DOU and Tiering Policy mk.II: Dark Void

Arcticblast

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Hi! Another DOU player back again to talk about tiering policy. This thread reflects my views and my views alone, and does not necessarily reflect those of the DOU tier leaders or tiering council members.

We've talked about the Tatsugiri ban applied near the beginning of SV DOU before. I won't try to rewrite the many good arguments in that thread; the whole thread is worth a read if you haven't done so before. Nothing has really changed regarding Tatsugiri itself, but this past Sunday, Darkrai was quickbanned from Doubles OU. The ban was absolutely necessary and I won't debate it; Dark Void was both broken and uncompetitive in its "I have a 25% chance or better to win on the spot, but I also might do nothing this turn" nature. However, I question the necessity of banning Darkrai rather than banning Dark Void. While it's true that banning Darkrai lines up with current tiering policy, it marks a major break from previous Doubles tiering.

Dark Void is banned in BW and XY DOU because more than one Pokemon has access to it, but Dark Void is also banned in SM, Natdex, and the admittedly dead BDSP DOU, where Smeargle no longer has access to the move. The ban was simply grandfathered in from past generations, because we had seen time and time again that Darkrai without Dark Void is... pretty mediocre. Glass cannons tend to be pretty weak in Doubles formats as a general rule. Pokemon such as Deoxys-Attack, Iron Valiant, and Shaymin-Sky often find themselves in positions where they can easily take one knockout but can't avoid being knocked out by the target's partner. Trading one for one is pretty good, but when that's all a Pokemon is good at, that Pokemon usually doesn't see much doubles play. Darkrai fits into the glass cannon mold, but with low BP on most of its moves, it doesn't live up to the "cannon" part very well, and it just kind of dies.

While the actual metagame impact of banning Darkrai over Dark Void will likely be pretty minimal, we have still removed a Pokemon that arguably didn't need to be removed. Darkrai has almost never even made it to DOU by usage. However, in SM DOU, Darkrai occasionally finds itself on teams as a Mega Metagross check, seeing play as recently as last DPL. Because we chose to maintain the Dark Void ban, we allow players to experiment with Darkrai on their teams. Darkrai might not make any waves in DOU this generation, but it might be fantastic in DUU, where it currently outspeeds most of the format! Unfortunately, we'll never get the chance to find out, because tradition was broken and Darkrai was banned instead of Dark Void. In this case, the argument that "you cannot separate Dark Void from Darkrai" falls apart because we did, and we got to keep an interesting (if underpowered) Pokemon in the format.

Darkrai shows that there is merit to occasionally removing a particularly egregious part of a Pokemon rather than the whole, but there's one other Pokemon I want to specifically talk about: Zygarde. In SM, SS, and Natdex DOU, Power Construct is banned, and Zygarde without Power Construct is both legal and popular. It sits solidly at tier 2 in the viability rankings in the oldgens, and recently narrowly escaped a ban in Natdex. The beginning of SM was a little messy, but in choosing to ban Power Construct instead of Zygarde as a whole, we kept a Pokemon that is now a multi-format staple. Banning Power Construct "technically" bans Zygarde-Complete, but Zyg-C cannot exist outside of battle without hacking, so I would argue Power Construct falls into the same umbrella that Dark Void has and Commander should: an egregiously powerful trait attached to a single Pokemon that can be cleanly removed from that Pokemon. (For what it's worth, SM OU has this exact same ban!)
edit: I forgot Zygarde 10% exists. In my defense, you probably did too.

- Annihilape would remain banned because it is not the only Pokemon with Rage Fist, Annihilape's most broken trait, and Primape is decidedly not broken.
- Basculegion-M would remain banned because it is not the only Pokemon with Last Respects, Basculegion's most broken trait. Basculegion-F is powerful but not quite broken, and Houndstone sucks.
- Flutter Mane is currently legal, but was previously banned. There is no single element of Flutter Mane that can simply be removed to balance it.
- Magearna's only ability is Soul Heart; we cannot ban Soul Heart without banning Magearna.
- Ursaluna is currently legal, but was previously banned. As with Flutter Mane, there is no single element of Ursaluna that can simply be removed to balance it.
- Urshifu's two formes both have multiple broken aspects in their ability Unseen Fist and their signature moves. While their signature moves could technically be removed, other auto-crit moves exist on balanced Pokemon such as Meowscarada's Flower Trick. We cannot ban Unseen Fist without banning Urshifu, as neither form has another ability.

