Friday, June 10, 2016

CIL S2W3: VS MadMikeNebbia


With two consecutive high-scoring victories, the Nidokings are looking to seek another win against one of the new expansion teams who have been off to a rough start: the Net Balls coached by MadMikeNebbia (or Mike).  For this battle, I'd already prepared a team prior shortly after my match against Sanyer, but in a surprised twist, Mike made a series of transactions to which made me heavily reconsider heavy elements of my team. We'll get to the Nidoking preparations shortly, however I would like to announce our first transaction of the season. For the Los Angeles Nidokings, the Water/Steel-type Emopoleon has been selected from Free Agency to replace our Diancie to add a bit of special bulk, Defog support, and defensive synergy for our team. While I've already discuss why Empoleon was selected on our CIL Team Analysis, the main reason it was selected was because of the Defog/Stealth Rocks support it can provide and alleviate certain Pokemon on this team like Latias or Celebi/Nidoking. Even though Empoleon was the only selection we made recently, it was brought recently in the upcoming battle against the Net Balls.

Week 3 VS The Net Balls

The Net Balls: M-Gyarados, Mamoswine, Staraptor, Roserade, Alakazam, Lucario, Sceptile, Togetic, Electivire, Swampert, Magneton

Los Angeles Nidokings: Mega Charizard X, Latias, Weavile, Suicune, Tornadus-T, Doublade, Nidoking, Chesnaught, Eelektross, Empoleon ( new member ), and Uxie.

Looking at his team, the newest additions Mike had made were the Roserade, Lucario, Togetic, and Alakazam in replacement for Cobalion, Moltres, Hydreigon, and Breloom respectively before we matched up for the battle. To be honest, there were a couple threats like Breloom and Hydreigon who honestly were slightly difficult to prepare for given the good amount of effective sets they can run. However, we are going to discuss what the Net Balls had brought with this current team since some new Pokemon were threatening. The additions of the 3 of those new Pokemon (I never "considered" Togetic as a threat) as well as old team members like Mamoswine, M-Gyarados, and Staraptor made me chose not to run Charizard X. While in our team preparation phase, I felt 100% confident Mike would bring M-Gyarados, Staraptor, Mamoswine, and Alakazam since a combination of those four run through my wall cores. Mamoswine was another sore thumb in this match up as it could "snipe out" my team with super effective STAB Ice- and Ground- attacks, if played well. Staraptor and Alakazam are both powerful wall breakers and potential scarfers that had to be scouted for despite the team's lacking responses to the two. The only other Pokemon I saw possible brought to the matchup was Lucario (for priority) , Swampert (amazing check to Zard X), Roserade (good hazard stack mon) and one of his Electric-types (Tornadus-T check).  Here's what the Nidoking's lineup look like after our second review / preparation. 

For this week, the Los Angeles Nidokings brought the following six: Weavile, Latias, Tornadus-T, Doublade, Chesnaught, and our new recruit Empoleon. First off, Weavile returns after a rather "non-existent" game 2 (for reasons), with the moveset Knock Off, Ice Shard, Low Kick, and Beat Up. This Weavile set was meant to again break through the potential Sash / Colbur Berry Pokemon (I'm looking at you Alakazam), while spam Knock Off against his team since few Pokemon aside M-Gyarados, Togetic (will lose the Eviolite), and Lucario would take it easily. Yache Berry Defog (yes DEFOG) Latias with Psyshock/Grass Knot/Healing Wish was brought to this matchup since the team was in need of a "reliable" revenge killer for Mamoswine and Roserade since both can do decently well. Fast Defog was something I felt was more important than a slow Defog from Empoleon (also frees a moveslot), and Healing Wish to sack Lati for a free healthy switch for one of my damaged Pokemon. Tornadus-T participates in its last battle, with the offensive set of  Air Slash, U-Turn, Superpower, and Grass Knot to again hit everything on Mike's team for good damage. All three of these Pokemon were considered primary win cons since all of them outspeed and hit the majority of Mike's team for heavy damage and can clean up weaken targets for the endgame. 

