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Old 05-26-2014, 08:56 AM   #2151
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IT HAS BEGUN
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:27 AM   #2152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazeVA View Post
If they're going to ban anything, these are the sorts of bans I want to see: complex bans that really strike at the heart of what specific thing it is that has got their goat rather than broad, overly sweeping bans that fuck over an entire category of play just because someone found a way to abuse it.

The thing is, this suspect discussion is probably even more of a circus court than the past two have been. Whether it's true or not that this one individual invented the team, there's a guy on the forums who claims that he was 1st place in OU for four months running; that he is the originator of the Baton Pass team everyone has been using; and that he himself believes the team should be banned. Since no one has contested his claims, I take them to be true. Now, the thing is, if this were a Hyper Offense player saying, "Yeah, I made 1st place using this one HO team. It is broken. Ban HO plox," Smogon would just awkwardly chuckle at him and then scooch him under the rug like a pile of dust. But when it's the alleged inventor of a non-HO strategy that tormented HO players for four months straight saying he wants his own strategy banned? Well! You can imagine that the HO brass are probably leaping at the chance to fulfill his request.

To be honest, while SwagPlay I saw as a more legitimate (dare I say healthier) strategy for the metagame, the Baton Pass chain teams are essentially OTK teams. Either you can deflate the user of the strategy on Turn 1/2/3 or else the game is utterly, irretrievably lost. Either you have the tools in your arsenal to mock his efforts (Haze, Unaware, etc) or else you do not. I've fought and lost to enough of these teams already to know that my team just can't beat them unless 1) the opponent is stupidly greedy, opting to go for yet more boosts instead of dealing with an immediate threat I've sent out, and 2) I get a lucky critical. That's it. If Staraptor's Brave Bird doesn't critically hit something that doesn't resist Flying ... if Mamoswine's Earthquake doesn't critically hit something that doesn't resist Ground ... if I don't get a mighty critical off on someone to disrupt the chain, I'm pretty much screwed. So, from a perspective of purely selfish gains, I'm glad to hear that this team is being banned since my own team has no reliable means of beating it.

But that stated, I think there's a lot to be said for these sentiments:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy 1
the moment something threatens to alter OU: The Team smogon whips out the ban hammer
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy 2
no matter what you try smogon you will never completely balance this game you ban something and something ELSE breaks because of it
I can't help but to feel that most of the Gen 6 bans have been more about preserving the status quo of OU than about banning what is truly banworthy. Where in past generations the staff was more friendly towards the natural evolution of the game, witnessing the rise and fall of creatures and team builds alike, it feels like the current staff is only willing to accept the rise and fall of individual beasts within OU. They seem unwilling to accept that the very playstyles of OU can or should change drastically and that if Swagger, Baton Pass, and other non-HO strategies are part of the new world order then so be it. As someone who favors offensive playstyles myself, their policies benefit me. And for that I'm grateful. But on a philosophical level, I am just so incredibly disappointed in their behavior this generation. Even if I've benefited from their rulings, I do not always think that what they did was right.

What the second guy says is something that I've felt for a long while now. Pokémon is like an ecosystem and Smogon's attempts to reign that ecosystem in are to keep eradicating the apex predator. Any environmental scientist would tell you how foolish and disastrous this is; and I feel like we're witnessing that first hand here with most of the Gen 6 bans.

One thing's for certain: Smogon's staff's intense hatred for strategies which dismantle Hyper Offense has inadvertently resulted in the greatest exploration of anti-HO teams in years. I look forward to reading about what other clever ways players come up with to tell HO to go fuck itself as they reach 1st place on the OU ladder.
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:41 AM   #2153
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I actually find myself in support of option number 2. I think that the playstyle isn't inherently bad (like SwagPlay) and that it often requires someone run very niche counters, that more often than not, don't work well. The new additions in Scolipede and Sylveon make it worse, since Sylveon can smash through Subs and Dark types. I know my team has no way of beating it, if I did I wouldn't suck so bad against Clefable. But the face of the matter is, while the strat isn't unbeatable, not by any means, its very difficult to prepare against. That's the point I agree with. Hell, even looking at Haze, which is one of the number 1 moves to use against it, there are so many Pokemon that are either:

A) Terrible in OU and shouldn't be used seriously
B) Not bulky at all and so can't effectively stop BP
C) Don't have the space for it.