While I won't dwell on these for too long, DOU has seen its fair share of other specific non-Pokemon bans in the past. Eevium Z, Beat Up, and Swagger are all mentioned in the previous Tatsugiri thread. This is also a good place to remind everyone that no DOU format after BW has Sleep Clause - newer formats have the tools to answer individual sleep users. Rather than go back and ban Amoonguss in BW, or Pokemon like Breloom and Venusaur in ADV, DPP, and BW, we simply apply Sleep Clause and are able to keep several Pokemon in the format. For the rare abuse case of Gravity, we have a separate Gravity Sleep Clause. (Grav Sleep bans Gravity and non-Spore Sleep moves on the same team; you can find a recent post I made about it here.) While we could just ban Gravity and be done with it, there's no harm in allowing Gravity without sleep to continue to exist in the format. Gravity is banned in BW DOU, but this is only due to its game-breaking interaction with Sky Drop.

Tatsugiri and Darkrai's cases are different. Tatsugiri is part of a busted interaction between two Pokemon that technically no other Pokemon can claim to have. Darkrai simply has a move that is completely uncompetitive, on a similar power level to OHKO moves. However, they boil down to the same problem: a Pokemon with a single exceptionally broken trait was banned when we instead could have banned the broken trait and kept the Pokemon in the format. In each of these cases, DOU leadership chose to adhere to existing tiering policy. In each of these cases, a clear alternative to a Pokemon ban exists that would allow players to continue to use the Pokemon in question. I believe that strict adherence to tiering policy will only continue to create these problems, and DOU (and perhaps the site as a whole) should not be so quick to rigorously adhere to policy when deciding the fate of broken elements. I don't think tiering policy should be changed to make these sorts of bans work, I just think we should be able to break it when the health of the format is demonstrably improved by doing so.

This is a hard thing to tl;dr, but I'll give it a go. The format benefits from having as many options available as possible. When a Pokemon has a single unique and incredibly broken element, and we choose to ban the whole Pokemon, we are removing an option from the players. Precedent has proven that removing the unique aspect from those Pokemon results in no major change at worst and a healthy format staple at best.
 
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Actuarily

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So I’m going to respond to the crutch of your argument, which I believe is this:
I believe that strict adherence to tiering policy will only continue to create these problems, and DOU (and perhaps the site as a whole) should not be so quick to rigorously adhere to policy when deciding the fate of broken elements.
I really think that the argument of “we shouldn’t follow tiering policy rigorously” is VERY shortsighted and ignores why tiering policy was created in the first place. Current tiering policy is the result of a decades worth of work & discussion on the best way to apply bans and tier metagames, it’s not just some arbitrary set of rules created. We’ve had these discussions in the past so many times, that these are the rules that we’ve established going forward so that we hopefully don’t need so much debate.

Maybe Darkrai wouldn’t be banworthy with Dark Void banned instead, but how about Marshadow? Would it not be banworthy without Spectral Thief? I’m not so sure. Think about what would happen in this case. We’d have a suspect test for Spectral Thief, it would probably be banned, and then a week or two later, we’d realize, oops, actually Marshadow is too strong even without it, so now we’d have a second suspect just to ban the broken element all along. It gets extremely clunky, and we’d have to have these debates for every suspect. It would turn into “how can we whittle down this Pokémon’s elements until it is no longer banworthy?”

These sorts of problems are why tiering policy has been agreed upon, and to just throw it away because it gives some of us our desired outcome this time will just re-ignite all the problems of the past.
 
how about Marshadow? Would it not be banworthy without Spectral Thief?
This case won't come up. Arctic pretty clearly said in his post that he doesn't want to tier things without a single broken element and the 125 Attack, 125 Speed Ghost/Fighting-type would fall under that. No one involved in the community is clamoring for these piecemeal kinds of tests and banning Dark Void > Darkrai would not really give validity to these, either.

I think it's very easy to separate these extreme cases with obvious outlier elements and more flexibility in policy like this would help metagame health. We have a lot of precedent that less restrictive bans have been healthy and opened up options.
 

ryo yamada2001

ryo yamada2001
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arcticblast is not even saying that tiering policy should be ignored, but rather that it should be evaluated critically to inform us of precedence on similar cases, and that we should be able to deviate from it in case policy precedence would hurt the tier more than improve it. once again, it's not that tiering policy is arbitrary, but that the application thereof in this case has been. is there an explanation for Darkrai getting banned instead of Dark Void besides "it's just policy"? this strict adherence to policy doesn't improve the tier
 

Actuarily

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This case won't come up. Arctic pretty clearly said in his post that he doesn't want to tier things without a single broken element and the 125 Attack, 125 Speed Ghost/Fighting-type would fall under that. No one involved in the community is clamoring for these piecemeal kinds of tests and banning Dark Void > Darkrai would not really give validity to these, either.

I think it's very easy to separate these extreme cases with obvious outlier elements and more flexibility in policy like this would help metagame health. We have a lot of precedent that less restrictive bans have been healthy and opened up options.
It does come up pretty regularly, clearly. We’ve had two discussions for DOU in just SV alone so far about trying to break out elements of a Pokémon instead of banning a Pokémon. I’m not sure how we can pretend it’s not something that will occur in the future if we don’t have clear guidelines about how to handle these situations. Which is exactly what the tiering policies are.
 
