Announcement National Dex Player Surveys

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Hey there all, the National Dex OU Council has been watching the metagame for a while now following the no ban result on Tera, and subsequent quickbans on Magearna, Chien Pao, Regieleki, and Melmetal and thought now would be a fantastic time to gauge community reception on the tier, as well as ask the player base what they believe the issues in the tier are.

The link to the first player survey can be found here.

The survey will be up for around a week, so make sure you share your opinions as the information we glean from these surveys is used to help us with future tiering action and helps dictate the direction of the metagame as a whole!


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Hey there all, thank you to everyone who replied to the survey. We got a great turnout of 222 responses to the survey, and since responses were slowing down a lot, we decided to close off responses early so that we could discuss the findings and prepare a potential suspect test ready for the weekend.

We decided not to separate the responses into qualified and unqualified this time around as we have had very few tours to gauge who would actually be included in the former. Without further ado, lets have a look at the results of the survey.

The average response to how enjoyable do you find the metagame was around 7.11, this is a little lower than most of our past answers to this question and definitely lower than I would expect for a brand new generation when people are experimenting with all of the new additions. That being said there are some very obvious issues and a lot of controversial points in the metagame right now so we did expect this to be a little lower. Hopefully we can bring it up in the near future.

The average response to how balanced do you find the metagame was just 5.97, meaining that the majority of people are finding the metagame to be unbalanced in someway. If we interpret "balanced" to mean an environment where the better player is always at an advantage, then this low of a score in this category is really worrying and suggests that players feel a lot is out of their control during a game. Accounting for Tera-types and all of the possible threats National Dex offers puts a huge strain how players are perceiving their own agency and this is something we must address going forward.

Where 1 represents not an issue in the metagame, and 5 represents being too overbearing, Dragapult was given on average a 2.97. This suggests that Players find Dragapult very strong but not an overwhelming presence on the metagame. This makes sense while Dragapult is still clearly very strong, it has a few things going against it compared to last generation where it ran rampant. Firstly, its not the best user of Tera as it usually favours Z-Move sets and its other sets generally speaking do not use Tera effectively either. Secondly, it got a few new checks this Generation, mainly Kingambit which is able to hard wall, trap, and revenge kill Dragapult relativley easily.

Zamazenta was given a slightly lower rating than Dragapult on average, clocking in at 2.60. As you can see from the graphs, Zamazenta was given way fewer ratings of 3,4, and 5 leading us to believe that most people find Zamazenta to be just about manageable in the metagame.

Espathra's scores were skewed much higher, scoring an average rating of 3.15. Over twice the amount of responses believed Espathra to be too much to handle in the metagame compared to Zamazenta, which is really concerning. After talking about Espathra with a lot of people in and outside of the council I personally believe this is because Espathra feels much worse to play against than anything else mentioned in the survey and the rate it just snowballs out of control is very frustrating. Whether it wins on the spot or not is often entirely dependant on its Tera type and since it can run 3-4 viably sometimes you just do not have the answer.

Rain was on average given the lowest score of any of the aspects we were evaluating, coming in at an average rating of 2.47. I believe players are starting to find better ways to answer rain, the rise in usage of Ferrothorn, various Tera Water Pokemon like Garganacl and Zamazenta etc and therefore not finding it as constricting as it was at the start of the generation. That being said answers to the follow up question " If you find Rain problematic, what in particular about rain do you think makes it an issue? " indicated that many people still have a problem with Rains strengths. The most common answer to the follow up question was the damage output of Tera Water Rain abusers like Floatzel and Barraskewda. Excluding Tera, the next most common answer was much less seen and suggested that Rains duration was an issue as it limited counterplay. As we previously voted on Damp Rock in a round of council bans, I believe we agree that would be the best way to target rain if it was deemed that action should be taken, so look out for something on that in the future. For now though, judging by the lower average rating we won't be addressing rain at this time.

