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Metagame ZeroUsed Metagame Discussion

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Xayah

KA-KOOO!
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
Okay so, I'm leaving home on Monday and don't have time to write the rest of this week, so I'm just gonna write my Rotom-Frost post now.

What are we dealing with?
To start, let's just go over the Pokemon itself. First off, its typing is a giant mixed bag. On one hand, Ice-types (and thus Electric / Ice-types) are horrible defensively. Weaknesses to common Fighting- and Fire-types as well as Stealth Rock and Lycanroc is atrocious. This also gives it a weakness to our most common priority moves, in Mach Punch, Vacuum Wave, and Accelerock. On the other hand, it is one of the absolute best offensive typings in the game; within all of the available Pokemon in ZU, only two resist it before abilities (Rotom-Frost and Magnemite) and only 4 more do so after including abilities (Chinchou, Seaking, Goldeen, and Swinub). Basically, this leaves us with two viable Pokemon that resist both of its STAB moves that aren't Rotom-Frost itself.

Taking a look at its movepool, we find that its offensive movepool is really bad. As far as special offensive moves go, it gets STAB-moves, Normal-type moves, Ghost-type moves, Hidden Power, Signal Beam, Dark Pulse, Dream Eater, and Mud Slap. That's it. However, if we look back a whole three lines from here, we see that Rotom-Frost doesn't need more than Thunderbolt and Blizzard to hit 90% of the metagame very hard. Thus, its utility movepool is far more important, and that's where it shines. Defog, Trick, Pain Split, Substitute, Will-O-Wisp, and even Volt Switch can all go under this category, and these are what really pushes Rotom-Frost to become a top tier Pokemon. The ability to instantly punish a switch-in with Trick or Pain Split or support its team with Defog is a massive boon, and it can just get the hell out immediately afterwards thanks to how good Volt Switch is.

The last thing that really has to be talked about is Rotom-Frost's sheer stats. Considering that this is an offensive Pokemon, its Speed and Special Attack are where it's at, both of which are solid enough at 86 and 105 respectively. Neither are absolutely incredible, it has a very strong STAB move in Blizzard to aid with the Special Attack, while Volt Switch means that it's an excellent Choice Scarf user, meaning its Speed isn't as crippling. Honestly more notably is Rotom-Frost's impressive bulk. 50/107/107 is absolutely nothing to sneeze at, considering it's the same as the bulk of other Rotom formes (including things like Rotom-Wash and we all know how fat that is). Taking a look at A+, as far as offensive Pokemon we have Kadabra (40/30/70), Liepard (64/50/50), Lycanroc (75/65/65), and Mr. Mime (40/65/120). Now you could look at Golem, Torterra, and Poliwrath as offensive Pokemon, but all of them are either considerably slower or require a turn of set up. The most comparable bulk-wise is probably Grumpig, with 80/65/110, but the lack of pivoting move and flawless offensive typing means Rotom-Frost is obviously a much better offensive Pokemon. Basically, Rotom-Frost is suprisingly bulky, which means it doesn't even take a guaranteed OHKO from Mach Punch coming off of Choice Band Iron Fist Jolly Monferno after Stealth Rock and only takes about 50% from Lycanroc's Accelerock.

Now all that is fine and good, but even all that isn't enough of a reason to ban or even test Rotom-Frost. So what is it that caused us to take this course of action? Well, there are two main reasons for that and I'll be going over them individually.

Stranglehold on teambuilding
A lot of teams in ZU right now look similar. Many of them are either stall, hyper offense, or feature some variant of the Grumpig/Torterra core. I don't mean to say that these are the only viable strategies right now (they're not) but they are by far the most common. And there's an easy to find reason for that: these three are simply the best at dealing with Rotom-Frost. Stall doesn't like Trick Scarf but Lickilicky can sit in front of Rotom for several years and Icium isn't going to break it. If you're one of the Shedinja people, that works too (though please don't use Shedinja stall, it's not good). Hyper offense most commonly takes the form of Rain or Trick Room, the former of which often features Rotom-Frost and can simply use Swift Swim and Prankster to ignore an opposing one, whether it's Choice Scarf or not, while the latter is already aiming to beat down the opposing team while taking minimal hits and Rotom-Frost doesn't change anything about that. The balance core, however, is more interesting. Grumpig and Torterra are both great Pokemon in many metrics, with Grumpig reliably countering Monferno and Combusken while checking Pokemon like Poliwrath and being a solid specially defensive Pokemon in general, while Torterra completely counters Lycanroc and provides a valuable Electric immunity. So at first glance, this seems like a solid core in general... but something's wrong. There is in our metagame a Pokemon that consistently check Monferno, Combusken, and Lycanroc in a single slot, provides solid resistances, and has by no means bad bulk. That Pokemon is defensive Poliwrath. Yet strangely, Grumpig + Torterra is far, far more common than defensive Poliwrath, and even teams with a Poliwrath will generally also feature that core. Why is that? Rotom-Frost.

Grumpig + Torterra is incredible for its ability to provide both a solid Electric immunity and Ice resist while being solid in general. However, there is a problem here; this core is almost forced onto teams. If you aren't using this core, Rotom-Frost checks are incredibly hard to get by, especially those that do not give up a lot of momentum like Lickilicky does. Muk comes to mind, but it really doesn't like the aforementioned Grumpig + Torterra core. Otherwise, teams are forced to rely completely on either offensive checks or Pokemon that are purely and only ranked for their ability to deal with Rotom-Frost, like Chinchou and Seaking (or, if you're Eza, Pignite), which should not be necessary. So yes, Grumpig + Torterra is usually enough to deal with Rotom-Frost, but not every team should be forced to use it like is the case now.

Let's talk about Chinchou and Seaking a bit more. Currently, both of them are ranked at C and it is widely agreed on that they have no purpose other than counter Rotom-Frost (yes, these two are straight up counters). Now let's analyze that. I was recently discussing this with Durza and Megazard and we came to the conclusion that in other usage based tiers, there are only two cases of this happening. The first is Magneton in UU being ranked purely for its ability to trap Scizor (which is arguable) and the other is Wormadam-Trash recently getting ranked in PU because it can reliably switch into Aurorus. Now, it's important to mention that both Scizor and Aurorus are highly controversial Pokemon that have been considered for a suspect test in recent times. So if we look at ZU, we don't have one, but two Pokemon ranked purely for their ability to deal with Rotom-Frost. They really, really do not do anything else, and yet they see serious discussion constantly. I believe this is an issue and a sign of overcentralization; we have reached the conclusion that if we for whatever reason can't fit on Grumpig + Torterra, we have to look at seriously niche Pokemon.

Note before moving on: yes, there are other ways of dealing with Rotom-Frost, other cores that consistently deal with it, but each of them has massive weaknesses to current metagame threats. Recently, for example, 5gen brought up Probopass + Muk + Silvally-Water, which does indeed deal with Frosttom handily. However, this not only takes up three slots already, but both Probopass and Muk are also complete set up fodder for Rock Polish Torterra, which breaks through this core with ease. So again, we look at either Grumpig + Torterra or cores/Pokemon that are simply not viable in our meta otherwise.
Another note: yes, Silvallys are all running at least 299 Speed purely because of Rotom-Frost and yes, if it goes they'll likely drop to 288 for Monferno. However, Speed creep is a perfectly valid way of adapting to a threat so I will not be using it as an argument.

Constant 50/50s
So we have established that Grumpig + Torterra is the best way of currently dealing with Rotom-Frost, and that's really nice. It provides all the resistances you need to deal with it and has two solid Pokemon. But there's the problem; it's two Pokemon. Let's say this is the scenario: Rotom-Frost has gotten in on a Pokemon that is forced out, such as Rotom-Fan (there's plenty of others too, this is merely an example). Now, you're a good teambuilder for ZU so in the back, you have a full health Grumpig and full health Torterra. Everything is fine, all you to do is go into Grumpig on the Blizzard! So you do just that, but the Rotom-Frost Volt Switches, chunking your Grumpig and bringing in their Choice Band Liepard to Pursuit trap it (this is quite a common core, not some kinda hypothetical scenario that I made up). Huh, now your Grumpig is dead and the next time Rotom-Frost comes in, you don't have a Blizzard switch-in anymore...
But maybe you predicted that Volt Switch play! So you go into Torterra to set up rocks and everything is fine! ...except the Rotom-Frost did go for Blizzard and your Volt Switch immunity is now dead. Great.

Now this was just an example, but this happens constantly with Rotom-Frost. Because its STAB combination is so good and so few Pokemon can take both AND it has a STAB pivoting move, it constantly forces these 50/50s. And 90% of the time, they're in its favor, as it will outright remove one of very few checks its opponent has if it wins it, while it only gets forced out if it loses it. And it creates these every single time it comes in. You might say that it can't come in that often due to limited recovery and a Stealth Rock weakness, but Rotom-Frost not only heavily threatens most of our rock setters, it also pairs really well with many Silvally formes that can easily Defog for it. The Icium Z set also runs Pain Split sometimes, meaning it can even simply claim all of its health back.

