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[Balanced Hackmons] Suspect Discussion: Gengarite [Banned]

Discussion in 'Gen 7 Side Metagames' started by fsk, May 18, 2017.

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  1. fsk

    fsk Woke up after a long dream Forum Moderator Server Moderator Forum Moderator Server Moderator

    Jan 15, 2016
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    Discuss the possibility of Gengarite being banned from the SM Balanced Hackmons tier. As in the current Balanced Hackmons tier, Ability Shadow Tag is banned, but Gengar can mega evolve into Shadow Tag Gengar-Mega while holding Gengarite, and this is what the discussion is about. Do not diverse the discussion by talking about Gengar-Mega starting in its mega form and with abilities like normalize, dazzling or mold breaker etc.

    Use this thread to discuss Gengarite / Shadow Tag Gengar-Mega's effect on the metagame. Talk about the different sets it can use, possible partners and team support, and potential checks and counters(trapping by definition has no counters but please elaborate on Gengarite's impact instead of only saying it has no counters). State your opinion on whether you think it should be banned or if it should stay in SM Balanced Hackmons.

    All opinions are valid, and discussion amongst players is not only allowed but encouraged, provided your judgment is backed with sound reasoning and validation coming from experience having played with / against Gengarite / Shadow Tag Gengar-Mega in the tier. Do not simply say "it's broken" or "it's not broken”, and do not make arguments via theorymoning.

    Check out the sample sets for Gengarite / Shadow Tag Gengar-Mega if you want to give it some more test. Check out the Guide to Suspect Posting and the Balanced Hackmons Tiering Philosophy before getting started if you are unsure of anything.
  2. SupremeKai6

    SupremeKai6 New Member

    Oct 29, 2013
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    I experimented w/ Shadow Tag M-Gengar with much success, but didn't see it in it's full force until I started as Gym Leader, so now I have a full discussion on this.

    Shadow Tag M-Gengar is extremely tricky to play around as most trappers are, but only the primary selling point is both of the best trappers, Dugtrio (not seen in BH) and Arceus is that they both have base 120 speed, which is relatively fast in general, but Dugtrio's fragility is what makes Arceus the typical trapper on most teams with an even 120 spread and all the versatility one could ask for. [Arceus w/ Anchor Shot/Infestation has decent usage in my experience]. But in the Hackmons Tier, many of the most viable and most used pokemon are over 120 Spd, M-Gengar being specifically at 130. I did a little research to show the pokemon with 120+ Spd to show where M-Gengar sits in the tier, this is all from a neutral nature standpoint, as well. (pokes with a mega are only shown in the mega form):

    Non-Viable BH Pokes w/ 120+ Spd:
    Minior Core 120
    Dugtrio 120
    Tornadus 121
    Noivern 123
    Ribombee 124
    Weavile 125
    Swellow 125
    Talonflame 126
    Shaymin 127
    Meloetta 128
    Mewtwo (Non Mega) 130
    Crobat 130
    Jolteon 130
    Accelgor 145
    Electrode 150
    Deoxys Normal 150 (Ive never seen anyone not pick one of the three forms in BH)

    Viable BH Pokes 120+ Spd:
    Arceus 120
    Mega Salamence (Rarely) 120
    Mega Pigeot (Rarely) 121
    Marshadow 125
    Tapu Koko 130
    Mega Mewtwo X 130
    Ash-Greninja 132
    Mega Lopunny (Not so much anymore) 135
    Mega Manetric 135
    Mega Mewtwo Y 140
    Mega Sceptile 145
    Mega Beedrill (Rarely) 145
    Deoxys-A 150
    Mega Aerodactyl 150
    Mega Alakazam 150
    Pheromosa 151
    Ninjask (Effective baton passer, but not seen much anymore) 160
    Deoxys-S 180

    **MEGA GENGAR 130 w/ Beneficial Speed 143**

    So now, after checking the stats on viable pokes that can outspeed M-Gengar at 130 Base Speed, 7 of them have a weakness, (Tapu Koko, Mega Mewtwo X, Mega Mewtwo Y, Mega Alakazam, Deoxys A, Deoxys S, Mega Sceptile [All widely seen in the tier]) to M-Gengar. Only Mega Aerodactyl has a neutral balance to M-Gengar, Mega Beedrill and Phermosa are both resisted by Ghost or Poison, Mega Lopunny has immunity only to ghost, making Ash-Greninja the best bet that can outspeed M-Gengar and have a type advantage. Arceus is the wild card because the typing directly impacts your success against M-Gengar. (Arceus-Steel is the most consistent check, I've seen and used, but is still outsped).

