Monday, 18 September 2017

PFA Draft Analysis: Toronto Maple Leafeons

Why hello there, good sir/madam. I joined the PFA (Pokemon Forever Association). It is a league where you draft a certain amount of Pokemon from various tiers of viability and only 1 person per Pokemon (i.e. no two trainers with Tapu Fini). They are a lot of fun to be a part of. I strongly recommend trying it out for yourself. 

I'm really excited about my draft and most us competing in the draft haven't started our week 1 matches yet. So I felt like I would take some time to go over what I drafted. Maybe for your curiosity's sake. Maybe because I have nothing better to do. Maybe to explain how you might want to go about it, so you don't get creamed by other players. Or all of the above really. Anyway, without further ado, let's dive into my mind. ooOooooOoo


Round 1

Ok. So I was set 11th to draft and 5th on the way back through the order of people. Helps the people at the bottom of the drafting order. I was watching all these threats go before my eyes. Keldeo, Mega Scizor, Landorus-T. I had to be prepared to build around anything because nothing was guaranteed. When it came to my turn, I looked through my options and found a very powerful S tier choice in Mega Pinsir.

[Image: pinsir-mega.gif]

I remembered from someone (I think it was aDrive's) top 5 list of megas, that Mega Pinsir was 2nd after Mega Lopunny (which isn't usable in this league because it's megastone was not released.). Mega Pinsir can easily sweep through teams with it's insane Attack and pretty high speed when given a Swords Dance boost. It has the Aerialate ability, which turns it's Normal type attacks into a Flying type move with STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus). Of course, It's ability has been nerfed in gen 7 to make abilities like Aerialate only give a 1.2x boost rather than the typical STAB boost of 1.5x. It doesn't seem to put too much of a damper on it, especially if you know your calcs. With access to attacks like Return/Frustration, Earthquake, Close Combat, Quick Attack, Knock Off, Rock Slide/Stone Edge, etc., you can't find much that you can't hit.

Round 2

Despite not having much to fear in getting sniped, the pick of Garchomp was taken before I could take my next pick. I wanted a good Defogger/Rapid Spinner that wasn't weak to Rock types and a solid Ground type to cover my Mega Pinsir pick. I decided to go with the Defogger first because I was scared that if I waited too long, it would be gone. So I picked up my first C tier pick, Empoleon. 

[Image: empoleon.gif]

As I said before, this thing is a wonderful Defogger not threatened much by Rock types because of it's typing. It doesn't take too much damage from Stealth Rocks, so coming in to get rid of them for the team (mainly Mega Pinsir since they take 50% of it's health off upon switch-in) is no problem for it. It has access to the ability Torrent for boosted Water type attacks when it reaches 1/3 of it's health, and Defiant which can work great against Intimidate spam. It has the ability itself to setup Stealth Rocks which is great for a sweeper like Mega Pinsir. Gotta love that synergy Smile And Mega Pinsir can take out the Fighting types that threaten Empoleon. You could also run an Agility set like I saw on Smogon and have it be offensive. In draft, it's always nice to have options for your movesets. Otherwise, you become too predictable and your opponent has an easier time building against you. But yea, I was very happy about that pick. 

Round 3

As you can see from my previous two Pokemon, my team is just a little Electric weak....Okay, very Electric weak. So I knew it was time for that Ground type I was considering earlier. However, a lot of the good options had already gone. So this was definitely the most stressful moment in the draft. But I managed to get what a very good B tier pick in Zygarde. The regular/50% forme. 

