Wednesday, 10 January 2018

My PFA Season 6 Draft Analysis

What is up? I am Tommy AKA AbruptFury, coach of the Toronto Maple Leafeons, bringing you the results of our latest draft. I have been a part of this league for a few seasons now. It is between some of my best-est internet friends and I. There are also some new coaches joining us this season and one returning one from seasons gone by. They are all competent players, so it should be a fun season. Without further ado, let me dive right into it.

Rules of Drafting

Teams are comprised of: 
  • 1 S tier Pokemon
  • 1 A tier Pokemon
  • 1 B tier Pokemon 
  • 2 C tier Pokemon
  • 1 D tier Pokemon 
  • 1 E tier Pokemon; and
  • 5 Free Pokemon, of which the ones you are allowed to pick from are determined by a certain number of points that can be increased or decreased depending on which S tier Pokemon you chose. The default number being 400.
My Draft Plan

Turn 1

I was happy with the success of my team from the following year, but wanted something that could pose more of a threat and wasn't pressure by hazards and a 4x weakness. Vanilluxe was easily one of my favourite Pokemon to use last season because of the pressure that it put on most of my opponents. So I decided that Kyurem-Black would be a great Pokemon to draft. And thus, Kyurem-B became the first (and only S tier) pick of the Toronto Maple Leafeons!

This Pokemon has always been difficult to prepare for and has always been good at putting holes into teams with it's movepool coverage and power. With moves such as Ice Beam, Fusion Bolt, Earth Power, Iron Head, Flash Cannon, Freeze Shock, Outrage, Draco Meteor, Psychic, Shadow Ball, Rock Slide, etc., there isn't much that this Pokemon doesn't hit. With access to the move Roost, it can allow Kyurem-B recover health that was taken away by hazards, or caused by use of good set options like Life Orb or Substitute. I could run a Hone Claws set too, to try and make more use of Kyurem-B's physical movepool. The only problem with this Pokemon, other than the fact that Game Freak hasn't given it a reliable physical Ice type move, is that I can't use Z moves on it. Z Freeze Shock is the absolute Bane of Smogon OU.

Turn 2

For the next round, I decided that I wanted to get right into building a VoltTurn core, rather than wait until later on and hope that there were some good picks left that mashed well with what I had already drafted. At the same time, I also wanted to build a good fantasy core (Steel/Dragon/Fairy). I was the second pick in the draft, by the way, so it wasn't too hard to get what I wanted initially, but it was difficult to sit there and watch so many Pokemon go before I got to pick again. So many chances to get sniped. I had heard some good things about this Steel type U-turn Pokemon being paired with Kyurem-B from a user in the GBA Discord chat, so I decided to give it a try. Second pick (A tier) for the Toronto Maple Leafeons was Scizor!

Scizor is a great Steel Pokemon, as well as one of the most reliable Bug types. A good Steel had actually been something that I went over a lot in my plan for what I wanted to draft. I knew what Fairy I wanted for my fantasy core much sooner than my Steel type. Scizor make one heck of a physical attacker, typically used as a Swords Dance sweeper or a Choice Banded attacker. It has access to the move Knock Off which is great for removing pesky items from your opponent's Pokemon. Bullet Punch is powered up by Scizor's Technician ability. It makes for a powerful form of priority. Bug Bite also receives the same boost and reaches 90 Base power because of it. The move itself can remove berries and allow you to use them. This might come in handy if you snag something like a Sitrus Berry. Agility can give Scizor's mediocre speed a boost making it a faster attacker and allowing you to take out your opponent's Pokemon before getting damage off on you. But the main selling point is definitely U-turn. Unlike Volt Switch, not a single Pokemon is immune to it (except for Shedinja with it's Wonderguard) and you get damage off onto your opponent while being able to scout what they want to do. Maybe they switch out and you bring in something that has the advantage right after, keeping your momentum going. Very helpful move that can be quite difficult to play around.

Turn 3

My next pick came up very soon and was not taken from me. I decided to pick up the Fairy type that I has mentioned earlier. Now for my Fairy type pick this season, I wanted to do something similar to that of last season in drafting one with Wish and Heal Bell support, but also able to apply some offensive pressure. Fairy is such a great defensive typing that I felt like that would be one of the better Pokemon for me to draft for such a role. The third pick (B tier) for the Toronto Maple Leafeons was Sylveon!

