Suspect SV AAA Suspect Test #2: Fur Coat and Ice Scales

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With imagination, I can be anything I want
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I won't be long-winded: Fur Coat and Ice Scales (AKA FurScales) are legal in SV, which has enabled already-defensive Pokemon such as Hippowdon and Corviknight to become even tankier, while even not-so-bulky Pokemon like Oricorio can redeem their middling stats to become threatening bulky setup sweepers.

There are a lot of potential FurScales users--so many that I dare not try to list every single one in this post, but generally there are a couple of ways the ability is used. Physically and specially defensive walls like Hippowdon and Corviknight, respectively, more or less do what you'd expect: they switch in, eat hits, and annoy the opposition. Alternatively, we've seen setup users like Quiver Dance Volcarona/Polteageist and use Fur Coat to make themselves bulky in one stat, while boosting up the other until they're incredibly difficult to revenge kill. Even less predictable options like FurScales Iron Hands and Florges can surprise threats by tanking an attack that would normally KO, then firing off one of their own in return.

With this in mind, it's easy to understand the position in favor of ridding the metagame of FurScales. When even offensively-inclined Pokemon like Gholdengo can [very] viably effectively double a defensive stat, it can substantially raise the level of difficulty in checking them. Additionally, the sheer amount of viable ways to use the Pokemon enabled by FurScales is enough to warrant examination under a suspect test: At the point where Polteageist, one of the token "Shell Smash and go" Pokemon, can viably check supercharged wallbreakers like Choice Band Great Tusk, it's hard not to wonder if maybe that defensive power has gone too far.

That being said, defeating FurScales users isn't impossible. AAA has its fair share of offensive abilities, such as Hadron Engine, Orichalcum Pulse, Adaptability, and Sheer Force; notable wallbreakers like Dragapult, Iron Valiant, Ceruledge, and Great Tusk are excellent at pressuring foes with these abilities. Mold Breaker also gets a special note, since it completely ignores the defensive benefits of FurScales. Additionally, defensive walls like Corviknight, Clodsire, Great Tusk, and Hippowdon make it possible to actually switch into and pivot around FurScales-powered threats by using the abilities themselves. Of course, this is assuming that you correctly determine if the opposing Pokemon does in fact have FurScales; unlikely Intimidate or Ruin abilities, FurScales doesn't announce itself, so there's no reliable way to tell for certain before attacking the target. So, the question isn't whether or not FurScales can be beaten. It's a matter of determining if the tools we have available are enough to justify a metagame where bulky setup users are able to make themselves naturally even bulkier, and if the various ways to create a bulky setup users still result in a competitive, balanced metagame.

How (Suspect Details):
During a Suspect test, each player must climb the ladder until they've acquired the GXE necessary to participate in the voting. Primarily, everyone that participates needs to make an alt account following these guidelines:

  • Every game must be played on the official Pokemon Showdown! site and on a new account (creation date no earlier than today, January 8th) with "FURSCA [Nick]"--for example, I could create one called "FURSCA Your Mom" to ladder with. Having the prefix at the beginning of your alt name is mandatory, AKA not in the middle (e.g. The FURSCA Man) and not at the end (e.g. The FURSCA).​
  • To qualify for voting, your alt must play a minimum of 25 games, and you must have a minimum GXE of 75.
  • Fur Coat and Ice Scales will be allowed on the ladder during the suspect.​
  • The suspect test will go for two weeks and end on Sunday, January 22nd (10:59 pm GMT -5).
  • Note: Fur Coat and Ice Scales will each need 60% votes in favor of a ban for that action to happen.​
  • When posting proof of meeting reqs, feel free to use this thread as a means to disseminate topical opinions regarding whether or not Fur Coat and Ice Scales should remain legal. (Optional)
  • It is mandatory to provide proof of ownership of the alt account as well. (Post a picture of your reqs with your smogon name featured)​
With that all of that being said, it's suspect time! As usual, the actual voting will take place in the Blind Voting Forum, so posting anything other than proof of reqs and discussion isn't necessary.

