Since it’s ban from OU before the release of ORAS, Smogonites have contested the controversial decision by Smogon to ban Aegislash from the OU tier. The vote passed narrowly, and with changes that came about with the release or ORAS, fans have called on Smogon to do another suspect test for Aegislash.
The fans have gotten what they wanted; Smogon did another suspect test for Aegislash. And Aegislash is still banned. In fact, the community so overwhelmingly favored keeping the ban in place, that just days into the vote, 72.8% of qualified voters had voted in favor of keeping the ban in place, and a release of the results was made well before the Friday deadline. For Aegislash to have been unbanned, there would have to have been a 60% majority favoring unbanning. However, the vote didn’t come close to that.
When you consider what Aegislash can do, it’s hard to disagree with the results.
Steel and Ghost are both excellent defensive typings, together granting nine resistances and three immunities. Aegislash has both those types. Not only that, Aegislash has some excellent versatility.
For one thing, it can change between two forms during battle. It starts out in a defensive form, with very excellent defenses that allow it to make more of it’s typing. During that time, it can set up with Swords Dance. Right before using an attack move, it changes to an attack form, with very high offensive stats. It hits hard with Iron Head, and has a priority move with Shadow Sneak. To turn back into it’s defense form, it uses it’s attack, King’s Shield, which in addition to changing Aegislash’s form, also protects Aegislash from attack moves for the turn, and sharply lowers the Attack stat of whatever tries to use contact attacks on it during that time. Also, it works well with Weakness policy so those super-effective moves that don’t do much to it in it’s defense form result in Aegislash increasing it’s Attack and Special Attack by two stages each.
It’s easy to see why Aegislash has a lot of fans. It’s a sword pokemon, which is a pretty cool concept. Not only that, it’s very strong. It’s hard to fault someone for liking something that can win. Aegislash is a practical choice in many competitive environments, because it’s good at winning. If you hear someone say that they have a high winning streak in the Battle Maison, he probably had Aegislash on his team. Or Greninja. Or both.
So, to those who wanted to see Aegislash suspected tested again so badly, you got what you wanted. However, it wasn’t unbanned from OU. Those who recognize Aegislash as a pokemon that would severely unbalance OU see this as a good thing. If Aegislash were unbanned, we might have seen teams include Aegislash and one or two pokemon that can take it on just to be competitively viable.
There are likely complainers out there who are saying things like, “Smogon always bans pokemon I like” or “Smogon bans everything” or “I just don’t understand what Smogon is doing.” Sound familiar?
If you like having an environment unbalanced by Aegislash and don’t like what Smogon does, you can just play in a different competitive community than Smogon. Smogon’s decisions only apply to the Smogon community. Smogon doesn’t make it’s rules to impose on other communities.
You might be asking, “So then, what about Serebii, who does it’s Pokemon of the Week feature based on Smogon’s rules? What about Pokebeach and numerous other communities out there that play by Smogon’s rules?” They do this because they choose to. It should be widely known that Smogon isn’t official, and it’s rules only apply to it’s own community. However, there is still a widespread notion that Smogon can be trusted to decide what pokemon are too strong for a balanced competitive game. Much of this comes from the fact that Smogon has perhaps the most sophisticated system in place to help them make such determinations. That Smogon is also very popular is another reason it’s trusted.
If you want to use Aegislash in link battles with your friends, you can still do that. There are probably plenty of communities out there that still permit it’s use. As for Smogon, they made the decision that they deemed necessary to keep their OU environment balanced, and this time around, I think it’s easy to see that their decision is pretty sound.
I’ve obtained my own Aegislash and used it in battle, and it’s easy to see why it would have to share an environment with the likes of Primal Groudon, Xerneas, and Mega Mewtwo Y to not seem unbalanced. Even in relatively inexperienced hands, Aegislash can be a terror.
So, what gets suspect tested next? Currently ranked S on Smogon’s OU Viability Ranking Thread are Mega Altaria, Clefable, Keldeo, Landorus (I), and Mega Metagross. Of those, Mega Metagross has recently been suspect tested. That it wasn’t banned, I found to be a little surprising. Whatever they decide on, there’s likely to be someone out there that’s upset by it.