Metagame LC Suspect - BLACK BALLOON - Drifloon is banned!

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sam-testings

What a beautiful face, I have found in this place
This is actually a pretty interesting suspect choice. So I know a lot of people are going to cry out immediately that "Drifloon is bad without Diglett!" This is not true. If you were around for Diglett suspect, then you would know that Drifloon was still a monster on ladder. In my opinion there are only two viable mons that can check Drifloon effectively, Magnemite and Chinchou. And I think that that is the most important part of this suspect, the fact that very few things check Drifloon. Even supposed checks to its type spam fail to do well. Some of the two best flying spam checks are Archen and Pawniard, both of which Drifloon can consistently 1v1. Munchlax, Stunky, and Vullaby are all considered ghost checks and those all fall to Drifloon most of the time.

I think that something that we have to consider is how well Drifloon does with many of its usual teammates. The fastest status in the meta bar prankster users can cripple physical attackers, allowing Shell Smashers to set up. Diglett gets rid of all of its checks, allowing for Drifloon alone to sweep quite effectively. All of these characteristics are similar to something that has already been banned, Murkrow, or more specifically SubThief Krow. Murkrow had prankster Thunder Wave and Substitute, STAB Thief which beat many of its checks, and STAB Brave Bird which was powerful as hell. While Drifloon may not have Prankster, Unburden makes up for it and makes it still go first pretty much all of the time. And Acrobatics is still very powerful even when uninvested, doing a lot of damage to pick off weakened mons.

Is it broken?

Yes. The fact that something with that much bulk can recover to nearly full every turn is something that most defensive mons only dream of, and STAB Acrobatics is deceptively powerful. Also, it can do something against nearly every matchup, which is extremely impressive. Most highly ranked mons are good, but are weak against certain matchups. Mienfoo is bad against flying spam and Pawniard is weakish against water spam. However as stated before, Drifloon pretty much beats all of its type spam checks which makes it incredibly strong.

Is it unfun to play against?

Absolutely. It is incredibly unfun to play against, a statement that many other people agree with. Watching as STAB Knock off doesn't even do half of its health as you slowly burn to death is agonizing to watch and something that most players dread. I almost never have fun playing against a Drifloon as there is very little counterplay to it.

if i somehow get reqs magically im probably going to end up banning it.


[6/28/16, 12:04:14 AM] tcr: personally I believe that the community should change its attitude on what to ban
[6/28/16, 12:04:20 AM] tcr: if we just ban blatantly overpowered stuff
[6/28/16, 12:04:31 AM] tcr: that just leaves things that are obviously cancerous to fight but not "broken"
[6/28/16, 12:04:33 AM] tcr: free

this too
 

tcr

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I think there two points for people to consider when determining to suspect and / or ban Drifloon. Is Drifloon "broken" in the sense that it is blatantly overpowered / in a whole different tier than other Pokemon? No. Is it obviously unfun to play against and (in my opinion) with? I would say yes, absolutely. What's important to the discussion is knowing whether we would have either 1) Competitive Integrity, or 2) A more "refined" tier. If we just want a metagame where the Pokemon that are banned are ones that are blatantly overpowered compared to the rest, then sure, banning Drifloon would be a bad decision. However, I personally like the latter option. I play this game to have fun, and if we have to sacrifice competitive integrity in order to get rid of otherwise cancerous Pokemon that would make the tier more fun to play in, than I like that plan. Yes, there are some slippery slopes to both arguments. On one hand, what defines "blatantly overpowered?" What defines "cancerous?"

I'm going to attack Drifloon from that side of the spectrum: that its completely cancerous. I can easily compare it to two seperate Pokemon that accomplished a lot of what Drifloon does right now in 1v1ing a majority of the metagame. Both Yanma and Murkrow are instances where neither were particularly "overpowered" in the traditional sense (arguments can be made for LO Krow being a monster but I don't think its as bad as other people make it out to be). Yanma in particular has been argued by numerous people throughout the years to make a comeback to LC, in its Speed Boost form, as the Compoundeyes + Hypnosis + U-turn set was the main pivoting point that pro banners leaned towards. Yanma could, with its super fast speed, outspeed literally everything bar random scarf Pokemon and put it to sleep, then U-turn out to either a set up sweeper, a better switchin, or some hazard layer in order to generate free momentum. In short it compressed tons of roles into one Pokemon (anti-lead, set up stopper, pivoter). Murkrow did the same thing. During the suspect I would believe that while certainly sets like Life Orb, SubRoost, Utility sets in Defog and Haze, and more contributed to its banning, I would argue that the emergence of DcaeKrow was the biggest outlier that pushed Murkrow over the edge. Not because SubThief was broken, but because it was so fucking dumb to fight against. Drifloon is in a similar situation. And while Drifloon isn't nearly as fast as Yanma was, I would also like to point out that throughout the "eras" each mon has been a part of the fastest mons in the metagame. For example, Murkrow was one of the fastest with only things like Misdreavus, Scarf Meditite, rarely Elekid and stuff, and it completely dumpstered the metagame. Drifloon is the same, only really being outsped prior to Unburden by things like Scarf Mienfoo, Gastly, Diglett, and speed tieing with things like max speed Snivy, Mienfoo, Archen, and Drilbur. After an Unburden boost it is quite literally unable to be outsped outside of specific and niche scenarios (Scarf mons under Tailwind, Sun Deerling, etc).

tldr; Drifloon is extremely reminiscient of several other banned Pokemon, and while not necessarily "broken" is extremely bothersome to play against. I'll post a bit more later in response to other people
 

Funbot28

Banned deucer.
I find Drifloon to be a problem at the moment due to the lack of preparation for it when paired with offensive support in Diglett. Diglett is able to eliminate most of Drifloon's checks in RestTalk Chinchou, Ponyta, Titouga, Omantye, etc... and allows Drifloon to effectively stall out the opposing team with ease. Now I am not advocating for the ban of Diglett in any way (heck I think two suspects is enough), but I personally feel that Diglett just enhances the immense capabilities that Drifloon is able to perform (although it can do sooo much on its own already). Gonna be an interesting suspect, and I think I will be voting ban if I am able to achieve reqs.

P.S CM Substitute sets are also extremely good and it boggles me to not see more people abusing it...
 
