you getting over these obstacles, why not using it?
Notice how those points have been made multiple times through the years, what about giving up on those just as I gave up on bringing paraslam mechs back? Those things just won't change, luckily so.

Anyway, how can you guys keep on glorifying current RBY's deep strategy or even believe that Wrap being banned at some point is the reason why the metagame is shaped the way it is, that's beyond me (not to mention some posts showing a "I don't know the tier, I never played it, I did not even bother spending 10 minutes to read a small part of the comments, but I'll give you my opinion" attitude). If double digit current and former SPL / high caliber players etc can't make you change your mind I don't know what else will.
 

Stratos

Banned deucer.
I don't think I'm an RBY master, but I'm top 10 on the ladder currently and love the format, so hopefully I have something worthwhile to add.

First of all, I think tradebacks should absolutely be made legal in RBY, not to help balance the meta, but just to bring RBY in line with every other format's policy of allowing everything. If WishToss Kang (Gen 3 Event + Gen 3 Tutor) is allowed to exist in SM DOU it only makes sense to allow tradebacks, lol.

If the meta is considered undesirable, I think the next step after that is banning Lax. I don't subscribe to a domino theory of banning Snorlax. We make Tauros the best mon in the tier again by removing the one 100% safe bslam switchin, but that's no different from pre-Crystal_ Tauros really, which everyone seemed to think was fine. Psychics get stronger with one of the best Normals gone, but Psychics also check themselves so this one probably self balances. Reflect Chansey (especially Sing > Twave) is a lot less of a problem than Reflect Lax, imo. It's forced out by non-Reflect Chansey, Wrap, Recover Psychics, and Bro; Stoss is just far less threatening than Bslam; and it has trouble coming back in on physical attackers because of its low Def--especially once you ban one of its better setup fodder. I think banning Lax is the best next step: it satisfies the tiering policy nerds, it allows for another slot on RBY teams for more interesting building options, it allows us to do tradebacks without another complex ban (LK lax), and it solves the same problem.

I don't necessarily think Reflect Lax is broken but I understand that my opinion is pretty warped because I've been spamming Gar / Cloy / 4 on ladder lol. I can think of a lot of team comps that would have a much worse time of it, so I'd be open to testing a Lax ban.
 

Hogg

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First of all, I think tradebacks should absolutely be made legal in RBY, not to help balance the meta, but just to bring RBY in line with every other format's policy of allowing everything. If WishToss Kang (Gen 3 Event + Gen 3 Tutor) is allowed to exist in SM DOU it only makes sense to allow tradebacks, lol.
I'm not coming in for or against GSC tradebacks, but I think this is a bit misleading. As far as I know, GSC tradebacks are completely unique in that they are the only time there has been a change to what's available on cart after a new generation was released. It's not really fair to compare them to other inter-generational changes, such as WishToss Kanga or Magic Guard + Counter Alakazam, because those changes only affected the current and active generation, not any previous gens.
 

Stratos

Banned deucer.
I'm not coming in for or against GSC tradebacks, but I think this is a bit misleading. As far as I know, GSC tradebacks are completely unique in that they are the only time there has been a change to what's available on cart after a new generation was released. It's not really fair to compare them to other inter-generational changes, such as WishToss Kanga or Magic Guard + Counter Alakazam, because those changes only affected the current and active generation, not any previous gens.
I'm not sure if the distinction between "active" and "past" gen is too relevant in the current era. Maybe it was in 2000 when GS came out and we were making these rulings for the first time, but these days it just seems inconsistent.

I can think of two reasons why it makes sense to lock a past gen:
(1) It's been too long since the meta was established and we want to preserve it for historical reasons.
(2) With its relegation to history we no longer have the active playerbase to maintain and prune the meta if bad things happen.

The first is overturned by a variety of precedents. One example is XD tradeback moves into Emerald, which came out farther from RS than GS did from RBY. Another example is the very Crystal_ findings in 2014 which caused a change to RBY after almost 15 years of the same game. We also routinely suspect things in old gens.

The second point is one that's hard to objectively argue for or against, but I'll just say that I don't think it's true. RBY is still actively played and in SPL, and I think it has enough of a playerbase to flesh out the metagame.

Please let me know if I've missed another reason.
 
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It's such an epic fact that a +20 years metagame ("only" +4 years if taking into account the big impact of Crystal_ discovery) can lead us to a multi participant thread with +100 replies... love it along with the romanticism that old gens have. Well, that being said I want to clarify that I'm far away from be a RBY master nor a smogon average player; the definition of "random ladder player from whatever bizarre forum" fits much better to me.

