Discussion on any aspect of competitive Pixelmon.

What Tier should Blaze Blaziken be in?

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User avatar
By SimonFlash
#187279 After one weeks time, the poll is now over. Blaze Blaziken has been officially split from Speed Boost Blaziken and will be made available in standard (PmOU) play, and is currently under the PmUU tier. Thank you to everyone who voted and making this first Suspect Test better than I could have ever predicted!


Hello all! I'm starting this thread so players can get an idea of how to organize discussion for tier placement to allow as many people as possible to offer opinions on the subject. Furthermore, this is also an opportunity for me to test out how Suspect Tests are going to function, and what better pixelmon to start with than Blaziken?

Blaziken Suspected

Blaziken is currently being suspected on account of the lack of available checks and counters in Pixelmon. The use of Speed Boost in combination with moves such as Protect, Swords Dance, and Baton Pass. Coupled with high attack stats, a solid speed, and balanced defenses Blaziken poses a severe threat to most of the metagame, clearly showing why it was the first non-legendary SmUbers pokemon.

Blaziken is solidly in the PmUbers tier, and there isn't much of a reason to change that as it has even fewer checks and counters in Pixelmon (see below). Therefore, this Suspect Test is to determine if Blaze Blaziken (w/o Speed Boost) should be in a different tier than Speed Boost Blaziken in Ubers.

Exposition 101

Let's start with what makes Blaziken such a large threat - Speed Boost. This ability raises the speed of a pokemon by one stage at the end of each turn. By using Protect and Focus Sash, Blaziken is almost guaranteed to have +2 speed before going down which is equivalent to base 160.

Of course, priority helps with that - right? While priority moves are a large threat to Blaziken itself, the main reason it was banned to Ubers is because of it's ability to pass stats onto other pokemon. By using Protect and Swords Dance with a Focus Sash, a Speed Boost Blaziken is practically guaranteed +2 attack and +2 speed by the end of the turn. Top that off with Baton Pass, and the issue becomes clear.

According to Smogon's Pokedex entry for Blaziken, here's a list of Blaziken's checks and counters -

- Lugia/Gliscor (Only with Rain; revenge kill)
- Rayquaza (ExtremeSpeed)
- Entry Hazards (Toxic Spikes in particular; only before Blaziken is in play)
- Waiting it out (Recoil, Life Orb, Toxic Spikes)

Priority is also a large threat to Blaziken, but few pokemon receive priority moves and and Blaziken typically needs a couple hits to be taken down. Oh, and lets not even mention what happens if you didn't break Blaziken's sash too.

The only way to counter this strategy is to prepare beforehand (both through teambuilding and in the battle), and that's not what the metagame should be about. Blaziken just contained too much momentum for it to be viable in OU, and thus was moved to Ubers. In addition, this strategy was one of the reasons the Baton Pass clause was implemented, which prevents passing a boosted speed stat and a boosted attack (physical or special) with Baton Pass.

Suspect Proposition

My suggestion is to move Blaziken into either OU or UU tiers and ban Speed Boost Blaziken from OU (which is also every tier below OU). This change allows one of the most popular starters to be used in classic competitive play without having to worry about countering a Speed Boost variant every other match.

To support this, I'd like to compare Blaziken to Infernape. Both are Fire/Fighting types that can function pretty well as mixed attackers. Blaziken has better attack and special attack stats by a couple points and barely edges out Infernape in defenses. However, Infernape takes the spotlight with Speed with an extra 28 points over Blaziken with a base of 108.

Infernape also has a bit more versatility presented from it's moves and abilities. Iron Fist is a great addition to Infernape's movepool of Close Combat, Thunder Punch, and Mach Punch making it a solid wallbreaker in the OU tier. One of my personal favorite ways to run Infernape is as a lead. U-Turn is amazing for scouting, Stealth Rocks can literally win your team the battle, Mach Punch is STAB priority, and Infernape's diverse movepool presents reliable checks to most threats. Infernape is extremely frail, but in these ways I can see it being a better alternative to Blaze Blaziken in a fair amount of situations (as Blaziken doesn't get U-Turn, Stealth Rocks, or Mach PUnch and has a slightly shallower movepool).

