Sunday, November 15, 2015

Pokemon Forever Draft Analysis (Season 2)


Alright so after an abrupt end to season 1 of the PFA, a couple of the managers (Mitch, Mudkiplegend) have decided to host a new season to make up for what happen during the end of summer. Honestly we were only able to get about 12 people including myself so this wasn't as large as maybe the previous season though these 12 are people we all know very well with each other within the PFA community so the chances of the league collapsing won't be as large as before. With any semi-competitive draft-based league, we had to chose our teams again with me being the number one pick in both the OU and RU draft. While this might seem sorta unfair to some, the draft itself was snake-style and so if I pick first in the OU draft, I have to wait for about 22 turns before I get a double pick which happen throughout the night. The draft was hosted on Saturday November 7th and I already drafted my team so without further delay, here's the main roster. For those interesting in the other opposing PFA teams, here's a link as well to compare with mine. 

OU Draft
Again more stalling 

First off let me elaborate on my thoughts for the first round pick since a couple of people have asked why I didn't draft something better like a Mega Evolution. Pretty much I knew this pick was "snipe-proof" and it was going to be 100% mine without no discussion. My overall 1st round pick needed to be a Pokemon who can fulfill many roles for my team,  be relatively bulky itself, and has to be something I'm completely satisfied with since I'm gonna have to wait another 22 turns before my next double pick. Obviously with 22 rounds, I knew certain Pokemon like Mega Altaria, Charizard X, Lati@s, Mega Venusaur, Heatran, Mega Gardevoir, Landorus-T, and a host of other powerful OU Pokemon would be picked so I had to accept the potential losses of desired picks (btw all these Pokemon were gone). Funny enough my main structure of the team itself I had in mine was kept intact and I actually drafted my back up team I felt was going to complement each other well. Kinda getting off tangent there, but for my first round pick of the OU draft and PFA Season 2 is the former Uber now S-tier mon Manaphy.

Alright IMO Manaphy is one of the best, if not the best Water-type in the OU tier currently and I actually debated whether I should get this guy or a possible Mega which was another primary option (won't mention which one). Regardless, Manaphy might look like an average Pokemon compared with base 100 stats across the board, but it access to one move that terrifies many teams, Tail Glow. After a single boost, Manaphy's Special Attack skyrocketed to +3 and can cap out with another boost. This means Manaphy can wall break many team cores and given this is a league-style format, I'll have what sets to bring for my opponent and plan for them accordingly. Aside from Tail Glow, Manaphy has two great STAB options in Surf (for overall power) and Scald (aka my anti-freeze/burn options) to chose from along with an great coverage options like Energy Ball for Water-types, Psychic for Poison-/Fighting-types, Shadow Ball for Ghost-/Psychic types, Dazzling Gleam for Dark-/Dragon-/Fighting-types, and Hidden Power for anything else I can't hit. Sweeping isn't the only thing that Manaphy can do as it can also use Knock Off to remove any items, U-turn to switch out for another Pokemon, Calm Mind as another viable setup option, Acid Armor to bulk up, Heal Bell for cleric support, screens to help my own team, and one last intriguing option. With Hydration as its ability, Manaphy can easily recover from any status in the rain similar to most of the pixies like Celebi or Shaymin when they use Rest. However, unlike switching out to cure from the sleep, Manaphy will automatically recover from the status (likely from sleep) after Hydration activates the end of the turn now it can stay in with its potential Tail Glow/Calm Mind boosts. Remember that with rain up Manaphy will receive a boost into its Water-type attack and pair this up with a self-regeneraton with Hydration/Rest with the SpA increase means very select Pokemon won't likely come off unscathed while KO prince of the seas. The last thing I'd want to mention is that Manaphy has an above average 100 HP / 100 Def / 100 SpDef so it can take any neutral hit if I don't have anything else to do and won't be easy to take down without a super effective targeting. Chances are Manaphy will likely be the kill leader for this team since it can sweep teams after any potential setup option. If fact, I'm certain that Mananphy will be the main MVP of the team and the league no doubt.
Next up is one of the most versatile Dragon/Ground Pokemon to ever come in the competitive Pokemon and among the most feared: Garchomp. People new to competitive should know that Garchomp has a distributed stat allocation of about 108 HP / 130 Atk / 95 Def / 80 SpA / 85 SpD / and its trollish 102 speed tier so it already faster than most of the metagame. As one can see, Garchomp pairs well with Manaphy as it can easily take on any Electric-types and threaten them with an STAB Earthquake (though I have to be careful whether they have HP Ice). To me, Garchomp is not just limited to setting up Stealth Rocks, it can easily be a great Sword Dance/Substitute user, defensive tank with Rocky Helment + Dragon Tail, a Choice Scarf abuser, or all out offense with Life Orb or Band. This Pseudo-Legendary Pokemon has so many potential sets thanks to its 600 base stat allocation and is probably one of the most difficult to switch into since I'll always have a set for each matchup. Dragon/Ground STAB is honestly great attacking coverage as few Pokemon bar Togekiss (who wasn't drafted) can switch this beast. Movepool-wise Garchomp is no slouch as well with access to Outrage, Dragon Claw, Earthquake, Fire Blast/Flamethrower, Rock Slide, Poison Jab, Iron Head, Hidden Power, Draco Meteor, Aqua Tail, and plenty other options.  In all, I expect great things from this Pseudo-Legendary and will prove its worth in future battles. 