    M-Gengar also has 170 SpAtk, which is only matched by Hoopa Unbound and Kyruem White (I tried Hoopa-U and failed miserably), and outdone by 6 pokemon (Xurkitree, Mega Alakazam, Deoxys-A, Mega Rayquaza, Primal Kyogre and Mega Mewtwo Y), making M-Gengar a surefire hard hitter (which we knew already), but with Shadow Tag at its disposal, the odds are in your favor of being able to trap a pokemon and wear it down, if not taking it out within 1-2 hits.

    BP and Parting Shot work against trapping and while U-Turn and Volt Switch aren't common, they're still seen, but neither does a lot against M-Gengar. The issue with Parting Shot is that you'll have to constantly switch out and back into the pokemon with it, while M-Gengar can wear you down that way as well, but also just switch to something sturdy enough to take a hit and switch back, removing your stat reductions and being back at square one.

    The set that was used the most against me (more than once) was with Spooky Plate and Judgement, w/ 1-2 coverage moves (The possibilities are basically endless here) and usually something to keep HP up because it was fast enough to do so when at a type advantage. With this setup, M-Gengar can come in and basically take out whatever it wants and leave you stuck and unable to switch out.

    Another set that I saw, and the one I used personally is typically seen on Arceus, but M-Gengar pulls it off with great ease, which is with Perish Song. When a normal Gengar comes out, you literally only have that turn to switch out because it goes mega that first turn and traps whatever is on the field. Because of this trap, you have an advantage over Arceus because you don't need a trapping move, freeing up a move slot, but can also take the pokemon out, and switch out on turn 3, and because the effect is in play when you choose your 3rd turn move, you still cannot switch, but M-Gengar can easily. Soundproof Arceus is a little tricky, but beatable and you can swap out before you get trapped, but M-Gengar runs Perish Song even better by 1. Trapping you out the gate, 2. Likely having the coverage to stop you and 3. Being able to switch on turn 3.
    In addition, I've seen Wish used with Perish Song to always have a consistent pokemon with Hell Bell/Aromatherapy to stop crippling, and to take the beatings and healings for/from M-Gengar and something like this can easily get out of hand with an ability cap of 2, because 1 is genuinely bad enough to deal with.

    One of the main defenses against M-Gengar w/ Shadow Tag is Zygarde-C with Core Enforcer, but negating the ability only lasts while M-Gengar is in play, and Zygarde-C is often seen defensively more than offensively. Zygarde-C with an offensive set can work, but it'll take until the end game to get him because your opp will quickly switch out. Surprisingly enough, M-Gengar w/ Normalize also stops Shadow Tag M-Gengar in its tracks, but again, a switch out is all it takes to stop both strategies.

    Ash Greninja is a more offensive threat to M-Gengar with Shadow Tag without a beneficial speed nature because it's immediately outsped otherwise. However if the opp is crazy enough to not switch out or it's the late game, pretty much all of his Dark-Type stab moves can OHKO M-Gengar, one small niche that I did discover w/ Ash-Greninja is that with Throat Chop (Dark-Type, 80 Base, Physical; Stops Sound moves for two turns), you can get a OHKO against the Perish Song set, but it has to be well played to pull off.

    CONCLUSION: In pretty much all cases, Gengar going to Shadow Tag M-Gengar is either the lead to trap a stat booster, status user or most other leads, which usually function as a scout/crippler of some kind; or lets a scout go first, then lets it fly at pretty much any point. Shadow Tag M-Gengar can lead, function mid-game, and definitely in the late game. After the initial usage, M-Gengar can trap, kill [With attacks, or with Perish Song], Run Wish, swap out, pass healing to a bulky partner who can heal any crippling, take a hit, and swap right back in as necessary with 4 other pokemon still to go.