Tagging Kris for implementation
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With imagination, I can be anything I want
is a Site Content Manageris an official Team Rateris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderator

Gonna vote Do Not Ban. I think it's feasible to balance around FurScales, and while I agree that some bulky setup mons are CRACKED when you give them either ability, I haven't (at least, in watching/playing) gotten the impression that they can't be prepped for or played around. Also meh, if certain Pokemon are broken, we can always just ban them :P

I made a screens team for reqs:
:Dragapult::Baxcalibur::Kingambit::Slowking::Florges::Great Tusk:
You can make Kingambit Well-Baked Body instead if you're tired of Will-O-Wisp. I just didn't want to lose to sun teams.
Dragapult is Max SpA Shadow Ball because I think not being able to do damage to Gholdengo is trolling
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Not a promise, I'm just gonna call it.
is a Tiering Contributor

I'll be voting ban on furscales. In the fantasy-land where only walls could use these abilities I think it would be decent to handle, but set-up mons take such insane advantage of these abilities and it's crazy to deal with. Mold Breaker is fun and all, but it means nothing when a Fur Coat Volcarona is +2/+2/+2 and will kill your offensive moldy mons anyway. Or a taunt FC Gyarados that takes FULL advantage of the lack of scald and taunts all whirlwind/toxic mons. It's not even a common set yet it freely sets up on: Clodsire, Tusk, Corv, Hippo, Ting-Lu, etc etc etc. FurScales Gholdengo is a classic monster, stuff like Polteageist is gaining popularity, and there's many more to pick from.

It's nasty :(

Apparentally this is enough? You can tell by the nick anyway

In terms of the vote I have no clue. On one side I think FurScales can be really cool and allow the meta to be balanced around a lot of cool stuff that it couldn't, especially with all the powercreep and I don't think it's impossible or overly difficult to break FurScales as some proclaim they just need to start using good mons. On the other FurScales setup is pretty stupid. This suspect isn't a nice clean 25 because KaenSoul farmed me for like 2-3 games using FC Volc when I had WBB Treads and forcing me to switch to WBB Ghold where I got my revenge. The pressure FurScales setup can put when you don't have a very solid answer for it can be immense with their abilities to potentially 6-0 (although is able to be played around) and that's also with the fact you also need to account for their normal sets. There's also so many mons you can just slap it on and it can viably work to a degree (although albiet at a high opportunity cost) FC Volc, Polt, Florges, Scales Quaquaval, Ceruledge, Ghold and so on. Keep in mind this is also pre-Home and DLC where there will be even more mons able to abuse this. I'm leaning towards DNB atm because I'm biased and wanna see mons like Ursuluna and Urshifu (maybe) chilling in AAA but FurScales setup is definitely something that needs to be looked at and worth considering.
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Tea Guzzler

serial waffler
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we love losing to qdqc baxcalibur in 2023

voting dnb. furscales crowding out other defensive abilities is fake, haven't had much trouble dealing with fc setup, tier will be centralized no matter if we ban furscales or not

:chi-yu::dragapult::great tusk::corviknight::hippowdon::iron valiant:
team i used the whole time, same team i used for ghosting but with shadow ball pult and sheer force valiant. very consistent, 3 special attackers means you never get walled long-term, spin + defog means earth eater ghold doesn't meme on you. play safe and a lot of matchups are just unloseable, though moth and volc need actual brainpower to beat.

e: fursca tea isn't me, this is Ducky malding that they couldn't get furscales so instead of getting reqs they did that. L
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formerly TheSerotoninVibes
( dnb ) I don't think it deserves a ban , sure at times i found it a little overpowered when sweeping complete teams with one or another but at the same time i feel like its quite easily countered. Another reason that im going with dnd is the amount of mons that can actually run these , sure some mons are dumb with it but most of them that I've seen either cant inflict enough damage or generally cant stall out your opponents cause the lack of healing moves it has. And plus i think while we still have abilities like turboblaze that nullify those effects and mons that are ridiculous under rain/sun theres no reason where it would be considered unbeatable.

team i used for most of the suspect , sure it isnt the craziest one but ive had fun sweeping with corvinight and while not common the ocational cinderace ( dont run this ace set it makes games much harder than they already are smh )

Screenshot 2023-01-10 1.02.08 AM.png

no it totally didnt take me 2 days to get to req’s and i totally didnt get distracted by stabmons


Team I was using for the suspect:

:Gholdengo: :Florges: :Corviknight: :Iron_Valiant: :Dragapult: :Ting-lu:

Since stakeout was recently banned, I thought it’d be fine to go back to one of the first teams I ever made. Eventually I did swap to MG Scarf Gholdengo and TLens HDB Pult, that was after meeting reqs tho.

