Smogon Snake Draft III Power Rankings

By -Tsunami- and TonyFlygon. Released: 2019/08/24.
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Welcome to the Power Rankings for the third edition of the Smogon Snake Draft. The goal of this article is to hype the tournament and satisfy the individuals that have been eagerly anticipating the tournament's arrival since the last one ended, like our good friend undisputed. The article should provide a good foundation about each and every team in the tournament, as well as help you, the reader, decide how each team stacks up against one another. To gather the rankings, we asked ten knowledgeable users per tier to rank that tier's expected players. If the user in question is a teammate of an individual who is being ranked, that user would refrain from ranking them. The highest and lowest scores, or in the other words, the outliers, were then removed. The scores were then aggregated, creating what, in theory, should be an unbiased Power Ranking. The number one ranked player in each tier earns 10 points for their team, and the number two ranked player earns 9 points, etc. The final points were then tallied; they are displayed at the bottom of the article.

The Power Rankings will obviously not end up being entirely accurate. If everything went according to plan, there would be no reason to play the tournament in the first place. 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. Make sure to not take your standing for granted, however, as it only takes one bad tournament for either "the Jerk" or one of Smogon's 200 other cliques to flip on you. If you are interested in more content like this, make sure to read -Tsunami-'s unbiased Snake Predictions, which will be released every week as early as possible. Be warned, though, the language may be a tad bit more questionable than what is presented here.

Now that the obligatory self-plug is out of the way, it's time to wrap this up. I hope you all enjoy reading the Power Rankings; it was genuinely a fun experience for me to able to write this, and I'm glad I was allowed to do so. As my good friend Atobe Keigo likes to say, "be awed by my prowess."

Special thanks to the following people for contributing in the creation of this article: ABR, Accelgor, Adaam, Ajna, Amane Misa, Averardo, Charmflash, Chill Shadow, Christo, col49, Croven, Demantoid, emforbes, Empo, Estronic, Eternally, EviGaro, Ezrael, false, Finchinator, Fireflame479, flcl, Garay oak, HT, Human, ict, jake, Jrdn, Kingler12345, Kink, Ktütverde, Kushalos, lax, LilyAC, London13, Luthier, Lycans, martha, Mint16, Nails, Nat, Ojama, Osh, Pearl, qsns, Quite Quiet, Raiza, reje, Ren-chon, Rexus, rozes, Sabella, Sacri', Shrug, SMB, Spurrific, Star, Stratos, Tamahome, Taskr, tazz, TDK, Teddeh, The Dutch Plumberjack, tko, Tricking, Welli0u, Xiri, and z0mog.

Ambrette Astrotias

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EviGaro apparently did not get the message that managers were supposed to draft their own teams. After a mountain of in-draft trades, though, the final Astrotias roster doesn't look too terrible. The team started off Round 1 by trading with obii to acquire Tamahome. The old gen stalwart has been making waves in SM OU for a while and is easily one of the best overall players in the tournament.

The rest of the OU core features as much variance as an RBY battle. Cdumas was a dominant entity throughout his Smogon career, but he hit a snag in SPL 10, where he played terribly and completely bailed on the Bigs. It would be silly to write off such a talented player after one bad tour, so perhaps he can find his form again. It's important to note that the Astrotias do not have any of Cdumas's beloved Frenchmen, however, so he may feel as isolated as he did on the Bigs. Updated Kanto broke out onto the tour scene under ABR's wing with a dominant SPL 9 run that saw him smash the competition in ORAS. His career has not been nearly as encouraging since that tournament, though, so it remains to be seen if he can find his footing. The last OU slot belongs to Santu, who has been a mixed bag for a while. He could very easily disappoint. This team also lacks a strong builder, which may hurt their chances. The load will seemingly fall on False, who is relatively unproven in his ability to carry an entire team in OU.

The lower tier core features some less-than-stellar faces. Lycans is the best player here. He has been one of the top players in UU for a while, and he should continue to do good things in this tour. Feliburn is a way less surefire prospect, though. While some, including top RU player Ajna, are high on him, a great deal of the tournament community finds him to be a bit unviable. He is prone to choking and could easily flop in this tournament. He does have EviGaro's support, though. Jrdn is in the NU slot, and the masses don't seem to think he's very capable. False is supposedly a top PU player and has the support of his manager, HJAD. However, he has had some pretty poor games in official tournaments in the past, so seeing him struggle wouldn't be surprising. Mint16 was shockingly picked in Round 6, which most people feel was a reach. He may succeed, but there's little evidence. ZoroDark is the final lower tier player of the team and was honestly a bit of a steal in the 5th round. He has the raw talent and clicking potential to put forth a great performance, as seen by his 9-0 in LC in Snake 1.

Overall, this team has some solid players, but plenty of potentially disappointing ones as well. Their OU core is variance personified, so if they succeed, the team may be able to get above .500 and even make a run. Look for the Astrotias to tread water and challenge for a playoff spot if things break their way. Maybe next year, EviGaro and HJAD should focus on drafting their own team...

Berry Forest Bushmasters

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The Bushmasters were one position away from being able to snag the ultimate prize of the draft: ABR. Instead, managers 1 True Lycan and jacob settled on z0mOG. This is an interesting choice. This could easily be considered a reach, as at the very worst, he most likely would have been available near the tail end of Round 1, or perhaps slipped to Round 2 depending on the order of the draft. However, he does have some upside and some individuals are pretty high on him. In a weak Round 1 pool, he is a fair selection, especially when you consider that many potential selections were essentially undraftable for certain teams due to personal conflicts. All things considered, z0mOG should do pretty well in the tournament.

The OU core of the team features some intriguing names. blarghlfarghl was almost assuredly garbage last year. He managed to put forth a pretty stellar World Cup campaign, winning some high-pressure, "win-or-go-home" games. He was selected as high in Round 4, which seems like a massive reach at first glance. Many managers have disagreed with this assessment, however, claiming that blargh was a viable Round 4 or 5 selection. It would not be shocking if he fell flat on his face and ended far below .500 in this tournament, but some people are certainly high on him. HSA was crust personified before last Smogon Tour, where he had an insane regular season run that saw him amass a ridiculous 42 points between SM and ORAS. He followed it up with a solid World Cup campaign. The fact that he fell to Round 8 was honestly pretty surprising, and he should be able to provide a good return on value. The last player in this core is xtra$hine, who is really a bit of a wildcard. A longtime veteran, xtra once again finds himself on the official tournament stage after recently being unbanned. Whether he can succeed is anyone's guess, but he and his ridiculous hyper offenses have some upside.

The lower tiers of the team appear to be relatively solid. Amane Misa is the most questionable name here. In a relatively stacked UU pool, she could easily disappoint and end the season with no more than a few wins. meeps is known for bringing some wild techs to lower tier games, and in an awful RU pool, he could easily manage to go positive. Eternally is a relatively solid player, especially now that he is free from rozes's clutches. He should be able to put forth a nice performance. Taskr, otherwise known as the BKC of PU, is up next. He fell pretty far in the draft, so he has the potential to be a steal if he can even achieve 1/5 of BKC's skill level. He could easily flop too, however. SMB is a top 2 Doubles player in the tournament and had some pretty impressive showings in SPL. He should smash most of the competition. The lower tiers are rounded out by tazz, who may be the best LCer in the tournament. He lacks major tournament experience, but this is mitigated by the fact that most of the playerbase does as well.

Overall, this team should definitely challenge for a playoff spot. They have a well-rounded roster with very few highly questionable slots. They missed out on getting ABR, who could have elevated this team to being perhaps the best in the entire tournament, but they should still remain competitive and even have an outside shot at winning the title if things break their way.

Black City Mambas

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The Mambas are back, only this time without mastermind reyscarface. Last year, they became one of the villains of the tour after employing some rather shady tactics to pick up FlamingVictini in a relatively late round; they were subsequently arrogant and boastful following a strong phase 1 performance. They then infamously crashed and burned almost immediately after. This year's team is unlikely to follow a similar path, although they do have some individuals with controversial personalities. The team started off the draft by picking up Empo, who most of the community seems to think is a godsend in SM OU. It's honestly a bit concerning that he wasn't chosen to tiebreak for the Ruiners in SPL 9 over an, at the time, inexperienced lax. Nonetheless, in this weak Round 1 pool, he is an excellent selection. The team then picked the best UUer in the tournament, Christo. While he can certainly be a bit hypocritical and easy to hate, no one can hate on his overall talent.

The OU core of the team is pretty strange. xray finds himself in SM OU yet again. He's known for being a good ORAS player and really struggled in this tier last Snake. He had some solid SM showings in World Cup, though, so perhaps he can build on that. Gilbert Arenas also finds himself in OU, which is...odd to say the least. The tournament newcomer has established himself as a respectable ADV player. Whether he can find his footing in SM OU is anyone's guess. The last SM slot belongs to Rexus, a PU main who was haphazardly slapped into the slot following a strong showing in OLT Cycle 4. He's a bit of a wild card too.

The lower tier core is a mix of some veterans and newer faces. Rumor has it that the Mambas did not get the RUer they wanted, so they ended up with Averardo. Some people think he's solid, but it wouldn't be that surprising to see him flop. After returning to form last SPL, ict should be one of the best NUers again. Sam I Yam is a bit of a question mark, even among the relatively unknown PU community. They can put Rexus in this slot and someone else in OU if all else fails. They also have resident PU main Jarii, to support the slot; hopefully, he will not have to play a game, though. Human is a Smogon Veteran who had a decent showing in SPL 10. Expect more of the same. Lastly, LilyAC seems to be a relatively hyped LC prospect but, like many of her LC colleagues, lacks any meaningful experience.

Overall, the Mambas are a team that is not good but isn't exactly bad either. They have Will of Fire to help with OU building; while he obviously does not provide the same value that someone like ABR does, his help is valuable nonetheless. This team lacks a great deal of slam-dunk prospects and has a decent amount of questionable slots that could make or break the season. Expect them to perhaps linger in the middle of the pack along with most teams in Snake.

Celadon City Cobras

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Chill Shadow and snaga return to the tournament scene with a trophy in hand, hungry for more. They started off their draft by picking up Finchinator, gaining access to his Big Board as well as his tryhard antics. Finch should do pretty well against the NU playerbase; don't be surprised if he is flexed around a bit as well. While Finch may not be as strong a player as other first round selections, his versatility, dedication, and draft preparation make him a viable choice in this weak player pool. One quick glance at the roster will confirm that Finchinator was indeed involved in the drafting process, as he once again managed to fill his team with past teammates and create a pseudo-Midwest roster.

The OU core of the team should be one of their strong points. Eo is a veteran who has come on strong in SM OU in recent years. He should do relatively well. FMG is a rising star who was even selected to play a tiebreak for US South in World Cup. The last two slots are a bit more up in the air. dice is an old gen menace who is one of the best BWers on Smogon. He seemingly has very little SM experience, but his overall skill level is high. His season could go either way, but there should be a higher chance of success than failure. Jytcampbell rounds out the draft. He's a decent player with some spurts of success. Expect a middling performance.

The lower tiers of this team are quite a bit more questionable. Accelgor is an old PO user with little track record of success on Smogon. In his first major tournament as a starter, it would be wise to temper expectations against a solid player pool. Ultraballz is a decent OU player who was thrust into RU because the playerpool is awful. His season could easily go either way, but he does have ChillShadow's support. Raiza is a bit of a mystery, but it would not be surprising if he did terribly in PU. The team also houses resident tryhard substitute Bouff, who should be able to help most of their lower tier players. Let's hope for the Cobras' sake that he never has to see the field himself, though. qsns was primarily a substitute before this tour; it remains to be seen whether he can succeed against a stacked pool. Kingler12345 rounds out the draft as the most experienced LC player. That being said, he's not a very good player overall and is prone to choking, so him doing well is no sure thing.

Overall, the Cobras should be able to compete for a playoff spot. They have a solid OU core with some upside, and if the lower tier slots come through, they could make some noise. They definitely have some question marks, though, so nothing is really assured here.

Lake of Rage Leviathans

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The Leviathans enter the fray once more, looking to claim a trophy after finishing in third place last year. The first thing that you'll notice when looking at this roster is the lack of "big name" players. They do have some interesting names and solid prospects, though, so perhaps the dearth of star power on their team might not matter. The team started off the tournament by drafting Charmflash in Round 1. If that sounds kind of insane to you, it's because it is. Unfortunately, they weren't left with much choice after certain circumstances forced their hand. Charm broke onto the scene in SPL X, piling up wins and ending up with a stellar record. The masses are optimistic that he can build on that performance, even though living up to his Round 1 billing may be a bit difficult, especially considering he was forced into a top-heavy UU pool.

The OU core of the team houses some recognizable faces. Insult managed to make the US Northeast roster last World Cup, a relatively impressive feat for a middling OU player. Perhaps that will give him the confidence needed to put forth a good performance, although it is still pretty likely that he fails. Valentine had some strong showings in Round 1 of World Cup, outplaying his opponents pretty thoroughly. He did choke in his final game, though, which helps highlight his inconsistency. He's another player whose season could really go either way. TaceBreeze is a littlelucario goon, which is never a good sign. Nonetheless, he has some upside and could have a decent season. Hayburner is another middling player looking to make an impact. If you're sensing a pattern here, it's because there is one. All of these players are pretty average and could easily flop. There's no surefire prospects in this OU core, which is without question one of the worst ones in the tournament.

The lower tiers are slightly more promising. The Leviathans decided to just haphazardly slap a tournament player into a lower tier, a strategy that has been going on strong for ages. Welli0u did play 10 games of RU in SPL and go 5-5, so expect similar results here. The RU player pool is terrible, though, so he does have some upside. Garay Oak has come on strong in recent tournaments and is perhaps the best NU player in the entire pool. He should be expected to amass 6 wins at the very least. Xiri is a bit of a random. He could have a decent season or flop spectacularly. emforbes is the most reliable player on the roster. He is the best Doubles player in the tournament, and the team will have to rely on him to have an amazing season if they wish to contend for the playoffs. Lastly, Luthier is someone whose stock has risen quite a bit in recent months. In a relatively inexperienced LC player pool, he could definitely make some waves.

