SCL II Power Rankings

By Finchinator. Released: 2022/09/04.
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Logo by Zracknel.

Get your popcorn ready!

Welcome to the Power Rankings for the second edition of the Smogon Champions League, the newest and most mainer-friendly official team tournament on Smogon! The goal of this article is to raise excitement for the season to come and determine how much content a managerial pair can milk out of a singular tournament—hint: it's quite a lot. This article will offer an informative look into the playerbases that make up this tournament as well as a rundown of which individual players and teams are expected to come out on top!

As a community, we seldom bring together our strongest and most passionate players, so why change that here when we can let -Tsunami- start instead? Despite this, Smogon Champions League grants an opportunity to some of our most experienced players to prolong their spans of greatness into new crusty arenas while also opening the door for fresh faces to lead lives void of grass touching or even becoming infamous Smogon "lawyers" that have the best "proofs".

Before I outline the purpose and contents of the article, I want to extend a separate special thank you to Zracknel for his artistic contributions to the Power Rankings articles and official tournaments that continue to carry over to today and beyond! Zracknel is one of the most talented individuals to have ever graced Smogon and it has been my personal pleasure to work with him on numerous occasions. Please remember his work as well as the efforts of countless other artists who have worked to make all of our tournaments better!

Getting back on track, this article itself provides a solid foundation about each and every team in the tournament, as well as helping you, the reader, decide how each team stacks up against one another while helping me, the writer, slowly go insane. To gather the rankings, we asked ten—twenty for OU—knowledgeable users per tier to rank that tier's expected players as well as the unexpected ones like NU's own Gilbert arenas. If the user in question is a teammate of an individual who is being ranked, that user would refrain from ranking them. With outliers removed, we average the rankings from there. The scores are then aggregated, creating what, in theory, should be a true unbiased Power Ranking that does not need to be hidden from the Smogon police in a pastebin! The number one—or top three for OU—ranked player in each tier earns 10 points for their team, and the number two—or next three for OU—ranked player earns 9 points, etc. The final points are tallied by yours truly; they are displayed at the bottom of the article while the entirety of the rankings can be seen throughout the article and are specifically tallied in the embedded sheet.

The Power Rankings will obviously not end up being entirely accurate, so disproving them does not earn you intellectual brownie points that can be exchanged for the praise of your peers, unfortunately. If everything went according to plan, there would be no reason to play the tournament in the first place, and yet so many of us are invested, so let's enjoy the moments for what they are and embrace the unpredictable! If you're ranked too low, use it for motivation and smash the competition. If you're ranked too high, brag about it to all of your friends until you do not have any left—or don't; this one seems more ill advised. Make sure to not take your standing for granted, however, as it only takes one bad showing for your price to dip below that of Feliburn and Gondra Ayaka—trust me, I've been there.

I hope you all enjoy reading the Power Rankings and I wish all participants good luck in the tournament. Thanks to the following people for contributing in the creation of this article: -Howkings, -Tsunami-, Aberforth, Acehunter1, Alpha Rabbit, Animus, BluBirD, boulicrok, Bushtush, Danny, daunt vs, emma, etern, Excal, false, Fc, Feliburn, Finchinator, Floss, Fogbound Lake, Frania, freezai, garay oak, Gingy, gum, H.M.N.I.P, hariyana grande, Hayburner, jonfilch, Kate, KM, KSt3ve, kythr, Lily, LilyAC, Luck O' the Irish, Lunar., Lyss, MAX UND MAX, Mac3, Mannat, Memoric, Meri Berry, MichaelderBeste2, Nat, Ninja, ninjadog, OnArceus, Pais, Paraplegic, pokemonisfun, Punny, qsns, Raichy, Raiza, robjr, Sage, Scottie, sensei axew, Shaneghoul, SiTuM, snaga, starmaster, steelskitty, TDK, termi, TJ, TPP, Tace, Tazz, The Strap, TheFranklin, Togkey, Toxigen, Vulpix03, We Three Kings, Z Strats, and z0mOG!

A special thanks to the following people who contributed significantly to the creation of this article through writing, quality and grammar checking, HTML, graphic making, and so many more things that make this possible: Adeleine, Astra, DC, dex, Excal, emma, Finchinator, Kalalokki, Kris, Lily, Lumari, Meri Berry, P Squared, Quite Quiet, Rabia, Vulpix03, zee, and Zracknel! Thank you to everyone and I wish you all the best.

The Arena Spartans


Hayburner and jytcampbell snuck into the pool of managers for SCL II as the last days of discussion on the topic transpired, giving them a chance to prove their worth as managers for once and for all. They honored this by doing some sneaking of their own: three Ubers players snuck onto their roster despite them only being able to start one, who also happens to be the least experienced and proven of the three. 27.5k will be invested into the support of SiTuM, their 5k Ubers starter. Hopefully he has a breakout campaign for their own sake, as Icemaster is frozen to the bench for the regular season due to his signup's purposeful tier lock, and March Fires is busy trying to extinguish the Spartans' need for a second OU player behind MAX UND MAX.

Truth be told, March Fires and MAX UND MAX are both very capable OU players. They are rated closer to the middle of the pack, but both have put up good results and do give the Spartans some hope despite the comical construction of part of their roster. In a limited sample, the two are both positive in officials overall and in SS OU specifically. The same can be said for Ewin, but he is a bit further removed from official playing time in the tier. If they can live up to their results thus far, then expect this underrated group to succeed. If not, we could see Relous or Charmflash to spice things up quicker than you would expect for this German-focused OU core. Moving to lower tiers, Lily, TheFranklin, and OnArceus will be playing the big three lower tiers. All of them have experience, but TheFranklin has particularly stood out as a great option in RU. Lily could reach those heights with a good season here with the support of udongirl, just like OnArceus, who is looking for a second straight strong season. Finally, daunt vs is looking to continue to overachieve in LC after a very impressive 6-3 last season, while Animus will try once more to establish himself alongside the top DOU players with the support of Akaru Kokuyo this SCL! The Spartans have a mixed bag here, and if a few players can have breakout seasons, they may be well off. If not, it may be a long season riddled with jokes about drafting Ubers players.

The Circuit Breakers


If it is not broken, don't fix it. So Alpha Rabbit did not, as he retained his stake in the team, two of his star players, and even drafted his prior co-manager, Scottie, to play PU. After finishing last year as a playoff team that had the best differential of any team in the regular season, the Breakers look to take it up one more notch, and who better to do that than Tricking, who has been one of Smogon's biggest winners over the last number of years. While many may worry about how ungodly this team atmosphere may get with this duo, keep in mind that the Pokegods know absolutely no remorse and reward the likes of max Speed Hippowdon, which is to the dismay of certain perpetually salty PR writers many years after the fact.

The aforementioned star players who the Breakers retained are none other than Punny and LNumbers, who will play OU and UU, respectively. Punny's retain cost 32k, which made him the most expensive person in the tournament, but many believe this is a worthwhile investment, as he has been one of the best players on the site for a number of years with dominant showings in both OU and RU. He will be asked to OU this time around alongside some less surefire starting slots in Ayaka and devin. It is worth noting that Ayaka may be less present for the first few weeks of the season, so we can easily see Oceania standout damien the genius, Tricking's understudy and recent SPL champion H.M.N.I.P, or even Latin American prospect Fakee get some time as well. However, Ayaka, formerly known as Gondra, has been a streaky veteran player with some great seasons as well as some pitiful ones and would provide a huge spark here if we get the former. devin will round out the core as he hopes to parlay his creative teambuilding strategies and aggressive gameplay into some sustained success that he has yet to experience. Going back down to the lower tiers, the aforementioned LNumbers hopes to continue his run of absolute dominance in UU, as they retained him to attempt to recapture that spark, while former UU player robjr will make his official RU debut for the Breakers alongside an slew of supporters in Alpha Rabbit, Punny, and Scottie. robjr has struggled more often than not, but perhaps new scenery with an abundance of team support can help get him back in the right direction. If not, perhaps one of the excess OU players or fellow substitute maki can take up RU to provide further support or slot into RU, as robjr can also slot into OU himself. Moving to other lower tiers, etern will be getting back into official tournaments with his return to SS NU, while LilyAC looks to return to form in LC after a lackluster campaign last season; both of these slots are seen as more self-sufficient, which could be good news for the Breakers at least. Ubers and DOU will be manned by Lunala and Toxigen, respectively, who both have some results that can inspire confidence but do not yet rank near the top of their fields. Hopefully the support of steelskitty and her creativity will help Lunala in Ubers, while the assistance of Tenzai could help Toxigen reach the next level himself. Overall, the Breakers have the pieces to succeed and a lot of motivated players, but there are a lot of question marks, and they will need to get the most out of their roster to return to the playoffs.

The Indigo Platoons

The jerk
noun: The jerk


a private, but very well known, group of users of higher status within the community that attempt to set the standard on social matters. The jerk can be associated with reinforcing each other's views or attitudes in public spaces.

"the jerk runs Smogon"

The jerk has always played a role in the progression of Smogon's tournament community, and this SCL is no departure from that norm. Star, who has been an infamous jerkster ever since his days as a hardened e-criminal, joined Garay oak to assemble a team with many fellow jerksters. TonyFlygon, TDK, and McMeghan in particular fall into this arbitrary subsection of the community. However, this time around there was a twist, known anti-jerkster Finchinator wound up on this team after going for a price that was not inflated beyond belief for the first time in recent history. What do we make of this? Could the Finchinator curse corrupt the jerk or could we see a plot twist?

Only time will tell, but this Platoons squad has what it takes to make it work. Starting from their retains, MichaelderBeste2 has been a strong OU player since his start in official tournaments, and there is no reason to believe that will change now. The same can be said for Z Strats in DOU, who looks to have another positive campaign with the assistance of late-auction pickup zee to form the zee strats core. GXE is a bit less straightforward of a retain, as he sees tiering banlists as less straightforward than most, but recent NU success lends itself well to his 10k retain. With the support of NUTL Finchinator and NU standout of yesteryear TDK, he should be able to do well. Circling back to their OU trio, the aforementioned Finchinator will join MichaelderBeste2 as he hopes to build off of an impressive WCoP that came after a slew of less ideal performances in Smogon's flagship metagame. Rounding out this core will be ez, who has done pretty well in a smaller sample himself. They also have the support of active OU player and builder Ruft, who was recently appointed tier leader as well. Switching gears to lower tiers, the duo of TDK and McMeghan for under 40k is quite impressive. Both will need to be active and motivated to make the most of this opportunity and the support of Grand Slam winner Garay oak, but if they are, then the sky is the limit. snaga will be playing in PU, so about 3 wins will be the Platoons' limit there unfortunately. However, they round out their lineup with tazz and johnnyg2, who will hope to break out with the support of Star in LC and TonyFlygon + Garay oak in Ubers. These last three slots are more question marks than some teams would like, but the rest of the roster offers a great deal of confidence. Furthermore, if they can get even some victories out of this trio, then the Platoon could be in great shape, as they will not have to substitute in Leru, who I am conveniently adding in at the end as I totally forgot to mention him and still do not know what tiers he really plays despite being his teammate—I'm sure this one will go over well in the chat. The Platoon are a top-heavy team for sure, but their top is spread across over half of their lineup arguably, and if the bottom half can produce even decent results, it may be a deep run for this group.

The Mt. Silver Foxes


The Foxes are in a transition period, as they go from being managed by the King of UnderUsed, who spent more time managing his stocks than his team, to the King of YouTube, who is on pace to spend more time managing his content than his team. Smogon's residential punching bag and fellow content creator MANNAT took charge and the rest is history.

