Seasonal Fun

By Joim. Art by Bummer.
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If you play Pokemon Showdown! often, you might have noticed the changing tier named [Seasonal]. If you still wonder what it is and where it came from, you've come to the right place. You may think that the Sim auth only exist to deliver various punishments to evildoers, and while that's not far from the truth, they do more than that so you can enjoy your stay in PS more. The Seasonal Ladder is an idea first designed by Matthew, former sim mod; it spawned as a Random Battle tier with themed mons for different seasons. Despite his current alumnus state, the tier was continued by other sim staff members enthusiastic about the idea of a constantly changing funny tier with weird themed mechanics.

Seasoning Greetings

The first Seasonal Ladder was Thanksgiving Feast themed. As it was the first time it was done, the ladder was a bit vanilla and it was just Random Battles with all Pokémon at level 100 and a whitelist of human and birdlike Pokémon. The featured Pokémon were Alakazam, Machamp, Hypno, Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, Mr. Mime, Jynx, Hitmontop, Hariyama, Sableye, Medicham, Toxicroak, Electivire, Magmortar, Conkeldurr, Throh, Sawk, Gothitelle, Beheeyem, Bisharp, Volbeat, Illumise, Spinda, Cacturne, Infernape, Lopunny, Lucario, Mienshao, Pidgeot, Fearow, Dodrio, Aerodactyl, Noctowl, Crobat, Xatu, Skarmory, Swellow, Staraptor, Honchkrow, Chatot, Unfezant, Sigilyph, Braviary, Mandibuzz, Farfetch'd, Pelipper, Alteria, Togekiss, Swoobat, Archeops, Swanna, Weavile, Gallade, Gardevoir, Ludicolo, Snorlax, Wobbuffet, Meloetta, Blissey, Landorus, Tornadus, Golurk, Bellossom, Lilligant, Probopass, Roserade, Leavanny, Zapdos, Moltres, Articuno, and Delibird.

The metagame was very heavy in Fighting-, Psychic-, and Flying-types, which made Stealth Rock very important... But spinners and spinblockers were lacking, as well as Stealth Rock setters! Sigilyph roamed free and wrecked almost every team alone thanks to its unstoppable Cosmic Power Stored Power set. All in all, the ladder planted the seed for a wonderful idea, which, when nurtured, grew up and bloomed into the super funny tier we know today.

Winter Wonderland

To celebrate winter and Christmas we got a new Seasonal ladder. This time, Matthew opened an Other Metagames thread to get users' input now that the tier was starting to get known. Relados had the magnificent idea of permanent Hail because, well, it's winter! This was the beginning of goofy, themed, and weird, albeit funny, mechanics. Then, zdrup15 chose the Pokémon and the rules, while Zarel programmed the metagame. The move Present received a major makeover, which made it give a random present in form of a pseudo status! Really entertaining, everyone used Present just for kicks. Furthermore, Sawsbuck was there kicking ass, while the metagame was heavily dominated by Blizzard spam. Due to the sheer number of Ice-types, having Stealth Rock was very important.

This meta was open for two months and it had a moderate success for a less serious, less competitive, fun tier. Great to get your frown out, hilarity ensued every time you played Winter Wonderland. To avoid some Pokémon ruining the winter fun, Jirachi, Victini, and Chandelure were nerfed: the latter would only have Flash Fire as an ability, and the moves Iron Head, Fire Blast, Overheat, V-Create, and Blue Flare were forbidden on the ladder. That didn't prevent Victini and Jirachi from being some of the best Pokémon alongside Clefable and Regice. This seasonal was the first featuring stats, having had 10,157 battles played for its duration, slightly over two months. Not bad!

Valentine Venture

Since Matthew discontinued support for the Seasonal and zdrup15 was in exams period, Showdown was close to losing its funniest tier. However, at the last minute, Snowflakes rescued it from the depths of oblivion for it to resurface it as good as before, or better! The tireless sim mod assembled a team of people to help him with ideas, and thus Valentine Venture was born.

February's Seasonal featured a well-known one day holiday that's linked to both love and materialism: St. Valentine's—or Single Awareness Day, depending on the person. It's only natural that this new Seasonal Ladder featured couples battling in double battles. The tier featured all kinds of couples, even really weird ones that made little sense at first sight, but who are we to deny true love? What if Swoobat loves Musharna or Delcatty loves Buneary? Will you deny Skitty's and Wailord's long relationship, which bloomed against the odds and destiny? Even Finneon and Porygon convinced their folks that their relationship was great despite their differences. There's still no love for Cryogonal, though. After testing, this was the first Seasonal Ladder to feature Random Battle leveling to balance the game. However, the Kyurem couple had to be nerfed further due to their sheer power, so they both appeared at level 60 to be sure they didn't own everyone.

