Gen 8.5 Stat Changes

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Alright peeps, it's our favorite time once again, change time!! This episode: Stat Rank Cutoffs (again) (again)

There are 2 major factors influencing this decision:

1. Stats need to actually matter in the game, and our current rank system squishes the stats together too much to allow for any inherent strengths or weaknesses to show from a Pokemon. And while this is also partially attached to the fact that ranks are applied 1:1 to the damage formula, this has to do with ease of use (in the case of values like 1.5) and balance concerns (in the case of values like 2).

2. This is a part of a big picture plan to shift purposes around. As it currently stands, stat ranks are too low, which causes us to keep ability and item values lower in order to make sure that the system's math doesn't completely underplay the value of stats. This keeps all of the values in the system too low to actually be capable of adjusting for the sake of balance, whether that be in the form of buffing or nerfing. Step 1 is what you're about to see soon, adjusting the stat system to make the numbers themselves bigger. Step 2 will be a re-evaluation of the items and abilities in the game, with a renewed focus on proper power distribution. Abilities should be a more primary source of damage influence than items are, and Items should have a larger impact on your gameplay decisions (outside of Knock Off and co) instead of just being just slapping on the highest damage generic item (hi expert belt). Doing this will allow us to play around with new or revisited item concepts to make use of a more niche set of items as opposed to general damage pumping game play. After these two major overhauls, we'll do an overall look of the system to see if there are any outliers that do not fit this vision.

Large wall of text, yay! The TL;DR of it is that we want to make stat numbers themselves more meaningful. You won't notice giant swings in "average" cases, but not everything and its momma will be able to consider basically every stat average.

Right to it, here's what the new rank thresholds will be:

- Moving away from our current system of every 25 in favor of every 15
- Changing HP rank differences to +/-5 instead of +/-10

And now we open it up to the people! These changes are not live yet. This is a discussion thread, with the intention of capturing meaningful insights into what we're proposing. Any player should feel free to chime in here about it.

Q1: What are your initial thoughts on the changes?
Q2: Do you have any concerns/questions/suggestions pertaining to the big picture plan?


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I think factor 1 is phrased with a bit much hyperbole, but does hold merit. Stat differences do exist and come into play, but seem to be drastically downplayed this gen when compared to Abilities (Abilities kinda suck too), Typing, movepools, and held items. I don't personally mind that, but I'm sure some players do. I also agree that 1.5 ranks are cumbersome to use, and 2 ranks are too impactful to be fun. I prefer 1 ranks to both of those alternatives.

I'm a little bit sad that the proposed stat changes seem to hurt mons with low stats, but realistically low-tier mons shouldn't be a primary concern when balancing BBP. People who really want to use Furret no matter what will surely still have fun doing so even if such mons aren't viable at the highest level of play.

I'm not happy that profiles will be need to be remade and approved again. I think the effort will be worth it, though, if we can create interesting new items that capitalize on the new stat system. I would like to suggest implementing items that only grant bonuses if certain conditions are filled, such as having higher Atk than the opponent or being in the presence of certain weathers. I would also like to suggest implementing more items that have effects that don't simply increase or decrease damage, although coming up with ideas for such items will probably be difficult.

While we're at it, I would like to look into alternative ways of implementing stat-boosting moves. Stat-boosting moves have always been weak in BBP, and I was hoping we might look at allowing them to directly increase or multiply base stats instead of just applying a fixed damage buff. Or at the very least allowing them to interact with new items or existing moves in more interesting ways.

Overall I'm not too enthused by the rank changes but I hope this is an opportunity to make some new and exciting held/consumable/sig item concepts.


heralds disaster.
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Here are some example statlines in the proposed model.

:mew: 95 / 7 / 7 / 7 / 7 / 100 (and:silvally:at 95 speed)
:garchomp: 100 / 9 / 7 / 6 / 6 / 102
:snorlax: 115 / 8 / 5 / 5 / 8 / 30
:colossoil: 105 / 9 / 5 / 5 / 5 / 95
:sableye: 80 / 6 / 6 / 5 / 5 / 50
:duraludon: 85 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 4 / 85
:rampardos: 95 / 12 / 5 / 5 / 4 / 58
:celesteela: 95 / 7 / 7 / 8 / 7 / 61
:toxapex: 80 / 5 / 11 / 4 / 10 / 35

Some megas:

:gardevoir-mega: 85 / 6 / 5 / 12 / 10 / 100
:aggron-mega: 85 / 10 / 15 / 5 / 6 / 50
:altaria-mega: 90 / 8 / 8 / 8 / 8 / 80
:banette-mega: 85 / 12 / 6 / 7 / 6 / 75

Hopefully this gives a good frame of reference for discussion.


You can call me Jiggly
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I... am concerned!

I'll be using this as my primary reference sheet, since I think this best illustrates my point. I'll also be referring to the Without Legends sheet fairly frequently.

The first sheet linked shows what's effectively a relative change - with the average increase in stats being +10 across the board. Whilst it doesn't differentiate that +SpA is useless on some mons, it gives a decent overall view.

