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Pokemon Platinum marks the newest phase in the Pokemon Metagame. For a long time, a website named Smogon has been put in charge of organizing the competitive Pokemon scene. Smogon can be related to Smashboards in terms of importance and influence. It has been accepted throughout the Pokemon community that whenever two people battle with each other they follow what we call "Standard Rules." These rules have been fashioned by Smogon.com to ensure the balance of battle. Here is what these rules contain: No Ubers First and foremost, Standard rules deny the usage of Uber Pokemon. These Pokemon overcentralize the standard gameplay and have been deemed too powerful. - Arceus - Darkrai - Deoxys (all forms) - Dialga - Garchomp - Giratina (Both forms) - Groudon - Ho-oh - Kyogre - Latias (with Soul Dew) - Latios - Lugia - Manaphy - Mew - Mewtwo - Palkia - Rayquaza - Shaymin (Sky Form only) - Wobbuffet - Wynaut Why are Garchomp and Wobbuffet banned? Garchomp and Wobbuffet/Wynaut are the only two/three Pokemon deemed Uber who are not legendary. Both have similar reasons. Neither of them have counters. Wobbuffet's ability, Shadow Tag, prevents switch-outs and draws battles into unneccessary lengths of time. Garchomp's ban was established a few months after the dreadul "Yachechomp" set was created. Yachechomp is the name for a Garchomp holding a Yache Berry, one of the 16 berries that decreases the damage of a super effective attack. Yache Berry decreases the power of Ice attacks. This berry essentially makes it so that no Pokemon can successfully switch into battle against Garchomp and defeat him. Evasion Clause Moves that boost evasion, such as Double Team and Minimize are not allowed. Abilities that boost evasion such as Snow Cloak and Sand Veil are still allowed. The item Bright Powder is also still allowed. The reasoning behind this is simple. If moves like these were allowed, the gameplay would be overcome with poor accuracy and would essentially turn into a game based solely on luck. Freeze Clause No two Pokemon may be frozen at the same time. There is no move as of current time that solely freezes a Pokemon, therefore this Clause cannot be enforced except for in controlled environments such as Battle Revolution and Shoddy. OHKO Clause Moves that cause a one-hit KO such as Sheer Cold and Fissure are not allowed. Similar to the Evasion Clause, luck should not win a battle but rather strategy. Sleep Clause The players may not put more than one Pokemon on the opponent's side to Sleep. The move Rest is not affected by this Clause. If it were not for this clause, Pokemon like Breloom, Butterfree and Darkrai would run rampant putting everything they see to sleep, preventing the player from essentially doing anything. Species Clause No two Pokemon of the same species may be used on the same team. For example, two Gardevoirs would violate this clause but a Gardevoir and a Gallade does not. This is because teams are suited for countering specific Pokemon only once. A team of Zapdoses would essentially require everyone to have a Blissey. It would destroy the balance of the metagame, and just imagine a team of 6 Arceus. Self KO Clause If both players have only one Pokemon remaining in battle moves that KO the user, such as Explosion or Destiny Bond, are not allowed. If a player uses a move that causes recoil damage such as Flare Blitz ends the game in both Pokemon fainting, the player that attacked LAST is announced the winner. This is largely because the player knows full well before hand that a move like Flare Blitz will have the chance of fainting their Pokemon. This clause is also available in PBR. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ In addition to the Standard rules, there are also some clauses people may initiate when starting a battle. They include the following: Item Clause A Clause heavily enforced by all official Nintendo tournaments. Players are not allowed to have two or more of the same item on any of their Pokemon. Few players will initiate this rule, largely due to leftovers being very popular. Hax Clause This Clause bans the use of the items listed below: - Brightpowder - Quick Claw - Focus Band - King's Rock The reasoning behind Hax Clause is similar to the Evasion Clause. Either way, most of the time the player using Hax items would get a far larger advantage if they were to use an item like Life Orb or Leftovers. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Tiers There are currently six tiers in addition to the aforementioned Ubers Tier. They are Overused (OU),Underused (UU), Borderline (BL), Neverused (NU) and Not Fully Evolved (NFE). A Pokemon's ranking is determined by their overall usage. Obviously, the strongest Pokemon are used the most. Pokemon like Yanmega are strong but they are just not used that often, typically as a result of how other Pokemon are used. Even though there are six tiers, there are only three styles of gameplay. "Ubers" enable the usage of every Pokemon available. Obviously, the best Pokemon to use are in the Uber Tier which was previously mentioned. "Standard" is the style of gameplay most people play with. All Pokemon are permitted to be used in this style of gameplay except for Ubers. This is the default mode every player uses unless the player specifically states that they want to play "Ubers" or "UU" "UU", or "UU/NU" gameplay is a mode where Uber, OU and BL Pokemon are all banned. These are the tiers as of April 15 2009. Overused: Borderline: Underused: Neverused: Not Fully Evolved: Well, thats it. These are the rules we all play by. Check Smogon.com for more information. As time progresses, standards change.