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Metagaming; Beneficial or detrimental?

Discussion in 'VGC' started by keelhauled, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. keelhauled

    keelhauled

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    Each year since Pokemon Online took a hold of VGC preparation we have had the ability to practise as much as we want, and with maximum ease to get ready for the regional and national qualifiers, and for those select few, the World Championships. This has invariably led to major threats being outlined very early on in the season, and specific counters being discovered in lieu of this. As people try new strategies to overcome these counters, previously untried pokemon come into the spotlight. The cycle repeats, counters are found, anti-teams are made and the 'metagame' takes shape.

    However, my question is; Does the formation of a 'metagame' per se, have a detrimental effect on how players fare in the actual tournaments, or will it actually improve performance?

    In my experience from playing extensively last year, in VGC11, I was able to see how quickly the metagame changed, team types constantly rose in popularity, and the masses duly made "anti-metagame" teams. This led to a shift in the flux, and what was once considered anti-metagame became common. This happened so much, as we got closer to regionals, I was seeing some particularly ridiculous sets, purely designed to counter other ridiculous sets people had been using. People were creeping speed to beat pokemon who were speed creeping, and people were making anti-teams to beat other anti-teams.

    Is there any way to avoid this? Or is it something we must accept will happen inevitably?

    Does this anti-metagaming give us an edge over the common uneducated opponent due to the fact we have explored every boundary of the ruleset, or does this just mean we are expecting more from less skilled players, leading to overprediction, poor selection of our 4 pokemon, and possibly defeat.

    On the other hand, will this give us an advantage? If we expect everything and take nothing for granted are we less likely to be caught out by gimmicks and tricks, leading to greater successes?

    Does this formation of a constantly changing metagame get taken account when we make final teams for the events, with the creation of fancy teams exploiting minor gimmicks, or do we just go back to basics, with what is simple and effective?

    So I pose this to you, does the formation of a metagame, and consequent anti-metagaming help or hinder us in the tournaments which matter, with real prizes on the line?
  2. voodoo pimp

    voodoo pimp Apply directly to the forehead
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    I agree that the whole anti-anti-anti...idea is pretty ridiculous, which is why almost all of the top teams are pretty straightforward.

    On the other hand, I think the establishment of a metagame is a very good thing overall. For instance, knowing what the "best" teams are gives new players a way to learn more about battling without the frustration of losing every game because their team sucks, and being able to figure out what works and what doesn't means that tournaments are decided by more than just theorymon and people who were lucky enough to stumble onto a good combination.
  3. makiri

    makiri My vast and supreme will shall be done!
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    All of my best teams in the past (think Zapchomp, Topogre, etc) have always been focused on being very straight forward while maintaining a broad coverage of the top Pokemon. While the PO metagame is almost centralized around a few Pokemon and a constant rotation of counters and checks, the Regional, National and Worlds metagames are completely different. Regionals have a large number of people who don't test anything online and you see a large number of very surprising Pokemon that get no use online. Nationals in the past has been more in tune with something like PO but even then you're going to see secret techs and things you don't normally see online. Worlds is just a whole separate beast and I don't think you can even delve into that. What I am getting at is the real life VGC metagames evolve and are much different from the online metagame.

    I've always held the belief that a good team is one that is good on its own and causes the opponent to react to it. If you are loading your team full of counters for Pokemon that never show up in your battles you are already putting yourself at a disadvantage. Back to my most successful teams, Zapchomp was like this, attack fast, attack hard. It caused many of my opponents to react to what I was doing instead of me trying to react to them. Another one of my "rules to play by" is that a losing opponent becomes a predictable opponent. The further a hole someone is, the more likely they are going to be predictable further cementing your lead. My run during Phoenix 09 was very much like this, Zapchomp puts me ahead early and causes my opponents to play even more predictably.

    Zapchomp didn't fall into this hole of expecting too little or too much from my opponents. It played its own game, causing the opponents to react to me, which in turn makes me prepared for almost everything. Zapchomp did have weaknesses though, things like Trick Room Hail, Rain teams and anything faster with an Ice or Dragon move (especially Latios). And that is where my backup 2 Pokemon came in, Abomasnow and Metagross together handled most threats that Zapchomp could not deal with. Abomasnow changes the weather and resists most moves thrown at it by Rain teams and deals with fast things like Latios while Metagross could almost single handedly take on Hail and Ice Pokemon. This isn't over-preparing for gimmicks, it is covering my bases and producing a very well rounded and straight forward team.