[Image: zygarde.gif]

In case you haven't heard the news, Zygarde is actually quite viable now. Last time I drafted it, I think it was bottom tier or just about. The introduction of Thousand Arrows has put a spotlight on Zygarde. This move allows you to hit Flying types with a near Earthquake power attack. It is it's time to shine. With this and various other moves obtained through Alola in the form of Zygarde Cores, like Dragon Dance and Extremespeed. Zygarde has great ability to setup Dragon Dance and sweep with it's high HP stat. 95 is a rather nice speed stat as well for it to abuse by becoming faster after Dragon Dance than some Pokemon who threaten it, like Tapu Koko. You could also run the Coil set for bulk and power. These options were what got Zygarde 100% banned to the Ubers tier. So you know they gotta be good. It could potentially run Choice Band as nothing wants to come in on Thousand Arrows, not even Flying types. Zygarde works well as a switch in for Electric type attacks, another Rock resist and a Fire type resist for Mega Pinsir. Note: Flying and Ground type coverage is amazing. There isn't much that can take on those two types together defensively.

Round 4

For this pick, I decided I would go with a Fire type to round out my Water/Fire/Grass core and to take on Ice type Pokemon. This Pokemon I picked in pretty much every other draft I've done, so I wanted to go for Entei. But that was sniped from me by the New York Aqua Jets. So I decided to go with it. Here's my second C tier pick, Arcanine. 

[Image: arcanine.gif]

While I was looking forward to trying out Entei, Arcanine is still an incredible Pokemon. Which is why I've always leaned towards picking it up. Sorry, friends :p This will not be the day that someone takes it from me. It's movepool is glorious with such moves as Extremespeed, Flare Blitz, Crunch, Iron Head, Fire Blast, Overheat, Outrage, Bulldoze, Morning Sun, Will-o-Wisp, Wild Charge, Solar Beam. The list goes on and on. It can be run physically offensive or specially offensive, as well as defensively with Morning Sun. It can make for a nice tank actually. Just gotta keep hazards off the field. It's abilities are all solid choices. Intimidate is probably most peoples' favourite as it allows you to decrease the opponent's Attack by one stage upon switch in.

Round 5

Since I fixed a lot of the issues I had with the team, I decided to pick something really solid. I teased the other coaches about how I had two choices lined up for my next pick. It never came down to me having to choose plan B though. And I scored my only A tier pick, Clefable. 

[Image: clefable.gif]

Florges was the backup by the way. It was taken sortly after I picked up Clefable. Don't let it's cute appearance fool you. This thing is a threat. It provides my team with a cleric, Wish support, and a Calm Mind user. It's abilities are amazing. Unaware makes it so that you are unaffected by the opponent's boosts, offensively and defensively. You can just set up Calm Mind in their face and hit them through their boosts, leaving them unable to stall you out. Wish support works well with my team. Due to Empoleon's lack of a recovery move, Mega Pinsir and Arcanine taking big chip damage from entry hazards, and two of my Pokemon like to be rather healthy when they set up boosts. It is very much appreciated on the team. 

Round 6

I wanted a Rapid Spinner so that I didn't have to leave the burden of hazard removal solely on Empoleon. Luckily, Gen 7 introduced a whole bunch of good Pokemon for doing this, including the Tapus. While I was at it, I rounded out my Fire Water Grass core. For my second B tier pick, I chose Dhelmise. 

[Image: dhelmise.gif]

I don't know if I agree with it's tiering, but Dhelmise will certainly be useful on my team. Any kind of hazard removal is greatly appreciated for my Mega Pinsir. It has the great ability of being a Rapid Spinner that can deal with spinblockers since they are Ghost types. This adds a layer of difficulty for a team pressured by my hazards. It also works as a spinblocker itself since it's part Ghost. This anchor and steering wheel....thingy has the ability Steelworker. This means it essentially has another STAB in Steel. And oh boy, does it get some beneficial Steel type attacks. Gyro Ball works great on Dhelmise because it is so slow. Heavy Slam works because it is an anchor. Of course it's heavy. But it also gets a new move in Anchor Shot. This move traps a Pokemon it is hit by. Allowing me to finish that Pokemon off, switch out without worrying about them predicting it and getting momentum, and potentially bringing in one of my sweepers to setup on that Pokemon before it switches out. The last option would work best if the opponent didn't have much to beat the sweeper I send in. Dhelmise should be an interesting choice. I'm looking forward to seeing what it can do.