    The best strategies against Shadow Tag M-Gengar is that in a tier like Balance Hackmons, you can surprise M-Gengar with a proper coverage move (literally your best bet), cripple and rely on hax, Run an Offensive Zygarde-C and play it near perfectly, or have another pokemon directly in place to deal with it, to which based on stats, Ash-Greninja is the best best, but even the Throat Chop set, a switch can end that run, the set only caught an opp off guard, and didn't have much consistency and Ash-Greninja can be taken out by a lot of other pokes. Being able to trap all your opps with a viable escape plan, being able to function at this role as a lead to have 4 others on standby and not a lot of checks is broken and I'm in favor of BANNING specifically Shadow Tag Mega Gengar from SM Balanced Hackmons.

    Sorry, I had a lot to say, it took a while to get enough information to where I felt like I could have a healthy discussion.
  3. fsk

    fsk Woke up after a long dream Forum Moderator Server Moderator Forum Moderator Server Moderator

    Jan 15, 2016
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    Guys it's been a while since the suspect is up, and I find it necessary to conclude it soon. Therefore, I will first explain why Gengarite gengar is suspected and its impact on the current metagame and then proceed to review some pro-ban / no-ban arguments.

    Why Suspect? How it works?
    As I provided in the sample sets for Gengarite / Shadow Tag Gengar-Mega, in most cases, a normal gengar, usually paired with illusion, can mega evolve into Shadow Tag Gengar-Mega and immediately reach a speed of 394, Encore and proceed to Perish Song to net some Trap kills.
    you can check this Gengarite Gengar putting into some work in Round 1 of SM Balanced Hackmon Experience Building Tour
    @willdbeast vs @Funbot28 (See turn 24-30)
    @Funbot28 vs @Velvet Blood (See turn 15-19, turn 28-32)

    With the disguising effect of Illusion pre-mega and the Trapping ability pro-mega, and the combination of Encore and Perish Song, the Gengarite Gengar skews predictions extremely in the user's favor.

    Say, Once Gengarite Gengar on the opposing side Mega Evolves to become Shadow Tag Gengar, the play is again extremely limited on your side every single turn.

    If you are not one of the following
    -have shed shell as the item
    -is a ghost type
    -has Magic Bounce as your ability+ pivot/phazing/ability nullifying move
    -does not have a Z-move that can pivot/phaze/nullify ability/OHKO Gengar
    -is Prankster and have Parting Shot / Baton Pass
    -is faster than Gengar-Mega and can Pivot out or heavily damage Gengar

    Then you simply cannot do anything that
    -is not a pivot move (U-turn / Volt Switch / Baton Pass / Parting Shot)
    -is not a pseudo-haze move (Whirlwind / Roar / Dragon Tail / Circle Throw)
    -is not powerful enough to 2HKO Gengar
    -is not an ability nullifier (Worry Seed / Simple Beam / Entrainment / Skill Swap / Core Enforcer / Gastro Acid)
    -has more than 5 PP remaining
    -is not Taunt or other things that stop Gengar from Encoring you the next turn

    Else you will be Encored and killed by Perish Song and Trapping.

    This basically means, if you fulfill the [IF - THEN] part of the above, you simply cannot use anything like a Recovery clone, a Protect clone, Stealth Rock, Toxic Spikes, Spikes, Defog or Rapid Spin, anti-setup moves like Haze, Topsy-Turvy, Heart Swap, or Destiny Bond, and Will-o-Wisp or Toxic, and Trick or Switcheroo, and any moves that doesn't hit Gengar hard enough...This list can go on.

    Pro-ban arguments

    Unbearable team-building strain / preparation demand.
    There are indeed some ways of playing around Gengarite Gengar, as outlined in the previous section. However, the preparation it demands in team-building is quite extreme. Wall Pokemons are common and necessary on any archetypes of team in Balanced Hackmons maybe except some High Pressuring Hyper-Offense, as for any good team you will need to imposter-proof your own attackers. Whenever building around a unique offensive threat that is not self-imposter-proof, you will very likely pair it with a wall pokemon of your own, and among these wall pokemons the fastest and the most common are the arceus forms with a speed of 372, which makes it liable to Gengarite Gengar's Trapping unless it is one of those outlined in the [IF] part in the previous section. Being forced to run shed shell is quite extreme, while Z pivot move only works once; what makes the situation worse is the nerf to Prankser Parting Shot in gen 7 due to Dark Type Immunity, Psychic Surge and Dazzling/Queenly Majesty. The strain Gengarite Gengar puts on teambuilding is indeed unbearable.

