Smogon Snake Draft RU Discussion

soulgazer

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#1

Smogon Snake Draft

RU Discussion


Snake Draft Intro Thread
Full Rosters and Trades Thread
Hello, with Smogon Snake Draft underway, this thread will be used to discuss RU related topics, whether it's about the players, general metagame trends, matches, predictions and so on.

RU POWER RANKINGS


1. -Tsunami-
2. Chill Shadow
3. Lord Esche
4. col49
5. soulgazer
6. Meru
7. Ajna
8. Natalie
9. SilentVerse
10. mael

Phase 1 Matchups


[PITV] Ajna vs. Meru [NAGA]
[PITV] Ajna
vs. Natalie. [BUSH]
[PITV] Ajna vs. SilentVerse [GLID]
[NAGA] Meru vs. soulgazer [SERP]
[NAGA] Meru vs. Chill Shadow [RATT]
[BUSH] Natalie. vs. Mael [ASTR]
[BUSH] Natalie. vs. Chill Shadow [RATT]
[TAIP] -Tsunami- vs. Mael [ASTR]
[TAIP] -Tsunami- vs. col49 [SIDE]
[TAIP] -Tsunami- vs. Chill Shadow [RATT]
[GLID] SilentVerse vs. Lord Esche [LEVI]
[GLID] SilentVerse vs. soulgazer [SERP]
[ASTR] Mael vs. col49 [SIDE]
[LEVI] Lord Esche vs. soulgazer [SERP]
[LEVI] Lord Esche vs. col49 [SIDE]

Phase 2 Matchups


[PITV] Ajna vs. Lord Esche [LEVI]
[PITV] Ajna vs. Soulgazer [SERP]
[PITV[ Ajna vs. col49 [SIDE]
[NAGA] Void
vs. Natalie. [BUSH]
[NAGA] Void vs. Bouff [TAIP]
[NAGA] Void vs. Mael [ASTR]
[BUSH] Natalie. vs. Bouff [TAIP]
[BUSH] Natalie. vs. col49 [SIDE]
[TAIP] Bouff vs. HSA [GLID]
[GLID] HSA vs. Mael [ASTR]
[GLID] HSA vs. Chill Shadow [RATT]
[ASTR] Mael vs. Lord Esche [LEVI]
[LEVI] Lord Esche vs. Chill Shadow [RATT]
[SERP] Soulgazer vs. Analytic [SIDE]
[SERP] Soulgazer vs. Chill Shadow [RATT]

Feel free to discuss thoughts on the rosters, likely metagame shifts/trends, and whatever else related to the tournament. Let's have a good season!!

atomicllamas supports this shake so stop crying
better late than never
(logs soon, zarel killed replays so be patient)
 
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MrAldo

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Moderator
#3
Soulgazer, I love you so much for doing this. I cant even keep track of this format!!

Good to know many RU mains are doing pretty well, digging what I have seen with some resurgence of xatu. Shame about the replays but oh well.

Good luck to all players (especially the RU mains, gotta defend the house y´know)
 

Feliburn

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#4
I disagree w/ the rankings so I'll post some of my own

1. Ajna - Ajna has shown some great consistency from late ORAS RU till now, winning the SM RU kickoff tour and recently making it to finals of RU open
2. -Tsunami- - shake is shake bro, I honestly could swap him and ajna but idk
3. col49 - I haven't known 49 or been around long enough to know how he plays but I can't argue that this guy's knowledge is so amazing and his builds rlly showcase that
4. soulgazer - I don't personally know this guy but I know he is an overall solid player, and he has been doing p good in RU as shown from his first 2 games
5. Chill Shadow - CS hasn't really been much in touch w/ SM RU but I know for a fact he can get used to it real quick due to his long history w/ the tier, I kinda feel him and sg could b exchangable in the rankings but overall I feel sg is more solid in the current meta
6. Lord Esche - ok this guy had a really good rupl run but other than the wild memes he used early on there's nothing too impressive and I feel like a lot of ru mains agree w/ me on this, nevertheless 8-1 is a respectable record and despite him being already 0-2 I expect to see some major improvement from his part
7. Meru - MeRU
8. Natalie - Natalie is known for being able to play any tier, and her being close to a lot of RU players gives her the push towards the RU knowledge necessary to play it v well
9. mael - I don't really know much about this guy but he has played for various tours and is already 2-0
10. SilentVerse - I love SV

