Scrawly's team: Ninetails, Sawsbuck, Lilligant, Snorlax, Magnezone, Gliscor
Opponent's team: Rotom-W, Scizor, Skarmory, Blissey, Gyarados, Reuniclus
SCRAWLY VERSUS THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS
Opening (turns 1-5):
Shooting yourself in the foot for fun and profit.
A beige fox with a bad haircut stares down the ghost of a washing machine and I feel a sudden rush of admiration for whatever mad genius dreamed this mess up. Gripped with the sudden fear that Rotom is about to slam me with a Hydro Pump, I send out Snorlax to take the hit. Rotom elected not to Will-O-Wisp, thankfully, but used Volt Switch. Out comes Scizor, to whom the most venerable Snorlax can do jackshit. Expecting a Brick Break or Superpower, I send out Gliscor but, no, Scizor uses U-Turn and I am faced with a washing machine and the threat of Hydro Pump. Seeing as I have done nothing but switch for this entire goshdarn match
, I elect to take a much more proactive option: I use Protect. As expected, Rotom uses Hydro Pump. Success! I switch to Sawsbuck and he switches to Scizor. Not a particuarly good outcome, but at least he didn't Volt Switch. I send out Magnezone and, heaven be praised, he Bullet Punches. This Scizor's choiced.
A lucky break (turns 6-9):
Scizor is trapped twofold: Magnet Pull prevents escape and Choice Band ensures he can do nothing Leftovers recovery can't shrug off. So, predictably, he uses Bullet Punch and I use Substitute. His next punch barely grazes the sub and I fire back a Charge Beam, raising SpAtk one stage. This is a vicious strategy, and I almost deserve what comes next.
His Bullet Punch crits, smashing my sub, and then, worse
, Magnezone crits, killing Scizor. This is just about the worst thing that could happen. The cripplingly slow Magnezone is exposed, subless. Out comes Reuniclus and, unfortunately, +2 SpAtk is just shy of what is required to kill this build of Reuniclus. So, my Thunderbolt just fails to eviscerate the adorable little blob, who sets up Trick Room. Godammit
Kryptonite comes in many flavours (turns 10-14):
Perhaps the biggest flaw in this team is a lack of priority. Not one of my six, smiling monsters had the forethought to learn so much as a Quick Attack. Trick Room folks walk all over me.
What I should have done here is save 'zone for later and send out, say, Gliscor, to get mauled. I don't really regret doing this, however, as it would have made the end of this battle considerably less interesting. What I did was let 'zone get reduced to scrap by Focus Blast. Perhaps I was praying for a Focus Miss.
Out goes Gliscor, who stalls TR for another turn with Protect. I switch to Snorlax who takes one for the team in a neat two-hit suicide. (Side-note: Could I have sent Snorlax out earlier? Not really, no. Focus Blast would have shredded it, soaking up a Psychic was a lucky break.) Here, mercifully, Trick Room ends. I send out Lilligant who, speedy as you like, smashes Reuniclus with a Hidden Power of thusfar undisclosed typing (suspense builds).
It was HP Rock (turns 15-19):
He sends out Gyarados. Lilligant repeats the Hidden Power trick, knocking Gyarados down well past half-health. 'rados Dragon Dances, a little meekly. Perhaps believing +1 Spd would be enough to get the edge, he sticks around to get hit with another shot and, without much fuss, dies. I think this is why I can get away without priority: I've got two ridiculously fast Chlorophyll users so that when the sky's blue, life's a breeze.
He sends out Rotom. I am not quite sure what my opponent was thinking here, but this sort of thing happens surprisingly often. Lilligant clearly wasn't holding Specs or a Scarf because it had been taking damage from the Life Orb. Perhaps he just forgot Lilligant was a Grass-type. Lilligant uses Leaf Storm, killing Rotom instantly. He sends out Skarmory. I can't touch this thing, so I use Sleep Powder. It misses, and Lilligant dies to Brave Bird. Oh, well.
Respect for the classics (turns 20-30):
I send in Ninetails. He switches out to Blissey and my scouting Will-O-Wisp misses (I had scouted with it because I wasn't actually sure what he had left, surely nobody really
pays attention to Team Preview).