    I've almost never played online and my performance during the real tournaments has been just fine. I've have rules I play by and I have done pretty well for myself. I don't try to anti-metagame anything as this puts you in trouble at the real events if your tricks don't work on your opponents who have no knowledge of any metagame ever developing.

    I will say this though, while likely not going to happen ever again with the current concurrent Regionals, Topogre actually did cause a real metagame in real life 2010 VGC metagame to develop. Either you ran Topogre or you ran very heavy counters for it. I didn't see this happen in 2011 at all but I did see a minor Rain>Goodstuff>TR>Rain cycle going, but nothing as dramatic as 2010.
  4. Synre

    Synre
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    I know this something we talked about a lot during last season in the Ducks channel too -- specifically that the ladder on Skarmbliss isn't very representative of anything but the ladder on Skarmbliss. The "metagame" on the ladder goes through shifts rapidly, sometimes in the span of hours. These shifts often aren't particularly indicative of anything except, in many cases, weaknesses of whoever is battling online at the time as people get sick of losing and change their team to counter other people on the ladder instead of actually trying to improve whatever technical weaknesses their team has.

    I think there's plenty of useful things you get out of practicing on the ladder, but I think it's important not to take what happens on the ladder as absolute truth, especially before regionals (and I guess the opening rounds of Nationals this year), where it's likely more than half of your opponents aren't going to be people with extensive experience on PO anyway. I find in general if when I audition and tinker with a team I only worry about the first time I battle people on a day(because the predictions are wonky and unrealistic in repeat encounters and if they change their team or tactics to counter what I'm doing its not representative of a real life game) and use the same team over different play periods with a few days in between each I get a decent grasp of what my team can and can't handle well. I don't think doing something like this is even close to perfect practice, and honestly from a team evaluation standpoint I think well thought out theorymon is a lot better, but I think if nothing else things that trouble you practicing with a team on PO give you idea of combinations of Pokemon and move-types that trouble you and that sort of thing.

    I think the simulators can kind of set you in a trap too in that the best Pokemon are the best Pokemon, and you learn those on a simulator pretty quickly and in many cases kind of get pressured into use them because of usage stats and seeing them in so many battles on-line, but I think sometimes people forget they aren't always the right Pokemon -- look at Ray's Gothitelle last year, which certainly isn't a Pokemon that deserved to be one of the most popular choices but played perfectly in the strategy he was using. I'm a little leery mentioning that team since it was one of the most "anti-meta" 2011 teams, but I think with the game in 2012 having so many more viable options it's a lot less reliable to try to do things like that this year. Simulators also have the reverse effect of the best Pokemon thing, since people look at the usage stats and tend to over-counter the most common threats at the time, which isn't very representative of a real event for the most part.

    Obviously, as far as preparing for events you get a decent taste of what the most powerful Pokemon and strategies are and what they're likely to do, so I think it's pretty good from the standpoint of increasing your knowledge, but you have to be really careful about reaching too far to counter them and being too anti-meta because you're putting an awful lot of hope in your opponent being predictable. I think the best teams are usually ones that are great at setting the tempo they want to play and doing what they do really well, while being reasonably sound defensively and perhaps being EVed to survive helpful calcs against common opponents. I think it's pretty dangerous to try to compensate too much for specific Pokemon or team types -- if you're basing your strategy around getting a specific opponent in an event where you do not know who your opponent is going to be you're setting yourself up to be a pretty awkward spot. I think it's important to be able to counter, or at least have a reasonably reliable plan for common concepts like of each of the weathers, TR, etc., but I think the more specific you get the more trouble you're risking putting yourself in.

    I guess to answer the question itself: it can help you and it can hurt you depending on how you use the information you get from playing in an arbitrary metagame. It might help you get better at playing Pokemon or learn something about your team, but it's not going to tell you what your opponents are likely to be using or if your team is a good fit for the metagame you'll play in in real life.
  5. Human

    Human

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    There are some things that will consistently work which can be seen by Pokemon Online and it can help show glaring weaknesses in your team. I liked it back in VGC 2010 much more than now though, I mainly use it to try to help other people out and to test random things at this point, it isn't worth it mainly due to Pokemon Online now having a bad ratio of bad:good people with a lot of regionals experience; Pokemon Online now has a lot of people without any experience on to try to achieve the experience and a lot of bad players as such which doesn't help you much when it comes to how they try to anti-anti-meta something that doesn't really exist, Pokemon Online was better in VGC 2010 when it was still very small with almost everyone having regionals experience or at least the knowledge of what to expect to quickly get practice to deal with many possible strategies that might be used (I guess it was also a bit different because if someone used a bad team in VGC 2010 odds are almost 100% they were going to lose anyways).

