Smogon (and others') banning of Pokemon; who are they to decide??

View Poll Results: Is Evasion truly broken, or are there counters to it that can be used?

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  • Yes! Double Team / Minimize is evil, and should be banned forever!

    3 21.43%
  • No! There are are 15 moves that counter it (+5 more, depending) and items/abilities, too!

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Thread: Smogon (and others') banning of Pokemon; who are they to decide??

  1. #1
    70% Critical Hit Rate Stratago's Avatar
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    Default Smogon (and others') banning of Pokemon; who are they to decide??

    Long story short, I think Smogon are a collective bunch of quacks. Their bans often seem like arbitrary decisions based pleasing the whining masses ("Waah! I can't beat a Kingdra with Swift Swim, so it shouldn't even be allowed!"), or are just plain ridiculous (Excadrill? Really?)
    If the makers of the game didn't want people to use the combos that debuted in Gen V, then they wouldn't, for example, have given Politoed Drizzle in the first place, and just left that apparently too-powerful ability with a Legendary Pokemon (whose banning is more justifiable, due to superior base stats, but still IMO unnecessary).
    Smogon (and websites like it) ruin the fun - no, the point - of multiplayer in Pokemon by making these additional rules. So what if you get smashed? Alter your team and smash them back! Many Smogon players say that Swift Swim + Drizzle is 'broken', but Thunder and Hurricaine never miss in the rain, which takes care of just about every water type (including Ludicolo) that are 'too powerful' for use. Even perma-weather can be shut down by other forms of perma-weather. No Pokemon is unbeatable, and no strategy is perfect, therefore nothing should be banned. Players don't need to be told how to play their own game, and can govern themselves.

    For these and other ridiculous enforcements, click here: Smogon University's Black and White Ban List

    RE-RE-EDIT, 6/6/12
    Many people in this thread have done nothing but bash my opinion and tell me just how wrong I am, while praising Smogon's streamlining and cleaning up of the 'Metagame'. According to Wikipedia, "Metagaming is a broad term usually used to define any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game. In simple terms, it is the use of out-of-game information or resources to affect one's in-game decisions." In other words, 'metagame', in this application, means 'house rules'. House rules are fine, as long as everyone knows they're house rules. When house rules start being so widely accepted that people think they're actual rules, there's a problem. I'll use the game Monopoly, for example. It's quiz time!
    1) Does a player receive money for landing on Free Parking from a pool in the center of the board?
    2) Can a player purchase properties before they travel around the board and pass Go for the first time?
    The answers, according to the rules of the game, is no, but both of these house rules are so popular that many believe and that they are actually the rules of the game. That is perhaps one source of my issues with Smogon: they post their clauses and banlists which many people (including non-Smogon members) read and adhere to. These non-members may naively think them 'official', somehow, and change the way they build their teams around that. Or, a Smogonner, used to playing with certain rules, may attempt to 'help' someone by letting them know that they can't use (ie) BrightPowder because Hax items aren't allowed. I've seen it here in the forums, even. Someone will say, 'I need advice for team building', and then get a response like, 'you can't use that; it's banned', but neglect to mention that said ban is only for Smogon's gaming community.

    At the other end of the pendulum is the part of Smogon's community that truly makes me hate them: the members of said gaming community who believe that they are better than everyone else because they follow Smogon's rules, which are absolutely infallible. You can spot them commonly spouting phrases like 'lol u cant use that cuz its banned u noob', or 'you'd better listen to and respect me cuz (unlike you) I know what I'm talkin' 'bout'. Many of them think that because Smogon's members have play-tested and voted their rules into practice, that it means they are the authority. That's flawed logic though, like a rebublican politician saying, 'nine out of ten of my fellow republicans think this bill is good, so it should be made a law due to its 90% approval rate'. I've also noticed that these types seem to get extremely defensive about anyone disagreeing with Smogon, as though doing so is tantamount to insulting their Momma. Through the course of this thread, Vhaziphor introduced me to the term Scrub, which I'd say sums up the type that I'm ranting about. (This video also is a good example, though much snarkier.)

