Wednesday, 20 September 2017

PFA Week 4 Results: Toronto Maple Leafeons

What's up, guys? Coach of the Toronto Maple Leafeons, Tommy, here! Back to give you the rundown on week 4. Interesting note: Before my battle with Ralker, two other undefeated people in the league were beat. That means this was the battle for the top spot in the league. 4-0. The dream! Let us move on to the report.

The Team Line-ups

My Team: M-Pinsir, Clefable, Zygarde-50%, Empoleon, Arcanine, Hitmontop, Vanilluxe, Dhelmise, Heliolisk, Jellicent, Malamar

Ralker (Orlando Magikarp): M-Alakazam, Landorus-T, Rotom-Wash, Darmanitan, Tsareena, Aromatisse, Sneasel, Hydreigon, Registeel, Dragalge, Hitmonlee

The Game Plan

Soft Serve (Vanilluxe) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Snow Warning
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Blizzard
- Freeze-Dry
- Hidden Power [Ground]
- Flash Cannon

The same old Vanilluxe I brought week 1. But how come it's EV spread is so basic? That is because going into this match, I knew Landorus-T would be a big problem. I didn't have a whole lot that wanted to take Earthquake and Knock Off really. I knew that if he was going to try and pull a Scarf Landorus-T out on me, I would at least know that it had to be Jolly Landorus. Because max speed Timid Vanilluxe outspeeds Adamant Landorus-T by one point. That is why I invested so heavily in speed. I also invested heavily in Vanilluxe's special attack to make the most of it's damage output. Blizzard can hit most things hard. Landorus-T, Tsareena, Hydreigon, and Dragalge really won't want to take them. Even Mega Alakazam, Sneasel, and Hitmonlee probably wouldn't take them well on account of how frail they typically are. Flash Cannon was for Aromatisse and Sneasel mainly. Nice supereffective damage in a move I don't feel like enough people would expect from Vanilluxe. Freeze-Dry for the pair of Rotom-Wash and Landorus-T, since I know how much people in OU like to pivot between the two. Then Hidden Power Ground was for the Pokemon that resisted the previously mentioned moves, Darmanitan and Registeel. Pretty nice coverage on Vanilluxe for sure. A little something for everything.

Offensive Calcs:

  • 252 SpA Vanilluxe Freeze-Dry vs. 248 HP / 20 SpD Rotom-Wash: 102-120 (65.3 - 76.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • 252 SpA Vanilluxe Blizzard vs. 188 HP / 0 SpD Dragalge: 140-168 (85.3 - 102.4%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO
  • 252 SpA Vanilluxe Hidden Power Ground vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Darmanitan: 98-116 (54.4 - 64.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252 SpA Vanilluxe Blizzard vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest Landorus-Therian: 204-244 (104 - 124.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Oryx (Zygarde) @ Leftovers
Ability: Aura Break
Level: 50
EVs: 164 HP / 220 Atk / 12 Def / 76 SpA / 36 Spe
Brave Nature
- Thousand Arrows
- Sludge Wave
- Dragon Dance
- Substitute

Once again, another mixed Zygarde set. Zygarde's main purpose was to come in on Registeel or Tsareena, and set up on them while they were forced to switch out. Unless either was running Hidden Power Ice, I don't think they could break Zygarde's Substitute with their standard moves. Leaving Zygarde free to throw off attacks, set up Dragon Dances, and gain back health for more Substitutes through Leftovers. Thousand Arrows could hit anything for some good damage. The main Pokemon I wanted to hit with it were Registeel, Rotom-Wash (being able to hit it supereffectively through it's Levitate ability), Darmanitan, and Dragalge. Sludge Wave was for Tsareena and Aromatisse which could potentially sponge my Thousand Arrows because of their bulk. Or in Tsareena's case, resistance and bulk. Dragon Dance would be used to sweep. One reason I ran Brave was to have my bulk and special attack on Zygarde for the match, but also to work as a Trick Room attacker. However, with the ability to Dragon Dance, it could become a fast sweeper when Trick Room is over. I even invested enough speed to outspeed max speed Rotom-Wash without a Choice Scarf after one Dragon Dance. Pretty handy. After two Dragon Dances, it could outspeed all variants of Hydreigon and possibly OHKO with Thousand Arrows. Very useful since I wasn't carrying a Dragon type STAB this week. And of course, Substitute was used to wall certain Pokemon while being able to set up Dragon Dances or throw off some heavy hits. If you notice my Zygarde's HP stat, you will know that I set it up that way to take Seismic Toss from Registeel and still retain it's Sub since it always has to hit for 50 HP. I really love working with Zygarde. It's such a threatening Pokemon with so much potential. Very different from how it was last season when it didn't have access to the moves it does now.

