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. 

PFA Free Agency: Additions and Drops

PFA Free Agency 

Before I go on and discuss what were the made changes made to the team, here's a quick guidelines of the rules of Free Agency.

  1. Free Agency begins after the end of the second week with a live session where all the coaches (including myself) chose new additions to the team or announce trades. 
  2. As soon as all the coaches are accounted with their Week 2 matches completed, Free Agency will commence.
  3. Unlike most Leagues where anyone can get chose by themselves to add/drop a Pokemon while following their respective rules, Free Agency for the PFA is almost like a regulated draft session held every 2 week where teams with the worse differential and record go first and the best teams chose last. There's no snake-style order for this, just worst to best teams first. 
  4. During all sessions of FA (Free Agency), every team is allowed the chance to add/drop one Pokemon per tier in each session. Each FA session will go through OU, UU, RU and finally NU/PU with coaches of each team deciding whether or not they want to change something. 
  5. Mega Evolutions can now be dropped from the team and not mandatory. 
  6. (Debatable) This rule I'm not so sure what they decided on yet. However every team is allowed only 1 drop/add per tier leaving a total of 4 potential changes for the season.
  7. List of all Free Agent Pokemon courtesy of myself. 

Los Angeles Nidoking Team Additions and Drops

Alright I'm not going to sugarcoat this, however I did not expect myself having the opportunity to make 3 changes to my team knowing full well that with the impressive +10 differential and 2-0 start certain picks I thought would go first ended up being free for grabs. Now I guess every team had different priorities and there were surprisingly few changes made from different teams except for a couple teams including the Nidokings. Now going into the session, I knew there would be people wanting to get rid of their mons in exchange for better Pokemon I'd list down. Some of the picks I predicted would leave immediately especially the ones I'm about to list down however I was fortunate to get these Pokemon on the team so here are the new changes. 

    New Teammates / Roster Changes

OU: New: Jirachi / Drop: Garchomp

Ok I honestly felt as if someone was going to look at the undrafted list and see Jirachi was available for keeps and yet I was the one who realized this. Now when it was my turn, I realized no one got this Pokemon and I needed a Steel-type Pokemon that can take on Fairy- types, be a Stealth Rocker, versatile in movepool, and sway the battle in my favor. Jirachi fits the bill and its the Pokemon I'm most familiar since I've used it consistently... at least before March when I focused on VGC. I cannot describe how big of a pick up Jirachi was as it can do so many things in a league format like spread paralysis, use Choice Scarf, setup rocks, be either physical/special or even mixed, a cleric, and just the list goes on and on. Probably one of the most recognizable traits about Jirachi is its Serene Grace ability as it has double to chance for secondary effects. Most of its attacks have secondary effects including its main STAB Iron Head which has a 60% chance to flinch the opponent. Hopefully most of my matches doesn't result to flinch spamming to victory but it was a pick too good not to pass up. 

RU: New - Druddigon / Drop: Durant

 After I dropped Garchomp, I knew I wanted another "defensive Dragon-Type", one that can fulfill multiple roles for the team like be either offensive, defensive, lead, or maybe both combined. IMO,  Druddigon is a potent Pokemon in league play with the amount of sets it can run. First off, Druddigon has three useful abilities in Sheer Force, Mold Breaker, and Rough Skin so technically speaking I didn't lose not as much from Garchomp aside from the fast speed. What differentiates Druddigon from Garchomp is it has the ability Sheer Force to boost a wide variety of attacks like Gunk Shot, Fire Punch, Thunder Punch, Iron Head, Iron Tail, Rock Slide, Crunch, etc. Sure none of Druddigon's main STAB options (Dragon Claw/Outrage)  get Sheer Force boosted, however it still has other powerful attacks like Earthquake, Aqua Tail, Sucker Punch (another form of priority), Pursuit, Revenge, Rock Tomb, Superpower, Shadow Claw, and much more options to use. Even from a utility standpoint, Druddigon support moves such as Glare to paralyze even Ground-type Pokemon, Stealth Rocks for hazards, Taunt to stop opposing setup, Toxic to wear down walls, and finally Dragon Tail for phazing.  I admit Druddigon is no Garchomp considering the former is much slower and relies on speed control like Glare. However, once Druddigon is in on a favorable matchup, it can pretty much do whatever it wants from setup rocks, Glare stuff, or just go offensive. 