Overall, it's plain to see that this team is riddled with holes. The OU core of the team could easily destroy them with a horrible performance. They can flex Charmflash into one of the slots if they somehow manage to find someone else to play UU, so maybe that will help them. He, Garay Oak, and emforbes will have to do the heavy lifting. If the three of them can combine for over 18 wins in the regular season, and the more variance-heavy players hit their stride, this team could feasibly make the playoffs. It might be a struggle, though.

Lanakila Nagas

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The Nagas lineup mirrors their manager pairing: peculiar. Many people seem to be down on the Nagas, and it is easy to see why. Many of their draft selections were a bit questionable. For example, they took Adaam, a relatively unproven commodity who arguably isn't even a top 3 UUer, early on in Round 2. It will be up to the team to prove the masses wrong. The standout player on this lineup is Tricking, a relatively polarizing Italian. He usually does pretty solid, though, and in a weak Round 1 pool, he was a strong selection.

The rest of the OU slots feature some recognizable names. Kory has been a decent player for a while, but many people feel taking him Round 3 was a reach. ramboss put forth a solid showing in World Cup, going 3-1 against some respectable players. He's still inexperienced, though, and the Nagas lack the raw building power of some other teams, so his performance level may be up in the air. Their last OU slot belongs to Old Gen mastermind Jimmy Turtwig, who may or may not have a decent season in this foreign environment. It's honestly a bit baffling that this is the OU core the managers came up with.

The lower tiers feature some standard mainer picks. Adaam was already touched upon earlier. He should do fine, but attaining a record fitting of his early draft billing may be difficult. Kink has been around for a while and has never really impressed most people. He has had a sort of coming out party in recent months and has some buzz around him, however, so perhaps he can make some noise. Ren-chon is fairly inexperienced and shouldn't be expected to do that well in a pretty good NU pool. Nails is a big name in VGC, so he does have the potential to succeed here against a tough pool. Lastly, Ktütverde is hyped as a solid PU player, but he may have been a bit of a reach as well.

Overall, this is pretty clearly one of the weaker teams in the tournament. They lack any real strong points outside of Tricking, and the roster is littered with question marks. Snake rosters in general are known to be weaker than their SPL counterparts due to the draft format, so perhaps they can make some noise if everything clicks. It will be an uphill climb, though. The success of this team seems dubious at best.

Rumble Hall Rattlers

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If you looked up the word "jerk" in the dictionary, you would find a picture of the Snake 3 Rattlers. It's usually in the unofficial lower tier Premier Leagues that managers create a team comprised almost entirely of friends, but the Rattlers seem to have pulled it off. The team started off the draft by taking two of the most prolific players of the past few years in SoulWind and TDK. There are no old gens in this tour, but SoulWind is regarded as an excellent SM OU player nonetheless. Meanwhile, the fact that TDK fell to the Rattlers at pick 10 says all you need to know about his recent form. He is currently in the midst of a major slump, but if TDK reaches his potential, he could be one of the steals of the draft and help propel the Rattlers to a title.

The OU core of the team is rather interesting. Surrounding SoulWind are some familiar faces to the tournament scene. Gondra usually performs at a solid level in most tournaments and should have no problem doing the same here. The last two slots belong to two veterans in TonyFlygon and august. Tony managed to rise from complete irrelevance as a tournament player to a Round 3 pick within the span of a few months. He'll look to keep his momentum going with the help of bro fist and TDK. His lack of real team tournament experience might be a cause for concern, but he could easily succeed as well. august, on the other hand, is a real wild card. The DPP expert finds himself in unfamiliar territory: SM OU. Whether he can carve out a respectable record in this tier is anyone's guess, but at least he has a good amount of team support from his friends.

The lower tiers of this team are pretty interesting. rozes has his ups and downs and his season could easily go either way. Kushalos slipped to Round 5 due to a recent bout of inactivity; if he's active and motivated, he could easily be a steal. In PU, the Rattlers decided to use the classic "LOL X LOWER TIER IS A MEME SO LET'S THROW A TOURNAMENT PLAYER IN" strategy with GaryTheGengar. This could prove to be a smart move or backfire tremendously. Spurrific is a VGC player with some upside. Lastly, teal6 finds himself in LC yet again, where he'll probably put up 4 or 5 wins against an inexperienced playerbase. It is important to note that unlike in his past LC endeavors, he does not have the support of Starmaster, which might hurt his overall win total.

As expected of a team managed by two of the best players of all time in bro fist and McMeghan, the Rattlers are loaded with talent. They are banking on player skill to triumph over metagame knowledge in many of their slots, however. This team honestly has a wide array of possible outcomes, with a relatively low floor and perhaps the loftiest ceiling in the tournament. If everything, or even mostly everything, clicks, this team could easily lift the trophy.

Sky Tower Lindworms

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The Lindworms entered the fray with one of the spiciest manager pairings in the tour: Ojama and lax. So, how did this duo of top players make out in the draft? Well, it's sort of a mixed bag. The draft immediately started out in a contentious state, as Ojama and lax found out that their three weeks worth of planning had been thrown in the gutter by the Serpents manager, obii. With thoughts of rage and vengeance coursing through their veins, the pair stood strong and drafted the best RU player in the tournament, Ajna. Against one of the weakest player pools in the draft, it would be a shock if he did not emerge with 6 wins at the very least.

The OU core of the team seems to be riddled with question marks. Lopunny Kicks was the team's second round selection. He usually manages to put up wins in official tours, and in this relatively weak player pool, he should be able to justify his round 2 billing. The next two OU slots belong to Indigo Plateau and xImRaptor, who were picked in Round 5 and Round 7, respectively. These two picks are considered by the majority of the community to be major reaches, with many players valuing both of these players as individuals that should have been selected in Round 11 or beyond. It's honestly a bit unclear what went through lax and Ojama's heads in these two rounds, but they are clearly very high on these two players. Both are pretty inexperienced in the tournament scene and could very easily disappoint. The last slot belongs to relous, another decent player who has put up some respectable showings in past World Cups. This OU core has the potential to make or break the team. It's honestly a bit stunning that this cast of characters is a starting OU core in Snake, but perhaps the managers know something the community at large does not. Speaking of the managers, the core does have the support of lax and Ojama, however, so that should help them out a bit.

The lower tiers of the team feature an interesting cast of characters. HT is someone who could very easily falter in this tournament. His plays are never very impressive, but he does generally manage to grab a few wins. UU is a relatively top-heavy field, so it is likely that HT will struggle a bit. col49 is a lower tier wizard who has proven himself in many tournaments. If he is active, he should have no problems putting forward a solid record in NU, especially with lax's support. PU features -Tsunami-, a pretty unmotivated crust player. He himself even admits to not having played Pokémon in months. The PU player pool is inexperienced and most likely weak, though, so perhaps there is hope for the veteran if he manages to put forth some effort. It will most certainly be an uphill climb for him, though. Croven is in the Doubles slot for the team, and he has proven to be a force to be reckoned with, amassing a plethora of wins in SPL and even being chosen for a tiebreak. Lastly, tko finds himself in the LC slot. He was another reach by the Worms, having surprisingly been selected in Round 6. One can only wonder what happened to the manager duo between the fifth and seventh rounds. Nonetheless, he has done well in LC in some more irrelevant tours, so perhaps he can make some noise against an inexperienced player base.

Overall, this team clearly has a decent amount of holes. They do have two of the best managers in the tournament in lax and Ojama, who will have to support the team well if they wish to attain success. The OU core of the team might be the worst in the tournament, and if that collapses, the team might struggle. There is talent here, however, specifically in the lower tiers. Look for the Worms to remain competitive and perhaps reach the playoffs if some of the more questionable slots pull through.

Shinto Ruins Serpents

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After Lavos Spawn's unfortunate demise, Smogon needed a villain. Last year's champion, obii, boldly snatched the mantle from Lavos's "indifferent" arms, becoming the subject of hate of multiple teams and fueling their anger. The Dragonspiral Tyrants purposefully became vehemently hated in SPL, and their star-studded roster was one tiebreak away from winning the tournament. Can obii and the Serpents take the crown? Well, they certainly have a good shot, boasting arguably the most well-rounded roster in the entire tournament. obii started off his draft by taking resident cheater Starmaster, who was recently freed after being locked up for years for ghosting GOAO in Snake 1. Star lacks any real recent results because of this ban, but many feel that he is currently one of the best players on Smogon, and perhaps the second best player in this tournament after ABR. Star should be expected to rack up the wins in OU, while also supporting the team's LC and PU slots effectively. With the team's second pick, they selected BKC, arguably the best and most accomplished Smogon player of all time. He isn't nearly as prolific in SM OU as he is in the old gens, but he definitely provides some nice upside as a Round 2 selection. BKC is probably the most passionate player ever, and after a subpar World Cup in which he went 0-2 in the quarterfinals, look for the hungry veteran to pull through.

The OU core of the team is rounded out by Sacri' and yjh971203. Sacri is a relatively solid player, who should be able to live up to his Round 4 billing. yjh is definitely a bit more of a wild card, but he has had some impressive games in the past and does have a solid amount of team support. The Serpents without question boast one of the best OU cores in the tournament, and they should help propel the team to the playoffs and beyond.

The lower tiers of the team complement the OU slots quite well. In UU, we have the most suspect player on the roster, Corckscrew. Against some pretty stiff competition, it would be unwise to expect a solid performance from the official team tournament rookie. Nat is the second best RU player in the tournament behind Ajna and has the potential to put up the best record in the tournament if things break her way. In NU, we have Bobby Dagen, formerly known as Rodriblutar. He is a bit polarizing but has had some impressive showings in the past, most recently in SPL 9, where he helped the Wolfpack win the title. He should do relatively well, especially with his manager FLCL's support. PU features soulgazer, one of the best lower tier players of all time. He fell to Round 10 because his personality is, for lack of a better term, cancerous. He is definitely more skilled than the majority of the PU playerbase, though, and he is no stranger to putting up ridiculous records in team tours. He has the potential to be one of the steals of the draft. Demantoid finds himself in Doubles for obii yet again, shades of Snake 1. He should be able to compete with anyone and end up with a decent or better record. Lastly, the LC slot houses BurntZebra, a prospect whose season is hard to predict. He is inexperienced on the big stage, but so are the majority of the players playing LC in this tournament. It is important to note that he has the support of Star, arguably the best LC builder in the entire tournament. This should go a long way to helping him succeed. The team also has resident tryhard DurzaOffTopic on the bench, eager for his first taste of official team tournament action; he should be able to support all of the lower tiers effectively as well.

Overall, this could easily be the best team in the tournament. They have very few flaws, a solid amount of star power, and threats throughout the lineup. This team is rife with experience, and managers obii and FLCL should be able to bring out the best in their players. There are some pretty annoying personalities on this team, though, and many of their players have been labeled as "whiners" by the masses. Regardless of that, however, it's hard to envision this team not succeeding. They should definitely make the playoffs and have a solid shot of capturing the trophy for newfound Smogon villain obii.

Terminus Taipans

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Another year brings us yet another edition of the team that will inevitably be labeled as "the ABRs." This time, the OUTL will not be accompanied by his trusty friend TonyFlygon but instead by Grand Slam Champion Pearl and Northeast teammate Sabella. Pearl and Sabella had the good fortune of being blessed with the number one pick in the Snake Draft, a pick even more valuable this year than in years prior. Due to the lack of truly elite signups, the value acquired by drafting ABR first overall far exceeds the value held by any other pick. Consider that ABR is by all accounts a 40k SPL player; with no old gens in Snake, it would be hard to fathom anyone else in the top 10 even surpassing 20k in value.

In OU, ABR will be surrounded by three players featured on team Europe's starting roster in World Cup. ABR seems to have learned from his mistakes in SPL and chose to not spend a great deal of value in the other OU slots. Mana is the most well known of these players, having put together solid performances in SPL, Snake, and World Cup in the past. With ABR's team support, he should have no problems putting together a respectable campaign. Twix is someone who had a bit of a breakout in World Cup, going 4-0. le LLiolae had a bit of an unsuccessful tournament, but some individuals still remain high on his skill level. At face value, this trio of players isn't all that imposing. When you factor in the boost provided by ABR's team support, however, it becomes one of the better cores of the tournament.

The lower tiers feature a mix of newer and more veteran players. robjr broke on to the scene in SPL 9 and, with Pearl's legendary UU support, might put together the best UU record of anyone in this tournament. Alpha Rabbit is a much more unknown commodity, not really having any relevant tour results to speak of. Some people are high on his ability, as evidenced by his Round 5 value; with the weakness of the playerbase, he could definitely put forth a solid showing, but it would not be surprising to see him flop as well. Sjneider is another unproven talent, with some honestly terrible showings in SPL. His season could really go either way. Let's hope for the Taipans's sake that he does succeed because no one wants to see Snou play an official tour game again. They also have ima for this slot, who was benched in World Cup following some pretty subpar performances. Teddeh is the undisputed top PU player of the tournament, being by far the most recognizable name in the player pool. He has dominated past SPLs in NU and, against a weaker playerbase, should have no problems smashing the competition. All of these players should have Pearl's support as well, which should bolster their competency. Ezrael has proven to be a solid Doubles player that has the potential to beat anyone. Lastly, jake, or Zebraiken, is the Taipans's LCer; he has been a Smogon mainstay for years and has some decent performances under his belt. In a playerbase that is devoid of experience, this could help him find his footing in 2019.

Overall, as expected, this team's success will rely heavily on the shoulders of ABR. If he can help his OU slots demolish the competition and the lower tiers perform adequately with Pearl's assistance, this team could definitely win the trophy. There are some questionable slots here, but in a draft format like Snake, that's to be expected. Without ABR, their title chances would be pretty minimal. With him, anything is possible. Ultimately, the Taipans are a decent roster that houses the best and most active player in the entire tournament; that alone means they are a team to be feared.


