XY OU: Ban of Blaziken and Deoxys-N

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As some of you already noticed in the Official Banlist, Blaziken and Deoxys-N have been deemed Uber by the OU Council after many discussions.

The reasons given were the following:


The council believes that Deoxys-N should be quickbanned from OU even at this stage in the metagame. The points we decided to ban Deoxys-N on were the following:
  • It's too powerful in terms of how strong it hits. Its attacks blow through OU like its nothing, specifically the 4 attacks Life Orb set.. almost the entire metagame is 2HKOed without any turn of set up. Offensive teams struggle to get past it, defensive teams just get pounded due to its ability to hit on both sides of the spectrum. Aegislash and Scizor are two of the few reliable switch-ins that aren't a liability in OU (unlike Spiritomb), and even then they fear Fire Punch, which ties in with..
  • Its movepool is amazing. The only move you know for sure that it has is Psycho Boost, and maybe Superpower. From that point on, it's a guessing game to what it might have. Fire Punch/Hidden Power Fire and Extreme Speed are up there as the more commonly seen ones, but you also have Taunt and Stealth Rock as well. 'Suicide' lead sets with Stealth Rock and Focus Sash make a mockery of the word. Deoxys-N is getting up Stealth Rock for sure and is probably doing upwards of 60% on something minimum before it dies. This is without mentioning sets with Spikes and Magic Coat as a surprise factor. Unlike Deoxys-S, Deoxys-N does major damage with Psycho Boost and Superpower to anything that tries to spin or Defog away hazards, with the exception of literally only Mandibuzz and Scizor, who fear certain super effective moves regardless if Deoxys-N decides to carry them.
  • It's faster than almost everything. This usually isn't a problem as there's lots of fast Pokemon in the game. But combine this with brutal attacking stats and Extreme Speed, and you have something that can switch in and out freely, doing a large chunk of damage here and there with Psycho Boost or whatever move it decides to have on the day. Deoxys-N just wittles the opponent down big chunk by big chunk, weakening things for other sweepers to the point where a teammate appreciates not having to deal with a healthy Rotom-W or what have you.
Deoxys-N has one disadvantage, and thats its defenses. Yes, its frail, but its defenses are significantly higher than that of Deoxys-A's to the point where almost no priority move can OHKO it, even after Stealth Rock and 10% Life Orb recoil, with the exception of Scizor's Bullet Punch. Depending on whether or not it has Extreme Speed and Attack EV investment, then even Talonflame cannot revenge kill it with +1 Priority Brave Bird/Acrobatics. Plus, a smart player isn't going to throw Deoxys-N away as simply as that; Deoxys-N can just switch out into something else to sponge a weak priority move. A good double switch forces the player standing up to Deoxys-N to peddle back to something that can withstand an attack, and as mentioned before, the list of which is not that many. The council's view is that there's little that stands in Deoxys-N's way of switching in and out and firing off ridiculously high powered moves, to the point where Deoxys-N deserves to be banned.


Note this is the base form, not simply the mega-evolution. The council all believed Blaziken was too strong based on several factors. Some conversation snippets, to get an idea of the individual council member’s perspectives:

[12:15:36] <Nachos> the only way you stop it is either talonflame, azumarill, recoil, guessing when its gonna hjk and send in a ghost, or hope hjk misss
[12:15:41] <Nachos> otherwise it clean 6-0s a team
[12:16:02] <Nachos> misses*
[12:16:25] <Nachos> stuff like jellicent and slowbro dont work in this metagame
[12:16:25] <Haunter> oh yeah Blaziken is gonna get the boot too
[12:16:28] <Haunter> n_n
[12:16:31] <Nachos> especially with everyone using rotom-w
[12:16:36] <Nachos> which is ohkoed by hjk lol
[12:16:44] <Nachos> even the phys def set everyone is using
[12:16:52] <Nachos> after +2 lo which is what i use
[12:17:02] <Nachos> i used a dual screen deo-s team with 5 sweepers
[12:17:12] <Nachos> and it felt like blaziken + 4 average mons
[12:17:24] <Nachos> despite those average mons being shit like shift gear genesect
[12:17:47] <Nachos> and nasty plot thund

[17:49:28] <Nachos> it literally 6-0s teams by itself
[17:49:41] <Nachos> and i mean a clean 6-0 with next to no effort

13:27:48] <MDragon> free blaziken!
[13:28:04] <MDragon> in ubers i mean
[13:28:17] <MDragon> its baton pass
[13:28:24] <MDragon> what makes it ridiculous
After extensive play-knowledge and observation, the council agrees on 3 vital points: getting a Speed Boost is trivial (with Protect), getting a Swords Dance is not as trivial but still highly probable, and Blaziken can either sweep a significant portion of the metagame late-game with just a Speed Boost or sweep a significant portion of the metagame at any point in a battle with a Speed Boost and Swords Dance.

  • The first point hopefully doesn't require too much explanation; simply bring Blaziken in, and choose to either Protect, Substitute, or simply KO various popularly used Pokemon, such as Aegislash, Scizor, Tyranitar, or Ferrothorn.
  • The second point is more obvious when looking at the current metagame. Aegislash does not OHKO Blaziken, so even if you guess wrong, you still have +1 Speed and +2 Attack. Tyranitar, Scizor, and Ferrothorn are near certain switch-outs in most cases, so that is a strong Swords Dance opportunity. Greninja is faster, but after a Protect, Blaziken is faster, which introduces another opportunity to either KO or Swords Dance. This point is actually important as well. After a Protect boosting Blaziken's Speed, many popular threats that formerly scared it, such as Greninja or Gengar, are now OHKOed, which introduces more chances to safely use Swords Dance. After viewing and playing battles ourselves and confirming with the usage statistics, we determined that, while it wasn't as easy as the free +1 Speed boost, it still was not too difficult to get a Swords Dance in to get +2 Attack with Blaziken.
With those two points in mind (that getting at least a single Speed Boost is trivial and at least a single Swords Dance is usually not an issue) it's clear that it's nearly impossible to stop a +2 Attack and +1 Speed, 339 Attack and 284 Speed, and STAB on both Flare Blitz and High Jump Kick Pokemon from sweeping the majority of the metagame. Blaziken has very niche counters (Slowbro is the closest thing to a counter and, even then, it falls to mixed Blaziken variants) and most of the time players must choose to sacrifice one of their Pokémon in order to bring in their revenge killer (Talonflame/Azumarill are omnipresent in today's metagame even because of Blaziken) and force Blaziken out. For the above reasons, the council determined that it would require enormous over-preparation to deal with Blaziken, so meeting that requirement hinders team building and provides an overall negative presence in the metagame.

Though the council doesn't use previous generation comparisons (at all) in determining a Pokemon's status, it might help to view it in a similar context. Blaziken was banned in Gen 5, and Gen 6 has nerfed potential checks like infinite rain via Drizzle, introduced Pokemon weak to Blaziken, such as Aegislash and Klefki, that are popularly used, and given Blaziken newer tools, such as Mega Evolution and the ability to Baton Pass boosts. The latter tool is particularly significant, as it introduces a whole new archetype of threat to prepare for (Baton Pass) that is often dealt with in a completely different manner than the standard methods to check Blaziken. New checks like Talonflame and Azumarill are certainly viable checks, but we felt that these checks, along with the ones that already existed, like High Jump Kick mindgames and recoil, were not enough to trump the ability to get Speed and Attack boosts relatively easily and subsequently (mindlessly) sweep a majority of the metagame.
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