Unpopular opinions

Samtendo09

Ability: Light Power
is a Pre-Contributor
I've been seeing some discussion here on aspects of the competitive and/or online multiplayer side of Pokémon, and while I'm probably never going to prefer multiplayer content over single player content on average, I do want to take a moment here to talk about what I believe to be a major discrepancy about game balance as a whole. My opinions all center around what I think is the most over-used word in competitive multiplayer- "broken". Seeing this word get thrown around a lot has always confused me since it's so difficult for players to come to a consensus agreement on if certain aspects of the game are "broken" or not. The definition I'm going to use for the purpose of this post involves when assets of the game are added at a later point that already existing assets were not designed with in mind. Let's take a look at some examples of commonly debated "broken" strategies in an effort to explain what I mean by that:

Baton Pass (Gens 2 onwards): Baton Pass is arguably the single most controversial move ever added to competitive Pokémon as a result of the near-infinite potential the move provides the Pokémon and team structures using the move. In theory, any Pokémon created without Baton Pass in mind can be "broken" via the use of Baton Pass, in the form of allowing these Pokémon access to benefits they would not otherwise have access to. Furthermore, well-constructed Baton Pass teams can include specific strategies within their team structure in an effort to protect an active Baton Pass chain from being broken.

Trapping Abilities (Gens 3 onwards): The third generation games added Abilities into the game for the first time, and while a number of the third generation's own Pokémon were created with the new mechanic in mind, many Pokémon were also given Abilities that have forever changed their play style and reputation in the competitive scene. Trapping abilities such as Arena Trap, Shadow Tag, and Magnet Pull immediately come to mind as additions to already existing Pokémon that invalidate a core aspect of Pokémon's competitive gameplay.

Generational Gimmicks (Gen 6 onwards): Admittedly, Mega Evolutions earn a bit of a pass here, as the new forms are specifically designed with their respective Pokémon in mind and as such do not do anything to "break" these Pokémon in theory. This is not to say that certain Mega Evolutions have not been perceived as overpowered in different metagames, though. Other generational gimmicks that function as a universal addition to the roster of Pokémon are a different story, however, as these gimmicks (Z-Moves, Dynamax, and Terastalizing) have been proven to push Pokémon designed without these gimmicks in mind over the edge. Z-Moves provide significantly improved offesnive potential to anything that can afford to use them, and both Dynamax and Terastalizing have provoked discussions of being banned from standard play entirely.
Don’t forget another Ability can push any Pokémon over the edge.

Moody (Generation 5 onwards): This is the one Ability that can be considered as both broken and uncompetitive in Single metagames, and in-game since almost every battle is a Single Battle. A free +2 on a random stat boost for a measly -1 on another after every turn may seems innocent at a glance, but the +2 will eventually patch up the reduced stat while the -1 will never outpace the boosted stats. It is worse before Gen 8, where Accuracy and Evasion can also be changed through this Ability.

Even after Moody being unable to modify Accuracy nor Evasion from Gen 8 onwards, it is still too powerful, because now it can get any Pokémon too powerful, too fast and too bulky in fewer turns. It’s a wonder that the only Pokémon that was introduced laater than the fifth Generation that gets this as Hidden Ability is Scovillain.
 

bdt2002

Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs superfan
is a Pre-Contributor
Don’t forget another Ability can push any Pokémon over the edge.

Moody (Generation 5 onwards): This is the one Ability that can be considered as both broken and uncompetitive in Single metagames, and in-game since almost every battle is a Single Battle. A free +2 on a random stat boost for a measly -1 on another after every turn may seems innocent at a glance, but the +2 will eventually patch up the reduced stat while the -1 will never outpace the boosted stats. It is worse before Gen 8, where Accuracy and Evasion can also be changed through this Ability.

