Resource Random Battles Development Council - Information & Council Minutes

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A Cake Wearing A Hat

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Random Battle Lead
In an effort to increase transparency to the public and further set in stone our developmental principles, we have created a Development Council that will swiftly discuss and vote on broad format issues. This thread will contain information on the council, frequently asked questions, and summaries of recent council discussions.

What are "broad format issues"?
Anything more than just day-to-day set updates will go to the Council. Whenever we need to decide whether a certain ability needs to go from an entire gen, or whether we need to reexamine and improve the frequency of Choice items are in a certain format, those are the kinds of issues the Council will cover. Smaller set updates like whether Magearna needs Ice Beam will get no more than a cursory glance from the Council, and will still be largely discussed and decided upon by the format heads and the Random Battles room auth.

Who are the council?
Format Heads - A Cake Wearing A Hat, livid washed
Additional Council Members:

Hasn't this always been a thing?
No, actually! This council is brand new and was made the day of this post. Before this point, all decisions were made by the Format Heads after consulting with and taking suggestions from the Random Battles Sets threads and the Random Battles room auth. It was as messy as it sounds, and consensus was hard to come by for major issues like Moody.

What are the criteria to be on the Council? Will these members ever change?
Council members were decided based on high activity and a high degree of knowledge in format development discussions among the Random Battles room auth. Activity in said discussions is expected to be kept high to maintain a Council position. Reevaluations of the current Council members by the Format Heads will occur every six months or on an as-needed basis.

Do the council do anything else?
The position of being a council member provides no benefit aside from the ability to vote on these issues. It grants no additional power in this subforum or the PS room.

When can we expect Council Minutes updates?
Summaries of Council discussions will occur irregularly, because there won't always be something to discuss. However, assuming regular activity, you can expect summaries of discussions to be posted on Sundays or after major decisions are executed. Every discussion and vote that occurs in the Council chat will be summarized and posted here, without exception.
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A Cake Wearing A Hat

moist and crusty
is a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Battle Simulator Moderatoris a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Top Social Media Contributor Alumnus
Random Battle Lead
Council Minutes - 3/15 - 3/19

Decisions Made: (Will take place at the end of the month).
-Hisuian Zoroark will have a level range of 72-86, subject to change from further winrate collection. This will be done by rejecting Pokemon in Slot 6 if they are not of the correct level range and a Hisuian Zoroark is on the team.
-Zoroark will have a level range of 76-94, subject to change from further winrate collection. Works the same as above.
-Mega Rayquaza will be added to Gen 6 and 7 Random Battle at level 67.
-Pikachu-Belle will not be added to Gen 6 Random Battle. Pokemon formes under ZU in usage with neither a significant niche nor any changes in stats/typing will be excluded from Random Battles.

-After introductions to the council, I brought up the issue that Hisuian Zoroark is the second strongest Pokemon in Gen 9 Rands winrates, and we have no guaranteed way to balance it.
-A vote was created: "Do the Zoroarks require balancing in some form?". It was voted 8-0 in favor of balancing.
-Celever suggested giving Zoroarks individualized, balanceable levels, but this was denied for technical reasons because Illusion would stop functioning correctly.
-A vote was created: "Should we balance regular Zoroark the same as Hisuian Zoroark?". It was voted 0-7, and Regular Zoroark will not be balanced the same as Hisuian.
-I brought up that level 100 regular zoroark is a fun little easter egg. Tarrembeau disagreed, on the matter that it is super busted.
-Tarrembeau brought up that balancing the Zoroarks equally avoids situations where a high level Illusion Pokemon would reveal itself as a regular Zoroark instead of the usual 50/50 to those with greater format knowledge. This wasn't seen as enough of an issue.
-We explored our options for balancing. Our local statistician (outside of the council) proposed some options; shuffling the team after generation to put the second lowest levelled Pokemon first, instituting a maximum level for Hisuian Zoroark, or doing nothing.
-After a lot of discussion and a vote, we decided 7-0 on instituting a level cap for Hisuian Zoroark, because any form of team shuffling is significantly more difficult for us to control and rebalance, and has the possibility of making it less consistent by making Ubers-level Hisuian Zoroark more common.
-We determined that, although we can change it later, the best starting level range for Hisuian Zoroark should be level 72-86. (Vote: 7-1 in favor) This may be broadened or narrowed later depending on how the winrates change.
-We then moved on to regular Zoroark. Discussion led us to making regular Zoroark also have a narrowed level range, partially for the better: it will be level 76-94. (Vote: 9-0 in favor) This is also subject to change, and was done because level 72 Zoroark is too weak while level 100 Zoroark is too strong.

-A vote was held on whether or not to add Mega Rayquaza to Gen 6 Random Battle and Gen 7 Random Battle.
-We discussed that this would entail removing Dragon Ascent from regular Rayquaza; a necessary evil. The channels could take care of the exact sets.
-Celever thought that you needed to use Dragon Ascent once in battle before Mega Evolving and was quickly corrected.
-It was brought up that level balancing might not balance it well enough because gens 6 and 7 are without too many centralizing presences. Other members of the council pointed at the winrates having like 20 Pokemon above 55% in gen 6.
-The council discussed and agreed upon a level for Mega Rayquaza to start out in; it will be Level 67 in both formats starting out.
-The vote ended 9-0 in favor of freeing Mega Ray.

-A vote was held on whether or not to add Pikachu-Belle to Gen 6 Random Battle.
-Celever and Roginald believed we should free all alternate formes for Pikachu if we added one, for consistency with our principles of including every fully evolved Pokemon.
-Viability was discussed at length; Pikachu-Belle does not learn Volt Tackle, Extreme Speed, or Surf, but gets Icicle Crash. This is a big loss of power for a nice coverage move. Bobomania did calcs and determined that, while it's better against many Ground-types and Dragon-types, it's significantly worse against everything else.
-Bobomania realized we didn't actually have Surf on Pikachu this gen. We're going to amend that.
-The vote ended 4-5, and Pikachu-Belle will not be added to Gen 6 Random Battle.
We discussed under what conditions we should exclude Pokemon from formats; we ultimately determined that Pokemon formes under ZU in usage with neither a significant niche nor any changes in stats/typing will be excluded from Random Battles. This covers the Cosplay Pikachus, as well as Spiky Eared Pichu. The issue of Rotom-Fan in gen 4 was brought up, and will be discussed at a later time.

A Random Battles update was made (and hasn't been patched in yet).
The council vetoed adding a Calm Mind set to Arceus-Psychic, with Celever, Bobomania, livid washed, and xceloh rejecting its proposed addition. Arceus-Fighting is going to be tried and reverted if its winrate drops.

Stay tuned until next time for our ongoing discussion and vote on Moody. Yes, really.

A Cake Wearing A Hat

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Random Battle Lead
Council Minutes - 3/20 - 3/31

Decisions made:
Moody is banned from Gen 9 Random Battle
Moody will remain in Gen 8 Random Battle and BDSP Random Battle
Last Respects will remain in Gen 9 Random Battle.
Scovillain now runs Overheat + Flamethrower on its Choice set.

A short discussion occurred in which I proposed creating a new principle where we ban non-generational mechanics banned from Ubers. The council did not agree to this and found that tying ourselves to tiers is not something we should do. livid washed brought up that this would go against our freeing of Mega Rayquaza, but i rebutted that it is not a mechanic and is instead a Pokemon. We discussed the implications of what would happen if we just council voted Moody and the precedent it may set; we decided that was acceptable.

A vote was started with the simple premise of "Ban Moody" or "Do Not Ban Moody"; it was made clear that if "Do Not Ban Moody" was victorious, other options would be explored, like only changing Scovillain's set to disclude Moody or making a suspect test.

Tarrembeau expressed that voting ban was a good idea because it affects the format poorly and makes the Pokemon inconsistent. They bring up the french concept of "anti-jeu", meaning "anti-gaming" or "uncompetitive, though not overwhelming".

Roginald expressed that the Moody users' sub-50% winrates are a sign of inconsistency, and not one of balance.

Shadows expressed that Moody is uncompetitive, unfun, and removes player choice in battle, though noted that we may be setting a bad standard by banning things without adhering to a deeper standard.

Livid posted, effectively, a longer version of their reasoning in the April Fools post.

I express that honestly I actually do want Moody gone more than anyone else, because its sheer existence affects the community so negatively. Now that we have a council, we can actually finally vote on it without it just being a unilateral arbitrary decision by me. I vote to not ban based on our dev principles, but make it clear that it's only because ban is already winning. I express that if the vote comes down to me, i'd change to ban.

A Random Battles room owner wished to nullify the vote and start again on a different question, moreso backloaded than frontloaded, focusing on complex bans rather than swinging for the fences and making "full ban" an option in the first vote. The council didn't want to do this, and we did not do this.

Celever wakes up and laments that Moody has obtained 5-6 effective ban votes while he was asleep. He does not feel like it is worth it to try to change the minds of those who are voting.


We gloss over what the Moody mons' sets will be, but decide it's best for the regular format dev process to handle that.

Bobo wakes up and this happens.

The remaining no voters, Celly and Bobo, with the help of myself to keep their morale up, discuss exactly what would happen if votes are swung to "no"; it's most likely just Scovillain would have Moody removed, and therefore the "no" campaign becomes "a vote for no is a vote for Glalie". This doesn't go anywhere, but leads to some funny moments.


Celly expresses that the Moody vote increasingly feels like a Shakespearean tragedy. In response, I tell him to play Elsinore, because it's a great video game based on Hamlet.

We discuss complex bans a little more, and point to Ally Switch's partial reduction in doubles; I express that that wasn't a good solution, but was the only one we could realistically do at the time. We also propose freeing dry pass. We might do that later, honestly. We'll see.

We make the point collectively that we want a Pokemon to at least be able to progress a match in some form, and we prefer that to it being inconsistent. This reinforces a Moody ban, for obvious reasons.

Celever laments Glalie.

The moody ban passes after 24 hours. The vote is still 5-4 in favor of a ban, like in the post.

A vote is brought up immediately after the above nonsense, saying: "Should we take action in some form on Moody in Gen 8?" and then also just "BDSP?" in another message.

I express that I actually want to vote no for real on these and not just for symbolic reasons, because I believe Dynamax harms the effectiveness of Moody users more than it helps it, unlike Tera. And I just don't know enough about BDSP and don't want to touch it.

Celever expresses that banning moody in BDSP is a bad idea because touching the format at all is a bad idea.

Tarrem believes that, while Moody is still functionally dumb, it may be more manageable in Gen 8. However, they also express that consistency in our decisions may be important.

Bobo mentions that the lack of winrate data for Gen 8 Random Battles makes balancing the Pokemon post-Moody very difficult. We look at the old September stats, and notice that Glalie and Octillery were very slightly above average in the past. This confuses everyone, but ultimately doesn't mean much because Gen 8 had extremely balanced winrates and everything was 48-52 more or less.

We go back to the topic of Dynamax, and are mostly unable to determine much. There are fewer complaints about Moody in Gen 8, but this may be due to the Moody users being less frequent in Gen 8 than Gen 9.

The vote stalls, with many people abstaining due to not thinking there is a correct solution and the people who do not abstain being split.

The Format Heads discuss internally what happens in a tie, and decide that in the case of a tie, the status quo should be maintained if possible, and if that is not an option, the vote will be recast without the option of abstaining.

Shadows moves from abstain to "no action", breaking the tie. The reason for this is that abstaining in a tie situation will likely just end up being "no action" anyway.

The vote for Gen 8 ends with 3 votes "action", 5 votes "no action" and one "abstain".

The vote for BDSP ends 8-0 for no action.

I get food poisoning and am bedridden. I give Bobo permission to start a vote on something in the Gen 9 Randbats set development channel that did not have a clear consensus.

Bobo started a vote on what to make Scovillain's choice item set, between "Four Stab Moves" and "Hyper Beam + Fire Blast".

The council decides Hyper Beam is silly and probably not great, and the consistency of Flamethrower and power of Overheat are likely more valuable.

The vote ends 8-1 in favor of Four Stabs.

Celever, the dissenter in the vote, states that Hyper Beam will likely be better at breaking through Fire-and Dragon-types in a pinch, and that Flamethrower + Overheat is not necessary for it to function just fine.

Livid washed starts a vote on Last Respects. The options are "ban" and "do not ban".

I express that I view Last Respects to be more problematic than Moody on an objective balance level, even if not in a fun/competitiveness level, and should be removed because Moody was. Celever partially agrees.

Roginald believes Last Respects to be fine for now but will reconsider if the Pokemon reach levels below 70. Livid washed agrees.

Pokeblade agrees that Last Respects is unfun and skillless, but doesn't believe it's bad enough to be worth banning yet.

Shadows brings up that the Last Respects users' low BSTs make their already low levels more remarkable. He also finds Last Respects inherently less competitive than Geomancy or Water Spout Kyogre due to their lack of versatility and reliance on their sheer strength to do literally anything.

Celever abstains because he views Last Respects as an extension of matchup variance and a source of auto-losses, but does not think it is yet exceptional enough to take action on.

Shadows combats all of the level-based adjustments stating that Last Respects users' power is almost entirely unaffected by their level mathematically due to their low BST. Therefore, lowering their level is almost solely to lower their Speed.

Roginald believes the Speed is the important thing. Celever moves back to ban.

One of the council members asks to be able to challenge people to unranked battles while secretly always getting a Last Respects user. I say no. They move to abstain.

Some replays are posted, and Roginald notes that it's possible that Last Respects is destructive to the playstyle of low ladder and therefore deflates their winrates artificially. This doesn't go much of anywhere.

The vote ends. Two votes for ban, five votes for no ban, and two abstains. Last Respects will stay for now.

I give the Council a breather for a week while I recover.

We are currently voting on how we should and should not include NFE Pokemon in Randbats. Stay tuned.
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A Cake Wearing A Hat

moist and crusty
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Random Battle Lead
Council Minutes: 4/2 - 4/9

Eventful week.

Decisions Made:
-NFE Pokemon will be added and removed via council vote from here on, on the basis of what the individual council members believe to be "good" and "different" from its evolution.
--- Primeape will not be added.
--- Vigoroth will be added at level 88, effective as soon as possible.

-Preventing a Pokemon from being a Lead will no longer affect its appearance rate negatively. Thus:
---Lead Last Respects will remain disallowed.
---Lead Rillaboom will be disallowed as a whole, effective as soon as possible.
---Lead Ditto will remain allowed.
---Lead Dugtrio and Gothitelle will remain allowed.

-DryPass, or Baton Pass without any boosts or positive effects, will remain disallowed in Gens 5-9 of Random Battle.

-Soul Dew will be added to Latias and Latios, with a corresponding level change, in gens 3-6 Random Battle. This will take effect next month.

This discussion was very long and very messy. Nobody could agree with each other. It was mostly about Primeape, as much as we didn't want to admit it. Since long before this, there was a very loud sect of the council that requested Primeape be added, without rage fist and with Choice items and Encore.

We started an initial vote: " Should we consider potential NFE additions by their unique merits when they are at a higher level or should we consider them by their unique merits at an equal level to their evolution". This vote fell through because the goalposts got changed like three times; it was initially supposed to be for all gens, and the concept of "unique merits" also wasn't set in stone.

Council members in favor of the first option believed that it was imperative that levels be factored into the concept of being "good" and "different", as a Pokemon would realistically not be at the same level as its evolution when added. Council members in favor of the second option believed that artificially inflating a Pokemon's stats by buffing their level to high heaven is not indicative of it having enough of a niche to be worth existing in Random Battles.

Supporters of option 1 requested that supporting option 2 meant removing Rhydon and Ursaring, while supporters of option 2 requested that supporting option 1 meant adding Magneton and Zweilous. We ended up doing none of those things.

I'm gonna cut to the chase - by the end, nobody could agree on what to judge NFEs by. Roginald came up with a handy system he uses that not all of us ascribe to, but I certainly do:

"My starting criteria would look something like a checklist of: is it different enough from its evolution? If it is different enough, would it be functional at level 95 (this is completely eyeballing for us and gives wiggle room for it to not be good and go up levels rather than us getting it wrong at 100, this also removes us guessing what level it will try to be by creating a yes or no answer), and finally, if this mon was to be added would it be a positive addition to the health of the format"

Ultimately, we agreed to disagree, with 7-2 in favor of the following vote:
" Should we add and remove NFEs on a case by case basis of council votes with the guidelines that it is "good" and "different", with no concrete policy in place as to the measurements we use to determine these? "

This gave each Council member the freedom to use whatever system they wanted in their voting of NFEs, and it also gave us official power to vote on individual NFEs. It comes at the cost of consistency, but we had all agreed by that point that reaching for consistency was a lost cause in this case due to the difference of opinions.

