Wednesday, June 8, 2016

CIL Regular S2W2: VS Sanyer

Deviant Art by pochyy


Not much to say in this preview, aside the fact the Nidokings are coming off a 5-0 win against Mighty Mamoswine or Nick after an intense game. If anyone hasn't seen the battle, I'll leave a link to my side of the battle which should have the showdown replay as well. Our next opponent this week is against Sanyer of the Pinsirs whose got an impressive 4-0 win from against Mike of the Net Balls. While division battles do matter in the long run, I still can't let our guard down. At the same time, we want to try and win these upcoming games without having to rely or make it come down to RNG.  On a final note, these CIL post will be based on an Week by Week singular posts instead of having 3 battles covered in one. I felt this these post should be as short as possible and can help out in content here on the site. Take my recent update post, honestly that update page along should have been reduced to 3-5 individual posts based on an actual update to Faraway Island, League Battles, and the explanation of the lack of VGC content. Basically I'll try to avoid scramming battles in for now on, except for the PFA Regular Season 3 which is currently in the works.  Now its time to get into CIL Week 2. 

CIL Week 2 Vs The Pinsirs

The Pinsirs: Mega Pinsir, Clefable, Keldeo, Jirachi, Cresselia, Thundurus-T, Entei, Hitmontop, Kyurem, Dugtrio, Zoroark 

The Nidokings: Charizard X, Latias, Suicune, Weavile, Tornadus-T, Nidoking, Doublade, Chesnaught, Eelektross, Diancie, Uxie.

Looking at Sanyer's team, there were kinda similarities I came across his team and Adrive's NPA team with maybe some better cores given the small nature of the CIL league. Entei, Thundurus-T, and Cresselia were all threats that can take on our Nidoking team provided they are given the proper setup / scenarios. Jirachi / Clefable / Cresselia / Hitmontop make up Sanyer's main wall core as the main offense of his team were again Entei, Thundurus-T, Kyurem, Keldeo, and Mega Pinsir. To round off the last two, both Dugtrio and Zoroark posed interesting challenge as Dugtrio can revenge kill most of my team thanks to the Arena Trap ability while Zoroark can disguise itself as one of Sanyer's team and can threaten some of the main Pokemon I'd plan on bringing. In sum, the Pinsir's team looked really frightening at first to face, but I noticed some exploitable flaws which were going to be the main keys to success. To start off, most of his team main offense were weak to Stealth Rocks, and Hitmontop was the only hazard removal on his team. If I can get rid of Hitmontop, or prevent it from spinning most of the game, then we can potentially hazards stack the Pinsir with a combination of Stealth Rocks and Toxic Spikes. Despite the lack of hazard removal, the Pinsir's surpassed my own team with overall bulk and defense so they can potentially recover off the damage with a clerics (Jirachi/Clefable), and a great wall in Cresselia. 

One thing I noted about his "wall core" was that it was weak to one Pokemon in particular and arguably the best Pokemon to bring this battle: Doublade. Of course, Cresselia can Trick Doublade an item, Clefable has Flamethrower, Hitmontop can use Foresight to get the spin, and Jirachi is ...well Jirachi (but it has coverage options). Back then Uxie was still on my team as well and it can work decently well to get rocks up, paralyze some stuff, Knock Off items, or even use Foul Play to punish physical setup. Latias was just a standard attacker without any Defog support, but with Healing Wish to maintain my sweepers, Weavile made for an excellent cleaner as soon most of Sanyer's team is low or moderate HP so it had to come. Finally, we brought Nidoking this battle, but not just any Nidoking. This Nidoking was a physical one with Adamant Life Orb Sucker Punch, Poison Jab, EQ, and finally Toxic Spikes to pressure the opposing team. 

Regarding the last two Pokemon: Charizard X and Doublade. Both of these guys can sweep the opposing team with ease assuming I'm able to scout for any potential coverage moves. Charizard X only had Flare Blitz as its main attack given even resisted targets like Keldeo and Entei can take only one before being 2HKOed. Doublade on the other hand was specially defensive to take advantage of the Eviolite and tank at least some strong STAB special hits. Lastly, Sword Dance / Toxic +2 attack was what I went with this battle to optimize Doublade for any situation to check Cress or potentially sweep.

The Battle: Bike's Radiant Dawn 

The Pinsir's Team: Mega Pinsir, Cresselia, Jirachi, Thundurus-T, Hitmontop, Clefable
Our LA Nidokings: Mega Charizard X, Weavile, Latias, Doublade, Nidoking, Uxie

