Metagame USUM RU Metagame Discussion


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I don't think Stakataka is a healthy addition to the game because it doesn't take much for it to quickly snowball out of proportion thanks to Beast Boost and Trick Room. Yes, it does have a nasty 4x weakness to Fighting moves and invites 'mons like Machamp and Virizion in, but it can easily set up Trick Room with its Steel-typing and good defenses and from there, begin decimating a team bit by bit thanks to its naturally high Attack and Beast Boost boosting its power to elephantine levels of insanity. Gyro Ball pretty much OHKOs any fast threat that tries to check it and Earthquake decimates anything that resists Gyro Ball like Raikou, Houndoom, or Toxicroak. The only "counter" to this thing in my mind is probably Bronzong with Earthquake, but even this can be dealt with given enough boosts. It only needs 2 boosts to OHKO Bronzong with Contenental Crush after Stealth Rock damage.

It doesn't even need a Trick Room team to succeed. It can fit on most balanced teams since it can pretty much pulverize a team on its own.

So yeah, Stakataka pretty much has 0 effective counters in this tier unless you're running some stall team with Quagsire or Pyukumuku and it doesn't need much support to be successful. Keep this thing in RUBL.

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To give out my personal thoughts, i'll start with an analogy.

Imagine if a somebody pushed a snowball down a snowhill. The snowball quickly gains power, and starts building up to the point where it becomes a menace to the safety of people. But there's a little kid, oblivious to the incoming snowball. The kid gets slammed.

Now imagine if that snowball was Stakataka, the snowhill being the Trick Room KOs in tandem with Beast Boost, and the little kid being the RU tier.
That is, in a sense, why i hope this degenerate of a structure gets slapped back into RUBL. Pretty much 0 counters, and anything that can attempt that gets itself snapped in half by the Z-move.


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RU Leader
The council will now move on with the next retest. Talonflame will be allowed on the ladder for one week. After that week the council, alongside a few rotating council members, will vote to determine its fate. If you'd like to be part of the rotating council, make sure to participate in the discussion. Talonflame was initially banned due to its Taunt + Bulk Up set dismantling bulky teams while its high Speed and access to Swords Dance makes it a big threat to offensive teams. Has enough changed for Talonflame to bring it down from RUBL? Feel free to discuss below! This retest period will end on June 8th @ 11:59 PM EST.

Tagging Marty to ban Stakataka and unban Talonflame in the ladder.


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Boy, has this bird fallen from grace... Looking at Talonflame, it has a great offensive type with a speed so high that only Mega Sceptile naturally outspeeds it. But wait, you think: Gale Wings is a thing! Priorirty Brave Birb all the things! It also has access to Taunt and Bulk Up to allow it to set up on bulkier Pokemon and Swords Dance to really dismantle offensive teams!

Then it hit me that Talonflame is only threatening IF it gets a boost since its Attack is rather middling and that Gale Wings is immediately broken by Stealth Rock. It doesn't have the best defenses and defensive typing either, so revenge killing it is relatively easier than thought. We also have lots of revenge killers like Golisopod and Zygarde-10% and Choice Scarf users like Flygon, Tyrantrum, and Raikou that can outspeed and revenge-kill it. We also have defensive checks to both of its STABs like Rhyperior, Tyrantrum, Mega Ampharos, and Diancie since it lacks a reliable way to hit them super effectively. Also, we have Lycanroc-Dusk. That thing reliably checks Talonflame thanks to Accelrock OHKOing it.

On the surface, I feel like we can handle Talonflame. For now, I say let's bring it to RU.


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Powerful oneliners give the most shocking impression. It will be deleted if it doesnt get expanded on anyways.

Right now Talonflame looking surprisingly manageable tbh. The most threatening is 300% the z flyinium which would smack through every offensive counterplay if played right but I think it is manageable thanks to the gale wings and burn nerf. In ORAS OU/XY it managed to outlast many things thanks to the powerful 12% every turn burn which was insane, making very few counterplay safe. Wisp still annoying but far more manageable with 6% and it not having sacred fire to dish damage while crippling things. SpDef sets arent sweeping like it did in ORAS and I think it could be a fascinating addition to physical fire repertoire and deserves a chance on a public test tbh. It will require some slight adaptations but not something we cant adapt too imo, no sacred fire is a big plus haha, phew. There are good flying resists that could be considered.

Thats the diagnosis for now, could always change ofc, will try to post some other sets and provide what could work for it later on.

