Announcement The RBY Survey Results

Not open for further replies.

Welcome to the RBY Survey Results. For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, on the 22nd of May 2019, we (the RBY council) sent out a survey to gather the opinion of the RBY playerbase about its tier. It was following up The Idiot Ninja's thread regarding the future of RBY on smogon. The survey was sent to 42 players, and we gathered 40 answers from active and competent RBY players. The goal was simply to gather data in order to have a more organized discussion about RBY from a tiering point of view. After a very, very, very long process and wait, here are the results. I hope you have a nice read.
Question 1: How much do you enjoy the current RBY OU Metagame ?

1: I don't enjoy playing the tier at all

5: I very much enjoy playing the tier

Two thirds of the playerbase rank their enjoyment of the tier between 4 and 5. This could mean that if RBY remains unchanged, most of the playerbase would be fine with it.

Question 2: Do you think some changes could improve the tier ?


Though more or less half of the players think some changes could improve the tier, meaning that some things are ought to be discussed.

Note: The answer "No" has a score of 10.3%

Questions 3 & 4: Which of the following changes do you think would improve the tier the most ? Why do you think one or multiple of these changes would improve the tier and are needed ?


For more readability, here are the written percentages:
Some form of Wrap ban: 45%
Some form of Reflect ban: 35%
Allowing Tradebacks: 27.5%
Banning one or more specific pokemon: 7.5%
None of these would improve the tier: 10%
I believe the tier is fine as it is, but I could see one of the options above potentially improving it: 42.5%

"I think tests need to be performed before I can form a more solid opinion on the subject"

"Banning Rest on Snorlax, Limiting PPs for some moves like Softboiled/Rest"

"I think wrap is ok. What is really disgusting is wrap+speed control moves like stun spore, thunder wave, agility." (Player who also voted for « some form of wrap ban »)

"Reducing PPs of Reflect/Twave/Dcurl/Harden/LightScreen etc (and maybe Sleep Moves) to 5. Divide the PPs of Softboiled/Recover(Rest ?) by 2. It doesn’t seem to solve what people dislike : a snorlax with 3 rest and 5 reflects still looks very dominant, well that’s the game we play », we can still complex ban defense boost + rest on Snorlax".

Now to the most intense and interesting part: let's see what has been said about each option


Wrap (45%)

Out of the 40 answerers, 12 feel very strongly about a Wrap ban, and would like to see it go.

"Wrap feels a bit uncompetitive at times, partial trapping teams feel very luck reliant and are hard to stop by outplaying while your opponent just has to hope his moves hit. You can prep for it, but you could also prep for baton pass.."

"Wrap promotes an uncompetitive playstyle - although not broken - and needs to be removed to take another layer of Rng out of the game."

"Pokemon such as Victreebel and Dragonite can win games single-handedly are they are very matchup based. Sometimes you can be so far ahead in a game and it’ll be taken away from you when you can’t do much at all to stop it. I feel these traits make these wrap Pokemon quite broken. I do feel like Clamp and Fire Spin users are balanced though, they seem to be much easier to deal with due to less PP and accuracy."

"I believe Wrap takes interaction out of the game. I think it's unhealthy and the options for dealing with it aren't great. Some claim punishing Reflect is healthy but a) it's not just Reflect they screw over, b) if it's unhealthy it shouldn't matter what it does for the meta, c) if Reflect is so overpowered that Wrap is considered ok just to deal with it then that may be symptomatic of something else."

3 answerers are more nuanced, they don't like Wrap, but they're not necessarily in favor of a straight up ban like the players above.

"I don't view partial-trapping as a competitive component of the metagame. Its sole purpose is cheese and oftentimes results in dice-roll exchanges. I will note, however, that I am not opposed to a partial ban where Wrap et al. cannot be used consecutively, giving the move a function similar to U-turn while also kneecapping the abuse prevalent to the mechanic."

"I think the tier is okay as it is but relying on or facing Wrap can be quite annoying at times. I don't feel very strongly about that though"

"Wrap has some strategic use, but it's undeniable we are relying on an 85% accuracy move, more often than not multiple times throughout the game, essentially taking the control of the game away from the players and giving it to pure luck. I'm not 100% into banning the move, but I think it brings more harm than good, and a ban should be considered."