With the retain of Ubers turned OU player M Dragon and Ubers substitute turned Ubers starter Aberforth, the Foxes have two strong slots covered already. Throw in the early acquisition and OU anchor INSULT and the eventual purchase of cheap third OU player Tace, and they have a pretty impressive OU trio to start things off. If anything goes south, we can see Raptor fill in as well. In the OU of the Doubles variety, we see qsns getting back in action alongside dnagerbdager. Moving down to the lower tiers, the core of the ages consisting of watashi and soulgazer can be found in RU and PU, respectively; both have had tons of success in lower tiers over the years, so it will be interesting to see if they can regain form here. Alongside them will be august, who is supposedly an RU supporter, and sasha, who will be able to support a number of tiers in the tournament and potentially substitute in. Highways will get another shot for action in UU with KM helping out, while Xiri will get another go in NU for the same Foxes that drafted him last year. Rounding out the roster is dcae in LC, but it may very well become S1nn0hC0nfirm3d, as dcae did not indicate desire to actually play LC—we are truly not sure what will happen here, but freezai will be around to support whichever player is in. Overall, the Foxes have plenty of good players and could right the wrongs of last season, but they will need some veterans to play with motivation and activity in order to reach their potential.

The Orange Islanders


Recently Smogon had a fifteen-year anniversary celebration for those users who joined in 2007; the entire event took place in black-and-white as they spent the day reminiscing over how they could use the same team all year long without running into trouble due to the lack of replays and discussing how silly it is that Smogon has these new fake tiers like "PU"—"what does that even stand for?" objected one of the participants. As they settled, Islanders's manager Stone_Cold was rewarded the lifetime achievement award for his years filled with grinding in tournaments. Despite having the third worst differential on the sheet in a less than 30 game sample size, Stone_Cold could have as many team tournament trophies as individual games won if the Islanders manage to repeat this SCL!

Unfortunately, their season got off to an unfortunate start, as Stone_Cold and fellow manager Vulpix03 thought the tournament had 20 slots until it was too late to reverse course fully, leaving the Islanders with a whopping 18 players. Many of these 18 players are capable of making a substantial impact, however. Their trio of 10k retains carrying over from last year is a wonderful start to this, too, as pdt looks to prove himself as the top UU player he is being hyped up as, boulicrok looks to build off of a very impressive debut last season, and mind gaming looks to replicate his six-win SPL in Smogon's flagship metagame of SS OU! Joining him in SS OU and these three in the starting lineup will be early-auction acquisition TPP, who has had a strong generation as he continues to break out as one of the better OU players on the site. Sage rounds out this OU core with a bit less experience and success under her belt, but with a potentially high ceiling and a knack for savvy team construction, which could pay off with a larger sample size this SCL. If not, they also have plenty of depth with flashy veteran Greek player Stathakis, newer German standout RaiZen1704, and recent WCoP champion BlazingDark capable of both substituting in and offering ample support to the starting trio. Joining the three aforementioned retains as a carryover from last year's team is Exiline, who has done well in SS Ubers and cost a mere 5.5k to bring back, which many see as a steal so long as his antics do not get in the way. The Strap will be present to support Exiline and send overdone memes based off of his own name, too, if that does anything for ya! Joining this already impressive bunch is a great lower tier duo of long-time friends, Ajna and Nat. While we normally see both in RU, this time around Nat will be pivoting to NU, where she does have some unofficial experience. Ajna will be expected to dominate RU as always despite it being a deeper pool, but Nat may have her hands full pivoting to NU, which will make the support of strong NU teambuilder Togkey even more helpful. The Islanders did a great job setting themselves up for success with these experienced players and supporters across these lower tiers, but we can even say the same about the remaining slots, which makes this deep draft all the more impressive. mncmt is a strong overall player, and he has the support of PU mainstay gum and manager Vulpix03, while JRL comes in with high expectations alongside the support of DOU's Tier Leader, Paraplegic. Overall, the Islanders have a lot of strong players and they have some of the best support in the tournament, so they may be poised to make another playoff run!

The Power Plant Dynamos


After sneaking into the playoffs last SCL by a single point, the Dynamos return under drastically new leadership. They went from a pair of soft-spoken lower tier players to an outspoken old generation player who dabbled in PU last season, Excal, and the man who managed to get himself excommunicated from LC himself, Luthier. Of course, this duo has a great deal of experience in tournaments and possesses some qualities you would want in a managerial duo, but it is much easier to poke fun at them. For example, every team Excal has touched as a manager has erupted into flames as quickly as his DPP tiering ideas have, with the Scooters being the most recent example.

With all of this said, they have assembled a very respectable bunch if you do not mind the fact that they have OU players in Ubers, RU, PU, and LC—maybe this is what the lower tier mainers were saying about not incorporating enough community diversity before the tournament, eh? Speaking of OU players, they retained the best one in recent history, bbeeaa, and then promptly drafted someone almost bizarrely close to him who uses his teams, Gtcha, in what makes a great one-two punch to start their lineup. They also retained BIHI, who would make for another strong addition to their OU core but instead opted to play RU this time around, which should be interesting given his craftiness as a player facing up against a strong playerbase for the first time in a new tier. Rounding out their OU trio will be Shafofficiel, who is formerly known as Celysi and Twin Citiez. They have been around for a while but only recently found sustained success in the WCoP, which they are hoping to parlay into even more consistent winning here. If something falls through, though, they do have Enzonana. and Kate as viable alternatives in OU. Kate is primarily present to support in Ubers, however, where the Dynamos have their best overall player, SoulWind. The Spanish standout has a long history of dominance across many tournaments, and he showed more of this in Ubers last year, so this year will likely be no different. Another strong spot for the Dynamos will be Doubles, where top player Spurrific is joined by strong support option emma; this pair is poised for a positive campaign. Moving down to lower tiers, KSt3ve and Ren-chon will look to prove themselves as serviceable starting options as the former makes his debut and the latter continues to try and comeback from some lackluster showings. Meri Berry will be present to support Ren-chon and the aforementioned BIHI as well, which is a positive, as she is a strong teambuilder and active presence. Finally, jonfilch will slot into PU after playing the tier well in Grand Slam with the support of manager Excal, who can help a great deal with teambuilding, and Welli0u will get the nod in LC for the first time despite warnings about his activity coming into the tournament. Welli0u is a very strong player, though, and he has the support of LC's antagonist, Luthier, to make sure things go smoothy as he adjusts if he can learn enough in a short span. Overall, the Dynamos are a group with many strong players, but a few feel a bit misplaced and their other slots offer some major concerns. If even a few of those questions in their lineup are answered well, they could be one of the best teams in the entire tournament!

The Showdown Shoguns


One month ago from when I write this, it was August third, and a very fateful event occurred: elodin and HSA signed up to manage SCL. Little did they know, they were inheriting the customs, strategies, and even some of the personnel of an SPL team rather than those of a previously existing SCL team. Of course, being able to retain Bushtush from the SCL team is a plus, but otherwise the Shoguns are the Tyrants of the fall months for all practical intents and purposes.

Starting off, they acquired the man who is synonymous with the Tyrants brand and the leader of the whole operation come SPL time, reyscarface. Despite not playing any of these tiers and being the user voted most likely to singlehandedly bring down host retention rates, rey was always going to be a staple of this operation. Alongside rey on the Tyrants checklist was the revival operation that involved bringing back a high-achieving boomer from the dead to play a modernized metagame, which leads to the purchase of SilentVerse in SS RU. They had to keep the band together, too, so historic Tyrants Gilbert arenas, Poek, blunder, and -Tsunami- also found their way onto the roster.

Tyrants comparison aside, the Shoguns still are technically their own team, with a great opportunity this SCL. The aforementioned Gilbert arenas will be part of this opportunity as he makes a shocking debut in SS NU, where he has no history and limited support. The same can be said about -Tsunami- in SS LC, but -Tsunami- also may be years removed from his prime as a player in any capacity. Will the lack of tier mainstays backfire or will embracing the "mons is mons" mentality give the Shoguns a leg up? No matter what the philosophy may be, they have some other stronger slots as well, with Poek getting an opportunity to break through again as a player in UU and crying look to solidify themselves further after an amazing stint in Grand Slam. Perhaps the strongest of all is their OU core, however, as the aforementioned Bushtush retain, which brought them an OST winner for under 15k, will be joined by big names blunder and lax, who have also had more than enough success in OU over the years to inspire confidence. This is one of the best trios we have ever seen, and we expect big things for them, alongside CTC for building and the potential alternation of ima or Chaitanya as substitutes. Speaking of building specialists, col49 will be present to help the aforementioned SilentVerse get acquainted and perhaps lend a hand to other lower tier starters as well depending on his level of activity. Finally, OSDT standout Ninja is getting a surprise chance to start DOU after only a limited stint playing the tier. He has been lights out, so hopefully that will translate to this field as well; Grandmas Cookin will be there to lend a hand as well. Overall, the Shoguns have a pretty wild roster filled with some surprises and some genuine superstars. It will be very interesting to track their season as it goes on.

Studio Gible


After finishing dead last in the inaugural SCL, there is nowhere to go but up for the Gibles this time around! Because of their lackluster performance last year, the only thing new managers Aurella and BluBirD could salvage was Fc in Ubers. That gave them a lot of freedom to do what they felt best fit for their new team to make a deep run this season. With all of this money, they managed to spend over 45k on two players that combined for a 3-7 record on the sheet last year between aim and kythr.

Despite this looking bleak, there are plenty of redeeming qualities here, as aim simply was not as present last year, but now he is back in NU, a tier where he has been quite good in recent years. Luck O' the Irish will be a great veteran NU player who can help aim with teams and testing, too. In additionally, kythr now has a season under his belt, so there is a chance he can right the wrongs of last campaign and finally live up to the hype! Another pricey purchase for the Gibles is their OU anchor TJ, who will look to build off of some other recent strong showings. He will be joined by Xrn, who is looking to build off of a good debut in WCoP, and Santu, who is looking to return to peak form after some more middling results in recent years that overtook the narrative when he was seen as a top player a year or two back. Frania will be their DOU player, but this time Aurella did not have to burn a second round pick on him, which is a sign of major character development here. Frania will be joined by DOU helper Shadowmonstr7 as well. bb skarm and ProDigeZz will be playing UU and RU, respectively; neither has much experience in this type of tournament yet, but both have taken strides in unofficial capacities and look to make the most of their debuts here. hariyana grande can be support to UU, while Mac3 can be of good help in RU, but London Beats may be a sneaky substitute across the board if any of the players go down, too. Finally, termi rounds out the roster in PU; termi did well last year and across unofficials in the tier, so we should expect big things in this slot! Overall, the Gibles have a diverse lineup filled with players of different backgrounds and experience levels, but we are not too sure how to pinpoint them. Ultimately, it will come down to how they execute, but hopefully they will achieve more than the Gibles of yesteryear.

The Technical Machines


Amaranth and Howkings took over the Machines this season; this was met with communal skepticism, but The Machines knew that they had the strategic minds to make it work no matter how they were perceived. To showcase this upfront, they went with a very unique auction strategy of going in with no retains and coming out of the gates hot with a 4.5k purchase of Leo, pushing him right into tier lock range so he could not play OU throughout the regular season.