These 50/50s are a giant sign of unhealthiness. It's not good when every single time a Pokemon comes in, it can potentially just remove a check with minimal repercussions if it messes up.
EDIT: Based on some feedback I should add here that Rotom-Frost doesn't struggle to come in nearly as much as other Pokemon that can do similar things, like Choice Band Monferno or Mr. Mime, due to its much better bulk and its offensive typing allowing to force out many more Pokemon.

Adaptation
In this section, I'll be refuting an anti-ban argument that is highly likely to come up at some point: 'The metagame has not yet adapted to Rotom-Frost.' First off, this argument will suggest that whoever is presenting it agrees that Rotom-Frost's current position isn't healthy for our metagame, but that it is still possible for it to adapt. And I'm going to say right now: no, it isn't possible.

It was November, before I even became TL, when I fought for Rotom-Frost to rise to S. Back then, our lone S rank was Stoutland and I argued that, despite being worse than Stoutland, Rotom-Frost was significantly better than all of A+ and deserved to join the doggo. That reasoning was accepted and it rose to the top. Over time, Rotom-Frost only became better and better while Stoutland fell off slightly, especially with Mawile joining our tier in January, and the Electric / Ice-type became the best Pokemon in our metagame... and that's where we still are. It has been since at least January that Rotom-Frost has been the best Pokemon in our metagame. That's 5 months ago. The metagame had plenty of time to adapt to this, and it did. What sucks is that that adaptation came in the form of Grumpig + Torterra in every team.

The 'metagame can still adapt'-argument was valid for Jynx, since it had just joined us. It was valid for Musharna, which had recently seen a new set rise in popularity inmensely. And it was valid for Stoutland back in February, since Mawile had just joined us and severely nerfed it. It is not, however, valid for a Pokemon that has been the best of the best for almost half a year and for which the metagame has only gotten more favourable. After all, we recently saw Liepard and Lycanroc joining us, the former of which can easily Pursuit trap Grumpig and the latter forces a rise in Torterra and Poliwrath, which is great for Rotom-Frost. This metagame can no longer adapt to this Pokemon. That era is over. So please, if we agree that its current spot isn't healthy, vote ban with me.

Conclusion
Rotom-Frost holds the metagame in a stranglehold and forces constant 50/50s in every game it is in. It has been doing that for 5 months and we haven't been able to adapt. It's time to take action. Let's remove this Pokemon from our metagame and join me in voting ban next week. We've been under its influence for long enough.

I'd finish those leftovers because it's time to get rid of the fridge.
 
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Xayah

KA-KOOO!
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
I guess I'm triple posting because we just concluded the second Community-Create-A-Team where we built around Choice Specs Lapras! Thanks everyone for participating!
Lapras @ Choice Specs
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Hydro Pump
- Surf
- Freeze-Dry
- Future Sight

Monferno @ Eviolite
Ability: Iron Fist
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Mach Punch
- Flare Blitz
- U-turn

Dugtrio-Alola @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Tangling Hair
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- Iron Head
- Stone Edge
- Memento

Grumpig @ Mago Berry
Ability: Thick Fat
EVs: 252 HP / 80 SpD / 176 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Recycle
- Substitute
- Psychic
- Focus Blast

Tangela @ Eviolite
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Leaf Storm
- Sleep Powder
- Giga Drain
- Hidden Power [Fire]

Silvally-Water @ Water Memory
Ability: RKS System
EVs: 252 HP / 228 Def / 28 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Defog
- Surf
- Toxic
- Parting Shot

Choice Specs Lapras is a powerful breaker that follows in Rotom-Frost's footsteps by threatening the bulky Water-types that normally beat Ice-types. Of course, Lapras does it with Freeze-Dry and not with Thunderbolt, but the effect is similar. Hydro Pump is a powerful STAB move that really hurts Pokemon like Grumpig that would otherwise be able to come in, while Surf is a more accurate but weaker alternative. Future Sight plays around with early-game switching and can be very hard for the opponent to deal with if played well. The rest of the team supports it: Monferno and Silvally-Water provide momentum and hazard control, Tangela and Grumpig form a solid defensive core, and Choice Scarf Alolan Dugtrio provides valuable Speed control and an Electric immunity. Memento also grants the team some extra momentum if Dugtrio is no longer needed.


Check out the logs here!
 

5gen

one man's custard is another man's pudding
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor
Moderator
I will be hosting the fourth Rotom-Frost suspect test Sunday the 10th at 5pm gmt-4. Because we had a high amount of users in today's tour, we have decided that in a tour with 16+ participants, both finalists will earn voting reqs.

If activity continues to rise, we may even host live suspect tours with subs for future suspects.


edit: Congrats to Quantum Tessaract and Bert C for achieving reqs!
 
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Someone better call a mechanic.

Cause this fridge is broken.

Xayah pretty much summed up my thoughts on Rotom Frost so instead I'll be rebutting Froasty's post against banning Frostom. It's a good post, and it makes some good points, but I disagree with a lot of what he said. For starters, though, I'll be going through the two main points in which I do agree with him on:

Section 5: Is it unhealthy for Rotom-Frost to be incredibly common?
In this regard I have to say that it is not. While it may seem dull to have Rotom-Frost be very common, it is not unhealthy. As an example, let's take a look at OU's top Pokemon and how common it is.

This is the combined usage percentage for Landorus-Therian during the last quick-shifts (I would have used June shifts, but the statistics are not yet available at the time of this post). As we can see, Landorus-Therian's usage utterly dwarfs even the next most common Pokemon. One can reasonably expect to see Landorus-Therian in one in every two teams. It isn't common because it's broken, and that so many players must prepare for it in order to succeed does not make it in any way an undesirable element to the OU metagame. While Rotom-Frost and Landorus-Therian are certainly different Pokemon, the philosophy of usage not equating to banworthiness remains the same. Common is not broken.

Conclusion: It is not unhealthy for a single Pokemon to have much greater usage than the rest of the tier in Smogon tiering philosophy, as no other tier before ZU has found that to a banworthy quality on its own.
Froasty is correct here because usage =/= viability. If something like Mewtwo was allowed in OU, and, for some indiscernible reason, saw next to no usage, it would still be broken because, well, it's Mewtwo. I agree completely with this point.

Section 4: Can I build without Rotom-Frost and be successful?
Yes, yes you can. Offensive teams have similar enough offensive options to Rotom-Frost in things such as manectric and electivire that they can actively afford to forgo Rotom-Frost entirely. Rain teams are highly functional and in the top of the meta with or without Rotom-Frost, as past builds from before Rotom-Frost Rain gained popularity have shown. Other weather teams may choose to utilize Rotom-Frost, but do not require it in any way. Trick Room teams are utterly uninterested in using Rotom-Frost. Sticky Webs teams are more than able to not use Rotom-Frost and be highly dangerous, and I have not yet included Rotom-Frost on any of my builds. Stall does not use Rotom-Frost because of its defensive typing, and indeed often abuses Ditto to scout Rotom-Frost's set for choices to be made later in the match and can make use of Rotom-Frost's own utility against it, be it Trick, Pain Split or Defog. Ditto does this all without being weak to Stealth Rock like Rotom-Frost while having the ability to receive Wish support from Lickilicky. Semistall similarly does not in any way require Rotom-Frost to function, having the defensive capability to respond to threats without relying on Rotom-Frost's momentum by using many stall elements.

The teams that do tend to require Rotom-Frost, simply because it's the best option rather than irreplaceable? Offensive Balance and Balance. These two playstyles are being heavily over-represented in consideration of Rotom-Frost considering their status as a minority among the number of effective strategies available. Rotom-Frost excels against Balance, and because of this it tends to force Balanced strategies to build for other Balanced strategies. The only true loser here is Defensive Balance, which struggles against the combination of Rotom-Frost and the other highly effective offensive threats available to the meta. Not every strategy is going to flourish, this much is well known and should be accepted.

Conclusion: Rotom-Frost is not required for a player to build successful teams, it is simply the best option for some specific strategies in the same way that the top ranked Pokemon of other tiers are not always irreplaceable, simply the best option.
I agree with this point because, even if Rotom Frost is an incredibly powerful offensive threat, I do not feel as if its usage is mandated on every team. Plenty of other viable electric types exist, being able to hold strong niches in spite of Rotom Frost outperforming them, and if Frostom was a mandatory inclusion onto every build, this would not be the case.