Talonflame really took some fat hits from gen 6 to now, from starting off with 50 % from rocks, to the gale wings nerf. Talonflame is in no way unhealthy like Stakataka just was, and has a large amount of answers such as Lycanroc being able to hard switch on literally any set that isn't band steel wing which would be hilarious to see, things like donphan, milotic before the Sd, rhyperior, tyrantrum, and more. Talonflame is nowhere near difficult to play around and is much more manageable than the other recent retests. That being said, it has a load of ways to be stopped, but is nothing to be laughed at in a large amount of cases, being able to utilize bulk up and the priority Z to be put to good use and stop a large amount of the offense here. That and I see some fun in taunt / defog utility


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Well, I will give my opinion because a lot of people think this thing is totally broken without tested it a minimum.

Talon was banned because the metagame facilitated it set up. Majority of teams were built around of Gligar+Steel, 2 elements which gave a free setup for a SD+Taunt Talon and easily blew your defensive core for alumnus great cleaners like scarf Gardevoir. I can remember you could lead Talon and do 1 or 2 kills according to the opponent lead. Moreover, Talon could count upon a good Hazards Removal in the old meta.

Now the meta has drastically change, it's way more offensive and agressive. Sweep with an SD offensive Talonflame is very tough in late game.
As the metagame is more offensive you must have some pivot in your teams to check some offensive threat. Get a SD Talon in your offense is like if you played with Linoone if you want to preserve Gale Wings and your potentially 2 priority attacks from full life (Z Brave Bird + Brave Bird). And right now Linoone is way more dangerous because of that and because its +2 priority and mainly because it doesn't lose its midlife on rocs.
The rocs, is the main argument in favor of unban. It's so tough to keep your field clean, you have to make a choice in offense, either you choose to not remove the hazards and keep momentum either you Defog or Spin and chose to weaken one of your pivots or checks in knowing that Talon has a great potential sweep to clean the game, is it the case ?

To be an efficient cleaner you must have the combination sine qua non of speed and power. For example, Stak was a very (too) good cleaner because on top of that it got a great bulk, Mega Sceptile is good because it get a natural speed which permit it to outspeed some scarfer, in addition of its strength, Linoone can more or less a easily setup which boost its strength and get a stabbed +2 priority.
Talon is naturally fast and outspeed Sallazle,Noivern and Ribombee only if you run Jolly, it's nice to outspeed these mons. But you are still outspeeded by scarfers unless if your Gale Wings is activated which is tough to preserve in late game. Because you can forced to use Flare Blitz against steel type like Gross, not counting the weather as Sand or Hail which are annoying. Even if you succeed to preserve Gale Wings you have only 2 attacks with a +1 priority, if you don't run Acrobatics item less but it's weak. Indeed, Talonflame has not a great Attack, you have to get boosted to sweep.
Finally, Rock type has up in usages mainly Diancie which is a big problem (because its not affected by burn) unless if you run Steel Wing (which can be really viable), Slowbro is also very used right now as well. There is a lot of counterplay without necessary limit your teambuilding.

Seeing this you must think that this "ladder guy" thinks that Talon is garbage.
Garbage is big but yes I see a barely A potential. Talon has some virtues and maybe (probably), I or we don't explore all its potential in this meta. A Choice Band sets can be good I think thanks to U-Turn, Steel Wings (this move should be triggered by Gale Wings btw lol) . Its capacity to burn offensive check as Tyrantrum, Rhyperior or Lycanroc is good. I don't think a Bulk Up set has a lot of potential same for a Spe Def Stallbreaker set.

That is my point of view for that Talonflame test, in conclusion, I think it fulfills the conditions for a public suspect test and a comeback in RU.
Talonflame test is something i have been looking forward too for ages and since the announcement of the RUBL and by far in my opinion the most balanced of this list. This bird has been banned in late Beta and was understandable at that point. now the tier is much more bulkier and is fit for Talonflame. Flying STAB has been more or less spamable in this tier but in the case of Tflame, is not as strong as before. we all know it requires setup to really crush everything and its stats baring speed is good. Main calling is Gale Wings which without proper support such as Hazard removal, cant be utilize as well. Personally Talonflame is balanced, been testing it and had a team built with a custom Bulk Up set which ill put below

Talonflame @ Flyinium Z
Ability: Gale Wings
EVs: 248 HP / 28 Atk / 232 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Brave Bird
- Taunt
- Bulk Up
- Roost

Investment is to outspeed Noivern and Hp to come in on 2 Stealth Rocks and set up on walls it can take on. Through my testing its being hard to set up and if i use my Z early, has a hard time breaking if they have substantial bulk. My set isnt the best set but it beat balance and thats its goal.