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WHY IS DRIFLOON BEING SUSPECTED?
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Drifloon has quite recently risen to prominence within Little Cup due to its plethora of enticing qualities: a solid Speed tier, great ability, versatile moveset, above-average bulk, and unique typing. Drifloon's Recycle stall set, the most notable of its sets, can effectively run through an unprepared or crippled team with ease, only truly struggling to break through Pokemon such as RestTalk Chinchou and Recycle Magnemite. It's also a viable support to fellow Flying-types (namely Fletchling) with utility / coverage moves such as Knock Off, Hidden Power Fighting, and Memento. Hell, it can even get away with a Calm Mind set and bust through the opposing team with strong attacks. All of these various movesets are further bolstered by Unburden, turning the 17 Speed balloon into one of the fastest Pokemon in the metagame - this grants Drifloon the ability to outspeed and burn Pokemon that could otherwise be a detriment to its success.​
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From reading this thread, it seems that the arguments to ban Drifloon boil down to:
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1. Speed - 17 Speed lets Drifloon set up on many slower Pokemon and Unburden lets it outspeed the relevant metagame without setup
2. Bulk - a huge HP stat and respectable defenses allow Drifloon to survive most unboosted neutral attacks and activate Berry Juice
3. Offense - decent offensive stats and a large offensive movepool and many set-up options give Drifloon great offensive presence
4. Utility - Drifloon has a massive utility movepool with supportive options like Will-O-Wisp and Haze
5. Variety - Drifloon can run many sets with different checks
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BANNING IDEOLOGY
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There's been a lot of talk in this thread about the ideology of why we should ban something. As tcr pointed out, Drifloon is not strictly overpowered, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it isn't banworthy.
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It's important to remember, sometimes, that we are playing a game. I don't mean that in the sense that sometimes I wonder what I'm doing with my life when I'm playing Pokemon, but in the mathematical sense.
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There are four elements of a game. They are:
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1. Players - the agents who interact; they are assumed to prefer the most rational strategies
2. Information - the information available to the players
3. Actions - the actions available to the players
4. Payoffs - the payoffs of the players' actions
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In Pokemon, the players are you and your opponent; the information is your knowledge of the game, your team, your opponent, etc., and your opponent's similar knowledge of the game, you, your team, etc.; the actions are nine or less: using one of your four moves or switching into one of your five (or fewer) Pokemon; and the payoffs- well, the payoffs are complicated- are a different situation on the field, with players prioritizing payoffs that result in favorable situations.
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In game theory, there's an idea called dominance. Basically, dominance is the idea that if you have two strategies, A and B, and given any actions by your opponent, the outcome of A is preferred to the outcome of B, then strategy A is dominant to strategy B.
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Take the Prisoner's Dilemma. If you're not familiar with it, the game is as such:
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Two members of a criminal gang are arrested and imprisoned. Each prisoner is in solitary confinement with no means of communicating with the other. The prosecutors lack sufficient evidence to convict the pair on the principal charge. They hope to get both sentenced to a year in prison on a lesser charge. Simultaneously, the prosecutors offer each prisoner a bargain. Each prisoner is given the opportunity either to: betray the other by testifying that the other committed the crime, or to cooperate with the other by remaining silent. The offer is:
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* If A and B each betray the other, each of them serves 2 years in prison
* If A betrays B but B remains silent, A will be set free and B will serve 3 years in prison (and vice versa)
* If A and B both remain silent, both of them will only serve 1 year in prison (on the lesser charge)
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- Albert W. Tucker
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The outcomes can be set up with a neat little table. C represents "cooperate" and D represents "defect." The first item in the parentheses is the outcome for A, the second for B.
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As you can see, a defector will serve a maximum of 1 year in prison, while a cooperator will serve a minimum of 2 years. This means that a rational criminal will always choose to defect, so defecting is the dominating strategy.
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Now, at this point you may be wondering what this all has to do with Pokemon. After all, it's very infrequent that there is one action that is definitively the best. Don't worry, I'll get there.
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See, the reason games work is because players have the autonomy to choose what to do. That's why the games are interesting; that's why we keep playing this game. When players have a dominating strategy, they don't have autonomy. Without autonomy, there is no real action available to the player; the basic rules of a game are violated.
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Now, clearly Pokemon is a complicated enough game that there are no strategies that are completely dominant. There are, however, strategies that are weakly dominating.
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Weakly dominating strategies have payoffs that are always at least good.
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Our responsibility is to ensure that strategies are not dominant enough that they remove too much autonomy.
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Sadly, there's no good quantifier of what amount of autonomy lost is too much. That much is ultimately subjective. I'm just recommending a guideline for our thought processes when we talk about banning a Pokemon.
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TL;DR: We should establish a baseline for what constitutes banworthy before we start talking about banning something.
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Next time on Infamy's Overlong Posts:
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HOW DOES DRIFLOON AFFECT THE METAGAME?
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Melon

WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW
Wow Infamy, what a post! Great indeed. Just like Infamy, I went out of my way to learn more about Drifloon for the new suspect test! To learn more about the process I started looking through the old suspect tests, when I stumbled upon quite the post from the Missy suspect! I thought I'd go out of my way to make my OWN flowchart to see if Drifloon is broken or not!! I did that, and the results were SHOCKING, take a look!!

Flowchat.png


As the flowchart quite clearly shows, Drifloon is a BROKEN Pokemon. We must remove this threat as soon as possible, as the flowchart says we should. If we follow the power of the flowchart, we will come into a renaissance of Little Cup tiering, and we'll have the tier the flowchart has always known we deserved. Thank you flowcharts, if only you were around for the Diglett suspects.
 

Fiend

someguy
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LC Leader
While Melon and I conducted a heated debate on the subject of Drifloon we felt it was best to create beautiful flow charts to display the traits of Drifloon compared to previous suspect pokemon. This is a great flowchart, a flow chart worth of kinggs such as GOAO. It half fits 4 definitions of being balance and 4 x .5 is 2 so twice as bannable! Drifloon has like 2.7 sets (2 sets + 3 random moves!), and it beats it's normal checks eventually too, so it's flexable and annoying and unhealthy. It makes the meta smell like OP, and is generally always strong.

Even versus teams of Life Orb Pawniard, Chinchou, Archen, Staryu, and Scarf Larvesta Drifloon could consistently pick up a ko or two and weaken something else to the point of being practically dead. Listen to the flowchart.

No but seriously I think the flow chart has some merit for showing what Drifloon does and how good this is compared to previous bans.
 
My philosophy when it comes to bans is pretty simple:

Pokemon is a based off fun. it's existence is justified only because it is an enjoyable experience. Therefore, any Pokemon or strategy that makes the game less enjoyable for a majority of players should be banned. Importantly, a pokemon does not need to be broken to make the game less fun, and this especially applies to this suspect.

So the question is, is Drifloon making the game less enjoyable for enough people to deserve being banned? The answer is as simple as it is obvious;

I have no fucking clue.

This suspect has me incredibly divided. On the one hand, Drifloon is undeniably annoying to battle against, and it's multiple sets and general cancerous nature (burns are fucking stupid...) can easily be seen as overpowered if seen in the right light. What's more, it's almost perfect pairing with Diglett just pushes it over the edge.
On the other hand, most teams do have natural checks to it, and it's certainly not like Swirlix or even Misdreavus, both of which completely dominated the tier. On a more subjective note, Drifloon is never a #1 threat to me when I battle/teambuild, more of an annoyance in the back of my mind, whispering dark little thoughts about how I need more than one special attacker.

A few other thoughts:
BirdSpam with this thing is underrated/underused, and I think if it was more widespread these debates would be considerably more one-sided.
This thing was barely used and like C+ less than 6 months ago and is now being suspected with barely any significant changes to the meta. How... the fuck does that happen?
I hate talking about this mon', it literally can't be compared accurately to any other Pokemon in the LC tier D:
 
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doomsday doink

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This thing was barely used and like C+ less than 6 months ago and is now being suspected with barely any significant changes to the meta. How... the fuck does that happen?
I hate talking about this mon', it literally can't be compared accurately to any other Pokemon in the LC tier D:
"Barely any significant change" completely overlooks the rise of RecycleFloon which is pretty much the sole reason why this suspect is even happening. As for being incomparable to any other Pokemon, I think that's a good thing to address in this suspect. Drifloon is NOT like any other Pokemon we've had to deal with because, as opposed to boosting to sweep teams, it relies on bulk and utility to sweep teams. In such an offensive metagame, it's no wonder people are annoyed by Drifloon's Recycle stall tactics - it's something the metagame has never seen before and it's going to take some time to adapt to. Attempting to compare Drifloon to previous suspects is going to lead us astray in terms of making a decision, as no comparison we can make will be accurate enough to make an argument off of.

Before TCR decides to post about it, I understand that dcae's Murkrow set was similar but that was much less passive than clicking Will-O-Wisp and spamming recovery until the foe has fainted.
 

San Tomas

had a Calm Mind
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One of the most interesting aspects of suspecting Drifloon is having another chance to examine the effect of Speed on the LC metagame. I have long held the idea that Speed is the single most defining trait to consider when defining the viability of a Pokemon. Pokemon which are slow - generally meant to mean any Pokemon slower than 16 Speed - must have several other redeeming traits in order to be viable. This is seen in very bulky defensive Pokemon, such as Porygon, Spritzee, and Ferroseed, and in Pokemon with great typing and utility, such as Croagunk and Snubbull. Most slower Pokemon, however, find it difficult to carve niches, generally due to the existence of faster threats such as Pawniard and, now that it has risen to prominence, Drifloon.