Moving on from this, the Machines got to work assembling a respectable core of players who could actually participate in SS OU during the regular season, including xray, Raiza, and Separation as starters while Pais stayed back as a substitute. xray is a very experienced player who has some good results in SS over the years, while Separation is a player who has recently broken out with a strong OLT and dominant SPL under his belt. These two look to lead the core while veteran Raiza looks to build off of a strong WCoP of his own after a weaker finish to last year in the tier. Speaking of veterans, Malekith will suit up in Ubers, a tier that he is not the most experienced at, with the support of Smart Kid, and z0mOG will fill a similar role in PU as they both hope that their long tenure as players at this level can lead the way to successful campaigns. Fresher faces in the Smogon arena such as JoeUX9, Floss, and zS also found their way into the lineup. JoeUX9 is more known for his VGC achievements, but with the tutelage of Memoric, perhaps he can make it work similarly well in DOU, too. Floss and zS are also making their debuts in this tournament, but Floss is coming off of an awesome Grand Slam, while zS is coming off some strong unofficials showings and accompanied by the great teambuilding support of Danny. Lower tier substitute DugZa will look to help these two and pokemonisfun, their UU player out. pif has a long history filled with amazing ladder success and sporadic tournament success, but nobody can really be sure how they will do here. Finally, ninjadog will be playing LC for the Machines as he looks to further establish himself as one of the stronger veterans of the metagame. The Machines may come into the tournament underdogs, but they have some strong players and some great prospects that could help lead them to a point in the tournament where Leo can finally play!

The Uncharted Terrors


Last season, the Terrors were one of the pleasant surprises of the entire tournament. Many thought that shiloh was too sporadically present to be an effective manager and that their roster was riddled with holes, leading to very middling expectations, as they were saddled with a subpar overall ranking. However, they saw a number of newer, unproven players blossom into forces to be reckon with, while some of their proven players held their own. Given this, they managed to make a deep run into the playoffs before falling just short of taking the inaugural SCL. How did they manage to follow this strategy of drafting new talent that seemed prime to begin their peaks under their tutelage? By doing a complete 180 and drafting multiple starters who have not played the game for significant time prior to the season and/or claimed they were not active enough to be relied upon. Funny how these things work, isn't it?

We will give them some credit, as they managed to retain two of their spark plugs from last year in sensei axew and xavgb, playing PU and OU, respectively, as they hope to tap into some of the magic that led them into the finals. They also had some picks that positioned themselves similarly such as Acehunter1, who is going to be a rookie start in LC and hopes to impress with the support of Collette, and Fogbound Lake, who is in a similar position, as he will also be debuting. While these two slots are seen as question marks, a lot of the question marks on the Terrors last year did pan out, and that could be great news for these two. However, the questions surrounding some of their other slots are quite different and perhaps more concerning. Eternal Spirit came into the tournament indicating low activity and has barely been able to schedule games for other tournaments recently, so acquiring him as someone you have to rely on to win SS OU games consistently could backfire. If he is present, then he offers a good deal of creativity in the builder and flash in the games if he manages to keep his focus on the right matters, but one wonders how far removed from his prime he may be. Twixtry will join him and the aforementioned xavgb in OU, which is a sentence I did not expect to start in the year 2022, as Twixtry has been absent from tournaments of these nature for a number of years. He had strung together some respectable results in a limited sample but does not have a single game on the sheet since 2020. This OU core does have some support and reinforcements if needed with recently impressive Yelodash and Spl4sh being present on the roster; Spl4sh in particular had an impressive SPL in ORAS OU but has played SS OU at a decent level as well. false also can function as an OU substitute with his history in the tier, but his primary assistance may be in PU, where he has a stronger history. Nails is another player who, like Eternal Spirit, has been very strong at points but came into the tournament with a bit less certainty, as he indicated he has not touched DOU in months. Perhaps the support of friendly face Lunar. can go a long way towards righting the ship prior to the campaign, though. Finally, a lower tier trio of Lyss, Feliburn, and Kushalos arguably goes from ok to good to great respectively in terms of perceived strength. Lyss has done well in UU before but is not yet proven in this environment. Feliburn has a high peak in RU at this level but also some lesser performances and has not played at his peak since 2020. Kushalos, however, has it all together, as he consistently goes positive while keeping opponents on unsure of what to anticipate. He is one of the best historic NU players at this point and hopes to continue his dominance here. These three will also have the support of veteran lower tier player Meru. Overall, the Terrors have the raw talent to achieve their lofty goals, but they will need to develop as well as last year while motivating players who were less active coming into the tournament to put in the necessary work to succeed!

  1. bbeeaa
  3. Punny
  4. MichaelderBeste2
  5. blunder
  6. Bushtush
  7. xray
  8. gtcha
  9. Finchinator
  10. lax
  11. Separation
  12. TJ
  14. TPP
  15. xavgb
  16. mind gaming
  17. ez
  18. March Fires
  19. Eternal Spirit
  20. Santu
  21. M Dragon
  22. Raiza
  23. Ewin
  24. Shafofficel
  25. Tace
  26. Sage
  27. Ayaka
  28. devin
  29. Xrn
  30. Twixtry


1. blunder: 5 - Shoguns


1. Bushtush: 6 - Shoguns


1. lax: 10 - Shoguns

The Shoguns have what may be the strongest SS OU core in the brief history of SCL, looking at the combined records and achievements of these three players. Seeming to theme their draft around drafting the best players first and foremost, worrying about the tier specializations later, the Shoguns hit the bullseye with their OU players no matter how you look at it. Retain Bushtush came at a price tag of a mere 14.5k after winning OST earlier this year, making the sixth-ranked OU player overall quite the bargain. Perhaps this offered the Shoguns some flexibility to invest in their other OU slots, as they quickly nabbed both blunder, fifth ranked, and lax, tenth ranked, to form a trio of SS1-caliber starters. It is true that these players are known best for their skills inside games rather than in the builder, but the Shoguns have accounted for this as well with the purchase of CTC, who continues to work on his craft as a creative and effective OU builder. If anything goes downhill or any of these players are needed elsewhere, ima is easily capable enough to start as well, while Chaitanya is an OLT qualifier waiting in the reserves as well. Couple this group with OU-savvy managers HSA and elodin, who will be able to offer more veteran perspective when called upon, and you get what is without a doubt the best-looking SS OU core going into the tournament. Only time will tell as to if they live up to the hype or if they struggle to, but the talent is there and historical signs are pointing in the right direction!


2. MichaelderBeste2: 4 - Platoons


2. Finchinator: 9 - Platoons


2. ez: 17 - Platoons

While the Platoon do not have quite the star-studded trio that the Shoguns do, they still have a couple of big names to head their OU core in retain MichaelderBeste2, ranked fourth, and early auction pickup Finchinator, ranked ninth. MichaelderBeste2 decided to stick around with the Platoon for a second campaign at a mere 15.5k, which could be a great value addition, as he serves as a dominant player this generation in recent times. His style knows few, if any, bounds, as he can wield anything from ol' reliable Landorus-T to a metagame-smashing Blastoise when given the opportunity to play on the highest stage. He will be joined by Finchinator, who is a bit more reserved with his style historically. Finchinator has been pretty mediocre in SS OU up until recently, but he had a dominant WCoP showing, which included defeating Ox the Fox twice. The Platoon are hoping his recent success there, and in Smogon Tour, will propel Finchinator to reach new heights in the metagame after he struggled last season. ez is another player who has a mixed bag of results, as he is roughly even on the sheet historically, but he has sprinkled in some strong showings this generation that lead us to be confident he can handle being an SS3 on this squad. The trio also has the support of newly-appointed co-OU tier leader Ruft and managers Star and garay oak, who both have an abundance of experience in the metagame. With a slew of both teambuilding and big-game playing experience found throughout this group, it should be no shock that they come in ranked above average. However, it will be on the players to execute and live up to their ranking here, especially the one writing this article, who picked a fight with bbeeaa week 1!


3. bbeeaa: 1 - Dynamos


3. Gtcha: 8 - Dynamos


3. Shafofficiel: 24 - Dynamos

Speaking of bbeeaa, he heads the third-ranked SS OU trio for the Dynamos! Unsurprisingly, bbeeaa was ranked first by the vast majority of rankers and took the top spot with ease. He has been dominant across a number of tournaments and shows no signs of stopping, as he can both build and play at a high level. Perhaps the one bright spot on the Tigers' SPL campaign was his work with their OU core, which led to both bbeeaa and teammate Separation popping off with teams catered to their needs each week. With this caliber of a player leading the way, it is no surprise that he also had some say over who they picked up, especially as the Dynamos retained bbeeaa from last year, freeing up some capital. As easily expected given this sphere of influence, they landed Gtcha, ranked eighth, who is a longtime friend of bbeeaa and someone closely linked to him in tournaments. Be it through their trusty Dragapult on bbeeaa's classic Aurora Veil HO, clowning around with Blacephalon on offense, or discovering new toys that could spice up the metagame like a rogue Gengar, Gtcha will be able to go as far as bbeeaa's support allows him to, as we saw his execution be top-notch throughout SPL when he finally got the opportunity to start. Shafofficiel is an older European player who has dabbled across tournaments, previously known as Celysi and Twin Citiez. He has been competent across the generations, but he recently surged in WCoP and looks to build off of this momentum with a positive debut in SCL against more consistent opposition. The potential for him to do well is very realistic after WCoP, but it takes a very strong player to be consistent beyond one tournament and he will have to prove himself here. These three will also have the support of manager Luthier, who has ample SS OU experience, current RU player BIHI, who has become a household name in SS OU over the last year, and Enzonana., another player with a close rapport with bbeeaa that is competent in OU. Overall, there is a lot to like from this group and we should expect a positive performance!


4. xray: 7 - Machines


4. Separation: 11 - Machines


4. Raiza: 22 - Machines

The Machines were quick to acquire the scanner, xray—ranked 7th—in the draft, as they lacked an OU retain. They then landed fellow OUers Raiza and Separation during the next few rounds of bidding to complete a strong OU core of their own. By some convoluted means, this group becomes even better if they are to make it to the playoffs, as Leo becomes an eligible starter; he is currently ineligible to play SS OU, as he cost over the 4k threshold and only signed up for DOU, effectively locking himself to that tier. Fortunately, these three can and will play SS OU. xray has been solid this generation, and he looks to solidify an already excellent team tournament track record as one of the ten most winningest players on the sheet. He can do this alongside Separation, whose quiet but deadly approach came out through the weekly SS OU clinic he put on while going 7-2 in SPL. Separation may need a nudge in the right direction with teams, but with a veteran like xray and the strong support of Leo and Pais, it would not be surprising to see Separation back on track to another comfortably positive campaign of his own. Rounding out the core is another Italian, who can join the aforementioned Pais, Raiza. Both of these two were on team Italy for WCoP and Raiza is getting the nod as the third starter here. He has had some very good results in SS OU, which includes a 4-1 in the recent WCoP. He has been a bit more quiet, as he managed SPL rather than playing and he struggled mightily on the Gible last year, but it may be time he fully turns things around after his WCoP showing! Only time will tell if this trio pans out, as they have the experience to do so and the pedigree to dominate, but there will be plenty of obstacles in terms of strong opponents and making the most of preparation that will ultimately dictate how well they fare.


5. INSULT: 2 - Foxes


5. M Dragon: 21 - Foxes


5. Tace: 25 - Foxes

The Foxes field one of the more diverse casts of SS OU starters, as they have veteran, legend of the game M Dragon paired with soft-spoken teenager Tace on the back end. While these two seem like a satisfactory, if not excellent, pairing in this field, INSULT is what truly ties this all together and makes the Foxes a strong-looking opponent for fellow SS OU cores. He is the second-ranked player in the field due to his fantastic track record and ability to work with a varied cast of supporters, which help make up for his minimal teambuilding. With Raptor in the wings waiting to help out or substitute in, which he is more than capable of doing given his strong track record, he should be in good hands as well. Even the managers MANNAT and freezai have competency in the metagame, which can help assure that INSULT is on the right track. Moving along, M Dragon, ranked 21st, is more of a question mark in SS OU; this sounds ridiculous to say about him in any format given his abundance of experience, but here we are as he tries his hand once more at the eighth generation. So far, we are yet to be convinced he can swing it with the absolute best, so only time will tell if this notion changes here or is solidified further. Finally, the aforementioned Tace, ranked 25th, comes in after what should've been a clutch WCoP tiebreak victory—which got snatched away by a fortunate Tricking—left a bad taste in his mouth during the end of WCoP. Tace has been lackluster as of late given his 11-20 record since the start of 2021 on the sheet, but he did manage to go positive in WCoP and seems to be surrounded by friends here, which leave many excited and positive about what is to come. Overall, Tace is a bit of a question mark that hinges on which version of him we truly see, and M Dragon is an uncerainty altogether. If these two pan out, then the Foxes will overperform their ranking with ease, as INSULT is close to a lock to hold his own. If not, it could get ugly and we could see some replacements sooner rather than later.


