On RBY Tradebacks (All Tiers)

Sabelette

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Alright, last one got deleted for being a proxy post but I’m gonna just say on my own volition we should suspect test RBY Tradebacks across every tier. I agree with all the points Llinos/May/PvK has said in the past on this across her two years of pushing for it before she chose to leave the site and think this is the best and potentially only time such a thing could be tested. OU is the most centralized it has ever been, UU is a mess, and the tiers below that will inevitably get fucked up by UU with or without Tradebacks and require some suspects as-is.

Some reasons to do it:

1. It never got a suspect in the first place and we just accepted it as a fact based on an ancient ruling, these things should be tested. Hipmonlee outright abolished BL unilaterally so clearly we are still allowed to make “big” changes.
2. RBY has had far bigger shakeups than this.
3. This barely affects OU, Zam/Gar do not suddenly break the meta given punches and Persian/Hypno are still outside picks. It makes things perhaps slightly more diverse and opens a few more options that all have big costs. LK Lax is probably the most serious reason not to do this and that set still costs something big to use.
4. This is likely to benefit lower tiers by making their most busted threats move up a tier (Hypno/Persian, Mime/Clef/Zard) and making things from lower tiers move up with newly appropriate power.
5. I just think it’s the right thing to do? For some reason we’re so averse to just testing things and it takes so much impetus to get any tests done when really we should be testing anything controversial, including stuff like Tentacruel in pre-Lapras UU. That boat’s sailed but this one’s been sitting and rotting in the dock.

Llinos/May/PvK laid this out well here, this is not a proxy post because I’m pushing this myself as a RBY NU council member because I really think this is good (and if you go search my massive pile of messages on the RBY discord you will see me advocate this since a long time ago) but I’m not going to bother writing out a manifesto on points she has already addressed well. Have fun: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YGirmKjOt9q8Z-gYIRh_8k4Jo88gC3p19OUkopFmLU0/edit?usp=sharing

Hoping we can have a fruitful discussion and not a hard “lol no” or another 3 minute deletion.
 

Amaranth

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(I'm not on council and have no power anymore, speaking solely as a player)

2019 Survey showed no opposition but also relatively little active interest

That manifesto is heavily biased and I don't think we can take it as a representation of overall community feelings at all

"I think OU is boring and the lowtiers are clusterfucks" is not a good argument in favor of tradebacks, one because it's subjective (even though I do agree with the lowtiers part), two because clusterfucks can and should be fixed through normally available tiering methods

I feel like community satisfaction with OU as a tier is pretty decently high atm and you're always going to be swimming against strong currents trying to fix things that aren't broken. I don't think OU needs any changes, and as much as I used to share your viewpoint in the past I've come around to "we've always done things this way" being a very good argument; not because I care about tradition or anything, but because I don't see the need to shake up a tier that's still, all things considered, thriving

All that said, if there is enough interest, the pipeline for shifting to tradebacks would IMO have to go through (1) a favorable (>50%) vote with a voter pool of very qualified people (not just Taurosfan1212 who's watched Big Yellow videos and laddered for two months), (2) a lot of testing in individual tournaments, for 6months to 1year or so (maybe 2023 Summer Seasonal -> 2024 Winter -> 2024 Majors -> 2024 GC -> vote before 2024 Cup) and (3) a second vote requiring a bigger majority (>60%) confirming it after all the testing

Anything less than this would feel shoddy and rushed - maybe fine for lowtiers who don't have as much of an established history, but OU deserves thoroughness
 

Sabelette

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(I'm not on council and have no power anymore, speaking solely as a player)

2019 Survey showed no opposition but also relatively little active interest

That manifesto is heavily biased and I don't think we can take it as a representation of overall community feelings at all
Fully agree, I'd like to re-poll this.

"I think OU is boring and the lowtiers are clusterfucks" is not a good argument in favor of tradebacks, one because it's subjective (even though I do agree with the lowtiers part), two because clusterfucks can and should be fixed through normally available tiering methods
I don't at all think OU is boring, I just think "it's fine as is" is not a good reason to not give this a test.