Talonflame i feel is a great addition to the tier and provides a good typing and its not overbearing as it was in Beta. my verdict for this will be Unban. Thank you for reading and happy testing everyone :)


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Bear in mind that as of now, most of what I think is due to spectating people I know, trying to build, watching the tier as a whole and what I think of it, so playing currently is a bit limited, but here's the elements that give me large pause with regards to Talonflame, and why I don't think the unban posts are really doing a lot to convince me.

- RU's issues with fire types: There's no questions that well, a lot of them are definitely viable in the tier. Salazzle and Ninetales are the premier picks, arguably two of the most painful mons to address in the teambuilding phase. Houndoom and Marowak are a bit more niche, but stabs + surprisingly valid defensive value on top of high powered moves keep them going. Stuff like Arcanine and Emboar are more niche but they're not unusable and can create actual pains in a game if you think covering a fire with rock types actually makes you safe. Basically, picking a fire type in RU is a lot like, picking a good mon with vastly different attributes that can nail a good matchup depending on what you opponent prioritizes as counterplay. Which brings me to Talonflame... I personally see it in Salazzle / Ninetales' range. Too fast, too good as setting up, valid defensive utility on top of recovery, strong priority, good offensive typing. In fact, I tend to think of Salazzle as a sort of barometer of what this tier can handle. It's stupid fast, has enough defensive utility to typing to be played aggressively, has a ridiculously good offensive presence. Talonflame is faster, being beaten by only really Aero / Sceptile and scarfers as far as viable mons go, better defensively, has recovery, more diverse options at setting up, and the one thing it doesn't have over it - raw power - is offset to an extent by really strong stab moves.

- Oh, and priority I guess: I do think the 190 bp move is a bit bonkers if you add priority to it, especially if you manage to get it at +2. It just invalidates a lot of scarfers late game / forces them to lock in a specific move because if you predict badly and Talon roosts well frick. But priority being really really good and stupid and all these things doesn't mean that removing it from the argument invalidates Talonflame by itself, which a lot of the earlier posts seem to imply. As noted when I compared it to Salazzle, it's still faster and more defensively viable, which removes even more counterplay than our current crop of fires does. So, yes, priority is definitely a point that can tip the balance, but I definitely don't think it's the only one, and too much focus on it being preserved isn't necessarily the most optimal route in game, nor does it really debunk that it wouldn't be a good addition to the tier.

- Removal is.... good: I think the main point I was puzzled by in Pepeduce's post - which I don't think is bad by any means - is when he stated that Talonflame benefited from good removal back when it was in the tier. I'm sorry but... how? Gligar was the main remover at that time, but it was an Immunity-less Gligar at that time in SM RU, which meant it couldn't keep rocks off against the power duo of Regi/Bronzong, on top of losing to Nidoqueen which was probably the best non broken at the time. Donphan was considered bad for the most part, we didn't have Mandibuzz or Blastoise or the influx of niche defoggers brought to us by USUM... So no, if anything removal in general now is exceptional, and arguably as good as RU has had since I started playing it. Both Donphan and Blastoise are valuable spinners that have great synergy with Talonflame and are pretty hard to successfully block in this meta. Defoggers can be awkward sure but if you want one they're definitely viable. That's on top of just playing to a point where removing is also in your opponent's interest, which if they have a defogger can lead to difficult choices. And that's without the fact that a lot of uppers have a bad matchup vs Talonflame. Some might think that sacrificing 70 on your steel rocker is good to get them up but that's super bad to me lol, + if you face CB (good set btw) you just die. Pressure in the hazards game works both ways, in my opinion.

- Bar rock types, defensive counterplay is hardly reliable: Slowbro can get ohkoed by Talonflame's z-move if hazards are up, and it's generally considered the best of the best in terms of defensive counterplay that doesn't resist. On top of that, it doesn't ohko back. Mandibuzz can Foul Play I guess but also dies after rocks and if it's BU it tends to be setup fodder unless you still manage to fit Toxic and catch it by surprise. RegiFlorges are basically bait, others bulky waters have even less a chance. Talonflame basically forces in a rock type, which isn't that awful cause they can check other fires too - although, not all and not that well - but it's a little bit ridiculous to force that on teams when the rock typing in general is probably at its lowest, and I even say that as a fan of all of them basically, Diancie Aero Rhyperior and Gigalith are all pretty good but consistently fitting them in a tier where removal has never been this punishing to rock types can be a struggle.

