Wednesday, August 24, 2016

PFA S2 Weeks 10 - 15

PFA S2 Weeks 10 - 15

So with part of of the regular season, I want to reiterate the same points mentioned in the  previous post. These battles there from a few months ago and I'm not going to list down every play as detailed. At the same time, I've decided not to do a draft review given how many changes and transactions we've made. If I do happen to list down the team itself by the end of the season, I feel people will get the idea how powerful it especially from picking up strong Free Agent Pokemon. At the time, the people in the league decided no transaction limitations so of course many teams were drastically different from the draft day to eventually the end of the season itself, including mine. Several people did take advantage this to improve upon the teams and keep retention as high as possible. With that out of the way, here's part 2.

Bouncing Back (Thoughts On RNG)

After losing to Alec, I kinda had a shit day the following hours after the battle, possibly to the point of  doubting whether I'd stay in the league. A ton of "life happens" thing occurred and I kinda felt overwhelm going into the latter weeks despite having one of the "easier" schedules in this league. With all this stuff occurring, I still had over two weeks to recover from this loss given how early we battled, and review what our mistakes were at the time. If anything, part of the reason I feel I'd lost the match against Alec was mostly because I didn't prepare adequately enough, especially when I exactly called out one situation about potentially facing stall, which I didn't prepare for. From that point on, every battle I always put two hours into preparation per day, meaning I had always reviewed my team before going into the battle. Guess one can say, the more "time" I had, the better the result will be. One last thing I did to improve my matchups was to always test the team on showdown on various alts to see whether certain situations can work out in my favor, or just play test the battle with trusted people I know before being in the league. 

Eventually after a week, one of my ACs did told me eventually I'm going to lose at one point and I have to make the best out of learning from that loss. Honestly, he was right. To be  frank, I should have lost to Epiclolz during Week 7, but my Greninja was able to tank an +1 Earthquake. Against Kyle, had he stayed on on Rhyperior, the battle would have been his since Manaphy can't OHKO it from that range and scarf Sceptile beats my scarf  Cobalion. Finally against Marc, one false mishap and possibly the Mega Sharpedo would have swept my team. Even as I'm writing this piece, I'll admit missing a 95% accurate move sucks, but whats worse is  complaining about losing luck or RNG. 

Everyone's who has played Pokemon at a high level knows how it feels to lose a game off of a potential chance like losing against a crit, no Scald burns, consecutive paralysis, and all the shit ton of chances effects in the game. IMO, the best way to deal with RNG or losses with RNG is not to complain about it all the time to the point where it hides the mistakes YOU, the player made. After reviewing the battle, I realized there where multiple opportunities where I could have just KOed a Pokemon, setup with Manaphy against Tentacruel despite fearing Haze, or get into a better position where the battle was favorable. Instead I was too passive and failed to capitalize on key plays or turning points in the battle. One Sacred Fire miss, while it can change the game completely, wasn't the end all be all. In short, there were other things I should have done to improve my chances of winning. 

If anything, use hax and other "chance" effects more so to "supplement" win cons, rather than to rely on it. It might sound the same to some, moreso like to rely on a percentage to win, yet if going for Stone Edge, or even Sacred Fire is the only play to make, then that still not a reliable win con. Basically don't give the opposing players any "outs" since they will abuse it the minute they figure out that's a win con, even if its based on chance.  Essentially put yourself into a position where  hax can be mitigated while at the same time, if you receive any, take full advantage and use it as a win con. This might sound contradictory to every I mention, but that's being "competitive" in Pokemon is really. Then again, relying on a 10% chance is still rather relatively small instead of positioning oneself to better win scenarios  What I'm basically trying to mention, one needs to have multiple outs and win cons in the battle to win, instead of relying on certain scenarios where RNG might play a role. Those thing will occur in do time, yet its how one gets there that will directly impact the battle. 

