XY Ubers Shadow Tag Suspect Voting

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Shadow Tag: Do Not Ban

First of all, I'd like to acknowledge that since so few people actually used Shadow Tag on the ladder, it was difficult to tell how hard it was to defend against. Having said that, I did try a team utilizing Gothitelle, and it didn't do as well as I'd expected. While it was extremely effective (read: essentially a win condition) against stall, it was rarely able to do anything against hyper-offense, and it had mixed results against everything in-between. Here's the main point, though: it's not like every hyper-offense team I faced was specifically building their team to check Gothitelle. That specific playstyle just happens to be less vulnerable. Moreover, this is ubers; we ban things if they're distinctly uncompetitive, not if they overcentralize the metagame. If stall teams lose to Shadow Tag, then that's to the fault of stall as a playstyle, and not Shadow Tag as a threat.

More generally: It is possible to create a competitive team in the ubers metagame that can also secure wins against competent Shadow Tag users. Therefore, if any given team has difficulty winning against Shadow Tag, the onus is on the person who built that team, not the opponent.
Shadow tag, where do we even begin. With the addition of Mega-Gengar one ability seemingly shaped our XY Ubers metagame. There are two major reasons points about why I think Shadow Tag shouldn't stay in the tier. Mega-Gengar + Xerneas, and the loss of stall as a reliable archetype.

Gengar coupled with Xerneas (or any sweeper in general) is an extremely dangerous and common offensive core. Mega-Gengar can trap any checks to x sweeper, and that sweeper practically wins the game if played correctly. Ex - Mega-Gengar traps an Arceus-Fairy (or any fairy type in general) and the opponents team loses its Yveltal answer, Mega-Gengar traps the opposing Clefable/Jirachi/Blissey ( 3 viable xerneas counters) and beats them with taunt + attacking move enabling Xerneas to sweep their team if it sets up a Geomancy. Gengar can beat practically with its coverage moves. With its expansive movepool it can craft its set to beat its teams sweeper's counters. Ex - Mega-Gengar traps and hits defensive Lando-T an Icy Wind, removing an electric immunity and an Ekiller check. This allows Zekrom to freely use Bolt Strike/Volt Switch and lets Arceus do damage to teams without intimidate hindering its offensive pressure. This also doesnt only pertain to Gengar. Gothitelle can crack major holes into teams opening up opportunities for other mons. Ex - Gothitelle traps a Kyogre locked into thunder and proceeds to setup on Kyogre with Calm Mind, removing one of Ubers biggest threats (if not the biggest). Interestingly enough this also applies to the other end of the spectrum, Gothitelle can trap and setup on Palkia outside of the rain enabling Kyogre to spam Scarf/Specs Water Spout and demolish entire teams. Another great trait of Gothitelle is its ability to remove defog arceus, namely Grass/Water/Fairy/Rock. The loss of a defoger on a Ho-oh team is very crucial since Ho-oh is crippled by stealth rock if they are on the field. Giratina-O has risen though the ranks and is finally being noticed as a good defoger that escapes shadow tag and can punish both Gothitelle and Gengar, but Giratina-O doesnt have recovery and can be worn down by both Gothitelle (if setup) and by Gengar's Shadow Ball. Gothitelle can also setup alongside CM Arceus forms like Arceus-Electric and Acreus-Water and remove them with Psyshock and setup Trick Rooms for mons like Specsogre to break teams. In general the whole "I cant beat x mon with any member of my team so ill just trap it and beat it" mentality is really over centralizing and makes teambuilding pretty hard to do freely while still being effective.It would seem the only logical way to "beat" Shadow Taggers seem is by pursuit trapping,but this doesnt always apply. Gothitelle can obviously not touch a Tyranitar and be pursuit trapped but Tyranitars that lack Choptle Betty are threatened by Focus Blast and possibly 2hko'd (pursuit doesnt ko Mega-Gengar at full) The same goes for Scizor, HP fire Mega-Gengar stops Scizor from Pursuit Trapping.

Stall has gone through a lot this gen. Stall is dying while an abundance of HO teams utilizing Mega-Gengar are being used. Balance teams lean towards Gothitelle as the optimal Shadow Tagger. With new fairy types this generation there should be a lot of creative ways to build stall. Xerneas, Sylveon, and Clefable are all very viable fairy clerics that can be used on stall, another thing they all have in common is the fact that they are all trapped and are taken out by Mega-Gengar's Sludge Bomb or setup on by Gothitelle. Blissey has to run shed shell just to avoid being trapped thus loses its leftovers, this also makes Chansey practically useless since it has to run eviolite to be effective losing its option to run Shed Shell. Stall is honestly a pretty hard play style to play atm with Shadow Taggers running around,stall teams have started to dark types due to overbearing weaknesses to Gothitelle when fully setu. Tyranitar, Yveltal, and Calm Mind Arceus-Dark are all common since they all get free turns on Gothitelle, but all of these mons can also be beaten by Mega-Gengar.

In the end there is really nothing positive that Shadow Taggers to for this metagame, they really only hinder and over centralize it. We play ubers for the freedom, the creativity to use what pokemon we want to use, and play how we want to play it (like each tier should be), and this freedom is being taken away from us by Shadow Taggers.

Shadow Tag: Ban
Do Not Ban

Although I acknowledge that switching is an integral part of competitive play in XY Ubers, I do not believe that the ability to remove switching is inherently uncompetitive. There are several choices that can be made before Tag can reduce a match to a 1v1, such as in team builder and in play itself. When building, Tag is a threat that cannot be consistently prepared for, but there are other threats that share this as well. When using a crucial trappable defensive mon when the opponent has a Tag user, the Tag user has a clear advantage because the Tag user deters the defensive mon from checking what it should, however, other stall breakers can do this as well. Although I realize that Tag is a contributing factor to the matchp-based nature of XY Ubers, the degree to which it does this is in my opinion, not worth banning in this metagame.
Shadow Tag: Ban

Shadow Tag removes the choice of switching and the effect of it directly affects the outcome of the match. Shadow Tag removes autonomy from player's hand thus removing skill from the game. The whole Shadow Tag thing just makes team matchup, which is not related to how good are the teams, more a factor on the outcome of the game. It is therefore uncompetitive and should be banned in Ubers.

When facing STag, due to its ability to prevent switching, it is hard to have optimal 1v1 matchups. While one may argue that having pokemons with sets that can deal with STag mons is a way to adapt to it, in fact how verstile the current STag mons are make it totally invalid. There is no way that one can run teams that can't be trapped by Shadow Ball/Sludge Wave/Focus Blast/Taunt/Destiny Bond/WoW/Hypnosis/Perish Song/Substitute/Protect/Hp fire/Icy Wind/Thunder/Dazzling Gleam Mega Gengar + Taunt/Charm/Double Team/Trick Room/Calm Mind/Rest/Psychic/Psyshock/Miracle Eye Goth + Wobbufet. You can prepare for certain STag combos but you will still be weak to other ones so preparing for it is completely worthless since it only works some of the time anyway. Having certain preparations only means reducing the efficiency of your team while doing nothing when facing the wrong tag combo as well as tagless teams. 4MSS on tag mons is irrelavant since you have to prepare of all of them anyway. While this is a bit oversimplification, having a tag matchup advantage basically means that selecting one mon in the opposing team and remove it from the game, sometimes costing the tagger. This is not simply a 5v5 game though. It is a 5v5 on the one with advantage STag matchup's choice.

While team matchup inherently exists in pokemon games, it is not the reason that we should bear with Shadow Tag. There is no pratical way to remove team matchup factor in the game but so does hax factor. However, things like Swagger and Moody are still banned due to it's entire function being 'force hax in the game' and is actually relevent in the Ubers metagame. Shadow Tag is basically the same and its's entire purpose is to 'force team matchup in the game' and it is certainly extremely relevant in Ubers.