We tend to consider the viability of these faster threats in terms of the slower Pokemon they take advantage of: Snivy gets a free +2 against any slower Pokemon it forces to switch out, Staryu can put out more last-ditch Rapid Spins and Scalds than any other Spinner, and Pawniard just generally creates chaos against anything slower. This occurs because moving first is almost always preferable, especially for offense Pokemon - i.e. a majority of Little Cup Pokemon. An interesting point of view, then, is to consider what Drifloon can do against slower Pokemon; needless to say, it is wholly unlike anything we have dealt with before. Drifloon sits at the 17 Speed tier, which is good in its own right; it just so happens to outspeed its common checks, such as Pawniard, non-Scarf Chinchou, and a majority of other Rock- and Steel-type Pokemon. This allows it to utilize Substitute, pop Berry Juice, and gain an Unburden boost against any 16 Speed or below Pokemon without fail; as we've seen, this includes most of its checks. In addition, Unburden allows Drifloon to outspeed everything following its activation, expanding the list of Pokemon Drifloon can move first against.

I'd like to include a bit of an aside here that I think is an important distinction we need to make about Drifloon. Many people assume that Drifloon is a defensive Pokemon by nature; however, this is not necessarily true. Defensive Pokemon do not generally break through their checks. Defensive Pokemon do not actively attempt to remove foe Pokemon. Rather, they generally attempt to react to opposing Pokemon. Drifloon is not a reactionary Pokemon: it actively aims to remove foe Pokemon, albeit in a manner we have never truly experienced before. Essentially, I think of Drifloon as an offensive Pokemon disguised as a defensive Pokemon, which is such a unique situation that it's no wonder we're struggling to come up with answers.

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From what I've seen, the thing that Drifloon does which causes the most grief to the average user is utilize Will-O-Wisp, Substitute, and Recycle to stall opposing Pokemon to an eventual KO. This process generally proceeds in one of the two the following manners (if there's Stealth Rock, take out one of the first Sub turns):

PROCESS ONE - One of Drifloon's checks is switched in.
  1. Drifloon uses Substitute - the opponent switches in their check.
  2. Drifloon uses Will-O-Wisp - the check breaks the Substitute.
  3. Drifloon uses Substitute - the check breaks the Substitute.
  4. Drifloon uses Substitute, popping Berry Juice - the check breaks the Substitute.
  5. Drifloon uses Substitute 3-4 more times - the check breaks the Substitute each time.
  6. Drifloon uses Recycle until its check is KOed by burn damage.
PROCESS TWO - Drifloon is in 1v1 against one of its checks, or most other Pokemon.
  1. Drifloon uses Substitute twice - the opponent breaks the Substitute each time.
  2. Drifloon uses Substitute, popping Berry Juice - the check breaks the Substitute.
  3. Drifloon uses Will-O-Wisp - the check hits Drifloon with an attack.
  4. Drifloon uses Recycle until its check is KOed by burn damage.
In order to carry out this particular strategy (RecycleFloon) to its full effectiveness, there are a couple conditions that must be in place:
  • Drifloon must be able to use Substitute and Recycle.
  • Drifloon's Berry Juice must not be removed via means such as Knock Off, Pickup, or Trick.
  • The Pokemon must take damage from Will-O-Wisp.
  • The Pokemon must stay in.
  • Drifloon cannot be KOed through its Substitute.
  • Drifloon generally needs to move before the opposing Pokemon.
  • Drifloon must be able to survive an attack from the burned Pokemon in order to complete the Recycle stalling phase.
Now, of course, there are exceptions to these processes. For example, one would optimally avoid hitting Timburr with Will-O-Wisp and opt for Acrobatics instead. However, examining the conditions listed above should provide insight into possible counterplay options for Drifloon. We'll take a look at each of them and examine the ways one could potentially break 'em!


Drifloon must be able to use Substitute and Recycle.

Without Substitute and Recycle, Drifloon cannot effectively stall out its opponents. Counterplay options for this include option-restricting moves such as Taunt and Encore, Tricking Drifloon a Choice item, or PP stalling Drifloon. The most viable option in this case appears to be option-restricting moves such as Taunt and Encore. One could feasibly take down a Drifloon with the combination of Taunt Mienfoo and Pawniard: because Mienfoo lives an unboosted Acrobatics, it can Taunt Drifloon. At worst, Mienfoo is now burned, and you can proceed to bring in Pawniard, who does not fear a Taunted Drifloon. Drifloon is now either forced out or KOed. This is reminiscent of a Ponyta being removed by a combination of Mienfoo and Diglett, though it is not guaranteed.

Drifloon's Berry Juice must not be removed via means such as Knock Off, Pickup, or Trick.

The obvious counterplay here is to hit Drifloon with these moves, but unless you're about to start running Coba Berry Cottonee or Pickup Munchlax, it's significantly easier said than done. It would be possible to bluff not having a Scarf with something such as Pawniard so as to hit a Drifloon expecting to be able to use Substitute, but that's not so much counterplay as it is just smart play.

The Pokemon must take damage from Will-O-Wisp.

Counterplay here is limited to Fire-type Pokemon and Pokemon that can cure status, as the relevant Magic Guard user, Abra, is too frail to take Drifloon out once it has activated Unburden. The issue with using Fire-type Pokemon and some Pokemon that cure their own status like Rest Chinchou is the prevalence of DigFloon. In this regard, Flame Charge Ponyta is excellent counterplay to Drifloon, as it can outspeed Drifloon in just two turns of Flame Charge and outspeed Diglett with just one. Other Fire-type Pokemon risk being trapped by Diglett but make solid counterplay provided the opponent does not have a Diglett. The other most prominent examples of status self-curing - Staryu, Aromatherapy Spritzee, and Rest Munchlax - come with their own issues. Staryu lacks the either the bulk or the power to take on Drifloon outside of the first turn, Spritzee cedes momentum like no other but can generally check Drifloon, and Munchlax cannot hit Drifloon with its STAB - that is, one of its Sleep Talk options - which is far too risky to provide adequate counterplay.

The Pokemon must stay in.

If a Pokemon switches out, it doesn't take damage from Will-O-Wisp! This mostly refers to Pokemon such as Chinchou which can break Drifloon's Substitute and switch out to a Pokemon such as Fletchling to threaten Drifloon. This also applies to the Taunt Mienfoo to Pawniard example from before: Mienfoo Taunts, then promptly switches out in order to mitigate Will-O-Wisp damage. This situation can also turn into a trade situation; say a burned Pawniard is in against a Drifloon in the Recycle phase. As long as Pawniard continues to hit Drifloon, it will not be able to use Substitute, and will therefore be vulnerable to whatever comes in after Pawniard faints. Should you bring in a Pokemon with priority, such as Fletchling, Corphish, or even a Sucker Punch Croagunk, Drifloon's life will quickly come to an end.

Drifloon cannot be KOed through its Substitute.

Perhaps one of the more obvious counterplays is to use attacks that can hit through Substitute. However, these are fairly limited. Amaura's Refrigerate Hyper Voice is one of the most consistent options in this regard, especially because Choice Scarf Amaura is not threatened by DigFloon. Other options are significantly more niche, such as Snarl Houndour (which happens to also be a Fire-type!).

Another set of options that falls under this category is users of multi-hit moves such as Onix and Shellder. The issue in these cases is that every multi-hit move is a physical attack, meaning that Drifloon's Will-O-Wisp will neuter the options significantly. Regardless, both Pokemon have the potential to beat Drifloon 1v1, making them decent options at best.

Drifloon generally needs to move before the opposing Pokemon.

The real struggle with Drifloon (and, to an extent, Swirlix) is taking it out before it has the chance to recover health. For example, Recycle Magnemite is an effective Pokemon; however, because it is a slow Pokemon, it can be played around within the conventions of a decently built team. This distinction between the two makes users of priority attacks some of the best ways to threaten Drifloon. Pokemon such as Fletchling, Corphish, and Shellder can make use of priority attacks to severely threaten Drifloon. This situation is exacerbated if Drifloon is behind a Substitute, but it is not insurmountable. Trading with Drifloon as mentioned in the "The Pokemon must stay in." section is a consistent way to prevent Drifloon from staying behind a Substitute; additionally, building a team with multiple users of priority is already a good teambuilding strategy which happens to also help deal with Drifloon.

