Hello, and welcome to my first warstory! Originally I thought my first written warstory would be an OU battle of epic proportions, but frankly I've never taken part in a battle that was really good enough to share. However, a few days ago my friend told me about this great new metagame he'd seen on Stark, called Middle Cup. By this time though, I'd already started writing a Threat List for the tier and was really into it, battling as regularly as I could. Naturally of course, we ended up having several battles, many of which were warstory-able. We both agreed though that this was the best battle of the lot, and it was just such a good match I decided to flex my creative writing muscles and have a go at writing a warstory. We both used all-new teams that the other hadn't seen before, so we didn't know which were the main threats on the other's team. Both of us know our way around the Middle Cup metagame, so this battle had plenty of good predictions and thought-out strategies. The battle almost feels like it has been split into two halves - the early-mid game, and the late game. Each half mainly features different Pokemon, and hopefully you'll enjoy the read. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... Dawn of the Ducks A Middle Cup Warstory Rules - Evasion Clause - Freeze Clause - Middle Cup Clause (All Pokemon must be set to Level 50) - OHKO Clause - Sleep Clause - Species Clause - Strict Damage Clause Warstory Stuff - Leftovers and Life Orb will be omitted after the first mention of each item on a Pokemon that holds one of those items. - Burn and Poison will be omitted after the first mention of each status affliction on each Pokemon afflicted. - My moves will be highlighted in red. I am called extracheese in this battle. - My opponent's moves will be highlighted in blue. He is called randommc43 in this battle. - My comments will be written in black. - The score will be given after each KO, and bolded. Please note that this is a very long battle - long enough for the 100 image limit to come into effect. For this reason I can't give you pictures of my team, but it is as follows: - Metang (Lead) - Porygon2 - Haunter - Croconaw - Gabite - Rhydon I hope you enjoy the read! --- randommc43 sent out Golbat (lvl 50 Male Golbat). extracheese sent out Metang (lvl 50 Metang). My metal spike monster thing comes face to face with a demented bat. You wouldn’t think anything with such a hideous Red/Blue sprite could be dangerous, but Golbat is surprisingly effective in Middle Cup. I’m pretty sure a Taunt is coming, but there’s just as much chance of Metang taking a U-turn to the face. I do want to get a hit on this thing, as well as deal some nice damage to any switch-in not named Magneton, so Meteor Mash is my best option. Golbat used Taunt. Metang fell for the taunt! Metang used Meteor Mash. Golbat lost 45% of its health. Golbat's leftovers restored its health a little! Golbat restored 6% of its health. Metang: 100% Golbat: 61% --- Taunt stops me from setting up rocks for a while, but at least I managed to take a good chunk of Golbat’s health away. This particular Metang favours defence over offense, but seeing Golbat’s health come perilously close to the 50% mark tells me that this bat isn’t running a lot of HP EVs. I’m almost certain of U-turn now, so there’s still only one thing for it – do the mash. The Meteor Mash (cringe). Golbat used U-turn. A critical hit! Metang lost 31% of its health. randommc43 switched in Dusclops (lvl 50 Male Dusclops). Dusclops is exerting its pressure! Metang used Meteor Mash. Dusclops lost 23% of its health. Metang's leftovers restored its health a little! Metang restored 6% of its health. Dusclops's leftovers restored its health a little! Dusclops restored 6% of its health. Metang: 75% Dusclops: 83% --- A critical U-turn deals a nasty amount of damage, telling me that this Golbat is definitely an offensively orientated one. I’m guessing its other moves are Roost and Brave Bird, making this a stallbreaking Golbat. Anyway, I can’t do a thing to Dusclops and I’m positive that Metang is about to get burnt. I don’t really mind Metang taking burn or paralysis in the late game but it’s too early for it to become useless, so I switch out to the Pokémon least affected by a burn on my team. extracheese switched in Porygon2 (lvl 50 Porygon2). Porygon2's Download raised its stats! Porygon2's special attack was raised. Dusclops used Will-o-wisp. Porygon2 was burned! Porygon2 was hurt by its burn! Porygon2 lost 12% of its health. Porygon2: 87% Dusclops: 89% --- Arguably the best special sweeper in the metagame, Porygon2 laughs at its burnt software as