    Skewed predictions and win-win situations
    In addition, whenever you want to wall a common threat reliably, you will need to click a healing move sometimes in the match. There are countless examples of a "win-win situations" for the Gengarite Gengar user: Say your Unaware Arceus takes some damage and is trying to heal it up to avoid being KOed by the next hit, you are put into a lose-lose situation; Since if you click the healing move and opponent switch to Gengar-Mega you will lose it and the opposing set up sweeper will be sweeping over you the next time it comes in; If you predicted Gengar-Mega switching in and try to Pivot out, your HP will remain low and it can no longer check the set up sweeper reliably the next time it comes in.

    In this manner, Heavy Hitter that is not walled by a ghost type / Magic Bounce + Gengarite Gengar can blow through many defensive cores with a almost guaranteed success.

    Domination of hazard game
    As outlined in the previous section, Stealth Rock, Toxic Spikes, Spikes, Defog or Rapid Spin are dangerous moves to use on any pokemon that fulfills the [IF - THEN] part as long as you see a Gengarite Gengar starting from preview. (See @Funbot28 vs @Velvet Blood , turn 15-19 for example) Both pre-mega and pro-mega, you are likely to be trapped and removed with a single turn of correct prediction from the opponent so these moves are simply not the play to choose.

    As detailed above, Gengarite Gengar limits when and on what mons the opposing side can use any Recovery clones, Protect clones, Hazard setters or removers, anti-setup moves, Trick, and many other support moves or coverage that is not hitting Gengar-Mega hard enough. Therefore, using a Heavy Hitter + Gengarite Gengar Offensive core guarantees success to break many defensive cores while leaving the opposing side in a totally unfair lose-lose situation. Consequently, Gengarite Gengar is indeed broken.

    In addition to being broken, Gengarite Gengar can also makes some uncompetitive gimmicks possible.

    Deoxys-Speed @ Eject Button
    Ability: Normalize
    EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SAtk / 252 SDef / 252 Spd
    Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)
    - Skill Swap
    - Taunt
    - ?
    - ?

    Gengar (F) @ Gengarite
    Ability: Illusion
    EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 252 SAtk / 252 SDef / 252 Spd
    IVs: 0 Atk
    Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)
    - Substitute
    - Baton Pass
    - Acupressure
    - Taunt

    Mega Tyranitar @ ?
    Ability: Mold Breaker
    EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SAtk / 252 SDef / 252 Spd
    Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
    - Power Trip
    - Imprison
    - Destiny Bond
    - Haze

    The element that makes such uncompetitive gimmicks happen is Normalize Skill Swap with Eject Button and a trapping ghost type mon with set up and baton pass to an imprison + haze + Dbond + Power trip sweeper. The gimmick when succeeded, has no counterplay. The central element of this strategy is definitely the trapping ability of Gengarite Gengar.

    No-ban Argument and some responses.
    Essentially, the tiering process does not aim to make a perfect balance among all kinds of team archetypes, it is instead to maintain a enjoyable and playable metagame and remove the unhealthy or unbearable elements. (See Tiering Policy)

    In addition, this idea is actually very mistaken. As Gengarite not only thrives on stall team archetype but also restrict offensive teams just as it restricts other archetypes of team.
    See the following battle log for reference
    @willdbeast vs @Funbot28 (See turn 24-30)
    In this battle, a slow pivot mon pivoted out on one of the hard physical hitters in the meta, PH Regigigas, after tanking a Knock Off from it. Then illusion Gengar comes in and Encored the super effective 65 base power move from a great physical threat, proceeded to Strength Sap and Perish Song, and ultimately removed it. Using a SE move from a top physical threat isn't even safe against it, esp. when it is paired with a slow pivot that can brings in Gengar safely without any risk.

    Similar scenarios are quite common, such as when your Choice Spec Psychic Surge MMY brings Psycho Boost / Fleur Cannon, and you succeeded to remove the dark type with your Fleur Cannon, Gengar can come in and trap to remove it with ease. Not to mention slower heavy hitters in the form of choice locked mon that can be simply disabled and removed with the possible combination of a Protect Clone and Disable.

    Spore is not only countered by Safety Goggles. Non-Mold breaker clone can be stopped by Magic Bounce mons, and all can be stopped by Toxic Orb Poison Heal or Magic Guard, Comatose and even Electric Terrain. All these abilities have other uses outside of dealing with Spore. Running Shed Shell and Safety Goggles are perhaps similar, but that is not all about Gengarite Gengar. After all, the strain that Gengarite Gengar exerts on team-building is higher than what Spore does.

