Next Generation Anime Style Battling

By Box and AOPSUser. Art by Bummer.
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Greetings from Smogon's very own nerd's playground, known fondly to us as ASB! For those of you that don't know, ASB is Smogon's Anime Style Battling League, founded and managed by Deck Knight. We can be found in an obscure subforum under Circus Maximus, and we offer a unique Pokémon battling experience that you can't find anywhere else! For those of you who have been keeping pace with our articles in the Smog, you may already be familiar with some of the finer workings of ASB. That said, we have recently undergone a massive overhaul in the transition from Generation V to Generation VI, and I'm here as an ambassador today to preach the wonders of being a big geek Generation VI Anime Style Battling!

Anime Style Battling: a History

ASB in Smogon began as a sort of side-project by user Deck Knight in order to, I quote, "breathe a little life back into the forum." What began as something inspired and based off pre-existing ASB Leagues at the time has since undergone a slew of changes and revisions and evolved to become what can be considered among the best and most sustainable of ASB Leagues on the internet.

Since its conception, Smogon's ASB League has always been changing, constantly updating and undergoing systemic overhauls in order to maintain balance and keep things fresh. With the advent of Generation VI, ASB recently underwent one of its biggest transitions yet, and now things are better than ever. Mega Evolutions, Fairies, and Goomy; let's take a look at how exactly things are in Generation VI ASB.

The Highlights of Gen VI in ASB

For the first time, Smogon's ASB is moving between two generations. Not only does this mean new Pokémon, but this also means new moves, new abilities, Mega Evolutions, and, possibly the most hyped part of the new generation, a type chart revamp. Not only does Steel lose its resistance to Dark and Ghost, but there is an entirely new typing for the first time since Generation II—the Fairy-type. While some may write off the Fairies immediately, it is a very interesting typing, to say the least. It is immune to Dragon and resists Dark and Fighting, completely destroying previous combinations of coverage. Their weaknesses, Poison and Steel, aren't really good attacking types either. With many Pokémon also changed into Fairies, the Fairy-type seems to be a big threat this generation. Watch out for Azumarill, Togekiss, and Clefable (which now gets 147 moves), as well as the new Sylveon, Florges, and Klefki. Generation VI was launched weeks ago, but due to the pace of ASB, it has not settled down yet (as of writing, there are two Delphox and one Sylveon in terms of Gen VI FEs). While the XY OU tier has already identified threats and non-threats, ASB has yet to see what will live up to its hype. But then again, in ASB, anything goes. In a game where Sunflora, Castform, Gallade, Aggron, and even Ledian can thrive, where Delibird had to be nerfed, and where Spinda is a drunken master (and is actually good at it), it's hard to see any new Pokémon falling really short.



Aegislash is a unique Pokémon in that it has two formes that it can switch between in-battle with the use of a move. In Shield Forme, it has Rank 6 defenses and Rank 2 offenses, while in Blade Forme it has Rank 6 offenses and Rank 2 defenses. Thanks to its rather low Speed of 60, Aegislash will often take a hit in Shield Forme first, then switch to Blade Forme upon attacking. Stance Change can completely screw up the opponent's strategy, especially if you are ordering second. Don't let that 90 HP fool you either, as Aegislash has an amazing defensive typing which allows it to sponge some hits even in Blade Forme. Although it is not as good as it was last generation, Ghost / Steel still has three immunities and many resistances. Also, if Aegislash decides to hold a Dusk Stone, its power is amplified even further, as it increases its Rank 6 stats, in either forme, to Rank 7, and boosts its Dark- and Ghost-type attacks. However, its biggest downfall is its movepool—although it has both physical and special options, its moves mostly have rather average Base Power (its only moves above Base 8 power are Sacred Sword, Head Smash, and Giga Impact), and it lacks much super effective coverage. Still, one must consider that Aegislash has no competition for its role as a Stance Changer, and that alone is enough reason to use it. It is also amazingly easy to raise, with Honedge being exceptional early on and Doublade being able to hold its own against many FEs (and you may never want to evolve it). It's certainly no Farfetch'd, after all.