6. MAX UND MAX: 13 - Spartans


6. March Fires: 18 - Spartans


6. Ewin: 23 - Spartans

The Spartans come in sixth place among OU cores with a trio of respectable competitors. The German influence tends to be a positive in SS OU, too, as they have had quite a great deal of success this generation. The Spartans starting both MAX UND MAX, ranked 13th, and Ewin, ranked 23rd, while having Relous supporting them could potentially lead to them overachieving their ranking as well. Sandwiched between these two is March Fires, ranked 18th, who has been impressive every step of the way. Overall, this group actually has a strong track record for a team ranked slightly below average. All three are decisively positive on the official sheet overall and in SS OU specifically; MAX UND MAX and March Fires have done this over respectable sample sizes and surpass a +5 differential as well. The lack of teambuilding support could prove to be a limiting factor, but both MAX and Ewin can surely handle preparation and likely assist March Fires as well. Both of their managers—Hayburner and Jytcampbell—are also knowledgeable in SS OU, which can set them headed in the right direction. Overall, the status quo for this group has been good, and if they can continue to build on that, we may experience some greatness this SCL that the rankers did not anticipate. However, there are a lot of bigger names with even stronger track records that could stand in the way of their success if they fail to execute.


7. Punny: 3 - Breakers


7. Ayaka: 27 - Breakers


7. devin: 28 - Breakers

The Breakers spent a whopping 32k on the retain of Punny, ranked third, who will need to be sharp in his rightful place as SS OU anchor of this core. Alongside the flashy Italian we find Ayaka—formerly known as Gondra—ranked 27th, and devin, ranked 28th. These two names do not inspire the same degree of instant recognition and confidence that Punny does right now, but that is acceptable in the sense that very few players live up to Punny overall. However, having a difference of greater than 23 ranks between your highest-ranked and second-highest-ranked player alone is hardly ever seen. Punny is a great player and builder overall, so he should be anticipated to carry some of the workload, but this may require an all-time carry job in terms of execution and support if rankings hold. Perhaps they do not though, as Ayaka has been hit-or-miss over the years, and a hit would be huge for the Breakers. devin also showed plenty of signs of breaking out last year, which could very well lead to a successful campaign if he reigns in his teambuilding and finally figures out how to schedule without asking people to play on the spot every single day prior to the scheduled time right after setting the time. There are also plenty of other pieces of support for this group and potential contingency plans if things go south, as the Breakers have Oceania standout damien the genius and Italian meme turned respectable OU player H.M.N.I.P on their roster alongside Tricking as their manager. Even the likes of Fakee can substitute into SS OU if needed, while robjr and LNumbers can flex into OU if the situation really calls for it as well. Overall, this group offers some interchangeability, and they just need something to stick before it is too late in the last two OU slots. Punny is also going to have to be a constant with both winning and supporting others, but if all of this falls into place, then the Breakers may be in business this SCL.


8. TPP: 14 - Islanders


8. mind gaming: 16 - Islanders


8. Sage: 26 - Islanders

After winning last SCL, manager Stone_Cold elected to retain mind gaming, ranked 16th, after his strong SPL run. Alongside the enigmatic German player, you will find the Islanders rolling out US South star and everyone's favorite user TPP, ranked 14th, and Sage, ranked 26th, who is hoping to solidify her place as more of an OU player. These three do not quite have the qualities some of the top cores have with their name recognition and long lists of achievements, but each player in this core offers a great deal and can overperform their ranking. TPP in particular has been breaking out this generation and shows no signs of stopping, and mind gaming is coming off a six-win SPL that deserves far more attention than it ever received. Sage also held her own in SPL in a smaller sample before splitting two games in WCoP, so there is plenty of hope in this group knowing that they can compete at this level from prior results. If anything falls through or support is needed, veteran Greek player Stathakis and his chaotic offenses could be on their way to fill in or lend a helping hand. Alternatively, the Islanders also have German prospect RaiZen1704 and recent WCoP champion BlazingDark along for the ride, as they both offer a unique perspective on the metagame that could ease preparation struggles. There is a lot of potential for upside and overachievement in this core despite their low cumulative ranking, but it will be on the players to execute above this ranking when push comes to shove.


9. TJ: 12 - Gibles


9. Santu: 20 - Gibles


9. Xrn: 29 - Gibles

The Studio Gible have two managers who primarily play OU in Aurella and BluBirD. It would make sense that they budgeted to favor other tiers and were okay with eating a lower ranked OU core on the basis that they could help push things in a positive direction. This would seem like a logical conclusion to draw; however, in a similar vein to the Breakers having to invest over 30k on Punny, to be their SS1, the Gible had to invest over 26k on TJ, ranked 12th, to fill the gap. They did get respectable value on their last two slots, as they combined to be under 13k, which could fall back in with the aforementioned plan, but the primary substitute is London Beats, so they will have to make the most of these two. This is ultimately why the Gible end up ranked well below average in OU, as they lack both the star power—especially outside of TJ—experience, and depth to potentially string together wins that some of the above cores possess. These players absolutely can win games, and we have seen this in the past; TJ in particular has a positive record on the sheet across nearly 40 games and has been continuing to trend in the right direction for a couple of years now. Xrn, ranked 29th, won more than anticipated in WCoP, managing to go positive, and Santu, ranked 20th, has had some dominant spells of his own. However, there are some risks associated with this core, as TJ still has a limited sample of official OU games, and the other two players lack the same degree of official SS results that you would like to see in your starters in order to go in with more confidence. Uncertainty could lead to being pleasantly surprised and that is very plausible, but it could also lead to things getting out of hand quickly. Without much depth, it is going to be hard for the Gible if they suffer that fate. Only time will tell what comes to fruition here, but it may be an uphill, but possible, climb for the Gible this season.


10. xavgb: 15 - Terrors


10. Eternal Spirit: 19 - Terrors


10. Twixtry: 30 - Terrors

Last, but certainly not least, we have the Terrors. They have one of the weaker cores in the tournament, and it is not particularly easy to spin-zone your way around the shortcomings they possess—I will try my best though. xavgb, ranked 15th, hit a wall in SPL after a tough loss in an elongated game, but he showed tons of positive signs and beat many strong players along the way as well. Eternal Spirit, ranked 19th, cited activity concerns and has been impossible to schedule with in recent weeks, but he has a strong track record as a player and could potentially untap peak form once again. Twixtry, ranked 30th, has not lost a relevant SS OU game in ages...which may also be because he has not played one, but nobody is counting that! There are still lots of cracks on the surface despite these positive prospects though—they have no true anchor of their core and even lack an abundance of support, as it is limited to their manager Gingy and substitutes Yelodash, Spl4sh, and false. Preparation may not be ideal either, as none of these players have stood out as capable builders across the board, oftentimes leaning on support to find the right team. Ultimately, it feels as if it will be a trouble for the Terrors, as they neglected to invest sufficiently into their SS OU slots, but anything is possible with enough determination and execution on the behalf of the players, so maybe the Terrors will prove us all wrong and overachieve!


1. Z Strats: 1.429 - Platoons

Z Strats is the first Doubles player ever retained in an official team tournament and for good reason. He's coming off topping the SCL I DOU pool with a 7-2 record, ending Doubles World Cup of Pokémon II with a flawless 5-0 record, spearheading a Semifinals Tiebreaker finish in Doubles Premier League VIII, and top-cutting in the second edition of the Official Smogon Doubles Tournament. Not only is Z Strats a top three SS Doubles OU player, he is an elite teambuilder and preparer, responsible for multiple generation-defining teams throughout SS. With zee by his side to aide in teambuilding and testing, the Indigo Platoon should see another strong record from their Doubles core.


2. Spurrific: 2.000 - Dynamos

Spurrific jumped all the way from #6 in last year's rankings to #2 this year, largely thanks to his 6-3 run in SCL I and also a stellar season in VGC 2022. His approach to the game is logical and calculated, and he often makes excellent team choices and has a great mentality to back that up. Couple such dominant attributes with support from emma, who was easily the MVP of DOU supports in SCL I, and the pair looks primed for another race towards the top of the sheet. Really, the only questionable aspect to watch out for with this pairing is trying so hard that burnout could happen at some point. However, if they keep focused and give it their best efforts all season, Spurrific is going to live up to the "big three" hype he's been getting throughout the preseason with ease.


3. Nails: 2.429 - Terrors

Nails is a machine. You power him on and he simply gets wins. While he's fallen slightly down the Power Rankings from SCL I, going from #1 to #3, it is still no doubt that Nails is one of the scariest threats in the entire pool. Last year he was able to hop into the tier after a long break from playing and put up a 6-3 record, and it would be pretty surprising to see him do considerably worse when paired with Lunar., one of the most active and thorough partners one could ask for as a support slot. Nails rarely makes mistakes, as he's famous for making the full use of his timer to outthink his opponents. However, the Terrors spent 24K on their DOU slot this year, so the pressure is surely on for Nails and Lunar. to meet all expectations. Can they make it happen? Absolutely, but this is Pokémon, and nobody is safe.


4. JRL: 3.571 - Islanders

JRL made his official team tournament debut in Smogon Snake Draft IV where he debatably was not ready yet and struggled to a 2-5 record. Ever since, JRL has levelled up significantly and is more than deserving enough to start two years later. JRL has seen not only continued Circuit dominance, including back-to-back semifinals appearances in the Circuit Championship, but also strong performances in Doubles Premier League and Doubles World Cup of Pokémon with a combined 15-10 record. While JRL is not known for his building, he'll have historically strong builder and Doubles OU Tier Leader Paraplegic by his side in support. The synergy between the two will make or break this team; can JRL and Paraplegic overcome their differing styles and timezones and thrive as a strong pilot and teambuilder core, or will it all fall apart before the season even gets going?


5. qsns: 5.286 - Foxes

qsns is a long-time staple in representing DOU in official team tournaments before taking a break in last year's edition of Smogon Champions League. They are undoubtably a strong player—the 15th and 7th most Doubles wins in official and forum team tournaments—but their recent struggles and inactivity are a big question mark. qsns is coming off a 1-4 in Doubles Premier League VIII and 1-3 in Doubles World Cup of Pokémon II, but with the support of one of the most invested players in the tier in dnagerbdager, qsns should have no issues getting up to date with the metagame and staying motivated throughout the tournament. Is qsns past their glory days of back-to-back Smogon Premier League wins, or do they just need to warm up a bit before reminding everyone how good they are?


6. JoeUX9: 5.857 - Machines

VGC superstar JoeUX9 is making his debut in SCL with a lot of eyes on him. He went for a whopping 12k, which is significantly more expensive than the cost of DOU mains like qsns and JRL. Joe's well known in the VGC scene for being open with team choices and making the most of high-variance strategies, which are two things he's going to have to do less in DOU if he wants a successful season. That being said, he is one of the most dominant VGC players in the world currently, and historically, VGC success has translated well to DOU slots in official team tournaments. Memoric, who is surely glad to be taking on a support role this year, is going to have to put Joe through DOU school, teaching him things like "what does Diamond Storm do" or "how fast is Zeraora". But in all seriousness, Joe is a fast learner with a high ceiling, and this team does have massive potential even if they're being met with now is question marks.