That's my opinion, I just expect to see some fun games, I could try to rank feen, lighthouses and llamas but fuck em

Also it was p dope to see what builds the players would come up w/ since snake started right after some important tier shifts
 

Senpai D.M

さようなら
is a Tiering Contributor
#5
I'm happy some one else disagrees with rankings and I also would say Ajna is top 3 he's newer on the scene but has accomplished a lot since then. Here's my rankings not that anyone cares. (Before tournament)

1. -Tsunami- deserved top spot rutl
2. Meru. - has a lot of experience
3. Ajna. - up and comer on tour scene I guess lol
4. Chill Shadow -another proven player
5. col49 - trendsetter better builder than player but we'll see
6. Lord Esche - solid in ru
7. Mael - sleeper in ru
8. soulgazer - can play ru
9. SilentVerse - same
10. Natalie - can play any tier and could surprise in ru
 

soulgazer

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#6
salvaged as many replays as i could!!!

Phase 1 was interesting, atleast for me. All these Toxic users were pretty funny to observe : never thought I'd see a Toxic Nidoqueen haha. Chill and I used RestTalk Snorlax today and I could see it get even more usage than RecycleLax due to Toxic fucking it. Even pairing a Heal Bell user like Diancie with RecycleLax doesn't change much when Diancie gets pressured so much already just keeping its rocks up.

Sad Esche went 0-3, surely he will learn from his mistakes and come back better phase 2.

Biggest surprise this phase was not Shake going 0-3, but Shake not using Veil.
 

MrAldo

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#7
I finally manage to catch one of these games live so I will go through a quick overview of key moments and my thoughts on the teams.

[GLID] SilentVerse vs. Soulgazer [SERP]

SOULGAZER's team: Sharpedo / Snorlax / Xatu / Chesnaught / Nidoqueen / Durant

SilentVerse's team: Nidoqueen / Flygon / Machamp / Cresselia / Escavalier / Shaymin

Some pretty neat teams, ngl. Nidoqueen is that good so you use her on every team ofc, besides that there are some concepts I see clearly. Soulgazer is rocking the famous, or infamous, spike stacking bulky offense with Chesnaught/Nidoqueen as the hazard setters and with the twist of xatu to alleviate problems with opposing spike stacking so thats nice. Snorlax and Durant as potential win conditions (Curse and Hone Claws respectively) and Sharpedo as the cleaner cause Sharpedo + Hazards are broken, learn that shit. IMO using Sharpedo as your only form of speed control make Salazzle bitchy since it can plow through Sharpedo protect and what not but overall really cool team, well elaborated concept.

SilentVerse is a similar team in concept, bulky offense team with the difference of not having spikes, but slightly more aggressive with nidoqueen, flygon and machamp providing breaking power, cresselia and escavalier provide the backbone (Id guess it is phys def on this team to keep some fighting types at bay) and most likely scarf shaymin cause otherwise Salazzle and Durant GO TO TOWN on this. Pretty cool looking team too ngl, DA CHAMP.

On team preview: Soulgazer definitely had the advantage here if you ask me, SilentVerse has 2 sharpedo checks but both vulnerable spikes. Durant is too good against this type of builds too so SilentVerse had to rely on scarf shaymin to revenge kill, and not taking into account that if Snorlax had rest... kind of a death sentence. Machamp could easily get a kill everytime it comes against Soulgazer and Flygon could go to town on sougalzer, but this was far more difficult to pull off if you ask me.

Good game overall, SilentVerse played pretty well despite the disadvantage. I feel he used the Devastating Drake too soon tbh and

Snorlax, come back!

Go! Xatu!

The opposing Nidoqueen used Stealth Rock!
[Xatu's Magic Bounce!]
Xatu bounced the Stealth Rock back!

WHAT. HOW?!
 