I think that there is a lot of good arguments for nerfing BP somewhat. I don't like option 3 at all, it causes massive collateral damage.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:03 AM   #2154
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M-Kenga would've totally sweeped my team, if not for...

Random Battle: 34 Rounds

Spoiler: show
A super close battle, but wow, I was seriously so afraid of that M-Kenga. It has Sucker Punch as one of its move, which could have potentially sent me packing 6-0. Thank goodness for the existence of Whimisicott. One of these days I should try and see how good Whimiscott is nowadays.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:16 AM   #2155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazeVA View Post
I actually find myself in support of option number 2.
That's the one I like best myself. It causes zero collateral damage. It only bans the Baton Pass team chain archetype. In fact, I find it somewhat generous that they're willing to allow as many as three users (as three, with a destination recipient as fourth in the chain, could still be seen by many as being only a slightly nerfed version of this strategy). It doesn't ban Baton Pass outright (none of the eligible choices do) and it doesn't say you're only allowed to have one Baton Pass user on your team either. Want to pass Speed to Guy B and use him to then pass Defense to Guy C, a normally slow and fragile but otherwise mighty Pokémon? Go for it.

But like I said, even if I personally would want to see 4+ Baton Pass teams banned, philosophically I don't like this road Smogon is continuing to go down. :\
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Old 05-26-2014, 01:52 PM   #2156
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Actually I think the issue with BP is not that it counters HO. In fact, HO is one of the most recommended ways to beat it, since offensive pressure forces your opponent to make mistakes. The issue is, at higher levels of play, stall is more prevalent, from what I've seen so far from comments, and BP completely dismantles stall. It's why a common occurrence now is for Stall teams to run Haze Quaggy. But I'm not to keen on the meta at the moment, but it has gotten a lot more defensive.

This match reminds me why I hate Mega Scizor.
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:39 PM   #2157
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Mienfoo is a lucky bastard (LC, 13 turns)

Spoiler: show
Thought I'd hop back on LC for a battle. First battle out, already have a replay-worthy battle, where Mienfoo ends up living not one, nor two, but three hits that should kill, enough to get a forfeit from my opponent. Mienfoo's bulk is absolutely ridiculous.


Also I have officially laddered on LC!



...I mean, it's not much, but hey! I've never laddered before.

Last edited by Jerichi; 05-26-2014 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:06 PM   #2158
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I had a friend of mine who's like ten years old make the joke "at the rate Smogon's going Magikarp will be Uners soon enough." Sure it's a joke, and extremely hyperbolic at that, but I kind of have to agree. I have a team made of crap that I absolutely HATE seeing in OU battles called "DEATH TO HONOR!" Sure enough, SpeedPass Scolipede is right up in that team. Like Talon, I see myself as a very offensive-type player, meaning if my DEATH TO HONOR roster is suffering from bans, then the ban pattern is clearly to eliminate anything that threatens HO
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:30 PM   #2159
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>Like Talon, I see myself as a very offensive-type player, meaning if my DEATH TO HONOR roster is suffering from bans, then the ban pattern is clearly to eliminate anything that threatens HO

...no.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:47 PM   #2160
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*pointed stare*

Elaborate. I know I'm an offensive player, i can't remember a single time where I actually used a defense boost that didn't come with an attack boost, and I have a roster of things that have destroyed my HO teams consistently just because. So before you just post "...no", I'd like to see some reasoning for it.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:50 PM   #2161
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Cause that's really bad logic? "I play stall, and these things annoy me. Obviously if they are getting banned, its because smogon wants to promote stall!"

Bad logic.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:53 PM   #2162
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Quote:
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Also I have officially laddered on LC!



