Battle Tree Discussion and Records

The term originates from the Gen IV days when "PokeGen" was one of the more widely used programs for generating pokes onto your save file. Regardless of the result being indistinguishable, they were obviously illegally produced.

Nowadays with more elaborate methods like QR injection and whatever else (PKHex is, as far as I know, still the frontrunner for that sort of thing, carrying over from gen VI) "genning" is still used as a blanket term.
 
Sorry, but what does "genned" mean? Is it a sort of illegal thing?
It means that a Pokemon has been hacked (though it may be still within the legal limits of that Pokemon's abilities as far as moves, stats, etc).

I am willing to recognize streaks used with "genned" (hacked) Pokemon, provided that they are "legal" and that the accompanying writeup and any provided videos demonstrate the legitimacy and thoughtfulness this community has grown to appreciate.

On the subject of hacking, we are more concerned with streaks that are themselves hacked, rather than the Pokemon being hacked. Unlike hacked (but "legal") Pokemon, hacked /streaks/ actually do matter, and are comparatively easy to detect. High streaks are rendered extremely suspicious if they are posted with battle videos showing obvious mistakes (especially if the poster doesn't realize or mention the mistakes they've made). Consider that people generally don't post videos of battles in which they've made mistakes, unless they are using the video to show a 'learning experience'. Battle videos are, and will be, examined closely for such mistakes.
 

NoCheese

"Jack, you have debauched my sloth!"
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
I am willing to recognize streaks used with "genned" (hacked) Pokemon, provided that they are "legal" and that the accompanying writeup and any provided videos demonstrate the legitimacy and thoughtfulness this community has grown to appreciate.
As an individual, go ahead. And it's absolutely great to discuss otherwise clean runs using "legal" hacks, test team design, and spur further team innovations. But in an excess of caution, I want to reiterate that the official position on this forum remains as stated in the rules in the OP, excepted below. (The "Edit" is part of the rules text, and was not made as part of this post)

  • Don't cheat. Streaks using hacked Pokemon will not be leaderboard eligible. [Edit: In the interest of clarity, note that this includes "legal" hacks. We've been consistent on this in all the battle facility threads for previous generations.] And I shouldn't even have to mention things like using other software to backup savefiles. No no no. I promise you, we have enough experienced players that suspect streaks get identified very quickly, and cheating to put together a streak of dubious validity will not win you respect.
But yes, absolutely, cheating on your streak by hacking save states to redo losses or the like is the ultimate no-no, and is a major black mark against you. Using genned pokemon just keeps you off the leaderboard.
 
Thanks.

(To me the achievement of reaching a certain number of wins is based on creating a team + the ability of playing with that team and I find it strange to not accept streaks done with these genned pokemon. This implies that the achievement of this number of wins also contains getting the pokemon on a legal way, capturing, breeding, RNGing and also exchanging (here: how will a honest player know whether his pokemon is genned or not? How will we know what a honest or dishonest player used?). This further implies to me that QR-teams shouldnt be recognized as well, as here the challenge of legally obtaining the pokemon also is not given and you rely on statements of maybe unknown players that use even more unknown pokemon. To me using genned pokemon or QR-teams is totally eligible. Also there might be people outside that scroll over the leaderboard to look at different succesful teams, getting inspiration or even trying some of them out. Simply removing teams from there because of genned pokemon will kick these teams back into a spot somewhere in the 160 pages of this thread, unnoticed and untraceable from any interested person for ever. Maybe an additional list for these teams (and QR-teams if you insist) may be a solution? Then any viewer can decide for himself how much credit he gives to genned pokemon teams.)
Brackets around this because this question for sure was discussed before, and from my side there is no need to start a deep discussion. Also i like brackets.
 
Thanks.

(To me the achievement of reaching a certain number of wins is based on creating a team + the ability of playing with that team and I find it strange to not accept streaks done with these genned pokemon. This implies that the achievement of this number of wins also contains getting the pokemon on a legal way, capturing, breeding, RNGing and also exchanging (here: how will a honest player know whether his pokemon is genned or not? How will we know what a honest or dishonest player used?). This further implies to me that QR-teams shouldnt be recognized as well, as here the challenge of legally obtaining the pokemon also is not given and you rely on statements of maybe unknown players that use even more unknown pokemon. To me using genned pokemon or QR-teams is totally eligible. Also there might be people outside that scroll over the leaderboard to look at different succesful teams, getting inspiration or even trying some of them out. Simply removing teams from there because of genned pokemon will kick these teams back into a spot somewhere in the 160 pages of this thread, unnoticed and untraceable from any interested person for ever. Maybe an additional list for these teams (and QR-teams if you insist) may be a solution? Then any viewer can decide for himself how much credit he gives to genned pokemon teams.)
Brackets around this because this question for sure was discussed before, and from my side there is no need to start a deep discussion. Also i like brackets.