About 5050s when switching in STag, it is totally different from other 5050s too. Other 5050s actually involve the concept of risk and reward. Other 5050s can actually be prevented with a well-built team and not weakening important mons so much. There is also a possibility to correct it since you are allowed to switch out. However, this is not the case for STag 5050s. As what I have said above, preparing for STag completely impossible. The STag users can switch into what they intended to trap any time of the game and do not require weakening at all and the opponent can only rely on coin flips to stop it. Moreover, STag 5050s cannot be corrected since the option of switching is removed. With that be said STag 5050s makes the match more luck based than in other situations.

With these in mind I truly think that Shadow Tag is cancer to the metagame. It deserved to be banned even from the tier with the least bans.
I vote NO BAN.
After running thru the horrific ladder due to the suspect test, I still don't consider Shadow Tag uncompetitive. It's something you can readily prepare for when teambuilding. Either by not making your team Shadow Tag bait or play around it to a certain extent with pursuit support.
As for brokenness, Mega Gengar's weakness and the fact that it requires a turn to Mega Evolve make it fairly manageable. While Goth and Wobb are more limited in what it can only trap, specifically against offensive teams and even if it does trap something on your team, it's not a big deal in the long run.
Beside Mega Gengar, none of the other Pokémon with Shadow Tag ability are all that great in Ubers. It's not just Shadow Tag that makes Mega Gengar dominant but it's the movesets combined with the ability and its' stats (while its defences are awful) that make it how it is.

Getting rid of Shadow Tag is a bit excessive. Removing Shadow Tag from these Pokémon would make them worthless. As Goth has trash HP, Defence and Speed at least, I can say that this thing is still balanced.

Gothitelle isn't game breaking though, neither is Wobb but it's a combination of elements. A player who battles Shadow Tag must play either overly aggressive or overly defensive; there's no other option when a wrong move means you lost the game for good and obviously, you must not rely on only 1 Pokémon only.

Mega Gengar - 170 SpA sounds impressive, especially with an ability that allows it to pick its matches. However, first, it needs to mega evolve to get that benefit. This is quite a big problem, because Gengar is such a weak Pokémon that has negligible switch-in ability. Any attack, even if resisted, hurt it considerably. And since Ubers is where even offensive Pokémon are naturally heavy, it has virtually no OHKOs and that matters a lot. 2HKOs is great but not that much if after winning, it walks out heavily damaged beyond help or crippled to hopelessness, that's just an equal exchange. Destiny Bond however can still be used when it's done attacking, but this necessarily demands predictions which is an element of a player’s skill and not a problem of Mega Gengar itself. For Perish Song, this demands the thing to stay in for 3 turns spamming Protect/Subs however, it can’t fully invest in bulk as its speed is too important (not that it's bulky with full investment anyway) and as it cannot protect itself during the Perish Song turn, this set can’t be used by some nooby users out there.

Gothielle – This is better than Gengar in some sense, like against more defensively oriented teams where it can boost (however, it can't even OHKO Klefki at +6 spA psyshock)or help in removing key walls to pave way for the mates. But at least from my experience in the test, even if gothitelle can trap a pokemon, it rarely sweeps and even if it can kill something, it’s not that big of a loss in general. And Ubers has a lot of such powerhouses. Sure, it gets to choose its game, but the choices can be too small due to its weak defenses and lack of enough speed. In some games, it might not get a chance at all. This is what I get from the entire laddering experience.

Wobbuffett – Quite bulky, but not enough to actually wall anything notable. It learns very few moves to actually be able to perform anything and extremely predictable. Terribly slow so Encore isn't as cool as one wishes it to be and Mirror Coat or Counter demand it to actually stay alive. Wobbuffet can remove a check or provide support for a set up, but these things in my experience have generally been manageable. Plus people have been doing this ever since gen 3-4 and it's never been a problem, and it still isn't a problem.

Basically, I think the running theme is that while Shadow Tag can do what it normally does (traps Pokémon and remove them, perhaps go for a sweep if checks/counters are gone) that in general, for the most part, you can always recover from it and therefore it doesn't have much of an impact at least from the games I've played which is the purpose of the Laddering Suspect Test.

I vote NO BAN as always.

Lord Wallace

Hentai Connoiseur
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
Shadow Tag: Ban

Shadow Tag gets the boot from me on a number of counts. First, it's pretty borked on every Pokemon that gets it, not just Mega Gengar (although this was the Pokemon I used in the suspect test). And second and more importantly, it transforms the game into a mindless race to safely get your Shadow Tag user in and trap the opposing team's check(s) to your E-killer, Xerneas etc. before they can trap your check to their [insert mindless sweeper here] first.

One could argue that it requires some degree of skill to pull Shadow Tag off like that (via double switching etc.) so it's not totally uncompetitive, but it still makes the metagame unnecessarily stale by increasing the viability and usage of already incredibly powerful and centralizing offensive Pokemon like E-killer, Refresh CMceus, Kyogre, and Power Herb Xerneas.
The ubiquity of DBond Mega Gengar alone strains teambuilding so much by forcing more balanced teams to either dedicate a slot to check that set specifically (such as Taunt Yveltal) and hopefully predict it coming in, or run multiple checks to certain threats (like Kyogre) in case Gengar traps and DBonds one of those checks. And even if you "prepare" for Mega Gengar, you can still lose to Gothitelle seeing as it can set up on a surprising amount of the meta, basically Goth is just as stupid as M-Gengar while being more durable at the cost of being harder to fit on teams. The third and most common solution however is simply not running balance or semi-stall and instead hop on the bandwagon and run the same mindless hazard stacking, STag + E-killer, Xerneas, etc. offense as everyone else to keep up (refer to the first paragraph). In this way, STag absolutely murders all non-heavy offense playstyles in Ubers.
Removing STag from the metagame encourages more conservative play with the tier's top threats and lessens the possibility of a less skilled, more reckless player triumphing over a superior player via team preview. STag is basically Ubers on easy mode, at least from my experience on the suspect ladder, and I think the potential to relieve so much of the strain on teambuilding that the likes of STag Gothitelle and Mega Gengar puts on the tier justifies the ban. If the ability needs to be re-visited later on in ORAS or something, fine I won't mind that, but in XY Ubers it's probably for the best to remove it. I simply do not see any downside to this ban.
Vote: NO BAN
Sorry in advance for any typos. Also sorry that this doesn't really follow a logical train of thought, it's more just addressing whatever aspect happened to pop in my head. The burden of proving that shadow tag is uncompetitive fell on the pro-ban side. I disagreed with the majority of their points, and the few valid ones did have suitable counters from the anti-ban side. Claiming that shadow tag makes the tier match-up based is not strong support for a ban, as Orch and others http://www.smogon.com/forums/thread...ddle-with-you-voting-thread-up.3519501/page-8 proved that match ups are an inherent part of pokemon and can happen with or without shadow tag. While I do find some validity in Applepie's negative 50/50 argument talking about how it is generally in the favor of the shadow tag user, I did find an interesting foil to that in the pro-ban side. I completely agree that it is impossible to pursuit trap a shadow tag user without some factor of luck on your side as to if your pursuit trapper is the appropriate one to take it out (mega-scizor falls to hp fire, t-tar to focus miss, etc.). However, this just seems to be a symptom of matchup based games, since they could very well not have the appropriate coverage to do much to you. If you get your pursuit trapper in, then it's up to the matchup based part of the game as to whether your pursuit trapper is going to do its job or if its going to get bopped by some random coverage. I'll address the random coverage part below when I talk about e-killer, geoxern, etc. Shrang, orch, and others have argued that shadow tag is defeated in the team builder, and this is still probably the most solid argument to scenarios without a pursuit trapper, or even with one. Running something like d-tail on palkia or punishment on grassceus does not seem that extreme if you accept that shadow tag is a legitimate threat and have made preparations to counter it. Stone edge is a slash on the grassceus analysis because people have identified grassceus as bird bait and have prepared for it. I don't see how this is any different. By appropriately preparing your shadow tag vulnerable pokemon, you've nothing to be ashamed of if the matchup based gods are not in your favor and they happen to be able to counter it. Yes, goth could run something like charm that would invalidate it, but this seems more akin to a sweeper having the appropriate move (life orb e-killer using overheat to power through scizor, geo xern using sub to extend a sweep/defeat the blobs/50-50 with aegislash or hp fire to ko ferro/scizor, etc.) than something uncompetitive. I don't see people complaining near as bitterly when the opposing e-killer shadow forces through a giratina and costs them the match. It's not like they had any way of knowing that their opponent would bring shadow force e-killer and they did their best to prepare for it in their own way. Bringing evasion into the picture was something I considered a bit of a red herring as evasion is already a problem without shadow tag and should have never been unbanned in my opinion. I do not want to get off topic, but the fact that some of the uber tier leaders consider evasion to be "gimmicky" or "perfectly viable" troubles me. The notion of sleep abuse by mega gengar brought up by Jibuku was indeed interesting and something I had not thought of. However, hypnosis has shoddy accuracy at best, and sleep turns are rather unreliable. I'll admit that this is one argument that was not addressed well and that I do not really have a good answer for besides the aforementioned points. Gothielle and mega gengar cannot run every move they need to trap everything; they can only hope that they have the appropriate moveset to be effective against the opposing team which draws back to matchup based teams which has already been proven as not a factor indicating uncompetitiveness. Another argument that I have not really seen mentioned was how using Mega-gengar/Gothielle is an opportunity cost in of itself, especially considering the mega evolution of mega-gengar over something like mmy, mmx, kanga, blaze, scizor, etc. They offer little defensive synergy to the rest of the team, and their sole purpose is to take out/setup at the right moment. Considering how ridiculously overcentralized ubers is, and how many ridiculous threats can sweep teams right away/after a single turn of setup, every mon counts and one that you have to play conservatively is definitely a drawback. I also really disliked the argument that shadow tag's counters in shed bell, etc. are "complete trash" and "remove choice" away from mons because they cant use their favorite leftovers. Forgive me if this sounds harsh, but it sounds like players bitching and not learning to accept and adapt to a legitimate threat. In short, I believe that shadow tag is something that, while not counterable in the common sense (such as switching out to a counter/check) can still be dealt with in the teambuilder. A shadow tag immune team is not feasible or even necessary to succeed in this tier, just a team with the appropriate steps taken to deal with shadow tag.
Shadow Tag: Do Not Ban

