- I'm making these arguments with a metagame in mind. Whether or not you acknowledge the existence of said metagame is irrelevent to credibility of the argument itself.
- LK didn't even exist in the very early years of GSC. NYPC offered it later on, but that was at the peak of NYPC-frowning-upon (I don't think there ever existed a NYPC clause). And let's face it, these newer gen players have no idea what NYPC even signifies, just that, "oh cool, the best pokemon in gsc learns sleep".
- It's not about what works "now", what worked in "this battle", it's a overall effect on the entire metagame, and many of you will fail to grasp that. You build teams thinking, "hey this works", when not realizing there's a clear difference between "what works" and "what works better". It's that same clairvoyance that you have to display when considering something like LK Snorlax. Let's face it, Snorlax is the metagame. Give snorlax Thunder Wave and suddenly it affects the entire meta. It's not about, "hey, in this battle his lk lax sucked", but the impact on a whole. [b]Did you play differently because the simple notion that LK exists on Snorlax?[/b] You might've switched to zapdos when you otherwise wouldn't, predicting that LK, only to see his Snorlax curse or drum up. LK snorlax make the non-lk snorlax even better because of that. Snorlax doesn't have 8 moves, but you play like it does. [b]And when one of them is drum, and the other is lk, and you're suppose to go in two completely different directions to beat either move, that completely breaks the game.[/b] Not to mention the destruction of drum + lk on a single set.
- Furthermore, I can see arguments fueled by the simple notion that LK Lax is one of the best stall breakers, and stall breaker = good thing in GSC. That's cool and all, and I totally agree, but not in this sense. If you hadn't already noticed, GSC took a turn for a much quicker meta, there's [b]plenty of stall breaking options.[/b] Absolutely NO ONE who's played GSC recently considers GSC a stall gen anymore. The only ones still stuck in "loolol GSC = stall" mindset are the newer and the older players, aka those that don't play GSC, those that speculate. If you feel GSC = stallfest, then you're probably not very good at GSC, and I don't mean that in a bad way -- Smogon articles have been pretty misinforming. By no means am I saying stalls are [i]bad[/i], but that they're merely a shadow of their former selves. Stalls are still great, amazing even, against the poorly built teams. Even when being outplayed, the sheer brute walling power of stalls can pull out wins. However, there have been a whole slew of stall breaking secrets that have been recently (past 4 years or so) revealed. I've invented [b]bait-explosion[/b] over half-decade ago and shared it with you guys for a more strategical approach to breaking stalls, since clearly the conventional way of attacking blindly failed. I've also invented [b]Vaporeon[/b] at the same time (since the team revolved around bait-explosion anyway), another NYPC pokemon, that's become one of the best pokemon in GSC and probably a top 3 sweeper at this point, fully capable of breaking stalls. Chris also brought to attention the existence of [b]mixed sweepers[/b], for those that feel skarmbliss = unbeatable. And there's also the slower, methodical [b]Heracross/Marowak/Snorlax approach to wear down Skarms.[/b] Then there's just straight blindly [b]exploding[/b] shit, because let's face it, there's only so much you can do against Explosion, even if you know it's coming. There's also [b]Clefable, Charizard, and even Quagsire[/b], who are all much to quick to be walled. And of course, just straight [b]Drumlax[/b] is enough. But with all these pokemon and their upsides, there are [b]huge downsides[/b], frailty, predictability (what else is Charizard going to do?), hard counters, being slow, risky, etc that just end up balancing things out. Snorlax's downside? He's stupidly resilient, unpredictable as hell, incounterable for the duration of GSC's existence, quick with the drum, and not that risky at all. He's the best pokemon in GSC afterall.
- Anyway, there are a couple ways you can go about reliably beating each type of Snorlax (assuming LK-less here):
- [b]SD lax[/b] - 1 for 1 trade is your best bet. Really.