Consistency is basically what I'm looking for per every battle. This might be whether I bring the same sets, or some radically different sets one might not think of, however if I'm getting far more wins, and few less losses knowing small mistakes here and there, then that's consistency for me. This means I can't go about "predicting" my opponent every turn as this might result in me losing or reducing vital win cons. Even so, I do make a couple every so often just to throw off my opponent, or if I know I'm in sorta a low risk, high reward position or vice versa. 

Then again I am talking about an 0-1 loss, which still a loss, isn't bad.

Last Regular Season Battles


My Team: Hazards Roserade, Rotom-H, Scarf Cobalion, Rain CM Manaphy, DDD M-Altaria, Defensive Bronzong.
Opponent's Team: Rotom-W, Jellicent, Infernape, Bisharp Forretress, Mienshao

Despite facing one of the low-performing teams in the PFA, I didn't want to lose to Unit and continue where I started. Roserade was quite effective in this battle for setting up Toxic Spikes, fainting the Forretress on an incoming switch via HP Fire, and just weakening most of Unit's team here and there. Most of the battle I tried to find a situation where Mega Altaria can effectively sweep Unit with 2 Dragon Dances, especially after Forretress was gone but I had to play around the Rotom-W, Jellicent, and the Bisharp since I didn't have Heal Bell. Perhaps the one Pokemon that I underestimated in this battle was the Mienshao. Despite the heavy damage Mienshao received, thanks to the Regenerator ability it was able to come back at higher HP every time it switched out. The volt turn combination of Infernape, Mienshao, and Rotom-W became a bit annoying and eventually I made a ballsy move to switch directly into the Mienshao with Cobalion as it switched out. This could have turned out really bad if Unit clicked High Jump Kick, but I predicted him to switch out with U-Turn anyways. 

At one point, I'm finally able to get in Manaphy and weaken both the Rotom-W, and the Jellicent, though losing a bit of momentum on my end. One point in the battle, figured that Mega Altaria can setup to +2 against the Mienshao....before it went with a crit Poison Jab and poisons my Mega. As I was about to let Altaria go down, Unit decides to save Mienshao, possibly fearing that Altaria outspeeds and goes to Jellicent to sack it. Instead, Mega Altaria heals itself up with Roost and gets a kill against Jellicent...only for Cursed Body to activate.  I don't recall how the end game scenario was, but I do sack Rotom-H to Infernape and attempt to poison stall Unit a bit to get more residual damage on Infernape. Eventually Cobalion was able to come in and just sweep the rest of Unit's team with Close Combat to win us the game 5-0, despite nearly all of them being at half HP or below. ( 5 - 0 Win / Record 9 - 1 )


My Team: Defensive Bronzong, Special M-Altaria, Rotom-H, Focus Sash Gengar, Scarf Flygon, TG Manaphy
His Team: M-Garchomp, Thundurus-T, Gallade, Dugtrio, Empoleon, Qwilfish

First game our new transaction Gengar participates in this game, and boy do I need it. There are several Pokemon on Metaknight's team that are quiet worrisome, especially the Scolipede which he didn't bring. This battle was rather hyper offensive and quick just like the battle against YugiohTrav. Bronzong was able to get a quick KO against the Qwilfish, however gets one layer of Toxic Spikes. Meta predicts my switch out from Bronzong and setups a +2 Sword Dance boosted Gallade. Fortunately for me, my physically defensive M-Altaria takes a +2 Zen Headbutt and faints the Gallade with a Pixilate Hyper Voice. Dugtrio is sent out to revenge kill my mega, yet surprisingly enough Mega Altaria lives the hit and gets a Roost off. After a couple of turns repeating this, Dugtrio goes for the Memento and Meta switches to Mega Garchomp. Thought about sacking Altaria here, but I decided to get off one last chip damage with Hyper Voice in case he setups. Mega Chomp is brought to around half and at this point I sack Bronzong instead of Mega Altaria to get in Gengar safely. Having setup Stealth Rocks at the cost of Bronzong, Gengar is able to make quick work of the rest of Meta's team by knocking out M-Garchomp, Thundurus-T, and Empoleon. Funny enough, we kinda played around Destiny Bond shenanigans in the end, which kinda helped me in terms of differential. Good game to Meta as we improve our record into the double digits for the first time.  ( 5 - 0 Win / Record 10 - 1 )