Wrap also had some defenders, 4 players exactly

"Wrap is not broken; it relies on hitting and despite there being instances where it can win you the game more often then not I've seen Victreebel lose me the game more than I have seen it win me the game."

"I don't think victreebel (wrap) is really problematic, it has solid answer like back zam/gengar or even starmie in an extent + the legendary birds. I think it's more of a "this shit is annoying issue" than an actual unhealthy mon. Especially since you have to keep in mind that by using vic you're losing eggy "blancket checking everything" ability."

"I believe Wrap to be important because it gives another reason to use Victreebel and Cloyster. People seem to dislike Reflect Lax so I don't get why they want to nerf Cloyster who is a very nice pick in the current meta to avoid entering the Reflect gate. Victreebel is a fast sleeper that puts pressure on 3 members of the big 4 and who allows very dynamic games, why would you want to give less reasons to run mons like that ? Most of the time they're not at all used for Wrap spamming, which is a terrible strategy, as its high risk for little reward"

"For a wrap ban, there isn't even an OU mons that utilize wrap. The best mons with wrap are Victreebel and Dragonite, but neither of those mons are overpowering and a wrap strategy can be easily beaten if you play correctly".

20 players did not mention Wrap (or did very briefly) in their answers, which is half.


Reflect (35%)

These answers are a bit harder to sort out, because they're way less adamant. With Wrap, you clearly have 3 types of answers: "Ban it", "Do something", and "Do not touch" (among people who mentioned it)

A lot of players seem to view Reflect as problematic, but it’s lot more about « Do Something » than « Ban », which could be explained by how much impact Reflect has on the tier : while one could easily imagine RBY without Wrap as it’s not centralizing, the metagame would be very different without Reflect since a lot of the current in-game dynamics would change, and since it’s very hard to predict how a reflect-less meta would look like, players seem to be more cautious about their suggestions with reflect.

Only one « extreme » answer about Reflect was collected:

"Reflect is a cancerous tech that makes the majority of the games into luck festivals (the first one to crit / freeze Reflect Chansey / Lax wins). This can - and in most games do - removes the skill in the plays AND REMOVES THE FUN OF THE GAME. 200 turns of pp stalling Reflect Mons is just boring and is one of the main reasons we lost our playerbase. Of course we still have Harden Lax and Def Curl Chansey, but they are easier to manage".

We then have 9 answers that want to see something happen with Reflect, without necessarily knowing what. Consider these « Do something » answers

"Reflect is the main reason the metagame got so restrictive. I am 100% in favour of suspect testing (read: not flat out banning it) to assess how would the meta be like without it, and then vote on it after some time."

"In my opinion, Reflect is the main culprit for the general resentment of RBY OU as of now. It is the reason why we have so many repetitive stall-wars and also the reason why we often have to rely on luck to break through teams, as it makes Snorlax and - especially - Chansey extremely bulky. I think that restricting the use of Reflect in some way serves as a middle-ground choice that would both improve the metagame and, at the same time, would preserve the playerbase and history of the tier."

"I am in between, wrap pretty much covers base of reflect, and even if reflect we're to be banned a more evil more PP stall variant defense curl would come fort & pretty much lead to same faith..."

"Reflect turns Pokemon---specifically Chansey & Lax---into nearly impenetrable walls barring crits. I think that controlling Reflect in RBY would make it a more fast-paced metagame."

"I'd like to test some RBY without reflect, I think it would reduce the "only snorlax check being itself" effect, this would prolly makes the meta more aggressive since players wont be able to stay in with their snorlax forever, i'd expect a rise in cloyster (or lord slowbro heh) usage. That's a lot of theorycraft tho but i'd look forward to see how a reflect-less metagame would go."

"I am not entirely sure about Reflect, but I dislike what it does for the tier (forced into a stall war or praying for consecutive crits)."