Now for what I do disagree with:

Section 1: Is Rotom-Frost banworthy by Smogon tiering policy?
Uncompetitive - elements that reduce the effect of player choice / interaction on the end result to an extreme degree, such that "more skillful play" is almost always rendered irrelevant.
  • This can be matchup related; think the determination that Baton Pass took the battling skill aspect out of the player's hands and made it overwhelmingly a team matchup issue, where even the best moves made each time by a standard team often were not enough.
  • This can be external factors; think Endless Battle Clause, where the determining factor became internet connection over playing skill.
  • This can be probability management issues; think OHKOs, evasion, or Moody, all of which turned the battle from emphasizing battling skill to emphasizing the result of the RNG more often than not.
- Is Rotom-Frost uncompetitive? Personally, I have to say no. In fact, Rotom-Frost is all about player choice. Predict right, you're rewarded. Predict wrong, you're punished. This is a normal part of playing Pokemon, and what Frost tells us to do.
- Do you autolose because the opposing team has a Rotom-Frost? Generally, you should not, and if you do then it's more about your own building than Frost's presence.
- Is it an external factor? Not particularly, there isn't an external factor that's preventing skillful play from overcoming Rotom-Frost. This means that Rotom-Frost does not fit the definition of uncompetitive. Let's move to the next possibility.

Broken - elements that are too good relative to the rest of the metagame such that "more skillful play" is almost always rendered irrelevant.
  • These aren't necessarily completely uncompetitive because they don't take the determining factor out of the player's hands; both can use these elements and both probably have a fair chance to win. They are broken because they almost dictate / require usage, and a standard team without one of them facing a standard team with one of them would be at a drastic disadvantage.
  • These also include elements whose only counters or checks are extraordinarily niche Pokemon that would put the team at a large disadvantage elsewhere.
  • Uncompetitive and Broken defined like this tend to be mutually exclusive in practice, but they aren't necessarily entirely so.
    • Baton Pass was deemed uncompetitive because of how drastically it removed battling skill's effects and brought the battle down to matchup, but it could also be deemed broken because of the unique ways in which you had to deal with it.
    • While this isn't always the case, an uncompetitive thing probably isn't broken, but a broken thing is more likely to be uncompetitive simply due to the unique counter / check component. For example, Mega Kangaskhan was deemed broken because it was simply too good relative to the rest of the metagame and caused the tier to centralize around it, but it could also be labeled as uncompetitive because of the severe team matchup restriction it caused by punishing players if they did not pack one of the few obscure counters or checks for it.
- Is more skillful play almost always rendered irrelevant against Rotom-Frost? Personally, no. If you pull a switch into your electric immunity on one of the two electric moves, you flip the momentum in your favor.
- Can you build a team without Rotom-Frost and still do well in the meta? Absolutely. Rotom-Frost carries with it a bunch of weaknesses to offensive Pokemon that can be exploited heavily, and there are even faster scarves that perform similar momentum roles while also threatening Frost itself. In this case, it does not dictate or require usage of itself.
- Are the only counters or checks extraordinarily niche Pokemon? The outright hard counters, yes, with the requirements of a hard counter being that it both is immune to volt switch and won't be KO'd by Blizzard. Checks? Nope, we have a lot of checks. We have a healthy number of defensive Pokemon that Rotom-Frost does not break and a healthy number of offensive Pokemon that break Rotom-Frost. We have a healthy number of electric immunities as well as a healthy number of ice resists. So while Frost may push one side of this part, the other is more than healthy.

Unhealthy - elements that are neither uncompetitive nor broken yet are deemed undesirable for the metagame such that they inhibit "skillful play" to a large extent.
  • These are elements that may not limit either team building or battling skill enough individually but combine to cause an effect that is undesirable for the metagame.
  • This can also be a state of the metagame. If the metagame has too much diversity wherein team building ability is greatly hampered and battling skill is drastically reduced, we may seek to reduce the number of good-to-great threats. This can also work in reverse; if the metagame is too centralized around a particular set of Pokemon, none of which are broken on their own, we may seek to add Pokemon to increase diversity.
  • This is the most controversial and subjective one and will therefore be used the most sparingly. The Tiering Councils will only use this amidst drastic community outcry and a conviction that the move will noticeably result in the better player winning over the lesser player.
  • When trying to argue a particular element's suspect status, please avoid this category unless absolutely necessary. This is a last-ditch, subjective catch-all, and tiering arguments should focus on uncompetitive or broken first. We are coming to a point in the generations where the number of threats is close to overwhelming, so we may touch upon this more often, but please try to focus on uncompetitive and broken first.
- Does Rotom-Frost combine with another element of note in a manner that inhibits teambuilding and skillful play to the point where it is having an undesirable effect on the metagame? To this, I would have to say not really. I cannot name any set of Pokemon that Rotom-Frost can partner with which achieves the definition of 'Uncompetitive' or 'Broken'. Even in the case of trappers, be it through magnet pull or pursuit, a player could simply choose a different option to fulfill the specific role in dealing with Rotom-Frost, because we have enough of those to achieve this, and the user is not guaranteed matchups where those trappers will be effective. Notably, those trappers also stack weaknesses with Rotom-Frost.
- Is the metagame too diverse to the point that building ability and battling skill is reduced? No. I would completely disagree on this, the number of strats available in ZU are diverse, but not nearly diverse to the point that we would want to cull the number of strats.
- Is there drastic community outcry against Rotom-Frost? No, the recent poll showed that the community at large favors keeping Rotom-Frost. Perhaps we should be listening.
- Is there a necessity that's warranting the use of 'unhealthy' as a reason for banning? It does not appear so, as the number of available counterplay options are numerous enough to contradict this.

Conclusion: Rotom-Frost is not banworthy by Smogon's tiering policy.
I agree that Frost doesn't match the definition of uncompetitive, but as for broken or unhealthy:

  • I don't think you can call the 50/50's Rotom forces skillful play. When Rotom is in, you are in a position in which you basically have to guess whether it will volt switch or blizzard, and the consequences of what you guess his move to be can be devastating. My main issue with Rotom is that, for a mon that forces a lot of 50/50's, it puts itself at relatively little risk when doing so. If the player going against Rotom predicts wrong, they're either losing a mon/getting it severely chipped, or getting pivoted on to a mon that can deal with whatever your switch in to Rotom was. If the Rotom user predicts wrong, they lose momentum. These outcomes are nowhere near equivalent, and heavily favor the Rotom user.
  • I don't think the amount of checks/counters is healthy. While technical counters do exist to Frost, a lot of them aren't really splashable/reliable enough to keep Frost in check, Licki is passive as get out, only really fits on stall, and still manages to be crippled by trick, Muk is easy to chip down, is forced to rely on rest/talk for recovery, and can easily be taken advantage of by a lot of top-tier mons, Grumpig is complete pursuit bait and can even be lured by Z-Thunderbolt sets, etc. Even Seaking and Chinchou are complete garbage as you've said, and are probably reasons to ban Frost more than anything else, as without its existence it's arguable that they'd be straight up unviable. While we have a lot of offensive mons that can force out Frost, they don't do a lot to stop it from doing what it does in the first place. And while we do have a lotta electric immunities and ice resists, I don't think that's enough to deal with it, as I'll get into later.
  • I think Rotom does indeed combine with other elements to inhibit teambuilding, though not directly. I think it's a fair observation to make that ZU is a meta oversaturated with offensive threats, including Lycanroc, Torterra, Combusken, Monferno, Chatot, Mime, Poliwrath, and so on, including Rotom itself. All of these mons together are, in of themselves, difficult to prep for, but combined can really put a stress on teambuilding. And while I think it's not the sole instigator of this state, I do believe Rotom is one of the major enforcers of it. It's also worth mentioning how Liepard can synergize with Rotom to trap one of its most popular answers in Grumpig, and, to a lesser extent, Metang and Bronzor, and while yes this does stack a fighting weakness I think this well worth the cost and would point out that this core can just come up in teambuilding anyways without any prerequisite to wanna combine the two together.
  • Most of what I said above would apply to too much metagame diversity.
  • I'm not convinced a single room poll is a large enough sample size to accurately measure the community's opinion on Rotom Frost but regardless, I don't believe pure public opinion is enough to warrant any kind of stance. The majority of people have believed in a lot of things over the years that are just plain wrong in hindsight, like the flat earth and the geocentric model of the universe, and such widely-shared belief in such ideas never make them true. Of course, this would apply to my side of the isle as well, but this is why I'm trying to use logic and reasoning to argue my stance instead of just pointing to a bandwagon.



Section 2: How do I play around Rotom-Frost?
This is a big thing to teambuilding in ZU, so we should evaluate how we build around Rotom-Frost. First, we need to evaluate what Frost does. It abuses Volt Switch for momentum while threatening things with its STAB attacks. Its two most notable and usable sets are Choice Scarf and Icium Z. Choice Scarf gives speed control and Trick, while Icium Z retains the ability to switch moves and can add in a 4th move for utility. Choice Scarf Rotom-Frost always uses Volt Switch, Blizzard, Thunderbolt, and Trick. Icium Z Rotom-Frost always uses Volt Switch, Blizzard, and Thunderbolt. It may use the utility of Pain Split, Defog, Substitute, or Will-O-Wisp.