its massive Special Attack is still intact, with a Download boost under its belt too. The boost shows that this Dusclops is physically based, though that’s pretty obvious. Porygon2 can wreck any team lacking Chansey if given time to set up, but I’m sure that a stall based team like this one isn’t going to have left the fat pink blob at home. Tri Attack is therefore useless as it misses Dusclops completely and won’t touch a healthy Chansey, Recover would be pointless and it’s too early to use Agility. I don’t really want to switch here either, as an overprediction could allow Dusclops to set up a Substitute and start raping my team with burns. Ice Beam is therefore my only option; it’s just as useless against the Chansey that I’m sure will switch in but it’ll hit Dusclops hard on the off chance that it stays in. randommc43 switched in Chansey (lvl 50 Female Chansey). Porygon2 used Ice Beam. Chansey lost 32% of its health. Porygon2 lost 10% of its health. Chansey's leftovers restored its health a little! Chansey restored 6% of its health. Porygon2: 65% Chansey: 74% --- Chansey and all of her fat pink blobby glory makes her first hateful appearance on the battlefield. My team is overflowing with methods to deal with Chansey, but God I hate this thing. It’s also come to my attention that Porygon2 has lost over a third of its health without Chansey having to lay a stubby arm on it. I’m itching to bring in my star player which plays an integral part of my team’s core (and actually, no, it's not Rhydon) but first I need to find out which status move Chansey is carrying. Metang doesn’t care about Thunder Wave or Toxic and can now set up rocks, so he’s my best switch in. extracheese switched in Metang (lvl 50 Metang). Chansey used Toxic. It doesn't affect Metang... Metang: 81% Chansey: 80% --- Metang’s steely hide makes Toxic completely useless. I can see the Dusclops coming from a mile away, but I want to get my rocks up. Stealth Rock isn’t quite as prominent in Middle Cup as it is in the OU environment, but it’s still a brilliant move. A free 12% damage on every switch in? Yes please! Barring Ground/Fighting/Steel types of course, but I’m sure you get my drift. randommc43 switched in Dusclops (lvl 50 Male Dusclops). Dusclops is exerting its pressure! Metang used Stealth Rock. Pointed stones float in the air around the foe's team! Metang: 87% Dusclops: 95% --- Dusclops is in, and I’m sure it’s gonna have a go at burning me again. I’m switching around quite a bit but SR isn’t up on my side yet; this makes me wonder which of random’s Pokémon is going to set it up. Stall plays quite differently in MC though, as it’s not so heavily based on residual damage (due to the frail Roselia being the only user of Spikes and the only viable user of Toxic Spikes), but instead based on countering, light attacking and hiding an all-important sweeper in the wings to rip up a weakened team. Back to the match – I could go to Porygon2 again to continue the Dusclops/Chansey cycle, but I know from experience that Dusclops is the biggest defensive threat to my team as the only thing capable of OHKOing it is weak to Shadow Sneak. Now is as good as time as any – I unleash my super secret weapon of mass surprise value. Metang used Toxic. Dusclops was badly poisoned! Dusclops used Earthquake. It's super effective! Metang lost 31% of its health. Dusclops is hurt by poison! Dusclops lost 6% of its health. Metang: 62% Dusclops: 94% --- Voila, Toxic Metang! I couldn’t use Toxic against Dusclops the first time I was up against it due to me being Taunted at the time, but I would have done if I was able to. Toxic destroys a lot of Metang’s regular switch-ins and although it means I lose Bullet Punch, this Metang has such a pathetic Attack stat that it hardly matters. Earthquake does laughable damage to Metang since Dusclops’ Attack is even more woeful, and I’m going to bring Porygon2 back into the mix for one reason, and one reason only – to bait out Chansey and start my mid-game plan. extracheese switched in Porygon2 (lvl 50 Porygon2). Porygon2's Download raised its stats! Porygon2's special attack was raised. Dusclops used Earthquake. Porygon2 lost 24% of its health. Porygon2: 29% Dusclops: 87% --- Dusclops starts to feel the effects of the horrible poison seeping through his toilet paper. Porygon2 is dangerously low on health now, so I decide to Recover on the Chansey switch – Dusclops may have been wrecked by Toxic, but it’s by no means useless and can still wall the crap out of me for a while; it’s just nice to put it on a timer. randommc43 switched in Chansey (lvl 50 Female Chansey). Pointed stones dug into