I've read a lot of ideas flying around the thread: tradebacks, complex bans on movesets for some mons, simple bans, bring back old mechanics, use Stadium ones instead of cartridge... all points are respectable, it's not my aim choose which of those is the solution (if needed, because there are also a bunch of users who think there is nothing to fix) but I would like to bring a new idea which, at this point, is completely surrealistic. I know this will sound weird but I want to make my contribution in that kind of brainstorm solutions/analysis/perspective/opinion the thread has derived. Here we go:

Back in 2007/8, when DP was the main gen, in a spanish forum some players did kind of a project which consisted about allowing uber mons into an OU environment but with a max level limitation for them (i.e. Lugia max level allowed was 70, or 80, whatever the players chose, I don't remember). Of course those levels frontiers were defined according the mon's own potential.

Under this criteria, could be a max level clause for some pokes (maybe Snorlax and Chansey, which are the main Reflect users) a possible solution? At the end of the day, both Snorlax and Chansey are actually S rank and I highly doubt a level clause will punish them hard enough to experiment an extremely decrease in usage.

That's all I had to say. Feel free to blame and shit on me as much as you want, probably a max level clause is the stupidest proposition writted in the whole forum I know
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Of course, nobody wanted to finish those games because that's not supposed to happen in competitive RBY because that's a total joke. We were fine with that as 12 years old playing battles with teams made up of random, weak pokemon with dirty moves (vale tudo, OHKO and minimize allowed) plus Mewtwo; in all honesty I'm not challenging 12 yo anymore.
FC is not replicable in real life tournaments only due to the time you need to recreate the exact scenario - which is pretty much the same issue you have with perfect IVs. If a simulator will help you getting over these obstacles, why not using it?
Notice how those points have been made multiple times through the years, what about giving up on those just as I gave up on bringing paraslam mechs back? Those things just won't change, luckily so.

Anyway, how can you guys keep on glorifying current RBY's deep strategy or even believe that Wrap being banned at some point is the reason why the metagame is shaped the way it is, that's beyond me (not to mention some posts showing a "I don't know the tier, I never played it, I did not even bother spending 10 minutes to read a small part of the comments, but I'll give you my opinion" attitude). If double digit current and former SPL / high caliber players etc can't make you change your mind I don't know what else will.
I played the tier for years and versed a lot of the top players of the time as well a few of the top ones now. No one is saying RBY is deep. The point is reflect and wrap make the game deeper because there are more viable team options. Reflect teams are good against paraslam meta teams (bolt beam Chansey and physical lax), who are good against wrap teams, who are good against reflect teams.

The problem with the current meta is that there is no reason not to run reflect teams because the chance of encountering wrap teams is so low.
 
A max level clause is interesting considering that you could have legal Mew and Mewtwo in addition to fine tuning Chansey/Lax. "Overleveled" Pokemon would also be an in-game way you could boost stats to recreate Tier Shift, or even rebalance the game to make as much of the fully evolved Pokemon viable without actually changing anything in game or cheating beyond having level 101-255 Pokemon.

Trouble is, Smogon has never used a level cap to balance Pokemon, and doing so for RBY would make it inconsistent with later generations. I like the idea of it, but it doesn't gel with how Smogon's done tiering for its entire existence. It could be done as a non-OU metagame though, and letting players play RBY with the Pokemon they want to without getting absolutely destroyed by the OU monsters or being allowed to play with Mew & Mewtwo would probably appeal to plenty of people.

Regarding Wrap, I have only heard #BAN/#NOBAN, but no discussion on my Wrap Clause proposal, which would make it illegal to use partial trapping after a cycle of partial trapping is completed. This would entirely neuter AgiliNite (T-Wave Dragonite is where it's at anyways), and all partial trapping users would be able to use the moves for chipping a Pokemon or pivoting, but NOT for cheese sweeping. Additionally, Wrap Clause can be enforced on cartridge without issue. This seems like it'd be a sensible compromise, preventing Wrap abuse without outright removing a whole part of RBY. Also want to point out that Wrap is also not implemented properly on Showdown yet. On sims, either both players are informed when Wrap has ended, favoring the wrapped player, or the wrapped player is not informed while the wrapping player is, favoring the wrapping player (how Smogon implements it now). How it should be done is a "FIGHT" button should be introduced. To see if Wrap is done, either player would first click "FIGHT" to see if they can move, and then if they can, get to choose another action based on the knowledge they have, otherwise they are locked into using Wrap/being unable to move. The attack options could be left as is during Wrap for a "shortcut" for FIGHT + use move (if allowed because Wrap ended) to speed things up.