The defensive core of the team consisted of Chesnaught, Empoleon, and our primary kill leader of the Nidokings, Doublade. Both Chesnaught and Empoleon shared on specific move to deal with the Mega Gyarados: Roar. I stressed all week on how to deal with a Sub - Dragon Dance M-Gyarados and the only reliable solution was to run Roar as a last ditch effort so Weavile/Latias/Tornadus-T can deal with it reliable. First lets talk about the primary answer to the physical offense from the Net Balls: Chesnaught and Doublade. Chesnaught's moveset was Drain Punch, Roar, Spiky Shield, and Earthquake sorta emphasize the need to scout for my opponent's team. Earthquake was a last minute move change since it was originally Spikes since I realized Magneton  /Electivire could be a problem for the team assuming Mike brought it.  For this week, Doublade played the role as our main physical defensive wall for Staraptor with max defense, eviolite, and a moveset consisting of Shadow Sneak, Iron Head, Sacred Sword, and Sword Dance. After doing some calculations, Doublade's new physical defense literally skyrockets to the point where Choice Band Adamant Reckless Brave Bird only does about 24% damage! Doublade was so heavily defensive and potent this battle, I had to exchange Charizard X's place in favor of Doublade since at the time, nothing on my team could beat the Sinnoh Bird reliably.

Lastly, our latest recruit for the team, Empoleon was a specially defensive holding the Shuca Berry with Scald, Roar, Stealth Rocks, and ...yes Aqua Jet.  This Empoleon originally had Grass Knot as a way to deal heavy damage to M-Gyarados, Swampert, and even the Mamoswine, however I wanted to have a mediocre "revenge killer" for a weaken Mamo, Lucario, Staraptor, and Alakazam with Aqua Jet. Empoleon was going to be my defog user this week, but almost anything can outspeed and potentially OHKO the metal penguin I'd settled with Defog on Latias to clear hazards quickly while retain Empoleon as a wall, and maybe a sneaky revenge killer. With all that said, lets get into the battle...however I not going to do a play-by-play, rather my thoughts about during and after the battle, then some closing thoughts. 

(Highly Recommend to Watch First, then Read)

To start off, this match up was honestly one of those battles my opponent well kinda made some weird plays, a little of RNG sprinkled around, and more importantly making some costly over-predictions almost costed me the battle. If there's any sorta RNG that mattered, the only was the special defense drop against my specially defensive Empoleon from an Alakazam. Fearing a potential Focus Blast, I had to switch out to my Tornadus-T, which then takes heavy damage from a Psychic, which I don't know if Mike predicted the switch out. Had that special defense drop never occurred, I firmly believe the outcome of the battle would be far different since Empoleon taken easily take on to setup rocks, or break the potential Focus Sash. Of course during the time of the battle the Nidokings were ahead after taking out a Roserade lead with Latias, but getting either Stealth Rocks or damage on Alakazam was important as well. Now let me explain perhaps the most important turn of the battle in Turn 7 as I switched Doublade out to Tornadus-T expecting either an EQ from Lucario or a switch...but Tornadus-T gets annihilated with an Iron Tail. At this point, in the battle I wanted to get as much switch initiative/momentum as possible to ensure my cleaners can easily win the battle since no Staraptor and M-Gyarados weren't there surprisingly enough, however not only do I lose Tornadus-T, Latias fails to OHKO with a Psyshock as she receives a critical Extreme Speed damage. 

After Lucario dies to its own Life Orb, I just realized how much momentum and resources  I'd lost from that exchange from the Fighting/Steel-type. In my head, I honestly felt Swampert was coming in on the switch for Lucario to tank a Sacred Sword from Doublade and wanted to prevent Stealth Rock on my side of the field. Instead, we lose one of our win cons, Doublade is chipped a bit, and Latias can no longer "revenge kill" Mamoswine.  As Lucario died from LO, I setup to +2 in case Mamoswine or Togetic were brought in as both now look like strong opposition. Fortunately enough, Doublade gets a "lucky" break  by doing half damage to a Swampert with a +2 Shadow Sneak via a critical hit of my own as it takes an EQ. As Doublade is switched out to Latias, Swampert also switches in place of Mamoswine and now I'm in a tough spot. Nothing on my team wants to take on Mamoswine from full as I felt the best way to beat it was to bait a Ice-move on an Empoleon switch (also serving as a sack), activate the Shuca Berry, and kill with Scald + Aqua Jet. The plan almost worked, except Empoleon gets hits by a Superpower instead to faint. Despite these small set back, thanks to the defense drops, and Life Orb hits, Weavile can come in. 

