Thursday, May 19, 2016

Los Angeles Nidokings / PFA Season 2 Final Reflections

(Time certainly flies by...)

Its been a while since I discuss my thoughts about Season 2 since the Finals concluded about 3 months ago and the LA Nidokings are now deep into Season 3 of the PFA. Consider this sorta a late post since I originally intended on having a draft analysis of my Season 3 team sometime during March... however life happens and being the second-in-charge of a 16-person draft league is still much responsibility to take up.  For now, this post isn't going to go on about the operations of PFA (that's another topic to discuss later next month), however it does take up my "free time" to post any blog posts here (also hence why I sorta "quit" VGC for a time). I'm going to try my best to recall my team for Season 2, though it will only be a summary post of how I felt about "winning" with the LA Nidokings Team, and my overall thoughts about Season 2.

Season 2 Final Team Review

(Slight Error: Scrafty played 2 games instead of 1 during the Playoffs)

Free Agency Drafts

Before I go on and discuss the overall view of Season 2, there's one important thing to discuss about: the PFA Free Agency Drafts. When I joined PFA for the 2nd Season, one of the newest (and probably the more controversial to some) addition  was a secondary draft-like system where people can switch 1 Pokemon from each of their tiers without any restrictions (same with trades). I know most of you all are thinking, most of the people here will attempt to "counter-pick" each other throughout the season to gain an edge. At the time, the person in charged feared the league would "collapse" like it did last season given there where some people who where dissatisfied with their own drafts. During the 1st Season of the PFA, there was a lack of retention since many people simply left the league either because many people were either upset with their records at the time, the teams they drafted themselves, or simply forgot about it.

As a result, a new rule was placed so anyone had the opportunity to change the around their team however they pleased. We wanted to make ourselves "different" from the other leagues since a good majority was based on either the GBA-, Smogon-, or Point-style system. Since there were only 12 players in the PFA at the start, most of the drafts were already "stacked" with a group of 12 mons per team with the option to virtually trade/drop their entire team if possible. Personally, I was never "for" or "against" this one feature since we wanted to differentiate ourselves within the PFA and from other leagues as well to reward everyone. Surprisingly, this actually made the league more competitive in the long term as the Free Agency Drafts did allow teams to test out certain Pokemon on their teams to see if they fit. At the same time, it kinda refrained certain players from actually leaving the league based on having a "poorly-drafted team" from dropping out and kept everyone pleased.  

So why do I bring this up, well again this all goes back to "how I won PFA Season 2". I admit most of my changes were to improve the matchups of my fellow coaches while at the same time retain some synergy and original members of the team. At one point, I had a half a team of legendaries using this, though I eventually drop most of them. No one really complained about it since on average most teams did make about like 6-7 transactions, though the Nidokings count was the largest with 12 changes.  There were some Pokemon that weren't included on the list like Garchomp (even had M-Garchomp at one point), Durant, Frogadier, Aromatisse, Gurdurr, and Virizion what where on the LA Nidokings team though only had one game played. In the end, no one complained about these changes, except when I suddenly got half my team with legendary mons from OU to PU so this also explains parts of the LA Nidokings transactions towards the end of the regular season.

Now we are heading into my favorite section of the article, the "championship team" of PFA Season 2". Throughout all season, the Nidokings were most definitely the favorite to win out the league given how much team-building and preparations we go into every battle. One important member I want to give a shoutout to is Rogue from the Pokemon Forever Forums and a Competitive Smash Player as I've consulted with him several times with certain Pokemon to bring or watch out for. Most of the movesets and EV spread were done by myself since while I felt a little assistance isn't too bad, I still need to get the best possible potential from my squad in each battle. 

The Best Free Agents?