While indeed it might be frustrating and hard to play against teams that consist of at least one Pokémon with Shadow Tag, which let's it be kind of overpowered, this ability has by no means an unhealthy presence or is "uncompetitive" in Ubers because unlike Swagger, OHKO moves, and Moody the person using Shadow Tag doesn't totally rely on RNG which made most games luck based because if you get to trap something that threatens your team or disallows one of your Pokémon from sweeping or you end up in a situation where one of your key Pokémon is trapped then it's thanks to your or your opponent's strategy not luck. Keep in mind that you know that the opponent has Pokémon with Shadow Tag at the team preview and you can also easily foresee when it's going to switching in with just some predicting allowing you to play around it with ease.

Those who say that Shadow Tag is "uncompetitive" base their opinion on the fact that it disables switching, which is an important component in competitive battling like, that's true but it isn't enough to make the ability uncompetitive because your trapped Pokémon can often deal with the trapping Pokémon and you can even predict that your opponent will be switching into a STag Pokémon and switch into a counter which allows you to gain the upper hand. Shadow Tag can be OP yes, but it has a healthy presence in a metagame full of OP stuff like Specs Kyogre, GeoXern, and Extremekiller.
Shadow Tag: Do Not Ban

Shadowtag may be a bit luck-based, but it isn`t more luckbased than other things in ubers. Another point is that it depends on the choices of the player what happens. We should also consider that there are some possibilities to escape: The items shed shell and the moves u-turn, volt-switch, baton pass and parting shot.
There is one problematic thing : After double-team was used the only thing you can do is praying to god, but even without shadowtag you can often use it, so I would say that the problem in this case isn`t shadow-tag, it`s evasioness.
As it requires skill to use it the right way, I think it is not unkompetitiv.
Shadow Tag: Do Not Ban
Shadow tag is a excellent ability but this ability is no means an unhealthy presence or is "uncompetitive" in Ubers because unlike Swagger, OHKO moves, and Moody. The player using Shadow Tag doesn't totally rely on RNG,But Successful switching and prediction to trap and cripple or rid of opposing Pokemon which disallows one of your Pokémon from sweeping or functioning effectively. Both and you and your have access to team preview and will know if the opponent has Pokémon with Shadow Tag giving both players insight on when it's going to switching in. Shadow Tag Pokemon are also strongly hinder in effectivenes by team match up. Yes Shadow tag users may be the key Pokemon in Breaking down a "stall" or "balanced" teams,but end up a waste of team slot versus a hyper offense team. In Closing Shadow Tag may be a excellent ability but by no means is it uncompetitive.

Imma Fly

Who needs wings when you have Rokushiki?
Shadow Tag: Do Not Ban


In all honestly, I have to say that the "threat" of Shadow Tag is really more hyped up than what it actually is in reality. I am just going to make a brief overview of the main "reasons why shadow tag is not competitive" and explain why things might not be the case.

1. Shadow Tag is broken, because it traps my pokemon and creates coinflip scenarios.

Guess what, coinflip scenarios are part and parcel of competitive battling. You deal with that on a daily basis. Be it trying to predict where the opposing Kyogre that just switched in on your Ho-Oh is going to Water Spout or predict your Palkia and Thunder, whether that Scarfed Zekrom is going to Bolt Strike your Kyogre or Volt Switch to try and gain momentum, or even whether the opposing Ho-Oh is going to Brave Bird or predict the Rockceus and Earthquake instead. Bottom line is, 50-50s are almost everywhere. It is the same when facing Shadow Tag. (in this case, such scenarios are usually created by Mega-Gengar so I am just going to talk a things a little more Mega-Gengar related) When the Mega-Gengar switches in on say, one of your offensive pokes, you now have to predict between whether would the Gengar user predict a status/boosting move and Taunt, or go for Destiny Bond predicting an offensive move. True, you might not have the "option" to switch, but its still fundamentally the same. It is just that instead of "switching out to the right pokemon", you now have to "make the right move". It is as simple as that.

2. Shadow Tag is uncompetitive because it traps and take out my defensive pokemon/paves the way for a setup sweep.

Is that even an argument in the first place? Isn't that precisely the purpose of Shadow Tag, to trap and take out obstacles? When facing defensive threats from the opponent's pokes, isn't your aim to take them out or to cripple them so that your sweep can proceed peacefully? Shadow Tag is just a means to achieving that. It is the same logic as using hard hitters such as banded Ho-Oh to nuke and take out defensive walls. So honestly, what is there to complain about? I know what I am saying sounds cliche, but really, there is really no need to design your team to be that weak to Shadow Tag and then expect people NOT to use that as an advantage against you. Unlike Baton Pass in OU, you don't really have to run anything specific to counter Shadow Tag, heck in fact it is technically impossible to "check" Shadow Tag. But you don't have to make things in a manner such that "oh once this guy gets trapped I have no way to deal with this particular threat ever again".

On a side note I would like to mention Gothitelle, especially that lionized set of cm/ rest /STAB move/ Trick Room. Honestly, it might have its uses, but it is way overrated than what it is made to look like. There are so many pre-requisites that have to be cleared before Goth can try and sweep. For one, it has to come in only after the opponent has no more Dark type pokes remaining. So basically, keep any one Dark type poke alive and it stays useless on the bench. Also it must be sent in on a poke that cannot phaze/haze/taunt and has to be unable to 2HKO it (its not VERY bulky furthermore). Sure, maybe it could come in on your Poison-Arceus (there is always a better forme to be used) or scarf Xerneas or something but really, how many things can it jump on exactly? Also, bear in mind on how many turns it would probably take to fully set up where during that time, it is exposed to something called critical hits (which naturally have a way higher chance of occurring given the numerous turns Goth takes to set up and heal). Even after it has fully healed, it might not be always able to OHK threats and is subjected to being revenged killed.