The atrocious analogy is not actually coming up regularly. The policy could use changes because the entire community is unhappy with the bans of Darkrai and Tatsugiri this generation, and it will keep coming up not because we don't want to follow the policy, but because we have issues with the outcomes it is creating.
 
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Amaranth

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let me reverse the bolding to the part of your post that is actually problematic
I believe that strict adherence to tiering policy will only continue to create these problems, and DOU (and perhaps the site as a whole) should not be so quick to rigorously adhere to policy when deciding the fate of broken elements. I don't think tiering policy should be changed to make these sorts of bans work, I just think we should be able to break it when the health of the format is demonstrably improved by doing so.
no, absolutely not, never in a million years should we set the precedent that the pillars of policy can be ignored
by all means we should improve policy so that it covers these cases correctly. policy is not the ten commandments, policy is something we write so that we can judge situations correctly without having to re-argue over how to do that every time. if you start breaking policy whenever it "feels right", then policy has no meaning at all, and you have to argue over every decision all over again.
what should happen is precisely an improvement of policy so that cases like Darkrai can be handled correctly, and nothing else

this Darkrai issue highlights a clear problem: the Dark Void vs. Spectral Thief comparison makes sense of the surface, but it is intuitively a little silly to most people i think.
it should be said that the actual tiering policy framework does not seem to mention anything about "banning the pokemon vs banning the ability/move/whatever". unless i've missed something, this whole preference for nuking the entire mon rather than some of the things it does is a thing that is known, but not actually in writing anywhere. and it really should be in writing somewhere. so that's problem #1 with tiering policies as they stand. hard to make a rigorous argument against something that is just "known" but not actually spelled out. policymakers should really sort this out.

to draw another parallel, i think a lot of people also intuitively knew that the houndstone OU ban was silly. there is an issue with the current policy regarding signature moves/abilities. if only one pokemon in the game had Moody, we'd all be instantly able to tell that the ability has no place in a competitive metagame. but somehow policy refuses to acknowledge these blatant cases until... two pokemon have the clearly problematic element. then we think that's enough to acknowledge the very blatant simple reality of the situation. like, what the fuck?

i think what is happening here, and happened with houndstone, and probably many more times in the past and future, is that there's a clear single element that is plainly (either broken or uncompetitive), and yet somehow policy thinks we are unable to separate those things from the pokemon that learn them.
"well we don't know if it's last respects that's broken, or just houndstone itself!" - lmao, no, clearly last respects was broken. what? why does policy behave as if we can't tell the difference ever? why do we always need to default to banning the single pokemon, even when it's obvious to everybody that sometimes it is in fact the single move or ability that is problematic?

of course there are examples where "the problematic element" is not clear. there are examples where you can't tell nearly as easily - as Actuarily brought up, for instance - which of Marshadow or Spectral Thief is the broken element. but you know what you do when you're not sure which of two elements is problematic? just fucking vote on it! or have the councils decide, either works. see also BW gems and many other cases where it's apparently perfectly acceptable to involve the community.


this "always ban the pokemon and not the move/ability until we have 2+ abusers" policy:
(1) makes no sense. why is 2+ abusers enough? maybe both the abusers are really problematic by themselves. why not 3+? 5+? 10+?
(2) is weirdly anal about this specific situation, when already we trust councils and community to be able to identify and act on problematic metagame elements correctly. how can we possibly live in a world where the council is smart enough to be trusted with accurate quickbans at the start of a generation, but not smart enough to tell which is the problem between "a 300BP move" and "gravestone dog"?
(3) seems to ignore the possibility of simply holding a ranked vote between (ban pokemon / ban move or ability / do nothing), or seems to not trust that the community is able to handle such a vote appropriately. so instead of having some thought put into whether to ban pokemon or move/ability, the policy decides that it is preferrable to have none whatsoever and simply choose based on the # of pokemon with access to the move.
when you put it that way it sounds really fucking stupid doesn't it?

i understand preference to ban pokemon rather than moves or abilities, to have a simpler banlist. i do not think this preference is enough to justify ridiculous decisions such as the houndstone one, or the darkrai one. sometimes the broken element is really really clear, give councils and communities the power to draw the lines.



to summarize:
1. policy isn't even properly in writing, please update it
2. unwritten policy around signature moves/abilities is horrible; requiring 2+ abusers to ban (instead of being content with 1 or requiring more) is completely arbitrary; and regardless of the # of abusers that you choose, it leads to horrible decisions taken with 0 actual thought behind them, when very often it did not take much thought at all to make a better decision straight away (Houndstone case)
3. when it can be reasonably argued that the problem is caused by a combination of factors, by all means, we can default to banning the pokemon. when it is clear that the problem is caused by a single factor, let's just ban the factor. if it is unclear, councils can vote on it, or suspect tests can be held about it, as for every other contentious issue in any tiering situation ever
4. darkrai's ban isn't on the basis of "broken", it's on the basis of "uncompetitive". there is clearly nothing uncompetitive about darkrai other than a single factor in dark void. ban dark void, free darkrai.