- [b]Curselax[/b] - will ALWAYS have rest (I consider any lax with SD to be SD lax). So depending on the second move:
- EQ: Skarmory, Forretress (sort of), Umbreon, Miltank, Steelix (sort of) Pgon2 (can go toe-to-toe)
- FB: Gengar, Misdreavus, Rhydon, Tyranitar, Umbreon, Miltank, Golem, Pgon2 (can go toe-to-toe)
- ST: Skarmory, Forretress (sorf of), Umbreon, Miltank, Steelix, Gengar, Misdreavus, Tyranitar, Rhydon, Pgon2 (can go toe-to-toe)
- Sub/Drum: Skarmory (sort of, will get rid of it anyway), Forretress (sort of), Steelix, Gengar, Rhydon, Misdreavus, Tyranitar, Golem
- Suicune can take a few hits before going down as well, especially behind Reflect. I'm hesitant to mention Blissey, but technically it can growl snorlax down as well. Meganium falls in the same boat, both with one turn recovery. AA Vaporeon also outpaces it to the kill. Cloyster can screech explode if need be, and it clamps to boot. Alakazam, Jumpluff, and Raichu can all encore as well.
- The concept behind sub is that it blocks statuses and growl/charm. The concept behind drum is that it counters growl/charm, as well as outpacing the pgon2s, and hits skarm with a punch if you need it.
- The phazers listed are obviously useless if Snorlax is the last poke though (skarm, rhydon, golem, ttar, steelix). That is, unless they curse/rest/both too.
- [b]Drumlax[/b] - Since we're talking non-LK snorlax here, it'll probably have rest as well, so depending on the second move:
- EQ: Skarmory, Forretress can explode on it
- FB: Tyranitar, Rhydon, Golem, Gengar, Misdreavus
- Curse: See previous.
- The list is much shorter here, but we're make a list for pretty surefire counters, and of course, there are none really. The best bet is through attacking with whatever you have active, unlike curselax, Belly Drum is a suicidal move to do in front of anything you know is going to attack. Beating belly drum is not about having the right pokemon, but having the right play. If you're aggressive against it, it tends to be less effective. If you're conservative, it's probably the best pokemon in the game. A general rule of thumb to follow is that a drumlax between 45%-72% probably won't drum. Anything under makes you suceptible to an +2 drum, anything over puts it out of KO range for most attackers.
- [b]Mixlax[/b] - Again, we're assuming Rest here. Any snorlax without SD will probably rest, and those that have SD are part of SD lax. The general strategy here is that any real mixwall shouldn't have too much trouble with Snorlax. Snorlax fails to 3hko suicune (3hko is important because rest is a 3 turn process), and Reflect starmie takes relatively measeley damage as well (don't do this if it thunders or body slams though). Furthermore, you have Umbreon, the all-purpose wall, not to mention, this Snorlax set isn't too threatening to Misdreavus. Pgon2 can switch in over and over again, if Snorlax isn't packing a way to para it. And depending on FB or Thunder, Snorlax fails to 3hko Forretress/Cloyster as well. Miltank walls snorlax just fine, just gotta take the para slam if it does come and bell up. Snorlax fails to 3hko Zapdos w/o DE, and even with Return is still a slight reach. Machamp isn't too afraid of this Snorlax either, especially if it rests, or comes in behind a Reflect. Add Marowak to that list as well.
- Now, with all these "counters", Snorlax is still, by and large, the best Pokemon in GSC OU. By. Far. Better than Celebi/Ho-oh as well, but that's another story. And the cool thing is, a lot of these counters are not only OU, but overlap on countering the different snorlax sets. And for the one set that's "uncounterable" (drumlax), you can easily play around it by being aggresssive and with prediction, which you should be doing anyway. Snorlax gets balanced and countered just through regular GSC play.
- With LK, the key to understanding why it's broken is the [b]unpredictability[/b]. Honestly, it wouldn't be terrible if everyone just named LK Snorlax "LK Snorlax" to let the opponent know, but it's the fact that Snorlax comes in with 4 completely unknown moves, and you have to account for all of them when playing. So sometimes you're being threatened by something that doesn't even exist, and in this sense, you're essentially playing a snorlax with 5-6, or even 7 moves, which is what makes it too good. Unpredictability. Why is Gengar "better", even as a ptrapper, than Misdreavus? Unpredictability. No one expects it. The same argument for Encore Zam/Raichu/Jumpluff? Why does is it so good? It's the simple idea that the opponent "might" use the move, not necessarily the actual usage of the move itself. Switching zam into a snorlax in the middle of cursing makes that snorlax switch out, even without the actual use of the move encore. Having it in its moveset, hell, in more advanced battles, you learn that just having a move in its movePOOL is enough to deter some plays. In shorter battles, you can get away with a tbolt/thunderless zapdos for a reason, when your opponent realizes you don't have it, it could be too late. Anyway, onto the "review" itself:
- [b]SD lax[/b] - 2 for 1 in most cases, sometimes more. Consider yourself lucky if you get 1 for 1. SD LK lax is just a better Exeggutor/Gengar if you look at it in a knowing sense, but you don't know that. You'd never switch out against a low HP Snorlax expecting it to explode, as you would with Gengar/Egg. Unpredictability.