Offensive Calcs:

  • 220+ Atk Zygarde Thousand Arrows vs. 248 HP / 240+ Def Rotom-Wash: 98-116 (62.8 - 74.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • 76 SpA Zygarde Sludge Wave vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Tsareena: 68-82 (37.9 - 45.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • 76 SpA Zygarde Sludge Wave vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Aromatisse: 74-88 (35.5 - 42.3%) -- 87.3% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery | Some nice chip.
  • +2 220+ Atk Zygarde Thousand Arrows vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Hydreigon: 150-177 (89.2 - 105.3%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO

Defensive Calcs:

  • 252 SpA Hydreigon Dragon Pulse vs. 164 HP / 0 SpD Zygarde: 150-176 (73.5 - 86.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • 252 SpA Rotom-Wash Hidden Power Ice vs. 164 HP / 0 SpD Zygarde: 128-152 (62.7 - 74.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • 0 SpA Aromatisse Moonblast vs. 164 HP / 0 SpD Zygarde: 114-134 (55.8 - 65.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Neptune (Empoleon) @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Torrent
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 100 Def / 28 SpA / 124 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Defog
- Ice Beam
- Earthquake
- Toxic

This mixed-attacking defensive Empoleon was my form of hazard control and my way of walling Aromatisse and certain attacks from Dragalge. I was quite concerned with Dragalge's coverage, but this was a good Pokemon to take hits from it. I was really on the fence about whether I should make room on this or Clefable for Stealth Rocks. Since I was running Trick Room though, I felt like it wasn't quite as necessary. If my opponent wants to pivot around trying to stall out Trick Room, my Pokemon can just throw out some damage for free. I could chip him down majorly with Zygarde. So instead I only have Defog. This gave me room to run Toxic, which would be useful against Pokemon like Rotom-Wash, Aromatisse, and most other Pokemon on the switch in. Registeel and Dragalge can't be poisoned, but don't like taking an Earthquake. Earthquake was also there for weak physically defensive Pokemon like Darmanitan, Sneasel, Hitmonlee, and Mega Alakazam. Ice Beam was my means of hitting Landorus-T, Hydreigon, and Tsareena. Shuca Berry could help Empoleon out against Landorus-T and Hydreigon with Earth Power. And in retaliation, could OHKO and 2HKO them, respectively. I feel like I put a lot of thought into this set. I am quite proud of it.

Offensive Calcs:

  • 28 SpA Empoleon Ice Beam vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Hydreigon: 84-100 (50.2 - 59.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • 0 Atk Empoleon Earthquake vs. 188 HP / 0 Def Dragalge: 74-88 (45.1 - 53.6%) -- 37.1% chance to 2HKO
  • 28 SpA Empoleon Ice Beam vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-Therian: 184-220 (112.1 - 134.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Defensive Calcs:

  • 252+ SpA Dragalge All-Out Pummeling (190 BP) vs. 252 HP / 124+ SpD Empoleon: 156-184 (81.6 - 96.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO | :OOOOOOOO
  • 0 SpA Rotom-Wash Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 124+ SpD Empoleon: 86-104 (45 - 54.4%) -- 45.7% chance to 2HKO
  • 252 SpA Choice Specs Hydreigon Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 124+ SpD Empoleon: 120-142 (62.8 - 74.3%) -- guaranteed
  • 2HKO | Calc'd without the Shuca Berry simply to show the bulk.
  • 252 Atk Sheer Force Darmanitan Flare Blitz vs. 252 HP / 100 Def Empoleon: 268-316 (72 - 84.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
  • 252+ Atk Choice Band Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 100 Def Shuca Berry Empoleon: 151-178 (79 - 93.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock | Thought that might be relevant because I figured Registeel was coming.