So all in all, I am concerned lol, I don't think we've sorted through all of what Talonflame can do and all its attributes that are super stretching for the metagame as it is. It's ridiculously hard to check and it's malleable enough to stay on top of the meta, and I do think this one is super friendly to it. It's not super difficult to splash on teams because again it has so much versatility, it's definitely good enough to capitalize on so many staples and I don't know if saying the tier will change is necessarily enough, because so can Talon, and it definitely asks tough questions of this tier where both its typings are already incredible and simply adding another headache on top of the other good mons seems very risky to me.
I won't write an argument from the ground up because its mostly been done but just going to talk about a few quick points.

I think the metagame currently has a lot of things in relatively common use that are naturally hard checks to Talonflame, namely Diancie, Rhyperior, Aerodactyl, Tyrantrum, Gigalith and even Slowbro to a lesser degree. I think that fitting these on a team hardly requires excessive teambuilder intervention, and it basically puts Talonflame at a disadvantage when it comes to getting a kill from preview. Even if you do not use one of these Pokemon, however, most teams will find a way to threaten out Talonflame by applying rocks pressure, or tanking a Z Move and OHKOing Talonflame back with pokemon such as Raikou and Blastoise. While Talonflame will do more work versus these teams consistently, this is the nature of matchup in Pokemon. The Talonflame user risks Talonflame being a detriment to the overall efficacy of the team if the opponent brings a semi common rock type which hard walls it, and the person using a rock less builds accepts that Talonflame will do more damage to the team on a whole if encountered. These are the tradeoffs indicative of a healthy metagame.

Yes, Talonflame can adapt to some degree with Bulk Up and Taunt sets, but in large these sets still have trouble getting through hard rock type counters even in ideal circumstances, and substantially limit Talonflames potential offensive utility gained from the main SD Flyinium set. Yes, 190 BP Priority move sounds scary to say, but it is tempered by the fact that Talonflame has a well below average attack stat, and needs the constantly applied rocks pressure to be removed to work, which is a huge detriment to the momentum of the team. One must also consider that such a powerful move, loosed into, for example, a Slowbro, without setup, is still essentially useless. Thus Talonflame requires skill and effort to pivot into, and then subsequent prediction to choose between attacking a threat or setting up to break. This again, is indicative of normal healthy play in a metagame.

Overall Talonflame's power, versatility, and relevance in the metagame are so I find it unjustifiable to deem broken in the current metagame. Whether it is a healthy addition, which will actually make the metagame better is a seperate question. Freeing Talonflame may be right in the fact that it is not broken, but I can understand concerns about adding in more threats to a balanced but quite full-of-threats metagame. In the end, I lean towards unbanning (or testing) it anyway, though I am sypathatic about Evigaro and other council member's potential reservations in regards to freeing the fire bird into the tier.


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Okay, so here’s where we’re at right now:

Since the past few public suspects, screens with Linoone (or just linoone teams) have been predominant on the ladder and have recently seeped into tournament play in RU majors. As recently as two weeks ago, the council discussed the possibility about doing something about Linoone or screens. The council was heavily split on where to go about it. Some believed linoone was the sole culprit, others thought screens was the problem and others thought neither were an issue. Either way, it was clear a majority thought something needed to change. The tier leadership has decided to postpone the next suspect and give the community some time to express their thoughts on Linoone and Screens.

