These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Acceptable Targets: Poké Tubers, people on YouTube that post videos of "competitive" Pokémon matches, are often mocked due to them indirectly invoking Sturgeon's Law for competitive play and their propensity to give out bad advice. More skilled Poké Tubers or those directly from Smogon themselves (like pokeaimMD or CybertronProductions) aren't subject to this since they actually know what they're talking about.
Averted on the site itself, which has an entire subforum and IRC channel for non-competitive discussions.note Casual play, in-game, spin offs, the anime, and occasionally fan games.
Complacent Gaming Syndrome: The site is infamous for how much they love the entry hazard Stealth Rock, to the point that it's almost memetic; virtually every team carries it regardless of what tier is being played since it's just so darn useful. If you're playing on the actual games' random Wifi and doing a Singles battle, you can probably infer whether or not your opponent from the site based on whether you see Stealth Rock being used.
The Gen V metagame was widely hated due to the fact that Politoad's permanent rain caused this. Even after Drizzle and Swift Swim were banned from being used together, it was still powerful enough that few people used anything else, and Smogon refused to put any larger of a ban on it, for fear of Jumping Off the Slippery Slope. About half of all teams used had Weather by the time X and Y were announced.
Stall. Most Pokemon that are tested for banning are offensive in nature, and several have been tested specifically because they threaten this one playstyle. What makes this even worse is that the best Special Walls in the game (Chansey and Blissey) have never been put up for testing despite technically being suspect-worthy.Explanation The two of them invalidate just about every Special Attacker by themselves due to being Damage Sponge Bosses and have literally no peers, even when compared to Ubers (their closest competition, Lugia, is just a really bulky Mighty Glacier).
The Kami trio also get accusations of this type, due to many bans apparently being made to aid them in the metagame no matter how versatile/broken they may be.
Fandom Berserk Button: Being a common target for ire in the Pokemon community and a trouble magnet for it has caused Smogon to have little tolerance for trolls and people who invoke Insane Troll Logic as arguments in the forums, especially during suspect tests.
Insane Troll Logic: Appears every so often in suspect tests. Examples include suggesting something is uncounterable...provided it runs four items and seven moves at the same time. note While the intention is to say that there isn't a 100% counter, the phrasing is often terrible or over-exaggerated. An especially well-known example is "Outplay the coinflip" (see Memetic Mutation for details).
Metang@ Explanation A forum member posts a team for rating by other members before actually putting most of the team in the post, with the exception of the meme subject.
VILOPLUMES WITH SUBSTITUTES Explanation Substitute is a common move in competitive play and that Vileplume is badly outclassed at its job.
think about bissey Explanation Someone posts a log of a bad competitive match with no explanation other than the thread title.
Also, Felix Merryweather is Smogon's official lawyer.
Edgar Clause. Explanation A certain battle request◊by an obvious scrub has led to various competitive battlers jokingly asking for battles with the "Edgar Clause".
Focus MissExplanation The move Focus Blast is necessary on some competitive sets, due to it being the strongest specially-based Fighting-type attack appearing in most movepools... but its accuracy, at 70%, is far lower than is typically acceptable for competitive play. A Focus Blast miss typically costs the user the game, or at least considerable momentum, and is the cause of many a Rage Quit. The move has attracted a sizeable Hatedom as a result of this.
Stone Miss Explanation Stone Edge is essentially the Rock-typed physical coverage equivalent of Focus Blast, and is hated just as much, if not even more, despite actually having higher accuracy at 80%.
F***ING BLIND BIRD Explanation Moltres is a very powerful Pokemon in Smogon's RU tier, but gets a bad rep for a similar reason to Focus Blast and Stone Edge: both Fire Blast and Hurricane have infuriatingly low accuracy and cause Moltres to miss at the worst times, especially during important matches. This bad reputation earned Moltres the nickname mentioned in the meme name.
i have a bad team Explanation The username of a player who trolled Smogon's tiering system into near-oblivion, to the point that Smogon had to rework the whole thing specifically to prevent her method from ever working again. Sometimes also referred to as "Sticky Barb Emboar", after one of her especially notorious item choices. Here is an explanation of how it was done.