If there were any "free agents" I personally believe was the best by far, it is certainly the Psychic-/Steel-type pixie Jirachi  (and the first Free Agent pickup from all of them). Aside from the potential Serene Grace "hax", Jirachi was by far the most "diverse" Pokemon on the team given its base 100 stats all across the board allows it to be a physical/mixed/special attacker, almost any wall, a cleric, a setup mon, a scarfer, etc. The coverage on Jirachi alone is almost insane alone and added the potential of Serene Grace means Jirachi will far likely tip the battle to my favor. My personal favorite set I ran with Jirachi most of the time was Substitute with a physical attack or Sub - CM two attacks based on whatever Jirachi was going to face off depending on the team matchup. Towards the end of the season, I finally settled with a specially defensive one with a physical coverage, so yes things did get Iron Head flinched, though not at the rate I originally thought. Though Jirachi wasn't brought to the finals mainly for matchup purposes, it was definitively the secondary glue to the Season 2 team and without Jirachi, I think we wouldn't have won this championship or maintain a perfect record. 

Druddigon was the second FA pickup of the LA Nidokings after dropping Garchomp for Jirachi. The reasons Druddigon was selected as the our primary free agent was how utility-based this Pokemon can be as well as to fill in my Dragon-type slot I'd would not have. In all the five battles  Druddigon was brought, it did work...period. Druddigon was able to maintain offensive pressure thanks to its main utility options like Sucker Punch / Pursuit, Dragon Tail, Stealth Rocks, and my favorite move of all, Glare. Druddigon did the most work in the PFA Finals thanks to the physically defensive set with Rocky Helmet / Rough Skin + Glare to punish most of my opponent's offensive Pokemon with residual damage or even paralysis. This Pokemon isn't a slouch on the physical end either as it broke down arguably the bulkiest team by itself with repeated Dragon Tails. In all, Druddigon was an absolute great member of this team and I'm glad to get it extremely early. 
slight story ahead

The last and arguably the most controversial free agency pickup of Season 2 was Mega Latias instead of the regular Latias when that one was available. Honestly, I shouldn't have gotten this Pokemon towards the end of regular Season 2 schedule- heck even during the initial draft this Pokemon was on my radar. Before playoffs was about to start,  we voted to have one last FA, however it would be drop one - add only one for your team. Earlier before, I had dropped Mega Manetric because I felt it lacked a bit of offensive pressure and most of the teams by week 9 already developed or obtain Pokemon that can beat my main Mega Evolution all season. In response, I actually drafted Mega Garchomp since I wanted a powerful Ground-type Pokemon that can wall break teams, while with a decent amount of bulky. Honestly this was a poor choice given 1) regular Garchomp is better 2) the potential to hold items, and 3) I needed to have a Mega Evolution on my team. Funny enough, Latias was still available for the last one-pick up Free Agency and it suddenly fell to my team... even though I did thought of adding it Week 9. 

While Latias didn't do as much work in playoffs, it certainly was a fantastic wall to switch into every time, especially with the base 80/120/150 overall defensive with Levitate. Access to STABs, Bolt-Beam, Defog, reliable recovery, Calm Mind, and a bunch of other stuff made Mega Latias one of the more offensive Pokemon on this team that can actually make a good pivot/wall. Had I chosen Mega Latias back in Week 9, this team would certainly been more threatening to some teams to respond to, though everyone did prep for it extremely well. Sadly, Lati didn't have enough screen time aside from the finals since using it proved her Mega Evolution can be a definitive first round / Free Agency pickup. If I do manage to make it in another league, we might see the return of Maki the Mega Latias soon.

The "Honorable Members" Pickups

Most of these three Pokemon where there to "fill in the void" in terms or covering weaknesses, typing, and gathering useful abilities they might have. To start off this group, Scrafty was the only traded Pokemon I got all season since most of the Pokemon were FA pickups at the time in exchange for my Virizion. Though Scrafty never got as much screen time as say the others on this team, it certainly was a huge reason why we won the first round by spamming Knock Off and Super Fang almost all the time. The combination of these two attacks, Intimidate, and an Assault Vest made Scrafty a defensive pivot that assured me a couple matches especially in the early game. I thought about bringing Scrafty in the 2nd round Semi Finals, however I knew it served its purpose as a decent pickup as a defensive pivot of sorts. Electivire was added to fill the void Mega Manetric once had prior to its "departure" of being the Electric-type Pokemon, though since it was the end of the season, it never did as much work... aside fainting a Ditto imposter of Manaphy....and literally deciding playoff positions. 

