Today Smogon University announced they were banning Pikachu from the Pokemon anime metagame in a 74% majority vote of qualified users. Following this vote, Pikachu will no longer be allowed to appear in the Pokemon anime.
Smogon announced the suspect test early this month. While Pikachu has been a staple of the Pokemon anime for years, Smogon moderators felt that Pikachu had become too powerful in Pokemon Sun and Moon due to gaining new techniques such as Z-moves, somehow running on top of lightning, and suddenly speaking English in the latest movie.
Many Smogon users eagerly argued in favor of the ban. User Blastoff stated “I’ve said Pikachu should be banned since generation 1 when the Horn Aim glitch was discovered. I don’t know how anyone can argue Pikachu isn’t over-centralizing, just look at his usage data, he’s in basically every episode!”
Meanwhile, some forum users objected to the suspect test. In particular one user named GottaKetchum made several posts defending Pikachu, arguing that while Pikachu was able to take down powerful threats such as Regice and Latios, it also had hard counters, such as Level 5 Snivy. However, Pikachu was ultimately banned, leading GottaKetchum to complain that he now needed to restructure his entire team.
This is the first time a Pokemon has been banned from the Pokemon anime since Porygon was banned in 1997. The last anime metagame suspect test was for Ash-Greninja, but he was allowed to stay in the tier after it was determined he was consistently beaten by Mega Charizard X.