#8
sup pals. this has definitely been a pretty interesting batch of games so far, and while i'm probably gonna hold off a little on any sweeping statements on the meta, i'll give my two cents. fwiw, i like the players of this pool a lot, and on the whole idt we've got a really egregious case of player x doesn't belong, with the outliers such as mael and sg both pulling solid records in their pools this week. shake and esche performing as they did was certainly unexpected, but i don't put it by either of them to bounce back, which is part of what makes the pool good!

speaking (very) generally on what we've been seeing so far, xatu usage felt a little crazy to me. mind, i myself pulled it out v.mael and i do feel it is a solid pokemon in its own right, but to ignore its shortcomings in preventing sr in this meta feels unfair. its role in this metagame drastically differs from what it was in, say, oras, which i would say speaks largely to the potency of spikes at this time. smooth segue, sharpedo. most dominant pokemon in this batch of games by a long shot, i feel, which i think is demonstrated beautifully by my game w/esche and the bookend soulgazer vs.silentverse game; the former was definitively who could get their own pedo rolling first (with my more offensive approach to building featuring 1 soft check to physical and special, but never both, and two pokemon geared pretty specifically to baiting and popping it off in sash sigi + colbur missy), and the latter exhibiting a classic affair of weakening a couple bulky offense facets and having at a clean sweep from thereon in. while i won't force any opinions unto potential voters, to ignore how ubiquitous its influence is in games would be pretty unfair. plenty else to talk about, but i still need to clown my way through some more games, but i'll probably be trying to upload some vids talking about my prep / games as things go on, and hopefully will get some live coverage as well. for the time being i managed to catch a quicky w/the soulgazer sv game, little jumbled but hopefully there's something to be gleaned from it. appreciate y'all

 

soulgazer

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#9
As expected, nobody has played yet even though it has been a week into phase 2 :

[PITV] Ajna vs. Lord Esche [LEVI]
[PITV] Ajna vs. Soulgazer [SERP]
[PITV[ Ajna vs. col49 [SIDE]
[NAGA] Meru vs. Natalie. [BUSH]
[NAGA] Meru vs. -Tsunami- [TAIP]
[NAGA] Meru vs. Mael [ASTR]
[BUSH] Natalie. vs. -Tsunami- [TAIP]
[BUSH] Natalie. vs. col49 [SIDE]
[TAIP] -Tsunami- vs. HSA [GLID]
[GLID] HSA vs. Mael [ASTR]
[GLID] HSA vs. Chill Shadow [RATT]
[ASTR] Mael vs. Lord Esche [LEVI]
[LEVI] Lord Esche vs. Chill Shadow [RATT]
[SERP] Soulgazer vs. col49 [SIDE]
[SERP] Soulgazer vs. Chill Shadow [RATT]

Will ShakeItUp win a game ? We shall see next sunday.
 

soulgazer

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#10
Meru was subbed out and Void is in for the Nagas : good player overall and did decent in grand slam so he's not just good at dpp, so we shouldnt expect a drop of quality in those games.

ajnas on a little roll right now (clearly he is new, who plays 2/3 of their games before weekened) and esche finally got his first win


psa: web isn't enough to counter sharpedo
 
#13
heya, checking in, figure i'll post match-ups as well while i'm here.

[PITV] Ajna vs. Miyoka [TAIP]
[PITV] Ajna vs. mael [ASTR]
[PITV] Ajna vs. Chill Shadow [RATT]
[NAGA] Meru vs. SilentVerse [GLID]
[NAGA] Meru vs. Lord Esche [LEVI]
[NAGA] Meru vs. col49 [SIDE]
[BUSH] Natalie. vs. SilentVerse [GLID]
[BUSH] Natalie. vs. Lord Esche [LEVI]
[BUSH] Natalie. vs. Lighthouses [SERP]
[TAIP] Miyoka vs. Lord Esche [LEVI]
[TAIP] Miyoka vs. Lighthouses [SERP]
[GLID] SilentVerse vs. col49 [SIDE]
[ASTR] mael vs. Lighthouses [SERP]
[ASTR] mael vs. Chill Shadow [RATT]
[SIDE] col49 vs. Chill Shadow [RATT]

think i got all of them, do let me know tho! bit of a shame for soulgazer to get pulled out (if i had to speculate it feels like a necessity to fill the nu slot than a call from his performance last phase, which i honestly felt was still really solid regardless of the less ideal results), but it comes with the opportunity for lighthouses to play ru in a "major tour environment", so i'm definitely stoked for him. similarly a bit disheartening to check out the taipan's rotating cast of ru players w/shake's sporadic departure, i can't rightly speak on miyoka's grasp on the tier but i would really like to see them shape up :pirate:

otherwise, there are definitely some cool highlights for me here. ajna v.chillshadow is the obvious standout, both have been on a tear thus far and it'll be cool to see what ensues there. silentverse v.meru is on some old-head level, i felt in his phase 1 performance sv exhibited somewhat dated building practices but if he's taken the time to shape back up this could make for a really cool, patiently executed game. mael vs. lighthouses is probably my favourite mu for seeing how well diogo does in this slot, since both of them have a really distinct, off-the-beaten-path approach w/their teams that i find at the very least intriguing from a spectator's perspective. lastly, natalie v.esche should be a romp, both i think are players whose record don't adequately reflect their abilities, and having them duke it out in a shot at redemption will be interesting for certain.


cycling back to the last phase, folks really brought on some more adventurous picks i feel. a few more qwilfish popped up, which for my money was long overdue for how good 200-240 speed fighters are currently, and people seem to at long last recognize just how brvtal some of our grasses are; various games reflected some great results from shaymin and decidueye, on top of the obvious abomasnow in the soulgazer vs. ajna game. some really nifty techs got introduced here to that i found were really good at exploiting meta trends and expectations, ranging from chillshadow's curse toxic snorlax to the sub plot salazzle analytic pulled out vs.soulgazer to my own game vs.ajna, wherein we both utilized grass z pokemon designed to bluff the scarf (rose from him, shaymin from myself) and paired w/scarf durant. i always find it awesome when folk can work within that standard framework to develop these micro concepts that work consistently, so that was a stand-out for me.

for those interested, i've started doing post-commentary on my games and the building process that proceeded them, so if you're interested in that sorta thing i'd be stoked for you to check it out (I couldn't get my first game set b.c replays went down the day after i played, so i didn't think to save it manually D:). unfortunately my labtop broke on me yesterday and it'll be a day or two til I can get back to it (thus me missing my soulgazer game, sorry bud, though i'm happy analytic got a shot and perhaps i can still explain the building process and reflect on that game if that sounds interesting), but i do have natalie v.void recorded and mostly edited, plus my phase 2 material coming down the pipe.

anywho, interested to hear other people's thoughts on the games, how players have been doing, even predictions for this round. i'll do my best to update in replays to this post as they come up
 
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Ajna

love you like the westside
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a defending Smogon Snake Draft Champion
#14
after playoffs i'll make a post about my fav teams and my thoughts on the entire tournament; i encourage everyone else to do the same because they're really enjoyable to read. anyways to spark some sort of discussion, what has been your favorite game so far? my favorite is this game vs. soulgazer. sg brought a really cool team (built by diogo) and i brought some really weird looking balance/bo. due to my matchup with qwilfish i was able to play relatively safely, but the game was super enjoyable and came down to the wire. i really liked this game because i was able to go outta my comfort zone while teambuilding, but i still made something that grabbed a lot of good mu's. i feel that the issue with a lot of xatu teams is that they get poor mu's vs non regi and/or ches teams, so i was really happy to make one that was a bit more consistent. anyways, i wanna hear what other people have to say :]
 
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#15
i really enjoy reading other ppls posts in these type of threads so i figured might try and return the favour for once lmao. i was originally going to talk about my teams but then i realized that i didn't really built that well (due to rl circumstances some teams were made like right before the game) and most of my teams, especially early on in the tour were p bad. i'd like to drop a few thoughts on the ru metagame and what i've learned from snake. oh i gotta give shoutouts to Casparov and Chill Shadow for helping me make my first few steps in the tier when snake started and i gotta say thanks to roro, suapah and thimo for helping me with calcs and ev spreads and shit. if you ask me this tier is a bit of a mess, which is to be expected considering that something majorly important changes every bunch of weeks, but that also means that you get to explore and discover. i personally didn't do any scouting or even thinking about who's on the other side of the table when building my teams, i was trying to get a not entirely bs match up (via overall decent teams) and play my game to the win. makes sense considering that you can't pin it down to preferences when you don't know neither the playerbase nor the metagame that thoroughly and that's just generally how i prefer to work, because it's less prone to surprises. the few times i used hazards ho i legit just tossed offensive mons together (lack of time blah blah) and tried to have ways to not let gligar defog. it obv didn't work well and the losses vs void and col49 rly irk me bc those teams were awful, but can't change that in hindsight. i did learn a few things about ru though.