Even after Moody being unable to modify Accuracy nor Evasion from Gen 8 onwards, it is still too powerful, because now it can get any Pokémon too powerful, too fast and too bulky in fewer turns. It’s a wonder that the only Pokémon that was introduced laater than the fifth Generation that gets this as Hidden Ability is Scovillain.
You’re right, how did I miss this? It’s even worse when you consider that the stat boosts you do accumulate are pretty much random, too. There are times when I feel you’d rather have a different Ability- Speed Boost comes to mind as a similar concept, but you and your opponent both know what stat is being boosted- but if you the player can make a legitimate argument for Pokémon like non-Mega Glalie, Scovillain, freaking Bidoof, et cetera being problematic in Ubers, there’s very clearly a problem here.

(At least the Bidoof family can’t use Moody and Simple at the same time. Now that sounds like torture.)
 
Freeze should've been replaced with Frostbite after Legends Arceus. That status was so much more balanced (Freeze has always been bullshit), it made sense flavour wise, and it would've given us the opportunity to have a move that just induces Frostbite a la Will o Wisp. We could've also had a Freeze Orb, giving Guts users an easier time since even if they lose their ability somehow they still don't get their Attack reduced.

Drowsy could be interesting too, though it would need some tweaking from its Legends Arceus incarnation.

XY are my least favourite mainline Pokemon games. To this day I couldn't name one gym leader or one location from it, and mega evolution was a decent idea but in game it was completely broken. While it did save some otherwise unviable Pokemon (Mawile, Kangaskhan and Pinsir come to mind), honestly I would've preferred them just having regular evolutions. Apart from the awesome champion theme, I can't recall any music from that game either off the top of my head.
 
Freeze should've been replaced with Frostbite after Legends Arceus. That status was so much more balanced (Freeze has always been bullshit), it made sense flavour wise, and it would've given us the opportunity to have a move that just induces Frostbite a la Will o Wisp. We could've also had a Freeze Orb, giving Guts users an easier time since even if they lose their ability somehow they still don't get their Attack reduced.

Drowsy could be interesting too, though it would need some tweaking from its Legends Arceus incarnation.

XY are my least favourite mainline Pokemon games. To this day I couldn't name one gym leader or one location from it, and mega evolution was a decent idea but in game it was completely broken. While it did save some otherwise unviable Pokemon (Mawile, Kangaskhan and Pinsir come to mind), honestly I would've preferred them just having regular evolutions. Apart from the awesome champion theme, I can't recall any music from that game either off the top of my head.
Frostbite would make the game literally trash. Wisp can already make many MUs a 5v6, now you're gonna add moves to make that for the other side of the offensive spectrum?
 
Freeze should've been replaced with Frostbite after Legends Arceus. That status was so much more balanced (Freeze has always been bullshit), it made sense flavour wise, and it would've given us the opportunity to have a move that just induces Frostbite a la Will o Wisp. We could've also had a Freeze Orb, giving Guts users an easier time since even if they lose their ability somehow they still don't get their Attack reduced.

Drowsy could be interesting too, though it would need some tweaking from its Legends Arceus incarnation.
The likely Will-o-Wisp equivalent is the main thing that keeps me from being enthusiastic about Frostbite. Burn is more often seen out of a Ghost type than an actual Fire type because the latter is rarely defensive enough to personally care about the attack drop and Ice mons already struggle with being overshadowed by other types carrying Ice moves. How symmetric answers to physical and special moves should be is probably also worth a discussion on its own.

I do think they should experiment with a persistent status that reduces defenses, but I also feel that there's too much built on Sleep to change it easily. Maybe that's what Frostbite should do instead of dropping SpA?
 
I do think they should experiment with a persistent status that reduces defenses, but I also feel that there's too much built on Sleep to change it easily. Maybe that's what Frostbite should do instead of dropping SpA?
i do think it's a great idea to have frostbite reducing defenses and maybe even a chance of not moving like paralysis - it would justify the condition being much rarer than the others without it being basically a KO as it now
 