We then immediately started voting on Primeape.


" Please vote on whether or not you would like Primeape to be added to Random Battles. Does it meet your qualifications? Does it fit your values of "good" and "different" compared to Annihilape? If added, it would start at Level 86. It will be no more than 50% choice item. Rage Fist Eviolite will exist on exactly one of its sets for policy, optics, and testing purposes. "

It was explained that the requirement of Rage Fist to exist on one set was due to Primeape literally always running Rage Fist in tiers, currently, as well as Rage Fist being very good on paper. We could not confirm nor deny that Rage Fist Primeape would be better or worse than non-Rage Fist Primeape without testing both. The limit of 50% maximum Choice item was added due to our existing goal of trying to reduce Choice item users in the format.

Supporters of Primeape avidly did not want Rage Fist Primeape, and directly stated that Rage Fist being good compared to Choice items/Encore 3 attacks Primeape was not even remotely a possibility in their minds, trying very hard to get that clause reversed and ultimately not succeeding. They voted for Primeape anyway.

Downvoters claimed that there was a possibility that, if Primeape is added at a high level, it may be level nerfed due to Rage Fist being good, to the point where all of its benefits over Annihilape fade away and it's effectively just Annihilape But Frailer And Not Ghost. This risk was deemed too much for two of the voters to accept, and those two voters voted against Primeape.

Upvoters claimed that at level 86, it would have 30 additional points of Speed, 8 more points of Attack, and similar bulk compared to Annihilape, and they also stated it is impossible that its level would ever be nerfed to where those benefits no longer apply.

Downvoters believed that, at its core, Primeape is not sufficiently different from Annihilape. It's just slightly faster and not a Ghost-type. As a result, it does not fit the first metric in Roginald's checklist and should not be added.

Upvoters claimed that its heightened stats due to level and freedom to not run Rage Fist set it apart drastically from Annihilape to the point where they are not comparable.

One of the upvoters just wanted to add it so that we'd all stop talking in hypotheticals and actually test it for once.

Throughout this and the last discussion, we had a soft guideline in place where any NFE added would be removed if its level was raised past a given point somewhere in the 90s. Some of us truly did not want to add NFEs just to remove them later, ever, and would prefer to be safe. Some viewed it as unpleasant, but necessary. Some viewed it as great.

Downvoters believed that we should not be doing such a contested change, especially if it increases the rate of Choice items.

Some council members brought up Ursaring again, but ultimately we discussed and decided that its higher special bulk and better defensive typing compared to Ursaluna give it a valid niche as a defensive Guts RestTalk user. We all stopped using it as a strawman after that, because none of us *actually* wanted it gone.

Upvoters for Primeape believed it is important to introduce NFEs to split off sets of the fully evolved Pokemon that are too bad to be used compared to the FE's optimal sets. Detractors from this statement didn't happen to remember that Annihilape's winrate wasn't changed by removing choice items at all, but they did believe that purposefully giving NFEs bad sets at high levels was a bad practice to get into.

Primeape ended 3-6, in favor of not adding Primeape.


After some broader discussion in format policy channels, we discovered Vigoroth's potential as a fast bulky setup sweeper. While not a superpower in any respect, its defensive typing and coverage are as good as Ursaring's, its Speed is very high, and its bulk is deceptively good for how fast it is.

A vote was started to add Vigoroth at level 88 with Bulk Up + Slack Off + Normal Move + Coverage moves. It passed 9-0 in five minutes. Yes, really.

We'll see if that was a good decision or not.

After that, we discussed some other NFEs, like Togetic and Golbat, but we ultimately decided there weren't any other candidates that weren't passive and bad.

Our broader format-policy channels wished to discuss how Last Respects isn't allowed as lead. Some auth members wanted to be able to lead Basculegion and Houndstone. Several people said that was objectively bad. As a result, Lead Rillaboom and Lead Ditto were also brought up as potential poor leads.

One of our coder friends, Mathy, managed to miraculously get rid of one of the primary reasons to allow Lead Last Respects. Now, preventing something from being a lead doesn't reduce the Pokemon's appearance rate by 16%!

This opened up some votes:
Prevent Lead Last Respects? (8-0 in favor of preventing)
Prevent Lead Rillaboom? (6-3 in favor of preventing)
Prevent Lead Ditto? (1-8, in favor of allowing)

These all occurred at the same time. Some council members gave kudos to Mathy for this change and stated that we should be more liberal in preventing leads in the future to make Pokemon better.

I stated that if all three of these pass without issue, I can just start doing these as small changes like most other set updates.

Pokeblade stated that Lead Rillaboom's actually pretty good, if you don't get Grassy Seed. Celever, Shadows, Livid Washed, and I believe that's a necessary sacrifice for finally getting rid of lead Grassy Seed, and that there's no other way to do so.

Shadows and Livid Washed stated that lead ditto is actually a powerful scouting tool; normally, Ditto needs to be switched in or have a sack bring it in in order to gain set information with Imposter, but leading it allows you to get the opposing lead's set information for free. Even though you lose the ability to hide ditto for a setup sweeper later, you gain the mind games of making them not want to set up in the first place.

The entire council believed preventing Last Respects as a lead is a fine thing to do, especially since it's been in place since the start of the format. If it was a new proposal, things may have been different. Who knows?

While we were all voting on leads, the broader format policy channel was talking about Drypass. Several were in favor of allowing it as an option on the few Pokemon to which it applies.

A vote was started: Allow DryPass in gens 5-9?

Celever believed the votes should be split per generation. Livid washed countered saying that everything that applies to 9 in this scenario should apply to past gens as well. Celever countered this by claiming the role system makes implementing Drypass easier. I stopped the back and forth by saying that it'll be applied uniformly for consistency purposes.

Several people claimed that allowing Drypass would open the door for many other complex ban-type changes in the future that may not be desirable. It would set a poor precedent, in other words, to suddenly add DryPass on Alomomola. However, these "other changes" were admitted to be mostly hypothetical.

I explained that, while allowing Drypass would be easy to implement, it wouldn't really be easy to explain to the public. How would we explain that we want everything to have optimal sets, but we only give Baton Pass to shit that can't use it well? How would we explain that we're so separate from Smogon rules just because we decided to be?

Tarrembeau brought up BDSP Jolteon, but we assured them we wouldn't touch BDSP and amended our internal list of additional principles to state as such.

Celever requested we allow complex bans because we are in our right to do so and have the power to decide what we want to do with our formats. He then claimed that move incompatibilities are complex bans, which the format heads disputed.

I claimed that we shouldn't add new minutae to the system that require room-FAQs to explain to regular users unless we really have to, and DryPass is so absurdly minor a change that it definitely doesn't meet those qualifications.

Celever claimed allowing DryPass would be good for format health. Livid washed asked what format health meant. Celever replied that it is "both players feeling reasonably satisfied with the game they played."

Tarrembeau claimed that allowing DryPass is equivalent to the rule of En Passant in chess. Shadows said:

Celever claimed that there was significant community outrage requesting to allow Drypass. This was news to everyone, but without evidence to back it up that claim didn't go far.

Drypass vote ended 1-5 in favor of disallowing DryPass, with 3 abstains.

While the DryPass discussion was happening, we were discussing the impact of oldgen level balancing on some of our questionable set decisions. We purposefully excluded Twisted Spoon Deoxys-Attack in Gen 3 before because of the lack of adequate level balancing to accommodate its power level, for instance. Those will all be remedied as small decisions soon.

However, one decision stuck out as major: Why didn't the latis have soul dew in the gens where soul dew was busted?

A vote was started: Allow Soul Dew in gens 3-6?

Supporters of Soul Dew wished to follow the set development principles and give the Latis their optimal sets, even if their levels would lower significantly. Detractors of Soul Dew believed that giving Latis a lower level would make them slower and therefore worse.

Copious calcing was done, and it was settled that Soul Dew Latis were balanced in Gen 3 at level 67 roughly, while in Gens 4-6 they were balanced at level 69-70 due to the physical/special split.

Some claimed that adding Soul Dew would decrease set variety, thus breaking principle 4. I rebutted saying that Principle 3, optimal sets, takes precedence over principle 4, variety in sets, when necessary. I claimed it's important to be on the same page as everyone else as to what we're supposed to be working towards, principles-wise, and internal consistency is deeply important in a well-functioning decision-making body. Everyone agreed, although we also lamented that such internal consistency wasn't even close to possible with NFEs.

Some wished that we were able to split Soul Dew and non-Soul Dew into separately levelled sets and count them as different Pokemon. We can't do that. Like, straight up not possible.

Soul Dew's vote ended 7-2 in favor of adding Soul Dew.

Honestly i'm just gonna copypaste the summary I made for the voting post on this one, it really covered a lot.

"Please vote yes or no to ban lead Dugtrio and Gothitelle in Gen 9 Random Battle.

-We do not have a precedent to prevent leads that are too good; this would set a precedent and open the door for preventing other lead scenarios that are too good.

-This will not include banning Magnezone, or banning past gens' trappers.

-This vote is occurring because some community members and council members view it to be uncompetitive and removing player agency, thusly being worth breaking our development principles to prevent; we have the unique power to prevent people from complaining about lead duggy trapping their Magnezone ever again. Perhaps this is good for format health.

-Detractors view lead trappers as easier to play around in Gen 9 than other generations due to Tera, believe that they are inconsistent and not even close to always being a free KO, and view other situations such as lead webs/setup/Pursuit to be just as bad or worse in terms of player agency sometimes, although less directly visible due to the lack of a big greyed out switch button. Some detractors believe this is a reason to add team preview. Detractors also believe this may just be a symptom of trapping in general, and not specifically just as the lead. However, supporters of this vote agreed with this last concept but requested this vote continue as is anyway."

Shadows claimed that voting to prevent something from being a lead to make it worse is strange given we've been doing the opposite until now.

Livid claimed that we should not be looking to expand out "lead prevention" rules when they're not absolutely necessary and claimed that we should stop using format health as a buzzword.

The vote ended 1-7 in favor of allowing Lead Trappers, with one abstain.

I brought up the pull request for the big update today. Some people questioned Roar Skeledirge, but ultimately didn't try to stop it. Bobomania questioned the removal of Switcheroo; I claimed it was to keep its rate of Nasty Plot high and increase its rate of Choice Specs now that it can get it. There were no other problems.

A Cake Wearing A Hat

moist and crusty
is a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Battle Simulator Moderatoris a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Top Social Media Contributor Alumnus
Random Battle Lead
4/10 - 4-23:

This one's going to be hard to describe. Feel free to skip most of this one.

Decisions Made:
-The development process of Random Battles will remain at a speed of once a week and will not have restrictions placed on it in order to have better statistical analysis of our changes.
-All decisions are reversible, effective immediately and retroactively. Reopening a vote on a decision must be started by two (2) council members (NOT format heads) who were initially in the majority of the vote in question. The vote may only occur after either six months have passed or a change occurred in the relevant format(s). Do not harass council members to change their votes. From now on, no decisions are final.
-Commander is not going to appear at all in the upcoming Gen 9 Random Doubles until further notice.

-user platinumCheesecake requested us to make at maximum only one change per pokemon each month so that he could accurately collect statistics on changes like what we recently did to Hisuian Braviary. I initially said no, but he countered with "Respecfully, this shouldn't be your decision to make". Thus:

Council votes:
Platty comes with a strong request that will drastically change how updates occur going forward if approved. This is a voting slate. Please read thoroughly.

Prevent any Gen 9 Random Battle Pokemon from changing in more than one way in any given update cycle, including level balancing + making changes to more than one set. Exceptions should be made to allow for undoing any previous change."

For example: a Pokemon cannot change multiple of its sets at once, and a Pokemon cannot both change the moves of one set and the tera types of that set at once. This can be open to some minor parity, like adding Tera Poison alongside Gunk Shot, but otherwise the changes would remain independent.

The reasoning for this is as follows:

- We want to have exact documentation on the effect of every change we perform, positive or negative. Currently, if we perform changes like Hisuian Braviary, we have no certainty whether any increase in winrate is from either the addition of its new teras, the addition of Agility, or the addition of Defog to the Tinted Lens set. This is detrimental to how certain we are about our changes' effectiveness, as the Agility addition could be a net negative, while defog could be a net benefit.

- Tera types are especially tricky, as we want to make sure our pokemon have the most tera types that add viability to the pokemon as possible.

- Limiting level changes and set changes together is the most egregious example (and happens the most infrequently). We lose all ability to ascertain if any set changes pushed alongside level changes

However, we will drastically exchange our swiftness in updates to do so. While a complete set redesign (like removing Tera Blast Magnezone or changing AV Garganacl to Protect Garganacl) is fine, making broad changes to any pre-existing set entirely would take several cycles to roll out. We would have to add U-turn to support mew now, and then hydro pump+tera water in two weeks. This becomes even more drastic with part 2 of this voting slate, which would allow us one update cycle of set changes each month.

This is especially notable whenever we add more than one tera type to a pokemon at a time. It's fairly unlikely a single tera type will influence a pokemon's winrate drastically, so adding more than one at once may be an unnecessary slowdown.

Do we enact this proposal and prioritize being thorough and accurate over being punctual?

Vote :thumbsup: to be in support of this proposal and :thumbsdown: if you are against

Part 2: Limit any rands updates in Gen 9 to biweekly (effectively: one update of level balancing, one update of set changes each month). Weekly updates do not have enough statistical merit to have Platty analyze the changes in them at such a fast rate. He pulls stats biweekly already. This would severely slow down our update speed, at the benefit of increasing accuracy of our changes. We would be limited to one batch of set changes each month, as the other two-week period would be taken up by level balancing. This compounds with the first proposal severely to make multi-part revamps of any given set take upwards of three months to complete. Braviary would take three to four months, for example. Mew would take two. Do we enact this proposal and prioritize being thorough and accurate over being responsive to the staff and community? Vote

Both votes were denied unanimously. Council members did not view the benefits as large enough to be worth the large costs of implementing either or both proposals given the pace of GameFreak's DLC cycles; it would severely restrict our ability to adapt for Pokemon Home and the DLCs and make important balancing changes after big patches. Both proposals were viewed as completely unrealistic and infeasible.

Platty requested we consider half-measures, and Roginald on further consideration decided that the above proposals should have probably been put into place because we value being optimal and we will not know whether or not we're optimal unless we slow down drastically.

As a result:
Please vote on whether or not you would like to enact the following policy:

We will hold a full council vote on any and every change that would statistically benefit from being split apart into multiple development cycles; the council votes would both determine if they should be split, and if so, which steps go when. If a change is successfully voted to be split, the first part of the change would take place the following Sunday, then the next part of the change would take place two weeks afterwards, and so on, with the end of the month being excepted from changes due to level balancing.

This would drastically increase the council's workload, and it would also slow down several updates significantly.

If this proposal is approved, we would immediately begin voting on Mew.

Would you like to take this half-measure to prioritize thoroughness over speed in cases where we as a council deem it important?

This vote was proposed. Roginald disagreed with this half-measure because he desired the option for a half-measure of this half-measure in which we would vote on changes that would be split apart if we deem statistical analysis of them necessary. I countered with that being subjective and also the entire point of the policy in the first place. I state the following:

A Cake Wearing A Hat04/10/2023 2:25 PM
if we don't make a policy that involves either objective reasoning or council votes i'm not going to be splitting set updates piecemeal

Roginald does not like that. He states that the vote is misrepresentative and claims that he is arguing better because is providing true reasoning.

I provide the following reasoning:

given gamefreak's development cycle we must outpace their speed in our updates

by scheduling our updates two weeks in advance in any respect whatsoever, we are sacrificing that significantly
we do not have the time to do any of this ever
platty's stats are a luxury at best and not something we should be making significant accommodations for at the cost of our responsiveness to feedback and development speed
under any circumstances, making said accommodations would be detrimental to us and our process
in an ideal world we would have the time to do all of this, but this is not an ideal world, and home could be coming out genuinely anytime now

Roginald agrees with this, but counters that we should use common sense and slow down changes that with common sense would want to be slowed. I reply that my common sense states that we shouldn't slow down any change, because we should be responding swiftly to feedback from both the community and our own staff and implementing changes quickly in our limited window of available time, and that I trust our staff will be able to analyze the specific thing that's wrong in a complex change if the stats determine that something in a complex change is making a Pokemon worse.

Roginald, on further thought, states that he does want to perform single set updates once per month. We nullify the previous vote, and vote again on a new measure.

Before the new vote, Shadows requests we be able to see winrates split by set. This is not physically possible.

