Saturday, August 20, 2016

PFA Regular Season 3 Summary: Weeks 1 - 9

PFA Regular Season Summary


Just going to throw this out there, this is not going to be as detailed or potentially as "in-depth" compared to last season 2 given a couple of things. First off, most of the battles are as far back as late February to April, and I didn't have as much time and commitment as I do now to "review the battles". Some of these battles I still have a good memory about my thought process turn-by-turn, however for the sake keeping this post short, only the most relevant information (at least to me) will be discussed. There will be a brief section regarding my original S3 Draft, but however given the transactions and "eventful" circumstances, the team is vastly different in terms of "support" roles. Again, I'm only going to review the initial team briefly, go on about changes I've made up to Week 9, and finally discuss all the Week 1-9 battles in summation. 

 Draft Rules and Transactions

Going into the Smogon Tier-based draft, basically every team had to select 1 Mega, and 3 Pokemon from either these following tiers (OU/UU/RU/NU) with a total of 13. Before the actual draft started, coaches got the chance to "franchise" either a Pokemon from their own team, or gamble for the higher 1st round pickups. New coaches had the option to franchise any free agents, however the older coaches had sorta "seniority", or better yet priority over any Pokemon "within" their team. Once an older team selected their Franchise (or not), the rest of the team is open to franchising from the other newer coaches. One last "consequence" for franchising a Pokemon was it has to be selected as the "1st" pick of  a tier. Since I had gotten Manaphy for the second time this season, I had to wait my turn as a resort of getting a powerful OU mon and potentially risk losing out viable OU partners for my franchise. Either way, keeping Manaphy for another season was a risk I wanted to take given its probably the best Water-type in league format. but I won't go too far into this simple fact.

The way the draft was organized was a snake-style format, with franchise picks acting as the team's overall "1st rounds" for the respective tiers. Teams who didn't select a franchise got to chose  higher tier picks from the available draft poll so at least most of the teams benefit in some fashion.  Given the Los Angeles Nidokings were in the middle of the draft, we had to wait until most of the teams were ready to pick their Pokemon, even though most were franchise picks. Transactions didn't start until Week 3 and continued by Week 12. Free Agency was basically another "draft" were teams can select up to 4 potential Pokemon they want to drop and add to their teams from the FA pool. Each FA occurred every 4 weeks: Week 4, Week 8, Week 12 (Week 11 was when we actually had it), and a final FA (select/drop/add 1 only) for Playoffs teams. On a final note, the league did vote to have unrestricted trades and transactions so basically a team can change their entire draft, assuming they wish to. 

LA Nidokings Early / Current Teams Important Transactions

LA Nidokings Team Season 3 Original Draft: Manaphy (Franchised), Mega Altaria, Victini, Shaymin, Cobalion, Krookodile, Flygon, Bronzong, Drapion, Mesprit, Rotom-Regular, & Articuno. 

Current LA Nidokings Season 3 Team: Manaphy, Mega Altaria, Victini, Gengar (New Roster "Addition"), Zapdos, Roserade, Gyarados, Flygon, Bronzong, Aerodactyl, Mesprit, Miltank, Articuno.  

In the PFA, its possible for coaches to change their teams around completely through the FA sessions or trades since we voted again for no limitations. This season, FA was now essentially whenever we set the time period as so like from late Friday to early Monday, people can make their transactions. If there's a long line, the person with the lowest-performing record goes first to get the best available Pokemon. There were a couple instances where people did drop out and those Pokemon became free agents. Eventually, the majority of the league decided to "loot" or add another slot to every team to receive any one free Pokemon that available via another mini draft. From this, we got Greninja with the Torrent restriction, then I'd changed it for Zygarde just for kicks, and finally got a Gengar after someone deciding to drop the Ghost/Poison -type. Even though I've used each of those three Pokemon exactly 3 times total (one per battle), all of them did work or helped ensure a lower loss. 

