Week 7: Vs Zigzagger456
Mississauga Mences: Mega Pinsir, Skarmory, Weavile, Vaporeon, Galvantula, Nidoking, Delphox, Registeel, Granbull, Rhydon, Mismagius, Sawk
After one of the closest battles fought in the PFA, the LA Nidokings are now 6-0 with a guarantee positive record in the 11-game season. Last week, we took on the the upstart Mississauga Mences coached by Zigzagger456 who sport a 2-4 record for the season. Initially, Zigzagger had an good 2-0 start but lost a series of close games and now he has to battle me for a chance to get a win and a huge upset. Looking at his team, Zigzagger has a great wall core in Skarmory, Vaporeon, Registeel, Intimidate Grandbull, and Evolite Rhydon. Rounding off Zigzagger's main offense is his Mega Pinsir, Sheer Force Nidoking (to add has been doing extremely well under his care), a Pursuit trapping Weavile, a Sticky Web user in Galvantula who threatens Manaphy, and his other three Pokemon. Delphox was sorta an X-factor given it can use Power Herb Solar Beam to hit my Manaphy for immediate super effective damage. Mismaguis was another Ghost-type Pokemon that my team somewhat struggles against given I have no Pokemon to take a resisted Ghost-type hit, and lets not forget Destiny Bond nor Sub-Nasty Plot sets. The last Pokemon from his team was Sawk and it has access to Sturdy so if for whatever reason I don't get up rocks, Sawk has a free Focus Sash.
Here's the thing, most of these Pokemon are handled considerably well against either Jirachi, Mega Manetric, Arcanine, and even Manaphy. For sure, I knew he'd prepare for the Manaphy given I've gotten 7 kills and only 1 death this entire season so far. Here I made the bold decision not to bring it given he has Galvantula, a Haze user in Vaporeon, an uncertain revenge killers in Power Herb Delphox, Scarf Sawk/Nidoking, Weavile, or a Destiny Bond using Mismagius. At the same time, Mega Pinsir has a poor matchup against my team given that Mega Manetric/Arcanine can Intimidate, and follow suit with a Electric/Fire move. Crobat can easily revenge kill most of his team including Mega Pinsir with a Brave Bird and has Defog to get rid of hazards for my team. Nidoqueen was another threat that I could have brought, but didn't given he has stuff that can outspeed Nidoqueen. Jirachi actually looks viable in this matchup as it can setup against most of his Pokemon and potentially sweep (I'll get to the sets in a bit). There were other Pokemon I wanted to use, but in the end I felt these 6 were my best to use:
Team I used:
- A standard Mega Manetric set with Thunderbolt, Volt Switch, Overheat, and HP Ground, to most of Zigzagger's teams for super effective damage. I've gone over M-Manetric so not much to say.
- Leftovers Jirachi wasn't used much in this matchup, so I guess I'll keep the set secret on the EVs for now other than the fact it knew Psychic, Ancient Power, Substitute, and Calm Mind. (However proved to be an extreme viability... partly because of the Holidays and my lack of prep for this match.)
- Black Sludge Crobat was again designated for a utility purpose with Brave Bird, Super Fang, Roost, and Defog. The last move, Defog was to ensure no hazards would be on both sides though Zigzagger has Spikes, Stealth Rocks, and Sticky Web support.
- A defensive Leftovers Arcanine with STAB Flamethrower, Extreme Speed priority, Will-O-Wisp (originally Toxic but changed last second), and Morning Sun. I was kinda unsure if Wild Charge was the better option given the Vaporeon was likely coming, however I concluded that residual damage from rocks + burn would be enough hamper Vaporeon along with Mega Manetric.
- A utility Uxie designed to counter the Nidoking with Psychic, U-turn, Knock Off, and Toxic. Again Psychic is for Nidoking, U-turn is to switch out to do some chip damage against Weavile, Knock Off is to remove any item, and Toxic was for Vaporeon.
- Finally after a long hiatus, we have our Mixed Wall, Regirock with Stealth Rocks, Earthquake, Rock Slide, and Drain Punch. Not much to say but Regirock is my rock setter so it will see some action especially against his physical mons like Granbull, Registeel, Delphox, Mega Pinsir, and Weavile.
He Brought: Weavile, Skarmory, Vaporeon, Galvantula, Granbull, and Sawk
DISCLAIMER (Before "Match 2): There Was ONE Disconnect
Now this post isn't to be any actions against Zigzagger at all. What happen was Zigzagger's home computer went out and thus we lost an entire battle which SPOILERS: I was in control most of the match. The hax was somewhat even, however there was a turn where I went for Thunderbolt against Vaporeon, and got parahax (10% chance and 25% chance to not move) so like 2.5% for this scenario to happen. Did it matter, yes no doubt. Earlier in the 1st battle, I went for a Toxic against Vaporeon with Uxie and it missed. This issue with that miss was that Vaporeon would have gotten worn down considerably though I think Zigzagger would have been in the same position where Vaporeon has taken about a good chunk of HP against it. Crobat in this battle got Scald burned and we both got useless crits like a crit Overheat against Galvantula from Mega Manetric, though the Electric/Bug Pokemon already took a Thunderbolt damage. In the end, we both made this compromise and follow suit with the second battle.