SNAKE SM OU RANKINGS
  1. ABR - 1
  2. Empo - 3
  3. Tricking - 3.857
  4. Tamahome - 4.286
  5. z0mOG - 5.857
  6. SoulWind - 6.286
  7. Star - 6.571
  8. Lopunny - Kicks - 7
  9. BKC - 8.857
  10. Cdumas - 9
  11. Eo - Ut - Mortus - 9
  12. FMG - 11.286
  13. Sacri' - 11.714
  14. Gondra - 12.714
  15. Mana - 13.429
  16. Insult - 15
  17. Kory2600 - 15.571
  18. TonyFlygon - 16.429
  19. xray - 17.286
  20. Twixtry - 18.286
  21. blarghlfarghl - 20.143
  22. Relous - 22.286
  23. Tace - 22.714
  24. Valentine - 24.714
  25. Santu - 25.714
  26. dice - 25.857
  27. Hayburner - 25.857
  28. Updated - Kanto - 26.143
  29. Jytcampbell - 26.286
  30. HSA - 26.429
  31. xtra$hine - 26.571
  32. Jimmy - Turtwig - 28.143
  33. yjh971203 - 28.429
  34. august - 28.714
  35. le - Lliolae - 28.857
  36. Indigo - Plateau - 28.857
  37. ramboss - 29.857
  38. Rexus - 30.857
  39. xImRaptor - 31.429
  40. Gilbert - arenas - 33.429
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1. Star: 7 - Serpents

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1. Sacri': 13 - Serpents

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1. BKC: 9 - Serpents

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1. yjh971203: 33 - Serpents

The Serpents, glowing with star power, claim the top spot in the OU rankings. The two names that immediately jump off the page here are US Northeast teammates Star and BKC. Star returns to the Snake Draft scene for the first time since he was banned for two long years following his cheating scandal. He was originally slated to be freed some time in the middle of this tournament, but predictably, his Tournament Director companions were able to pull some strings and free him roughly six months earlier. As a player, Star is very polarizing. Many of his friends would say that he is currently one of the best players on Smogon, feeling that even his current number 7 ranking is a gross underestimation of his skill level. The naysayers, meanwhile, see little need to believe the hype, as Star has yet to really prove himself on the big stage in recent memory due to his forced hiatus. He had a decent showing in the most recent World Cup, going 2-1 in ORAS OU, albeit against some less-than-stellar competition. He will look to build upon this performance in Snake Draft and truly establish himself as one of Smogon's greats.

What Star lacks in results, BKC has plenty of and more. Often labeled as the "GOAT," BKC's tournament career is one of the best ever, landing him the top spot in the Hall of Fame. He is routinely valued at roughly 40k in SPL, a ridiculous feat that highlights his prowess. Of course, there is a reason he slipped to the second round in Snake. The old gen aficionado has very little in the way of SM results and is considered to be far less talented in the tier than he is in areas like DPP and GSC. Still, though, this is someone with nearly unrivaled results, and if you are believer in the mantra that skill in one Pokémon tier can easily carry over to others, then you would come to believe that BKC could blossom in this tour. Outside of his unmatched success, BKC's claim to fame is his matchless passion for the game. No one cares about Pokémon more than BKC, and his insatiable hunger should help him flourish as an SM OU player.

The OU core is rounded out by Sacri' and yjh971023. Sacri' is expected to do pretty well in this tournamemt. A former UU main, Sacri' transitioned over to becoming an OU player a few tournaments ago. He has had decent results on the big stage since then, going 15-11 since he began his OU journey in World Cup 2018. He also managed to qualify for the most recent OLT. With Star and BKC by his side, the Frenchman will look to build on his past performances. Compared to Sacri', yjh is far less proven. He has had minimal appearances in official team tournaments, possessing a decent 4-3 record. There are some individuals who think he's capable of making waves, but his 33rd overall ranking relays that this tournament should be an uphill climb for him. At least he has a solid infrastructure to back him up. Overall, the Serpents have a threatening group of players and will look to ride these top dogs to the playoffs and beyond.

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2. Tamahome: 4 - Astrotias

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2. Santu: 25 - Astrotias

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2. Cdumas: 10 - Astrotias

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2. Updated Kanto: 28 - Astrotias

The Astrotias surprise many and land at number 2 on the list. This is one of the spicier groups to be featured in the rankings, with many polarizing players. The star player here is Tamahome, one of the more successful faces in Smogon history. An old gen mastermind, Tama has transitioned over to SM OU in recent tournaments. He has had far less success in the new gen than he has had in his old stomping grounds, accruing only an average 11-10 record across 4 tournaments. His number 4 ranking more reflects his overall high skill ceiling rather than his rather mediocre results to date. It is important to note, though, that the Astrotias lack a strong teambuilder, which may be a detriment to Tamahome's success. false is rumored to have been a strong teambuilder for Oceania, but he is unproven, and it would be unwise to currently expect great things from him in that field. Tamahome generally relies on other people's creations in SM OU, and if those teams are lacking, he could struggle to reach his lofty ceiling.

Despite their number 2 ranking, it's surprisingly easy to envision the Astrotias OU core flopping spectacularly in Snake 3. Their next three players are all unreliable, especially if you factor in the roster's team support deficiency. Cdumas is the standout talent in this next group of names. The Frenchman soared to a ridiculous 29-10 record and was even valued at a ridiculous 27.5k in SPL 9. Peak Cdumas would probably be ranked 2nd in this tournament, behind only ABR, but his SPL 10 fiasco has cast some doubt over his future. The top-tier talent struggled mightily in that tournament, uncharacteristically choking multiple games, ending with a 1-5 record, and bailing on his team. Perhaps more concerning than his performance were his words following his disastrous start. Cdumas claimed he wanted nothing more than playing with his French comrades and had grown tired of continually being thrust into the limelight as a star player on his teams. His thoughts weren't exactly encouraging with regards to his mental state and potential for future success. He did get some of his mojo back with a 2-1 World Cup, but the fallout from SPL 10 still reverberates within the tournament community. The Astrotias did not do him any favors, not providing him with the French teammates he infamously demanded in SPL 10. All of this being said, it would be ludicrous to count out such a skilled player after 1 poor tournament. Cdumas was a record-setting rookie talent, and he could easily return to his lofty perch atop the OU totem pole. There is risk here, but his towering ceiling more than justifies the gamble.

The last two members of the Astrotias's OU core inspire far less confidence. Santu is a player who has been trying to make a name for himself for a while. He is generally unimpressive but can put forth solid performances, the most notable of which being his shocking upset of ABR in the most recent Smogon Tour. His season could really go either way, but as with his teammates, the lack of a builder hurts his chances. The last player in this nucleus is Updated Kanto, another high-variance talent. Kanto's claim to fame is his meteoric ascent in SPL 9, when he dominated the competition in ORAS OU under the watchful eye of ABR. Since then, however, ABR has renounced his former student, and Kanto's reputation and levels of success have fallen by the wayside. He did manage to qualify for the most recent OLT, though, and if he miraculously manages to return to his godlike SPL 9 form, he could demolish his opponents. As previously stated, though, the Astrotias are bereft of teambuilding talent, so that certainly cannot help Kanto's cause. Overall, this is a high variance OU core. The talent is blatantly visible, as evident by their stellar number 2 ranking, but it would not be a surprise to see the wheels fall off this bandwagon.

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3. ABR: 1 - Taipans

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3. Twixtry: 20 - Taipans

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3. Mana: 15 - Taipans

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3. le Lliolae: 35 - Taipans

The Taipans enter the fray with what appears to be a pretty mediocre OU core... and ABR. The crown jewel of the Taipans's OU nucleus, ABR is one of two unanimously selected number one players in Snake Draft. If you know anything at all about ABR, it should be obvious as to why. Despite being the first overall pick, ABR is almost assuredly the best-value pick of the entire tournament. That may sound ludicrous, but when you consider that his SPL price tag is worth roughly 40k and that no other player in this tournament would even eclipse 20k in Snake's format, this assessment becomes obvious. ABR has been dominating the tournament scene for years and is easily one of the best ever at supporting players. The master craftsman is known for having absurd line counts in every team tour, and his drive to win is matched by few. He is essentially impossible to counterstyle, being able to play nearly anything he wants; he's even deranged enough to enjoy playing games that go over 500 turns. ABR's mental state is impossible to shake, and barring some unforeseen miracle, he should easily have an excellent record in the Smogon Snake draft.

ABR will be surrounded by a three pieces of Europe's OU core. Mana is the most recognizable of these faces, and he once succeeded with ABR's support in Snake 1. He recently returned after an extended hiatus and had a decent 5-5 performance in SPL. He's expected to perform rather admirably in Snake 3, perhaps because of ABR's support. Mana has a high skill ceiling, but he is known to play suboptimally from time to time. He does usually manage to end up with a respectable record when all is said and done. Expect similar things here. Twixtry is a more recent entrant to the tournament stage. He had a rather fortunate 4-0 record in World Cup, which shows that there is talent here at the very least. It's always hard to predict how rookies will perform from tour to tour, but he does have excellent team support. The last OU player on this team is le LLiolae. Another European rookie, LLiolae did not achieve the same level of success as his countrymen, struggling mightily on the way to a 1-3 record. His performance wasn't particularly encouraging, and he may not be ready for the limelight just yet. Overall, as expected, the Taipans' OU core will heavily lean on their superstar, ABR. If he can gift his more questionable teammates with winning team matchups, expect this core to thrive.

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4. SoulWind: 6 - Rattlers

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4. TonyFlygon: 18 - Rattlers

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4. Gondra: 14 - Rattlers

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4. august: 34 - Rattlers

The "jerk" otherwise known as the Rattlers comes in at 4th in the rankings. Unlike other teams, the Rattlers seemed hellbent on simply filling their team with talent instead of drafting individuals who excel at specific tiers. This trend even managed to sneak its way into their OU slots, as DPP veteran august finds himself pigeonholed into the tier. Their best player without question is SoulWind, a man who has been an elite player for what seems like generations at this point. Unfortunately for the Spaniard, there are no old gens in Snake. SoulWind is far less proficient in SM than he is in BW, and his record sits at a middling 7-8 after 2 Snake Drafts. Still, though, he's extremely talented, as evidenced by his run to the finals in both last year's OST and the most recent Smogon Tour. Without a doubt, he has a good shot of turning his record around in this tournament. He should be highly motivated to succeed due to being surrounded with a cast of some of his closest friends on the site. He should have an ample amount of team support as well, so there is definitely potential for him to turn heads in Snake.

The rest of the OU nucleus is comprised of some rather interesting names. Gondra is the most proven of these players, and he is coming off the heels of a very solid World Cup performance. While not a great player, he is certainly above average, and with a great support system in place to help him succeed, he should be able to build on past results and go positive, at the very least. The last two slots are variance heavy and could be likened to a DPP battle. TonyFlygon has been playing Pokémon for a decade, and in his time on Smogon, he was viewed as a phenomenal manager that could not play to save his life. All of that changed in a short span of a few months, as he had an impressive showing in the Smogon Classic and finished 3-0 in World Cup. He is quickly climbing the charts and becoming a fan favorite, and there is a great deal of hype surrounding the former YouTube star. The fact that he was drafted in Round 3 despite minimal historic results is evidence enough of this. It would not be strange to see Tony struggle, though; he has hardly played any official team tournament games on Smogon and still has a long way to go to prove himself. The last slot belongs to aforementioned DPP star august, who was rather egregiously drafted in the 6th round. It's honestly pretty baffling that the team decided that starting august in SM OU was the way to go, but that is the power of the "jerk." He has next to no SM OU experience and could easily fall flat on his face this tournament. He does obviously possess a solid amount of skill and has some of the best support infrastructures in Snake 3, so perhaps he can surprise the masses and turn in a solid performance. He could just as easily end up as worst picks in the draft, though, from a value perspective. Overall, the Rattlers have a talented group of friends with upside. There's no guarantee this group succeeds, as it is rife with variance, but with the excellent team support provided by users like TDK and bro fist, the core should be poised for success.

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5. Eo Ut Mortus: 11 - Cobras

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5. dice: 26 - Cobras

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5. FMG: 12 - Cobras

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5. Jytcampbell: 29 - Cobras

The Cobras have a decently talented OU core, reflected by their middle-of-the-pack ranking. While they are missing a true superstar player, they do have some respected choices on their lineup. The two players that will be expected to do the heavy lifting are Eo Ut Mortus and FMG. Eo is a Smogon mainstay and transitioned from old gens into SM OU a couple of years ago. He owns an 11-10 overall record in SM OU across a few tournaments, with the majority of his wins coming in SPL 9. He's certainly not an elite player in the tier, but Eo is a name that should be respected and will most likely end up with a positive record. His claim to fame is his creative team ideas that can feast on metagame trends. A notable example of this from the past is when he popularized the core of Sand Veil Cacturne + Sand Veil Gliscor in BW OU, which tore through many of the teams that were common at the time. An avid stall player not afraid to lay it on the line with some risky picks, Eo is difficult to counterteam, which should aid him in his journey to succeed. Unlike Eo, FMG is one of the new talents on the block, a much-hyped player who has made waves in recent months. Most notably, he was selected to play tiebreaks in both SPL and World Cup, a feat that deserves praise, especially for a newer player. He's not afraid to play aggressively and turn a winning matchup into a surefire win. Expectations must be tempered a bit, though. As evidenced by his tiebreak game against lax in World Cup, FMG can still misplay from time to time and let his opponent back into the game. While these two players may not be top-notch talents, they have the skills to take games off anyone and push this core to the top.

The last two OU slots on the team are a bit more sketchy. dice is a BW wizard who has popularized many important metagame trends in the recent past, such as Protect + Toxic Keldeo and Protect Excadrill. On raw talent alone, he's easily in the upper echelon of OU players in Snake 3. The issue here is his basically nonexistent experience in SM OU. As we've seen with many talented old gen masters mentioned in the rankings already, such as Tamahome and SoulWind, adjusting to Gen 7 is no cakewalk. dice could succeed, but it will most assuredly be an uphill climb, and he cannot be relied upon to do great things in this tournament. The last OU player on the team is Jytcampbell, a mediocre player who really shouldn't be counted on this tournament. He did go 3-0 in World Cup, but his opposition was pretty unimpressive. It would be a shock to see him finish with a record better than 3-6 or something of the sort. If he struggles, the team could perhaps flex Round 1 pick Finchinator into SM OU. He struggled heavily in his brief SM OU experience in SPL, though, so this move would probably be a bit unwise. The Cobras lack a surefire megastar, but they have some decent pieces. If dice utilizes his talent to maximum capacity, the team could surprise.