7. animus: 6.000 - Spartans

Animus, known as Mint16 to some in a past life, is another VGC player filling his time with DOU in the VGC offseason. While he has a great few seasons of VGC under his belt and has okay records in Doubles team tournaments, his official team tournament history is both not that impressive and somewhat dated. He's being supported by Akaru Kokuyo, a strong teambuilder who's coming off a win in Doubles Classic and a solid OSDT run, which is quite promising. However, the two don't seem too familiar with each other, so whatever relationship they form will be pivotal to the Spartan's DOU success.


8. Toxigen: 6.857 - Breakers

Toxigen makes his official team tournament starter debut after supporting Spurrific and the Circuit Breakers to a 6-3 record last year. He is one of the most dedicated players in the pool who has worked very hard to improve in the past twelve months to secure his very deserving starter spot. Toxigen performed well in Doubles Premier League VIII and Doubles World Cup of Pokémon II with 4-3 and 3-1 records respectively, and with Tenzai by his side, expect no shortage of preparation and teambuilding. Toxigen's low ranking is attributed to the fact that he is one of the weaker players in the pool overall, but the two of them make perhaps the strongest 6k core you can make, and all they need to get to is four or five wins for a successful campaign. Will the 3k gamble pay off for the Breakers, or is Toxigen just not quite ready yet?


9. Frania: 7.714 - Gibles

Frania returns for his third consecutive appearance in the Doubles pool, and for the first time, with dedicated support! Frania is one of the best players in the tier's history with three individual trophies to his name, but he has been away from the tier for most of the past year, and SS Frania is nowhere near peak Frania. He'll need elite metagame knowledge and overall teambuilding support, but it's unknown if Shadowmonstr7 can provide, as they've similarly been not the most involved with the tier overall. Despite Frania's tough circumstances and similar questions of motivation, he has scraped his way to consecutive 4-5 records in the past two years, so you can never count him out. Will Frania and Shadowmonstr7 be able to work together well and have strong motivation and building throughout, or will their inactivity doom them before the tour even begins?


10. Ninja: 8.857 - Shoguns

Ninja came from seemingly out of nowhere to put together an impressive 10-0 run in the Swiss portion of OSDT II, but the main problem is that that's really all he has to his name in this field of veterans. It's not like he's an experienced player in officials or a quiet subforum tournament player either, clocking in 0-0 records in both official and unofficial doubles team tournaments. He's supported by Grandmas Cookin, who is by all means a respectable player and builder, but Grandma's going to have be Cookin teams all season long to keep Ninja on par, or else this duo is going to have a very rough season ahead of them.


1. SoulWind: 1.286 - Dynamos

SoulWind will always be one of the top-ranked players in whatever field he is a part of; if you put him up for ranking in any of the singles tiers in this SCL, we would be confident he would be seen as one of the premier options. This level of universal recognition is hard to attain, but years of consistency with numerous dominant peaks reward a player of SoulWind's caliber that degree of respect. With a 2021 full of high-level performances in Ubers under his belt and the support of Kate for teams and perhaps Luthier for testing after his Grand Slam run, there is reason to believe we will see another strong campaign from the Spaniard this time around.


2. Aberforth: 2.286 - Foxes

Aberforth may have been around since his Co-Leader and the next ranked Ubers player, Fc, was still learning the type chart, but he only has six games on the sheet total with two games being in Ubers. Given this, one must wonder how he can justifiably be ranked second—the answer is twofold. First off, Aberforth has been one of the most consistently knowledgeable Ubers presences this generation, and his building helped M Dragon dominate last season, which means that his preparation is already second to none. Second off, Aberforth has dazzled in every arena we have had the chance to see him in. Last SCL he went 2-0 when given the chance, this year he is first in the Ubers Circuit standings with a Winter Seasonal win under his belt, and this WCoP he even managed to surprise everyone with an impressive 3-1 record in his OU debut. Everything is clicking for Aberforth, so hopes are high coming into his first full season as an Ubers starter. Staying consistent with his execution is a must for Aberforth to truly break out here, but the foundation is set for success.


3. Fc: 3.143 - Gibles

Coming in third right behind his fellow Tier Leader is Fc, who is also looking to make the most of his first full season in Ubers after a surprisingly strong OU showing in WCoP. Fc can undoubtably play the game at a high level, and the results so far back this. He has a number of individual achievements that already speak to unprecedented adaptability for an Ubers main such as qualifying for Smogon Tour playoffs in one year while absolutely dominating the Ubers Circuit in this year. Following that, he has deep runs in both the Winter Seasonal and Ubers Open, leading to him being #3 in the standings. With the support of TJ, Fc's strong building may be bolstered even further, and his creative side may be met with practical boundaries, which could be just what a player who is still getting his feet wet in official team tournaments needs. Fc has yet to fully prove himself, but it is very possible that he does so here and does not look back anytime soon!


4. Exiline: 3.571 - Islanders

Over the years, Exiline has proven himself to be a player that strikes fear into his opponents through both his words and his play. There is little reason to suspect any departure from that norm here either, as Exiline looks to build off of a strong showing in last SCL, which was capped off with a tournament win on the Islanders. He is back with his old team and came at a relatively cheap price of 5.5k as well. This time around he has The Strap to support him, which can prove helpful in preparation and memes. However, Exiline is already a very sufficient player in Ubers as he has proven on numerous occasions. Going 6-4 last year alone is great evidence of this, but since then he has done well in Ubers tournaments across a number of generations as well, leaving him squarely in the Ubers Circuit Championship mix. Exiline will have to shift his focus to solely SS Ubers here, but he did well last year and seems to have been just as good, if not better, since then, so hopes are high here!


5. crying: 3.714 - Shoguns

crying has been one of the best stories of 2022 thus far; she has managed to claw from relative obscurity to being one of the most versatile high-level players on Smogon. Coming off of a fantastic Grand Slam run, crying is looking to run it back in what is perhaps her best tier of Ubers. Unfortunately, crying's only ranked near the middle of the pack, as she lacks experience in arenas like SCL, and her approach is quite unorthodox, but do not let that scare you away from the crying hype train—we should ALL be on it right about now. crying not only made it all the way to Grand Slam finals, but she specifically won Ubers Open. Everything about crying's performance thus far is impressive and inspires confidence, but with a lofty price, limited support, and no equivalent experiences up to this point, we will get to see if crying is ready for this stage or not this SCL!


6. Lunala: 5.143 - Breakers

Lunala will be playing SS Ubers for the Circuit Breakers. As their most expensive player, it will be interesting to see if Lunala can parlay his Ubers sheet debut into a worthwhile experience for his managers, who invested 19.5k into this campaign. Lunala will not be alone, as he is paired with steelskitty, who has shown a great deal of enthusiasm in the teambuilder over the years. It is also possible steelskitty slots into Ubers if Lunala is needed in RU, where he is also very competent. Assuming Lunala stays the course in Ubers, it is very possible he does well, as he has shown strength in the metagame previously. The question is if it translates to a stronger field and more pressure-intensive environment that we see here.


7. Fogbound Lake: 7.143 - Terrors

Fogbound Lake looks to clear the air of any hesitation about newcomers to the Ubers field by holding his own and removing hazardous, preconceived notions that he is likely to struggle with growing pains due to a lack of experience. After a very impressive win in the Ubers Ladder Tournament and some other strong showings in smaller settings, Fogbound Lake has solidified himself as a great SS Ubers player. Without any games on the sheet and with support limited to xavgb, who will be strapped to focusing primarily on OU, it could be an uphill battle for Fogbound Lake. We do like what we have seen so far, but this has been in very different settings and against lesser opposition. In order to be confident in Fogbound Lake, we will need to see a strong early season, which could very well propel the Terrors' Ubers player to being a dark horse in this field.


8. SiTuM: 7.143 - Spartans

SiTuM comes in eighth place in Ubers; he is a French Ubers player who has a limited, neutral experience in official tournaments thus far. He is perhaps more known for his play in unofficials. However, this is all about to change, as SiTuM has a grand opportunity to prove himself with more playing time and an abundance of support. The Spartans have both Icemaster and March Fires to assist with Ubers, which will make preparation a lot more tolerable for someone without as much experience in a tournament of this caliber. Perhaps this support will propel SiTuM to a successful campaign, but ultimately it will boil down to his in-battle execution, which we will need to judge as the season goes to truly be sure one way or another.


9. Malekith: 7.429 - Machines

For years, Malekith has flirted with current-generation Ubers and OU when he steps away from the thinking man's generation. This time around he is back in Ubers where he hopes to build off of middling results from prior years. With the assistance of substitute Smart Kid—known previously as Edgar—and even Grand Slam standout Floss, Malekith will be given ample opportunity to learn the metagame through the lens of more experienced teammates. From there, his own innate creativity and aggressive maneuvering could very well be enough to snag some upset victories throughout this campaign. Malekith is a high-ceiling player that has experience both on the winning and losing side of official tournaments, which can give him an advantage in a pool where experience is lacking more than some others. However, he will have to use his support well, adapt to the tier to the best of his abilities, and play with as much knowledge of the metagame and comfort in mind as possible in order to string together a dark horse campaign this SCL.


10. johnnyg2: 8.714 - Platoons

Speaking of boomers from the thinking generation trying to have their game translate to SS Ubers for the sake of SCL, we find johnnyg2 of the Platoon coming in tenth place in the PR. johnnyg2 is a solid overall player who has shown a great degree of competency in OU across numerous generations and success as a player at the highest level in tournaments like SPL thanks to this competency. Ubers, however, is more new than not to Johnnyg2. He will have the support of Tony, Garay oak, and Star as he embarks on this journey to prove the Power Rankings wrong and make a certain writer very happy with his hopeful success on the Platoons this season! Overall, johnnyg2 is an underdog because he lacks much of a foundation in Ubers and is even limited in overall official experience, but he can string together some wins if he adapts quickly and grows confident in the Ubers metagame.


1. dcae: 1.429 - Foxes

Most blurbs are used to explain the player's place in the pool including their strengths and weaknesses, which can be supported by their history. This one will not do that—the ranking is entirely justified and speaks for itself. However, dcae declared prior to the tournament that he did not want to play LC and, despite this ranking, it is very possible that he does not ultimately start the season in the tier. He is only even eligible to play due to his price being below the 4k threshold for tierlock to be enforced, which leaves us wondering where else he would have wanted to play or if his price will ultimately lead to him being in LC. S1nn0hC0nfirm3d could plausibly play LC with dcae's support and at least be competent, but if dcae were to slot in, it would create quite the stir to say the very least. You will definitely want to keep your eyes on this slot.


2. boulicrok: 2.143 - Islanders

boulicrok was a lesser known LC player that had mustered up enough unofficial results to get an opportunity last season. Not many people made much of this happening, but boulicrok himself made the absolute most of it. From the start of week one through the conclusion of finals, boulicrok went 10-1 in his official LC debut. Needless to say, this was one of the most dominant starts we have ever seen, and boulicrok has set the bar as high as possible for his sophomore campaign. With a retain to keep boulicrok in a similar setting and a pool comprised mostly of players he is familiar with, boulicrok is poised to reach that high bar, too. Only time will tell if he can or if he will regress towards the middle, where expectations initially landed prior to his magical SCL 1.