I feel like community satisfaction with OU as a tier is pretty decently high atm and you're always going to be swimming against strong currents trying to fix things that aren't broken.
Agree again, I fully realize there is an incredible level of inertia here and that OU is doing fine, but I think on principle this still deserves a test and I think there is support, the question is just if it's enough support. If a poll was done of good players across tiers and nobody even wanted to test it, I'd relent. I do think "across tiers" matters - OU is by far the most developed tier with the highest skilled players but I don't think the experience of people doing well in other tiers should be written off, even if OU should probably have the most weight. Also, if sleep can be banned in a single tier and legal above and below it, I think other tiers should be able to repeal Tradebacks Clause individually, even if it's not my preferred option.

All that said, if there is enough interest, the pipeline for shifting to tradebacks would IMO have to go through (1) a favorable (>50%) vote with a voter pool of very qualified people (not just Taurosfan1212 who's watched Big Yellow videos and laddered for two months), (2) a lot of testing in individual tournaments, for 6months to 1year or so (maybe 2023 Summer Seasonal -> 2024 Winter -> 2024 Majors -> 2024 GC -> vote before 2024 Cup) and (3) a second vote requiring a bigger majority (>60%) confirming it after all the testing

Anything less than this would feel shoddy and rushed - maybe fine for lowtiers who don't have as much of an established history, but OU deserves thoroughness
Absolutely agree, I would want nothing less than a majority vote on even giving this a try and a supermajority on implementing after an absolute minimum 6 month test. I do think very little harm would be done by testing this, as again, lowtiers are clusterfucks and OU changes the least of any tier, so I think a lower threshold of 50% for just giving it a try seems ok.
 

Hipmonlee

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Of the reasons you mention:

3. This isnt really true. A lot of the gimmicky stuff is not as big as people think at first, but I think this is a drastic change to the sleep metagame. Basically t1 TWave will be well and truly back with tradebacks. Because there are 0 mons that want to absorb a t1 TWave that have any hope in hell of sleep blocking Persian or Snorlax. Overall I expect this to gradually shift the balance of the metagame in favour of offensive styles. Like, explosions + back Persian, that kind of shit.

4. I have zero interest in messing with OU to help lower tiers sort out their tiering issues. If the UU community wants to ban Hypno and Persian, then they should just hurry up and ban Hypno and Persian. Likewise for whatever NU wants to do.

For the other arguments, I have no problem with moving to tradebacks, but, aside from 5, you havent actually given a reason to do it. Just reasons to not not do it. And 5 isnt super compelling...

And aside from that I would like to agree with Amaranth that OU is in a really healthy spot at the moment. There's been so much innovation over the past couple of years. Like, the argument isnt "OU is fine at the moment" the argument is "OU is better than it has ever been". Change is a really tough sell at the moment.

I think there are issues with the lower tiers atm. But I really think they need to be addressed directly...
 

Sabelette

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This isn't about fixing low tiers to me, it's just that with them being a clusterfuck there's not really any risk to them if this ends up being worse than expected. I don't at all think it's ever a good idea to fuck up one tier to fix another, and if I thought this would fuck up OU I wouldn't push it. My priority is just giving this a fair try. I think Llinos/May/PvK argued this better than I ever will so don't take me as the best person to argue this, she spent 2 years on it even if I'm the one pitching it now. If anything (1) is my reason this should be tried, it deserves at least an opinion poll and a try if people wanna at least give it a shot.
 

Sabelette

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Thought more about this and Hipmonlee is right I didn’t give actual reasons to legalize and so here’s a few:

1. These moves are legally obtainable just as Stadium moves are - where are the complaints about Surf on Raichu and Amnesia on Golduck? The generation divide is a retrospective argument since at the time GS were potentially the last games and more of an expansion than a separate thing, and if we want to talk about 2023 then I’m not sure why this should be classified as different from getting special moves/abilities/mons by events, side games, apps like Pokémon Go, etc. IMO tradebacks legal should be the default unless banned by a majority for this reason.

2. I think these would make OU better even if we already think it’s in a good state - wouldn’t a few more viable lines be a good thing, given we aren’t gonna cross a line into having 50 viable mons with 10 sets each? This one I leave to the OU top players, I won’t presume to know better.