What do you think? Is Linoone the problem? Screens? Both? Neither? Feel free to post below. The tier leadership will gauge the feedback given in this thread and further discussion from the council to decide where to move forward. A decision will be made in the next week, but in the meantime, it’s encouraged if you have something to add to the discussion and have wanted something done about Screens/Linoone that you post your thoughts below. Now is the best time to do it.
Suspect linoone and screens. There has been enough community outcry (and council voicing their opinion on it) that I feel it's the next best step. Some feel screens are the problem, but personally I feel linoone is the main issue. Either way there is nothing in this community that has even close to the same level of disapproval. I don't think there's even a call for anything else to leave the tier. It's not only seen as unhealthy for a quality meta but also just uncompetitive and mindless (both buzzwords together, ik, sorry.) It'd be great if we got rid of this now so slam isn't linoone/screens cheese spam for a disturbingly large amount of late-tour games. Majors r1 playoffs has already seen it, and open last year was plagued heavily by it. I don't think the meta would lose anything by linoone leaving, either. If anything fatbal that couldn't punish linoone might get an ounce better. If it doesn't leave it's not a big deal to me, but I think it's definitely worth suspecting considering the above details.
I'm pretty on-board with this; both Linoone and Screens encompass a bullshit playstyle that rewards effortlessly prepping for late-game cleaners with Linoone sorta anchoring the archetype. The fact that you can set up on shit like Mega Blastoise and Golisopod with Screens up is ridiculous, and considering how most teams have delicate Linoone answers (Scarfers resistant to espeed, fat shit kept at full, etc.) having Screens take away the challenge of outplaying your opponent and getting into good setup position makes it an unhealthy presence that has had visible effects on this tier. Even though Linoone is one-dimensional in its role, you can still tech spreads or move options to deal with whatever answers it'd have: Return and Double-Edge just murk bulky shit that are forced to be kept healthy so they can survive an Extreme Speed. Spreads like 96 HP / 76 Def lets it set up on CB Zygarde's Outrage and then LIVE the following Extreme Speed after their team picks a sack, provided Reflect is up, and you're free to come up with whatever other spread you want to bypass already shaky checks. Running a tad bit of spdef on the standard set prevents Choice Scarf Noivern from OHKOing it after rocks for example. However, while Screens are certainly a driving force to making Pokemon like Linoone unmanageable I think it's pretty evident that it doesn't even need screens to function: even if (somehow) you don't get screens up or the team lacks a setter you can still get solid setup opportunities on a bunch of stuff if you're kept at around 80% or higher: Scarf Garde, Salazzle post-z move, non Life Orb Shaymin, just to name a few, and that's factoring in the absence of Screens which is what supposedly is pushing Linoone over the edge. Users like Evigaro have managed to utilize Linoone without Screens, focusing on either Spikes or Sticky Web to shut down other answers to Linoone such as Scarf Tyrantrum or CB Zygarde-10%.

I also wanted to add on to this post a bit because there were a few elements to Linoone I hadn't discussed: this is mostly covered in Ajna's post but there's a clear hierarchy that Linoone creates over setup sweepers by virtue of counteracting it: Pokemon like Barbaracle and Salazzle have particular elements on their side that don't push them over the edge like Linoone does, namely the reliance on Z-Moves and limited counterplay against most priority users. This means that there's more room to breathe when attempting to revenge kill or simply take a hit from them especially since your priority moves are actually effective tools of dispatching them and aren't forcing people to preserve the Linoone check or they lose otherwise. - TDK vs Blunder RUPL finals showcases very well how easy it is to pilot Linoone with team support; Blunder's team had rather shaky checks, and Necrozma is able to clear away so much early-game just on its own. Linoone receives support via Light Screen and is able to clean within the last few turns, and being able to break past a Cresselia at full demonstrates how you can tailor Linoone to your team or for specific opponents. Going back to my other point, a Pokemon like Barbaracle couldn't win here because it functioned far less effectively when Cresselia TWaved it and Nidoqueen was able to predict the Z-Move coming out, which are elements that don't really bother Linoone if there's enough clearance to where Extreme Speed is the only move that needs to be clicked or if prediction isn't needed at such a degree. - TDK vs Welsh Week 4. This is definitely a game that shows off Screens more and Linoone just happens to be the one to secure the W, but it shows how flexible and creative people can get with a supposedly one-dimensional archetype with Meowstic able to keep Metagross and Tangela at bay and giving Welsh's setup sweepers, Linoone included, the chance it needs to do its thing.

tldr I'd like to see Linoone tested first, Screens is still a brainless playstyle and I wouldn't mind seeing something done about that either but I'd like to see how the archetype develops with the absence of Linoone, tho it probably wouldn't matter anyway so /shrug
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I'm sorry, but this is just plain nonsense.

Screens are no more broken than they have been all generation. Linoone is maybe more favorable, but to call it broken is a longshot.

What it comes down to is that the so called "elite" players of the metagame are tired of facing HO builds in tournament. I get it. Playing HO is more or less as fun as stall. I get that they would rather play balance, where they would have a far higher chance of winning based on their knowledge of the metagame and skill level. Yes, HO teams are being used by players to attempt to cheese through skill gaps. This has happened for about 3 generations of Pokemon. Get over it. If you don't want to have a bad matchup versus screens, use a slot on the team to tech around it. When it comes to strategies nominally deemed "cheese" for some reason, players don't want to think they should have to be accountable for adapting to it. If I built a balance that lost to CB Gross, no one would say, "wow, that's so dumb how CB Gross cheesed through your team", they'd say "run Slowbro idiot". And saying that these styles are difficult to easily build around is a load of crap, most people haven't even tried adapting in the builder. What is banning Linoone/Screens going to accomplish anyone. There are other varaints of HO. Other sweepers can be found, which are just so "unfair" to all the "legitimate" balance teams it faces. Stop this madness. We can only prune this game's mechanics so much until it ceases to become Pokemon. Pokemon is a high variance game, metagames are not inherently stable and require constant adaption. Less talk of banning, get to building.


