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Fixing the Ice-type

EmpoleonProd

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This post is generally centered around the Ice-type, but I do introduce some other notable changes I'd like to see with other types as well.

The Ice-type, while great offensively, suffers from being a terrible type defensively and is often ranked by competitive players as one of the worst types in the game, really only being better than Bug and arguably Poison. What this leads to is that Ice-type moves are common, but usually not on Ice-type Pokemon, many teams will include a Water-type with Ice Beam, for example. Ice is strong against Dragon, Flying, Grass, and Ground which is great coverage to have, but is also weak to four very strong types, Fire, Fighting, Rock, and Steel. The worst part is probably the fact that Ice only resists itself, but is resisted by itself, Water, Fire, and Steel. So as you can see, the type hits a lot of good types, but suffers from being very bad defensively, and as such the type itself is extremely lackluster and is almost seen as inferior to Water, since almost all Water Pokemon can learn at least one Ice-type move, in fact, I can't think of a single Water-type Pokemon that can't off the top of my head. This makes Ice-type Pokemon almost irrelevant barring a couple of outstanding exceptions.

My first proposal for "fixing" the Ice-type is to change it's interactions with Water. I think Ice has sat in Water's shadow long enough and could be given some of it's own identity. My proposal would add Water to the list of resistances that Ice has, while maintaining Water's resistance to Ice. This helps Ice defensively as it is often walled by Water-types and Ice-types generally lack the coverage required to fight a Water-type otherwise unless it can learn Freeze-Dry, and speaking of Freeze-Dry, I would like to utilize the mechanic of Freeze-Dry hitting Water for super effective damage and reverse it and make Scald do super effective damage on Ice. You could consider this more of a buff to Water than to Ice, but this is far from the only interaction I want to change with Ice. But anyways, with an interaction consisting of mutual resistence, barring one specialty move for both types doing super effective damage on each other, I think this makes the rivalry between Water and Ice very interesting and would be healthy for both types. Ice still gains that general resistance to Water, which means the common Hydro Pumps and Waterfalls are now great resisted attacks to have, I think the trade-off for that in exchange for a weakness to Scald is a fair one.

My next idea along similar lines is to add another resistance to the Ice-type, this one being to Fairy. I also think making Fairy weak to Ice makes sense as well as a nerf to the Fairy-type. It is widely considered to be one of the top 2 strongest types in the game alongside Fairy, WolfeyVGC's popular type tier list video ranked it as S-tier alongside Steel and Water. The origin for Fairy being weak to Steel is from some folklore that states that Fairies are weak to "cold iron". You could easily take the cold out of that statement and refer back to the Ice-type. Fairies are also often associated with insect-like wings like on pixies, which would in theory freeze up in cold weather. Fairy is an extremely strong type both offensively and defensively so adding a weakness as well as making Ice resist Fairy would serve as a check to the Fairy-type.

I think these two changes enough are sufficient and overall healthy for the type chart as a whole. If any types deserve checks and balances, it's Fairy and Water, so changing how Ice interacts with those two types, giving Ice two resistances and another type it's strong against would work great for leveling the strong Fairy and Water-types but buffing the currently inferior Ice-type Pokemon.

My last change focuses solely on the Ice-type and doesn't change any other type interactions and this change is relatively minor and I don't think it's needed but I also think it could be neat and wouldn't hurt. The same way Rock-types have their Special Defense boosted by 50% in a sandstorm, I think that Ice-types could have their Defense boosted by 50% in a hailstorm. Again, focusing on the Ice-type defensively, this is a relatively minor but healthy change that I think only serves to improve the Ice-type and doesn't directly effect any other types, this also adds another layer to the famous weather war metas, as hail is now a viable weather option as opposed to right now where it is seen as vastly inferior to rain, sun, or sandstorms in just about every way as it's the most limiting weather to build a team around.
 

Unovia

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Ice types really got a poor deal. If they are not linked to Water, they have a hard time on their own. You seem to have thought about this a lot, and your argument is solid.There have been a lot of strong Ice Types that could have seen a lot of use, but unfortunately can't get it because they are defensive and slow, so they can't act with speed without help. I think they have started going in the right direction with Crabominable, but Ice still has issues.

Would like to see this as part of an article series, 'Fixing All Types". I would be more than willing to work with you on a proposal for a series. Very well done! Thought provoking.
 

Artuditwo

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Maybe something like this could work?
 

leetic!

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Ice types struggle offensively since they're resisted by the two best defensive types. They're mostly good for hitting things for 4x weakness, but that just means that non-Ice types with Ice coverage often outcompete Ice types. Ice does have good neutral coverage when combined with Ground, Dark, or Fighting though. Of course, the major flaw with Ice is that it struggles defensively. Fairy and Water resistances would help it, but would not really address the key flaws with the type, mainly its hazard weakness and weakness to common coverage, but it would make certain defensive combinations somewhat viable (like, say, Ice/Dragon or Ice/Ground). Water resisting Ice does make sense due to enthalpy, but I'm all for nerfing bulky Waters anyway. Maybe a slight power buff to Freeze-Dry could also help a little.

Gen VIII did offer a number of buffs to Ice, after Gen VII's buffs failed to really help. The removal of Hidden Power was a huge indirect buff to Ice, as it gave them less competition in their role. Aurora Veil was distributed to all Hail setters. They finally got another decent physical move in Triple Axel. A couple of powerful Hail abusers in Arctozolt and Arctovish were introduced. A few Ice types like Kyurem received important buffs in their movepool. And of course, there is the introduction of Galarian Darmanitan with its scary good coverage and ability that really showed what an offensive Ice-type could be capable of. Many of these buffs went a bit overboard, with bans all across Smogon as a result of them. Still, it shows that Ice types can be workable despite their flaws.
 

