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DougJustDoug brings up a good point about what kind of metagame do we want. These are my thoughts about what a metagame should be like. It is what we will strive for here on Lugia's Pokémon Island.

I believe that a metagame should be geared towards being competitive and skilled. Players should want to strive to better themself. This will make them study harder and then be rewarded for it by having a higher CRE. The tools are definitely available to everyone. The most helpful tool I find is the Damage Calculator which, DougJustDoug did a great job on I might add. Being able to do damage calculations quickly without having to memorize formulas is convient for everyone. I used the calculator for a long time before I was satisfied with my team. I was rewarded for all the hard work and time of using it by getting up to fifth on the Ubers leaderboard.

The damage calculator is very helpful in that many Pokemon sets are already programmed in, saving the person time from looking up what ev spreads etc. that a Pokemon uses. Using the built in calculations, it becomes easier to come up with original sets. It also allows you to really maximize your defenses. This is something that competitive players should be doing. The metagame is supposed to be very competitive; getting to the leaderboards should not be an easy task. It should be something a person should be proud of. People should want to try and learn from the best; hence Smogon has the tutoring program.

The tutoring program is a very useful tool to those who take advantage of the service. They can be taught how to build teams better for example. I didn't receive any tutoring on Smogon, but I received it from someone else and have learned how to build better teams. Its not that I was a bad team builder, but I wanted to learn how to become better. They can also teach prediction, although some of it needs to be more learned through experience. By learning prediction, one improves their intellectual skills.

The rating system is fine the way it is now. It should be providing a larger boost for beating the higher ranked players. Losing points from inactivity seems logical because otherwise a player could get to like a 2000 CRE and then just never log on under that account again for ladder matches. Players need to be consistently playing in order to really say they are how good they are. I can certainly understand the leaderboard players to have an alternate account to practice on when they are testing a new team. Why risk losing rating points you worked hard to earn for a chance to do better? I just made a new team today and accidentally logged in under my main account and did a few battles with it. Luckily for me, it performed like I thought it would so I didn't lose a bunch of points from starting to test it.

Smogon is supposed to be the most competitive Pokemon battling site there is. From that, the metagame Smogon users should be playing in is the highest level of competition. Tournaments should be hard to win and have rewards for those who win. Tournaments should be single elimination, as this will make players really want to make the best team possible. By allowing multiple losses in a tournament before an elimination, you would get more of a casual metagame. While it would provide for more diversity, the metagame then becomes less competitive, which is something that Smogon is good at being. There is a reason why essentially each Pokemon has an article written about it. It is supposed to provide players with insight of a Pokemon's true abilities. It is a reesource players should be taking advantage of. Sure one can certainly experiment and come up with something else competitive, but the articles are a great place to start, especially when one is new to a particular tier's metagame. One is able to determine what Pokemon might be popular based on the articles about them.

Skills are something that will slowly erode if a player isn't practicing on a regular basis. This is similar to a job where you need to earn a certain amount of CE credits to remain certified. Things are constantly changing and new discoveries are being made all the time. The inablility to practice will cause a player to not be as much in tune with the metagame and will eventually start to cause them to start losing some battle skills and team building skills.

I don't think the metagame should be centered around luck. Players should have to win based on skill, not luck. If it had a lot of luck involved, then a new person could beat the best just from being lucky, and not from the hard work it takes to build a good team or gain battling skills. While I know it is certainly possible to eliminate Critical Hits from the server, then it makes certain moves become less usable. One such example would be Slash. I know it isn't used much competitively already, however, all moves that have a high critical hit ratio according to their description should maintain that chance. Moves that are automatic OHKOs like Fissure should be banned from ladder play because it isn't relying on skill. It is relying on the 30% chance it will hit. A certain degree of luck is mandatory for battles. Eliminating the chance of paralysis would go against the original design of the Pokemon games. I believe that moves need to maintain there chance of causing a secondary effect. This goes against the design of the original Pokemon games. Banning the OHKO moves is necessary to ensure luck is only at the minimum level. The ability Superluck shouldn't be banned because it is a natural ability and would make the few Pokemon that get them less useful. Players should be trying to come up with move sets that work well with a Pokemon's natural stats and ability.