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Well look, the whole point of nats post wasn't to ban HO; i think the problem with KWs post is that he tries to argue in favor of keeping screens but without actually calling it cheese which just ends up making the whole thing confusing.
Screens linoone is cheese, sure; But cheese is a natural part of any metagame based competitive game, if there is a metagame, there will be cheese, you can look for examples of that all around esports.
Not only is the linoone screens team(it uses fucking voltorb for crying out loud) not nearly as bad as previous actually uncompetitive cheese like, say, baton pass, but it also really isnt all that demanding to deal with. Sure, its frustrating having to deal with it using that ONE team you have which loses to linoone, but does linoone honestly have to be tied to cheese?
Why cant linoone just be considered a genuine metagame threat?
Like, dont get me wrong, i would be totally down for a linoone suspect test, despite it being no surprise that i'm one of its biggest users(i know people will claim id want to keep it cos lulz free wins) but suspecting it under the basis that screens is cheese and therefore should be banned is just absolutely ridiculous.
Not only would banning screens NOT fix the linoone problem but screens ho WOULD STILL EXIST even if linoone was banned, we have plenty of support for that in setup sweepers. So yeah, if were gonna argue about a linoone suspect test then sure, we do that, but lets analyse linoone as a genuine metagame threat instead of tying it to cheese strategies.
tl;dr dont demonize cheese/if linoone is broken then screens isnt the issue
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Suspect Linoone. Extreme Speed puts it on a level no other sweeper can hope to match, with or without screens, by almost completely removing Speed and opposing priority from the equation. It can further narrow the scope of counterplay with the least bit of team support, whether that's through screens, Sticky Web, Spikes, Memento, or whatever else you can come up with. Banning screens would not fix what makes Linoone an unpleasant presence, while removing Linoone would likely deprive screens of its greatest asset. I see the latter as the obvious route to take.


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this should be fun.

I'm sorry, but this is just plain nonsense.
no, it's not. the fact that i have to even make this post is irritating because the posts by spirit and nat were painfully clear. just because you are not in the majority opinion that either linoone or screens are an issue doesn't mean that this is "plain nonsense."

Screens are no more broken than they have been all generation. Linoone is maybe more favorable, but to call it broken is a longshot.
the first sentence here could be the only sentence in your post that makes sense. yes, you are correct; screens are the same as they have been all gen. my issue here comes with your use of the word broken in the second sentence, as i have no idea what that means to you. smogon's tiering policy framework defines broken as "elements that are too good relative to the rest of the metagame such that 'more skillful play' is almost always rendered irrelevant." skillful play around linoone does not matter. even with 100 percent perfect play every team loses to some combo of linoone set + support. it's impossible to account for all the moves linoone can run, and for the different types of support in screens, memento, and yawn. the difference between linoone and other set up sweepers is that you can outplay; it's not just winning or losing at preview. with barb and zydog you can outplay the z the move, with slurpuff you can revenge with more common priority, etc.

What it comes down to is that the so called "elite" players of the metagame are tired of facing HO builds in tournament.Playing HO is more or less as fun as stall. I get that they would rather play balance, where they would have a far higher chance of winning based on their knowledge of the metagame and skill level. Yes, HO teams are being used by players to attempt to cheese through skill gaps. This has happened for about 3 generations of Pokemon. Get over it.
bro what? no one ever said anything about ho teams as a whole; we're specifically discussing screens and linoone. and yes, you can run ho without linoone or screens, shocking i know. secondly you can just say me and nat, no reason to be scared :]

I get it. Playing HO is more or less as fun as stall. I get that they would rather play balance, where they would have a far higher chance of winning based on their knowledge of the metagame and skill level. Yes, HO teams are being used by players to attempt to cheese through skill gaps. This has happened for about 3 generations of Pokemon. Get over it. If you don't want to have a bad matchup versus screens, use a slot on the team to tech around it.
i'm glad you get it, because i don't. i don't think playing ho is more or less as fun as playing stall; i think the exact opposite. ho vs ho is one of the most fun matchups in all of pokemon; here's an example of a fun ho vs ho game from spl where neither side used screens or linoone. yes, it's from an older meta, but we've already established that screens haven't changed, right?

ho isn't being used to cheese through skill gaps, screens and linoone are. can you show me one example from tours where someone brought non cheese ho to try and beat someone much better than them? it's hard to find because it doesn't make sense. with regular ho you have to outplay, that's why it's one of the hardest archetypes to pull off. also, who cares if something has been going on for three years? if something's wrong and can be fixed it should be.

and that's the issue. you need far more than a slot to tech around linoone with screens because of how many variations there are.

