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Our own tiering system: Empirical Tiers

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evkl

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This is a post taken from a mod forum discussion we were having a while back. I'd like to make it the official Bulbagarden stance on tiering to go with our PO server plans.

I. Background
So I was doing some thinking when I saw this post in the thread about Bulbagarden tiers. I was also thinking about the primary (in my eyes) criticism of the Salamence move: it was done on a vote with no real, concrete, objective empirical evidence behind it. And so I was pondering how to remedy this.

The obvious answer is to have empirical tiers.

II. Explanation
How would they work? It actually isn't all that complex.

* The top (approximately) 2% of Pokemon, by base stats, are automatically+ banned.
* A Pokemon that is used on more than 2 in every 5 teams (>40%) is banned forever.
* A Pokemon that is used on more than 1 in every 3 teams (>33%) in a month is banned for 6 months.
* A Pokemon that is used on more than 1 in ever 4 teams (>25%) in 2 months over a 3-month period is banned for 6 months.
*A Pokemon that is used on more than 1 in every 5 teams (>20%) in 4 months over a 6-month period is banned for 2 months.

The + on automatically--this rule would exempt Pokemon whose ability obviously lowers their real stat value. In real terms, this excludes Slaking and Regigigas, so far, from the uber list. If any other conditions come in which mimic Slow Start or Truant, they will also be added to the exemption list.

III. Goal
The goal of this tier is to play with a very "open" metagame--that is, trainers have lots of options when they want to put a team together by the time the metagame develops. While the metagame is developing (expected to take 4-7 months) there will be some serious fluctuations in what's allowed, what's banned, etc. Once it's established, however, I expect it will be superior to Smogon's.

Why? Because Smogon is solely concerned with removing what makes for a playable metagame. This will be concerned with removing what makes a highly concentrated metagame. The net effect of the Bulbagarden Tier system will be a more spread-out, "open" metagame driving more innovation and more fun.

IV. In practice
So how would this work in practice?

Well, here's a hard banlist by generation:
Gen I: Mewtwo
Gen II: Mewtwo, Ho-oh, Lugia
Gen III: Mewtwo, Ho-oh, Lugia, Rayquaza, Groudon, Kyogre (awkwardly, in Gen III the 2% rule spills a bit out into the 600-level Pokes, and we don't want a blanket ban of them.)
Gen IV: Mewtwo, Ho-oh, Lugia, Rayquaza, Groudon, Kyogre, Arceus, Giratina, Palkia, Dialga.
Gen V: Mewtwo, Ho-oh, Lugia, Rayquaza, Groudon, Kyogre, Arceus, Giratina, Palkia, Dialga, Reshiram, Zekrom.

So, excepting Gen III, we've been perfect so far in banning the (agreed-upon) top-tier of Ubers.

V. Closing Comments

First, I'd love criticism and comments a lot. Go to town on this idea.

But the big theoretical concern I see that I want to address preemptively is, broadly: why not ban things like Darkrai outright?

Simple. We don't know how Gen V is gonna play. So we let it just...play out. If everyone (say, 55%) is using Darkrai in the first month, we ban him. Easy peasy. If he suddenly becomes a regular part of the metagame for whatever reason (say, 15%), we let the flow of the metagame determine that, too.

Some caveats: This will result in a very broken first month. I don't see that as a huge flaw, though. This system is entirely empirical. Nobody will be able to dispute our relegation decisions, etc. We won't have anything like the Great Salamence Schism of 2010. It's cut-and-dry, easy, and doesn't take a lot of effort on our part to maintain.

The main thing that requires additional rigor is the cutoff levels between tiers, which translates into creating a UU/NU tier if we so desire.
 

Badal

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Oh the irony of the MSN chat :p

Anyways, I think we should go a bit easier on the banning, its too many banning restrictions and conditions. They'll be hard to keep up with on the long run
 

Zekurom

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Base stats are not the only determining factor in competitive battling.

This tier system is pretty much the same as Smogon's, it seems, except based on actual usage. Also, the Pokémon placed in the usage tiers shouldn't be "banned", but restricted to their own metagame tier.

The way I see it, you're simply rearranging the tiers a little:

1. Ubers
2. OU Level 1 (>40% usage)
3. OU Level 2 (>33% usage)
4. OU Level 3 (>25% usage over 2/3 months)
5. OU Level 4 (>20% usage over 4/6 months)

And there'd be BL (perhaps overlapping with OU Level 4), UU, and NU tiers as well. Regardless, those levels definitely need tweaking. The lower levels are too squished together.
 

Arc Blader

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UP I quite like this idea. While the ban system might be a bit complicated for the casual observer, it does seem like a great way of diversifying the metagame. It'd be awesome to be able to battle someone without everyone pulling from the same pool of 30 Pokémon.
 

evkl

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I'm aware that base stats mean basically nothing, but it just so happens that in every generation except Gen III they actively weed out the most badly broken Pokes from the game. I can't think of anything except perhaps Wobby that is as broken as the things with 670+ base stats.
 

Zekurom

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Also, if you're looking for 2% for Gen.1, you need to ban three Pokémon. So far, your list only has one.

But your point is taken.
 

SaffronGamer

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Good old Bulbagarden need their own tiering system.
 

Musashi

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I love the idea of us having our own tier system.
 