Next couple of turns both Weavile and Latias beat both Mamoswine and Swampert respectively which now it seems like the battle is almost over...or not. Remember when I didn't prepare for Togetic at all? Well this comes to bite me in the ass. Togetic proves to be incredibly defensive as I cannot OHKO it with the proper attacks. Originally, my thought process was "Oh this thing has to carry Defog, some support options, and maybe Dazzling Gleam. No big deal". Seeing Seismic Toss, I became convinced it Togetic couldn't touch Doublade with anything, except when our Week 2 MVP dies to a Flamthrower. Now I'm actually legit worried and sorta "choke". Since Latias doesn't have Recover, Leftovers, or even something like Ice Beam or Thunder Bolt, I can't touch Togetic at all aside from Weavile. Then I sacked Chesnaught for no reasons. The only one I can think of getting into a decent position to win this battle was to "Roar" the Togetic into the Alakazam, have it kill Chesnaught, then "force" Mike to choice what to faint / cripple either Alakazam or Togetic with Knock Off from Weavile. At one point, I should have continued using Psyshock against the Togetic, but I wanted to avoid a scenario where if Ice Shard (my only Ice-type attack this week) doesn't kill that the Fairy can get either a Crit / Burn to seal the game for Mike. The game does in fact comes down to this scenario, to switch thankfully Weavile doesn't get burnt /crit and finishes the game for the Nidokings in a 1-0 close match. 


This battle goes to show why sometimes its might be better off to go with the safe plays instead of making over predictions which can almost cost the battle. I'll definitely give Mike credit for giving the Nidokings surprisingly one of the hardest battles we've every fought to date with his plays. Not bringing both Mega Gyarados or Staraptor really confused me at first, but I realized the Nidokings had ways to deal with everything else except for the Togetic in the end. Originally, I wanted to have Ice Punch on Weavile for a stronger Ice STAB, but felt that Knock Off was going to be the better STAB option to spam. Would definitely have liked to have taken out the Focus Sash Alakazam via using Beat Up, however since Lucario was on Mike's team, it was a wasted moveslot. Typically most Lucarios have Justified for their ability since they resist Dark-type attacks and can a get a +`1 boost. If...Lucario switched in as Weavile went for Beat Up, our team would have been easily counter swept and would have lost for sure.

Though I already alluded to this, Ice Punch was the stronger STAB option for Togetic, a Pokemon I ranked as the last Pokemon to bring  for this matchup, yet did moderately well. Definitely there was a moderate degree of RNG in Mike's favor, the the only one that mattered was the Special Defense drop from Shadow Ball. If this never occurred, either the Nidokings get up Stealth Rocks, or break the potential Focus Sash on Zam. There was one turn where Doublade could have stayed in on the Swampert and go for Sacred Sword on the Mamoswine switch, but fearing the Scald burn or crit, we were forced to switch to Latias. The only other preparation I could have done was give Tornadus-T an AV and a bulkier EV Spread to take on Alakazam, though this was changed to Life Orb to 1) faint Swampert / Mamoswine with Grass Knot and 2) if in case Alakazam had Life Orb Psyshock which can heavily damage or OHKO Tornadus-T

Either way, given the amount of RNG that was occurring made me play safer than I should have, which in turn lost me a considerable amount of momentum we'd gained after knocking out Roserade Turn 1.  The reason why we were able to "win" this battle was by making aggressive plays again to give ourselves a good chance for the endgame. The endgame of this battle is something I really want to avoid the following rounds of the CIL Mike's best chance to win was either Crit or burn the Weavile, and I knew it was going to come down to this exact scenario (only difference could be doing this early) once Doublade fainted to a crit Flamethrower. Definitely we have to give my opponent credit for making safe and yet aggressive plays which benefited him more in the late game by removing both Tornadus-T, Empoleon, and Chesnaught. 