When it comes to strategies nominally deemed "cheese" for some reason, players don't want to think they should have to be accountable for adapting to it. If I built a balance that lost to CB Gross, no one would say, "wow, that's so dumb how CB Gross cheesed through your team", they'd say "run Slowbro idiot"
this is a half truth. people are underprepared for cheese when it's not used a lot, but as of a few weeks ago i don't think there's many people who aren't thinking about it in the builder.

if you built a balance team that lost to cb gross people would applaud you because that's nearly impossible. cb gross is checked or countered by almost every bulky water. i don't understand your point.

And saying that these styles are difficult to easily build around is a load of crap, most people haven't even tried adapting in the builder. What is banning Linoone/Screens going to accomplish anyone. There are other varaints of HO. Other sweepers can be found, which are just so "unfair" to all the "legitimate" balance teams it faces.
this is just a wild assumption. why would people not be trying to prep for linoone in the builder? banning linoone/screens would make the tier more competitive and less matchup oriented. yes, there are other ways to build ho, but no there are no other sweepers that rival linoone in its ability to sweep teams of all archetypes early and late game. if there were we would be talking about them.

Stop this madness. We can only prune this game's mechanics so much until it ceases to become Pokemon. Pokemon is a high variance game, metagames are not inherently stable and require constant adaption. Less talk of banning, get to building.
did you even read what you said? you just said metas aren't inherently stable and require constant adaptation. i lied earlier, you're right; this is the second truth in your post. metas change, people find new sets, and new things to abuse. linoone now has too many variations and different forms of support, so we have to adapt by suspecting linoone.

now that that's out of the way, i'd just like to say that i personally don't think screens is the problem, but i would be for a double suspect of linoone and screens (people vote to ban linoone, or screens, or both after they've qualified for the suspect). that's probably too complicated though, so i'm just advocating for a linoone suspect. i think it's uncompetitive, and based on smogon's tiering framework policy, broken.
even with 100 percent perfect play every team loses to some combo of linoone set + support
seriously? this is obviously not true, or true in the way that I suppose you could literally put in "X" mon for Linoone.
hy would people not be trying to prep for linoone in the builder?
you tell me? negligence was my assumption
here are no other sweepers that rival linoone in its ability to sweep teams of all archetypes early and late game
Barbarcle did this a couple months ago, especially with the right combo of movepool and support, even if the other team had 100 percent perfect play. guess the metagame adapted, huh
did you even read what you said?
no i didn't, sorry

overall u make some good points tho, i think a Linoone suspect is probably fair enough. I think suspecting screens subverts the tiering policy in a way far too radical given the relatively low amount of evidence supporting their "brokeness", but thats just me ig. thanks for taking the time to reply, really appreciate you helping me to arrive at a point of further clarity. cheers


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Good to see the tier leadership making this move now, it would be really regrettable to see the next RU Open being stained by uncompetitive easy win strategies when the tier otherwise is in a pretty good position. Anyone who remembers RU Open 2017 will remember that even in the later rounds Aurora Veil teams were still a common sight. I think both Linoone and Dual Screens are broken and they're two separate issues that just happen to exacerbate one another. Linoone is quite obviously busted since we've seen it having success on very diverse teams with diverse kinds of team support to the point where prepping for it is nigh impossible. Between Screens, Yawn, Memento, Webs, Pursuit, hazard stack, Trick shenanigans and who knows what else people may come up with, the pool of mons that can potentially check Linoone grows frighteningly small to the point where true adaptation to this threat would basically mean that we would have to completely reimagine how to build teams. Screens are a bit more difficult since banning a move generally is frowned upon, but the general point that this strategy is used to circumvent huge skill gaps I think is solid enough to do a suspect test at the very least. Some might argue "well if other types of cheese are allowed why not this one" but other forms of cheese and highly matchup dependent playstyles differ from Screens HO in three key ways (not all criteria apply to every playstyle mentioned):

1: They're not nearly as consistently good as Screens HO (applies both to other kinds of HO like Weather HO and Sticky Web HO, as well as really cheap tactics like ParaFusion spam or what have you)
2: They take some modicum of skill to pilot (stall especially applies if you count it among highly matchup dependent playstyles, other kinds of HO can also apply)
3: They're not nearly as amorphous as Screens HO (Weather HO is very limited in what sweepers and setters it can use, stall is usually pretty set in stone)

