Wednesday, July 20, 2016

CIL Regular: S2W5 Vs The Gengar Knights

(Artist: All0412)

Preview & Update (7/20/2016)

Holy shit this has been an incredibly past 5 weeks for me, from PFA Playoffs, moving to a new place, painting stuff, and as of late, Pokemon GO. While I'm not going to detail what's been going on with my personal life, Pokemon Go has pretty much been my pastime, practically eclipsing my time teambuilding and preparing for new teams..,sorta.  Likewise, I at the point where GO itself is kinda "boring" especially when I've walked around my entire area. However, the fact I'm going outside, walking for moderate distances, and seeing many people play Pokemon is sorta heartwarming. 

With all that said, I still want to focus on posting all of my records for PFA Season 3, and the latest battles for CIL before I can give a thorough review or experience I've had with Pokemon Go. Even before GO came along, it was a rather stressful period from moving things around, painting, work, and still planning for PFA Playoffs. I'll probably divide how the season went for me into four parts. The 1st part will be from the beginning of the draft to my first loss that season (Week 9), the 2nd part is how I ended the season with the brief team analysis going into playoffs, and finally playoffs. To be frank, don't expect a full retelling of the battle, rather I'm going to focus more so on the critical moments of the battle and list the teams me and my opponent used. Eventually lets shoot for all this to be done around Mid-August, but we'll see how that goes.

Regarding CIL, I've only done all my six battles of the four remaining and at this point, we are definitely the among the contenders to win the league. Funny enough, I actually thought about abandoning this series of mine, however I felt I'd rather keep going until the Nidokings either lose out in playoffs / season, or win it all. Guess that's all I have in mind at the moment, so here's my week 5 battle review vs Satoshi of the Gengar Knights.

Week 5 vs The Gengar Knights 

The Gengar Knights: Mega Scizor, Donphan, Rotom-W, Krookodile, Gengar, Kyurem-B, Volcarona, Malamar, Ditto, Politoed, Miltank. 

Los Angeles Nidokings: Mega Charizard X, Latias, Weavile, Suicune, Sylveon, Nidoking, Doublade, Chesnaught, Empoleon, Eelektross, and Celebi

Looking at the Satoshi and the Gengar Knights team, there were plenty of Pokemon which made this matchup a bit unease at first.  Most of his threats like Gengar, Kyurem-B, Volcarona, and of course Ditto were the ones that stood out the most. Kyurem-B was probably the one Pokemon, if played well, can really rip holes into my team and I can see him running a slow Volt - Turn with his M-Scizor or Rotom-W to get the Ice-type Dragon in safely. The combination of Ditto, Miltank, and even Drizzle Politoed itself meant any sorta "sweep" I attempt with Charizard X is down to the ground as Ditto can reverse sweep me while both the rain and Thick Fat Miltank can hard wall X hard. Gengar was a concerning Pokemon since I felt it can easily get a kill whether uses a strong coverage attack, or just uses Destiny Bond to get a one-for-one trade. Donphan and M-Scizor were his only hazard removal, so I couldn't attempt to spinblock with Doublade since either can cripple my Ghost-/Steel-type wall. Lastly, his offensive setup threats like Krookodile, Malamar, and Volcarona are good enough to "sweep" my team, assuming Satoshi gets off some chip damage and gets into a great position for the mid-to-late game. 

After considering all my options, I've eventually decided to bring a semi-stall team to the battle with a unique Charizard X set to lead the charge. The goal of this team was to weaken down certain wall/threats to the point either Charizard X, Weavile, or my defensive wall core can clean up the game from there. Here's the week 5 team I've brought, with the EVs omitted for "reasons". 

Li (Sylveon) (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Pixilate
- Hyper Voice
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Wish
- Heal Bell

Kinda self explanatory, though I consider Sylveon the very nucleus of the team. Lose Sylveon too early without having dealt with key threats like Kyurem-B, Malamar, Krook, or Rotom-W means the game will be difficult to win. HP Fire is for the Scizor in case it switched in or I need damage against it, even though Char X was my dedicated switch in. 

Forge (Charizard-Mega-X) @ Charizardite X
Ability: Tough Claws
- Flare Blitz
- Will-O-Wisp
- Roost
- Dragon Dance

As much as I didn't want to bring Charizard X, I had to bring it since my team is extremely weak to the Volcarona, and M-Scizor. The goal of this set was to spread as much burns as possible, and maybe setup when the chance is given. If I did in fact setup, I made it to which Ditto can't even 4HKO me as I can easily roost off the damage (being quad resisted to fire), and can win the 1v1 against it. The only exception is where if my opponent pins me via Taunting Charizard X and getting me at low HP to where Ditto can actually reverse sweep as I can't roost the damage off, then the game is lost. Therefore if such a situation occurs, I have to switch out to something else and thus cancel the sweep.  
Abruptly (Celebi) @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
- Giga Drain
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Thunder Wave
- Baton Pass

My main pivot for the battle. Celebi's task is to take on the Donphan, Rotom-W, and Politoed while paralyze just about everything else with Thunder Wave. Baton Pass was there to give me switch initiative, though should have gone with U-Turn especially if I wasn't passing any stats. HP Fire is again exclusively for the Scizor while T-Wave is just to punish one of his faster threats. 
Mars (Empoleon) @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Torrent
- Scald
- Aqua Jet
- Stealth Rock
- Defog

Best Utility Penguin in the game. Most of the set is self explanatory, though I'll elaborate on my Shuca Berry and Aqua Jet choice. Shuca Berry is to allow Empoleon to take an EQ from Donphan as it either Scalds or gets a Defog off. Volcarona was a moderate threat to the team if I didn't carry rocks, so I decided to have Aqua Jet to bypass any speed boosts from the Quiver Dance boosts. Another reason why I used Aqua Jet was in case Gengar became an issue, so I have some form or priority to take it out, or break a potential Focus Sash. 