Round 7

I decided I would take my last C tier pick before moving on to D and E tier. I heard from people that a fast Electric type is a great asset in league format. So I went with Heliolisk. 

[Image: heliolisk.gif]

Heliolisk is a very fast special attacker that is rather hard to find a switch in for. When you factor in Electric and Normal STAB, along with Hidden Power Ice. It helps me reach a speed tier I might otherwise have trouble with since the rest of my team isn't quite that fast. I could stick a Choice Scarf or Specs on it and have it do some good damage to Pokemon that might otherwise threaten me like the Tornadus formes. It's an immunity to Ghost. It has some other special attacks that could come in handy like Dragon Pulse, Dark Pulse, Surf, Signal Beam, Focus Blast. It can also be both a Volt Switcher or U-turner. Which can help me keep momentum in a battle. Access to Glare, to paralyze even Ground types. It's abilities are all weather-related. So I could abuse that. Dry Skin gives me an immunity to Water and recovery from it as well. Gotta be wary of Fire type attacks though. Their power will be boosted. Solar Power allows me to gain a 50% boost to my attacks in the sun at the cost of 1/8 of Heliolisk's health. And Sand Veil boosts my evasiveness in sand. I'm not actually sure how many of these guys are using weather on their teams though lol. Still like this pick.

Round 8

I was hoping to get some bang for my buck with these last picks, even though the options were slimming down and these weren't exactly the cream of the crop. I decided to scoop up another Rapid Spinner and a Fighting type. My first D tier pick was Hitmontop. 

[Image: hitmontop.gif]

Probably my biggest regrets about this pick are that it's another spinner weak to Flying types and Fighting types work really well offensively in league format. Hitmontop is more defensive. However, it does have some nice offensive options. 95 base attack is alright. It gets access to Close Combat, Bullet Punch, Mach Punch, Earthquake, Bulk Up, Gyro Ball, Rock Slide, Sucker Punch, and some other interesting moves. It gets Intimidate just like Arcanine. That helps it take advantage of it's bulk. It also gets Technician which could be useful. Technician boosts moves under base 60 by 50%. You could have a 60 base power Bullet Punch or Mach Punch which could be helpful in damaging or KO'ing a threat. I could run Assault Vest on it so it can be bulkier on it's already amazing specially defensive side. Run Rapid Spin and 3 Attacks. You could also do that for Dhelmise too actually. One reason I wanted Hitmontop, or a Fighting type, was to deal with the potential of Chansey/Blissey. As well as some Normal type Pokemon that are incredibly strong like Snorlax or Porygon-Z. 

Round 9

We're starting to near the end. Each team was able to draft 11 Pokemon. At this point, I just needed one more D tier and 2 E tier. I noticed a lack of a Psychic type in my corner. I remembered how nice it was to have a Psychic type on my team back when I took over yugiohtrav's team. So I looked for the best I could find. Unfortunately, a lot of good options were either gone or higher up in the tiers. I decided on my first E tier pick, Malamar. 

[Image: malamar.gif]

I also remembered that I was lacking a Dark type, so Malamar ended up fitting both types. A Dark type is certainly nice to have too, with their immunity to Prankster thanks to the gen 7 nerf. Malamar is a really interesting Pokemon. It's signature ability is Contrary. It changes stat drops into stat increases, and vice versa. This pairs well with the move Superpower, which it gets. Allowing you to bulk up on your physical side and cause your opponent a lot of trouble if they don't have the tools to stop you. Like a strong special attacker or a Bug type move, as Malamar is 4x weak to Bug. It's typing and movepool work out quite well. There isn't too much that withstands Fighting, Dark, and Psychic. Malamar gives me a Knock Off user. Always great to be able to get rid of something's item. It has access to Trick Room so that I may be able to take advantage of faster teams or my slower Pokemon. It's signature move, Topsy Turvy, can be used to make a Pokemon with stat boosts really weak by changing those boosts into drops. Such an immediate change in power can get momentum on your side fast. Malamar isn't what I was hoping for for a Psychic type, but I think it could do me some good. 