3. ninjadog: 3.143 - Machines

ninjadog has become a veteran in LC circles, playing multiple generations at a very high level across a number of years. He has experience in both official and unofficial arenas, but his unofficial results are the most impressive as he comes off of a 6-2 LCPL over the last few months. Despite being decisively negative on the official sheet, ninjadog's record is skewed in the wrong direction due to WCoP as he has performed respectably in his abbreviated LC time. A 5-5 campaign in 2020 is something he can build off of after managing last year, but ninjadog will need to prove a bit as he has never gone positive across a full season of LC in an official before and that would be the expectation for someone ranked within the top three. Hopefully his aggressive play and extensive knowledge of the metagame can couple with his experience to put him over the top this SCL.


4. LilyAC: 4.143 - Breakers

Lily (Air Conditioner mode) is a quiet but deadly LC player that comes in fourth this time around. She seems to usually find a way to be worthwhile in important tournaments, even if it is just by barely squeaking a positive record. For example, she is 20-16 all time on the sheet with positive campaigns in both 2019 and 2020. Last year, however, was an outlier as she plummeted to a subpar 3-6, which left us wondering what went wrong. She may have returned to form with a positive LCPL showing, but she did not play SS in that tournament and many are wondering if the LilyAC of last year is more representative of what we will see or if she will return to peak form. Some cited her predictability and limited scope of preparation as ways players have grown to exploit her, but there is still ample time to adapt and prove these concerns to be incorrect with a strong campaign this time around. Her slightly above average ranking projects hope, but we will have to see what is to come!


5. kythr: 4.429 - Gibles

For a mere 21,000 golden coins, the Gibles brought kythr into the studio for another season of LC! kythr has been highly touted as a standout LC prospect throughout the community for over a year now, but the results in official capacities are limited and middling after a lackluster debut last season. There are plenty of good signs still, as a lot of kythr's losses can be attested to awkward circumstances and end-game pressure, which can absolutely trip up a newcomer. However, this is put-up or shut-up time for kythr in his sophomore campaign. For the second straight season, kythr comes at one of the highest prices in the field with lofty expectations surrounding him. This is all justified by his performances throughout unofficial LC tournaments, but it has to translate here or there are going to be some serious doubts about this investment from the Gibles and their overall outlook.


6. daunt vs: 5.714 - Spartans

If kythr is the rookie that came into last season with the sky as the limit and underperformed, then daunt vs is the polar opposite. He came in ranked in the bottom half of the field, but managed to overperform —in fact, these two had their projections and realities essentially flip-flop as daunt vs put up an impressive six victories in his debut. Of course, a sophomore slump is possible and a lot can change in a year, but daunt vs represents one of the stronger sixth ranked LC players we have seen in recent memory. Some may wonder why he is ranked in the lower half of the field after this performance, to which we can point to a smaller sample size as last season constitutes his only games on the sheet and people will continue to adapt to him now that he has a full season under his belt. It will be interesting to see how daunt vs, himself, adapts to another opportunity to prove himself this SCL!


7. tazz: 6.143 - Platoons

Under the helm of known LC antagonist Star, tazz is back in business as a full-time LC starter after a few prior stints where he flirted with mediocrity. This was at its worst when he put up an ugly 1-6 on the sheet back in 2020, but there is hope as he has done much better in unofficials recently. tazz managed a combined 12-5 record across LCPL and LCWC in a number of generations. With some more confidence in hand and support to help with team construction, which proved to be an issue in his last stint as a long-term starter, perhaps this will help flip the script and land tazz on the right track. However, his history makes it hard to be too sure that this will happen and he will have to prove his own worth before we buy any stock here.


8. Acehunter1: 6.429 - Terrors

Another LC player that has been putting up great results in the unofficial arena is Acehunter, who is coming off of a 5-3 LCPL that followed a 7-2 LCWC with the bulk of these games coming in SS LC. Acehunter is a complete rookie when it comes to official tournaments, but many believe his play will translate well due to the build up of confidence from consistent play in other arenas throughout this generation. Truth be told, this is one of the lesser known slots to the general public,and his lower ranking can absolutely be seen as a testament to inexperience, but that does not mean he should be counted out yet. We saw how well daunt vs did last year as a lower-ranked rookie in LC, so perhaps Acehunter1 can be a dark horse. If not, there could be some growing pains and struggling that make it hard for him to live up to an impressive 11k price tag in his first season.


9. Welli0u: 7.857 - Dynamos

The fire Well finds himself in a generation we do not consider his main and in a tier we do not consider him a player of this SCL. The mainers of the tier do not seem to respect this given his ranking, which is entirely fair as there is no evidence that points to him being a standout in LC yet. However, this is not your typical ninth-ranked player, as Welli0u has a very high ceiling as a player. In fields with more experience than this, Welli0u has been absolutely dominant across multiple SPLs in tiers like SM OU. Can this translate to success here? Absolutely, but it will hinge on Welli0u understanding the tier enough to play around potential surprises and understanding the basics very quickly as well. With the support of LC's public enemy #1, Luthier, Welli0u will have ample team resources and should be able to gain footing if he is active enough to. However, his activity and motivation to take up an entirely fresh metagame and get up-to-speed for nine grueling weeks against premier players in that same tier are in question. Overall, this slot can be a pleasant surprise with his high ceiling, but it can go south quickly with Welli0u's dangerously low floor as someone new to LC. Only time will tell which it will be!


10. -Tsunami-: 9.000 - Shoguns

Over 650 individual users signed up to participate in the second Smogon Championship League, many of whom have varying degrees of experience in the Sword and Shield Little Cup metagame. The Shoguns did not care about a single one of the people that fell into this important subsection of the playerbase, however. In fact, supposedly none of them even crossed their minds in the planning phases,as the team already had (perhaps manchild!?)...planned out from the moment he signed up. They decided to acquire the sure-to-be anime protagonist of SCL II, who wants anything but to be dubbed as a "filler character" of this tournament: -Tsunami-. Say what you want about -Tsunami-—and everyone absolutely will —but the guy sure could play back in his prime years ago. The question that naturally follows is: can he still make it work? That seemed to be the case in a very brief sample in SPL, but now he is switching generations and formats. He has not regularly played tiers like LC since his historic SPL 5 performance, where he dominated across a plethora of different formats while some players in this tournament were not quite out of elementary school. In the year of 2022 where he is known as -Tsunami- rather than ShakeItUp, where he is synonymous with "unbiased" rankings rather than gameplaying, and where he is seen as more of a meme than a talent, could the plot twist back on track for the Shoguns' LC player or has the ship already began sailing to the land of the crust?


1. pdt: 1.857 - Islanders

Perhaps surprisingly to some less familiar with UU, and completely unsurprisingly to those who are, pdt claims the rank 1 spot in this edition of the SCL UU power rankings. pdt has been on a tear lately, not only having won this tournament last year helping out with his team's excellent UU slot and playing games in it himself but also standing out in other UU tournaments like UUPL and UUSD. He's also got excellent support from teammates mncmt, Sage, and avarice, so there's really no reason to believe pdt will be anything but stellar. Now all of this is great and all, but the players below him are also extremely talented. What gives pdt that final edge? A closer inspection reveals that pdt has recently moved to Hong Kong for the duration of this tournament; not only will he be able to weaponize VoltTurn#395, he'll be able to weaponize his timezone as well. Do not underestimate him or his tremendous GMT offset whatsoever. Managers Stone_Cold and Vulpix03 should be delighted to have gotten such an excellent slot for such a low price.


2. TDK: 2.857 - Platoons

Jerkmaster supreme himself, TDK finally makes an appearance in SS UU in an official team tournament. His first one, mind you, despite leading the tier for over half of its existence. Anyway, what else can I even write here that hasn't been said before? Naturally there is no reason to doubt TDK's skills as a player at all; he is one of the greatest players of all time, and he's shown aptitude in a number of UU tiers before, but it's pretty likely he hasn't kept up with the SS UU metagame in recent months. He'll most likely figure it out without too much issue, and given he's surrounded by the same people he's talked to every day for the past 25 years, at least one of his teammates should be able to lend a helping hand if he can't. Expect a good record for the Platoon here.


3. Poek: 3.857 - Shoguns

Full disclosure: "Poek" autocorrected to "Pork" for me when writing this, so I'm gonna continue to call him that for the rest of this blurb. Anyway, Centiskorch enthusiast Pork returns for another round in the UU metagame after a great run in SSD IV where his team won the entire tournament; while he may not have played last SCL, he did recently play in the UU Invitational and showed that he still knows how to build in this tier. It's pretty clear that Pork will do just fine as long as he has someone to sanity check his ideas. The main problem there is that his sanity checker is crying, whose teambuilding can only be described as crazy and unique, but that may even play into Pork's hands in an advantageous way. It remains to be seen, but there's no doubt he'll do well.


4. Highways: 3.857 - Foxes

A surprisingly high rank for someone who's never started in an official tournament before, but if anyone has earned it lately, it's Highways. Rumor has it that Highways is haunted by his past; he'll frequently wake up at night in sleep paralysis, with a demonic figure chanting "3-13… 3-13…" at the end of his bed. Fortunately, Highways has managed to turn the pain into power. Not only is he coming off a number of great results in UU team tours, but he also won the recent UU Invitational—which saw him duke it out against multiple of the best UUers of all time without dropping a single set. Now, admittedly, his SS in that tournament was a bit shaky, and he mostly won it off of his SM and ORAS play. That said, should he manage to get himself back into form, Highways has the necessary ceiling to dominate this pool. Manager freezai, if you're reading this, just remember… don't let him load stall. He regret using it.


5. LNumbers: 4.000 - Breakers

Hey! You just got paired up with LNumbers for your favourite tournament, the UU Open! Now it's time for you to schedule. His timezone is only 1 hour away from yours—how hard can it be?

"How's Sunday at 4am your time?"

After hours of back and forth, you finally manage to find a time on Saturday that works for both of you. You're all geared up for the game, packing a standard balance and expecting him to do the same—after all, that's the German way. On Friday, however, disaster strikes. Clark can no longer make the scheduled time, and you'll have to find a new one. Terrified, you frantically name every time you can think of that Saturday evening, but unfortunately none of them work; Clark is too busy saving puppies from burning houses and teaching deaf children sign language to spare even a second for Pokémon. That's when you hear the dreaded words that you were trying so desperately to avoid.

"Can we get an extension?"

Knowing but not wanting to admit that he was going to load Kommo-o all three games anyway and effortlessly sweep you with a single Clangorous Soul, you sigh and give him the win. Whatever, man. There's always next year.


6. Lily: 4.714 - Spartans

Tier leader Lily made history recently by becoming the first ghostless winner of the UU Ladder Tournament, which only required her to make three separate attempts at banning the only good Ghost-type UU had to offer. With a string of mediocre SS results that are rarely terrible but also rarely excellent, how she'll perform is anyone's guess, but her track record in official tournaments has left her with only positive results so far. Plus, with the help of support slot and Choice Specs enthusiast udongirl, she'll be fully empowered. Feast your eyes:

Nothing can stop her now. If Lily manages to keep her nerves in check and create some fun and viable teams with udongirl, then she'll likely put up yet another decent record. With that in mind, things aren't looking too bad for the Spartans' UU slot.


7. pokemonisfun: 6.143 - Machines

Picture this scene. It's 10pm, you've just made your way home.Tired after your long day at work, you decide to unwind by testing out your new fun UU team on the Pokémon Showdown! Ladder, hoping to get some sweet KOs with your favorite Pokémon. After what feels like hours of searching, you finally find a game. This is the sight on your screen.

Have fun.

This is a fate that can befall anyone this tournament. Do not underestimate the power of what pif can do in the builder, or you'll find yourself on the wrong end of a nasty surprise.