Please vote for the following proposal:
Limit each Pokemon to only have changes to one set, once per month. For example, Mew would only be able to be changed once by adding Hydro Pump and Tera Water to Nasty Plot on April 15, and then mew as a whole would be unable to be changed again until May 13, at which point it'd gain U-turn on its Support set and then it would be unable to be changed again until mid-June.

This would apply to every single Pokemon in Gen 9 Random Battle and would not have any exceptions.

This would slow down our development process significantly and greatly disincentivize small changes, but it would increase the accuracy of Platty's stats and grant us better knowledge of how well each change performs.

Bobo, Shadows, Me, and Xceloh all view this to be completely unreasonable at the current time. Celever wishes to implement this but only after DLCs are all out and the format settles to the point where level balancing no longer occurs monthly. I agree to revote on this matter when the format reaches that point.

The vote ends 1-7, with one abstain.

We're starting to work on Doubles.

A new vote is started:
Do we 1) make Dondozo always appear with Tatsugiri in Doubles, or 2) make Tatsugiri never generate commander, even with Dondozo in Doubles

The middle-ground, "make Tatsugiri get commander if it happens to generate with Dondozo", was viewed as infeasible due to the sheer balance issues having a Level 84 Commander'd Dondozo 0.2% of the time would cause. It's like Level 100 Zoroark on steroids, really.

The vote was initially framed as "if Dondogiri is not tried now, it will not be tried ever. If it is tried now, we may remove it later." Nobody commented on this at the time. This was in place because the best time to test Dondogiri from a policy, logistical, and optics perspective is as the format releases and not midway through its lifespan.

Bobo and Pokeblade lament the lack of middle-ground.

Shadows, Roginald, Tarrem, and I wish to try Dondogiri starting out, even if we remove it later.

Celly wishes to not even try because he knows it will be broken and cannot view a timeline in which it is at all balanceable by lowering Dondozo's level. He views Dondogiri as "all-or-nothing", where it will always either win on its own or cause a guaranteed loss (if the opponent has Haze).

Bobo and Livid view combining Dondogiri to be "teambuilding synergy" and therefore do not want to include it in Random Doubles. Supporters counter with this being a very unique situation that does warrant changing our code fundamentally, but this isn't seen as accurate by these two.

Shadows agrees it will likely be difficult to balance, but still wants to try it.

The vote ends 4-5, in support of not trying Dondogiri. Commander is, therefore, banned.

it's hard to explain and i did a bad here

so basically roginald was not happy that some votes were final and that the commander vote was one of them and i avidly disagreed and believed that we should have a sense of finality in order to prevent us from being berated by people to change our votes.

so a new vote happened

After a long discussion in format policy, it's come to my attention that some council members do not want our decisions to be final.

Should we allow two+ council members (but NOT format heads) who voted for the majority opinion of any vote to reopen the vote if their mind changes?

The changing of mind does not need to be correlated to a concrete change in the relevant format and can be for any reason whatsoever. Revote discussions must be incited by one of the former majority-voters.

A minimum of six months is required for a revote, unless there is a concrete change in the relevant format to warrant rediscussion.

This would apply retroactively to all votes we've ever done and will apply in the future to all votes we ever will do.

If voted yes, we will remove all wording that implies finality in any vote, including this one. This would grant a chance to add primeape and moody again if we so wish.

If voted no, we will continue using phrases like "never again" when applicable to council decisions, and discussions on relevant decided votes will be closed permanently unless circumstances drastically change to where the initial vote's circumstances are no longer valid.

Initially the vote was different and included a clause wherein it was valid for any user to reopen discussion on any vote for any reason at any time in an attempt to change the votes of others, because I was stupid and initially believed this was what people wanted.

I state that attrition effects exist and my opinion on Moody was largely changed because people were mad about it for a long time and it wore on me, and I caution the staff to be careful of what publicizing this vote can do. Shadows says the staff have enough maturity to not do this. I counter that the staff do not have enough maturity to not do this because they had their names be anti-moody for months.

The council members counter this by saying they are pretty much in the shadows and do not ever get PMs from anyone or get flak from anyone publicly, and state that if I can't handle it I should exclude myself from being able to reopen votes. I do that.

Still under the misconception that the primary purpose of this is to be able to convince voters to change their minds after a vote, I then state that I will take advantage of that right if we vote for this proposal. Nobody liked that. I realized I was stupid and wrong, apologized, and shut up.

The vote was discussed among the council members and the proposal was molded from its initial state to what it is now, with the time limit, the limit that the voters themselves must start the conversation, and the clause on metagame changes bypassing the time limit.

Several council members believe that we should only revote when there's good reason to do so, but the majority of council members instead want to be able to revote without any concrete reasoning.

The vote ended 5-0 with 3 abstains and one person who just outright didn't participate or look at this debacle at all.

I post last week's update. Bobo prompts me to change the Oinkologne adjustments to simply adding dedge and not removing body slam.

I post this week's update. Some of the council lament the loss of full support Torkoal but deem always getting Solarbeam on Tera Grass to be worth it.

Pokeblade questions adding Tera Fairy to CM Giratina but doesn't try to revert it.


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Random Battle Lead
A belated update from yours truly, pinch-hitting for Cake while they're on LOA! Apologies for not providing as much detail as Cake usually provides; I'm erring on the side of making sure the news gets posted vs going in-depth on the discussion.

4/24 - 5/12

The main issue Council took up this period was the topic of tier restrictions; namely, should formats with no Pokemon consistently over 53% winrate have relatively firm (20% chance to be ignored) tier restrictions? At the time of discussion, for example, Gen 8 had tier restrictions (despite not necessarily needing them), but many users still complain when they see a team chock-full of Ubers. While Council was sympathetic to these complaints, a 6-3 majority decided to reject the proposal and remove tier restrictions, noting that tier restrictions aren't definitely positive for overall format balancing (see, once again, level balancing) and, in fact, instituting such restrictions might actually reduce the instance of many Pokemon in larger formats like Gen 7.

Council made a lot of changes at the start of the month, though they mostly consisted of the regular fine-tuning and tweaking of sets; you can see the full list here (ty Cake for being so thorough in the summary). Notably--and mentioned as such in the summary--council worked hard to give teams more ways overall to deal with hazards. For example, Giratina now has a Defog set, Avalugg-H now has Rapid Spin, Mewoscarada, Lumineon, and Grafaifai can now roll HDB, etc.

The typical set tweaks. Highlights: that Gen 7 Gothitelle set you hate is gone, Zekrom will aways have Bolt Strike, and you'll always have Bug STAB on Mega Beedrill.

A Cake Wearing A Hat

moist and crusty
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Random Battle Lead
Council Minutes: 6/1 - 6-14

What happened:
-Tarrembeau stepped down, and Piapia took their place as a council member.
-Chansey now exists in Gen 9 Random Battle.
-We will not lower the levels of everything other than Luvdisc and Delibird to make Luvdisc and Delibird better.
-Gen 9 Random Doubles will not have Sleep Clause
-Gen 9 Random Doubles will not have Ally Switch

Proposed issue:
Should we lower the levels of ALL non-level-100 Pokemon (and potentially Sunflora, to be determined later, if approved) by some increment (5 levels, 10 levels, to be determined later, if approved) in gen 9 random battles?

Pros: Luvdisc and Delibird become marginally better in one of the only possible ways they can. Pokemon on the lower end of the winrates will have more room to grow.

Cons: significantly disrupts our current balance for everything, especially for Pokemon on the lower end of the level spectrum already. It will take time to regain balance. All damage rolls for everything will be different, because level directly affects damage output.

Vote result: 1-8; levels will not be lowered.


Shadows remarked that the entire tier's balance will be shaken up by a wide-scale level adjustment of this magnitude; level directly contributes to damage, and everything will become a little frailer (and, by consequence, stronger). This will take a while to rebalance via monthly winrates and may not be worth trying to improve Luvdisc.

Celever suggested Gen 9 should be bulkier, not frailer, and compared this to the wide-scale level adjustments performed during a previous revamp of Gen 2 Random Battle. I countered by saying that Gen 2's level adjustments were entirely based around not making Marowak's Attack overflow. Celever thought that was a fun fact.

Xceloh said that some damage rolls go up, some go down, but they're all small and it probably won't actually matter that much.

I said that lower-levelled Pokemon will be hit the hardest by this, like Zacian-Crowned, and Xceloh and I provided calcs showing that Zacian-Crowned's damage rolls become much worse against a majority of the format if all levels are lowered by 5. For example, with a -10 level adjustment, Azumarill becomes a Swords Dance Zacian check after Stealth Rock. livid washed stated that this would probably make ubers more trend below average than above average in the long run, which is probably undesirable for a "format feel" perspective.

Xceloh's conclusion is that low BST pokemon lose damage output and high BST pokemon gain damage output at a relatively significant rate if we were to do this.

A couple of staff state that things will eventually return to normal; I counter that there is no guarantee that will happen.

I state that we have been planning to further refine our level balancing algorithm and this would delay that until after DLC1 is released and balanced. This is not a good thing.

After the vote was concluded, Xceloh suggested just outright removing luvdisc. I reminded him that we are not allowed to do that due to orders from the site owner and should probably not just outright ignore that.

Shadows suggested that we should instead optimize Luvdisc's EVs somewhat. I countered that this is not possible for Speed specifically, but it is possible for Special Attack. This was discussed, but not voted on due to overwhelming pushback against the idea.

council were reticent on removing Fire Punch from the muks in favor of Drain Punch. However, not enough support was garnered for the sentiment to revert the change.

council were reticent on removing Spikes and Thunder Wave from Mew, but reluctantly agreed upon realizing it increased the rate of Toxic Spikes.

Shadow Ball Blissey was kinda wild, obviously, but the council called it "interesting".

Poll description:
Level 85
Seismic Toss (forced), Soft-Boiled (forced), Heal Bell, Stealth Rock, Thunder Wave
Reminder that the set will be different from Blissey, as of the most recent update. If winrate starts quite low we will remove Stealth Rock first.
Primary positives are that it is a second Heal Bell user in the format.
Primary negatives are that Chansey, like Blissey, is not great this gen.

vote results: 6-2 in favor of addition, with one abstain.

Roginald, Shadows, and Celever suggested that we should not add Chansey because it's just Blissey But Again.

Livid and I stated that Chansey's similarity to Blissey is entirely acceptable in this specific instance due to precedent of including both in past gen tiers despite minimal to no set differences.

Shadows notes that Chansey is bulkier than Blissey, but may still underperform due to neither pink blob being good this gen.

Livid countered that Blissey is around 51% winrate and is therefore still good without toxic.

I stressed that we do, in fact, want a nonzero number of heal bell users. Doubling the amount of heal bell is good. Shadows and Celever disagreed that this would change that much in the format.

The discussion just kinda died from there. Piapia voted after the 24 hour mark already ended, stating they meant to vote way earlier. Their vote has since been included in this post.

poll details:
Should sleep clause be added to Gen 9 Random Doubles?
-the doubles community pretty much unanimously wants this to happen
-sleep clause is not present in dou, so we would be doing kind of our own thing here if we do this
-No sleep clause kinda makes some pokemon really really stupid, but adding sleep clause could be a major hit to already-bad pokemon like Bronzong
-if sleep clause is not added, we could add some parameters to give a general swath of pokemon Safety Goggles sometimes

Vote conclusion: 3-4 with two novotes, in favor of not adding sleep clause.

Blade requests a no-more-than-2-asleep-clause. I reply with no. Bobo asks why it's unacceptable and I say it's out of our purview to create a custom clausemod to be applied to only one randomized format.

Shadows and Celever view sleep as unproblematic and/or healthy in modern gen doubles.

Celever states that adding sleep clause would more or less remove most sleep moves from the format entirely. I disagree with this and state that most Pokemon would probably keep it. We consult with Arcticblast and came to a middle-ground of "some pokemon will probably run other things instead, but a lot will still keep it.".

Bobomania asks why doubles is being developed in a groupchat and I explain the cooperative relationship we have with prominent figures in the Smogon Doubles and VGC community in which we have Arcticblast and Eeveon7 as great collaborators who know what they're doing.

Pokeblade says unrestricted sleep is very suffocating to play against.

Xceloh and Roginald did not vote due to being absent on IRL reasons.

Livid washed stated that he would prefer to see what the format is like without sleep clause first.

Three council members voted against removing Giga Drain from Toedscruel, which was a slated change initially. Because two council members were absent, this was sufficient to revert the change.

I whined about SD iron hands probably not being good but I'm probably wrong.

Three council members voted against removing Shell Smash Magcargo, which was a slated change initially. Because two council members were absent, this was sufficient to revert the change.

The entire Smogon Doubles discord really, really, really hates Ally Switch; several of our roomstaff really, really, really like Ally Switch. This dichotomy causes problems.

I was requested by pyuk to institute an Ally Switch rejection in Gen 9 Multi Rands/FFA. Because I did not know that my colleague livid washed had already done this before she even asked, I requested to our doubles-work chat to remove Ally Switch from its only planned user, Spiritomb, for code simplicity purposes and because I thought nobody would miss it. To counter this, one of the aforementioned pro-ally-switch staff members instead began requesting we add ally switch to more things in gens 9 and 8. This escalated to a council vote. So I was wrong about nobody missing it.

This is our first three-way vote. Council members could vote for two of the following options. This vote was only for Gen 9.

1. Allow Ally Switch on all Pokemon that it would be good on. Includes Cresselia, and likely 1-4 of Hoopa, Meowscarada, Iron Leaves, and Houndstone.
2. Prevent Ally Switch altogether.
3. Allow Ally Switch only on Pokemon who, without it, are passive and bad. Currently only applied to Spiritomb, but may apply to Houndstone and future DLC additions.

The vote ended 3-5-2; Ally Switch was prevented in Gen 9 Random Doubles.

This discussion was long and heated. A summary of salient points is as follows.

-a PS poll is in support of option
. We can't really be certain how many of the people who voted actually are at all familiar with random doubles, but this is our widest-net way of gathering community opinion and here it is.

-Ally Switch existing makes a decently large community of people dislike our format and actively not want to play it. Player retention is important, as well as public image.

-Removing ally switch from Spiritomb is minimally invasive and would result in Random Doubles coming out as fast as possible. We may, as always, revisit it later and readd it to things if there is significant support in doing so.

-This is very similar to Moody in several ways; it is a source of pure luck introduced into the format that is not able to be objectively declared broken, is typically viewed as an advantageous situation to the user of it, is viewed as actively unfun by either a majority or very vocal minority of people, has caused people to say they will stop playing the format because of its existence, could be removed, and may make some Pokemon less good upon removal, but it would make many, many people happier and would decrease the level of variance-that-annoys-people in the format.

-Several rands staff members are adamantly in support of adding Ally Switch to everything that could want it, claiming it is fun and not broken and that luck is an inherent part of Pokemon, thus making ally switch inoffensive.

-Ally switch existing causes a 13-line code clause to be included so that doubles sets are compatible with Multi Battle (and ffa); thus,
would be optimal from a code simplicity standpoint. However, this is very minor and not something we really need to be caring about.

-ally switch existing on only Spiritomb (the current situation and option
) is somewhat against our principles, inconsistent, and also not solving the problem entirely, but it is much more acceptable to the doubles community than
. It is a good compromise, if we desire one. However, it is much more unacceptable to certain individuals on both sides.

-Ally Switch is not banned from DOU. This is potentially a reason not to ban it here.

I invited some of the council members to see for themselves the public opinion of ally switch among the Smogon Doubles community. It did not go smoothly but made a good point.


The council largely had a distaste for option 3 due to its complexity and jankiness.

The vote was extremely close between 1 and 2 until the very end; livid and I each agreed to change to one vote, instead of the allotted two, to reflect our true preference towards option 2. This caused option 2 to take the winning lead.

Most of us are looking forward to not talking about Ally Switch again.
Last edited:

A Cake Wearing A Hat

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Random Battle Lead
Council Minutes: 6/15 - 7/16

Decisions Made:
Garganacl now has Iron Defense over Stone Edge on its third set, the Stealth Rock one.
Vigoroth and Gurdurr will be added to Gen 7 Random Battles in the upcoming revamp. Togetic won't.

Some council members were very confused with the new blackglasses rules so I had to explain in very deep detail that blackglasses would NOT replace leftovers on grimmsnarl and would ONLY replace life orb when the pokemon has BOTH sucker punch and another dark move. It's harder to grasp than I thought it would be. Hopefully it's intuitive enough now that it's been a thing for a while.

