Metagame LC Suspect - BLACK BALLOON - Drifloon is banned!

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San Tomas

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unless that's a scarfchou, you have exactly 0 reliable Drifloon revenge killers on that team, which is really the best way to beat it. for my ladder run i used Sken's Pineco Spikes Offense squad from early XY, and all I really had to beat floon was ScarfChou, Fletchling, and three other mons that could break a Drifloon sub (including Mienfoo and Pawniard, two of floon's biggest targets). As long as you just keep attacking it as it sets up subs and recycles, you'll eventually get to a point that floon is either revenge killed or just death fodder.

With the team listed, I'm actually awestruck that you did "all you could do" to a Drifloon and still lost to it directly. You have Pawniard / Archen / Chinchou / Cottonee, and, while there probably aren't any super reliable revenge killers in that bunch (not to mention that 3/4 of those mons can run Taunt), you should still be able to put one mon up to 1v1 floon, end up losing that mon, and then putting Drifloon into a position where it's essentially death fodder. I'm not suggesting that you played poorly outright; rather, you probably took the wrong mindset when you were trying to fight it.

Drifloon is unique; it's an active offensive mon which uses passive means to be actively threatening. You really can't check it conventionally in the sense that you can add one Pokemon and call it your Drifloon counter. Rather, taking on Drifloon is kind of like the mindset in Doubles, where a team with more than one Pokemon that can't break a Kyurem-B Sub is a poor team. I think that's an adaptation that we should be trying to make in our teambuilding and play against Drifloon.
 
hmmm we talkin revenge killers when i was already told scarf pawniard was not a viable answer to drifloon. i'm curious, what is revenge killing an unburden boosted drifloon? scarf users are basically rendered useless and it's immune to mach punch, vacuum wave, fake out, espeed and sucker punch is unreliable af because of sub. with that said, you're basically left with fletchling to revenge kill, hoping to god it's not behind sub. so is it fair to boil your statement down to "why are you not using fletchling"? because that's dumb af lol.

and yes, i did do all that i can do. if it was a 1v6 match, where i had my entire team vs drifloon im sure i could of won. sadly, pokemon doesn't work like this, and i have 5 other mons i have to account for. i can't count on every single check / counter to be at full capabilities in order to make sure i can deal with loon and as im sure you know there are plenty of other threats in lc to account for. also, i'm not saying i can't beat loon, obviously i have beaten it many times. it's the times that i can't beat it despite my best efforts that get me questioning if it should be in this meta.

lastly, you're telling me that i have to sac a mon to deal with drifloon. if it can't be beaten by good team building and good play, and must have a mon sacced to deal with it, how balanced is this mon?
 
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San Tomas

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here's the process to make sure you can revenge kill a Drifloon with [any user of priority it's not immune to] or [anything that can live an Acro and do ~50% burned]:
  1. Drifloon uses Substitute - switch in your check (essentially anything that takes a bunch of Acros and do around 50% burned)
  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.
  7. At this point, Drifloon should not be behind a sub and should be around 50%. Switch in anything that can live an Acro and do 50% burned, including but not limited to Pawniard, Fletchling, Ponyta, etc.
  8. Keep attacking until Drifloon is dead.
  9. If Drifloon switches out, it will be without a Berry Juice and becomes 100% easier to manage.
That's the basis of a simple anti-Drifloon gameplan, and that's assuming you have to switch something in - i.e. giving Drifloon a free turn. You go at the worst 1-for-1 with a burned mon, which can be mitigated by Heal Bell or the likes. Once again, this doesn't include simply Taunting the fuckin Floon, a wholly underrated option.

Don't patronize me with that "sadly, pokemon doesn't work like this" bullshit, cause I just so happen to also play Pokemon for fucks sakes, and, as it turns out, I've been putting some thought into it. Playing smart around Drifloon isn't as hard as you make it seem if you take the time to actually think outside the box a little.

For a more detailed analysis of Drifloon counterplay, see this excellent post here.
 
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then don't patronize me with some bullshit about how you're awestruck about me losing to drifloon for fucks sake.

also, i know u play mons bro, but these step by step processes you keep posting mean literal shit in the middle of a game. pokemon isn't a step by step process, and like you said u play mons so u should know this. it's in the same vein as how these fucking flowcharts don't work, you can't explain mon v. mon situations on paper and you simply trying to do that is what makes me make comments like i did.
 
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Alot of people complain about Drifloon having ways to get past its checks so i thought to help those folks out but bear in mind, this literally is a shitpost.

Drifloon checks V.2
(Recycle Wisp Set)


The Gutsy Guys !!



Larvitar and Shinx are the frontrunners as both capitalize on Wisp and can punish floon with their STABS, Tailow's access to Guts+Thief makes it a decent option(Not sure -.-).






Infil-traitors !!




Litwick being the recommended one for being immune to Wisp and for having STAB Shadow Ball which Floon hates, Espurr for having Infiltrator+Thunderbolt(LEGIT MEME) and Noibat's representing all the brave bats out there but mainly the one in Gotham.


The Special Rock




Nosepass is a cool mon, sets up rocks and gets STAB Power Gem and Volt Switch to Pivot along with Thunder wave to cripple Floon's Unburden and Pain Split to take advantage from it, a legit check for sure.


The Vulcher with a plot





Nasty Plot Vullaby fucks Drifloon, simple as that, GG.



The ghost that haunts a ghost






Drifloon has a cool ability but it gets neutralized by an even cooler one which brings down Floon to its base 17 speed. Drifloon spams wisp, so does Yamask the only difference is that Yamsk doesnt cares and can kill floon with Hex afterwards. So Drifloon is immortal eh thanks to its Recycle eh, Yamask gets Knock Off to permamently solve that issue or Embargo to temporary block use of its Berry Juice for 5 turns.