    Good for new people, bad for people who already know what to do because it makes people make mistakes that they often times wouldn't.

    As for what Synre said about making EV spreads to 'counter' specific threats being bad though, I disagree because often times doing something like this will let you survive so many more things and give much more overall usability. You can counter, but you need to do it smart and know how differently to play with it among many situations.
  6. mattj

    mattj blatant Nintendo fanboy

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    I'll never forget my 5th battle at Nats 2009. We were both 3/1 and we knew that whoever won had a shot at a free trip to California. I was a complete nob back then and had literally spilled my entire team when he happened to ask before the battle. As we were picking our mons, he looked at me and cockily asked, "Do you mind if I metagame you?"

    I didn't even know what the word metagame meant at that time. I had just joined smogon. I didn't know how to RNG. I didn't even have my type matchups completely memorized at that time. I believe I had only had around 10 or so practice battles on wifi with that team. Needless to say I swept him 4/2.

    There is an undeniable sense in which learning the current Wifi and PO metagames absolutely will help VGCers. You learn which mons just happen to work well together more easily than say, Solrock or something, which you could make work, but you've really gotta put effort into it. You also get an idea of what the majority of people are using. But learning the metagame cannot prepare you for clever players or complete nobs, both of which can steamroll you if you just assume that everyone you play will follow the current metagame.
  7. jhud

    jhud

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    Anti-Metagaming is crucial if you are concerned about laddering. However the people you play in irl VGC tournaments, will be considerably different needless to say than the people you play on the PO server. While there are always a few randoms that do well each VGC, it's still the pro's online that you need to worry about primarily. But the key as is with most things is simply balance. If your team is strictly anti-meta a noob could sweep you using unexpected stuff that you don't see a lot of online, and vice versa, if you have a basic team that counters most noobs (zapdos garchomp lead for example) you may get countered hard when it counts. Balance is key.
  8. soul_survivor

    soul_survivor

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    Well I play PO rarely just to test teams I just made before I make em ingame. I've had some seriously ridiculous matches when people used counters to a certain playstyle but most of those fail pretty badly. Though then theres newer players that just look at the usage list and you'll see commom teams like zap-top,Cress-tar, Poli-Colo. Though every once in awhile you'll see players who can actually battle. So this is kind've misleading because as said not everyone play vgc.

    Another thing I want to talk about concerning metagame discussion is GBU Doubles. This has a experience far from simulators. You battle quite a few different countries (JP,All of EURO,Australia). I've battled many players that you might see the 1st 2 rds of vgc and fought many tough opponents that had me thinking for awhile. Since theres 1000's of players your gonna see varying strategies being used. Also a note that the popular intimitop was seen here as early as August on gbu using ejectbutton,LO, and gems. This hitmontop grew in popularity and is well now up in the t5 in usage in PO.


    So PO, GBU, and actual vgc seem like all entirely different metas. PO is more centralized, GBU is quite random, and VGC you have to expect PO players, GBU'ers, and even randoms who use neither,
  9. Smith

    Smith is a 90's bitch
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    I have two minutes before the bell rings but I just want to say that last year I had very little VGC experience and just had a team that wrecked- well, "noobs" is a harsh word, but people who had little knowledge of the PO metagame or PO in general. It was basic TR that got wrecked pretty hard by almost everything ANY tr team gets wrecked by, but I made it to top 8. I strongly believe over-preparing and over-predicting is going to bite you in the ass this year.
  10. gec

    gec i've been crawling through the falling
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    There's always one maxim I play by when I play at UK nats - always assume your opponent is stupid. Not in an offensive way, but just remember they won't be anything like your PO opponents, obviously until the later rounds. All of my teams try and have 2 'modes' and I think that's what makes a team successful. By modes, I mean you have a set team/combo to flat out beat idiots with (like jhud said above me, Zapchomp, or any potent offensive combo for that matter) but also a set team/combo for the more skilled players, because Zapchomp will definitely not sweep past the finalists lounge or anything. That also helps during Worlds or whenever you need to play bo3.