oh and 5. to be absolutely clear, this is not a DOU issue, as is evident by the OU Houndstone parallels. there are some situations where DOU is weird and janky and its own thing. this is not one of them. stop conflating the two (on both sides of the argument)
 
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Karxrida

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[stuff about Houndstone]
I personally think the Houndstone ban was unnecessary for a different reason: thing was overhyped as fuck. Fun fact, 3 allies dead Last Respects is still out-DPSed by a similarly-powered Kingambit with Black Glasses (plus it can also Swords Dance), so Houndstone is only really scary when you throw your entire team away for it. And compared to King, Hound lacks any potential early game and midgame pressure, cannot apply its power to other moves so it's much easier to wall (Tera Dark to neuter or Tera Normal/run out weather and it's worthless), and needs to be tethered to weather support since it lacks priority. T-tar and Hippo were shittmons back then, too, so might as well have been playing with a team of 4 there and unable to risk losing your setter. T-tar is admittedly better now, but we've also had way more Sun, Rain, and even Snow experimentation since then that shows they're all viable and can easily screw a Sand Rush sweep. The ban was basically just an excuse to keep Basculegion later on because... I dunno?

Full disclosure that I changed Houndstone (and Last Respects) to Normal, removed King's Steel typing, and gave the two identical defensive stats (100 HP and 100 Def without EVs) for damage comparisons so I didn't have to fuck around with Mew.

252+ Atk Houndstone Last Respects (300 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Kingambit: 450-529 (131.9 - 155.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252+ Atk Black Glasses Supreme Overlord 3 allies fainted Kingambit Sucker Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Houndstone: 402-474 (117.8 - 139%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252+ Atk Black Glasses Supreme Overlord 3 allies fainted Kingambit Kowtow Cleave vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Houndstone: 490-577 (143.6 - 169.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Hound needs everything dead and Sand up to barely beat out King's priority when it has 3 allies fainted and a single SD. This doesn't take Band or Tera Ghost into account, but you're still putting in way too much effort to spam a single move as a last-ditch effort. And reminder that King survived the Suspect. :)

There is definitely something to be said about that mess in relation to our policy, but it's late and I just wanted to rant about how people on this forum see Big Number and freak out without thinking about context.
 
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Lily

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to draw another parallel, i think a lot of people also intuitively knew that the houndstone OU ban was silly. there is an issue with the current policy regarding signature moves/abilities. if only one pokemon in the game had Moody, we'd all be instantly able to tell that the ability has no place in a competitive metagame. but somehow policy refuses to acknowledge these blatant cases until... two pokemon have the clearly problematic element. then we think that's enough to acknowledge the very blatant simple reality of the situation. like, what the fuck?
This argument is awkward especially around the Houndstone thing because, potentially little known fact I guess, but Last Respects isn't actually only learned by Houndstone and Basculegion. It's also learned by White Stripe Basculin, and Tera notwithstanding would very clearly not be broken on that; it basically needs the whole squad dead to even outdamage Wave Crash, and even at its absolute maximum base power it's still not particularly impressive. Choice Band 300 BP Last Respects doesn't even reliably 3HKO Great Tusk.

To be clear: The point here isn't really that Last Respects is balanced, I think it's pretty easy to agree that it's fundamentally a silly move when put on good Pokemon, and if either of the Basculegions were allowed to run around with it they would almost certainly be Ubers. But those are relatively fast, strong, physically oriented Ghost-types with Swift Swim or Adaptability as options; Last Respects breaks them, but they are near tailor-made to make use of it, and if you gave Last Respects to many prior Ghosts that can't boost their Speed or are just overall physically weaker like Banette or Gengar, it's not super likely it'd send them over the edge, at least not where OU is concerned. For a more practical example of this, see Annihilape being Uber while Primeape is NU despite both having access to a very similar move in Rage Fist.

This is getting deep into theoretical territory so I want to bring back to the overarching point; the reason Pokemon bans are so widely preferred over move bans (or items, abilities, etc) is because in the case of most of those alternative bans, you're essentially doing what you can to neuter a Pokemon that is, on its own merits, broken. We've seen it a billion times in the past. Ban V-create, ban Protean/Libero, ban Leek, Rage Fist, Geomancy, Salt Cure, Ceaseless Edge, Wicked Blow, Revival Blessing, Magma Storm, Thousand Arrows, etc. - these are almost all learned/used by one Pokemon/evolutionary line and for the most part they turn a Pokemon that would otherwise be entirely mediocre into a top tier threat. Sometimes this is even proven; Zygarde is a trashmon in ORAS and an Uber in SM pretty much solely off the addition of Thousand Arrows. Gutting something of its signature trait to make it usable is the opposite of what the goal of tiering philosophy is, which at its core is just tiering Pokemon. This is why the Houndstone ban wasn't really as silly as it might seem - yes, it's pretty obvious that between gravestone dog and 300 BP move the latter is the problem, but Houndstone with Last Respects and Houndstone without Last Respects are two very different Pokemon, so we accept the former for what it is and act accordingly because we work within the game's constraints and that's what the game gave us. The only reason it ever seemed silly was because we knew through datamining that Basculegion would have it later, but it wasn't banned until the Basculegions were actually obtainable in game because Game Freak has gone back on things and removed from movepools before; see Toxapex not learning Scald, Knock Off, or... Light Screen (??) anymore.