- [b]Curselax[/b] - Not too bad. Curselax will still have rest in this case, but with LK, his pool gets limited. I wouldn't say it's too much better than the other three versions of Curselax. The main difference here, however, is the fact that LK even lends more unpredictability. Not only did you have to worry about EQ, FB, Drum, ST, Sub, but now you worry about a potential LK. And out of all those moves, only Drum is as gamebreaking as LK. Everything else can be recovered from. The difference with Drum, of course, is that Ghosts don't necessarily stop you cold, not to mention the original counters in Ttar/Rhydon, don't really work. But all in all, it's the added unpredictability of the move that makes it broken.
- [b]Drumlax[/b] - There are two versions to consider, one without Rest, and one with.
- With rest: You lose a lot of coverage here, however, unless you have a ghost + rock, or ghost + steel, or steel + rock, you're still shit out of luck. And it's not a horrible idea to pass agility to this thing either. However, if this snorlax is required to take hits, then it's not that effective, and general drumlax counter strategies apply here. However, you're still at a severe disadvantage having to account for the possibility of EQ, FB, etc, and you can't immediately send out your ghost/steel/rock if this is the case. Again, LK is dangerous because of the added level of unpredictability.
- Without rest: This set wouldn't exist without LK, and generally coincides with a BP'd Agility to instantly win the game. Quite frankly, unless you know ahead of time what the team is, there's nothing you can do apart from running stupidly counter-ish. And even if you do know, there's really so much you can do. The list of stuff snorlax doesn't KO is small, and if it doesn't win the game (e.g. you predict LK, sacrifice something, then send in Skarm for the phaze, even though Skarm still has a chance of being OHKOed by DE), you've lost a good portion of your team. The worst part above all, is that there's really [b]no way to play around it. Skill isn't a factor here[/b], and when that happens there's a blatant brokenness to something and it doesn't belong in a meta. Mewtwo/Mew (Lugia isn't an offensive threat, but it doesn't take skill to use either) both don't need skill to be used effectively, brute force and rediculous staying power is sometimes better than crafty plays or... skill.
- [b]Mixlax[/b] - Assuming it Rests, it loses a lot of coverage. It's still an upgrade on the mixlax of old, just because it can sleep the all purpose wall. It's not too gamebreaking, more of a roleplayer, and it's no surprise this is the least popular of the bunch.
- So really, it's not the sheer move itself, since it really only gives birth to one new dimensional of play: bp to lk drumlax. This one dimension, however, is easily the most destructive sweeper in GSC history, bettering ubers easily. But in a general sense, the main argument here is the unnecessarily [b]bettering of the already best[/b] pokemon in GSC. Now it's not bad if you give Snorlax something like Light Screen, but LK is simply gamebreaking. Now with Gengar's unpredictability, the only Pokemon that really comes close to Snorlax with LK, comes fragility. Along with being frail, there's also an unstoppable way of countering it: Pursuit. That's not the case with Snorlax, there are no unboosted special moves that are a guaranteed a 4HKO, let alone a 3HKO. Furthermore, there are only a handful of physical moves that 3HKO the thing, then you account for LK and Curse and it just gets nasty. Having something... unstoppable that's so stupidly easy to use can't be healthy for a metagame. It doesn't take any finesse as with Charizard, or Clefable, or even Quagsire, and leaves very little room for what the rest of GSC signifies.
- Anyway, some of the highest skilled, most knowledgeable players have agreed that LK lax is too powerful for OU play, and that there's just no realistic way around it and it simply doesn't belong there. If not an LK lax ban on a whole, the at the very least, LK drumlax. I guess it's somewhat possible to recover from the slower sets.
- PS: If none of this goes through, feel free to use it in some Snorlax analysis article/review or something.
a guest Aug 13th, 2010 285 Never
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