Then we get to Miltank, partially the the key member why the Nidokings won the title. Remember when I said earlier about looking for useful abilities? Well look no forward to Miltank with access to three good ones in Scrappy, Sap Sipper, and most of all, Thick Fat. If anyone has any weaknesses to Ice/Fire/Grass-type Pokemon, need a good Stealth Rocker, a decent wall, and even a setup mon, look no further than the great cow that murdered many gen 2 kids back  in the day. On a serious note, Miltank really was a Pokemon I wanted on the team, however got sniped during the first round. Only in Week 9 someone decided to drop Miltank and immediately I knew there was no reason not to pick this wall up. Access to Milk Drink, Curse, EQ, Elemental Punches, Body Slam, T-Wave, Stealth Rocks, etc as well as a decent defensive stats and speed for Miltank to be a great "low-value" pickup. 

Funny enough, I never used Miltank until the PFA Best of 3 Finals... and man that was the last minute best decision I'd made period. In game 2, this Normal-type Pokemon came in clutch as our specially defensive variant with Curse, Body Slam, Milk Drink, Ice Punch and Thick Fat ability tore huge hole against the Indianapolis Jolts and probably did the main wall-breaking enough so Bloo swept in the end. 

The Playmakers

These are the Pokemon who where part of my rather instrumental pasts of my "unusual" wall cores through the Nidoking's initial run. Starting off this list with arguable the "least yet effective" Pokemon of this group was Regirock. To be completely clear with everyone, Regirock was drafted because of my uncertainly from the physical defense side since aside from my Intimidate Core (M-Manetric before, Scrafty, Arcanine), Uxie, Druddigon, and my two Pixies (Manaphy/Jirachi), nothing on my team had the stellar defense as Regirock. When I did bring Regirock, it was to check probably the most physically offensive Pokemon in the format like Victini, Weavile, and M-Pinsir since most of those Pokemon can break holes on my team if used well. Regirock has an astronomical overall defense stats of 80/200/100 so this thing can be used even as a special wall which I did invest on occasions. Access to moves like Thunder Wave, Stealth Rocks, Drain Punch, EQ, Stone Edge, Explosion and even Counter were the reasons why I never dropped Regirock in the first place. Of course Regirock was brought in 2 battles of the total 15, however it served its purpose to wall out the heavy offensive that could break the team. 

Uxie was by far the most used "wall" on this team given the amount of utility options and moves it has access to such as Thunder Wave, Stealth Rocks, Foul Play, Knock Off, U-Turn, Duel Screens, Memento, etc. Even on the offensive side, Uxie has the potential to setup Calm Minds just like Cresselia and has a faster speed stat to achieve its utility goals for the team for the long-term. In the first battle, I almost thought Uxie was the most useless Pokemon on the team with the freeze almost immediately though after two battles, I gave it another chance. Though week 4 Uxie was still sorta death fodder, by week 5 and onward this Pokemon suddenly became probably the most important switch-in and utility-momentum switch Pokemon on the team. If I need Rocks, Uxie can get them up quick thanks to its 95 base speed. If there's an annoying fast Pokemon, well Thunder Wave solves that issue. Can I predict a switch and get momentum, well Uxie can surprisingly get off slow U-Turns to get the proper switch in. Uxie was an all-around great utility wall that served me well even in the final stages of PFA. If anyone ever considers drafting a bulky wall that isn't setup fodder IMO, while carrying out the team's main duties, give Uxie a try for sure.