Tatl (Clefable) @ Leftovers
Ability: Unaware
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 236 Def / 20 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Wish
- Moonblast
- Protect
- Heal Bell

A cleric Wish passing Clefable would be good support for my team. As it allows them to remain healthy and to stick around a lot longer. It was also my main switch-in to Hydreigon because it walls it's STAB attacks with it's Fairy typing and good bulk. I kind of Wish I'd ran it specially defensive for Flash Cannon Hydreigon. [s]See what I did there[/s]

Okay. Moving on. Wish helps keep my Pokemon around longer. It can be helpful in the loss of a massive amount of HP especially. It can also help keep Clefable around longer, making it a real pest. Moonblast will almost always OHKO Hydreigon since it's 4x effective. And is once again, the only attacking I put onto my Clefable. Protect assists Wish in being able to make sure Clefable doesn't take too much damage or get KO'd while waiting on the effects. It can also allow me to scout what the opponent wants to go for. Heal Bell is to help heal off status ailments. There is a lot of potential for status on Ralker's team. Toxic Spikes from Dragalge. Will-o-Wisp or Thunder Wave from Rotom-Wash. Thunder Wave from Registeel. Anything can learn Toxic, but I would presume bulkier Pokemon would be the ones to carry it like Landorus-T, Aromatisse, or Tsareena. These moves might cause me some issues, especially on my setup sweepers. Even Clefable itself. So I wanted an answer for it.

Offensive Calcs:

  • 0 SpA Clefable Moonblast vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Hydreigon: 228-268 (136.5 - 160.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO | The only offensive calc I really need :p

Defensive Calcs:

  • 0 SpA Rotom-Wash Hydro Pump vs. 252 HP / 20+ SpD Clefable: 63-75 (31.1 - 37.1%) -- guaranteed 4HKO after Leftovers
  • recovery
  • 252 Atk Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 236 Def Clefable: 91-108 (45 - 53.4%) -- 1.2% chance to 2HKO after
  • Leftovers recovery
  • 252 SpA Alakazam-Mega Psychic vs. 252 HP / 20+ SpD Clefable: 93-111 (46 - 54.9%) -- 10.5% chance to 2HKO after
  • Leftovers recovery
  • 252 SpA Hydreigon Flash Cannon vs. 252 HP / 20+ SpD Clefable: 88-104 (43.5 - 51.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after
  • Leftovers recovery
  • 252+ Atk Life Orb Reckless Hitmonlee High Jump Kick vs. 252 HP / 236 Def Clefable: 87-104 (43 - 51.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

Squishy (Jellicent) (F) @ Wacan Berry
Ability: Water Absorb
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Trick Room
- Shadow Ball
- Will-O-Wisp
- Recover

Jellicent was used as my main Trick Room setter, as well as my best way to take on the wallbreaker that is Darmanitan. It is especially concerning since it was (going into our match) in the #3 spot in the MVP race. I even calc'd Darmanitan against Jellicent and the Choice Banded set had a chance to 2HKO a fully defensive Jellicent. Safe to say, I had to try my best to wall it if he brought it. Trick Room was used in synergy with my rather slow team. Shadow Ball was Jellicent's sole attacking move which was mostly for Mega Alakazam and to deal okay damage against Darmanitan, but it could hit everything else for neutral damage as well (except for Hydreigon). Will-o-Wisp was used to cripple physical attacker that were not Darmanitan since it can't be burned. But Landorus-T, Hitmonlee, Tsareena, Sneasel, and Registeel would not appreciate it. Recover was used to preserve my Trick Room setter. Wacan Berry was the held item of choice so I could take very little from Rotom-Wash's Electric type moves when setting up Trick Room in it's face.

Offensive Calcs:

  • 0 SpA Jellicent Shadow Ball vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Alakazam-Mega: 78-92 (60 - 70.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Defensive Calcs:

  • 252 Atk Life Orb Sheer Force Darmanitan Flare Blitz vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Jellicent: 82-97 (39.6 - 46.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
  • 252+ Atk Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Jellicent: 175-207 (43.3 - 51.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • 0 Atk Tsareena Trop Kick vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Jellicent: 84-102 (40.5 - 49.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
  • 252 SpA Choice Specs Hydreigon Dark Pulse vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Jellicent: 192-228 (92.7 - 110.1%) -- 50% chance to OHKO
  • Hydreigon was overlooked in my teambuilding a bit because I felt really safe with Clefable. Like he might even not bring it.