    Far from 'cleaning up the metagame', Smogon has cluttered it up with unnecessary rules that were never supposed to be a part of the game at all. Tiers restrict people in team-making by governing which Pokemon that they can use. Banning certain Pokemon based on their stats is silly, and banning them for being 'too popular' is outright ridiculous.

    In short, I'm Anti-Smogon, and I'm as justified in being so as its frenzied supporters are of it.

    On a side note: It's come to my attention that many people who support Smogon and other communities like it seem to freely use cheat devices and PokeSav to 'engineer' Pokemon that they can't normally get in the US (here's looking at you, Speed-Boost Blaziken), are shiny,
    have perfect IVs, or whatever, without putting any effort at all into it. People who use this method of 'creating' Pokemon, rather than breeding and training them, are, in my opinion, cheaters. Call me old fashioned, but I've spent days chain-breeding Pokemon to get egg moves I want, weeks on EV training, and even longer chaining for shinies, so I simply have no respect for that sort of thing.
    Last edited by Stratago; 6th June 2012 at 11:27 PM.

    Smogon: 'Nuff said.

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    Default Re: Smogon (and others') banning of Pokemon; who are they to decide??

    I agree with you, but I don't think any Pokémon should be banned at all... ever... even legendaries. I mean really, what's the point? Even if they have superior stats, so what? Banning them just means that people who rely on stats are going to use the non-legendary Pokémon with the best stats. How do websites such as Smogon respond to this? By banning the so-called ubers. And again, people just use the non-uber / non-legendaries with the best stats... there's no end to it!
    Every Pokémon in the game is part of the game and should be able to be used freely.
    Even GameFreak themselves are guilty of putting restrictions on certain Pokémon in multiplayer mode... I don't really see why. It's just an annoyance, forcing me to change my team whenever I want to use the feature. They're not even un-beatable anyway... I have at least 3 legendary Pokémon on my team and when I battle a friend I still lose every time (because I use my in-game team... he uses a strategic team to beat real-world players)

    Edit - and looking at the list, I can see some of their ridiculous rules. A OHKO clause?! The entire point of OHKO attacks having such low accuracy is to make them balanced and discourage people from using them... I doubt a serious trainer would ever rely on such techniques. And even if he does... so what? Banning it is completely unnecessary.
    Robo-Floatzel likes this.

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    70% Critical Hit Rate Stratago's Avatar
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    Default Re: Smogon (and others') banning of Pokemon; who are they to decide??

    You're right, even a team of six legends has weaknesses and is still beatable. I think that a team of six legends is kind of lame on the part of the user, unless everyone battling is doing the same thing (like an all-legend rumble), and it's even more lame to use, say, six Mewtwos, but I digress.
    Smogon likely banned OHKO moves are because of people who spam accuracy-boosting moves. It's another pointless ban, though; if they're going to take 3 turns raising their accuracy, then they're wide open to attack!
    Another pair of pointless bans is the Moody clause (apparently Smogon frowns on Emo Pokemon) and the Evasion Clause (how many attacks are there that always hit...?).

    Smogon: 'Nuff said.

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    Sleep tight Isamu Akai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Smogon (and others') banning of Pokemon; who are they to decide??

    Why the heck should their bans be that big of a deal? Like sure it is a given to listen to those bans when competing in their own tournaments and the like, but that doesn't mean you have to listen to them when battling in a tournament not endorsed by them, or when you're just battling casually with friends. I honestly do not see what the big deal is.

    And being a competitive battler myself back in the day, I can see why things are banned. They're generally banned for a reason, often because they make the metagame a total pain in the ass. I would have loved it if Stealth Rock was insta-banned from the metagame early on, that move alone made me not bother with competitive play in Gen 4, but can't always ask for these things.