My Team: Special M-Altaria, Defensive Rain Manaphy, Defensive Bronzong, Hazards Roserade, Pivot Rotom-H, Scarf Flygon

Opponent's Team: Galvantula, Tyrantrum, Latias, M-Camerupt, Kecleon, Porygon2

If there was one opponent who can potentially hand me another loss this late into the season, it was certainly Epic after that rather close survival from the +1 Dragon Danced boosted Tyrantrum. As a result, I made sure to bring Scarf Flygon, Grass Knot Roserade, physically defensive Manaphy, Thunder Wave Rotom-H, and even a Trick Room Bronzong to counteract not only the Tyranturm but most threats such as Terrakion, Latias, Galvantula, etc. Early in the battle, Roserade manages to get 2 layers of Spikes against the Porygon2 and get some crucial chip damage against his team. However Epic manages to take the opportunity to get Mega Camerupt in to setup a Substitute as I had nothing for Mega Camerupt. Rotom-H is sent out and here its a bit of a struggle as M-Camerupt continuously fires Flamethrowers as Hex can't break the sub. Eventually Rotom-H destroys the sub, but now I'm left is a weird spot to send in Manaphy early, or risk repeating the same turns again. Manaphy is sent out, however it takes a crit Flamethrower which almost does about half to its HP. Epic stays in predicting a Tail Glow / Sub, but I fire a Scald at Camerupt and thus removing a huge threat off the field. 

Still Galvantula is sent out and once again I'm faced with the potential Sticky Webs being setup. Judging Manaphy's importance later in this battle, it is saved for Mega Altaria to take whatever Galvantula hits. Unfortunately for Mega Altaria, it is paralyzed and I'm forced to attack whatever switches out. Strangely enough, Epic misplays and attacks my mega again instead which then results to removing Galvantula from play, and no Sticky Webs on the field which is amazing. Rotom-H and Roserade is able to wall most of Porygon2's attacks, and eventually gets paralyzed off Rotom-H's Thunder Wave. Epic tries to save the Porygon2 (at half HP), and sends in the Kecleon, but here I Volt Switch out to Flygon, and subsequently get a kill against his Protean user. The next few turns become instrumental as Flygon and Rotom-H are both able to Volt Turn around Epic's team, almost wearing down both the Porygon2 to near death and always netting a kill. Mega Altaria is lost in the process, however this was the momentum I needed to win the battle. Soon Porygon2 drops to a Sludge Bomb from Roserade after taking constant Spikes + Volt - Turn damage.

Tyrantrum is finally sent out to attempt to sweep, however I actually played the fact Roserade had Grass Knot the whole time and waited for this very situation. As Tyranturm sets up a Dragon Dance, Roserade goes for the STAB Grass Knot and with the previous Spikes damage before, the Dragon/Rock-type faints. Once Latias was sent out, I realized Epic had lost every Pokemon while I still had five move leftover, especialy a Bronzong to take both its STABS. A couple of turn later with Gyro Balls included, I'm able to win 5-0 in a commanding fashion. Personally, what made the game incredibly close was the fact that Epic didn't setup Sticky Webs at all, though I figured the combination of Rotom-H and Roserade pulled through this battle. Despite this loss, Epic eventually goes on a small win streak to finish the season 10 - 5 with the 4th best record in the league, which is a great improvement from him. ( 5 - 0 Win / Record 11 - 1 )


My Team: Offensive Support M-Altaria, CM Rain Manaphy, Sunny Day Victini, Defensive Bronzong, Hazards Roserade, Defensive Zapdos

