Monday, October 3, 2016

CIL Playoffs: Round 2 Vs The Bolt Strike Bisharps

( Artist: Ehllychan )


The following might be "me" just rambling vaguely about "stuff"...

So.. its been about a three and a half weeks since I've updated regarding the CIL League and Playoffs. At this time, Finals has been finished about a week ago, but won't spoiler any implications until the very end. Anyways during early September, boy didn't know for sure what was going to happen, but we are here...doing this writeup. Before I'd like to continue, will like to say thanks to everyone who supported me both IRL and those who I interact Online. Honestly wasn't in the "best mood" back then, but now this is a new leaf so I'll continue working on some updates here. 

Regarding CIL, I'll admit there was a point where I wanted to leave but given that these events happen during the last week of the regular season and had the BYE, figured we should continue on. Like We just got a perfect 10-0 record and these thoughts occur for just because of my own" insecurities". Eventually got over them, and decided, " well we came this far, so lets end with a bang"...while not half ass anything. Even though this is suppose to be casual (hence the name) and laid-back league, I didn't plan on losing because of an early exit, or inadequately preparing for the battle. If there was ever going to be a battle I "lost", at least we'll make my opponents work for it. Well...doing this league for six months  and now we where entering crunch time. 

To anyone from the CIL, I'm not upset about anything regarding the CIL league or anyone for that matter. Just some personal event came up, I overreacted, and some other stuff occurred. Didn't want to mention anything or refer it once for attention, but now that most of that stuff is cleared, though I'd just share how I felt in late August/ early Sept. Guess this is my way at venting some steam, but not against anyone from the league, my opponent, or those who I talk to on a daily basis now. Ok with that all of the way, here's my week 11, or Round 2 Battle against a former opponent, Iceolate or Jonah. 

CIL Playoff Round 2: VS The Bolt Strike Bisharps 

 My Team: Charizard X, Latias, Suicune, Weavile, Sylveon, Doublade, Nidoking, Galvantula, Chesnaught, Empoleon, Gliscor
Iceolate's Team: Mega Lopunny, Zapdos, Azumarill, Reuniclus, Goodra, Heliolisk, Registeel, Cofagrigus, Rhyperior, Liepard, Archeops.

For CIL playoffs, given the LA Nidokings went perfect 10-0, we managed to get both the best record and a bye spot for playoffs. While some league did have a standard top 8, CIL has a top 6 with the two best team of each division potentially achieving a bye slot. This meant I had somewhat free time for myself, or potential time to prepare for people I know I'd have to face eventually in Round 2, and maybe Finals. Originally I did prepare for both Icolate and ItalianG62 for my Round 2 matchup, though seeing how their seasonal battle went (not playoffs round 1), there was a good chance Icolate might be the victor. To my suspicions, Iceolate did in fact beat Kyle and played the battle safe most of the time.  Regarding how I was going to prepare for Jonah well... not going to explain what team analysis of Iceolate's team as this has been covered before on our Week 9 battle, so I'll leave a link here. For this occasion, we'll briefly look over what mistakes we both made, as well as possibly determine the team matchup based on the following replay from Week 9.

So... basically I knew from this battle there was no way in hell Iceolate doesn't bring hazard removal in either Zapdos or Archeops, but fully expected the Electric/Flying-type Pokemon to come. Well Zapdos kinda was a reasonable Pokemon to bring for this matchup for Defog, Volt Switch potential, defensive pressure (pun not intended), an offensive set with (STAB T-bolt, HP Flying, Extrasensory, Heat Wave), or something weird set. Mega Lopunny is the fastest thing on Iceolate's team and can revenge kill any weaken Pokemon, though I felt it was moderately checked with my "semi-finals" team. If there was a number one threat on Jonah's team, it was the Azumarill as it can hit everything on the team for heavy damage, and can get kills STAB Play Roughs, Waterfall, and Aqua Jets. What made this matchup even more 'concerning' was my team didn't have a direct switch-in for Azu, so had to ensure everyone can do "something" against the aquatic rabbit. For any defensive walls, Rhyperior was probably the only one to bring back since without a high base HP  / Defensive Rock-type, then Char X can potentially setup somewhere and sweep the team. Goodra can eat up most of my team's special attacks with its high Sp Def, though it likely gets worn down from all the damage it takes. Finally, if there's a mon I felt Jonah would bring 100% (just based on planning), Reuniclus was the most likely newcomer aside Zapdos given he'd just swept with a CM variant on the last week of the regular season to make playoffs. 

