Well, it's time for me to finally take a crack at warstory writing. As a bit of background, I play most of my games on PBR random Wi-Fi. You tend to see a lot of kids with crappy, un-EVed Uber teams, but there are also a good number of decent players with quality teams. I chose this battle partly because it was easy to remember, but also because it contains an important lesson: don't overuse Protect. For those of you who don't know, PBR staduim-mode matches allow you to see your oppoent's team of six Pokémon before you pick four for the battle. This particular opponent was rare in that they only had a team of four Pokémon to choose from, making it fairly easy to predict which four they would use. Their team consisted of: I used my current favorite team, Worm Food: It wasn't hard to predict my opponent's two leads. Crobat was born to be a setup Pokémon with 130 base Speed and Inner Focus. It would be the Rain Dance user. Azelf is a popular Explosion user, and it doesn't do much good to blow up when you're the last Pokémon standing. The match starts like so: Alakazam and Infernape vs. Azelf and Crobat Bingo. One of a few things is going to happen here. The Azelf could use Explosion while the Crobat uses Protect. Perhaps the Azelf will use Explosion and the Crobat will have a Focus Sash. In this case, the Croabt will use Rain Dance. Regardles, there's really no way that I can prevent the Rain Dance from eventually happening, thanks to Crobat being faster than Alakazam and having Inner Focus (so Infernape can't use Fake Out to flinch it). Turn 1: Azelf uses Protect. Infernape uses Fake Out against Azelf, but Azelf protects itself. Crobat uses Rain Dance. Alakazam uses Psychic on Crobat. (100% damage) Crobat faints. Opponent sends out Kingdra. Well, I hadn't guessed that exactly right, but it worked out pretty well. One Pokémon down. It's raining, but that was unavoidable. (The Crobat must have held a Damp Rock because the rain continued to fall for the remainder of the battle.) It's pretty clear that an Explosion is imminent, and I have just the thing for that. Turn 2: Infernape switches to Politoed. Kingdra uses Protect. Alakazam uses Shadow Ball on Azelf. (99% damage, saved by Focus Sash) Azelf uses Explosion, but it fails due to Politoed's Damp ability. Well, my opponent seems to be playing pretty conservatively, so I'm guessing that they're not about to let their Azelf be finished off by my faster Alakazam. It'll either switch out or Protect. In the meantime I plan to concentrate on dealing as much damage to the Kingdra as possible. It's the biggest threat to my team and I need it out of the way. On the off-chance that Azelf does decide to chance an attack, Politoed's Blizzard should finish it off (if it hits). Turn 3: Azelf switches to Jolteon. Kingdra uses Hydro Pump on Alakzam. (99% damage, saved by Focus Sash) Alakazam uses Psychic on Kingdra. (≈ 65% damage) Politoed uses Blizzard, hits Kingdra (≈ 30% damage), misses Jolteon. OK, this is not a great position for me. Both of my Pokémon are slower than both of their Pokémon. It looks like I'll be losing both unless I switch out. Politoed has Protect, so I could save it from Thunder that way. I decide, however, that my other two Pokémon are the best candidates for finishing up this battle. I don't want them to take damage on the way in and I want them to enter the match at the same time. So as wasteful as it seems, it's goodnight for Alakazam and Politoed. Turn 4: Kingdra uses Hydro Pump on Alakazam. (1%) Alakazam faints. Jolteon uses Thunder on Politoed. (100%) Jolteon takes Life Orb damage. (10%) Politoed faints. I send out Infernape and Leafeon. OK, this is going to be a cinch, thanks to Kingdra's low health (≈ 5% left). I'll finish it off with Leafeon's Quick Attack and Infernape will Fake Out Jolteon in the meantime, nullifying its threat for the round. If either switches to Azelf, that'll go down too. It's the perfect plan! Turn 5: Kingdra uses Protect. Jolteon uses Protect. Infernape uses Fake Out on Jolteon, but Jolteon is protecting itself. Leafeon uses Quick Attack on Kingdra, but Kingdra is protecting itself. OK. I guess that's one way to make sure Fake Out doesn't succeed. This eliminates part of my advantage, but Leafeon can still safely use Quick Attack and Infernape should be able to finish Jolteon off with a single Close Combat. My Infernape has a lot of EVs in HP, so it should probably survive a Life Orb Thunder unless it's a critical hit. Turn 6: Leafeon uses Quick Attack on Kingdra. (5% damage) Kingdra faints. Jolteon uses Thunder on Infernape. Critical hit! (100% damage) Jolteon takes Life Orb damage. (10%) Infernape faints. Opponent sends out Azelf. The astute reader will now notice that my opponent has this match in the bag. All they have to do is attack with both their Pokémon on the same turn. My Leafeon can take out the Azelf with Quick Attack before it can act, but then the faster Jolteon will then get two attacks before I can finish it off. I could instead target the Jolteon with Leaf Blade, but then both opponents get to take a crack at me. I can beat the Azelf and I can beat the Jolteon, but I can't do both at the same time. If you didn't figure this out, don't feel bad; my opponent didn't figure it out either. It's clear by this point in the match that they've fallen prey to the Protect mentality. It's likely that they will try to predict which Pokémon I'll target and Protect with it in order to avoid damage. Since the only attack my Leafeon had used so far was Quick Attack, my opponent probably assumes I'm going to take out the Azelf. Turn 7: Azelf uses Protect. Jolteon uses Hidden Power (presumably Ice) on Leafeon. (≈ 87% damage) Jolteon takes Life Orb damage. (10%) Leafeon uses Leaf Blade on Jolteon. (70% damage) Jolteon faints. At this point, my opponent disconnects. My opponent had a solid, well-executed strategy. They had what appeared to be powerful, well-trained Pokémon. I'd even claim that luck was mostly on their side. In the end, they still lost because on every turn they took what appeared to be the 'safe' action without thinking forward a few turns to the probable consequences. Protect is a powerful tool when used effectively. Make sure you don't fall into the trap of using it too predictably. Hopefully you Doubles fans out there found this story enjoyable. If you'd like me to change the format in any way, please tell me. Thanks.