His Team: Garchomp, Stunktank, Chansey, Clefable, Pinsir, M-Sableye

This battle was rather strange since it felt like battling another person since Drub started to take note of some of the "competitive singles players" on YouTube. Drub did mention to me he was going to bring "Heat" so I figured why not bring bring some of our own and might as well test out the Zapdos. The only Pokemon I was concern about was the Clefable, yet I felt kinda comfortable with the team I brought to this team was able to do some heavy damage, even on the switch ins. Turn 1....Turn 1 Mega Altaria gets rid of Mega Sableye with a Max Attack Double Edge as Drub tried to "style" on me and replace my ability with Role Play. Unfortunate for him, that's not how the move works (shout outs to Giam for teaching me about this back early VGC 16). Clefable is sent out and I switch out to my leftovers Sub Victini to take the Moonblast easily. Here I predict the switch out and setup a sub on the incoming Chansey, and now he has to take 2 turns of Seismic Tosses thanks to my HP investment to break. During this time, I setup Sunny Day and launch a powerful V-Create to OHKO Chansey...with a crit. Here Drub switches to Garchomp to attempt to break the Sub, yet he goes for Stone Edge and misses as I get off a clean 50% damage. While I admit the crit on Chansey did put Drub on tilt, he shouldn't have risk the Stone Edge miss when he had EQ to hit the Sub. As a result of this play, I kill Garchomp with another V-Create and its already 6-3 in my favor in just a short span. 

The only Pokemon that puts a sizable resistance to my team was the Clefable and I tried to play around it for a bit. It only took me like 7-9 turns after the Garchomp KO (not the Moonblast on Victini earlier) to realize the Clefable was in fact Life Orb. After losing Zapdos in a rather dumb turn, I'm forced to sack Manaphy so it can do about 50% to Clefable with Rain Dance Scald, and hope he wasn't CM. Strangely enough as Manaphy setups the Rain, it gets bopped with a Thunderbolt and now I'm starting to think this Clefable doesn't have either CM or Soft Boil. Regardless, I sack Manaphy to the Clefable, doing as expected 50% damage as Roserade is able to revenge kill the Clef with Venoshock. At this point, the game is suddenly dependent on whether Stunktank has the right movepool to combat most of my team, which have all taken some punishment after "scouting" the Clefable set. Once Stunktank got to 25% HP, it activated the Custap Berry and Exploded on Roserade's face. Now it is a weaken Choice Scarf Pinsir versus my health Mega Altaria as it finishes the battle with a Double Edge.

It was rather unfortunate for Drub to get the crit Sunny Day V-Create and the Stone Edge miss, though the latter was kinda strange as he should have used EQ to remove the Sub no matter what. Strangely, this was potentially a lose if Stuntank were to have had Sucker Punch, Pursuit, and Poison Jab with some moderate investment, yet Drub didn't carry any of those attacks aside Pursuit. Still it was fun match no disrespect to my opponent. Good game to Drub as we attempt to finish the season on a high note in the last two games. ( 3 - 0 Win / Record 12 - 1 )


My Team: Hazards Roserade, Pivot Zapdos, DDD M-Altaria, Defensive Rain Manaphy, Curse Miltank, Scarf Special Victini

