Announcement Jirachi is now banned from National Dex UU

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The council held a vote, and as a result, Jirachi has been quickbanned from National Dex UU!

With the potential exception of when its SpDef set was barely holding the meta together during the Mega Diancie and Mega Gardevoir metas, Jirachi has always been an infuriating hax machine, and considered by many to be the dictionary definition of “uncompetitive” (well, aside from Minimize, which is banned by Evasion Clause). It has almost been suspected or outright banned multiple times in the past, always being saved by some other problematic Pokemon rearing its ugly head and booting Jirachi out of the limelight.

However, recently Jirachi has been becoming more and more problematic, and this time there are no Pokemon problematic enough to divert attention away and save Jirachi. The meta shifting to be more slow paced since Weavile left has provided Z-Celebrate Jirachi with ample opportunities to set up. This lets it either tear teams a new behind with a strong Stored Powers and Thunders, bulk and speed that leaves it extremely hard to effectively revenge kill, and a typing that exacerbates its revenge killing issues further, or flinch the things that hinder it into oblivion anyways (remember that, thanks to Serene Grace, not getting flinched is technically hax).

Additionally, even against the things that would normally be able to stomach its STABs, it can use Iron Head to flinch them to death anyways, by far the number one factor that pushes Jirachi over the edge. It can also hit many of them with a strong Thunder and paralyse them (thanks to Serene Grace Thunder having a 60% chance to paralyse), further increasing the odds of immobilising an opponent for the turn, with Thunder often outright eliminating some of the checks to its STABs

It’s not like on paper checks don’t exist - theoretically, Swampert, Melmetal, Scizor and Hippowdon can stomach its STABs and Thunder after Z-Celebrate and proceed to phaze, status or waste Iron Head PP. However, these lose to a combination of being flinched down into oblivion by Iron Head (Swampert, Hippowdon if it’s not helmet, and Scizor), Thunder paras (Melmetal and Scizor), or being chipped into range of Stored Power by Jirachi’s 5 other teammates (Swampert and Hippowdon). Additionally, Scarf Zarude can revenge kill it at +1, but only if Jirachi has taken ~23% chip damage beforehand - otherwise, it runs the risk of being paralysed by Thunder and being flinched to death regardless. Bisharp can attempt to Sucker Punch revenge kill but is liable to mind games and suffers from the same issue as Scarf Zarude, in that even Choice Band sets needs prior chip damage (more than what Zarude needs) to actually kill it and not just get para haxed. It’s also difficult to fit Bisharp on teams other than HO.

More niche checks do exist but are often hard to fit and just less effective outside of checking Jirachi than the previously listed checks, such as Mega Steelix, Quagsire and Inner Focus Umbreon (an otherwise subpar set on Umbreon). The last two are pretty awful picks outside of stall, as well as Mega Steelix being so-so and still needing a second check to stall out Iron Head PP so Mega Steelix doesn’t just lose to hax anyways. Expecting every team to run SpDef Rocky Helmet Whirlwind Hippowdon and play very carefully (bear in mind Hippowdon is often relied on to check a lot and to set rocks) or a stall Pokemon just to not have to pray they aren’t haxed to death is more than a little dumb, especially when Jirachi has teammates to deal with those checks anyways.

This makes preparing for Jirachi essentially a game of “how many checks to it can I fit to minimise the always present chance it can just flinch past all my checks” or “how many Pokemon can I throw at it to stall it out of Iron Head PP”, as a result of it being able to flinch past all but three individual checks. Both of these scenarios skew the match pretty heavily in the Jirachi user’s favour, especially in the latter scenario’s case, as by the time it has been depleted of Iron Head PP, odds are a lot of your team is gone, leaving you woefully disadvantaged against the rest of the team. And when your counterplay to a Pokemon boils down almost solely to RNG, significant overprepping, or being hyper aggressive and not letting it set up, that just screams “uncompetitive”.

Pretty much the sole counterargument against Jirachi I've heard (other than joke arguments like “just don’t get flinched lol” or “just run umbreon on every team lmao”) is that it only has one opportunity to set up, severely limiting how useful it is prior to setting up, and if it can be forced out, it’s useless. However, this usually doesn’t matter a whole lot because as long as Jirachi sets up (not that hard), what few decent checks there are to Jirachi are chipped enough, and/or the Jirachi user isn’t too unlucky (again, Serene Grace makes it so that not flinching is hax), you probably won’t have the chance to force it out, because you’ll be too busy reading “<Your Pokemon> flinched!”.