Drifloon must be able to survive an attack from the burned Pokemon in order to complete the Recycle stalling phase.

Perhaps most prominently seen in its ability to stall out Pawniard, Drifloon will most likely be required to be open to attacks at some point in the stalling process. In short, the counterplay is to use Pokemon and sets that can OHKO Drifloon through a burn; these include set variations such as Life Orb Pawniard and strong special attackers such as Download Porygon. Download Porygon is a particularly good example of this, as it can use Recover or run its own Berry Juice to help it outlast Drifloon. In short, any powerful special attacker or extremely strong physical attacker not weak to Flying will go at least even with Drifloon in more cases than not.

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This is just a shortlist of all possible counterplay options I could think of which are available when facing Drifloon. As you can see, there exist many already viable Pokemon, sets, and combinations that are usually capable of dealing with Drifloon. To those who have it set in their hearts that Drifloon is impossible to play against, or that it can break through every single check it has, I'd like to ask you to consider that perhaps we as a metagame have yet to have our run of Drifloon. At risk of comparing Drifloon to other Pokemon, the Fletchling suspect shared many of the initial thoughts and fears present in this suspect. Further examination of Fletchling allowed the community to take a chance on not banning it, which lead to its induction into the metagame as an accepted and prepared-for threat. I'd like to ask that we devote enough time and effort toward Drifloon to get a solid idea about its fit (or lack thereof) in the metagame. And, heck, maybe it turns out that Drifloon really is too much. If you hadn't noticed yet, I don't think it is without its counterplay; moreover, I believe that the counterplay options available are not so extreme as to be outrageous.

In closing, Drifloon truly is unlike anything we've seen. It's an offensive Pokemon which uses defensive methods to be offensive, which is really cool but also really bonkers! To post a short clip of a conversation I had with cute user GOAO:

[10:35:27 PM] GOAO: idt its broken but
[10:35:30 PM] GOAO: Annoying
[10:35:38 PM] Berks: sure it's annoying but
[10:35:40 PM] Berks: so is dig
[11:05:32 PM] GOAO: Dig doenst stall tf outta u
[11:05:47 PM] Berks: spritzee does
[11:06:03 PM] Berks: cm goth does
[11:06:12 PM] Berks: they just don't use status to do it
[11:06:18 PM] GOAO: true
[11:06:18 PM] GOAO: well

Every Pokemon, banned or not, has counterplay options; Drifloon is no exception. Its methods are weird and unusual, yes! It's a very good Pokemon, yes! But I personally feel we have yet to give this particular iteration of Drifloon a proper run in Little Cup. If anything, please don't let Drifloon's uniqueness be the sole determining factor behind a vote to ban. Examine it, then vote to ban it for its ability to break through its would-be checks, vote to ban it for having a negative impact on the metagame, or vote to ban it based on uncompetitiveness, if you so decide. Just don't let the reason you voted ban be that it's something we don't understand if or how we can beat it.

sorry and thanks!


e: yay levi!
 
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Corporal Levi

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Drifloon is almost certainly a top tier threat at this point, but I do not believe it is any more difficult to manage than other top tier Pokemon. Although I would probably have voted for a ban back in March, we've had plenty of time to play around with its checks since then. Let's go over the major arguments for Drifloon's ban so that I can explain why I think it's just fine.


Drifloon's combination of ability and unpredictability is too much.

Recyclefloon's strengths

Drifloon outspeeds the entire relevant metagame after Unburden, which it can activate easily with Substitute. It then outstalls the lucky Pokemon that it's up against the vast majority of the time, burning the enemy to cripple their damage output before mashing Recycle until Drifloon comes out on top.

And then what? And then it's at around half health and easily forced out or revenge-killed, and will likely be unable to do much more than burn things for the remainder of the match if the opponent has even a single Pokemon that can beat Drifloon 1v1, because Drifloon needs to use Recycle to reactivate Unburden from here and that gives the soft Drifloon check a free switch. If it's a more offensive team, then Drifloon won't even be able to do that, because pretty much everything on offense can do over half of Drifloon's health, considering how its bulk is actually a little bit worse than slow Mienfoo without its Eviolite.

This is before considering that hard checks and even outright counters do exist. The standard Drifloon set that we're considering for its ban consists of Substitute / Will-O-Wisp / Acrobatics / Recycle; when your offensive presence consists of burns and 12 Atk Acrobatics, there are bound to be quite a few Pokemon that wall you. These aren't exactly bad Pokemon in their own right, either - Ponyta, Magnemite, and Chinchou have all been fantastic Pokemon since 2014 or earlier. (They're all weak to Diglett, but I'll get to that in a bit.) Drifloon's combination of strengths is incredibly difficult to play around against an unprepared player; even against someone with experience, it's not a dead weight. But how is this different from all of the good and great sweepers we have available - other than that we haven't given Drifloon as much time to be adapted to?

Of course, Drifloon can afford to ditch Substitute for Knock Off or something else that lets it cripple would-be checks. This isn't a bad idea by any stretch, as it allows Drifloon to support its teammates in even more ways. However, it makes Drifloon's 1v1 capabilities much less impressive. Suddenly, it can no longer reliably activate Unburden, which is a pretty big deal when most of the complaints about its brokenness rest on it being able to burn the enemy or heal itself up before the opponent can react. Opposing Knock Off users can quickly take it out. Status users are able to easily cripple it. It really doesn't want to take chip damage early on in most scenarios (unless you need it to put it into Unburden range from Stealth Rock), making it even more of a one-time use support Pokemon than before.

Calm Mind Drifloon isn't its dominant set, but still has what it takes to be an effective sweeper; teams that lack a good CM Drifloon check tend to get swept very badly, and for these match-ups alone I believe CM Drifloon is worth considering. But when we compare CM Drifloon to other notable sweepers, we can see how match-up based it is. Teams that do have a good way to deal with it are almost playing on a 6v5 advantage. The fact that it can get hard walled is a pretty big disadvantage compared to, say, Timburr or Shellder, which can Knock Off something or take out a third of a check's HP right off the bat. Ditching Will-O-Wisp for a coverage move to deal with this neutralizes most of Drifloon's sweeping potential by giving it far less set-up opportunities and leaving it badly damaged by physical Pokemon that can take a + 1 Shadow Ball, which is just about all of them that carry Eviolite.

I don't like the comparisons to Mienfoo claiming that Drifloon's strengths set it apart at all; they fail to consider that Mienfoo has its own strengths that are easily on par with Drifloon's, and I would confidently argue are even better. Drifloon absolutely has the resilience, the versatility, the speed and the sick burns to hassle even the most solidly built teams, but it lacks something vital in such an offensive metagame - offensive presence. Whittling the opposition down with burns is great if they can't hurt Drifloon, but it just doesn't cut it against decent switch-ins. The most offensive Mienfoo variants are able to hit twice as hard with High Jump Kick as itemless 14 Atk Drifloon's Acrobatics; even defensive Mienfoo sets frequently carry High Jump Kick, which hits about 1.5x as hard as itemless Recyclefloon's Acrobatics. Another important advantage for Mienfoo is the momentum that Regenerator + U-turn brings, which is much more effective over the course of the match than a healing move that takes up a turn and only works when some conditions aren't in place; surely this is not a point in favour of Drifloon's survivability.

Drifloon's unpredictability

Unpredictability, what does this mean? Drifloon has several mostly unique sets; between these, there are also minor variations. As a result, only a select few Pokemon can claim to genuinely counter Drifloon.