    Always take PO with a punch of salt. It's something so simple to remember, but something that is so easy to forget and get caught up in that you start to metagame unintentionally. I try my best only to play on PO with a joke team, or some stupid gimmick I want to try out and never with the team I plan on using at VGC. That's because if you use your final team on PO extensively, you'll be so used to playing 'decent' players you'll end up overpredicting at the event itself.
  11. Solace

    Solace swing from the chandelier
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    I definitely felt the disadvantages of trying to "metagame" the competition at RI this year. not as many people ran the things I was expecting, and so a counter strategy I had devised ended up being used maybe once?

    as soul_survivor pointed out, each metagame is slightly different. PO has its own metagame which can become inflated by people using Pokemon they might not be able to obtain in-game. in gbu you have a slight difference, but people are still likely to run a different team for VGC.

    I think there can be some advantages to metagaming. knowing the common PO threats and commonly used pokemon can certainly give you a feel for the meta. making sure your team can handle different paces is also incredibly important. I think that in this sense, using both PO and the gbu can be incredibly useful for testing. with so many players out there, i also like to look at past things people in my area have run, since that can give you a feel for your own region's metagame.

    all in all I don't think metagaming is bad in itself. when it becomes anti-anti-anti it can be a problem, but knowing your metagame is incredibly important.
    there are always going to be exceptions, so i think it's best to just build a great team, and the countering will happen automatically.
  12. Drifblim

    Drifblim

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    We, as people, make our own choices. While these choices may be influenced by other things, we are the ones to make them. I believe it is good to understand a metagame, yet we are the ones to finally decide what our team shall be. It is our choice to decide how scared we are of threats, and to what extent we will go to counter all notable threats. I don't do PO online, but the usage statistics have been helpful in determining whats popular. At the moment, it is far and away goodstuff. Rain after that. I predict live tournaments will be won by rain, because goodstuff seems to be running out of originality and unexpectedness. While this may be similar with rain, it is harder to catch completely off guard
  13. Cybertron

    Cybertron Can't Hit WoW
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    Lots of great posts here, I'll chime in as well.

    From what I've personally seen, most people will end up using teams that are so to say "standard," at least at Regionals. For example, at the 2011 Regionals, most of the teams that won used Pokemon that were in the top percentage online. Up until Worlds, I'd have to say that in VGC 2011 the only two really creative teams that did well were TTS's Thundurus/Zebstrika combo and Wolfe's incredible TR team. (Actually, I forgot to mention R Inanimate's really cool Zoroark team as well!) For the most part, even though the metagame was evolving rapidly, people still stuck with their "standard" teams. When I was thinking of what I wanted to use for Nationals and Worlds, I often looked at other teams but in the end, PO and my real life experience gave me confidence in my team. I decided to just stick with what was simple and effective. I didn't run any creative EV spreads or moves, just straight 252/252/4 spreads (other than on my max speed Amoonguss). Because of my extensive practice on PO, I was ready to take on almost any 2011 team.

    Using PO also lets me gain confidence before tournaments. I've used every 2011- on team in a tournament on PO. It makes me go, "Oh, this can beat some of the best Master division players in the World. It should be alright to take on against Senior players. If I can win 8 straight battles online with this team, what's stopping me from doing that in real life?" I feel a lot more comfortable using a team that I have solid experience with rather than a team that I have not tested too much. However, with so many new resources out these days, getting Pokemon for a cart to either battle via GBU or friends isn't as hard as before.

    However, I also believe PO is the reason why I underperformed at Worlds. My 2nd round was against 2010 World Champion Shota, and we had a very intense 3 games. Although he ended up winning because of 6 Rock Slide misses along with well time crits, I ended up losing to him because his team was so different from what I was used to. For example, his Landorus carried Choice Scarf, his Thundurus had a Sitrus Berry, his Amoonguss had a Focus Sash, his Scrafty had Shed Skin rather than Moxie, etc. In my testing in PO, I had never even seen these items on those Pokemon before. Landorus always carried Yache Berry while Scarf was used on something like Terrakion or Chandelure, Thundurus always had Charti/Electric Gem, Amoonguss always had Coba. I managed to figure out how to beat his team after losing game 1, but the hax was too much for me to win it out. However, because PO put me in a mindset where I expected those Pokemon to have specific items and movesets, I was caught off guard.