Suspect Testing

This Suspect Test will be open for one weeks time [Sep.19 - Sep.26] for discussion, testing, and voting. If you would like to participate in the discussion below, please continue being respectful to your peers and offer constructive criticism to add to the conversation.

Voting will remain open until the end of Monday, Sep.26 to allow ample time to discuss the Suspect Test and reach a conclusion. Votes for adding Blaze Blaziken to the PmOU or PmUU will be joined together in determining if Blaze Blaziken will be in a standard tier at all.

As a reminder, posts that are off-topic from the OP will be deleted. If you have a separate pixelmon that you'd like to discuss, feel free to create a new thread to contain that discussion. OPTL Suspect Tests may not be conducted by the general community and may be removed without warning.
Last edited by SimonFlash on 27 Sep 2016 22:58, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Suspect Test Sealed
User avatar
By DemonicRage
#187280 Blaze Blaziken is average at best. I personally believe he belongs in UU. He has no skills that make him special compared to any other Pokemon. While his moveset may be good, and his stats show potential for a bulky mixed attacker, he is simply not good enough for OU, not even coming close for UBERS
User avatar
By Geodude671
#187284 I believe we shouldn't make a distinction between Blaze Blaziken and Speed Boost Blaziken, on the basis that if this becomes precedent the tier list could become unnecessarily convoluted. If we decide to put Blaze Blaziken in UU (if we do go this route this is where I think it should be), what's next? Is Overgrow Serperior going to be legal in NU? Will we let Dragonite be used in RU as long as it has Inner Focus? Is Telepathy Wobbuffet going to be FU (that's the tier under PU)? Are we going to allow Cute Charm/Magic Guard Clefable be used in RU? What about Shell Armor Crawdaunt? Thinking ahead to future versions of Pixelmon, what about Zen Mode Darmanitan? Or Sand Force Excadrill? Flame Body Talonflame? Sand Force Hippowdon? Are we going to ban Sheer Force Landorus, while still allowing Sand Force Landorus? Are we going to treat Flash Fire Ninetales differently than Drought? Damp Politoed? Soundproof Abomasnow? Swarm Durant?

There are just too many Pokemon whose viability fluctuates based on what ability they have. Allowing Blaziken only with Blaze sets a precedent, and the tier list will become extremely convoluted and long. The list is already very long; there are 721 Pokemon, for Christ's sake, and more coming in November! Let's not make it longer by tiering the same species of Pokemon differently based on its ability.

And because I know someone is going to bring up Moody, that's different. Moody breaks every single Pokemon that has it. But I don't think anyone will claim Sharpedo, Scolipede, or Yanmega is broken because they get Speed Boost (Yanmega prefers Tinted Lens anyway), whereas even Bidoof becomes broken when it has Moody.
User avatar
By SimonFlash
#187286
Geodude671 wrote:
Spoiler:
I believe we shouldn't make a distinction between Blaze Blaziken and Speed Boost Blaziken, on the basis that if this becomes precedent the tier list could become unnecessarily convoluted. If we decide to put Blaze Blaziken in UU (if we do go this route this is where I think it should be), what's next? Is Overgrow Serperior going to be legal in NU? Will we let Dragonite be used in RU as long as it has Inner Focus? Is Telepathy Wobbuffet going to be FU (that's the tier under PU)? Are we going to allow Cute Charm/Magic Guard Clefable be used in RU? What about Shell Armor Crawdaunt? Thinking ahead to future versions of Pixelmon, what about Zen Mode Darmanitan? Or Sand Force Excadrill? Flame Body Talonflame? Sand Force Hippowdon? Are we going to ban Sheer Force Landorus, while still allowing Sand Force Landorus? Are we going to treat Flash Fire Ninetales differently than Drought? Damp Politoed? Soundproof Abomasnow? Swarm Durant?

There are just too many Pokemon whose viability fluctuates based on what ability they have. Allowing Blaziken only with Blaze sets a precedent, and the tier list will become extremely convoluted and long. The list is already very long; there are 721 Pokemon, for Christ's sake, and more coming in November! Let's not make it longer by tiering the same species of Pokemon differently based on its ability.

And because I know someone is going to bring up Moody, that's different. Moody breaks every single Pokemon that has it. But I don't think anyone will claim Sharpedo, Scolipede, or Yanmega is broken because they get Speed Boost (Yanmega prefers Tinted Lens anyway), whereas even Bidoof becomes broken when it has Moody.