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6. z0mOG: 5 - Bushmasters

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6. HSA: 30 - Bushmasters

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6. blarghlfarghl: 21 - Bushmasters

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6. xtra$hine: 31 - Bushmasters

The Bushmasters have one of the more intriguing cast of characters in OU this tournament. The lead actor here will be z0mOG, a recent Smogon Tour champion who has improved leaps and bounds in a short span of time. z0m was the second pick in the draft, which seems pretty egregious at face value. However, the pick was more than justifiable in reality. The combination of the weak Round 1 player crop and the hype surrounding z0mog made him a viable selection. z0m started off 0-2 in the most recent World Cup but finished strong, ending with a 4-3 record and helping US West shock Northeast and take home the trophy. There is reason to be skeptical, though. z0mOG's overall team tournament record still sits at a poor 19-23. He has yet to finish above 6-4 in any tournament, which is not very reassuring considering the high expectations for him this tournament. He can also occasionally be rather quick to pull the trigger, with the most notable example of this being his tiebreak game against BKC in SPL 9, where he clicked HP Ice with his Landorus-T against a Zygarde while stating aloud in his video that it very well could be Weakness Policy; it was, and z0mOG lost the game. The STour champion no doubt has the talent to succeed, but his record of success in the official team tournament stage is relatively minimal.

Things really get interesting when you look at the names following z0mOG. blarghlfarghl was, without question, an atrocious player before World Cup 2019. He went undrafted in SPL, so in a vacuum, his 4th round billing is a bit startling. There is context behind it, though. He had an impressive showing in World Cup, going 3-1 and clutching in many tough situations for his team. Many managers are actually defending his draft value, or at least saying it was only a small reach. Still, though, it is very difficult to believe that such a bad player could transition into a round 4 pick in the span of one tournament. blargh could get absolutely eviscerated by his opponents this tournament, and many individuals would not bat an eye. If he succeeds in Snake, then perhaps he can officially be acknowledged as, at the very least, a decent player. Until then, though, expectations must be heavily tempered, and the likelihood of his destruction is rather high. HSA is the next player on the list. He was crust personified until the most recent Smogon Tour, where he racked up a ridiculous number of SM points. He followed it up with a decent World Cup, ending with a 2-1 record. Expectations are still fairly low for HSA, as he is only ranked 30th. His season could really go either way, but based on recent results, he should at least be fairly competitive in the field. The last OU slot belongs to xtra$hine, another veteran. He was recently freed from a ban and is returning to the tournament field for the first time in centuries. Known for his creative offensive teams, xtra's teambuilding has reportedly been wildly successful in recent times, playing a big part in both OLT qualification and playoffs. This will be his first team tournament game since SPL 8, so it would be unwise to expect a good season from him. He could succeed, but most likely, he will end up with around 3 wins. In general, the Bushmasters core is relatively unimpressive, featuring a plethora of individuals with little track record of success on the big stage.

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7. Tricking: 3 - Nagas

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7. Jimmy Turtwig: 32 - Nagas

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7. Kory2600: 17 - Nagas

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7. ramboss: 37 - Nagas

The Nagas crop of OU players is honestly a bit of a mess. After Tricking, the cast of characters is pretty abysmal, with Kory2600 expected to be the shining light of the team in the second OU slot. Tricking himself is a polarizing player. Some people will look at his first round billing and his 3rd overall ranking and think that the rankers lost their minds. Others will find it perfectly reasonable, as the Italian is known for putting forth great performances in multiple tiers. He is 38-28 lifetime, a solid record for a first round draft choice, and should be expected to grab at least 6 wins in this tournament. While not on the team, Will of Fire will be expected to provide Tricking with his team ammunition yet again. The main criticism against Tricking is his overly "clicky" playstyle, but unlike other known "clickers," he has managed to prove the doubters wrong time and time again and rack up the wins, both in individual and team tournaments.

The other players that are slotted into OU are pretty uninspiring. Kory is a French player who has been around for a decent amount of time. He's relatively unimpressive but does manage to pick up some wins. He was surprisingly drafted in Round 3 and will most likely finish around 4-5. He should have a decent season. After him, the players get really questionable. Jimmy Turtwig is yet another old gen player that finds himself in SM OU. This trend is a bit ridiculous, but I suppose it's evidence that having 40 OU slots is a bit insane. Jimmy is a relatively solid player and has the talent to succeed. There's really no evidence he will, though, and it's not as though he has a building mastermind on his team to give him easy matchups. The last player in this core is ramboss. He's coming off a solid 3-1 World Cup campaign, but he really has no other accomplishments on Smogon. He could easily get annihilated in this tournament. Overall, the Nagas's OU slots are highly questionable, and if Tricking or Kory falter, this tournament could end in disaster for them.

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8. Insult: 16 - Leviathans

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8. Valentine: 24 - Leviathans

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8. Tace: 23 - Leviathans

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8. Hayburner: 27 - Leviathans

The Leviathans pretty clearly have a terrible OU core. The lack of stardom in these four slots is quite alarming, and they don't even have a single player that would project to be a surefire success. Insult is the highest ranked player on the team, which is quite problematic. Having a World Cup substitute as your best player, even a substitute for Northeast, is never a good sign. Originally relegated to a bench role, Insult was thrust into action in SPL 10 following some roster shake-ups by his team, the Classiest. He performed decently, ending with a 3-2 record while duking it out against some relatively tough competition. He also recently managed to qualify for OLT, which is another feather in his cap. He really lacks any significant results, and that makes it difficult to expect great things out of him. A 16th overall ranking might be a bit generous, but he does have the building support of Charmflash and suapah; although these may not be the two biggest names, they should provide a relatively solid framework for their players. Things only get shakier from here. Tace is a newer player who impressed with a 3-0 showing in World Cup against some tough competition. He has some upside, but again, it's hard to really project how well he's going to do with such little tour experience to his name. Like Insult, he did qualify for OLT, so that has to count for something.

Valentine takes up the third OU slot of the team. He is the most experienced of these individuals and had some impressive showings of his own in World Cup. He outplayed his opponents in his first two games, but he suffered a setback in his final one against Vore Gidal where he played rather horribly and was soundly defeated. He generally manages to have some solid games and finish positive in most tours he partakes in, as evidenced by his respectable 19-13 lifetime record; he may be the most reliable player in this core, which again, isn't a good sign. Hayburner rounds out the core. He's not particularly impressive and has yet to go positive in his limited team tour experience. Clearly, the Leviathans are banking on some miracles here. They most certainly don't have the worst players in the world, and some of them could very easily go positive, but as a unit, the nucleus pretty clearly underwhelms.

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9. Empo: 2 - Mambas

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9. Rexus: 38 - Mambas

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9. xray: 19 - Mambas

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9. Gilbert arenas: 40 - Mambas

We go from a team with no surefire prospects to a team with the second-highest ranked player in the pool. Expectations are sky-high for Empo, and he will look to lift the Mambas OU core from the depths of irrelevance. Coming off the heels of a 6-4 SPL that saw him take home the trophy and a 3-0 World Cup, Empo is poised for success. While he may lack the overall experience level of many individuals ranked inside the top 10, his SM OU prowess is nearly unrivaled, and the masses view him as one of the best players in the tournament. If there is a reason for skepticism, it would be that his team did not trust him to play in the tiebreak in SPL, choosing instead to go with an, at the time, unproven lax. Regardless, it's hard to not like Empo's chances of success. He should have an edge over nearly every player in the pool, and his recent form is top notch.

Beyond Empo, the Mambas are a cesspool of garbage. xray is a big name, but he is most known for being a top ORAS OU player. His SM skills are nowhere near as good as his ORAS ones, and although he is still a talented player, it will be an uphill climb for the German. The Mambas deciding to take him in Round 3 was a bit of a headscratcher, and it will be quite surprising if he reaches value. The next OU slot belongs to a PU main, Rexus. The Mambas apparently didn't get the memo that tournament players are supposed to be forced into lower tiers and not the other way around. Qualifying for OLT is evidently all you need to do to become a full-fledged OU starter nowadays. Expectations are pretty low for him, as he is ranked near the bottom of the barrel. He will most likely get demolished. The nucleus is rounded out by the lowest ranked OU player, Gilbert arenas. Teams seem hellbent on forcing old gen players into SM OU in Snake 3, and marcop is unfortunately the least skilled of these players. He has caught fire in his past two tournaments, despite some rather questionable plays in World Cup that were mitigated by luck and other factors. Being good at ADV is pretty irrelevant here, though. marcop has very little SM experience to speak of, and there's honestly no reason at all to expect him to succeed. Overall, the Mambas OU core is an abject catastrophe, and even if Empo goes 9-0, they still have 27 more games with which to sabotage their season.

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10. Lopunny Kicks: 8 - Lindworms

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10. Indigo Plateau: 36 - Lindworms

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10. Relous: 22 - Lindworms

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10. xImRaptor: 39 - Lindworms

Many of you probably can't believe there is somehow an OU core worse than the Mambas. But, ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the disaster that is the Snake 3 Lindworms. This is without a doubt one of the worst cores ever put together in an official team tournament. The saving grace here is Lopunny Kicks, an Italian that routinely puts up solid stat lines for his teams. He has a 16-10 record all-time, and his 8th overall ranking reflects the relatively high expectations the community has for him. He's certainly not a fantastic player, and having him as your number one OU slot still feels a bit disheartening. However, he definitely has the tools to thrive in this tournament, especially with the help of his managers Ojama and lax. Lopunny Kicks is essentially the life jacket ensuring that this team doesn't drown in the harsh waters of Snake 3. It's honestly a bit mind-boggling that this group of players was put together as a starting OU core. Relous is the most well-known of the three, having played in two World Cups and 1 SPL. Fresh off a 3-2 World Cup performance, he holds a 7-5 life-time record, which is at least somewhat encouraging. He's not particularly impressive, but he's certainly not terrible. With the help of his managers, perhaps he can put together four wins.

If this was SPL and each team only had two OU players, the Lindworms wouldn't even look too shabby. However, unfortunately, this is Snake Draft, and each team has 4 OU slots. The worst part of this nucleus has not been touched on yet, either. You see, the next two low-ranked individuals weren't even taken with low picks. Managers lax and Ojama almost assuredly had aneurysms when they drafted Indigo Plateau in Round 5 and xImRaptor in Round 7, respectively. The tournament consensus seems to be that both of these players would have been available well into the double digit rounds; even if these two miraculously succeed, losing this much value for no reason at all will most certainly be problematic for the Lindworms. Indigo Plateau became known after a solid OST run, but he was relegated to the bench in World Cup, having not been deemed worthy of a starting position at the time. This is quite worrying for the Lindworms, as he will now be thrust into the limelight as an individual who, most certainly, will be one of the worst value picks in Snake history. It is possible to create a good OU core with some upside while reaching heavily for one player, though. The Rattlers, who were ranked at number four in the OU rankings, are a good example of this. But when you highly overvalue two players, things get a bit more dicey. Many individuals were shocked that xImRaptor was drafted at all, much less in Round 7. He has no Smogon results to speak of outside of an 0-2 performance in World Cup 2018. Maybe one day, we will learn what went on between lax and Ojama between the 5th and 7th rounds of the draft, because there is no logic at all that could possibly be employed and agreed upon by two users to reach this stark reality. Overall, the Lindworms OU core is an atrocity. Lopunny Kicks may be able to keep them competitive with the Mambas, but unless Ojama and lax gain access to the bot Mazar used in SPL 8, it's hard to envision them not being run off the court.


SNAKE SM LC RANKINGS
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1. ZoroDark: 2.286 - Astrotias

ZoroDark, almost by default, finds himself at the top of the totem pole in LC. With a plethora of standout names like Corporal Levi and Star not participating in the tier this tournament, ZoroDark becomes the most surefire player to take the stage. What the man occasionally labeled as "ZoroClick," in reference to his rather "clicky" tendencies in battle, has going for him is a wealth of experience in the limelight. ZoroDark is no stranger to facing strong opponents and putting up respectable records, most notably in BW OU. His first foray into the LC field was in Snake 1, where he amassed a sensational 9-0 record and left the critics in the dust. It is important to note that his recent LC experience pales in comparison to the other users on this list, but team support from LC enthusiast Shrug should help mitigate some of his poor metagame knowledge. In a player pool full of either inexperienced players or individuals that simply lack the style and accomplishments he does, ZoroDark is set up for success and has a strong chance to be one of the steals of the draft.

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2. Kingler12345: 2.714 - Cobras

When it was first rumored that Kingler12345 was going to be the number one ranked player in the LC Power Rankings, many individuals were left speechless in disbelief. While that sad reality did not come to fruition, "the Loaf" did manage to finesse his way to the second spot in the rankings. Kingler possesses one thing many of the individuals on this list lack: experience. Just because you're experienced, though, doesn't mean your good. Kingler, all things considered, has been the definition of average in official team tournaments, amassing a 21-22 record all-time. He has had a few impressive showings in individual tournaments, but his overall play is still rather inconsistent and relatively unimpressive. He is known to be prone to choking and has been unable to translate his excellent LC unofficial tournament performances over to the big stage. There are clearly a myriad of reasons as to why Kingler should not be ranked highly, but at the end of the day, he's a decent player and should be able to perform adequately here. While living up to his number 2 ranking may be slightly impossible, the Loaf should remain competitive and put forth a respectable record when all is said and done.