Zarel's post here is good at explaining the idea. With that said, it definitely should be more clearly in writing somewhere.

this "always ban the pokemon and not the move/ability until we have 2+ abusers" policy:
(1) makes no sense. why is 2+ abusers enough? maybe both the abusers are really problematic by themselves. why not 3+? 5+? 10+?
For what it's worth I don't think it's 2+ abusers - it's a very blurry line that I'd like to see clarified but from what I can tell it's along the lines of "multiple Pokemon learn it and basically everything within reason that learns it or could learn it is broken with it". This doesn't actually hold up for Last Respects so that's interesting, but it's the logic used for stuff like Baton Pass and Moody. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here / if it's written down somewhere.

I'm hoping this addresses the 2nd and 3rd points in your summary effectively, but if not then feel free to let me know, I'm happy to elaborate if anything I said was unclear.

No real comment on DOU's Darkrai situation specifically, especially since it's more in uncompetitive territory than broken, but when adhering to these principles the Darkrai ban is correct as has been stated by others. If policy needs to change for that/Tatsugiri/whatever else, that's reasonable to talk about and not something I have an immediate opinion on.
 

Amaranth

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<words>
I think it's pretty easy to agree that it's fundamentally a silly move when put on good Pokemon
<more words>

Zarel's post here is good at explaining the idea. With that said, it definitely should be more clearly in writing somewhere.
Yeah no I think Zarel's post is being misconstrued. Zarel's post was in reply to a proposal to ban fucking Libero. Libero is not fundamentally silly. Protean Gren isn't broken in Gen7, the ability does not instantly break any Pokémon that gets it. By all means have policy shut down these kinds of proposals.

You yourself say that it's pretty easy to agree that Last Respects not only breaks Houndstone, it would reasonably break any "good Pokémon". Libero and Last Respects are intuitively not the same power level, to anyone with any Pokémon knowledge. Why do we have to treat them the same?

For a more practical example of this, see Annihilape being Uber while Primeape is NU despite both having access to a very similar move in Rage Fist.
Rage Fist by itself clearly isn't strong enough to push any half decent pokémon over the edge, it's pretty easy to make the case that it's the combination of (very good typing and bulk) + (tera) + (setup options) that make Annihilape broken. From my earlier post:

"when it can be reasonably argued that the problem is caused by a combination of factors, by all means, we can default to banning the pokemon. when it is clear that the problem is caused by a single factor, let's just ban the factor. if it is unclear, councils can vote on it, or suspect tests can be held about it, as for every other contentious issue in any tiering situation ever "

I really do not see the problem with this. Annihilape without Rage Fist of course isn't Uber-worthy, but neither is Rage Fist without Annihilape, so you default to banning the Pokémon. That's fine. That policy is great. All hail Zarel.

Last Respects is considerably different - I'd bother making the argument, but luckily you already agreed that it's easy to agree that Last Respects breaks any "good pokemon". People would 100% be using Basculin in a higher lowtier than Basculin would have any right to be in, had Last Respects not been banned altogether. Everything instantly becomes way, way more broken by an unreasonable degree the moment they get access to Last Respects. You say Banette with Last Respects wouldn't be sent "over the edge" - I say if Banette is anywhere significantly above their rightful home of ZU, clearly Last Respects is fucking broken.
"B-But Chansey would suck with Last Respects!" - Yeah and Shedinja would suck with Moody. What's your point? The thing itself is clearly fucking busted regardless. Why does policy think we can't tell? We can clearly tell, on many situations. Not every move/ability ban is like that absurd Libero proposal.

I am not suggesting we should ban moves just because "the pokémon without this move isn't Uber". That would be silly, Zarel's obviously right. I am suggesting we should ban moves when they are clearly inherently broken or uncompetitive when considered in a vacuum. We already give ourselves the ability to evaluate moves/abilities in a vacuum in other situations (Moody etc). Why do we think we're not good enough when it's just one abuser?