Reed (Chesnaught) @ Leftovers
Ability: Bulletproof
- Drain Punch
- Leech Seed
- Spikes
- Worry Seed

Another semi standard set, however instead of Seed Bomb, Spikes was chosen to get some constant damage and to "hazard stack" once Donphan is gone. Worry Seed is basically to cripple a Rest Talk Malamar, and Technician from Scizor. Only brought Chesnaught since it was the only Pokemon that reasonably walled the Krookodile 100%, unless I fuck up somehow preserving my counter. 

Ryan (Weavile) (M) @ Life Orb
Jolly Nature
- Knock Off
- Ice Shard
- Low Kick
- X-Scissor

Once Scizor, Volcarona, and any potential scarfers have been neutralized, Weavile can easily cleanup anything that my team struggled with. Knock Off hits everything on the Gengar Knights team hard, Low Kick is reserved for Kyurem-B, Miltank, and Krookodile, and X-Scissor is for Malamar exclusively. Again I didn't want to use Weavile until all his Pokemon have taken some prior damage like say 30% damage. Didn't like either Ice Punch or Icicle Crash so just went for simple priority in Ice Shard in case something went "wrong". 

LA Nidokings: Charizard X, Sylveon, Chesnaught, Celebi, Empoleon, Weavile
Gengar Knights: M-Scizor, Kyurem-B, Rotom-W, Malamar, Donphan, Gengar

To be frank, this battle was almost dictated the fact our team was able to bulk out whatever my opponent threw at us, from the Malamar, the Rotom-W, M-Scizor, and even Kyurem-B. I did made some overpredictions early on, however decided to play the battle safe, and go with the plan to slowly wither down the opposing team. The fact Donphan went down early on meant I could easily hazard stack my opponent if I'd like to, but just decided to respond to his offense. Eventually there was a point in the game where Sylveon was low HP, but thanks to the Leech Seed from Chesnaught, it was able to live any hit from Rotom-W, and get a Wish off to recover itself to near full. Rotom-W not having Pain Split made it less of a threat aside from the Thunder Wave it kept using, though Heal Bell can recover this off. By the time I took out the Rotom-W, it was still 6-3 in my favor, but his offensive threats were still healthy.  This is extremely important since I didn't know if Gengar was Focus Sash or Life Orb, so I attempted to scout for it with my Aqua Jet Empoleon. After taking a Shadow Ball, I notice Gengar didn't have Life Orb, therefore I just went with my priority to break the sash, and get a free switch to Weavile if possible. 

This scenario occurs, except now I'm "worried" this Gengar could be Choice Scarf, so to scout for this, I decided to "sack" Chesnaught and get up some Leech Seeds or Spikes. There's a point where my opponent goes for the same move, then realizes Bulletproof blocks both Shadow Ball and Sludge Bomb. At this point, not only did I get some free turns in getting Leech Seed recover with virtually all three layers of spikes setup, but I confirmed Gengar is not Scarf  and has broken the Focus Sash so Weavile can outspeed. Once again, I change my mind on who to sack, and get Empoleon in on a Dazzling Gleam, setup my rocks, and OHKO Gengar with a Torrent-boosted Aqua Jet. 

With all my hazards setup, M-Scizor and Kyurem-B took heavy damage to the point where Charizard X and Weavile can easily pick them off. Empoleon was saved for the 4th time sent out my healthy Charizard X since I didn't want M-Scizor to somehow setup and sweep my team with Bullet Punch, Charizard easily takes the BP, and I just immediately go for the Flare Blitz not risking a switch out to a Kyurem-B. Once M-Scizor was taken down, I "finally" sack Empoleon to a Life Orb Stone Edge, meaning now Weavile can revenge kill Kyurem-B and secure a 5-0 win. 

While the battle was straight forward, this was still tense given that my opponent had a healthy offensive core of Gengar, Kyurem-B, and M-Scizor ready to pounce, but we managed to mitigate these threats and continue the streak. Regardless of how my opponent was playing, I took the battle as carefully as I can, especially after almost losing a game due to some poor over-predictions on my end. In terms of game plan, we executed great with both Sylveon, Chesnaught, and Empoleon acting great for our defensive wall core. It was surprising to see Sylveon live through the battle especially for how long I wanted until getting a Wish off. Of course, Chesnaught's Leech Seeds recovery proved clutch to replenish both Sylveon's and Empoleon's HP to the point where their extra longevity essentially decided the game in my favor. 

For that reason, the MVP for this battle was Chesnaught thanks to its passive Leech Seed recovery, and setting up all three layers of Spikes to where Kyurem-B and Mega Scizor took notable damage. Chesnaught essentially held the team together and applied enough support to where Satoshi wasn't able to break my wall core. If there were some mistakes I've made, it was not going to the appropriate moves on Sylveon and Celebi early on with both Hyper Voice and Giga Drain on their respective targets. If I'd gone with that instinct first, we could have lured in the M-Scizor and get off damage with an HP Fire on a switch in. Honestly I could have burnt the Mega Scizor or the Kyurem-B with Charizard X, and then setup up to +2 attack / speed to win the game, but played it safe. At the time, I didn't know Kyurem-B's item and thought maybe it was Scarf after all, but wasn't. 

Overall, we played well and now have the best record in the CIL with 5-0 wins. Next time, I'll discuss how the battle against Marvo Trainer and the Poison Strings went. All I can say was this a really anticipated match-up to stay tune!

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