Some Badass mons






Try them, they're fun to use -.-


THE DRIFLOON COUNTER


Beat Drifloon at its own game of Recycle stall with the added boost in SpA with Charge Beam, which hits Drifloon super effectively and after +3 SpA, you'll have a hard time judging what's broken.
In addition, this beauty is a solid Abra, Fletchling and Shellder check which sounds like S rank to me.


FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE






If all else fails might wanna give Flare Boost Drifloon a try with Calm Mind+Shadow Ball.
 

Star

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here's the process to make sure you can revenge kill a Drifloon with [any user of priority it's not immune to] or [anything that can live an Acro and do ~50% burned]:
  1. Drifloon uses Substitute - switch in your check (essentially anything that takes a bunch of Acros and do around 50% burned)
  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.
  7. At this point, Drifloon should not be behind a sub and should be around 50%. Switch in anything that can live an Acro and do 50% burned, including but not limited to Pawniard, Fletchling, Ponyta, etc.
  8. Keep attacking until Drifloon is dead.
  9. If Drifloon switches out, it will be without a Berry Juice and becomes 100% easier to manage.
That's the basis of a simple anti-Drifloon gameplan, and that's assuming you have to switch something in - i.e. giving Drifloon a free turn. You go at the worst 1-for-1 with a burned mon, which can be mitigated by Heal Bell or the likes. Once again, this doesn't include simply Taunting the fuckin Floon, a wholly underrated option.

Don't patronize me with that "sadly, pokemon doesn't work like this" bullshit, cause I just so happen to also play Pokemon for fucks sakes, and, as it turns out, I've been putting some thought into it. Playing smart around Drifloon isn't as hard as you make it seem if you take the time to actually think outside the box a little.

For a more detailed analysis of Drifloon counterplay, see this excellent post here.
well a couple things in this post.

Drifloon is still a massive threat without its berry juice. It can literally still come in on fucking pawniard after a kill and set up all over again and literally most of the tier including every fighter without stone edge and p much any other mon that can't either ohko/break sub AND cripple.

Taunt isn't like that widespread in lc on common teams. Mienfoo is prolly one of the most common taunters and that obviously sucks against floon. Obviously onix does a good job but that's one niche Pokemon. I guess maybe stunky but stunky is ass and literally is just crippled by a wisp and has better options than taunt



e: if I haven't made my opinion clear to ppl fuck floon plz ban
 

tcr

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Did you just suggest trading 1 for 1 with Drifloon in the HOPE that it stays in and your Fletchling / Corphish / Tirtouga / Shellder / ???(any other prio mons that aren't sucker, ik struggling to think of good ones) can revenge it? And you still are somehow berating fatty for calling it broken and extremely difficult to deal with? Lol dude, your plan is extremely hinged on 1) having only 1 mon that Drifloon can take advantage of 2) saccing that mon just so you can hope to revenge it and 3) the drifloon user stays in to be revenge killed.

This is the issue. You as the player fighting Drifloon have two choices: you can just play its game, lose your mon, and try to revenge it, or you can switch out and give it a free substitute, to which it can get to full health if needed, or switch out if you bring something like amaura, or burn and wear down your check to drifloon. Those are your only options, at best case scenario unless you bring something super specific and niche is to hope to trade 1 v 1 and revenge it, which if that isn't cancer to you then lol
 

San Tomas

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yeah i was actually going through the lcpl replays to find one where someone played right against floon and then i played this match and maybe floon really is borked. i would like to point out, however:
  • llamas didn't have rock stab on Archen
  • llamas didn't have ice beam or tbolt on Pory
  • somehow overgrow worked out for me and he lost slowpoke, which is also a floon check
  • unrelated but i really like scarfchou
 
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here's the process to make sure you can revenge kill a Drifloon with [any user of priority it's not immune to] or [anything that can live an Acro and do ~50% burned]:
  1. Drifloon uses Substitute - switch in your check (essentially anything that takes a bunch of Acros and do around 50% burned)
  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.
  7. At this point, Drifloon should not be behind a sub and should be around 50%. Switch in anything that can live an Acro and do 50% burned, including but not limited to Pawniard, Fletchling, Ponyta, etc.
  8. Keep attacking until Drifloon is dead.
  9. If Drifloon switches out, it will be without a Berry Juice and becomes 100% easier to manage.
That's the basis of a simple anti-Drifloon gameplan, and that's assuming you have to switch something in - i.e. giving Drifloon a free turn. You go at the worst 1-for-1 with a burned mon, which can be mitigated by Heal Bell or the likes. Once again, this doesn't include simply Taunting the fuckin Floon, a wholly underrated option.

Don't patronize me with that "sadly, pokemon doesn't work like this" bullshit, cause I just so happen to also play Pokemon for fucks sakes, and, as it turns out, I've been putting some thought into it. Playing smart around Drifloon isn't as hard as you make it seem if you take the time to actually think outside the box a little.

