This is a post taken from a mod forum discussion we were having a while back. I'd like to make it the official Bulbagarden stance on tiering to go with our PO server plans.
So I was doing some thinking when I saw this post in the thread about Bulbagarden tiers. I was also thinking about the primary (in my eyes) criticism of the Salamence move: it was done on a vote with no real, concrete, objective empirical evidence behind it. And so I was pondering how to remedy this.
The obvious answer is to have empirical tiers.
How would they work? It actually isn't all that complex.
* The top (approximately) 2% of Pokemon, by base stats, are automatically+ banned.
* A Pokemon that is used on more than 2 in every 5 teams (>40%) is banned forever.
* A Pokemon that is used on more than 1 in every 3 teams (>33%) in a month is banned for 6 months.
* A Pokemon that is used on more than 1 in ever 4 teams (>25%) in 2 months over a 3-month period is banned for 6 months.
*A Pokemon that is used on more than 1 in every 5 teams (>20%) in 4 months over a 6-month period is banned for 2 months.
The + on automatically--this rule would exempt Pokemon whose ability obviously lowers their real stat value. In real terms, this excludes Slaking and Regigigas, so far, from the uber list. If any other conditions come in which mimic Slow Start or Truant, they will also be added to the exemption list.
The goal of this tier is to play with a very "open" metagame--that is, trainers have lots of options when they want to put a team together by the time the metagame develops. While the metagame is developing (expected to take 4-7 months) there will be some serious fluctuations in what's allowed, what's banned, etc. Once it's established, however, I expect it will be superior to Smogon's.
Why? Because Smogon is solely concerned with removing what makes for a playable metagame. This will be concerned with removing what makes a highly concentrated metagame. The net effect of the Bulbagarden Tier system will be a more spread-out, "open" metagame driving more innovation and more fun.
IV. In practice
So how would this work in practice?
Well, here's a hard banlist by generation:
Gen I: Mewtwo
Gen II: Mewtwo, Ho-oh, Lugia
Gen III: Mewtwo, Ho-oh, Lugia, Rayquaza, Groudon, Kyogre (awkwardly, in Gen III the 2% rule spills a bit out into the 600-level Pokes, and we don't want a blanket ban of them.)
Gen IV: Mewtwo, Ho-oh, Lugia, Rayquaza, Groudon, Kyogre, Arceus, Giratina, Palkia, Dialga.
Gen V: Mewtwo, Ho-oh, Lugia, Rayquaza, Groudon, Kyogre, Arceus, Giratina, Palkia, Dialga, Reshiram, Zekrom.
So, excepting Gen III, we've been perfect so far in banning the (agreed-upon) top-tier of Ubers.
V. Closing Comments
First, I'd love criticism and comments a lot. Go to town on this idea.
But the big theoretical concern I see that I want to address preemptively is, broadly: why not ban things like Darkrai outright?
Simple. We don't know how Gen V is gonna play. So we let it just...play out. If everyone (say, 55%) is using Darkrai in the first month, we ban him. Easy peasy. If he suddenly becomes a regular part of the metagame for whatever reason (say, 15%), we let the flow of the metagame determine that, too.
Some caveats: This will result in a very broken first month. I don't see that as a huge flaw, though. This system is entirely empirical. Nobody will be able to dispute our relegation decisions, etc. We won't have anything like the Great Salamence Schism of 2010. It's cut-and-dry, easy, and doesn't take a lot of effort on our part to maintain.
The main thing that requires additional rigor is the cutoff levels between tiers, which translates into creating a UU/NU tier if we so desire.