Since it's release in Generation 6, Sylveon has become somewhat of a fan-favourite. Is there any wonder why? It has a very cute design and it's very good in battles. Especially with it's Hidden Ability, Pixilate. This causes Sylveon's Normal type moves to become Fairy type moves and giving them a 1.2x power bonus. The one thing that Sylveon is probably best known for in competitive play is spamming Hyper Voice. There are few resists. Plus, this Pokemon boasts a nice 110 Special Attack stat. Like Scizor, it is not one of the fastest things, but it can take a hit and dish one back for sure. With speed control, it could even swipe your entire team out single-handedly with a Choice Specs sets. Being decently bulky like I mentioned, this Pokemon also makes great use of Wish and Heal Bell because it is able to benefit from it by stalling out certain types of Pokemon and gaining back health in the process. Calm Mind can allow this Pokemon to become stronger and tank more hits. Having such a high Special Attack means that it can make use of Hidden Powers, which gives it more coverage. Besides that, it also has access to moves like Psyshock (which is good against Poison types and specially defensive Pokemon) and Shadow Ball (which can be used to beat Psychic and Ghost types). I think this little cutie should make a fine addition to the team.

Turn 4

The following round, I was sniped for my Grass type pick. This was surprising because it was such a low tier pick that I didn't think it would be considered for a while. Alas, I had to find a substitute. I shifted a few things around in my draft plan and decided on this. I did not have a Rapid Spinner yet and knew that I wanted that option for my team. I was planning on using hazard stacking with my team. I found two Pokemon that could fit this role, but decided on the one that I saw as the better Rapid Spinner. The fourth pick (B tier) for the Toronto Maple Leafeons was a familiar face named Dhelmise!

This Pokemon was fantastic on my team last season. It is an amazing Rapid Spinner, and spinblocker since it is a Ghost. Dhelmise is a very slow Pokemon, but it's massive Attack stat and nice bulk make up for that. My favourite thing to do is usually to slap an Assault Vest on this thing and see how many hits it takes while being able to hit like a truck with it's 3 STABs. Thanks to it's ability Steelworker, it gains STAB from Steel types, making them more powerful. This can be useful against something like Togekiss which does not like taking Steel type hits in the first place, but loves to flinch down Grass types with Air Slash. The reason that Dhelmise edged out the other Grass type Rapid Spinner, Tsareena, was because it could deal with Fighting type hits better since it is immune. It can be argued that Knock Off is very common on Fighting types, but I can also argue that Tsareena is just a little too passive with it's pure Grass typing. I feel like it would have been easier to wall. Like one of my least favourite Pokemon in draft format, Umbreon. It's just so passive. Dhelmise can run Switcheroo to trade items with a foe and mess up an opponent's strategy. I have tried this before with Iron Ball. So much fun. Crippling the speed of a dangerous sweeper or wallbreaker. It also has access to moves like Rock Slide and Earthquake which make for good coverage.

Turn 5

Back around to me again so soon? It didn't take long for my next pick of which I really didn't want to get away from me. You see, I had a problem last season where I could only ever stand to run my Clefable defensively. Part of this was because it was such a good Pokemon to do so. But another reason was because it was my only Wish support option. I would have liked to have tried out more offensive sets like a Calm Mind sweeper or Life Orb attacker, but never got many opportunities to use Clefable to it's full potential. Well - I didn't want to let that happen this season. So I chose another good Wish and Heal Bell support Pokemon. I also decided to fill in another core with this pick. The fifth Pokemon (C tier) chosen by the Toronto Maple Leafeons was Vaporeon.

Yet another Eevelution to the team, Vaporeon has always been a great Pokemon at taking hits. It also has the same Special Attack stat as Sylveon, so it can be dependable on doing damage. It also has access to one of the best moves in the game, Scald. Only two types resist this move (excluding abilities), and it may inflict a burn on the target. This can cripple most physical type attackers which may help one of your other Pokemon set up boosts on it, or just allow you an easier time picking them off. Vaporeon has access to other moves like Ice Beam and Shadow Ball which can lend to it's coverage options, as well as Hidden Power potential. Most Vaporeon tend to run a very standard bulky Wish support set with Scald and Toxic/Heal Bell/Ice Beam, but this Pokemon just works so well with it. It's kinda like - why try to fix what isn't broken? I know what you're thinking "But broken stuff is so powerful." That is not the kind of broken that I was referring to. Baton Pass can lend itself as a way of keeping up momentum, like a non-damaging Volt Switch or U-turn. It can also come in handy for Wish passing to weakened teammates. Vaporeon is quite the team player.