I ain't sure if it's a great idea to do that. I like the idea of leaderboards as guide, a random person can view them and pick their favorite and can try it on their cart. I could Rage Glitch a flawless Bold Wish Chaney that gets past Pokebank easily, but if a guy sees a streak with it and realizes that he's going to need to cheat to get one, he'll wonder what the hell he's doing if people are accepting blatant hacks to the leaderboard.

Speaking of Kang, it's actually not that hard to get a legal Jolly Body Slam one... In a Poke Ball. I just trial and error bred in Emerald until I got the desired nature.
 
I ain't sure if it's a great idea to do that. I like the idea of leaderboards as guide, a random person can view them and pick their favorite and can try it on their cart. I could Rage Glitch a flawless Bold Wish Chaney that gets past Pokebank easily, but if a guy sees a streak with it and realizes that he's going to need to cheat to get one, he'll wonder what the hell he's doing if people are accepting blatant hacks to the leaderboard.
I dont know if i understand you correct. Is this Chansey legally obtainable?
 
I dont know if i understand you correct. Is this Chansey legally obtainable?
Yes, from a PCNY event that lasted 2 weeks in 2004. If you got the event, you have a 1 in 6 chance of actually getting the Chansey, and there is exactly one documented legit one I could find, and it isn't Bold. Technically obtainable, but the barrier of entry is so obnoxiously high that the only way to realistically get it now is via cheating. Wish Chansey is the poster boy of "good sets that could technically wreck shop, but are so ridiculous to get that they will never be on the leader boards"
 
Now im curious. Are there other examples that are that extreme?
There's several, basically every Pokemon that's event only, but Wish Chansey is *that* rare.


There's a few starters with weird moves too but those aren't really competitive... as well as transfers from XD or Coliseum which tend to be difficult to obtain legally nowadays. And well, Eruption Heatran or the shiny legendary dogs also do have unique moves.
 
Ladies and gentlemen, it has finally happened. I am here to present an ongoing streak of 1000 wins in Ultra Moon Super Doubles! The team is very similar to my last team, with a couple of changes. It features Hawlucha, Tapu Lele, Mega Metagross, and Hydreigon. Before I begin, I have to say that I have played battle facilities since way back in gen 2. I never once had the idea I would be getting large streaks such as the ones I have posted here, and now here we are at 1000. It feels pretty great. Also, I noticed I JUST missed the leaderboard update. Oh well, hopefully the next one won't take too long!

Also, I was unsure if I should record battle videos or just upload them and share codes, but I ultimately decided to just upload some codes. I hope that’s okay. Maybe once the streak is over, I’ll record some of the videos I have saved and upload them in a video. Anyway, let’s begin.

QR Code


Hawlucha @ Psychic Seed
Level: 50
Ability: Unburden
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
IVs: 31/31/31/xx/31/31
Adamant Nature
-Low Kick
-Acrobatics
-Tailwind
-Protect

First up, Hawlucha. This guy’s remained mostly unchanged, except I switched out Substitute for Protect. Last time, I said I preferred Substitute because of avoiding status, but then I started to rethink that a little bit. With, Protect, I can reliably avoid Fake Out and stall out Trick Room turns if it ever goes up. Substitute had its advantages, but I starting to think that Protect might be better. It has helped me on this streak way more than Substitute ever had. Tailwind is used for speed control, while Low Kick and Acrobatics are STABs.


Tapu Lele @ Psychium Z
Level: 50
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 4 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 244 Spe
IVs: 31/xx/31/HT/31/HT
Modest Nature
-Psychic --> Shattered Psyche
-Moonblast
-Taunt
-Protect

Next up, Tapu Lele. Psychic Terrain is one of the most important parts of this team as it helps Hawlucha activate its Psychic Seed, also activating Unburden in the process. As for the EVs, I decided to make Tapu Lele a little faster, making it hit the speed tier of 146. This speed-ties with Gyarados-3 and 4, but they use Dragon Dance most of the time on turn 1, so it really isn’t much of a big deal. The increase in speed allows me to catch things like Moltres-1 and 2, Togekiss-3, Gardevoir-3, Venusaur-3, etc. Like Hawlucha, Lele’s moveset hasn’t changed much except I switched out Shadow Ball for Taunt. Why? So I can stop some of the pesky Trick Room setters that the leads cannot handle. This mostly just includes Slowbro-4 (mega), Carbink-3, Bronzong-4, and Cresselia-4. Slowking would also be included on this list, but the chance to roll Oblivious makes it too risky. The rest of the set remains unchanged.