As an example, here is the calculation on how it would fare against a 0 HP EV Extremekiller even at +6

+6 0 SpA Gothitelle Psychic vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Arceus: 315-372 (82.6 - 97.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

+6 0 SpA Gothitelle Psychic vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Arceus: 315-372 (82.6 - 97.6%) -- 68.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock (assuming you managed to keep rocks on your field the whole time Goth was out)

And if the Arceus has HP Evs:

+6 0 SpA Gothitelle Psychic vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Arceus: 315-372 (70.9 - 83.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock

On the other hand,

252+ Atk Silk Scarf Arceus Extreme Speed vs. 248 HP / 8 Def Gothitelle: 169-199 (49.2 - 58%) -- 62.9% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

In short, really, Shadow Tag might help in paving the way for a sweep, but it is not a surefire way. Skill and precise teambuilding is required. Even then, the issue of the opposing team's lineup (which can often dictate that methods such as a Goth sweep is almost impossible if the opponent has a poke like Yveltal and guards it well) and in-battle luck play a huge role as well. In no way does Shadow Tag make things "uncompetitive".

3. There is no way to truly stop Shadow Tag, and whether who emerges the winner is based on the moves your poke(s) have and the moves the opposing poke(s) have.

In this case, I would like to ask "is it possible to make a perfect team that has no weaknesses?" In my opinion, it is basically the same concept as team matchup. Based on how the teams are constructed, their hazard setting, their defensive mechanisms, their end game sweep tactics, it is unavoidable that some teams are by nature weak to others. Lets take the scenario of Mega-Gengar vs Mega-Scizor. Depending on the win conditions that the team with Mega-Gengar has set, the outcome of the clash would vary. Say, for instance, that the win condition of the team with Gengar is to have GeoXern sweep everything that is not Steel-type (meaning it would carry moves such as psyshock and substitute), then Mega-Gengar's role is to take out threats such as Scizor and Ferrothorn and surprise, surprise, what better move to use than hidden power Fire for that. Of course, perhaps the win condition could be to pave the way for an Extremekiller sweep, in which case Mega-Gengar's moveset would be tailored towards removing threats such as Arceus-Rock/ Giratina and in which it would usually run Focus Miss over hidden power Fire instead, and the scizor would be able to pull off a pursuit KO. In short, its just the same concept as team matchup. Sometimes, you really meet teams that just spell out "you're royally screwed" when you compare their team matchup to yours (unless your opponent is really unskilled). It is just subset of the luck-based part of competitive battling. That is all (If you're lucky, you'll get a good matchup/hax your opponent and vice versa if otherwise). It isn't like swagger, which turns it all into one big lottery draw irregardless of the team matchup.

Therefore, all in all, my vote is Shadow Tag: Do Not Ban.

I understand that some of the things I say might sound offensive, especially towards players with conflicting opinions. I want to make it clear first that I do not mean any disrespect, and my explanation is of course reflecting things from my point of view. You are free to disagree with it.
Shadow Tag: Do Not Ban

First of all, there's no denying that the ability is amazing and one of the best in the game. It makes pokemon that are horrible with other abilities like gothietelle a real threat , however I feel this urge to ban ST comes mostly from mega gengar since it's the combination of stats and movepool that makes it "remove" what it wants from the opposition. The same argument from my vote for gengarite stands in that there are choices involved before stuff is trapped and sometimes even after something is trapped that affect the outcome of the game so it's still skill based which it means it's not uncompetitive ( I know it's too easy to use ST but top tier stuff is a lot of times easy to use).

I've read in the discussion thread and the gengarite voting thread that ST's toxic influence limits team building a lot, in my opinion this shows that players are adapting to Shadow tag which means you can adapt to it so this is not a moody/OHKO moves that turn the game into a RNG-fest.

If ST in the metagame means you have to use bad sets or not use certain pokemon so be it , that's what top tier does in a lot of competitive games . I think shadow tag is top tier but not uncompetitive (by the way , someone please define what uncompetitive means and without using circular logic i.e "uncompetitive is what removes choice to a point it's uncompetitive").

Also arena trap would be godlike if something that didn't suck had access to it , but banning it would be ridiculous . Hence my opinion that this is banning something that is "too good" and there's plenty of that in ubers that shouldn't even be considered for a ban (Ekiller, Kyogre, Xerneas ,.....)
Shadow Tag: Ban

The reason I think shadow tag deserves a ban is that it limits teambuilding a lot. Things like lugia aren't as good as they could be just because they will have 0 value in a match vs gothitelle or mega gar. Anyway, this isn't the main reason. The main reason is that, with shadow tag, you are able to make teams without having to care about some threats because you can trap and kill them without trouble. With gothitelle and gar, you are able to remove a lot of threats. Also, If we think about it carefully, shadow tag restricts the most important part of the game: switching.
Shadow Tag: Do Not Ban
Me voting to not ban shadowtag is for 2 reasons.
1. I do not think that it is uncompetitve, eventhough that depends on definition. In my definition something uncompetetive is something you cannot play around. Shadowtag is in my opinion rather predictable. While it might cost you your wall or whatever that thing wanted to trap, if predicted correctly you can gain an edge since he lost a vital member of his team due to the opportunistic playstyle Shadowtag encourages and partially requires. Also I do not think that even if they trap and dispatch their target (or set up on it in case of goth
2. I do not think that shadowtag limits teambuilding too much, since neither mega gengar nor gothitelle threaten too much things beside certain treats, and usually even those could potentially play around them with rare coverragemoves.
It might be a metagame defining ability that shapes the meta more offensive, but i doesnt obsolidate stall by any means, just certain pokemon, but there are always coldstops, the additional denial of switching just means you need to play more careful

Of these 2 reasons the mainthing is that i do not think of this ability as gamebreaking or uncompetetive, rather as a bonus factor that benefits the metagame in making it more versatile, thus my vote. Please excuse mistakes in my writing, i am not native english
Shadow Tag: Do Not Ban

Why? Because unlike several other things that have been banned in the past, this is in Ubers. Ubers is technically a banlist, so banning something from a banlist would have to be EXTREMELY broken. Is shadow tag that broken? No. Only things that should be banned are things that are over-centralizing or clearly too powerful, none of which have been true with shadow tag. Pokemon like Gothitelle only have one niche: to shadow trap, a strategy that can be played around with any u-turn or ghost type, two rather common thing when there are two very powerful ghost types in use and several volt/turn users. In summary, is say no ban because it is not centralizing enough or powerful enough to warrant a ban.


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It's time.

Last time I was much better at not procrastinating and stuff. Resultingly, this won't be quite as long as last time, as I find myself rushing to get this finished on time. I found my enter key too. I would like to link last suspect vote as a lot of the points still hold true so here it is. Specifically, the earlier philosophy on what constitutes a ban in Ubers and the burden of proof are important. Now, let's jump right in.

So, last suspect test I spent a lot of time identifying what really constitutes a ban in Ubers, and a lot of that still holds true, only the importance of the parts have changed. As last time was the ban of solely Gengar, I struggled a lot with the setting of a precedence in Ubers, and with how the banning of Mega Gengar would be very negative in regard to the Ubers philosophy. This is different however. We are no longer singling out a mon to ban, but were are looking at the inherent uncompetitiveness of an ability, a fundamental function of the game rather than a smaller piece of the puzzle. It's more like the banning the source of abuse rather than the abuser, banning sleep spam rather than banning Darkrai, if you will, but of course with a different variable being substituted in stead of sleep, which is Shadow Tag which functions differently. I'm not at all implying that Shadow Tag is directly comparable to sleep, and that because sleep was deemed uncompetitive, Shadow Tag should be too. I am merely reinforcing my past thoughts on a ban on Shadow Tag in relation to a ban on Gengarite.

Since the precedence piece is less applicable than before, the inherent uncompetitive factor of Shadow Tag is to be weighed. This is not to be said that precedence is irrelevant- it can still effectively be used to counter an argument, for example proving that being weak and losing to Shadow Tag is no different than being weak and losing to any other Ubers sweeper, which will come back later. The increased focus on the uncompetitive factor means that I need to identify this even further, for as with before, making an uneducated decision would be a waste of time.