    Things get banned, live with it. Even Nintendo has banned things before.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stratago View Post
    It's another pointless ban, though; if they're going to take 3 turns raising their accuracy, then they're wide open to attack!
    Usually in that case, the Pokemon raising their accuracy have higher defense or HP so as to not make their efforts wasteful. Accuracy raising is part of the Evasion clause anyway (Or was it accuracy lowering? Man, it really has been years since I last battled competitively...), and frankly, evasion and accuracy bugs me a great deal, so I'm happy with such clauses.
    gekkouga likes this.


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  5. #5
    70% Critical Hit Rate Stratago's Avatar
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    Default Re: Smogon (and others') banning of Pokemon; who are they to decide??

    Quote Originally Posted by Isamu Akai View Post
    Why the heck should their bans be that big of a deal?
    Because so many people think that their word is spoken law, and get all anal about what 'can' and 'can't' be used based on their decisions. Early on over the random matchups on wifi, I tried running the team I mentioned, and nearly every time the other person's connection would mysteriously fail. Hmmm...

    Quote Originally Posted by Isamu Akai View Post
    Even Nintendo has banned things before.
    Like what? Do you mean the Sky Drop + Gravity thing? That at least is a logical ban, since it's a glitch that stalls the game out.

    Smogon: 'Nuff said.

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    Default Re: Smogon (and others') banning of Pokemon; who are they to decide??

    Quote Originally Posted by Stratago View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Isamu Akai View Post
    Even Nintendo has banned things before.
    Like what? Do you mean the Sky Drop + Gravity thing? That at least is a logical ban, since it's a glitch that stalls the game out.
    Maybe the stuff I've mentioned as well (about the no legendaries allowed on the wifi balles... except that was GameFreak, not Nintendo).
    Also I've been in a Nintendo tournament with a rule "you are disqualified if you use Self Destruct, Explosion, or Metronome which turns out to be one of those 2 moves with your last Pokémon" (I'm not sure how recoil damage causing your last Pokémon to faint was handled). But those weren't restrictions on the moves themselves... just ways of determining the winner in the case of a tie.
    I can completely understand banning glitches (the combo you've mentioned... or a Ditto vs. Ditto match or a "you use Substitute and the other person uses Self Destruct" combo in Generation I)... but actual (non-glitch) stuff that is part of the game makes no sense to ban.
    Even Double Team, which I found incredibly annoying when Cynthia used it in-game, should not be banned.
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    Registered User jaamoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Smogon (and others') banning of Pokemon; who are they to decide??

    Smogon (and others) dont forces you or your friend's (or anybody) to use these rules :); in any case, the 'fault' its from the rest of the world which accept them, or maybe there's not fault, i personally think they just create a funnier game with theirs metagame's and tiers, just a more balanced competition :); but if wanna play with your rules, just find opponents who agree with you =)

    grettings :)
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    70% Critical Hit Rate Stratago's Avatar
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    Default Re: Smogon (and others') banning of Pokemon; who are they to decide??

    Quote Originally Posted by jaamoon View Post
    Smogon (and others) dont forces you or your friend's (or anybody) to use these rules :); in any case, the 'fault' its from the rest of the world which accept them, or maybe there's not fault, i personally think they just create a funnier game with theirs metagame's and tiers, just a more balanced competition :); but if wanna play with your rules, just find opponents who agree with you =)

    grettings :)
    Greetings and salutations, as well.

    If only it were so easy to 'find opponents who agree with me' (or to find opponents at all), since there are regrettably few people in my town who play Pokemon. (At the 'launch event' for Black and White, my wife and I were the only ones in line.)
    Regardless, the 'rules' Smogon puts out are read and adhered by people who aren't actually part of their gaming community; if it were just their own group there would be no problem. I was in a thread earlier where somebody was putting together a Drizzle team and some guy was like, 'Oh, you can't use Kingdra cuz he's banned' (which made me start this rant in the first place). That's the kind of thing I'm talking about.

    Smogon: 'Nuff said.

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    Default Re: Smogon (and others') banning of Pokemon; who are they to decide??

    well, on smogon exist a "free-for-all" metagame with no restrictions on which Pokemon may participate, they call it 'Uber' :P, and a lot of players battle in Uber
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    70% Critical Hit Rate Stratago's Avatar
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    Default Re: Smogon (and others') banning of Pokemon; who are they to decide??