The Mighty Metang Explanation An instance similar what happened above with the user i have a bad team, except in this instance the Pokemon moved was a single Metang. The nickname of the Metang used by this player was THE MIGHTY METANG, hence the name of the meme.
This was also the name given to Metang's RU analysis, when a user called Molk played a huge number of RU matches with a team containing Metang, causing it to be Kicked Upstairs from NU despite being totally useless in RU. The writer of the analysis clearly thought so, anyway.
brake stupid tree Explanation The most notorious case of Rouge Angles of Satin in a warstory completely littered with it.
QUEM FALA LENGTHY BANExplanation Smogon's main servers are English-only, and the moderators do not like dealing with people who do not understand this.
Are smogon ruining the metagame? Explanation A thread made by a random person instantly gets the community to Self Deprecate itself with multiple responses of "yes" and the thread being added to Smogon's Greatest Hits before being moved to Trou Du Cul.
The Weather WarsExplanation Gen V's Dream World gave Politoed and Ninetales the abilities Drizzle and Drought, respectively, making permanent Rain/Sun possible outside of the Uber tier for the first time. Between this and the number of Pokémon who can abuse the buffs weather gives to certain types/moves, the metagame became dominated mostly by teams built to abuse their weather of choice. The "War" part came from the fact that two opposing weather teams need to constantly switch in their Weather Control Machine to keep their weather up; the war is "won" when one side's weather inducer has been knocked out/cannot switch in without fainting, leaving the other team's weather in play.
Kabutops is a threat in UU matches. Explanation Kabutops' analysis for the third generation looks like something out of the Laconic Wiki, which is very unusual for a Smogon analysis - they usually tend toward Wall of Text, and more detail is generally encouraged. The line quoted for the meme is the overview - the entirety of the overview.
Use Numel Explanation When the Swag Play tactic was being discussed, some users brought up this Pokemon, by virtue of it being the only one immune both to confusion and paralysis, and therefore, the only hard counter to this strategy. The catch? Numel is a terrible Pokemon in every other way
BAN DRUDDIGON Explanation There's an inside joke in the RU playerbase and several other areas of the site that Druddigonis the most broken Pokémon in existence. One user in particular, TROP, has such an immense personal hatred for Druddigon that he's well known on sites such as GameFAQs as "the guy who hates Druddigon".
RU Pride Explanation During Generation 5 a user by the name of tsunami would ask people on IRC for 5 random Pokemon (nicknamed after the people who suggested them) to make up a team he would battle with live for the chat. The random teams were eventual dubbed "RU Pride" for only using Pokemon tiered RU or lower, even in UU or OU matches.
Mightyena Explanation The last Pokemon on the team was always a Mightyena nickednamed after tsunami. It was discovered to be legitimately dangerous since it could solo unprepared teams after a Moxie boost.
"Fuck misclick" Explanation tsunami would say this occasionally to fake out his opponent when sending out Mightyena or during 50/50 situations. It actually worked.
AlexfowlExplanation A mixed Talonflame set posted by a moderator which was quickly found to be complete shit. The name comes from the moderator's name, alexwolf, combined with fowl.
4drag2magExplanation A team composed of 4 Dragon-types and 2 Magnet Pull users. The Magnet Pull users (usually Magnezone and Magneton) would trap and eliminate Steel-types so the Dragons could spam Outrage without being walled and pretty much assure victory. It was at its peak in Gens IV and V but died down when Fairies were introduced in Gen VI. A mutation, "Drag Mag", refers to any team with a Dragon-type and offensive Steel-type regardless if they're following the original strategy or not.
Flyspam/BirdspamExplanation A team of Talonflame with Mega Pinsir or Staraptor (or both) as partners. One member would soften up the checks/counters of the others to the point that they were too weak to do their job walling, letting the other members sweep without resistance. The name comes from the fact that they're all Flying-types and their go-to move is Brave Bird (Talonflame and Staraptor) or Aerialate boosted Return (Mega Pinsir)
SNEAKY PEBBLES Explanation A Fan Nickname of Stealth Rock, popular among those who view it as a severely overused move. Nicknames for Stealth Rock are common, but this seems to be the most popular.
