Friday, November 27, 2015

PFA Update: Week 3 + Plans

Week 3 Vs Squeab

LA Nidokings' Roster: Manaphy, Mega Manetric, Jirachi , Crobat, Arcanine, Roserade, Druddigon, Aromatisse, Uxie, Kabutops, Regirock, Gurdurr


Goldenrod City Glalies' Roster: Mega Altaria, Scizor, Talonflame, Empoleon, Porygon Z, Chesnaught, Bronzong, Clawitzer, Cofagrigus, Vivillon, Cryogonal, Magmotar. 

Coming off with a 2-0 start, our next opponent for the league was none other gonna be Squeab of the Goldenrod City Glalies. Squeab's team without a doubt made me think about the lineup of which Pokemon I wanted to bring considering he has one of the best ORAS Megas in the game in Mega Altaria, priority users like Scizor, walls such as Chesnaught, Empoleon, and Bronzong, and even what I considered "x-factors" in Porygon Z/Cofagrigus. Originally the Goldenrod City Glalies had a roster that includes Latios/Donphan (Forgot what NU pick he dropped for Cryogonal ) which puts a considerable stop to my Mega Manetric from doing some decent amount of work (spoilers). In fact, the combination of Latios, Scizor, and Donphan was a great hazard removal core that I felt was going to be difficult to break down or even attempt to get up my own hazards. Prior to the new team I came up with, there was a ton of planning made against the Latios since it was the biggest threat to the team aside from Mega Altaria along with Porygon Z or Cofagrigus. After the free agency in week 2, both teams made some considerable changes in which the Nidokings got Jirachi, Druddigon, and Kabutops, while the Glalies added Talonflame, Empoleon, and Cyrogonal. 

Honestly the fact both Latios and Donphan were out of the picture meant that if Mega Manetric was preserved well enough, it can clean of the rest of his team. Still Mega Altaria was a huge threat considering it can be almost any sets, of course knowing full well since it was the Nidokings main Mega for season 1 of the PFA. I was a bit concern about Cofagrigus since if it setups Trick Room then Mega Manetric would be completely screwed over along with most of my team. Porygon Z was another threat since if it gets in on a good matchup it can nuke something with STAB Download/Adaptability Tri Attack or one of its coverage options.  On a final note, each team had to  bring at least one new addition however I decided to bring all three (Jirachi, Druddigon, Kabutops), since it fairs somewhat well against Squeab's new team. 

Alright with that aside here's the team I brought for the matchup.

  • A physically defensive Leftovers Manaphy with max HP,  a considerable defensive investment, and a bit of speed to outspeed neutral max speed Altaria with the following moveset: Scald, Ice Beam, Tail Glow, and Rain Dance. This week I felt that Manaphy would not only be my main sweeper, but the team's main defensive wall against Scizor and Talonflame. The moveset was standard however Rain Dance was so Scald would do more damage, cut the attack power of Fire type, attacks (from Talonflame/Magmortar), and setup for Kabutops.
  • For its reason debut, a Calm Mind Leftovers Jirachi with max HP, a split between SpA/Spe however enough to outspeed Jolly Mega Altaria with the following moveset: Flash Cannon, Psychic, Calm Mind, and Wish. Notice that this Jirachi is not the standard scarf variant rather a setup sweeper and wish passer so help my other teammates out in the long run. Ultimately I figured that a special attacking Jirachi would be the best one to use since it can beat Mega Altaria 1v1 and can proceed to sweep. Of course I had to make sure that both Cofagrigus, Scizor, and Bronzong were either weaken to the point Jirachi can setup and cleanup the game.
  • A Modest Mega Manetric with enough speed to outspeed Adamant max speed Talonflame with the following moveset: Thunderbolt, Volt Switch, Hidden Power Ice, and Flamethrower. Now I know this is almost the same options that most Mega Manetric use (bar Modest) but I felt Mega Manetric can do a decent amount of work against most of Squeab's team once its weaken. At the same time, I knew it was imperative to keep Mega Manetric healthy at all cost so getting rid of walls and hazard removal was key, which brings me to my next couple picks...
  • A defensive Sheer Force Druddigon with max HP, a mixed between Defense, Attack, and Special Defense EVs with the following moveset: Stealth Rocks, Crunch, Gunk Shot, and Glare. For sure Druddigon was going to see some action in this battle as it was my main Stealth Rock setter to cripple most of Squeab's team.  The reason for no Dragon-STAB was there wasn't any notable targets to hit aside from a regular Altaria which I know for a fact Squeab isn't going to let it go down that easily. In fact, the Glalies have three resistances to Dragon as well as an immunity with their Fairy Mega so there was no point in bringing something like Dragon Claw even it it were boosted by Sheer Force. Crunch with the combination of Life Orb and Sheer Force is able to deal massive damage  (a certain 2HKO) against both Bronzong and Cofagrigus while do a good chunk of damage on those who switch in. Originally I was debating between Gunk Shot or Fire Punch to nuke Scizor and Chesnaught however I didn't want Mega Altaria to switch in on Druddigon with no fear and Spiky Shield can do some chip damage to my Druddigon so Gunk Shot was a nice alternative for both of these Pokemon as well as to bait in Bronzong/Cofagrigus. Glare was in case any of his faster Pokemon like Mega Altaria, Porygon Z, or any other fast sweepers come in. 
  • An offensive Swift Swim Kabutops with Waterfall, Superpower, Rapid Spin, and Damp Rock Rain Dance. Agian not much about Kabutops other than it was my main rain sweeper and hazard removal in case my opponent bring anything other than rocks. Superpower is to OHKO Porygon Z since it somewhat threatens the team. 
  • Last but not least, a semi defensive Black Sludge Roserade with Technician Hidden Power Fire, Sludge Bomb, Leech Seed, and Toxic Spikes.  Didn't fell like having Giga Drain was a great option knowing Squeab might have brought Scizor, Talonflame, Bronzong, to which in so I have Leech Seed for recovery and residual damage. Chose Toxic Spikes since I was concern about the Cofagrigus and the Chesnaught so having those two weaken along with other key members of his team might help in the long run. Roserade has Technician HP Fire to OHKO Scizor and do some damage against Bronzong, Chesnaught, Empoleon, Vivillon, etc. Sludge Bomb is coverage for Mega Altaria and OHKOs with the investment I have. 