For a more detailed analysis of Drifloon counterplay, see this excellent post here.
I usually don't post in threads like these but you're sayin the counterplay to drifloon is to sack a drifloon CHECK so the drifloon is at around 50 and bringing another mon in that can revenge kill it but is forced to take a wisp? Lol that doesn't sound like an efficient way to take care of drifloon at all. I think you're failing to realize that in the process of dealing with drifloon, you have to sack 1 mon to floon and have another one take a wisp. Ok well done congrats you have "successfully" gotten rid of the floon by trading a mon and a half. You are failing to account the 5 other mons on the opponents team, that can easily take advantage of the damage drifloon has done.

tldr: if u really think sacking a mon and a half to drifloon is an efficient way of dealin with it idk what to tell you man try yugioh??

loveeee


e: made this post on phone so sry if it seems shitty
 

Camden

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I usually don't post in threads like these but you're sayin the counterplay to drifloon is to sack a drifloon CHECK so the drifloon is at around 50 and bringing another mon in that can revenge kill it but is forced to take a wisp? Lol that doesn't sound like an efficient way to take care of drifloon at all. I think you're failing to realize that in the process of dealing with drifloon, you have to sack 1 mon to floon and have another one take a wisp. Ok well done congrats you have "successfully" gotten rid of the floon by trading a mon and a half. You are failing to account the 5 other mons on the opponents team, that can easily take advantage of the damage drifloon has done.

tldr: if u really think sacking a mon and a half to drifloon is an efficient way of dealin with it idk what to tell you man try yugioh??

loveeee


e: made this post on phone so sry if it seems shitty
He was specifically describing a situation in which to revenge kill floon, not traditionally counter-play it. You don't have to sack a check to beat it, it's just that sacking something and attempting to revenge kill it requires the least amount of effort.

Also Yugioh is bad rn, unless you actually enjoy not playing the game because of floodgates and Kozmos OTKs.
 
OK so I understand a lot of people have done this already but I might as well say something. Some things people call "soft checks" really aren't. For most it comes down to a 50/50 with the set or they just die if the floon comes in right. Here is an example.

(While I do understand foongus is a very specific example you should be able to get the gist of what im saying if you change foongus with any mon drif can sub up on)

1)Foongus kills a mon and you bring in floon or you switch floon into a sludge bomb/giga drain.
2)Drif presses sub and either A) tanks a sludge bomb/negates spore and eventually gets unburdened and you know what it does from here or B)Is now subbed vs a "soft check" which you have switched in.
I will now use many of these "soft checks" as examples

Soft Check #1) Gastly: here drif can do a few options. It can press sub again to end up getting unburden eventually cause gastly outspeeds and would press shadow ball. Or it can press acro if you think the gastly player is real and would press sub. This is a constant 50/50 with the safe plays making drif win therefore imo not a check.

SC #2) Scarf Pawn: here it can also be a 50/50 FUN! Drif can sub again to block out the knock off but if it predicts the set wrong it loses (and by loses i mean switches out to live another fucking day) or can press willo predicting reg pawn. More 50/50s imo again makes this not a very good check but probably still a better one than gastly.

SC#3) Scarf Foo: it comes in on your sub presses knock and u press sub again same 50/50 as pawn same not efficient check.

The one thing i think people are neglecting when thinking about drif is that this is not a 1v1 where drif has a sub up first, drif just switches and goes on its way to live another day. This mon isnt meant to 6-0 a team imo. One common check people have thrown around for driff is scarf amaura. But who is to say that a good drifloon user wont go into a mon that can kill it like croagunk or timburr. Even hp fighting gothita can speed tie and kill scarf amaura and can just kill berry juice amaura! Even tho the odds arent perfect its a good chance and you can just get rocks up to finsh the deal.
236+ SpA Gothita Hidden Power Fighting vs. 60 HP / 0 SpD Amaura: 24-32 (96 - 128%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO
Even timid gothita gets same roll and can outspeed 100%!
236 SpA Gothita Hidden Power Fighting vs. 60 HP / 0 SpD Amaura: 24-32 (96 - 128%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO

And even if taunt users like onix, mienfoo, or even cottonee with taunt or encore can stop floon every team should have a way to deal with these mons and you can just switch to that. I do understand that I cant speak for everyteam with a drif on it but still your team should have a way to deal with a onix, mienfoo, and a fairy resist like pawn or foongus.

While there are alot of hard counters to drif that i have not mentioned (most of which can be bopped by a sash diglett or even life orb if u can catch that mag or chinchou on a electric move) I think I have made my point. While there definitely are ways to deal with this mon and in no ways I can see it as broken I do feel like it limits creativity in the tier and centralizes it more on a few sole counters. There are a few main points that I see from alot of people about bans. The first one being does this mon make the meta overly centralized? Yes, while you don't see drif if you are one of the few who enjoy ladder if you run into a competitive game vs a drif and u have 1-2 soft checks that you would use for "flying spam" then you lost simple as that. The second one being does this mon make the game less fun? I also have to say yes to this one. A lot of people enjoy lc for the lack of stall, fast paced, mindgamey and overall fun metagame that it is. While if a drif comes in burns you and recycle stalls you as you slowly get more and more salty. So, to end my rant drifloon can get around what many call soft checks and imo makes the meta centralizing and less fun for a lot of people in the community and I havent even gone over the other drif sets....
 

mad0ka

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The reason they're called soft checks is because they're situational checks. The situation in which they're able to stop floon is when: floon has already done its stalling shenanigans with one mon and is now at around 50%. Floon can now either stay in and burn the attacker and die, or it can switch out, keeping it more or less neutralized as a 25% floon (assuming rocks), is not very threatening.

