What's broken in Doubles?

#26
@Audiosurfer I meant that we can put off banning things and determining what exactly is broken in October, because right now we have to determine what broken even means in Doubles.

I did make that post after not sleeping for 24 hours though so it may have come across weird, but it made sense to me when I typed it out.
 

Stratos

Banned deucer.
#27
Broken Pokemon in singles typically have a variety of unique attributes that combine into something difficult for most Pokemon to manage. Then, by reducing their check list to a small amount and tearing through everything else, they get called broken. In short, they are "unmanageable."

The problem in porting this definition to doubles is that virtually everything is manageable simply due to the fact that there are so many ways to manage things in this meta! There are better and worse Pokemon, sure, but rather than being like rock-paper-scissors or even like the melee tier list it's so very nuanced, with whether a pokemon checks or counters another almost always being situational (i say almost bc of shit like ferro v kingdra in a cleanup stall.) The reason I think this is is because 2v2 meta places the focus a lot more on team and pair synergy than sets of individual matchups, but I digress. The obvious answer is that we can't use "unmanageable" as a marker in such a fluid, hard-to-theorymon metagame.

One thing you can always count on in such diverse situations, though, is raw numbers. Except for Speed-related things, your stats and moves can never work /against/ you. There may never be a point where it's obvious that a pokemon is overpowering everything or centralizing the metagame, but it's obvious when a group of pokes are leagues above their competition based simply on raw statistics. I speak obviously of the 60 bst gap of literally no pokemon between all the base 600s and Kyurem. (i also speak of the 25 point gap between arcanine and bst 580 legends but this is less major, since pseudolegends and breloom have similar stat caps but higher dump stats). These Pokemon were obviously created by Nintendo to be stronger than the rest (almost every other offensive stat in the game caps in the 130s, but these regularly reach to 150) and you are simply retarded if you are not packing as many of these on your team as possible. Whatever benefits Swift Swim may bring Kingdra, it is a niche option at best in the face of Palkia's sheer superior bulk, 55 extra SpA, and excessive coverage. The same can be said for any other comparison (yes, including Kyurem/Kyurem-B, haters can hate). If someone told me their VGC'10 team had less than two cover legends i'd probably look at them like they were retarded (justified in that they're definitely retarded), wouldn't you? While Singles is the place for nuanced metagame analysis and shit, Doubles can do the "blanket ban" quite remarkably. I can't think of a single Pokemon that, for every team i make, I need to consciously include a check or counter for—and even if we dropped ubers, I bet this would remain true. (It's been proven true, hell, with Kyurem). Instead, we should just ban things that are stronger and generally better than everyone else.
 

Pocket

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#28
Sorry, Pwnemon, if I misunderstood you, but are you essentially saying that we should "ban the best thing, and then the next best thing?" What exactly do you mean by a "blanket ban?" If you admit that nothing is broken / unmanageable / unhealthy / etc why ban anything?
 

Stratos

Banned deucer.
#29
I'm saying that in singles the best thing is an amalgamation of metagame conditions, available counters, blah blah blah, where in doubles, the only way to set "overpowered" pokemon apart from others is basically BST because of all the methods of balancing GameFreak has included. Of course, this is not entirely true—but it is pretty true, and will probably be even more true in Gen VI when Fairy removes the dragon/steel stuff.