Squeab's Goldenrod Glalies: Mega Altaria, Chesnaught, Bronzong, Clawitzer, Magmortar, Crygonal

Our LA Nidokings: Manaphy, Jirachi, Mega Manetric, Druddigon, Kabutops, Roserade

The Match: 

To start of the match, I lead with Druddigon to get up rocks as my opponent leads with Bronzong to probably do the same which did occur...with some interesting plays. First turn I went with Glare thinking one of his Pokemon would switch in and now I get something that's paralyzed, however the only thing it did was buy me one turn against a fully paralyzed Bronzong the following turn. After I gone for Stealth Rocks turn 2 as Bronzong is paralyzed, it was time to weaken the wall with a LO Sheer Force Crunch, which did about 70-80% to Bronzong, however it then goes for a Normal Gem Explosion which deals about 60% to Druddigon. While Squeab did mention he misplayed/misclick and wanted to Toxic my Druddigon, I don't technically see it as such since it would have gotten a ton of damage off to where any of his Pokemon can beat Druddigon now and he had free switch. For sure the paralysis mattered since if he'd gone for Toxic and then Exploded afterward Druddigon would be near useless. Squeab switches in Clawitzer as I decide to keep Druddigon around for my main wall Manaphy to take the incoming Ice Beam + Stealth Rocks damage. 

Now Chesnaught comes in and I make a somewhat fatal misplay and reveal Rain Dance on Manaphy instead of going for either a Scald burn or Ice Beam for chip damage. The reason why I say this was a misplay because I switch into Roserade and realize two things about my preparation that I forgot . 1) Even with Hidden Power Fire being boosted by Techincian doesn't negate the rain condition which cuts HP Fire's full power in half. Therefore Chesnaught is going to tank these hits as it setups 3 layers of Spikes as all I can do is for another HP Fire and then setup my own Toxic Spikes which did help out in the long run. 2) I don't why... but totally spaced out on having Venoshock instead of Sludge Bomb especially the fact that his team has weak to Toxic Spikes and Roserade would be doing about 130 base power instead of 65. At the same time, I could have gone for STAB Venoshock much sooner instead of the rain-weaken HP Fire to 2HKO most of Squeab's team. 

At one point I made an aggressive play (which turned out to be a bad prediction) and go for Sludge Bomb knowing well I couldn't afford to switch any of my Pokemon out while expecting Squeab's own switch, however he phazes me out straight into Kabutops. Now Chesnaught walls Kabutops certainly however I realized this was the only time to get rid of the three layers of Spikes and Stealth Rocks so the rest of my team doesn't take residual damage. In the end, I sack Kabutops to get rid of the hazards as he goes for Drain Punch to get an OHKO against my team. I wasn't worried at this point since the rain had ended and this allowed me to send in Manetric, get the Mega Evolution going, and try to get some offensive pressure going. Squeab switches into Magmortar though doesn't appreciate the Toxic Spikes, Stealth Rocks, and the crit Flamethrower which might have mattered. I guess it matters since when I decided to sack Druddigon to Magmortar that the Toxic Spikes damage against Magmortar would OHKO it the following turn when it goes for Psychic unto my dragon. Without the crit, I guess Mega Manetric would gotten another kill on Magmortar or it would have been saved as death fodder to prevent the second blind switch.* 