-->

Mega Metagross @ Metagrossite
Level: 50
Ability: Clear Body --> Tough Claws
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
IVs: 31/31/31/xx/31/31
Jolly Nature
-Iron Head
-Stomping Tantrum
-Ice Punch
-Protect

Metagross has remained completely unchanged from the last team, so there really isn’t much to say about this guy. It likes to switch in on potential Poison or Steel attacks targeted at Lele, and it also enjoys demolishing nearly everything in his path. I’m very happy I was able to bring Metagross to the big 1k, as it is also one of my favourite Pokemon.


Hydreigon @ Life Orb
Level: 50
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 12 HP / 4 Def / 244 SpA / 4 SpD / 244 Spe
IVs: 31/xx/31/31/31/31
Modest Nature
-Dragon Pulse
-Dark Pulse
-Flamethrower
-Protect

And finally, the new girl. Hydreigon is the final team member of the team, and boy am I satisfied with her. With the Life Orb, Hydreigon dishes out a lot of damage. The Dark typing also allows her to switch in for Psychic attacks targeted at Hawlucha, if needed. Dragon Pulse is a nice STAB that hits Dragons, and anything else the other two attacks can’t hit too well. Dark Pulse is mainly used to wipe out opposing Psychics, and can also fish for flinches if needed. The Dragon and Dark STABs are nice as they hit quite a bit in the Tree, except for Fairy-types. But, that’s why we have Metagross. It also helps deal with opposing Mega Metagross. Flamethrower is the coverage move of choice as it helps deal with things such as Ferrothorn, Escavalier, Steelix. And Mega Aggron (after prior damage). I was also considering Earth Power for a while and to be honest, still considering it, but I still like the current set as is and I’m pretty much satisfied with Hydreigon’s power. The 244 Speed EVs allows Hydeigon to hit 149 Speed, 298 after Tailwind. 244 Special Attack EVs didn’t really make much of a noticeable difference to 252, so I went with that. The rest of the EVs were put into HP, Defence, and Special Defence.

The team’s threats mostly remain the same since the last run, but there’s some new ones that managed to rise up. I’ll still write about most of the threats I found throughout most of the streak.

