Week 2 Vs EpicLolz
LA Nidokings' Roster: Manaphy, Mega Manetric, Garchomp (before FA), Crobat, Arcanine, Roserade, Durant (before FA), Aromatisse, Uxie, Frogadier (Before FA), Regirock, Gurdurr
Indinana Igglybuffs' Roster: Victini, Conkeldurr, Mega Sableye (before FA), Mamoswine, Umbreon, Whimsicott (before FA), Accelgor, Drapion, Mesprit, KlingKlang, Eevee
The next opponent the LA Nidokings face just last week was the Indiana Igglybuffs coached by Epiclolz. Now this matchup was about 2 hours prior to the time both Epiclolz and myself made some rather significant draft changes like him dropping Mega Sableye or Whimsicott on his team which Epiclolz did in fact bring. Looking at his team, the fastest Pokemon on the roster where Victini, Whimsicott and the fastest being Accelgor. Everything else is rather slow or has some form of priority to make up for their middle-low base speed. The biggest threat to the LA Nidokings were the Victini because of its unpredictability as Epiclolz could bring a wall breaking version with a mixed set with Grass Knot, Glaciate, Bolt Strike, and of course its strongest attack V-Create. Mamoswine as it turns out... as fun against my team since it blocks my Mega Manetric from Volt Switching but most of all threaten about nearly my entire team in general. Manaphy go for Freeze Dry, Garchomp... either Ice Shard or any Ice STAB and its dead. Manetric...Scarf and I die to an EQ. Roserade again Ice STAB (though it has to be physical), Arcanine just use EQ, Crobat well just use Ice coverage or Ice Shard. Even my best available wall Regirock (which I did happen to bring) gets hit hard with an EQ.
Basically I had to prepare around either Victini and Mamoswine since there was no way in hell Epiclolz would not bring either those two Pokemon. Mega Sableye was rather problematic since it can wall Garchomp and Mega Manetric while prevent any hazards from being setup on his side of the field. I need to get in Stealth Rocks in immediately or any hazards since Epicloz's team has no way to get them up aside from Magic Bounce from Mega Sableye. Of course the other notable threats to the team was Accelgor since it can setup Spikes and potentially KO any Pokemon with Final Gambit as a last resort. Drapion was a concern as well since no of my Pokemon can take either of its two STABs except maybe Regirock and Durant. In addition, Toxic Spikes from Drapion could have been an issue since it would wear down my walls and setup sweepers. Conkeldurr can have some fun in this matchup though I feel as though Epic was limited to having AV just so it can take on my Tail Glow Manapy.
Alright with that aside here's the team I brought for the matchup.
- A bulky Manaphy with max HP, enough speed EVs to outrun a neutral nature Victini or a Jolly Mamoswine for that matter and finally a moveset of Scald, Dazzling Gleam, Energy Ball, and Tail Glow. To start off Manaphy if it setups just wrecks Unit's entire team. Both Victini and Mamoswine would be scared off immediately unless of course Victini is a positive speed nature like Naive or either are Scarf. Dazzling Gleam was the next options since it hits Conkeldurr, Umbreon and more importantly Mega Sableye hard for super effective damage. Energy Ball was for Gastrodon since it can potentially wall Manaphy to hell but then again Tail Glow is a thing. Finally Tail Glow was to opted since I don't want CM Mega Sableye to overpower my team and Manaphy can easily wall-break/sweep immediately afterward. Didn't bring Calm Mind of my own since Psych Up Mega Sableye would be
- For its reason debut, a semi mixed wall Regirock with investment in HP/Def/SpDef and movepool being Stealth Rocks, Rock Slide, Earthquake, and lastly Counter. Regirock has enough bulk to either take one Grass Knot from a modest unboosted Victini or even a Focus Blast. The reason why I brought Regirock was looking at his team, Regirock can help alleviate some of my bulky setup Pokemon (Manaphy and Arcanine as I'll get to later) from taking unnecessary hits like from Drapion. Lastly I have Counter on Regirock so it can hit back the Conkeldurr for double the damage and can hopefully take out it out or leave Conk severely weaken.
- A physically defensive Aromatisse with Aroma Veil as its ability and the standard cleric set of Moonblast, Wish, Protect, and Aromatherapy. Looking at this matchup, Aromatisse was another Pokemon I wanted to bring since it forms great synergy with Regirock and can replenish my bulky team throughout the remainder of the battle from HP or status. Aroma Veil is so convenient for this matchup as Mega Sableye can't go for Taunt or Whimsicott can't Encore my Aromatisse to prevent any cleric support.
