Sunday, June 26, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #15: Garchomp's Banishment

          Well, it's happened again! Garchomp, one of the most threatening Pokemon ever to grace the metagame with its monstrous presence, has been banned from Standard play. According to Smogon, during Round 4 of the most recent Suspect Testing, Chomp was the only Pokemon, as well as the only thing in general, to get the ban hammer. The other Suspects (Pokemon who are argued by some to be too strong for the current metagame) included Excadrill, Latios, Deoxys-S, and Thundurus, the latter of which is perhaps the next most "broken" Pokemon in the list.

          It is easy to see why each and every one of these Pokemon are on the suspect list, as they all possess qualities of a top-tier monster, and threaten a good portion of the metagame in their own right, but it would appear that Garchomp, like last Gen, is still too strong for its own good. A great reasoning for this seems to be the extreme prevalence of Sandstorm teams, where with new additions like Ferrothorn, Poison Heal Gliscor, and Excadrill in BW, as well as the fact that T-Tar is now as viable as ever, make Garchomp the perfect Pokemon to abuse its godly stats, flawless movepool, and annoyingly wonderful ability. If you ask me, Garchomp really wasn't too much of a threat. I never really had much trouble with it in online battles, but to be completely honest, it was really only a matter of time before it was voted out by the majority of the higher-ups at Smogon. 

         The reason this is so interesting to ponder is that this is the second generation in a row that Garchomp has been banned, ideally for the same reasons this time around. What's more, while it is clear that the 5th Gen metagame is essentially a beefed-up, more fast-paced version of the last generation, Garchomp is still too much for the OU group, both new and old. What I'd like to consider now is: who's next? Will Latias and Salamence follow suit, just like Gen 4? Will Thundurus and Excadrill prove that weather is over-centralizing of this new game? Or will all of the aforementioned mons remain situated in OU and keep the metagame steady by checking one another? It's all really anyone's guess as of now, but here are a few things you may consider to help you understand the current Standard field:

  1) Did Garchomp really need to be Banned again? Was he really TOO strong?
  2) Will Thundurus be the next to get the ban? Why or why not?
  3) Will Chomp's Dragon brethren, Salamence, get banned as well, or is Mence just not as good in       Black/White?

  4) Is Weather too broken this Gen? Does it need to go, or does Rain, Sun and Sand balance one another out?
  5) How would the metagame look without Weather? Would it be less powerful?

Again, this is just a list to get you thinking about where Black/White OU stands as of now. As always, thanks for the read, and I apologize for the lack of posting. I will begin to post more frequently this week (including an Analysis of a new Pokemon!)

Thanks again!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #14: Potentially New Tier! Rarely Used (RU)

          It has been announced on Smogon (posted just earlier today) that with the newly founded OU and UU tiers (though not completely balanced and finalized as of yet) there is some concern of the vast overflow of monsters in NU; apparently nearly 2/3 of all fully evolved Pokemon will be relegated to this tier. For that reason there has been created a new establishment for very unused Pokemon to shine, where things like Victini, Donphan, and Roserade aren't welcome to ruin all the fun. This "tier" (at the moment a seemingly basic foundation) will be called Rarely Used (RU), and will, I presume, precede the NU tier.

          With the introduction of countless new Pokemon, abilities, moves, and combinations of the three, the new NU tier of 5th gen would really become more of a combination of both UU and NU of last gen (at least in terms of Pokemon count), giving way to nearly thousands of options, as well as the highest amount of versatile potential these Competitive Battling tiers may have ever seen. While NU in 4th gen was played more as a refreshment tier where one could escape the constant and almost guaranteed threat of things like Scizor, Infernape, and Blissey, there would be almost too much versatility in 5th gen where things like Swoobat, Scolipede and Leavanny now exist and are not used very much because of all the overpowered threats of new and old. Though many might argue that the vast amount of options available to them in an NU tier of about 300-odd Pokemon (not to mention that Eviolite now exists, giving things like Gloom, Golbat and Gurdurr viability) would be a great thing, it's much more playable, much more organized, to have a new tier introduced. This would limit the use of certain things in all tiers, making each one its own metagame with its own list of potential and common threats.

         As I've mentioned, new options such as Quiver Dance, Dream World abilities, Eviolite, Shell Smash and Weather, to name a few, make so many Pokemon much more usable, though with the already existing threats in OU and UU that can utilize these things more effectively, certain Pokemon become cursed to never see the light of competitive play. I am excited for this potential new tier, as I've been enjoying what new OU and UU have brought to the table, so I am sure this new grouping will make for a more fun, more diverse game of play in Black/White. Again, this was just posted about earlier today, so I don't think anything is set in stone yet, but as it is, this is something fun and exciting to speculate about.

Here is the hierarchy of tiers as I now imagine it (though it was never stated where RU would fall):
Ubers--> OU--> [BL]--> UU--> RU--> NU--> [Little Cup]

Here is the original Post, on Smogon.

**So now that this has been announced, which Pokemon do you think will be running rampant in this new tier? Who do you think will become RU, and who, then, will become an effective Pokemon to use in NU? Just a little food for thought for all of you ;)