Cresselia-4 – With the addition of Taunt to Lele’s repertoire, Cresselia-2 and 3 are kind of a joke now. Cress-4, however, can still be a problem. Even if I Taunt it to prevent its Trick Room, it hits pretty damn hard with each of its attacks. Thanks to the Iron Ball, it actually gets a boost from the Psychic Terrain, making its Psychic pretty deadly to Hawlucha (252+ SpA Cresselia Psychic vs. +1 252 HP / 4 SpD Hawlucha in Psychic Terrain: 168-200 (90.8 - 108.1%) -- 50% chance to OHKO). Also its Moonblast can OHKO Hydreigon as well. Treat this thing with caution.
Uxie-1 – Uxie can still be pretty annoying. Its damage isn’t very threatening a lot of the time though. Set 1’s Thunder Wave can cripple the team with paralysis, but like Cresselia, it’s pretty much Taunt bait.
Magnezone-3 – Thunder Wave, Bright Power, and possible Sturdy? What more does this behemoth need? Mag-3 returns as a pretty big threat to the team. In fact, it’s so scary, that unless I manage to hit it with both Low Kick AND Psychic on turn 1, it won’t go down and will proceed to either hit Hawlucha or Lele with a powerful attack (possibly Analytic boosted too!) or use Thunder Wave to cripple something. It’s too risky to Taunt this thing since it can sometimes end up being set 4 with an Assault Vest. Actually, now that I think about it, set 4 is pretty scary too if it leads. You know what? Magnezone is a monster. Get out of my game. Thanks.
Liepard-3 – Liepard once again gets an honourable mention only because of Prankster Thunder Wave. If it leads, and rolls Prankster, it will try to Thunder Wave Hawlucha. And you don’t want that. Fortunately, it faints to one Moonblast anyway, so Protecting Hawlucha is usually the right call.
Mawile-34 & Metagross-4 – Oh boy. You know, when I went back to planning stages with this team, I was wondering if there was a better way of dealing with these two. One thing I did find out, however, is that Mega Mawile will faint to Acrobatics+Shattered Psyche if Hawlucha does not get Intimidated. So there’s one way of dealing with it. Metagross, however, is still too much for this team. Vs Metagross, I still usually just Protect Tapu Lele or switch out to my own Metagross and have Hawlucha use Tailwind.
Contact Abilities – Static, Flame Body, and Effect Spore are still pretty annoying for both Hawlucha and Metagross. All of their moves are contact moves and can cripple the team if they activate. But, at least Tapu Lele and Hydreigon can deal with most of the stuff that can carry these abilities.
Talonflame-4 – Gale Wings can make this set a menace. Using Protect with Hawlucha, and having Lele attack it is usually the best way to go with this. Set 3 likes to use Swords Dance a lot before its Sash is broken, so it’s not really an issue.
Trick Room – Thanks to Taunt, a lot of the Trick Room setters can be delayed a bit and left to rot. Shattered Psyche still OHKOs most of them though. The more threatening ones are Oranguru-3, Slowking-4, Slowbro-4 (if unable to Mega Evolve and rolls Oblvious), and Aromatisse-4. The slowthings should be pretty obvious: bulky Psychics, can roll Oblivious, and both hit the team pretty hard. Aromatisse can be KO’d by Acrobatics+Psychic, but it has like a 2% chance to survive. Oranguru is a similar issue. Low Kick+Moonblast 2HKO, but a low roll on either move, and Trick Room is going up. The other setters are either Taunt-bait or can be OHKO’d or 2HKO’d successfully.
Blissey-4 – The good news: I have encountered this Blissey once during this run. I know, pretty unbelievable. The bad news: it’s still a problem. Thanks to its Chople Berry, it can survive two Low Kicks. Acrobatics and Shattered Psyche can 2HKO, but it’s only a chance – usually a chance I’m not willing to take. On top of Minimize, Toxic, and Soft-Boiled, it also has Mud Bomb! So, I can’t even hit it a bunch of times with Metagross. I always try to take out this thing as fast as I can.
Snorlax-34 – I did not include this dude on the threat list last time, but let me tell you – SNORLAX IS A THREAT. Set 3 hits very, very hard thanks to its Life Orb, and set 4 is so god damn bulky and also carries FISSURE. Low Kick can OHKO both, but the chances are pretty low. Risking a double into it with Low Kick and Psychic can be worthwhile if the partner isn’t too dangerous.
Heatran1234 – Another major problem. Heatran is the main reason why I’ve been considering Earth Power on Hydreigon since both of the attacks that are super effective vs it are contact moves. Heatran has a chance to roll Flame Body, which can cripple both Hawlucha and Metagross. Low Kick+Psychic vs a lead Heatran will 2HKO, but the Scarf set can OHKO Lele before Psychic is even used. Be careful. Heatran-3 is a different kind of beast that has a powerful Sun-boosted Fire Blast, so like the others, has to be dealt with ASAP.
Fake Out – Although not really a huge problem (since Metagross and Lele are both immune thanks to Psychic Terrtain), it can stop Hawlucha and Hydreigon from acting if they’re out vs one of the users. Vs leads, I have Hawlucha use Protect, and have Lele attack the Fake Out user. Pretty simple. Why didn’t I run Protect on Hawlucha again?
Incineroar-34 – This thing is a pain. From possible Intimidate, to Quick Claw Flare Blitz, it is a true menance and should be treated as such. Low Kick and Moonblast usually KO set 3 if it didn’t roll Intimidate, but set 4 is a different kind of beast. Letting something eat a Flare Blitz or hoping for a crit is really the only thing that this team can do to deal with it. Or switching to Hydreigon on a Flare Blitz can also work.

vs Captain Mallow (Tsareena-3 / Talonflame-3 / Trevenant-? / Toucannon-3): PNYW-WWWW-WWX2-H99X

Since I didn’t lose yet, battle #1000 has its own section. To be honest, this battle was pretty ugly and I actually almost lost. Imagine losing at 999 wins... Anyway, let’s begin.