Round 10

Looking through my options I spotted a Pokemon that I used a fair bit in VGC. I know it to be able to hold it's ground as a pretty bulky Pokemon. My last D tier pick was Jellicent. 

[Image: jellicent.gif]

With Jellicent, I have another Water type. But this time, it isn't weak to Fighting and Ground. I have another spinblocker Ghost type. It has some nice recovery in the form of Recover, and can stall out Pokemon with Scald/Will-o-Wisp and Toxic. Jellicent gives me another Trick Room user and it's just so bulky. No 4x weakness. Aaagh! I love this Pokemon. It even has a little Pringles mustache if you are using the male one. Good typing. It tends to enjoy playing defensively, but has options for offense in Water Spout. You know? That Water type move that hits for 150 base power at max HP. You can status your opponent and then use Hex for massive damage. It's movepool is really quite plentiful. Could be a Z crystal holder in a future match. Who knows? Angel Definitely feel like I got some bang for my buck in my D tier picks. Very happy! :D 

Round 11

I wasn't really sure what to go for here until people started taking Ice types because they noticed their team was lacking one. So I picked up one that I've had my on since it obtained a new ability with the release of Sun and Moon. The final spot on my team went to Vanilluxe. 

[Image: vanilluxe.gif]

I know what you are thinking. "Abrupt, what in the sweet love of Goomy are you doing?". To that I reply, freezing brains. Ice typing is probably one of the best offensive typings out there. I noticed in VGC that it could just plow through things with that 100% accurate Blizzard due to it's new ability. Snow Warning. It summons hail upon switching in. It's so good for it. 110 base attack Blizzards coming at you. There are a lot of good Pokemon that don't care for Ice type attacks at all. And the chip from hail means Focus Sash is useless on anything that doesn't have Magic Guard or isn't an Ice type also. I can slap Flash Cannon on Vanilluxe to help deal with those other Ice types or it's Rock weakness. It gets Weather Ball. So I could take advantage of opposing weather perhaps or change it to hail with Vanilluxe. It also gets my favourite Ice type move, Freeze Dry. It works the same as Ice Beam at slightly less power, but it hits Water types supereffectively. That could certainly be useful as Water types are common and you can find one to fit any role. Freeze Dry also becomes 4x effective on Pokemon like Ludicolo, Kingdra, Swampert. That can give rain teams a problem. If I feel like hail is too detrimental to my team, like a certain analyst suggested >.> I could run Ice Body. It'd be rather pointless without hail, but at least I'm not chipping my team down. Safety Goggles on one of my teammates could work for both immunity to hail damage and sleep. Something I can keep in mind.


Marcusube suggested another U-turn user so that I can have a VoltTurn core. That would benefit my sweepers in being able to get them in on a Pokemon that isn't very good against them, or in after the opponent has attacked because my Pokemon was slower. Going to try out Vanilluxe and see if it does work on the team. Might end up replacing Malamar for another Psychic type or Dark type. Other than that, I really like how the team looks. 


There is my draft analysis. Thank you so much if you read the whole way through Smile I know it was quite long and I may have explained things that didn't necessarily need an explanation because people knew the mechanics and Pokemons' backgrounds. For most draft teams, you will probably want to build around one specific Pokemon. As you will likely want to bring your most powerful Pokemon to every battle. Of course, you also have to know what is a bad matchup for it. Like if it doesn't hit things particularly hard or the opponent has a bunch of counters to it. The best strategy in draft leagues tends to be counterteam your opponent to death. It's really easy when their options are so limited. 

With that, I end my post. If you have any suggestions or questions, let me know in the replies. Have a good day!

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