Tuesday, April 19, 2016

PFA UPDATE (PFA S2 Finals, Finals Team Analysis, Season Summary, and More! )


Its been almost a few months now since I've posted here, well most of it all due to not having as much time as I've lately making these post. Between the last time post which was about 3 months ago, there's been a couple events, decisions, and notable roadblocks that have became prevalent in my life, mostly depression and work. Before anyone ask, this blog post isn't going to be any life updates since its dedicated to Pokemon or any events that influence me regarding that. Instead of mentioning every single detail from January from up to April 18th (don't know when this will be uploaded), I'm only going post the most relevant information. I promise this isn't going to be a gloomy blogpost, but rather just a series of updates mostly the PFA Season 2. 

Basically I've been maintain all the essential PFA stats, records, and other key information with others for Season 3 and it has taken up a vast amount of time. Definitely appreciate if anyone looks at the records

PFA Season 2 Finals Summary / Team Analysis / Final Thoughts

First off, anyone who's been keeping track of these  the PFA battles summaries I sincerely apologize since I wanted to dive deeper into the rather young VGC format and gave more time to prepare for my future PFA battles. The last couple of battles I did have option to drop two pokemon and made the scumbag decision to drop Mega Manetric for Mega Garchomp (which then turned into Mega Latias) and get Miltank as my last transaction. After facing  ItalianG62, I battled the last remaining players from my schedule such as Mitchmaster24, ElMiguelVGC, and GingerxPug- which surprisingly the last battle determined a couple playoff positioning. By the end of the 2nd Season of PFA, I'd got into playoffs facing off against Unit, Elmiguel, and finally Mudkiplegend. 

My Team: Manaphy, Jirachi, M-Latias, Crobat, Roserade, Arcanine, Druddigon, Uxie, Scrafty, Electivire, Regirock, Miltank
Mudkiplegend's (Alec's)Team (Bold/Italic is what he brought): Landorus-T, Mega Altaria, Starmie, Sharpedo, Blissey, Darmanitan, Jolteon, Durant, Tangrowth, Sandslash, Dusclops, Shiftry

In regards to how the PFA Season 2 Finals was performed, it was a best of 3 set in which both me and Mudkiplegend had to chose retain the same Pokemon similar to a VGC set just to avoid having 1 battle be determine by any RNG. Based on the teams we both had at the time, I knew that Landorus-T, Mega Altaria, and even the Sharpedo would be a massive threats to my team given he has sweeping potential with all three. After thinking about the battle, Landorus-T would likely be his main defensive pivot for Stealth Rocks since few Pokemon on his team learns Stealth Rocks aside from Sandslash, though I'd doubt he'd bring that for the finals, and the Blissey. Mega Altaria was a huge pain teambuilding against since it was the one Pokemon where Mudkip (could) sweep me with if he knew what to do with it. Sharpedo and Darmanitan easily beats my Roserade, Crobat, Uxie, and even Jirachi by overwhelming me with brute force to switch one of Mudkip's team members can sweep. Durant was another nuisance since after a Hone Claws + Ability boost, it can sweep my team as well. Starmie was the last potential 6th member I thought Mudkip would bring to counteract any hazards as well as maintain offensive pressure with its coverage options like Scald, T-bolt, Ice Beam, etc. 

For this battle, my entire game plan was based on weakening Mudkip's entire team turn by turn since he had few to no ways to remove hazards, in particular Toxic Spikes. Aside from the potential Starmie/Sandslash, I made the executive decision to bring Roserade despite the bad matchup bar against Mega Altaria since getting those Toxic Spikes up means his team will be taking 1/8th of their HP damaged every turn. In addition to the potential Stealth Rocks damage, most of Alec's team had Pokemon who would take residual damage from Life Orb / other recoil damage so wearing down his team was the main plan since I knew I cannot beat his offense with the defensive Pokemon I had. Basically 

 In summation, my basic game plan for the finals was to use Toxic Spikes Roserade, Rough Skin / Rocky Helmet Druddigon, Adamant Choice Band Flash Fire Arcanine, Curse Miltank, CM Bolt Beam M-Latias, and finally Tail Glow Sub Manaphy, which that set in particular I never brought in any battle until that point. Recalling how the battle from Mudkip went the first time, I barely lost because of a crit against Druddigon at the worse possible time. Though the hax in that battle was somewhat even, it came down to sacking Pokemon just enough so Sharpedo's HP would be low enough thanks to Life Orb recoil to which I could revenge kill it with my defensive Arcanine's Extreme Speed.