3. We already have Tradeback DVs legal even though it’s patently absurd to do this. You might say legalize Trainer Escape/Mew Glitch and I fully agree, but this should be legal before a literal glitch should (also we legalize mews with illegal dvs since every event mew at the time had the same crappy dvs last I checked, sooooo…).

edit: several people keep asking me to mention Troller supported this once so here you go even if I don’t think that’s the be-all-end-all of this discussion

850576F0-CDCD-4EA7-AD8F-68EF1CE266DC.png
 
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Enigami

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Sabelette's first set of reasons:
1. This here is a big one for me. Azure Heights players that are long gone informally banned it 22 years ago, and to my knowledge it has just been swept under the rug ever since then with nobody wanting to bother testing it to make a ruling. We should give it proper testing and an actual decision from the Smogon playerbase.
2. True. Banning Tradebacks because it would shake things up is not a reason to ban it, it should be because it is demonstrably unhealthy for the metagame.
3. Debatable, but then again we haven't really investigated the impact of Tradebacks enough to know. Arguably Hypnosis Persian and Lovely Kiss Snorlax WOULD impact OU more than "barely", even if they prove to be healthy enough in OU.
4. How Tradebacks would affect low tiers is mostly irrelevant, but the undesired state of UU and NU and the fact it would probably lead to positive outcomes removes the argument that removing Tradebacks Clause would be problematic due to destabilizing UU and NU.
5. Agreed, and besides, what else is RBY OU going to suspect test? It's not like we have a backlog of other suspect tests like modern gens have. The only outstanding issue we have at the moment is Tradebacks. There's no reason to wait.

Sabelette's second set of reasons:
1. Technically, Tradebacks is MORE obtainable than Stadium moves. Virtual Console RBY can trade with GSC but can never obtain Surf Pikachu or Amnesia Psyduck without the aid of glitches.
2. Again, debatable. Though most of the changes should just be a bit of spice that doesn't impact a lot, the only joy killer is the thought of having to deal with sleep as yet another trick up Snorlax's sleeves.
3. True, though for RBY Ubers reasons I'm pro Trainer Escape/Mew Glitch since it removes multiple validation headaches, and more importantly, guarantees everybody has access to Mew no matter when they get into RBY or what platform they play it on so RBY Ubers can be played as we play it here.

I support a suspect test. There's always the option that if removing Tradebacks Clause does get voted through, we could freeze SPL and some other super major RBY OU tournaments post Tradebacks Clause's removal for some duration so we have time to review the impact of Tradebacks and revisit it before fully integrating Tradebacks into RBY OU.
 

Heroic Troller

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Tradebacks are simply legally obtainable in red blue and yellow, therefore they should be in, period. And i say this while thinking that a number of those would most likely ruin the tier for good, and make it become what outsiders actually believe Rby is.
Snorlax is already the most centralizing mon in the tier, the last thing it needs now is a sleep move to break the couple of decent checks it gets. Alakazam is offensively absurd, already edge case as is and coverage for Starmie/Exeggutor would be all over the place too.
Gengar not letting Exeggutor+Rhydon in while attacking Lax and hitting Chansey switches is another problem, it adds to how free it is to ice fish in some scenarios.
Persian much like Snorlax is another unblockable sleeper, which isn't a good thing, everything needs counter play

Not to say i wouldn't be happy to mess with Amnesia Hypno or Hypnosis Persian but buffing both Snorlax and Alakazam like that is simply not it if we value the health of our metagame.

I'm never gonna push for tradebacks because LK Snorlax might as well be the apocalypse for the tier. But i can't in good faith stand against it either because tradebacks shouldn't be any different from Eruption Heatran and stuff. Just know though that "the tier gets more viable mons and moves" is a very idealistic way to look at it, i'd bet moneys that the tier gets worse and i'd never touch the game again if physical normals got access to sleep moves, better use my time play randombattle.
 
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Heroic Troller

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Let's put it this way. If you want tradebacks so much, first ban Counter. Because the desync clause is nothing short of a joke that breaks completely the "emulation of cartridge" argument. Unlike other clauses with actual history of existing in real tournaments.

Until then i'm firmly against this proposal that is clearly thrown out there just to shake the gen with no actual goat in mind, coherence or nothing.
 
