Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Overpowered Scarlet And Violet Pokémon That Got The Ban Hammer

While "Pokémon Scarlet and Violet" has only been out for a couple of weeks, some rulings have been made regarding the competitive scene. Specifically, a few Pokémon have already been banned from use. While there are plenty of overpowered Pokémon in "Pokemon Scarlet and Violet," the reasons given for banning particular Pokémon are typically a bit more nuanced.

The games' first bans have been issued by Smogon University, a popular online Pokémon forum where players get together to network and compete in competitive battles. Smogon is not officially recognized by the Pokémon Video Game Championship, but the fact that this revered and popular community has issued bans on specific Pokémon is still a notable upset for the player community. After all, these bans could even provide insight into potential bans coming to official tournaments.

These bans are in Smogon's OU format, one of its most popular. OU stands for Over-Used, as Smogon's formats are split into different tiers based on how commonly-used certain Pokémon typically are in battle. Lower tiers might restrict common Pokémon, forcing players to be move creative, while OU allows for many stronger monsters to be used in battle. Smogon offers plenty of other formats where these bans aren't enforced, so players can still enjoy playing with these Pokemon if they so choose. But for the curious, here are the first Pokémon that Smogon have banned in "Pokémon Scarlet" and "Violet," and why.

Flutter Mane and Houndstone were first up

The first set of bans were for Flutter Mane and Houndstone. Flutter Mane is a Ghost/Fairy Pokémon that has high attack and speed stats, resulting in it being too powerful for competitive play. Longtime fans may note that it looks quite a bit like Misdreavus, a creature introduced during the Second Generation of "Pokémon" games. In fact, Flutter Mane is one of what the new games refer to as Paradox Pokémon. These monsters are ancient or futuristic variants of Pokémon that players know and love. Although they cannot evolve, they are nonetheless able to put up one heck of a fight. Flutter Mane's stats, mixed with its combination of types that already cause a headache for most opponents, essentially rules it out from future use in Smogon's OU tourneys. 

Meanwhile, the Ghost-type dog Houndstone isn't too powerful by itself, but it can learn the move Last Respects, which increases in damage for every fainted Pokémon in your party. If used last, it would deal a high amount of damage (maybe even a one-hit knockout). It's also the only Pokémon that can currently learn Last Respects, which severely tilts the meta in the favor of any player who has a Houndstone in their roster — especially if they're saving the tough pooch for last. It's honestly not much of a surprise to see this one make the new ban list, though it remains to be seen if Smogon may reconsider when other Pokémon become capable of performing Last Respects.

Palafin and Iron Bundle get the boot

The second set of bans was for Palafin and Iron Bundle. Palafin itself isn't too powerful, but it has an alternate mode that puts it in a whole new tier of battle. The ability Zero To Hero morphs Palafin into a new form that's extremely difficult to counter. It's high attack and defense stats make it hard to put down, turning the cute water Pokémon into a torpedo of strength. Simply put, the Hero Form's stats blow most Pokémon out of the water (no pun intended). 

Iron Bundle, the Paradox Pokémon version of Delibird, has offensive capabilities deemed too difficult to defend against, resulting in its ban. The bizarre fact that a version of Delibird — a Pokémon not typically thought of as being overpowered — is being banned from play was not lost on the admins at Smogon. As noted by forum leader ausma, "Yes, we live in the timeline where a Delibird form is quickbanned from OU, and, yes, it is absolutely hilarious. But what's not hilarious is how ridiculous Iron Bundle is." Not only can Iron Bundle deal out heavy damage, but the shiny Santa Claus-looking Pokémon can do so with a nearly unmatched quickness.

As the OU meta shifts over time and the Pokédex continues to expand, Smogon will likely continue to ban and unban Pokémon as it sees fit. Pokémon fans will want to stay tuned to see how the future of the meta shifts. If nothing else, these announcements serve as a reminder of which Pokémon should be collected during the new games' single-player campaign.