Chansey. Chansey lost 12% of its health. Porygon2 used Recover. Porygon2 restored 50% of its health. Porygon2: 66% Chansey: 74% --- Phase one complete – Chansey takes the bait, though it’s not like there are many other options against Porygon2 in MC. At that point it’d be a choice between taking the bait or getting swept by a speedy virtual duck. With nothing to fear, I now bring in my real star player – Haunter! As if you hadn’t had enough clues by now. extracheese switched in Haunter (lvl 50 Male Haunter). Chansey used Ice Beam. Haunter lost 25% of its health. Haunter: 75% Chansey: 80% --- My opponent makes a clever move and goes for an Ice Beam freeze on my switch-in, knowing that I’ll bring something in that won’t mind Toxic, or else bring in Metang, in which case Toxic is useless and Ice Beam at least gets a little damage on it. Thankfully, I don’t freeze, and I’m able to get Haunter to start doing what he does best – beat the crap out of silly, arrogant Chanseys who think they can sit their arses down and wall Haunter all day. Haunter used Substitute. Haunter lost 25% of its health. Haunter made a substitute! Chansey used Ice Beam. The substitute took damage for Haunter! Haunter: 50%, behind Substitute Chansey: 86% --- Ice Beam really is the best offensive option on Chansey as it breaks the subs of 204 HP Rhydon without being totally useless elsewhere (Grass Knot, bow your head in shame) as well as hitting Haunter. Unfortunately, Chansey’s laughable Base 35 Special Attack means that Ice Beam can’t even break 4 HP Haunter’s subs with 100% efficiency. In fact, Haunter can run some HP EVs to ensure that Ice Beam Chansey can never break the sub in one hit. This detracts from Shadow Ball’s power a lot though since the EVs have to come out of Special Attack, and more power will generally save Haunter a lot more than more HP will. Anyway, I’m now in the perfect position to spam Pain Split until the cows come home. Haunter used Pain Split. Haunter restored 50% of its health. Chansey lost 35% of its health. Haunter lost 10% of its health. Chansey used Wish. Chansey made a wish! Haunter: 90%, behind Substitute Chansey: 57% --- This move seemed odd to me – why would Chansey need to heal, when it could just break the sub there and then? The answer will become clear in a couple of turns, but right now I’m still happily spamming Pain Split. Chansey used Protect. Chansey protected itself! Haunter used Pain Split. Chansey protected itself! The wish came true! Chansey restored 42% of its health. Haunter: 90%, behind Substitute Chansey: 100% --- Another odd move – it’s not like I can deplete Chansey’s HP much with Pain Split when I'm at full health, so why bother wasting a point of Protect’s precious PP against a stallbreaking, PP wasting monster like SubSplit Haunter? Well, she can’t Protect now and I can’t touch her with actual attacks, so I may as well use... Haunter used Pain Split. Haunter restored 10% of its health. Chansey lost 35% of its health. Chansey used Ice Beam. The substitute took damage for Haunter! Haunter's substitute faded! Haunter: 90% Chansey: 71% --- Finally she breaks the sub. I’m still not sure what those last few turns were all about, but I do know that I can win this matchup every time. Now I need to throw up a Substitute, and hope that Ice Beam doesn’t break it. randommc43 switched in Porygon2 (lvl 50 Porygon2). Porygon2's Download raised its stats! Porygon2's attack was raised. Pointed stones dug into Porygon2. Porygon2 lost 12% of its health. Haunter used Substitute. Haunter lost 25% of its health. Haunter made a substitute! Haunter: 65%, behind Substitute Porygon2: 87% --- Suddenly, my opponent’s plan makes sense. He was biding his time until Chansey was as healthy as possible, and then making me use Substitute again so that he could switch out on the sub, letting Porygon2 come in unscathed! I spoke earlier about MC Stall revolving around a defensive core with a powerful sweeper at the heart, and my theorymoning is hereby proven – the Chansey/Porygon2 combination is rather deadly. I should have known that he was planning to switch Chansey out, since everybody knows Blissey has no real chance against SubSplit Gengar and it’s the same story here. By this point, the more experienced MC battlers amongst you might be wondering why I’m not seriously, seriously worried; Agility Porygon2 is more than capable of taking on Haunter, breaking the sub, getting a Speed boost and taking a large cyberdump all over my team. However, I’ve done everything I can to make every single team member have something useful to use against the biggest MC threats, and Porygon2 was top of my