Turn 1 – Mallow ended up leading with Tsareena and Talonflame. Tsareena isn’t much of a problem since Acrobatics OHKOs both sets 3 and 4, but Talonflame can be a huge problem. Set 4’s Brave Bird can OHKO Hawlucha if Gale Wings is rolled, so I ended up using Protect with Hawlucha. Talonflame ended up using Swords Dance instead of a Flying-move, which lead me to believe it was set 3, which has Acrobatics instead of Brave Bird. Fortunately, for Mallow, I misclicked Moonblast instead of Psychic, but at least I broke Gale Wings. Tsareena ended up using Trop Kick into Tapu Lele.
Turn 2 – Hawlucha used Acrobatics to OHKO Tsareena, while Talonflame used its own Acrobatics to finish off Tapu Lele. Uh-oh. Honestly, I think I should have just had Lele use Protect, but I wanted to attack Talonflame because I thought it would go for the Acrobatics (or Brave Bird!) into Hawlucha, but instead, it decided to pick off Lele. Not unexpected, but poor prediction on my part.
Turn 3 – I sent out Metagross, while Mallow sends out Toucannon. Metagross mega evolves, and Toucannon charges up a Beak Blast. I had Hawlucha use Tailwind, since Toucannon-4 tends to set up its own Tailwind vs this team a lot, and I wasn’t about to have a possible Sceptile come out under Tailwind. Talonflame nearly KOs Hawlucha with Acrobatics. Since it still had its Focus Sash, the Acrobatics was still pretty weak, even with the Swords Dance boost, so it failed to OHKO Hawlucha. Then, I had Metagross use Ice Punch the Talonflame. I didn’t want to risk attacking Toucannon because Beak Blast was also possible (which it did use anyway), and I didn’t want Metagross to get burned. Sure, I’m risking a possible Flame Body from attacking Talonflame too, but at least that’s only a chance and not a guaranteed burn from the Beak Blast charge-up. I was starting to think I should have sent out Hydreigon here instead of Metagross. And finally, Toucannon finishes off Hawlucha.
Turn 4 – I send out Hydreigon, my final Pokemon. Toucannon charges up another Beak Blast, and Metagross finishes off Talonflame with an Ice Punch. Hydreigon uses Dark Pulse to fish for a flinch on Toucannon. It eats its Sitrus Berry, revealing set 3, which means no possible Tailwind, at least. Toucannon does not flinch and uses Beak Blast into Hydreigon.
Turn 5 – Mallow sends out her final Pokemon, Trevenant. Toucannon charges up yet another Beak Blast. I had Metagross attack Toucannon with Ice Punch, now taking the burn, since I don’t think it really mattered anymore and Hydreigon was possibly fainting at the end of this turn. I had Hydreigon take out the Trevenant with Dark Pulse, and Toucannon finished off Hydreigon with its Beak Blast.
Turn 6 – Psychic Terrain expires, and Metagross simply finishes the battle with Ice Punch.

Boy, that battle was really bad. Probably mostly because I was tired and nervous and happy that this was battle #1000. I also went into it a little cocky, saying to myself “oh Mallow, free win”. Boy, was I wrong. There was a lot of misplays but at least I was able to pick up the win.

Here, I have selected another seven battles from the streak to showcase. If there is a need for more, I’ll record the rest and upload to YouTube or something.

#989 vs Office Worker Jana (Carbink-4 / Milotic-4 / Mimikyu-4 / Dugtrio-2): GT2W-WWWW-WWX2-H9A6

Turn 1 – Jana leads with Carbink and Milotic. I immediately thought to myself, I should maybe use Taunt into Carbink to prevent its possible Trick Room. So, I started the battle off with an Acrobatics into Milotic, and used Taunt on Carbink. Milotic used Ice Beam onto Hawlucha, freezing it! Oh no. And then Carbink used Explosion. Wow. I was re-thinking this turn over and over after, and then decided I should have just doubled into Milotic with Acrobatics and Shattered Psyche, risking the Trick Room. Getting frozen with Ice Beam was not fun either, and to have Carbink just explode like that, what a waste of a Taunt.
Turn 2 – Jana sends out Mimikyu. Yikes. I had Lele use Protect, and Mimikyu decided to put Hawlucha out of its frozen misery with Shadow Sneak, revealing set 4. Milotic’s Ice Beam went into Lele’s Protect, but that was probably going for Hawlucha anyway. Maybe I should have expected the possible Shadow Sneak and broke Mimikyu’s Disguise? Oh well, the turn happened.
Turn 3 – I send out Metagross. I end up switching out Lele for Hydreigon, and Metagross mega evolves and uses Iron Head into Mimikyu, breaking the Disguise. Mimikyu, thankfully, ended up flinching. Milotic then uses Rest, and heals back its health. Honestly, I thought this out pretty poorly. I was expecting a Shadow Claw, so I had Lele switch out into Hydreigon to potentially take that, but was also risking that Shadow Claw going into Metagross. But at least it flinched, so I was safe this turn. Way too risky, but it paid off.
Turn 4 – Metagross OHKOs Mimikyu with Iron Head, while Hydreigon gets some Dragon Pulse damage on Milotic. Milotic then uses Sleep Talk and gets Ice Beam and targets Hydreigon, but doesn’t do too much. Not much to do on this turn except take out Mimikyu and get some much needed damage back on Milotic.
Turn 5 – Jana sends out her final Pokemon, Kanto Dugtrio. Yikes. Normally with this thing, I tend to use Hawlucha’s Acrobatics to take it out, but I didn’t have that luxury. And I didn’t even have Tailwind, so I had to risk a Fissure coming from it. Forunately, it used Substitute and Metagross takes out that sub with Ice Punch, and Hydreigon finishes it off with a Dragon Pulse. Milotic uses another Sleep Talk and gets Rest this time.
Turn 6 & 7 – Psychic Terrain expires. Metagross and Hydreigon finish off Milotic with Stomping Tantrum and Dragon Pulse respectively.