While Pokémon like Conkeldurr and Spinda look very awkward or misshapen, or just plain ugly, Greninja is a Pokémon that can rightfully say that it looks cool. It uses its tongue as a scarf around its neck (not a Choice Scarf, a normal scarf), and is possibly the only Pokémon other than Lickitung that looks good with a tongue on its sprite. The ninja frog boasts an amazing Speed stat, outspeeding even Syclant by exactly one point. Its main draw, however, is its ability to play mindgames like no other with Protean. While in OU, the only use of Protean for Greninja is getting STAB on everything; in ASB, it goes beyond that. Greninja's vast movepool consists of Water-, Ice-, Flying-, Grass-, Dark-, Ghost-, Psychic-, Fighting-, Rock-, Poison-, Normal-, Ground- and Bug-type moves, and with Protean, Greninja can use the correct damaging move to resist or gain immunity against every single attacking move in existence, making it very much impossible to order against when Greninja is ordering second. Greninja burns up Substitutions like no other, forcing you to think twice before spamming Drain Punch lest Greninja Lick you to death. Protean is still good offensively too, as getting STAB on every move means it can switch between moves, such as Surf and Ice Beam, to avoid consecutive EN penalty. Overall, Greninja looks to be an amazing Pokémon to screw around with opponents.



Goodra is an interesting new concept—a defensive pure Dragon-type. Its stats are amazing, particularly its Special Defense. Its offenses, in conjunction with its wide movepool, can hurt just about everything. Its unique ability, Gooey, allows it to slow down a physical attacker that uses contact moves on it, potentially granting Goodra a Speed advantage. Sap Sipper makes it immune to Grass-type moves, which is nice but not really necessary, while Hydration removes its ability to Rest in exchange for protection against status in rain. Goomy and Sliggoo aren't too bad, either, since their access to Bide early on coupled with their usable offensive movepools allow them to hold their own until evolution. With moves like Aqua Tail, Outrage, Power Whip, Earthquake, Bide, Draco Meteor, Counter, and Flamethrower, along with its excellent stats, Goodra looks to be very promising in the new generation.



When Fairies came out as the ultimate counter to Dragons, the Dragons retaliated with Dragalge. Boasting the unique Poison Point + Poison Touch combo, as well as Adaptability, Dragalge can take on many roles at once. Adaptability lets it hit hard despite its Rank 4 Special Attack and Rank 3 Attack, while its amazing Special Defense lets it tank many hits. Dragalge also has an awesome movepool, with very diverse options such as Surf, Hydro Pump, Thunderbolt, Shadow Ball, and Play Rough in addition to its STAB. Its Speed stat, however, is atrocious—sitting at 44, it is not outspeeding anything other than Forretress, Slowbro, Slowking, Snorlax, Reuniclus, Ferrothorn, and Shuckle. However, in many of Dragalge's matchups, the Speed ends up not really mattering due to how hard Dragalge hits and how much it can tank. It's not too hard to raise either, as Skrelp has Rank 4 stats all around if holding Rare Candy, and it gets Adaptability as well. Overall, Dragalge is the Dragon-type response to Fairies, and it's not a bad one at that.



Naturally, when introducing a new typing, Game Freak made an Eeveelution with said typing. In this case the Eeveelution is Sylveon, which has great special bulk and good Special Attack. While Florges looks completely superior at first due to certain better stats, Sylveon is very much able to differentiate itself. Thanks to evolving from Eevee, its movepool is gigantic, spanning all six generations. Pixilate is also an amazing ability, as it turns Normal-type attacks into Fairy-type attacks and boosts them too, meaning that Sylveon hits a lot harder than Florges, Togekiss, and the other Fairy-types. Don't be fooled by the low Attack stat either, as a Pixilate-boosted Return can hit quite hard from Sylveon, and Sylveon gets good coverage physically too. In addition to Fairy-type moves, Sylveon has coverage from moves like Psyshock and Shadow Ball. However, Sylveon is difficult to obtain, as Eevee is simply bad, especially if you run a Bold or Modest nature on it for Sylveon to use. Still, when Eevee evolves, the rewards can be reaped from Sylveon, as a great all-purpose Dragon- and Fighting-type counter.

Mega Evolutions

Mega Charizard X Mega Charizard Y


Charizard is unique in that it has two different Mega Evolutions. Mega Charizard X can boast about its dual Rank 5 offenses, with Tough Claws as well as Blaze and Solar Power. Outrage, Flare Blitz, and Fire Punch are all insane when boosted by Tough Claws, and lets Charizard quickly run through enemies. A sun-boosted Solar Power Fire Blast can also fry enemies like Gliscor easily. Charizard does not boost its Speed, but its Speed is already quite good at base 100. Overall, Mega Charizard X is an amazing mixed attacker.