Turn 6

Just before my turn came around again, I got sniped for the Fire type that I wanted. It was quite unfortunate because later on, we found out that the person didn't even have enough points for that particular Pokemon among their Free picks. So they ended up having to drop it for an E tier pick, and I have to wait until Week 4 to even have a chance to grab it. But I don't know if I will yet, because the calcs I have seen on the monster that I picked up are ridiculous. This Pokemon turns a resist into a pancake. Would you like to know which Pokemon I am talking about? Ready or not, here he comes! The sixth pick for the Toronto Maple Leafeons was Darmanitan!

The Pokemon that I was hoping to get was Rotom-Heat. It would have given me a Volt Switcher, a Fire type, a status user, and a possible Defogger all in one! However, maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Darmanitan might have the power and speed that it takes to pull my team to victory. I'm still on the fence about it, but you definitely can't deny it's power. With access to moves like Flare Blitz, Superpower, Earthquake, Rock Slide, U-turn, and Zen Headbutt. This is also combined with Darmanitan's terrifyingly high Attack stat of 140 and it's ability Sheer Force, which gives moves with a secondary effect a boost in power while removing certain effects. This pickup gives me a nice TurnTurn core in Darmanitan and Scizor. A nice quick option partnered with a slow bulkier option is what I was definitely something I was hoping for in this draft.

Turn 7

For my next pick, I wanted to have another Rapid Spin option on the team for games where Dhelmise doesn't have a very good matchup. It can also relieve some pressure on Dhelmise, allowing me to use another type of set on it (just like with Sylveon and Vaporeon). I wanted a Pokemon that could stop Electric type spam coming from Volt Switch users, so what I really needed was an immunity; a Ground type. Sure enough, I found what I was looking for. The seventh pick for the Toronto Maple Leafeons was Donphan!

Donphan is a physically based Pokemon, defensively and offensively. It has loads of options in it's movepool. Moves such as Earthquake, Stealth Rock, Stone Edge, Knock Off, Thunder Fang, Fire Fang, Gunk Shot, Ice Shard, Counter, Endeavor, Seed Bomb, Superpower, Rock Polish. This Pokemon can do a lot. I became quite interested with Donphan after seeing the kinds of sets it could utilize from Lord Emvee. Having Donphan as a Rapid Spinner allows me to use Dhelmise a different way, should I choose. Without missing out on Rapid Spin. And vice versa. This Pokemon has a lot it can do, and I want to try it out. Because of Donphan, I also now have an Electric immunity, which is a powerful type in league format.

Turn 8

It took a while to get back around to my turn, but when it did, I picked myself up a nice Toxic Spikes user for hazard stacking potential this season. I'm also interested in seeing if I can get Spikes on the team somewhere, but I was unable to in the draft. This Pokemon got a lot of success last season as a defensive tank. It was on last year's champion team, coached by BigEZ66. It also gave me a Dark type, which can be useful in league since a lot of Psychic types get scooped up and sometimes on teams, people tend to leave themselves open to Ghost types. The eighth pick for the Toronto Maple Leafeons was Drapion.

Just like Donphan, Drapion has a versatile movepool with access to hazards. The thing that stood out most to me however is the solo weakness of Ground against Drapion. Just Ground. With just one weakness, Drapion may have a hard time being pressured by certain Pokemon, making them easy to setup hazards or boosts or status against. Toxic Spikes can be helpful for chipping certain Pokemon down into KO range. I can't wait to use this poisonous scorpion!

Turn 9

By this point, I wanted a good defensive switch-in to Fighting types. Helps out my Kyurem-B significantly. So I decided to pick up a Psychic type. Bulky Psychic types are one of the most sought after things in league format, like fastest Electric and Ice types. This Pokemon has coverage and access to switch initiative. The ninth pick for the Toronto Maple Leafeons was Mesprit.

Mesprit is quite a versatile Pokemon. It has access to a variety of coverage options like Psychic, Shadow Ball, Thunderbolt, Dazzling Gleam, Psyshock, Energy Ball, the elemental punches, Calm Mind, and Stealth Rock. It carries base 105 across it's offensive and defensive stats, just not it's HP and speed. That makes it a fairly bulky and hard hitting Pokemon all in one. It can be used as a physical or special attacker too. U-turn gives this Pokemon a way of chipping at foes and escaping trappers. With Calm Mind and Power-up Punch, it can boost it's offensive stats. Healing Wish can be used to recover heavily damaged teammates and give them a free switch. Good for one time use at the expense of Mesprit because it faints afterwards. It's a shame that this Pokemon doesn't get much in terms of recovery, but being partnered with Sylveon might help.