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3. Luthier: 3.000 - Leviathans

Luthier is a recent prospect that will look to live up to the hype. He has yet to have a taste of the limelight, unlike the two users ranked above him. However, big things are expected from the rookie. After a run to the Grand Slam playoffs one year ago, Luthier has only increased his stock, making his haters eat their words. He has reached the semifinals of the LC Open and earned an unblemished 9-0 record in the most recent LCPL. Without question, the multi-faceted talent has the skill to succeed. Still, though, one must be concerned about his dearth of official team tour experience. There have been individuals in the past who have succeeded in LC with nonexistent team tour experience, though, the most recent being Corporal Levi. Another more pressing issue is the lack of team support present on his team's roster. Having an ace builder would have made the rookie's life far easier and alleviated some of the burden that is now on his shoulders. Luthier certainly has the talent to make a name for himself in the team tournament stage, and if he manages to find his footing, he could flourish in this tournament.

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4. tazz: 3.286 - Bushmasters

Much like Luthier, tazz is another rookie that seemingly has hype overflowing from his veins. A little-known entity outside of the LC community, he does not possess the official tournament accolades that Luthier has accumulated. Nonetheless, there are many prominent individuals who believe tazz may be the best player in the pool. Most notably, both Corporal Levi and Star have declared him to be the best LC player in the tournament. He had a phenomenal performance in LCPL and is known for being a consistent force in the scene. He hardly if ever misplays or chokes, a trait that will surely help him prove some of the doubters wrong. In addition, he is backed up by Serene Grace, another hyped player who should only help tazz thrive in Snake 3. Whether he can succeed in the biggest stage of his career is anyone's guess, but the LC main certainly has the tools to do so.

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5. Osh: 3.571 - Nagas

Unlike most of the other players on this list, Osh is not a true LC main. He managed to rack up an absurd 40 points in last year's Grand Slam, displaying his proficiency in other lower tiers, most notably NU. Labeled as "the Gerk slayer," Osh has soundly defeated many great NU players in his short time on the scene, including lax, meeps, and elodin. He went 4-5 in his first experience in the limelight, which is a pretty respectable record for a rookie going up against a stacked player pool. Whether he can translate his NU talents over to LC is anyone's guess, but the crop of players he is expected go up against in this tournament pales in comparison to the threats he had to take on in SPL NU. In addition, he did manage to reach the quarterfinals of the most recent LC Open, proving that he without question has the capability to succeed here. Still, though, it's not as though Osh's skill is widely praised. He is a polarizing talent, with many individuals finding him to be a bit overrated. It would not be surprising to see him do poorly in Snake 3, especially with the nonexistent team support his team has provided him with. Nevertheless, if his Grand Slam and SPL performance is any indication, Osh has a talent for grabbing wins, and he'll probably end up with a decent record when all is said and done.

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6. BurntZebra: 6.000 - Serpents

LC may be the super rookie tier, as we have yet another highly touted individual looking to engrave his name on the tournament leader boards. BurntZebra is a relatively new face to the LC community, only really establishing himself in 2018. He has acquired many admirers along the way, and many individuals praise his general consistency and aptitude for making plays. He is ranked 6th, though, so there are clearly naysayers who did not fully believe in his underlying potential. His season could easily go either way, as is often the case for young prospects looking to make an impact on the scene. Perhaps the most important factor in his success will be his team support, as he was blessed with the teambuilding prowess of his manager, Star, who should be able to give him a plethora of solid matchups throughout the tournament. Star's support alone gives BurntZebra a solid edge over the field, and with it, he has a respectable chance of ending up with a decent record.

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7. teal6: 6.143 - Rattlers

Ah, we have finally reached the most interesting name on the list: teal6. teal is back in LC yet again, despite initially wishing to take his talents over to OU. teal is without question the most unique player on this list, since he hardly ever dabbles in LC outside of the times he is pigeonholed into it for team tournaments. He has been largely successful in the LCPLs he has participated in, and he managed to end Snake 2 with a 6-4 record under the watchful eye of Star. As an overall player, teal appears to be perhaps slightly above average, having attained a 26-21 lifetime record in team tournaments. As someone who doesn't religiously follow LC like many of his peers on this list, though, there is one glaring flaw on teal's resume. He has the potential to be easily caught off guard by innovative sets, especially if they cannot be found in the on-site analyses. The most prominent example of this came in Snake 2, where Corporal Levi used a Spinarak set that happened to be missing from the analysis and laid waste to teal6's entire team. Dubbed "the mystery spider" by teal himself, that Spinarak is an example of a trend that could rear its ugly head yet again in Snake 3. teal also will presumably not have Star's support this year, or at least far less of it, which without a doubt should hinder his performance. Nonetheless, he probably possesses more raw skill than most of the names on this list and could easily finish with a positive record.

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8. LilyAC: 7.000 - Mambas

Lily is yet another rookie making her debut in Snake 3. Her 8th place ranking reflects the lack of hype surrounding her compared to her peers, at least by the masses. There are some individuals who believe she has the talent to make waves in this tournament, though. Her building prowess is well documented, and she has carved a place as a respected user of the LC community. Her play can be viewed as consistent, but without any of the large-scale results possessed by most of the individuals higher up on this list, it's hard to justify increasing her ranking. She also struggled a bit in both Exhibition and LCPL, hinting that perhaps this tournament might be too much for her. Also hindering her is the deficiency of team support on her roster. It does not appear that anyone on it has even dabbled in LC in the past, with the exception of ict. Relying on him to support you, though, is a bit...suspect. Lily could make some noise in this tournament, but her lack of any real tangible results lowers her placement on the board.

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9. jake: 7.286 - Taipans

Zebraiken is a longtime Smogon veteran who was initially an NU main up until a few years ago. He has a wealth of experience, which should serve him well in this rookie-heavy field. He generally puts up decent performances, so this 9th place ranking may not do him justice. He is known as an innovator in LC circles, which is always nice when playing official team tournaments; sometimes, his ideas can be a bit too crazy, though, leading to some unpleasant experiences in battle. He hasn't played LC nearly as much as some other individuals on this list have recently, but he did have a solid run in the LC Open. He will be supported by ABR, who while not known for his LC talents, did learn the metagame extensively in LCWC and should be able to provide some nice ideas for his teammate. Expect Zebraiken to remain competitive with the field, with an outside shot of defying expectations.

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10. tko: 8.429 - Lindworms

Rounding out the LC rankings is thecrystalonix. tko once had a magical 8-0 run in LCPL, which led to him getting his first real taste of the big stage in Snake 1. As rookies often do though, the man dubbed "blueface baby" faltered under the pressure, losing all four of his games (although two were later wiped from the records in the fallout of the ghosting scandals committed separately by Star and the Taipans). tko was shockingly taken in Round 6 of this year's draft, a rather puzzling decision by managers lax and Ojama. This was a considerable reach, as the masses seem to think tko would have been available well into the double digit rounds. He had a solid open run this year, which at least gives some reassurance regarding his skill level. He does have the support of tournament behemoth lax and LC mainstay trash by his side, though, so he could pull some upsets in this tour. It would be unwise to expect tko to live up to his Round 6 billing, but in a relatively inexperienced playing field, he could nab some wins.


SNAKE SM DOU RANKINGS
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1. emforbes: 1.000 - Leviathans

First is the only possible ranking for emforbes. In the past year he has won the 2019 Spring seasonal, earned the best DOU record in SPL X, won the 2018 Fall seasonal, won the 2018 Grand Prix (then called DOU Tour) and, of course, placed second at VGC Worlds 2018. With top talent like this who can also build his own teams, it really seems like a waste to spend another draft slot on support, but emforbes has that too in Kiichikos, who's no freeloader himself. emforbes isn't immortal—he started SPL X with a 2-4 record—but he is clearly poised to lead the field. When watching emforbes's games, keep an eye out for his ridiculous double switch-heavy style that somehow always seems to work out perfectly... unless he's playing against a literal 9-year old.

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2. SMB: 2.429 - Bushmasters

After his team was eliminated from SPL X playoff contention, SMB said "fuck it" and brought Dugtrio and Virizion to his next match. He proceeded to win anyway, because that's the kind of player SMB is. When watching SMB, it's almost hard to understand how he is so successful, because unlike emforbes, his play isn't flashy. But he makes consistent smart trades throughout the game and always ends up easily winning the final 3v3, and when he isn't messing around, he's also one of the best builders. SMB had the second-best record in SPL X DOU and is the only player other than emforbes to win multiple DOU seasonals, so it seems natural that he would be ranked second. But if things break his way (including his team making it to playoffs), he's an easy contender for snatching first.

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3. Croven: 3.143 - Lindworms

Most players consider the SM DOU meta to be remarkably balanced. That might spell disaster for Croven, who claims that he can only win by abusing the most broken Pokémon. Still, he managed to pull one of the best records in SPL X in the same metagame, so maybe don't take his word for it. Famous team thief Croven likes to boast that he's never built in his life; he'd better hope this strategy still works out for him when paired with Stratos, who's never supported him before. If so, look for Croven to throw the game in the first few turns before improbably clawing back a victory in the majority of his games. And, with luck, for him to not get 6-0'd in his team's tiebreak pick.

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4. Demantoid: 4.857 - Serpents

SMB brought Virizion + Dugtrio when his team was eliminated from playoffs, but nobody would be surprised to see Demantoid bring it week 1. The King of Cheese himself, Demantoid has—unlike Croven—actually had noticeably better results when there is super broken shit in the metagame, with his best results occurring during the Kangaskhan and Marshadow metagames. It wouldn't quite be accurate to say Demantoid sinks to mediocrity in a more balanced metagame, because he's still SPL caliber, but he probably won't lead the field. Anything could happen, though, when you're talking about the guy who unashamedly brings Guard Split Shuckle to tournament games. Turn zero of Demantoid's matches will certainly be a spectator event.

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5. qsns: 5.000 - Cobras

qsns has been loudly complaining for a while about being relegated to support in Smogon team tournaments—now is his chance to prove he belongs in the spotlight. His 2-0 record at the tail end of SPL X suggests that he has what it takes, even if his other recent tournament performances don't quite. Hardcore preppers qsns and Tman will certainly show up to every match with a team they expect to succeed, so the rest will be up to qsns's ability to pilot. Despite his incessant roasting of Croven, qsns is another player who loves to go for big donks turn 1—though they often work out better for him than his friend. If the worst case scenario occurs and qsns flops, though, the Cobras won't be stressing; Tman is, just like qsns, a support player who could easily start. There's really not much room for this pairing to underperform, but there's a lot of room for them to surprise us in a good way.

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6. Ezrael: 5.000 - Taipans

Ezrael, the other player on this list who's gotten second at Worlds, isn't ranked quite so high as emforbes. That's probably because of his lackluster performance and questionable activity in DOU's individual tours, where he's never really had a good result. Ezrael is passionate about DOU as evidenced by this article, he's just a busy guy! But there's no denying that this man still has the brains after his recent 4th in NAIC, and he's always shown up to Smogon team tours, with positive records in both Snake 2 and SPL X. We can expect another solid appearance from Ezrael in Snake 3, but unless he's been putting in secret practice, he's unlikely to massively overperform.

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7. Spurrific: 6.857 - Rattlers

Spurrific is the latest member of the NPA Monarchs to get dragged into DOU after emforbes and Tman, and considering the results the previous two have had, things are looking promising. He's also starting the season 1-0, as those in the know are aware of his improbably lopsided record against his likely week 1 opponent Mint16. However, his performances in DOU circuit tours so far this year have only been "pretty good," with top 16s in both Seasonal and Grand Prix, though he did pull a strong 5-1 DPL record. Spurrific tends to be a safe player who will rarely lose a good team matchup—but rarely win a bad one. As such, his record is probably going to reflect his prep, which, as a new player with no support on his team, is kind of suspect. Still, he certainly has the fundamentals—and the connections—to succeed.

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8. Human: 7.143 - Mambas

Though he's new to DOU, Human has been playing doubles formats for over a decade. And the whole time he's been known for pairing smart play with absolutely drug-addled meta takes. It's this writer's opinion that Human would be a top threat if someone else picked his team; instead, he's yet again been left with no support after a lackluster showing in SPL X—not like Human would let someone else pick his team anyway. Still, he has had some good results recently, with a 4-1 in DPL5 and a 3rd place in the 2019 Spring Seasonal—the latter despite openly announcing to his opponents that he would bring Gothitelle every game of the tournament. If he can show up with good teams, Human's gigantic brain will carry him to a good record, but that's a big if.

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9. Mint16: 7.286 - Astrotias

Mint is mostly known in the DOU community for posting nothing but "epic gaming"—you might think that would change in team chats, but it actually does not. Fortunately, he is supported by AuraRayquaza, one of the few people for whom that joke never gets old. Unlike the other folks in the bottom half of this list, Mint16 has been around in the DOU community long enough to be a known quantity, and that quantity isn't particularly inspiring right now. He's exited early in every circuit tournament so far this year, failing to even get points in DLT and Grand Prix, though that could have been caused by an increased focus on the VGC19 season (which is over now). While Mint does have occasional flashes of brilliance, like winning a 2018 DLT, it's been a while since one has appeared in the DOU scene, so the Astrotias are going to have to hope for a miracle.

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10. Nails: 7.571 - Nagas

Ranking the VGC outsider poorly finally paid off for the DOU community last SPL when Human finished with the 9th-best record, so they're back at it with Nails. The placing does make sense, as he lacks DOU results, with the exception of the DOU Alphabet Cup. And while many consider him to be one of the most tryhard VGC players in the game, his dedication to online tours is significantly more... mercurial. But you can't sleep on him: as a strong all-round player with a VGC regional win, two trips to Worlds Day 2, the aforementioned Alphabet Cup dominance, and building support in veteran talkingtree, he definitely comes into the tournament with upset potential. It remains to be seen if the other players can enforce his last-place ranking or if he'll make them eat their words.


SNAKE SM UU RANKINGS
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1. robjr: 1.286 - Taipans

robjr completes his ascent up the UU leaderboard by claiming the throne as the top UUer of Snake 3. rob's tournament journey has been an interesting one. Originally rejected by US East in 2017, the former ladder hero teamed up with ABR on multiple occasions in both SPL and World Cup, taking home trophies in each. He was considered to be drafted far too early in Snake 2, and this perhaps caused him to be undervalued in SPL, where he was almost unanimously declared to be a steal. While his Snake 2 record was only a middling 5-5, he had a phenomenal SPL, going 7-3 against a pretty stacked player pool. rob is a pretty consistent player, and his performances only seem to be improving with time. He has branched out from his standard cores in more recent tournaments to great success. What cements his status as the number one UUer, though, is the team support of UU legend Pearl. Pearl's teams can hard carry even an average player to a solid UU record, so teaming up with someone of robjr's ilk will almost assuredly bring some fiery results.