As for the mons you listed, let me go through them one by one.
  • Gastly is an awful answer to floon, and if you consider that a check then idk man. Sure it lives an acro, but after recoil damage from lo? Nope! It's only a "check" in that it outspeeds and OHKOs floon before unburden is activated.
  • Scarf Mienfoo is likewise not an answer at all to Drifloon. Knock off unburned is doing 16 or 18 damage to Drifloon, so you have to rely on a crit to make sure that it doesn't just recycle in your face.
  • While scarf Pawniard is a predicition-based check to Drifloon like you said, it's not so in the regard that you mentioned. If Drifloon is behind a sub, there's no reason for it to not press wisp vs a Pawniard, because if it's scarf it can just switch out as it's locked into knock off, and you'll know that it's scarf because you're outsped. As for how scarf pawniard is a check to Drifloon, here's the situation: it's brought in on a slow voltturn (or u-turn/baton pass situationally if Drifloon doesn't use sub), and then there are two possible scenarios. The pawniard clicks knock off or pursuit, depending on whether or not they predict the Drifloon to stay in.
Since people have been complaining to Levi asking for some sort of list of checks, here's a list of checks through down to B- that don't require prediction to beat Drifloon by the aforementioned keep on attacking till you die and floon is at 50% include:
  • Pawniard
  • Porygon (if ice beam/tbolt)
  • Abra
  • Drifloon (if sball/hex/win tie if rocks give unburden)
  • Fletchling
  • Magnemite
  • Timburr
  • Archen
  • Chinchou
  • Ponyta
  • Vullaby
  • Carvanha
  • Corphish
  • Omanyte
  • Shellder
  • Skrelp
  • Vulpix
  • Dwebble
  • Houndour
  • Larvesta
  • Pumpkaboo
  • Scraggy
  • Tirtouga
  • Cranidos
  • Elekid
  • Onix
  • Stunky (if taunt)
  • Surskit (if ice beam)
  • Taillow
  • Torchic
  • Amaura
  • Honedge
Of these, there are some that can switch in to the standard sub acro set too (bolded means more reliable):
  • Chinchou
  • Ponyta
  • Magnemite
  • Omanyte
  • Skrelp (resttalk outstalls)
  • Houndour
  • Elekid
  • Onix
  • Taillow
  • Amaura
  • Munchlax (resttalk outstalls)

Amaura and resttalk munchlax aside, these mons all have great usage outside of just answering Drifloon. Consequently, they're not that hard to fit onto a team. Why is it then, that Drifloon is being suspect tested in the first place? Some people say that Drifloon is able to easily outlast its checks/counters throughout the match, which I don't necessarily disagree with. It has the potential to do so, depending on how you play.

If the opposing team has any of these mons that are able to switch in easily to a wisp or acro, then the pressure is immediately put on the drifloon user. Getting in once safely isn't too big of an issue, as Drifloon has the natural bulk to switch in on lots of attacks. From there on, when Drifloon subs up and drops a wisp on its switchin, it then becomes a game of survivability for Drifloon. How can it get into play safely to slowly wither down its switchins? In many instances, it picks on mons like Foongus, Drilbur, Spritzee, Pumpkaboo, Hippopotas, etc. , relies on voltturn, or comes in after a faint. The strategy to beating Drifloon is in knowing how it plays.

Say, on teams where you have Drifloon-bait mons, obviously you're going to want stronger checks to it on your team, like recycle magnemite, FC ponyta, or heal bell or resttalk chou, as Drifloon is provided many switchin opportunities. It's no different from needing strong agnemite switchins if you're running fletch or other mons that let it in for free. If you don't have these mons that just let Drifloon come in for free and recycle indefinitely, then you don't even 100% need one of these switchins. You can get away with two of the soft checks from the first list and a way of dealing with status, though many teams will conveniently already have one of the mons on the second list because they for the most part have functions outside of dealing with Drifloon.

Many people have also been claiming that Drifloon is just unfun. This is a completely subjective point, and the only way this should ever have any influence on a ban decision is if it's deterring people from playing little cup. Drifloon is a unique mon, in that it's not really that common on ladder, it's been found to be suspect worthy through tournament battles. Really, if you ask semi-new people they won't even understand why Drifloon is being suspected they often won't understand, so it's not like it's preventing them from playing LC. It's not a combination of both being unfun and deterring people from playing, so I don't really think Drifloon being "unfun" should be considered. Personally, I love Drifloon. It's given the meta a new threat as it was a mon that was semi-recently just discovered, allowing it to develop in new ways. Not to mention, you can be really creative with Drifloon, tailoring it to your team too, though the standard sub acro set is what is being suspected, as the other sets all have their noticeable faults. I feel like it's given LC a new interesting, never seen before threat, which is a good thing as it makes people start being creative and thinking of new innovations again, as opposed to in a stagnant meta.

On the same note, that's also part of the reason why I believe that Drifloon has received such a surge of hate. It's not like anything we've dealt with before, and teams need to adapt. For example, you can't just use year old teams and expect to get away with it all of the time, as the llamas and berks game showed. LC had been something pretty static since a bit after the Missy ban, which made people grow lazy. So, when a new threat comes, instead of looking at it critically, people just instead think it's broken since it's really disrupting the status quo that had previously been established for so long. I'm not calling people advocating for a ban lazy, I'm just saying that once you get past the initial shock, this is a mon that can be dealt with through different ways.
 
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I tried evio houndour and it's pretty good against drifloon, but pretty ass overall

I also don't like that big "if" before you listed that list of "checks", what would happen if it's 100% and no item?
If there are certain conditions for it to actually beat it that I actually have to meet to be able to check it, eh I wouldn't call that healthy.

Another thing to think about is how much destruction it does towards the team. Drfloon can spread status to a lot of walls/mons and spin block hazards. That support is amazing especially the hazards thing since LC is so fast pace so people should post more about that side.

36 Atk Drifloon Acrobatics (110 BP) vs. 0 HP / 36 Def Eviolite Munchlax: 9-12 (30 - 40%) -- 59.8% chance to 3HKO

36 Atk Drifloon Acrobatics (110 BP) vs. 0 HP / 40 Def Taillow: 15-18 (78.9 - 94.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

36 Atk Drifloon Acrobatics (110 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Eviolite Elekid: 5-6 (26.3 - 31.5%) -- guaranteed 4HKO

36 Atk Drifloon Acrobatics (110 BP) vs. 60 HP / 0 Def Amaura: 6-8 (24 - 32%) -- 98% chance to 4HKO

The things that don't have reliable recover or status healers are gonna suffer from that turn to turn 12.5%, the damage really does rack up.

The only thing that really stands out from that second list personally is Ponyta, magnemite and maybe chinchou.