- A physically defensive Intimidate Arcanine with a movepool of Flare Blitz, Extremespeed, Morning Sun, and finally my main tech option Howl. Anyone might ask... why doesn't Arcanine know Will-O-Wisp, Crunch or Toxic for that matter. Well Will-O-Wisp is counter intuitive against a team with a Guts Conkeldurr, Magic Bounce Mega Sableye, or even a cleric like Umbreon ....oh yeah lets not forget it can miss so a dead turn. Crunch is interesting as Arcanine can hurt only the Victini while Toxic is exactly what I just said about my thoughts against using Will-O-Wisp. Howl is Arcanine's only setup option and while not the best option well just look at the damage calc here.
Assuming Max Defense or Max HP at minimum
+1 8 Atk Arcanine Flare Blitz vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Mega Sableye: 69-82 (43.9 - 52.2%) -- 17.2% chance to 2HKO
+2 8 Atk Arcanine Flare Blitz vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Mega Sableye: 93-109 (59.2 - 69.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 8 Atk Arcanine Flare Blitz vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Mega Sableye: 93-109 (59.2 - 69.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
- Of course Howl won't straight-out OHKO Mega Sableye if its fully physically defensive, it would do enough to the point Epic has to either switch out or go for a Recover more often than usual. If Mega Sableye had a movepool with Calm Mind, Recover, Shadow Ball/Dark Pulse, or something not Taunt or Foul Play than it was the best case scenario since Acanine can just Howl and with two boost proceed to 2HKO it. Extremespeed was there to pick off any weaken target and to damage on Accelgor before it goes for Final gambit
- An offensive support Crobat with a movepool of Brave Bird, U-turn, Super Fang, and Defog. Fortunately for me I had Crobat with Defog to prevent any sort of hazard stacking against my team plus Mega Sableye can't "spin-block" unless its goes for Taunt. The movepool was standard at best with Brave Bird for general damage especially against Conk, U-turn for switch initiative, and Super Fang to kinda wear down his opposing walls for 50% health.
- Last but not least we have a Naive Frogadier with a movepool consisting of Scald, Grass Knot, U-turn, and most importantly Toxic Spikes. Originally I was going to bring Roserade for this battle however it would allow Mamoswine slightly more targets to hits its STABs and can't touch Drapion aside from a Technician HP Ground. Frogadier has enough speed to outspeed Drapion so it can potentially outspeed either neutral Victini or Jolly non-scarf Mamoswine. Now the reasoning for Toxic Spikes instead of coverage was because Frogadier in truth wasn't going to clearly beat Epiclolz team, but it can force switch outs with its offensive capabilities that it further evolution Greninja can do well. In addition, having at least one layer of Toxic Spikes would wear down most of Epiclolz's team including the Sableye if it hasn't Mega Evolved. The only Pokemon that threatens this plan was the Drapion since it can clear the Toxic Spikes by entering the field, though if I can remove it immediately, or if he doesn't bring Drapion at all then these hazards will inflict greater damage in the long run.
Epiclolz's Indiana Igglybuff: Victini, Conkeldurr, Mega Sableye, Mamoswine, Whimsicott, Eevee
Our LA Nidokings: Manaphy, Aromatisse, Regirock, Arcanine, Crobat, Frogadier
The battle starts out with a DC though I didn't technically see his lead, however I lead the same with Arcanine as Epicloz leads with his Sableye. Immediately he goes for Fake Out and it doesn't do any damage as Arcanine is able to recover it off with its Leftovers, though there is some important information already given out in this matchup. Obviously he can tell that I'm not running no offensive items other than Leftovers but his Sableye has Fake Out as one of his attacks of four options so either I assume Recover and either Foul Play, Taunt, or Will-O-Wisp as the other moves. My opponent switches out onto the Conkeldurr as I'm able to do about 45% to the Fighting-type which as huge since Crobat can now easily target it down with a STAB Brave Bird for the knock out. There's a ton of switch this early on the battle as I switch Arcanine to Aromatisse to take the Knock Off, then another switch to Crobat as I scout for Poison while Epiclolz switched out into Victini. Here I debate going for a hard switch again or damage with U-turn while gaining initiative. In the end, I wasn't willing to play risk since he could have a Choice Scarf Victini and go for either a Zen Headbutt or Bolt Strike which can kill Crobat. Regirock was sent out to take any potential physical attack Victini can throw at it and it goes for a Flame Charge doing almost negligible damage to my wall.
