Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Receives Its First Competitive Bans

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet has already gotten its first Pokemon ban. Smogon, an unofficial but influential forum for competitive Pokemon, has announced that Houndstone and Flutter Mane will both be barred from the OU tier of play immediately. The two Pokemon were banned for different reasons – Flutter Mane was banned due to its strong base stats and Fairy/Ghost-typing along with its Protosynthesis ability, which would boost its highest stat even further with use of either Harsh Sunlight or a Booster Energy. 

Meanwhile, Houndstone was banned as it is the only Pokemon that knows Last Respects. Last Respects is a unique move that becomes more powerful based on how many fainted Pokemon are in your party. If used as the anchor for your team, Houndstone's Last Respect potentially has a base damage of 300, which makes it the most powerful move in the game when factoring in base damage. Houndstone's ban may be revisited if another Pokemon is able to learn Last Respects and the OU council (the group who decides on these bans) moves to ban the move instead. 

To be clear, both Pokemon can still be used in official competitive play, which focuses on 4v4 doubles competition. And Smogon still allows both Pokemon to be used in its Uber competitive tier, which is reserved for its most powerful Pokemon. For now, only four Pokemon have been sent into Uber exile – Houndstone, Flutter Mane, Koraidon, and Miraidon. More Pokemon will likely be "banned" from the popular OU tier as time goes on and the metagame evolves, but for now Flutter Mane and Houndstone are in rarified company as the first to be designated as overpowered for normal Pokemon play.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet is available on the Nintendo Switch now.