Choice Scarf Rotom-Frost is easier to answer defensively because it cannot switch moves and harder to answer offensively because of its increased speed. You predict the move it will use, and take the appropriate action. If you predict correctly, you will be rewarded by having the momentum of the game change in your favor. If you predict incorrectly, you will be punished by taking the full brunt of whichever attack Rotom-Frost chose, assuming it isn't blinded by its own Blizzard again. Offensively, you utilize priority, Stealth Rocks, faster scarves and offensive Pokemon that resist or survive the selected STAB and KO back to deal with Choice Scarf Rotom-Frost. Notably, the last of the listed options also works as a functional revenge situation and completely kill all momentum that Rotom-Frost would otherwise be earning.

Icium Z Rotom Frost is harder to answer defensively because it switches moves, but easier to answer offensively because of its lower speed. It also tries to masquerade as Choice Scarf Rotom-Frost oftentimes, but a Keen Eye can pick out the teambuilding nuances that determine the set in a skillful environment. Defensively, you are demanded to switch into the right answer to the move it selects, and then predict the next move as well, which can often lead to skillful double switches. Offensively, Icium Z Rotom-Frost will be outsped by a number of offensive threats that threaten it, which leads to forced hard switches that may cost momentum, depending on the Pokemon in question, and creates a 50/50 scenario in favor of the player threatening Rotom Frost. Icium Z Rotom Frost also has to consider that its 50/50s may be decreased in effectiveness by how commonplace Silvally's Parting Shot is.

The hardest part of choosing how you will deal with Rotom-Frost seems to be the set that it is running. However, this applies to a large number of Pokemon, not only Rotom-Frost. Moving on though, what are our options for dealing with Rotom-Frost?

For notable fast Electric immunities that can threaten Rotom-Frost we have:
Dugtrio, Dugtrio-Alola, Electivire, Manectric, Raichu, Silvally-Ground, Zebstrika
All of these have super effective coverage that allows them to threaten to outright KO Rotom-Frost upon getting in on a Volt Switch or Thunderbolt, and the majority of them learn pivoting moves to steal momentum. The only downside is that a number of these can be OHKO'd or brought down to chip range by hazards, but not all of them.

For notable slow Electric immunities that can trouble Rotom-Frost we have:
Camerupt, Chinchou, Gabite, Golem, Marowak, Sandslash, Seaking, Torterra
This is the far less popular category for threatening Rotom-Frost, as Rotom-Frost can also break most of them with Blizzard, meaning that aside from the two hard counters these are usually not very reliable as Rotom-Frost answers.

For notable Ice resists that can trouble Rotom-Frost, including those who only do so for one set but not the other, we have:
Beartic, Bronzor, Chinchou, Combusken, Ditto, Flareon, Glaceon, Grumpig, Klang, Lampent, Lapras, Metang, Monferno, Munchlax, Ninetales, Politoed, Poliwrath, Prinplup, Probopass, Rapidash, Regice, Rotom-Frost, Seaking, Silvally-Fire, Silvally-Ice, Silvally-Water, Simipour, Simisear, Torkoal, Walrein, Wartortle, Wishiwashi
Obviously some of these are not suited to the metagame, but this list is enough options that you should be able to find something that will work for you, especially when a lot of them are most definitely viable. They are also replaceable through options that are simply too bulky for Rotom-Frost to break through its Ice attacks.

For notable Pokemon that are not immune to electric or resistant to Ice, but can take any damaging attack Frost throws at them with a defensive set and recover it off through reliable recovery or Rest, we have:
Carbink, Dusclops, Flareon, Glaceon, Klang, Lickilicky, Muk, Munchlax, Porygon, Shuckle
Again, some of these are obviously not well suited to the meta, but a few of them are, and are a big part of why Stall is able to go without an electric immunity and succeed.

For other notable Pokemon that can be a serious threat to Rotom-Frost and immediately take it out of the game, even if only one set or the other, with at least one common set of their own that have not already been mentioned we have:
Bouffalant, Chatot, Lycanroc, Mr. Mime, Oricorio-Baile, Pinsir, Silvally-Fighting
Conclusion: I've just listed a lot of Pokemon that can be involved in Rotom-Frost's counterplay. Enough that I feel it's more than fair to expect a player to be able to select something from among them to fit each requirement. Sufficient counterplay for Rotom-Frost exists.
I'll be honest, I think a lot of the mons in those lists are straight up bad answers, particularly in the ice resist section. Glaceon, Lampent, Prinplup, Firevally, Icevally, Torkoal, Walrein (;-;), and Wartortle are just kinda bad mons, and therefore are ranked incredibly low on the vr or not at all. Half of those also just get bopped by volt so lose that 50/50 and you're not in a good situation. Which is where I wanna take this point: while having a bunch of electric resists and ice resists is nice in of itself, it doesn't mean a lot in the long run because Rotom Frost has both moves at its disposal, meaning that you're largely playing a guessing game with these mons and if you get it wrong the Rotom can now just spam whatever move that mon resisted with little trouble. Having individual resists is neat but it matters most to be able to combine those resists when dealing with Frost, which so little mons do. There are also a lot of extremely fat mons out there that can sponge hits from Frost but they're also mostly confined to stall or are just pretty bad in of themselves. A lot of mons can offensively check Rotom, yes, but they'll usually be coming in after Rotom has killed something, so they do little to prevent it from doing its job.

Section 3: Is Rotom-Frost forcing our metagame to appear the way it does through its presence?
To answer this question, we should take a look at how commonly needed the ways to play around Rotom-Frost are outside of Rotom-Frost itself. First, how helpful is an immunity to Electric moves, most notably Volt Switch?
Ampharos, Electivire, Electrode, Manectric, Probopass, Raichu, Regice, Rotom-Fan, Silvally-Electric, Stunfisk, Zebstrika
A lot of the above Pokemon would notably increase in viability with the removal of Rotom-Frost as competition, and the Volt Switch attackers especially would be demanding similar counterplay to Rotom-Frost in order to stop them. Volt Switch is a top-tier move, and removing Rotom-Frost does not remove the demand to have a way to stop it, nor does it remove the impetus for those Volt Switch users to find a way around the answers to Volt Switch.

Meanwhile, how likely are you to need an ice resist?
Bellossom, Butterfree, Cacturne, Cradily, Drifblim, Dugtrio, Gabite, Golem, Fraxure, Fearow, Gourgeist, Gourgeist-Large, Hakamo-O, Krokorok, Leafeon, Lurantis, Marowak, Murkrow, Natu, Noctowl, Oricorio-Pom-Pom, Quilladin, Roselia, Rotom-Fan, Sandslash, Sawsbuck, Servine, Shiftry, Silvally-Dragon, Silvally-Flying, Silvally-Grass, Silvally-Ground, Simisage, Sliggoo, Stunfisk, Swoobat, Tangela, Togetic, Torterra, Toucannon, Trevenant, Vibrava, Vullaby, Weepinbell
This list is huge, and packed with a large number of serious contenders in the metagame. It's very likely that a player will include an Ice resist on their team even if Rotom-Frost weren't present, simply because Ice is such a common weakness. And even if they choose not to, it is still very likely for that player to include a Pokemon specially bulky enough to take Rotom-Frost's Ice moves, even if there is no Rotom-Frost to prepare for.

As for fast attackers that threaten Rotom-Frost, they've pretty much all been covered in the previous section, and there is a very large number of them, if not most of them, that would still be used heavily in a metagame without Frost simply because they're that good on their own merits. Rotom-Frost isn't particularly forcing us to use these attackers.

Conclusion: Rotom-Frost's counterplay is likely already included in a well-built team of a strategy that does not specialize in another method of play, such as weather or Trick Room teams, and we are not being forced to build teams in such a way that inhibits function outside of matchups against Rotom-Frost.
I don't understand why you compare Rotom Frost to other electrics. Like yeah, there are other electrics in the tier, and yeah people would still bring electric immunities regardless of whether Frost is in the tier or not, but the differences between prepping for Manectric and prepping for Rotom are huge. Rotom has a number of benefits over other elecs, mainly its STAB bolt-beam combo and versatility in sets, that make it much more difficult to build for and play against than your standard electric. Yes people will still carry electric immunities and ice resists long after Frost is gone, but it will be much easier to build for them without Rotom around.

Overall, I think this is a good post, but I feel like it severely overrates the quality of Rotom's available counterplay, and doesn't accurately describe what kind of playing Rotom forces when it's on the field. Rotom makes the opponent play with dangerous 50/50's that can result in one of their mons dying with very little risk to itself, and its unpredictability means that even if you get the initial play right you could just be bopped the next turn. I believe the tier lacks sufficient counterplay to Rotom, and that Rotom forces an unhealthy way of playing. Given this, I am in full support of a ban.
 