#983 vs Ace Trainer Levi (Incineroar-4 / Espeon-? / Infernape-4 / Rotom-Wash-4): DL8W-WWWW-WWX2-H9BC

Turn 1 – Levi leads with Incineroar and Espeon. Incineroar ends up rolling Intimidate, and lowers the Attack with Hawlucha and Tapu Lele. I have Lele use Protect, and Hawlucha use Tailwind so I can out-speed the Espeon with the rest of my team. Espeon picks off Hawlucha with Psychic, and Incineroar uses Flare Blitz into the Protecting Lele.
Turn 2 – I send out Metagross and mega evolve. But, before that can happen, Incineroar reveals it has the dreaded Quick Claw! Incineroar uses Flare Blitz into... Lele...? Anyway, Lele survives with 5 HP and Metagross uses Stomping Tantrum onto the Incineroar, while Lele finishes it off with a Moonblast. Espeon then finishes off Lele with a Shadow Ball. I double-targeted Incineroar because of the potential Quick Claw into Flare Blitz into Metagross. But I guess it had a brain-fart and wanted to target Lele instead? I don’t know how to explain this one. But, hey, at least I was able to take it out before it caused more chaos. Originally, I thought Incineroar did that because Espeon was targeting Metagross with the Shadow Ball, but it also decided to target Lele, so it’s just a very strange decision by the AI.
Turn 3 – I send out Hydreigon while Levi sends out Infernape, BUT, it switches out to Rotom-Wash! Probably because of Metagross’ Stomping Tantrum from last turn. Don’t worry, little Rotom, Metagross isn’t planning on hitting you. Instead, I have Metagross use Iron Head to OHKO the Espeon, and I had Hydreigon use Dragon Pulse into the former Infernape slot. Rotom then munches down its Sitrus Berry and heals back some of the damage.
Turn 4 – Levi sends out Infernape again. Infernape didn’t end up using Fake Out and gets brought down to its Sash, and I had Hydreigon use Dragon Pulse into the Rotom, and it faints. Infernape then takes out Metagross with Flare Blitz and faints to recoil.

#854 vs Veterain Aino (Medicham-3 / Slowking-4 / Musharna / Metagross): R9ZG-WWWW-WWX2-H9CB

Turn 1 – Aino leads with Medicham and Slowking. I decided to just risk the potential Fake Out from Medicham-4 and hoped that was Slowking-3 so it can lock into Psychic with its Choice Specs. Alas, nothing ever goes my way. Hawlucha gets some nice damage with Acrobatics on Slowking, and Lele OHKOs Medicham with Moonblast. Slowking then sets up the Trick Room.
Turn 2 – Aino sends out Musharna. By this point, I fully expected Hawlucha wasn’t going to be up much longer. However, I decided to prolong its life by using Protect. Both Slowking and Musharna used Psychic into Hawlucha, and Lele used Moonblast into Slowking, but fails to pick up the KO.
Turn 3 – Hawlucha is switched out for Metagross. I did this mainly to take another two Psychics, but Slowking then decided to use its Hydro Vortex! It targeted Tapu Lele and OHKO’d it with a crit. Musharna then decided to use Shadow Ball, which was probably also meant for Lele. Metagross takes a lot of damage from that Shadow Ball, but hangs on.
Turn 4 – I send out Hawlucha again. I had Metagross use Protect, and sacced Hawlucha to Slowking’s Psychic. Musharna used Shadow Ball into the Protecting Metagross. I thought about this turn a lot and figured I no longer needed Hawlucha. So I just decided to let it go for now so Hydreigon can come in safely.
Turn 5 – I send out Hydreigon. Metagross gets the double Protect! Slowking uses Surf, and crits its partner Musharna, while Hydreigon takes out Musharna with a Dark Pulse. Finally some good luck.
Turn 6 – Trick Room and Psychic Terrain both expire. Aino sends out Metagross. Both Metagross’ end up mega evolving. Hydreigon used Protect, while Metagross finished off Slowking with Stomping Tantrum. Enemy Metagross used Brick Break into... Metagross? I expected that to go into Hydreigon, hence the Protect. Thankfully, my Metagross survived.
Turn 7 – Opposing Metagross uses Bullet Punch to finish off my Metagross and Hydreigon finishes the battle with Dark Pulse. This battle could have potentially been a loss if that Brick Break went into the Protecting Hydreigon. I would have to have risked a speed-tie and a Brick Break crit on the next turn since Stomping Tantrum can’t OHKO opposing Metagross, and Brick Break would have KO’d Hydreigon there.