2 players defended Reflect:

"I think that banning reflect may make RBY less competitive, the amount of viable movesets in RBY are already limited I don't think limiting them further is a great idea. Part of the skill of RBY is having an overall strategy that can deal with both reflect Lax and other Lax sets, as well as being able to deal with reflect Chan and other sets like boltbeam/sing/counter ect..."

"I think Reflect is needed in the tier because otherwise it's just gonna turn into Snorlax trading on each other and Chansey going for freeze wars"

28 players did not mention Reflect (or did very briefly) in their answers.


Tradebacks (27.5%)

As you can see in in the answers to the question 3, 11 players (27.5%) are in favor of allowing Tradebacks. Two main arguments are given, the first one is that tradebacks should’ve been allowed a long time ago and that it doesn’t make sense that they currently aren't.

"There are 0 logical reasons to not allow Tradebacks other than nostalgia sentiments"

"I think any of the changes listed would be improvements, but Tradebacks in particular stand out to me as a policy decision taken arbitrarily well over 15 years ago, when game mechanics weren't even properly understood, and never questioned since. It just seems natural to me to question this decision first before looking into complex bans, which should be a last resort in my opinion."

"I don't think Tradebacks would necessarily improve the metagame (on paper), but I think that the arbitrary reasons why they're currently not allowed in standard play should be looked into and eventually abolished as long as that doesn't significantly damage the tier in any way or shape"

"Based on how similar situations were handled in later generations, Tradebacks should had been already available in RBY. Furthermore, their impact on the current metagame will probably not be significant enough to deter us from their "release"."

"Tradebacks just make the tier consistent with how tiers have historically been ran"

"Tradebacks I believe are the only thing that would make sense to change in the current RBY tier. It doesn't make sense from a legal point of a view that they're not allowed. Furthermore, from a pure theory perspective, I believe it helps for some of the issues that have been stated."

The second argument is that allowing Tradebacks could be refreshing for the tier. Giving it some « vitality », « diversity », basically new blood to a metagame that maybe feels exhausted.

"Tbh i think rby is already fine as it is right now, but allowing tradebacks would give some vitality to the tier"

"Tradebacks aren't really necessary but they're potentially fun and interesting and would definitely shake things up (which is a good thing for any game, though I don't think RBY needs to be shaken up). They're legally obtainable ingame so it makes sense to allow them."

"Tradebacks would mostly only improve low tiers (outside of Snorlax), and increase diversity of OU. Only real downside is LK Lax."

"I 100% think we should suspect tradebacks. Tradebacks bring more moves, which means more stuff to do, which means more options throughout the game. While I cannot predict how will the meta be like with tradebacks, I really, really think we should suspect them"

Note: this is a purely personal remark, but from the discussions I had about Tradebacks with RBY players on discord and all, it seems that the players who are in favor of Allowing Tradebacks only want to do it with Lovely Kiss banned on Snorlax. Since I believe it will be an important discussion if the subject gets more serious, I feel like I should mention it since it doesn't show in the survey.

Only one player is strongly against Tradebacks. The 29 other answerers did not mention them.

"I think allowing tradebacks would be terrible too, lovely kiss snorlax yikes and I'm not exactly looking forward to facing elemental punches alakazam either + some shits i have no idea how they would work like amnesia hypno."


Banning one or more specific pokemon (7.5%

3 Players believe that one or more specific pokemon should be banned. 2 players targeted Tauros, the third one thinks the « top of the pyramid » should be removed.

"I don't know about the trickle-down effect, and I even like that it's offensive, but Tauros just drives me crazy sometimes. Nothing else makes me feel like everything beforehand is totally invalid as consistently as Tauros does, and we all know about the dittos."

"For a Pokémon ban, I'm 100% in favor to test a RBY meta with no Tauros. The bull is just ridiculous as it have perfect coverage, type, status and NO TRUE ANSWER as everything that can enter "safely" just hate a Body Slam crit. It is the perfect wincon if you leave it for the end game or the perfect ballance braker if you use it in the early game. Just to see how bad it is for the tier, in vast majority of the tour games is common to see mirror matchs of Tauros x Tauros because he is the best counter for itself. This is just redonk."