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2. Christo: 2.857 - Mambas

Fortnite main Christo returns to the tournament scene, once again backed up by his trusty building partner Hogg. After taking a hiatus after SPL 9, Christo returned in SPL 10 and dominated the competition, going 8-3 in a loaded player pool. In the past two SPLs, Christo has amassed a sterling 16-6 record, and with Hogg at his side yet again, there's no reason to expect a drop off. Originally recognized as a stall aficionado, Christo has branched out extensively in his time on Smogon and is essentially impossible to counterteam. He smashed stall effortlessly when it was used against him and then proceeded to obliterate his opponent with it the week after. While his personality and attitude are a bit controversial and often hypocritical, it is hard to argue with Christo's raw skill and talent. One could easily argue that he deserves the top spot in the rankings, with Pearl's support of robjr perhaps being the weight that tips the balance against him. Regardless, it would not be a surprise if he toppled robjr and ended the tour with a magnificent 8-1 record or something of the sort.

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3. TDK: 3.143 - Rattlers

TDK is one of the most prolific players of the past four years. At his peak, he was worth upwards of 30k in SPL, and his building prowess could only be matched by a few renowned individuals like ABR. While his building is still on point, TDK's playing ability has clearly taken a step back in recent months. The consensus number 1 overall selection in Snake 2, TDK has slipped quite dramatically since then, falling all the way to 10th in the draft. He is in the midst of a major slump, accruing only a measly 5 wins in 20 games since the start of that tournament. While his luck admittedly has not been ideal, his record is still nowhere near what you would expect from someone of TDK's caliber. Still, though, his talent cannot be ignored, and this could potentially be a good buy low opportunity for the Rattlers. TDK was phenomenal in UU in the past, even defeating Christo in a tiebreak in SPL 9. While he did go 0-4 last Snake in the tier, with a more average amount of luck, he could have ended at a decent 2-2 record. TDK undoubtedly has the potential to be one of the biggest steals in the draft, as his upside is nearly unlimited and his building touch remains as potent as ever. A certain degree of skepticism is warranted, though, as TDK could easily continue his descent into the depths of the Tournament barrel, which could spell doom for the Rattlers. The fact remains, though, that good players don't struggle forever. Perhaps this is the tour in which TDK rights the ship and returns to his former glory.

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4. Lycans: 3.286 - Astrotias

If TDK is struggling in recent months, then Lycans is blossoming. After some middling performances to begin his career, Lycans has really turned it on as of late and owns a sparkling 13-4 combined UU record in Snake 2 + SPL 10. Add on a solid 4-1 showing in the most recent World Cup, and it's easy to see why Lycans is expected to do big things in Snake 3. It can easily be argued that he should be ranked ahead of TDK based on form alone, as the stark contrast between the two is nearly impossible to ignore. Lycans is incredibly talented and is known for outplaying his opponents more than winning on matchup. Perhaps the only thing working against him is the nonexistent team support he was given; as an individual that is far more respected for his playing abilities rather than his teambuilding prowess, this missing element could hinder his success in a tier filled with capable talents. If Lycans was paired with someone like Pearl, for example, he could easily have claimed the top spot in the rankings. If he manages to acquire some solid teams, however, look for Lycans to continue to stomp the competition.

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5. Adaam: 3.429 - Nagas

Adaam is newest face to be presented in the rankings so far. The main factor that sets Adaam apart from the individuals ranked above him is his lack of experience when compared to them. Adaam's only team tour was SPL 10, where he salvaged the Tigers UU slot and ended with a solid 3-1 record. Considering that all of the other high ranking UU players have played over 30 official team tournament games a piece, it's easy to see why Adaam would be the lowest on the totem pole. Having reached the finals of the UU Open, Adaam clearly is a player that warrants some hype. It may be hard to live up to his status as the first UU main taken off the board, though, as it is rather unlikely that he lives up to his lofty draft status. While his metagame knowledge is excellent, it's hard to say he's a better player than any of the individuals ranked above him, and he may struggle to finish with a great record in this tournament. Look for Adaam to remain competitive in a tough player pool and perhaps finish above .500.

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6. Charmflash: 6.286 - Leviathans

Charmflash is the final piece of the entity categorized as the "big 6" of UU in Snake 3. He broke onto the tournament scene in a big way in SPL 10, defying the odds and ending with a stellar 7-3 record. This challenge might be a bit more daunting, though, as his UU experience pales in comparison to the top dogs of the tier. Charmflash is an OU player that was pigeonholed into UU following what was most likely a series of draft blunders. It's hard to envision that he was selected in the first round to play UU; he will most likely fail to live up to that billing. Nonetheless, he's clearly a capable player and should be able to, at the very least, farm wins off the four individuals ranked below him. It would be unwise to count him out against the top dogs, though. As shown by his surprising SPL performance, Charmflash has the potential to thrive as an underdog. While he may not be anywhere close to a Round 1 UU talent, Charmflash could definitely exceed expectations and put forth a solid performance in UU this Snake, although finishing above .500 will be an uphill climb.

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7. Accelgor: 6.571 - Cobras

The gap between the "big 6" and the other poor souls slated to be playing UU this Snake is massive. Accelgor is a PO veteran who is finally getting the chance to shine on the big stage after being relegated to the bench in multiple team tournaments before this. There's nothing that really stands out about Accelgor as a player or as a builder, and he will most certainly struggle to accrue wins against the behemoths he will have to face. Accelgor has very little tournament success to speak of, owning a 1-4 record in official team tournaments and with his trophy cabinet void of any significant individual accomplishments. His team's roster is also bereft of UU support, which surely can't help his cause. It will be very shocking if Accelgor finishes with anything more than 2 or 3 wins in Snake 3.

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8. HT: 7.857 - Lindworms

HT is yet another piece of cannon fodder thrust into the UU limelight. HT is not a good player, often making a plethora of mistakes and unwise decisions in battles. He struggles with comprehending the totality of a game and creating a formula for victory; good evidence of this can be seen in a game he played in SPL 10, where he could have easily smashed his opponent with his Curse Mega Aggron, but instead let the game drag on for countless hours because he could not envision a winning battle plan. Hairy Toenail has a 12-18 lifetime record in official team tours, which honestly might be a generous assessment of his skill level; he could easily own a 7-23 record or something of the sort based on his poor playing abilities. Somehow, he manages to finesse his way to some victories in these tournaments, but blind squirrels can only find acorns every so often. Expect HT to compete with the bottom feeders and probably end up with 1 or 2 wins.

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9. Amane Misa: 7.857 - Bushmasters

We're really scraping the bottom of the barrel here. A longtime UU player, Amane Misa will finally get the chance to play in an official team tournament. Expect a rough debut, though. She lacks any real measures of success, and it would be quite surprising if she achieved any notable results in this tournament. She did reach round 5 of the UU Open, so I suppose that's something. It's honestly quite surprising that she was drafted as high as Round 6; she'll probably finish with a record more closely affiliated with a Round 13 selection. If Amane Misa was in another tier like PU or something of the sort, she could perhaps have an adequate performance, but going against this many threatening players makes that reality seem a bit farfetched. She does have yeezyknows for support, another unheralded prospect who will attempt to salvage this disaster of a UU slot. If he has to sub in, expect more of the same, since there's really no reason not to.

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10. Corckscrew: 8.286 - Serpents

The last player on this list Corckscrew, another filler character who will most likely get annihilated by the sharks in the water. His claim to fame is making the semifinals of the UU Open, a relatively impressive feat that at least gives some credence to the notion that he should have been drafted. Perhaps a more telling sign of his talent is that Star, the man who seemingly thinks every player on Smogon is awful, saw him as a worthy target with some upside. Regardless, though, it would be unwise to expect anything close to a respectable performance here. There's no evidence that Corckscrew is ready to succeed against a plethora of good players, and he will most likely get obliterated. When he fails, the team will most likely turn to resident tryhard DurzaOffTopic, who also surprisingly managed to make the semifinals of UU Open. Again, there's no real reason to think Durza is ready to make waves against the UU playerbase, so don't expect anything close to a riveting performance from him. The only way this tier will not be an abject disaster for the Serpents is if soulgazer is flexed to this slot and Durza or some other user is left to farm against a far weaker PU playerbase. That may be the optimal course of action and perhaps one that the Serpents will try after they start 0-4 in UU.


SNAKE SM RU RANKINGS
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1. Ajna: 1.000 - Lindworms

Ajna enters Snake Draft as a near-unanimously selected number one overall player. The back-to-back Snake champion has amassed a ridiculous 15-5 record across 2 tournaments. He plays RU year-round, participating in all of the seasonals and other RU events, ensuring that his form is always on point. He is self-sufficient and rarely if ever commits blunders that could be deemed misplays or chokes. In addition, Ajna is known to be a big proponent of the RegiMola stallfest known as ORAS RU, where games routinely encroach and surpass the 100-turn mark. This is further evidence that he is comfortable playing all styles, thus ensuring that he is extremely difficult to counterteam. Considering that the player quality in RU seems to just be decreasing with each passing tournament, Ajna's first round billing is more than justifiable. He also has the team support of known RU innovator col49, who should only enhance Ajna's building prowess. With seemingly everything set up for him to succeed, it would be a shock if Ajna did not dominate the competition this Snake.

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2. Nat: 1.857 - Serpents

Nat completes what is considered the 'Big 2' of RU in 2019. After Nat and Ajna, the rest of the records may really be a free-for-all, with no one individual shining bright amongst the rubble. Unlike Ajna, Nat had a rocky beginning to her tournament career, struggling mightily in Snake 1. Since then, however, she has been a force to be reckoned with and has consistently put forth solid records. Nat is quite a bit eccentric when it comes to team tours, though, generally refusing to test her teams with teammates and things of that nature. She may also be quite prone to tilting. Nonetheless, being tilt prone is only an issue if you actually suffer a handful of defeats, which seems quite unlikely given the pitiful state of the player pool. Like Ajna, she is adept at using multiple styles and was one of the original main proponents of Golisopod, which later became an RU mainstay; this highlights her ability to stay ahead of the metagame curve. Nat should easily be able to record at least 6 wins in this tournament.

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3. Welli0u: 4.000 - Leviathans

3 players in, and we have already reached the questionable part of the playerbase. The Well has been playing team tours for a few years. He was never that impressive as an OU player and was rather inconsistent. After a strong Smogon Tour run last fall, he found himself slotted into RU for the Wolfpack under the leadership of TonyFlygon and col49. He managed a decent 5-5 record in SPL, which isn't too shabby. If none of this sounds that impressive, it's because it isn't. Welli0u's ranking here more reflects the dearth of skilled RU players than it does his own playing abilities. He also does not possess col49's support this Snake, or the legendary behind-the-scenes impact of TonyFlygon. He does have roman's support, though, so perhaps that will lower the blow. If there's one thing going for Welli0u, it's experience. Welli0u has battled plenty of stronger players in OU than he will have to face in RU this tournament. If he plays to the best of his abilities, he could go positive.

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4. UltraBallz: 4.571 - Cobras

UltraBallz is another OU talent that has been pigeonholed into the tier due to a deficiency of competent players. The same happened to him in SPL, when the Bigs shuffled their roster around, drew his name out of a hat, and selected him as their RUer. He did manage to go 3-1 in RU in that tournament, so he clearly has some aptitude for the tier. In terms of playing ability, he's probably above almost everyone ranked below him. In terms of metagame knowledge, he is almost assuredly behind some other names on this list. This should be mitigated by his management, however, as Chill Shadow is an RU main and snaga has dabbled in the tier before as well. UltraBallz is still relatively new to the big stage and has made some rookie blunders in the recent past. The most telling example comes from the past SPL, where he timed out in an important OU game. He is less proven than many other tournament players that have been slotted into RU, so the odds that he flops remain relatively high. Still, though, his overall abilities in tandem with a solid support foundation mean that he should do better than the majority of the playerbase.

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5. Feliburn: 5.143 - Astrotias

Now we enter the spicy part of the rankings. Feliburn is one of the most polarizing players in this tournament. There are almost assuredly many tournament mainstays looking at these rankings, seeing that Feliburn was ranked as high as number 5, and wondering if the RU rankers had an aneurysm. Feliburn flopped in his first major tournament in SPL 9, and was subsequently "blacklisted" for several tournaments there after. If he fails once more, he may not be drafted again. The pressure is on for Feliburn, but can he handle the sweltering heat and thrive? There are reasons for optimism. His metagame knowledge is excellent, and his teambuilding has always been solid. He also has the support of top RUer EviGaro. The undisputed best player in the pool, Ajna, even considers him to be one of his main rivals in this tournament. There are issues with his play, though. He is known to make the occasional misplay or choke. He is also known to occasionally flex on his opponents with unnecessary plays he labels as "Felis." If he can keep those to a minimum and rely on his solid teams as a backbone, Feliburn could certainly succeed. However, as pointed out there are major reasons for skepticism. He could easily make this number 5 ranking look foolish, one way or another.

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6. Alpha Rabbit: 5.429 - Taipans

Rabbit is the most unknown quantity presented in the RU rankings so far. It's a bit of a mystery as to whether he will succeed or not, as his lack of experience on a grand stage may hurt him. He has played one official team tournament game in RU to date, defeating KW, so he does have that going for him. His main claim to fame is making the quarterfinals of the most recent RU open, showing that that the newcomer does indeed possess some talent. Besides this, however, his results, even in unofficial RU tours, are few and far between. It's honestly a bit surprising that someone with this many question marks was taken in Round 5. He has some hype surrounding him from fellow RU players, and he is rumored to be a good teambuilder. He should be helped out adequately by his manager, Pearl, who, while not an RU main, did win the most recent Smogon Grand Slam and has been a lower tier enthusiast for a number of years. Still, though, it would not be a surprise if Rabbit had a rough coming out party in his first experience as a full-fledged starter.