Will admit the critical hits in the battle especially towards the end almost got to me, but I kinda had to "deal with it". One last thing that almost occurred in that battle, but thankfully didn't was my laptop crashing just 2 minutes after both me and Mike already done the battle. If this situation would have occurred "earlier", the Nidokings would have lost the game especially if this happen in the last couple turns. Since I'm posting this page on late Friday, my "computer issues" have been mitigated to where my laptop doesn't randomly freezes or hangs, though I'm likely going to get a new one for myself this summer. Regardless good game to Mike as he gave us the most difficult battle yet. Next week we'll be battling Fiona of the The Whirlwinds (which did happen), so expect that post to be up by Monday of next week. In the meantime, take care everyone. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

CIL Regular S2W2: VS Sanyer

Deviant Art by pochyy


Not much to say in this preview, aside the fact the Nidokings are coming off a 5-0 win against Mighty Mamoswine or Nick after an intense game. If anyone hasn't seen the battle, I'll leave a link to my side of the battle which should have the showdown replay as well. Our next opponent this week is against Sanyer of the Pinsirs whose got an impressive 4-0 win from against Mike of the Net Balls. While division battles do matter in the long run, I still can't let our guard down. At the same time, we want to try and win these upcoming games without having to rely or make it come down to RNG.  On a final note, these CIL post will be based on an Week by Week singular posts instead of having 3 battles covered in one. I felt this these post should be as short as possible and can help out in content here on the site. Take my recent update post, honestly that update page along should have been reduced to 3-5 individual posts based on an actual update to Faraway Island, League Battles, and the explanation of the lack of VGC content. Basically I'll try to avoid scramming battles in for now on, except for the PFA Regular Season 3 which is currently in the works.  Now its time to get into CIL Week 2. 

CIL Week 2 Vs The Pinsirs

The Pinsirs: Mega Pinsir, Clefable, Keldeo, Jirachi, Cresselia, Thundurus-T, Entei, Hitmontop, Kyurem, Dugtrio, Zoroark 

The Nidokings: Charizard X, Latias, Suicune, Weavile, Tornadus-T, Nidoking, Doublade, Chesnaught, Eelektross, Diancie, Uxie.

Looking at Sanyer's team, there were kinda similarities I came across his team and Adrive's NPA team with maybe some better cores given the small nature of the CIL league. Entei, Thundurus-T, and Cresselia were all threats that can take on our Nidoking team provided they are given the proper setup / scenarios. Jirachi / Clefable / Cresselia / Hitmontop make up Sanyer's main wall core as the main offense of his team were again Entei, Thundurus-T, Kyurem, Keldeo, and Mega Pinsir. To round off the last two, both Dugtrio and Zoroark posed interesting challenge as Dugtrio can revenge kill most of my team thanks to the Arena Trap ability while Zoroark can disguise itself as one of Sanyer's team and can threaten some of the main Pokemon I'd plan on bringing. In sum, the Pinsir's team looked really frightening at first to face, but I noticed some exploitable flaws which were going to be the main keys to success. To start off, most of his team main offense were weak to Stealth Rocks, and Hitmontop was the only hazard removal on his team. If I can get rid of Hitmontop, or prevent it from spinning most of the game, then we can potentially hazards stack the Pinsir with a combination of Stealth Rocks and Toxic Spikes. Despite the lack of hazard removal, the Pinsir's surpassed my own team with overall bulk and defense so they can potentially recover off the damage with a clerics (Jirachi/Clefable), and a great wall in Cresselia. 

One thing I noted about his "wall core" was that it was weak to one Pokemon in particular and arguably the best Pokemon to bring this battle: Doublade. Of course, Cresselia can Trick Doublade an item, Clefable has Flamethrower, Hitmontop can use Foresight to get the spin, and Jirachi is ...well Jirachi (but it has coverage options). Back then Uxie was still on my team as well and it can work decently well to get rocks up, paralyze some stuff, Knock Off items, or even use Foul Play to punish physical setup. Latias was just a standard attacker without any Defog support, but with Healing Wish to maintain my sweepers, Weavile made for an excellent cleaner as soon most of Sanyer's team is low or moderate HP so it had to come. Finally, we brought Nidoking this battle, but not just any Nidoking. This Nidoking was a physical one with Adamant Life Orb Sucker Punch, Poison Jab, EQ, and finally Toxic Spikes to pressure the opposing team. 