How many Smogonites does it take to fix a counter? None, they don't know what a counter is! Explanation Generated by people who can't stand their favorite Pokemon getting kicked to Ubers and who still insist there ARE counters for them, so don't ban them.
More Popular Spin-off: Smogon's rules, while not perfect, are widely considered to be vastly superior to the official rules set down by Game Freak/Nintendo.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In Gen 6, Charizard's Mega Evolutions made it a legitimately solid choice in higher tiers; Mega Charizard X is essentially Salamence with a better typing and a built-in, recoil-free Life Orb for contact moves, while Mega Charizard Y gets Drought and is the hardest-hitting non-Uber weather inducer. Not to mention that it's often hard for the opponent to predict which Mega Evolution Charizard is packing.
Prior to Gen VI, Charizard in any tier above RU (read: the tiers with the best/most used Pokémon) after Generation 4 introduced Stealth Rock, at least to the more experienced players. Especially so in the Uber tier, where Charizard has no business participating in at all. Here's a quick explanation of why.
Zig-Zagged with the item Assault Vest. While it's a legitimately good item, newer players tend to slap in on anything that runs sets with 4 attacks (such as Durant) and/or has middling Special Defense, giving it the reputation as a noob item.
Electivire. It was hyped up in Gen IV for having massive coverage in one moveset, but Hype Backlash quickly settled in once people found it it was too slow (its speed is Base 95 when Base 100 is the most important speed stat), too weak (all of its attacks have low Base Power and/or low accuracy), and too predictable (it was often found with Gyarados to try to abuse its ability by switching in to absorb Electric attacks Gyarados would have taken). It was horribly bashed while it was OU in Gen IV and it later dropped down to RU in Gen V (where it also sucked) and finally hit NU in Gen VI. It's still bashed for being a crappy Mon and is massive Snark Bait whenever people use it.
Shaymin-S is another infamous example for having a very high special attack and speed stat in conjunction with the annoying combo of Air Slash and Serene Grace. It was loathed so much that it was the first Pokemon to be banned to Ubers unanimously.
Claydol in RU. Often used by newer players, because of its seemingly good access to both Stealth Rock and Rapid Spin. However, in reality Claydol is so flawed that most experienced players regard it as complete trash (in fact, Rarelyused Leader Molk tried to make it work, and publically judged it as the worst Pokemon he's ever used after weeks of testing). While Rapid Spin is a great move to have, Claydol's ability to use it effectively is hampered by the fact that it simply gets dominated by any Ghost type Pokemon. Not just having its Rapid Spin blocked, but an almost complete inability to get past them otherwise and a weakness to Ghost type moves to top it all off. On top of this, Claydol's unfortunate defensive typing gives it a weakness to almost every relevant offensive type in the tier, making its good defensive stats almost moot and meaning that even if Claydol ends up getting past a Ghost type somehow it often gets K Oed or forced out before it can pull off a Rapid Spin regardless, and by the time it finally gets an opportunity to Rapid Spin the entry hazards its aiming to remove have already done their job. On top of all of that, the buff to Defog in Generation VI to remove hazards from both sides of the field gives it major competition since Defog cannot be blocked like Rapid Spin.
Mega Gengar is widely despised on Smogon, and for good reason. Unlike the other non-legendary banned Megas (Kangaskhan, Lucario, Salamence and Mawile), Mega Gengar wasn't banned for being a team-annihilating Lightning Bruiser with way too many options and far too few counters (the first three) or a Mighty Glacier with a near-perfect typing and obscene offensive muscle (Mawile), but rather for being able to Perish Trap with absolutely no drawback and force anything going up against it into no-win situations. Played properly, Mega Gengar is completely foolproof, and it was kicked out of OU and into Ubers in less than a month, where it continued to be so obnoxious that it got suspected for banning from Ubers. It stayed, but the fact that a complete ban was even discussed to begin with says an awful lot about how abusive the thing is.