The Seasonal lasted for most February and it had 5,868 battles played. It was widely regarded as very fun, as double battles are always fast and amusing, have you tried Smogon Doubles yet?

Spring Forward

After the success of Valentine Venture, March's Seasonal was swiftly designed and developed. As happened with the previous ladder, this one was done with sim staff teamwork, where I took over design and people hinted Pokémon that would go well with it. The Seasonal could not have been possible without the help of cool guys like Hugendugen, who single handedly suggested most available Pokémon.

You might know the feeling of going to a picnic at the beginning of the spring, only to get showered on by cold, obnoxious, March rain. That's why automatic Drizzle happens in 75% of the Spring Forward matches! Moreover, this seasonal has been named "March Madness", for St. Patrick's luck was imbued everywhere. Drunk Pokémon being confused for a couple of turns and Super Luck and Serene Grace as abilities for everyone were just the topping for the revamped egg moves to celebrate Easter—super healing Softboiled, hard hitting Grass-type special Barrage, and super hard hitting always critting Grass-type special Egg Bomb. Also, all Pokémon had Metronome as their first move; who does not enjoy a Metronome battle?

Because the nature of these battles was wacky, stally, and unpredictable, the format chosen for this seasonal was 3v3 a la Game Freak. This resulted in reasonable length battles, with the odd battle being a super long Metronome battle and the odd battle resulting in an Egg Bomb sweep. Overall, a lot of cracked fun.

Fools Festival

Now under my care, Seasonal Ladder is prepared thoroughly every month so you can enjoy the new tier as soon and as flawless as possible. As you may have noticed, the current Seasonal features one of the most expected holidays of the year: April Fools'. While it's just one hilarious day, this seasonal won't cease fooling users for the whole month! Moreover, we are featuring the famous USA 4/20 day; you can ask Weezing for advice about medicinal substance use!

To keep with the crazy spring weather we all usually suffer, the Seasonal Ladder has a 65% chance of Drizzle, 30% chance of Drought, and 5% chance of Snow Warning! Very spring-like indeed. Thanks to spring flowers blooming, there's a wide array of Grass-type Pokémon, especially flower-like ones; also, Stealth Rock and Spikes deal Grass-type damage now, as some grass has grown on them. But the main event here is April Fools—that's why all teams have a high chance of finding amongst their Pokémon a Prankster user with their usual troll set! But that's not everything; in fact, there's more pranks prepared for the poor players who dare try their luck. Move types have been changed all over! What? Fire Blast super effective against Ground-types but not very effective against Grass-types? This is madness! Oh, but it just hit this Grass Poké—oh, wait, it was an Illusion. Yeah, some Pokémon have bought some costumes to disguise as their teammates: you will find some on your own team, having Illusion instead of their usual ability. But there's even more. Focus Blast failed again... oh, it's named Focus Miss now, like it should always have been named. Wait, am I drunk or did my Pokémon just recite a haiku? Perhaps it's both.

April's Seasonal Ladder is featuring Grass-type Pokémon, stoned Pokémon, troll Pokémon (Prankster users, Gengar line), and an old school all-star that's come from Glitchmons: level 255 Missingno, ready to prank you! But fear not, for it will not use any physical attack... unless it Mimics it. Are you ready for this Seasonal? Have you played it yet? Well, the best way to know the answer to these questions is to get on on PS right now and start playing it!

What have we prepared for Seasonal's future?

Your favorite fun tier will continue to exist in the upcoming months. The May ladder is a top-secret project right now, but I can disclose to you a secret, dear Smog readers—it will be named May Mayhem. We'll make sure that the following Seasonal ladders are as fun as the previous, trying to twist the game in an interesting way so you can enjoy every month in Showdown. We don't know what will happen when X&Y are out, but one thing's sure: we'll work hard so you always have a Seasonal awaiting you every month.


Seasonal ladders are different from the other metagames. In a sense, they are Other Metas, but you can find a different one every month, and they feature seasonally themed mechanics; that's what makes them so special. The sim staff works hard for this to be possible, remember that we are here to make your gaming time more pleasant! If you have any ideas to improve the metagames or are interested in participating, you will usually find a thread explaining the next Seasonal in the Other Metagames forum, where you will be able to share your opinions and provide feedback on the current Seasonal. Well, that's all—have fun playing!

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