...I mean, it's not much, but hey! I've never laddered before.
Well congratulations! But really? O_o You've never laddered before, in any format?
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:56 PM   #2163
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I'm basically saying what Talon said just slightly differently-if a list of things that actually hamper me and my playstyle in OU is shrinking due to bans, then the bans are trying to prevent said playstyle from dying, because not banning them means the playstyle's poison becomes much more popular. This is essentially what I'm saying, just replace playstyle with HO. If my list of HO poisons is shrinking from bans, Smogon has seen it as an HO poison as well-and has proceeded to ban it from OU. Simple enough to follow, correct?
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:27 PM   #2164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myles Fowl II View Post
I'm basically saying what Talon said
I would really appreciate it if you would quit trying to hide behind me in this thread. You've done this several times over the past few months and I think this is either the second or the third time I've asked you to please stop it. Every time you say something wrong and tack on a "Like Talon says" in front of it, it puts words in my mouth that I never said. That, sometimes, I said the very opposite of.

If your arguments are sound, then they're sound whether or not I said them. If your arguments are unsound, then they're unsound whether or not I said them. There's no need for you to say, "Like Talon says" to try and boost the credibility of your claims. In some cases, you're probably weakening their credibility by doing so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Myles Fowl II View Post
if a list of things that actually hamper me and my playstyle in OU is shrinking due to bans, then the bans are trying to prevent said playstyle from dying, because not banning them means the playstyle's poison becomes much more popular. This is essentially what I'm saying, just replace playstyle with HO. If my list of HO poisons is shrinking from bans, Smogon has seen it as an HO poison as well-and has proceeded to ban it from OU. Simple enough to follow, correct?
While it's a little difficult to follow your explanation, it seems like we are on the same page in this paragraph. However. You arrived at this paragraph only after arguing that Smogon is trying to ban your man Scolipede ... who you advertised in one of your previous posts as a member of Team Offense. That's at least one source of confusion for me in your writings today. I don't understand why you think that Smogon, in banning a Pokémon who you've previously alleged to be a star member of Team Offense, is trying to bolster offensive playstyles by doing this. If you're going to argue for Scolipede's role as a battering ram, then shouldn't you be arguing that Smogon, in banning Scolipede, would be weakening HO? And if you're not going to argue that and are instead going to argue (as the rest of the community is arguing) that any complex ban that would happen to Speed Boost Baton Pass Scolipede would have more to do with his Baton Passing than his own offensive merit, then shouldn't you not even mention HO Scolipede in this discussion? Like, it's confusing. It's as though you're trying to say:
  • Smogon wants to ban Scolipede.
  • I use Version A Scolipede.
  • Therefore this is proof that Smogon wants to kill Version B playstyles.
It makes no sense. Either the framework for your argument should be:
  • Smogon wants to ban Version B Scolipede.
  • Therefore this is proof that Smogon wants to kill Version B playstyles.
Or else it should be:
  • Smogon wants to ban Scolipede.
  • Therefore this is proof that Smogon wants to kill Versions A and B playstyles.
I don't understand how you can focus on their wanting to ban Scolipede (when they want to ban him for Version B reasons) and then draw from that conclusion, "Man, Smogon sure is raining on my Version A parade! "
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:32 PM   #2165
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Well congratulations! But really? O_o You've never laddered before, in any format?
I have a habit of format-hopping, so I learn a lot of little bits of a lot of formats. LC is the only format I've really taken the time to properly learn (I tried learning VGC but it's a mess of a format in a lot of ways). Part of it is that I tend to attach myself to silly shit in other formats but I've let myself just play the meta in LC, so I've done better than I normally do.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:41 PM   #2166
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerichi View Post
I have a habit of format-hopping, so I learn a lot of little bits of a lot of formats. LC is the only format I've really taken the time to properly learn (I tried learning VGC but it's a mess of a format in a lot of ways). Part of it is that I tend to attach myself to silly shit in other formats but I've let myself just play the meta in LC, so I've done better than I normally do.
I thought a) you were still doing the VGC thing (a little sad to hear you're not ^^; ) and b) that you were certainly good enough in it to at least make Top 500 on Smogon's VGC. I mean, hell ... I think we could both make Top 500 on Smogon's VGC without even trying. Should we try it? ;o I think we should try it. hahahaha Let me see what the minimum cutoff is and decide how much effort this would take ... 1435 to make the cutoff for Top 500. That honestly doesn't sound too bad.