Just a few of my thoughts.
 
Madoka while i do understand that the checks I listed aren't good I feel like I should say again that that wasnt what I was saying at all. I said they were things people think can check drif but cant and that led onto my point of drif just being able to win 50/50s and switch out/sub up on alot of mons. Although letting it be known on which side im leaning to I in no way feel like drif is broken like i said. I'm just saying it feels very centralized in the meta and can not be very fun to play against. Some of the general "flying spam checks" dont apply to drif which is why many say it is broken. I agree with you 100% that it doesnt make the game not fun for alot of ladder players. But the fact that I have never seen a well played drif get atleast 1 kill and a cripple (thats if you bring it out very early) makes me lean towards ban. Another thing that I think makes it closer to ban-worthy is in a good team it can win simple as that. I did the calcs on hp fighting for amaura and energy ball kills omanyte from goth and dig can bop chin, mag, skrelp, omanyte as well, houndoor, elekid, onix, and ponyta. And tailow gets beat by the other teams drif counter and almost every team in this little cup meta has a fighter to deal with munchlax or atleast like a pawn to resist its stab. There is your list of the good counters all bopped by the many teammates drifloon can have. This to me is a main reason why drif can feel broken at times.
 
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.
All of this happened already lol If anything this is why Drifloon stands out a lot

All these mons were discovered at one point and deemed manageable which is why they stayed in the tier. Drifloon has been in the tier since DPP and now this new set popped up and it's nothing like we've seen before.

Also one thing here's a little difference between Mienfoo/Carvahnna and Drifloon:

Fake out / drain punch / knock off / uturn mienfoo vs Larvesta Mienfoo loses

Stone Edge / drain punch / knock off / uturn mienfoo vs larvesta Mienfoo wins

protect / waterfall / crunch / aqua jet carvahna vs croagunk Carv loses

protect waterfall / crunch / zen headbutt carv vs croagunk carv wins

Also it's not like multiple different moveset combinations are being discovered constantly, people are overwhelmed with the regular recycle acro floon.


They miss out on checks/counters depending on the set. Drifloon is incredibly powerful with just sub / wisp / recycle / acrobatics and can beat a wide array of checks and counters physically and defensively, another difference between those mons.
 

tcr

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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]
While not disagreeing, this honestly depends on your definition of "broken." Some people think that broken simply means being blatantly overpowered, and anything else is fine (people like Apt-get come to mind, who only believe the bare necesseties should be broken). Others think that "broken" means at a significantly higher tier of viability than anything else, that would mostly be gligar ban supporters. Fatty I believe thinks that its broken because it destroys a large portion of the metagame, relies on some niche checks, and has the potential to break through traditional counters to it (such as BJ Chinchou or non Recycle Magnemite being worn down by sr + spikes and repeated switchins). I'm personally of the belief that I want to preserve a fun metagame, and get rid of obviously cancerous stuff instead of just banning things that are broken and leaving everything else. This form of "cancer" can be anything from requiring a constant stream of 100% perfect play to keep down, or to even just restricting teambuilding to a certain point. I'm of the belief that Drifloon is part of the latter. You're pretty much required to run Resttalk Chinchou / Ponyta / Recycle Magnemite just to guarantee you don't get swept by Drifloon. Yes, you can some other checks like Scarf Mag, BJ Chinchou, Amaura, Porygon, etc etc, but a lot of those don't have definitive longevity and are worn down through simple hazard stack + Drifloon. This was something that I ran on the ladder and realized.

Many people have also been claiming that Drifloon is just unfun. This is a completely subjective point, and the only way this should ever have any influence on a ban decision is if it's deterring people from playing little cup. Drifloon is a unique mon, in that it's not really that common on ladder, it's been found to be suspect worthy through tournament battles. Really, if you ask semi-new people they won't even understand why Drifloon is being suspected they often won't understand, so it's not like it's preventing them from playing LC. It's not a combination of both being unfun and deterring people from playing, so I don't really think Drifloon being "unfun" should be considered. Personally, I love Drifloon. It's given the meta a new threat as it was a mon that was semi-recently just discovered, allowing it to develop in new ways. Not to mention, you can be really creative with Drifloon, tailoring it to your team too, though the standard sub acro set is what is being suspected, as the other sets all have their noticeable faults. I feel like it's given LC a new interesting, never seen before threat, which is a good thing as it makes people start being creative and thinking of new innovations again, as opposed to in a stagnant meta.

On the same note, that's also part of the reason why I believe that Drifloon has received such a surge of hate. It's not like anything we've dealt with before, and teams need to adapt. For example, you can't just use year old teams and expect to get away with it all of the time, as the llamas and berks game showed. LC had been something pretty static since a bit after the Missy ban, which made people grow lazy. So, when a new threat comes, instead of looking at it critically, people just instead think it's broken since it's really disrupting the status quo that had previously been established for so long. I'm not calling people advocating for a ban lazy, I'm just saying that once you get past the initial shock, this is a mon that can be dealt with through different ways.
IDK about you, but Drifloon was a large part of why I stopped playing ORAS so extensively (although certainly not the only reason, and not every reason was a negative reason). I wouldn't really classify myself as someone who just builds lazy teams or only uses year old teams and such, in fact I pride myself on being able to think creatively while building teams and handling threats in a unique manner. The issue comes from Drifloon being incredibly incredibly hard to shove reliable checks to without resorting to some sort of cookie cutter build. In the same manner that PU encourages Machoke + Swanna + Gourgeist on every team, Chinchou or Magnemite is on every team. you can certainly use other checks, and certainly win with them. That's not the point though. A really good Drifloon player will capitalize on you not using extremely safe Drifloon counters, and will be certain to set up spikes and such to wear down whatever counter you choose. That's something that not a lot of people take into account imo. In the same way that Drifloon requires a specific manner of playing against, it also can be used in a psuedo-win condition slot if played correctly, which not only means that it can be easily slotted on teams that require things like Pawniard / Vullaby / Mienfoo / Snivy / Drilbur / etc / etc gone, it can also be used as a backup win con in tandem with a spike setter. Which is so fucking stupid. In comparison of today's metagame and past mons, its on par with Gligar as something you can just stick on your team, tailor to your teams needs, and win, on par with Yanma / Murkrow as an annoying team disruptor, and also happens to check over half the metagame. I don't really think that people understand this, they still think that being "broken" means that it is a hardline that is explicitly at the level of X banned mon, when in reality it shifts and changes as in tune with the metagame. I don't think that many people can argue that Drifloon is on a different level than most Pokemon, and while I don't personally believe it is broken (due to my definition requiring ways to get around checks or a number of niche checks, whereas Drifloon has definitive checks, albeit shaky at times) I do believe that it is an unhealthy addition to the metagame that at worst burns a couple mons a match but at best can definititively 6-0 a team, see llamas vs berks.
 