Now we get into the Pokemon that's "defined" the PFA Season 3 Metagame itself thanks to its performance in Season 2 and the Finals: the wonderful Roserade. Whenever we think of the "bulky" Grass-type Pokemon, we'd think of things like Mega Venusaur, Tangrowth, Amoonguss, Chesnaught, Ferrothorn, etc. When Roserade is placed in the mixed, well it sorta sticks out like a soar thumb since its not as defensive as the others. Heck for a time, I did happen to drop Roserade on my team in favor of Nidoqueen, then decided to bring back Roserade. Let me explain why this decision was made given Nidoqueen as a great Pokemon in of itself. Roserade provided the team access to both layers of Spikes and Toxic Spikes, which both were useful whenever it was brought to battle. Roserade is a great check to both Water-types and Fairy-type Pokemon that my team didn't appreciate at  the time and can serve as an offensive Pokemon with Giga Drain/Leaf Storm, Sludge Bomb/Venoshock, Shadow Ball, Dazzling Gleam, and Technician Hidden Power. There are other utility moves Roserade had, but never got to show off such as the yellow magic spore, green magic spores, Aromatherapy, Leech Seed, etc. Never got to use Sleep Powder/Stun Spore since honestly...the 75% accuracy can make/break a game especially if league matches are best of 1 oriented. 

To this day, sometimes I debate who was the "true" MVP of the PFA Season 2 Finals, though everyone who's seen the battles told me Toxic Spikes from Roserade essentially won those battles, and I might not agree entirely since it was a team effort, though Roserade did play a role. To explain my reasoning for T-Spikes for that match, three of Mudkip's main methods of hazard control where either Sandslash, Shitry, and Starmie, both of whom cannot  switch into Roserade at all thanks to its STAB options. On top of that, there was no Poison-type Pokemon that can remove the Toxic Spikes without having Blissey, Mega Altaria, or his main hazard control waste a turn to clear the hazards or heal his team with Heal Bell/Aromatherapy. Roserade was also my team's "only" check to Mega Altaria which was a huge gamble on my side since Jirachi was also a great check as well with the potential T-Wave and steel coverage. Throughout the matchup, I was concern about Alec's "offensive core" of Jolteon, Darmanitan, and Sharpedo (who almost won him the battle) and expected all three to make an appearance. Toxic Spikes was one of the methods my team had to wither down these frail Pokemon to the point where anyone else can revenge kill. This as well gave Alec a short timer to initial his offense and break through Roserade, Rocky Helmet/Rough Skin Druddigon, and bulky Mega Latias.  

The reason I'd mention Roserade pretty much defined the Season 3 PFA since now everyone has hazard control options, Poison-type Pokemon, or even Toxic Spikes of their own to win game. Roserade is still on my team for Season 3 and it hasn't made any real appearances, except 3 non-existent games where it played. Still Roserade back in Season 2 was a vital member of the team where it an apply offensive pressure while retain its support value for the team.

The Heros

If there was a Pokemon I felt truly uncomfortable and very much odd for the team, it definitely was my main Fire-type Acanine.  Viewed as Entei's rather weaker cousin, Arcanine was a Pokemon I never got to use much in Singles, except mostly in VGC or Battle Sport Doubles where I'd ran many defensive sets. Going into the PFA S2 draft, Arcanine was the the only potential Fire-type Pokemon aside Entei, though once Entei left, Arcanine was our primary Fire-type pickup. Unlike Entei, Arcanine has a wide coverage options like Close Combat, Wild Charge, Crunch, etc and even more defensive support with Intimidate along with access to recovery in Morning Sun. Much of PFA S2, I'd only used defensive Arcanine since this was a great Pokemon to fall back to whenever I'd tried to face any physical attackers. Arcanine's claim to fame on this spot of the list was honestly the 6th and 7th battles when I faced both Alec and Zig respectively and it came in clutch. The defensive value Arcanine brought in both battles was immeasurable as it walled most of the major threats and fainted key Pokemon with its coveted Extreme Speed attacks. I think the only problem with Arcanine like most Fire-type Pokemon is the fact is suffer from 4MSS since there are battles where I want Will-o-Wisp, Extreme Speed, or some other coverage option. By the time of the PFA Finals, I'd chosen Arcanine to be the primary offensive clean up mon for my team with Choice Band Adamant set to ensure frailer stuff like Jolteon, Starmie, Darmanitan, and Sharpedo were picked off one by one with Extreme Speed. While Arcanine didn't have too much screen time  in the Finals, it definitely served its purposes as an defensive, and later on offensive threat for teams. 