Regarding the last two Pokemon: Charizard X and Doublade. Both of these guys can sweep the opposing team with ease assuming I'm able to scout for any potential coverage moves. Charizard X only had Flare Blitz as its main attack given even resisted targets like Keldeo and Entei can take only one before being 2HKOed. Doublade on the other hand was specially defensive to take advantage of the Eviolite and tank at least some strong STAB special hits. Lastly, Sword Dance / Toxic +2 attack was what I went with this battle to optimize Doublade for any situation to check Cress or potentially sweep.

The Battle: Bike's Radiant Dawn 

The Pinsir's Team: Mega Pinsir, Cresselia, Jirachi, Thundurus-T, Hitmontop, Clefable
Our LA Nidokings: Mega Charizard X, Weavile, Latias, Doublade, Nidoking, Uxie

The match starts off slow on my end with a Uxie facing a Jirachi first turn. While Toxic Spikes won't hurt Jirachi, Thunder Wave can prevent it from flinching my faster teammates the rest of the battle. Sanyer quickly recalls Jirachi via U-Turn for Cresselia as I paralyze the moon duck...goose... moon thing. After getting up Stealth Rocks and receiving a Toxic by Cress,  Uxie goes for the Knock Off, to which Jirachi switches in, and I remove the Choice Scarf. Early on, I decided to pull the trigger and get Charizard's Mega Evolution off ASAP since Jirachi might not have any coverage option for Char X. As Sanyer switches to Clefable, I setup a Substitute  with Charizard X and attempt to 1v1 the MVP from last season. From this exchange, Char X does about 50% damage to the bulky Fairy-type, but Clefable gets up Stealth Rocks in the process for the rest of the battle. This is valuable information given Clefable might only have Moonblast, Rocks, Soft-boil, and one last coverage/setup move.  Hitmontop switches in, but Charizard X gets to full HP. Eventually Charizard X is switched out for Doublade to spinblock and wall the Fighting-type. Hitmontop switches out to Clefable as I go for the No Guard Toxic (hooray for never missing), though I discover Clefable is Magic Guard instead of Unaware. In my planning, Unaware Clefable was a moderate threat to the team as it ignores stat boosts, however I note it cannot take repeated Flare Blitz attacks from my Mega especially if boosted.

However this was a great time to get up the Toxic Spikes, as Nidoking can force the switch for Cresselia, while Nidoking can safely get these hazards up for the remainder of the battle. The plan goes exactly as is and then I decide to send in my Doublade. At one point, I do catch the Clefable off guard with an Iron Head and pick it off with a follow-up Shadow Sneak to give myself a bit of momentum. Thundurus-T is sent out and there were some thoughts that go to mind: do I switch to Latias or Charizard X. Despite Stealth Rocks being on the field, Charizard X easily tanks a Knock Off from Thundurus-T (likely for Latias), also revealing the Life Orb. Again Charizard X recovers off the damage as Hitmontop is sent out, probably to again attempt to spin. As protocol, Doublade is sent out and at this point.... I wanted to setup for a sweep. Before the endgame was initiated, I scouted for any super-effective attacks, and Hitmontop has Sucker Punch, but does around 18%. Now Doublade can potentially "stall" the Hitmontop's low HP and go for repeated Sword Dances to end the game.

By the time Sanyer realized Doublade was about to sweep, it was honestly a bit too late. Thundurus-T, Hitmontop, and soon Jirachi all faint to a +3 Shadow Sneak with the help of hazards and getting the necessary damage off. Mega Pinsir is sent out, but gets both poisoned and hit with Stealth Rocks. After doing a quick calculation, two +3 Shadow Sneaks can OHKO Mega Pinsir. The thought of going for Latias did occur, but I didn't want to risk letting Mega Pinsir setup to give Sanyer an potential out. Doublade does about half to Mega Pinsir, as it gets hit with an EQ, which doesn't do as the necessary damage to OHKO. Now at this point, Doublade picks off Mega Pinsir, and finally Cresselia (with a crit) to end the battle in our first 6-0 of the season. 


