Announcement Banlist Updates 1.2 - Life Goes On (and so does NDM)

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At long last the next wave of bans has arrived. Threshold for a quickban is 4/5 and with that the following will be banned:
  • :Houndstone: Houndstone
  • :Kyurem-Black: Kyurem-Black
  • :Urshifu: Urshifu-S
  • :Zygarde: Zygarde
  • :Damp Rock: Damp Rock
  • :Smooth Rock: Smooth Rock
  • :Icy Rock: Icy Rock
Tagging Kris for implementation

:Houndstone: Houndstone
Last Respects. Need I say more? Because of the insane BP of this move and relatively decent stats of Houndstone, complemented by Fluffy and Sand Rush, every team facing Houndstone has to play around it the entire game if they want a chance to beat it. As mentioned in Monotype, the banning policy is not to ban low distribution moves. For more info, refer to the OU council's post.

:Kyurem-Black: Kyurem-Black
He's back in black and luckier than ever. Kyurem-Black boasts insanely high base stats and access to strong Electric/Ice moves for perfect coverage; as of Generation 8 it got access to Icicle Spear and Dragon Dance to take full advantage of Kyurem-Black's insane Attack stat. This was enough to be banned last generation and with new mechanics in Generation 9, Kyurem-Black's threat level and centralization is well over the top. First is Snow, which replaced Hail, giving Ice-type Pokemon x1.5 boost to Defense. Second is Loaded Dice which makes Icicle Spear's BP 100-125. Lastly with support from Aurora Veil, there are very few counter plays to stop set up.

:Urshifu: Urshifu-S
This one is an odd case in that it was not supposed to be banned in the first wave, but upon a revote it met the threshold for a quickban anyway. With its new access to Swords Dance in addition to its signature move Wicked Blow and priority in Sucker Punch, Urshifu can effectively tear through almost anything that doesn't resist Dark. Wicked Blow having a 100% critical hit rate means that any opposing defensive boosts are useless. I apologize for the irregularities on this one, but Urshifu will remain banned.

:Zygarde: Zygarde
Zygarde was able to get a little tryout and as expected, it got the ban hammer. With high BST and a variety of sets Zygarde's unpredictability and bulk make anything without Ice coverage unable to KO Zygarde. Additionally on both Dragon and Ground, the support provided to Zygarde helps push it over the top and shut down the opponents checks. Zygarde-10% will remain so fret not if you want access to Thousand Arrows.

:Damp Rock::Smooth Rock: Damp Rock & Smooth Rock
As with every generation, these rocks are taken out right away. Both Water and Ground can greatly benefit from their respective weather.

Damp Rock
The stronger of the two is Damp Rock; Water not only has a plethora of Swift Swim users (Barraskewda, Mega Swampert, Kingdra, and more), but a consistent Rain setter in Pelipper has access to Reliable recovery in Roost, and pivoting in U-turn to take maximum advantage of Rain. Even defensive checks that resist Water can be broken with by the strong attackers backed up a x1.5 boost to Water STAB.

Smooth Rock
Though Ground has far less diversity in what can take advantage of Sand, the centralization of the main Sand Rush user is too much for a lot of types to handle. Ground/Rock coverage rivals the effectiveness of Electric/Ice which Excadrill can back up with Swords Dance, Rapid Spin (which boosts Speed as of Generation 8) and Z moves to break through most defensive cores. What pushes Sand Rush over the edge is Landorus' ability to support Excadrill with Gravity, allowing it to spam Earthquake with no risk. Even 6 turns of Sand can be enough to sweep an entire team.

:Icy Rock: Icy Rock
As mentioned before, Hail has now been replaced with Snow. Ice is able to compound boosts of this weather to gain x1.5 Def combined with Aurora Veil (x1.5 to both Def and SpD) for Slush Rush users and set-up attackers. With the amount of defensive support, nearly any Ice-type Pokemon, like Baxcalibur, Cetitan, Arctozolt, Kyurem, Chien-Pao and more, can set up with very little risk or counter play.

Vote breakdown:
HoundstoneBanBanBanDo Not BanBan
Urshifu-SBanBanBanDo Not BanBan
Damp RockBanBanBanBanBan
Smooth RockBanBanBanBanBan
Icy RockBanBanBanDo Not BanBan

The remainder of the watchlist is as follows:
  • :Mawile-Mega: Mega Mawile
  • :Medicham-Mega: Mega Medicham
  • :Annihilape: Annihilape
  • :Iron Valiant: Iron Valiant
  • :Flutter Mane: Flutter Mane
  • :Roaring Moon: Roaring Moon
  • :Chien-Pao: Chien-Pao
  • :Chi-Yu: Chi-Yu
  • :Rabsca: Revival Blessing
  • :Cyclizar: Shed Tail
  • :Leppa Berry: Leppa Berry
There could still be more additions to this list as we see how the meta adjusts to this wave of bans. We still have a long way to go in balancing out the meta and we will be working hard to address the problems as expeditiously as possible. Again we appreciate your patience and would love to hear what you have to say in the discussion thread. Tagging Kris to implement this!
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