The main balancing factor here is Drifloon's lack of initial power. It's true that Choice Scarf Chinchou will only serve as set-up bait if it stays in on a boosted CM Drifloon. However, because of CM Drifloon's only decent damage even at +1, and, more importantly, the existence of Normal-types, there is almost no risk to going to a physical Drifloon check to begin with before switching to a CM Drifloon check if need be. Compare this to, say, a Poison Jab Mienfoo lure; a Cottonee coming in looking to tank a weak Knock Off is going to be in for a lot more than the 65 or 80 BP move off 12 SpA that CM Drifloon initially has to offer.

Drifloon can still cripple switch-ins, as Magnemite and the aforementioned Chinchou generally aren't too fond of losing their item to Knock Off. With that being said, they are still able to beat Knock Off Drifloon without much trouble after switching in. This means that although hard counters are few in number, it's not difficult at all to find a hard check. And although you'll be put in a tight spot if Chinchou or Magnemite is your only check to Flying- and Water-types, offensive strategies like this aren't unique to Drifloon; the tried and true bird and fish spam cores are just as capable of producing the same effect.


Drifloon is able to get around traditional bird checks.

Remember when you could fit a Pawniard and an Archen onto your team and say it was fine against birds? Judging by this thread and other discussions, it looks like most of us do. It's not a hard argument to see for people who are just getting back into LC, as many of the teams that were somewhat solid during early ORAS have a great deal of trouble breaking through Drifloon.

But consider this: what if Carvanha or Mienfoo or even Porygon was discovered today? Between its relevant coverage moves, Carvanha as a whole is impossible to wall when it doesn't simply fall back on Destiny Bond, allowing it to easily get through traditional Water-type checks; it's also a huge menace to hyper offensive teams thanks to Speed Boost helping it get around traditional Choice Scarf revenge-killers, its raw damage output that cleanly OHKOes most offensive Pokemon, and its Aqua Jet which picks off weakened priority users. Mienfoo has the extra slots to break a traditional Fighting-type check of its choosing, and can just U-turn out of the rest of them to gain momentum. Porygon has the bulk, utility, and recovery to function as a wall, but at the same time has the coverage and damage output to put many strictly offensive Pokemon to shame.

These are Pokemon that most of us will agree are not banworthy (though there are exceptions). The main difference between them and Drifloon is that we have been dealing with Carvanha/Mienfoo/Porygon for years, whereas it was only over the past few months that Drifloon has been elevated from a fun Pokemon to express your creativity with to a legitimate threat that should be considered in teambuilding. Drifloon may have some fantastic traits, but just as Carvanha and Porygon and Pawniard do, it has its drawbacks as well. It may be dominant, but it is not unusually dominant.

Drifloon also has its fair share of checks that traditional birds do not, mostly stemming from the physical set's lack of offensive presence. Fletchling and Vullaby wish they could beat Pawniard or Archen the way Reyclefloon does, but they are also not PP stalled to oblivion by Rest Munchlax, or any Rest user with better bulk than 23 HP/15 Def that isn't weak to Flying-type attacks, really. They also aren't a free switch-in for Ponyta or Magnemite the way Drifloon is.

Drifloon does get around many traditional bird checks, but that's because it's not a bird, it's a balloon. Add it to your threat list accordingly, and chances are it won't seem so overwhelming after all.


Drifloon synergizes well with Diglett.

A few months ago, Heysup and I were discussing floondig. I argued that floondig is much better than fletchdig because the set of Pokemon that Drifloon handles synergizes better with what Diglett traps, so floondig can beat a greater variety of threats. But Heysup's response helped to change my mind: Drifloon does not have U-turn. This seems trivial until you take into account how difficult it is for Diglett to actually trap key threats without it. Without U-turn, the opponent can just switch their Diglett-weak checks into Drifloon and use moves that Diglett can't come in on. Revenge-killing isn't enough because they can preserve their Drifloon checks by sufficiently weakening your Pokemon instead of outright KOing them, and, if applicable, boost their Speed once they're in play. Double switching Diglett in is extremely risky, and has a good chance to end up with a dead Diglett if the opponent is thinking one step ahead or simply decides that they would rather sack whatever they currently have out; a successful double switch doesn't even have a reward if you aren't sure about the Drifloon check's specific set. Of course, Fletchling's U-turns aren't exactly risk-free either due to its low bulk, but this is still a very notable distinction between floondig and cores like fletchdig and foodig.

But wait a second - Drifloon has Baton Pass! Could that make up for its lack of U-turn? It definitely helps in getting Diglett onto the field, but I mentioned earlier that running Knock Off over Substitute limits Drifloon's capabilities as a standalone threat. Baton Pass is even more extreme in this regard. It almost forces Drifloon to be run alongside something that appreciates specific Drifloon checks gone, and you still have to figure out the Chinchou variant beforehand because of the lack of U-turn chip. As a supportive set, it arguably isn't actually better than Knock Off Drifloon.

This also ties into Drifloon's lack of offensive presence. Trapping something for Drifloon simply isn't as rewarding as doing so for, say, Shellder or Magnemite. Drifloon is often too reliant on burns to deal damage for it to pull off a sweep; bringing down one Pokemon will leave it in revenge-killing range from the next. Floondig is still an excellent supporting core, but dedicating two slots to support is a pretty big commitment, especially when considering floondig's average defensive utility.


Drifloon is similar to banned Pokemon mechanically.

It looks like there's a split on whether this is worth considering for Drifloon's ban, so I'll just go through the key points.

Yanma

A major factor in Yanma's ban was its Hypnosis set, which, like Drifloon, was a support set relying on status. The difference is that Yanma had a Life Orb Speed Boost set that was just as crucial. If it was just the Hypnosis set, then Yanma could be easily checked with RestTalk users. Not so much when most of these RestTalk users were 2HKOed by a Life Orb set. It also went the other way around; checks like Archen that could deal with the Life Orb set were shut down by an accurate Hypnosis.

It's pretty clear why an equivalent offensive Drifloon set does not exist. On top of its average offensive stats, Drifloon's most powerful STAB moves require it to not have an item or its opponent to not be statused. In addition, although Drifloon does have several unique sets, they do not take advantage of each other to the extent that Life Orb and Hypnosis Yanma did.

Swirlix

This comparison hasn't been brought up much in this thread, but I've seen it mentioned in other discussions. Swirlix and Drifloon may both have Unburden, but Swirlix's ban can be summarized in two statements, both of which Drifloon only meets half way.

a. Swirlix had two drastically different sets with huge sweeping potential that could almost immediately break through the other's checks (on top of a decent third set). Most of Drifloon's sets aren't great at sweeping, and even its CM set isn't any more effective than other available sweepers. All of its sets require multiple turns before they can take advantage of another's checks.

b. Swirlix was able to get around any would-be check by switching up a coverage move with almost no cost to its overall ability. Changing a move to get rid of a check significantly hampers Drifloon's 1v1 and/or sweeping potential.

Gligar / Meditite / Misdreavus / Murkrow

When it comes to versatility, Drifloon can go toe to toe with any of these Pokemon. But these four Pokemon weren't banned for their versatility; it was just what helped to push them over the edge. The primary reason all of these Pokemon were banned was for their offensive presence, whether it was their wall-breaking prowess or their sweeping potential. Gligar had a supporting option for every one of Drifloon's, but more importantly, both Sub SD and Koff SD had ridiculous 6-0ing potential even against teams with Gligar checks. Meditite's coverage moves would mean nothing without its powerful STABs coming off a Huge Power-boosted Attack stat. Misdreavus was banned almost solely because its Nasty Plot set, which had about three viable checks if it was HP Fighting and a different three checks if it was Dazzling Gleam. Dcaekrow was up there as one of Murkrow's best sets, but a good amount of its effectiveness stemmed from taking advantage of Life Orb Murkrow's switch-ins. At the end of the day, it was the Life Orb set which let Murkrow 2HKO defensive threats with Brave Bird and OHKO offensive threats with Sucker Punch that contributed the most to its ban. Similarities in terms of mechanics or playstyle are pretty meaningless out of context.


Drifloon is unfun to play against.