You can say if nothing is broken, why ban anything, but the reason to ban is because keeping the obviously-much-stronger threats around removes multiple less-strong threats at once, and anything <600 bst in doubles ubers is basically banished to the role of "tech" (this is obv a much smaller pool than the amount of viable doubles pokemon)

Edit: blanket ban would be something like "bst 660+ except slaking/gigas are banned"
 
#30
Sorry, Pwnemon, if I misunderstood you, but are you essentially saying that we should "ban the best thing, and then the next best thing?" What exactly do you mean by a "blanket ban?" If you admit that nothing is broken / unmanageable / unhealthy / etc why ban anything?
Why ban anything? Doubles Ubers would be balanced but heavily centralised around the Ubers, it has been mentioned above that even current Titans like Kingdra would see limited use (they would be viable, but niche). Part of the appeal that got me into Doubles is that, at least initially, everything had a niche. Take, for example, Parasect. Initially it's an underwhelming pile of crap, sorely outclassed by Amoonguss. Now put it in the rain, alongside a Manaphy, where it conveniently soaks up all the Electric/Grass type attacks aimed at its partner while Manaphy sets up Tail Glows/heals it with Surf, and that's without even mentioning Spore... hell, it's really frightening. There are many more examples of mons with small but effective niches, which gives the metagame a rich variety. And I think people want to be competitive while not limited to a rather small list of viable mons. Sure, Doubles Ubers looks great and could be its own metagame in time, but we do not want Doubles OU to become Doubles Ubers by unbanning everything because we lose the variety that is such an appealing part of the metagame, as everything is swallowed up by the raw power the Ubers have.
 
#31
I'm saying that in singles the best thing is an amalgamation of metagame conditions, available counters, blah blah blah, where in doubles, the only way to set "overpowered" pokemon apart from others is basically BST because of all the methods of balancing GameFreak has included. Of course, this is not entirely true—but it is pretty true, and will probably be even more true in Gen VI when Fairy removes the dragon/steel stuff.

You can say if nothing is broken, why ban anything, but the reason to ban is because keeping the obviously-much-stronger threats around removes multiple less-strong threats at once, and anything <600 bst in doubles ubers is basically banished to the role of "tech" (this is obv a much smaller pool than the amount of viable doubles pokemon)

Edit: blanket ban would be something like "bst 660+ except slaking/gigas are banned"
So, just to clarify, you are basically saying we should ban solely based on BST?

While it is true that more or less everything banned is really high in BST, several threats that have high BST are pretty lacking in comparison, such as Kyurem. I additionally agree that high BSTs are the only way things tend to be banned, simply since too much bulk, power, and/or speed will make something too powerful, overshadowing other threats. Still, simply because something can be checked in Doubles doesn't mean its not OP. If we were to drop, say Groudon, because burn would completely cripple it, would the metagame still be balanced? How about if we dropped Kyurem-White because it can be taken down by priority or crippled by Thunder Wave? As far as I am concerned, something like 90% of teams would use these, and every team would need to run things like Sableye and Scizor to keep them in line. While they could be countered, you would HAVE to counter them in order to run a successful team. In my view, the biggest part of Doubles is strategy, so a good definition for OP in Doubles would be something like:
"If a Pokemon is powerful enough to the point that it deliberately becomes a revolving point of the metagame, it is OP."

Now, when I say revolving point, I'm not saying you think "okay, this team is gonna have trouble with X. How can I fix or minimize that?". I'm saying you think something more along the lines of "okay, I can't run a Rain team because X would destroy me". "Revolving point" is my way of saying that team strategies, ideas, or choices become incredibly unbalanced if a Pokemon were to be allowed. For example, Groudon would make Rain teams more or less ineffective, because A) it could be used with Ninetales to make reactivating Sun a breeze, and B) its supermassive 100/140/90 bulk along with 150 attack would hit too hard and tank too well for Rain to stop it. Kyurem-White would make everyone obsessed with countering Hail teams very heavily, every team would need to pack a lot of Fighting and Steel priority in order to stop Kyurem from sweeping teams in Hail. Cresselia, however, would not fit this description, because it can be flexibly countered in a lot of ways, and its presense will not discourage the use of any particular strategy. I might also add that "hax" should not be considered a very large factor is this. This means Thundurus would not be OP, because, apart from a lot of unlucky hax, it will not discourage strategies, choices, or ideas. While it is obviously going to function as a Trick Room counter, it does not discourage that particular strategy, as a well built team will be ready for its weaknesses, and there are a lot of ways to work around Thundurus. In comparison to Groudon, for example, Thundurus could be put at bay by Fake Out or Rage Powder leads, Mental Herb, and even rare choices like Magic Coat. Groudon would require something like Ludicolo on every Rain team, and even then, you would probably have to deliberately run Grass Knot in order to OHKO in Sun, and Groudon could easily switch to Heatran or such to stay alive. You would also be completely beaten the minute Ludicolo fainted, which means Rain would require multiple Grass 'mons or checks to Groudon in order to beat Sun.