The last Pokemon I guess some have commented as the most questionable pick, but I chose Mega Manetric since most of the the good  Mega Evolutions are gone now.  For sure Mega Manetric might seem outclass to something like a Mega Altaria, Mega Charizard X. or Mega Venusaur however this Mega Evolution I know people will struggle against surely. Manetric already comes with its Lighting Rod ability so I can switch this thing on any incoming Electric types against Manaphy and get a Special Attack raise. Of course movepool-wise, Mega Manetric doesn't have the best options with one good set... but Mega Manetric is a damn great Volt-Switch user at it. Manetruc is already a moderately fast with a base speed of 105 and to have it raised to 135 means this thing will likely be the fastest thing on the field bar Scarfers which is advantageous. Lets not forget Mega Manetric is one of the few Pokemon who has access to Intimidate so it can drop the Attack stat of the opponent and immediately Volt Switch out for another Pokemon. The Intimidate drops will allow Mega-Manetric to take some physical hits and stay in more often than usual. 

As I mentioned earlier, Mega Manetric is one of the best Volt-Switch users in the game and it can easily pick off any Water types and most Steel types with the combination of its Electric STABs (Volt-Switch, Thunder, Thunderbolt), Fire-type coverage (Flamethrower, Overheat), and other coverage option like Hidden Power, Signal Beam, Discharge, Charge Beam, Thunder Wave, or even Rain Dance. There are some interesting Electric-type moves Mega Manetric can use as well such as Eerie Impulse (drops the foe's SpA by 2 stages), Magnet Rise (grants Ground-type Immunity), and Electric Terrain grants Sleep immunity and increases the power of Electric-type attacks by 50%. Mega Manetric will probably the main momentum shift Pokemon since I'd expect it to pressure my opponent and continuous maintain a volt-turn core as seen in the next picks 

UU Draft

Now that the OU picks where chosen, I'd have to patch up some glaring weaknesses, get a good core going along with a strong Defog user. Funny enough, my UU picks actually what I'd envision to be since I was last to pick my 1st and 3rd Round UU pick but first for the 2nd round meaning I had a double pick. For sure I'd expected Pokemon like Suicune, Shaymin, Nidoking, Milotic, or Mamoswine to get picked immediately but the next Pokemon I was surprised it wasn't picked sooner...

Of course I'm talking about Crobat, the main MVP of the PFA Spooky Cup (not the actual event) teams I'd use to go perfect a couple of weeks ago. Crobat is one of the best utility Pokemon in the game since it rather unpredictable with its movepool and well-rounded high base stats. As everyone knows, Crobat has a blistering 130 base speed and it can easily get off fast Defogs, Brave Bird, Taunt, or U-turn for my team. This is not the only thing Crobat since it has access to Nasty Plot with a nice Special Attack movepool so I could setup on unsuspecting opponent. Honestly Crobat can the capability to sway the battle in my favor with moves like Super Fang to cut the opponent's HP in half, Haze to prevent any opposing setup, Toxic to wear down walls, Roost for recovery, Hypnosis to put target to sleep, Whirlwind for phazing, and even Tailwind for additional speed control. Though I'd expect my opponent to bring checks to Crobat, they won't know what set it will be until its too late. 

Roserade is a interesting choice for my draft and one I honestly believe will serve me well in the long run. The team needed another resistance to Electric considering Crobat was just picked as well as a strong check to Fairy- and Water-types. From the special standpoint,  Roserade has an incredibly high base 125 Special Attack and 105 Special Special Defense meaning I can use this Grass/Poison type as either an offensive attacker or a semi SpD wall with access to recovery. Even its two abilities highlight just how diverse Roserade is with Technician boosting the power of Hidden Power or any of its weaker attacks by 50%, and Natural Cure which cures Roserade of any status conditions. Offensively, Roserade learns moves like Sludge Bomb, Giga Drain, Energy Ball, Leaf Storm, Magical Leaf, Dazzling Gleam, Extrasensory, boosted Hidden Power, Shadow Ball, and even Weather Ball so its incredibly diverse Special Attacker. On the defensive standpoint, Roserade has access to recovery options (Synthesis, Leech Seed, Rest), status moves like Stun Spore, Sleep Powder, Toxic, Aromatherapy, and two forms of hazards in Spikes and Toxic Spikes. On the latter part I'd just mentioned, now my team has access to all forms of hazards not just Stealth Rocks so this allows for my main attackers like Manaphy, Garchomp, Mega Manetric, etc to have an easier time sweeping the opposing team.