Turn 10

Since I wasn't able to get Rotom-Heat, I needed a new Electric type option, so I picked this low tier threat. This Pokemon has astounding coverage while being decently fast. Can be run physical or special; usually prefers physical. And it was the one thing I knew I wanted to be my Z captain this draft. The tenth pick for the Toronto Maple Leafeons was Electivire. 

I helped BigEZ66 prepare one time for a league match, and the opponent's team that I was simulating had Electivire. It had so many good options for league format and I hope to show them off this season. I don't want to divulge all my strats in this article. The movepool options are amazing though. This Pokemon's offenses, speed, and coverage options will help me out a lot this season. And between it's two abilities, both are very good. Motor Drive can allow Electivire to come in on an Electric type attack and outspeed so many Pokemon, even some Choice Scarf users. And Vital Spirit makes it immune to sleep, giving it a relatively free switch into moves like Spore and Hypnosis.

Turn 11

For this pick, I went with a Fighting type to help me break certain Pokemon, mainly Normal types. The versatility among Normal types is certainly terrifying. I noticed that my Fighting type options weren't very good, and I was hoping to get a relatively fast one since my team was kind of slow. I ended up settling on this one. The eleventh and final pick of the Toronto Maple Leafeons was Sawk. 

Unlike his brother Throh, Sawk is fast and hard hitting. He's not much on the defensive side, but he can give some Pokemon a tough time with his movepool and Attack stat. Sawk gets access to moves like Close Combat, Knock Off, Earthquake, Rock Slide and Stone Edge, Poison Jab, Zen Headbutt, Taunt, Bulk Up, Throat Chop, Pain Split, and the elemental punches. It's abilities are all very solid. Sturdy gives it a free Focus Sash, meaning that it can't be taken out in one hit unless by a Mold Breaker Pokemon. Mold Breaker bypasses abilities like Sturdy, Disguise, Levitate; abilities that prevent damage or prevent a Pokemon from doing as much damage, so abilities like Unaware and Fluffy aren't even safe. Inner Focus makes Sawk immune to flinching. No Fake Out or Air Slash can stop him with hax. This allows him to just keep pummeling away. A very interesting Pokemon that I hope to make use of.


I don't think this team is as strong as the one I had last year, but I think it can still work, especially if I play it right. If anything, it will probably help me improve in competitive Pokemon. Also, some things didn't go quite as according to plan as I would have liked. Some of my draft plan got messed up with the early snipe from Gingerxpug getting Tangela and MikeWWM8 taking Rotom-Heat, and later finding out that he couldn't afford to keep it. Those actions changed my Fire, Electric, Ghost, Grass, and Psychic picks up. But like the improv artist I am, I managed to get some satisfying backups. And I can always change things up if they aren't working when the first transaction period comes along, which is either on week 3 or just after. Here is some of the beef that I have with my current team that I might like to change. 

Slow team - None of the Pokemon on my team hit a base speed at 100 or over. Last season, I at least had Mega Pinsir and Heliolisk, but it does feel like my team might have a harder time because of it. There is some potential for speed increasing on my team like Agility and Rock Polish, but I'm not sure about it quite yet. 

No Sticky Web - I would have liked a good Sticky Web user on the team, but since I already had my Bug and Fairy type picked out from the very beginning, it made it so that I had to have a same type, which can be annoying if it leads to a big weakness in the team.

Bird Spam - Because my Steel type is part Bug and I lack a Rock type, I am quite susceptible to Flying types. Something like Sawk can bait them to stay in and take advantage with it's Sturdy ability, I can set up rocks with a few Pokemon to inflict some damage upon switch in, and Electivire + Kyurem-Black can keep them on the run with their supereffective attacks. But when it comes to defensive switch-ins for Flying, I don't really have one. 

Lack of Speed Control/Status - Unlike last season, I don't have as many Trick Room setters and abusers. Thunder Wave from Electivire isn't quite as effective as it might be from a bulkier mon like Rotom. Will-o-Wisp from something like Darmanitan is not a good option either. Some of my Pokemon have access to Icy Wind, Bulldoze, and Rock Tomb. Maybe I could use that in some way. 

Thanks you for reading my report. I hope you are as excited as I am for another season of the PFA. It has been a while since the draft, but weather conditiions in Nova Scotia have caused power outages making it difficult to finish my report. As well as working my job. I will try and get back on top of things. After I conclude this, I am going to start on my Week 1 report. I played Alec aka MudkipLegend aka Slec. He was the one who beat me in the quarter finals of last season, so you best believe I wanted revenge. Anyway, until next time! Cya!

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