    I also think simulators skewed my way of thinking in VGC 2011, and also caught up to my brother's defeat in the Top 4 of the World Championships. When Luke, a Junior who finished in the Top 4 at the National Championships, told me that my brother's opponent was running Terracott, my brother and I thought it would be an easy win. However, my brother did not catch on to the fact that his opponent was running a Life Orb on his Terrakion rather than a Chople/Focus Sash. Because of this, he did not target the Terrakion with his own Terrakion in games 2/3, and his opponents Terrakion was able to OHKO Tornadus/Thundurus/Terrakion. In the end, I feel like Brendan was the better battler but because his opponent used some thing unexpected, he was caught off guard leading to his loss.

    Ray really capitalized on using non-standard Pokemon that countered the rest of the metagame in 2011. Because the metagame basically involved into a group of 10 Pokemon, Ray used some Pokemon that players have never even seen before and used them well. In 2010, the team he used wasn't as surprising. It wasn't "standard," so to say, but the Pokemon he used were a lot more common than the ones he used in 2011. Because this year allows so many different Pokemon, it's really hard to predict what the winning teams will be. Personally, I'm not going to make teams that counter specific teams. Rather, I'll be making simple and effective teams that have a few tricks up their sleeves than will catch people off guard.

    My final say is that PO is excellent in testing teams and getting a feel of how it runs. However, it should also be noted that most of the players on PO are from America, with a good amount from Europe (mainly Spain). When it comes to the World Championships, I don't think testing in PO will be as great as testing for Regionals because of the people you'll be playing against. It's interesting to note how different the American/Europe/Korean/Japanese metagames are, seen by previous years.

    tldr; PO is great but be careful, especially at World level. VGC 2012 is a large metagame and does not include as much "counter-teaming" as VGC 2011 did.
  14. JRank

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    Concuring with the above, especially the bolded. Personally, I use PO to see if what I plan to put together is actually viable, and while I may see different teams on PO than on the GBU (my primary method of testing on an actual B/W cart), if my team gets curbstomped in the majority of 10 battles or so (after that I start running into the same people and the counter-teaming occurs), then I don't go to the effort of making it in-game.

    The biggest problem I see in using PO as your main (or only) source of practice is not that you're not prepared for "non-standard" teams (though that is a worry), it's that there is such a small sample size. The skarmbliss PO server is the only place to get battles (not trying to advertise, but aside from the mods like solace who are on anyway, you could wait for hours to find a battle on Smogon), and most nights there's around 15 people on the ladder, and that's assuming a lot of people are playing. When this happens, as previously discussed, you play a few matches, play the same people. After doing this for a while, you have to change your team to counter their's. They change to counter yours, and after an hour or two of playing, your team is so far from where it started it's unrecognizable. Playing too much on PO (and building your regionals/nationals/worlds team based off it), will make your team built to counter way too many niche strategies and weird EV spreads. I think if more people (I'm not sure the number but I would guess there's a 100 people on the Smogon OU ladder every night? Whenever I log on there's around 200 people on Smogon iirc) played, closer to the number of OU, we wouldn't have this problem as you wouldn't have to re-match someone once in every 10 minutes.

    i ramble too much sorry
  15. Zog

    Zog

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    Hardly anything here I'm disagreeing with; everyone posting knows how to play so yeah lol just the odd thing.

    I will add a little bit of zoggy insight though (hooray).

    Just remember, at a regional the chances are your opponent isn't a very competitive player. Just know what every pokemon is capable of doing, and pack things that can deal with anything and you should win every round against a "random" at least. Generally all you need is a solid team that can handle anything common, while still being able to beat the uncommon things by playing around them. Pokemon become uncommon for a reason, and it's usually because they're easy to beat.

    Anyone who paid attention to TEAM WELL ACE SEXY BEAST (not many lol) will probably remember my personal strategy of using "non-standard standard pokemon", which to me is always the best way to go about things. You maintain the surprise while also having good pokemon, so you win nearly every time if you can play well.

    Risk assessment's important, too. Never risk a game on a prediction unless you KNOW your opponent's good, and even then only if you have to: because that's precisely how you can end up losing. And by good, I mean like... really good, as in, save it for the top contenders at worlds.

    So that's basically it, really. As long as your team is anti-metagame while still being good in its own right, you're onto a winner. PO's good for working out the kinds of things competent people will be using, and being aware of random things. Like if you see chansey and shuckle together, you'll know it's that dick-ass team with the double memento and guard split/charge beam stalling. No apologies to the guy using that because I hate the team lol.