Rotom-Frost is an extremly potent and influential Pokemon in the ZU tier and has remained as such ever sense its introduction in Beta. From the revenge killing and sweeping ability of its Scarf set to the utility and balance breaking ability of Substitute/Defog + Icium variants, all Frosttom sets have one thing in common, they all posses the skill to force 50/50s versus any team that is not running borderline unviable hard counters like Chinchou and Seaking. Defensive cores have adapted and employed combinations of Ice resisits and Electric immunities to alleviate the problem, while offensive teams have gained priority and pursuit trappers that chip and revenge Rotom in favor of slowing it down strategically. Even wth these changes Rotom's grip on th metagame is severly present, and this in-turn brings up the question, "Is Frost broken?" on multiple occasions. On one hand Frosts's influence can be seen merely as the tier defining and balancing of defensive builds in ZU and on the other hand it can be seen as an extensive limiting to one's teambuilding experience. I understand both outlooks and would love to see ZU w/o Frosttom, but I honestly don't beleive it to be broken and will be voting DNB. I don't have any further sentiment and hope the best possible decision is made for the tier.


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Aaronboyer

I Can't Hold Your Heart When I'm Fixing Mine
is a Contributor to Smogon
I don't have a whole lot to say above and beyond what Froasty and pinktidal has already mentioned in favor of not banning Rotom-Frost, but I do have somewhat of a background in PU Old Gens and would like to mention that Rotom-Frost is also S Rank in BW and ORAS PU as well for its great offensive presence and set variety. The changes brought in USUM ZU for Rotom-Frost such as Defog and Subzero Slammmer acting as a stronger Blizzard that can't miss were fantastic additions this generation, but they still don't push it over the line as broken to me. It's something you have to prep for in teambuilding just like any other S Rank in any other tier. It's set variety will keep you guessing like any other S Rank in any other tier that has multiple sets. No component about Rotom-Frost feels overbearing, broken, or uncompetitive. Every component feels metagame defining. tl;dr dnb

Let me ease your mind...
 

5gen

one man's custard is another man's pudding
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor
Moderator
Okay so, I'm leaving home on Monday and don't have time to write the rest of this week, so I'm just gonna write my Rotom-Frost post now.

What are we dealing with?
To start, let's just go over the Pokemon itself. First off, its typing is a giant mixed bag. On one hand, Ice-types (and thus Electric / Ice-types) are horrible defensively. Weaknesses to common Fighting- and Fire-types as well as Stealth Rock and Lycanroc is atrocious. This also gives it a weakness to our most common priority moves, in Mach Punch, Vacuum Wave, and Accelerock. On the other hand, it is one of the absolute best offensive typings in the game; within all of the available Pokemon in ZU, only two resist it before abilities (Rotom-Frost and Magnemite) and only 4 more do so after including abilities (Chinchou, Seaking, Goldeen, and Swinub). Basically, this leaves us with two viable Pokemon that resist both of its STAB moves that aren't Rotom-Frost itself.
On paper, Rotom-Frost has a fantastic Electric/Ice STAB combo. Although its true very little can switch into Rotom-Frost's STAB moves, there is still plenty of defensive counterplay in the tier. I won't go into too much depth here since you write more about this in your "Stranglehold on teambuilding" point, but I will say that Rotom-F's defensive utility isn't being fully expressed either. Although it has above average bulk for an offensive Pokémon, Rotom-Frost's Electric/Ice typing leaves it unable to switch into many common attackers and thus has few switch-in opportunities. Yes, it does get Pain Split, but realistically it only fits on Icium Z and Sub sets and is not a reliable means of recovery. Hence, Rotom-Frost has a tough time finding good switch-in opportunities in this meta.

Taking a look at its movepool, we find that its offensive movepool is really bad. As far as special offensive moves go, it gets STAB-moves, Normal-type moves, Ghost-type moves, Hidden Power, Signal Beam, Dark Pulse, Dream Eater, and Mud Slap. That's it. However, if we look back a whole three lines from here, we see that Rotom-Frost doesn't need more than Thunderbolt and Blizzard to hit 90% of the metagame very hard. Thus, its utility movepool is far more important, and that's where it shines. Defog, Trick, Pain Split, Substitute, Will-O-Wisp, and even Volt Switch can all go under this category, and these are what really pushes Rotom-Frost to become a top tier Pokemon. The ability to instantly punish a switch-in with Trick or Pain Split or support its team with Defog is a massive boon, and it can just get the hell out immediately afterwards thanks to how good Volt Switch is.
"The ability to instantly punish a switch-in with Trick or Pain Split or support its team with Defog is a massive boon, and it can just get the hell out immediately afterwards thanks to how good Volt Switch is." This part of the paragraph is by far the most dense, and someone reading this might think that Frostom can apply so much pressure to the opposing team and put them at an inherent disadvantage just by being on the field. This simply isn't the case. Choice Scarf Rotom-Frost cannot freely click Trick and cripple a defensive answer. First off, there's a considerable amount of prediction and long-term thinking needed to click Trick. For example, to click Trick the risks are: What if the foe stays in and potentially fires off an attack? Does losing the Choice Scar leave Rotom-Frost easier to revenge kill? Does my Rotom-Frost need its Choice Scarf this game in order to act as a revenge killer and not be revenge killed itself? What if my opponent sacks a pokemon to Trick and their defensive answer to Rotom-Frost is still intact? By not choosing to click Trick, the Rotom-Frost user is hard pressed to continually make the right judgment calls and predictions throughout the course of the match. Also, the recent trend of running Protect on Pokémon like Gabite make it easier to scout out a potential Trick. Ultimately, there is always risk to clicking Trick and although it can instantly punish a predicted switch, it can just as easily not work in your favour and punish the Rotom-Frost user. Next, Pain Split or Defog on Icium Z sets. The former helps to mitigate the chip damage Frostom takes over the course of a match, increasing its longevity and thus giving Frostom more opportunities to break. Defog is purely for support though, doesn't make Rotom-Frost any more threatening imo aside from removing the 25% chip it takes coming in (even then it has to take the 25% to remove rocks).

Scouting a Rotom-Frost set is not very difficult in the current meta as Rotom-Frosts fourth move gives away its set, bar niche sets like Sub Split or Defog Wisp. Moreover, analyzing team composition goes a long way when scouting a Rotom-Frost set. For example, if a team lacks Speed control and there is a Rotom-Frost, it is safe to assume, but never a guarantee, that Rotom-Frost is Scarfed. 52% of Rotom-Frosts on the ladder ran Choice Scarf. Meanwhile, if Rotom-Frost so much as switches moves then you know it is not Scarfed.

Choice Scarf Trick and Icium Z Pain Split or Defog Rotom-Frost have flaws that are considerably exploitable but rely on prediction (on both sides of the battle) and scouting to figure out the set. Choice Scarf Rotom-Frost is prediction reliant and having STAB moves with an immunity and one with only 70% accuracy is a major flaw. Base 86 Speed while good is not great, and any non-Scarf Rotom-Frost is very easy to check offensively in this meta saturated with threats that are faster than 298 Speed. I'll talk more about defensive counterplay in "Stranglehold on teambuilding".

The last thing that really has to be talked about is Rotom-Frost's sheer stats. Considering that this is an offensive Pokemon, its Speed and Special Attack are where it's at, both of which are solid enough at 86 and 105 respectively. Neither are absolutely incredible, it has a very strong STAB move in Blizzard to aid with the Special Attack, while Volt Switch means that it's an excellent Choice Scarf user, meaning its Speed isn't as crippling. Honestly more notably is Rotom-Frost's impressive bulk. 50/107/107 is absolutely nothing to sneeze at, considering it's the same as the bulk of other Rotom formes (including things like Rotom-Wash and we all know how fat that is). Taking a look at A+, as far as offensive Pokemon we have Kadabra (40/30/70), Liepard (64/50/50), Lycanroc (75/65/65), and Mr. Mime (40/65/120). Now you could look at Golem, Torterra, and Poliwrath as offensive Pokemon, but all of them are either considerably slower or require a turn of set up. The most comparable bulk-wise is probably Grumpig, with 80/65/110, but the lack of pivoting move and flawless offensive typing means Rotom-Frost is obviously a much better offensive Pokemon. Basically, Rotom-Frost is suprisingly bulky, which means it doesn't even take a guaranteed OHKO from Mach Punch coming off of Choice Band Iron Fist Jolly Monferno after Stealth Rock and only takes about 50% from Lycanroc's Accelerock.

Now all that is fine and good, but even all that isn't enough of a reason to ban or even test Rotom-Frost. So what is it that caused us to take this course of action? Well, there are two main reasons for that and I'll be going over them individually.
Putting it bluntly, Rotom-Frost does not have impressive Speed for an offensive Pokemon. Its Speed tier is a benchmark in ZU mostly because Electric/Ice is nearly unresisted and Rotom-Frost forces teams to run Pokemon that can check it offensively. Moreover, Rotom-Frost is not the hardest hitting offensive threat we have. Rather, Rotom-Frost relies on Z-Blizzard to break through bulkier Pokemon and Volt Switch to whittle down the opposing team. Volt Switch also allows Rotom-Frost to pivot out of poor matchups and Blizzard means Ground-types risk being KOed if they predict Volt Switch. As a result, offensive counterplay to Rotom-Frost is much easier to utilize than defensive counterplay, and that is perfectly fine.