The Match: FG7G-WWWW-WW3A-4Q3X
(Not gonna explain everything, just the important stuff that influenced the battle).
- Recreation Up to Turn 3: In the end, Mega Manetric got a "free kill" to resemble what happen with the first battle. Yes I did get a Thunderbolt crit, it doesn't change the fact I honored my agreement and went for Overheat.
- Crit Stone Edge on Mega Manetric Early On: Out of all the amount of crits I received against me (except possibly in the end), Mega Manetric gets hit with a crit Stone Edge and is taken to 43 HP. I had sent in Uxie to take on Sawk but it taken too much damage from consecutive Stone Edge crits, then when I went for Knock Off, I figured out Sawk was Choice Banded and not Scarf. I'm 100% sure however had I didn't went for Knock Off against the Sawk, I'd would have the impression it was Scarf, however I believe that Mega Manetric would have fainted as a result even with the Intimidate drop. Either way this proved extremely advantageous for Zigzagger throughout the match.
- Removing Hazards and Maintaining Hazards: After switching into my Jirachi, I realized I had to get rid of the Sticky Webs and Spikes at any cost. Crobat was able to Defog the hazards away from my end and gave my Pokemon some breathing room. The main object was to setup rocks that my opponent is incline to use Defog and eventually allow a free switch into Mega Manetric. Once Skarmory is out of the way, I can easily maintain my rocks on the field and pressure Weavile, Vaporeon, and Granbull into a point where any one of my Pokemon can knock them out.
- Granbull + Vaporeon Much Harder to Crack: Here's where I pretty much "messed up"; overestimating both Granbull and Vaporeon's overall bulk. My lord... this battle proved to me that when dealing with wall, you need to have more than one response for them otherwise all they have to do is faint the Pokemon that beats their walls. Though Mega Manetric wasn't at all out of the picture...yet, the fact that Ziggzagger stayed in on his Sawk and ensure that either a Scald or Play Rough/EQ can take out my Mega. Going back to these two, turns out Granbull carries Heal Bell to maintain everyone healthy from status while Vaporeon has Roar, though revealed in the first battle. In the first battle, Mega Manetric was able to break these two with repeated Thunderbolts against Granbull as it swapped in, and an unfortunately parahax T-Bolt which for sure won me the game. Now these two have more leeway against my own team. Vaporeon was the biggest issue here given it was able to Wish-Protect to regain Leftovers and about 50% of its health or an ally. Crobat can do 50% damage to either with Super Fang, however Vaporeon can easily stall me out with Wish-Protects to where Zigzagger attempt to get a burn. Out of all 4-5 time, this didn't occur.
- Mega Manetric OHKO and 50/50 Play Following: At one point, Mega Manetric finally gets a free switch in on the Skarmory,gets a kill with T-bolt, and Zigzagger is forced to send it Weavile. This was essentially a 50/50 given that Zigzagger either goes for the Ice Shard for the safe play, goes for Pursuit against my Mega Manetric attempting to hard switch, or what I did the end, try to counter the Pursuit with an Overheat so I can KO Weavile and ensure speed supremacy with Crobat and my Mega. Unfortunately, Zigzagger goes for the correct play and kills off my Mega Manetric with Ice Shard. While this gave Zigzagger a slight edge in speed, Crobat can still outspeed the Weavile given its near max speed.
- The 20-30 Turn Stalemate: I've tried to burn both Vaporeon and Granbull, however learned Granbull has Heal Bell which proved rather annoying for the battle. Since Uxie was severely weaken to Banded Stone Edges, there was no way to at least Toxic the Vaporeon and continued to be a nuisance throughout the battle. Arcanine's Extreme Speed, both Crobat's Brave Bird/Super Fang, and setup Jirachi weren't enough to stop Wish Vaporeon with Roar. I did switch into Jirachi for some turns, but I realized that Ancient Power wasn't going to OHKO Weavile without it taking another Stealth Rock switch in. There was one thing I realized during this stalemate: if Vaporeon faints, or gets low in HP, I would win the battle. Same can be said to my opponent as all he has to do is KO Crobat and Arcanine and the battle is determine if Jirachi can sweep and get an Ancient Power boost.