The Kraken (Malamar) @ Iron Ball
Ability: Contrary
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 244 Atk / 148 Def / 108 SpD / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Trick Room
- Superpower
- Psycho Cut
- Knock Off

Malamar's main purpose was to help deal with Dragalge since it was the most bruting Trick Room answer he had for my team, and Mega Alakazam because of it's Dark typing walling Mega Alakazam's Psychic. Adaptability on it's STAB moves is no laughing matter. It gets access to Z moves too. A Devastating Drake would go a lot or KO anything outside of Clefable, which goes down to it's Poison type STAB. A very big threat. That is also why it holds the Iron Ball. Iron Ball halves it's speed and grounds Flying types and Levitate mons. This could also work to ground Rotom-Wash and slow it down, meaning that Empoleon could potentially finish it off with Earthquake (should it Trick the item off of Malamar).  Malamar was also my secondary Trick Room setter and had a moveset similar to that of last week. This time, no Pluck. Instead I chose Psycho Cut to help hit Dragalge supereffectively. At +1 after a Contrary Superpower boost, it had a 7/8 chance to OHKO a 252 HP Dragalge. I figured Knock Off would be useful against Landorus-T, Darmanitan, and Rotom-Wash since it would make them more manageable without boosting items like Choice Scarf, Specs, or Band. Knock Off would also OHKO Mega Alakazam easily. Superpower could be used to boost Malamar's attack, making it bulky and offensive. It was also a good way to hit Hydreigon and Registeel. Mega Alakazam was a bit of a problem for most of my team, so this was my main answer to deal with it. Empoleon was a pseudo-answer because it took a lot of damage from Focus Blast. Whereas Malamar takes it for neutral damage.

Offensive Calcs:

  • +1 244+ Atk Malamar Psycho Cut vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Dragalge: 168-200 (97.6 - 116.2%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO
  • 244+ Atk Malamar Knock Off vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Alakazam-Mega: 134-162 (103 - 124.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Defensive Calcs:

  • 0 SpA Aromatisse Moonblast vs. 0 HP / 108 SpD Malamar: 116-140 (72 - 86.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
  • 0 Atk Tsareena U-turn vs. 0 HP / 148 Def Malamar: 116-140 (72 - 86.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
  • 252 SpA Alakazam-Mega Dazzling Gleam vs. 0 HP / 108 SpD Malamar: 126-150 (78.2 - 93.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

The Aftermath

Here is the battle code: MNEG-WWWW-WWW6-DWYT
Week 4: Toronto Maple Leafeons (Tommy) .vs. Orlando Magikarps (Brian)
Team Ralker brought: M-Alakazam, Landorus-T, Rotom-W, Hydreigon, Registeel, Aromatisse


Turn By Turn Analysis

This week, we are back to Battle Spot. I'm using the numbers on the bottom of the screen during the battle's progression. The turn the first two Pokemon enter is more like a Turn 0 if you will. But in the replay's case, it's Turn 1.