There's no denying the bulk Rotom-Frost has compared to other offensive Pokemon, but imo it's not a big deal for a variety of reasons. Firstly, Rotom-Frost is very easy to chip because of its rocks weakness. I realize Pain Split is a thing but then there's the perpetual argument of non-Scarf Frostom being much easier to revenge kill and Pain Split only really being effective against slower/bulkier teams where Rotom-Frost can actually use Pain Split effectively. Secondly, although Rotom-Frost has above average bulk for an offensive poke, it lacks the resists to use that bulk effectively. Now before someone talks about the Ice- and Electric-type resists and the Ground-type immunity, let's take a look at those kinds of Pokemon: Regice and Lapras can nail Rotom-Frost with Focus Blast and Hydro Pump respectively. Manectric, Electivire, Raichu, and Zebstrika can nail Rotom-Frost for super-effective damage with coverage, and opposing Rotom-Frost can simply Volt Switch into something that can threaten Rotom-Frost. Torterra, Golem, and Dugtrio-A all threaten Rotom-Frost for good damage by virtue of secondary STAB. So, Rotom-Frost has to do a lot predicting to even come in attacks it should resist. Moreover, Rotom-Frost is threatened out by a number of our offensive Pokemon based on its set. The prevalence of Speed creeping non-Scarf Frostom and the use of faster Choice Scarf users such as Mr. Mime, Manectric, and Chatot are just some example of offensive Pokes that can check Scarf and Icium Z sets respectively.

Stranglehold on teambuilding
A lot of teams in ZU right now look similar. Many of them are either stall, hyper offense, or feature some variant of the Grumpig/Torterra core. I don't mean to say that these are the only viable strategies right now (they're not) but they are by far the most common. And there's an easy to find reason for that: these three are simply the best at dealing with Rotom-Frost. Stall doesn't like Trick Scarf but Lickilicky can sit in front of Rotom for several years and Icium isn't going to break it. If you're one of the Shedinja people, that works too (though please don't use Shedinja stall, it's not good). Hyper offense most commonly takes the form of Rain or Trick Room, the former of which often features Rotom-Frost and can simply use Swift Swim and Prankster to ignore an opposing one, whether it's Choice Scarf or not, while the latter is already aiming to beat down the opposing team while taking minimal hits and Rotom-Frost doesn't change anything about that.
I wouldn't say that those strategies are the most common for their ability to deal with Rotom-Frost. Rather, stall, rain or Trick Room HO, and Tort/Grumpig balance have a good matchup against the rest of the meta also. For example, each of those styles also fare very well against other top offensive threats like Combusken, Torterra, Lycanroc, Monferno, and Liepard. Just because Frostom is S rank and the best offensive Pokemon in the meta doesn't mean that those aforementioned styles are where they are because of it.

The balance core, however, is more interesting. Grumpig and Torterra are both great Pokemon in many metrics, with Grumpig reliably countering Monferno and Combusken while checking Pokemon like Poliwrath and being a solid specially defensive Pokemon in general, while Torterra completely counters Lycanroc and provides a valuable Electric immunity. So at first glance, this seems like a solid core in general... but something's wrong. There is in our metagame a Pokemon that consistently check Monferno, Combusken, and Lycanroc in a single slot, provides solid resistances, and has by no means bad bulk. That Pokemon is defensive Poliwrath. Yet strangely, Grumpig + Torterra is far, far more common than defensive Poliwrath, and even teams with a Poliwrath will generally also feature that core. Why is that? Rotom-Frost.
Skipping over the brief explanation on what Torterra+Grumpig check, I'm going to have to disagree here with the point about defensive Poliwrath. Grumpig+Torterra is not far, far more common than defensive Poliwrath simply because of Rotom-Frost. Defensive Poliwrath has glaring weaknesses in the meta that you choose to or fail to mention. For one, the popularity of Grass-types like Tangela, Silvally-Grass, and Torterra especially mean that Poliwrath does not want to run a Rest-Talk set. By running Rest-Talk, Poliwrath loses the ability to check Torterra, loses the ability to punish a Tangela or Silvally-Grass switch-in with Focus Blast or Ice Beam, and becomes more susceptible to Electric-types by virtue of relying on Rest for recovery and thus allowing more free switch-ins. Also, why would I ever want to give up the ability to run an offensive Poliwrath that actually enables me to check Rotom-Frost and Lycanroc in the first place with Vacuum Wave? Offensive Poliwrath already has the sufficient bulk to check Combusken, Monferno, and Lycanroc for balance. Although Rotom-Frost is a factor in why defensive Poliwrath isn't popular, there is a lot more at play in the current meta that makes defensive Poliwrath an inferior set.
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Grumpig + Torterra is incredible for its ability to provide both a solid Electric immunity and Ice resist while being solid in general. However, there is a problem here; this core is almost forced onto teams. If you aren't using this core, Rotom-Frost checks are incredibly hard to get by, especially those that do not give up a lot of momentum like Lickilicky does. Muk comes to mind, but it really doesn't like the aforementioned Grumpig + Torterra core. Otherwise, teams are forced to rely completely on either offensive checks or Pokemon that are purely and only ranked for their ability to deal with Rotom-Frost, like Chinchou and Seaking (or, if you're Eza, Pignite), which should not be necessary. So yes, Grumpig + Torterra is usually enough to deal with Rotom-Frost, but not every team should be forced to use it like is the case now.
Grumpig+Torterra is not forced onto teams because of its ability to check Rotom-Frost and other top meta threats; it's simply the most convenient to slap on. If you aren't using this core, you could run a lot of other Pokemon that can provide sufficient counterplay to Rotom-Frost. What I see a lot in the pro-ban side is lazy teambuilding as an excuse to say that Rotom-Frost is too hard to switch into or it forces too many 50/50's. There are a lot more options than Grumpig+Torterra as a means to deal with Frostom, and I'm excluding niche picks like Chinchou and Seaking. The most basic premise to dealing with Rotom-Frost defensively is running 1) An Electric-type check and 2) An Ice resist. That is the premise of why Grumpig+Torterra are used to deal with Frostom (I know they check a whole lot more but that's not my point). So, running a core of an Electric-type check and an Ice resist is absolutely all you need to check Rotom-Frost defensively, which are super easy to use if you try. (You have 4 other slots left to worry about the other top meta threats).

Aha, the crux of the Rotom-Frost ban/do not ban argument has been reached: 50/50's. So now you run a core with an Electric-type check and an Ice resist, what now? Well I'll tell you what, both you and the Rotom-Frost user are forced to make the right predictions in the scenario that your Electric check is susceptible to Blizzard or that your Ice resist can be Volt Switched on. Choice Scarf Rotom-Frost is equally and if not more at risk to 50/50's than the guy facing it. The Rotom-Frost user has to make the right call every time it's brought onto the field, which puts a lot of pressure on the player. I already talked about Trick before so there's no need repeating it. If the Rotom-Frost is not Scarfed but Icium Z, then the dynamic shifts to the Rotom-Frost user's side because it frees up prediction. However, by not running Scarf then Rotom-Frost trades being easier to check offensively for greater breaking power. I don't believe that the combination of these sets have a stranglehold on building because quite frankly there is a lot of defensive and offensive counterplay to Rotom-Frost in the tier respectively. The pro-ban side can only say that the defensive counterplay is somewhat shaky because of the 50/50's, but in reality the 50/50's are more apparent in the builder. In practice, the 50/50's aren't nearly as apparent because Rotom-Frost doesn't have a lot of switch-in opportunities and can be scouted without much difficulty.

Let's talk about Chinchou and Seaking a bit more. Currently, both of them are ranked at C and it is widely agreed on that they have no purpose other than counter Rotom-Frost (yes, these two are straight up counters). Now let's analyze that. I was recently discussing this with Durza and Megazard and we came to the conclusion that in other usage based tiers, there are only two cases of this happening. The first is Magneton in UU being ranked purely for its ability to trap Scizor (which is arguable) and the other is Wormadam-Trash recently getting ranked in PU because it can reliably switch into Aurorus. Now, it's important to mention that both Scizor and Aurorus are highly controversial Pokemon that have been considered for a suspect test in recent times. So if we look at ZU, we don't have one, but two Pokemon ranked purely for their ability to deal with Rotom-Frost. They really, really do not do anything else, and yet they see serious discussion constantly. I believe this is an issue and a sign of overcentralization; we have reached the conclusion that if we for whatever reason can't fit on Grumpig + Torterra, we have to look at seriously niche Pokemon.
There's no doubt that Seaking and Chinchou have little niche outside of Rotom-Frost, but to say we have to look at them when we can't fit Grumpig+Torterra is objectively wrong. From S through A-, there are a plethora of Pokemon that can check Rotom-Frost. Looking at B+ to C or C-, there are a lot more Pokemon that are less niche than Seaking and Chinchou that can help check Rotom-Frost. Again, I feel like this argument stems from lazy teambuilding.