Fairy isn't even teething issues. Its design encompasses all the worst aspects of how Gamefreak tries to handle balance, especially when Dark and Steel in 1-2 was a very reasonable pair of additions at the time.
  • Fairy's Offensive profile. All 3 resistances it includes are weak to Ground, and 1 isn't even a good defensive type because of Stealth Rock and (possibly literally) 400 Water types. I always have concerns about "two move perfection" in coverage and GF made another one despite the defensive profile of Fairy ostensibly being about fixing some such combinations like Dark/Fighting and Dragon/Ground or Fire.
  • Which brings me to Defensive Profile.
    • Fairy literally only has two weaknesses, Poison and Steel. In theory this was to improve the offensive output of these types; in practice, it benefits Poison types running the type neutrally and kneecaps anyone else because their offensive coverage outside this type isn't good, but you need to deal with Fairies now.
    • The resist profile also seems tailor made to deal with the types troubling the Meta at the time, but then there's little to no flavorful type match-ups alongside those. Why are the Fair Folk resistant to Dark Types (Evil Type in JP) when most stories they're mischievous if not evil-themselves as tricksters? Why does Fire resist them but not deal SE damage in return? And personal peeve is the Bug resistance because shit on that type some more I guess
  • Flavorwise the type is used in a boring manner. It just kind gets tossed around to things that are cute and in some cases vaguely magical. Why are Comfey and Florges pure Fairy despite clearly working plants into their biology compared to Whimsicott as a retro case? Why is Dedenne a Fairy when it just looks like every Pika-clone ever? Why is Hoopa, based on a Genie/Djinn, one of the most infamously tricksy magical beings in pop-cultural fiction, a Psychic Type instead of Fairy?
It hits bad points from me on all 3 categories I look at a type through, essentially turning into the type it was supposed to suppress (Dragon) instead of rebalancing things like Dark and Steel managed in their debut Gens, while having unfun and sometimes incoherent theming.
 

ScraftyIsTheBest

On to new Horizons!
is a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
I think Fairy's defensive profile is fine in a vacuum, it's intentionally trying to buff the two worst offensive types and nerf the strongest ones. The issue is that Poison and Steel still have two shortcomings that need to be addressed to boost their offensive potential: the first is stronger, more reliable moves, and the other is more good offensive Poison and Steel-types. Both types are well known for having a pretty strong defensive profile but a weak offensive profile, and most of the good Poison and Steel-types are designed as walls and support mons (prime examples being the infamous Ferrothorn and Toxapex). Meanwhile both types don't exactly have a lot of strong reliable offensive moves. Their most "reliable" physical moves are Poison Jab and Iron Head which are a modest 80 BP, and 100+ BP moves like Gunk Shot and Iron Tail are inaccurate. On the special side, Poison fortunately has Sludge Bomb/Wave, while Flash Cannon is okay as a Steel move, but typical Fairies tend to have a high Special Defense.

That creates some issues as far as using Poison and Steel as coverage is concerned but as far as STAB, there aren't a lot of good offensively oriented Poison or Steel-types out there which compounds the perceived issue. If there were, Fairies as a whole wouldn't be as strong in the grand overall environment. The list of good offensive Steels basically boils down to...Scizor, and not much else, Poison even less so.

Fairy's offensive profile is pretty strong but its perfect synergy with Ground is usually rarely able to be used by most Fairies themselves, and it's often rare to actually want to use Fairy moves as coverage on things that do use Ground moves. It's more prominent this gen because of Terastal but that's a different story.

Honestly I don't think Fairy is necessarily overpowered in a vacuum, it's just that the specific aspects it wants to address have more things and shortcomings that need to be covered. The type feels overpowered because it's given to a lot of good Pokemon with really good skillsets to use the type well, and having a strong roster of very good Pokemon elevates it.

Flavorwise, I've said it before, but it's only had four generations to really establish itself and there's still much more room to do more with it in the future. We're already starting to see some pretty cool Fairy designs in recent years with Hatterene, Grimmsnarl, and Tinkaton, and the most recent two generations have been pretty damn fun with Fairy designs. I'm sure we'll see more out there Fairy-types in the future.
 