So, basic summary of the rule, anything that becomes either too powerful for a certain strategy to handle without massive support or requires multiple checks to take down would be OP in the Doubles metagame.
 
#32
I think the term "broken" should just be applied to everything that is unreasonable to deal with in the teambuilding and/or battling.

Most offensive threats can be swiftly dealt with by using Fake Out+a powerful/Super Effective attack, Protecting with the target of the offensive threat, switching to a counter, etc.
Most of the currently banned mons require too much planning, do too much damage and just can't be disposed of easily.
Deoxys-A and Skymin are fragile; Mewtwo and Kyurem-W can similarly overwhelm the opponent, but on top of that they don't go down easily.
Cresselia has no offensive presence; Lugia and Giratina provide bulk and utility, but can actually score some KOs.

It's really just a factor of how manageable a threat is. It could turn out that Mega Kangaskhan is not managable due to decent bulk and double hitting power. It could turn out that Parabolic Charge just makes previous Discharge teams too much. But as it is now, the only thing we can do is comparing currently banned Pokemon to the unbanned.
 

Pocket

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#33
OK, thanks for clarifying, Pwnemon. Having an initial banlist of 670+ BST sans Kyurem-B was a given for me, so I thought you were pushing for a 600+ BST ban x_x;;

On the topic of what is broken, Cyrrona has provided a nice guideline:
Cyrrona said:
1) Strategy (i.e., team building; players should be able to build a reasonably distinct team capable of handling the majority of relevant threats)
2) Tactics (i.e., active battling; players should have adequate opportunities to outplay weaker opponents on the battlefield)
3) Competitiveness (i.e., minimization of luck; the metagame should be free of features that hand excessive, disruptive power to the RNG)
Basically these criteria evaluates the extent of centralization or luck a suspect imposes onto the metagame. I think we can all agree on these criteria. However, the controversy lies in the degree of centralization and luck factors that is necessary to deem a suspect unacceptable (high reward: low risk). I think establishing a threshold for banning based on overcentralization and uncompetitiveness is a good topic for discussion.

As far as dropping Ubers to Doubles is concerned, I would approach it differently from banning things. A suspect remains free until proven guilty, but an Uber remains banned until proven innocent. No shit, Sherlock. However, I think it's important to note such differences in our approach of evaluating them. We would be giving a benefit of a doubt to a suspect, but we'll be doubting letting loose an Uber into Doubles. There should be a very convincing support for unbanning an Uber to even be considered for a test.
 

nyttyn

From Now On, We'll...
is a CAP Contributoris a Forum Moderator Alumnus
#34
Having read over the thread, I'd like to make two proposals to help us handle the concept of brokenness going into the XY generation:

1. Keep the current ban list, add XY's cover legendaries, allow all other pokemon in XY to come in unbanned.

See pwnemon's post where I'm coming from this. Most of our current ubers are that way because they are simply monsters who have an amazing combination of BST, Ability, Movepool, and Typing which makes them go above and beyond every other pokemon. The cover legendaries, with the sole exception of Kyurem-B, have always been this way. Other legendaries have been a mix of great, bad, awful, superb, and broken, but the covers have almost always been broken. And even Kyurem-B is absolutely superb as a Pokemon. I don't see any reason why we should initially allow them into the tier as history has shown it is extremely likely they'll just be broken as shit. I don't really think a 670+ BST blanket ban would be a great idea, but that might work as well.