list. The most common move in the final slot of SubSplit Haunter is Thunderbolt, but some might use Will-o-Wisp too. Neither are particularly threatening to the defensive behemoth that is Porygon2, so I don’t blame my opponent for not being at all worried about my attack. Whatever he was expecting though, he wasn’t expecting this. Haunter used Hidden Power. It's super effective! Porygon2 lost 71% of its health. Porygon2 used Ice Beam. The substitute took damage for Haunter! Haunter's substitute faded! Haunter: 55% Porygon2: 16% --- HA! Porygon2 takes a Super Effective HP Fighting to the face and is left barely standing. I’m in a brilliant position here, with some momentum finally built up thanks to Haunter. Anything could happen in this next turn – he could leave Porygon2 in to die and then bring in Dusclops to finish Haunter off, he could switch out to something that could take an HP Fighting and kill Haunter (confirming that this Porygon2 is carrying Recover) or even overpredict a Shadow Ball and go for an Agility. The risk of letting Porygon2 live is too great, so I go for the HP Fighting to finish it off. randommc43 switched in Dusclops (lvl 50 Male Dusclops). Dusclops is exerting its pressure! Pointed stones dug into Dusclops. Dusclops lost 12% of its health. Haunter used Hidden Power. It doesn't affect Dusclops... Haunter: 55% Dusclops: 75% --- My opponent abuses my predictability to bring in Dusclops. I told you Dusclops’ work wasn’t done – even when poisoned, it’s capable of bringing Haunter’s reign of triumph to an end with a swift Shadow Sneak! Fortunately I can turn the tables and abuse Dusclops’ predictability to bring in my own Porygon2 unscathed. extracheese switched in Porygon2 (lvl 50 Porygon2). Porygon2's Download raised its stats! Porygon2's special attack was raised. Dusclops used Shadow Sneak. It doesn't affect Porygon2... Porygon2: 54% Dusclops: 69% --- P2’s in, and we’re back in the vicious cycle we were in earlier. Chansey’s coming in, but I have another trick up my sleeve – a knowledge of damage calcs. randommc43 switched in Chansey (lvl 50 Female Chansey). Pointed stones dug into Chansey. Chansey lost 12% of its health. Porygon2 used Tri Attack. Chansey lost 34% of its health. Porygon2: 32% Chansey: 31% --- Porygon2’s power in MC is such that, with a Download boost, it is actually capable of dealing over 80% damage to Chansey with 2 Tri Attacks – that’s 87% with SR and one turn of Leftovers!. Ecstatic, I hit the button for Tri Attack again to bring about Chansey’s demise – at the hands (cyber-wings?) of something it’s supposed to fully counter. Chansey used Protect. Chansey protected itself! Porygon2 used Tri Attack. Chansey protected itself! Porygon2: 19% Chansey: 37% --- Rats. I honestly forgot about Protect. This was a fantastic move on my opponent’s part as it brings Chansey’s, well, chances, of surviving Tri Attack way up from 0%. Boosted Tri Attack can deal 34 – 40% damage to Chansey, meaning that at 37% health Chansey has a 50/50 chance of surviving. This next move was one of the most carefully thought out moves in the match, as I had to choose whether or not to sacrifice Porygon2 for my lategame plan to unfold. I can go for the kill on Chansey, but if I hit her, Porygon2 goes down with her due to the burn and Life Orb eating up its health. My other late game sweeper is Rhydon, which can wreak havoc in Middle Cup. My opponent still has two unrevealed Pokemon on his team, and at least one of them is almost guaranteed to be a Steel-type. A Steel-type, particularly Lairon, would be devastating for Porygon2 as it would completely ruin its chance at a sweep. Equally, playing silly buggers with a healthy Wish/Protect/Ice Beam Chansey can cause Rhydon to lose a lot of health due to Life Orb, Substitute and Ice Beam – easily enough health to work it down into KO range for Dusclops’ Earthquake + Shadow Sneak. Now, I could potentially save both of my sweepers if I just switched out to Haunter. However, to be completely honest, I really don’t fancy stalling a Chansey out for a million turns when there are much better and quicker strategies to winning this game. Also, Porygon2 is at a pathetic 19% health – if SR gets set up before it can switch back in, or if it switches in on any kind of damaging move, it’s going to die before it can Recover. Switching really isn’t a great option here. Eventually, having kept my opponent waiting for a long time and working off of the basis that Rhydon would have a much better chance at a sweep than Porygon2 (considering that Chansey would still be alive if P2 survives), I decided to sacrifice my beloved ducky. I’m