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7. Kink: 6.000 - Nagas

King UU has been around for quite a while, making his team tournament debut all the way back in SPL 6. As his old name indicates, he was formerly a UU main. He has seemingly taken his talents over to RU, though, where he will almost assuredly have more success than he would have in a stacked UU field. He has done relatively well in recent RU unofficial tournaments and also made the semifinals in the most recent RU Open. There's clearly some talent here, but there are many reasons for skepticism as well. Even though King UU is a veteran, he was never deemed good enough to really lock into a starting role in an official team tournament. It's rare that a player so drastically increases their skill level after this many years on the site, so the chances that he dramatically improved are minimal. He will also not have the team support of any great RU minds, meaning he will have to fend for himself in this free-for-all environment. The odds that he lives up to his round 5 billing seem relatively minimal. This tour should be an uphill climb for King UU.

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8. SPACE FORCE meeps: 6.143 - Bushmasters

meeps is known for being a mainstay in the NU tournament scene, where he managed to put up some pretty respectable records across multiple team tours. While definitely not a great player, he generally does manage to eke out some close wins or surprise his opponents with some innovative techs. He is prone to the occasional choke or misplay, and he could easily make some head-scratching plays that could leave his teammates speechless. All that being said, the 8th place ranking might not be fair at all to meeps. He has a tremendous amount of experience compared to the majority of the RU player pool, and his knack for putting up decent records in tandem with the pitiful state of the RU playerbase should lead to some good results. Many of the people ranked above him, such as Feliburn, Alpha Rabbit, and Kink, have never had any real impact on the big stage. meeps has been here before and won some clutch games for his teams. With his decent pedigree, meeps could finish the tournament with a top 3 record in the tier and has the potential to be one of the steals in the draft.

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9. rozes: 7.857 - Rattlers

rozes, at his peak, was a bright NU prospect who was poised to become a top battler in the tier for generations to come, much like FLCL, for example. Since his beginnings, though, there have been quite a number of setbacks for the NU main. He was tourbanned in the US West ghosting scandal of 2017, and his play never lived up to the hype. He has created some solid NU teams, most notably used for helping Rodriblutar and the Wolfpack win SPL 9, but he has also been reputed as someone who occasionally sabotages the tournaments of his teammates, such as Eternally. The fact that he was what seemed like the 15th sub off of the bench for the SPL 10 Wolfpack wasn't a very flattering look for him either. Nevertheless, rozes is motivated and should be able to craft some nifty teams for this tournament. The NU pool is usually stacked in every tournament, so doing badly against players of that ilk doesn't reflect too terribly on his chances of performing well in this tour. Against a wealth of inexperienced players, rozes has the potential to surprise or, at the very least, tread water for the Rattlers.

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10. Averardo: 8.000 - Mambas

The last spot in the rankings belongs to Averardo, an RU main who doesn't seem to be too promising. The Mambas did not get the RU player they originally planned to, so they ended up stumbling into someone who could easily have a disastrous season. Averardo has no experience in official team tournaments and is considered to be a worse player than the other inexperienced RU mains above him. Those two factors combined might spell the death knell for the rookie. Many individuals were even surprised that Averardo was drafted, much less as a starter. He unfortunately also lacks any real team support; having someone like col49 behind him could definitely have given him a better chance of success. With seemingly every factor in existence working against him, grabbing even a few wins might be considered a success for Averardo.


SNAKE SM NU RANKINGS
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1. Kushalos : 1.571 - Rattlers

It was a major surprise when Kushalos fell to the Rattlers in Round 5 of the draft. There does not seem to be a consensus reason as to why, since he clearly isn't underrated; he also lacks many of the personality issues that could cause someone like SoulWind to be undervalued in SPL. The Rattlers will gladly take the steal, though. Kushalos is continuing his climb through the NU rankings, finally reaching the coveted number one spot. The chef is known for innovation, and his ability to catch his unsuspecting opponents off guard is otherworldly. His play has improved in recent years, as he has minimized the amount of chokes and misplays he has per game. He also has the team support of rozes and TDK, which should, in theory, help his teambuilding continue to blossom. In a stacked NU pool that is clearly one of the best in the tournament, his number one ranking speaks volumes about his current skill level, both in terms of building and playing. There is nothing guaranteed in this tier as there is in other tiers like RU, with the top 7 players each being quite fearsome competitors in their own rights, but if all goes well, Kushalos should end up with one of the top records of the tournament.

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2. Garay oak : 1.571 - Leviathans

Garay oak's meteoric ascent to the top of the NU rankings is nearly unprecedented. A man who was recently ranked 10th in SPL, Garay oak is on the upswing. His solid performance in tandem with sky-high expectations from his peers has lifted him to being a Round 2 selection in the draft and the vaunted number 2 position in the rankings. He hard carried the Swines to the trophy in the most recent NUPL, and his strong Snake 2 Ubers performance shows that he isn't merely a one-trick pony. He has also qualified for Grand Slam playoffs, highlighting his form. His passion for the game and drive to succeed cement him as one of the strongest players in the tournament. Still, though, in a highly competitive player pool flush with experienced and hungry veterans, attaining a top 2 record will be difficult. Garay oak is in a strong position to succeed, though, and should be ready for the challenge.

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3. Eternally: 3.000 - Bushmasters

Eternally is back, this time without the help of his long-time friend, rozes. He has historically done well in the Snake draft, and similar things are expected of him here. He is a relatively solid player, although in terms of his competition, he's closer to average than good. He is hoping to rebound from a poor SPL, where the primary culprit seemed to be from his inability to decide on the optimal team for a specific matchup; he will often second guess himself and sabotage his hopes of winning. He also lacks any real team support, but with his self-sufficient nature, this will most likely not be too big an issue, as seen by his rock-solid performances in past iterations of this tournament. Eternally will look to be more confident and decisive this time around and have more trust in his own builds. It will almost assuredly be a tough challenge, though, as everyone in the 'Big 7' is formidable.

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4. Bobby Dagen: 4.286 - Serpents

It's still a mystery as to why Rodriblutar rebranded to whatever this nonsensical excuse of a name is, but luckily, it shouldn't affect his playing capabilities. Rodri is a bit of a polarizing talent, and he can occasionally be a bit toxic as well, as displayed by his infamous SPL 9 Classiest fiasco. Luckily, he is surrounded by a cast of talented characters in this Snake, and he should have the team support that occasionally eludes him. FLCL is one of the best NUers ever, having been a force in the tier since his beginnings in SPL 4. He should be able to provide a solid foundation for the talented Spaniard, who, at his peak, can put on a great show and help his team succeed, best evidenced by his time on the SPL 9 Wolfpack. Look for Rodri to be a strong competitor in Snake 3.

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5. ict : 4.714 - Mambas

Former Grand Slam champion ice tea returns to the NU scene after a strong showing in SPL. The 5th place ranking is more an indicator of the raw talent of the pool rather than his own inadequacies; ict has the ability to take down anyone here. The ranking itself is justifiable, however, as he plays the tier far less than the majority of the people on this list. He also just recently returned to the scene after a hiatus following SPL. In terms of support, Jarii is the user to watch. He is a prolific builder and should be able to mitigate some of ice tea's shortcomings. Most likely, ict will finish with an average record. However, as evidenced by his past Grand Slam conquest and his nice display of skill in SPL 10, the ceiling is most certainly there. He has the potential to overwhelm his opposition and make this ranking look silly.

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6. Finchinator : 5.000 - Cobras

This might be the lowest placement an individual drafted in the top 5 has ever received, especially in a lower tier. Still, though, that doesn't mean Smogon's resident tryhard cannot succeed. Finch's primary claim to fame is his dedication to Smogon, never burning out despite contributing in multiple facets to the site every year and playing every unofficial team tour known to man, including events from other sites, like POCL. His motivation is nearly unmatched, and he does have the support of his manager, snaga, and fellow tryhard Bouff, both of whom should theoretically be able to spice up his builds. As a player most prominently known for BW OU, the high skill of the NU playerbase will not phase him in the slightest. All that being said, it may be too much to ask of Finchinator to live up to his Round 1 billing. Perhaps his enthusiasm to outwork his opponents will give him the edge he needs to reach the top.

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7. col49: 5.857 - Lindworms

The last player who could make some noise in NU this tournament is col49. Renowned for his innovations in RU especially, the lower tier wizard finds himself in NU this time around. His low ranking is reflective of his inexperience in the tier relative to his colleagues. He did recently put on a dominant performance in NUPL, however. Another factor worthy of note is that he is managed by probably the best NU player right now, lax. While 49 may not be a stronger player than the other big names on this list, his creativity and ability to stay ahead of the curve is second to none. 49's innovative mind should only be buoyed by lax's wealth of metagame knowledge, and the pair could easily craft teams that give the RU main a sizable advantage over his opposition. 49 can conceivably go toe-to-toe with anyone here and he has a solid shot to defy the rankings.

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8. Ren-chon: 7.286 - Nagas

Well, after riding high for seven players, we have now reached the rather questionable individuals who will be expected to miraculously take games off the juggernauts. In 8th place we have Ren-chon, named after one of the best characters in anime history, Renge. The image of a 7-year old anime girl doesn't exactly invoke fear in the hearts of his competitors, but the weeb's playing abilities shouldn't either. There is nothing that really stands out about Ren-chon, as he is wholly inexperienced on the big stage and lacks any groundbreaking results. It's rather unfortunate that his first taste of official team tournament action is against this group of world-beaters. He does have the support of Osh, who managed to have a solid Grand Slam run last year. Perhaps the stars align and he grabs a few wins.

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9. Sjneider: 7.714 - Taipans

Sjneider is the lucky soul whose name Pearl drew out of a hat to play NU, at least for the time being. He's played some important tournaments before, having been tasked with salvaging the Wolfpack's UU slot after bugzinator was banned. His debut games were pretty pitiful, honestly, and don't inspire much confidence for the future. He is reportedly much better at NU than he is at UU, and he will also be blessed with the support of his aforementioned manager, Pearl, as well as teal6's guilty pleasure draftee, Snou. Support can only take you so far, though, and it would take nothing short of a miracle for Sjneider to succeed in this lion's den. If he struggles, the team may turn to ima or the aforementioned Snou. ima had a decent run in the most recent Smogon Tour, but he struggled in the playoffs and was also benched in World Cup following a disastrous performance. Expect more of the same if he subs in. Meanwhile, if Snou has to play any games, this slot may just go winless for the Taipans. He is known to choke excessively on the big stage, and it's hard to fathom him even taking a game off the top competition in NU. Life looks rough for the Taipans's NU slot in Snake 3.

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10. Jrdn: 9.000 - Astrotias

The final fodder character to be thrust into the fray is jrdn. He performed admirably in World Cup, but defeating known chokers like lighthouses does little to inspire confidence in his NU abilities. jrdn has the least NU experience of anyone on this list, which surely cannot be a good sign. To add insult to injury, his team seemingly decided to feed him to the wolves, with not a shred of team support in sight. When he fails, the team will most likely turn to HarrisIsAwesome, who will probably get demolished if SPL is any indication of his overall talent level. Look for jrdn to compete with the other bottom feeders as he attempts to not go winless.


SNAKE SM PU RANKINGS
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1. Teddeh: 1.143 - Taipans

To absolutely no one's surprise, Teddeh takes the throne as the top PUer in the tier's first foray into the official team tournament environment. Since his debut in SPL 6, Teddeh has been making waves in the NU scene, putting together multiple dominant 7-2 performances in SPL. He suffered his first real set back in SPL 10, but, now playing against a much weaker PU community, it would be shocking if he did not stomp the competition. In a tier full of players who either lack any relevant PU experience or are not used to the limelight, Teddeh shines brightly among the crowd. The haters will be quick to point out that Teddeh was often one dimensional in his team selection in NU, favoring balance at an absurd rate. Managers Pearl and ABR should keep him honest, though, and help him obliterate the rest of the playerbase.

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2. Ktütverde: 2.857 - Nagas

Well, we're only on our second name, and most of you are probably puzzled as to the identity of this user. While Teddeh has been a name in the tournament circuit for years, Ktüt is, by definition, a random to the masses. He has quite a bit of hype surrounding him, as evidenced by his number 2 ranking. Ktüt is not rumored to be an amazing player or anything of the sort, but his penchant for innovation and ability to hit on unorthodox techs has been well documented and praised. A good comparison for this sort of player would be someone like ben gay, whose reputation as an innovator has allowed him to flourish through the years despite his playing ability not being as sound as some of his peers. Being compared to ben gay may be an honor, but it's important to remember just how downright silly ben gay can look in some of his battles. Ktüt's metagame familiarity is off the charts, and if his creative mind zeros in on the right targets, he could have a phenomenal season against a middling player pool and perhaps live up to his billing as a Round 4 selection.

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3. Taskr: 3.714 - Bushmasters

The man dubbed as the "BKC of PU" comes into the tournament looking to justify all of the hype. No, his moniker is not a reference to his prodigious talent but rather just a reference to his price tag in a team tour a while ago. Nonetheless, the nickname does create an aura of mystique around the prospect. Taskr is known for creating solid offensive teams, and his teammate Serene Grace should assist him in his quest to diversify. The PU main has been struggling in recent PU tours, though, recording a slew of average records that make some dubious of his chances of success. The fact that he fell to Round 7 is perhaps an indication of this, as many managers seem down on his skill level. Regardless, he has a good shot to succeed. His lack of experience in the limelight is mitigated by the overall inexperience of the PU player pool. Look for Taskr to be competitive and, at the very least, live up to his Round 7 billing.