LC will be happy with this collateral:

so yeah if you haven't heard (which you probably haven't because we haven't been advertising it and i've just kind of mentioned it offhand in the rands room a couple times?) we're going to be fully completely revamping Gen 7 Random Battle to follow the Gen 9 Rands code system because it's just so much easier to code and so much easier to get sets that we want while avoiding sets we don't. Why are we doing 7 first and not starting with 1 or 8 or something? Because I wanted Z-Conversion Porygon-Z and Specs Swellow. That's more or less the main reason we did this first. Yes, really.

Anyways. The actual topic. Right. We voted on a few NFEs.

Voting to add Vigoroth (7-0, 2 abstains)
Voting to add Gurdurr (8-0, 1 abstain)
Voting to add Togetic (1-8)

I feel like I did a really good job on the summaries for the council members when the voting happened so I'm largely just gonna paste the arguments in the voting pin. Maybe add a couple. Say some extra stuff. You know.

-Vigoroth does about the same function-wise as in Gen 9, but it doesn't get Throat Chop or Tera, so it'll be running Shadow Claw and it'll be a bit weaker. There's also WAY more Knock Off and Toxic in the format by a large margin, meaning it's got a much rougher environment to tend with. It also gets Return, which is kinda neat as an addition I guess. Council was mostly pretty lukewarm on this one because of the much more hostile environment to Vig than 9, but hey, it passed anyway. If it's bad we can just cut it. It'll be fine enough though probably i think maybe. Celever brought up that Vigoroth does fine in Gen 4 and 5, but you know, different formats, less knock off, lower power levels.

-Gurdurr does what Conk doesn't want to, which is run Bulk Up (because Conk is too busy running Facade + Knock Off and truly doesn't have the room for anything else). More of a bulky sweeper than Conk's well-defined wallbreaker role. Does not learn Defog this gen, and is still equally walled by Fairies as it is in Gen 8. Gurdurr is very bulky and that's the main reason everyone wanted it.

-Togetic could have forced Defog if we want, for once. This would make it usually useful for hazard control. However, it's still very passive. Bobomania proposed adding Togetic. You can probably guess who the single upvote is.


This is the entire discussion. Consider it summarized.

...What did you expect? It's Gen 2.

Time for a discussion and series of votes on one of the most complained-about Pokemon in the format: Garganacl! All the tiers players still really, really hate the concept of Salt Cure-less Garganacl and lots of both staff and the playerbase really want Iron Defense Garg. We came into this with the only proposed options being "remove curse garg and don't replace it with anything", "remove curse garg and replace it with iron defense", and "do nothing".

Initially, this started as an update discussion to open for vetos for the current consensus, which was to completely remove setup garg altogether. It got one veto before my fellow format head livid washed decided it should be a more thorough process instead, which I agreed with.

First vote: Should Garganacl have setup at all?
Result: 8-1, it should have setup in some form.

Several council members viewed always having Salt Cure as unnecessary and overhyped.
Several other council members viewed always having Salt Cure as necessary and viewed not doing so as a crime.

Proponents of Iron Defense Salt Cure state that it is not really a setup set and is moreso just a normal salt cure garg that happens to have iron defense slapped onto it when the rest of the opposing team happens to be physical. I state that that's not a good thing for the health of a random format to just "have a move in case it hardsweeps the entire opposing team by itself".

I bring up that if we replace curse with iron defense and it ends up harming garg's winrate we'd incite a riot by reverting it and that isn't a good thing. The council didn't particularly care about that or believe that.

I go through the rands calc alphabetically down to like G and test the matchup between curse and iron defense to prove my point that curse is necessary to beat or pressure a wide swath of pokemon. Iron Defense mainly helps against bulky grounds if you don't tera and unaware mons. Curse Stone Edge helps against most everything else and especially every Psychic and Ghost type ever. I am biased.

Roginald brings up potentially improving tera types on the various garg sets and I state that we'll do that AFTER we determine if whatever we do is good.

After that vote finished, we discussed a little more and discovered a potential alternative: replacing Stone Edge on the Stealth Rock set with Iron Defense. This solution would keep Curse + Stone Edge for its offensive pressure, but it'd also add Iron Defense + Salt Cure in addition. Rocks and Iron Defense wouldn't generate together so it'd basically just mean that double rock move garganacl would go away and in its place that set would be a 1/2 chance between Rocks and Iron Defense in slot four.

Xceloh suggested adding stealth rock to the curse set too but I countered that then you'd have stone edge no-salt-cure rocks garg and that's bad and he agreed so he dropped it.

People liked that, but Celever insisted that we perform a vote first to see if we want Iron Defense at all and then afterwards vote on which set to add Iron Defense to because some of the council think protect is bad.
We did that.

The next vote:
Do we want to try Iron Defense Salt Cure Garganacl, replacing one of the current sets or moves (to be determined)

-It is a frequently requested set and is run in tiers to great effect.
-It helps Garganacl deal with Ground-types and Unaware users as a setup set, especially with tera
-I cannot overstate how much people really really like this set a lot and want it to be in rands
-It is specially frail and will usually not be setting up unless the opposing team is fully physical, or it will have to switch out after one kill.
-It may not be able to perform both the setup and salt-cure-annoyance roles at the same time with either being remotely as effective as they could be alone.
6-1; two no-votes. Iron Defense will be added.

Xceloh suggested adding more coverage to the various garg sets, make them all a roll between Earthquake and Body Press. I said we'd do that after we get winrate stats on Iron Defense.

Decided to try something different for this next vote.

The next vote:
Please type out a ranked-choice vote below ranking these options from best to worst:

A) Replace Curse Stone Edge with Iron Defense Salt Cure entirely.

B) Replace Protect Salt Cure with Iron Defense Salt Cure entirely.

C) Remove Stone Edge from the Support garganacl set and replace it with Iron Defense, thus leaving that set with a 50/50 chance of having Stealth Rock or Iron Defense (but never both at once)

Five votes C>A>B, three votes B>C>A, one vote A>C>B.

Option C won. Support Garg, as a result, now has Stone Edge replaced with Iron Defense.

Finally, Iron Defense Garg now exists in rands. Here's hoping you enjoy it.
This one was proposed to go to a vote but nobody really disliked it enough to want that.
Giratina is a coding nightmare. That is all.
Waterfall over Liquidation Barraskewda got three veto-votes, but it did not meet the threshold required to revert (of four votes). If it's bad in the stats, we'll revert it.

Celever asked some technical questions about the azumarill change; livid and I assured him that the ONLY thing it does is reduce the rate of belly drum.
Last edited:

A Cake Wearing A Hat

moist and crusty
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Random Battle Lead
Council Minutes: 7/17 - 8/19

-Lead Booster Energy will not be prevented in Doubles, but lead Roaring Moon, specifically, is fine to remove. (5 vetoes to a standard update)
-Hisuian Qwilfish was added to Random Doubles (8-0, one no-vote)
-Across all gens, Pokemon with lots of formes are more common than they used to be. (9-0)
-Protect will exist in the upcoming Free-For-All revamp, but it will not be forced. (ranked choice vote)
-Battle Bond Greninja exists, with a Life Orb and STABs + Gunk Shot + Ice Beam. (5-4).
-Overgrow Meowscarada exists, with a Life Orb and STABs + Play Rough + a roll between Toxic Spikes/Hone Claws (5-4, and a ranked choice runoff vote)

A decent discussion ensued about preventing Booster Energy users from leading in Doubles; it was slated, but i immediately brought pushback to it by voting against preventing lead Sandy Shocks.

Celever voted against the Forretress changes, and also discussed expanding the veto to allow Shocks, Bundle, Thorns, Moth, Juggy, and Flutter as leads still. I seconded this expansion.

We obtained three more objections to various Pokemon in this, and ultimately collectively agreed to only prevent lead Roaring Moon, due to its Acrobatics set being the only thing it does, and precedent with Rillaboom.

The forretress objections didn't really go anywhere.

One of the council members questioned why Dazzling Gleam was being removed from Scream Tail but not Klefki. I went into way too much detail explaining that it is not a balance change and is instead an entirely technical change made to remove unnecessary hardcodes.

Truly it was like a full essay.

This is just a screenshot of like, maybe a seventh of it. Just for reference.

I can nerd out hard about this stuff.

I mentioned that while I am not able to reopen votes, as per a previous ruling, my stance on Sleep Clause in randdubs has changed and i'd personally want it now.

Also as per the ruling, two originally-in-favor council members did not agree to reopen the vote. So there goes that effort on my part.

Later that day, we opened the following vote:
Do you want to have Hisuian Qwilfish in Random Doubles?

-would start at level 86 (2 higher than Overqwil, just like in singles), with Tera Flying, Doubles Bulky Attacker, Gunk Shot Crunch Icy Wind Toxic Spikes.

-It is inherently better at being supportive than Overqwil due to its increased defenses, especially on the special side.

-It is not the most passive thing in the world due to its STAB combo and respectable attack stat, but it wouldn't be a heavy hitter by any means and that is certainly a potential reason to disclude it.

-It has Intimidate in doubles. It'll probably be fine enough on that fact alone at minimum.

-It's decently fast and can be good Icy Wind support.

-Taunt is an option, but was decided against to make the initial set as non-passive as possible.

-Giving this set to Overqwil is an option, but it may interfere with Overqwil's currently good winrate. This way, the sets can be levelled separately.

-Aside from the bulk, the Pokemon are not much different from each other.
Some concerns were voiced that it'd be worse than Overqwil, but generally everyone was pretty happy to have another Intimidate user on board and it was voted 8-0 in favor. One person did not vote.

We love Intimidate in this house.

Discussions were started about making Arceus formes more common. Livid realized that forme appearance rates and forme appearance rate code were not uniform across generations. We all wanted to fix that. We all also actually wanted some real useable data on Arceus formes, and Silvally formes for the then-upcoming Gen 7 revamp. We decided to also make the 6- and 4-forme Pokemon like Rotom, Tauros, and Oricorio a little more common, too. So, we voted on this:

Across all gens, should we adjust forme appearance rate to the following:

18 formes => 1/6 appearance rate per forme (3x conglomerate appearance rate)
6 formes => 1/3 (2x)
4 formes => 1/2 (2x)
3 formes => 1/3 (1x)
2 formes => 1/2 (1x)

This will unify appearance rate code across all gens (currently not in place), make extremely limited formes like Tauros, Arceus, Silvally, and Rotom appear at an actually appreciable rate instead of being once-in-a-blue-moon easter egg, and gives better stats for winrate balancing for anything with 4+ formes.

This may cause Arceus and Silvally to appear noticeably more often than the average Pokemon, but not as much as, say, current Deoxys in oldgens, which isn't limited at all and has 4x conglomerate appearance rate.
Livid made sure that this only applied to functionally different formes and not to Florges and stuff. I confirmed that it is, in fact, just for the functional formes.

Shadows expressed some concerns that perhaps Arceus may become too common, and proposed that we should realter appearance rates to be a bit less extreme if Arceus formes get enough data to be adequately balanced. I assured him that this vote would become reopenable per standard procedure as soon as it was live on-site, as the implementation of the proposal itself counts as a "significant meta change". Xceloh agreed with Shadows that we should revisit it later if needed.

This vote passed unanimously. This also happened at the same time and nobody really commented on it. Nothing new there.

Yeah, you heard me. We're actually giving Free For All their own sets. Yes, after, what, two years and four and a half months? Or was it three? We weren't really involved in the release of FFA initially as a staff body so I don't think we really kept good track. I just know it was April Fools Day. THAT i keep track of.


The workers on the free for all revamp (coming probably after dlc1™) were concerned about Protect's sheer omnipresence. It's.... well, just read the vote blurb.

Hey folks, after some discussion in format policy we'll be doing another Ranked Choice vote here, about Protect in Free-For-All Rands

A) Keep protect, and force protect on most Pokemon
B) Keep protect, but never force it
C) Remove protect altogether

Protect in free for all is the single most centralizingly good thing in Pokemon period. If kept, almost every Pokemon will wish to run it except choice item users, because if you do not have Protect, you are put at a disadvantage. 

Having protect and forcing protect is the optimal decision, when it comes to our principles. However, free for all is not meant to be a competitive format and will not be developed as such; therefore, it may be more important to utilize playability/fun as a metric for this for-fun format. Several outside and inside commenters on the issue believe that having protect forced on everything would result in a boring, slow paced, turtley format. 

On the other hand, having no protect at all could make games too fast paced, with no options for defense against getting teamed up on. It may also negatively impact some Pokemon who deeply rely on Protect, like Harvest users.

Option B is appealing due to it potentially preventing every match from becoming a stallfest while keeping defensive options available. However, it doesn't fix any of the problems presented above consistently; you'll still get games where everything happens to roll protect, protect will still be very common, and you'll still sometimes be left defenseless with a protectless team and be taken out very quickly.
This is no exaggeration.

Celever mentioned that options B and C would likely require a room FAQ in the Random Battles room explaining why everything doesn't have protect literally always, but also said that's probably ok. He also mentioned that option B may *increase* frustration with Protect 50/50s, due to the additional 50/50s of whether or not the Pokemon even has Protect in the first place.

Bobo mentioned that the only real FFA complaint that he's seen is that people forfeit too early and that there won't be much outrage over Protect either way. Celever mentioned that a complaint about Protect wars is actually what brought this issue to attention in the first place.

Bobo mentioned that he prefers B due to protect's not-mandated existence would increase creativity in the set development process. This point was also argued.

I made an update in the middle of this vote again but I used a thread this time so discussion could happen without derailing the vote.
The thread was deleted after a few days because nobody commented on it at all whatsoever and the thing got merged quickly.
I don't think all members of the council actually looked at it. A couple of 'em got surprised/annoyed at Ice Beam Cryogonal existing a week later. That taught me not to do threads again.

Livid washed directly stated that he does not care about FFA.

Final vote tally:
B: 18
C: 13
A: 11

B won; Protect will exist, but we won't be using roles and special code that force Protect.

Are y'all ready for the monthly Massive Divisive Discussion? I sure wasn't.

Several council members severely dislike Protean existing on non-choiced Greninja and Meowscarada. One of the council members really wants specifically Choice Specs Greninja and Choice Band Meowscarada to not be Protean. These two genuinely diametrically opposed forces decided to work together to make some votes happen. I know, a big twist from the usual! Kind of heartwarming, really.

We started off with a vote that got nullified because I forgot about Greninja-Bond's weirdness and didn't think of all the options. I won't paste the full text wall because the vote didn't end up mattering. But here's the gist.

YES or NO, would you like Meowscarada and Greninja to get abilities that are not Protean at least 50% of the time?
-This is a package deal. It's either both get a Protean-less role, or neither do.
I went out swinging for the Pro-Protean brigade and stayed that strong throughout. I posted several matchups in which Life Orb Play Rough Protean Meowscarada was necessary to win, and how I did not want that to go away. Bobomania joined me by posting some calcs that were anti-Specs Battle Bond Gren.

Xceloh mentioned that if we're at all keeping Protean Gren we should remove Dark Pulse from it to free up its moveset for stronger moves.

Livid got the vote cancelled by reminding us that Greninja-Bond is in fact a different species and therefore Meowscarada would have to be a hardcode either way, and that we could reasonably split them up instead of rolling them into one.

We did that.

We started (again) with Battle Bond Gren.
Should we add Battle Bond Greninja?

-it is not protean, which is enough benefit for some people
-it can make greninja a cleaner once the opposing team is revealed and/or weakened
-it has a very high chance of being useless unless the entire enemy team is revealed
-battle bond will NOT EVER have uturn
-it can cause players to play too cautiously with it and not use it to KO things early game
-we would almost certainly have to prevent it from being a lead because lead battle bond is actively very bad
-battle bond's nature as an obligate lategame cleaner makes toxic spikes kinda bad on it honestly
-battle bond is the only ability used in ou
-+1 hydro pump can net some kos sometimes, +1 dark pulse less so
I, again, went out swinging against Battle Bond's existence, citing that its one-use nature makes it actively bad early-game and only alright late-game. I insisted that the "OU" choice of Battle Bond doesn't make much sense in a format without Team Preview, in which you're obligated to not KO anything until the opposing team's revealed, lest you waste your only boost.

Roginald mentioned that it's good for trading. Battle Bond Gren would, theoretically, be good at getting one KO and some chip and then dying consistently. This is viewed as a good thing. I disagreed and said that it was not a good thing. We agreed to disagree.

Livid mentioned we can revert it if its winrate drops, but that he wants to try it.

We discussed what set it would run, exactly; we ultimately opted for a fixed Life Orb 4 attacks set with Gunk Shot and Ice Beam. We considered Grass Knot and allowing Choice Specs, but we still wish to minimize Choice items when possible and we don't want that set to only be Tera Poison to enforce Gunk Shot, so we opted for the simpler four-move set you see live now.