The items that rely on luck should be banned from ladder play. I know they currently aren't, but it is generally frowned down upon by the Smogon Community. In particular, Focus Band and Quick Claw need to be banned. Those two items can cost games and competitive players will be upset that a luck item beat them. Having a Focus Band on Shedinja and it working multiple times in a row would make many players steamed. While it can be gotten around with Toxic or Sandstorm, it is inconvient. Forcing a team member to carry Toxic is extreme just to guarantee defeat a Pokemon with a Focus Band. A lot of times battles can be decided by just a single hit by whoever goes first. Losing a game because of Quick Claw working is really bad and an unfair drop in rating for the loss. King's Rock causing a flinch when a move that doesn't normally flinch can really be annoying. Adding a secondary effect of an attack that isn't programmed in on the Pokemon games should be banned. Those flinches can add up really fast and suddenly your Pokemon loses to flinch when it could have swept your opponent. As I previously stated, often times a single move can decide the outcome of a battle. Missing because of Bright Powder or Lax Incense should not be allowed. It alters the Pokemon evasion state, which means luck then becomes more involved. While the ability Sand Veil does raise evasion, it relies on a condition for it to work. In this case, the condition is that sand is present. There are no conditions for Lax Incense or Bright Powder to work. Some Pokemon only have one ability as you well know. Banning an ability because it involves luck basically bans the Pokemon from being used. A Pokemon should not be banned from being able to be used in competitive play.

I know that the reason Arceus is banned on ladder matches is because you can't impose an EV restriction since it is only available as level 100. I feel that Arceus should still be usable on the ladder in the Ubers metagame. All players have access to Arceus on Shoddy Battle. Everyone is capable of doing ev spreads however they wish. Because it is available to everyone, I feel that that should make it be allowed in the Ubers metagame. As I recall, the Ubers Metagame isn't meant to be balanced. It is for Pokemon that display certain characteristics in the Standard Metagame. It may be the only Pokemon so far with a base stat total of 720, but that shouldn't be a cause for removing it from the ladder.

While it is nice to have a variety for a particular metagame, it isn't essential for a metagame to be competitive. The metagame needs to stay as competitive as possible to force players to be at their best. I believe it is the job of a player to adapt to the metagame. A player should do things that will help them better prepare for the metagame. This is why the Pokemon articles include ev spreads with move sets. It is a resource to some of the best ways a Pokemon can be used. Calculations have been done to tweak it to its highest potential. It is the job of a player to have the knowledge. With the tools available and practical games, there is no reason why one couldn't learn a particular metagame other than not having the time.

By having a competitive metagame, it will remain stable. Yes it will change over time, but the change will be gradual. It forces players to be using the best possible sets to keep up and so it becomes unstable when players try something new. I am not saying its a bad thing to try something new. The Dialga set I currently run on one of my teams is not even close to any of the Dialga sets mentioned in the article about it. It isn't even mentioned under other options. Does it make the metagame unstable? I feel it doesn't because I am the only one using it, besides the two or three friends I have that I gave the secret spread to. It works amazingly well and my friends have liked it as well, despite not being into Ubers as much as me. It is a set that works better with the particular style of play that my team had. Yes it could work on any team, but the team I was using it on was using it to its full potential. Once it becomes more widely known, then it could have an impact on the metagame, although just one more set on a Pokemon isn't going to make it unstable. When I do retire the team, I will make it publicly available, but until then I would prefer to keep it secret since players would have to adapt to it.

My conclusion is that the metagame should be geared towards making it as competitive as possible. It needs to test a players skills, not rely on luck.

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