The last pick of the UU draft I was conflicted to chose either Entei or Arcanine on the team however when Entei was chosen before my pick, I knew Arcanine was an automatic pick for me. By having Arcanine on the team, I now had a Fire/Water/Grass core in Manaphy/Roserade/Arcanine, a Flash Fire user to switch into any opposing Fire-type attack, and a secondary Intimidate user to pair with Mega Manetric to form an duel Intimidate core which no one in the league has. Considering my time using Arcanine in VGC and a back in XY UU, this thing can be run in two different way either offensive with a Band/Life Orb or defensive with Rocky Helmet/Leftovers. Coverage-wise Arcanine has a better options than my previous Fire-type Entei (from season 1) with attacks like Flare Blitz, Close Combat, Wild Charge, Overheat, Dragon Pulse, Crunch, and even Extreme Speed priority. From a defensive standpoint, Arcaine has a above average defenses (90/80/80), however when factoring in the Intimidate drops and Will-o-Wisp, Arcanine can be one of the most annoying wall to take down if that wasn't enough, Arcanine is one of the few Fire-type Pokemon with access to recovery in Morning Sun so this move can complement its defensive sets and stall out games. 

RU Draft

Durant was rather an odd-choice at first, however as anyone notice, I haven't drafted either a Steel-type or Bug-type Pokemon so I'd decided this was going to be my main RU pick. While I knew about Durant being a powerful setup user with Hone Claws to alleviate the effects of Hustle, there were three things that caught my eye. The first being Durant has access to Baton Pass so I have another momentum Pokemon like Manaphy, Mega Manetric, and Crobat to chose one that can also pass at least one stat boost (sadly no Hone Claws since that's Attack + Accuracy). Second, Durant has a high base speed stat of 109 which faster than even the Muskateer Pokemon + Infernape! The last thing is with a base 109 Attack with Life Orb + Hustle + Hone Claws boost means this steel ant is going hit hard like a nuke. There are some teams I notice that if Durant is able to get its boost, it can sweep without any hesitations.

With my next double picks coming up, another potential core could be made and funny enough these two Pokemon weren't sniped from me. Starting with the second RU pick, I chose Uxie, the only returning team member for the Los Angeles Nidokings for Season 1.  Though Uxie was brought once in the Season 1 before the league somewhat collapse in Week 5, this thing was able to come clutch against the week 4 matchup by paralyzing targets and pivoting into powerful attacks. Course that battle was haxy with the Thunder Wave paralysis but Uxie definitely slowed down the enough so the rest of my team can potentially breakthrough the opposing team.

Alright I guess I should say the same stuff I'd mentioned earlier about Uxie from my previous analysis of my first team, but will mention it again briefly. To start off, Uxie has an impressive bulk with 75 HP / 130 Def / 130 SpDef overall as well as solid 95 speed for a wall/pivot. In that first analysis, Uxie as mentioned was my main Fighting-/Ground-type resistance/immunity respectively thanks to both its Psychic and Levitate ability. While the current team now has far better dedicated support Pokemon from the like of Garchomp, Roserade, Crobat, and Arcanine, this alleviates Uxie's role for the team of being a wall moderately and it can used a pivot switch option. People often stress Uxie is an inferior Cresselia (which not doubt it is),  however Uxie has access to moves Cresselia would dream of like Foul Play, Knock Off, Memento, Stealth Rocks, and most of all, U-Turn which further cements the team as a strong Volt-Turn team. Lastly Uxie has somewhat notable coverage options like Giga Drain, the elemental punches, Dazzling Gleam, Energy Ball, Water Pulse, and other attacks not mentioned here. In all, Uxie to me is a versatile wall and pivot which I know my opponents will have difficulty dealing in the mid-game. 

My last RU pick was honestly like the only pick I'd probably questioned myself not because it was "forced" but I realized that all of my first 3 priority choices for the tier were chosen. Aromatisse breaks the team's natural speed theme going with its abysmal 29 base speed, however its a great wish passer and cleric Pokemon to recover lost HP and status ailments for my team. Originally I wanted to go with Florges instead of Aromatisse given I had the chance to do so as the last UU pick, though there were a couple things this particular pure Fairy-type had over the other. First off, Aromatisse has an arguably better ability than Florges, probably one in which every cleric would dream of having in Aroma Veil. This basically to put it simple prevents Aromatisse from having its move choices limited so Taunt won't work, Encore won't trap it from using the same move, Disable will fail, Heal Block fails ironically as is sound, and Attract/Torment won't stop Aromatisse from using its moves. This allows Aromatisse to do its job as being a better wish passer or cleric support than any of my other Pokemon on the team and even in this league. Second, Aromatisse has a fair defensive stat total of 101 HP / 72  Def /  89 SpDef  so its can already pass larger wishes and is slightly more bulkier on the physical defensive end than either Clefable, Sylveon, or Florges. Sure its Special Defense isn't as high as the others but I can at least boost it up with Calm Mind, or use other coverage options like Disable, Thunder Bolt, Energy Ball, and hilariously enough Flash Cannon to hit opposing Fairy-types hard. Aromatiss will be the team's dedicated cleric support and one which can do its job effectively.