What thread do you want access for?
https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/on-rby-tradebacks-all-tiers.3718590/#post-9557080

Please submit the post you intend to make.
Nobody here is saying that Tradebacks should be legalized for the sake of "shaking up the meta." Everyone in this thread recognizes that the meta is in a good state right now. Tradebacks should be tested simply because it wasn't given a fair chance. It was banned 22 years ago because someone was mad they lost to Confuse Ray Starmie (back when everyone was using a wildly innacurate sim.) Counter was already given a fair chance, and people voted for it to be patched. If people want to revisit the decision on Counter, that's fine, but right now we should focus on if we want to suspect test Tradebacks rather than what could logically come later.

I also support a Counter ban/removal of Freeze Clause but that's a topic for another day.
 

Enigami

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Well, a Counter ban would depend on whether you accept the whole "Sleep Clause and Freeze Clause are valid, just recreate the match until that point" argument for those clauses. You could arguably recreate a battle all the way up to a Counter desync then manipulate the selection menu to ensure that Counter would not result in a desync, and then resume from there. Other desyncs like Psywave and thaw could be avoided too with battle recreation.

Edit: An example of how you could fix Counter Desyncs. Where it fails is when an opponent changes move selection but doesn't attack and switches instead (entirely preventable) and when a Pokemon changes moves from what last attack it used and FPs (preventable with battle recreation)

For example, lets assume we have two turns with a paralyzed Psychic + Seismic Toss Alakazam vs. a Counter Chansey.

Turn 1, Alakazam uses Psychic, Chansey does whatever. Everything fine.
Turn 2, Alakazam tries to use Seismic Toss but FPs, Chansey uses Counter. Not fine.

Chansey counters Psychic on the Alakazam player's side, but does nothing on the Chansey player's side. Desync. But all you'd have to do to fix it: recreate the battle up to that point, and:

Turn 1, Alakazam uses Psychic, Chansey does whatever. Everything fine.
Turn 2, Alakazam instead tries to use Psychic but FPs, Chansey uses Counter. Everything fine.
 
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Sabelette

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Let's put it this way. If you want tradebacks so much, first ban Counter. Because the desync clause is nothing short of a joke that breaks completely the "emulation of cartridge" argument. Unlike other clauses with actual history of existing in real tournaments.

Until then i'm firmly against this proposal that is clearly thrown out there just to shake the gen with no actual goat in mind, coherence or nothing.
This is not to “shake up the tiers,” my points were that this would not even be the biggest shakeup ever and that lower tier stability is not an argument since they’re already not stable. I don’t agree with desync clause removal being necessary before doing this - while I do think cart accuracy is important, desync clause exists for reasons beyond Counter. Removing desync clause and striving for perfect cart accuracy means banning:

1. Every partial trapping move
2. Every relevant Ice-type move or every single Fire-type move period
3. Mirror Move
4. Counter
5. Psywave
6. Other things I’m forgetting

Not to mention seeding the RNG and various other things we don’t do and likely couldn’t manage correctly given even the VC and emulated versions of RBY fail to seed the RNG the same way as original carts.

And if you want to argue “well most of these moves aren’t that relevant” you’re arguing policy based on the existing metagame of today and preservation rather than on cart accuracy. If you want to argue to protect partial trapping because you want Clamp legal then you’re also not arguing cart accuracy, and partial trapping is also just completely not cart accurate as-is. Banning like 12 moves is completely absurd and it’s much more sensible to have desync clause than to do that, whether or not we justify it as “well we can theoretically recreate the exact game state before the desync then not trigger it, since the game’s rng is seeded can be manipulated to get the same result.”

Which, by the way, is honestly a very fair argument for RBY! Like, genuinely, someone can just TAS back inputs exactly as they happened, a simple script could do this any time there was a desync if we played on TGBDual or whatever. I have done TASing of GB games including mons before, you can have some emulators record your input file and replay it exactly, and this literally solves the desync problem, so let’s please not pretend it’s so unrealistic to just reset back to the moment of a desync. Let’s also not focus on this part because the reasons above are far more important but this is worth noting.
 
This is not to “shake up the tiers,” my points were that this would not even be the biggest shakeup ever and that lower tier stability is not an argument since they’re already not stable. I don’t agree with desync clause removal being necessary before doing this - while I do think cart accuracy is important, desync clause exists for reasons beyond Counter. Removing desync clause and striving for perfect cart accuracy means banning:

1. Every partial trapping move
2. Every relevant Ice-type move or every single Fire-type move period
3. Mirror Move
4. Counter
5. Psywave
6. Other things I’m forgetting

Not to mention seeding the RNG and various other things we don’t do and likely couldn’t manage correctly given even the VC and emulated versions of RBY fail to seed the RNG the same way as original carts.