Let's discuss what's immediately happened:

- A whole bunch of Megas got stronger relative to the metagame. This makes sense - GameFreak has an upper limit where Megas of quite a lot of different power levels congregate, and we just split that up now. Only 3/4 lost power (Beedrill is suspect because really who cares for SpA boosts there), and it's not as if anyone spent hours running calcs in order to get an Audino, a Medicham, or a Kangaskhan to ★★★★★. *twitches*
- Low HP options like Shuckle and Dusknoir got large boosts to their statline that bring them both viable.
- A large number of already weak mons got weaker, which is kind of inevitable with big categories.

The Megas getting more powerful is good - if anything stronger is better there (and those that didn't pick up stats - or indeed lost them in practical terms - probably want review on their Mega Stones to make sure they account for the fact that they're now weaker mons in a metagame that seems to be moving more towards items being important).

I do think that already weaker mons becoming even weaker relative to the overall body of Pokemon is a problem. One of the big selling points of an ASB is the viability of a lot of different Pokemon, and I think we should try to minimise impacts at that end (Potentially by making those ranks broader - and then narrowing ranks further down to make Mega-level strength really stand out?)

However the most interesting thing is what happens to mons' "Strongest Offense". Currently, the standard matchup was 5 "Offense" vs 4 "Defense". With the proposed changes, that's now roughly 8 "Offense" vs 6 "Defense" (Defensive stats seem to be hovering mostly in the 6 Range - potentially you could say 8v6.5?). At this point, then, why not simply change the damage formula to Stats x2 or x1.5, rather than change the stats themselves? In both cases you'd be increasing the damage output by roughly the same amount - even if balance is an issue... the numbers work out roughly the same!

- Stronger Megas compared to rest of metagame is good, though not only way to do this [Hello, Mega Stones!].
- HP Change impacts the obvious suspects
- Very punishing to weaker mons in way that can be avoided by having categories of different sizes
- The difference in #s feels very small in the 'average' case, does this really add much room to balance in?
I definitely was resistant to this idea at first but I think now that I've come around it gives plenty of positives to the game

Right now as we all know BAP is the name of the game, sure attacking stats help, but if you have high BAP moves you are going to go far. I think this change makes stronger stats actually play as much of an impact to the game as strong moves do.

I see a lot of people saying that this shafts low stat mons, which while I agree it sucks, we've always thought stats were way important in the past, yet we still have things like Sableye always as viable options, so I think we should hold off on judgement until we see this in action.

Another benefit I really am keen on is that this gives MUCH more freedom to make abilities and items more interesting and fun to the game. Right now it feels like we get into a loop of "Pick X mon that gets +1 to X moves, give it an Expert Belt", which I would like to see the formula change up a little bit, decentralize things!

This also allows pokemon with given strengths to have those strengths actually highlighted and be worthwhile. I think the biggest culprit right now is that 100 and 120 are the same rank. 120 and 100 are huge differences in stats (especially when looking in game), so I think making a difference between these is really a really good aspect of these changes.

But yeah v happy with these ideas, keep up the good work mods!


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Responding to some stuff I see here, even though it's likely that I discussed it on Discord as well, just to make sure people who weren't present for it on Discord know what's up.

I'm not happy that profiles will be need to be remade and approved again.
This is a whole mood.

And then there were a couple notes about weaker mons (stat-wise) that kinda cover all the sides of it. Mainly, it sucks that lower stat mons are definitely on the wrong side of this change, but this does open up windows for rebalancing and/or new items to mitigate this should it prove to be an oppressing issue for them.


Overall, I didn't see any massive wave of dissent here or in Discord, mostly just optimism in the opportunities that can be made out of this. And with that, we'd like to go ahead and tentatively green light this change. Not necessarily set in stone, but rather that we expect this to happen, just possibly with some tweaks as new concerns/outliers are raised in other discussions.

Our timeline for shipping this batch of changes is to go live with Pokemon SwSh's The Isle of Armor DLC, set to launch before the end of June 2020. Gives us time to get everything right before plopping all of this down together.

With that, the next step of this will be me making another thread (link) to begin a discussion about what we want abilities and items to do, role and power level-wise, to create guiding tenets for the ability rebalance and item (re)design that will follow.
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I'm truly still meta, enjoy this acronym!
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Vaguely on topic I suppose - with this change and with CAP being soon to finish their gen 8 updates, would we take out the moves we gave CAPs a while back that the CAP people didn't choose to give them? Or are those going to just sorta stay here? Don't much care either way but it feels worth asking.
And then there were a couple notes about weaker mons (stat-wise) that kinda cover all the sides of it. Mainly, it sucks that lower stat mons are definitely on the wrong side of this change, but this does open up windows for rebalancing and/or new items to mitigate this should it prove to be an oppressing issue for them.
I agree with this, IDK if anyone has thought of this but I think it would be interesting to make items that care about the difference between the BST of two Pokemon (ex. RageCandyBar gives +1a for every/every 2 ranks between the pokemon), or have additional uses, or even make it so that High Impact moves have a higher duration / lower cost when used by them (ex. Encore being used by a pokemon with 10 more BST lasts for 2a instead of 1 or Sleep lasts for an additional action), or even gain additional subs or cause the opponent to lose subs (I personally like this but this might fare a bit much into not fun territory).
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