Now time to showcase the "face" of the LA Nidokings of Season 2: Crobat. This mon best represent the style of play I love it use since Crobat has so much utility support to offer while being a great revenge killer. Throughout most of Season 2, Crobat served primary as a fast utility mon with offensive support moves like Super Fang to get weaken wall cores, U-turn for momentum, Defog to remove hazards, Tailwind to give my team speed, Toxic/Taunt to keep bulky Pokemon in check, and etc. Heck I even debated about running a special set Crobat for a time, however the utility support options Crobat supplied to my team alone vastly outperforms either a special set, or a Choice Band Set I'd toyed around with on the UU ladder. Crobat is one of those Pokemon where its probably going to be the most annoying Pokemon to fight on any given team just because of its utility support, and the potential to get revenge killed. At a base 130 speed, Crobat was the fastest Pokemon on the Nidoking's roster and was tailored to outspeed only the opponent's next fastest threat so it can have leftover EVs on any stats it needed. One final note, Crobat is not a slouch at killing stuff as well since it tied with Manaphy with 16 kills and was the runner-up for the MVP race. With access to a powerful Flying-STAB in Brave Bird, Crobat almost felt like having a Talonflame on this team, but with a wider support coverage. Heck Crobat even 6-0ed an entire team once everything was weaken enough which if funny enough to add. In all, Crobat served as the team's main utility supporter and the main revenge kill option if needed. Definitely Crobat is one of the best Pokemon to consider drafting in any format, though it takes experience to use it sufficiently

Now we get to the overall best Pokemon on the team: Manaphy. First off, I made it a goal of mine to never use Manaphy as an offensive Tail Glow set  given 2 reasons: 1) didn't want to eagerly sweep everyone in each battle since they'd probably prepare for this one and 2) to test out potential defensive sets on the Mythical legend to abuse both the overall base 100s across the board.  Manaphy the 1st overall pick for the Nidokings since it was essentially going to be the "glue" to the team, rather the main All-Star Pokemon. Obviously everyone knows what Manaphy is capable potentially sweeping teams after a Tail Glow boosts, though I felt the need to try out other sets, even give more HP or Defensive investment so it can maintain a sweep, or be an efficient wall.  Funny enough, Manaphy never "swept" any team until the PFA Finals Game 2 when it was used as  a sack at first, which eventually evolved into a sweep with some notable plays. Most of the time, Manaphy would be brought to revenge kill Pokemon only and get out of there in case there's a target with a potential Grass/Electric  coverage. Manaphy has clutched out battles before like when I ran a defensive Rain Dance Hydration Manaphy set to maintain my HP high against the opposing team.  Other sets I experimented where Calm Mind Substitute, U-Turn 3 attacks, and a set utilizing Heart Swap as a safety option in case my opponent where to setup too much.  

By playoffs, I'd decided to run the Tail Glow set almost as my standard set given how accustom people seen me used the defensive or non-Tail Glow sets. In the end, I guess this plan did work out and the Nidokings got the first main title due part of Manaphy's heroics. To be honest, at that point in the game, Miltank had removed Jolteon, paralyzes most of the fast threats, and weaken the team to the point where Manaphy won the game.  After the finals, Season 3 of PFA was about to start and I ultimately on franchising Manaphy since 1) I thought I never got enough "screen time" for arguably the best member and 2) there's honestly little to few flaws with such a Pokemon. There's a reason why many people regard Manaphy as the best Water-type Pokemon in league play, and to an extend Draft-style play since its can have utility for the team while still have the potential to sweep. Besides by the time we part ways with Bloo the Manaphy, I'd definitely be experience enough to deal with such a Pokemon. 