    UNFORTUNATELY I CAN'T PLAY PO RIGHT NOW BECAUSE ENFUEGO GOT MAD I BEAT HIM AND BANNED ME LOL

    See I would've had you at worlds bro. Also can someone please unban me 9.9
  16. PokeMaster366

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    This sure does take me back to my days as a VGC Rookie. Whenever I saw a popular or powerful team like Rain, Sandstorm, or Tailwind, I would always be so worried about how to counter them specifically. Ultimately, those counters didn't work because my methods for countering were too narrow-minded and predictable.

    Since I didn't like to use PO, you can tell how much painful trial and error was involved, but at least it all made the breeding easier. Eventually, I got tired of running random pokemon that I don't like simply because they could counter certain threats and went ahead to make a team that fit my own style. As soon as I focused on that, I went from the 1300s on the GBU (the previous team was that bad) to the 1600s. Over time, the team began to change to suit my personal tastes and quirks, and ultimately, I finally got a team that I like using and still gives me a healthy win streak against powerful and unpredictable players.

    Bottom line: The biggest mistake that any starting VGC players can make is to copy someone else's team or make some random team of individually powerful pokemon and believe that it will take them to worlds while the biggest mistake that VGC players with some experience can make is to overspecialize their teams to counter certain threats. It still doesn't hurt to prepare for top-tier threats, just don't let it be the main focus of your team. Just find out what play style suits you, find out what holes your team has when it uses that style, and let it evolve by finding new methods for closing those holes. Put simply, COVER YOUR BASES (the issues your own team have) AND THE RUNNER (your opponent) WILL HAVE FEW PLACES TO GO; however, "having no blind spots" doesn't translate to "you're invincible". You still need to have the skill and creativity to see the other possible ways the match can flow and how effective those strategies will be at the time.
  17. kamz

    kamz
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    Like most people said on this already using PO and getting to know the metagame really can help you out. But like others have said as well when you run into something you don't know can be fatal to your chances of winning. During the 2009, 2010, and 2011 season Sassan and I had a lot of practice games where I always came out victorious. Then he started using pokemon I didn't really know about such as Kangaskhan(Fake out) Mewtwo( Trick Room) Gallade ( Trick Room) Gliscor (Acrobatics) and the one where I didnt even know what the move was Giritina (Tailwind). After having these practice games we started having these once a week games where we would use pokemon the other didn't know too much about. Soon we ran out of ideas and I (Unfortunately his parents are douche bags who don't give a shit about anything he really likes) did really well at regionals being able to identify stuff that would have scared me to see. Usually though most people were noobs with these very good in the right hands pokemon were wasted.
    It's not that hard to learn the different pokemon and there moves it's just most people mindsets are whatever PO is.
  18. Dozz

    Dozz Has anyone in this family ever seen a chicken?
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    I may as well chime in, I'm awake and all that.

    Firstly, I do dislike metagaming as it does create a pitfall for players that spend a lot of time practicing and testing on PO. It's very easy to become accustomed to seeing the same sort of teams, doing the same thing over and over. You become too used to these, and there are always problems faced when something new comes up, even in real life. In my Semi Final in France last year, Lionel played his team completely differently to anything I could have guessed from PO practice, in all aspects. By the time I'd figured it out, it was too late. It seems that because not as many Europeans are on, it creates a gulf for us in the EU, where there's still a lot of mystery surrounding teams like the French who don't often dabble in PO. This also applies to the early rounds, in the UK nationals in particular, where you get players from many different backgrounds.

    It does have merit though. The constant "anti-metagaming" means new things are emerging as popular all the time, which keeps the battle fresh I guess. For example, when Poli-Colo was rampant, Toxicroaks came back to the scene, which I imagine had an effect elsewhere. It also makes using something completely different, more rewarding. If you can think of a metagame busting strategy, and keep it quiet, you can really catch opponents off guard, come the day of the event. Keep this quiet on PO may be hard, but that's a completely different debate. Also, Cyberton said it well, It does help build confidence. I wouldn't feel great going in with just some GBU practice under my belt.

    It is inevitable though. People aren't going to stop using some things. People aren't going to wake up and think "Actually, Cress isn't that great anymore. Might just stop using it" The fact is, strong mons will be picked. If we all just accept it, we'll still have a good VGC season every year.