confident that Chansey will use Wish partly because if I do switch out then Chansey is gonna want to be as healthy as possible on the following turn, and partly because Protect never works twice on ShoddyBattle (seriously, it’s so annoying). If Chansey survives the attack, I can bring in Rhydon on the following Protect, set up a sub and watch Rhydon laugh all day as he rapes the remainder of the team with his large horn. Goodbye, Porygon2! Porygon2 used Tri Attack. Chansey lost 37% of its health. randommc43's Chansey fainted. extracheese's Porygon2 fainted. Porygon2: Shut down. 0% Chansey: Out of luck. 0% 5 – 5 Even --- First blood is drawn! The fact that it’s a double kill goes to show how evenly matched my opponent and I really are. I’m itching to bring in Rhydon to fulfil my late-game plan, but I’m certain that my opponent is going to bring in Dusclops, which would mean that I couldn’t risk using RP for fear of getting burned and Dusclops could just spam EQ anyway, to wreck my Substitutes; there's too much prediction and chance involved for Rhydon to be the best switch here, as without either RP or a Substitute it will lose to the opposing Porygon2. Haunter is out of the question as it can’t take a Shadow Sneak, so I have to go with Metang, as it’s the most useless member of my team now and can at least do something to Dusclops with Meteor Mash. randommc43 switched in Golbat (lvl 50 Male Golbat). extracheese switched in Metang (lvl 50 Metang). Pointed stones dug into Golbat. Golbat lost 25% of its health. Well, I was not expecting that. This doesn’t really put the game in anyone’s favour, but it was an interesting move on my opponent’s part; by switching in Golbat, he could Taunt a setup sweeper and give his team less chance of being swept. Meteor Mash is still the only thing I can use, but I’m expecting a U-turn out to Dusclops. Golbat used U-turn. Metang lost 16% of its health. randommc43 switched in Dusclops (lvl 50 Male Dusclops). Dusclops is exerting its pressure! Pointed stones dug into Dusclops. Dusclops lost 12% of its health. Metang used Meteor Mash. Dusclops lost 23% of its health. Metang: 52% Dusclops: 34% --- Ol’ Cloppy and I are in a dead heat. Will-o-Wisp and EQ are both good move choices for him, but Will-o-Wisp makes Metang useless against other Pokémon and potentially turns it into fodder to set up entry hazards, so that’s the move I’m expecting. I have no other Pokémon to take Dusclops’ final burn, so I leave Metang out there to start melting. Metang used Meteor Mash. Dusclops lost 22% of its health. Dusclops used Will-o-wisp. Metang was burned! Metang was hurt by its burn! Metang lost 12% of its health. Metang: 46% Dusclops: 6% --- Dusclops’ work is done, but not without a final example of why it’s such an annoying little thing. I don’t want to risk a miss with MM as Dusclops will be using Earthquake and can deal around 30% to me – Metang is useless, but why tempt fate when I can kill Dusclops for sure with a swift EQ to the one-eyed face. Dusclops used Shadow Sneak. Metang lost 9% of its health. Metang used Earthquake. Dusclops lost 6% of its health. randommc43's Dusclops fainted. Metang: 31% Dusclops: Blinded. 0% 5 – 4 extracheese --- Then again, why would it use Earthquake when it has priority... that was a clever move, and a stupid assumption on my part. A lead in the numbers is finally established, though with Metang in such bad shape I’m sure it won’t last long. randommc43 switched in Porygon2 (lvl 50 Porygon2). Porygon2's Download raised its stats! Porygon2's special attack was raised. Pointed stones dug into Porygon2. Porygon2 lost 12% of its health. Porygon2 will either attack and kill my Metang, or use Recover. Meteor Mash is futile as I’m burned, so the only thing I can do is Toxic in case he Recovers. I could switch to Haunter, but to be honest, Metang is just death fodder and saving it just isn’t worth it. Porygon2 used Recover. Porygon2 restored 50% of its health. Metang used Toxic. Porygon2 was badly poisoned! Porygon2 is hurt by poison! Porygon2 lost 6% of its health. Metang: 25% Porygon2: 48% --- I hit the cyberduck with a Toxic, though the slow damage won’t be of much use to me at this late stage in the game. All I can do is sit back and wait for Metang to die, so that I can bring Haunter in safely to attempt to remove quackers over there and help Rhydon out – I haven’t forgotten about that late-game plan. Porygon2 used Ice Beam. Metang lost 25% of its health. extracheese's Metang fainted. Metang: Scrap metal. 