I agree with you 100%, but there is one piece of information you've left out - All of your example pokemon can be used in the OU tier.

I don't want to start restricting certain sets or combos to different tiers; as mentioned it just becomes too confusing. However, the primary difference that I see is that Blaziken is one of the few pokemon banned from the OU tier into Ubers, which means that (to use my terminology) it isn't in standard play.

Because of this, it limits Blaziken's use in the majority of competitive play, especially considering that it's the only non-legendary in Ubers, not to mention a starter pokemon. I see no reason why we should prevent a player from using their starter in standard play provided that it's Blaze over Speed Boost. There's a saying that every rule has an exception (even that one), and I think this is one of the few we should make because it crosses the border between standard and banned playstyles.

As an extra piece of info, you'll notice that many of the non-legendary pokemon in Ubers for GenVI are Mega Evolutions. While there are clearly different mechanics in place and the pokemon is usable without it's mega evolution, there are still ways to use that pokemon in standard battles. It's hard to find a point to draw the line, but this tier list is designed for a tournament style on a server - Ubers are banned, while OU is the default tier. Seems like a pretty logical exception to me.
By JeanMarc1
#187287
SimonFlash wrote:
Geodude671 wrote:
Spoiler:
I believe we shouldn't make a distinction between Blaze Blaziken and Speed Boost Blaziken, on the basis that if this becomes precedent the tier list could become unnecessarily convoluted. If we decide to put Blaze Blaziken in UU (if we do go this route this is where I think it should be), what's next? Is Overgrow Serperior going to be legal in NU? Will we let Dragonite be used in RU as long as it has Inner Focus? Is Telepathy Wobbuffet going to be FU (that's the tier under PU)? Are we going to allow Cute Charm/Magic Guard Clefable be used in RU? What about Shell Armor Crawdaunt? Thinking ahead to future versions of Pixelmon, what about Zen Mode Darmanitan? Or Sand Force Excadrill? Flame Body Talonflame? Sand Force Hippowdon? Are we going to ban Sheer Force Landorus, while still allowing Sand Force Landorus? Are we going to treat Flash Fire Ninetales differently than Drought? Damp Politoed? Soundproof Abomasnow? Swarm Durant?

There are just too many Pokemon whose viability fluctuates based on what ability they have. Allowing Blaziken only with Blaze sets a precedent, and the tier list will become extremely convoluted and long. The list is already very long; there are 721 Pokemon, for Christ's sake, and more coming in November! Let's not make it longer by tiering the same species of Pokemon differently based on its ability.

And because I know someone is going to bring up Moody, that's different. Moody breaks every single Pokemon that has it. But I don't think anyone will claim Sharpedo, Scolipede, or Yanmega is broken because they get Speed Boost (Yanmega prefers Tinted Lens anyway), whereas even Bidoof becomes broken when it has Moody.

Spoiler:
I agree with you 100%, but there is one piece of information you've left out - All of your example pokemon can be used in the OU tier.

I don't want to start restricting certain sets or combos to different tiers; as mentioned it just becomes too confusing. However, the primary difference that I see is that Blaziken is one of the few pokemon banned from the OU tier into Ubers, which means that (to use my terminology) it isn't in standard play.

Because of this, it limits Blaziken's use in the majority of competitive play, especially considering that it's the only non-legendary in Ubers, not to mention a starter pokemon. I see no reason why we should prevent a player from using their starter in standard play provided that it's Blaze over Speed Boost. There's a saying that every rule has an exception (even that one), and I think this is one of the few we should make because it crosses the border between standard and banned playstyles.

As an extra piece of info, you'll notice that many of the non-legendary pokemon in Ubers for GenVI are Mega Evolutions. While there are clearly different mechanics in place and the pokemon is usable without it's mega evolution, there are still ways to use that pokemon in standard battles. It's hard to find a point to draw the line, but this tier list is designed for a tournament style on a server - Ubers are banned, while OU is the default tier. Seems like a pretty logical exception to me.


I'd like to start with, while a minor point, not all of his examples are playable in OU, Landorus is banned from OU play.