The final question asked was:
Is there anything else not mentioned that you feel is problematic in the metagame? If so, what makes it problematic?
This question got a ton of varied responses so ill try and break down a few of the most common recurring ones.
1 - Tera
By far the most common answer to this question, around 60% of the responses mentioned Tera in some way being an issue. Since we just had a Tera suspect not long ago which ended in a No Ban Vote we aren't looking to retest it so soon but we are taking note of the change in community perception of the Tera Mechanic.
2 - Annihilape
A lot of people seem to take issue with Annihilape's ability to take advantage of passive Pokemon and completely nullify defensive counterplay. It's ability to utilise multiple good defensive Tera typings doesn't help either as that alleviates offensive counterplay as an option as well. We'll definitely be keeping an eye on Annihilape as the tier progresses.
3 - Cyclizar
I wasn't expecting to see this one bought up as much as it was but a lot of responses took issue with Cyclizars ability to consisently pass subs to Pokemon like Dragapult, Annihilape, and Espathra. Most of the justification for issues with Cyclizar seemed to stem from the fact that we are currently overrun with offensive threats and Cyclizar enables them to an absurd degree. We'll be keeping a close eye on Cyclizar to see if it continues to perform well when the top end of the offensive threats has been tested.
4 - Gholdengo
Gholdengo's ability to prevent hazard removal on top of already being an excellent pick thanks to its typing and offensive presence puts it at the top of some peoples radars. While I agree that Gholdengo is a fantastic Pokemon in the current metagame due to the fact that its a bulky Steel-type with recovery as well as utility options in Trick and Thunderwave, I do believe that our hazard removal options are well matched into Gholdengo for the time being. Removal options like Tornadus-T, Landorus-T, and Great Tusk can all generally pressure Gholdengo well enough to succesfully remove hazards most of the time. If this ceases to be the case though Gholdengo could definitley be worth considering for a suspect test.
5 - Chien Pao ????
There was a couple responses that bought up Chien Pao being too strong which I 100% agree with and thats why I voted to ban it during the council bans almost a month ago now. Seeing as it hasnt been in the tier since then I'm not sure what I think of it now but I'm inclined to agree with the stance I had back then.

That just about sums up the most important things from this survey, we closed the responses a little early in order to prepare this post and get ready for a suspect test very, very soon. Stay tuned!


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Hello once again, we're back with another Tiering Survey. We have gone a little broader with this one as we believe that there are currently many potentially overbearing aspects effecting the metagame rather than just one or two, and would like to get peoples opinions on everything before we move forward with any tiering action.

The link to the survey can be found here

This survey will likely only be up until the end of the weekend as, depending on the results, we would like to settle any tiering action we may need to take before NDWC kicks off/gets to deep. Thanks for all your guys help and feedback during this quite volatile time for tiering, the survey results really do help give us direction!


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Hello everyone, I'd like to thank those who voted on the survey. This time we have received 170 votes, and while being less than the first survey, it's still a solid amount. There's nothing much else to add to this introduction, so let's get into the results, shall we?


The average response to how enjoyable do you find the metagame scored an average rating of 6.38, which while being a median amount is still concerning as it went down nearly a point from the last survey. With that being said, we understand threats like Walking Wake, Annihilape, and the elephant in the room, Terastallization, are some very controversial elements in the metagame at the moment which make it sometimes not very enjoyable, but rest assured there will be action taken.


The average response to how balanced do you find the metagame was just 5.21, meaning that a significant number of players find the metagame unbalanced in some way. From what this shows, there are several issues that must be dealt with, and it's worrying as well as this score once more suggests that there are elements out of player control when playing the tier. Terastallization is most definitely the biggest source of these concerns, and this is something we will be monitoring closely.


Firstly, Dragapult was given an overall average of 2.97, again! This shows that the playerbase finds Dragapult a strong force in the metagame, but nothing too overwhelming. This generation, Dragapult is still a solid and threatening Pokemon but does have more negative traits than it did last generation. For example, not utilizing Tera often as it usually wants to use Z-Moves, and even when it comes to its other sets, it's not the best Tera abuser either. It also has to deal with metagame forces like Kingambit who nearly fully blanks Dragapult, being able to revenge kill it and trap it as well. Common defensive Tera options like Fairy and Dark also give Dragapult some problems, albeit having opportunity cost for the opponent.


Annihilape was given a somewhat skewed score of 3.18, showing that the player base finds it quite problematic. Annihilape has been brought up a lot in discussion with the council, as it rightfully should, since it forces the opponent to play extremely passive in order to not let it snowball out of control. That quality is even harder to manage in tandem with relatively unpredictable defensive Tera types like Water, Fairy, or Fire. While counterplay has been found such as Toxic, Nasty Plot, or Taunt Tornadus-T and Toxic Gliscor, Annihilape has started to pair with clerics that get rid of its status issues or speed creep the latter, and often has teammates that can deal with Nasty Plot Tornadus-T such as Tapu Koko and Clodsire. Overall, Annihilape has little to no safe counterplay on slow, balanced playstyles and doesn't necessarily perform poorly into offensive playstyles either. It forces a large sense of passivity onto the opponent to the point where it is certainly a problem in the metagame.