Opponent's Team: Doublade, Raikou, Malamar, Mamoswine, Emboar, Feraligatr

Here this is where I'll admit I kinda wanted to take the battle less seriously, yet Vinny's entire team was pure setup. To be honest, there was no way in hell I'll wanted to get swept by any of Vinny's Pokemon and most of my Pokemon sets were based on this. If there was one questionable call for this battle, it was the decision to not bring Stealth Rocks on Miltank, rather a Curse set with Earthquake and Rock Tomb. At the time, I felt with both Spikes and Toxic Spikes on Roserade would be enough to kinda semi stall Vinny's Pokemon team.  Funny enough, that was the case as not only did Miltank literally "tank" almost every hit thrown at her, but this allowed my team to hold its own against some of Vinny's setup Pokemon. There were some moments where I almost could have been in a worse position, but Milktank and the Toxic Spikes essentially won me the game alone.  Apparently both Mamoswine and Emboar were Choice Scarfed which allowed Miltank to switch in almost every time. Doublade got worn down from a super effective HP Fire from Roserade, while it didn't kill, forced Vinny to save his Ghost/Steel type for later. One of Vinny's last ditch moves was to setup Dragon Dances with Feraligatr, though with the Toxic Spike damage and constant attack from Miltank, Gator goes down rather quick. Scarf Victini in the end was able to clean up, though it missed one Blue Flare which almost ruined the 5-0 and possibly gave Vinny at least something to salvage. At this point in the game, continuous Blue Flares allowed Victini to kinda sweep his team and earn ourselves a 5-0.  ( 5 - 0 Win / Record 13 - 1 )


My Team: Hazards Roserade, Zapdos, Scarf Special Victini, CM Manaphy, DDD M-Altaria, Defensive Bronzong.
Opponent's Team: Rotom-W, Mega Diancie, Archeops, Bisharp Forretress, Mienshao

Despite being the last battle of the season and having the best record, I still took this matchup somewhat seriously given the fact I wanted to get Mega Altaria with a good amount of OHKOs. Most of this battle was basically getting into a better position in ever turn, while doing some chip damage against Unit's team with both hazards and regular attacks. Unit was able to maintain a Volt Turn core with the Archeops, Rotom-W, and the Mienshao, however this was broken from an unfortunate Stone Edge miss against a weaken Bronzong from Archeops. From the HP Bronzong was at, it was a possible damage roll to kill, but it was still unfortunate to get that. Eventually Zapdos is able to slow pivot around Unit's team and gain some momentum for myself. Another huge turning point was when Victini manages to burn the incoming Diancie with a Searing Shot burn, which kinda sealed the game from there. Eventually Manaphy is able to come in, setup a couple of Calm Minds, and slow win the last game.  Mega Altaria wasn't able to get any kills, but the fact it was able to maintain offensive momentum and heal any status options with Heal Bell was enough to keep the team healthy. Would have liked to see Mega Altaria get a sweep even from these 6 games it played, but most of the team was consistent enough to where we managed get literally five  5-0 wins. Guess we found something consistency after all right? ( 5 - 0 Win / Record 14 - 1 ).

Final Thoughts

Well that concludes our regular season run as we manage to win 14 battles and lose 1 game to Mudkiplegend, which is still a good record to carry over. By the time I finished my battle with Unit, there were still some matches to be determine as well as how exactly playoffs will be structured. Chances were highly likely it would remain the same as before, except now every battle is a best of three series. Even before I battled Unit for week 15 of playoffs, I kinda suspected the two main opponents to face were either going to be Marcusube or possibly Zigzagger456 in round 1. Either opponent were going to be challenging given both attempted to secure their playoffs positioning and were on their A game. If I had to chose which opponent to battle, Marcusube was the least threatening team, however he knows how to use his Pokemon and can play well. Zig was the only 3 people in the league I never battled and I kinda didn't want to face him just because the matchup wasn't in my favor, however he kinda makes questionable plays which has costed him games beforehand. Both opponents were going to be difficult in the upcoming battles so we'll see later in the next post. 

By the end of the season, both Mega Altaria and Victini lead the team with the most kills with 20 kills 4 deaths, and 15 kills 1 death respectively. Manaphy didn't have a good performance in the regular season, but it sure carried the team with its impressive defense and was clutch against some of my other opponents. Other stars of the team included Roserade who netted a decent 8 kills 2 deaths, Cobalion with 10 kills 0 deaths in our tenure, and Bronzong for being one of the main defensive anchors of the team. Regardless of stats, this doesn't matter too much anymore as we are now in a point of where every battle is an elimination game. Despite the challenges that lie ahead with our squad, the goal was simple, win another championship for the Nidokings! (Spoilers I know the results :P )

PS: Stats of the PFA S3 Teams (for those who like to see)

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