... he says without fully appreciating that VGCs is a crazy world where Mind Reader Sheer Cold, SwagPlay Bonanza, and Mega Gengar-Mega Kangaskhan tag teams are totally kosher.

But no, I'm genuinely curious. 1435 sounds like something we could each make in a matter of several hours to (at worst) an hour here and an hour there over the course of several days.

*attempts to battle with shoddy but adored OU team*

Quote:
Your team was rejected for the following reasons:
- Togekiss is not in the Kalos Pokedex.
- Hildegard (Togekiss) can't learn Defog because it's only obtainable from a previous generation.
- Tusk (Mamoswine) can't learn Superpower because it's only obtainable from a previous generation.
- Jirachi is not in the Kalos Pokedex.
- Jirachi is banned by Standard GBU.
- Jii (Jirachi) can't learn Iron Head because it's only obtainable from a previous generation.
- Jii (Jirachi) can't learn Ice Punch because it's only obtainable from a previous generation.
- Jii (Jirachi) can't learn Trick because it's only obtainable from a previous generation.
- You are limited to one of each item by Item Clause.
- (You have more than one Choice Scarf)
Whoops. ^^;;

Jii: Jiiiii.
Talon: I'm sorry, Jii. You'll have to sit this one out.


Hold on. In before Lol Token Fire Team.
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:01 PM   #2167
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I actually only used Showdown for team testing, so I never really got far enough to ladder.

I might put together another team, though, but I need to do some reading. The meta's changed a bit since I played last.
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:12 PM   #2168
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LC actually looks pretty fun.

Though lol at that guy having 'Fuck Fletchling' the Chinchou and a Fletchling on the same team.
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:16 PM   #2169
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Baby's first VGC battle. (VGC 2014, 3 turns)

Not going to bother spoiler tagging this one as, yes, it was that short. ^^;; Let's discuss the team first. Then we'll discuss the match.

Baby's first VGC team: So apparently half of my favorites are VGC 2014 illegal. What the hell. But I knew I could probably count on an old classic of mine: the team I created from scratch for the Champion League tournament in November 2011. Based on Red's team from Pokémon GSC, the team includes Espeon, all three starters, Snorlax, and Pikachu. Well, I knew that Pikachu wasn't going to be coming along with me to VGCs. ^^; And I knew that several changes would need to be made to make this team VGC competent.
  • Blastoise used to have Rapid Spin | Toxic | Ice Beam | Scald. Now he has Rest in place of Rapid Spin. I considered deleting Scald but have left it in place for now because meh I don't think Blastoise would be on a serious VGC team of mine anyway. ^^; This is just for fun.
  • Venusaur used to have Sunny Day since he was the one who generated it for both himself and teammate Charizard in 2011. But now that Charizard is the one handling sun duties, Venusaur is freed up to carry Hidden Power: Ice.
  • Charizard is the big change. Everyone who was around in 2011 knows that I was an advocate for physical Charizard back in a place and time when no one would run it. His moves (Flare Blitz, Outrage, Earthquake, and Dragon Dance) are practically a carbon copy of what you'll find on many a Mega Charizard X these days. (Well, replace Outrage with Dragon Claw, but you get the picture. ) But since I knew I wanted Sunny Day on this team, I had to make the switch from physical Charizard to special Charizard. It's not as fun for me since I do love my unconventional physical Charizard, but it's a tried and true set. Heat Wave (because lol Doubles), Solarbeam, Air Slash (because lol surprises), and Protect (because LOL SURPRISES). The hope is to use Charizard to lure a lot of attacks that will buy time for others on the team to do what they need to do.
  • Espeon suffered no changes.
  • Snorlax used to have Curse | Return | Earthquake | Rest. Good ol' Curselax, another of my old-fashioned advocacies which members who participated in the 2011 tournament should remember. Problem is, standard Curselax isn't very good in Doubles. He's a sitting duck if he Rests without Sleep Talk, he can't afford to Curse up without a way to heal, and the only real option for Snorlax outside of Curse is something like Choice Band. I considered it, but since Doubles is a hostile environment for Choice Banded Explosion (oh the collateral damage ... @[email protected]), I decided to instead give this set a try: Curse | Return | Sleep Talk | Rest. That's right: no non-Normal moves. Because I too like to live on the wild side. ;D The hope here is that Snorlax draws fire, can muscle his way past non-Ghosts and non-bulky Steels, and will never, ever find himself the last man remaining against an Aegislash or a Gengar. We'll see. ^^;
  • Finally, Pikachu got the boot in favor of Aegislash. Fairly standard. I'm running Weakness Policy @ Swords Dance | King's Shield | Shadow Sneak | Iron Head. The team wants more physical muscle besides just Snorlax and Aegislash can offer it that. Weakness Policy is there to hopefully ensure that after only one Swords Dance I should be OHKOing things left and right. We'll see. :\
So with the team explained, let's get to the game.