In case you haven't seen, Battle Bond Gren passed and is now live. 5-4 vote. This will be a trend. We'll see how it does.

We never ended up preventing it from being a lead. Maybe I should get that discussed in earnest.


We were then left with a dilemma. What do we do about the other Greninja set? We had many, many options, and the head of the anti-protean force wasn't giving too much ideas. We could've made Protean Gren only specs, completely deleting Tspikes altogether. We could've removed Dark Pulse. We could've completely removed Protean Gren altogether.

We didn't do any of that. We just left Protean Gren alone, even if it was mainly to see how Battle Bond did in the statistics and not out of actually wanting to keep Protean Gren alive. I am hoping this topic does not resurge in a month.

We also had a lot of options with Meowscarada, which was our next topic of discussion. After a good bit of fiddling about with our plethora of choices, we narrowed it to three. Three's enough for a vote.

The same person who desired Choice Specs Battle Bond desired Choice Band Overgrow Meowscarada. Just to refresh on the backstory at the top of this hidebox.

We started with a binary vote.
Meowscarada vote part 1.

Do you want Meowscarada to sometimes have Overgrow?

-no, we do not yet know which times it will have overgrow if this vote succeeds. Some want it on only CB, some want it on only not-CB.

-No matter what, making Meowscarada have Overgrow will be a hardcode of highly debatable benefit, as seen by us even doing a council vote in the first place. Therefore, per hardcode standards, it is likely this will not rank highly on the "necessity" scale for something that is low on both simplicity and generalizability.

-The runoff vote from this may or may not delete Life Orb Meowscarada entirely.

-The runoff vote from this will be a ranked-choice three-pronged vote.

-Protean Toxic Spikes allows Meowscarada to flip all of its weaknesses and set toxic spikes reliably before pivoting out. Protean Play Rough allows Meowscarada to defeat a wide variety of Pokemon that are it would otherwise lose to, especially a large number of Fighting-types and Dragon-types, both offensively and defensively. Protean Choice Band has no downside and can be used as a strong pivot with Bug-type STAB U-turn or a cleaner with Flower Trick, while shedding unnecessary weaknesses and occasionally changing your typing entirely. Bug-type U-turn is also no slouch with Boots.

-Overgrow allows Meowscarada to still use Flower Trick at full power after using Knock Off, and vice versa. Overgrow can also be used rarely to make Flower Trick extremely powerful if Meowscarada is low.
I continued my pro-protean campaign.

Several council members mentioned that they truly dislike Toxic Spikes Protean Meowscarada in any form.

That one Choice Item Overgrow Enjoyer mentioned that 33% HP is not an uncommon situation for Meowscarada to get in, especially if pivoting with Choice Band U-turn. This same person also defended Protean Tspikes as, quite possibly, Meowscarada's best use of Protean. That may be an exaggeration, but I did defend that becoming Poison-type often let Meowscarada survive after setting one.

Hone Claws was proposed. We thought it was kinda wild but also kinda neat.

One council member's mind was thoroughly baffled by the concept of support for Overgrow.

Pokeblade101 was left as the decider of the at-the-time 4-4 vote. He was quite torn on the issue, but ultimately risked trying it, despite really not liking the idea of CB Overgrow as one of the options.

So, we have another 5-4 vote. Overgrow Meowscarada exists now.


Now, we have a runoff for what form the Meowscarada change will take, exactly:

Meowscarada runoff vote. Ranked choice.

A. Give Overgrow to ALL CB Meowscarada
B. Set Split Meowscarada (could result in another runoff)
C: Give Overgrow to ALL Toxic Spikes Meowscarada (lo/boots)
I mentioned that a Meowscarada set split would potentially allow a good compromise between all parties (except the CB Overgrow party of one person), at the cost of needing to choose which set gets Heavy-Duty Boots, and whether the Overgrow set gets U-turn or Play Rough (because it can't have both without allowing CB).

Shadows expressed confusion with the concept of Choice Band Overgrow.

Pokeblade was left to decide as the final vote again. He had the option of tying the vote between B and C, or allowing B to win. He opted to allow B to win.

Final votes:
B: 20
C: 19
A: 15

More people voted C as their first option than B, but pretty much everyone who voted B as their first option had A as their second just to reduce the points of C. Funny how things work out.

We were then left with what the set split would be, exactly. What moves would Overgrow be? Would Protean be limited to CB? Do we meme with Hone Claws? Is Taunt anything?

We discussed and proposed a few ideas, but things really got rolling when I proposed:
-protean meowscarada, completely unchanged and still fast support
-overgrow: play rough stabs tspikes taunt life orb fast attacker

Everyone hated Taunt. Everyone seemed okay with Protean Meowscarada being unchanged, which kind of surprised me given the overwhelming distaste for Protean Tspikes earlier. Xceloh wanted Spikes, instead of Toxic Spikes, so we waffled between the two hazard options pretty much until the very end when it got implemented as Toxic Spikes.

We considered giving Overgrow Boots U-turn instead of Life Orb Play Rough, but we ultimately decided that Overgrow would rather have Life Orb to potentially chip itself into Overgrow range and Protean would rather have U-turn to get Funny Bug STAB.

I mentioned Hone Claws as a joke but then it got actual support from the council so whoops i guess we have Hone Claws Meowscarada in the overgrow set now.

Fortunately this did not go to another vote because we had an update literally in progress while this discussion happened. Again. Really gotta stop having Council discussions on weekends.

-Protean Meowscarada: Fast Support, completely unchanged
-Overgrow Meowscarada: Fast Attacker, Life Orb STABs Play Rough, and one of Toxic Spikes/Hone Claws at random.

Pokeblade101 mused about the Meloetta set. I don't blame him. It's kinda buckwild. Apparently it works, though, if the Doubles stats are anything.

We briefly discussed Helping Hand in Free-For-All but ultimately decided the FFA workers should handle it unless they're indecisive. We'll see.

A Cake Wearing A Hat

moist and crusty
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Random Battle Lead
8/20 - 10/5

It's been a slow month, but it picked up near the end.

Decisions Made:
Most importantly, Last Respects will be removed from Gen 9 Random Battle (but not Doubles), effective next update, in favor of more consistent, higher-levelled sets.
-The Gen 6 revamp has Vigoroth and Murkrow, but not Gurdurr
-Gen 7 will have Murkrow, effective next update. It'll have Z-Mirror Move.
-Gen 6 doesn't have Shell Smash Magcargo.
-Meowscarada no longer has Overgrow because it was bad.
-Scyther and Clefairy are in Doubles. Dusclops is not.
-Dark Void isn't in Random Doubles.
-Choice Band Forretress in Doubles was majorly controversial at the time. It received some heavy pushback on the basis of being a stupid idea on paper compared to literally anything else, but it didn't receive enough vetoes to be reverted. Turns out that's a good thing, since its winrate's gone up 3%. A couple council members wanted Tera Normal on it. We did not do that.
-Livid pointed out Weakness Policy would generate on Agility Gallade. It would become too problematic to fix that, so we just scrapped the idea of agility gallade altogether. Unfortunate.
-A couple council members were skeptical of Toxic Doublade, but they were also willing to try it.
-We discussed Feint Attack Spinda and how while it's weak as hell it's also necessary in order for it to not just be hardwalled by any ghost with a status move.
-This one's Gen 1. Nobody really minded anything.
-Livid pointed out several minor improvements and errors in the pull request that were implemented and fixed, respectively. He also requested that all of the Gen 7 changes be ported to Gen 6, which was also done.
-Xceloh vetoed removing Gyro Ball from Steelix and Bronzong. Nobody else did, citing math that gyro ball is on average pretty weak, especially against Rock-types, and it has low PP and low consistency.
-Shadows questioned why Gen 3 Rayquaza lost overheat; Roginald explained that losing Overheat increases the chance of both Earthquake and setup.

The following several updates were quickly implemented in the first few days after DLC1 release.
-I thought this allowed lead sash sd infernape but i was stupid and forgot about flare blitz.
-Nobody commented on this one.
-Got a couple thumbs up reacts.
-Flip Turn Walking Wake was said to be a good change by Bobomania.
-Bobomania said he'd only cry a little bit at the removal of critdra.
-We got a little paranoid that we missed more egg moves introduced in DLC1 but didn't find any more.
-Changing Tinted Lens 4 atks Yanmega to Specs in Gen 9 got two veto votes. They would rather have boots u-turn. This fortunately did not reach four vetoes; specs yanmega is too good to pass up.
-This update originally had Taunt Boots Iron Jugulis in it. It was discussed heavily and reached five veto votes, surpassing the necessary number for reversion. The reason it was vetoed is because Taunt is not considered a very good move in Random Battles, Juggy is a particularly poor user of Taunt, and Boots is too weak compared to Specs and not fast enough to make up for that weakness unlike Scarf. We considered Work Up instead but decided that'd be worse than Taunt realistically. We also considered Substitute for a bit.
-I veto-voted the removal of Life Orb Kommo-o. I shouldn't've. It's doing better now.
-Celever was happy that Toxapex gets Acid Spray now.
-Celever didn't like the idea of distributing Leftovers to more things in Random Doubles. Only *really* liked it on Toxapex. Considering our Doubles consultants also didn't like most of the things Leftovers would've been added to, we decided to just give it to Pex and that's it.

The Gen 6 revamp came out last month, and that means we had to vote on another slate of the same NFEs we've been voting on for a while, plus one new one.

Initially, we voted on Gurdurr and Vigoroth.
Gurdurr received only 3 votes to be incldued, while Vigoroth got 8.

Conkeldurr actually runs a Bulk Up set this time, so Gurdurr lost most of its unique niche compared to Conkeldurr. Pre-burn nerf gens be like that. That's most of the reason we didn't want it. A couple voters believed the increased special bulk compared to Conkeldurr would be worthwhile despite that.

Celever was skeptical of Vigoroth; he thought its showing in Gen 7 wasn't stellar, and it would be even worse in 6. A quick pull of the Gen 7 stats revealed Vigoroth was at 51.19% win rate, and that caused Celly to flip his vote.

Xceloh brought up Togetic again and also requested Machoke. Togetic was ignored.
One of the Council Members thought Machoke ran Circle Throw in Gen 5 NU. It did not, because it does not learn circle throw in any generation. They were probably just thinking of Throh.

Later on, Murkrow was also brought up; the lack of Prankster nerf and paralysis nerf means it could be quite effective. One of the non-council members was adamant it would be godawful and requested it be above level 90 starting out.

Here's the blurb:
-it will start at level 90; as such it will have one of the strongest Foul Plays in the format due to how level affects damage calculation
-set will be twave/foul play/roost and a roll between defog/haze/maybe taunt
-it is frail.
-it is the only user of the emergency button that is Prankster Haze.
-this is before the prankster nerf, the paralysis nerf, and the twave accuracy nerf, but knock off does exist and it cannot paralyze electric types.
-Defog is more valuable in gen 6 than most other gens, distribution wise.
-a second set with both stabs could be added if desired, but it would cut the rate of defog

The council believed, overall, that Prankster shenanigans were more than enough to differentiate it from Honchkrow and allow it to function well in the format.

We discussed when we'd be willing to remove it from the format if it was bad. I replied that reopening votes is not my responsibility, and is instead the rest of the council's. Roginald replied to this that we should have a discussion on our vote-reopening policy if that was the case. This discussion never really ended up happening, as much as I wanted it to.

We discussed a set 2 to have Brave Bird in the mix. You can see the final results of that by typing /randbats murkrow, gen6.

Look, we aren't all Pokemon encyclopedias.

Maybe sometimes we forget that Magcargo got 10 more base special attack and HP in Gen 7.

Maybe sometimes that leads to a vote that's under the assumption it'll take effect in both gens due to there not being any functional difference between the two.


Here's the blurb, as it was at the time:

Please vote whether or not you wish to have Shell Smash Magcargo in gens 6 and 7.

-the threat of Shell Smash allows Magcargo to output some offensive pressure.

-Shell Smash hits a relatively low speed; 212 in both gens. It also relies heavily on Fire Blast due to its lack of other moves stronger than functionally 90 base power. However, this speed is still quite workable, and Fire Blast is strong.

-The only difference between gens is that Lava Plume is marginally better in Gen 6 due to no burn nerf.

-Petros (randbats room auth, skilled gen 5-6-7 player, and one of the more active set dev participants) argues that Toxic is necessary on all Magcargos.

A lot of back-and-forth happened about whether or not the threat of Shell Smash is necessary on Magcargo, or if it's even any good at all. The pro-points were that Fire Blast hits hard and Shell Smash's removal in Gen 7 was previously rejected by the council due to its perceived value. Some others just think it's too slow to be at all good.

As soon as we realized that Magcargo got stat buffs in 7 I negated the vote, kept it in 7, and removed it from 6.

To be fair, nobody had corrected me before I corrected myself, so we're all [BLIND] on this one.

since the addition of the Overgrow set, Meowscarada's win rate lowered by 0.6%, which is significant in rands winrate terms. However, in order to be reverted, it required an official council reopening.

Even before receiving two reopening requests, Xceloh was adamant that we should increase Overgrow to increase the win rate. He believed Overgrow Meowscarada was the optimal set, but also it should be Boots and never have Hone Claws. As this would require removing Boots from Protean Meowscarada, this also meant either removing Protean altogether or limiting it to only Choice Band. Xceloh preferred the former. I noted the irony of believing more Overgrow was the solution to the addition of Overgrow causing a winrate decrease but also realized his logic was moreso that the Overgrow set we added wasn't what he wanted anyway.

The blurb is as follows:
Should Meowscarada have the possibility to run Overgrow in Gen 9 Random Battles?

-The addition of an Overgrow set has reduced Meowscarada's winrate by 0.6% in half a month, and even more in September.

-Stronger Play Rough is necessary to beat several of Meowscarada's checks. and becoming Poison-type from Toxic Spikes can be quite beneficial defensively. Strong U-turns are also great.

-Protean can be more difficult to play with than Overgrow and can lead to some negative situations where you have used one move and then wish to use another with STAB but cannot.

-One proposed solution to this is to make the first set Overgrow instead and remove the Hone Claws-including set entirely, completely deleting Protean. An upvote would probably go towards this goal, as we wish to amend Meowscarada's winrate decrease regardless.

Xceloh requested to put the vote on hold until the release of Teal Mask. This was denied because it was not foreseen that Meowscarada could possibly get anything to change what sets it would want to be running at any given time, given it already has great coverage, u-turn, and the optimal STAB moves for both types. Also, if the situation changes, we can just reopen it again.

Xceloh wished we could run Overgrow boots/lo and Choice Band Protean. I told him this was not an option for technical reasons.

Roginald inquired how Battle Bond Gren is doing. Turns out it's doing really well. Consider me surprised.

Xceloh asked if we were allowed to remove Protean Greninja entirely, or if we could at least remove Dark Pulse from it. I said it would be possible with a council vote either way. This was not pursued further.

Overgrow Meowscarada was voted to be removed with 7 votes to remove and 1 vote to keep. One person did not vote. It's all Protean again now and also Hone Claws is gone.

Teal Mask came out. As the Teal Mask updates happened, we had to do some NFE voting.

First off, Scyther's return of moves brought it back into relevancy in Doubles with an 8-0 vote. Granted, we still thought it got Knock Off at that point, but we corrected ourselves within 24h.

Clefairy's niche as a Friend Guard support Pokemon also secured it a position in Random Doubles with a 7-0 vote; despite its passivity, its sheer utility is worth having.

Dusclops was also proposed, but this one failed 2-5. Celever brought up Dusclops was removed from Gen 8 for being bad. It is not much different in Gen 9.

The addition of Singles Gurdurr was just kind of passed over and I told the council they could vote on it if they wanted because we're under a time crunch. They did not want to vote on it.

Shadows was skeptical of Clefairy because he didn't realize it still got Follow Me. a quick screenshot of the learnset fixed that.

We couldn't revote on Sleep Clause without 2 council members supporting. This was the best we could do.

Please vote on whether you want to ban Dark Void from Gen 9 Random Doubles.
-if it's allowed, we'd give it a Wide Lens
-Darkrai was just banned from DOU
-if you land both hits on dark void you just kinda win the game
-at worst, it's an untargeted Sleep Powder.
-this is mostly a consolation due to the lack of sleep clause

Despite taking place before the Last Respects revote, Shadows claimed this was just like Last Respects. It's a luck reliant coinflip game winner that can sometimes just do absolutely nothing instead. Heavy inconsistency like this is generally not desired.

Pokeblade claimed that this move seems oppressive and obnoxious.

This vote passed unanimously with all Council members voting.