first of all hazards are, against my initial expectations, really amazing in this tier. you essentially have one viable defogger and xatu as counterplay vs hazards. the latter is prone to being trapped and doesn't do much outside of blocking hazards and maybe getting some uturn shenanigans going. xatu is also part of why i like glalie a lot. glalie is a sick mon because the steel generally tends to be registeel which doesn't like to get involved in an exchange with glalie and even less so when glalie runs taunt (taunt / d-edge / spikes / eq is the best set imo). so like even xatu can't keep you safe vs spikes. the other countermeasure to hazards being gligar sparked my hopes of having a good defogger when i first started out with the tier but rn i'm fairly convinced that gligar with defog is not good (sometimes a necessary evil, but it's not good). not just because you lose out on the ability immunity, but also because it doesn't get the job done unless you invest heavily in speed (like lighthouses did in his game vs me). chesnaught runs taunt, golisopod has a water stab, glalie is a threat, froslass also hits it 4x s.e. so you can't switch in on anything that sets spikes. what opportunity do you get to use defog then? vs any physical attacker you'd rather try and do something to stop them from bulldozing your team (not to mention that all fighters run ice punch and everything else also has ways to push past gligar) and vs special attackers you're sorta busy roosting after you took a hit. it gets few opportunities to defog bc the meta is unkind to it and everyone has found a million ways to make its life hell. this thought was what pushed my teams to look the way they did, especially in phase 2 and 3. to sorta illustrate that i can give you 2 of my games as an example which both were decided by gligar being faster than chesnaught (vs hsa i get to defog with fast gligar vs chesnaught as he taunts but is slower and vs lighthouses i ran 237 speedchesnaught, which is close to max and i was still slower and got poisoned into a loss). honestly i'm at a point where i think running 250 speed gligar is the best option bc that way you can at least defog vs chesnaught. enough rambling about hazards and gligar though.

i'm honestly surprised at the lack of stall teams. ru has amazing tools for stall, lots of viable and good clerics, wish on many mons, good ways to end the game with like curselax or other bulky set up sweepers. sure, some mons are not easy to cover (looking at durant, salazzle, decidueye and the fighters mainly), but they're far from impossible to stop. many ppl seem to disregard stall while building and it sorta hurts to not see that being punished. off the top of my head i can only think of 4 games where stall was used (though i'm sure i missed at least one) and it won 3 of them (should've won the 4th too but i messed up badly vs esche). you have col49 vs natalie, my games vs hsa and vs esche and silentverse vs natalie. not even once did you see the stalls from grand slam (like the shakeitup stall or the kratosmana stall) even though those are great teams. and unlike in some other tiers stall in ru can vary soo much. you can go the double defog approach with moltres + gligar, you can build your teams to not mind spikes too much using immunity gligar, audino, cress etc or you can try and run xatu + spinner, xatu + defog and try and use your own hazards. as for offensive tools you have slowking, snorlax, subcm cress and many more viable set up sweepers that cover a lot of holes defensively. you even get to pick between several pursuit trappers including but not limited to zoro, sneasel and drapion. instead you see many balanced teams with a defensive backbone to be able to hold up vs offensive teams but they sorta lack in the stallbreaking department because of that since many offensive threats are quite limiting the teambuilding process so you find yourself falling back on passive mons which are just fodder vs stall (the combination of registeel + milotic + gligar for example, which gets shut down completely by xatu or refresh toxic milotic) and picking those defensive cores means you got less slots available to dedicate to sweeping and wallbreaking, but imo you need more than 1 in ru to break through the sheer variety of walls.

this turned out a bit longer than i intended, but whatever. keen to see the ru games from semis, hope they end up being good.
 