In general, the definition that I have seen attributed to uncompetitive has been something along the lines of "taking away autonomy to a sufficient degree." To me though, this sufficient degree is hard to measure, as it would theoretically differ from person to person. So then, how can this definition be applied without a common sufficient degree? I think quite possibly the only way we can discern this degree would be by drawing lines based on comparisons to other mons and past bans. Basically, given that, say, Extreme Killer Arceus is not uncompetitive (which I am pretty sure is a safe assumption), anything else that can be proven to be effectively the same does not surpass the "sufficient degree," and even if it is not the same it does not necessarily mean that it is uncompetitve. For that we look to comparisons to Swagger, Sleep spam, Moody, and such things. In short, something that takes away autonomy to a sufficient degree must be determined in regards to things that are given to be above and below that line.

Last suspect test, I wrote a lot filtering through legitimate and illegitimate arguments, but this time, I would like to focus on a few key ones that I find to be particularly important. These are the removal of choice by the prevention of switching, Shadow Tag's uncounterability, and the teambuilding argument. The reason I chose these three was because I feel like they show some of the core arguments by both sides, which I think are the most important to analyze in order to come to a final conclusion.
I'm going to start with the uncounterability point; if you are paranoid about me changing up the order I'm sorry. Regarding Shadow Tag's uncounterability, I do understand that Shadow Tag is a really difficult strategy to outplay. I recognize that Gengar has a surplus of coverage moves, like Hidden Power Fire, Shadow Ball, and Focus Blast that beat its common checks, and that Gothitelle has a surplus of support moves, like Taunt and Charm, that can widen and alter what can prevent the effectiveness of its trapping. I agree that it's really hard to counter Gothitelle and Gengar, at least in the traditional sense; I also agree that if you bring a team with members that are easily trapped and removed by Shadow Tag, it is very difficult to play around. With that being said, I think there is a fine line between uncounterability and uncompetitiveness. Something that is difficult to counter does not really take away autonomy, unless it is uncounterable to a point where it cannot lose. As we all know, it is possible to use Shadow Tag and lose- it is not an automatic win button without regards to anything. Now, you could try and argue that Swagger never had a 100% win rate, it was just playing with a loaded dice. This is true. In fact, you could argue that bringing Shadow Tag is in fact playing with a loaded dice, because they could chose a team that is weak to it, and you have a strong matchup that gives you a much higher chance of winning. However, there is a fundamental difference in that Swagger takes away autonomy regardless of what team they use, whereas Shadow Tag still gives your opponent the autonomy to chose a team that is not weak to Shadow Tag. Furthermore, it is true that Gengar can run a ton of coverage moves to beat certain pursuit trappers, but is it really that different from running Overheat/Refresh/Earthquake/Shadow Claw/Shadow Force/Grass Knot/Stone Edge on Ekiller? Sure, some of those are less common, but usage has never been an argument for bans, even in lower tiers. The only fundamental difference is that you cannot switch out. However, let me give an example scenario to show that the lack of an ability to switch is mostly irrelevant. Let's first imagine a scenario where a team has an Arceus-Grass to check an opposing Kyogre. The opposing team has a Gengar, which has Sludge Wave and would easily trap the Arceus-Grass, and a Kyogre. The player is placed in a situation where they need to go to Arceus-Grass, but he also cannot afford to because Gengar comes in and kills him, and then Kyogre wins. Perhaps he even has a Scizor to pursuit Gengar, but it's a Hidden Power Fire variant, so Scizor loses as well. We would consider that player to be in a pretty dire situation right? Maybe Gengar is just uncompetitive? Well, consider this situation as well. A player brings a team with a Leftovers Heatran for his Xerneas check, i.e. he is weak to Focus Blast Geomancy Xerneas. He also has a Giratina-O on his team. His opponent brings Focus Blast Xerneas, but it can only set up on the Giratina-O. He also has a Blaziken. The Blaziken is in on Heatran, let's say, so the player could go to Giratina-O. However, his opponent could either double to Xerneas, which would mean he wins, or he could stay in with Blaziken, hoping to catch Heatran staying in, or if Giratina-O comes in on Blaziken, Xerneas frees in so the player is forced to potentially overpredict Xerneas, or else he loses. It may not be particularly recognizable, but this scenario is very similar to the first. In the first scenario, Gengar getting in on Grassceus loses the game. In the second scenario, Xerneas getting in on Giratina-O loses the game. Our response is one thing that differs greatly though. We look at the first and say that Shadow Tag is uncompetitive. We look at the second and say that the player with the Giratina-O and Heatran should have built a team that wasn't weak to Focus Blast Geomancy Xerneas. Yet, the same result was achieved, even though Xerneas does not have Shadow Tag. Keep this in mind as we segue into my next point.

Let's talk about Shadow Tag's function. It is an ability which prevents the opposing pokemon from switching. At first glance, it certainly seems to take away autonomy. It limits your choices in that you cannot switch. The thing is though, there are plenty of things that limit choice. Taunt limits choice, for example, and in many cases, good plays can limit choice, for example if a hyper offense team relies on Ekiller to revenge a Xerneas with significant prior damage, it is more often than not absolutely forced to Extreme Speed, or else you lose. Whether we immediately recognize it or not, this is a forced decision- not a decision at all. This is not all I have to say though. Experienced players often think broadly. Sure, at some level they think, I am going to switch on this turn. They have broader plans more often than not though. They think, I need to get rocks up, get a bit of prior damage on x, and then set up my y on his z, and then I win. Even when using Shadow Tag, it is, I'm going to use a to trap his b, so that c can win. Think of being trapped by Shadow Tag as a single play which lasts several turns, not as a bunch of individual turns where you can't switch. I cannot force you to think this way, but I think that it is more close to how Shadow Tag works in practice- it is more of an intermediate set up for another pokemon, not something which is created with the purpose of taking away the opponent's control. In this way, while Shadow Tag prevents switches and mechanically takes away autonomy, it does not take away autonomy at a level of complex play. Shadow Tag does not take away autonomy as set by the precedence of other bans. For example, Moody takes away autonomy because what you do is irrelevant, but rather in the hands of the Moody rolls. Sleep spam puts you in a situation where, you can't stay in or else they get free turns, and you cannot switch or your incoming pokemon gets put to sleep and the situation repeats. Swagger literally pits your confusion luck against theirs in favor of their luck, and is easily abusable. OHKO moves won or lost games on the pure accuracy of a move. The difference is, as I've to some degree mentioned and will go in to more depth on, the aforementioned bans banned things that were uncompetitive regardless of beforehand preparation, and the types of scenarios are built on luck, and are unavoidable. Yes, there are 50/50s which come when deciding whether the opposing team is going to switch or attack. However, what I'm talking about is the ability in a vacuum. If you could never switch in any circumstances, the game would just play differently. But if the only move every single pokemon knew was Sheer Cold, Fissure, or Horn Drill, that would be an absolutely awful dice-roll game. In regards to the actually pokemon creating 50/50s, I cannot deny that fact, but it obviously doesn't come into play if your pokemon is not actually trapped by Shadow Tag, something related to my next point about the teambuilding argument.