If Mega Charizard X is a napalm strike, Mega Charizard Y is an atomic bomb. It has Blaze, Solar Power, and Drought all at once, coupled with a Rank 7 Special Attack. In layman's turns: if you don't resist Fire or have Stone Edge, you're dead. Mega Charizard Y is one of the hardest hitters in ASB. Under sun, with a boosting nature, and under 33 HP, Flamethrower is able to 2HKO Forretress. To put this in perspective, the only other 2HKOes done without combos or Helping Hand are Focus Energy Dragon Scale Kingdra in rain, Swoobat's Stored Power, and 5-hit STAB Pin Missiles on Cacturne. Mega Charizard Y also has a usable Attack stat, which can surprise Pokémon like Blissey (although Fire Blast hits Blissey hard enough anyways). All in all, both of Charizard's Mega Evolutions are amazing.

Mega Garchomp

Even without Garchompite, Garchomp is a force do be reckoned with. 102 Speed is nothing to joke at, and gives Garchomp a 96% accurate Stone Edge when running a +Speed nature. Garchomp not only has a great physical attacking prowess, but it also has a decent special movepool with a decent Special Attack stat. Rough Skin is also a good ability for dealing extra damage to Pokémon that use contact moves on it. Its typing is also good defensively, although it is 4x weak to the common Ice-type moves. However, its defenses are only average.

With a Garchompite, Garchomp turns into a juggernaut. Not only does it gain Rank 7 Attack and Rank 5 Special Attack in exchange for 10 Speed, but it even gets a defensive boost to Rank 4 Defense! Under sand, Mega Garchomp has the amazing Sand Veil + Sand Force combo, which means your opponent will miss you a lot more in addition for you hitting for unholy amounts of damage. Mega Garchomp will give you that "oh shit Porygon-Z used Hyper Beam" feeling.

Mega Kangaskhan

Kangaskhan, apart from being a super annoying Pokémon to find in the Kanto Safari Zone, is rather mediocre. Other than HP, its stats are quite subpar, and defensively many Pokémon have much more bulk than 110/3/3. It gets Wish, but so do Vaporeon and Blissey, who can both use it better. It gets Yawn, but so does Slowking, which uses it better. When Mega Evolved, however, that Rank 5 Attack is quite good, and its 110/4/4 bulk is enough to make even Umbreon jealous. What makes it quite good, however, is Parental Bond. In OU, it acts as a Choice Band without the locking that can also break Substitutes and Focus Sashes. In ASB, it is much, much better, essentially turning a neutral move into a super effective move, and a resisted move into a neutral move. Kangaskhan also has a gigantic movepool, almost Nidoking-level, with random moves like Fire Blast and Ice Beam thrown in as well. Power-Up Punch is still good, while Body Slam and Headbutt makes it the fastest paraflincher in ASB. Seismic Toss also hits for a guaranteed 20 damage, but its other moves will probably do more. In addition, Skill Swapping Parental Bond onto a Porygon-Z or Kingdra, aside from being complete overkill, can turn an already amazing attacker into a juggernaut that can breeze through two or even three Pokémon. Its only fault is that opponents can Trace it, but unless the opponent finishes you off with Echoed Voice Mega Gardevoir, it won't be that much of a problem.

So, what's new in mechanics?

...some of you are asking that, right? Right!?

Well, as much as we would love for ASB to be purely based on creativity and flavor, just as it would be in the anime (Meowth used Water Bucket + Scratch! Onix fainted!), Pokémon is, in essence, a game of numbers and data. This translates even to our own ASB league. In spite of the fact that we're almost all about the mechanics, that does not detract from the overall fun of the game! The transition from generation to generation saw multiple new balance changes to several of our gameplay systems; this means many of your favorite Pokémon are stronger than ever! Let's take a look at a few of the more significant tweaks to our gameplay mechanics.

Revamp of the stat system and the Power Creep.

As some of you who have been following our previous articles may already know, ASB utilizes a unique stat determination system, in which a Pokémon's ASB stats are determined by their true base stats. This is a huge contributing factor as to why nearly all Pokémon are viable in ASB. For instance, Poliwrath with its rather mediocre in-game base stats achieves a respectable spread of 100/3/3/3/3/70 in ASB, a spread similar to that of the previously-superior Kingdra! These stat ranks are integral in how damage dealing and tanking are calculated in the game.

As with any good game, ongoing balance changes and considerations are ever-occurring. Generation VI ASB saw a significant change in the stat system as the base stat requirements to reach Rank 5+ of a stat were lowered, while the diminishing returns of having a Rank 6 stat over a Rank 5 stat were abolished.

That's a lot of jargon, but what does it mean?

Well, it means that the powerful Haxorus with a natural Rank 6 is able to run a neutral Attack nature without "wasting" the bonus point in Attack due to diminishing returns. It means that the various Rank 5 (Special) Attack Pokémon such as Alakazam and Breloom can opt to go all-out with a boosting nature and maximize the potential of their offensively-oriented movesets. It also means that the universal "decent defense" standard of Rank 3 defenses is really not as "decent" as it used to be, given the likelihood of players to run more offensively-oriented Pokémon with the new system.