    EDIT: After re-reading the above, it seems most of what I said had been covered already. Sorry to bore anyone
  19. GARCHOMPZILLA

    GARCHOMPZILLA

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    PO is not really a way to familiarize yourself, becuase the real champion like rizzo often dont go with what you normally expect. Its called taking people by suprise and it works well escpecially with all the overused pokemon on PO. I think its detrimental becuase you build your team around beating certain things on PO, and the most crucial thing is that a lot of people on PO dont actually have the pokemon ingame, so they cant use the same strategies. I ceratianly dont have 6 pokemon in game that have perfect iv's and amazing egg moves or etcetera and I doubt most people do.
  20. Cybertron

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    Not really true, once you get to National/World level, 99% of the players will have Pokemon that have perfect IV's/EV's/egg moves. There isn't as much "taking people by surprise" as there was in VGC 2011. Because we were so limited to Pokemon last year, using Pokemon that have never even seen play before caught people off guard and Ray utilized that perfectly. However, with so many different Pokemon that are usable this year, more than half the teams you play will probably be unique and have some tricks up their sleeve. It's not a standard team of Tornadus/Terrakion/Thundurus/Chandelure/Jellicent/Amoonguss anymore. The most "standard" teams so to say are probably Rain teams (which actually aren't just autopilot teams contrary to common belief) and "Goodstuff." But Goodstuff isn't just strong 'mons like last year as each team is a bit unique in their own way.

    However, you do make an interesting point because at Regionals, what you said is more accurate. I find it to be more accurate in the Juniors/Seniors division however, where not everyone has access to forums. From my observations, the top Juniors normally have people that assist them in getting Pokemon / teaching them how to play, or occasionally, lurk around forums and go on PO. It's honestly very hard for a Junior to build a team all by themselves, because let's be honest, they're not going to be RNGing stuff. Once you get to Seniors, it's a lot different as we are generally smarter and have access to more online resources. Masters will generally have at least decent IV'd Pokemon in important stats such as Speed, good movesets, etc. The best Masters that make it to Worlds all have forum accounts or at least lurk around, as well as having a circle of friends to test with.

    Also, I would like to point out how it isn't that hard to get perfect Pokemon anymore. Because of so many kind members on Smogon such as CO, andrea, and moof, it is rather simple as long as you are polite about it. These members really dedicate their time to helping people out and its really incredible. Back in 2008, it was almost impossible for me to get a decent team because of several reasons: 1. I was a Junior and got banned on Smogon like 2 days after joining, lol. 2. RNGing was limited to Emerald back then, and as I was so young, I could hardly understand it. 3. I didn't have any resources. I went to Worlds that year with a decent team that had poor IVs. Since 2010 though, I have never used a single Pokemon that I have personally bred or caught. The wonderful people of this forum have always greatly assisted me, and I can't thank them enough for that.

    Sorry that I talk too much, I like sharing interesting points though!
  21. voodoo pimp

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    This is definitely not true, at least once you get into the top 10% or so of regionals and a lot more at nats/worlds. It may have held true in past generations, where the game mechanics were less known and there wasn't as much of an online community, but now that RNG manipulation is so well-understood and widely known, and resources like Smogon's analyses make it easy to come up with effective move sets, expecting your opponent to not have a perfect team is a bad idea.
  22. GARCHOMPZILLA

    GARCHOMPZILLA

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    Not nearly who attend vgc's rng(im one who doesnt-curse you 3ds.)and I know that certainly limits stats and chances of surviving attacks, damage and sometimes how far you get at vgc's just cause you didnt have those 12 sp.def ivs or something. I used to consider rnging hacking becuase a legitimate way to perfect ivs easily seemed like a load of (censored) to me. Now i know its legal, but I still have a hard time competing those who rng, and I agree that now you cant expect much cause everythings usable now(except for ubers of course).

    You cant expect or prepare OR counter everything and thats why theres always a team to counter you and thats with metagaming getting you to expect certain things. And at worlds/nats a lot of people do have the same stuff, but at regionals theres all kinds of people who sometimes have teams that are so wierd/ unique that(no offense to anyone at all here) its not gonna get them to worlds but it might just counter yours, this is important to remember becuase regional almost determines eveything and your chance at worlds. You could have the best team ever and on PO it beat everything but one person's unintentionally counters your and thats it. You dont get an invite at regionals, you dont go to worlds or nats. PERIOD.
  23. Cybertron

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    I'm sorry but I couldn't even understand half of that post... I'll try my best to respond.