#779 vs Sightseer Ezra (Magnezone-3 / Heatran-3 / Gengar-4 / Latios-?): 5QVG-WWWW-WWX2-H9D9

Turn 1 – Ezra leads with Magnezone and Heatran. Uh-oh. This does not look good. Potential Scarf Heatran meant I probably wouldn’t be able to knock off Magnezone easily. And even if I did double into Mag, Heatran can still return a potential OHKO into Lele anyway. So, I decided to have Lele use Protect. Hawlucha uses Low Kick into Heatran and gets burned by Flame Body. Magnezone uses Thunder Wave into Hawlucha, but it fails thanks to the burn. Yay? Heatran then uses Sunny Day, revealing set 3.
Turn 2 – With Hawlucha burned, I knew it was only a matter of time before it would go down. Luckily, Ezra switches out Heatran for Gengar. I was going to Low Kick that slot to finish off Heatran, but it didn’t work out thanks to Gengar’s Ghost-type. Lele then uses Taunt into Magnezone, but misses thanks to Bright Powder and Magnezone successfully paralyzes Lele with Thunder Wave. Dammit.
Turn 3 – Gengar mega evolves into Mega Gengar and is ready for blood. But first! Lele tries to use Protect, but gets fully paralyzed. Hawlucha uses Tailwind, and Gengar takes out Lele with Sludge Bomb. Magnezone then uses Thunder into Hawlucha and takes it out.
Turn 4 – I send out Hydreigon and Metagross, Metagross mega evovles, and uses Stomping Tantrum into Gengar and takes it out, while Hydreigon goes for the Sun-boosted Flamethrower to take out Magnezone. Thanks for the Sunny Day, Ezra!
Turn 5 – We’re not out of the woods yet. Hearan makes a return to the field, and Ezra also reveals she has a Latios as well! Metagross finishes off Heatran with a Stomping Tantrum. Heatran tries munching on its Shuca Berry, but of course that isn’t going to work since it’s way too low from the previous Low Kick. Hydreigon then finishes the battle with a Dark Pulse onto Latios.

#760 vs Pokemon Trainer Kukui (Braviary-4 / Primarina-4 / Magnezone-3 / Ninetales-Alola-?): 5YGG-WWW-WWX2-H9EB

Turn 1 – Kukui leads with Braviary and Primarina. Braviary is actually a pretty scary Pokemon here since set 3 can dish out lots of damage with Brave Bird, and set 4 can set up Tailwind. Primarina is also pretty scary with powerful Water and Fairy-type attacks along with potential Baby-Doll Eyes that can lower both Hawlucha and Mega Metagross’ Attack. Anyway, I have Hawlucha use Protect, and Lele uses Psychic into Braviary, but it just barely hangs on and sets Tailwind. Primarina then uses Sparking Aria and takes out its partner Braviary, while also damaging Lele in the process.
Turn 2 – Kukui sends out Magnezone. With opposing Tailwind up, I definitely needed my own. So, I had Lele use Protect while Hawlucha set up the Tailwind. Magnezone uses Flash Cannon into Protecting Lele, and Primarina then uses Dazzling Gleam and does major damage to Hawlucha.
Turn 3 – Hawlucha uses Low Kick into Magnezone, which is revealed to have Sturdy, and I was planning on using Psychic into it as well, but it missed because of the Bright Powder. Ugh. Magnezone then uses a Thunder into Hawlucha to finish it off. Primarina finally uses its Z-move, Hydro Vortex, and destroys Tapu Lele.
Turn 4 – I send out Metagross and Hydreigon. Metagross mega evolves, while Hydreigon uses Protect. Magnezone gets taken out by Stomping Tantrum, and Primarina uses Sparking Aria and does major damage to Metagross. Kukui was actually going to knock off another one of his own Pokemon with Sparkling Aria. That was pretty weird, but I’ve seen the AI do weirder things so I didn’t think much of it.
Turn 5 – Tailwind expires on Kukui’s side. Kukui sends out his final Pokemon, Alolan Ninetales. I have Metagross take it out with Iron Head before it can even make a single move, and Hydreigon does some damage to Primarina with Dark Pulse. Primarina finally uses Dazzling Gleam to take out Hydreigon.
Turn 6 – My Tailwind and Psychic Terrain both expire and I have Metagross use Iron Head into Primarina, hoping for a flinch because a Sparkling Aria can most definitely finish this battle. Thankfully it flinches. Phew.
Turn 7 – Metagross finishes the battle with Iron Head.