For what it's worth I don't think it's 2+ abusers - it's a very blurry line that I'd like to see clarified but from what I can tell it's along the lines of "multiple Pokemon learn it and basically everything within reason that learns it or could learn it is broken with it".
For what it's worth I don't think it's 2+ abusers - it's a very blurry line that I'd like to see clarified but from what I can tell it's along the lines of "2+ abusers"

Why the hell do we need the second broken guy to be able to say "yeah, no, clearly it's the move/ability that is broken"? Why isn't one broken pokémon enough? Clearly we have agreed as a community that we can collectively determine that things like Moody, Baton Pass, Last Respects, Shed Tail, Shadow Tag, etc. are the problem. And I just do not understand what the logic is behind separating cases where there's multiple abusers rather than just one.

Ban V-create, ban Protean/Libero, ban Leek, Rage Fist, Geomancy, Salt Cure, Ceaseless Edge, Wicked Blow, Revival Blessing, Magma Storm, Thousand Arrows, etc.
V-create's pretty busted, but doesn't instantly improve any pokémon that learns it tenfold. See Rayquaza (a mon that synergizes quite well with it even).
Protean/Libero are great but not broken.
Leek is pretty uncompetitive regardless of who uses it, that one looks like a pretty good ban to me.
Rage Fist's quite good, but I think it's pretty clear that Annihilape does a lot of the heavy lifting. Stay on the safe side, ban the mon. I trust councils can get this one right if given the power to.
Geomancy is strong but not particularly stronger than Shell Smash. Great move, clearly not broken.
Salt Cure is great but not broken.
Ceaseless Edge is great but not broken.
Wicked Blow is great but not broken.
Revival Blessing is funny, and quite strong, and a bit tricky to handle, but since there's no evidence that it breaks anything, probably lean on the side of not broken.
Magma Storm is already on a Pokémon tailor-made to abuse it and it doesn't even break that specific Pokémon. Easily not broken.
Thousand Arrows is already on a Pokémon tailor-made to abuse it and it doesn't even break that specific Pokémon. Easily not broken.

Why do we have to pretend like it isn't the easiest fucking thing in the world to draw a distinction between most of these cases and Last Respects?
Yes, obviously don't entertain stupid proposals. Obviously when (combination of pokemon and move) pushes (pokemon) over the edge, you ban (pokemon). But sometimes it really is just (move) that is over the edge, no combination needed. And it's very easy to tell. And it's mindboggling that we apparently aren't allowed to take action accordingly until a second abuser is introduced (???).

No real comment on DOU's Darkrai situation specifically, especially since it's more in uncompetitive territory than broken, but when adhering to these principles the Darkrai ban is correct as has been stated by others. If policy needs to change for that/Tatsugiri/whatever else, that's reasonable to talk about and not something I have an immediate opinion on.
Darkrai is an even more blatant example than Last Respects in this sense. With Last Respects, you have to make the argument of "broken", which is quite complex. With Dark Void it is really quite easy to see that firing off two coinflips each turn is stupid (oh and if you win the coinflip proceed to roll for sleep turn RNG as well).
Again, the argument isn't that "Darkrai got pushed over the line by Dark Void". That'd be silly; if the problem was (pokemon + move), we'd ban (pokemon). The argument is "Dark Void is dumb as balls, plainly evident for everyone to see, regardless of who learns it". I think it's pretty hard to argue against that.


if you want to be consistent, unban moody + ban everything that gets moody. do it all over again for all other banned moves and abilities. then your policies would make sense.
this whole "we can ban moves/abilities, but never when only one guy has the problematic thing, but two guys is fine though" thing is beyond stupid
 
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Lily

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I say if Banette is anywhere significantly above their rightful home of ZU, clearly Last Respects is fucking broken.
I feel like you don't even need me to tell you that this is an absolutely horrendous line of logic. Particularly when looking at your list of moves that are "great but not broken" - Thousand Arrows has literally already sent a UUBL Pokemon to Ubers, but also Ceaseless Edge turning what is essentially a slightly faster Samurott (hardstuck NU) into a near-Uber and Salt Cure alone putting Garganacl on the OU radar multiple times. And hey while we're talking about crazy BP moves that'd get just about anything other than shitmons banned, why don't we just nuke Population Bomb?

Like you said, "when (combination of pokemon and move) pushes (pokemon) over the edge, you ban (pokemon)". Last Respects is a good move with significant drawbacks and the two pokemon that learn it are tailor made to break it (good attack, STAB, abilities that literally double their speed). Give it to most Ghost types and they won't make nearly as good use of it because they're too slow or too weak; there are only 3 Ghost types with 100+ attack that can outspeed Dragapult with a Choice Scarf equipped (or 4 if you include Dragapult itself), they're not going to be some absurd unstoppable late game cleaners the way the move's BP may make it seem. Half of them would even prefer Rage Fist - which Annihilape is actually not particularly tailored for at all contrary to what you say. sure it's bulky but being unable to heal itself outside of a weak Drain Punch means it's inherently not optimised for a move that makes you stronger as you get hit. it's a good user for sure but not to the extreme in the way the bascs are for last respects. imagine that move on a Pokemon with Recover. When I said it'd break any good Pokemon I meant a Pokemon with the right traits to use it. Basculegions are extreme examples, it'd probably still be silly on something less good like Rock Polish Golurk, I'm less convinced it'd break Froslass.

this whole "we can ban moves/abilities, but never when only one guy has the problematic thing, but two guys is fine though" thing is beyond stupid
your opening line is shitting on a proposal to ban libero and your closing line is this. it does not add up.