Given that the season was going to be far longer than S2 was with 15 Weeks, this essentially gave me enough time to test out certain Pokemon for a couple battles, see what other Pokemon are available, and eventually finalized the team for playoffs. This was my general strategy of the regular season, figure out which team partners could work well with each other (so synergy was extremely essential) and improve upon them by removing weaker links of the team (especially if they don't do much), improving certain matchups for potential playoffs, or receiving a stronger or viable Pokemon for my team. 

Now...I'm not going to explain why I drafted certain Pokemon and all that stuff since it would take too long and only about have of the team stayed as is. These changes were so significant to the point where it probably be better to explain how the whole season went for me, which again I don't recall much or don't have the time to do so. The only Pokemon that stayed all season were Mega Altaria, Victini, Manaphy, Flygon, Mesprit, and Articuno. Both Miltank and Roserade became part of the team again in Week 3/4 after some transactions I've made and played throughout the remainder of the season. Other transactions were made more so to get a certain Pokemon from another team, then kept making trades until I felt satisfied for our playoff run.  

 During the middle stages of the PFA Regular Season, I kept changing my UU slots since  the team didn't feel "comfortable" with either Krookodile (yes and was drafted by me), Entei, Shaymin, and eventually one of better performing Pokemon of the team, Cobalion. All those 4 Pokemon were ok, but I didn't like the synergy between them they could offer for my other vital team members. Shaymin was probably the most tradeback Pokemon throughout the season as it went to three teams in a span of 6 weeks since trades began. Here's a long ...complicated trade process to explain: Krookdile was traded to Crobat from the Mesa Macargos, which then I traded Shaymin for Roserade  (from the Indianapolis Jolts), then got back Shaymin Week 6 in exchange for Crobat, then finally traded Shaymin to the Transylvania T-Tars for Entei.

Shaymin was the one Pokemon I was completely unsure about throughout the season since it had only a couple good sets, but the movepool to me was atrocious. Yes, Shaymin can beat its counters with the Seed Flare special defense drops, but in the end, Roserade was kinda the one Grass-type which felt the most reliable, especially with access to hazards. One of the things my team was missing early on was both Spikes and Toxic Spikes, which almost every team now started using after watching my play-style in the finals. Roserade was a better safety net than Shaymin, but strangely I never used it over Shaymin strangely and only thought about power. Eventually Roserade became one of the focal points for the later half of the season, and during my playoff run. 

In one event, we were able to acquire Zapdos after another player dropped from the league. Once the player dropped, people were allowed to get one potential leftover Pokemon from the former team and swap only one Pokemon. At the time, I'd just traded Entei (only got 1 week lol) for Rotom-H and suddenly there was a powerful Electric-type Pokemon which can act as a decent tank and Defog user.  While Rotom-H did get a solid three good weeks of battles, Zapdos was the superior option to have since the team needed another tanky Pokemon who can alleviate the stress my defensive wall core in Mega Altaria, Bronzong, Roserade, and sometimes Manaphy. 

For the RUs, the last slot I kept changing during the free agency period. From the start, I got Drapion who I originally thought was going to be part of the team, but after obtaining Roserade, just became sorta left out. During the PFA FA 1, Drapion was eventually dropped for Typlosion, which honestly was the worse transaction pick for the entire season since Victini was the main Fire-type of the season. The following FA, Typlosion was later changed to Spiritomb, which should have been on the final version of the team, but after looking at matchups, it was again dropped for Aerodactyl in the last FA. As a result of these drops, the last RU slot was never used at all, which I kinda find funny in of itself. Then again Aerodactyl was strongly considered since it was a fast Rock/Flying-type with access to Defog...but no Brave Bird or Head Smash. Yeah the lack of reliable strong STABs was a pain in the ass, but I just settled with my last RU after Week 12. 