REUP GANG RECORDS PRESENTS

All Balloons Fly Away Eventually: an argument for the banning of Drifloon
By: Shrug aka Keith aka JESUS KEITH aka (to goao) kp aka SHOCK AND AUTISM

THE THESIS OF THIS POST, IN SIMPLIFIED FORM:

Drifloon is unhealthy (substitute "broken" if you're one of the dudes who insists "A MON MUST BE BROKEN TO BE BANNED" bc i dont want to quibble over pokedictionary definitions here) for this metagame because of its offensive (psuedo-offensive) utility being too much for a metagame to handle on a mon with such low opportunity cost, especially in conjunction with its support capabilities.

THE BODY OF THE POST, IN WHICH I WILL PROCEED TO DEFINE + DEFEND EVERY FUCKING TERM AND PHRASE I USED IN THE THESIS TO AVOID SEMANTIC CALLOUTS THAT PEOPLE CAN POUND THE LIKE BUTTON FOR BC THEY (THE NIGGLING CALLOUTS) SUPPORT THEIR OPINIONS:

1. Offensive Utility: it's obvious, but it needs to be restated: Drfloon is one of the best pure sweepers in lc. it just beats such a wide slate of mons while requiring minimal space to set up. I dont feel the need to drop replays of full teams falling to wisp - recycle - occasional acro or sub as its already been done, but it's worth mentioning as preamble. And as the modern crafter of flame charge impish ponyta, I understand there are definite checks! But it;s worth noting those checks (+ counters) are so vital because Drifloon beats most mons so handily - it's not like a fletch where you can ask a random mon to live an acro and hit it, you often really need one of the designated floon checks to be able to deal with it. the indiscriminate 12.5% / turn dmge is very useful. [counterexamples exist ("mon x forced out drifloon at time y ERGO shrug your point is invalid why do you have cc you fucking moron hhhrrrnngggggg i cry when i masturbate") but are limited enough to be met with more abundant counter-counterexamples, so im going to leave this point like this; i feel as though it's accepted floon has less soft emergency counters than most other mons.] this, im my mind, elevates floon to a shellder / omantye / zigzagoon level of sweeper - there are obviously counters, but you need to have them in order to still be in the game.

INTERLUDE:

sammyswinub66, who's probably on the spectrum: "but shrug, you just compared drifloon to three non-broken mons! therefore it's not broken!"
Shrug: sammy im going to get there. calm down big guy

2. Support capabilities: This is multifaceted. Floon by virtue of spreading wisps is hugely beneficial to a lot of teams - burn is an incredible status that both does damage and weakens the opponent. this means even when floon gets stopped in its sweep, it often has opened the foe's team for other sweepers or general harassment. this differentiates it from other sweepers mentioned vide supra [hey berks ;)] because floon pretty much always has positive impact for a skilled user - you'll never regret bringing it. [an aside: check this team and go floon > gastly and maybe staryu > corph for some fun] this is also due to floon's defensive utility. it checks abra, snivy, drilbur, and bunches of other mons (admittedly dependent on knock off prediction in some cases) for its team. on top of even that, it acts as a spinblocker, synegizing perfectly with the fact its best check (Ponyta) is one of the most hazard-vulnerable pokemon in lc. looked at a different way. drifloon would be a good pokemon to bring even if it didnt have the capability of sweeping - which it very much does.

INTERLUDE:

sammyswinub66, who double switches less than would a child of op and kingler12345: "but shrug, it cant do all of that at once, right?"
Shrug: sammy, buddy, that's where you're mistaken. it's ok. drink some more lemon vodka, you're not the reason your parents got divorced

3. Opportunity cost: This is where the money is made for floon: it's so many things at once. it is, like i said above, a fantastic, game-ending, headhunting sweeper - one of the best. take for example zigzagoon. it can also end teams easily that dont have the proper checks. but a difference arises in that 1. you need an entire team built, pretty much, to support zigzagoon and 2. you need to play with five mons until the very genesis of your sweep. for floon 1. it's pretty much self-serving; often, you need one designated mon in diglett and the other team is on the back foot immediately in fear of the floon sweep with the other mons free to move about and do stuff and 2. as stated, floon can be active in the match prior to sweeping. Unlike say a shellder, which can also serve a useful-in-a-pinch purpose in checking things, damage doesnt hurt too much floon's ability to sweep, as recycling is essentially a speed boost for floon, allowing it to work its magic. basically, adding floon means you'll always have a good mon, always have a sweeper even from a weakened spot, always have a game-bending threat. thats unique, and for good reason: it's overpowered

INTERLUDE:

sammyswinub66, who was tutored by starmaster, prolly: "But Shrug, you're not right here, it has counters, it does, it does"
Shrug: sammy, relax friendo. please pm user fiend with the importable of your team for a personal rate - might be good to include the full text of the import twice so he gets the message

4. This metagame: specifically, this metagame with diglett in it. Diglett is very helpful in beating the most-solid floon counters - Chinchou, Pony, Magnemite. this works with the points i made above in several ways: first, and most obviously, it traps and kills the counters. more subtly, it (dig) has more space on a team with floon than it would on say a shellder offence team, despite the two being able to demolish at comperable rates. being able to play with floon means you have 5 mons than can switch in and be useful early/midgame as opposed to 4 (for dig + a headhunter). i might be inclined to look at this differently if dig were to go and the floon counters stiffened up as a result, but given im voting with the metagame at present and the fact diglett has survived two suspect tests so far, i cant in good faith vote assuming it is gone.