Another option that shouldn't be considered except under extreme circumstances is ACE, outside of maybe fixing game breaking bugs such as Counter desync or adding clauses. ACE has evolved to the point that you can save ACE with your save file, permanently "patching" RBY, and even transfer ACE virally over link battle. I believe it is possible that you could do quite a lot with ACE, including introducing Sleep & Freeze Clause, fixing patches, and heck, maybe even add Pokemon to the game that shouldn't exist yet (someone already did this for Ho-oh). With how extensive ACE could modify RBY along with the ease of spreading a patch, any changes that are agreeable to the community as a whole could be possible on the original RBY cartridge.

As for changes to the meta with existing rules, I'm in favor of Wrap Clause > Wrap > Ban Wrap, Tradebacks (after thorough testing) > No Tradebacks, Leave Reflect Chansey/Snorlax > Ban Reflect > Ban Reflect + Recovery > Ban Reflect Chansey/Snorlax. Banning Reflect is comparatively simple, from playing tiers equivalent of UU to ZU on Pokemon Perfect I can't recall Reflect being used much outside of a tank Clefable set in RU, and in the modern OU metagame, it is very commonly seen on Snorlax and Chansey yet a rare sight on any other Pokemon, including on Alakazam nowadays, so banning Reflect wouldn't be horrible. Additionally, Harden and Defense Curl exist too, so many of those Pokemon that occasionally used Reflect would still have access to a nerfed version of it. Banning Reflect + Recovery kind of works since it's about banning a troublesome combo, like say Swift Swim + Drizzle, and not complex bans on specific Pokemon. Banning Reflect Snorlax/Chansey conflicts with Smogon's stance on complex bans, and it introduces the "slippery slope" issue.
 
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I played the tier for years and versed a lot of the top players of the time as well a few of the top ones now. No one is saying RBY is deep. The point is reflect and wrap make the game deeper because there are more viable team options. Reflect teams are good against paraslam meta teams (bolt beam Chansey and physical lax), who are good against wrap teams, who are good against reflect teams.

The problem with the current meta is that there is no reason not to run reflect teams because the chance of encountering wrap teams is so low.
The problem with the current meta is that there is no reason not to run reflect teams because Snorlax and Chansey are not the pokemon that will stop wrappers anyway. You beat them using fast pokemon (your lead and your filler if it's fast enough, I could understand making a case for adding Tauros to this list if some teams were to drop it...).
Wrap teams are better against S4 teams because the odds to face fast pokemon get lower, especially considering usage stats for fillers, not due to specific movesets.

Of course the tier is limited and that's a good reason to avoid bans if possible. Reflect Snorlax led to less viable options, and wrappers did not help much so far - only thing they did is that you can drop Exeggutor.
I'll give you this: we don't know what's next in big tournaments, players might start using Starmie and Alakazam again as non leads, with success. That's not been the case so far, and I bet it won't happen in the future.
 
The problem with the current meta is that there is no reason not to run reflect teams because Snorlax and Chansey are not the pokemon that will stop wrappers anyway. You beat them using fast pokemon (your lead and your filler if it's fast enough, I could understand making a case for adding Tauros to this list if some teams were to drop it...).
Wrap teams are better against S4 teams because the odds to face fast pokemon get lower, especially considering usage stats for fillers, not due to specific movesets.

Of course the tier is limited and that's a good reason to avoid bans if possible. Reflect Snorlax led to less viable options, and wrappers did not help much so far - only thing they did is that you can drop Exeggutor.
I'll give you this: we don't know what's next in big tournaments, players might start using Starmie and Alakazam again as non leads, with success. That's not been the case so far, and I bet it won't happen in the future.
On a standard team, the only fast pokemon are the lead, tauros and potentially the filler depending on what you use. The lead often gets statused early. This is why I like Jynx leads on wrap teams, because you often sleep the opposing zam/starmie, and if you lose the sleep war to opposing jynx it's not too bad because jynx is manageabe for a wrap team. Losing sleep war to gengar is a different story but but gengar is uncommon.