All PFA SEASON 2 TEAMS (Pastebins)

Here are all the teams I used for PFA Season 2 so everyone can see. Keep in mind most of the EV spreads are based on Level 50 and attacks around this area do more damage than usual. Anyone is free to view them as they please so I don't mind. 

  1. Week 1: Vs Unit
  2. Week 2: Vs Epic
  3. Week 3: Vs Reed
  4. Week 4: Vs Ben
  5. Week 5: Vs Travis
  6. Week 6: Vs Mudkiplegend (Alec)
  7. Week 7: Vs Zigzagger456
  8. Week 8: Vs ItalianG62 (Kyle)
  9. Week 9: Vs Mitchmaster24 (Mitch)
  10. Week 10: Vs ElMiguelVGC
  11. Week 11: Vs GingerxPug
  12. Round 1 Vs Unit  (Used: Manaphy, Jirachi, Scrafty, Crobat, M-Latias, Arcanine)
  13. Round 2 Vs ElMiguelVGC  (Used: Jirachi, Mega Latias, Crobat, Arcanine, Uxie, Roserade)
  14. Finals Bo3 Team Vs Alec (I've explain the finals team here)
  15. (Slight Unfortunate circumstances happen where I lost my Showdown teams, so I can't have my round 1 and round 2 teams 

Finals Thoughts and Reflections Regarding PFA Season 2

After going 11-0 in the regular season, and 4-0 in the playoffs to win it all undefeated, there's still far more information for me to learn and unexplored territory to take in regarding Draft-style league format. After all, this win doesn't mean much if we can translate this to success in other seasons of PFA and/or in any other Draft-style league since we need to maintain somewhat like battling efficiency of sorts. Of course, what I mean by "unexplored territory" I mean the fact that this "specific" way to play Pokemon has gain popularity as a result of the rebirth of the GBA and other popular leagues. In order to maintain this efficiency and a high success rate in wins (let's be honest games will come down to percentages/mind games),  I have to commit practice into other Smogon-based Tiers/VGC, ladder and understand how each Pokemon is used  . This doesn't necessary mean  laddering to the top of every tier (if I had time), but get to know the Pokemon better so if I where to draft a team, at the very least I know the potential of each Pokemon, their movesets, stats, abilites, and potential synergy cores to base on. 

One issue to keep in mind for any future drafts is to keep in mind how much "transactions" any team can make, or if any at all. Honestly the major reason I'd won PFA Season 2 was because certain members of the team whether they were used or not were changed to another Pokemon, which I may or may not have like at all. Fortunately in the PFA, there's an unlimited amount of transactions to make and Free Agency can basically "replenish" and team of Pokemon they feel was unnecessary. Speaking of the PFA Free Agency, I think the way we conducted this was fair to everyone since the worse-performing teams got the best available Pokemon while the best-performing teams settled with leftovers or the dropped Pokemon. The Nidokings made about 12 total changes to their roster, though after talking with some people about this from Season 2, most agreed this feature might need to be restricted or at least regulated. They weren't upset about the excessive changes since other teams took advantage of this as well.

 In other leagues, this isn't a luxury or a free get-out-of-jail free card at all. Having the potential to change almost an entire team by the end of the season can either make someone get a powerful draft, or get cluttered out with the potential lack of synergy. For sure, if there are going to be any team drafts in the future for the Los Angeles Nidokings to participate in, we have maintain synergy with each of the Pokemon, not only attempt to counteract or to some veterans "counter-pick" in the league format. I mean if any team isn't able to function with their offensive or defensive cores at all, then how the hell can they even compete to begin with? This all goes back to one thing I have to continuously work on in Competitive Pokemon in the future: Team Building.