NU/PU: New - Kabutops / Drop: Frogadier

For the last tier, I kinda wanted to get my hands on a spinner since Crobat was the only Pokemon that can clear hazards away while be relatively bulky yet offensive at the same time. While Frogadier helped out in my week 2 matchup tremendously, I think Roserade would have done exactly the same thing and setup Toxic Spikes/Spikes to help aid in my match so the team can compensate a bit. In the end, I felt Kabutops was a viable spinner and potential Rain Dance user who can pair well with Manaphy and Mega Manetric. First off, Kabutops has a moderate offensive typing in Water/Rock with its Water-type attack hopefully boosted in the rain and Rock-type always being fine. Kabutops has access to some fine STAB/coverage moves like Waterfall, Stone Edge, Rock Slide, Low Kick, Superpower, Brick Break, Knock Off, X-scissor, etc. Kaputops has access to moves like Rain Dance to setup for Swift Swim, Rapid Spin for hazard control, Sword Dance to boost up, and Aqua Jet for priority. Kabutops will see play in place of Crobat so it can help alleviate hazard control while be a late game cleaner. 

So there you have it, all the the new additions to the team. I could have gone a bit more in-depth but I guess people can pick up the pieces since getting Jirachi would make me alittle weak to Fire-types and needed another Dragon and so forth. For now I'll just wait and see if these changes were necessary for the overall scoop of the team so we'll see in the next battle report.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Pokemon Forever Association Season Update (Week 2)

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 Match

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. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pokemon Forever Association Season Update (Week 1)

Season Update

As of right now, I'm proud to announce that the Los Angeles Nidokings are 2-0 for the start of the season and currently have the highest differential of the league with +10.  This is mostly due to the amount of preparation the Nidokings have done in hopes of overcoming our opponents. Last week and this week we've battled both Unit of the Rhode Island Rhyperiors and Epiclolz of the Indiana Igglybuffs. This threat I'll discuss regarding the preparation and outcome from Week 1 against Unit and later on Epic in another thread. Both of the battles will be listed down below when I'm done with this thread so lets get down to some statistics and post conference responses.

Week 1 Vs Unit501

First off, I must say Unit's team was one of the most threatening drafts (I'd say Top 5) in the league and just by match up it would be extremely difficult if I let him have his way against my team. Prior before the Free Agency Pick Ups by the end of Week 2, his team consisted of a strong Steel-Dragon-Fairy core in Ferrothorn, Kyurem-B, and Mega Diancie who all three can easily have wall-break my cores, and picked off my Pokemon one by one if play well. Other threats I noted down were offensive threats like Renuniclus, Mienshao, Meloetta, and Golurk who can punch holes on my team and walls like Mandibuzz, Miltank, and the Ferrothorn who are extremely annoying to deal with. Overall I knew this was going to be a long drawn out battle in which it might come down to who keeps their win conditions available. For this battle I brought the following Pokemon:

