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 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.
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.
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).
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.
[7:44 PM] Simon_Flash: Hey, I'm with you guys too :p
[7:45 PM] MrM: we're always serious
[7:45 PM] Simon_Flash: Rugh Rough Raggy