Pokémon’s Sleep Clause has been removed from the Scarlet and Violet Overused tier. Join us as we break down the ruling change.

Status conditions in general are a key aspect of playing Pokémon. The most infamous of which is sleep, where as the name implies, the Pokémon falls asleep for a certain number of turns. In the unofficial Pokémon battle simulator, Pokémon showdown, there has been a recent vote to remove a rule called the Sleep Clause in the Overused tier.

Let's dive in as to why and how this rule change has come about.

First of all, what is Sleep Clause?

If you've ever played on almost any Pokémon battle simulator, you've probably seen the Sleep Clause mod. However, if you've ever noticed the clause activate is another case. Long story short, the Sleep Clause Mod is a unofficial rule that only allows one Pokémon to be asleep at a time. This prevents sleep spamming strategies like Dark Void Smeargle running rampant.

However, what is unique about Sleep Clause is that the official Pokémon VGC format doesn't exist. Players can run full sleep lock teams with no issue in official Pokémon tournaments. The reasoning behind why it's allowed in the official format pretty simple. That being the Pokémon Company allows trainers to use the full range of any Pokémon. That banning specific Pokémon/items/strategies isn't healthy for the game, and trainers can adapt or use whatever strategies they want.

Why did Sleep Clause get Banned in OU?

Well the technical answer as to why Sleep Clause is getting banned is because moves that only have the effect to sleep like Sleep Powder or Hypnosis are getting banned. This is due to the fact that moves that exclusively put other opponent's Pokémon to sleep are too strong in the OU tier. A vote was conducted with the player base as well as the Tiering council regarding the Sleep Clause.

At the forefront of the ban of Sleep Clause is none other than Pokémon's nightmare king, Darkrai. As the generation four Pokémon was reintroduced in the Indigo Disk DLC, it's ability to deal damage to Pokémon while they slept and impressive speed and special attack stats allowed sleep strategies to become unhinged. At least more than usual.

In the current generation's Overused tier, or SV OU for short, moves like Hypnosis or Sleep Powder allow for fast setup sweepers like Darkrai or Hisuian Liligant to decimate teams. Despite their inaccuracy, these moves are still game warping for both sides. Especially since a Pokémon is guaranteed to sleep for at least one turn. As Aislinn, a member of the voting council further elaborated on the removal of the Sleep Clause:

"Your sleeping mon either gets a turn 1 wake or it's dead. You can't afford to give free turns to the threats these mons find themselves teamed with."

Aislinn - UU Leader and member of the Smogon Tiering Council

The Casualties and survivors of the Sleep Clause removal

Not all sleeping moves have been banned with the removal of the Sleep Clause. There are a couple of rare moves that have eluded the ban hammer. However, the main culprits are: Hypnosis, Sleep Powder, Spore and Yawn. The full list of banned and unbanned moves are below.

Darkrai post-Sleep Clause removal (via <a href="https://twitter.com/ChiChi3667/status/1749480984804839713/photo/1">twitter</a>)
Darkrai post-Sleep Clause removal (via twitter)

On the other hand, there's been moves that have avoided being restricted with the Sleep Clause removal. These moves have avoided this restriction because the effect to put an opposing Pokémon to sleep is a secondary effect. For example, the move Rest's primary function is to heal the user.

However the downside and secondary effect is that the Pokémon falls alseep. On the other side, there's the move Dire Claw. Which is a Poison type attack that has a secondary effect to inflict a status condition, and one of those includes sleep.

Banned moves

  • Dark Void
  • Hypnosis
  • Lovely Kiss
  • Sing
  • Sleep Powder
  • Spore
  • Yawn

The remaining moves

  • Dire Claw
  • Relic Song
  • Rest

With such a well known rule, it will be interesting to see how the metagame of Scarlet and Violet's Overused tier will shape up now that the Sleep Clause has been removed.

For more esports news and Pokémon content, stay tuned to Esports.gg