During our Week 9 battle, the lack of any hazard control heavily swayed the matchup in my favor as Iceolate's team was kinda put on a timer with those Toxic Spikes and regular Spikes. If there was going to be some 'major' changes on his end, adding Zapdos and Reuniclus was the best thing to do in order to improve his chances against me. Zapdos can sorta threaten nearly most of my wall core bar Sylveon and Defogs any hazards, which I'm still going to bring. Mega Lopunny and Rhyperior were likely going to be standard sets and Reuniclus I felt was going to have Calm Mind to be able to 1v1 most of my Pokemon, and can still be me if a "last mon" situation occurs. For this battle, I asked a good ol' friend Rogue and later his sister Naitre for consultation of some Pokemon, and moves (and yes they are IRL siblings). Both Rogue and Naitre have helped me in the past for things, but rarely did I consult with them for League battles, except for Rogue who helped initally during Season 2 of PFA and the beginning of PFA/CIL when I needed it.  Don't worry as most of the team,  notably the EVs were fixed by myself, thowgh will like to thank those two for helping out. Oh yeah if either of you are reading this, yeah....I kinda overslept through our "scheduled" meeting, so my bad.

Well I'll admit this is the same team I brought, but really all three of us agreed it was the best well rounded team, and felt Iceolate would prepare for some other stuff like Weavile or Gliscor. Really like some of the changes made from the original as you'll see.


Forge (Charizard-Mega-X) @ Charizardite X  
Ability: Tough Claws  
EVs: 136 HP / 144 Atk / 28 Def / 4 SpD / 196 Spe  
Adamant Nature  
- Flare Blitz  
- Will-O-Wisp  
- Roost  
- Dragon Dance  

-Outspeed max speed Timid Goodra (and Scarf if +1)
-Flare Blitz can 2HKO most of Iceolate's team bar Azu, Rhyperior, or Cofag
----->>>2HKO Fully Physically Defensive Reuniclus
-Dumped HP and Def EVs

Well Forge has to make an appearance in this battle given the potential to setup with one Dragon Dance and sweep once either Azumarill, Rhyperior, or Cofag were gone, or severely weaken. After one Dragon Dance, Char X should be able to outspeed Jolly Mega Lopunny and the potential Choice Scarf Goodra. Though this set could have been a standard defensive Char X, the threat of Reuniclus was a looming threat we couldn't ignore. Adamant nature with some Atk investment possible to ensure the 2HKO was opted and everything else was allocated to HP, Def, and SpDef. Roost allows Char X to replenish lost HP, especially if Rocks are up on the field, or if it needs to setup on a certain Pokemon. The last move was a toss-up between Thunder Punch, Dragon Claw, HP Grass, and Sword Dance, but Rogue told me just to run Wisp to burn either the Azumarill and Rhyperior switch and it was already fine. Though Wisp did conflict with Toxic Spike (will get to later), it was just to give myself assurance against Azu mostly.

Bryant (Nidoking) @ Life Orb  
Ability: Sheer Force  
EVs: 144 Atk / 208 SpA / 156 Spe  
Rash Nature  
- Earth Power  
- Ice Beam  
- Poison Jab  
- Toxic Spikes  

-2HKOs most relevant Pokemon with the combination of EP, Ice Beam, and Poison Jab.
-Poison Jab OHKOes Azumarill to avoid situation if it were Assault Vest.
-Goodra gets 2HKO by Poison Jab as well.
-Ice Beam can 2HKO Specially Defensive Zapdos without rolls.
-Toxic Spikes are filler...well free 1/8th damage I guess. 
-Outspeeds Zapdos without much speed investment.

Perhaps the one Pokemon we drastically changed from the original "Passho Berry" set to net a surprise kill on Azu, which did help previously. Reason for opting out from the 1st set was the strong likelihood Azumarill might now sport the Assault Vest, or the Poison-reducing Berry (forgot what's it called). Instead this Nidoking acts as a wallbreak to 2HKO most things on Jonah's team and pick them off. The additional attack investment was to 2HKO a non defensive Reuniclus, if there was any reason for Jonah to not bring full defensive. All season Nidoking has been sorta a hit and run Pokemon, but with the positive SpAtk nature and Sheer Force Life Orb I intend on Bryant netting some crucial KOs. Lastly Toxic Spikes was opted again as Icolate has no Poison-type to remove them aside his two Defog users. Jonah's team lacked clerics aside Lopunny and Zapdos, which both don't want to run Heal Bell on a crucial slot, so chances are likely something will get poisoned, and get consistent residual damage. 