Note before moving on: yes, there are other ways of dealing with Rotom-Frost, other cores that consistently deal with it, but each of them has massive weaknesses to current metagame threats. Recently, for example, 5gen brought up Probopass + Muk + Silvally-Water, which does indeed deal with Frosttom handily. However, this not only takes up three slots already, but both Probopass and Muk are also complete set up fodder for Rock Polish Torterra, which breaks through this core with ease. So again, we look at either Grumpig + Torterra or cores/Pokemon that are simply not viable in our meta otherwise.
Another note: yes, Silvallys are all running at least 299 Speed purely because of Rotom-Frost and yes, if it goes they'll likely drop to 288 for Monferno. However, Speed creep is a perfectly valid way of adapting to a threat so I will not be using it as an argument.
I gave that core off the top off my head in chat :psynervous: Just change Silvally-Water to Grass and run Ice Beam and you'll check half the meta, including Frostom, Torterra, and Lycanroc. Anyway, there's a lot of Pokemon that aren't mentioned in this part of the post. Like, you can run two Pokemon to check Electric- and Ice-types and then you have 4 other slots for the other top meta threats. There is so much unused or unpopular ways of dealing with Rotom-Frost and the pro-ban side seemingly ignores that for the most part. I can't fathom when it is said that Tort+Grumpig, Seaking, and Chinchou is the be all end all to check Rotom-Frost and the rest of the top offensive threats in the meta. A team has 6 Pokemon; ZU is more than capable of providing you with the combination of Pokemon to adequately check the best Pokemon in the meta.

Constant 50/50s
So we have established that Grumpig + Torterra is the best way of currently dealing with Rotom-Frost, and that's really nice. It provides all the resistances you need to deal with it and has two solid Pokemon. But there's the problem; it's two Pokemon. Let's say this is the scenario: Rotom-Frost has gotten in on a Pokemon that is forced out, such as Rotom-Fan (there's plenty of others too, this is merely an example). Now, you're a good teambuilder for ZU so in the back, you have a full health Grumpig and full health Torterra. Everything is fine, all you to do is go into Grumpig on the Blizzard! So you do just that, but the Rotom-Frost Volt Switches, chunking your Grumpig and bringing in their Choice Band Liepard to Pursuit trap it (this is quite a common core, not some kinda hypothetical scenario that I made up). Huh, now your Grumpig is dead and the next time Rotom-Frost comes in, you don't have a Blizzard switch-in anymore...
But maybe you predicted that Volt Switch play! So you go into Torterra to set up rocks and everything is fine! ...except the Rotom-Frost did go for Blizzard and your Volt Switch immunity is now dead. Great.

Now this was just an example, but this happens constantly with Rotom-Frost. Because its STAB combination is so good and so few Pokemon can take both AND it has a STAB pivoting move, it constantly forces these 50/50s. And 90% of the time, they're in its favor, as it will outright remove one of very few checks its opponent has if it wins it, while it only gets forced out if it loses it. And it creates these every single time it comes in. You might say that it can't come in that often due to limited recovery and a Stealth Rock weakness, but Rotom-Frost not only heavily threatens most of our rock setters, it also pairs really well with many Silvally formes that can easily Defog for it. The Icium Z set also runs Pain Split sometimes, meaning it can even simply claim all of its health back.
Liepard is not super popular as a partner to Rotom-Frost because the weaknesses and subsequent lack of defensive utility they both provide leaves teams filling the gaps they cause in building. I already talked about 50/50's throughout this post and if there's one message I want to stick, it's that Rotom-Frost does not force as many 50/50's in practice as it does in theory. It is not difficult to force out, it is easy to scout with Protect or simple prediction, often times Rotom-Frost is forced to click one move more than another (i.e team has two Ice resists so it's less likely to click Blizzard. Blizzard also has low accuracy so there's an inherent risk to using it).

These 50/50s are a giant sign of unhealthiness. It's not good when every single time a Pokemon comes in, it can potentially just remove a check with minimal repercussions if it messes up.
EDIT: Based on some feedback I should add here that Rotom-Frost doesn't struggle to come in nearly as much as other Pokemon that can do similar things, like Choice Band Monferno or Mr. Mime, due to its much better bulk and its offensive typing allowing to force out many more Pokemon.
It simply isn't true anymore that every time Rotom-Frost comes in it forces a 50/50. There is more than minimal repercussions if it messes up because as I've stated, Scarf is hard pressed to predict correctly and if it doesn't then Rotom-Frost is in a worse or bad position and is forced to switch. With Icium Z, Rotom-Frost can mainly take advantage of mispredicts against slower foes. For example, if the Rotom-Frost uses Blizzard into Silvally-Water, then it is forced to switch out for fear of Flamethrower or Parting Shot. Another major factor is that Blizzard is an 8 pp move with only 70% accuracy, meaning it's somewhat easy to stall out. Also, the 50/50 argument doesn't really take into consideration how easily Rotom-Frost is pressured by common threats like Lycanroc, Combusken, Monferno, and Choice Scarf users in relation to its respective sets. Taking all this into account, 50/50's are much less prevalent in practice than they are in theory.

Adaptation
In this section, I'll be refuting an anti-ban argument that is highly likely to come up at some point: 'The metagame has not yet adapted to Rotom-Frost.' First off, this argument will suggest that whoever is presenting it agrees that Rotom-Frost's current position isn't healthy for our metagame, but that it is still possible for it to adapt. And I'm going to say right now: no, it isn't possible.

It was November, before I even became TL, when I fought for Rotom-Frost to rise to S. Back then, our lone S rank was Stoutland and I argued that, despite being worse than Stoutland, Rotom-Frost was significantly better than all of A+ and deserved to join the doggo. That reasoning was accepted and it rose to the top. Over time, Rotom-Frost only became better and better while Stoutland fell off slightly, especially with Mawile joining our tier in January, and the Electric / Ice-type became the best Pokemon in our metagame... and that's where we still are. It has been since at least January that Rotom-Frost has been the best Pokemon in our metagame. That's 5 months ago. The metagame had plenty of time to adapt to this, and it did. What sucks is that that adaptation came in the form of Grumpig + Torterra in every team.

The 'metagame can still adapt'-argument was valid for Jynx, since it had just joined us. It was valid for Musharna, which had recently seen a new set rise in popularity inmensely. And it was valid for Stoutland back in February, since Mawile had just joined us and severely nerfed it. It is not, however, valid for a Pokemon that has been the best of the best for almost half a year and for which the metagame has only gotten more favourable. After all, we recently saw Liepard and Lycanroc joining us, the former of which can easily Pursuit trap Grumpig and the latter forces a rise in Torterra and Poliwrath, which is great for Rotom-Frost. This metagame can no longer adapt to this Pokemon. That era is over. So please, if we agree that its current spot isn't healthy, vote ban with me.
The metagame 6 months ago and the metagame now are completely different. "'The metagame has not yet adapted to Rotom-Frost.' First off, this argument will suggest that whoever is presenting it agrees that Rotom-Frost's current position isn't healthy for our metagame, but that it is still possible for it to adapt. And I'm going to say right now: no, it isn't possible." I agree that my wording was poor. When I said the metagame has not yet adapted to Rotom-Frost, I meant that the metagame has a lot more to offer to players to deal with Frostom than Tort+Grumpig, Seaking, and Lycanroc. The biggest things in the current meta that help Rotom-Frost is the fact that Lycanroc decreased the usage of Fire-types like Rapidash and Ninetales, the rise of Grass-types gives Rotom-Frost more targets to hit, and how Liepard can Pursuit trap Grumpig. On the other hand, more and more rockers are running Protect to scout out Frostom, Grumpig can run Colbur Berry+Focus Blast to lure Liepard, rise of Lightning Rod users, and Lycanroc's Accelrock/CB Monferno's Mach Punch threaten Frostom after some chip.

The metagame has the tools to better adapt to Rotom-Frost but people resort to the same convenient ways which makes the meta seem stagnant. Simply put, the amount of counterplay to Rotom-Frost is not being fully utilized and all the pro-ban arguments I've seen only reinforce that thought in me.

Conclusion
Rotom-Frost holds the metagame in a stranglehold and forces constant 50/50s in every game it is in. It has been doing that for 5 months and we haven't been able to adapt. It's time to take action. Let's remove this Pokemon from our metagame and join me in voting ban next week. We've been under its influence for long enough.

I'd finish those leftovers because it's time to get rid of the fridge.
I'm chilling here with the lefties waiting for a response.
 