To be completely honest, this is as close to executing our game plan as we'll possible get in this season after winning in a 6-0 fashion. After the battle, I did chat with Sanyer regarding the outcome and he admitted not preparing for Doublade was a mistake during team building. From the moment Doublade was sent in for the third time, everything on Sanyer's team was weaken enough to switch I felt it was time to pull the trigger to sweep. Both Thundurus-T and Jirachi were still threats to  my team during this stage of the battle,  but fortunately enough, these legends were low to the point +3 Shadow Sneak can easily pick them off. Once Pinsir was sent out, I eventually decided to "sack" my Doublade to allow either Weavile or Latias to revenge kill the Mega. There was a chance a crit Earthquake can OHKO  given the Doublade spread I'd given it, with only HP and Special Defense investments to take on the special attackers easier. Essentially speaking, I'd wanted to close the battle as quickly as possible without losing too many Pokemon for differential purposes, while giving myself a 100% end game in my favor. 

This battle might have been different if Sanyer brought Kyurem and Entei since both easily threaten most of my offensive walls and pressured probably my only wall in Uxie. I'd intend to match the Pinsir's offense with my own, though the fact Sanyer brought the bulkier side of the roster instead of the offensive made it slightly easier for my main threats to maneuver around. Sanyer definitely prepped for most of the threats on my team, however what gave me the advantage was maintaining the Stealth Rocks and Toxic Spikes to further weaken the Pinsir roster. In short, Doublade's offensive and defensive qualities were showcased this battle and easily was the MVP on my end. If I really wanted to, Latias could have used Healing Wish to recover Doublade's HP to the point where it can easily 1v1 the paralyzed Cresselia, but at the time I'd rather sake Doublade for someone like Weavile or Char X to get the last kill. 

Well good game to Sanyer as this was honestly not a result even I'd expected at all. Sanyer did have the roster to beat the squad I had prepared for, however Doublade was the X factor. With that, the Nidokings now have a 2-0 record with the highest differential of the early season. This does mean people are going to prepare for me far more than maybe other people in the league given our standings. Next round, the Nidokings face against the Net Balls coached by Mike who is currently 0-2, however this doesn't mean we can't take our opponent's lightly. I'll definitely make sure we can have an engaging battle while maintaining the streak. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

CIL Regular S2W1: VS Mighty Mamoswine

Deviant Art by Ocaritna


Now that the Los Angeles Nidoking have drafted the team selection, I'd like to review some of the major rules of the league first off. To start, players have 2 weeks to do their "week 1" battles within that time frame, otherwise they will suffer a -3 drop in their own differential if they don't do the battle as planned. Of course anyone can maintain arrangements, I still have to be vigilant about this rule considering this "almost" bite me in the ass in one game (will say later). Transactions in this league start within Week 2 and end Week 6, so essentially anyone has an ample amount of time to arrange trades with people and do free agent transactions. At the time writing this piece, the Los Angeles Nidokings have made 3 trades/FA pickups so there will be a brief explanation on these Pokemon and why I feel they better "synergize" with the overall team. On one final note, I'm not going to be sharing my EV spreads and movesets, but I'll say whatever relevant information and sets which helped me win the game. Any Pokemon sets or moves not shown or revealed chance are won't be discussed at all for potentially using it in a future battle. All my opponent's teams will be posted here with a bold emphasis on the exact six Pokemon they brought. With all that said aside, lets begin the Week 1 recap of the CIL regular season.

 As a last minute decision, I decided to divided these segments into individual weeks to avoid having lengthy posts from like the past 4 post now. Here we won't cover the Celebi or Empoleon transactions since I've already cover this and why the Nidokings made those transactions. Without further delay, here's CIL Week 1!