INTERLUDE:

sammyswinub66, who asks why i have voice in lc, most likely: "but shrug, i like using it, stfu"
Shrug: sammy, although you didnt directly cause your parents divorce, your unattractive face, poor social skills, absymal cooridnation and gutter-low iq caused your mom to reconsider why she even married your father, leading her to have sex with two black guys with dicks longer than the jump from confide's ego to his actual skill level and film it on her iphone camera w/ custom case a picture of your family in mexico on vacation, send it to your dad, have him weep, consider suicide by cop but settle for divorce instead, leaving you in a netherworld where you feel neither parent loves you, which is true"
sammyswinub66: -
Shrug: dont fuck with the lc posting king

5. Unhealthy: overall, Drifloon is bad for the metagame. it's a strange mon to look at because it doesnt have the typical halmarks of a broken mon and does damage in a queer (ignore subtext) way; it's a very little-cup specific mon in the sense that no other tier has a mechanic quite like recycle + bj (or an element quite like bj). But at its heart, floon is a deadly sweeper, boosting massively its own speed and doing damage in a manner that at the same time cripples the foe while being able to recover nearly all of its health in one swoop. While lc is not a metagame virgin to powerful sweepers, Drifloon is different in its vast utility in a nonsweeping role while also being able to perform the sweeping role in the same match with ease. It can eat teams alive if the foe has the slightest weakness or still be useful if the opp goes hard to stop it while never being a bad bring, something no other mon in the metagame can manage in combination. The specifics of the meta are kind to it in limiting the use of the mons that best check it, making it even better. I believe it should be banned from the lc metagame, and hope you agree.

to leave you with something beautiful, enjoy Pusha T and Malice as Clipse:
https://spinrilla.com/mixtapes/re-up-gang-we-got-it-4-cheap-vol-2
 

Ray Jay

"Jump first, ask questions later, oui oui!"
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The issue comes from Drifloon being incredibly incredibly hard to shove reliable checks to without resorting to some sort of cookie cutter build. In the same manner that PU encourages Machoke + Swanna + Gourgeist on every team, Chinchou or Magnemite is on every team. you can certainly use other checks, and certainly win with them. That's not the point though. A really good Drifloon player will capitalize on you not using extremely safe Drifloon counters, and will be certain to set up spikes and such to wear down whatever counter you choose.
If you rewind a few years, we were having this exact debate in Gen V. Just replace "Drifloon" with "Scraggy" and "Chinchou or Magnemite" with "Mienfoo or Croagunk." Compared to Scraggy's Dragon Dance + select damaging move strategy, Drifloon's strategy actually seems relatively complex, one that requires more "skill."
Many people have also been claiming that Drifloon is just unfun. This is a completely subjective point... Personally, I love Drifloon. It's given the meta a new threat as it was a mon that was semi-recently just discovered, allowing it to develop in new ways. Not to mention, you can be really creative with Drifloon, tailoring it to your team too, though the standard sub acro set is what is being suspected, as the other sets all have their noticeable faults. I feel like it's given LC a new interesting, never seen before threat, which is a good thing as it makes people start being creative and thinking of new innovations again, as opposed to in a stagnant meta.
I think this sums up my feelings on the "unfun" argument, which is really, really prevalent throughout this thread. Drifloon is "unfun" insofar as it's one of the most frustrating Pokemon to lose to; you feel helpless (if you don't believe me, watch the most recent replay by Berks until you agree). I believe that nothing could be better than this for LC. LC as a metagame has in my opinion chronically suffered from the fact that teambuilding was consistently disproportionately less important than move selection. New Pokemon that are intensely difficult to deal with, especially when they are common only in more "elite" LC playstyles, force a natural evolution that privileges strong teambuilding in a way that's helpful for a metagame's development. Metagames stagnate when teambuilding is not given this place of prominence / relevance.
 
I think Drifloon is a great pokémon, unfun to face like lot of people say, it can spread status to your team, wall common flying checks like Pawniard and Archen, and act as a spinblocker ..

When I look at his safe checks (Chinchou - Ponyta - Magnemite - Elekid ..), the problem is ... Diglett !
Almost all of them can be trapped by Diglett.

When these two pokémon are in same team, with a great player, you just can't really switch your Ponyta or your Chinchou without fearing to get trapped.
In my opinion, that is the problem, because Drifloon alone is a great pokémon, but still can be handle, it's harder when your check get trapped ..

