2012-02-09 17:50:49 MST -- Judgment Day

Discussion in 'Stark Mountain' started by david stone, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. david stone

    david stone Fast-moving, smart, sexy and alarming.
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    I am fighting Technical Machine with it searching to a depth of 3. It looks like we have a mirror-match: stall vs. stall. Alternatively, you can see the replay here.

    We both start out by setting up Stealth Rock, and then I decide to try for Spikes. However, Technical Machine switches in Rotom-W at the same time, forcing Skarmory out before it can lay down Spikes. I bring in Blissey and take a Thunderbolt for 11% HP.

    Then things start to go downhill for me.

    Technical Machine sees that Rotom-W cannot win, and so it goes to Skarmory to set up its own Spikes. Meanwhile, I Wish as a safe move, letting Skarmory come in for free. This allows Skarmory to set up Spikes as I use Flamethrower, taking Skarmory down 52% (and it does not have Leftovers). Technical Machine now has Stealth Rock and one layer of Spikes down, while I only have Stealth Rock. If TM is smart with keeping my own Skarmory out of battle and can keep his Rotom-W in against my Tentacruel, that advantage will build up over the course of the battle.

    Technical Machine then makes the confusing switch to Hippowdon, taking a Flamethrower for 20% HP. Blissey uses Toxic, which hits, as Hippowdon uses Slack Off. I'm now in a somewhat strong spot, because at least Hippowdon can't safely stall against any of my Pokemon.

    Technical Machine wisely continues to set up by switching to Tentacruel as I Wish (I should have probably switched to Skarmory here, but I was worried about getting worn down by Stealth Rock).

    I switch to Rotom-W to either block the Rapid Spin or threaten with Thunderbolt. Tentacruel uses Toxic Spikes, but that's not such a big deal with my own Tentacruel waiting to absorb them. However, it does mean that it's dangerous to switch in my own Hippowdon before then, and it weakens my Blissey and Celebi temporarily.

    I know that Technical Machine is not going to try to beat Rotom-W in offense, and it's too risky to set up another layer of Toxic Spikes, so I immediately bring in my own Tentacruel. This absorbs the Toxic Spikes and gives me a chance to Rapid Spin. Technical Machine switches to Blissey as I do this, which is good. Blissey is the ideal enemy Pokemon for Tentacruel at this stage in the game (no offensive threat at all). Later on in the match, Tentacruel prefers Skarmory out, because it can do something with Surf, but right now it's all about setting up.

    I make my first serious misstep in the match at this point. I should predict TM to think like I did and go to Rotom-W, providing an offense + defense combination, and so I should Surf to weaken it.

    I don't know why I did this. I already have Hippowdon hit with Toxic, and there is no one else on the team that can be permanently hit by it. Technical Machine still has Tentacruel out, so my Toxic Spikes are easy to absorb. Rotom-W is the key Pokemon in this battle for both sides. It threatens every Pokemon except Blissey and protects the valuable entry hazards just by being in battle. I have no choice but to switch to the defensive here.

    My plan is to Wish so I can bring in Tentacruel and heal it from the previous beating it took from SR + Spikes (* 2 since it will have to switch in again). I figured Technical Machine would go to Tentacruel, but as long as I got my own Tentacruel out, I should be in a good position (since I'm behind a layer of entry hazards, a Tentacruel vs. Tentacruel match-up is to my favor, because I have less to lose). Technical Machine is 100% predictable in battle (it has no random elements in its decision-making, as long as you don't tell it to play entirely randomly). It used Toxic Spikes last time, so it should be safe to not go to Rotom-W.

    Oh boy. Now I'm really behind. I guess Technical Machine realized that it doesn't want me to be able to heal Tentacruel with Wish, so it played this move to either keep my Tentacruel at 50% next time it comes in or else I lose my Stealth Rock, giving Technical Machine the advantage of two entry hazards.

    I don't bother trying to reciprocate by using Rapid Spin, I know what's coming.

    Summary:

    Me:
    Hippowdon - 100%
    Skarmory - 87%
    Celebi - 100%
    Blissey - 63%
    Tentacruel - 96%
    Rotom-W - 100%

    Technical Machine:
    Hippowdon - 93% PSN
    Skarmory - 35%
    Celebi - 100%
    Blissey - 87%
    Tentacruel - 75%
    Rotom-W - 46%

    I think this next part of the log speaks for itself:

    Score: 5-6

    Then both of us use Calm Mind up to the max and spam Psychic.