  • Fairy literally only has two weaknesses, Poison and Steel. In theory this was to improve the offensive output of these types; in practice, it benefits Poison types running the type neutrally and kneecaps anyone else because their offensive coverage outside this type isn't good, but you need to deal with Fairies now.
My very strong Type Chart Take is that they should have made Poison super-effective against Water. Steel already received the Ghost/Dark nerf at the same time as Fairy being added, so it's not as if pre-existing type match-ups can't be altered - and on all counts, I think it would have been healthy for the game overall. It's thematically a perfect fit, so it wouldn't cause any major confusion or headache trying to wrap your head around the new match-up; of course the type associated with pollution is super-effective against water! Giving the Poison type two major offensive match-ups, while still being checked by the best defensive type in the game in Steel, puts it in a very unique anti-meta position and avoids being too strong or overwhelming. To me, it checks all the boxes for a good change.

Of course, game balance is a very sensitive thing, and it's understandable that GF wouldn't want to rock the boat any more than necessary. Any change you make is going to have a massive ripple effect on the way everything interacts with each other, and some rando on the internet certainly doesn't have a greater claim to understanding game balance than a professional game studio that designed the chart to begin with.
 
My very strong Type Chart Take is that they should have made Poison super-effective against Water. Steel already received the Ghost/Dark nerf at the same time as Fairy being added, so it's not as if pre-existing type match-ups can't be altered - and on all counts, I think it would have been healthy for the game overall. It's thematically a perfect fit, so it wouldn't cause any major confusion or headache trying to wrap your head around the new match-up; of course the type associated with pollution is super-effective against water! Giving the Poison type two major offensive match-ups, while still being checked by the best defensive type in the game in Steel, puts it in a very unique anti-meta position and avoids being too strong or overwhelming. To me, it checks all the boxes for a good change.

Of course, game balance is a very sensitive thing, and it's understandable that GF wouldn't want to rock the boat any more than necessary. Any change you make is going to have a massive ripple effect on the way everything interacts with each other, and some rando on the internet certainly doesn't have a greater claim to understanding game balance than a professional game studio that designed the chart to begin with.
This is easily one of the best single changes you could make to the type chart imo. It's intuitive and seems very healthy for overall game balance plus it gives my beloved Empoleon another defensive niche

From an in-game perspective, though, I wonder if the devs have deliberately avoided giving any single type an offensive advantage against more than one starter type? I don't see any particular reason why that would be an issue, but their weaknesses have been kept pretty separate so far.
 
I think Fairy's defensive profile is fine in a vacuum, it's intentionally trying to buff the two worst offensive types and nerf the strongest ones. The issue is that Poison and Steel still have two shortcomings that need to be addressed to boost their offensive potential: the first is stronger, more reliable moves, and the other is more good offensive Poison and Steel-types. Both types are well known for having a pretty strong defensive profile but a weak offensive profile, and most of the good Poison and Steel-types are designed as walls and support mons (prime examples being the infamous Ferrothorn and Toxapex). Meanwhile both types don't exactly have a lot of strong reliable offensive moves. Their most "reliable" physical moves are Poison Jab and Iron Head which are a modest 80 BP, and 100+ BP moves like Gunk Shot and Iron Tail are inaccurate. On the special side, Poison fortunately has Sludge Bomb/Wave, while Flash Cannon is okay as a Steel move, but typical Fairies tend to have a high Special Defense.

That creates some issues as far as using Poison and Steel as coverage is concerned but as far as STAB, there aren't a lot of good offensively oriented Poison or Steel-types out there which compounds the perceived issue. If there were, Fairies as a whole wouldn't be as strong in the grand overall environment. The list of good offensive Steels basically boils down to...Scizor, and not much else, Poison even less so.

Fairy's offensive profile is pretty strong but its perfect synergy with Ground is usually rarely able to be used by most Fairies themselves, and it's often rare to actually want to use Fairy moves as coverage on things that do use Ground moves. It's more prominent this gen because of Terastal but that's a different story.

Honestly I don't think Fairy is necessarily overpowered in a vacuum, it's just that the specific aspects it wants to address have more things and shortcomings that need to be covered. The type feels overpowered because it's given to a lot of good Pokemon with really good skillsets to use the type well, and having a strong roster of very good Pokemon elevates it.