Nui Harime (Sylveon) (F) @ Leftovers  
Ability: Pixilate  
EVs: 248 HP / 148 Def / 4 SpA / 96 SpD / 12 Spe  
Calm Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
- Hyper Voice  
- Wish  
- Fake Tears  
- Heal Bell  

-Opted for Calm Nature to increase Sylveon's "highest" stat in Sp Def
-Avoids being 2HKOed by Specs Modest Zapdos (highly unlikely)
-Takes 1 Adamant Return from Mega Lopunny when close to 100%
-Better yet...generic special tank with cleric support

Prior to this battle, Sylveon was the "last" Pokemon added to the team due to its ability to provide basic cleric support and to wall most of Jonah's special attackers. An uninvested Hyper Voice still inflicts heavy damage to most of Jonah's team anyways, and OHKOs the Mega Lopunny so there wasn't a need to invest, or change for a special attacker set. The biggest difference here is the change from Calm Mind to Fake Tears. Now before anyone questions this, I'll explain a little problem called Reuniclus. Basically if Iceolate, or Jonah bring a CM Reuniclus, I have to immediately pressure it out somehow, but chances are he'd save it for the last mon situation, and be able to tank most of my special attacker's main damage output. Now here's where Fake Tears comes to play. Essentially,  the reason for Fake Tears is to drop the Special Defense by -2, instead of -1, pretty much cutting it in half or a third of the original Sp Def. 

If Sylveon is up against CM Reuniclus, it can use Fake Tears to counter balance the Special Defense boost from Calm Mind, and pretty much 2HKO the Psychic-type. Fake Tears can be used to "force" switches, or allow Sylveon to beat Cofag, Zapdos, and other Pokemon as a -2 Sp Def drop will likely result in a 2HKO, or OHKO with Pixilate Hyper Voice. If Azumarill is in fact, Belly Drum, I can use Fake Tears on the turn it uses BD so Latias (will discuss later on) can 100% OHKO it with T-Bolt.

Reed (Chesnaught) @ Leftovers  
Ability: Bulletproof  
EVs: 200 HP / 164 Def / 144 Spe  
Impish Nature  
- Wood Hammer  
- Super Fang  
- Spikes  
- Synthesis  

-Adamant M-Lopunny's High Jump Kick is a 3HKO.
-Tanks one Play Rough from non Choice Band Azu.
-Outspeeds Adamant Azu by 1 point. 
-OHKOs 252 HP / 4 Def Azu with prior damage (20% Min)

This is the same Chesnaught set brought to the original game against Iceolate, and yes it did have the speed investment to outspeed absolute max speed Adamant Azu and retaliate with Wood Hammer. Super Fang is a great option to have to severely weaken most of his Mons via cutting their total HP by half, or 50%. This might sound weird at first given the potential for Zapdos and Reuniclus to make an appearance, but I figured this will "force" them to replenish their HP. Chances were I'd switch into Char X on either of these two as they either recover off the damage, or attack my Mega. Spikes were opted yet again as most of Iceolate's team was grounded, so residual damage from each damaging turn is always nice. Lastly Synthesis was used to recuperate Chesnaught's HP immediately unlike Leech Seed as it was my response to Mega Lopunny, Azumarill, and Rhyperior. 

Rogue (Suicune) @ Leftovers  

Ability: Pressure  
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA / 4 SpD  
Bold Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
- Scald  
- Calm Mind  
- Roar  
- Rest  

-Its Rogue ...what more can be said
-ok that was suppose to be 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA, but it didn't matter much
-Just that Suicune needed to be Max Physical Defense. 

This is the same Suicune set I've brought in most recent battles its seen combat. Well Standard CM Roar Suicune is basically here to do its job, counteract CM boosts from others with Roar, while boost up itself with CMs of its own. Only problem is Heliolisk walls Suicune, but I expected Zapdos over the lizard to be Jonah's STAB Electric-type. Not much to say, except Rest + Heal Bell from Sylveon helps Suicune get back into the battlefield.