Week 1: vs Mighty Mamoswine  

The Blazikens: Mega Venusuar, Tyranitar, Talonflame, Landorus-I, Blastiose, Azelf, Sableye, Dragalge, Gardevoir, Mienshao, Gyarados

The first opponent of the CIL is actually one of the more accomplished players in the Draft-style format and one of the GBA Analyst in Mighty Mamoswine or Nick. Automatically, our opponent was going the most difficult by far the Nidokings have faced given I've only done this league stuff with members of the former Flynn/Replay/Forum community while not some as seasoned as Nick is. Having to battle someone who's actually was part of the GBA (well at least in operations and D-League) for me could help improve my outlook into this format as Nick isn't a slouch by being in the finals in the D-League and more recently here in the CIL. Looking at the Blaziken's team, Nick has a plethora of threats from offensive wall breakers, revenge killers, versatile walls/pivots, and great defensive synergy going with the Mega Venusaur. Landorus stuck out as a sore thumb given I know how dangerous it can be with its Sheer Force-boosted attacks, setup options, and wall breaking capability. Tyranitar was the only other Pokemon I kinda feared given its versatility of being a wall, a scarfer, choice band user, setup, or an all-out attacker set. Talonflame was the other threat I feared from his team as if I didn't have proper checks to Flying and the bird can beat out this team assuming I let the main checks go down. Everything else I kinda felt like most of my team can handle them assuming if they can take the hits or 

For the battle, well the team I brought was a Colbur Berry Latias, "semi-standard"  Diancie, a CM Suicune with Roar, defensive Chesnaught (again strange moveset), Weavile, and our specially defensive AV Pivot Tornadus-T. Most of these Pokemon where designed to handle some of the more specially oriented members of the Blaziken team such as the Gardevoir, Mega Venusaur, and even the Landorus-I. One thing to note is the lack of Charizard X on this team given I felt Nick would have some kinda of revenge and/or walls that can tank such hits like the Tyranitar, Landorus-T, Talonflame, or even the Gyarados. The plan was attempt to were down Nick's team with our own to the point where Weavile can revenge kill or clean up the battle in the end. Latias can also do this, however I felt given it was my only Defog user Nick would very likely bring Tyranitar with Pursuit. The only Pokemon which honestly felt out of place was Diancie but it was the main check to Talonflame. The Diancie even had Lum Berry max attack to net the kill on Talonflame assuming Nick tries to burn it via Will-O-Wisp. 

CIL Week 1: The Stubborn Chesnaught
(Note: Will give a title to the battles from here on out)

The Blaziken Team: Landorus-I, Tyranitar, Talonflame, Sableye, Gyarados, and Azelf
Our Team: Latias, Weavile, Suicune, Chesnaught, Diancie, Tornadus-T

Even after the battle was over, I still kinda shocked there was no Mega Venusaur given it could act as a semi-decent wall against me. Maybe the same thoughts occurred to Nick but who knows. One important observations was the lack of Blastiose as it was Nick's only hazard removal Pokemon plus he has a Talonflame, therefore getting rocks up fast was a priority Anyways the first turns, we were able a slight edge with the Scald burn on the Sableye and knock out Azelf with the Beat Up Weavile to break the save and the potential Colbur Berry. The early to middle stages of the match, Gyarados became a slight problem as it turns out Nick was running Rest-Talk with Dragon Tail to counter the potential Char X.  Fortunately Chesnaught completely walled his defensive Gyarados as we continuously countered the Dragon Tail phaze with Leech Seeds. At Turn 11, I tried to predict the Talonflame given his aggressive plays and revealed the Rock Slide which from that point on Nick never swapped in his revenge killer until possibly the late game. Latias does enter the battle to attempt to force out the Gyarados to the Lati counter Tyranitar. On that switch out, I Thunder Waved the Tyranitar (will come to play later on), attempted to switch freely before being caught by the Pursuit T-tar. Thanks to the Colbur Berry, Latias is free to enter the battle again for a option Healing Wish option. 
The Chesnaught - Gyarados stalemate continued on which there were points where we both kinda had enough by sending in our best mons (Suicune for me and Landorus for Nick), and as a result both were severely weaken. Honestly, the main turning point of the battle was Turn 22 when Gyarados "missed" a Dragon Tail on my Chesnaught since I still have all 5 mons with me and any Pokemon he swapped for anyone of them. Funny enough Diancie got Dragon Tailed out like about 2 times this battle. Later on, Suicune gets weaken by Tyranitar from a defense drop and Nick punishes my switch by using Pursuit again. I switched into Diancie figuring this Pokemon was useless at this range of HP, except I go for the Endeavor and attempt a Healing Wish to my Suicune from Latias. Nick goes into Sableye to block the Endeavor and honestly we both go down to a Moonblast and a Wisp since Diancie was below 1/8th HP.  