Voting for do Not ban, I didn’t really fight anything that abused furscales in a setup sense, except Volcarona. I think for the most part that FurScales is fine, IMO it sort of balances itself out with common mixed breakers like Dragapult and Iron Valiant.
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Capture d’écran 2023-01-10 221231.jpg

Only two losses to Osake. Back when we were friends, I thought no one could do that to a friend. I now know I was mistaken. Incredibly consistent ladder team, will make a sample submission post.

I think if I go into too much detail people won't read (understandably so), so I'll try to be as concise as possible. Refer to Siamato's very good post for a detailed argument. Ban these ridiculous abilities.
- They don't encourage diversity, on the contrary, they're centralizing.
- Yes, we'll ban other things if we ban them, there's nothing wrong with that considering how strong the breakers now allowed are. Also we might have to ban less things that some people have suggested.
- Banning them doesn't leave us with less options. In fact, we still have more options than in gen8 thanks to Vessel Of Ruin. About recovery moves having 8pp, not once in my run has that mattered (I had Super Fang Noivern + Ruination Ting-Lu which were supposed to ppstall Corv, but that simply didn't happen for many reasons).
- x2 is too much of a boost in itself. Yes that's an abstract statement, but it is the case. Scales Corv is just too ridiculous of a special wall. It can U-Turn for "free" on a +2 spA Gholdengo... Same for FC Florges, Hippo, etc.
- FurScales allow extremely potent and unpredictable cheesy setup on basically any pokemon with a setup move. Yes there are ways to play around that. I don't think it's reasonable to expect players to always have the tools needed.
fur scale req.png

I did it! I've been playing terribly lately (due to IRL stresses) and finally got in a semi-decent mood to play by moderating the number of games I play at any given time.

Team I used was this:
Without a doubt the set that carried this team to victory so, so many times is the following:

Gholdengo @ Leftovers
Ability: Fur Coat
Tera Type: Steel
EVs: 252 HP / 196 Def / 60 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Shadow Ball
- Make It Rain
- Nasty Plot
- Substitute

You'd think lacking recovery would hurt it too much but the extra coverage and power of make it rain let's it kill so many things.

As for Furscales, I am leaning more to Do Not Ban solely to see how Fur Coat and Ice Scales develop after the release of Home.


formerly Heracross2.0
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Table stall used, still farms ladder as well as ever. Speed on Skele is for paraed Iron Moth.

Not gonna spend too much time on this because I've talked about how broken FurScales are elsewhere and other people have said it better than me, but my opinion is that FurScales enables a broken-checks-broken meta where the most viable teams use a handful of brokens + 2 defensive mons and straying from these types of structures means you're either trying to counterteam them or you're running an unviable team. Bulky setup is cool and all but my bigger problem is how they enable defensive mons/teams to an absurd extent, with the only counterplay being broken in of itself (mixed breakers like Iron Valiant) or very clearly meant solely for FurScales (Mold Breaker on offensive mons like Great Tusk or Chi-Yu), which is a testament to how constraining FurScales is. Fluffy/Vessel aren't perfect replacements by any means but actually having drawbacks (Fire weakness/loses to contactless moves and less bulk respectively) makes defensive mons much more manageable, and we won't have to see as many Mold Breaker users that only exist because of FurScales running around.


formerly Kennedy
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Rands Slam Winner

ban this shit
ok i will elaborate further
this tier is insanely unfun in its current state, while furscales is healthy on defensive mons to sponge the stupidly strong attacks running around in this tier, furscales bulky set-up mons are a nightmare to deal with and a headache in the builder
let's ban furscales and ban the mons that get broken because they're too hard to check

also ban dnite
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We're not unbanning Magnet Pull
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OM, PS, C&C Leader
Confirming as we don't need to talk about the alt name
I currently plan on voting do not ban; I am overall happy with the meta and how competitive it feels. I do think bulky setup is a real issue, but believe that it is better addressed through mon bans and that FurScales is not the root of the issue.
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