    Score: 4-6 Technical Machine

    And now I'm in serious trouble. I am up against a 6 CM Celebi with my Celebi and my Blissey fainted. Every other Pokemon dies in one hit.

    I should have started with this one, but I forgot that Tentacruel and Celebi are just as fast.

    Score 2-5 Technical Machine.

    I have left only Tentacruel and Hippowdon. This means that if Technical Machine brings in Rotom-W, I'm toast, unless I can get another CH with Tentacruel. This also means that Tentacruel is my only hope, so there is no point leaving it in to a slow death vs. Blissey.

    Score 2-4 Technical Machine.

    I recover with Slack Off as Blissey Wishes. I do not want the low HP Skarmory or mid-HP Rotom-W getting healed, so I decide to Roar. It pays off, as Technical Machine brings in Skarmory and Roar brings Blissey right back out. After that, I foolishly use Earthquake as Blissey spams Softboiled. I should have used Stealth Rock here, but at this point I forgot that Stealth Rock was no longer down.

    I follow up this switch with a Surf, just in case Blissey thinks of going to Rotom-W or something. It just stays in and uses Flamethrower, so I know my days are numbered. I'm looking at the following dismal line-up:

    me:
    Tentacruel - 41%
    Hippowdon - 100%

    Technical Machine
    Blissey - 92%
    Hippowdon - 93% Toxic
    Skarmory - 35%
    Rotom-W - 47%

    I decide that my only hope here is a Tentacruel sweep. If I can some how take down Blissey, then Tentacruel beats Skarmory with a Surf, 2 Surfs (or a CH Surf hopefully) for Rotom-W, and then 2 Surfs or a CH Surf or Toxic Stall for Hippowdon. My only hope in reality is to get Blissey hit by Toxic Spikes (level 2) so I can stall it out and force something to switch into Tentacruel's Surf. If I can do that, I can win (in theory).

    OK, this is not good. As I said, it would take two Surfs to take down Rotom-W, but if Technical Machine brings in Rotom-W, then I lose that opportunity. It will be about 3 Surfs away instead, which I cannot afford. I can only hope Technical Machine does something foolish like stay in or switch to Skarmory / Hippowdon.

    Now I'm in trouble. I'm facing down a 68% HP Rotom-W with a Tentacruel and a Hippowdon that can't hit Rotom-W. I decided that I would bank on the 30% chance for Sludge Bomb to poison. My new strategy was this: Poison Rotom-W so that I can spam Slack Off with Hippowdon. Rotom-W dies. Hippowdon can then defeat the enemy Hippowdon because it is Toxiced, can try to catch Skarmory on the Roost with an EQ, and combine Toxic + EQ damage to take down Blissey. It's a long shot, but it was the best that I had.

    Huh... Not Thunderbolt. I guess Technical Machine felt there was some sort of risk of me switching to Hippowdon and absorbing a Thunderbolt, but with SR + Spikes down, that would not be a very safe move. Oh well, it means I have another shot at Sludge Bomb poisoning.

    And now my only hope is some sort of PP stall strategy, but with me only having a Hippowdon that's been used enough as it is, my chances of a victory are nearly 0. Rotom-W hits me with a Shadow Ball and I Slack Off. OK, new plan: Stealth Rock and kill them with Roar.

    Technical Machine's analysis of the battle to follow.
  2. Wichu

    Wichu ACUPRESSURE
    is a Pokemon Researcher

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    What have you unleashed on this world?

    Wow, TM is looking pretty good. I haven't had a look at its source yet, but how easy is it to modify its battle style (aggression, cautiousness etc)?
  3. david stone

    david stone Fast-moving, smart, sexy and alarming.
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Smogon IRC AOp Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

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    There is a text file showing how much it values various things. Changing TM's play style means just changing some values in that text file. It doesn't require recompiling or even restarting TM. Note that "aggressiveness" is not as straightforward as it may seem. For instance, if you put entry hazards very high, you may think that TM would value stall more and would play more cautiously. However, it also means that TM will do whatever it takes to keep the foe from putting it up. If you put that value too high, it will lead to TM always using Thunderbolt against Swords Dance Rhyperior because it is trying to keep Tentacruel and Skarmory out.
  4. The Truth

    The Truth

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    Wow, this is some really amazing stuff. Do you have to change its values based on the team type that it's using, and if so, do you foresee TM being able to analyze a team and set its own priorities in the future?

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