    It looks like they are similar but the difference is that gengarite poses a threat to much more than one switch-in for a certain pokemon A or B, and is a much more consistent threat throughout the game. Illusion can be revealed by HP percentage, esp. when hazards are up. Similarly, having a coverage move that can heavily damage the common answer is acceptable, and is fair. What Gengarite Gengar restricts you to do if the your pokemon fulfills the [IF-THEN] part in the first section, is just overwhelming and much more thorough and constant during a game.

    In order to not lose to Gengarite Gengar, you will need to prepare every single mon against it to avoid getting removed by it, and even with the preparation there might be circumstances that you didn't cover or expect. Such as when psychic terrain is up and your prankster parting shot is blocked, or when your magic bounce ability is negated by core enforcer and alike. After all, Gengarite Gengar actually presents an aspect to teambuilding and playing that is too demanding, and the merit of punishing passive plays doesn't make its other aspect healthy or bearable for the metagame.

    One more thing to emphasize about the unfairness of Gengarite Gengar: One can argue that in a situation where a wall pokemon is forced into a 50-50 of using healing move with the fear of being trapped, or use a pivot move that make it no longer a reliable wall due to low health, the gengarite user also needs to predict the case with some skill, despite being in an advantaged position. However, slow pivoting out against a pokemon to see what it has used that turn and decide whether to trap it with encore shadow tag mega-gengar, or to send out a general check or counter to it, requires little to no skill. And again the central identity of this unfair situation is the trapping of Gengarite Gengar.

    TL; DR Gengarite will be banned in 3 days as long as there is no more strong enough objection from the no-ban side.

    Edit after 3 days: It is hereby banned.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
    SupremeKai6 likes this.
  4. willdbeast

    willdbeast All round nice guy

    Apr 19, 2015
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    In addition to the numerous points outlined in the above posts which clearly (in my opinion) demonstrate the disadvantage any facing a Gengarite Gengar has to overcome, such as the almost constant predictions required which even when correctly judged gain almost no advantage and merely keep the situation going for another turn but when incorrect judged can result in a pokemon instantly being lost, there is also the fact that many "counters" to Gengarite Gengar in fact do no such thing. For example an ability commonly cited as a sure fire way to beat Gengarite Gengar, magic bounce, has many flaws. The argument for Gengarite Gengar not being banworthy commonly goes "You can run magic bounce on your slow walls to beat it" which has a number of problems. Firstly, unlike every other threat, the Gengarite user is the one who chooses which of your Pokémon they want to use it against whereas with every other strategy the player on the recieving end has the opportunity to switch to what they judge to be the best check at the time. With this course of action removed it becomes necessary for each team member to be able to beat Gengarite Gengar individually because it is the attacking player who chooses which Pokemon they wish to matchup with Gengar. This means that having a single 100% surefire way to beat it is no longer good enough which cannot be said of any other threat in the tier.
    The second problem with the idea of running specific sets to beat Gengarite Gengar is that, while there are some common sets, the Gengarite user can choose any set they wish. What this means in practice is that a player may build their team with the intention of every single Pokemon beating Gengarite (and doesn't this being a requirement seem unreasonable anyway?) and then they can still lose to a slight variation. Continuing the magic bounce example, imagine the player opposing a Gengarite team gives their Zygarde-Complete magic bounce. At this point they feel pleased with themselves knowing that they can click Roost with reckless abandon without the risk of being encored and trapped. They continue to feel secure when Gengar switches/pivots in on one of the many turns that they recover planning to simply u-turn out or deal some damage. This ends when the Gengar uses Blizzard and deals 85% meaning this particular Zygarde is unlikely to check anything much, let alone improof a sweeper. In this scenario the defending player has purposely prepared for Gengarite Gengar and has still had an important part of their team crippled, and let's remember that if a Gengarite user has decided to run coverage for Zygarde they will have also run a team member to capitalise on this fact. (I know this is a specific example but the Zygarde can be changed to any non ghost slower than 130 base speed and the Coverage changed.) This highlights what I believe to be the broken element of Gengarite Gengar, the ability of the user to choose both what Pokemon to match up with AND a set to beat any particular wall, so that even with an extreme amount of preparation it can still do its job as required.

    Sorry if that didn't make any sense.

    Ban please.
    SupremeKai6 and fsk like this.
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