Mega-Rayquayza was so powerful (Obscene offense, par defense, speed inbetween the two and the ability to use an itemnote Mega-Evolving a pokemon requires them to hold a species-specified item. Raquayza instead needs to know the move "Dragon Ascent" which is powerful in its own right.) that it succeeded in which Mega-Gengar failed and gotten banned from Ubers. Resulting in Ubers graduation from "Glorified OU Banlist" to a legitimate tier as well as the creation of "Anything Goes", a setting where most of the clauses are off and where every pokemon and mega is useable.
Mega Salamence has also become widely hated for being so transparently broken that, like Mega Rayquaza, it seems unlikely that balance was even considered when making it. Possessed of amazing offenses (145 Attack, 120 Special Attack, 120 Speed), it hits horrifically hard and fast and can easily run Special or mixed sets to make dealing with it a total crapshoot (which is what got Mega Lucario banned more than anything else), but two things really push it over the edge and into the realm of total stupidity: its Defense boost and Aerilate. The former is better than most dedicated walls at 130 and makes it very, very difficult to even scratch while it's ripping through your team or getting ready to, while the latter makes the likes of Return/Frustration, Thrash, Double-Edge, and Hyper Voice hit like nukes. Add this all together and you get the ultimate Lightning Bruiser. Thrown into Ubers in less than a month, it actually wound up being so ridiculous that it actually got banned from Doubles. Mind you, Doubles still allows things like Mega Kangaskhan; in essence, this is like one step away from Mega Rayquaza. That's how bad it is.
Averted. Almost everything they ban is determined by community feedback, whether or not the supposed Game Breaker is overcentralizingnote becomes so common that you are required to run something to counter it specifically, regardless of what kind of team you are running, and ultimately tests with ladder ranking entry requirements. The process is nonetheless prone to groupthink. This was taken into account by disallowing voters from changing their votes.
Ironically, evasion was allowed for Ubers after testing the tier and participants deciding that it isn't that bad due to how powerful everything is there. Doesn't stop a few losses turning into wins due to blind luck every now and then, though.
White Knighting your favorite pokemon, especially starters, against legitimate criticism by invoking Popularity Power will also cause you to be viewed as this. note For reference, this is the reason for Charizard's Scrappy Status in past gens.
Also played straight with casuals who try to adopt Smogon rules and force others to abide by them despite a) not having a single clue what half of them mean and b) not being anywhere near the skill level where those rules start to mean anything.
The period around the end of Gen IV OU before Salamence was banned was also this, due to the DragMagnote Five Dragon-types with a Magnezone or other Steel-type to resist Dragon, even though they could tear through the aforemented Steel with little effort playstyle dominating.
Skill Gate Character: Eviolite Doublade in RU. Thanks to Doublade's great Attack stat, incredible coverage, excellent Steel/Ghost typing, and absolutely absurd physical defense, players who are new to the RU tier often build teams that can't even hurt Doublade, let alone take it out, which often causes it to be mistaken for a Game Breaker among newbies. However, Doublade's poor Special Defense and Speed stats, reliance on moves with low base power, and vulnerability to the ever common move Knock Off (which doesn't just hit the sword super effectively, but immediately cuts its defenses because of its reliance on the item Eviolite) can be taken advantage of quite easily by someone who knows what they're doing, and cause it to be viewed as a perfectly manageable (albiet still threatening) Pokemon in higher level play.
“Stop Having Fun” Guys: As mentioned above, mostly averted. A diverse metagame is outright encouraged by the suspect test process. They don't have much of a tolerance for Scrubs, though..
As mentioned above, it's not so much the site itself that has a reputation for this, it's people who bring its rules outside the site and try to enforce them, mainly for 2 reasons:
The rules and strategies were specifically designed for 6v6 Single matches, which are generally not natively supported in regular pvp in-game and thus is for Showdown (not to mention that if you use said strategies in Doubles, they usually don't work)