Ice Tyrant

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Should certain moves be considered in this banlist as well? *coughstealthrockcough*
 

evkl

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No, I think banning certain moves based on use would be a little counterproductive and would generally just lead to a race to the bottom in terms of power; moves like Shadow Ball, Earthquake, Surf, Thunderbolt, and Ice Beam are naturally going to be everywhere.
 

Our Wasted Years

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* The top (approximately) 2% of Pokemon, by base stats, are automatically+ banned.
* A Pokemon that is used on more than 2 in every 5 teams (>40%) is banned forever.
* A Pokemon that is used on more than 1 in every 3 teams (>33%) in a month is banned for 6 months.
* A Pokemon that is used on more than 1 in ever 4 teams (>25%) in 2 months over a 3-month period is banned for 6 months.
*A Pokemon that is used on more than 1 in every 5 teams (>20%) in 4 months over a 6-month period is banned for 2 months.

How will this work? We'll eventually run out of good Pokemon if we use this system. Everyone will be stuck using bad NU Pokemon eventually. We need a better banning system then that because despite you not wanting to ban Salamence, this system will eventually ban Salamence. Pokemon shouldn't be banned based on usage imo.
 

Mijzelffan

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Well it is a nice idea in theory, only I think that when put into reality it will probably fail. It will probably be inferior to Smogon's list in terms of usage, I mean, Smogon is an entire site dedicated to competative battling, while we only have a few boards on it. Most people will probably still use Smogon's over this one. I also see people probably start comparing it to Smogon's tier list, and probably a lot of (new) people will react negatively to the difference. People might also start complaining if say during the Christmas contest battles you use this tier instead of Smogon's tier, and there is a difference in banned pokémon between the two, for instance.

However, since a lot of you do seem very eager to try, I won't vote it down. Who knows, I might turn out wrong. (by the way, this reminded me of National Bulbagraphic, also an idea you tried to copy off smogon and initially didn't turn out that well :p)
 

Zekurom

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How will this work? We'll eventually run out of good Pokemon if we use this system. Everyone will be stuck using bad NU Pokemon eventually. We need a better banning system then that because despite you not wanting to ban Salamence, this system will eventually ban Salamence. Pokemon shouldn't be banned based on usage imo.

Like I said, don't ban them - place them into tiers.

And base the tier-placing on what happens within a tier. If one Pokémon gets used too much in a tier, promote it to a higher tier. If one Pokémon gets used too little, demote it to a lower tier.

And this tier nudging should only happen one tier at a time. Here are the ones that I'd suggest (again, based on Smogon's tiers):

Ubers (Level 9)
Over Used, Level 1 (Level 8)
Over Used, Level 2 (Level 7)
Over Used, Level 3 (Level 6)
Medium Usage/Border Line (Level 5)
Under Used, Level 3 (Level 4)
Under Used, Level 2 (Level 3)
Under Used, Level 1 (Level 2)
Never Used (Level 1)

Simply put, expand the OU and UU categories, to make the system a bit more dynamic. To start off, put every Pokémon at Level 5, and let it run wild.

Anyway, I'll give this a provisional UP vote, because I think it has some potential. But if we're dead set on evkl's layout, I'd have to change that to DOWN.
 
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Our Wasted Years

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Like I said, don't ban them - place them into tiers.

And base the tier-placing on what happens within a tier. If one Pokémon gets used too much in a tier, promote it to a higher tier. If one Pokémon gets used too little, demote it to a lower tier.

And this tier nudging should only happen one tier at a time. Here are the ones that I'd suggest (again, based on Smogon's tiers):

Ubers (Level 9)
Over Used, Level 1 (Level 8)
Over Used, Level 2 (Level 7)
Over Used, Level 3 (Level 6)
Medium Usage/Border Line (Level 5)
Under Used, Level 3 (Level 4)
Under Used, Level 2 (Level 3)
Under Used, Level 1 (Level 2)
Never Used (Level 1)

Simply put, expand the OU and UU categories, to make the system a bit more dynamic.

Anyway, I'll give this a provisional UP vote, because I think it has some potential. But if we're dead set on evkl's layout, I'd have to change that to DOWN.

No idea what the point of 3 OU and UU tiers is. You're going to have to expand on the explanation and purpose of that to me because it makes no sense at all. Plus having 9 sets of tiers is just a pain to moderate and keep track of.
 

Sarcastically Insane

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No idea what the point of 3 OU and UU tiers is. You're going to have to expand on the explanation and purpose of that to me because it makes no sense at all. Plus having 9 sets of tiers is just a pain to moderate and keep track of.

Not necessarily OU, that's just what Giaru's using for comparison. For example, it'd be:

Uber
ExtremelyUsed
OverUsed
UsedOften
BorderLine
UnderUsed
and so on.

I don't see the point of separating the UU tier much, though.
 

Angad

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Down, because there are many pokemon that we all know should be banned, namely Deoxys, Darkrai, I'd approved it if the rough draft was better.
 

Flame_

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DOWN. Just use Smogons, it makes e whole fandom slightly more unified.
 

Sarcastically Insane

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@Flame Alex: Unified doesn't mean good.

@Crack: As said, the first month or two might be rough, but after that things will even out. Patience, y'know?
 
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