    There are even bans in Uber.
    1) Arceus, Blaziken (huh?), Darkrai, Deoxys (except its defense forme), Dialga, Excadrill (why??), Garchomp (...), Giratina (both formes), Groudon, Ho-Oh, Kyogre, Lugia, Manaphy, Mewtwo, Palkia, Rayquaza, Reshiram, Shaymin (sky forme), Thundurus and Zekrom can't be used.
    2) You lose the battle if, at the end of your turn, two or more of your opponent's Pokemon are asleep as a result of moves you used.
    3) None of your Pokemon can know the moves Double Team, Minimize, Fissure, Guillotine, Horn Drill, or Sheer Cold, and can't have the ability Moody.
    Not exactly a 'free for all' if you cant use relatively average Pokemon like Excadrill, or starters like Blaziken.

    Smogon: 'Nuff said.

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    Registered User jaamoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Smogon (and others') banning of Pokemon; who are they to decide??

    Quote Originally Posted by Stratago View Post
    There are even bans in Uber.
    1) Arceus, Blaziken (huh?), Darkrai, Deoxys (except its defense forme), Dialga, Excadrill (why??), Garchomp (...), Giratina (both formes), Groudon, Ho-Oh, Kyogre, Lugia, Manaphy, Mewtwo, Palkia, Rayquaza, Reshiram, Shaymin (sky forme), Thundurus and Zekrom can't be used.
    2) You lose the battle if, at the end of your turn, two or more of your opponent's Pokemon are asleep as a result of moves you used.
    3) None of your Pokemon can know the moves Double Team, Minimize, Fissure, Guillotine, Horn Drill, or Sheer Cold, and can't have the ability Moody.
    Not exactly a 'free for all' if you cant use relatively average Pokemon like Excadrill, or starters like Blaziken.
    Every pokemons in 1) are allowed in Uber dude :), because the're on the Uber tier.
    gekkouga likes this.
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    Registered User The Outrage's Avatar
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    Default Re: Smogon (and others') banning of Pokemon; who are they to decide??

    They're a competitive battling community who actually test what they think they should ban for their battling community.

    You're asking them who they are to ban them, but they aren't imposing their laws on anyone. People just follow. Who are you to tell them they shouldn't do it? Your problem is that people follow their lead, but that's because most people agree with what they do. Those that don't set up their own standards when asking for a battle. It's your problem if you can't straighten out battle conditions with others before going into a fight. You also act as if whining is what gets things banned, but they do go through a testing period to see what works for their battling community. Who are you to tell them that their testing is wrong because you don't agree?

    You also use the reasoning "If the makers of the game didn't want people to use the combos that debuted in Gen V, then they wouldn't, for example, have given Politoed Drizzle in the first place"? Well, you can turn that logic back to say "If the makers of the game didn't want people to enforce their own battle rules, they would have said something about it already"
    Last edited by The Outrage; 3rd May 2012 at 09:53 PM.

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    Sleep tight Isamu Akai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Smogon (and others') banning of Pokemon; who are they to decide??

    Quote Originally Posted by Stratago View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Isamu Akai View Post
    Why the heck should their bans be that big of a deal?
    Because so many people think that their word is spoken law, and get all anal about what 'can' and 'can't' be used based on their decisions. Early on over the random matchups on wifi, I tried running the team I mentioned, and nearly every time the other person's connection would mysteriously fail. Hmmm...
    You're missing my point. As others already pointed out, you don't have to listen to Smogon all the damn time.

    And if you ask me, their bans are reasonable. Maybe you haven't encountered the same sort of annoying stuff in competitive battles before, but if you constantly did, I'm sure it would have left a bad taste in your mouth too.
    The Outrage, Jaden and gekkouga like this.


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    Clarion of Revelations Feliciano's Avatar Social Media Editor
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    Default Re: Smogon (and others') banning of Pokemon; who are they to decide??