8. Lyss: 6.429 - Terrors

The Terrors' UU chanel is hectic, as Lyss and Meru are attempting to finalize their latest rendition of Scizor Diggersby Tangrowth Hydreigon offense, praying that they don't run into an unwinnable matchup this week. Disaster strikes on Preview; there's a Primarina on the other side, and of course this is the one time Tangrowth doesn't have Power Whip. After saying a quiet "this tier sucks" to herself, Lyss starts to maneuver her way around the game and, against all odds, does find herself in a winning position. Triumphantly, she manages to defeat the nasty matchup fishers who had the nerve to use something that wasn't one of the eight viable Pokémon in the tier. This has been the case for some time now; despite questionable metagame takes, Lyss usually finds herself doing quite well in team tournaments and can definitely nab some wins for the Terrors. She'll need to break out of her shell a bit and squash some habits, since this is the big stage and if there's any time she'll be punished, it's now. If she can do that, though, she may be able to perform better than this ranking would suggest.


9. kst3ve: 7.286 - Dynamos

A prodigy of TDK's own design, KSt3ve has put up some pretty decent results lately. While he doesn't have much in terms of tangible wins other than a 5-2 UUPL going for him, he does have his status as a tryhard working in his favor; his channel will likely have 20+ teams per week, all of which somehow feature Bulk Up Conkeldurr and a new Swampert set procured from hell itself. Ultimately, though, that's just not enough to feel safe betting on the rookie; we'll believe in KSt3ve when we see him win, but until then, the voters remain somewhat skeptical of his capabilities.


10. bb skarm: 8.571 - Gibles

And as is tradition with the UU pool, there's at least one question mark slot. That isn't supposed to be an insult or anything, but bb skarm is certainly not a UU player with notable results—in fact, he has almost none to speak of whatsoever. A decent run to UU Open Round 7 is good, but that's all he's got to his name, so him finding his way to start in SCL UU is quite a surprise to most especially when considering he has better RU results. Nonetheless, he's clearly competent enough and isn't entirely without ties to the UU community, notably managing in the recent UUFPL and UUSD, winning the former and making playoffs of the latter. There's no way to tell how he'll do, but unfortunately for Studio Gible, he's not predicted to do well.


1. Ajna: 1.429 - Islanders

In a pool that looks about as much 2012 as it does 2022, Ajna's timeless dominance will be put to the test as he looks to live up to his top ranking and prove himself to be the best RU player of all-time once more this SCL. With the assistance of long-time adversary and friend, Nat, who will be slotted in NU, the Islanders boast an embarrassment of riches in what may be the richest lower tier pool this SCL. Despite being more focused on OU in recent tournaments, Ajna's +15 differential in official team tournaments is no fluke; his preparation and play have been second-to-none in RU. There is little reason to think Ajna will experience a different fate this time around, but a pool with less familiar RU faces and more veterans from other arenas could lead to a fascinating campaign for the perennial frontRUnner.


2. TheFranklin: 2.571 - Spartans

To be frank, the Spartans did not go for any of the flashy boomers or all-time lower tier greats this SCL. However, TheFranklin may be on his way to joining the latter group as he looks to run it back after a 6-3 showing last year. The soft-spoken Dutchman has kept the ball rolling, as he just won the RU Ladder tournament, sits firmly in the RU Circuit playoff picture, and has a third straight positive year on the RU Team Tournament sheet under his belt. In order to avoid dropping the ball, TheFranklin will have to leverage his skillset in a novel fashion, as he faces an unfamiliar RU field without some more recent mainstays and with some more established players from prior generations of RU or other tiers altogether. If TheFranklin can continue to operate at a high level and adapt to his surroundings, expect another strong showing for the Spartans.


3. Feliburn: 2.857 - Terrors

Feliburn is on the upswing of what has been a streaky experience in official RU tournaments thus far. His last fully fledged RU campaign came back in 2020, where he went 7-2, and the Terrors hope he can pick up where he left off. Recent signs are hopeful indicators as well, as Feliburn made a run into RU Ladder Tournament playoffs, only falling to the eventual champion TheFranklin, and five rounds deep into RU Open, only falling to umbry. There are reasons to be more cautiously optimistic, as a majority of this field has much more tournament experience than Feliburn overall, Feliburn's primary official RU experience dates back well over a year, and he has even managed to play over 60 games in RU forum Team Tournaments. However, Feliburn has been better in recent years and showcased this with a dominant 6-1 RUPL. So long as we get the Feliburn we saw there and back in 2020 rather than any other Feliburn, he could terrorize the RU playerbase with some of his uncharted strategies.


4. McMeghan: 4.429 - Platoons

What the first three players in the rankings have in terms of RU seasoning, McMeghan makes up for in his own spicy play. While it is true that the enigmatic Frenchman lacks RU experience and can be seen as a wild card in this field, his historic track record is greater than any RU opponent he will encounter this tournament. McMeghan offers the highest upside with a decent amount of potential risk as the RU player for the Platoon, which all factors into his middle-of-the-pack ranking. If McMeghan locks in and gains a feel for the metagame quickly, he can undoubtedly be one of the best in the tier and overperform that 15k price tag based on sheer skill. If he fails to integrate himself into a new landscape, then he could easily get mowed over by the strongest modern RU field we have seen. Hopefully, for the Indigo team, it is the former, and they do not have to make their RU slot a platoon come midseason.


5. BIHI: 5.143 - Dynamos

If you thought there was just one Frenchman with a join date that makes boomers proud and a long history of playing old generations in the SS RU tier this SCL, think again -- make it double. BIHI looks to make his RU debut after finding some success in SS's OU tier within the last year. Seeing as he transitioned seamlessly from one generation of Clefable dominance to...another generation of Clefable, one would think BIHI would be capable of handling yet another adjustment with similar success to that of DPP to SS. RU will present a steep learning curve with a deeper barrier of entry than something as mainstream as CG OU, but BIHI is known to be a crafty player and may be able to handle it. Unfortunately, the competition is as stiff as ever; BIHI does not quite have the reputation of a top all-time talent like McMeghan, and he has no results thus far. BIHI can make that change quickly though, so hopefully, the Dynamos get a dynamic showing from their surprise RUer.


6. watashi: 5.286 - Foxes

watashi has settled into the role of a flexible, soft-spoken veteran who can be a reliable starter across a couple of tiers. He has been a middle-of-the-pack buy in recent tournaments after being more dominant in OU earlier this generation. watashi's price dipped to a new low this SCL, as he went for a mere 10k, so perhaps that value will pay off for the Foxes here. The thing is that watashi, who is a historically versatile player, does not have as many results in RU as the top players in the pool and does not necessarily have the recent results that standouts like McMeghan or even BIHI have. watashi can absolutely compete at a high level, but he may be reliant upon support in the builder and subject to wavering motivation, which makes this pick a bit more risky. If the Foxes can get watashi on track, they have a wonderful value pick. If not, it could be an uphill battle.


7. robjr: 5.571 - Breakers

robjr finds himself in RU after a more extensive history in both OU and UU earlier this generation. He is said to have taken more of a liking to RU as the generation has continued, so perhaps a new environment will lend itself well to robjr, who has lost more than he has won over the years. rob offers an active presence who will work with a slew of RU support he has in-house with Lunala, Punny, Alpha Rabbit, and Scottie all being on the Breakers. This group may have to break the metagame in order to propel robjr to the top of the RU field, however, as he is 5-11 in RU Team tournaments over the last couple of years and on the outside looking-in of RU Circuit playoffs this year thus far. Truth be told, robjr is not far off from being a strong option, but he will need to feel more comfortable with his teams and confident with closing out games to flip the narrative here. Perhaps the abundance of support and a new metagame are the perfect chance for robjr, but perhaps he will continue to struggle as his ranking predicts.


8. Floss: 5.857 - Machines

Floss has weaved his way through stiff competition to emerge as a respectable RU option. Just six months ago, Floss was not a well-known player at all, let alone in the RU arena. However, a couple of dominant showings have flipped the script: Floss is now seen as one of RUs premier up-and-comers. In just the past few months, Floss has won the RU Open and made it to the finals of the RU Ladder Tournament, only falling to TheFranklin. These performances alone have propelled Floss to second in the current RU Circuit standings as well, which says a lot, as he had not played in any tournaments prior to this point. Of course, every fairytale must come to an end, and this will be Floss's next test -- and the biggest one yet. He has yet to experience a field of this much consistent experience and talent, so Floss will have to once again go above and beyond to prove that he belongs here.


9. ProDigeZz: 8.286 - Gibles

ProDigeZz is a crafty lower tier player who has yet to gain mainstream recognition but hopes to do so this SCL. He currently sits on the right side of the RU Circuit playoffs bubble thanks to a respectable RU Open run and he is coming off of a 4-1 RUPL back in 2021, but otherwise, there is not much to boast about for the third Frenchman in the RU field. He is yet to land himself on the official Team Tournament game sheet, which can be seen as a negative in the most experienced RU field in the history of the tier. This leaves us to worry about how he will hold up against the field and what will happen if things start off poorly, corresponding with his lowly ranking. Truth be told, this is one of the more uncertain slots in the tournament and it will be interesting to see if ProDigeZz can be a surprising overachiever or if he will have an abbreviated stint due to lackluster results.


10. SilentVerse: 8.429 - Shoguns

Last, but certainly not least, we have a blast from the past: SilentVerse. The Shoguns have brought back the king of BW RU for another campaign many years and three generations later. When SilentVerse has played and cared, he has done well at the highest of levels, going positive across a number of tournaments on the sheet in RU over a 45-game sample. If you go down to RU Team Tournaments in the forum alone, SilentVerse is similarly positive over a 25-game sample. However, these may all have to be thrown out the window, as he has virtually no known experience in SS RU, and he walks into the middle of an impressive field of players. In order to get back into form, SilentVerse is going to have to learn the tier and feel confident in his gameplay as he once did. It is certainly possible he does well, and SilentVerse has a very high ceiling for a tenth-ranked player, but the floor can be scarily low if things do not click.


1. Kushalos: 1.857 - Terrors

The chef returns for another run in NU, and it is no surprise to see him ranked first in this pool. He has played in all five iterations of this tour with a positive record in each, making him the most successful NU player in the tournament's history. Kushalos has an unmistakably distinct style, matching his unparalleled creativity in the builder with a consistently solid level of play. Although he hasn't been entering many NU tournaments in the last year, with only a middling NUPL record to his name since last SCL, his extraordinary resume speaks for itself, and there's no doubting he will go positive again. The only worrying factor may be a lack of consistent support, as sensei axew will be focused on PU, but you can expect Kushalos to pull out another great record this year.


2. GXE: 2.286 - Platoons

GXE is a relatively new face to the scene, getting his first official appearance off the bench in last year's SCL to replace Gondra in UU and ultimately go positive. However, the Platoon have chosen to retain GXE over their previous year's superstar in Kushalos due to his explosive 7-1 NUPL performance, as well as his quarterfinals run in NU Open. He also has TDK, who played NU for last year's SCL, and manager Garay oak, who has just won this year's Grand Slam. GXE has both proven himself on the SCL stage and in NU and is very highly rated for it, but there's no guarantees that it'll translate into a performance for this season. However, with GXE's NUPL success and his expected success for this tournament, he's looking like a steal of a retain at his 10k price tag.


3. aim: 3.857 - Gibles

aim is more known as a Pokémon YouTuber than a Pokémon player, but that doesn't stop him from being a huge threat within this fairly stacked pool. Although he hasn't been making waves with his recent tournament cameos, he ended up with the joint-best record in Snake Draft 4's regular season at 7-2 and has been keeping up with the metagame ever since. He's supported by dedicated NU player in Luck O' the Irish as well as LC player kythr, who have both done well for themselves in several NU individuals over the past couple years. Although his recent resume isn't up to par with the players ahead of him, with his overall great play and potential peak, it's very possible that we'll look back and see aim as underrated even at rank 3.