    First off, no one ever said everyone RNG'd their own teams. I personally don't, and will get friends to help me out when finalizing a team. I also think it's wonderful TCPi allows everything. I'm tired of people complaining about Rain teams being "cheap." Sure, a standard rain team is good, but its the player that makes it great. You can't lead every battle with Politoed/Ludicolo and expect to win. I originally built a rain team for my brother to use at Regionals and tested it on PO, and found that there was a lot more to it then just spamming attacks every turn.

    And honestly, if you don't have access to RNG'd Pokemon, either ask around politely (and I suggest with proper grammar / spelling) or learn to do it yourself. There's still several months before Regionals/Nationals. Use that time wisely. I lost all my games a couple of weeks ago but I have managed to already rebuild all my teams. It's not that hard.

    A couple more responses as I see you have edited your post:
    This is not true at ALL. Nats, and Worlds especially is where the most unique and best teams come out. That's why they win. Even in VGC 2011, the three teams that won were all unique in their own ways. Brian H. utilized Mienshao well and used Fake Out support to assist the rest of his team. Kamz took advantage of type advantage and strong Pokemon as I did to win Nationals. Ray used unique Pokemon to catch people by surprise. At Nationals, the three winning teams were also unique. Snake used Bisharp really well and had some creative EV spreads. My strategy was the exact same thing Kamz used to win Worlds; use strong and fast Pokemon to quickly KO stuff. Wolfe's Trick Room team was just plain brilliant, using bulky, slow Pokemon in a metagame that was fast paced and often did not have answers to those Pokemon. My point is at Nats and Worlds, there may be similar Pokemon used, but in no way at ALL do people use the same stuff. That would be boring to watch. This comes true ESPECIALLY at Worlds, as the Japanese and Korean metagames are nothing like America/Europe's.

    As to your statement on having one person have the perfect counter team to yours, I really think that any team that gets shut down hard by a specific Pokemon/strategy is a bad one. At Regionals, you need to be aware and prepared for everything and anything that comes in your way. Whether that's good players with standard teams, beginners with bad teams, or lurkers with unique teams. Nationals is going to be interesting this year because it is open to everyone. In previous years, the people at Nationals were generally the best players, most from Smogon/Skarmbliss/PO. This meant that the metagame became a lot more centralized. This year, since everyone will be there, we might see a shift in this. However, I stand by the fact that in the end, it will still be the best players winning.

    Also, Nationals is open to everyone this year. How you finish at Regionals is irrelevant to Nationals unless you finish in the top 4.
  24. voodoo pimp

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    Seems like you're kind of getting off topic now, though. Having perfect stats is always going to be a good idea, so RNG will be a factor whether people get used to a specific metagame or not.

    And what would you suggest as an alternative? Personally, I think having all the serious competitors on a level playing field is a great idea, rather than making it a matter of who got lucky or had the most free time to breed/SR the long way.

    As for allowing Ubers, there's absolutely nothing we can do about that, because that's Nintendo's decision. Not to mention that without the establishment of some sort of OU doubles metagame, we wouldn't even know what would be worth banning, since it's massively different from singles (for instance, Thundurus and Swift Swim aren't nearly as dominant).
  25. Eraddd

    Eraddd One Pixel
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    RNG own teams? What is this madness? (<3 moof)

    Getting back on topic, looking at past successes, I feel that having team cohesion and a general approach to how your team is going to run, while being able to cover general checks and common pokemon that are expected is the best strategy to run. I really dislike playing at a tempo where your opponent dictates, which happens whenever you run an anti-metagame team. My (only) successful team thus far was only successful because I am able to dictate the speed and flow of the game through setting up Trick Room, and having a variety of pokemon that could successfuly switch in and out, covering each others' weaknesses. Skarmbliss isn't a true reflection on what people will run in the real competition, especially with some unique strategies people come up each year (such as Krookodile iirc, that someone used last year). When you run anti-metagame, you narrow your focus too much I find.

    When I look at players like Paul, whose success have come from finding a general strong strategy, coupled with strong play and good prediction, it's pretty clear that anti-metagame, which works on ladder, doesn't translate to success in a real VGC event.

    While it is definitely important to keep in mind some of the more important pokemon such as Hitmontop, Zapdos, Metagross, etc that you will inevitably face and run general damage calcs, you shouldn't run a team so narrow as to counter only the say top 20 pokemon on the Skarmbliss ladder.

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