0% Porygon2: 26% 4 – 4 Even --- extracheese switched in Haunter (lvl 50 Male Haunter). In comes my ghosty to erase P2’s hard drive. With both Dusclops and Chansey out of the picture, I can’t really see much else that can stand up to the power of Haunter. HP Fighting a-go-go! randommc43 switched in Metang (lvl 50 Metang). Pointed stones dug into Metang. Metang lost 6% of its health. Haunter used Hidden Power. Metang lost 35% of its health. Metang's leftovers restored its health a little! Metang restored 6% of its health. Haunter: 45% Metang: 65% --- ...did I mention I don’t know anything about this game? Much else indeed... Metang is pretty much Haunter counter v2 when Chansey hasn’t stood up to the mark... or rolled up to it, due to her obesity. Anyway, Shadow Ball only does 60% to Metang and I can’t take a Meteor Mash. I still think Haunter is far too important to let go now as it is my best chance against that deadly Porygon2, so I’ve got to switch. Rhydon is out of the question as MM 2HKOs meaning I can’t Rock Polish, and with Porygon2 around I’m not gonna be getting any sweeping done without a Speed boost. Fortunately I just happen to pack another one of the deadliest sweepers in the tier which has no qualms about switching into a mashing Metang. And no, not Monferno, before you ask... extracheese switched in Croconaw (lvl 50 Male Croconaw). Metang used Stealth Rock. Pointed stones float in the air around the foe's team! Croconaw: 100% Metang: 71% --- My opponent makes a great prediction and sets up his own rocks on my switch. I don’t know how useful the rocks will be since things are coming to a close in this battle, but they’ll certainly make it harder for me to spam the Switch tab. The use of SR also meant that I could have switched Rhydon in here, but that’s the price you pay for relying on your opponent to use the obvious move. My switch-in of choice here is Croconaw; quiet as kept, bulky Swords Dance Aqua Jet Croconaw is one of the greatest mid to late-game sweepers in the entire metagame. It’s the only Pokemon with access to Swords Dance and a STAB priority move outside of Monferno and its Mach Punch, but nothing is immune to Croconaw’s Aqua Jet and Croconaw has higher Attack, too. This allows me to run a lot of HP EVs on Croconaw, as well as lefties. I fear nothing from Metang and am ready to SD up on the switch. Croconaw used Swords Dance. Croconaw's attack was sharply raised. Metang used Toxic. Croconaw was badly poisoned! Croconaw is hurt by poison! Croconaw lost 6% of its health. Croconaw: 93%, +2 Atk Metang: 77% --- No FREAKIN’ way. Naturally since my opponent and I are real-life friends we discuss MC and movesets and stuff, but I had no idea he liked Toxic Metang so much he would actually use it on his stall team. Another excellent prediction has caused Croconaw's time on the field to be slashed by poison. With Toxic eating away at my little crocodile’s hide, I’m no longer going to be able to sweep his remaining team members so easily. Still, I must play on. My best bet is to SD a second time, since I’m going to want to hit as hard as possible with the small amount of time I have remaining, and both Golbat and Porygon2 will die to +4 Aqua Jet. randommc43 switched in Roselia (lvl 50 Male Roselia). Pointed stones dug into Roselia. Roselia lost 12% of its health. Croconaw used Swords Dance. Croconaw's attack was sharply raised. Roselia's leftovers restored its health a little! Roselia restored 6% of its health. Croconaw: 87%, +4 Atk Roselia: 93% --- Gosh darn it. Roselia is an integral part of MC Stall as the only user of Spikes and the only viable user of Toxic Spikes, too. There’s no way I’m going to be faster than Roselia who tends to run a sizeable amount of Speed EVs for Sleep Powder. I could switch out to Haunter, but I doubt it will survive Roselia’s powerful Energy Ball thanks to SR now being up on my side of the field. My best bet is to get a light hit on Rosie with Aqua Jet, and to bring Haunter in afterward to clean up the mess. Croconaw used Aqua Jet. It's not very effective... Roselia lost 38% of its health. Roselia used Energy Ball. It's super effective! Croconaw lost 81% of its health. Croconaw is hurt by poison! Croconaw lost 14% of its health. extracheese's Croconaw fainted. Croconaw: Crocodile soup. 0% Roselia: 61% 3 – 4 randommc43 --- Croconaw, you total beast. I could have used Return to OHKO the Roselia, but I didn’t think I’d survive Energy Ball since she usually runs some Special Attack EVs... I probably could have switched in Haunter. Oh well, better late than never – I decide to bring Haunter in and just fire off Shadow Balls until something dies, since I can’t overpredict with HP Fighting for risk of Roselia setting up Toxic Spikes. extracheese switched in Haunter (lvl 50 Male Haunter). Pointed stones dug into Haunter. Haunter lost 12% of its health. randommc43 switched in Porygon2 (lvl 50 Porygon2). Porygon2's Download raised its stats! Porygon2's attack was raised. Pointed stones dug into Porygon2. Porygon2 lost 12% of its health. Haunter used Shadow Ball. It doesn't affect Porygon2... Haunter: 33% Porygon2: 7% --- Porygon2 switches in to absorb the Shadow Ball. I’m confident it’s gonna have to be sacrificed next turn so that my opponent can bring in Metang unscathed. Porygon2 has played quite a large role in this battle, always in the back of my mind as I knew that a single Agility would spell disaster for my team. Inadvertently it’s also been the main cause of me playing very conservatively with Rhydon, as I knew I wouldn’t stand a chance against it without a Speed boost, and there were just no good opportunities to get one. Well played, Porygon2, well played. Haunter used Hidden Power. It's super effective! Porygon2 lost 7% of its health. randommc43's Porygon2 fainted. Haunter: 23% Porygon2: Downloaded a virus. 0% 3 - 3 Even --- randommc43 switched in Metang (lvl 50 Metang). Pointed stones dug into Metang. Metang lost 6% of its health. Haunter’s not taking a Meteor Mash any time soon, but I’ve noticed that something is going to have to be sacrificed every time it switches in due to the fact that Metang can’t take two of Haunter’s attacks. I therefore decide to switch out. A sliver of light in the form of a new end-game plan has come to my attention, and I’m starting to think that victory is in sight. I have two switches here – Rhydon or Gabite. Both switches should eventually lead to the same result, but there are of course different risks associated with each one. I decided to bring Gabite in due it being the slightly safer option; if Metang runs max Speed (which I have genuinely seen before) and kills Rhydon without Rhydon taking a single thing down, then my end-game plan falls apart. extracheese switched in Gabite (lvl 50 Male Gabite). Pointed stones dug into Gabite. Gabite lost 6% of its health. Metang used Meteor Mash. Gabite lost 52% of its health. Metang's attack was raised. Gabite: 42% Metang: 77% --- The Attack raise there was worthless as I know this Metang won’t be packing Bullet Punch. I know that Golbat is switching in next, but using Dragon Claw to kill it is foolish as it allows Metang, the biggest opposing threat, back into the fray. I'm forced to choose the extremely obvious EQ. randommc43 switched in Golbat (lvl 50 Male Golbat). Pointed stones dug into Golbat. Golbat lost 25% of its health. Gabite used Earthquake. It doesn't affect Golbat... Gabite: 42% Golbat: 17% --- Everything’s going to plan so far. Golbat will use either Brave Bird, Roost or U-turn, any of which won’t affect the final phase of my plan. I’m expecting a Roost over anything else, because if he U-turns out he won’t be able to switch in again. I bring in Haunter for one final moment of glory before letting him die. extracheese switched in Haunter (lvl 50 Male Haunter). Pointed stones dug into Haunter. Haunter lost 12% of its health. Golbat used Roost. Golbat restored 50% of its health. Haunter: 10% Golbat: 73% --- For my plan to work, either Metang or Golbat have to faint. That’s right, I’m aiming for a ScarfBite sweep in the last few turns. Haunter’s final attack is actually quite unimportant, a rather unfitting end for such an integral part of my team. Farewell, Haunter (someone make a RIP-BUT-HE’S-ALREADY-DEAD-HE’S-A-GHOST-LOL joke)! Haunter used Shadow Ball. Golbat lost 71% of its health. Golbat used Brave Bird. Haunter lost 1% of its health. extracheese's Haunter fainted. Golbat was hit by recoil! Golbat lost 1% of its health. Haunter: Spooked. 0% Golbat: 7% 2 – 3 randommc43 --- With Haunter down, the battle is truly coming to a close. I’m bringing in my as-of-yet unrevealed Rhydon to take on Golbat. A Taunt is probably coming to stop the use of Rock Polish and provide Roselia with a free switch-in on the next turn, which means that my fate currently rests in the accuracy of Stone Miss. What a scary prospect... extracheese switched in Rhydon (lvl 50 Male Rhydon). Pointed stones dug into Rhydon. Rhydon lost 6% of its health. Golbat used Taunt. Rhydon fell for the taunt! Rhydon used Stone Edge. It's super effective! Golbat lost 7% of its health. randommc43's Golbat fainted. Rhydon lost 10% of its health. Rhydon: 84% Golbat: Sucked some bad blood. 