Going back to the Blaziken, Xerneas, Heatran, Giratina-O example way back in my first major point, you might have been yelling at me for forgetting that Giratina-O runs Shadow Force+Shadow Sneak to prevent Xerneas from setting up, which is a great setup for my next point: the teambuilding argument. To me, this argument has always been really important. The sentiment that Shadow Tag is not outplayed during the match, but it is beaten in the beforehand preparation is a crucial means of drawing comparisons to other pokemon. If you recall, I made a reference to Swagger earlier and how you have the ability to beat Shadow Tag in the teambuilder, but not so much with Swagger. Even when running a Ground-type "check" to Swagger, you did not necessarily beat it and it still forced its luck-based situations. However, if you bring a team with nothing that is trapped by Shadow Tag (for example, bringing Shed Shell Blissey), Shadow Tag as an ability cannot fulfill its purpose of removing a specific check to another threat. Of course, for this argument to stand it must be proven that it is possible to beat Shadow Tag in the teambuilder, which I think it is. There are obviously Pursuit trappers for Gengar, which although many are beaten by specific coverage, so are checks to most Ubers threats, and even those that are the closest to a full counter in Ubers (like Defensive Yveltal for Ekiller or something) would be comparable to Spiritomb I suppose, not that Spiritomb is great in Ubers, but it does consistently beat Gengar, as Yveltal consistently beats Ekiller. Additionally, look at Gothitelle. If a team gives free switches and setup opportunities for sweepers to win games, whose fault is that? Similarly, building a team where Gothitelle can remove members with ease is akin to this. You see, rather than saying that Gothitelle is uncompetitive for removing your Blissey, and complaining how you couldn't have possibly played around that, just build around it, use Shed Shell Blissey. If you build a team where, let's say Sylveon is removed and you straight up lose to Yveltal, that is the builder's fault, and they should rebuild, perhaps maybe not using Sylveon. We are warned against "git gud" arguments, but I feel like if someone built a team that got 6-0'd by Scarf Kyogre we would certainly call out the team and not Kyogre. We're drawing lines in our mind at Shadow Tag because of its difficultly to counterplay, but we're ignoring the build. Now, I believe I saw an argument claiming that running a Shed Shell was sub-optimal, and in doing so we are appeasing Shadow Tag, and thus it is still uncompetitive regardless. I disagree with this- it is not sub-optimal if it is being used to adapt to a common metagame strategy. Something being optimal in the context of the meta is defined by the meta. Looking at Giratina-O, we run Shadow Force on it to stop Xerneas set up. But, if Xerneas didn't exist, I would have to guess we would still be running the standard defensive Giratina-O set without Shadow Force. Being forced to run Shadow Force lessens Giratina-O's ability to check Kangaskhan and Arceus, or lose the Defog utility, which is appeasing Xerneas as a threat, just the same as Shed Shell Blissey. So to sum of these teambuilding points, this is all I'm saying. 1. Shadow Tag is able to be beaten in the teambuilder and 2. Beating Shadow Tag in the teambuilder is not fundamentally different than beating anything else in the teambuilder.

It is clear that Shadow Tag has had a profound effect on the state of the current Ubers meta. It is not a matter of debate that Shadow Tag is one of the strongest abilities in the game, and allows for some very strong teams based around the strategy of Shadow Tag. It is common knowledge that Shadow Tag diminishes the viability of certain pokemon in Ubers, that Shadow Tag is effective in the current Ubers meta, and that Shadow Tag quite possibly will always be a dominant force in Ubers as a tier. However, the nature of a ban in Ubers is far more complicated than "Shadow Tag is dominant, it is good, it is effective, it is broken." The Ubers philosophy requires something that is uncompetitive, something that takes away autonomy to a sufficient degree on par with past bans. It is my stance, that Shadow Tag is all of the former things, it is obviously very good. It is just not an uncompetitive force in Ubers, and thus I will be voting no ban.

tl;dr (More of a rapid fire summary. Just read the whole thing please; there are lots of proof and smaller points that I make in the actually thing. It's like 500 words fewer than last time so I know it's at least manageable ;] but just read the whole thing please)

- Shadow Tag is difficult to play around, but not uncounterable
- Shadow Tag is not fundamentally harder to counter than some other major Ubers threats which are clearly not uncompetitive
- While Shadow Tag prevents switches, the prevention of switches does not take away autonomy at a complex level, only a temporary mechanical level which ignores the bigger picture
- Shadow Tag can be successfully beaten in the teambuilder

With all this considered, Shadow Tag might be an overpowered, overcentralizing asset in Ubers, but it is not inherently uncompetitive and is therefore not banworthy. I will be voting no ban.
Shadow Tag: BAN

Shadow Tag has Mega Evolved into a trap gazing criminal in the 6th generation metagame. The removal of permanent weather, new mechanics, and the inclusion of Xerneas and Yveltal (I love the bird) drastically shifted the metagame to a fast paced one. The three common Shadow Tag abusers, Wobbuffet, Gothitelle, and Mega Gengar, have gained importance in Ubers since they are more effective this generation. When in a team, Shadow Tag Pokemon are capable of performing any role and have a very high probability of fulfilling it. The ability can effectively take away an opposing players opportunities simply by trapping a Pokemon and obliterate it. Sometimes others debate that Shadow Tag can be played around, but most of the time that’s not the case, since the abuser of it will have the advantage. The cursed ability takes away a very fundamental component from the game of Pokemon, which creates obstacles for the victims playing against it. Now players may say Mega Gengar is the real culprit because of its stats, typing, and movepool that allows it can cooperate with any teams easily, but in reality, Gothitelle and Wobbuffet also efficaciously function in a team, especially if not prepared for. With such an ability existing, balanced and stall play styles are at peril because Shadow Tag essentially hinders them, reducing the fun and variety in playing Ubers. Ultimately, Shadow Tag is a true convict in the Ubers metagame that bears many optimific results for the user of it and creates disadvantages for those who are victimized by the ability. Disposition of the ability will alleviate the tier of this menace, releasing the metagame from the trapped state it is in so that it may continue to progress and develop.
Shadow Tag: Ban

When XY first dropped, one could argue that Shadow Tag (specifically Gothitelle and Mega Gengar, though Wobbuffet is still used) wasn't a very relevant factor. However, as the metagame continued to develop it became pretty clear that both Gothitelle and Mega Gengar were top threats. Although Mega Gengar was already suspected and most of the points behind that already discussed, it is still worth repeating. Mega Gengar can slot itself on almost any team and serve several different roles. While most sets generally involve a Taunt/Destiny Bond/2 attacks set that can trap support mons (notably Blissey or the lesser used Chansey on Stall, as well as some Arceus formes) and slowly wear them down, to clear the way for another 'mon on your team to sweep the opposition, or use Destiny Bond on a relevant offensive 'mon that threatens the majority of your team. This factor alone can be considered both uncompetitive and 'broken', as a well played Gengar is almost guaranteed at least one KO. Additionally, the presence of Mega Gengar has created a slight limit on teambuilding in almost every playstyle. Stall players are forced to run Shed Shell on things like Blissey in order to stop Gengar from trapping it, which hurt on the long run as the slight recovery from leftovers is still extremely useful. Additionally, though this was covered by many other people, Gengar's movepool and power lets it adapt to any check/counter that can be attempted against it (Focus Blast for Tyranitar, HP Fire for Scizor, Will o Wisp for both, etc), so it gets even more difficult to deal with. In conclusion, MGengar can easily trap and kill select pokemon to put the opposition at an extreme disadvantage in most situations. As for Gothitelle, it's had a different role over the course of XY. Initially not at all used, it came to slight recognition after Melee Mewtwo used it a few times in SPL and has become more popular since. Now, it's arguably even more of an abuser of Shadow Tag than Mega Gengar, due to having the bulk needed to run an effective CM set with Rest for recovery. Generally it can come in safely and set up on most support Arceus formes, get to +6 and punch a hole in opposition. Similar to Gengar, its existence has led to the creation of otherwise unviable sets, such as Punishment on support Arceus, which really hurts a team as you miss on important coverage such as Will O Wisp or Defog. In short, Shadow Tag deserves to be banned due to the strain it puts on teambuilding and its general uncompetitive nature.


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Shadow Tag: BAN

Shadow Tag has no counterplay due to the negation of switching, one of the core mechanics of Pokemon that is responsible for allowing any counterplay in the first place. Without it, Pokemon is just Rock Paper Scissors with multiple kinds of rocks. Removal of switching removes player autonomy and counterplay, decreasing the competition between two players and thus making it obviously uncompetitive. Your only recourse is to try and prepare for it in the teambuilder, but all possible countermeasures such as Pursuit or Shed Shell have either been defeated or are pretty much unviable/worthless - the "preparation" amounts to little more than getting lucky and hoping the foe doesn't bring the correct set to defeat your supposed countermeasures. While Ubers is the home of all things broken and overpowered, it is still very much a competitive metagame and thus shouldn't have to tolerate uncompetitive elements such as Shadow Tag, against which the metagame has tried and failed to adapt.