Obviously I've said what the teams does, so here are the sets, ev spreads, and further set explanation.

Dragoon (Druddigon) @ Rocky Helmet  
Ability: Rough Skin  
Level: 50  
EVs: 244 HP / 4 Atk / 236 Def / 4 SpD / 20 Spe  
Impish Nature  
- Stealth Rock  
- Sucker Punch  
- Fire Punch  
- Glare  

This Dragon wasn't used much the this season but damn I was saving this set for the right time. The idea was to use Druddigon not as a wall, rather a sponge to take Rough Skin - Rocky Helmet damage similar to the Tank Chomp sets. Residual damage from Druddigon was important as Sharpedo, Darmanitan, Durant, etc will be worn down enough to switch my other mons can beat them easier. The only thing that Druddigon didn't have was a Dragon STAB since I don't want to give Mega Altaria a free switch and second to Glare stuff. Paralysis on Mudkip's team was necessary as I needed to neuter scarf Lando (if he brought it), DD M-Altaria, Durant, Darmanitan, etc. 

Flowey (Roserade) @ Black Sludge  
Ability: Natural Cure  
Level: 50  
EVs: 252 HP / 228 Def / 4 SpD / 24 Spe  
Bold Nature  
- Sludge Bomb  
- Giga Drain  
- Hidden Power [Fire]  
- Toxic Spikes  

This was my main hazard setter since T-spikes heavily damage Mudkip's team more than Stealth Rocks. Roserade was physically defensive since it was my only response to the Mega Altaria aside from other checks. While I did have Jirachi and Crobat to counter M-Altaria, Roserade did the most damage since T-spikes will force Mudkip into his main heavy hitters and get vital chip damage for my win cons. Giga Drain and Sludge Bomb were standard while HP Fire was for the Durant to ensure it doesn't setup for free. 

Maki (Latias-Mega) @ Latiasite  
Ability: Levitate  
Level: 50  
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe  
Timid Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
- Ice Beam  
- Thunderbolt  
- Calm Mind  
- Roost  

I honestly didn't Mega Latias this battle but I soon realized the team needed both a wall, fast mon, and a tank. Basically that's what this Dragon is... a CM Bolt Beam variant to be specific. Didn't want HP Fire since I speed tied with the Durant and can OHKO Mega Lati. Calm Mind Roost would enable Mega Latias to become an offensive tank to hit most of the team for neutral damage. 

Toriel (Miltank) @ Leftovers  
Ability: Thick Fat  
Level: 50  
EVs: 252 HP / 100 Def / 156 SpD  
Careful Nature  
- Body Slam  
- Fire Punch  
- Curse  
- Milk Drink  

Wait for this Finals to bring Miltank since it makes a fantastic wall / setup mon against Mudkip's team. Thick Fat is able to cut the damage from Fire and Ice type attacks in half. Body Slam is a great normal-type STAB to hit most of the enemy team and get some paralysis. Curse setup with Milk Drink makes Miltank a semi decent tank though Specs special attacks like from Jolteon. 

BLoo (Manaphy) @ Leftovers  
Ability: Hydration  
Level: 50  
EVs: 252 HP / 76 Def / 68 SpA / 4 SpD / 108 Spe  
Bold Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
- Scald  
- Ice Beam  
- Tail Glow  
- Substitute  

Manaphy was the primary win con #1 of the team since I wanted everything to be weak enough to which my main Water-type can sweep/clean up. All season I never brought Tail Glow or even considered it since I felt I rather make Mudkip think I'd run an defensive Manaphy, then reveal Tail Glow when he least expects it. Substitute is there to block any status or make a prediction that he switch out to get a free turn. If Manaphy got off a sub for free, its means a free kill or two. 