0% 2 – 2 Even --- I can taste victory – with Golbat gone, nothing can stop ScarfBite’s rampaging Earthquake. I’ve got to make one last sacrifice to win, as Roselia switches in to paste Rhydon with a ball of green energy, which somehow makes it Grass-type. Nintendo logic ftw! randommc43 switched in Roselia (lvl 50 Male Roselia). Pointed stones dug into Roselia. Roselia lost 12% of its health. Roselia used Energy Ball. It's super effective! Rhydon lost 84% of its health. extracheese's Rhydon fainted. Rhydon: Rocked and rolled. 0% Roselia: 55% 1 – 2 randommc43 --- Rhydon goes down, having done a lot less in this match than I initially thought it would. Still, it played a vital role in my end-game plan... mostly as cannon fodder, but still. I thought about my sacrifice of Porygon2 earlier and whether or not it was really worth it – I didn’t even get the Rhydon sweep I really wanted. Still, I can’t complain – a victory is a victory. Or, at this point, so I thought... extracheese switched in Gabite (lvl 50 Male Gabite). Pointed stones dug into Gabite. Gabite lost 6% of its health. Gabite used Earthquake. Roselia lost 55% of its health. randommc43's Roselia fainted. Gabite: 35% Roselia: Wilted. 0% 1 – 1 Even --- randommc43 switched in Metang (lvl 50 Metang). Pointed stones dug into Metang. Metang lost 6% of its health. I’m grinning from ear to ear as the game is all but over. Having been on the back foot for half of the battle, I'm thinking I've snatched victory out of the jaws of defeat. However, at this point, my opponent popped up on msn with a lovely little message – “Ben, you should know I’m running 204 HP/252 Def Impish ;)” Well, that’s just brilliant. One damage calc later, and I receive the delightful news that he has a chance to survive this Earthquake. The results are stacked up in my favour, but there’s just over a 30% chance that he survives this EQ, and I get mashed to death. This battle has been close all the way through and I can’t imagine a more fitting ending – great game, randommc43! Scroll down for the result... randommc43 switched in Metang (lvl 50 Metang). Pointed stones dug into Metang. Metang lost 6% of its health. Gabite: 35% vs Metang: 71% Gabite used Earthquake. It's super effective! Tense, huh? Metang lost 71% of its health. randommc43's Metang fainted. Gabite: 35% Metang: Even scrappier metal. 0% extracheese wins! Final score: 1 – 0 extracheese Props and Slops Props - The closeness. This sort of battle doesn’t come around very often, and it’s even rarer for a match to actually be able to go either way at the end. - Haunter, for being my MVP, slowly whittling down the opposition and playing mindgame after mindgame. - Porygon2 – both mine and randommc’s. Both Pokémon were sitting at the back of the other player’s mind the whole time, threatening to sweep at the drop of a hat. Porygon2 is, in my opinion, the most powerful setup sweeper in Middle Cup since it’s so hard to prevent setup happening. - Gabite, for pulling me out of the jaws of defeat and into a victory at the end of the match. - My Metang, for surprising Dusclops with Toxic and generally being a beast. - His Metang, for surprising me with Toxic and being quite beastly in the later stages of the battle too. - The lack of hax - it didn't even enter into the battle at any point. - The whole Offense vs Stall setup of the battle. I think the ending goes to show that many different playstyles are available for use in Middle Cup, and that every battle can go either way with just one or two moves making the difference. For example, in this match, I'm confident that if my opponent had managed to keep his Porygon2 alive for longer he could have beaten me. Slops - Roselia, for not really doing all that much. Sure, it did manage to knock out two of my Pokémon, but it’s meant to be a spiker and it didn’t do any spiking. The main problem with MC Stall is just how hard it is to set up entry hazards against hyper offense teams like my own, since Roselia is so fragile and quite slow too. Still, Sleep Powder helps. - Rhydon, for not getting the sweep I’d wanted him to get at the end. Actually, he didn't do a whole lot of anything... - My Porygon2, for possibly sacrificing itself unnecessarily against Chansey, though I guess we’ll never know. - Croconaw, for being very awesome and yet not showing any of its true potential due to a couple of foolish misplays by yours truly. - Dusclops... for being there. I sincerely hope you enjoyed the warstory. Apologies for not including pictures on the last turn, but I had to remove about 14 images to get myself to the 100 image limit and the last turn images seemed to be the least important. randommc43's team was as follows: - Golbat (Lead) - Dusclops - Chansey - Porygon2 - Metang - Roselia Thanks for reading! Comments and constructive criticisms are more than welcomed.