    Dude, you just listed the Uber tier. Those pokemon are not BANNED in Uber, they ARE Uber. I personally dislike Smogon's method of dealing with the metagame as well, but if you're going to bitch, get your facts straight.

    Blaziken got banned to Uber because of it's Dream World ability, Speed Boost. With it's already great offensive stats, all it took was one turn of using Protect for Blaziken to become extremely hard to stop. Blaziken with the ability Blaze are NOT banned from standard play.

    Excadrill was banned because, again, of it's ability, Sand Rush. In combination with it's already great speed and really good attack stats, it became a very dangerous pokemon that required opposing teams to sacrifice at least one pokemon to take it down, if not more. Garchomp was banned for similar reasons. It became so common and was so powerful that opponents needed to have at least two pokemon on their teams dedicated to taking it down, no matter what kind of team they were running.

    Sleep Clause exists because, without it, things like Breloom could just spam Spore and put the entire opponent's team to sleep. Since there are no items beyond what can be held by a pokemon in online play, the opponent is forced to wait out the sleep turns with no control over when they wake up while the one who put them to sleep sets up to their heart's content and sweeps them. Even if they have a Lum Berry or a Chesto Berry, that only buys them one turn.

    OHKO moves and evasion boosting moves make the battle based on luck rather than skill. Remember how pissed off you get whenever there's a Gym Leader of Elite Four member who just uses Double Team over and over again so you can't even hit them? Always-hit moves are nice, but they also are relatively weak. I don't think there's a single one over 60 base power, and that's just not worth it to carry an always-hit move on your team when lots of pokemon are already struggling for good type coverage without it. OHKO moves can have their accuracy boosted by means of a Wide Lens or, in 5th gen, moves like Coil (perfectly legal to use) and Hone Claws (also perfectly legal to use). This means that an opposing team can be absolutely crippled in just one turn, and there's absolutely nothing they could have done about it. Moody is also heavily luck-based, and while I can fault Smogon for a lot of things, the one thing I can't fault them on is that their system tries to minimize rage-inducing luck whenever possible.

    I understand it's difficult to find people who don't battle by Smogon rules. It's a pain the the ass, but that's the way it is. But if you really don't want to battle by their rules, then you're going to have to stick to finding people you know who you can set up your own custom rules with.
    Isamu Akai and gekkouga like this.
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    Ice Master. AshK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Smogon (and others') banning of Pokemon; who are they to decide??

    Quote Originally Posted by dannyjenn View Post
    I agree with you, but I don't think any Pokémon should be banned at all... ever... even legendaries. I mean really, what's the point? Even if they have superior stats, so what? Banning them just means that people who rely on stats are going to use the non-legendary Pokémon with the best stats. How do websites such as Smogon respond to this? By banning the so-called ubers. And again, people just use the non-uber / non-legendaries with the best stats... there's no end to it!
    Every Pokémon in the game is part of the game and should be able to be used freely.
    Even GameFreak themselves are guilty of putting restrictions on certain Pokémon in multiplayer mode... I don't really see why. It's just an annoyance, forcing me to change my team whenever I want to use the feature. They're not even un-beatable anyway... I have at least 3 legendary Pokémon on my team and when I battle a friend I still lose every time (because I use my in-game team... he uses a strategic team to beat real-world players)

    Edit - and looking at the list, I can see some of their ridiculous rules. A OHKO clause?! The entire point of OHKO attacks having such low accuracy is to make them balanced and discourage people from using them... I doubt a serious trainer would ever rely on such techniques. And even if he does... so what? Banning it is completely unnecessary.
    There are some things I disagree with when it comes to banning things but one thing I am in complete agreement are the OHKO moves. its real dumb luck to rely on those moves and if they hit then there is no skill in it at all. I know smart trainers may not use them anyways like u said but some guy might just want to be a troll and spam the move. If they get lucky you can technically sweep a team.... i mean if you are very very lucky. isn't there an item that increases accuracy 20 or 30 percent?

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