During the last week of the PFA transaction period, many players, including myself, scrambled to get the best available Pokemon for their teams as possible. From this, the decision was made to trade off Cobalion to the Indianapolis Jolts (Mudkiplegend), in exchange for Crobat (for the second time). Now that the LA Nidokings had 4 Defogs users, there wasn't any need to get any more transactions. Cobalion had like 9 kills and 1 death, but most of those kills were kinda against Pokemon that were weaken, or just got "lucky" against. By the end of the season, we did make one last swap, and funny enough, Crobat was dropped in exchange for Gyarados since 1) there was one team I needed Gyarados for (which I never faced), 2) it offensive / defensive potential with Intimidate, and 3) it was one of several Pokemon leftover from the undrafted list that can sweep my team if possible. 

By the end of the season, I've made a whooping 13 transactions total, which people can effectively boo at me for not keeping my picks or my additions/drops reasonably so. At the end of the day, I wanted to test out as many Pokemon as possible in the season, while improve the matchups later on. Of course most teams did make similar heavy transactions totals, but the Nidokings were made the most amount. From communicating with the other people, not many people didn't complain about the transaction totals, or just didn't care enough to make a statement. Eventually after the season was over, most of the players, including myself decided to give ourselves a transaction limit of around 7 Pokemon trades/adds/drops so people don't completely change their teams. As long as no one complained directly to me about the team, I just kept quiet for the time being to prepare for my matches... speaking of which...

PFA Regular Season

Early in the season, I told myself to try to shoot for another 1st place, or the best record in the league. Based on my schedule, the season would be moderately ok, the start to pick up with strong opponents leading up to Alec (Mudkiplegend) Week 9, then rematch a couple of teams, and end the season with semi-decent opponents. Again this post will not have all the teams and sets since there was a serious laptop failure awhile ago which resulted in my losing a ton of infomation, including my teams. Will try my best to get "briefly" summarize the battles, but again not every detail will be discuss since these matches happen literally from as far back as four and half months ago. What I'll try to do is have the team I brought and the teams they brought since the matches were saved on my 3DS still. 

WEEK 1: VS NEW YORK ISLANDORUS (Drub87 Battle 1)** - we rematch again Week 13.

My Team: Special Mega Altaria, Mixed Victini, LO Shaymin, Pivot Cobalion, Scarf Krookodile, Defog LO Flygon
Opponent's Team: Mega Ampharos, Garchomp, Ferrothorn, Alomomola, Skuntank, Exploud

Starting off the season we battled the new guy of the group, Drub87 or Danny. Didn't want to overestimate myself this week, but based on his draft, I can sorta tell he's watched other competitive players so just had to play based on how the battle flows (though not reactionary). To be honest, don't really recall much, except for the fact Shaymin probably placed a huge dent on his team with the Seed Flare special defense drops. With those drops, I did play around that and called his switches to certain Pokemon correctly at times. Despite Drub losing M-Ampharos and getting most of his team weaken from this, he still had a decent shot at winning. I still couldn't break his wall core of Ferrothorn and Alomomola at the time, but a huge turning point occurred when Exploud missed a Fire Blast against my Cobalion switch. Drub switches to Garchomp as I get off  a good Close Combat damage to the point where HP Ice can knock out his best sweeper. Once the Dragon/Ground-type fell, basically I was able to maneuver around his team with Victini and slowly pick certain Pokemon off. In like 5-7 turns, Drub only had a Toxic Alomomola and a half HP Exploud against the rest of my teammates leftover. 

Unfortunately there was a DC, which prompted us to review what were we going to do to settle the match. After awhile, we decided that the match would be recorded a 3-0 in my favor since I still had threat which can effectively stall or sweep his team, and the proper sacks could result in a win in the Nidokings favor. Didn't like how the battle was really hax filled with Shaymin just getting Seed Flare and Earth Power drops, but it weaken Drub's team to the point where my other Pokemon can cleanup in the end. Well I do have to rematch Drub later on, so that was something to look forward to. RESULT (5-2 WIN ; 3-0 "technicality" / Record 1-0) 


