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!


  1. Awesome questions at the end,man. I, too never really felt the need of banishing Garchomp. It is not definitely something that is unbeatable or so. But, well Smogon decides stuff, so no meaning in complaining over it. I really hate the weather-centred strategy that has become so popular especially in the fifth generation. I feel that, perhaps it has become that strategy that most trainers would like to adopt. And I also hope that Nintendo brings in some form of effective check against it in the next generation.

  2. Yes, thank you for your input. I really agree with everything you've said. I've learned to deal with and accept weather, though I'd like it gone as well :P