And if you want to argue “well most of these moves aren’t that relevant” you’re arguing policy based on the existing metagame of today and preservation rather than on cart accuracy. If you want to argue to protect partial trapping because you want Clamp legal then you’re also not arguing cart accuracy, and partial trapping is also just completely not cart accurate as-is. Banning like 12 moves is completely absurd and it’s much more sensible to have desync clause than to do that, whether or not we justify it as “well we can theoretically recreate the exact game state before the desync then not trigger it, since the game’s rng is seeded can be manipulated to get the same result.”

Which, by the way, is honestly a very fair argument for RBY! Like, genuinely, someone can just TAS back inputs exactly as they happened, a simple script could do this any time there was a desync if we played on TGBDual or whatever. I have done TASing of GB games including mons before, you can have some emulators record your input file and replay it exactly, and this literally solves the desync problem, so let’s please not pretend it’s so unrealistic to just reset back to the moment of a desync. Let’s also not focus on this part because the reasons above are far more important but this is worth noting.
To suggest that all of those move bans is required in order to remove desync clause is a huge stretch and doesn't look for alternatives
  1. What desyncs are triggered by Wrap aside from their interaction with Mirror Move?
  2. Literally none of these bans are required. Just implement a rule where you can't deliberately thaw the opponent. This doesn't ban a whole bunch of stuff and has no impact on competitive play because using a thawing move while a frozen pokemon is already in play is really stupid and no-one will do that anyway
  3. Ban
  4. Ban
  5. Ban
  6. N/A
So that's a total of 3 moves banned, which isn't remotely unreasonable

Furthermore, there's a solution which doesn't ban anything but isn't readily compatible with Showdown at present DQs. All known desyncs are either entirely within player control or require players to deliberately use a move that risks a desync (e.g. Psywave, Counter vs paralysed opponents). Having a rule where players who cause desyncs forfeit the match allows for the use of all moves and it's up to the player to manage risk

Sorry to play a role in derailing the thread but I'm not going to let the assertion that removing desync clause requires banning a shitton of move bans go unchallenged.

Since I'm posting anyway, I think the rule banning tradeback moves doesn't make a whole lot of sense. The whole premise of simulators is that they let you use every available resource (i.e. not glitch-dependent) to gain an edge over your opponent, which makes banning tradebacks an odd decision. This is especially true when we let people use pokemon that are transferred all the way from gen 3 to like gen 6 or something like that's any less of a stretch- it shouldn't really matter whether something goes forward or backward. So in theory I support tradebacks

In practice I'm not that fussed. I like RBY as it is currently so I don't feel a strong desire to change, even though I think tradebacks is technically "correct". It'd just be neat if the different variations of rby all got played more

Edit: the longer this debate goes the more I'll talk myself into tradebacks probably lol
 
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phoopes

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Personally, I don't like the idea of playing RBY with Tradebacks. That said, I do think they deserve a test, because there's clearly a (larger than I thought) debate for their inclusion. As for how we go about this, I think it makes the most sense to suspect Tradebacks across all tiers in an all-or-nothing vote. Ideally, we get players not only from OU, but players that are experienced in lower tiers as well to get a representative vote from the entire community. I'm sure this will be a pain in the ass to get a voter list, but for something as big as this we need to do our due diligence. So, even though I would most likely vote against Tradebacks inclusion in a suspect test, I'm still for having the test in the first place because I think it's only fair and we need to settle the debate.

Not touching Counter/Desync discourse at this time because it's not relevant to this thread.

In addition, I don't think it was stated in this thread but there was some want for at least suspecting Tradebacks in Ubers if nothing else. I was a little wishy-washy myself on whether I supported this or not. I will say that the RBY Ubers Council voted 3-1 in favor of this suspect test happening, and I generally do not overstep and deny what the Lower Tier Councils want. However, due to the nature of Tradebacks specifically, I went to the tiering admin (shiloh) for final word. Ultimately, this proposal was denied, so Ubers will not be getting a Tradebacks suspect at this time.

That said, I'm looking forward to a Tradebacks suspect test across all tiers and will (obviously) accept the outcome regardless of what happens.
 