For those of you who came in late, it might be nice to review what's happened so far. Four of his guys had died (in reverse alphabetical order: Scizor, Rotom-W, Reuniclus, Gyarados) and he had two left (Skarmory and Blissey, my esteemed opponent is obviously a classicist). Three of my guys had died (in no particular order whatsoever: Snorlax, Lilligant, Magnezone) and I had three left (Ninetails, Sawsbuck, Gliscor). Basically everyone had full or near-full health, there were no entry hazards and the sun was up. I was feeling pretty good about myself at this point.
Just because I love this trick, I have Ninetails use Safeguard. Blissey uses Toxic, which achieves nothing. My lack of decisive action should hint at my growing realisation that there isn't much I can do to bust through this core. Remember when I killed Magnezone? Wish I hadn't done that. I switch to Sawsbuck. Sawsbuck can't touch Skarmory but, if I was lucky, a Grass-type with the general appearance of a big, overgrown Bambi wouldn't register as a threat in my opponent's eyes. It does, and my Horn Leech barely grazes Skarmory.
I switch to Gliscor (whose sole contribution to the battle so far has been to use "Protect" in a very dynamic kind of way) and Skarmory's Brave Bird deals around 20% damage, the sort that can easily be shrugged off by Poison Heal. It is here that I get the first inklings of a plan. It's an unfamiliar feeling, and at first I dismiss it as indigestion. I set up a Swords Dance and try, in vain, to bite his head off with Ice Fang while he sets up Spikes. After he has all three layers set up he Roosts, and sends me on my way with a Whirlwind.
Last man standing (turns 31-55):
I get it now.
The time I was the biggest position of power was when I restricted my opponents options. Remember the bit before
I killed Magnezone? When Scizor was battering him harmlessly while he statted up? That was great. Right now, I got nothing. With three layers of spikes, alternately switching and attacking randomly isn't likely to strike gold before I die to residual damage. My best choice is to restrict my opponents options, if only a little bit. And so, I proceed to metaphorically shoot myself in the foot (a surprisingly profitable decision).
The Whirlwind pulls out Sawsbuck. Aiming for a quick and dignified death, I use Double Edge. A Brave Bird finishes off Sawsbuck. I send out Ninetails.
He switches and, after a fashion, finishes me off with Seismic Toss. Lovely.
Now the fun can start. I send out Gliscor and begin to set up Sword Dance while my opponent begins to quaver in his or her boots, metaphorically speaking. At +6 Attack, Ice Fang deals damage equal to a third of Sharmory's health. Plus it flinches. Plus it freezes. Plus Skarm's Brave Bird deals recoil.
The game's conclusion probably won't be fun to read about, but it was a time in which it sure was fun to be me. After a fashion, Gliscor succeeded in biting off Skarmory's head and then proceeded to rock Blissey's world with a +6 Earthquake. Marvellous stuff.
A Final Point
Readers will observe that this game's climax revolves around two major misplays. I lose Magnezone, which would have been crucial to dealing with Skarmory, he loses Rotom-W, which would have made short work of Gliscor. Does this make it a bad game? Maybe. Does it make a bad story? Hell no. The response to the warstory has been interesting. People have been damning and praising it for precisely the same reasons. My motives for writing this style of warstory are expressed in a post halfway down the page, quoted here to save you the need to scroll.
Originally Posted by Fat Scrawly
The general opinion of posters 3 through 5 seems to be that I'd doing the wrong thing the right way, and I guess I have to deal with that. To me, the word "warstory" conjures up images of open fires and manly men talking about the manly men things they did the other day--not cool, play-by-play introspection and thoughtful analyses of the state of the metagame. My problem with the current "standard" is not that it is in anyway inferior, but that it is the only thing available. Adhering to a single structure, especially one so rigid and inflexible, only limits the creative output. Especially when replays are on the rise, I'd hate to see the practice of writing warstories stagnate when there's no much varied potential.
In short, I'm writing this style of warstory because it's what I'd want to read--and because nobody else seems to want to.