4. Xiri: 4.143 - Foxes

Xiri is an experienced player that has taken his past success from PU and made a name for himself within the NU community as well. His individual tournament success is second to none, getting 2nd in an NU League two years in a row, as well as winning NU Ladder Tour last year and getting 2nd this year. He also has some SCL experience, having started in NU last year though ultimately finishing with a middling record at 3-4. He has the support of two-time NU starter S1nn0hC0nfirm3d, both giving Xiri a lot of needed building and backup as well as highlighting how stacked the pool is compared to years prior. Xiri's talent is evident from his individual records and his 8-3 SSD3 performance, but will he finally be able to repeat this performance on the biggest stage? There's enough Xiri offers to be hopeful about.


5. OnArceus: 4.571 - Spartans

OnArceus returns as both the defending SCL champion and one of the newest prominent players on the website. He shocked many by winning both an NU seasonal and RU seasonal in April 2021 before validating these results as anything but a fluke by going 7-2 in NUPL IX. Since then, he's had middling records in both SCL and NUPL X, justifying his middling rank. OnArceus has shown he has a lot of potential to perform at this level aided by his ingenuity in the teambuilder, but given the strength of the competition around him, it will be an uphill battle for him to get an above average record. This is further exemplified by the complete lack of support in his slot, having no other players that signed up for NU on his team and no significant manager support. However, it would be naive to count the defending champion out of the pool, and he's sure to get at least a few wins.


6. etern: 4.857 - Breakers

This Ducklett isn't new to the tier or this tournament, but the last time he played NU in an official setting was when USUM was the current generation. This alone illustrates how risky the Breakers's choice may have been, but it doesn't come without upside. etern is overall positive in Snake Draft lifetime at 16-10, with all of his games being played in NU, and has kept up with the meta ever since. He's also one of the strongest pilots that the tier has to offer, often racking up ridiculous records in the SM NU slot of NUPL. However, it's unknown how he will translate this skill and talent into the current generation, where he has not made a name for himself over the past three years. Luckily, his manager Alpha Rabbit can provide some NU teambuilding advice and support, but it will be up to etern to prove he's capable. It feels equally as unsurprising for etern to go 7-2 as it would for him to go 2-7, making him one of the most unpredictable players in the NU pool.


7. Nat: 5.857 - Islanders

Following up the second-most unpredictable player in the pool is the most unpredictable player in the pool, Nat. Her vast amounts of playing skill and knack for building is not questioned, but her placement is undeniably low for a player of her accomplishments. She has great results in tournaments like OST and WCOP, but these were for the OU tier. She's also played RU in this tournament in previous iterations, which has been a mixed bag for her. However, on a team surrounded by friends and great building support in both pdt and Togkey, she has the potential to flourish and put out a stronger performance. It's easy to underrate Nat with the several top-caliber players around her in an unfamiliar tier, but there's no doubt that all the pieces are in place for the Islanders's NU to succeed.


8. zS: 7.000 - Machines

zS comes into this pool as the only SCL debut starter, putting a lot of pressure on him to perform up to the standards of those surrounding him. Formerly a PU player, he has been picked up to play NU for the Technical Machines after showing off his proficiency of the tier in individual tournaments with back-to-back NU Seasonal wins. However, he is a lot less proven than the players that are listed above him, with only one average NUPL performance to judge his talents off of. He's obviously a talented player, but his relative inexperience is quite worrying due to the different degree of pressure that official tournaments push onto their players to perform. He's supported by one of the most creative NU builders in Danny, giving him a good platform to outperform opponents in the builder as well as giving the Technical Machines a good back-up option. zS has the potential to make this a stellar breakout performance, but without the previous team tournament results that the other players in the pool possess, it will be very difficult for him against such cut-throat competition.


9. Ren-chon: 7.571 - Dynamos

Ren-chon has been here before, and the results have not been ideal. He has a combined 6-11 record in official tournaments with all of these games being in NU. His record reflects this caliber of performance and many wonder if his play will be up to par with where it needs to be this time around given these struggles. There are some reasons to be optimistic before we cast this slot away: Ren-chon has been quite the presence in NU circles, boasting great competency in the metagame and perhaps a more elevated understanding than ever before. In addition, he is paired with tier leader and strong teambuilder Meri Berry, who could also serve as a back-up if needed. This duo will be one of the most challenging to prepare for, as they can take opponents out of their element and make use of less anticipated strategies to potentially make up for the lack of outplaying ability. The thing is that the games still have to be played, and successful execution trumps all, so Ren-chon will still have to improve to outperform his low ranking and lackluster history.


10. Gilbert arenas: 8.000 - Shoguns

Had someone uttered the phrase “SS NU starter Gilbert arenas” even just a week back, many people would have been shocked. With the Shoguns embracing a strategy of drafting the players they find the best fit to their team environment and strongest overall rather than focusing on tier specialization, we find ourselves seeing that phrase become a reality. Despite all of the skepticism, Gilbert arenas has a very impressive track record in official tournaments thus far. He has been strong in ADV OU, which is one of the hardest tiers, and even managed to be roughly average elsewhere. With a 31-23 all-time record, he absolutely is a capable player. The thing is that none of those games are in any generation of NU, he has virtually no lower tier experience across the board, and he has minimal support in-house. Gilbert arenas is going to have to figure out this metagame—and do so quickly. Asking for games in the NU room is perhaps a start, but a lot more will be needed to mount a legitimate campaign that can replicate his results from other formats. The upside is there, but only time will tell if he is able to even approach his potential given the aforementioned barriers.


1. sensei axew: 2.000 - Terrors

First on the PRs we have the man whose plays make us all yell "SENSLAYYY". After a 7-4 performance in NU last SCL, sensei made a name for himself in Gen 8 PU by winning the 2021 Circuit Championship, and despite a 4-3 record in PUPL, sensei is rightfully considered on of the best current PU players. With four of the top five PU players from last SCL not in the pool, sensei's experience in officials on top of his self-sufficiency should give him an edge over most of his competitors. He also has top PU player xavgb as a teammate, which gives him a very strong foundation for additional support.


2. mncmt: 2.714 - Islanders

mncmt has had high peaks as a player, most notably in 2020 when he made OST finals, went 4-0 in WCoP, and had a 6-win Snake 4 campaign in SS OU. Since then, however, he hasn't been able to replicate the same success. Coming off a 4-5 SCL predominantly in NU and UU, where he started 4-0 and lost 5 games in a row, a 3-6 SPL XIII, and an 0-3 WCoP, mncmt is hoping to turn the tables and "run the sheet" with Dave and Vulpix, playing PU in an official team tournament for the first time. With support from Vulpix and his bestie gum, as well as a 4-3 showing in PUPL, mncmt is entering this tournament with hopes that he will see similar success as he did two years ago. And based on the rest of the pool and his strong support system, it's likely he will do well.


3. termi: 3.857 - Gibles

Finding themselves at #3 is termi, who is the only player in the pool to have put up a positive record in PU last SCL. After an incredible overall showing in 2021, termi seems to have lost motivation, and their results have declined in 2022. After an early exit in PU open, termi managed a 3-3 record in PUPL. One of these wins was against sensei axew; however, termi got bailed by a timely freeze from vanilluxe, which put sensei's wig in retrograde. That said, termi is still a self-sufficient player who has proven themselves on the big stage before. If they can stay motivated and draw power from the pop smoke effect, then they can and will do very well in this pool.


4. jonfilch: 4.429 - Dynamos

At #4 we have former Monotype main jonfilch. After a top 8 appearance in PU open, jon started off hot in PUPL with a 4-0 record. Things began to turn sour for jon during the 2nd half of the tour, however, and he finished with a 5-4 record in gen 8, maintaining the theme of middling records for this SCL class. Nevertheless, despite the lack of results towards the latter half of PUPL, jon has begun building in the tier and has a solid grasp of the metagame. With the Cabal's endless supply of Coalossal/Weezing/Quagsire and Grassy Terrain builds, jon should never be lacking in the team department. If he and Excal work well together, and he manages to keep a positive attitude, then the sky is the limit for Jon.


5. soulgazer: 5.000 - Foxes

soulgazer has been around for years and has shown good versatility in lower tiers; he's definitely no stranger to PU, either. He did well in Snake III, going 5-2 in the tier, but he didn't repeat the same successes in Snake IV, the last time he played, where he went 1-3 and switched to a different tier. He potentially has the support of S1nn0hC0nfirm3d, but it's unknown whether this will be reliable. It's unclear how motivated soulgazer is, but with good support, decent motivation, and the silly bunch of comments he often makes during his games to tilt his opponents, soulgazer certainly has the talent to perform well in this tournament.


6. z0mOG: 5.000 - Machines

z0mOG, aka the PUENIUS, has played PU the past two years in Snake IV and SCL I and has put up two decent records (4-0 and 2-1 in PU), albeit only playing a few games each season. This will be the first time z0mOG is starting PU from the get-go. He has the support of Shaneghoul, who has been a recent PU forum powerhouse who had a decent PUPL run and builds a lot of teams. This core could definitely surprise people with very strong results if they work well together, but a middle-of-the-pack ranking is justified.


7. Scottie: 5.286 - Breakers

Ranked 7th is Scottie, a player with a very high ceiling but a lack of results in 2022. A first round exit against Luthier in Slam playoffs coupled with a poor 2-3 showing (into supposed bailing) in PUPL leaves a lot of questions about his form. Scottie has proven himself in PU in the past, however. A solid showing in PUPL 7 as well as multiple deep runs in PU open and Grand Slam playoffs should not be forgotten. He is also self sufficient and tends to use teams he builds himself. These teams often have holes, though, and with no one on the breakers with PU knowledge to offer advice in the builder, Scottie may bring suboptimal teams.


8. Lambovino: 5.571 - Spartans

Lambovino is a very interesting player who started last SCL but ended with a 1-3 record. This year, however, he seems to have taken that experience and developed his own unique style. He went 6-2 in PUPL and built a lot of good teams for his teammates as well. That said, he finds himself pretty much alone on his team, as the Spartans did not opt to buy additional PU players or support for him. Also, surprisingly, Lambovino is one of only two "mainers" in the pool—with the other being termi—which will make his season interesting to follow. Will Lambovino be able to build off his success in PUPL and translate these results to his second official tournament? Only time will tell.


9. snaga: 7.143 - Platoons

snaga, a longtime lower tier player, is a very creative builder who is known to catch his opponents off guard with effective techs and has a history of solid individual lower tier results in Grand Slam. However, snaga has failed to put up strong showings in official team tournaments. In addition, he finds himself in PU for the first time. The Platoon has not drafted any additional PU support, so they might be depending on snaga to build for himself. Coming off an 0-5 PUPL and a lack of official team tournament results as a player, snaga is not projected to do as well as most of the pool. However, his wig wasn't really flying during PUPL, so if he stays motivated, snaga could easily surprise everyone, as he has a high ceiling and a lot of potential to do well.


10. Raichy: 8.571 - Shoguns

Coming in last on the PRs is Raichy, an oldgen player who has no experience in Gen 8 PU. He has played in PUPL, albeit in SM, where he went 1-5, so he may have more meta knowledge than meets the eye. The Shoguns also failed to draft a single PU builder, so unless they are able to find undrafted help, Raichy may struggle to bring good teams. Ultimately, Raichy is a question mark who could flop due to a potential lack of metagame knowledge, a lack of building support on the team, and a lack of good showings in official team tournaments as a whole.

Overall Team Rankings

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