Monday, August 4, 2014

The rise and fall of Baton Pass

With Smogon's monthly stats for July out, the main point of interest was how well prominent Baton Pass users would survive with the embargo on their favorite toy. Espeon, Sylveon and Smeargle did see a shift in how they were played, but their use didn't drop much, if at all. Well, they all had their inherent qualities that made them desirable even before Baton Pass messed things up, but it's especially interesting to see how differently Smeargle is played nowadays. In particular, Spore use is way, WAY down, making way for a LOT of Dark Void. I have to say, I'm a bit surprised by this. After all, we're talking about an accuracy cut of 20% just to hit Grass-types. That is a LOT. The best explanation I can find for this is that the best counter there is for Smeargle is Breloom, and other Pokémon that give it a scare include... Venusaur, Amoonguss and Ferrothorn. Yikes. So I can understand the appeal of nothing being able to get a guaranteed switch-in for free, but this still comes at the expense of giving EVERYTHING a 20% chance to switch in for free. So I'm asking you, which would YOU run on your Smeargle?

Also interesting is the fact that even those Smeargles that still run Baton Pass use it differently than they used to. It used to be that Quiver Dance was all the rage, since other Pokémon had other stat boosts covered in full BP teams, but now that you only get one BP user, there's a lot more variety. The big favorite nowadays is Power Herb Geomancy, though it's kind of a gutsy pick considering you lose your ability to use the all-important Focus Sash. Cotton Guard is a more conservative approach that also got more popular than Quiver Dance, and Shell Smash also sees some use. But overall, Smeargle is used as much for hazards as it is for passing, as Stealth Rock and Sticky Web are staples on many sets.

Sorry about that, I didn't mean to drag on about this one Pokémon, but hey, it's me we're talking about, it happens. Anyway, even though some Pokémon merely shifted gears, others were crippled by the Baton Pass limitation. Scolipede and Vaporeon are well off of OU territory now, but perhaps the quickest fall from grace in the game's history came from Mr. Mime's end. Poor guy went from #76 in May to #148 in June to #310 in July. It really shouldn't come as a surprise, the thing had one job and one job only, and it was being the glue that held full BP teams together, providing critical immunities to stuff like Dragon moves, sound moves (including Roar, Hyper Voice and Bug Buzz) and locking foes into useless moves with Encore. But on its own, even as a lone BP user, it's absolutely worthless. I mean, we already knew that, but the numbers are blowing even me away.

10 comments:

  1. That decline in usage of the likes of Scolipede and Mr. Mime shows how powerful Baton Pass is.

    On a note of human stupidity, it takes a special kind of idiotic to do THIS: https://uk.screen.yahoo.com/road-huge-pylon-middle-110000965.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "BUILD ADDITIONAL PYLONS! WE NEED ADDITIONAL RESOURCES!"

      Seriously, though. What. THE. HECK? Whoever ordered this construction in the first place should have his/her head checked.

      Delete
    2. HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN? Didn't the people building the whole thing realize something was off? Why was the construction not interrupted at any point? Oh, right, it's China.

      Still, while it may be smart to put pylons in the middle of the road in Starcraft, they forgot one thing: THIS ISN'T STARCRAFT, THIS IS REAL LIFE.

      Delete
    3. So many YOU MUST CONSTRUCT ADDITIONAL PYLONS jokes here. I can't even think of the best one.

      Delete
    4. The text suggests that the pylon was FIRST and the road came LATER, which makes the whole thing even MORE RIDICULOUS.

      Delete
    5. They built the road around it because YOU MUST PLACE THAT IN A POWER FIELD.

      Delete
    6. ... Still doesn't change the fact that they should have consulted other people instead of just saying "Fuck it, let's build around it, call it a day and hope to god nobody gets killed."

      Delete
  2. I tried BP with one pokemon say with vaporeon, and it shows quite a few BP users need team BP

    ReplyDelete
  3. I do use Smeagle as a lead only, and I use spore, fuck grass types.

    ReplyDelete
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