Smogon bans Landorus

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Smogon banned Landorus. As of Friday, their members that achieved voting requirements have already reached a supermajority (of 75.5%) that was so overwhelming, that any further votes would not have changed the outcome. Therefore, the Incarnate form of Landorus is banned from OU, and is restricted to the Uber tier (or Anything Goes).

Wait, what?

I’m a little surprised that Landorus Therian form wasn’t the form being suspect tested. Landorus-T is the form that’s been consistently appearing in the top five for OU usage statistics.

Having said that, both forms of Landorus can cause serious problems. Both have excellent typing, both offensively and defensively. The combination of Ground and Flying types gives Landorus immunity to two popular attacking types. Landorus-I possesses an excellent speed tier, and both have access to Rock Polish for increased speed. Better yet, it doesn’t get paralyzed with Thunder Wave. Both have excellent abilities, with the nod going to Landorus-I, whose Sheer Force ability brings it’s already-high attack stat to stratospheric levels. Better yet, it can hold Life Orb for higher damage yield.

While it might be surprising which form was chosen for suspect testing, the outcome isn’t very surprising. Landorus was a very overcentralizing force. It was heavily used for a reason: it was very strong. Now Smogon’s popular OU environment will find itself adjusting to an absence of Landorus-I.

There are those who are on the outside looking in, who typically come about in times like this with something like the following:

Smogon bans every pokemon I like. They think they can change the rules for everyone. I don’t understand what Smogon is doing.

If Smogon only bans the pokemon you like, you probably like pokemon that are seriously unbalanced. Contrary to popular belief, Smogon isn’t out to change the rules for everyone. Smogon makes their rules for use in their own competitive environments. Those rules are not intended for use by any other community. This means that, unless you’re battling in Smogon’s competitive community, Smogon’s rules don’t apply to you.

So one might ask, “Why are there so many competitive battling communities that go by Smogon’s rules?” Even, with it’s Pokemon of the Week feature goes by Smogon’s rules. Why do they do this? Because Smogon is so popular, that they’ve become heavily trusted by fans. Some even trust their decisions above official Pokemon competitive rulings. Considering that the official VGC competitive environment is Garchomp and Mega Kangaskhan spam, it’s easy to see how someone would desire something more balanced. Smogon certainly has a far stronger mechanism for player input, which is natural, considering that is run by Pokemon players.

It’s not Smogon’s intention to try to change the game for everyone. Instead, many webmasters choose to adopt Smogon’s rules for their own competitive environments. Even among casual players, it’s easy for a person to say “let’s play this match by Smogon’s rules” and it’s not unusual for the other player to understand what this means.

What Smogon is doing seems pretty obvious. They are attempting to create a competitive Pokemon environment that is balanced. Smogon’s rules are as popular as they are because they have a very effective system for balancing competitive play, which is something that Nintendo and GameFreak don’t seem to spend much time bothering with.

So, Smogon banned Landorus’ Incarnate form. Perhaps its Therian form is next.

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