Mega Manetric is sent out and Cryogonal comes in to spin the hazards away. Now this was probably what decided the game since Modest Mega Manetric CANNOT kill Cyrogonal at that range and it could have spin away the hazards for the rest of his team. Now I guess maybe he thought I had Overheat which could have been an option since I hadn't revealed Thunderbolt, yet he switches out into Altaria. This same turn I debated whether or not to T-bolt since Cryogonal can't take a Flamethrower + Thunderbolt unless it has an Occa Berry or is Special Defensive. Had I went for Thunderbolt instead of the safer Flamethrower, the incoming Altaria would have taken both 25% rocks + maybe around 45%-55% from STAB T-bolt which would have been game from then. Now that the Altaria took about 45%-49% damage, I felt a Modest HP Ice would OHKO from that range, though I checked after the match and it was in fact a damage roll assuming Mega Altaria wasn't invest in HP/SpDef, though how much I don't know. Hidden Power Ice does OHKO Mega Altaria and Mega Manetric goes on a sweep: Thunderbolts Clawitzer, 2HKOes Chesnaught with Flamethrower, and beats Cryogonal with Flamethrower. The Nidokings claim another victory with a 4-0 win. 

Opinions and Final Thoughts

I'd like to continue on this point before going into the next section about what could have happen had Mega Manetric didn't got the damage roll. Squeab might have gone for Roost, Dragon Dance, or an attacking option, which I still had a healthy Roserade, Jirachi, and Manaphy in the back. I think him going for Dragon Dance was his best play and might have gave me issues though my best option would have been to sack Mega Manetric or Jirachi while getting an intimidate in or another kill. Roserade would have been my switch in or revenge kill into the Mega Altaria and the only way I might have lost is if Squeab had gotten a crit Earthquake/Return with a +1 Dragon Dance boost.  Manaphy or Roserade could have taken a Freeze Dry from Cryogonal and maybe the battle would have been closer. If Jirachi was saved, then it might have just closed out the match by setting Calm Mind and sweeping with STAB Psychic/Flash Cannon. Recall that my opponent didn't have any hazard removal left from his team so everyone (Chesnaught, Clawitzer, and Cyogonal) would have taken Toxic Spikes and/or Stealth Rocks.  I won't speculate too much now since the battle was won but I'd at least like to elaborate what where the potential options. 

This week shows that if we are able to stick keep our cool despite a fast-paced game where at one point I let my opponent setup all his hazards against me. Yes I guess the Roar switch in was "hax" since afterward Kabutops was able to get rid of hazards for my team though at a cost. However I wanted Squeab to take out Kabutops since this would allow me to get a free Mega Evolution for Manetric and afterward might have gotten some damage on any of his Pokemon. Druddigon was kinda useless now that Bronzong exploded and there was no Cofagrigus for this battle. Squeab not bringing Talonflame was understandable since I had like 6 checks/counters however the Scizor not making an appearance wasn't though I guess Mega Manetric intimidates it + Flamerthrower means its going to have a bad time. 

The new draft picks I think were solid considering Kabutops was able to get rid of hazards and Druddigon severely weaken the Bronzong so their loss wasn't in vein. Jirachi didn't make an appearance for this battle however I believe it will be key against a couple matches down the road from here on out. Mega Manetric man really proved its worth in this battle and the support definitely kept the game in my favor. Once I got the momentum  from sacking Kabutops and Druddigon then I felt the Nidokings had the driver seat from then. 

End of the Year Plans

Might as well summarize my plans...

Guess its time for minor update since I kinda flooded this blog with Pokemon League-style writing though no VGC. Currently I've decided to play out possibly the last few months/days of the season with three teams I'm have more experience using lately. For starters, I might post no minimum 3 VGC teams by the end of the year to conclude the VGC 2015 or Battle Spot Doubles 2015 for me at least. Not much to say but at this point I want to know the ruleset for VGC 2016 though I might just focus on Battle Spot or Showdown again once the ladder is a bit settled. No need to post a high ranking team when the ladder is low but increases right? For sure I'm going to practice as much as I can for the new format so expect some teams reports in the coming year. 

In retrospect, I might start focusing on Singles battling since I haven't done so in months and primarily focused on VGC/Battle Spot Doubles. For sure I want to improve to the point where I can confidently play game without having hax or people let me down unlike last time (won't elaborate on this). As for any post for the Pokemon Forever forum, I want to finish the Sylveon thread by the end of the month or early December and finish Heatran hopefully before the new rules are announced. I think I might just finish Heatran thread as my final VGC 2015 Pokemo thread and then afterward focus on the new format if its announced. 

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