Also, here is zdrup15's vote as he could not post in the thread fsr (but contacted me before the voting deadline):

Shadow Tag: Ban

Imo shadow tag is an uncompetitive ability that makes battles more reliant on match-up and less on skill. If one player has a shadow tag poke (well, gengar and mostly gothi), the other has to always be on top of his game to avoid losing his pokes. Now, when you consider that some teams usually carry one or two checks to most pokes, losing one of them in a way you can't do much about it can for itself decide the game. For ho teams this can still be manageable because they usually focus more on setting the pace but for stall teams this is brutal. Taunt mega-gengar and especially cm rest gothi pick many of the stall teams apart and eliminate several pokes, sometimes even sweeping by themselves (in gothi's case) and there isn't much stall can do, which turns a solid playstyle in ubers (used by some good ubers players) into a huge liability. Now one can say stall could adapt to prepare for shadow tag but then you end up losing on the reliability of the team when the opponent isn't using shadow tag.
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Shadow Tag: Do Not Ban

I don't feel like shadow tag is broken from what I have seen on the Ubers Ladder. Mega Gengar with shadow tag makes it a huge threat but not necessarily broken, it's defenses are still relatively low and a specially defensive pokemon with high SPA (eg; sp def palkia) will almost always beat it. Destiny bond can be annoying with shadow tag but with proper phasing moves and pre-calculation on which pokemon you want to be trapped in there with mega gengar, I don't see it as a problem. I run spdef palkia to spacial rend it to 20% and then roar it out when it starts to destiny bond. There are a plethora of other options eg; Giratina-0 that cannot be ohkoed and can ohko back + roar out destiny bonds, bulky yveltal with taunt + roost + dark pulse/foul play beats gengar almost all the time by taunting after a destiny bond and roosting on the d-bond turn - the list goes on. In conclusion Mega Gengar with shadow tag is a massive threat but quite easily beatable and if you are forced to let a pokemon go down with the dbond variant, it's not always that hard to choose a weaker pokemon to go down to it.

Gothitelle is a trickier but also much more gimmicky pokemon. I haven't actually seen it very often but from a few battles with such variants , and forum posts complaining about such gimmicks, people seem to be most worried about the trick scarfer than sets up evasion, subs and calm minds. I find it quite odd to complain about such a thing as you should see this coming from a mile away. Roar/dragon tail users are very common in ubers so just use those wisely. Most other scarfers will also outspeed and dent gothitelle after a spike or two eg; scarf kyogre, scarf xerneas. If anything is op in this discussion its evasion boosting, but thats another discussion ;)

I am not as knowledgeable on the gothitelle matter as I rarely ever see gothitelle on the ladder- which should be another point as since barely anyone is running it on the 2400+ coil section, maybe it isn't that broken. I do however see mega gengar a lot and from my experiences and thoughts mentioned prior to this, I conclude it isn't over powered in any sense of the word and can be easily worked around with common ubers pokes such as giratina (normal and origin), palkia, roar dialga - etc.
Shadow Tag: Ban

I fell that shadow tag has an adversely poor effect on the Ubers metagame which, in order for Ubers to remain a tier which is more than a novelty, must be approached in a way that is open to ban. Shadow tag can be declared toxic to the meta in that it brings about uncompetitive situations where one players actions no longer have appropriate meaning. This emanates from shadow tag's removal of the choice of the trapped player to switch. When such a situation has arisen, one player has been robbed of their equal opportunity to improve the situation in which they have been placed in, and thus, one player is being forced to accept the ultimatum the other player has put forth. Although this may not always be the case, the fact remains that shadow tag massively upsets the delicate balance which the Ubers tier rides on where the most powerful of Pokemon are used to stop those of equal or greater power. It must also be noted that relevant shadow tag users have a system of adapting to countermeasures that disallow consistent checking. In addition to this, shadow tag creates a series of 50/50's in nearly every game in which it is present among two competent battlers. These 50/50's hold little to no consequence for the abuser of shadow tag while they hold an insurmountable amount of risk and consequence with little to no reward for the other player. Thus, shadow tag can artificially places one player in a losing position by its mere presence in a battle. To summarize, shadow tag is an uncompetitive force in the Ubers metagame as its presence creates a system of unequal opportunity and efficient means to overwhelm a team with little counterplay in addition to a system of unequal decisions.


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Shadow Tag: Do Not Ban

The reason I am voting for no ban is very simple, I do not feel that the ability is as strong as it is portrayed to be. If we look at the 2 mons that get it that are the main source of discussion (Gothitelle and Mega-Gengar), we can see that both have very obvious flaws which I believe prevents them from being truly broken. In Gothitelle's case, while it does an excellent job of trapping the threats it is designed to trap, and then maybe sweeping the opposing team depending on the set used, if these threats are not on the opposing team it is essentially deadweight and can put you at 5v6 from preview. In the case of Gengar, the turn it requires to Mega Evolve can really hinder it's performance, as obviously the first turn it is in, it allows the opponent to switch in a better answer for it before their Pokemon is trapped, this can sacrifice a lot of momentum for the Gengar user with regards to the pokemon that has been switched in. Not only this, but I found from my experiences using it on the suspect ladder that at times I was really struggling to remove members of the very common bulky offense teams without resorting to a Taunt+Destiny Bond sacrifice, granted this could remove the check that I wanted to but I never found that at that point it gave me an overpowering advantage, such to the point where I trapped a threat and it was an instant gg wp nore for the opponent. I suppose what I am trying to say here is that from my experience of using Shadow Tag is that I found it largely matchup based, which reinforces my belief that you can build to prepare for it to an extent, if just by making sure the majority of your team aren't trap fodder and that if something does get trapped, you don't instantly get 6-0'd. Obviously this is a limitation to consider in the teambuilder, but I don't find it any more of a limitation than the many other high powered threats that any reasonable team has to prepare for if it wants to be successful.
Shadow Tag: Do Not Ban

Coming to a conclusion here was tough. It took me so long to vote in part because I am a procrastinator, and also in part because of how difficult a decision this was for me. I've come to the conclusion, however, that shadow tag is not uncompetitive and should remain legal. It is true that shadow tag does take out a certain degree of autonomy, but whether or not it removes enough to be deemed uncompetitive is up for debate. I would argue that it does not remove competition for several reasons. There are ways to avoid shadow tag (even if they may not be considered viable, they're made viable in a tier influenced by shadow tag), through the use of items, ghost typing, and volt-switching. This means that during the stage of teambuilding, one can mitigate their weakness to it as best as possible. Then we move on to the match. It's claimed that shadow tag inherently gives the player using it an advantage. I don't think this is true. It depends on the pokemon used, the particular set, and that combination's interaction with the opposing team. Team matchup is interesting because it's present in every game. At the end of the day, shadow tag doesn't inherently give any advantage to you in every match, only in some (one might argue in most, but that's besides the point). It gives you a good matchup depending on the matchup. This is the case in every game of pokemon. If your team is wrecked by a particular M-gengar set, try to mitigate that weakness as best as possible, and afterward, hope you have a good matchup, hope your opponent has a different set, if they are running M-gengar. This is essentially what happens in every single game of pokemon. Every team has a weakness, and you have to hope your opponent isn't packing it, especially if coupled with other problem sets for your team. There's also the issue of negative 50/50s. I tend to agree that a lot of 50/50s with shadow tag involved are in the favor of the shadow tag user. So we have to ask whether or not having an advantage in a situation like this is uncompetitive. I don't think so. Team matchup is an example of a natural advantage you might have - shadow tag barred. Let's say it's endgame. To me that's no different than putting yourself in a 70% chance to win. Checkmates happen, but generally speaking, in pokemon, your objective is to make your chances of winning as high as possible. Sometimes you put yourself in a 90/10 and still lose. Ultimately, during these negative 50/50s, competition is still ripe. One player, because of their plays/sets vs the opponents', put themselves in a position wherein they were more likely to win. But there's still competition. Both players have been reading and experiencing and noting the other player the entire time. This is part of the game. Teambuilding, knowledge of meta, cost-benefit analysis, ability to read opponent, these are all necessary skills to be good at pokemon. The player not using shadow tag still has a chance to outplay and win. These negative 50/50s seem to be the worst that shadow tag ever does. By nature, it tends to result in the non-shadow tag user losing, because they have an advantage. But it isn't uncompetitive. The advantage is dependent on the matchup. In many matches shadow tag isn't necessary, and I can think of many matches I had on the ladder in which my shadow tag user wasn't even useful. Essentially, in many - if not most - matchups, one player has an inherent advantage (which may range from slight to major), and this cannot be avoided. So shadow tag giving you an advantage is not uncompetitive. It doesn't even inherently give you one, it just does most times. To me, that's important to note, that it isn't inherent. If shadow tag were an uncompetitive element, it would give the player using it the advantage in every situation, or (in the case of other uncompetitive elements) it would take away decision from the players entirely. We know that shadow tag does not do this, shadow tag, unlike other uncompetitive elements, is decision-based. It is on the players. So then for it to be broken it must give you an inherent advantage. Otherwise it's no different than any other set/ability/pokemon. In my opinion, it does not give you an inherent advantage.