For what it's worth I don't think it's 2+ abusers - it's a very blurry line that I'd like to see clarified but from what I can tell it's along the lines of "2+ abusers"

Why the hell do we need the second broken guy to be able to say "yeah, no, clearly it's the move/ability that is broken"? Why isn't one broken pokémon enough? Clearly we have agreed as a community that we can collectively determine that things like Moody, Baton Pass, Last Respects, Shed Tail, Shadow Tag, etc. are the problem. And I just do not understand what the logic is behind separating cases where there's multiple abusers rather than just one.
don't really need the passive aggressiveness in the first sentence particularly when you just completely ignored or were unable to interpret what i said. you even contradict it in the examples you chose to use:

moody was tried on every mon that gets it to prove this. the fact that bidoof broke it was proof enough that just about anything that could learn tms could break it.
baton pass has gone through 20 years of nerfing to make sure we exhausted all options. in fact it's literally only considered broken in full chains, *requiring* multiple abusers.
shed tail was actually initially believed to be fine on orthworm which is why cyclizar was an uber for months.
shadow tag and arena trap are a different conversation that's been done to death already.

The logic is that a broken move or ability is a trait inherent to the pokemon that breaks it. If it is the only pokemon that learns that move or ability, and the move or ability breaks the pokemon, the pokemon is still broken. if it breaks a significant amount of pokemon (or better yet, all of them) then you can start to point towards the ability move w/e being the problematic element. last respects not-very-neatly falls into this category as it breaks the only two fully evolved pokemon that learn it. you would know this if you chose to read what i said instead of repeating it in a snarky way.

and once again i don't disagree with you @ darkrai and will not be responding further unless it's solely to talk about darkrai/dark void itself. the argument that it turns games into coinflips is fair enough and i don't know enough about dark void-less darkrai's role in dou to comment further.
 

Amaranth

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The logic is that a broken move or ability is a trait inherent to the pokemon that breaks it. If it is the only pokemon that learns that move or ability, and the move or ability breaks the pokemon, the pokemon is still broken. if it breaks a significant amount of pokemon (or better yet, all of them) then you can start to point towards the ability move w/e being the problematic element.
okay, so if we live in a world where Glalie is the only pokemon with Moody, then Glalie is broken. However, Bidoof exists, so therefore Glalie is perfectly fine. we are only able to determine that Moody is broken once Bidoof gets it. if only Glalie gets it, then it is too hard for us to observe that Moody is broken.

Orthworm in a world where Cyclizar doesn't exist is broken.
Orthworm in a world where Cyclizar exists? Apparently, "a broken move or ability is a trait inherent to the pokemon that breaks it" stops applying. Now it's not inherent to the two Pokémon anymore. Now the move itself is banworthy.
The inconsistency / arbitrariness is absurd.

your logic, and the current policy as a whole, is blatantly flawed. I am done engaging. I just hope I've made the flaws clear enough to people willing to actually read. You are choosing to die on a really, really stupid hill to avoid improving policy.
 
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Darkmalice

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I've seen multiple posts stating that Magikarp would be broken if it had Tatsugiri's Commander ability. Which makes good sense, given that the Pokemon is "off" the field once Commander activates. Such a trait in my opinion would inherently break almost anything with it. Do you disagree? In suspect tests and council decisions, we use our thoughts to decide what we think is broken or not. One would then be to vote on the basis of voting to ban Commander or Tatsugiri based on whether they believe that Commander is a broken or uncompetitive ability, or that Tatsugiri is the culprit and that Commander isn't inherently broken/uncompetitive. This I believe is fine. However, banning Tatsugiri solely on the basis of "nothing else has Commander and policy says to ban the Pokemon in this scenario" shows no thought or insight into why Tatsugiri is broken.

In the similar case of Dark Void, Darkrai has being underpowered in previous generations without Dark Void. Darkrai and Smeargle when eligible have been problematic with Dark Void. Dark Void was considered uncompetitive and broken. In my opinion, Dark Void would be uncompetitive (not necessarily broken) on lots of other Pokemon due to the 25% chance to potentially win a game on the spot, even Magikarp. There are multiple pieces of evidence pointing to Dark Void as the problem.

I do not believe Houndstone + Last Respects and many other offensive moves like V-Create are on the same level. I doubt that Magikarp and many other Pokemon would be good with them since they lack the required stats to abuse them, an issue I don't have with Commander and Dark Void. This is based on my thoughts on their viability; you may disagree.

