Pokemon games have mainly always been about competitive battles. Players can go through the game and hunt down pokemon, train them up and use them to take out the different NPC competitors. However, a more significant portion of Pokemon games for players is the competitive online scene. We’ve seen various tournaments pop up, some being official from The Pokemon Company. But there’s one particular competition scene that’s unofficial. The Smogon University has been a popular online competition scene for various Pokemon games, and while unofficial, they have a massive audience of players who follow their rulesets.
With the latest mainline Pokemon installments now out, Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet, we’re seeing some adjustments to which pokemon are actively allowed in competitions. The Smogon University has already banned a couple of pokemon, which are essentially based on what the council deems unfair. This council comprises nine highly skilled trainers who recently met to discuss new additions to banned pokemon. Of course, seven of the nine council members must fall in favor of making these changes before they are officially added to the rules.
In the past, the council has deemed Flutter Mane and Houndstone were unfair to the meta, and as a result, those two were banned rather quickly. But now the new decision that has passed from the council is that Palafin and Iron Bundle are also banned from the OverUsed competition format. Again, this is for Smogon University, so it’s not anything official, but the community is one of the most prominent online competitive scenes for Pokemon games. So chances are, if you enjoy competitive matches, you’ve likely been following this scene along.
There’s always the chance that we’ll see changes to the format. For instance, the main reason Houndstone was banned was due to one move, Last Respects. That particular move could be too powerful to deal with. It seems that there were discussions on just banning that specific move from being used within matches. But, since Houndstone is the only pokemon that can use Last Respects, the species was banned altogether. But we might see that change if there are other pokemon added into the game, which can pull off Last Respects.
Currently, Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet are available to pick up and play today. These are Nintendo Switch-exclusive titles, but we have you covered if you want more information on the games. Embedded below is our Before You Buy video coverage of the two titles, where we’ll give you more background on the two games and our overall impressions.