My Team: DD Mega Altaria, AV Victini, Safety Goggles Bronzong, Chople Berry Cobalion, Scarf Flygon, Lum Berry Krookodile

Opponent's Team: Mega Char Y, Kingdra, Breloom, Mew, Florges, Sandslash

Don't recall much in this battle, though I remember immediately calling out Mew, Breloom, and the Kingdra as potential threats. Fortunately for me, Victini was able to outmaneuver Squeab's entire team and  made short work of them, even the Char Y. Well going into this battle, Victini was going to be the best switch in to Char Y's boosted Fire-type attacks, so I slapped an AV and some SpDef investment. Would like to point out V-Create in the Sun hits stupid hard, so didn't feel like using a Life Orb or Band. The only notable Pokemon that gave me issues was Breloom and Kingdra. Breloom was a Sword Dance variant, but was neutralized after finding out it was Life Orb. As for Kingdra, the way Squeab kept playing Kingdra meant it was a likely Scarfer, so I had to somehow revenge kill the Water/Dragon-type while the Drought was in effect. Again fortunately to me, Drought-boosted V-create was too much for Squeab's team to handle and won off of spamming this move. RESULT (4-0 WIN / Record 2-0 )


My Team: Special M-Altaria, LO Sub Victini, Manaphy, CM Mesprit, Screens Bronzong, Defog Articuno
His Team: M-Venusuar, Zapdos, Jynx, Metagross, Keldeo, Hippodown 

This was the first time I ever brought Duel Screens in any battle of sorts, but based on Mars's team, it might stop his offense while give me time to setup with some of my Pokemon. Initially, thought that I can be cheeky and setup CMs to hit Hippowdon and Zapdos with boosted Ice Beams, then Mars kept wearing down my Mesprit, and eventually Bronzong. The stalement was broken as soon as Mega Altaria entered the field and managed to Toxic the Zapdos while KO the Hippowdon. Metagross became an issue but Victini was able to setup a Sub and just OHKO both it and Zapdos in consecutive turns. Once Zapdos and Metagross were gone, Articuno became a clear win condition for the matchup. Unfortunately for Mars, he didn't bring the Mega Stone for Venusuar which complicated the battle for a bit. He eventually decided to play the match as is since it was his error for not having the item in place. Regardless, we both acknowledge the outcome would have been similar to how it played out. Articuno basically runs though Venusaur with Hurricane, hits Keldeo with Hurricane/Freeze Dry, and at the very least damage the Jynx to break the Focus Sash.  At the end of the battle, Articuno gets three kills, though the real contributor was Victini who wall breaked most of Mars's weaken team. It sucks that my opponent didn't have the item, but what can you do when the battle is already to deep in aside replaying it, which we both didn't have time for. Despite that mega stone situation, the battle was overall good and hard fought.  RESULT (4-0 WIN / Record 3-0)  


My Team: DDD M-Altaria, Sub Lum Victini, CM Rain Manaphy, Defensive Cobalion, Screens Bronzong, Defog Articuno

Opponent's Team: Tornadus-T, Reuniclus, Abomasnow, M-Sharpedo, Hoopa-C, Talonflame

Of all the new people in the league, Marcusube was the only one who I felt could give me a run for my money given his unique playstyle and use of unorthodox sets. From what I recall, this battle could have gone either way if one of us made a fatal misplay. In order for me to win this battle, I had to fall to using "bait" sets to attempt to knock out key Pokemon on Marc's side to get as much momentum as possible. In this case I ran Explosion Bronzong to get heavy damage on something on his team, Substitute Lum Berry Victini to get Sub up against the Klefki while not getting paralyzed, Chople Berry Cobalion, and my favorite, Avalanche Articuno to kill Tornadus-T (also had Occa Berry for Talonflame with Ancient Power). In terms of how these strategies performed, only two of these sets worked out extremely well with Bronzong OHKOing a Reuniclus and Articuno OHKOing Tornadus-T with a boosted Avalanche. The battle did came down to a bit of RNG which Tornadus-T missed a crucial Focus Blast against my Cobalion, but the damage could have placed it where Waterfall from his last Pokemon Mega Sharpedo. Otherwise, the only way Marc could have won AT THAT POINT (I'm going to keep doing this) was to flinch or crit my defensive Cobalion, which didn't happen. 

