Lizardman Lizardman asks:

Fun fact: one of the most feared Pokemon in Anything Goes is not Mega Rayquaza, or some Arceus forme… It’s Vivillon. Just thought you’d like to know.

Well “one of the most feared” is a bit of an exaggeration; she’s a bit niche and very high-risk/high-reward, but even that much is a hell of an achievement for a cookie-cutter early-game butterfly.  Honestly I think this says less about Vivillon than about how heinously overpowered sleep is in Pokémon, even after being nerfed in four out of six generations, and how completely we all tend to forget about that most of the time.  Smogon has a rule (and I think other communities use this as well) that you can only put one Pokémon to sleep at a time, and their influence on the competitive Pokémon community is so great that even in contexts where their rules don’t apply (like most official tournaments) people kind of act as if they did – partly, I think, because the strategies banned by rules like this are just incredibly dickish and make the game a lot less fun for everyone.  Of course, in Smogon’s “anything goes” tier… well, anything goes.  Vivillon is faster than Butterfree and gets Compoundeyes Hurricane, and Sun and Moon nerfed the cr@p out of Darkrai’s Dark Void, so if you want to spam a very high-accuracy sleep technique, she’s the one to do it with.  I mean, yes, Quiver Dance is part of it, because without it Vivillon would be outrun and one-shot by practically everything, but when you have all the legendary Pokémon in the game to work with, the offensive presence of a Quiver Dance Vivillon, while significant, isn’t that big a deal – which is why we would never have this conversation in the “uber” tier, where the sleep rules still apply.  Sleep really is just that good.  This is one of the reasons you shouldn’t automatically defer to the competitive zeitgeist when choosing Pokémon and movesets for single-player, not even in end-game battle facilities – it’s not actually the same game.

Anonymous asks:

My nidorino was put to sleep in battle and then got its defense lowered by leer. How does that work? How do things like leer, scary face, or mean look work on sleeping pokemon?

I dunno.  Magic?

Truth is, the battle mechanics of the Pokémon games are not really meant as a 100% accurate simulation of anything, and there are probably a million and one things that don’t make too much sense when you look too closely at them, but which we just accept because the game needs to have understandable and predictable rules in order to be playable.  I think this is best illustrated by looking at what happens when you run the exact same imaginary scenario (a Pokémon using an intimidation technique like Leer on a sleeping opponent) through a different set of rules – those of the trading card game.  Exactly what Leer does in the TCG varies slightly depending on the Pokémon using it, but basically it tends to stop the target from attacking, and sometimes also from switching out, during its next turn (Mean Look only seems to prevent switching; Scary Face always prevents both).  So what happens when it’s used on a sleeping Pokémon?  Well, sleeping Pokémon normally can’t do either of those things in the TCG anyway, so the answer is “nothing,” much as you’d expect.  Neither system of rules is ever going to be complex enough to provide the intuitively “correct” answer to every possible imagined scenario; there are always going to be weird corner cases that throw up an interaction that just doesn’t seem to make sense.  I think in those situations the best thing to do is ask “what would probably happen in the anime?” because the anime is less constrained by the need for absolute consistency in the rules – and in this case, I suspect the answer (if anyone ever actually made a move like that, which strikes me as unlikely) is, again, “nothing.”