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4. false: 4.143 - Astrotias

Unlike the two users ranked immediately above him, FALSE is a familiar face in the tournament community. Familiar doesn't mean successful, though. FALSE has had some pretty poor games on the big stage, and outsiders looking at this number 4 ranking might feel that it's a bit insane. One game in particular that stands out is one he played against ABR in the 2017 World Cup, where he made approximately 8392849049 double switches, accomplished absolutely nothing, and got smashed. His overall team tournament record is an atrocious 1-8, with his only win coming against a rather mediocre player in Santu. A past PU Open champion, FALSE has also become far more invested into OU than PU in recent times. All of these factors make this number 4 ranking seem a bit laughable. He does have two factors working in his favor, though. One is that the quality of opponents he will have to face here should be lower than what he experienced in OU. The other is that he is managed by HJAD and EviGaro, who should be able to provide the best PU support out of anyone in the tournament. Still, though, a number 4 ranking for someone of FALSE's talents is a bit of a tough sell, and it would not be surprising to see him flounder about in Snake 3.

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5. soulgazer: 4.857 - Serpents

We reach our first spicy name of the rankings. soulgazer is a known lower tier specialist, amassing a ridiculous 32-17 record across multiple SPLs. Originally an NU player, soulgazer branched out to RU with good success in SPL 9, going 7-4 and helping the Wolfpack claim the trophy. His slip to the 10th round reflects a combination of his recent form and rather questionable personality. soulgazer had his first terrible showing in Snake 2, where he ended with an 0-2 record and essentially completely bailed on his team. He followed it up with a decent 4-5 showing in SPL, where he was flexed to multiple tiers throughout the tournament. SG is notoriously difficult to work with, often requiring a plethora of external helpers to be added to the team chat and generally whining about how he doesn't want to play his games. All that being said, SG could easily end up being one of the steals of the draft. His experience and success is nearly unmatched in this player pool, and he is surrounded by a solid group of his close friends. He should have excellent team support from PU Open finalist Star, who should help ensure that SG will be highly competitive in each and every game. If things fall into place, soulgazer could very easily end up with the best overall PU record in the entire tournament. He will almost assuredly exceed his Round 10 billing, barring some further catastrophic actions.

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6. Sam I Yam: 5.429 - Mambas

Sam I Yam is a relatively unheralded prospect who is expected to do decently in Snake 3. Sam's results are few and far between, and he is known to be a choker in important moments. His season could really go either way, and it would be unsurprising to see him flop spectacularly. His ranking seems to be more reflective of his circumstances than any sort of hype surrounding him as a prospect. He is teaming with Rexus and Jarii, two of the better known PU players. Rexus would have been one of the top-ranked players in the tier if he was slotted into it, while Jarii is known to be a teambuilding workhorse. These two should help Sam succeed in what is a wide open pool. If he does poorly, the team will most likely sub Jarii in. This could in all honesty lead to some disastrous results. Jarii is known to be a pretty bad player, going 0-4 in his only major tournament action in SPL 7. Rexus has a great deal of hype surrounding him, and he would most likely be able to salvage this spot, but the team might need him to play OU for the rest of the season. Overall, this slot is one that could definitely be in flux for the Mambas.

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7. Xiri: 6.000 - Leviathans

The amount of randoms on this list is honestly a bit startling. Xiri is the fourth unknown to be thrust into the limelight. His number 7 ranking reflects the lack of hype surrounding him compared to his peers. He isn't reputed to be the greatest battler and is expected to be one of the weaker individuals on this list in terms of overall talent level. He reportedly has put together a string of solid performances in PU tournaments, but his ceiling is expected to be relatively low. What separates him from other players on this list seems to be a lack of real team support outside of fellow random tlenit1, who isn't the most inspiring name. If he was supported by HJAD or someone of that ilk, he could perhaps be expected to succeed more than he currently is. In a pretty weak player pool, though, perhaps this unknown can start to make a name for himself, although his chances seem a bit fleeting at the current time.

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8. -Tsunami-: 6.571 - Lindworms

It's honestly a bit puzzling that -Tsunami- is even starting in PU, let alone somehow placed above 10th in these rankings. Historically one of the accomplished players in Smogon history, you would normally expect Shake to have a phenomenal season in this pitiful cesspool devoid of talent, much like soulgazer. If this was 2016, when the weeb was at the height of his powers, you would be correct. However, he has recently had nothing but poor showings, amassing a 3-9 record between Snake 1 and SPL 9. This being his first tournament being freed from his tournament ban, you would assume his motivation to be at an all-time high. There are reasons to believe this isn't the case, though. He has said on countless occasions that he does not find Pokémon enjoyable and has hardly played it over the course of the past year. It's entirely possible that he is even incapable of naming 5 PU Pokémon. Perhaps if his manager lax miraculously motivates him, and PU support tom holland feeds him excellent teams, Shake can return to his old form. This seems rather unlikely, though. Overall, -Tsunami- is seemingly crust personified, and it would be unwise to expect him to compile anything more than a few wins in Snake 3, especially if his overall motivation remains buried under a mountain of apathy.

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9. Raiza: 7.286 - Cobras

Raiza is the last random to be featured on this edition of the PU rankings. He is reported to have a good amount of metagame knowledge, but his overall talent level is lacking compared to his peers. This is a bit concerning considering that the PU player pool looks like a black hole of skill. He does not really have many great PU showings to his name, having never really broken out in the countless unofficial tournaments PU has to offer. He is also lacking in the team support department, missing a highly valuable cog that could help him in his path towards success. It should be noted that he is teaming with Finchinator, however, who is probably willing to put in a plethora of time to become a reliable PU tester and support candidate, so I suppose the Italian has that going for him. This tournament might be a rough debut for him, though.

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10. GaryTheGengar: 8.142 - Rattlers

We wrap up this edition of the PU rankings with a familiar face to the tournament scene: GaryTheGengar. Gary was an old PO veteran who took an extended hiatus following a subpar performance in SPL 5. Having recently returned to the tournament scene, Gary amassed a decent 9-9 record between Snake 2 and SPL 10. He is the latest tournament player to be pigeonholed into a lower tier, as the Rattlers seemed hellbent on not drafting any lower tier mains. While his PU experience is minimal or maybe even nonexistent, he does possess a decent amount of talent and experience. One thing working against Gary is his supporting cast, as, looking at the Rattler's roster, he appears to be in dire need of team support. Gary is almost assuredly more talented than some of the unknown castoffs slated to be his opponents, though, so he could easily turn in a respectable performance and perhaps even end positive in Snake 3.


MANAGER RANKINGS
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1. obii + FLCL - Serpents

Smogon Snake Draft 2 champion obii returns to the scene. While his playing skills may be a bit lacking, obii has shown off his managerial prowess in two straight Snake tournaments, getting a respectable third place finish in the initial edition of the tournament before following it up with a well-earned trophy. This year, he decided that it was in his best interest to manage with an actual human being instead of a corpse. FLCL is no stranger to management himself, having successfully helped the Raiders achieve some solid showings in recent SPLs. He's been a well-renowned NU player since SPL 4, and that knowledge should serve him well in this tournament. The duo possesses a plethora of experience between them, having managed some notable users with strong personalities such as Ojama, BKC, and CBB. In addition, as shown by his first round trade with EviGaro that ultimately shattered some of his rivals' plans, obii isn't afraid to pull off some shady maneuvers to increase his teams' odds of claiming the trophy. These types of underhanded maneuvers have helped many teams, most notably the Sharks in SPL, succeed over the years. While the duo may lack some of the metagame knowledge of the pairs below them, it is their experience and will to win that cements this duo as the top manager pairing in Snake.

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2. snaga + Chill Shadow - Cobras

It is very rare that a duo of mainers achieves managerial recognition in the tournament community, but snaga and ChillShadow are the exceptions. After managing together in some less meaningful tournaments, they made their official tournament debut last Snake. They followed up an average performance with a stellar one, helping the underdog Ruiners vanquish the Tyrants and gain a trophy. To be fair, they did inherit a team with one of the best retain cores in the draft. They did, however, take full advantage of their good fortune, unlike the Raiders, for example; for this, they should be commended. Snake is more suited to their metagame knowledge than SPL as well, which should help compensate for their lack of retains here. As one of the only three duos to contain a managerial trophy holder(s), they land in the number two spot on the rankings.

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3. Pearl + Sabella - Taipans

Pearl and Sabella return to manage the worst franchise in Snake's short history. To avoid becoming the tour's version of the Cryonicles, they'll have to put together a strong performance this season. On paper, this duo should be primed for success. Pearl, the most recent Grand Slam champion, has exhibited mastery over the lower tiers for several years, having gained prominence as one of the best UU players of the modern era. Pearl has also managed several SPLs in the past, giving him the most experience out of anyone on this list. What he lacks in OU knowledge should be made up for by Sabella, who, in theory, should be able to offer worthwhile support towards the team's OU slots. Hopefully now that he and his comrade have suffered through the disaster that was the Snake II Taipans, they will be ready to rebound and put forth a solid showing.

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4. bro fist + McMeghan - Rattlers

If you had the list of manager pairs in front of you, this one would surely leap off the page. bro fist and McMeghan are two of the best players in Smogon history, and their vast experience should help them foster a solid team environment that yields countless innovations in this tour. bro fist has managed the Indie Scooters in SPL on various occasions, as well as US Northeast more recently. McMeghan has far less managerial experience than his jerk partner, having only managed in one season of SPL. Nonetheless, their combined experience ranks very highly on this list, and their playing abilities will hopefully rub off on their teammates. The primary question that I'm sure many of you have is why this duo isn't ranked higher on the list. Well, as managers, the duo have never won a trophy and do not possess anywhere near the level of success that they have had as players. In addition, there are no old gens in this tournament, which is McMeghan's, the most recent Smogon Classic Champion's, area of expertise. These two factors combine to knock them down to fourth.

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5. Hogg + Will of Fire - Mambas

Hogg returns to manage in yet another tournament. His players never seem to have any qualms about his attitude or personality, and he is generally pretty good about inspiring his players. He should also once again be able to provide support to his trusty UUer, Christo. Will of Fire is a newer face to the management scene, having most recently managed with fellow Tyrant / Mamba reyscarface in Snake 2. In terms of metagame knowledge, he should complement Hogg nicely. What Hogg lacks in OU knowledge should be more than made up for by Will of Fire, who most notably took home the prize pot in the blunder tour. When he's not busy hooking his pal Tricking up with teams, he should be able to support his OU players handily and help them thrive.

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6. Genesis7 + suapah - Leviathans

Genesis7 returns for a third straight appearance on the Leviathans. After having made playoffs and ending in third place last year, he has now recruited suapah to help him take the Leviathans another step closer to winning the trophy. suapah is known as a respected team builder in SM OU, as evidenced by the many "shoutouts suapah for the team" comments we've grown accustomed to in recent tournaments. Between Genesis7's managerial experience, especially in this format, and suapah's team building prowess they make for a sound and complementary pairing. A lack of results in official team tournaments so far limits them from cracking the top 5, but sleeping on the Canadian duo is ill advised.

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7. Ojama + lax - Lindworms

If metagame knowledge and playing ability were what was being judged in these rankings, this duo would easily claim the top spot. lax has recently established himself as one of the best players on the site, having helped lead both the Ruiners and US West to titles in back to back tournaments. He would have easily been a top three pick at worst in this tournament if he signed up to play. Ojama, meanwhile, needs no introduction, having been entrenched as one of Smogon's best players for over 6 years; he's also captained team France on several occasions. So, why is this fearsome duo ranked seventh? The answer, which I'm sure many of you have already figured out, is pretty obvious. This managerial pair, more than any other on this list, is very susceptible to a team implosion. If the tournament starts badly for them, the players might find themselves in the middle of a firestorm, with insults and slander being hurled at them left and right. Now, this is only one potential outcome. Just as this duo has the potential to fail miserably, they also have the highest ceiling on this list. Whether they reach that lofty ceiling remains to be seen, but the risk of their team internally combusting after a few weeks knocks them down to seventh on the rankings.

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8. EviGaro + HJAD - Astrotias

Queen of the Trade, EviGaro makes her debut in the official team tournament managing scene. EviGaro is not afraid to shake things up, having conducted an absurd number of trades during the draft. Whether these ultimately end up benefiting her team is anyone's guess, but you have to admire her confidence nonetheless. She should be able to provide a solid amount of RU support for her team, which should prove to be very useful given the abomination that is the RU playerbase. Assistant manager HJAD will similarly be able to provide ample PU support for his team as well. Having two managers that cover arguably the hardest two tiers to draft players for is certainly useful. Their lack of experience and general lack of participation in the tournament scene is what knocks them down to 8th, but with a strong showing like Chill Shadow and snaga had in SPL, they could easily move up in the future.

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9. Eternal Spirit + M Dragon - Nagas

The strangest pairing of the entire tournament lands at 9th on the list. If it's about experience, this pair is almost unmatched. Eternal Spirit has been a constant presence in the tournament scene for years, and M Dragon has been playing for what seems like centuries. M Dragon is also experienced as a manager, and he won SPL 7 with the Sharks. So, why then, is this duo ranked so low? Well, it's primarily because this is Snake Draft, not SPL. It's hard to envision what M Dragon is really bringing to the table with the tiers present in this tournament. There's no GSC, no ADV, and this year's Snake doesn't even have Ubers. His partner, Eternal Spirit is an OU player, but one that can hardly be considered a prime team support candidate. This is an individual who used RNG to select his teams after all. M Dragon without question has a winner's pedigree, though, and if this was SPL, this managerial duo would assuredly be in the top 2. However, in Snake Draft, this wonky combination finds themselves in 9th place.

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10. 1 True Lycan + jacob - Bushmasters

Closing out our list of managers are 1 True Lycan and jacob. 1 True Lycan has developed into a familiar name in the official tournaments circuit, after having mostly focused on Monotype previously. A regular fixture on Team UK's WCoP roster, 1 True Lycan hopes to take his leadership experience from the World Cup of Pokémon to the Smogon Snake Draft. While Team UK is consistent, it's consistent at not qualifying for playoffs. Ever. Whether 1 True Lycan can find success here remains to be seen. Alongside 1 True Lycan we find jacob. We know jacob from being talkative on Smogtours and in the Tournaments Discord server, but that's pretty much it. We can only speculate as to what he really adds to the team, though a very active presence in the team's server seems to be a guarantee one way or another. All in all there's simply not enough information to go on to warrant a higher ranking than last for these two.


Overall Team Rankings

Rankings
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