The game itself was really back and forth where Marc attempt to setup Trick Room, though I setup screens to block most of his damage. Another key moment that happen was the Flame Body Talonflame "incident" which might have played a factor, but tbh, In this scenario, Mega Altaria got up to +1 Dragon Dance (again me over-predicting), as Talonflame goes for Brave Bird to leave it at low HP. Then I roosted again to attempt to predict another roost, but I was faster and the Brave Bird damage recoil at that point killed Talonflame because of the replenish HP I received. At that point, it was confirmed Talonflame was Flame Body, which was a misgen on my opponent's part. Had Talonflame killed Mega Altaria, I think the battle might have turned in my favor since unless he has roost, there's no way for Talonflame to recover the damage. Victini was still at full and has substitute so if Talonflame "faints itself" from recoil, I would go for Substitute to get into great position to OHKO the Mega Sharpedo and win the game. Only way this scenario backfires is if Talon does have Roost, Sword Dances (which he had), or crits Victini with Brave Bird.

Anyways, good game to Marc as this was surely a thrilling match, with both of us making attempting to get the edge over the other.   RESULT ( 3 - 0 WIN / RECORD 4-0)


My Team: DDD M-Altaria, Scarf Victini, Tail Glow Rain Manaphy, Hazards Roserade, Defensive Cobalion, Curse Miltank

Opponent's Team: Suicune, Combusken, Togetic, Krookodile, M-Manetric, Weavile

To sum this battle up, Mega Altaria swept Ryan. Funny enough, Ryan predicted my lead of Roserade correctly with Weavile and got huge damage off with a Knock Off from my incoming Miltank switch. Then Ryan make a fatal misplay in using Rock Tomb as I go for my Rock Tomb attack (used to slow down his "fast team") and got some good chip damage with the added speed drop. I make a play with Cobalion by using Stealth Rocks on Weavile knowing he needs it for the late game, and now it had one more switch in / attack left with Life Orb. Krookodile is sent out to counteract Cobalion and immediately I think its scarf, so I make a direct switch to Mega Altaria to begin setup up Dragon Dances. From here, Combusken is sent out and as I kept going for Dragon Dance, it goes for Sub which means now I have to attack the Fire/Fighting type before it gets a ton of speed boosts. Strangely, Ryan never makes the Baton Pass play to Weavile to force out M-Altaria, but Combusken is taken out. As Suicune is sent out, he gets a Scald burn, but I realized Altaria can just keep Dragon Dancing as I carried the Heal Bell to recuperate my attack power. As soon as he switched into Krook to get another attack drop, I revealed Heal Bell, which meant now I just swept his team. Krookodile, M-Manetric, and even Weavile all fell in three consecutive turns to a boosted Pixilate Returns. Suicune didn't have Roar to take on Mega Altaria so at this point the game was effectively over, I setup a couple times to 2HKO Suicune, and soon the Togetic. 

This was a rough loss for Ryan as Mega Altaria effectively 6-0 swept him and we got a 5-0 win as a result. It was unfortunate for my opponent to not have a response for my Mega, but this victory to me felt reassuring for my preparations for my following opponent ItalianG62, who was the only undefeated left with a 5-0 record himself. Good game to Ryan as he eventually makes it to the playoffs later on.  RESULT ( 5 - 0 WIN / RECORD 5- 0)


My Team: DDD M-Altaria, Tail Glow Manaphy, Healing Wish Screens Mesprit, LO Growth Shaymin, Scarf Cobalion, Scarf Flygon 
Opponent's Team: M-Char X, Jirachi, Rhyperior, Cofagrigus, Starmie, Sceptile