Given Nick got a free switch, I'm kinda forced into Chesnaught as if he switches into Talonflame, I'm kinda lose Latias to a Brave Bird. Tyranitar switches in and now I kinda regret not having a Fighting or Grass-type attack this battle since Tyranitar has Fire Blast which would do enough damage to 2HKO. On Turn 32, Chesnaught goes for Leech Seed, connect, but Nick's Tyranitar misses honestly a crucial Fire Blast. Still fearing the Talonflame switch in, I decide to play the odds by going for the para flinch with the Fire Blast miss chance to which his Tyranitar gets paralyzed again. With Tyranitar gone, Talonflame finally enters the battlefield and I knew these turns would decided the battle as well as the sets we both brought for our respected Pokemon. Chesnaught continuously Rock Slides the Talonflame as it continues to roost off the damage with the help the leftovers. Seeing the Leftovers animation, the Talonflame could be some specially defensive setup set so that's worth noting. 

Finally on turn 32, Talonflame attempts to Sword Dance as Chesnaught catches the Fire-/Flying bird with a Rock Slide, OHKOing the biggest threat to the team. Without any major walls aside Gyarados to protect it, a 52% Landorus-I was Nick's best chance at winning the battle. Chesnaught was offered as a sack to an HP Flying / Ice, but strangely enough it lives by 16%. With Landorus getting lower in HP, Gyarados is sent out on the Spikey Shield, however now Chesnaught can easily spam Leech Seeds the remainder of the battle. On the last Dragon Tail, Gyarados "conveniently" phazes out Chesnaught for my Weavile, though I think we both knew the battle was over given  All I had to do was get in Weavile safely even from a Dragon Tail so it can clean up the team with an Ice Punch and Ice Shard to end the game.


Despite the LA Nidokings getting their first CIL win on a 5-0, the battle was far closer than it was given how damaged most of my Pokemon were or were about to be on via rocks entry. For sure, if Nick had Brave Bird the Chesnaught at any given point and OHKOed, I think it was his match to win from there. Getting those unfortunate Fire Blast miss and the Paralysis on consecutive turns made this battle far difficult for Nick to kill the Chesnaught, as I'm certain any chip damage would be good enough for the Brave Bird knock out. From the double knock out, I wanted to get a free switch for Latias to get a Healing Wish off for Suicune since it could take on Tyranitar, Landorus-I, and even Talonflame with near full HP investment and a potential CM or two. I still defend going into Chesnaught instead of Latias as I thought he'd switch out for the Talonflame and maybe I could have gotten the prediction Rock Slide call there. Then again all these hypothetical scenarios have the potential RNG factor whether its on my end or Nick's.

To be fair, Nick was a really offensive battler based on all the plays he was making with the double switches, the pursuits trap calls, and even the attempted Sword Dance towards the end. I don't take anything away from Nick at all and can see why he's one of the main analysts for the GBA League. Again the score doesn't reflect upon how great of a battle this was against the two of us as it basically came down to one turn. Meanwhile I did in fact "risk" the third Fire Blast attack on Chesnaught since I felt he'd still switch into the bird and the odds based on the miss, flinch, and paralysis chance were in my favor. Had Chesnaught taken damage, I'd would have sent in Latias to Healing Wish the Suicune and the game would came down to a 3v4 essentially but with Landorus, Gyarados, Talonflame, and Tyranitar at low to moderate HP. 

Either way, I have a strong feeling this won't be the only encounter we'll due battle in the CIL until possibly the playoffs, assuming we both make it in. Nick was in the Finals of the CIL so chances are this will be the case in the forseeable future. Next time, I'll cover my battle with Sanyer1124 of the his Pinsirs team. You don't want to miss out on the outcome of me vs Sanyer in the next CIL post.