I can't really argue against the claim that Drifloon is unfun for the same reason why this question isn't asked anymore in suspect tests. If you think Drifloon is unfun, then there isn't much else to say; it doesn't matter whether it's because Drifloon gave off a bad first impression, or you really liked an early ORAS team, or eww madokooties. I personally feel Trubbish is unfun because it reminds me of trash's rengar in league. That doesn't mean we should ban Trubbish; it means I should ban rengar when I play with trash. Although discussions about whether a Pokemon is broken or uncompetitive are subjective enough to leave room for debate, they are still grounded in facts; that's why we can look at future suspects and try to compare them to previously banned Pokemon or current key threats.

I just don't think it's a good idea to base whether we ban a Pokemon on whether a theoretical metagame without this Pokemon might be more fun; my theorymonning abilities in early ORAS certainly didn't notify me of Recycle Drifloon becoming a top tier threat.

(By the way, I didn't intentionally coordinate this post with berks, but I think they go well together because he mostly covers Drifloon's checks and I go into detail on its flaws!)

e: I was told that this wasn't clear, but my post is against Drifloon being banned. I'm discussing why I don't agree with the key arguments being brought up in favour of a Drifloon ban.
 
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tcr

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Drifloon is similar to banned Pokemon mechanically.

It looks like there's a split on whether this is worth considering for Drifloon's ban, so I'll just go through the key points.

Yanma

A major factor in Yanma's ban was its Hypnosis set, which, like Drifloon, was a support set relying on status. The difference is that Yanma had a Life Orb Speed Boost set that was just as crucial. If it was just the Hypnosis set, then Yanma could be easily checked with RestTalk users. Not so much when most of these RestTalk users were 2HKOed by a Life Orb set. It also went the other way around; checks like Archen that could deal with the Life Orb set were shut down by an accurate Hypnosis.

It's pretty clear why an equivalent offensive Drifloon set does not exist. On top of its average offensive stats, Drifloon's most powerful STAB moves require it to not have an item or its opponent to not be statused. In addition, although Drifloon does have several unique sets, they do not take advantage of each other to the extent that Life Orb and Hypnosis Yanma did.

Drifloon is unfun to play against.

I can't really argue against the claim that Drifloon is unfun for the same reason why this question isn't asked anymore in suspect tests. If you think Drifloon is unfun, then there isn't much else to say; it doesn't matter whether it's because Drifloon gave off a bad first impression, or you really liked an early ORAS team, or eww madokooties. I personally feel Trubbish is unfun because it reminds me of trash's rengar in league. That doesn't mean we should ban Trubbish; it means I should ban rengar when I play with trash. Although discussions about whether a Pokemon is broken or uncompetitive are subjective enough to leave room for debate, they are still grounded in facts; that's why we can look at future suspects and try to compare them to previously banned Pokemon or current key threats.

I just don't think it's a good idea to base whether we ban a Pokemon on whether a theoretical metagame without this Pokemon might be more fun; my theorymonning abilities in early ORAS certainly didn't notify me of Recycle Drifloon becoming a top tier threat.
the bolded parts are what gets me. No, LO Yanma wasn't anywhere near the threat level in early XY. It was just a good set. In fact before the Hypnosis set was even discovered, keeping Yanma was largely the majority opinion. That "just run resttalk mons" is such a shit argument, considering how 1) much of a momentum sink resttalk sets are (especially so in a previously hyper offensive metagame) and 2) you shouldn't have to specifically have checks on a team for one single set. That's the difference. Both Yanma and Drifloon are fairly diverse. CM Drifloon absolutely stomps most teams that only carry a traditional Drifloon check, while teams that don't carry a standard Drifloon check at ALL are "poor teambuilding." This is different from the "you need to check a specific carvanha set" because carvanha only runs 1 set anyway, whereas Drifloon runs a multitude. ANyway, going back to your point, you completely misunderstood why Yanma was banned. It was only suspected because it was a terrifying late game sweeper with LO good coverage and Speed Boost. However it was terrifying in the same way that Carvanha was terrifying. Once Hypnosis started getting more popular, and started generating free momentum for things, otherwise really bad Pokemon started being ran. Things like Vital Spirit Elekid were getting popular, as was Goomy. This is the main parallel I draw with Drifloon. Drifloon grants free momentum whenever you can successfully start your shit, and this can easily happen on some Pokemon that are just so common in the metagame: Mienfoo, Diglett, Vullaby, non cm Spritzee, Gothita, Ferroseed, Snivy, etc. You typically have to run Chinchou / Porygon or some sort of meme pokemon that is only really on your team to specifically deal with Drifloon, such as Amaura or Larvitar. Just from my experiences laddering, this sort of teambuilding that is prevalent is so stale its ridiculous. Half the teams are just Drifloon / Mienfoo / Abra / Chinchou / filler / filler, and thats not even including the team that vubon spread around. Yeah, you can run some cool stuff in metagames, you can always run cool stuff in literally every metagame. There hasn't been a single Pokemon that is so broken that it just makes meme sets nad meme teams unviable. Fuck I came up with Chople Amaura and won tons of games with it in Misdreavus meta, when Gligar didn't even exist and Meditite and Missy both beat Amaura.

Whatever, on to the last point that you made, that I bolded. IDK about you dude, but I play this game to have fun. I would normally enjoy just chilling and playing mons with buds, but when looking at competitive matches and shit and all thats seen is either Drifloon 6-0ing teams that aren't just poorly built teams, or seeing the same dumb stuff over and over, it makes it not fun. My personal opinion, with around 17 ladder games so far and 200 coil away from reqs at the time of typing, is that Drifloon is both unfun to play with and unfun to play against (for reference im using w/e team vubon has, Ferroseed / Mienfoo / Abra / Chinchou / Drifloon / Carvanha). Its absolutely shitty and I feel like it takes zero skill to use whenever i win with drifloon alone, and it sucks even worse when its being used against you and you can't do anything except hope to sack one thing or two to prevent it getting a free sub. Your comparison to league makes no sense. League is a game that is patched about biweekly-monthly. Pokemon never gets patched, we have to take things as they are and amend it whenever. I personally don't want to play a metagame that involves some sort of crusader mentality of preserving 100% competitiveness, especially as Pokemon isn't competitive at its core and no one is willing to get rid of the "uncompetitive stuff" (rolls, paras, speed ties, confusion, etc). That's why there needs to be a balance between preserving a fun metagame and a competitive one. IMO Drifloon breaks that paradigm, as while it technically is "competitive" in that its not super over powered like previous suspects were, it is incredibly shitty in its environment, warps the meta to itself unnaturally, requires specific plays to actually beat it (ie you can't just click the super effective move anymore because lol it got rid of its berry juice and burned you), and lastly it doesn't really require skill to use effectively. That is my argument for why drifloon needs to go
 
ill post something very simple

i had two losses along my admittedly very short ladder run, and both of them came vs me literally doing everything in my power to stop drifloon with no avail. the problem with loon is that you can run 2-3 "counters" and yet it can still stall the shit out of them without you able to do anything. i'm very pro ban loon at this point and if anyone who has actually laddered this round or played recently thinks differently, i'm very sceptical of their agenda.
 

apt-get

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ill post something very simple

i had two losses along my admittedly very short ladder run, and both of them came vs me literally doing everything in my power to stop drifloon with no avail. the problem with loon is that you can run 2-3 "counters" and yet it can still stall the shit out of them without you able to do anything. i'm very pro ban loon at this point and if anyone who has actually laddered this round or played recently thinks differently, i'm very sceptical of their agenda.
I've had 10 losses in my 52-battles run, and 70% of those losses were due to hax (with the 30% being me legitimately fucking up or losing to dumb shit). I don't think I've lost to Drifloon itself once.

I think it's kinda fucked up to say that everyone who doesn't agree with you has a specific agenda in mind.
 