From all my battles this season, this was the one I prepared for the most. At the time, Kyle (ItalianG62) was going on a win streak using a formidable hazard stack team which Charizard X as the lead Pokemon. I knew if for whatever reason, Charizard gets up a Dragon Dance of sorts, I'd lose the battle right there especially if he carried the appropriate coverage moves and support. However, I can say the same thing to me as both Manaphy and Mega Altaria can effectively sweep his team with the support options I had from Double Screens, Double Scarf, a wall breaker, and Healing Wish to replenish one either of the two. Turn 1 and 2 of the battle was ...kinda haxy again as Shaymin gets setup to +1 with Growth and nearly kills the Cofag with a crit Giga Drain. I attempt to go for HP Rock to catch the Charizard,  but no switch out as Cofag dies, though still setting up T-Spikes prior. Sceptile enters the battle and I want to start setting up Screen Support for my team while have Flygon Defog the T-Spikes. As I switch into Flygon (with a reflect up) against a Rock Sliding Rhyperior, it gets critted and loses a ton of HP. Flygon is able to get off the Defog, but later on as I attempt to revenge kill the Sceptile (after sacking Shaymin), it goes for a Dragon Pulse first... 

Now I have to deal with a Scarf Sceptile and lost probably me best revenge killer in Flygon for no reason. Funny enough, I manage to faint the Starmie the same way with a Scarf Volt Switch and now I initiate the plan. As I'm setting up the screens, I totally forget to give Mesprit Stealth Rocks, which comes to play later on. As Mega Altaria is able to setup to +1 while taking little damage from Rhyperior, Kyle immediately recalls for Jirachi as I for for another. At this point, I actually debated whether to switch out or not, but give I was +2 with Screens support, I had to go for the EQ and hope it kills Jirachi. To my relief, Jirachi goes down and for that moment I thought this was game, but this is where Stealth Rocks would have helped since Charizard X was still alive and healthy. I try to predict his Dragon Dance as Kyle does setups with Char X, though screens (reflect) runs out. At this time, I noted Charizard did not Mega Evolved (in this league, Megas can retain their base forms) to half the damage from my attack. To my shock, Charizard live the Return attack at a couple hit points and setups another Dragon Dance, which can outspeed my entire team, including my +3 Mega Altaria with the lack of speed investment. 

At the most critical junction of the match, Altaria lives the +2 EQ at a sliver of HP and I'm able to beat the Charizard with a follow-up attack. We aren't out of the woods yet, as Scarf Sceptile is able to outspeed and revenge kill Mega Altaria with Giga Drain. At this point, its just Manaphy, Mesprit, and Cobalion vs a Scarf Sceptile and Rhyperior. I make a rather dumb misplay and let Mesprit attack the Sceptile with Shadow Ball instead of setup a Light Screen, which then I could have live another hit to get a Reflect. Now I'm force into some 50/50 situations with Manaphy / Cobalion and Rhyperior / Sceptile. As Kyle switches Sceptile out into Rhyperior, Cobalion gets off a good chunk of damage with Close Combat, though not enough to kill the Ground/Rock-type with Ice Beam. As I switch into Manaphy, Rhyperior gets off huge damage to my now only win condition, but still lives the hit. Here I make a rather risky prediction, and predict the Sceptile to switch in and take the potential Surf, knowing well Ice beam won't KO Rhyperior. Manaphy goes for Ice Beam...and incomes the Sceptile to faint to the Super Effective attack, thus winning the 50/50, and the game as Surf knocks out Rhyperior. 