Flavorwise, I've said it before, but it's only had four generations to really establish itself and there's still much more room to do more with it in the future. We're already starting to see some pretty cool Fairy designs in recent years with Hatterene, Grimmsnarl, and Tinkaton, and the most recent two generations have been pretty damn fun with Fairy designs. I'm sure we'll see more out there Fairy-types in the future.
I can't help but feel that Fairy's design of being anti-meta doesn't play well with Dexit. It needs enough mons around to both create a standard meta and have options to subvert it. Want an offensive Poison to break through? Shame you can't take Beedrill-mega, Nidoking, or Nihilego in gen 9. Want to still use Steel's great defensive profile without stacking weaknesses to an already good offensive type in Ground? There are only three Steel/Flying mons in existence, you better hope every game has at least one.
 
Fairy type is so overpowered that currently VGC features *1* used fairy type (which happens to have one of the most minmaxed stats in Pokemon history) and OU features 4 (2 of which being defensive), meanwhile 8 Dragon types several of which get constantly called as banworthy and noone seems to think Dragon typing is op.

Smogon posters and realizing Fairy type is fine and it's just GameFreak having the tendency to release overtuned fairy type pokemon Challenge (difficulty: impossible)

Smogon posters and not pretending to play checkers instead of Pokemon Challenge (difficulty also impossible)

Call me when Aromatisse is banned to Ubers for being a fairy type.
 
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Fairy type is so overpowered that currently VGC features *1* used fairy type (which happens to have one of the most minmaxed stats in Pokemon history) and OU features 4 (2 of which being defensive), meanwhile 8 Dragon types several of which get constantly called as banworthy and noone seems to think Dragon typing is op.

Smogon posters and realizing Fairy type is fine and it's just GameFreak having the tendency to release overtuned fairy type pokemon Challenge (difficulty: impossible)

Smogon posters and not pretending to play checkers instead of Pokemon Challenge (difficulty also impossible)

Call me when Aromatisse is banned to Ubers for being a fairy type.
Fairy as a typing can be skewed in its strength and also attached to Pokemon with kits that aren't collectively strong to drag it down. These aren't mutually exclusive evaluations. Here's another look: How frequently can you find a Pokemon that is worse off for having a Fairy Typing?
 
Fairy as a typing can be skewed in its strength and also attached to Pokemon with kits that aren't collectively strong to drag it down. These aren't mutually exclusive evaluations. Here's another look: How frequently can you find a Pokemon that is worse off for having a Fairy Typing?
As often as how often you can find a pokemon that's worse off adding water type. If it's stacking weaknesses

See things like Rillaboom being significantly better than Tapu Bulu, not just because it has more tools, but because despite having better stats the fairy type only adds more weaknesses without adding any significant resist (most dragons nowadays dont even run a dragon stab other than Meteor or busted signatures).

Fairy type is definitely a good type, there is no doubt in it, but it's not "overpowered" in any way. Rather the type happens to have many more minmaxed mons than other ones

The only type that can be argued to be op just off the type chart is steel (which even got nerfed at some point), and even that one has combinations that would be better off without it (like steel/ice and steel/rock)
 
As often as how often you can find a pokemon that's worse off adding water type. If it's stacking weaknesses

See things like Rillaboom being significantly better than Tapu Bulu, not just because it has more tools, but because despite having better stats the fairy type only adds more weaknesses without adding any significant resist (most dragons nowadays dont even run a dragon stab other than Meteor or busted signatures).
I would debate this specific example. Tapu Bulu's inferiority stems from lacking Grassy Glide, Knock Off, and U-Turn as very significant moves on Rillaboom, but the Fairy typing adds very significant resistances to Bug (U-Turn common to neutralize), Fighting, and Dark regardless of the Dragon Immunity's relevance (neither takes Poison well and Steel offense is not a common tool). This goes back to my point that the additional Fairy typing is not what makes Tapu Bulu an inferior choice: if you shored up other flaws I pointed out like Grassy Glide priority, Knock Off to push progress, or even a unique "missing" thing in not having a Fairy STAB, Tapu Bulu would easily be competing with or overtaking Rillaboom, especially because it lets it punish Grass's Dragon concern. You also can't brush off the Dragon STAB because most don't run one "other than Meteor or busted Signatures" when I dare you to name a Special Dragon that DOESN'T want a 140 BP move to nuke things mostly-neutral; for Signatures, okay they're signatures. Still very strong Dragon moves you have to be able to survive getting hit by. Does Flying not deserve discussion as a strong attack type because its most reliable moves are Recoil Brave Bird, Hurricane, and Signatures like Dragon Ascent?