Tuthur

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Personally, I don't like the idea of playing RBY with Tradebacks. That said, I do think they deserve a test, because there's clearly a (larger than I thought) debate for their inclusion. As for how we go about this, I think it makes the most sense to suspect Tradebacks across all tiers in an all-or-nothing vote. Ideally, we get players not only from OU, but players that are experienced in lower tiers as well to get a representative vote from the entire community. I'm sure this will be a pain in the ass to get a voter list, but for something as big as this we need to do our due diligence. So, even though I would most likely vote against Tradebacks inclusion in a suspect test, I'm still for having the test in the first place because I think it's only fair and we need to settle the debate.
Please don't include lower tiers players. Those are unofficial tiers that shouldn't weight in what the official metagame that gets played in SPL and Classic looks like. Lower tiers follow what OU does and that's it. Even in current gen where the lower tiers are played in officials (Slam and SCL), they don't have a word to say about core changes like terastalization and dynamax.
 

phoopes

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Please don't include lower tiers players. Those are unofficial tiers that shouldn't weight in what the official metagame that gets played in SPL and Classic looks like. Lower tiers follow what OU does and that's it. Even in current gen where the lower tiers are played in officials (Slam and SCL), they don't have a word to say about core changes like terastalization and dynamax.
Yeah I had a DM discussion with shiloh and while I'll let him make a full post explaining everything, you're right, the vote is going to end up happening with OU qualifications only, for the reason you mentioned about lower tiers following what OU does. I'm hoping there's a way to qualify going forward if you're a mostly lower-tiers player like I am but I think that's something to be determined later.

Apologies if I'm putting words in your mouth shiloh but I did want to address that point quickly.
 

Pearl

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The great shame of this is that many OU players will vote against it on the basis of “I don’t like change” rather than whether it’s problematic, but I guess there’s no way to help that.
although i don't quite understand the goal of this post besides pissing people who have a different opinion off, i think it's a good chance to voice an issue i have regarding this topic.

it's been a while since i've played this generation at a high level of competition so feel free to take this post with a grain of salt, but from what i've read up until now, the biggest pet peeve i have with this whole ordeal is that (to me, personally) this shouldn't be a matter of "is it problematic" when the decision to keep tradebacks away from official tiers is rooted on archaic thinking from like 20 years ago (some rby history afficionado will surely fact check me on this, but that's not really the point i'm trying to get across) and should at the very least be revisited when taking into account that regardless of how good modern rby might be (i think it's a fine tier and i really enjoyed playing it even), it's ultimately not even a real tier since it doesn't account for everything that can be obtained on a gen 1 cartridge legally (harsh wording i know, and i'm aware it'll rub some people the wrong way, but it's my interpretation).

if specific trademark moves end up making specific pokemon problematic (which will totally happen), i don't think those cases should be used as an argument to keep trademarks off rby tiers globally, but rather looked into individually, much like modern tiering is done, since i do believe RBY OU at least has the infrastructure/playerbase to be able to afford that

Or maybe it's on the basics these changes suck and the current metagame is great
balanced hackmons is good too, your point is moot

edit/note: i don't play rby lower tiers and don't particularly care how those would deal with the topic at hand
 

shiloh

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hey sorry for such a late response but with ss now also dealing with a similar-ish situation its a good time to talk about our policy regarding tradebacks / tier locks.

while not formally stated anywhere since it hasnt really been something thats come up since rby until ss, the policy as it stands is that generations freeze once a new one drops. this is the easiest way to deal with tiering current generations and will lead to the least amount of confusion down the line. with the current dlc method we might continue seeing updates to mons as generations end and it doesnt make sense to have non-cg tiers continue to be updated in that way.

we have an easy way to say a generation is frozen and considered an old gen and it just makes the most sense to use that when it comes to tiering. while we do continue to tier old generation when they end now, this is meant to fix issues in the existing metagame and available pokemon, not deal with the repercussions of unpredictable changes caused by gamefreak years after the generation stopped being current. old gen tiering also should be used sparingly and when councils & communities can come to mutual agreement / understanding, and shouldnt be expanded to also dealing with new elements in old metagames.

tradeback tiers can exist and they should, but the policy as it stands is that generations end when the next ones come out, so rby / ss are going to stay frozen as they are for the forseeable future.
 

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