Good games to Kyle as he was the hardest opponent to date from this point on in Season 3 as he came very close to winning the battle. To be frank, I did result into using this rather hyper offensive team since I didn't have no other good options got come by, except overwhelming my opponent with setup. This also meant there were some stuff I kept secret for the remainder of the season like Healing Wish, which wouldn't be used until the playoffs. 
RESULT ( 2 -0 WIN  / 6 - 0 RECORD )

WEEK 7: VS INDY LATIS (EPICLOLZ53 aka Justin)  Battle 1 / rematch on Week 12

My Team: Special M-Altaria, TG Manaphy, Defensive Defog Flygon, Band Victini, Safety Goggles Mesprit, LO Greninja
Opponent's Team: Terrakion, Latias, Galvantula, Tyrantrum, Amoonguss, Mismagius

If there was an a coach who everyone in this league totally underestimated, it was definitely Epiclolz, as Justin was by far the most improved coach going into this season using non-Smogon / VGC / Battle Spot / Heatah (sorry Joey) / Velis sets, rather his own. I know someone reading this can figure well how the fuck does Epic battles if he isn't even following any of these, well the answer is I don't know. Regardless, at first I thought was going to be an rather simple battle to where I can just overwhelm Epic with Choice Band Victini, except it wasn't. In all seriousness I totally didn't expect Epic to bring his offensive Pokemon and leave out his most defensive threat aside. This battle is all sort of weird as Epic tried to turn 1 flinch me with Iron Head with Mega Altaria, and I get critical hit. While Terrakion went down to a Hyper Voice, Mega Altaria was severely low to where it cannot beat most of Epic's team and I was force to sack it. Mismaguis give me more problems than usual, but it is taken down by my defensive Flygon, which then became useless. 

At this point I realized something, Epic can win by setting up once with Tyranturm and effectively sweeping my team with Head Smash / EQ since Galvantula can easily take out Flygon, and get up Sticky Webs. Mespirt is able to setup a Substitute and one Calm Mind, but Amoonguss has Foul Play to break the Sub. Once Amoonguss was gone, Latias is sent out...and freezes my Mesprit with Ice Beam to later faint the following turn. Luckily for me, Victini is able to OHKO Latias with a crit Choice Band U-Turn, as I send in Manaphy to take on Tyranturm. As Manaphy goes for the Ice Beam, Tyranitrum lives, and gets a Dragon Dance up which now can win Epic the game. Unfortunately for me, Epic gets the a high roll to OHKO Manaphy with the Head Smash, and now I have to hope he misses Head Smash with Victini or Greninja. Regardless of either scenario,  Greninja is sent first to maybe take an EQ from Tyranitrum since I gave it some defense EVs leftover. As Tyranitrum hits the +1 EQ, Greninja lives the attack and retaliates with Scald to end the game on the double down. 

Holy Crap. Epic sure gave me a run for my money as he almost swept me with a Dragon Dance Tyrantrum. Thankfully I always invest into some defensive investment into my Pokemon, especially since most of the time you only need some Speed Evs to creep on the fastest possible Pokemon on your Opponent's team. Good game to Epic as we eventually faceoff again in Week 12. RESULT ( 3 -0 WIN  / 7 - 0 RECORD )


My Team: TG Manaphy, AV Special Victini, Defensive Bronzong, Hazards Roserade, Greninja
His Team: Latios, Swampert, Golbat, M-Heracross, Steelix, Celebi

This was the quickest battle I've had in any league in 16 turns as the battle was rather straight-forward. This might have been because I'd predicted Yugi's switch out of Steelix to Heracross and got a Toxic off. As M-Heracross went for Pin Missile, Bronzong manages to live a hit and get damage off with Psychic to where another Toxic round KOs for a double down. The only Pokemon that proved problematic was the Golbat as it was able to spam Super Fang and Toxic to both Mega Altaria and Manaphy. Going with my got, I go for the Tail Glow setup with the Manaphy, and strange enough, Yugi switches out to Latios as Manaphy goes for Ice Beam. In the chat, he told me he'd predicted I'd get greedy and go for another one which explains why Latios is sent out. Yugi tries to setup a Substitute with Swampert, but Manaphy gets a Crit Burn which not only takes out the Swampert, but gives me one extra turn to hit one of his own Pokemon with a boosted hit, which was the Steelix. With Manaphy effectively taking out 3 Pokemon before going down, only the Golbat and Celebi remained, which Victini easily handles. Yugi was a bit upset about  the Crit Burn on the Swampert, he eventually acknowledged hax didn't matter and made amends. Unfortunately this was his last game in the PFA league as he couldn't continue anymore due to some Real-Life stuff like moving and finding employment. Yugi is doing find as of this post and keeps up with us in the other chat so he's still there, just not taking part of battling anymore. Regardless, good game to Yugi as I now face a reinvigorated Jolts team.   RESULT ( 4 - 0 WIN  / 8 - 0 RECORD )