Turn 1: At team preview, I decided to go with Vanilluxe because it had the best matchup. If he led Registeel, I would switch into Zygarde. He ends up leading Rotom-Wash. Hail goes up.
Turn 2: Rotom shows that it is Choice Scarf'd by outspeeding my Vanilluxe and getting off the Volt Switch. In comes Registeel to take the Freeze-Dry very well.
Turn 3: I hard switch Vanilluxe into Zygarde as Registeel switches into Landorus-T expecting this.
Turn 4: I switch Zygarde into Vanilluxe because I don't have the best switch-ins for this thing. But Landorus just U-turns out into Registeel.
Turn 5: I hard switch once again into Zygarde as Registeel sets up Stealth Rock.
Turn 6: Landorus-T takes the place of Registeel again, as Zygarde goes for the Substitute. I'm tired of the pivoting, so I'm setting up.
Turn 7: Landorus U-Turns and switches out into Aromatisse, failing to break Zygarde's Sub.
Turn 8: I have Zygarde use Thousand Arrows to get some damage off. As Aromatisse sets up a Reflect.
Turn 9: I used Sludge Wave because I know it will do more and Aromatisse breaks the Sub with Moonblast.
Turn 10: I switch Zygarde into Empoleon as Aromatisse goes for another Moonblast.
Turn 11: I try and put Aromatisse on a timer with Empoleon, but Alakazam switches in to take the Toxic.
Turn 12: Alakazam Mega Evolves and uses Calm Mind, as Empoleon goes for Earthquake to weaken it. Reflect wears off.
Turn 13: Mega Alakazam uses Psychic and deals some massive damage, as I try and Empoleon take out the Mega Alakazam with Earthquake.
Turn 14: I sack off Vanilluxe to Stealth Rock as Mega Alakazam dies to poison. One kill for Empoleon. I send in Jellicent as Ralker sends in Rotom-Wash.
Turn 15: I switch out into Zygarde expecting the Volt Switch or Trick, but Zygarde eats a Hidden Power Ice.
Turn 16: I switch Zygarde into Clefable to take the HP Ice since I already know it's choice locked.
Turn 17: Rotom switches into Registeel to take anything that Clefable wants to throw off. I have Clefable go for Wish. I want to attempt to pass it to Zygarde. Turn 18: I switch into Zygarde and Registeel goes for Explosion. I did not expect it at all. And both Pokemon drop. No kill for me because of the suicide. I send in Jellicent and he sends in Aromatisse.
Turn 19: Time to set up Trick Room and get some damage off. Jellicent goes for Trick Room as Rotom goes for a rather free Volt Switch. He switches in Aromatisse.
Turn 20: Aromatisse goes for Wish while I have Jellicent Recover.
Turn 21: Reflect was set up again by Aromatisse and I have Jellicent burn the Aromatisse. I wanted chip damage off on it, but this was a missplay because it would have been better if I had poisoned it with Empoleon's Toxic.
Turn 22: I decide to switch out Jellicent into Clefable while Aromatisse goes for Moonblast.
Turn 23: It goes for a Wish likely to scout what I want to do. I have Clefable Wish too.
Turn 24: I predict him to stay in expecting me to overpredict again. I use Moonblast and do a bit of damage to Rotom. But of course, it gets the Wish effects.
Turn 25: I mess up yet again. This time, I should have switched into Malamar on the Trick, but instead Clefable is stuck with the Choice Scarf while Rotom now has the Leftovers. And I have Clefable go for Wish.
Turn 26: I pass on the Wish to Malamar since I can't really stay in with Clefable. It can't switch moves. Rotom Volt Switches out into Landorus-T.
Turn 27: I switch out Malamar into Jellicent on the U-turn and Landorus goes into Hydreigon.
Turn 28: Clefable comes out for Jellicent to take the Dark Pulse.
Turn 29: Hydreigon switches into Aromatisse as I go for Wish, forgetting that I was choice locked into it.
Turn 30: I decide to heal back up Empoleon with the effects of Wish as Hydreigon hits the field.
Turn 31: I have Empoleon go for Defog because I'm tired of the Stealth Rock chip as Hydreigon goes for Dark Pulse.
Turn 32: Hydreigon goes for Dark Pulse again as I have Empoleon use Ice Beam.
Turn 33: Hydreigon finishes off Empoleon with another Dark Pulse. I send in Malamar to try and kill it with Superpower.
At this point, it starts to get really stally as I attempt some sort of comeback, but it goes nowhere. I end up losing this battle 0-4.  :(
I think his Choice Specs Hydreigon ends up finishing everything else off inevitably.

In Conclusion

Oh boy. Where do I start with this? I am incredibly angry at myself for how I played it out. I knew that it would take some good playing to get the win, but I made so many mistakes over the course of the match. Losing Vanilluxe to the rocks. Taking the Hidden Power Ice on Zygarde instead of setting up Trick Room. Honestly, getting Trick'd on Jellicent wasn't much of a problem in hindsight. Might've helped out against Landorus. I could've also had gone into Malamar and Rotom would've been slow and grounded. Going into Zygarde a second time on Registeel was a problem because it would make sense for it to have had some sort of tech for Zygarde. Burning Aromatisse was really bad. That was like some kind of noob mistake that I should be over. You don't burn tanks because any other status would be better honestly. Paralysis, poison, sleep. I forgot I was choice locked with Clefable and went for Wish. The second time wasn't so bad because I was just trying to heal up Jellicent at that point rather than attack with Clefable.

Good game, Ralker! You played very well. You made safe, reasonable plays. And the way you prepared for me was very good. I would've liked to have closed the gap on differential a little better, but I didn't deserve it in the end. Not with the way I played. I will probably get back into playing tiers more or watching more Showdown Lives on YouTube to get my head back into competitive battling. Maybe take a little longer to ponder my moves. It really sucks how much time I spent preparing for this team. I had a notepad of calcs to keep in mind. I did try my best to counter your team. My friend Black117 told me that I didn't have the matchup, but I still feel like I could've done a lot better.

Anyway. That's all for now. The Toronto Maple Leafeons take their first loss of the season, putting us at a 3-1 record a third of the way into the season. Stay tuned for week 5. I hope you enjoyed my post. Have a good day! :)

Credits Dishonorable Mentions

- Me. I thought we were cool, dude! Why you gone messing everything up? You lame-o!

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