I'm quoting the two parts which I feel are the crux of the problem.

I really think that the argument of “we shouldn’t follow tiering policy rigorously” is VERY shortsighted and ignores why tiering policy was created in the first place. Current tiering policy is the result of a decades worth of work & discussion on the best way to apply bans and tier metagames, it’s not just some arbitrary set of rules created. We’ve had these discussions in the past so many times, that these are the rules that we’ve established going forward so that we hopefully don’t need so much debate.
no, absolutely not, never in a million years should we set the precedent that the pillars of policy can be ignored
by all means we should improve policy so that it covers these cases correctly. policy is not the ten commandments, policy is something we write so that we can judge situations correctly without having to re-argue over how to do that every time. if you start breaking policy whenever it "feels right", then policy has no meaning at all, and you have to argue over every decision all over again.
what should happen is precisely an improvement of policy so that cases like Darkrai can be handled correctly, and nothing else
Honestly I believe that following tiering policy rigorously is the shortsighted approach instead of applying it but being able to re-evaluate it and its impact. Policy is indeed the result of lots of work and discussion, but that does not mean it is the 100% correct solution that is guaranteed to be the correct approach and should always be applied without consideration of one's thought. Many real-life laws in history were flawed. Some were always flawed to begin with, some were initially correct but later became flawed as things changed. Blinding following those laws, instead of having them changed, did more harm than good. I feel we are in this scenario here with this policy, where it is creating harm in the DOU metagame and should be revisited to better account for the metagame. Blinding following the policy without any thought is also harmful and helps pertatuate the problematic policy. When one has ample evidence to support or at least consider that Commander and Dark Void are the problem instead of Tatsugiri and Darkrai, but chooses to ignore it in order to blindly follow the policy, that is a problem.

Separating this point from the rest, I also belive the argument of "we can't test this ability or move on other Pokemon, therefore we should assume the issue is with the Pokemon" without considering other aspects is flawed. In addition to my earlier paragraphs:
  • No suspect test or council decision is based on 100% certainity. It is based on a collective view of people's thoughts on whether the things in question are broken, uncompetitive, or ok with a level of certainity between 0 and 100%, but not 0 or 100%. Electing to avoid testing the ability or move on the basis of we can't test this ability or move on other Pokemon and thus cannot be 100% sure of what it'd be like on other Pokemon, is also a level between 0 and 100%.
  • If you really want to test its impact on other Pokemon, it is indeed possible to have a test in an artifically simulated metagame where some selected Pokemon (say Magikarp) is programmed with the ability Commander or move Dark Void (we have hackmon metagames on Showdown) if one really wants to evaluate an ability/item outside of the Pokemon that normally has it. This would open multiple cans of worms in terms of what Pokemon to test, when to conduct such a test, what to test saying this should happen, and more, but does show that the "we cannot test this ability/move on other Pokemon" is technically false. And simuations are used in-real-life to make real-life decisions, for example in health care.
 
To start, I 100% agree that moves and abilities should be examined in a vacuum, and would support a policy change that would allow for this.

But wrt Dark Void, I feel like it is important to point out that Dark Void's mechanics changes in Generation 7 have made it impossible to examine the move on its own merits without factoring in the sole Pokemon that learns it. Darkrai is hard-coded nowadays to be the only Pokemon that can actually use the move without it failing. This means that, examining the move in a vacuum, we're talking about a move that is a clone of Splash unless it's used by a single abuser - would you not just ban the single abuser of the move in that case?

Commander is in a similar position:
I've seen multiple posts stating that Magikarp would be broken if it had Tatsugiri's Commander ability. Which makes good sense, given that the Pokemon is "off" the field once Commander activates. Such a trait in my opinion would inherently break almost anything with it.
This would be fair if Commander worked with Magikarp, but similarly to Dark Void, it only activates if the user with the ability is Tatsugiri. As a result, we can't really think about hackmons scenarios where any Pokemon could have Commander in this case because unless we're just ignoring how the mechanics of the ability work (we shouldn't), the only Pokemon that could realistically abuse it is Tatsugiri, which would arguably constitute a justifiable Pokemon ban over an ability.

Dark Void and Commander, by nature, make scenarios like this:
If you really want to test its impact on other Pokemon, it is indeed possible to have a test in an artifically simulated metagame where some selected Pokemon (say Magikarp) is programmed with the ability Commander or move Dark Void (we have hackmon metagames on Showdown) if one really wants to evaluate an ability/item outside of the Pokemon that normally has it.
completely impossible.

I would not be entirely opposed to a ban of Dark Void over Darkrai nor a ban of Commander over Tatsugiri, to be clear - but I do think the two should be examined in a different manner than something like Moody. Moody has been proven broken countless times no matter who actually gets it, while Dark Void and Commander, by nature, are both only broken on a single abuser, which is much more in-line with how Pokemon bans are usually justified over move/ability bans.
 
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