There is not much for me to cover that the other council members have not in their post so I'll touch up on the analysis for the distinguished Refrigerator.
:mehowth:
Rotom-Frost is arguably the most successful pivot in the tier, being able to utilize STAB volt switch with the alternative STAB option in Blizzard or the utility option in Trick that pressures all Electric-Type immunities into a prediction game with calling which move it will utilize for momentum. Having access to the "Bolt-Beam" coverage combination allows it to pressure most hazard setters in the tier while USUM blessed it with the ability for self removal in Defog. Levitate grants it immunity to all grounded hazards which includes Sticky Webs, Toxic Spikes, and Spikes along with avoiding damage from Ground-Type moves in the tier. It also appreciates the ability to utilize Choice Scarf along its access to a pivot move to give it speed control against offensive teams. Pain Split grants it a recovery option against bulky pokemon and Rotom-Frost has the ability to abuse it due to its low base HP. Icium-Z grants it an accurate and powerful one-turn STAB option in Sub Zero Slammer, which allows it to cripple if not beat most SpD walls that lack an Ice Resist. With all of these tools at its disposal, it's not hard to see why Rotom-Frost comfortably sits at S-rank on the VR, especially taking into account how its base stats (50/65/107/105/107/86) allows it to abuse its prowess as an offensive pivot.
The problems with Rotom-Frost is that it has a questionable defensive typing due to its nature as an Ice-Type, making it weak to Fire, Rock, and Fighting-type moves while only giving it a resist to opposing Ice-Type moves. Despite having decent bulk, it also suffers from a SR weakness making its role much harder to pull off without hazard control and it usually can't afford to take attacks that are not resisted, which is why it's usually paired with other pivots for safe switch opportunities. Rotom-Frost also does not always have the opportunity to take advantage of its useful base 86 speed tier since most of the common offensive checks outpace it and carry super-effective or powerful neutral coverage to severely cripple / remove it from the match if it lacks a choice scarf. The trend here is that Rotom-Frost has the ability to choose its checks based on its item of choice but all variants suffer against offensive teams that utilize speed control tactics like TR and Weather-based compositions while having a great match-up against bulkier teams that lack speed control. This pushes it to be reliant on team partners to cover its faults and usually limits it to a revenging role since it lacks the set-up utility to "sweep" teams.
I personally feel that Rotom-Frost is an important balance to current metagame threats and has viable counter play if you limit its ability to pivot and set up opportunities to cripple your team(s). With the experience I've had using and facing against it over the course of this generation, I'll be voting DNB.
 
Im not pro ban or dnb but just want to address the argument that rotom user also has same amount of risk and needs to go through 50/50s

In no way is the risk reward same for the rotom user when its skewed as hell, what will happen if they predict wrong and u predict the blizz/switch? They just lose momentum and maybe lose 25% hp on switch in if sr is on, what happens if they predict right and u predict wrong move? U literally lose a mon, either ur grumpig by letting it get pursuit trapped by liepard or lose torterra from that blizzard. In no way is the risk for clicking a move on rotom the same for the opponent.

The metagame has the tools to better adapt to Rotom-Frost but people resort to the same convenient ways which makes the meta seem stagnant.
Its not just about "convenience" its about role compression, are u saying i should really dedicate one entire slot for chinchou for example just for rotom frost rather than use a mon that will check multiple threats at the same time in this meta?

Edit: you make a good point, there is other cores that check multiple threats and still check rotom that are relatively unexplored, while some also not being pursuit bait
 
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5gen

one man's custard is another man's pudding
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Im not pro ban or dnb but just want to address the argument that rotom user also has same amount of risk and needs to go through 50/50s

In no way is the risk reward same for the rotom user when its skewed as hell, what will happen if they predict wrong and u predict the blizz/switch? They just lose momentum and maybe lose 25% hp on switch in if sr is on, what happens if they predict right and u predict wrong move? U literally lose a mon, either ur grumpig by letting it get pursuit trapped by liepard or lose torterra from that blizzard. In no way is the risk for clicking a move on rotom the same for the opponent.


Its not just about "convenience" its about role compression, are u saying i should really dedicate one entire slot for chinchou for example just for rotom frost rather than use a mon that will check multiple threats at the same time in this meta?
Hey there, Xayah and I had a somewhat lengthy convo about exactly this and I conceded that Rotom-Frost benefits more from a right 50/50 call than it loses if it doesn't call it right.

When I used the term "convenience" I meant that Grumpig+Torterra bring a lot of role compression to teams and are therefore "convenient" to slap on. There is a lot more to the meta that can check Frostom than Grumpig+Torterra, Chinchou, and Seaking. The formula of Ice resist+Electric check can be applied with a variety of Pokemon in ZU and off the top of my head, things like Silvally-Dragon+Dugtrio, Manectric+Poliwrath, Probopass+Torterra, Metang+Silvally-Grass, etc fit the formula. It will always be the same 50/50 scenario as Torterra+Grumpig, and I said in my first post, you have 4 other slots to cover the rest of the meta. I'm not saying use Chinchou or Seaking to eliminate 50/50's; I'm saying there's a lot more than Pig and Tort to play against Rotom-Frost. I sound like a broken record when I say yes, Torterra+Grumpig covers the most amount of threats in the meta and simultaneously checks Frostom, but there are other things too to check Frostom/BoltBeam.
 

5gen

one man's custard is another man's pudding
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Apologies for the double post, but it’s important.

Final Rotom-Frost suspect tour Wednesday 13th at 4:30pm EST (gmt-4). 16+ users guarantees finalists get reqs. After this tour finishes, voting will take place. Last chance to get reqs!

Congrats to Tack and Tone for achieving reqs in the final suspect tour! With this, the Rotom-Frost suspect has ended and reqs are no longer available. Voting will now take place and the result will be made soon.
 
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kinda late post but still needs to be said, a lot of other people included most of the things I wanted to include so I recommend you read everyone's thoughts before you decide for yourself whether or not you think this mon is ban or DNB

Rotom-Frost is an incredibly centralizing force on the current metagame, but I'm pretty sure most of you already know that. The usage stats came out recently and showed that FRotom had a 35% usage rate on the ladder. It's not hard to see why it gets so much usage, with a fantastic Ice/Electric typing and boltbeam stab coverage, as well as levitate to swap in on grounds like Torterra and Dugtrio's EQ. While its stats and movepool prevent it from having a plethora of sets, the sets it does run vary enough to make it hard to play around without knowing its items and moves. Its most common sets in Choice Scarf and Icium Z each put a choke hold on the meta in their own ways, with scarf forcing a higher speed tier to handle FRotom, and Specs requiring multiple ice checks or counters on a single team to just handle its wallbreaking potential. This wouldn't be a huge problem if the answers it did have were viable and numerous, but with a limited selection to choose from consisting of questionable mons like Seaking and Chinchou, just countering FRotom puts your team behind. For these reasons I think Rotom-Frost should be Banned from ZU to allow for a meta with more breathing room as well as more diversity with viable options instead using mons with less viability just to counter our only S tier mon.

Sorry for the somewhat vague post I've been kinda busy recently, but these things have held true for quite some time and I think it's about time we do something about it.
 

Xayah

KA-KOOO!
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
With the vote being as razor-thin as it was, coming down to the final vote, I personally will still be keeping my eye on Rotom-Frost. Such a controversial Pokemon might be worth revisiting in the future. For now, however, I hope you continue to enjoy our tier, especially with several different tournaments coming up!
 
Why was Type: Null banned? What were its common movesets before it was banned?
The common set ran Rest + Swords Dance / U-Turn + Iron Defense / Sleep Talk + Return / Frustration. What pushed it to being banned was Battle Armor making it nearly impossible to break since it packed 95/95/95 bulk bolstered by an Eviolite, (Rounds up to about 95/152/152), along with a decent 95 base attack while SpD sets cleaned up late game easily with partners that threatened Fighting + Ghost types. It's quite one dimensional but what it did to the meta was severely unhealthy since you had a set-up sweeper that could tank and beat most checks with partners that provided trapping utility + fighting check(s) or it would take the role of a SpD pivot that didn't fear status or critical hits.

Notable Calcs:
252+ SpA Choice Specs Wishiwashi Hydro Pump vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Type: Null: 156-184 (39.5 - 46.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 SpA Rotom-Frost Subzero Slammer (185 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Type: Null: 130-154 (32.9 - 39%) -- 99.8% chance to 3HKO
252 SpA Combusken Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Type: Null: 150-176 (38 - 44.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
:psycry:
 
Union Caboche and I ended up hosting the CCAT today, and I'd like to thank Quantum Tesseract for the large amount of help creating the team as well. We ended up building around Natu, and we had pre-decided to make a Stall build, and it came out very interesting. Thanks to everybody who participated. Here's an importable of the team:

Natu @ Eviolite
Ability: Magic Bounce
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Bold Nature
- Reflect
- U-turn
- Night Shade
- Roost

Mareanie @ Eviolite
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 240 Def / 20 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Toxic Spikes
- Recover
- Haze

Silvally @ Dark Memory
Ability: RKS System
EVs: 252 HP / 196 Def / 60 Spe
Impish Nature
- Multi-Attack
- Rest
- Defog
- U-turn

Lickilicky @ Leftovers
Ability: Oblivious
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpD / 4 Spe
Careful Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Wish
- Protect
- Toxic
- Heal Bell

Torterra @ Leftovers
Ability: Shell Armor
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature
- Toxic
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Synthesis

Vigoroth @ Eviolite
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Taunt
- Bulk Up
- Slack Off
- Return


Make sure to come out next Thursday for another CCAT :]
 
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