2. Doubles Council

As it stands, every single tier on Smogon has a council. I think that Doubles starting off XY with a Council would be extremely helpful, as it would provide us with an emergency "oh shit" team who would be able to call for an emergency suspect test if need be. The reason why I am specifically proposing an elected Council/Topic Leader is because historically, Smogon has always adopted a policy of nepotism, which while thus far has been mostly successful, is still rifle for abuse which we have been lucky to have not seen thusfar. The aim is to prevent such abuse before it occurs.

The specifics of my proposed council are:

2a. One Tier Leader

The Tier Leader would be the head of the council, in a sense. Voted in by the Council once every twelve months, or earlier if the council nearly unanimously votes for a new Tier Leader, the Tier Leader would be responsible for keeping the Council in check and ensuring that the tier runs smoothly. The Topic Leaders powers would be one vote on the council (except during Tier Leader impeachment), the ability to propose any suspect, to propose any policy change, to veto any policy changes, to veto any suspect, and to call for the impeachment of any member of the Council.

2b. Eight Council Members

The Council would be voted in once every six months by the C&C team, or possibly any users who have proven themselves to be worthy of voting via qualifications that can be decided at a later date. They would be responsible for running the tier and ensuring that the proper suspect tests and policy changes occur. Their powers would include voting on suspect proposals, policy changes, and impeaching the Tier Leader or a fellow Council member if need be. They may only override a veto via unanimous vote.

2c. Policy Changes

For a policy change to occur in the first place, it must either be proposed by the Tier Leader, or a council member must motion for a proposal that is seconded by at least three other council members. At that time, a corresponding thread will go up for review, where both those for and against the proposal may debate on it, and where any amendments may be proposed. Access to posting in these posts will be strictly on a earned basis, via requirements that again can be decided at a later date.

2d. Suspect Tests

For a suspect test to occur in the first place, it must either be proposed by the Tier Leader, or a council member must motion for a suspect test which is seconded by at least two other council members. From there, a Suspect Test will proceed in accordance to Smogon Doubles policy. After a Suspect Test has ended, a two to four week period of time for the metagame to settle will be allowed, during which only Emergency Suspects may be called. In addition, Suspect Tests may not be called unless both the Tier Leader and at least seven members of the Council agree that the Tier has settled to the point where Suspect Tests may be held.

2e. Emergency Suspect Tests

Any suspect test before XY Suspect Tests are opened or during the Suspect Test cool-down period is considered an Emergency Suspect Test. Both the Tier Leader and at least seven members of the council must call for a Emergency Suspect test before one may be held. Emergency Suspect Tests will have more stringent voting requirements and will require a higher percentage then usual to be banned, in order to both prevent abuse and help reinforce the seriousness of an emergency test.

2f. Impeachment

In order for an impeachment vote to be called, either the Topic Leader must call for the impeachment of a Council member, or at least six members of the Council must call for the impeachment of the Topic Leader. At that point, an emergency meeting will be held over IRC, after which a vote will be called. For a Topic Leader to be impeached, a nearly unanimous vote of seven out of eight council members is needed. For a Council member to be impeached, at least seven votes between the Council and Topic Leader are needed. The member for whom impeachment is called for is not allowed to vote.


Do note that the administration and moderation teams would still exist as per usual, and if need be the site staff can always step in.
 
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#35
Having read over the thread, I'd like to make two proposals to help us handle the concept of brokenness going into the XY generation:

1. Keep the current ban list, add XY's cover legendaries, allow all other pokemon in XY to come in unbanned.

See pwnemon's post where I'm coming from this. Most of our current ubers are that way because they are simply monsters who have an amazing combination of BST, Ability, Movepool, and Typing which makes them go above and beyond every other pokemon. The cover legendaries, with the sole exception of Kyurem-B, have always been this way. Other legendaries have been a mix of great, bad, awful, superb, and broken, but the covers have almost always been broken. And even Kyurem-B is absolutely superb as a Pokemon. I don't see any reason why we should initially allow them into the tier as history has shown it is extremely likely they'll just be broken as shit. I don't really think a 670+ BST blanket ban would be a great idea, but that might work as well.