Movesets definitely make a difference. Chanseys moveset only makes a small difference but reflectlax is the big one. Rest Cloyster is much better at walling reflectlax than physlax because of the lack of hyper beam. Letting in special attackers normally isn't to problematic because you can go to Chansey. Zapdos is really the only one you normally don't want to let in for free, but I normally run rhydon. Being able to wall reflectlax means cloyster replaces lax as your lax check, but he also has the ability to set up plays with clamp. I normally run rhydon in the 'filler' slot to compensate for the lack of physical threat and to deal with zapdos, but running physlax might also be an idea because your lax is no longer has to serve a check to reflectlax.
 
I'm not sure if the distinction between "active" and "past" gen is too relevant in the current era. Maybe it was in 2000 when GS came out and we were making these rulings for the first time, but these days it just seems inconsistent.

I can think of two reasons why it makes sense to lock a past gen:
(1) It's been too long since the meta was established and we want to preserve it for historical reasons.
(2) With its relegation to history we no longer have the active playerbase to maintain and prune the meta if bad things happen.

The first is overturned by a variety of precedents. One example is XD tradeback moves into Emerald, which came out farther from RS than GS did from RBY. Another example is the very Crystal_ findings in 2014 which caused a change to RBY after almost 15 years of the same game. We also routinely suspect things in old gens.
The thing about Smogon routinely suspecting things in old gens is that, yeah, it definitely is a precedent for replacing RBY OU with tradebacks, but there are people who don't like suspecting things in old gens either, and they're probably a lot of the same people lol

I'm personally in the camp where I think it's definitely important to preserve formats for 'historical' reasons (well, 'historical' isn't exactly the right term; it's more that I find it satisfying to see unexpected developments happen that are the result of player ingenuity rather than rule changes. The longer a format exists without any outside changes, the more exciting it is when new strategies emerge). I don't think this is an argument that can be 'overturned,' it's just a matter of who values it and who doesn't, how much it gets valued in certain situations vs others, etc.

Not that I think tradebacks shouldn't be given a shot. But basing it purely on what's more in line with the logic of Smogon policy, or just using it to hopefully fix a problem (by replacing it with another problem?) isn't great. It's more the kind of thing you do if the playerbase is actually really excited to play tradebacks i feel?

also i realize i'm feeding into the whole 'non-player showing up to give her pointless opinion' thing. look that's my whole thing for the past like ten years ok. i design gen 1 stuff? that counts for something right. look i lost policy review privileges for the first time in like a hundred years, i need somewhere to post :psycry:
 

Hipmonlee

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I'll give you this: we don't know what's next in big tournaments, players might start using Starmie and Alakazam again as non leads, with success. That's not been the case so far, and I bet it won't happen in the future.
Starmie was pretty common as a non-lead in SPL. I can't tell you the stats off the top of my head, but it seemed to be right up there.
 
The metagame does not revolve around a team from 10 years ago, and it's not winning consistently.
It gets wrecked as soon as something goes wrong, just like Jynx bricking or Chansey getting frozen or Bel missing and so on, to make it even worse it's kinda weak against Tauros.

Starmie as non lead has always been an option, unfortunately the usage stats are not separated. It has issues though, it proved to be suboptimal last time it was common.
 

Ortheore

Tournament Banned
I just want to say real quick that although I like RBY 1U fine the way it is, I see no reason why tradebacks shouldn't also be considered legit. Players ought to be able to use every option available to win except where a given option is deemed broken or is illegitimate for some valid reason, such as only being obtainable through the use of glitches. The fact that tradebacks only became available as a result of RBY becoming a past gen I don't think is valid grounds for snuffing out tradebacks. Games shouldn't be considered dead just because there's something newer out.
 
I'm new to competitive pokemon in general, and especially Gen 1. I am currently using Arcanine as my lead, and although it's surprised me with how effective it can be, i need a bit of help. I know Fire Blast, Agility, and Body Slam are all must haves. Any good ideas for the 4th? It handles everything from sleep leads to Tauros pretty well, but something that helps the alakazam matchup would be especially appreciated. Im currently running Sub to get a free attack off if I win the lead matchup, but it's not super helpful.
 

Oldamar999

Tien Time
I'm new to competitive pokemon in general, and especially Gen 1. I am currently using Arcanine as my lead, and although it's surprised me with how effective it can be, i need a bit of help. I know Fire Blast, Agility, and Body Slam are all must haves. Any good ideas for the 4th? It handles everything from sleep leads to Tauros pretty well, but something that helps the alakazam matchup would be especially appreciated. Im currently running Sub to get a free attack off if I win the lead matchup, but it's not super helpful.
this isn't the place to ask, you should probably ask in the Ask a simple question, get a simple answer thread. hope this helps.
 
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