If you're going to talk min-maxed users, Salamence and Garchomp pop out for pre-Fairy Dragons, and after it there's Dragapult, Archaludon, Roaring Moon, and the Beast Paradoxes. You cannot point to Fairy having min-maxed users to downplay the value of the type itself over Dragon. Fairies that claim at most goes to Legendaries-and-alik like Xerneas, Zacian, Tapu Lele (and part of that is Psychic Terrain for its other STAB), Iron Valiant, and Flutter Mane (for whom half the burden is on its Ghost typing as well offensively and, in VGC, Defensively).
 
I would debate this specific example. Tapu Bulu's inferiority stems from lacking Grassy Glide, Knock Off, and U-Turn as very significant moves on Rillaboom, but the Fairy typing adds very significant resistances to Bug (U-Turn common to neutralize), Fighting, and Dark regardless of the Dragon Immunity's relevance (neither takes Poison well and Steel offense is not a common tool). This goes back to my point that the additional Fairy typing is not what makes Tapu Bulu an inferior choice: if you shored up other flaws I pointed out like Grassy Glide priority, Knock Off to push progress, or even a unique "missing" thing in not having a Fairy STAB, Tapu Bulu would easily be competing with or overtaking Rillaboom, especially because it lets it punish Grass's Dragon concern. You also can't brush off the Dragon STAB because most don't run one "other than Meteor or busted Signatures" when I dare you to name a Special Dragon that DOESN'T want a 140 BP move to nuke things mostly-neutral; for Signatures, okay they're signatures. Still very strong Dragon moves you have to be able to survive getting hit by. Does Flying not deserve discussion as a strong attack type because its most reliable moves are Recoil Brave Bird, Hurricane, and Signatures like Dragon Ascent?

If you're going to talk min-maxed users, Salamence and Garchomp pop out for pre-Fairy Dragons, and after it there's Dragapult, Archaludon, Roaring Moon, and the Beast Paradoxes. You cannot point to Fairy having min-maxed users to downplay the value of the type itself over Dragon. Fairies that claim at most goes to Legendaries-and-alik like Xerneas, Zacian, Tapu Lele (and part of that is Psychic Terrain for its other STAB), Iron Valiant, and Flutter Mane (for whom half the burden is on its Ghost typing as well offensively and, in VGC, Defensively).
You're not saying anything wrong, but you're kinda proving my point: most of the value of the Fairy Types isnt just "they're fairy types", is how stacked they are with both good typing AND good moves / ability / stats.

Purely being a fairy type doesn't make a mon good. As I said, call me when Aromatisse is sent to Ubers due to being a fairy type. Most good fairy types would still be good without the fairy typing. Xerneas would still be a godtier pokemon if it was pure Normal. Zacian would still be insane if it was Bug type. Tapu Koko would still be strong if it was pure Electric.
There's definitely cases where being fairy is *part* of why a pokemon is good, es speaking of Tapus, Tapu Lele wouldn't be anywhere as strong if it wasnt part fairy letting it actually face Dark types instead of being murdered by them. But being "part fairy" never was the breaking point.

There is a massive difference between being "good" and being "op". No single type is op in pokemon. Otherwise, if say... a mechanic was introduced that lets you change typing on a whim, everyone would run Fairy type right?
https://x.com/VGCdata/status/1746967515866058773?s=20
Hint: it isnt. If you take out Flutter Mane, which mainly uses it for the 2x stab value, it would be far down compared to Water (which is also inflated by Ogerpon), Grass and Ghost.


Fairy types just happen to have a higher amount of min-maxed or optimized pokemon than the other type. That's the limit of it. The type is not op, easily proved by the atrocious lack of Fairy types used in either competitive settings currently.
 

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