Kingambit scored an average rating of 3.14. This shows that while Kingambit is a metagame staple due to the valuable traits it provides to nearly every teamstyle, it has some problems regarding Tera Dark and Supreme Overlord, and how often it is able to reverse sweep without much skill involved. Kingambit's ability generally reduces the cost of incorrect plays made by the user over the course of a game and boosts its damage output to a potentially unbalanced degree, so it's something that will be kept an eye on.


Walking Wake scored the highest on average, that being 3.46. Walking Wake has been a very controversial figure recently in National Dex, as it has little safe counterplay due to its extremely strong Protosythesis-boosted Hydro Steam and Draco Meteor, and even has Flamethrower for Pokemon who would otherwise take its STAB hits well like Ferrothorn. Other sets such as SubSunny have been experimented to take advantage of Pokemon like Toxapex and Garganacl and fire off its strong attacks behind a Substitute, making it hard to revenge kill and deal with in combination with Tera Dragon to break through Pokemon like Toxapex and sit on Ferrothorn and Rotom-W. Overall, Walking Wake is a very oppressive force that synergizes incredibly well with the two strongest weathers in the metagame. From a balance perspective, it is disliked by the community and council alike, and will most definitely have action taken on it in the near future.


Garganacl scored a relatively lower average in 2.77, showing that while Garganacl can be a little annoying at times due to Tera Water and Fairy with its Salt Cure + IDPress, Curse, or Protect sets, it is generally considered manageable in the eyes of the player base.


Heatran's vote was largely skewed towards balanced, having a 1.92 average rating. This shows that Heatran needs no action taken on it as of now, even if Tera Grass and Flying sets can be an annoyance at times.


Cyclizar's average rating was a 3.06, which mainly comes from the Shed Tail shenanigans it is able to pull off with Regenerator while also having a decent utility movepool in general. This rating is high but not entirely surprising and will be kept in mind for next tiering steps.


Rain was given an average score of 2.72, which is probably due to the playerbase finding ways to deal with rain, such as bulky playstyles with a weather disruptor like Hippowdon, Tera Water Pokemon like Garganacl and Zapdos, and the rise of Pokemon like Kyurem and Rillaboom, meaning that the playerbase seems to not struggle with Rain that much anymore. The follow up question to this was " If you feel that Rain is an issue, which part of rain specifically do you find to be problematic?", which does indicate that there are still some issues with certain aspects of Rain. The most common answer was STAB Tera Water abusers such as Floatzel, Barraskewda, Urshifu-R, and even rare abusers like Kingdra. The next two most common answers were Swift Swim and Damp Rock, which the former would be a complex ban, and the latter being a reasonable solution, as we previously voted on Damp Rock a few months back and agreed that it's the best solution when it comes to taking action on rain. However, with the somewhat lower average score rain has, we may not address it at the moment as we continue to monitor how the metagame progresses.


Hyper offense scored an average rating of 3.19. This is likely due to the abundance of set up sweepers, ranging from Volcarona, Mega Gyarados, Iron Valiant, Dragapult, Gholdengo, Annihilape, Mega Scizor, Dragonite, Latios, and more that are amplified by elements like Shed Tail and screens, making them very threatening and often able to find free set-up turns. As such, the follow up question was " If you feel that Hyper Offense is an issue, which part of HO specifically do you find problematic? " The most common answer was Tera set-up sweepers, as a majority of the aforementioned set-up sweepers often utilize Tera to perform their sweep and become very large nuisances as a result. The second most common answer was Shed Tail, and the council agrees that Shed Tail is indeed a large problem regarding hyper offense due to the degeneracy of the Hyper Offense playstyle it enables with these team structures becoming increasingly linear. After OU's recent banning of the move, there will most likely be action taken on this to address the concerns the player base has with Hyper Offense.


Tera scored an average of 7.09, showing that the community believes that Terastallization certainly enables some problematic aspects of the National Dex tier. The player base has previously made its decision regarding Tera in National Dex. However, the council will continue to monitor how these opinions evolve over time. We encourage anyone with thoughts or opinions on Terastallization in our tier to share them in our Tera discussion thread here.

That just about sums up the most important results from this survey. We will be moving quickly to take action on the issues identified here, so stay tuned!
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