2. Doubles Council

As it stands, every single tier on Smogon has a council. I think that Doubles starting off XY with a Council would be extremely helpful, as it would provide us with an emergency "oh shit" team who would be able to call for an emergency suspect test if need be. The reason why I am specifically proposing an elected Council/Topic Leader is because historically, Smogon has always adopted a policy of nepotism, which while thus far has been mostly successful, is still rifle for abuse which we have been lucky to have not seen thusfar. The aim is to prevent such abuse before it occurs.

The specifics of my proposed council are:

2a. One Tier Leader

The Tier Leader would be the head of the council, in a sense. Voted in by the Council once every twelve months, or earlier if the council nearly unanimously votes for a new Tier Leader, the Tier Leader would be responsible for keeping the Council in check and ensuring that the tier runs smoothly. The Topic Leaders powers would be one vote on the council (except during Tier Leader impeachment), the ability to propose any suspect, to propose any policy change, to veto any policy changes, to veto any suspect, and to call for the impeachment of any member of the Council.

2b. Eight Council Members

The Council would be voted in once every six months by the C&C team, or possibly any users who have proven themselves to be worthy of voting via qualifications that can be decided at a later date. They would be responsible for running the tier and ensuring that the proper suspect tests and policy changes occur. Their powers would include voting on suspect proposals, policy changes, and impeaching the Tier Leader or a fellow Council member if need be. They may only override a veto via unanimous vote.

2c. Policy Changes

For a policy change to occur in the first place, it must either be proposed by the Tier Leader, or a council member must motion for a proposal that is seconded by at least three other council members. At that time, a corresponding thread will go up for review, where both those for and against the proposal may debate on it, and where any amendments may be proposed. Access to posting in these posts will be strictly on a earned basis, via requirements that again can be decided at a later date.

2d. Suspect Tests

For a suspect test to occur in the first place, it must either be proposed by the Tier Leader, or a council member must motion for a suspect test which is seconded by at least two other council members. From there, a Suspect Test will proceed in accordance to Smogon Doubles policy. After a Suspect Test has ended, a two to four week period of time for the metagame to settle will be allowed, during which only Emergency Suspects may be called. In addition, Suspect Tests may not be called unless both the Tier Leader and at least seven members of the Council agree that the Tier has settled to the point where Suspect Tests may be held.

2e. Emergency Suspect Tests

Any suspect test before XY Suspect Tests are opened or during the Suspect Test cool-down period is considered an Emergency Suspect Test. Both the Tier Leader and at least seven members of the council must call for a Emergency Suspect test before one may be held. Emergency Suspect Tests will have more stringent voting requirements and will require a higher percentage then usual to be banned, in order to both prevent abuse and help reinforce the seriousness of an emergency test.

2f. Impeachment

In order for an impeachment vote to be called, either the Topic Leader must call for the impeachment of a Council member, or at least six members of the Council must call for the impeachment of the Topic Leader. At that point, an emergency meeting will be held over IRC, after which a vote will be called. For a Topic Leader to be impeached, a nearly unanimous vote of seven out of eight council members is needed. For a Council member to be impeached, at least seven votes between the Council and Topic Leader are needed. The member for whom impeachment is called for is not allowed to vote.


Do note that the administration and moderation teams would still exist as per usual, and if need be the site staff can always step in.
Imo, step 1 should a blanket ban with a 680+ BST, unless it is like Slaking or such, that way, if a powerful event pokemon similar to Arceus were to exist in the new generation, it would be banned. Apart from that, looks good to me.
 

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