The Purpose This is a setting in a hypothetical world where pokemon is the biggest single player e-sport and not targeted at making a fun in-game experience but rather a fun and, more importantly, fair competitive experience. These are the things that would be changed in that world. What are some things you would change about pokemon? The RNG The Main Problems % Chance Effects Accuracy Critical Hits Damage Rolls Solutions % Chance Effects These should be removed entirely. Flamethrower, Ice Beam and Psychic are all still great moves without theirs. It’s honestly something that doesn’t belong in a competitive game as pressing Ice Beam and praying when you’re losing a game shouldn’t be a viable strategy. Moves like scald where the reason you use it is for the 30% chance could still be used but more like Nuzzle where it does damage and paralyzes 100% of the time. Nuzzle and Icy Wind are great examples of this. Accuracy The trade-off for a more powerful move shouldn’t be the chance of it not doing damage 1 in 5 times. Great examples of moves are Superpower and Flare Blitz, more power with a set trade-off of debuffs and damage respectively, this could also lead to interesting combos abusing the debuffs turning them to buffs (i.e. Malamar + superpower). Critical Hits Again praying for a 7% chance shouldn’t be a way a game is won. These can turn games around if they happen at the right time. The more skilled players can play around it but if the skill gap is slight, chances are a crit could be the deciding factor of the worse player beating the better one. Damage Rolls I don’t think pokemon would fail while these exist but why do they have to? I shouldn’t be planning to survive a move 6.3% of the time. When that 6.3% does happen it’s going to feel so bad knowing I planned accordingly then still couldn’t manage to survive a hit. The Overpowered Parts The Main Problems Pokemon who can do everything Pokemon with too wide of move pools Pokemon with OP abilities and decent everything else Pokemon with too good of stats Z-Moves Solutions Pokemon who can do everything There aren’t a lot of pokemon like this but the first one who comes to mind is Incineroar. Intimidate, Fake Out and Knock Off are some of the best disruption tools in the game, Flare Blitz is an amazing offensive option, U-turn allows Incineroar to get out of trouble and set up those disruption moves again and he’s bulky. It’s broken, the top pokemon in your Ubers meta should not be a non-uber pokemon. Porygon2 and Arcanine in 2017 exampled this as well with huge supportive and offensive capabilities along with working in most situations. Porygon 2 was especially bad as there weren’t many viable fighting types (if you wanna call Pheromosa, Buzzwole and Hariyama viable) and most of them worked best next to the trick room setting king anyway. There’s really one solution and I shouldn’t waste my time writing them all. Balance patches. If a pokemon is too strong because of their move pool take away a few of their coverage moves, if it’s from too high of a speed and attack, take 10 or 20 points out of a stat. If a pokemon is too strong because it has no counters buff one of the dozens of useless pokemon that you constantly forget about to being a viable counter. Tons of games do it and it shouldn’t be that hard with pokemon especially if you don’t worry about buffing the grossly underpowered pokemon like Raticate or Bibarel (unless needed from the previous point) and focus more on the pokemon that might make problems in the meta. This would also eliminate the need for changing the ruleset every year because the game would stop feeling stale. Z-Moves Hey, you know the counterplay and weaknesses that are available against even the most powerful pokemon that makes pokemon great? What if we just let them one-shot their counters once per battle? That couldn’t mess things up. I doubt we’re going to be seeing a return of these in Gen 8 but it’s worth mentioning that they seriously can mess up the flow of a game especially if you don’t know they’re there until it’s too late. I credit my win against Ray Rizzo at the 2017 San Jose regional championship with the fact that I hid having 2 Z-move users on my team. I was proud of that strategy and still am as I think information gathering is an important part of pokemon but they are extremely difficult to counterplay and I prefer the game without them. I do like mega-evolutions but maybe they could do with a slight nerf and a wider variety of pokemon to mega-evolve. Things they get right Core mechanics Huge character pool Customizable moves, items etc. Grind to obtain pokemon Easy to learn, impossible to master This list would be disingenuous if I didn’t talk about all the things that make this game one of my favorites competitively and what should be kept in my perfect pokemon playing world. Core Mechanics Where do I even begin? The type matchups, the switching, the field control, how speed affects the game and how it works, all of these things make me so happy to think about. Type matchups make it so you require game knowledge to even begin thinking about being competitive, the way they work with the switching in and out of pokemon and make predictions so important helps boost the feeling that you’re decisions and knowledge are what’s deciding the game. The ability to switch pokemon in and out and how it makes board positioning so important and how it impacts the effects of moves and abilities make it one of the biggest reasons I love pokemon when I really think about it, it allows for so many big brain plays. I think the best example of this is 2016 where a well-timed switch could turn a game on its head since weather was so important. Controlling the field with weather, terrains and speed control is another great part of pokemon that accents everything else so well. There are so many ways of doing it that making the field a certain way is the deciding factor of any game like with a trick room reliant team. Speed is a great mechanic, it decides so much of the early game, knowing speed matchups and planning accordingly is what separates good players from great ones in my opinion. Huge Character Pool Now, how many ways are there of utilizing those mechanics? Hundreds. If there’s a niche you need to be filled on your team no matter how particular, there’s probably a pokemon to fill it. This diverse cast of colorful and easily discernable characters that all have a unique set of skills really gives a vibe that you are calling the shots of what is and isn’t on your team. While a lot of times we see one or two pokemon who dominate everything, the building blocks are there that make it so top 8 of a tournament could have 48 different pokemon in it that are all viable options. Customizable Moves, Items, Abilities, and Stats Now those hundreds of Pokemon must each have one or two things they can do, right? Well, actually they each have a near infinite amount of options and potential combinations with themselves and the other pokemon. The way you can customize your pokemon to fill those niches you need, make preparing a team just as important as your actual play. It’s also why I like the best of 3 format so much. You could get demolished in game one but good players have the tools to adapt and come back in the next games with the knowledge you gathered about your opponent’s team. That knowledge gathering part of the battle, learning those items and stats from your opponent help this competitive masterpiece be what it is. Grind to obtain Pokemon This one might be a bit controversial but I feel like this keeps the gate for pokemon not having the toxic community other games can be plagued by. Only the people who truly care about competing would sit down for the hours it takes to get your perfect pokemon and all the moves and items you need. Other games any rude person can hop on click a few buttons and start making claims about your mom. It takes time and effort to prepare for these tournaments and the kind of people who are willing to do that are the kind of people we want to see at them. I don’t think genning pokemon into the game is bad especially if you don’t have time to breed but again it does take some effort and know-how that somebody just wanting to troll isn’t going to take the time to do. Easy to learn, impossible to master How does anybody keep track of all those infinite combinations? You just can’t. It’s a hard game but learning the type matchups isn’t that hard and that and putting together a diverse team isn’t difficult to do. Mastering all those combos and mechanics are what make pokemon masters.