GhostLucario

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I've had that idea that Ice should resist Water since forever. It would help balance the type chart since Water is only resisted by Grass and Water itself anyway. I'd take it a step further and say Ice should also be SE against Water. It just makes sense if Water is frozen then it's basically powerless (I think? I'm not sure but we have other match ups that don't make too much sense).
I feel the worst part about Ice is the lack of useful resistances. I thought losing a weakness would help too but sadly all of its weaknesses make sense.
 

leetic!

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I've had that idea that Ice should resist Water since forever. It would help balance the type chart since Water is only resisted by Grass and Water itself anyway. I'd take it a step further and say Ice should also be SE against Water. It just makes sense if Water is frozen then it's basically powerless (I think? I'm not sure but we have other match ups that don't make too much sense).
The reason Water resists Ice, or at least my interpretation, is the difference in enthalpy between the two substances. Basically, you need twice as much ice as liquid water for the water to freeze, any less and the ice would melt. It's pretty cool that a thermodynamic concept has an influence in the typechart, although less cool is how it makes bulky waters more annoying.
 

swiftfox

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Make Ice super effective against Fairy and add resistances to Ground and Flying.
 

Unovia

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Would you all be open to an article series?
 

leetic!

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Would you all be open to an article series?
Well, there is this article on Smogon that does a good job of going into detail about Ice's problems and how they can be fixed. It's a little outdated, since as I said earlier Gen VIII came with a number of indirect buffs to the Ice type as well as a couple of Pokémon that live up more to Ice's true potential, but it's still an interesting read.
 

Unovia

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Well, there is this article on Smogon that does a good job of going into detail about Ice's problems and how they can be fixed. It's a little outdated, since as I said earlier Gen VIII came with a number of indirect buffs to the Ice type as well as a couple of Pokémon that live up more to Ice's true potential, but it's still an interesting read.
This question was in reference to not only the Ice Types, but all types.
 

R1ke

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I’m all for improving hail as well, it’s weird that it doesn’t have the same benefits like sandstorm. Ice resisting water also makes sense to me. Maybe change freezing too, it’s op but strictly based on chance. If they nerf it (less turns maybe?) and have more specific moves for it, that could also help
 

CynthiaLover

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I'm all for fixing my favorite type.

One of the key problems is that Ice is just awful defensively. Giving it some actually useful resistances to something like Water (which REALLY needs a nerf), Ground, and Dragon at the very least would help. Hell, even give it a resistance to Normal and that would be a start. I'd be all for giving it a resistance to Fairy, too, especially since a lot of people agree on that, but that's probably wishful thinking at this point. Also, another problem is that recently Ice-types have been falling into the slow, bulky archetype, which, while technically elementally correct, is not good for a type that works best as glass cannons. I mean, the best Ice-types tend to be ones like Weavile, Froslass, Rotom-Frost, and Articuno, and they're not bulky or slow. Granted, some Ice Mons can be good even if they're a bit on the slow side, such as Mamoswine, but Ice is best used in the forms of glass cannons, not slow tanks. And, sadly, the deadliest nail in Ice's already chilly coffin is a crippling weakness to Stealth Rock (unless your name is Mamoswine, that is), which is a weakness that pretty much strangles several types already, much less the already difficult-to-use Ice-type.

Moving on, I don't think it really needs any changes offensively, as 4x weaknesses to it are pretty common, and most of its offensive abilities at least make sense, except maybe giving Freeze a higher chance of succeeding instead of a paltry 10% pretty much across the board (sans Tri-Attack, but that's not even an Ice move). Like others have said giving Fairy a weakness to Ice would be a good idea, since it only has two weaknesses but that's probably a pipe dream at this point. The biggest problem Ice has offensively is that anything an Ice Mon can do a Water Mon can do better, which sucks, especially given how wide-spread moves like Ice Beam and Blizzard are in the hands (or fins, flippers, paws, and claws) of various Water Mons. At least Freeze-Dry is Ice-exclusive, so that gives it at least something to call its own that Water can't snatch away from it. Really, in terms of offense, Ice is pretty okay, but maybe giving it a way to differentiate itself from Water, and thus not be overshadowed by it, would be a help.

As for Hail, since I'm not a big weather manipulator I can't really talk much about it. But I could see giving Hail similar benefits to Ice Mons that the other weathers grant (especially Rain). Maybe in Hail the chance to inflict Freeze doubles? Or maybe both defenses get a 50% boost in Hail? At least give Hail something to make it actually worthwhile. Granted, there is Aroura Veil, which is a nice Ice-exclusive power, but I'd be all for giving Hail some other type of passive benefit that'll make it at least somewhat more useful.

In any case, I'm all for finding ways to fix the Ice-type. It really got the short end of the stick over the years and it's rather sad to see that GF is all for neglecting it in favor of other more "commonly used" types. Gen 8 was a bit kinder to the Ice-type then others, as @leetic! brought up, giving it several notable buffs (albeit indirectly in most cases), but Ice needs more than just a few tweaks here and there. It almost needs a total overhaul at this rate. But considering that GF has actually made modifications to various types over the years (ie: Steel losing its resistance to Dark and Ghost) means that there might be a chance for them to actually take notice of Ice's plight and give it some more helpful boosts (although unlikely). But we shall see. But finding ways to help the struggling Ice-type, which is my favorite type, is something I'm more than happy to get behind.
 

Poke Dragon

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Another thing I see holding the potential of Ice-types back is also how too many Ice-types moves are excluded from many Ice-type Pokemon's movepools. Like Ice Punch isn't given to many Ice-type Pokemon, which is just weird to me. This is only rarely seen with other types, with (maybe) the only remotely common example being Steel.
 
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