This one's fun. We discovered Murkrow could run Z-Mirror Move. This blurb is the result.

NFE inclusion vote, should we add Murkrow to Gen 7?

-it will be level 90
-set 1: Z-Mirror Move (+2 attack, uses the Z move of the mirrored move), Brave Bird, Sucker Punch, Protect.
-Set 2: Bulky Attacker. Brave Bird + Roost + Thunder Wave + random roll between Haze, Pursuit, and Defog

-While the prankster nerf hit Murkrow hard, it gained a very big tool in return: Z Mirror Move. This, coupled with being actually quite fast, makes it a potentially threatening sweeper. While mirror move fails if the opponent switches out, the threat of Pursuit makes up for it somewhat. Protect is used to scout for Mirror Move targets and/or force switches at high level play.

-The bulky set still exists, and it forgoes any strong dark move for just always running Brave Bird to deal with dark types that block its annoyances. Thunder Wave is forced due to prankster.

-This Murkrow is significantly more experimental than Gen 6's, and it might be a coin toss as to whether it's perfect, extremely over levelled as a sweeper, or falls completely flat. However, it's extremely different from Honchkrow, and quite unique in what it does. It has the potential to be effective. Whether it lives up to that depends on how well it works in practice. Whether it has the chance depends on the council. I'm happy either way.

The vote passed 8-0.

Celever immediately piped in that he'd like to consider Z-Mirror Move Swanna if this fails.

He also wanted to consider Z-Mirror Move Swanna if this succeeds.

He just wants Z-Mirror Move Swanna.

Pretty much all of the council were thinking "man i have no idea if this will be any good but let's fuck around and find out because it sounds crazy, unique, and fun".

And so, we shall fuck around, and we shall find out.

In our auth-wide format policy channel, Bobomania brought up revoting on Last Respects. Not because it's too good, no, not at all. Because it's bad. Inconsistent. Too low level to be good half the time. Several council members agreed with this sentiment. It very quickly got a second vote to reopen. This blurb should tell you most everything that transpired outside of the Council channel. There's a lot of it.

We've received two requests to vote again on Last Respects. However, the circumstances are different this time. It's decidedly not broken. That's not what the vote is for.

Should Last Respects be removed in favor of higher-levelled non-Last Respects sets on Houndstone and Basculegion? (:thumbsup: for removing, :thumbsdown: for staying as-is)

The arguments are as follows:

-Last Respects mons have had their levels lowered to such a point where they are almost at the level of Koraidon and co; this means they can truly do nothing of real value aside from Last Respects.

-Last Respects users are slow enough, frail enough, and weak enough to where their range of hard answers is extremely plentiful. This means that even at their primary goal of cleaning late-game with Last Respects, they are inconsistent. They either get a good matchup and win, or flop entirely because the opponent has any Pokemon with a remotely respectable Speed stat or any Normal or Dark.
-- This inconsistency is why it may be for the best for these Pokemon that Last Respects is removed; running a Houndstone or Basculegion with a drastically higher level and a different moveset would likely be able to more consistently put in work in a game; even if they don't completely sweep as often, they also don't completely flop as often. It's the same general principle of why we don't have Cosmic Power Sigilyph in post-burn-nerf generations. We generally prefer consistent sets that can always do something over powerful sets that sometimes do absolutely nothing.

-Houndstone obtained Poltergeist and Basculegion obtained Flip Turn; both massive boons that allow viable non-Last Respects sets to be quite feasible. Female Basculegion would love Choice Specs, both Basculegions would love Assault Vest (truly, their bulk is great with an actual level), and Houndstone can do plenty with Poltergeist + Body Press + Shadow Sneak + Literally Whatever, kind of like a Dusknoir but faster and physically bulkier. Male Basculegion could also try Weakness Policy + Agility again, if we wanted it to, but we could also not if we think Assault Vest would be better and more consistent overall.

-Despite all of these arguments, Last Respects is technically still the optimal set in a vacuum, disregarding level, and therefore this is a grey area in our principles that we need to vote on, one way or another.

-Last Respects, despite being weaker, is still capable of damage output around (10% weaker than | identical to | 10% stronger than) Choice Band Crabominable Close Combat, for Houndstone, Bascu-F, and Bascu-M respectively. This is still definitely notable.

-Basculegion's Flip Turn addition means it's possible for it to act as a pivot early and mid game; it may be more consistent than before in this manner. Also worth noting one of the basculegions dropped a level this month.

-Consistency is only measurable by personal experience, and not by our objective balancing methods. Should we be determining what's better or worse based partially on our personal sense of consistency, or should we trust in the system and let the math do the work? This question lies at the heart of this vote.

-If this passes, we'd likely set Houndstone and male Basculegion to level 87, and female Basculegion to level 86. Open to discussion. Also, they'd be able to lead now, which is nice.

-This won't affect Doubles.

-If this passes and the win rates of the Pokemon in the following couple months drop below, let's say 48.4%, we'll automatically reopen this vote to determine whether to let level balancing take its course or revert the change and reintroduce Last Respects again. Conditions open to discussion.

Bobomania said that Male Basculegion could probably still run Choice items. I said the lack of physical Ghost move would basically just make it slow Basculin. If we wanted slow Basculin, we could do that, though.

Shadows brought up that the levels the Last Respects mons have reached are remarkable, given their stat spreads, and that's not a good thing. Last Respects is a coinflip and extreme matchup fish at best that either sweeps on its own or does truly nothing and dies at the last moments of the game. Their low levels mean they're just LR bots.

Roginald's standards have changed on Last Respects, and now he believes that they should reach level 65 before action should be taken, as opposed to the 70 stated before. He believes level 68 Basculegion-M is entirely in line with the stronger mons in the format and should not be considered at all bad.

Shadows countered this by saying that no matter how their base stats are adjusted, their levels would still be lowered to the point where their exact stats are now. Roginald did not think this was a relevant point.

Livid listed the low-level Pokemon in the format, revealing that Basculegion-M is tied for fifth lowest level Pokemon in the format, level 65 is the level of Koraidon and Miraidon, and Basculegion-F is tied for sixth lowest. Roginald held that 65 was a reasonable goalpost.

Xceloh brought up the massive amount of user complaints about Last Respects that continue to hold to this day. It's complained about in the room quite regularly. He brings up that their Ghost typings mean they sometimes necessitate being used defensively, despite their levels and sheer playstyles really not wanting them to be. The decision making process on whether to use your LR mon as a Ghost or as a hidden wincon is unique, interesting, and messy. However, he also views LR as an unskillful shitshow and possibly the worst mechanic in a modern Pokemon game, even if it isn't necessarily a coinflip in his eyes.

Pokeblade initially voted not to remove Last Respects in the first vote because he didn't think it was that strong. He's lost to it a lot more often since then. Can change a person's mind. According to him, the level reduction and especially speed reduction may make Last Respects seem fair from an objective winrates perspective, but it still isn't in his opinion; the level loss only really impacted their Speed, realistically, and the power of the move is still more or less as strong as it's always been. He views LR as a matchup fish of whether the opponent has a Dark/Normal/Fastmon or not. As such, he views it as not having any skill expression; you either sack your team chipping away at what you can until you send in the LR mon and hope for the best, or you play with 5 Pokemon because you don't know if it'll be any good and want to make sure any answers are gone. It reminds him of old Life Orb Kingambit, and not in a good way.

Last Respects will be removed by a 7-2 vote.

As said earlier, Xceloh wanted to do something to Gen 9 Greninja, but because not forcing Dark Pulse on it while keeping Dark Pulse there wasn't an option, he did not pursue other changes.

Roginald wanted to do something to our revote policy, but did not elaborate.

A couple of Council members wanted to remove Pokemon from the format, manipulate odds using duplicate sets, and allow hardcodes via council vote. None of these majorly policy-breaking proposals received enough support to get to a vote, especially given the policy of "major policy-breaking proposals, such as removing Pokemon entirely, must be requested by a supermajority of 6 council members in order to be considered."

Livid washed wishes to prevent lead Revival Blessing but has not yet pursued a vote on it.

A guide was created detailing why, exactly, hardcodes are a bad thing. Hopefully this will be helpful and reduce infeasible suggestions in the future among the room auth and the council especially.

A Cake Wearing A Hat

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Random Battle Lead

Welcome to a special edition of the Council Minutes! We have some explaining to do!

There's a bunch of little set update discussions before this but nothing interesting happened in any of them.

It all started by us noticing that Zarel was online and doing things to the client code; something folks have brought up among the council before is having me talk to Zarel about his orders to keep every fully evolved Pokemon and Pikachu in mainline rands formats. As per policy among the council, any majorly policy-breaking decisions like that require six of the nine council members to support it before action can be taken.

Six council members requested I talk to Zarel about whether or not we can remove fully evolved Pokemon from Random Battles. Several of them only wished to remove Unown, and a couple of them didn't want to remove anything but wanted this policy discussion to stop reoccurring and didn't expect much to happen as a result of the talk. I made it very clear that I could not guarantee or predict any specific action that would be taken as a result of this discussion. The council also asked about the status of Meltan: is it a fully evolved Pokemon or an NFE for the purposes of our policy?

Anyone who thought that nothing much would happen was incorrect.

For privacy reasons, I'm not going to disclose our entire conversation, but here are the bullet points:

-Zarel still strongly suggests we keep all fully evolved Pokemon in Random Battles.
-Zarel suggested that we "use X items" on the Pokemon that Council currently thinks should be removed, and give them stat boosts on switch-in instead of removing the Pokemon.
-Zarel commented that all NFE Pokemon that are intended to be used on a base game design perspective due to unique items or mechanics should be used in Random Battles. Thus, Zarel recommended Clamperl be added to Random Battles.
-Zarel recommended out of context that we allow Zoroark to disguise its level using Illusion, such that it does not leak Illusion by disguising as a Pokemon with an level that does not match Zoroark's level. This is not the first time he has suggested this, but it is the first time he's suggested it while we're in charge.
-The council was left to vote on all of the above recommendations with the addition of one bonus up-vote for each from Zarel.
-Also, Zarel let me personally decide what Meltan counts as. I have decided that for all intents and purposes it is an NFE for Random Battles policy.

After the recommendations, everyone was pretty suprised. For a few reasons.
The following three hideboxes all occurred at the same time. Also, as a side note for all of this, Discord reactions bugged out midway through this vote and many of the council lost the ability to see at a glance who reacted to what. However, the votes were retained through clever use of the more in-depth "Reactions" option. This bug is one I've experienced before, and it's definitely been an issue in the past, but this is the first time it's hit Random Battles. We'll be sure to look our for it in the future. Shoutouts to Celever for somehow being completely unaffected by the bug and letting us band-aid fix it until I got to a computer.
Several council members found the idea of free boosts outlandish and perhaps a little silly, but several also recognized the competitive merit of this solution to the long-standing problem of these unfixable Pokemon.

Bobo recommended the idea of naming the stat boosts "Zarel's Blessing" because the X item buff in Gen 7 makes using just X items a little inaccurate from a semantics perspective; Zarel later commented that he likes this name and finds it good to prevent us from looking like a bunch of corporate robots, but still insisted the concept of X items be included somehow.

The stat boosts idea was refined and proposed for voting as the following:
When a Pokemon has a win rate of under 45% at level 100 for three or more months in a row, a council member may request a vote on adding "Zarel's Blessing" to the Pokemon on switch-in, granting the Pokemon a +1 boost to a stat of the council's choice. This will be stackable if the Pokemon gains another three months of under 45% win rate. Such a boost would come with a message explaining that it happens because the Pokemon is normally very bad but wants to do its best in Randbats anyway, to hopefully prevent reports of hacking.

After the vote, the extra three months per additional boost was lowered to one month each so that Unown could get to a useable state sooner rather than later.

This vote passed 6-4, including Zarel's vote.

The downvoters did not desire to deviate from cartridge mechanics as heavily as with the idea of Zarel's Blessing and viewed it as poor for optics and negative for the user experience, and as such they downvoted.

The upvoters, however, noted that this is a consistent method of balancing that will increase the competitiveness of the format in major tournament and high ladder play, Ultimately, Zarel's Blessing will likely make the format better, despite its strangeness, because it has the potential to make rolling these Pokemon not a heavy innate disadvantage in game.

One particular upvoter mentioned that this is Zarel's own personal recommendation and that we can make a special exception for the site owner to try something that would otherwise break our principles.

All council members had concerns about transparency, and we all agreed to very, very clearly announce, explain, and telegraph the existence of Zarel's Blessing in battle. The upcoming implementaion is as well-telegraphed as we can possibly make it. We will have a roomFAQ in the Random Battles PS room explaining Zarel's Blessing in further detail as well, once it is out, and we will also mention it in our resources about our principles and code.

As a further clarification at request of the council, it was decided that after a Pokemon gets Zarel's Blessing, that fundamentally becomes part of that Pokemon. It will not be removed if the Pokemon suddenly goes below level 100 as a result of the Blessing. However, the boost may be changed to a different stat if needed for one reason or another, also by council vote.

Additionally, I stated and multiple other council members agreed that Zarel's Blessing, and any particular Blessings, probably shouldn't be reverted through our vote reversal policy for optic and balance reasons.

Clamperl is the most face-value normal of the suggestions. Unlike the others, we vote on this kind of thing already on a regular basis. We knew what to do here.

Clamperl's vote was split between Pre-Shell Smash Gens and Shell Smash Gens (3-4, and 5-7).

The votes were as follows:
Add Clamperl to generations without Shell Smash.
It is stronger than Gorebyss by a good margin due to DeepSeaTooth, but it does not have Swift Swim, preventing it from adequately running Rain Dance sets, and it is slow and frail.

Add Clamperl to generations with Shell Smash.
It is stronger than Gorebyss by a good margin due to DeepSeaTooth, but it is slower and more frail, although the latter are of somewhat limited relevance due to level balancing and Shell Smash.
Also clamperl doesn't get Hydro Pump

The council discussed that clamperl is undeniably strong. However, it is also very slow and frail, and in modern generations it is also very weak to Knock Off. Its damage in generations where Gorebyss runs Surf, Clamperl is noteably stronger than Gorebyss at equal level.

We decided we'd add it at level 91 if it gets in.

We discovered around midway through the vote that Clamperl doesn't get Hydro Pump at all, and this is personally what turned my vote, as well as probably a couple others. Hydro Pump's power differential means it isn't actually stronger than Gorebyss in Hydro Pump generations.

In pre-Shell Smash generations, the lack of Swift Swim makes a big dent in Clamperl's chances, as manual Rain Dance was Gorebyss's bread and butter in Gen 4, at least.

Ultimately, neither vote passed. pre-Smash votes ended 3-7, and Smash votes ended 5-5. In cases of ties, the status quo is retained, so Clamperl wasn't added.

This was another major mechanics change that rubbed some the wrong way, but it is at least more understandable than Zarel's Blessing in a few ways. Let's start with the vote itself:

Allow Zoroark to visually mimic the level of what it is Illusioning.
-For example, a level 79 Zoroark-Hisui mimicking an Arcanine would show as a level 84 Arcanine, while still functionally being a Level 79 Zoroark-Hisui.
-This would allow us to individualize and level balance Zoroarks accurately and adequately, and simplify the code of the random-teams file at least.
-This would be visible as (and implemented as) a clause-mod at the top of all Random Battles battles, similar to Sleep Clause Mod, explaining what it does.
-This reduces all user interface issues with Zoroark to near-zero, such as duplicate Pokemon appearing in the minisprite team, and Zoroark being revealed early in the minisprite team due to level differentials. This will, as a result, reduce erroneous bug reports, or at least all bug reports that can't just be answered by saying "Zoroark".

Similarly to Zarel's Blessing, the council all agreed that such a change would require good explanations and telegraphing in battle. This is implemented well in the current pull request.

Detractors for Zoroark's changes were against changing base game mechanics and thought this would confuse more people than it prevented confusion in, and they also believed this was against our principles.

Proponents of Zoroark's changes believed the competitive benefit and user interface benefit of not having all of this Zoroark level fuckery would ultimately be helpful for Random Battles players. Additionally, the point was brought up that most people don't actually know Zoroark doesn't copy levels, so this wouldn't be a big difference. Detractors refuted this last point given how often we mention it in the room, though.

The vote ultimately passed 7-2 with one no-vote.

This next bit is important enough that it shouldn't be hideboxed.

Zarel's Blessing is a new feature that will be implemented by Zarel's personal request, granting Pokemon with win rates consistently under 45% at level 100 (e.g. Unown, pre-Imposter Ditto) stat boosts on switch-in.