SilentVerse

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#16
So now that my team is out, I might as well share some thoughts on the tier / the tour. To be honest, I was pretty unhappy with how I did this snake draft, even though my record was still pretty respectable, since I felt like I lost a lot of games that should've been easily winnable (against Ajna phase 1, I choked away a 100% win, against Soulgazer I made the unplay of a lifetime by using ZDraco T1 with Flygon on a Nidoqueen, and I think in the end I coulda played the games in phase 2 a bit better than HSA did since I was more familiar with the tier, although I still think he's a better player overall). Overall, my performance felt pretty limited by the format of the tour, since it really limited my ability to build solid teams. Building 3 teams in 2 weeks was tricky when I also had a bunch of IRL commitments to meet (and when I want to play League of Legends, naturally, although I barely played much league while this tour was going on cuz I wanted to tryhard, lol), and although I was able to build almost every team brought to an RU game for my team (aside from the one I brought vs Soulgazer), most of them were pretty mediocre (although my phase 3 teams managed to luck their way into matchups that I really couldn't lose unless I decided to sac half my team for some reason). That being said, there were three teams I was actually pretty happy with, so I suppose I'll share those:

Bronzong @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Stealth Rock
- Toxic
- Psywave
- Protect

Milotic @ Leftovers
Ability: Marvel Scale
EVs: 252 HP / 208 Def / 48 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Recover
- Haze
- Toxic

Decidueye @ Grassium Z
Ability: Overgrow
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Leaf Blade
- Spirit Shackle
- Substitute / Sucker Punch

Zoroark @ Choice Specs
Ability: Illusion
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Dark Pulse
- Flamethrower
- U-turn
- Focus Blast

Bewear @ Choice Band
Ability: Fluffy
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Return
- Superpower
- Ice Punch
- Earthquake

Flygon @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Outrage
- U-turn
- Earthquake
- Defog

This was one of the first teams I built when I got back into the tier, and although it has some fairly large weaknesses (Durant in particular is kinda a pain, as are some things like Decidueye) and could probably use some fine tuning, its a pretty reasonable balance team imo. For phase 1 of snake, I had a really big thing for Bronzong + Milo + Flygon, since the core covers a pretty large chunk of the tier between the three of them and since RU's current hazard removal is kinda bad, I felt like Scarf Flygon was one of the more reasonable hazard remover options, since it outspeeds like everything and can Defog hazards away in emergencies, which is pretty cool. Evidently people in phase 1 came to a different conclusion cuz everyone brought a Xatu, but alas. I also felt like Decidueye would be insanely good at beating certain matchups, since the mon gets a ton of free set up opportunities vs stuff like Milotic, and it just makes sense to use Decidueye with Zoroark, since disguising Zoroark as Decidueye can be really punishing for a lot of teams. Bewear rounds out the team by checking enemy Zoroark, who is broken btw and should be banned.


Nidoqueen @ Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Stealth Rock
- Earth Power
- Ice Beam
- Toxic

Milotic @ Leftovers
Ability: Marvel Scale
EVs: 248 HP / 200 Def / 60 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Recover
- Haze
- Magic Coat

Virizion @ Grassium Z
Ability: Justified
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Leaf Blade
- Close Combat
- Zen Headbutt

Durant @ Life Orb
Ability: Hustle
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Hone Claws
- Iron Head
- Crunch
- Superpower

Gardevoir @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Trace
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moonblast
- Psychic
- Trick
- Healing Wish

Aerodactyl @ Life Orb
Ability: Rock Head
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Pursuit
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake
- Defog

My love Rakan really wanted to build around Grassium Virizion, and I felt like it was a really cool idea so I decided to go with it. Virizion was really cool in the Sharpedo meta cuz it handled special Shark, which I felt was the big thing in Phase 2, while also being fairly strong against a lot of balance cores, notably due to its ability to punish defensive glue mons like Milotic / Porygon2. I felt like the mon really wants Healing Wish though, since oftentimes it will break a hole in the enemy team, but it'll be too weak to do much else, so Healing Wish removes this issue by giving it a second life. Gardevoir felt like the natural fit for that since it can also Trick defensive mons to help Viriz avoid getting Toxiced, while also covering a bunch of stuff (Lunar Dance Cress could also probably work, though). From there, I needed a Salazzle check, and I didn't really like Drag / Gigalith / Jelli / Flygon on this, so I went with Aero, who can also provide emergency hazard removal with Defog (Defog Aero is a meme, do not use this btw). At this point, Durant seemed like a good fit cuz it can weaken Doublades for Virizion, and from here I kinda just slapped on a Milotic to cover shark better / have a Doublade answer and Nidoqueen for Rocks and to bait in stuff like P2 / Milotic for Virizion.