Team Building for me has been something of a hit or miss for me. While the Nidokings have yet to experience this issue in direct fashion, I feel the lack of participation in most of the other Smogon-Tiers or leagues will eventually bite us in the ass (I'm being serious on this). Eventually one of these days, I'm going to battle someone with far more experience and adept-battling knowledge as a moderate like myself, though at least we'll give them a run for their money. Making my own EV spreads instead of using the recommended Smogon or VGC sets has in a way helped mitigate with at least some of my wins when it comes to tanking a hit. Adding even a slight EV Spread of 12 HP / 4 Def /4 Sp Def or a max defense set of 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD as helped win games where I honesty should have lost, both in the regular seasons of PFA 2/3 and in the playoffs. Definitely I'll continue to research how to make efficient EV spreads for my Pokemon whether they need them in specific battles, or even when laddering on Showdown/Battle Spot Doubles. 

Of course, we are not going to win all our games before, like we already lost to Mudkip in season 3, the same person we battled multiple times and in the Finals, in a intense 47-turn battle on the cartridge in a 0-1 loss. After reviewing the battle, I notice there where some key plays I could have made, but I think the biggest reason I'd definitely lost was bull running my prep fast as usual to have the battle down far earlier than usual. Of course I might not have had a good mind set going into the battle, but obviously as fuck I can't rush my battles again until there's I already the best possible team, or on a deadline day to fight. Reason this was brought up is same goes to any future battles, we cannot rush our preparation. Whether this takes 1 hour, or even 7 hours (ok maybe not on the laptop, rather ruminating thoughts and team ideas this on my head), there's no excuse for not doing this for any battles. Look I'm not taking this too seriously, just that for any future battles, we have to maintain a positive mindset even when identifying win conditions (opposites alike) and work my way to getting that victory.

Eventually we are going to come across something that will bite us like every Pokemon player: RNG. As much as people complain about the RNG element of the game, I've accepted this as rather part of the game we play. There will be games where a certain move either misses, 10% chances of status, an untimely crit can run a setup sweep / defensive wall cores, confusion, etc. As far as damage rolls are concern, I typically don't consider this too much as hax, rather its on me since I did of course give the Pokemon I'm using that specific attack investment or lack of item. Eventually we are going to lose a game because of this, though I feel like this will only come up often if there isn't too much preparation involved in the battle. Obviously practice needs to be in order on managing "hax" or RNG since these are critical moments in the game anyone has to respond towards and how well I do can dictate the battle. At the same time, I sorta have to "accept" attempting to win certain games off a certain RNG element like a crit, consecutive hax (paralysis/flinch), or something of that nature. Most of the league battles are best of 1 anyways so every battle has to be approached differently whether its from the team building, preparation, testing, participating on showdown, etc

 One a final note, I want to end off this reflection with a simple word of advice which seems rather bland: have fun and enjoy the games as best as possible. For the PFA Season 2, I didn't take it too seriously throughout the season and even in the finals since I was battling with people I've known online for the past almost year now. For no reason, I don't want to throw our time away and be a super competitive prick to everyone either in the PFA chat or even for any other formats. Of course I will remorse about certain RNG elements "initially" given as a simple human reaction to luck, but we move on by learning from our mistakes. No one likes hearing someone complain about the game as often since it bogs everyone down and creates this weird tension about "good-bad" players. That's what we wanted to avoid in PFA and certainly we have done a great job in doing so. 

For anyone who wants my personal advice on league format, just play the game, practice, prep, and just do your best.  Don't get too over confident,  make friends, live life, etc. If there's one thing to note is Draft-style play is definitely an interest and well-deserve format in Competitive Pokemon that needs attention to grow. I'll make sure this format is enjoyable for everyone who participates in the league or give my insight in the near future.

Closing Thoughts

Didn't realize this was going to be a rather huge blogpost regarding PFA Season 2 and a bit of my own thoughts regarding Draft-style format. Honestly could have split this all up into two segments, but I rather have this instead since I just thought of whatever that came to my head naturally since I do love playing Pokemon. For anyone whose gotten this far, thanks for keeping up with my thoughts about PFA S2 and other miscellaneous stuff I'd gave my opinions about. I will do this again for CIL and PFA S3 in the future, though it won't be as long or hopefully not as "deep" as I want it to be. I did say after all I wasn't taking this too seriously...right?

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