Now, I'm going to start with what probably isn't a very valid argument, but when usually a can of worms like banning certain sets, or one ability on one pokemon, or a case similar to that, it usually starts with something along the lines of "We're going to make an exception for that one", but it then sets a precedent that it was done before, so it could technically be done again. But that's only part of the issue.

The end goal of making the tier list is to make a standard, unified competitive pixelmon tier list, mainly aimed for tournament play, isn't it? This means that it's aimed for competitive ends, and not necessarily for a more casual playerbase. So, I think that the point of bending the rules for a starter pokemon makes it seem like it's bending the rules due to favoritism. I remember that you said that you said that you wanted the tier list to be somewhat of a reference where servers could base their tiers off of, with certain rules that could be bent for the playerbase. The case of blaze Blaziken really sounds like a case that would fit a situation like that, and not an official tier list, personally.

Also, while technically it can be somewhat guessed what tier Blaze Blaziken would fit in based on its learnset and base stats, it's a bit hard to already arbritrarily classify it as a UU pokemon when pixelmon doesn't really even have a OU metagame defined yet.
User avatar
By urbymine
#187310
JeanMarc1 wrote:
SimonFlash wrote:
Geodude671 wrote:
Spoiler:
I believe we shouldn't make a distinction between Blaze Blaziken and Speed Boost Blaziken, on the basis that if this becomes precedent the tier list could become unnecessarily convoluted. If we decide to put Blaze Blaziken in UU (if we do go this route this is where I think it should be), what's next? Is Overgrow Serperior going to be legal in NU? Will we let Dragonite be used in RU as long as it has Inner Focus? Is Telepathy Wobbuffet going to be FU (that's the tier under PU)? Are we going to allow Cute Charm/Magic Guard Clefable be used in RU? What about Shell Armor Crawdaunt? Thinking ahead to future versions of Pixelmon, what about Zen Mode Darmanitan? Or Sand Force Excadrill? Flame Body Talonflame? Sand Force Hippowdon? Are we going to ban Sheer Force Landorus, while still allowing Sand Force Landorus? Are we going to treat Flash Fire Ninetales differently than Drought? Damp Politoed? Soundproof Abomasnow? Swarm Durant?

There are just too many Pokemon whose viability fluctuates based on what ability they have. Allowing Blaziken only with Blaze sets a precedent, and the tier list will become extremely convoluted and long. The list is already very long; there are 721 Pokemon, for Christ's sake, and more coming in November! Let's not make it longer by tiering the same species of Pokemon differently based on its ability.

And because I know someone is going to bring up Moody, that's different. Moody breaks every single Pokemon that has it. But I don't think anyone will claim Sharpedo, Scolipede, or Yanmega is broken because they get Speed Boost (Yanmega prefers Tinted Lens anyway), whereas even Bidoof becomes broken when it has Moody.

Spoiler:
I agree with you 100%, but there is one piece of information you've left out - All of your example pokemon can be used in the OU tier.

I don't want to start restricting certain sets or combos to different tiers; as mentioned it just becomes too confusing. However, the primary difference that I see is that Blaziken is one of the few pokemon banned from the OU tier into Ubers, which means that (to use my terminology) it isn't in standard play.

Because of this, it limits Blaziken's use in the majority of competitive play, especially considering that it's the only non-legendary in Ubers, not to mention a starter pokemon. I see no reason why we should prevent a player from using their starter in standard play provided that it's Blaze over Speed Boost. There's a saying that every rule has an exception (even that one), and I think this is one of the few we should make because it crosses the border between standard and banned playstyles.

As an extra piece of info, you'll notice that many of the non-legendary pokemon in Ubers for GenVI are Mega Evolutions. While there are clearly different mechanics in place and the pokemon is usable without it's mega evolution, there are still ways to use that pokemon in standard battles. It's hard to find a point to draw the line, but this tier list is designed for a tournament style on a server - Ubers are banned, while OU is the default tier. Seems like a pretty logical exception to me.


I'd like to start with, while a minor point, not all of his examples are playable in OU, Landorus is banned from OU play.

Now, I'm going to start with what probably isn't a very valid argument, but when usually a can of worms like banning certain sets, or one ability on one pokemon, or a case similar to that, it usually starts with something along the lines of "We're going to make an exception for that one", but it then sets a precedent that it was done before, so it could technically be done again. But that's only part of the issue.