Anne (Latias) @ Choice Scarf  
Ability: Levitate  
EVs: 16 HP / 120 Def / 252 SpA / 120 Spe  
Modest Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
- Psyshock  
- Thunderbolt  
- Healing Wish  
- Trick  

-Enough Speed to outpace Jolly Mega Lopunny and Scarf Goodra
-Psyshock to hit Goodra harder
-Thunder Bolt over Energy Ball if...if Jonah had Sap Sipper Azu with Belly Drum
-More Defense EVs to take a +6 Aqua Jet after Rocks...if it crits

This Latias set was mainly there as an "offensive support" to either revenge kill weaken targets, or support the team with one of its two status options. Healing Wish is there in case one of my Win Cons gets severely damage and need Latias to "sacrifice" itself to recuperate her ally, while maintaining some offensive momentum. Trick is opted in case to cripple one of Jonah's walls, or deal with CM Reuniclus via locking the Pokemon into one move. The only thing worth mentioning is the additional Defense EVs to tank a +6 Aqua Jet better from Azu. Speaking of Azu, if it ever gets in on Sylveon and attempts to Belly Drum, the first I'll do is click Fake Tears to ensure the OHKO with Thunder Bolt from Latias. Not much else to say, but Latias can be an invaluable asset to the team, if I use it properly.

Team Preview and Pre Game Mindset

My Team: Char X, Nidoking, Sylveon, Suicune, Chesnaught, Latias
Iceolate's Team: Mega Lopunny, Azumarill, Zapdos, Heliolisk, Rhyperior, Archeops

Team Preview: So no Reuniclus, Goodra, or even Cofagrigus for this matchup, however some interesting choices did came about. Seems like both Heliolisk and Archeops are here to outspeed most members of my team, and get some potential Volt-Turn going. Seeing just Heliolisk made me almost regret bringing the mono-attacking Scald Suicune, but it is what it is. If anything, Iceolate brought both Defoggers in Zapdos and Archeops, so the suspicion of such changes were confirmed. In terms of potential leads, kinda wanted to threaten out either the Azumarill, M-Lopunny, or Rhyperior, I went with Chesnaught. 

The Battle: Crocodile Tears

So I lead off with Chesnaught, as Iceolate has Archeops has a lead, so already I'm in a unfortunate position. Kinda forced to go to Suicune, so as Chesnaught switches, the Archeops reveals Toxic to badly poison one of my walls. Turn 3 I decide to go on a "double switch" into Sylveon predicting either Zapdos/Heliolisk to come and get some decent board position. Problem is as I switch to Sylveon, Jonah sends in Azumarill, so now I'm in another corner. Didn't anticipate the Fairy-type match this early on and really don't have any switches. Make a questionable play an go for Hyper Voice instead of Fake Tears to gauge the damage, maybe hope I don't get over 50% damage if it is Sitrus Berry BD. Instead, the Azumarill switches for Zapdos, and doesn't take the uninvested Hyper Voice as well. Don't see any Leftovers, so maybe this is an offensive variant Zapdos, or a Yache Berry. Here I decide to reveal Fake Tears from Sylveon onto Zapdos, as it goes for an Agility, possibly confirming its a Baton Pass set. 

Now we put Jonah in a interesting position as something has to take a Hyper Voice, otherwise Zapdos dies and we can start setting up hazards. Archeops is sent out, takes the Pixilate Hyper Voice thanks to its Focus Sash, and now is at I'm thinking this is might be an Endeavor lead. Again, since I don't have a response to Endeavor, Sylveon has to take the hit and be effectively sacked. Thankfully Jonah goes for Rocks and we pick off the Rock-/Flying-type with another Hyper Voice. Mega Lopunny is sent out, and I'm wonder, "What is he planning?" Don't know if this was a misplay or he got timed out, but basically all what comes about this is Sylveon netting another Hyper Voice kill against the Lopunny as it goes for Toxic instead. 

With two offensive threats out of the way, especially the Mega Lopunny, I knew this battle is favorable until we manage to OHKO Zapdos and Azu. Speaking of Azumarill, the blue rabbit is sent out and figure well Sylveon has done its job, so lets go for the Fake Tears. As Play Rough does heavy damage to Sylveon, it manages to drop the special defense by -2 and I figure out this Azumarill has speed investment, though how much don't know. With Sylveon gone, we take this opportunity to send in Nidoking, and possibly net our kill as Azumarill can't take a Poison Jab without the Poison-reducing Berry. Here Iceolate makes the sack for Heliolisk as Nidoking Poison Jabs... and the lizard lives at 12%!