"I am of the opinion that removing multiple Pokemon at the top of the pyramid (I'm talking over 5 pokemon for sure) would create a healthier metagame, but I understand opposition to it as it wouldn't "feel right" and the tier would lose its identity . To me this is nonsense"


None of these would improve the tier (10%)

4 players ticked the box "None of these [suggestions] would improve the tier". The reasons are mixed so I'll just leave you with their detailed answers.

"I fairly strongly believe the tier should stay as is. I do not find the reflect meta tiresome, but I do think that the very nature of RBY has some big problems. More than any other generation I have played, I believe that if one player desires the game to descend into an RNG nightmare, they can force it much easier than any other tier. Overall I think it is destined to die out - the current is too strong against the tier despite my "enjoyment" of it and many others, and I don't think any changes will save that."

"RBY seems to be in a really healthy place. It's developing - in spite of being so old. None of the proposed changes seem in any way meaningful. I cant imagine anyone who is not satisfied with the metagame as it is would be satisfied after any of the changes suggested here. The wrap ban is pointless, its not used enough and it isnt strong enough to warrant it. Reflect is imo giving the metagame some stability without which I think a lot of people could find the metagame too unpredictable. There is no pokemon that could be banned that would actually significantly change things, except maybe Chansey, which again would remove a lot of stability. And tradebacks could be cool, but no one has really put forward a reason to do it? It doesnt seem to fix any problems, it just changes things.."

"I do not have a problem with the current state of RBY."

"RBY OU is my favorite tier on showdown, it pretty much has been since I first learned it over a year ago. I've never felt it was uncompetitive or needed major changes and I never agreed with the perception that it was way more luck based than other tiers. In the tour games I've played I've rarely used reflect sets and I still have some decent results and wins, personally I love RBY OU and don't think it needs to be changed."


I believe the tier is fine as it is, but I could see one of the options above potentially improving it. (42.5%)

Okay this one is a bit difficult to analyze. My feeling while reading the answers was that the people who picked this one (among others, or not) talked a lot about how testing would be important. They seem to be really cautious about important changes like the ones that were mentioned (while not dismissing the idea) and are very adamant about them requiring deep testing and not being the result of only a discussion and a vote. This could explain why they ticked this box, since it's not a definitive one. They talked more about the importance of testing rather that the options that could "potentially improve the tier".

But what are the options that could potentially improve the tier according to these players ?
Among the ones that picked this answer:

4 of them also ticked "Some form of Wrap Ban"
3 of them also ticked "Some form of Reflect Ban"
3 of them also ticked "Allowing Tradebacks"
7 of them did not tick anything else

"The quality of a metagame is mostly decided by the opinion of the playerbase since an objective measure of quality isn't possible. I personally don't think any of the listed issues is overwhelming or will particularly fix the inherent issues gen1 pokemon gaming has. I have played the tier throughout many changes even before the big mechanics shift. Even in the last tier there have been major changes in trends and that will always continue to be that way. I am not a big friend of outside changes in the oldest tier as you know. I believe that there can be a major overreaction to certain things if we let the playerbase decide based on their opinion alone. Especially wrap is only seen as a big problem again since this spl. Reflect being dominant is a major shift since the mechanic change. That by itself shifted from chansey to lax already. Nothing is truly set in stone after all."

"I don't know if I'd trust either council or public suspect decisions about RBY. I'd want anything tested to really thoroughly be tested for weeks with critical reasoning as to why the tier is noticeably improved from the changes - either in team diversity or skill becoming a bigger factor in determining the winner"

"I am generally opposed to banning things without it being clear they're broken"

Questions 5 & 6: Do you believe some things about RBY should be tested or tried even if you don't have a strong opinion about it ?


Okay looking back on it this question was poorly asked and is quite redundant with other ones. I myself am unsure what to make of this graph, but what was interesting were the written answers to the question that followed ("If yes, which ones and why ?")