Now the next few turns here where the most pivotal since now I can setup Stealth Rock with Regirock now, go for super effective damage onto Victini, or risk losing Regirock to a boosted Grass Knot/Focus Blast. Now weighing my options, the thought came to my head these were free rocks now and Epiclolz can't bounce back my hazards since Sableye isn't Mega Evolved. At this point, Regirock setups rock as Epic strangely switches out to Sableye so now I have some form of hazards. Now I wanted to play even more riskier and send in Frogadier to sneak additional hazards like the Toxic Spikes I'm carrying. Frogadier takes the Fake Out, then the following turn Epic doesn't Mega Evolve and goes for a Will-O-Wisp instead as I get Toxic Spikes now for free. Since he didn't bring Drapion for this battle, those Toxic Spikes will be dealing about 12.5% every turn to each of his Pokemon for now on which alleviates my walls and setup sweepers. Now Frogadier switches out with U-turn as Acanine is set out as Sableye finally Mega Evolves and goes for a Payback. In my head now I know or at least thought Sableye might not have Taunt since Recover at least allows Mega Sableye to stick around longer especially against my walls. Acanine goes for the Howl setup as Mega Sableye goes for a Taunt revealing its last moveslot meaning he has no form of recovery and Arcanine can OHKO anything on his team at this point.
Epiclolz then decides to fodder off Mega Sableye with two repeated Flare Blitz and sends out Mamoswine who gets Toxic plus Stealth Rocks damage. I decided to sack Arcanine in the end while going for Extreme Speed since if Mamoswine goes for Stealth Rocks or if Epiclolz overpredicts than Arcanine can take out Mamoswine with E-Speed after poison damage. As implied, Mamowine gets a kill on Arcanine with Earthquake but just before Arcanine gets off some damage to weaken it and get a free switch in. Manaphy comes in and easily revenge kills Mamoswine and deals 50% to the likely Eviolite Eevee before getting Yawned. Fearing that Manaphy might become setup fodder, I switch it out and strangely realize Epiclolz also switches onto Conkeldurr. At this point the battle goes completely my momentum as Crobat gets a free knock out on either of his Pokemon with Brave Bird. Not hesitating Crobat immediately OHKOs the Conk and now the rest of his OU threats bar Victini are gone.
Epic tries to get a last ditch Tailwind from Whimsicott against Crobat as it lands a Grass whistle putting my defogger to sleep. Then I see that his Pokemon has a Black Sludge so Whimsicott is taking residual damage from its item and poison so Crobat can easily wait out the sleep and Tailwind turns if he elects Whimsicott to go down. After a few turns, Crobat finally wakes up and goes for a U-turn onto Whimsicott as it knocks it out without any issue and get in Regirock to clean the game. Funny enough Regirock gets critted twice against the Victini but it can't beat my wall since it looks as though he doesn't have Grass Knot or Focus Blast. At this point, Eevee can't touch Regirock at all so the combination of Rock Slide, Earthquake, and hazards were enough to clean out the match with another 5-0 win.
Opinions and Final Thoughts
There were a couple of plays I didn't quite understand with Epic like not Mega Evolving Sableye sooner to at least prevent Toxic Spikes or the Stealth Rocks. To be frank, I thought that he didn't bring Mega Sableye considering he didn't Mega prior against my Arcanine. For sure, we would have gotten those Stealth Rocks in play, however the Toxic Spikes was even more riskier on my end since he could have Mega Evolves Sableye at any point to bounce the hazards back an force in Crobat in sooner to prevent the rest of my team from being poison. I took the risk and the reward was an easier end game which allowed for any one of my Pokemon (barring Aromatisse) to effectively breakthrough the rest of his team. The end game was essentially all about getting chip damage to the point either Manaphy, Arcanine, Crobat, or even Frogadier can clean up the game. For sure the game turned completely at my favor when Frogadier got up those Toxic Spikes and it severely wore down Epics' team. When Manaphy got yawned at, I figured he switch out to either Conkeldurr to get a Guts boosted Drain Punch so that's why I swapped to Crobat, which honestly decided the game as I the momentum to win. Now I had my reasons to sack Arcanine since it already done its job at wall breaking against Mega Sableye and I had no reason to safe it against the rest of his team.
Honestly, the battle came out near-perfect I could have saved the Arcanine though I needed a free switch in for anyone of my Pokemon. Regirock and Frogadier definitely helped out in the end game and if I had to chose the MVP of the battle it be those two but I kind want to reward it to Regirock for walling Victini out of the battle completely. Crobat was another key factor in this battle as it OHKOed both Conk and Whimsicott though prior damage from the hazards and other attacks attributed to this. Manaphy didn't do much in this battle aside revenge kill Mamoswine which was the biggest threat to the team and deal heavy damage to the Eevee. For those critical of my opponent for bringing Eevee in this battle, I don't support or criticize him since that's what he wants to bring so be it. Funny enough I think Eevee could have killed Frogadier or even revenged killed something had Toxic Spikes bounced back and Crobat got killed against Mamoswine so there's that. Great game to Epiclolz there as he did put up a fight though I hope we battle again in the future.
In all it was a solid win for the Nidokings as we go into the Free Agency portion of the season. In the next post, I'll discuss the drops we made for this team as well as some new member I feel are going to help win us the title.