NU/PU Draft
both are combined

Now that the RU draft was chosen, its finally time to supplement the team with any NU/PU additions like potential wall-breakers, walls, and setup users. There was vote a couple of days before the draft should Greninja be in the  league and most said yes if it were Torrent. I guess where I'm going with this is I wanted another attacker who can certainly gain momentum and pick off the remaining targets so I chose the middle stage evolution Frogadier.  This is for sure my most "questionable" pick of the draft but hear me out... Protean is an amazing ability. Period. Yeah I could have gotten Kecleon as a Protean user but its ridiculously slow with a base 40 speed and I don't want any slow attacker other than my walls for this team. Frogadier has a base speed of 97 so its sits around another speed threshold, though not enough to break the 100s. There are some redeeming qualities in with this frog the first being it has access to Toxic Spikes and U-turn.  It was upsetting to find out Frogadier didn't learn Spikes as a level-up move, but regardless now I have a secondary Toxic Spike setter aside from Roserade which sorta alleviates its to Spikes hazards duties. U-turn allows Frogadier to switch out of any bad matchups and finalizes my fast volt-turn core with Mega Manetric, Manaphy, Crobat, Uxie, and Durant. Lastly Frogadier has vital coverage enough to possibly threaten many teams with Gunk Shot, Ice Beam, Hidden Power, Grass Knot, Hydro Pump, U-turn, and others. Frogadier is a Pokemon I feel like will get 5-7 kills this season nor more no less... and yes that's a bold prediction.

With both Rhydon and Golurk picks gone (though I won't complain about this), I'd debated between choosing  Golem, Regice, and Regirock since I wanted another Stealth Rock user aside from Garchomp/Uxie and a wall. Eventually the decision was made to chose  Regirock for the team considering it forms a fantastic wall core between Aromatisse and Uxie. Both of these Pokemon can threaten Fighting-types while Regirock can handle any other rogue Poison-types. Steel-types might be somewhat problematic but I have my OU and UU drafts to handle them incredibly well and Regirock is extremely bulky on both physical and specially with its 80 HP / 200 Def  / 100 SpDef overall. Not only can Regirock can take strong physical attacks, but it can setup Stealth Rocks, Thunder Wave targets (which Golem can't), and resist Flying-types since I don't have a reliable counter to Bird Spam aside from my Mega Manetric and possibly Arcanine. Coverage-wise, Regirock doesn't need much with Quake-Edge (Rock-/Ground-Type) coverage hitting everything in the game neutrally, though it also has access to the elemental punches, Drain Punch for recovery, Toxic, Iron Head, etc. In all, Regirock is probably going to be my hard wall for anything physically powerful enough to break this team and it will surely take on the strongest Pokemon in the league format.

My last overall pick I guess just looked at what my team didn't have and realized I didn't have a strong Fighting-type Pokemon to complement the team.  I was conflicted between Sawk, Throh and what was the last pick overall, Gurdurr but I chose the latter for the following reasons. Well the main reason why I picked Gurdurr is relatively simple, its basically a weaker AV Conkeldurr from an offensive standpoint, however has an incredibly physical and fine special defense stats thanks to the the Eviolite item boosting both. Unlike the Assault Vest restricting Conkeldurr from using any status moves, Gurdurr on the contrary can especially like Bulk Up to boost both its Attack and Defense stats to threatening levels. The Bulk Up set with Eviolite was intriguing to use since Gurdurr already has a 1.5x defense increase so it can can setup on any weak attacker and just recover back HP with STAB Drain Punch. Another reason why I picked Gurdurr over both Sawk and Throh as it has access to priority STAB Mach Punch (which can be boosted with Iron Fist) and I don't want to rely on Extreme Speed Arcanine or Quick Attack Frogadier though the team is fast enough to not worry too much about priority. The only downside in all this is Gurdurr is going to be a prime target to Knock Off, though the issue there is most Dark-types won't want to stay in on this thing so probably other Knock Off users will try doing so. In all, Gurdurr was definite a steal in this league format and one that will prove its worth in battle. 


So this is my draft analysis so there you guys have it, feel free to counter team me as you please want to do exactly that. Again that statement is for those in this league and I know the Nidokings will take the Championship this season. 

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