pasting this round of updates from the #minor-announcements
channel from the discord:
posting these in the casual thread is a temporary measure. i don't want to post patch notes for a handbook that isn't finished.
really hoping to avoid any early instances of "changed this rule" "changed it back" "changed it again" "changed it yet again" that can happen when a fresh rule is being hammered out, in the permanent patch note record on the handbook.
that said, i also fleshed out much of r2.5 "The Switching Phase". direct spelling/grammar feedback to the bug report thread; and balance feedback to this thread here. much of the work was trying to ensure the rules produced some sort of coherent result at all in battles with three or more teams, or with two or more trainers per team.
brief notes on topics above:
- sleep users of note, by descending bst, are as follows: [link 1] [link 2]
- we're in agreement that the scariest things on these lists are gallade and necturna, who are in the sing/hypnosis list and aren't hitting that shit without help (and have better things to be doing), right?
- consensus on the sleep powder/spore list, is that these pokemon could use a potent turn-stealing move to swing their damage races against existing statblock titans (much like how they're designed to use these moves to buy turns in-game, in exchange for sheer bulk or power)
- these pokemon are gaining a step of advantage to attack, or to set up, each time they land sleep uninterrupted. but they are doing so at a genuine cost to tempo, by burning precious steps within a deadline -- steps until their opponent can switch to an answer, or even steps before their opponent orders second -- repeatedly applying sleep and making no progress for that step. they accrue turn advantage when left alone, but their rate of progress is slower than other threats, which is a tangible and meaningful trade-off. they can spend their combo token to get their sleep off, but given that a mon's combo token is essentially a free non-damaging turn on any mon, that too is a meaningful resource. they aren't getting these turns "for free" in any format except switch=off.
- from those points, i conclude that sleep is strong but appropriately so, as an intended strength of the mons that have it. if adjustments happened, it would be reducing the coin-flip of hitting hypnosis, and i'd likely be leaving sleep powder and especially spore alone. i'm open to a once-per-subject-per-round restriction if changes are needed after that, but that's about it.
- it also wouldn't be adjustments to sleep talk. making its usefulness diminish over time is intended. "sleep talk users" shouldn't be a proactive gameplan. sleep talk is your plan c or d against status when other measures fail. this then segues nicely into general status talk.
- general status notes:
- people wanted ways to threaten the opponent other than being big and beefy, and doing more damage and taking less. and wanted ways for non-statbrick mons to shine. guess what; those pokemon quite often dispense status. the key to making such mons' contributions valuable is making status potent, and that means getting status inflicted on you has to suck serious ass. it has to suck just as bad as taking a bunch of damage sucks. if you can comfortably ignore it, in your teambuilding and in your matchup positioning, then it's not a meaningful contribution, and the pokemon built around it do not matter!
- that means making each status more potent in its niche. two examples, where i get to use the rare *third* indent, that are performing well:
- poison! i really like where poison has ended up. it has both high-synergy users (bulky pokemon that can stall) and high-value targets (those same bulky pokemon that naturally last several turns; it's fine if the users and targets overlap). its strong use cases are clear and its weak use cases are clear. full marks!
- burn! another very clear case of when you should use it, and when you shouldn't. its user synergy is a bit situation-dependant (e.g. are you even facing a physical attacker, and does -12 bap on average even change the hits it takes to KO you), and it has the clearest targets of any status in the game. near-full marks.
- both of these statuses often see both general use in combinations (attack + wisp to live for 1 extra turn is much better than raw wisp); and see standalone use by their high-synergy users (dusknoir can live 2 or 3 more turns in front of a super-effective burned attacker compared to an unburned one, due to their already massive defenses.)
that leaves the rest of the "main" statuses a bit adrift in the wind, and in need of focusing. but the focusing will be entirely within
the following framework:
my thoughts on status here
i see thoughts along the lines of, "this status warps the game, because not every pokemon can answer it." that's literally the point of the changes. that means that the status charges are working correctly.
there are armies of pokemon capable of helping your team with status. there are pokemon with safeguard, which completely prevents major status and select other nasties, for four whole rounds. there are pokemon who can remove all major status, from all of your team members, including your benched team members. there are mons with natural cure or shed skin or early bird. you will have to run them, or status will body you. you'll have to buy and run a Lum Berry, or an Electric Seed or Misty Seed, or Adventure Rules that gives you stacking damage forever for each negative stat stage or status you have inflicted on you.
these counter-options demand that you spend your action, or your combo token, to enact them... just as status does. their strength is exactly that of the status conditions that they combat. and they exist early. safeguard is Level 1. aromatherapy and heal bell are Level 1.
it is correct that these options are not on every Pokemon, and if you want to fight status, your team will have to include status-fighting Pokemon or your backpack will have to include status-fighting items. it is ALSO true that these options come at an opportunity cost, taking valuable slots where you could be running bulky or damaging Pokemon, or you could be running damage-racing or matchup-controlling items.
GOOD. THEY SHOULD.
by running all beefslabs, you should be by necessity choosing to forego what those mons tend to lack, which is support tools. by taking metagross, who offers screens and an entry hazard as its primary form of team support, you are foregoing something like bronzong, which can do that, set up safeguard, spread confusion, paralysis and sleep, and
iron defense body press up in front of dangerous physical attackers. what metagross can do in those situations, is hit things. maybe try to control matchups with pursuit and block. maybe manipulate speed. there's a tradeoff to be made.
the point is, in order for utility mons to see any use, their utility has to be strong enough to give a shit about. arguments can be made that a given status is too sacky, or to universally applicable, or too mindless. arguments that are essentially complaints, about having to consider status, will be politely ignored.
you might point out that certain truly cracked mons like dragonite possess winning statlines with safeguard, heal bell, screens, and so on. well, buy them. use them, prepare for them. there will always be a strongest mon. it might be dnite, or a mon that beats it, or an unrelated mon. dnite knowing heal bell, or ttar knowing thunder wave, or garchomp knowing spikes is not sufficient cause for me to nerf heal bell, thunder wave, or spikes into uselessness because a high-stat mon "might abuse" it.
what it means is that dnite can role-compress bruiser and cleric into one team slot for you, so your other teammates can be, say, hazard setters and a wall, or another bruiser and a pivot, and so on. you might use garchomp as a bruiser + hazard setter, and a more dedicated cleric. but you're gonna want a cleric, or have a really good reason not to have a cleric.
you already want hazard removal, or have a really good reason not to have a hazard remover. you already want a statblock, or a good reason not to have a statblock. status is the same deal. now there will be foes attacking you via the angle of status, and you will have to either deal with it or lose.
this wall of text got a bit away from me, but I tried to get into serious detail with this post. tl;dr - i will be doing work to clarify the use case of each status. i will not be doing any work to weaken status, and you should not expect such.