Of course, this isn't to say that power in Generation VI ASB reigns supreme. Under the new stat system, many defensive behemoths received incredible buffs in ASB. For example, Pokémon such as Bastiodon and Ferrothorn (which hits the new benchmark of a 116 base defensive stat) were able to jump to the very next Rank, from 4 to 5, becoming even more bulky and difficult to Tackle (though you wouldn't really Tackle either of them, ha!). In fact, many other defensively oriented Pokémon such as the Regis and Mega Aggron received direct buffs to their defenses, sitting at sky-high Ranks as high as 10! Quite a power creep on both sides, indeed!

STABS - Not just an "attack" bonus

ASB rewards the individual typings of each Pokémon, bringing out the best traits of each of the 18 types. Not only do STABs give a boost to Base Attack Power and reduce the Energy Cost of same-typed moves, but they also give additional bonuses corresponding to the nature of each type. Even so, in Generation V, certain STAB descriptions were fairly obscure or non-applicable to 95% of battles. The good news is, with the turn of the generation, we tweaked the STAB perks for many types and really spiced up the way a Pokémon can use its innate typings to its advantage.

Take a look at the updated Water STAB, for instance.

"Water STAB; Ignores arena restrictions on Water attacks that require an external water source. Evasive Diving reduced from 6 per action Energy Cost to 5 per action."

Under the above STAB description, Water-typed Pokémon are able to freely spam powerful moves such as Surf and Dive. Many competitive players may ponder, "so what?", given that any other Pokémon can do the same in vanilla Pokémon. This, however, is not the case in ASB, where often trainers may find themselves battling in arenas such as deserts and laboratories, in which Pokémon are unable to utilize the presence of external water sources. What this means is that while a Starmie may be able to fire off powerful Surfs in the heart of a volcano unrestrained, Dragonite might struggle to quell the flames of his opponents in a similar manner. Additionally, Water Pokémon have the added benefit of being able to suspend their Dives at a reduced energy cost, allowing them a strategic advantage over other Pokémon as they are able to dodge various surface attacks whilst underwater.

Of course, STAB perks don't simply stop at Water Pokémon. There are 17 other types, each with their own advantages over the other. Need a Pokémon to light up the pitch black of night? A Fire Pokémon with its Brighten command is likely just the thing you need. Cornered by the enemy in a cave in a frozen tundra? An Ice Pokémon can utilize its Frost command to rapidly Freeze opponents, incapacitating them. And the list goes on! In short, STABs are extremely versatile in Generation VI ASB and are an essential aspect of the unique battling system that we have in the game.

Interested? Join now! It's easier than ever before!

Generation VI brings even more good news for potential newcomers, as with our recent changes, getting into the main gist of things is easier than ever before! With an all-new registration subforum, one simply needs to post their own Profile Thread and slap the link up in the Prize-Claiming Thread for approval. That's right! A simple two-step process is all that is required to join us in Anime-Style Battling!

Of course, we are all too aware that our system may be highly foreign to new users and require a way to convey the basics simply and quickly. As such, we also have ready the ASB Beginner's Guide to hold your hand and guide you through the somewhat daunting process of creating a profile from scratch, grabbing an opponent from Battle Tower, and surviving your first battles. The guide aims to help new users grasp the game without too much trouble and should be the first thing you read when joining us. For everything else, look no further than the newly-written ASB Handbook. As the name suggests, this write-up in the main forum is absolutely essential to every ASB player, new or old, as it houses every nugget of information one could possibly seek out, ranging from profile creation to Pokémon design to mechanics to battle rewards. With a simple Ctrl + F, having your questions answered is a hassle-free affair without having to dig through mountains of text in various threads as we once did. We highly recommend careful reading of the handbook, as it really is the best way to understand the flow of the game and to enable yourself to dive into the thick of battle all the sooner.

Accompanying the handbook is our spanking-new revamped Data Audit, which exists as a spreadsheet on Google Drive, and contains the immense amount of information and data required for calculations and various other workings of the game. No longer a mere thread on the forums, the updated Data Audit can be easily browsed and data is swiftly and easily accessed whenever required.

As you can see, the ASB council and involved members of the community have really put in an enormous amount of effort to ensure the best experience for all veterans and newcomers alike. So don't be intimidated! We welcome you to #capasb on IRC for all queries and even just for a nice chat. Join ASB today!

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