Friday, January 7, 2011


With Pokemon Black and White coming out this year, players (particularly the group Smogon) have been buzzing about the soon-to-be tournament scene. A lot of new Pokemon, abilities, and moves have come out to talk about...and possibly ban.

This is getting annoying.

First off, Smogon, although a fine resource on the competitive battling scene, is a fansite. That means that none of its information is official. Nintendo has, however, taken a few leaves out of the battling community's book and added Ubers - Legendary Pokemon with an obscenely high stat total and occasionally Pokemon with very good abilities (namely Tyranitar and Wobbuffet) - to official tournament restricted lists. This is their way of saying "our bad for making overpowered things that are only supposed to get you through the game."

One of their latest plots has been to ban two abilities: Drought and Drizzle. These set up sunny and rainy weather respectively. Prior to B/W, they were only found on two Pokemon: Groudon and Kyogre.

Kyogre in particular has been dubbed "the most powerful Pokemon in the game" thanks to its ability. It has monstrous SATK and an attack called "Water Spout" that does massive damage when Kyogre is at full HP. It's a beast, especially with rain set up.

Surf's up!

Gen V's Dream World brought with it two new Pokemon: Ninetales with Drought and Politoed with Drizzle. This gives Sun- and Rain-based teams a chance to shine without requiring an Uber to get off the ground. That was an ingenious move on Nintendo's part. Here, Nintendo; have a cookie:

Drizzle is not an inherently broken ability. It can benefit many a Rain Dance team, ubers or no. Same for Drought, although Drought has even less of a reason to be banned; what, are you really afraid of Fire and Grass Pokemon taking over the world?

Clearly a criminal mastermind.

If anything, Nintendo should be doing more instant field effects. Instant Hailstorm is nasty since only one type is immune; why not give it to another Ice Pokemon to curb Dragons further (darn you, Kyuremu)? A Trick Room from the get-go would stop the flow of Sweepers that came out this Gen. (Play your cards right and Mr. Mime might end up being useful - hint, hint.)  Instant abilities are not a bad idea in and of themselves. There is no reason to ban them. Just ban Kyogre.

The other thing that Smogon is trying to ban is ANYTHING that inflicts the Sleep status. Before you start saying "DURRR you've never been hit by a Sleep move!", that's not true. I get hit by them all the time in the Battle Tower. There are no Full Restores to save me. Sleep moves are legitimately annoying and game-winning.

But y'know what? Sleep has been a part of Pokemon since Generation I. Jigglypuff used to be one of my favorite Pokemon because its lullaby attack on the TV show was amusing. There are abilities that can block Sleep if you are that worried about it. It's good, but the sparse amount of Pokemon it can come on and general low accuracy of such moves compensates for how good it is. Freezing is much worse a status. Don't tell me you're planning on banning Ice Beam just because it can freeze, Smogon.

The sad thing is that this is happening with Pokemon. I'm used to this sort of talk from YGO players. Since the ban list was first born, there have been 'banlist babies' screaming "ban it!" at any remotely powerful card that Konami released. Some cards, like Fiber Jar, were worthy of the ban. Others such as Brain Control were not so deserving. It is still a common complaint in YGO, in part because the game is inherently broken. Pokemon is not as broken, and does not merit removing whole game mechanics.

That is just silly

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