Maybe it's fucked up, but it's how I feel. After playing the matches I have vs Drifloon I don't think it's even remotely healthy for the metagame. It's absolutely terrible to face even for the most prepared of teams and no amount of prediction / playing around is going to stop it. It's going to do it's shit until it's cleaned your whole team or heavily neutered it and there's really not much you can do about it unless you're running like Amaura, which isn't that great of a mon outside of loon counter anyways. I'm sorry if it hurts your feelings, but after playing a good player using loon I don't understand the sentiments of people who think it's actually balanced in this metagame. The only thing I can think of is that yes, it's not broken in the traditional sense, but a mon doesn't have to be overly powerful to be considered that. Idk like I said it just doesn't make sense to me.
 

Fiend

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Fatty can I ask what counters you had for Drifloon? And what did you do to try and stop Drifloon, attack it with Knock Off forever? I haven't lost to Drifloon since it first appeared, using Chinchou / Mag / Pony / Porygon + Corphish/Honedge/Fletch/ect to beat it. I'm really curious how it was an issue for you outside of being an annoying pokemon to play against. And I'm asking this simply because I don't know where I stand on the issue anymore.
 

Ray Jay

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As the flowchart quite clearly shows, Drifloon is a BROKEN Pokemon. We must remove this threat as soon as possible, as the flowchart says we should. If we follow the power of the flowchart, we will come into a renaissance of Little Cup tiering, and we'll have the tier the flowchart has always known we deserved. Thank you flowcharts, if only you were around for the Diglett suspects.
I've waited a few days and slept on this, but I really do need to get this off my chest: the flowchart cannot show something is broken. The flowchart is not based on anything in game nor is not a guide by which we are required make decisions. It was (and is) one person's illustration which demonstrated banning patterns and logic of the past, but it is inherently argumentative and debatable, not objective and certainly not a point to which all in this debate must agree to.
 
i'm very pro ban loon at this point and if anyone who has actually laddered this round or played recently thinks differently, i'm very sceptical of their agenda.
Well said Mr. Trump.

In all seriousness, I think I'm leaning towards ban but I don't think because it's broken it's just because I've kind of given up on people being able to adapt. People seem to forget that you can counter Drifloon with means that you should probably include on your team anyway:<br />
<br />
Chinchou: Obviously has use for countering Fletch and Fires. It's weak to Diglett but w.e. I am starting to regret not joining either side of the debate on that topic but its not my fault entirely because you guys were so unconvincing.

Magnemite: Scarf Magnemite is a monstrous threat in this metagame imo and Drifloon generally gives in a free switch in unless it's Knock Off (though it can't even do anything back to it. It counters birds and cleans late game. Recycle Mag also works and has greater longevity.

It's true that if you don't use recovering variants of those mons, they may get worn out eventually but how does that differ from any other sweeper? Also pair it with Encore if you really think it's hard.

Onix/Geodude/NosePass: the first two block Volt Switch, and they all stop Fletchling and Fires and set up SR. Rock Blast in LC even when burned is going to do a ton of damage. Nosepass doesn't even give a shit about burns and can Volt Switch.

Anything that has a slow volt switch to Pursuit Pawniard is a practically certain way to KO Floon (Scarf avoids the 50/50 if you let it sub once before Volt Switching where it will either Sub, switch out, or get KOed).

Amaura you already talked about but IMO it's a good Fletch-proof heavy-hitting revenge killer.

Ponyta: checks fighters and pawn and other shit. Larvesta actually works too if you dont let it break its BJ first.

PAwniard: Yea standard rocks loses but SD doesn't. Scarf can be paired with Volt Switch to trap floon too.

I could go on but i don't have time and I don't think it'll contribute that much. The point is we seem to refuse to prepare for any mon that is moderately requires us to venture out of our comfort zone, though we kind of have for Diglett but I guess we are used to preparing for that kind of Pokemon and not for Drifloon. I mean Taunt Foo + heal bell something stops set up but it's just something we aren't prepared to do.
 
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Fatty can I ask what counters you had for Drifloon? And what did you do to try and stop Drifloon, attack it with Knock Off forever? I haven't lost to Drifloon since it first appeared, using Chinchou / Mag / Pony / Porygon + Corphish/Honedge/Fletch/ect to beat it. I'm really curious how it was an issue for you outside of being an annoying pokemon to play against. And I'm asking this simply because I don't know where I stand on the issue anymore.
i get that i probably came off a little brash in my previous posts, but i don't know why that warrants you questioning my competency as a player. nevertheless, i will bite. no, i did not just spam knock off vs loon. i used an assortment of ponyta, chinchou, scarf pawniard, encore cottonee, torchic, and ss tirtouga. it was an issue for me because those mons are still all very shaky checks, yes even chinchou. once it gets in safely, drifloon can threaten with either wow or acro, all while having sub to ease any prediction problems it might have. recycle just means that it can essentially endlessly stall things out after this as long as the mon before it can't ohko. if you take a break to heal with a mon like porygon or ponyta to try and keep up, you just gave loon a free sub from where it can just continue to take advantage of. and that's just it. these checks that you guys continue to reference simply can't keep up with loon. unless you're running resttalk chou, chou will eventually fall. ponyta is sr weak, has to avoid knock off all game, and simply isn't bulky enough to reliably counter loon. from there, any physical checks have to risk getting burnt in order to do their job, which neuters them the rest of the game. ill give you magnemite, that is a very solid check, counter even.

some of the checks that you reference though, i don't rly know where you're going with them. corphish really has no business switching into loon, niether does fletch. they both don't like repeated acros and are completely neutered by wow. porygon also has a very tough time handling loon, simply just being prone to being stalled out.

lastly, i find it very hard to believe that you've never lost to drifloon lol. you are one hell of a player bro. if you've never lost to it, why do you then state that you don't know where you stand on the issue? it seems to me like you very clearly wouldn't think it was broken, right?
 

Fiend

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i get that i probably came off a little brash in my previous posts, but i don't know why that warrants you questioning my competency as a player. nevertheless, i will bite. no, i did not just spam knock off vs loon. i used an assortment of ponyta, chinchou, scarf pawniard, encore cottonee, torchic, and ss tirtouga. it was an issue for me because those mons are still all very shaky checks, yes even chinchou. once it gets in safely, drifloon can threaten with either wow or acro, all while having sub to ease any prediction problems it might have. recycle just means that it can essentially endlessly stall things out after this as long as the mon before it can't ohko. if you take a break to heal with a mon like porygon or ponyta to try and keep up, you just gave loon a free sub from where it can just continue to take advantage of. and that's just it. these checks that you guys continue to reference simply can't keep up with loon. unless you're running resttalk chou, chou will eventually fall. ponyta is sr weak, has to avoid knock off all game, and simply isn't bulky enough to reliably counter loon. from there, any physical checks have to risk getting burnt in order to do their job, which neuters them the rest of the game. ill give you magnemite, that is a very solid check, counter even.

some of the checks that you reference though, i don't rly know where you're going with them. corphish really has no business switching into loon, niether does fletch. they both don't like repeated acros and are completely neutered by wow. porygon also has a very tough time handling loon, simply just being prone to being stalled out.

lastly, i find it very hard to believe that you've never lost to drifloon lol. you are one hell of a player bro. if you've never lost to it, why do you then state that you don't know where you stand on the issue? it seems to me like you very clearly wouldn't think it was broken, right?
Semi hastily writing this, so pardon. I don't think I ever insulted you as a player, though I see how it can appear that I did. I assure you that wasn't my intent as I know you're a very solid player and probably better than me in literally every meta. I do still find it worthy of skeptic the fact that you claimed to only lose to Drifloon and then state anyone who doesn't want it banned is pushing a person agenda. What I was really trying to do is get insight from someone who I have interacted with a grand total of three times while playing LC for like 2 and a half years now or something. I was completely grasping at straws for what you did to be suffering from a plague of Drifloons, and since I don't know you pretty much at all, I went for what has been largely the common approach to fighting Drifloon and failing. Sorry for upsetting you though, as again, that's not what I was aiming for.

