Yesterday I mentioned that all eight quarterfinalists in the VGC's Masters division packed a Landorus-T (along with seven Seniors and five Juniors), and how it was a telltale sign of an unhealthy metagame. I'd like to point out one of the more perverse effects of that superdominance, which stems from Intimidate. If you look at all the top threats in the VGC meta, you'll find only two strictly physical Pokémon: Mega Kangaskhan and Landorus-T itself. The rest, aside from the odd pure physical Salamence, is either mixed or special. From Heatran to Gardevoir to Amoonguss to Sylveon to Rotom-W to Milotic to Aegislash (and then some), it's all about those special attacks. And for good reason - Landorus-T's ubiquity (and the fact that it's almost NEVER one of the two Pokémon that are left out), and its tendency to switch in and out repeatedly, means physical attackers are almost always doomed to perform at -1, meaning only those few that can still deal solid damage under those conditions are worth using. Which basically means Mega Kangaskhan and Landorus-T. Even other titans like Tyranitar, Terrakion or Conkeldurr have a bit of a hard time, which is just silly. It's not like they don't hit like trucks, right? Well, that's what happens in a virtually permanent -1 environment. Smogon's VGC ladder has more detailed data as well as skill-based weighting, and according to those stats almost half of all the teams pack Landorus-T. That's WAAAAAY too much.
So, just how amazing is Intimidate? Well, you just have to take a look at the weird stuff people do to keep it around. Every now and then, you might run into a mixed or even special Landorus-T. Now, common sense would dictate that if you're going to do that, you'd run the Incarnate form instead because it deals such crazy amounts of damage, right? Well, nope. It's worth giving up on that extra damage because Intimidate is just that good. (That, and Landorus-I can't flinch opponents with Rock Slide, which is part of the appeal.) There's also this really silly thing Salamence users can do to preserve their Intimidate. Usually, when a Pokémon gains a speed boost upon going mega (such as with Salamence), common sense dictates you'd use Protect on the first turn since the speed boost doesn't apply on the mega evolution turn, right? Well, here you can have Salamence protect but NOT mega evolve, just in case you want to switch out so you can re-use Intimidate later. Getting in your mega evolution safely is less important than preserving Intimidate, because it's just that good.
So here's what I think should be done. Intimidate should be nerfed so that instead of affecting all targets in range, it only affects one of them at random. I think it'd be a lot more fair, considering that unlike multi-target moves and the likes of Reflect or Light Screen, the effect of Intimidate isn't lowered at all when hitting multiple targets (because mathematically speaking, it can't be). Of course there's the issue of Mega Kangaskhan being even better as a result, but I think it's safe to assume Parental Bond is going to get a pretty big nerf when gen 7 comes around, considering Mega Kangaskhan is so much better than every other mega in doubles, and is still part of that group of horribly broken megas in singles. That, and since it's the only thing that gets it, it won't nerf other things that might've enjoyed that big boost. Though another thing to consider is that if Parental Bond gets nerfed, there might be less of a need for Intimidate spam, and thus less Landorus-Ts everywhere - but that's just pure theorymon, who knows what'd happen in practice.
So in a perfect world, both Intimidate and Parental Bond would be better off being nerfed in my opinion. Any thoughts on that?