Slam (Arcanine) @ Choice Band  
Ability: Flash Fire  
Level: 50  
EVs: 252 Atk / 12 Def / 244 Spe  
Adamant Nature  
- Flare Blitz  
- Extreme Speed  
- Iron Head  
- Close Combat  

This was the real win con of the team.... Choice Band E-Speed Arcanine with Flash Fire. The Arcanine set was mainly here to clean up weaken targets, OHKO the Tangrowth, or anything that can't take a CB Flare Blitz. Funny enough...Flare Fire CB STAB Flare Blitz 2HKOs something on his team meaning Mudkip will have to sack something. Iron Head does a crap ton to the Mega Altaria, yet I know it won't be enough to win. 




FINAL Thoughts

To be fair, Roserade did its job to setup the Toxic Spikes immediately and basically the battle was mine to win once Mudkip's main offense was weaken. Mega Altaria did have the chance to sweep the team...twice even, but a Sludge Bomb poison and a Body Slam paralysis ensured it wouldn't impact the games too much. Game 1 was more closer considering I did try to stall out the Mega Altaria's HP which ultimately costed Roserade and half of Miltanks HP. After that double down, Druddigon setup rocks and came in every time a physical attack was coming my way. With the amount of residual damage from Toxic Spikes, Stealth Rocks, Life Orb, Rough Skin / Rocky Helmet, and self-damaging recoil ensured most of his mons were weaken to the point CB Arcanine's E-speed kills most things. In the end, Mega Latias and Arcanine cleaned up Game 1.

Game 2 was a little bit interesting though I chose to lead with Roserade ASAP to get Toxic Spikes up again. A couple turns in, Druddigon glares the Mega Altaria as it tries to Dragon Dance once severally crippling its sweeping abilities. At that point I send in Miltank and setup Curses. This exchange lasted 35% of the battle as Miltank not only wore down Mega Altaria, but paralyzed the Landorus-T and OHKOed Jolteon thanks to hazard damage. Mudkip made a great play to use Hydro Pump Sharpedo to hit Miltank on the her weaker special defense stat. 

Then Manaphy was sent out as death fodder initially to kill Sharpedo, but not only it kills the shark, but proceeds to sweep the team. The Substitute play was probably what won me the game as I knew Manaphy can get up a Tail Glow and finish off the rest of these mons with its boosted attacks. Again I kept this shorter than usual since I'd rather have the people watch the battle than say everything.

Last Thoughts and Current Season 3 Status

All last season I was able to out maneuver my opponents with semi standard sets and planning given a good portion of league format is based on prep. Winning the Season 2 title was sorta an accomplishment since on the one hand every one commit  their time for the league and still enjoyed it while the other I know the level of competition wasn't on par as say the GBA. It meant much more to me that people actually stayed all season long despite the records or getting eliminated in playoffs to even do this every week. I guess one can say this is a small hobby of mine... and it is. This has been one of the better formats to play Pokemon battles given every knew each others teams and had to prepare for every possible outcome while maintaining a good team of 6 mons.

Now ... to the reason why I haven't posted. Yes I know its a break to the Nidokings 1st major title, there are some important information to discuss. As of right now, I'm co-manager of the PFA pretty much 2nd in command with Mudkip being first. Most of February we started to build on what made the PFA successful season 2 and find new people to interact with. Now we are heavily into Season 3 with the Nidokings doing fairly ( 8- 1 record) and maintaining the league. 

What I mean by maintaining, I usually work out the weekly stats, records, MVP race, and ensuring everyone is able to battle in their own times. The records are also maintain by Mudkip, Epic, Italian, and Ginger all of whom are veterans of Season 2 who decided to stay. If anyone wants to see the records, the link is here

Think that about wraps up this week's blog, I'm going to try and make weekly post every now and then. Will be work on 1/2 more this week regarding my thoughts about the direction of Pokemon ...at least for me is.