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Due to me lacking personal feelings on either side, I'll just use melee mewtwo's template for why shadow tag should be banned since after all, the burden of proof in terms of banning shadow tag will be on the pro ban side since they're the ones that are striving to change the status quo. Melee mewtwo's points which summarize the proban arguments are as follows.

1) We can claim that every game has the possibility of Shadow Tag trap scenarios taking place (this is applying to before team preview)]

This is true but that's equivalent to saying that every game might have a kyogre, or having an arceus, or essentially having any of the 600+ mons in the pokedex, since this is both a player choice as well as the opponent's choice. Since if you bring shadow tag on your team then obviously it'll show up and vice versa. Don't even see why this is a point but I digress.

2) Under the assumption of A and G, we can claim that Shadow Tag lacks counterplay.

A and G being that switching is how checks and counters work and thus shadow tag removing switching means no counterplay and thus makes it uncompetitive. This is blatantly false due to the fact that there are answers both to shadow tag and there are ways you can build around it. As mentioned multiple times, shed shell is an option to allow ones team shadow tag weak mons to not be trapped, this is one example of a counterplay. Does it have demerits in the off chance your opponent doesn't have shadow tag? Most certainly, but that's equivalent to bringing something like rockceus to a match while your opponent doesn't have a ho oh which reduces rockceus' effectiveness significantly but if your team is absolutely weak to ho oh, then you have no choice but to bring rockceus if it'll fix your ho oh weakness. Same for shed shell, if your team is shadow tag weak to the point that it absolutely must use shed shell, then so be it. This is one of the risks that you take when you team build and it is up to the user to find a way around it. This shows that counterplaying to shadow tag can be done but it does force some suboptimal builds. Another more notable example is how melee mewtwo claims that checks and countering is based heavily around switching which isn't true in the sense of certain team archetypes (balanced, hyper offense) which rely heavily on their mons having enormous offensive presence while completely lacking defensive synergy to force your opponent to be unable to react, which is due to their mons overwhelming your opponent and not necessarily due to switching. A common example is deo-s + 4/5 set up sweepers which has been shown to win tour games despite having weaknesses to many common threats on paper.

3) We can claim that every tournament viable team is vulnerable to Shadow Tag exploits

Melee Mewtwo's whole premise is that as long as there is even one mon on your team, then you're weak to shadow tag and thus unable to win, can be attributed to faulty team building since if one builds their team in such a way that shadow tag absolutely destroys them, then it's a terrible team to begin with and shouldn't result in a shadow tag ban. The goal of the shadow tag suspect is not to revive or bring back certain playstyles, since that's something more relevant to overused but rather to prove that something is uncompetitive. As soviet once mentioned, the archetype that shadow tag struggles with most, if not outright deadweight against is offensive teams, if one has to use offensive teams in a tour so shadow tag doesn't destroy them, then so be it. The goal of ubers is not about diversifying the tier, it's about removing uncompetitive elements. If there's a playstyle that is usable and more importantly, tournament viable that does well against everything, then it should be used as opposed to the whole rock papers scissors thing that is matchups.

4) We can claim that Ubers must not contain elements that break competition

In both spl and ubers open (i'm disregarding ubers open since that was an absolutely joke and a trainwreck in terms of skill shown lol), were there games that were potentially decided due to shadow tag? Sure, but that was due to opponents either not preparing for it, or their opponents outright counterteaming, the same could be said about a multitude of things that broke tournament matches such as the unheard of refresh ekiller which instantly won a game in spl due to the surprise factor and breaking the competition, that applies to the core of scarf kyogre + unheard of specs palkia which again destroyed the competition. Would we ban those as well? The opponent in said matches had no possible counterplay, and thus got broken as a result but was this due to the mons being uncompetitive? no, it was due to one's faulty teambuilding that this happened which is the same for shadow tag.

5) Under the assumption of 2, 3, and I, we can claim that, during Tag Trap scenarios, one player is not present in the game. Break in interaction between players, and break in the competition.

This whole section was fallacious and disregards any choice the opponent could've made to prevent shadow tag, and instead places a heavy emphasis on the tag being the problem as opposed to the choices that led up to it. If your opponent or you manages to make a scenario where shadow tag successfully manages to do its job, then it should be praised and be considered the work of good prediction or whatnot since it's similar to getting a ho oh in on ferrothorn, xerneas in on a choice locked dragon, etc. With this definition in any of the scenarios I listed and many more, the opposing player is not present since their options are almost nonexistent and they're forced into a terrible position. This is no different than how shadow tag functions since the other side will have completely lost momentum and be on their back foot so to speak. Due to shadow tag being unable to differentiate itself from these other situations, I don't see how one player being not present in the game, since it is due to a series of choices that led up to said scenario. Would the other player be helplless in said scenario? Sure but that isn't exclusive to shadow tag and it is considered rather competitive in the other cases so it's fallacious to make an exception solely for shadow tag.

6) Under the assumption of 1 and 7, we can claim that claim that Shadow Tag potentially breaks competition in every game

This could be said for anything with lack of a surefire counter, such as krom with volt switch (you decide between the 50/50 between bringing in your fairy or your elec resist and are fucked if chosen wrong, or if you have ferro then volt switch out). There are other examples such as ekiller opting to go for chip damage on the switchin and then leaving later for a sweep due to baiting, etc. There isn't any differentiation between these scenarios and shadow tag.

9) Under the assumption of D, and E, we can claim that even small number of turns can have equal or greater value to a larger remainder

Don't see how this is a problem, since this isn't exclusive solely to shadow tag. Unless we opt to ban everything in the metagame that can change a game in a very small number of turns.

10) Under the assumption of 4, 8, and 9, we can claim that Shadow Tag should not be allowed in the Ubers metagame

Shadow tag, or rather the whole proban side as a whole hasn't listed anything exclusive solely to shadow tag and how it's uncompetitive in the ubers metagame and thus should be banworthy. The vast majority of the things said to support a ban are things that aren't exclusive to shadow tag and usable in a large number of scenarios. Since shadow tag hasn't been proven beyond a doubt that it is uncompetitive, and how it doesn't differentiate itself both choicewise and teambuilding wise, I don't see why it should be banned.
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Shadow Tag - DO NOT BAN

I don't think that Shadow Tag makes the game uncompetitive or luck based. Other features like Swagger or Moody were banned because they rely entirely on luck, but Shadow Tag requires skill to both use and defend against. Some people argue that Shadow Tag limits teambuilding. However, I would argue that other pokes limit teambuiliding to a greater extent. No GeoXern or ExtremeKiller counter? You will be swept, just the same as with a stall team, Shadow Tag will pick you apart. Overall, I believe that Shadow Tag should not be banned because it simply adds a new dimension of skill and planning into battling.
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