Random Announcement

This isn’t gonna make sense to anyone so I may or may not take the liberty of explaining…

I’m officially fed up with Smogon’s tiers. I’m literally in the middle of building a team with incredibly vague movesets and I really, really wanted a Wishing Salamence, and for the heck of it I wanted to see if it was legal for Sal to have Dragon Dance alongside Wish, because then it’d work pretty frickin’ awesomely alongside a Calm Mind/Wish Jirachi. When I learn from Serebii that the DD/Wish combo is illegal, I check up Smogon to see what could learn Wish and Dragon Dance or Swords Dance, and what am I greeted with when I check the page on Wish?

FRICKIN’ SALAMENCE HAS JUST BEEN BANNED TO UBERS. GOD.

Since I’m in a rant-y mood and that last paragraph just made no sense, I’ll do my best to explain this to the not Pokemon-obsessed: Smogon is a website that most people regard like some kind of Pokemon Bible. They’ve taken all 200-odd fully evolved Pokemon and sorted them into tiers based on their stats, moves and general usage (though a lot of stuff influences that). For example, before today, Salamence was slotted in the “Overused” tier due to its great attacking stats, few weaknesses and diverse movepool. Another example is my old favorite, Kabutops: it’s in the “Underused” tier due to its high attack and defense, but bad defensive typing (but works great offensively) and low speed for a Pokemon that’s clearly made to pick off opponent after opponent without breaking a sweat. Not that an epic sword-crustacean-fish-thing made of rocks would sweat. It does work great against Overused Pokemon if it’s backed up by rain though.

The tiers are sorted into a ladder, in order from lowest to highest: Never Used (NU), Underused (UU), Borderline (BL), Overused (OU) and Ubers. The Ubers tier includes most Legendary Pokemon such as Lugia, Mewtwo, Arceus, Lati@s, etc. as well as Garchomp (not legendary). When you’re making a team, you’d generally focus on the Overused tier because that’s where the generally best Pokemon lie, since normal people frown upon the use of Ubers in casual competitive play. Entire teams are then placed into a tier for competitive play too, and a team’s tier is based on its Pokemon placed in the highest tier; so let’s say I have 2 NU’s, 3 UU’s and 1 OU Pokemon, my team would have to compete with OU-tier teams. Though I could be challenged by a guy with an all-NU team.

Anyways, why do I find Salamence’s banning stupid? I won’t disagree that Salamence is a strong and versatile Pokemon, but like every Pokemon, it does have weaknesses and they’re actually easily exploitable. It’s cursed with the typical dragon’s 4x weakness to ice, meaning a lot of common sweepers or even walls with Ice Shard, Ice Fang, Ice Punch or Ice Beam can take it down with ease, ie: Mamoswine, Cresselia, Lucario, Suicune, Machamp, you get the picture. Outside of Ice, Salamence sports a weakness to Rock, and obviously its own type, Dragon. That means it’s easily downed by Stone Edge, Draco Meteor, Dragon Pulse and Outrage, which also tend to be common attacks. (Well, Draco Meteor’s a little more rare due to it being exclusive to Dragons and stuff…) And Power Gem, which I feel as a really unappreciated attack and I hope with the 5th generation rolling around, more Pokemon will be able to learn it. Anyways, examples to back up that last claim: Breloom, Gliscor, Gyarados, Heatran (Dragon Pulse), Heracross, Infernape, Kingdra, Lucario, Tyranitar, and there’s more where that came from.

I dunno if I really want to say this where people could see it, but Smogon’s starting to make me worried. They make me think of Nazis. I mean, obviously the difference here is that I don’t have to follow their regime, but considering Smoggy’s one of the best resources for competitive battling and such, it’s kinda hard to ignore it. I mean, with the vibes I’m getting from this decision, I can’t help but wonder “who’s next?” Breloom for being nearly unstoppable with Spore, Substitute and Focus Punch if it weren’t for Sleep Clause? Metagross for being so frickin’ offensively powerful and getting off an easy, near-guaranteed kill with Explosion? How about we throw Gyarados in up there, it’s practically the Water equivalent of Salamence anyways. And now Skarmory because we didn’t feel like banning Blissey. And now Magnezone because it can kill Skarmory. And Quagsire because it’s blue. Okay, that was a bad example, Quagsire can be useful in Ubers…

I was annoyed enough when Latias was put back in Ubers, even though she should’ve always been there to start with. Garchomp was a reasonable ban, since Nintendo kinda messed that up (“Let’s take an offensive powerhouse and give it the ability to conditionally dodge 1 in 5 attacks, though no one would think of coupling it with Tyranitar to activate that condition, noooo”). But there are some other things that bug me too.

For instance, all these BST 600 Legends running amok randomly between Ubers and OU. Celebi, Heatran, Jirachi and co. skip around in OU like happy little bunnies in a field. Yet, there are Legends at par with them that are stuck in Ubers that would fit fine in OU too. What about Manaphy? Its ability only works in the rain anyways (*stares angrily at Natural Cure users*), and actually takes skill in prediction  to use because if you use Rest on the turn the rain expires or when someone brings in Tyranitar/Hippowdon/Abomasnow then you’re pretty much screwed. Not to mention it doesn’t get neutral-on-everything coverage like some OU mons do.

While I’m ranting about Ubers that according to my interpretation of what I think what Smogon thinks is OU, Sky Forme Shaymin could fit in too. It’s friggin’ Grass type so it’s already been cursed with lots of Supereffective hits coming at it, not to mention its defensive stats leave a bit to be desired too. I suppose its major boon that kicks it into Ubers is Serene Grace doubling Seed Flare’s 40% chance of lowering Sp. Def. But dude, it’s only a Grass move, those are resisted by 7 types, the bulk of them populating OU. Shaymin-S’s primary function is as a revenge killer anyways, and as with most revenge killers bearing Choice items, it’ll get locked into something you could switch into, and something’s going to have to go down in order for Shaymin to get in without dying.

Well, I suppose there are benefits to Salamence being brought down to the same level as Garchomp. Now my precious Dragonites and Flygons finally have their time to shine ^.~ Actually, that’s the only benefit I see, so I guess that sentence shouldn’t be plural…

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    • MK
    • July 17th, 2010

    I’ll take your word for it XD.

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