Baby's first VGC battle: Not much to say. Opponent was either a beginner or else just got hosed by me. ^^; I led with Charizard and Espeon. Why? 1) Sun ASAP. 2) Reflect ASAP. That straightforward. He led with Venusaur and Medicham. I hoped he would Fake Out Espeon. (Sadly he didn't. Even though, as I note above, I've planned for Charizard to lure in attacks. ^^; ) But Heat Wave did more than enough damage. Man that thing (Heat Wave Mega Charizard Y) is broken. O_o Turn 2 sees Espeon Calm Minding, Charizard taking a Toxic from Venusaur, and then Charizard roasting everyone for the double OHKO. Out come Cloyster and Absol and the moment he decides not to Sucker Punch Espeon it's gg then and there. Espeon OHKOs Cloyster with Psychic, Charizard finishes off Absol with Heat Wave.

As you can see, it's not a serious team, but I'd like to see how far I can take it over the next day or two. We'll see.
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:30 PM   #2170
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Baby's third VGC battle. (VGC 2014, 10 turns)

Spoiler: show
Double post since previous post enormous.

Game #2 was a win by forfeit on Turn 2. Not worth sharing. So on I went to Game 3. This was a surprisingly tough match for such an early opponent in the ladder. Normally the 1000s thru 1200s are easy wins, but only my third game in, the upper 1000s / low 1100s, and already I was coming up against competent players with serious threats.

The MVP of this match was Snorlax. People sorely underestimate his prowess. I won't lie -- I got very lucky that Garchomp failed to KO Snorlax on that one turn where Snorlax fell to only 1% HP remaining. But by the same token, my opponent got very lucky that Rock Slide flinched the first time I was trying to use Rest. So I think it all evens out. Anyway, Snorlax with his Thick Fat and (with Curse) boosted defense didn't care that much about Talonflame's Brave Birds or Flare Blitzes. And with Mega Charizard Y sponging Rock Slides thanks to Protect (I told you it'd be killer ), the duo was able to eventually outmuscle the opponent.

I'd be a liar if I said I thought I had this one won before it was down to just Snorlax and Garchomp. I could've easily seen myself losing here. Talonflame is frightening in any format, and the fact that Garchomp outspeeds Mega Charizard Y is hugely important, something I'll have to keep in mind going forward.

Much thanks to Espeon for the Reflect. Definitely helped us win just as much as Snorlax's Curse + Rest combo.

You were there too, Venusaur.

Baby's fourth VGC battle. (VGC 2014, 5 turns)

Spoiler: show
First loss. ^^; Yeah, the team seems to have a gaping hole of a weakness to Talonflame. Even though everything went according to plan in a sense -- everyone survived at first and I had Weakness Policy and Swords Dance activated -- I really needed Air Slash to go before Shadow Sneak instead of the other way around if I wanted a real shot at OHKOing Dragonite. And of course that was impossible. Alternatively, I could've killed Talonflame ... but I was seriously hoping that he would desperately try and Brave Bird Aegislash before Aegislash could Shadow Sneak him. Was kind of banking on this, in fact. And that was why I aimed for the 30% chance for a flinch from Air Slash on Dragonite. It didn't happen. ^^; *sigh*

Really, though, Talonflame and Dragonite make a nice core. At least against the team I brought, they do. Something which I'll have to look into.