We are specifically not touching Gen 9 Luvdisc until after the release of The Indigo Disk, as we do not know if Luvdisc will change in some way from that DLC. However, it is otherwise eligible for Zarel's Blessing and will likely receive one if the DLC does not change it drastically.

The council agrees collectively that we will actively avoid giving Pokemon like Unown so many boosts that they become like the Last Respects users were; we only wish to make these Pokemon not dogshit and are not in the business of purposefully making things matchup-wins or broken.

After the votes above, we voted on our first round of Blessings. All of them are oldgen Pokemon.

We discussed, and then unanimously approved, the following bonuses:
Gen 3 Unown: +1 Speed (it isn't solely special in Gen 3)
Gen 4-7 Unown: +1 Special Attack

Gen 3-4 Ditto: +1 Speed

, Zoroark will now visually mimic the sixth slot's level, but have a static and balanceable actual level going forward.

Both One of these changes will be in place soon. Stay tuned!
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A Cake Wearing A Hat

moist and crusty
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Random Battle Lead
To the community: I hear you.

I typically like to do things by the book, but this case is drastic enough to where our current policies on vote reversion are insufficient. I am personally and unilaterally deciding not to implement Zarel's Blessing, disregarding our previous council vote and any other recommendations.

Suggestions of this magnitude will not pass again.

That is all.
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A Cake Wearing A Hat

moist and crusty
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Random Battle Lead
Hihi! been a while! Not toooo too much happened, but it's enough to announce anyway.

-Celever stepped down from council; Petros has taken his place.
-The council decided that hazards are not a specific problem that can or should be fixed, and we will not make further active efforts to increase the rate of hazard removal or Boots at this time.
-However, rock-weak Pokemon will now get Boots even if they have setup or are of the Wallbreaker role.
-Moody is to be removed in Gen 8 Random Battle, effective at the end of the month.
-Sleep Clause will be added to Random Doubles in their Indigo Disk update.
-Misdreavus now exists in Gen 9 Random Battle and runs CM Draining Kiss.

The remaining council members chose Petros by consensus, as he was the most active and knowledgeable format dev contributor at the time. We considered several candidates, but Petros was our final choice! Obviously not going to disclose more than that. Some matters have to stay private even in these minutes, haha.

We've been getting many, many requests to deal with what we'll call "the hazards situation" from various members of the community. We decided to start a council discussion to get to the bottom of it!

Here was the start:
Hazard removal rate in gen 9 Random Battle is around 40%; the highest rate of removal in any generation of rands period. However, the requests to further better the situation from the entire community still roars loudly. Thus, we should refine our goals in some way. The following questions should be answered, or at least narrowed down in conversation, before we can vote on our goal definition:

-What is the root of the issue with hazards? Is it the removal rate, or something more complex? Is there an issue at all?

-What are some actions we could take to fix the situation, if any?
We had a lot of ideas thrown around, and a lot of really insightful discussion as well. As an overview of various ideas we discussed:
-Allow multiple hazard removers per team (Denied because that'd be like 10% of teams)
-Allow specifically multiple Rapid Spin users but only if one of the spinners is fast (denied due to complexity + also not really helping much)
-Completely enforce hazard removal, period (Denied because that would drastically inflate the appearance rate of a relatively small range of Pokemon)
-Force hazard removal on more roles, or just delete non-hazard removal sets on Pokemon (denied due to how that would impact individual winrates and stifle set variety, which we value)
-Reduce the rate of hazards (denied because that wouldn't really help anything and would just unnecessarily nerf several Pokemon that rely on them to make progress, plus this would likely drastically increase the rate of choice items, which we care about much more due to choice item oversaturation being a real problem in Gen 9 Rands)
-Gen 9 just inherently is an offense-ridden clusterfuck and there's nothing we can do to prevent the hazards ball from careening wildly out of control and there's also nothing we can do to stop people from complaining whenever they get matchupped by hazards (We generally all agreed this was the case)
-This is the most popular ps format ever and there's undoubtedly going to be a vocal minority of very loud complaints about certain topics (We concluded this was also the case)
-Increase the rate of Heavy-Duty Boots (We really ruminated on this one)
-There is not actually an issue with hazards, at least not one we can or should try to fix. (our conclusion on the matter)

After that conclusion, we went to step two:
Since we have identified that there isn't an actual concrete problem, the next question to answer is "what do we do with our current long term goal about removal?" Should we keep it as is pinned in the gen 9 channel? Should we soften it to not keep pushing forward, but not push back either? Should we get rid of it altogether and allow things like deleting Defog Oricorio in the future? This is the question that will directly impact how we handle setcrafting for the DLC2 mons.

I'm of the personal opinion that we should probably have our long term goal be "Maintain the current rate of hazard removal and not take active steps to reduce it unless truly necessary"

Perhaps we can include "increase the rate of Boots" or "decrease the rate of hazards" in there if we want? But I don't think continuing to push the removal rate upward is healthy or productive for the format.
For reference, our old long-term goal about hazard removal was "Do our best to maintain and when possible increase the rate of hazard control in Gen 9 Random Battle, unless it drastically impacts the viability of relevant Pokemon"

Shadows wanted to further explore the ideas of increasing boots and decreasing hazards.

I didn't want to abandon our goal altogether, because reversing progress is never good. However, maintaining our current removal rate is still a very doable goal. Petros and Bobo agreed with this.

Because of how our long-term goals work, adding a new one for removing hazards or increasing Boots would greatly impact how we make our sets; we'd be highly disincentivized from adding or increasing non-Boots sets on things that could otherwise get Boots, and we'd need to really push to get any hazard added to anything.

Livid suggested that we could just lower hazards without making it official, by just identifying any mons that don't actually want them and cutting hazards from those mons accordingly. We didn't really follow up on this idea.

Xceloh especially wanted to increase the rate of Boots, especially by removing Assault Vest and Leftovers sets in favor of more Boots. Petros thought this was a good idea. Livid brought up that boots are actually completely useless against the 40% of teams with no entry hazards, which could make increasing boots a net negative on some Pokemon. Some council members were concerned that we would try to push Boots at the expense of the winrates of individual Pokemon, but I assured that as with our other long-term goals, any changes that negatively impact winrates would still be reverted.

We then voted on instituting a new long-term goal to increase the rate of Heavy-Duty Boots.

The vote text was as follows:
@Dev Council should we, or should we not, institute a new long-term goal of increasing the rate of Heavy-Duty Boots in Gen 9 Random Battle?

-This both could and would be done by large scale action (e.g brainstorming new boots conditions) or smaller scale action (e.g. lowering the rate of non-boots items on mons via individual move or set adjustments)

-These actions would be subject to reversion if the winrate differential is negative, similar to our other long term goals.

-boots are great against hazards, but as an item they are also inherently matchup based; against the 40% of teams with no hazards, they do fully nothing.

-We are largely in agreement that there is not actually a problem with hazards right now and complaints are mostly just a vocal minority of chat members for a very popular format that we can't ever really solve.

-Tiers run boots on almost everything all the time.
I'll be honest, a lot of the council didn't understand the ramifications of our long-term goals, so I tried to explain as easily as I could that, like our current long-term goal to decrease the rate of Choice items in the format, this would mean i'd be obligated to be a hardass about anyone suggesting anything that decreases the rate of Heavy-Duty Boots and i'd also heavily push for testing changes that increase Boots whenever possible. I made it clear that any widespread new Boots conditions would only actually be considered if the goal passed.

The council did not like that and decided they'd rather have more freedom in deciding what sets to put on what, and so this vote ended 1-6, with two no-votes, in favor of not increasing Boots.

The council counter-proposed this vote with "Why don't we just make setup sweepers actually get boots even with removal on the team? That would probably cool some jets". We then voted on that and it passed unanimously 9-0.

Petros used his new council member powers to flex open a revote on Moody in Gen 8. A second person in Bobo hopped on the Fuck Moody Train as well, and so we got to reopen the vote on Gen 8 Moody before Randbats Team Tour 7.
Reopened vote: Gen 8 Moody

Please vote :thumbsup: for "REMOVE MOODY" and :thumbsdown: for "KEEP MOODY"

Moody Glalie and Octillery in gen 8 Random Battles may be less overwhelming than Scovillain was in terms of public outcry, but the sentiment has always existed to request their removal.

Gen 8 rands has very low winrate data collection, so balancing them after the change would be very slow (think 3 months per level change)

Octillery would start at level 90 (per gen 7), and Glalie would start at level 95 (per gen 9)

Dynamax has the potential to harm moody more than it benefits moody, unlike Terastallization; breaking the Moody users' Protect can be powerful, and Moody users cannot be behind a substitute while Dynamaxed themselves. However, Dynamax also allows Moody users to Max Guard twice to defend against opposing Dynamax using their own, although this comes at the cost of Dynamax use and isn't guaranteed to give you the boosts you need in such a short timeframe.

Ultimately, though, Moody is the same in nature in Gen 8 as Gen 9. It's still a luck fish at best, and while it does make Glalie inarguably better, Octillery would probably be fine.
Roginald commented "first" very helpfully and then immediately voted to remove moody because Dynamax doesn't stop it from being stupid.

Shadows called on his experience from World Cup of Randbats (or as I like to call it: Cup of Randbats: Nations, or CoRN) to say that moody Feels Bad To Use And Face; mainly focused on Glalie, because Octillery honestly doesn't really care about Moody one way or the other.

Xceloh said that Moody makes the outcome of every game it's involved in feel undeserved and unsatisfying. He also wanted to remove it from BDSP, but we agreed generally that BDSP is not something we're ever going to actually touch again.

Bobomania brought up that the lack of winrates being tracked was why he voted to keep Gen 8 Moody last time; now the winrates do exist, albeit not very high sample size winrates.

The vote ultimately landed 6-1 in favor of removing Moody, with two abstains.

We'll probably cut it from Gen 8 Randdubs whenever we actually touch that format again.

Initially, I brought up the valid concern that four of the current council members aren't actually avid randdubs players, and therefore our revote policy doesn't have much of a chance to occur with most doubles issues. Petros asked if there was any particular thing the doubles community wanted a revote on. My reply was "Y e s".

Sleep Clause has been requested at least once almost every time I've interacted with the doubles community, for reference.

Petros then said he'd like to count for one of the two for a revote on Sleep Clause in Doubles, and also said that getting a couple more council members more accustomed to Doubles would be a good move.

I proposed a few amendments to our revote policy, including letting the format heads qualify for opening revotes, or letting our doubles consultants Arcticblast and Eeveon7 request revotes. None of the council really hopped onto any of these ideas, and when expressed to the broader staff base, we were told that we should not pursue anything further with amending our revote policy until we get an official two-council-member team to request a revote on the concept of revoting. ...It doesn't make any more sense in context, trust me.

So, discarding that, we obtained a second revote request from Xceloh, and thus voted again on Sleep Clause.

One council member, who will remain anonymous, said that I should not actively seek out opinions from the doubles community due to the quality of previous interactions.

@Dev Council reopened vote: Sleep Clause in Random Doubles

-This has been the most requested revote we have ever seen. The entire doubles community pretty much unanimously wants sleep clause to exist.

-Sleep Clause is not in DOU; however, this discrepancy can be explained in part by "you can build around it". In rands, you can't build around it and are more likely to be outsped and slept every turn. However, sleep is still unrestricted in every actual doubles format, and that's something to take into account.

-adding Sleep Clause would likely result in wide changes and removal of sleep moves from a large number of Pokemon; for example, Coil Milotic would be removed in full, and Sleep Powder may possibly even be removed from Vivillon in favor of Rage Powder. Venomoth would certainly gain Baton Pass due to not needing Sleep Powder anymore.

-If performed, a Sleep Clause would cause Dark Void to be unbanned. not like it'd use it anyway.

-Sleep Clause not existing currently solely drives the viability of several Pokemon; these sleep users would likely be underleveled going into RBTT.

-The lack of Sleep Clause currently means that if you get a sleep inducer, you will likely not want to click anything other than sleep move every turn unless both opposing Pokemon are already asleep. Sleep is deeply impactful in games as a result.

-For reference on how good Sleep is, things run hypnosis pretty frequently. Even with 60% accuracy, it's worth the chance of putting the entire team to sleep usually.
Xceloh voted against Sleep Clause and stated that because it is not banned from any actual doubles format aside from BW DOU, sleep should not be restricted in Random Doubles. He reopened the vote so he could actually participate and not abstain.

Petros stated that he was 90% down for sleep clause and that having it feels intuitive.

Bobo was concerned that Vivillon probably doesn't want to actually lose Sleep Powder; I stated that this was from a direct suggestion from jackofspadesman in the past where he requested Rage Powder to exist on Vivillon; the only move it could really replace would be Sleep Powder.

Everyone else just silently voted to add Sleep Clause. The final vote tallied at 7-1 in favor of adding Sleep Clause, with one no-vote.

Ironically, out of everything here, this was the closest vote in this Council Minutes season.

Misdreavus initially caught some support in our primary gen 9 rands set development channel, because we wanted more Draining Kiss shenanigans after the success of Hatterene. Misdreavus's higher bulk compared to Mismagius made a Tera Fairy CM Draining Kiss set more alluring. However, not everyone was sold on it.

@Dev Council Gen 9 singles NFE vote:
Please vote on whether to add Misdreavus:
-Starting set: Shadow Ball, Draining Kiss, Calm Mind, Will-O-Wisp. Tera Fairy. Eviolite.
-Starting level (subject to change): 90. Mismagius is currently level 86.

-Misdreavus may have a niche over Mismagius due to its higher bulk, especially on the physical side. This may allow it to pull off a CM draining kiss set effectively.
-With Will-O-Wisp, it can cripple physical attackers, while its naturally high special bulk can be further boosted with Calm Mind.
-Detractors argue that Misdreavus may be inconsistent. It requires several boosts to do significant damage to Normal and Dark types, and is arguably too reliant on Terastallizing, both for damage and defensive purposes.
-It also hates Knock Off for obvious reasons.
-Hex has been discussed, but it will start with Shadow Ball since it is more consistent, especially against Fire-types. Hex, and other alternative set options can be explored down the line if Misdreavus is added.
-I thought it was too reliant on Tera Fairy to function and would be useless without it, so I voted no.

-Shadows believed that Misdreavus wasn't really bringing anything unique to the table compared to Mismagius, and voted no due to that.

-Petros was concerned about the frequency of Knock Off.

-Pia also believed that it would not bring much to the table.

-Blade believed the Pokemon cannot function well on its own, but acknowledged the potency of Draining Kiss with such low HP and Eviolite.

-Xceloh thought Mismagius would probably do better at that set and also noted that Psychic Noise would hard shut out Draining Kiss as an option.

-Roginald noted that Will-O-Wisp and Calm Mind make it a defensive juggernaut, and that its natural bulk is favorably high with Draining Kiss in the mix.

-Despite these commentaries, Misdreavus passed the council vote with 5 upvotes, and 4 downvotes. It is now in the format.

A Cake Wearing A Hat

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Random Battle Lead
I've been slacking on this, let's get y'all caught up to speed before April, eh?

-Electabuzz, Magmar, Duraludon, and Rhydon are now in Gen 9 Random Doubles.
-Iron Boulder and Slither Wing were prevented from being a lead to prevent unwanted items (but they are now allowed as a lead again due to us reworking how Booster Energy generates)
-Any two council members who did not vote against the majority opinion may now reopen any relevant council vote at any time with no delay.
-Stone Edge Garganacl is gone and Curse Garganacl will never again exist unless this decision is reverted by the council.
-Murkrow no longer exists in Gen 7 Random Battle.
-Teams can now generate with two pokemon that share the same exact typing in any generation.
-Chansey is still allowed.
-Teams will now have at most one level 100 Pokemon in every generation.
-Gen 2 Random Battles's upcoming revamp will include Poliwhirl.
-Teams will now have at most one Pokemon 4x weak to a given typing. Teams will, therefore, no longer get multiple Pokemon 4x weak to Rock, for instance.
-Petros is no longer on the Council, and Roginald has stepped down from his position. The council will consist of seven people until skilled replacements are chosen.
-We will very shortly after this post be polling the community about whether or not to revamp Gen 8 Random Battles.

This discussion was not large because it was about doubles. It happened around the time Doubles was getting revamped to Indigo Disk.

Four votes were opened without prior council discussion as per previous decisions on NFE inclusion. Magmar and Electabuzz were primarily pinpointed as Eviolite Follow Me users while their evolutions would rather run Assault Vest, Rhydon's benefit came from Lightning Rod, and Duraludon's benefit came from being Duraludon.

Xceloh believed that all four were worthwhile, but especially Magmar due to it being a "VGC goat iirc". His exact comments on duraludon were "idk about Skyscraper but the bulk with eviolite feels so tood (sic) that feels worth it and he still hits super hard". Roginald expressed that Rhydon and Duraludon didn't seem special, but that the others were fine.