  • Leftovers Manaphy with both setup/anti-setup options of Scald, Dazzling Gleam, Tail Glow and Heart Swap with max HP, 224 Spe EVs to outspeed Kyurem-B, and some invest into SpA with a Timid nature. The movepool was semi-standard only except for Heart Swap which some might ask why when I have use something like HP Fire for Ferrothorn or if at worse I misclick...... Well I don't like setup. At the same time, I don't like it when an opposing team setups against me so if Unit had brought something like Bulk Up Gallade, Calm Mind Reuniclus/Mega Diance, Curse Miltank/Ferrothorn, or anything else. However notice how most of the potential setup Pokemon boost either their respective attacking stat and a defense stat which is calculated against for and against the opponent. Ok so if in case Unit had decided to setup with anyone of his Pokemon like get a +3 Attack / +3 Defense Miltank or vice versa, I can come in on Manaphy on a free switch, take those boosts away with Heart Swap as that Pokemon is reset to zero boost, potentially get a either a Def or SpD boost (either or doesn't matter) and counter setup with Tail Glow since the my augmented defensive boosts lets Manaphy use the other Pokemon as setup fodder. While this never happen, this was I'd say the "push the red button" scenario to avoid being swept while using the oppenent's own setup against them. In the end, this never happen but the HP investment definitely helped out in the long run. 
  • Standard Mega Manetric with a standard movepool of Thunderbolt, Volt Switch, Flamethrower, and HP Grass for the Seismatoad, Mega Diance, and Golurk which I'd anticipate he'd bring. The EV spread for Manetric was enough to outspeed Mega Diance while it was Modest with max SpA and some investment in HP. Overall Mega Manetric's main job was to provide switch initiative and gain as much momentum as possible so that my other wall-breakers and setup mons can beat the opposing team. 
  • Standard Choice Scarf Garchomp with an Adamant nature with investment mainly in Attack/Speed while the leftover EVs were in HP/Def/SpDef though small. The movepool Garchomp had was two Dragon STABS in Outrage/Dragon Claw with Earthquake and Fire Blast for Ferrothorn. Garchomp was my main sweeper and finisher once Mega Diance goes down as Garchomp go for either Dragon Claw/Earthquae for general damage, Fire Blast to caught Ferrothorn, and finally Outrage to clean up. 
  • A semi-offensive support Black Sludge Crobat with Brave Bird, U-turn, Defog and a tech move Steel Wing so it can OHKO 4 HP Mega Diancie 100% of the time (bar it missing). The nature for Crobat was Adamant since it can already outspeed most of  Unit's team and allows for attack power for Steel Wing to get that OHKO on Mega Diance (which Crobat still outspeeds). Since Ferrothorn is a thing on Unit's team, I needed a Pokemon who can Defog any Stealth Rocks/Spikes away while it can help gain initiative for my team with U-Turn. 
  • A support-based Leftovers Uxie with Stealth Rocks, Giga Drain, Foul Play, and U-turn with a Calm Nature and a balanced EVs spread with max HP, and spread-out investment in Def / SpDef. Uxie's main job was to take Seismatoad, Mega Diancie, and even Kyurem-B by dealing as much chip damage as possible. Giga Drain was a nice tech option I used to help Uxie regain HP aside from gradual Leftovers and Foul Play was for Kyurem-B so it can actually break a potential Substitute set. 
  • Finally we have the setup Eviolite IRON FIST Gurdurr with Drain Punch, Mach Punch,  Knock Off, and Bulk Up with a Careful nature and near max HP/SpDef with a small investment in each stat. If anyone recalled what I said from my draft analysis, Eviolite Gurdurr in a League format is almost as if I'm using an AV Conkeldurr but with a 50% in Def/SpDef. Now add Bulk Up into the mix and we have ourselves a powerful setup Pokemon who can wall-break Unit's team and take on Ferrothorn/Kyurem-B well and even take a Moonblast from Mega Diance. Iron Fist was opted considering his team doesn't have as much Will-O-Wisp users and it give Gurdurr additional power in both Drain Punch and Mach Punch. 

Unit's Team: Kyurem-B / Mega Diancie / Ferrothorn / Reuniclus / Mandibuzz / Golurk

Alright with all that out of the way, here's a summary of the battle. The battle starts out with Uxie and his lead being Diance. Strangely he doesn't Mega Evolve as I go for the Giga Drain to get off some chip damage against his Mega. Unit switches out from Mandibuzz onto Mandibuzz as I eventually switch out to Manetric,  however it takes a considerable damage from both Stealth Rocks and a Brave Bird from Mandibuzz. I Mega Evolve Manetric to go for the Volt Switch as he switches out to Golurk whose prevents this due to it being part Ground-Type. I realized I can switch onto Gurdurr since Golurk was -1 Attack and setup with Bulk Up, so I initiate the plan however Unit goes for a Power-Up Punch to regain his attack back to normal. As Gurdur setups, Golurk goes for Fly, completel catches me off and I realized this thing had to be taken out ASAP with a Knock Off. Fortunately even with the Eviolite and the +1 in Atk/Def Gurdurr takes out Golurk but it sustains far too much health to take on Mega Diance or Kyurem-B.  

Mandibuzz is sent out and Crobat was switch in since Gurdurr might still help out against Ferrothorn and Kyurem-B if weaken enough to be taken out by Mach Punch. Then Mandibuzz reveals Tailwind which honestly scared the shit of me since Tailwind Kyurem-B or Mega Diance can sweep my team at this point if I'm cornered. As Mandibuzz switches out to Diance, Crobat immediately Defogs the Stealth Rocks away since it was going to hinder Mega Manetric in the later stages of the battle. Here I switch out since I felt Crobat cannot take a Diamond Storm from Mega Diancie (as its in Tailwind) and went back into Uxie as my opponent reads this and goes for Moonblast.  Here Unit switches out into the Reuniclus there's a standoff and as I attempt to weak it with Uxie (as it goes for Rocks), Manaphy, and Mega Manetric. I wanted to bait in Ferrothorn as I doubled Manaphy into Mega Manetric, however he stays in to go for Energy Ball and I take more unnecessary damage. 