Hmm ... my enthusiasm for the format is already kinda waning. ^^; At least it is with the current team. Team's clearly not cut out for VGCs. If I could use the full team of six, then maybe, but only having four to work with makes things very different. Current record is 5 W 2 L 0 T, so yes, I realize it's only seven games. But these seven games have been enough to show me that the team as it currently stands isn't very good. Espeon is cute but is probably outclassed by better screen setter uppers. Aegislash hasn't been able to contribute much. (Then again, I utterly fail at using him well in OU too, so ...) And while Charizard Y's use of Protect is cute and all, especially when it works and the enemy really does hone in on him, he's also been the backbone of the team's damage output -- which means that any turn he spends Protecting is often times a turn wasted, especially so when the enemy doesn't hone in on him.

Last edited by Talon87; 05-26-2014 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:00 PM   #2171
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Scolipede isn't part of team HO, he's part of team DEATH TO HONOR AKA team HO poison.

Anyway I just spent an hour talking to my sister so I'm out of the mindset of that whole thing.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:18 PM   #2172
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Yikes, wrath of the gimmick teams! @[email protected] Converted Blastoise into a Blastoisinite special attacker (since I pretty much never use him/her in a battle where I use Charizard), replaced Snorlax with my trusty Staraptor ... lost to two teams back to back. orz

First team destroyed me with a Talonflame + Rotom-W core that I already forget the specifics of the gimmick for but recall only that they used a gimmick strategy that totally boned me.

Second team was running Flash Fire Chandelure (which I easily predicted and avoided with a scouting Protect) and Trick Room Gardevoir (which I did not predict and got totally screwed by). The Trick Room meant that Charizard Y (normally fast), Venusaur in the sun (normally very fast), and Choice Scarf Staraptor (also normally very fast) were all screwed. While it's easy to stall out Trick Room in 6v6 Singles, and even in 6v6 Doubles it's not too too bad, in 4v4 Doubles it's a nightmare.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:40 PM   #2173
Kyro12
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TR is pretty common in VGC. Also, sounds like your team is lacking a lot of widespread moves -shrug- But then again, I'm awful at competitive 'mon, so.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:54 PM   #2174
Talon87
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Weird ratings glitch. O_o (VGC 2014, 8 turns)

Also, I've got a hypothesis for what I'm observing regarding all of this skill at such a low official ranking. I think it's because few scrubs play in the VGC 2014 format. :o So when you join the VGC 2014 format on the PS server, you're pretty much guaranteed to only come up against serious and semi-serious players. No scrubs.

That at least would explain why I am having such a hard time reaching 1200. My earlier boasts of hitting 1453 "in just a few hours" are long gone, replaced by the sober reality that 100 points in VGC 2014 is equal to 200+ points in any of the more popular tiers. I mean, I should not, at the embarrassingly low score of only 1057, be having such a difficult time winning a simple 4v4 match. Not saying this out of arrogance or pride. Saying this based on experience -- experience you've all born witness to in my shared replays -- in Random, OU, and Doubles Random. Just the other day I discovered that without even trying I somehow became 8th place in Doubles Random. And now I'm not even able to escape the bottom of the VGC 2014 barrel.

The only way to find out if my hypothesis is correct is to check out the rankings of my opponents. Times like these I really wish UPN supported tables ... :\
  • Anime is Satan: 1174 in VGC 2014 but 1447 in OU
  • EmpoleonMaster: not much experience outside of VGC 2014, unfortunately. :\
  • agumon19: only a 1334 in Random Battle but an 1122 in VGC 2014
Yeah, hmm. The Anime is Satan numbers support my hypothesis but the agumon19 numbers sure don't. Guess more exploration will be required.

Maybe my hypothesis is bogus and the reason I'm struggling is, as Jeri hinted earlier, it's a very different format and you have to adjust to it before you can start getting really good. But I dunno ... I feel like I adjusted to Doubles Random pretty quickly. :\
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:19 PM   #2175
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So, I tried playing some more VGC tonight, and am 0-3 for the evening. Damn, this is not good. ;-;
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