Bronzong @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 220 SpD / 36 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Stealth Rock
- Toxic
- Psywave
- Protect

Qwilfish @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 116 Def / 140 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Spikes
- Taunt
- Scald
- Haze

Mismagius @ Ghostium Z
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Nasty Plot
- Shadow Ball
- Dazzling Gleam
- Taunt

Aerodactyl @ Life Orb
Ability: Unnerve
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake
- Pursuit
- Roost

Bewear @ Choice Band
Ability: Fluffy
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Return
- Earthquake
- Ice Punch
- Superpower

Shaymin @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Leech Seed
- Protect
- Seed Flare
- Air Slash

I built this team with RUTL Spirit on the Friday before my game against Meru, and of all the teams I made in snake, I think this is easily the one I'm most proud of. This team was originally built around NP Taunt Missy, but IMO, Spikes Qwilfish + Leech Shaymin + Aerodactyl is the real core of the team. That core is actually quite strong, since you can get a ton of residual on stuff like Registeel between hazards + leech + helm, and Qwilfish handles a lot of stuff that's fairly annoying for Shaymin to deal with, particularly Durant and Escavalier. Since Shaymin is also fairly weak to stuff like Salazzle, and I needed a Pursuit user to deal with Xatu, Aerodactyl slots in nicely, since between LO Pursuit + hazards, you can typically remove Salazzle from the match pretty easily, and although LO Pursuit doesn't kill Physically Defensive Xatus, it does enough to severely threaten it (and imo, although Aerodactyl is kinda a bad Pokemon, it's actually kinda underrated due to the stuff it checks + its access to Pursuit). From that core, it was pretty easy to fill in the rest of the team with stuff to covers holes: Bronzong is a reasonable Queen answer with all the Toxic Queens running around, checks Flygon, and gets rocks up, and Bewear is a good check to Zoroark, who otherwise kinda dongs this squad (Special zoro is still a threat for this, but I felt like people were using SD more so I wasn't really too worried about it). The squad has some weaknesses for sure, but this was the first team where I felt like everything fit together really nicely so ah well.


As for the metagame itself, I am actually really, really happy with the state RU is in right now. Although people thought I was entirely kill before the tour, I had been casually following RU before snake draft started (I did play when Hera was here, and after Queen left for a bit, and I tried to build some slam teams for friends), but I didn't really wanna spend the time learning the tier cuz I was too busy with IRL stuff (and playing league xd). Overall, the meta right now feels extremely open and underexplored, with a lot of cool Pokemon lying under the radar. Throughout snake draft, it was cool to see some the adaptions that developed between phases, such as Toxic Queen getting pretty popular in order to deal with P2 / Queen / Milotics from Phase 1, as well as the rise in mons that break common 1-3 mon defensive cores (Toxicroak and Decidueye being the key ones imo, although there were plenty of others as well). Although Spikes and Nidoqueen are almost certainly the defining points of the metagame right now (and Zoroark is a disgusting Pokemon that should still be banned, btw), I'd argue neither is particularly overwhelming, and in fact the centralization from the two of those things makes the tier pretty fun, imo. Hopefully the tier stays in this state for SPL, since the tier will be a blast to follow if it does.

Also, as an aside, I'm really proud of how well the RU community performed this tour. I know I'm not really part of the main RU community anymore, but it does make me smile a bit to see people who really love RU, like Ajna / Chill Shadow / col49 / lighthouses have dominating performances in the tier. Given how often it feels like RU gets memed for having no playerbase and/or for being an awful tier, it's pretty satisfying to see RU players pop off and own some kids in their main tier. Considering that the pool of RU players in this tour was hardly reflective of the actual RU playerbase itself, I'm excited to see what kinds of games we're going to get in SPL if managers open up a bit more and start some of the great RU players who weren't picked up in this tour, of which there are quite a few, imo!
 
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