The end goal of making the tier list is to make a standard, unified competitive pixelmon tier list, mainly aimed for tournament play, isn't it? This means that it's aimed for competitive ends, and not necessarily for a more casual playerbase. So, I think that the point of bending the rules for a starter pokemon makes it seem like it's bending the rules due to favoritism. I remember that you said that you said that you wanted the tier list to be somewhat of a reference where servers could base their tiers off of, with certain rules that could be bent for the playerbase. The case of blaze Blaziken really sounds like a case that would fit a situation like that, and not an official tier list, personally.

Also, while technically it can be somewhat guessed what tier Blaze Blaziken would fit in based on its learnset and base stats, it's a bit hard to already arbritrarily classify it as a UU pokemon when pixelmon doesn't really even have a OU metagame defined yet.



I'd prefer to have specific sets banned, it creates more chaos, but some people would like to use their blaze blaziken. Are you telling me when a server takes our meta for granted, you want to deny him his blaziken because it's categorized the same as speedboost blaziken?


I'd agree it's better to first agree on the pokemon that we're 90% certain off that they belong in OU , blaziken not being one of them. once we have somewhat of a OU meta defined, we can more accuratly decide whether or not blaziken blaze is UU or OU.

However, it's not impossible to make an educated guess on where he belongs, comparing him to smogons OU, he just doesn't stand out. but he's kind of a mirror to infernape, who has more speed, and sets up nastyplot, blaziken has more power , and sets up swords dance. infernape was OU in gen5, barely. So given how his speed advantage, and iron fist as ability puts him above blaziken, i'd say blaziken is UU.
User avatar
By Demoonic
#187311 The simple fact is that Landorus is completely broken with sheer force, while sand force may not be op, either way Landorus is a force to be reckoned with. Both Landorus and Blaziken have a not so great ability, and an Op ability that restricts the Pokemon from being able to do much of anything. Blaze Blaziken and Sand Force Landorus are both limited based on their abilities, but why should we ban a Pokemon based solely on its ability, when it's other ability is, let's face it, complete trash in most cases. Furthermore, back to Simon's point, all but on of the Pokemon you listed were OU. Since OU is the standard tier, Talonflame w/ gale wings is still allowed, and so are other Pokemon like contrary serperior. I don't see placing Blaze Blaziken as Uber as logical, because why should you. Moody was banned because it was game breaking, and so is speed boost Blaziken, but Blaze Blaziken has nothing going for it, except half decent attacking stats and bulk that is barely noticeable, so I believe it belongs in UU tier.
User avatar
By SimonFlash
#187326 Let's try to keep the quote towers down to a max of two, preferably with spoilers. Thanks!

urbymine wrote:
Spoiler:
I'd prefer to have specific sets banned, it creates more chaos, but some people would like to use their blaze blaziken. Are you telling me when a server takes our meta for granted, you want to deny him his blaziken because it's categorized the same as speedboost blaziken?

I'd agree it's better to first agree on the pokemon that we're 90% certain off that they belong in OU , blaziken not being one of them. once we have somewhat of a OU meta defined, we can more accuratly decide whether or not blaziken blaze is UU or OU.

However, it's not impossible to make an educated guess on where he belongs, comparing him to smogons OU, he just doesn't stand out. but he's kind of a mirror to infernape, who has more speed, and sets up nastyplot, blaziken has more power , and sets up swords dance. infernape was OU in gen5, barely. So given how his speed advantage, and iron fist as ability puts him above blaziken, i'd say blaziken is UU.

Demoonic wrote:
Spoiler:
The simple fact is that Landorus is completely broken with sheer force, while sand force may not be op, either way Landorus is a force to be reckoned with. Both Landorus and Blaziken have a not so great ability, and an Op ability that restricts the Pokemon from being able to do much of anything. Blaze Blaziken and Sand Force Landorus are both limited based on their abilities, but why should we ban a Pokemon based solely on its ability, when it's other ability is, let's face it, complete trash in most cases. Furthermore, back to Simon's point, all but on of the Pokemon you listed were OU. Since OU is the standard tier, Talonflame w/ gale wings is still allowed, and so are other Pokemon like contrary serperior. I don't see placing Blaze Blaziken as Uber as logical, because why should you. Moody was banned because it was game breaking, and so is speed boost Blaziken, but Blaze Blaziken has nothing going for it, except half decent attacking stats and bulk that is barely noticeable, so I believe it belongs in UU tier.