- Turning Point: The main turning point of the battle comes around turn 28-38 when I switch out my Crobat into Regirock to get up Stealth Rocks. Granbull reveals Thunder Wave, and suddenly I feel a bit confident in the direction of the battle, of course if I can get up rocks. After getting parahax and receiving a critical hit in two turns, Regirock finally gets up rocks which are forever on his side of the field. Around this time, Crobat battles Vaporeon yet again, however from the Stealth Rock switch in + burn its not going to last as long. My opponent decides to switch out Vaporeon for Granbull in hopes of paralyzing my fastest Pokmon. This plan backfires as even with the Intimidate drop, Crobat 2HKOs Granbull with Brave Bird. Now Vaporeon has no way to get rid of the burn at all and has to Wish-Protect to maintain health, but unfortunately for it has taken to much HP.
- Initiating Endgame: By the time Granbull was gone, Weavile comes in to revenge kill Crobat, though fails to do so as Arcanine switches in. Weavile takes about 35% damage with the combination of Life Orb and Stealth Rocks and is forced out into Vaporeon. Arcanine goes for Extreme Speed and it looks as though Vaporeon cannot take 2 Extreme Speeds, though this was likely a roll in my favor with the burn and rocks damage stacking up. Here Zigzagger makes a questionable play and goes for into Sawk, however instead of going for Wish-Protect. Now Vaporeon is low to where an Extreme Speed or Brave Bird can OHKO. In fact Crobat wins the game for me by just clicking Brave Bird.
- Final Turns: Uxie is sacked for my free Crobat switch in, and now it Brave Birds everything to dead. First came the Sawk and I knew it wasn't Scarf after taking off the Band earlier in the match. Weavile switches in, and crits my near Max Hp Crobat with a LO Ice Shard. This sorta made me upset at first, but I realized Weavile can't switch in anymore so Arcanine can easily Extreme Speed it for a KO. Vaporeon is Zigzagger's last Pokemon but can't live an E-Speed from the range its at. After a long 45 turn battle, the LA Nidokings stay undefeated with 7-0, with Mega Manetric, Crobat, and Arcanine netting 2 kills each.
I'll keep this section a bir shorter than usual, but lets cut to the chase. If anyone notice the battle, the Stone Edge crit on Mega Manetric place my plans backwards as Mega Manetric wasn't as much of a threat compared in the first battle where it got 3 kills before the DC happen. Honestly if I was able to preserve M-Manetric, when all I had to do was faint the Weavile and weaken the Vaporeon below 50%. Of course, Vaporeon still has Roar, though I'd probably pressured it enough so its was forced into Wish-Protect stances. There is one thing I don't understand from Zigzagger from all these Wish-Protect turns. Even as I made my move in a matter of less than 45 secs at times, he took like a minute or so to just use Wish-Protect, which honestly I understand that one of his own win conditions was stalling me while having a healthier team than the other once the timer hit zero. To be fair, this match might have gone to timer if Vaporeon wasn't swapped in for Sawk. I guess Zig was trying to break my team's defense. Regarding the whole stalemate situation, if Arcanine had Wild Charge, a move I completely overlooked for this match, then I'd probably would have beaten the Vaporeon at varies times it switched in.
Definitely the MVP was Crobat despite the crit Ice Shard from LO Weavile, though I could have preserved Crobat and switched in Arcanine instead. The reason I'd award Crobat the MVP for this battle is because it took on most of Zigzagger's team from both an offensive and defensive standpoint. Crobat was the reason why Zigzagger was unable to gain any momentum as it restored HP with Roost, Super Fang his walls, and Brave Bird to maintain momentum. Funny enough, Crobat could have lived the Ice Shard from LO Weavile and taken both faints away from Arcanine, though again the crit happen. Arcanine did a fantastic job in walling his main offensive core, Defogging hazards away, and even wearing down Vaporeon to which fainted to an Extreme Speed the last turn. Mega Manetric was great in this battle, though the crit Stone Edge and the Ice Shard KO made this battle longer than it should.
In the end, this game proved I need to figure out how to prepare against team cores who can fairly match up well against my own. This will likely be the case in the next battles that follow suit, but for now I'm glad we were able to get a win and a good game from Zigzagger. Yeah I guess I'm still sour about the DC, but things happen and at least Mega Manetric proved useful in both battles and I was kinda doubting it for a bit. Now I'm certain that both Mega Manetric and Crobat can do work when needed in such long battles.
Not much do go on here, but the LA Nidokings are now 7-0 and are in playoffs with this win. Funny thing happen this week that all the two 5-1 teams lost to the other two 4-2 teams so the playoff race just got heated with 4 teams being 5-2 records. The next few battles I think are going to be a prelude of how the eventual playoff standings will evolve into in the coming weeks so I cannot drop my guard down. Anyways, see you all later!