I guess I still have trauma to that infamous M-Sab / Goth stall in OU ? ^^
 
***
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HOW DOES DRIFLOON AFFECT THE METAGAME?
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1. Metagames
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First, we should establish how metagames work, because that seems like a pretty important thing to understand when you're talking about how a Pokemon affects the metagame.
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A metagame is a complex collection of strategies in a game resulting from a relatively simple ruleset. Metagames work based on two principles: 1) top-tier strategies emerge in the metagame as a result of slight imbalances in the game, and 2) counterplays to these top-tier strategies emerge in response.
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That might be a little to digest, so let's think of a generic MOBA- something like League or Dota 2. Imagine that there's a hero, Hero A, that emerges as the best hero in the game. Everybody starts using it. Then, some smart players realize that Hero B easily beats Hero A. More people start using Hero B because they realize how well he matches up against the metagame. Hero A becomes less of a threat because of how much people use Hero B. Then, some smart players notice how easily Hero C beats Hero B. And the cycle continues.
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So, what does that mean for us? Well, seeing as we don't have developers coming in and tweaking the game if something is a bit too good, we take the responsibility of balancing the metagame on ourselves.
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But what does balancing the metagame mean? Well, there's a cyclical nature to metagames. But when the cycle gets disrupted, that seems to indicate that something is wrong. When Hero B can't emerge as a viable counterplay to Hero A, then Hero A is probably broken.
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So what makes something too strong? What are the criteria for a Pokemon being banworthy? After some thought on the topic, I decided on the three following criteria:
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* Does the Pokemon have counterplays?
* Does the Pokemon have multiple sets with different counterplays?
* Are the counters viable outside of being counters to the Pokemon?
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2. Drifloon
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Let's look at how Drifloon fits the criteria.
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1. Drifloon does have counterplays. Larvitar, Amaura, Ponyta, Timburr, Shellder, Chinchou, etc.
2. Drifloon has multiple sets. Calm Mind, AcroFloon, Mixed Offensive, TrickSpecs, etc.
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The first one-and-a-half questions are fairly cut-and-dry. Drifloon obviously has counters, and it obviously has different sets. But we get into subjective territory with the following questions: 1) Are the counterplays to its sets significantly different? and 2) Are the counterplays viable outside of being counters to Drifloon?
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Drifloon has two important sets- Calm Mind and AcroFloon. There are other sets on the analysis, but, honestly, who uses those? Look at the usage stats for June 2016 (non-suspect, 1760):
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Will-O-Wisp 87.693%; Recycle 85.579%; Acrobatics 68.238%; Substitute 65.793%; Calm Mind 25.628%; Hex 23.910%; Shadow Ball 11.631%; Destiny Bond 8.552%; Thunderbolt 4.094%; Other 18.883%
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As you can see, there's minimal usage of Knock Off, Hidden Power Fighting, Trick, etc. So I think it'd be a good idea if I didn't waste my time discussing those sets. With all that out of the way, let's look into the checks and counters for the two important sets. These lists will by no means be extensive, but rather will focus on highlighting the many strategies that can beat Drifloon.
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AcroFloon:
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Phazers can remove a fully set-up Drifloon, Substitute, Unburden, and all, from the playing feel, and disincentivize it from setting up at all. The best users are probably Hippopotas and Munchlax, but many Pokemon get access to moves like Roar and Whirlwind which can be run over a less-useful move.

.

Guts users can take advantage of Drifloon's Will-O-Wisp to get an attack boost and do more damage to it. The best users are probably Larvitar and Shinx, but Taillow is also viable for its ability to hit through Drifloon's Substitute with a STAB Boomburst.

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Flying-type resists can take Acrobatics from Drifloon with ease and punish it with super-effective attacks. There are a lot of good Flying-type resists in Little Cup because of the necessity of a Fletchling check.

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Pokemon that can bypass Substitute make the move a waste of HP for Drifloon. These include multi-hit move users like Shellder, sound-based move users like Amaura, and Infiltrator users like Litwick.

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Ponyta and, to a lesser extent, other Flame Body users can punish Drifloon for attacking and cripple it for the rest of the battle. It's also immune to Will-O-Wisp.

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Pokemon that outspeed Drifloon can keep it from setting up in the first place. Fletchling in particular can severely weaken Drifloon even after it has set up.

.

Bulky Pokemon of all shapes and sizes can generally out-stall Drifloon. RestTalk Skrelp and Munchlax can weather anything AcroFloon throws at them and keep recovering the damage off.
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Calm Mind:
.

Dark-types, particularly those neutral to Fighting-type attacks, can take on Calm Mind Drifloon one-on-one. The best Pokemon for this is Vullaby.

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Bulky Normal-types or Normal-types neutral to Fighting-type attacks can take on Calm Mind Drifloon due to their immunity to Ghost-type attacks.

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Priority users, even if they cannot OHKO Drifloon, do significant damage to Drifloon and leave it open to revenge killing.

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Tanks can take even boosted attacks from Drifloon and hit it back harder.
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As you can see, Drifloon has plenty of counterplays, and I believe that its counterplays are viable enough to justify not banning it. Drifloon has counters, the counters are viable outside of countering Drifloon, and there is reasonable overlap between the counters to its viable sets.

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Postscript
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If you don't like playing against Drifloon, bring counters to it. There is absolutely no excuse for failing to prepare for relevant metagame threats. All it does is make you look like a moron. That's like bringing boxing gloves to the Shootout at the OK Corral.
 
shellder / omanyte / porygon / magnemite / pawniard (eh) / vullaby (eh) / ponyta / hippo + more

These mons can stop drifloon, but not without being worn down by status / hazards

The reason I'm including hazards is because of Drifloon's support role. The damage it does is incredible to teams, and acrobatics is really there to just pick off shit that doesn't have recovery. Vullaby, pawn, hippo, shellder all suffer from burns obviously and the rest of the mons and the rest of the mons like porygon and mag just suffer from longevity.

I've seen broken mons that have incredible physical ability and special attacking ability. This is the first time I've seen a pokemon that successfully "sweeps" team due to hazards/status and I'm all for adjusting, but how long is it going to take adjusting to a pokemon that isn't threatening for it's physical and special prowess, it's threatening due to it's ability to support a team and still hold it's on against many top tier threats?
 
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