I initially stated in Rhydon's blurb that it existed in Gen 8 Random Doubles. I was corrected on this by Livid Washed, after which we had a short discussion about how apparently doing "/randdubs rhydon, gen8" just pulls up rhydon's singles set for some reason and that's what confused me. We should probably get that fixed but we haven't done that yet. Maybe I'll remember now. Maybe I'll be too busy with other stuff. We'll see.

Ultimately, all of them passed, with Electabuzz, Magmar, Rhydon, and Duraludon respectively receiving votes of 8-0, 7-0 with one abstain, 6-2, and 7-1. Pokeblade101 did not vote or abstain in any of the four.

These discussions and votes happened at two different times, but both of them share lots of similarities.

Our previous method of generating Booster Energy on Paradoxes was "If the role is Bulky Setup and the Pokemon isn't in the lead slot, give it Booster Energy. Otherwise, give it whatever item it would have instead with that role". This caused some problems. Bulky Setup lead Iron Boulder was getting Leftovers (which isn't anything), and Bulky Setup lead Flame Charge Slither Wing was getting Weakness Policy (which is even less of a thing than the previous nothing).

Per previously-established lead vote policy, we voted on making each of them not able to lead anymore to remove these unwanted items. I tried to stress in the votes that noLeading something does not impact the Pokemon's appearance rate. This stressing was of middling success.

The Iron Boulder vote received little to no discussion other than "has this gone through yet" at one point from Bobo and a comment from shadows that the speed boost is "kinda [iron boulder's] thing at this point".

Petros thought Weakness Policy Slither Wing was fine.

Both votes are now irrelevant. Booster Energy now generates entirely differently. Booster Energy now always generates on Paradox Pokemon with the Fast Bulky Setup role, and the Fast Bulky Setup role cannot be chosen over other roles in the lead slot for Paradox Pokemon. As such, both Slither Wing and Iron Boulder can lead again.

Xceloh wanted to remove Stone Edge Garganacl. This caused bobomania to voice a concern that anything that was once decided by a council vote cannot be changed without another council vote, even if it is bad, and as such we can't really use council votes to tiebreak things without consequences. Livid agreed with this and we began drafting methods to change that fact, especially after Shadows became a formal second on revoting on our revote policy (which was unfortunately something we had to do to actually make change happen).

Through a lot of complex meta-discussion that i can't even really begin to transcribe here in a comprehensible manner, we basically came up with the following terms:
-We will no longer do Ranked Choice votes because they're messy. We'll try to keep all votes at only two options.
-Format Heads can count for vote reopening now
-We can revert set changes decided by council vote if they are statistically harmful
-The six-months-unless-something-changes cooldown period before reopening any vote no longer exists, because it's confusing and potentially harmful.

There was much lamenting about previous ranked-choice votes in Garganacl and Meowscarada and their outcomes, and how this would prevent things like that from happening in the future.

This passed unanimously.

"well here we are again
it's always such a pleasure
remember when you tried to kill me twice"
-Stone Edge Garganacl, in its new concept album "Public Enemy No. 1", available on Spotify coming in 2025

The conclusion of the revote policy discussion then led to an immediate revote of Garganacl.

The inclusion of two new Magic Guard users since the previous vote and the prevalence of Psychic Noise Psychic-types granted Stone Edge Garganacl perhaps more ground to stand on than in the past, due to its ability to at all threaten them. However, hatred for Stone Edge Garganacl had also grown proportionally from the entire rands community including the council, and the council just wanted it to stop at this point.

Some important clauses in the vote were as follows:
-Curse will not exist without Stone Edge. Salt Cure + Curse is not being considered, because that's just worse Iron Defense in a rands setting.
-There is a real possibility that we would not revert this change if it lowered Garganacl's winrate due to the community hatred of Stone Edge Garganacl. For reference, this is also why we are not ever considering bringing back RestTalk Terapagos.

Shadows immediately contested the second point and said that we would always revert it if it was bad. I, however, mentioned that it has been done before and is not outside the realm of possibility. A couple council members mentioned that they would probably like it reverted if it turned out to be a bad change and that we can just tell the community if we add it back. However, in response, I brought up that there have been past council votes that resulted in negative changes that some council members did not want to revert afterwards. Livid closed this branch of discussion by saying in no uncertain terms that we would readd Stone Edge if removing it was negative and that this situation is different from past situations.

I believed at the time that DLC2 granted more credence to Stone Edge's existence and that it should probably stay. Some council members agreed, but ultimately the annoyance at the community and desire to test it to get it over with outweighed any theoretical merit.

Removing Stone Edge Garganacl passed 8-1. It was proven statistically that Garganacl is better without Stone Edge. It will never be added back again.

So it turns out Z-Mirror Move Murkrow sucked! Murkrow had a sub-48% win rate in Gen 7 Rands ever since it got introduced, and was looking like it might settle at around level 92. So, obviously, ZMM ain't gonna be the way to go. The reopened vote was as follows:

Please vote on whether to keep or remove Murkrow in Gen 7 Random Battle.

Murkrow is currently level 92, up from 90 at its introduction. Its winrate at end of month December is 49.7%. Its winrate on addition was closer to 47%. It is decidedly not great at what it does and needs significant levels in order to pull off its goal of Z-Mirror Move sweeping.

Murkrow's bulk is only different from Honchkrow's due to its level.

Z-Mirror Move will likely be removed in favor of pure Eviolite if Murkrow is voted to stay.

Its winrate is now more balanced than it was before, and 92 seems like the level it will stay. However, its issues are definitely still apparent and it will never truly excel in the format. It is up to the council to decide if this position is acceptable.

Is Murkrow a case of us trying too hard to make an NFE work? Does it truly do something good compared to Honchkrow, or is it just a very high level bird with prankster twave?
We overall agreed that Murkrow without Z-Mirror Move spiciness is just kinda milquetoast weak fast Honchkrow with prankster thunder wave. I'm pretty sure the thing that did it for Murkrow was pointing out that it doesn't even guaranteed 2HKO the average-bulk Pokemon at level 92 with Brave Bird. Multiple council members mentioned that being this high level and still struggling probably means that the NFE Pokemon isn't meant to be in the format.

Livid, Petros, and Bobo mentioned they'd like to try just a raw Eviolite set first before removing it because they believe it deserves a last chance.

The vote ended 6-3 in favor of removing Murkrow. It's gone now.

Livid mentioned that having no duplicate typings allowed limits oldgens like 2 and 3 too much; some members countered that such limitations also exist in current gens, since you can't get Swift Swim Floatzel + Politoed, for instance, and that the limit of three pokemon weak to any type will limit any damage caused by allowing two Pokemon of a specific typing. As such, this vote happened:

Please vote on whether to remove the "one Pokemon per type combination" limit for Gens 3-9. Due to unanimous agreement, it will be removed in Gen 2 without needing a vote.

-The "two Pokemon per type" and "three Pokemon weak to a type" limits will still exist to limit type matchup disparities. You'll never get 3 Pokemon with the same type combination.

-This increases the variety of teams and allows combinations like Politoed + Swift Swim Golduck to exist. Some argue that Random Battles isn't random enough if such combinations aren't possible.

-However, removing this limit can increase type matchup issues. Two Pokemon with the same typing will share weaknesses and resistances, so it's hard for them to help each other defensively.

We ran some metrics for Gen 9 Random Battle and found the following:

-Removing the limit would slightly increase the number of teams with 3 Pokemon weak to a type and no resists or immunes, but the difference is small. In the testing, the average number of types a team is "vulnerable" to in this way goes from 0.434 to 0.445.

-With the limit removed, implementing a limit of 4 Pokemon weak to Freeze-Dry is fully feasible and would have almost no effect on the previous metric.
Some council members were skeptical of this decision, or believed the decision to be too broad to determine in one vote. However, the concept of getting Zacian-C + Tinkaton, and the allowance of a Freeze-Dry weakness limit, overall outweighed those concerns to most of the council. Formerly, Freeze-Dry weaknesses couldn't be limited on a team without drastically increasing the number of teams with no regular Ice-resistant Pokemon. However, with this change in effect, that effect goes away. As such, this was likely the main selling point for most people.

The vote passed 7-1, but complaints arose rather quickly...

Petros and Shadows reopened the vote on Chansey because now you can get Chansey and Blissey on the same team 1/10000th of the time and also it's basically just Blissey 2.

As such, Chansey was voted to potentially be removed in gens 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.

-Chansey is one of three heal bell users in Gen 9.
-Chansey is basically just Blissey but again.
-Chansey is in many situations better than Blissey outright, although it's more vulnerable to hazards and Knock Off.

Shadows made powerful arguments that getting Chansey + Blissey together in a prestigious tournament would be catastrophic, Chansey and Blissey are the same Pokemon and violate our general consensus that NFEs should be unique, Chansey (and by extension Blissey) are matchup fishes that can occasionally do nothing at all and are therefore unhealthy to have in Rands, and also imagine if it were Aromatherapy Bayleef, would we keep Aromatherapy Bayleef just for more Aromatherapy?

The vote ended 6-3 in favor of keeping Chansey.

A vote was started by livid washed to prevent more than one level 100 Pokemon per team. It did not receive much discussion, but Xceloh disliked the proposal because he values having the ability to generate any two Pokemon together on a team.

The vote passed 7-1, with one abstain.

The Gen 2 Revamp team wished to add Poliwhirl due to its blazing Speed stat when accounting for level adjustment.
Council was overall quite skeptical because Poliwhirl's statline is hot garbage outside of Speed and Gen 2's lack of adequate level balancing and data to do so, but Livid managed to convince several members to give it a shot after sharing some Belly Drum calcs.

The vote passed 6-1, with two abstains.

People have grown dissatisfied with the playfeel of the formats since we allowed duplicate typings. However, I proposed we should think outside the box instead of immediately reverting it; perhaps we could do something that could make teamgen feel better while also allowing us to continue restricting freeze dry weaknesses? As such, we came up with the idea of ameliorating one of the primary complaints: getting two Fire/Flyings, or two Bug/Flyings. Two quad rock weaks, in other words. This was expanded to be more generalized, because it was deemed technically feasible.

As such, we voted on disallowing more than one Pokemon quad weak to any given typing in gens 2-9.

Livid mentioned that this prevents Roaring Moon + Koraidon and Blade mentioned that Abomasnow + Scizor would no longer exist either, which is unfortunate. However, this was deemed an acceptable loss by several council members.

Livid also mentioned that this does not impact teamgen or appearance rates heavily, and is therefore unintrusive from a statistics perspective.

This vote passsed 6-1, with two abstains.

A good portion of community members, prominent Gen 8 Random Battle players, and council members do not want Gen 8 Random Battles to be revamped into the same system gens 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 use, citing that the format is just fine as it is now and may be ruined by a revamp. As such, we voted on whether or not to revamp it at all:

Please vote on whether or not to consider revamping Gen 8 Random Battle. :thumbsup: = consider the revamp

the facts are as follows:
-The majority of people who voiced their opinions in the gen 8 random battles invitational tournament, including several council members, do not want gen 8 to be revamped.
-Revamping Gen 8 Random Battle would also obligate us to revamp Gen 8 Random Doubles Battle.
-If Gen 8 is not revamped, it will not obtain additional code adjustments, but may still obtain set adjustments in the future.
-Gen 8's revamp will be the only way to remove bugged and undesirable sets like Bounceless Gyarados, Weavile lacking Triple Axel, and Barraskewda lacking Close Combat.
-Gen 8's revamp will cause imbalance temporarily. This balance will eventually be mended by winrate leveling, but due to Gen 8's low sample size, accurate winrate leveling will be significantly slower than other generations.
-A decent portion of people do not like Gen 8 of Pokemon due to its divisive design choices. Both Gen 8 OU and Gen 8 Random Battle are in the bottom three of their respective groups' popularity. These facts may or may not be connected.
-Revamping Gen 8 Random Battle will even out set odds significantly, which will naturally increase the rate of both Choice items and hazard removal.
-Gen 8 Random Battle ended at a very balanced point winrates-wise at the turn of the generation, to the point where we did not track winrates anymore for a long time afterwards. Almost all Pokemon were in between 48-52%.

there’s 3 main subjective considerations for revamp:
-current ladder popularity
-consensus amongst competitive community with regards to its balance/competitiveness
-consistency in terms of rands design

-If "Revamp Gen 8" is voted, we may opt to survey the community before taking action, after which we may or may not have another vote depending on the outcome. Whether or not this happens will depend on the discussion among the council.
The council overall voiced support for further surveying the community on whether or not we do this, if this vote were to pass.

Shadows believes the lack of viable ladder data for Gen 8 Random Battle means that the format will become unbalanced, while it is currently balanced, and that revamping it will alienate its current playerbase.

Xceloh was confused at how much praise Gen 8 gets for its balance, given its low popularity. He seconded the point about causing imbalance that will persist for many months, and also did not want fun sets to be removed in favor of more competitive sets. However, xceloh also did not want Gen 8 to just be an odd-duck format that's not like the others in team generation. He ultimately upvoted solely to survey the community, while still leaning towards not doing so.

Blade mentioned that casuals just don't like dynamax and that the revamp will definitely not help bring more people to the format. However, he does desire to remove many of the bad sets that current Gen 8 Rands has, and notes that balancing will be difficult. He also wanted to survey the community to prevent heavy outcry from existing Gen 8 players.

Ultimately, due to a 4-3 vote in favor of action and a general sentiment towards community polling, a poll will be released on Smogon shortly that will be open to anyone with a Smogon account. If you're reading this, you'd better be one of the people answering! We still have a decision to make, after all.

-Petros asked what makes banned topics in the Gen 9 Random Battle discussion channel banned because he wanted Stone Edge Garganacl gone. I answered that it is things that are not doable due to code or policy restrictions, things that are council voted on already, or things that have been brought up and rejected three or more times.

-Livid mentioned that Dragon Dance Zweilous would be cool if it learned that. It doesn't learn that.

-I was surprised that the PS room wanted Bombirdier to have a Stone Edgeless set, and the council overall agreed that it would be an interesting change. Turns out it was good!

I bring a post from the Gen 9 Random Battle sets thread to the council that demands in no uncertain terms that all Pokemon be level balanced manually and we fully abandon winrates as a balancing method. It was denied unanimously.

Petros brought up removing Baton Pass from gens 3 and 4 of Random Battle due to being broken. This did not receive support other than livid washed saying "I'd like to see how it plays out in RBTT but it's maybe broken, yeah" and overall did not go anywhere in the long term now that RBTT is done. Maybe this post will reincite that. Who knows.

Petros brought up banning sleep in Gen 5 Random Battles because it is polarizing and broken. This received support from Roginald and Xceloh, but was also slated to wait until after RBTT. Petros wanted a vote before that point but did not get one, and then began crafting an array of sets without sleep in Gen 5 anyway. Nothing has happened as of yet, and RBTT is over.

Pokeblade correctly predicted that unforcing Stealth Rock on Camerupt was a bad idea.

The Set Development Application was rolled out, and all council members were made to fill it out. Roginald declined doing so, stating that he wished to resign at the next opportunity. The rest of the council filled out the form satisfactorily. The council overall made jokes about being given homework.

Petros gave tera bug rhyperior a skull emoji but didn't try to make it not happen.

Petros tagged me asking how he could remove Unown. I told him in no uncertain terms that we are never trying that again after what happened last time. This was deemed tragic but understandable.

We checked in on whether any of the set development applicants were ready for council yet. None were.

Petros is no longer a member of the set development team, and Roginald got a chance to step down. The council is now seven members. The veto threshold for routine updates is now three. The threshold for major policy-breaking changes to come to vote is now five members, instead of six.

Shadows wanted Wish Chansey in Gen 9. Chansey does not learn Wish in Gen 9. As such, Shadows cast a veto vote against trying it in older generations. This was the only veto vote for this issue, so Wish + Softboiled Chansey now exists in some oldgens.

The impending ban on Acupressure sitewide was discussed. The Random Battles Council deemed that Gen 8 Random Doubles Shuckle, Maractus, and Pincurchin are not in fact broken or banworthy and are actually pretty bad, and as such we aren't going to remove Acupressure from our formats. For all intents and purposes, Acupressure is not part of Evasion Clause for Random Battles. A council member who will remain anonymous stated that it is "dumb that ladder cheese makes decisions like this happen".

I posted in the Acupressure thread. The council said I probably should've posted it here instead. They were correct. I just didn't want to write this post.

Lead trapping was briefly mentioned again due to certain recent events. It did not get any attention from the council.
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