The match starts off slow on my end with a Uxie facing a Jirachi first turn. While Toxic Spikes won't hurt Jirachi, Thunder Wave can prevent it from flinching my faster teammates the rest of the battle. Sanyer quickly recalls Jirachi via U-Turn for Cresselia as I paralyze the moon duck...goose... moon thing. After getting up Stealth Rocks and receiving a Toxic by Cress,  Uxie goes for the Knock Off, to which Jirachi switches in, and I remove the Choice Scarf. Early on, I decided to pull the trigger and get Charizard's Mega Evolution off ASAP since Jirachi might not have any coverage option for Char X. As Sanyer switches to Clefable, I setup a Substitute  with Charizard X and attempt to 1v1 the MVP from last season. From this exchange, Char X does about 50% damage to the bulky Fairy-type, but Clefable gets up Stealth Rocks in the process for the rest of the battle. This is valuable information given Clefable might only have Moonblast, Rocks, Soft-boil, and one last coverage/setup move.  Hitmontop switches in, but Charizard X gets to full HP. Eventually Charizard X is switched out for Doublade to spinblock and wall the Fighting-type. Hitmontop switches out to Clefable as I go for the No Guard Toxic (hooray for never missing), though I discover Clefable is Magic Guard instead of Unaware. In my planning, Unaware Clefable was a moderate threat to the team as it ignores stat boosts, however I note it cannot take repeated Flare Blitz attacks from my Mega especially if boosted.

However this was a great time to get up the Toxic Spikes, as Nidoking can force the switch for Cresselia, while Nidoking can safely get these hazards up for the remainder of the battle. The plan goes exactly as is and then I decide to send in my Doublade. At one point, I do catch the Clefable off guard with an Iron Head and pick it off with a follow-up Shadow Sneak to give myself a bit of momentum. Thundurus-T is sent out and there were some thoughts that go to mind: do I switch to Latias or Charizard X. Despite Stealth Rocks being on the field, Charizard X easily tanks a Knock Off from Thundurus-T (likely for Latias), also revealing the Life Orb. Again Charizard X recovers off the damage as Hitmontop is sent out, probably to again attempt to spin. As protocol, Doublade is sent out and at this point.... I wanted to setup for a sweep. Before the endgame was initiated, I scouted for any super-effective attacks, and Hitmontop has Sucker Punch, but does around 18%. Now Doublade can potentially "stall" the Hitmontop's low HP and go for repeated Sword Dances to end the game.

By the time Sanyer realized Doublade was about to sweep, it was honestly a bit too late. Thundurus-T, Hitmontop, and soon Jirachi all faint to a +3 Shadow Sneak with the help of hazards and getting the necessary damage off. Mega Pinsir is sent out, but gets both poisoned and hit with Stealth Rocks. After doing a quick calculation, two +3 Shadow Sneaks can OHKO Mega Pinsir. The thought of going for Latias did occur, but I didn't want to risk letting Mega Pinsir setup to give Sanyer an potential out. Doublade does about half to Mega Pinsir, as it gets hit with an EQ, which doesn't do as the necessary damage to OHKO. Now at this point, Doublade picks off Mega Pinsir, and finally Cresselia (with a crit) to end the battle in our first 6-0 of the season. 


To be completely honest, this is as close to executing our game plan as we'll possible get in this season after winning in a 6-0 fashion. After the battle, I did chat with Sanyer regarding the outcome and he admitted not preparing for Doublade was a mistake during team building. From the moment Doublade was sent in for the third time, everything on Sanyer's team was weaken enough to switch I felt it was time to pull the trigger to sweep. Both Thundurus-T and Jirachi were still threats to  my team during this stage of the battle,  but fortunately enough, these legends were low to the point +3 Shadow Sneak can easily pick them off. Once Pinsir was sent out, I eventually decided to "sack" my Doublade to allow either Weavile or Latias to revenge kill the Mega. There was a chance a crit Earthquake can OHKO  given the Doublade spread I'd given it, with only HP and Special Defense investments to take on the special attackers easier. Essentially speaking, I'd wanted to close the battle as quickly as possible without losing too many Pokemon for differential purposes, while giving myself a 100% end game in my favor. 

This battle might have been different if Sanyer brought Kyurem and Entei since both easily threaten most of my offensive walls and pressured probably my only wall in Uxie. I'd intend to match the Pinsir's offense with my own, though the fact Sanyer brought the bulkier side of the roster instead of the offensive made it slightly easier for my main threats to maneuver around. Sanyer definitely prepped for most of the threats on my team, however what gave me the advantage was maintaining the Stealth Rocks and Toxic Spikes to further weaken the Pinsir roster. In short, Doublade's offensive and defensive qualities were showcased this battle and easily was the MVP on my end. If I really wanted to, Latias could have used Healing Wish to recover Doublade's HP to the point where it can easily 1v1 the paralyzed Cresselia, but at the time I'd rather sake Doublade for someone like Weavile or Char X to get the last kill. 

Well good game to Sanyer as this was honestly not a result even I'd expected at all. Sanyer did have the roster to beat the squad I had prepared for, however Doublade was the X factor. With that, the Nidokings now have a 2-0 record with the highest differential of the early season. This does mean people are going to prepare for me far more than maybe other people in the league given our standings. Next round, the Nidokings face against the Net Balls coached by Mike who is currently 0-2, however this doesn't mean we can't take our opponent's lightly. I'll definitely make sure we can have an engaging battle while maintaining the streak. 

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