Reading what you've said, I disagree with a number of things you've said. I would say that Chinchou and Ponyta are not shaky checks, though they don't outright beat it which does lend to them being annoyed. Chinchou can Heal Bell itself if you ever need to, has like 4 moves that 2HKO, and is like 6hkoes by acro. You can Ice Beam / Scald / T bolt and win 1v1, assuming Scald burns one of the 6 times it can or something. Something like HP Grass / Hydro / SCald / Volt chou would be a shaky check, imo, but the Chinchou sets of the current meta are fine. Ponyta can be a shaky check if you also switch into Knock Off and then into Drifloon but that shouldn't be a surprise given a SR weakness and then being itemless. Sure that limits Ponyta's utility, but that only happens in games with Drifloon and more Ponyta can still burn it. And because I think these two pokemon are extremely good checks and more importantly good counters, I don't think that Drifloon is quite as problematic as you say unless of course it is an offense team. Most current offense teams don't appreciate Drifloon (I have found) simply because they can't deal with burns and something living for 30 turns as well as other archetypes. However they have plenty of ways around Drifloon providing they can spare a pokemon or have something like Snarl Carvanha or BJ Mag.

SS tirt seems like a middle ground answer to Drifloon--never tried it for this but seems like it could do it well--and if you have another one of these (ie scarf pawn, fletchling), your team should be fine I believe. Scarf Pawn is a bad check simply because Sub into Wisp is the normal play and by then they know the Pawn and can switch out. You have to get a 1v1 to win, so i don't think Scarf Pawn is really a Floon answer at all. However Torchic is really not a great answer, nor is Encore Cottonee. Both help once or twice but in the end just don't stop it. Why would they? They are 2hkoed by acro. Porygon is an okay check too but not great. CM Spritzee is similar, yet worse since it always gets Knocked.

And I listed Corphish / Honedge / Fletchling in tandem with Pory as their strong prio forces it out/kills, and Porygon will always put it in range of a prio attack. Neither wins alone, at all, but together it's pretty simple for a victory. It's basically the scenario that I earlier mentioned offense sometimes resorts to for dealing with Drifloon, and less than idea but totally manageable. And Porygon is one of like, 17 pokemon who work as the fodder. (This being how some team archetypes deal with Drifloon in an unconstricted manner seems alarming to me though!)

At the risk of seeming like I'm calling you bad again, really only 2 things you've tried are good check for beating Drifloon. Maybe a 3rd if you used Mag. And in a complete guess it sounds like you're letting Drifloon have the free turns since it can only heal by having a free turn. Even if they wisp, then sub 3 times, then sub 4 times, then recycle, a Chinchou would get to hit Drifloon and have a shot to ruin it. And even if it doesn't, priority or a second check can take it out. I don't think Drifloon should directly win a game versus a team that is adjusted to the current meta--which is why I haven't lost a Floon in a like a month and a half. For the record my ladder team was Porygon / Croagunk / Ponyta / Onix / Scarf Pawn / Drifloon, and again I did not have much issues against Drifloon unless it has offense or paired with a Ponyta. Granted I also haven't played the best players or the most Floons so maybe I was just unlikely. I find this unlikely though, so naturally from my perspective it might be an issue with your teams. I don't know though, because you're a good builder and everything so I don't aim to insult you here.

And at times I'm slightly pro-ban but I keep being reminded how many pokemon Drifloon just beats and how well Drifloon does. It reminded me of BW Jynx in how it warps the meta around it, but I don't think it is as bad as Jynx was. So as arguments are presented and I discuss with die hards on both sides, I do shift from ban to no ban. Jynx had sleep to usually make something a not useful or generally unreliable with Sleep Talk while Floon has burns to weaken 80% of common LC pokemon. Jynx had NP and good speed plus Ice Beam to fuck things over while Drifloon has good speed and the ability to live for a long time and an OK powered acro. Drifloon doesn't sweep teams like Jynx did so a direct comparison sucks, but the metagames seem to respond similarly though to different extends.
 
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"I would say that Chinchou and Ponyta are not shaky checks, though they don't outright beat it which does lend to them being annoyed."

i don't really know what this means and it actually feeds into my point. why do people keep saying "it's annoying not broken". you literally just stated that they don't outright beat it. if something is not beating a threat and subsequently losing to it, that's not annoying. that is outright losing. annoying would be 'oh darn, this leech seed poison heal shroomish is actually hella annoying'. it might weaken your mons more than you expect and provide an unforeseen struggle, but it doesn't ravage a team. from how i look at it, it seems as though people are uncomfortable calling drifloon broken or a force because it's not the tradtitional definition of those words.

yes, chinchou can heal bell, but at that point you just gave drifloon another sub, it's still going to be on a timer due to only having a 1 time recovery, and what everyone seems to be forgetting is drifloon can switch out lol. after it has nerfed a switchin, subbed down and broken its bj, good loon users will almost always switch out and wait for a chance to start the process all over again vs things that don't handle it very well. if you're not running a team of 5-6 counters, this is all too easy to employ.

also Heysup, i honestly didn't really notice how fucky that one comment sounded until recently lol. i was fairly drunk when i wrote that and didn't rly know how aggressive it sounded. sry to those who it offended, it was probably out of line and i don't rly think you have alterior agendas it's just that drifloon's negative effect on matches seems so obvious to me, yet i should realize my way of thinking is not shared by everyone.
 
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Fiend

someguy
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The quote you picked out from me was meant to refer to their inability to OHKO Drifloon. My word choice was extremely poor, yes, but I wrote it in a hurry and the general idea isn't hindered by a single sentence. The common sets don't OHKO, so Drifloon can be annoying if you play poorly around it to let it always recycle up continually and burn whatever it wants to and don't attack it. Yes if Chinchou and Ponyta lost, especially outright, they would not be check. However they can a) eventually beat it (T Bolt) or b) status and cripple Drifloon. However these pokemon don't really have a chance to unless you compromise them--burns don't really do this. If you pop bj and then switch out with Drifloon, sure you wisped a counter but now you have to get Drifloon back into play, which is pretty damn hard since it is SR weak and has about the same bulk as evioless Mienfoo. Unless it's versus something that doesn't 2hko it, which is like nothing, it has to recycle or sub (to dodge t wave or smthng) and then recycle and then, finally, it can do what it would like. This is where the annoying piece comes in, and if your only way to deal with it is a Ponyta who is knocked off you will probably lose if you never burn / heal bell. Not to mention, it probably wants to switch in since losing a mon is bad, and that just extends Drifloon's issue of being so extremely problematic. And the best part is any actual counter will still be healthy enough to force Floon out yet again.

It's a really good pokemon for a reason, and it has the ability to make teams barely ready for it lose. I don't think you can call Drifloon super broken/unhealthy so quickly. And people keep bringing up "it's annoying not broken" because people like TCR and the ladder exist and keep essentially saying we should 'ban it bc not fun', and in tcr's case 'it also warps the meta around it a lot'. [paraphrasing & simplifying]
 
the problem isn't a knocked off ponyta being my only way of beating loon, you've taken me answering your initial question out of context twice now. you asked me what i used during my ladder run, which like i said was very short because council reqs. i only used 2 different teams on the ladder, one consisting of pawniard / croagunk / archen / torchic / chinchou / cottonee. like if you think i'm purposely not running counters to floon i don't know what to tell you lol. i know a single knocked off pony won't beat floon, don't keep bringing that up.

continually, tcr, the ladder, and i aren't calling it "super broken/unhealthy" so quickly. you do realize that this two week suspect test isn't the only time loon has been relevent? the whole reason the suspect was brought about was because it was a nuisance for a long time. this suspect is just the focal point, where we can put it under a microscope and decide if it's good for the tier or not. please don't act like all ideas based on drifloon have to be decided between this two week period.

also, you continue to contradict yourself by telling me to not let floon have free turns but you also mention that chou isn't bothered by wow because it can just heal bell? furthermore if you just keep attacking with like pony how do you intend on staying healthy enough to actually no be ko'd by acro, especially with pony's attacking moves coming with recoil? giving loon free turns can't be helped, and the problem is that loon makes way better use of those turns than the opponent does.
 
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