Screens HO is so bad for the tier because it's way too consistent (even higher level players will sometimes resort to it), is nigh brainless, and crucially is extremely adaptable. Any decent setup sweeper can find a place on a Screens team, there is no surefire way to account for Screens HO in teambuilding, any attempt to counter whichever Screens build is currently popular can be circumvented by simply creating a new kind of Screens team. There is simply no benefit in keeping this playstyle viable. The one thing I do wanna ask, however, is if the problem is truly in the moves themselves or if banning Light Clay would suffice. 5 turns of Screens may still be enough to keep Screens HO as problematic as it is, but it's eorth looking into at least, since the moves Reflect and Light Screen do have certain niche uses outside of full Screens HO. Anyway that's all I have to say on it for now, the tier would be better off with both Linoone and Dual Screens gone so I hope the right choices will be made :}


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While I think it's a little much to say that this is only because "elite" players are bored of it - most of the complaints came from the community at large tbh - I do kinda see the point about removing a entire style of play and how tricky it is to do. We have removed moves before - aurora veil, baton pass - but screens have been left alone for so long that it is a bit uneasy to see them as inherently broken. I don't really want to go through all the reasons screens are better in gen 7 at large, but even so I think trying to salvage it should be prioritized, and imo this leads us to Linoone lol.

Linoone is way, way different than the previous grief people had over Barbaracle, in my eyes. While we adapted to Barb as a whole and under screens, with stuff like Tangela or Scarf Noivern for examples, Linoone cuts through a lot of it with its priority and generally more adaptable bulk + typing. The other issue is that, Barb answers don't really change, they either work or they don't (bar putting like Protect for Pod), Linoone can have circumstances that are completely out of your control at times. If it's screens, it can setup way more safely, even on the likes of Virizion. If it's webs, Scarf Ttrum and Espeed Zygarde are essentially removed from the game. And then, there's the dumb thing called luck lol. Here's two wonderful examples of Cursed Body making games fun:

In both games I won because Froslass died and stopped the scarfer from actually attacking. Metagross absolutely needs boom to ohko Linoone, which might seem not worthwhile if you get chip with something else but uh what if you don't? Scarf Ttrum is a good counter, but hazards kill it fast and it basically had to double as a way to kill Froslass. I really agree with Ajna on one point, none of this is competitive, and it's not even about bridging the skill gap or whatever. It's a strat that makes shortcuts to winning ridiculously efficient, which has an appeal to honestly everyone lol. Other replay cause why not, this one from the SM RU Cup. Nothing fancy, but... see how badly I get owned before Linoone comes in? I get six straight turns badly, essentially, but because of one play Ninjadog makes that in theory is actually the best play - ie spin killing Bee to prevent webs up - he ends up with a sturdy less Donphan... and me with a setup opportunity that were always going to be extremely rare in this matchup. Granted, getting a turn right, making crucial mistakes happens all the time in mons, but what I think can be argued here, and imo why I'm favourable to a full suspect discussing it, is whether that reward on a fairly innocuous mistake is just way too big, or is it just something people should learn to deal with. Getting most predicts right for a game and then losing like that... idk, I'm not super comfortable with what that means.

So yeah imo, Linoone being suspected is perfectly reasonable. It's the main culprit on screens being this obnoxious, it can be tailored to various playstyles, not just "cheese" HO, in order to capitalize on the fairly small list of reliable answers we have to begin with, and it lopsides matchups like nothing else we have at the moment. If Stakataka was considered broken so pretty much a lot of the same reasons, I don't think it's much of a stretch to apply the reasoning to Linoone.


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Personally think looking into Linoone would be a great idea. From a raw PR perspective, Screens should probably not be the subject unless they cause numerous things to be clearly banworthy, which does not appear to be the case YET given my experiences with it and other arguments made here (mostly). Linoone, on the other hand, is a pretty easy thing to single out given how black-and-white it makes the game. If you give it a free turn (hint: Screens will do this, but so will things like Memento or even Yawn, strategic positioning, etc.), then it will get a BD off at some point or another in all likelihood. From there, you either have one of the admittedly sizable handful of checks to it in tact or you lose. Another part of the issue is that the former is often the case from team preview -- having a check in tact, but it is oftentimes not the case later in games, which is why cheesy HO is so potent and why people are mentioning screen as a potential suspect, which I get. I just find Linoone to be such a big piece to the puzzle and also the conventional means of removing (one of) the root(s) of the issue without causing some big PR drama for suspecting screens.

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