Immediately I checked if we do have the Life Orb, or Sheer Force on Nidoking in case it was a mistake on part, and we do. So why is this Heliolisk alive? Only explanation was Heliolisk has 252 HP  or 252 Def, which can explain this situation. Regardless, I'm kinda forced to sack a Charizard X as it doesn't do much for the battle, and possibly were down Heliolisk with Life Orb recoil, assuming it has it. As we make the Charizard sack, Heliolisk reveals the Life Orb, so I decide to Synthesis recover the STAB Hyper Voice damage from Heliolisk to knock itself out. Even though this works out, thinking about it now should have sent in Latias to revenge kill, as a crit Hyper Voice with rocks damage  OHKOs Chesnaught, which was something I didn't think of.

Azumarill is sent out on Jonah's side, so I decide not to risk this and get the Wood Hammer damage off for someone else to pick off the Water/Fairy-type. Chesnaught outspeeds the Azumarill, and actually one shots it with the STAB Wood Hammer, thus making this battle achievable late game now. Turns out Wood Hammer was a roll whether it kills or not, so we don't know how much was it in our favor. Regardless, Zapdos is sent out and I decide to sack the Chesnaught to the incoming HP Flying / Ice / Heat Wave, yet it goes for Agility. Did go for Synthesis in case Zapdos doesn't kill me off, but this allows Chesnaught to stay  in the game and spam Super Fangs. As Zapdos Baton Passes out, we manage to Super Fang the incoming Rhyperior, inflicting 50% HP. Unless I'm forgetting something here, Wood Hammer should OHKO Rhyperior at this range, as it does.

Now its basically Zapdos versus the world, but it can still pull this back. The goal for this end game was to scout for the remaining moveslots on Zapdos, lock it with Choice Scarf with Latias, and end the game with the appropriate Pokemon. Lock in an Electric move means Nidoking wins. Locked into Heat Wave/HP Ice Suicune wins via a Scalds. Turns out Zapdos didn't have any attacking moves as it reveals Defog and Roost, meaning I definitely have to Choice Lock it with Trick. As Latias Tricks the Zapdos, I knew this series was effectively over. To end on a funny note, I decide to go for the Healing Wish, because ....why now. Actually this was just to ensure I don't "misclick", and give Jonah back his Zapdos's item which was Yache Berry, while remaining locked into a non-damaging move. Nidoking faints the Zapdos with Ice Beam and well we advance into the Finals for the CIL League. 


Before the semi finals started, Iceolate did mention he wasn't ready on the time I did respond to one of his messages on the CIL Chat on Twitter. He didn't feel to confident in the battle, but later on changed his mind to battle on that same day to get it over with. On that note, I do apologize for rushing my opponent into battle, though Jonah did made some interesting calls with both movesets and even EVs spreads. Don't want to question the plays in the battle too much, though if I had to nitpick one, it has to be when Jonah sent in Mega Lopunny to Toxic Sylveon, instead of going straight into Azumarill. I too am liable with some misplays and poor calls by leading Chesnaught, the miss prediction early game, and the now-weird play to leave in Chesnaught to Heliolisk if it indeed crit. 

Yes I know I'm nitpicking, but we'll leave it at that. What's important is we manage to get a win against Iceolate and now advance to the Finals for the first time in a different league. Jonah did present everyone a good game in the series, so not going to complain about it, especially if he makes YT videos for both these leagues matches.  Well now that we are in the final battle, we are up against ...

CBRANGAME of the Bentonville Blastoise with a 9-1 record. Well this was the Finals matchup that most people in the CIL League predicted, though not the exact details. Chase did have a rather difficult start in the Semifinals as well, but managed to beat Darby (using the Poison Sting team), and advance to face me. The only thing I'll "spoil" in this page is that the time I take to prepare to the CIL Finals is alot shorter an happens during the same week. Note playoffs lasted for one week which is kinda surprising considering the pace of the battles. 

Going to try my best to get the finals up ASAP during this week. For that article, I'm going to discuss in great detail about I prepared for the Finals, the way I prepared, and of course, my thought process going into the battle with play by plays. Well basically what I've been doing since almost last year since starting the thing. Look forward for that!

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