Here's when the battle completely changes into my favor as Unit switches out Reuniclus for Mega Diance as I go for Volt Switch and get in Crobat safely for its intended purpose. Unit stays in and I get off the Steel Wing to faint Mega Diance which gives me complete momentum now at this point. There's another standoff between the Reuniclus/Mandibuzz but this time against Crobat, Garchomp, and Manaphy. At this point Reuniclus was weaken to the point Manaphy was able to OHKO with 2 Scald hits on both the switch in and follow up. Kyurem-B finally makes its appearance, so Manaphy is saved as I decide that Uxie was likely going to die and attempt to get Stealth Rocks up. The Kyurem-B freezes Uxie though doesn't matter as much since it was a clear 2HKO. However I realize this Kyurem-B is Life Orb so I can easily wear this thing down enough with Intimidate drops (while getting a crit Volt Switch in the process) and a Dazzling Gleam from Manaphy.  Ferrrothorn comes in place of the icy dragon and again I decide to fodder off another Pokemon, this time Gurdurr. Surprisingly enough, Gurdurr survives the Gyro Ball and manages to get a two Drain Punches from Mandibuzz on the switch along with when it goes for another Tailwind setup.  There's a slight exchanges between Manaphy/Garchomp against Ferrothorn/Mandibuzz and it there's wasn't much gained from it however... Garchomp manages to land a burn on the Mandibuzz which I admit used to this advantage to get in Mega Manetric safe on Mandibuzz and start killing stuff since Foul Play (if Unit had it) is halved in damage. Now as I switch in my Mega Manetric, Mandibuzz reveals its last move Roost and now I'm free to fire a Thunderbolt since the combination of Thunderbolt + Flamethrower can surely OHKO the Kyurem-B from the range it was at as well as OHKO Ferrothorn/Mandibuzz. Unit decides to sack off Ferrothorn so he can get a free switch into Kyurem-B and hopefully kill of something. At this point, Garchomp can win this battle by using Outrage but I realized Kyurem-B can easily go for Ice Beam so in response I go into Manaphy. To my shock, Kyurem-B reveals Roost and we now have a interesting end game scenario now. The decision was made to "sack" Manaphy so Garchomp, Mega Manetric, and Crobat can easily clean out the battle. Manaphy outspeeds Kyurem-B as it goes for Dazzling Gleam, Kyurem-B survives and goes for a Life Orb Fusion Bolt...and Manaphy lives by 2 HP! With the additional LO damage, Manaphy can now clearly win the game from here by going for Dazzling Gleam repeated. Unit saves Kyurem-B as he sacks Mandibuzz, maybe going for Tailwind as a last ditch effort but he instead goes for Brave Bird (again it was burned by Garchomp earlier) and Manaphy lives by 2 HP again. At that point, Manaphy won me the game with repeated Dazzling Gleams and the LA NidoKings won by 5 - 0.

Opinions On Week 1

For sure this was one of the most exciting wi-fi singles battles I've played on  in a long time despite the score indicating maybe not so much. Early on, Unit was able to weaken some of my most important checks to things like Kyurem-B and Ferrothorn (Gurdurr/Garchomp/Uxie/Mega Manetric) and played out the battle well. If there's anything to critique, well I think the times I could have saved Mega Manetric from being inflicted with unnecessary damage. Scarf Garchomp was something a friend of mine told me to run in case Kyurem-B was Scarf itself. Unfortunately I wasn't running Jolly Scarf Chomp but rather Adamant Scarf so I should have used maybe a Sword Dance set to wall break his team. I guess the Heart Swap call wasn't too great of a call as it limited my coverage so Ferrothorn much more problematic than is should have.  Again there was a legitimate concern over opposing setup like Curse Miltank or Calm Mind Reuniclus so I had my reasons to a safety net against opposing setup. 

Overall the battle was rather fun and interesting at certain points but I need to learn to preserve my Pokemon at key moments of the battle. I'll have a my next battle report against Epiclolz shortly after releasing this to the public. Until then, have a great day.