Basically, to this question, players said what they wanted to see X or Y tested even if they didn't always say previously that they thought X or Y were problematic issues. So these answers are not really about the players opinions of what is ban worthy and what isn't, but more about curiosity and what tests should be made even without the idea of then applying them to the tier. Here are what the players want to see tested:

1. Reflect : 12 players said they wanted to try RBY without Reflect.
2. Tradebacks : 10 players said they wanted to try RBY with Tradebacks.
3. Wrap : This is where it gets interesting. Only 7 players said they wanted to try RBY without Wrap, whereas in the questions 3 and 4, we saw that 12 players were strongly in favor of a Wrap ban. This could mean that in the eyes of some players, Wrap is a different question than Reflect or Tradebacks, since some of them would be ready to take action about Wrap without some specific testing. Maybe it's because a Wrap change would not influence the metagame as much as a Reflect or a Pokemon change.
4. Banning Pokemon : 6 players said they wanted to try RBY with some dominant pokemon banned. Chansey, Snorlax, and Tauros, were specifically mentioned 2 times each.

Question 7: Would your frequency of playing RBY change if it saw important changes (that could transform its identity) ?


1: I would continue playing RBY even if it saw important changes
5: Important changed would make me quit the tier

A simple interpretation of this graph would be that the argument that was sometimes brought up in TIN's thread saying "Important changes could make RBY lose part of its playerbase" is not met by the majority of the answerers of this survey, who is apparently willing to stay loyal to its tier. At least that's in theory (and according to this survey), you never know what can happen in practice.

Question 8: If you have anything else to say, feel free to say it here

Most answers that were given here by the players were follow-ups to their arguments as to why X or Y change should or should not be made. A lot of players also mentioned here how important it would be to have some important and intense testing about any big change that was mentioned throughout the survey. They want it to be the result of some deep testing and not from a simple discussion + vote. The RBY playerbase wants any change to be tested and debated. This means that any process that could lead to the change of how the tier is currently ruled will probably not happen on the short-term.


I would like once again to thank all the people who took the time to answer the survey, and would like to apologize once again for how absurdly long it took to go from TIN's thread to this one, especially given how fast we got in the answers. I hope you enjoyed reading this thread enough to make up for it. I would however like to mention that this is just opinion collecting, you should not make any definitive or fast conclusion about it. The goal was simply to gather data to continue the previous discussion on TIN's thread, with more than different individuals opinions spreadout everywhere. Now we have concrete information about what the RBY community thinks of its tier and about the different topics and the discussion about the current state of RBY can continue in a more structured way. Be aware that for each answers (especially in questions 3 & 4) a lot of players did not answer (to the idea of a Reflect Ban for example), so take into account the silent majority when seeing the results.

Do not hesitate to disagree with the interpretation made of some of the results, and if something seems unclear or if you want more detailed information about the answers to some questions, go ahead and ask, I can still dig into the results.



Last edited:
Most answers that were given here by the players were follow-ups to their arguments as to why X or Y change should or should not be made. A lot of players also mentioned here how important it would be to have some important and intense testing about any big change that was mentioned throughout the survey. They want it to be the result of some deep testing and not from a simple discussion + vote. The RBY playerbase wants any change to be tested and debated. This means that any process that could lead to the change of how the tier is currently ruled will probably not happen on the short-term.
Love this part, I feel like it's the most important one actually. Do it well, do it just one time.

I'll remark that I stated that I'd like to test bigger issues first (Reflect, Rest) - specifically, I think that people are going mad against Wrap right now and they're only seeing the tip of the iceberg; if the decision on Reflect will be to keep it legal, I can see Wrap being a problem.
Physlax is the boogieman of a Reflect-less RBY OU, games might come down to FPs on Thunder Wave turns, and that's definitely where we don't want to be I guess...

If we need a group of players (likely, not busy with tournaments), I'm up for it.
In spite of being short of spare time, I'd like to commit to this as much as possible given the importance.

Also, I think this quote belongs to me "I think tests need to be performed before I can form a more solid opinion on the subject" - if I remember correctly, it was about tradebacks - given the amount of work and complexity in this thread alone, the context didn't come out clear.
Personally I'm heavily skeptical towards the use of tradebacks: it simply is a later gen's logic, but that quote means that if other guys want to put in the effort, I'll give them props and I might help too (if I have enough time to get into it...)
Last edited:
Not open for further replies.

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