It's hard to try to figure out where to draw the line with these kind of exceptions, but that's something we can work with over time. Our job is to develop a tier system that is the most fun for battlers, competitive or not. If that means having a couple exceptions to improve the experience, then so be it.

As far as placement goes, I'm all in for Blaze Blaziken in PmUU. I've compared Blaze Blaziken to Infernape in the OP, and I think it's pretty apparent that Infernape edges out Blaze Blaziken in most situations. While we don't have all of the tiers defined yet, I think it's pretty safe to say that PmUU is a great choice. This is also supported by Emboar being in SmRU, meaning that Blaze Blaziken would fit snugly in PmUU and be a reliable Fire/Fighting mixed attacker.

The other aspect to the whole ability debate is that Hidden Abilities are much harder to find in Pixelmon, and breeding requires more work and takes many times longer. That Speed Boost Blaziken probably won't be seen for weeks on newer servers and rare no matter what stage. We also can't forget that some servers (for whatever reason) don't allow pixelmon to spawn with HA's.

This creates something that's even more complicated which probably deserves it's own policy vote sometime in the future. Regardless, I don't plan on having things like RU Effect Spore Breloom or OU Pressure Lugia. I would say these types of decisions should only occur when the pokemon is being banned from standard competitive play and is significantly improved by a specific feature, in this case Speed Boost.
User avatar
By Geodude671
#187338 Arguing that Blaziken should be tiered lower because Speed Boost is hard to get doesn't really make sense. In BW a Speed Boost Torchic was insanely hard to get even compared to other HA Pokemon. You only could get one per save ever, and the chances of it having good IVs across the board was virtually nil. That didn't stop it from overpowering the meta, not in the least bit. Sheer Force Landorus was hard to get too, you even had to pay real money to get it because you needed a DSi app, and yet we still banned that. Hoopa-U is insanely hard to get, and yet we banned it because it overpowered the meta. Just because something is hard to get doesn't mean it should be tiered lower. Blissey wasn't NU in ADV just because Chansey had a 1% encounter rate. Tauros wasn't UU in RBY just because it had a 1% encounter rate. Celebi was Uber in GSC because of its insane (for the time) stat spread and sizable movepool; we didn't let it into the meta because its event was held literally once. Just because SB Blaziken is hard to get doesn't mean it shouldn't be banned.

"But Geo, what about servers that don't have hidden abilities?" They can tweak the tier list to account for that. The tier list accounts for hidden abilities because by default Pixelmon allows hidden ability Pokemon to spawn, albeit rarely. Blaziken isn't the only Pokemon that relies on its hidden ability. Ninetales and Politoed, for instance, would almost certainly be PU if they didn't have their weather abilities. Simon, you mentioned Pressure Lugia, but Lugia is still broken even with the less optimal ability; Multiscale is just gravy. The Nidos would probably be RU, or potentially BL3 or NU. Venusaur is workable with Overgrow, but Chlorophyll is the better ability by far. The list goes on.

And urbymine: We're definitely not going to ban only certain sets. The problems with tiering a certain Pokemon differently based on its ability has already been stated; doing things like making physical Chansey PU while making the wall set BL will exacerbate these problems manyfold.
User avatar
By urbymine
#187339 the difference with the example is that physical chansey is downright stupid. while blaze blaziken is viable if people don't want to go look for the hidden ability. While i think a tier list is nice to have for pixelmon, but as it has been said many times in the past, pixelmon is not overly competitive, it doesn't hold up to smogon and pokemon showdown.
90% of the servers/people who will ever use a tier list will use it to see what's strong , what's sub-optimal and what pokemon should be banned. i highly doubt many servers really care about the difference between PU and NU or even UU.
That being said, splitting up both versions of chancey won't matter since it will just fall under the category of "can be used, preferably as a wall" , speed boost blaziken is a different story, it's ubers, and by definition to strong for a healthy competitive envirroment, any pokemon that has a specific trait that makes it uber should be split up IMO.
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