My Team: Sub Leftovers Victini, TG Manaphy, Defensive Cobalion, AV Entei, Scarf Flygon, Defensive Coil Zygarde
Opponent's Team: Hippowdon, Excadrill, M-Gyarados, Tentacruel, Rotom, Sylveon

Out of all the battles, this was the one battle where I should have done more preparations and waited it out since we had effectively two weeks to finish the battle. Even with me getting both an Entei and Zygarde on the team to fulfill my priority purposes, the fact remains that the team going into this battle was ill-prepared for some of his new recruits. This was rather a long cartridge-based game so unfortunately can't recall every play, but I know there were some really dumb mistakes I made in this battle. Early on, there was a bit of back and forth switches, and there was one point where the burnt Hippowdon was at about 55% as it swapped into a Scared Fire from Entei's Scared Fire....which missed. This was basically the game in my opinion as I worked to weaken the Hippowdon down to a low amount which Alec has to switch it in as fodder, and also to prevent Stealth Rocks. Following turn, Entei goes for a Sacred Fire as Hippowdon setups the rock, and for some reason I make another shitty move and not kill the Hippo right there. Not only would I've wasted another turn for the Hippowdon's Sand to go away (its not Smooth Rock btw), Hippo would be gone for good, but I let it live "predicting" Alec to save it for a final sand sweep for Excadrill, From this mistake, Alec capitalizes and regains HP from Hippowdon, effectively now back to square one.

The biggest turning point was where I "sack" Flygon to get off Outrage damage onto the then confirmed scarfed Rotom which wasn't worth it in the gran scheme of things. Fast forward a couple of turns following the Rotom and Flygon Double Down, at this point before Alec went for Toxic Spikes, I should have sent out the Manaphy and attempt to Tail Glow sweep. In my opinion, this was the best chance to win since Manaphy didn't take to much damage at the time and now didn't have to worry about the Rotom anymore. Instead I hesitate thinking Alec might have Haze on the Tentacruel set to effectively stop the sweep. Instead I let Manaphy get poisoned, and forced to use Heal Bell (remember Heal Bell won't stop T-Spikes upon reentry as the Pokemon get poisoned again). 

At this point, I realized  I was going to lose for the first time because of my own mistakes in the battle, but mostly from my indecisiveness in the battle. Trying to savage this game, I do get a Scald Crit Burn on the Sylveon and weaken the Tentacruel. Entei is able to kill the Hippowdon but it fails to pick up the KO on Tentacruel. Zygarde miraculously does the impossible and then nets 3 kills on the Sylveon, Tentacruel, and finally the Excadrill which was rather amazing, but didn't matter as Gyarados gets an intimidate off and lock my down with Ice Fangs against a 25% Cobalion (Alec told me his set was Ice Fang / Crunch / Sub / DD). If I'd had Volt Switch, or even attempted to para-flinch Alec down, I could have won like that, but decided just to Close Combat twice to end the battle. 
RESULT ( 0 - 1 Loss / RECORD  8 - 1 ) 

Wrapping Up 

For now, I'm going to end the first part of the regular season right here and start a new post from how I reacted to the loss (From week 9), to the final preparations for playoffs. Don't want this post to be as long as it already is, but at the same time I want to give myself time to review the battles from week 10 onwards before we get to Playoffs. Until then this is Black117 signing off (well for now).  

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