Being a hax machine on its own isn’t necessarily bad, however - Togekiss has a similar 60% chance to flinch with its STAB and it’s perfectly fine, after all. It does, however, become problematic when said flinch chance does more than insignificant damage and is on an already very effective, bulky and potent sweeper that outspeeds the vast majority of the metagame after a boost. Not to mention all of that is on top of being a sweeper that has a very limited list of reliable revenge killers or offensive counterplay that isn’t “pack Scarf Zarude or don’t give it a second to set up”.

Therefore, as a result of its highly uncompetitive nature (which has only become more clear and more exaggerated over the course of the recent NDUU Open), which helps push Jirachi into broken territory, and extremely limited pool of reliable answers, Jirachi has been banned.

Additionally, as a result of the vote, Slowking-Galar will receive a suspect test in about a week or so See the important update below regarding this date. This will be soon after Jirachi’s ban as Jirachi leaving isn’t projected to change much by being banned, if mostly because it didn’t influence the teambuilder much on account of there being little to no viable and reliable checks, and it contributed little else to the meta other than a mediocre scarf set - SpDef has long since ceased to be a worthwhile set, after all.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: This suspect will be delayed until after shifts as we forgot that tier shifts were on the 1st, and we don't want a repeat of Weavile.

252 Atk Zarude Darkest Lariat vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Jirachi: 264-312 (77.4 - 91.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ Atk Choice Band Bisharp Sucker Punch vs. +1 0 HP / 0 Def Jirachi: 246-290 (72.1 - 85%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ Atk Black Glasses Bisharp Sucker Punch vs. +1 0 HP / 0 Def Jirachi: 198-234 (58 - 68.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

+1 0- Atk Jirachi Iron Head vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Steelix-Mega: 22-27 (6.2 - 7.6%) -- possibly the worst move ever

Even running an otherwise suboptimal Mega Steelix spread doesn’t save you, as even if it gets nothing but min rolls, it can still flinch Mega Steelix to death with Iron Heads alone in 17 out of 24 Iron Heads (100 / 6.2 = 16.1 => 17), never mind that you only need 11 Iron Heads to get it into Stored Power range considering you’re a 0 spdef mlix.

+1 252 SpA Jirachi Stored Power (120 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Steelix-Mega: 127-150 (35.8 - 42.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

And to add salt to the wound, you don’t even OHKO with Earthquake:

0 Atk Steelix-Mega Earthquake vs. +1 0 HP / 0 Def Jirachi: 174-206 (51 - 60.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

+1 252 SpA Jirachi Thunder vs. 44 HP / 0 SpD Melmetal: 213-251 (50.4 - 59.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ Atk Melmetal Earthquake vs. +1 0 HP / 0 Def Jirachi: 172-204 (50.4 - 59.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

+1 0- Atk Jirachi Iron Head vs. 44 HP / 0 Def Melmetal: 42-51 (9.9 - 12%) -- possible 9HKO

100 / 9.9 = 11 flinches needed to win against non lefties sets (and non ProtTox/Body Press Melmetals are never lefties)
(100 - 50.4) / 9.9 = 6 flinches needed to win after a Thunder

And even if you run a max spdef set:
+1 252 SpA Jirachi Thunder vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Melmetal: 141-166 (29.7 - 35%) -- 15.9% chance to 3HKO

+1 0- Atk Jirachi Iron Head vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Melmetal: 42-51 (8.8 - 10.7%) -- possibly the worst move ever

100 / 8.8 = 12 flinches needed
(100 - 29.7) / 8.8 = 8 flinches needed before Thunder kills

And additionally you need to hit Earthquake 3 times now, assuming you’re even running it (which many more defensive Melmetal variants forego in favour of Iron Defense + Body Press or Thunder Punch as many are Protect+Toxic), because if not, it means that you can’t even touch Jirachi anyways, meaning it’s free to just spam Thunder and Stored Power against you until you die, even if you are Leftovers:
0 Atk Melmetal Earthquake vs. +1 0 HP / 0 Def Jirachi: 132-156 (38.7 - 45.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

The results of the vote can be seen here:

We additionally voted on Mew, Alakazam, Melmetal and Aegislash. We’ll aim to suspect Mew after Slowking-Galar if it remains problematic, but Pokemon that end up in the suspect (2) slot have a history of getting delayed by meta shifts from the removal of the first. The latter 3 had a majority in favour of no action being taken on them, and so none shall be taken on them for the time being. Not everyone voted (PDT said they’d vote but it appears they didn’t manage to make it in time and it felt wrong to delay the result posting seeing as a LOT of people despise Jirachi based on my interactions with the playerbase, to the extent I highly doubt this will be a controversial change, so removing it ASAP would be for the best EDIT: PDT did vote after the announcement and I updated the vote log to reflect this, as the vote doesn't really change anything either way and saw no harm in doing so), but additional votes wouldn’t have changed the results.

Tagging Kris to implement the Jirachi ban when they can. Thanks!
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