#657 vs Veteran Aino (Gardevoir-3 / Slowking-4 / Metagross-4 / Medicham-3): 949G-WWWW-WWX2-H9F3

Turn 1 – Ah yes, another battle with Aino. Anyway, she leads with Gardevoir and Slowking. I have Hawlucha use Acrobatics into the Gardevoir, nearly taking it out. I try using Taunt on Slowking, but it reveals Oblivious. This was one of the earlier battles where I was still trying to use Taunt on opposing Slowkings, risking the Oblivious. Obviously, it didn’t work out in this battle. Gardevoir uses Shadow Ball into Lele, and Slowking sets up the Trick Room.
Turn 2 – Hawlucha is switched out for Metagross and Lele uses Protect. Slowking and Gardevoir both use Psychic into the former Hawlucha slot. I was expecting another Shadow Ball into Lele here, but Aino decided to just double into Hawlucha instead. Fortunately, Metagross takes both those Psychics like a champ.
Turn 3 – Lele switches out for Hawlucha, and Metagross uses Protect. I went for this because usually Slowking goes for Hydro Vortex into the Metagross, but instead it used Psychic into the former Lele slot? Of course, Hawlucha is there now so it obviously faints to that. I honestly couldn’t figure out why it wanted to use Psychic on Lele, so I decided to just leave it be. Gardevoir then uses Shadow Ball into Protecting Metagross.
Turn 4 – Tapu Lele comes back out. Metagross switches out to Hydreigon, and Lele uses Protect. Slowking uses Surf, and KOs its partner Gardevoir. Thanks, I guess.
Turn 5 – Aino sends out Metagross, which then mega evolves. Slowking uses Ice Beam into Hydreigon and thankfully, it does not freeze. Lele uses Moonblast into Slowking, and Hydreigon OHKOs Metagross with a Dark Pulse. Thanks for the Trick Room, Aino.
Turn 6 – Trick Room and Psychic Terrain both expire, and Aino sends out Medicham. Honestly, I completely forgot she still had a fourth Pokemon and I thought I had this in the bag... but I was wrong. Anyway, Medicham ended up being set 3, which doesn’t have Fake Out. Hydreigon takes out Slowking and Lele finishes the battle with a Moonblast to Medicham.

#60 vs Pokemon Trainer Anabel (Raikou-3 / Alakazam-4 / Latios-1 / Lucario-3): RCZG-WWWW-WWX2-H9K4

Turn 1 – And of course, we can’t have a Battle Video showcase without Anabel. I actually had two Anabel encounters on this run but I thought this one was better. And it was the first special trainer after Blue! Anyway, Anabel leads with Raikou and Alakazam. Hawlucha uses Protect and Raikou also uses Protect. Alakazam uses Psychic into the Protecting Hawlucha. Lele then uses Shattered Psyche into... the Protecting Raikou. Shame. I wanted to take out Raikou ASAP because of possible Thunder Wave from set 2, but it ended up being set 3 with the Protect and my Z-move ended up being wasted.
Turn 2 – Lele uses Protect this time, and Hawlucha uses Tailwind. Since Alakazam was the Specs set, I figured I should just set Tailwind and let Hawlucha go down. I know Anabel can have Snorlax and it could have ended the streak right here, but I had a plan for it. Thankfully, she didn’t end up having it anyway. Raikou then uses its Gigavolt Havoc into my Protecting Lele. Ha, take that, Anabel!
Turn 3 – I send out Metagross and mega evolve. Raikou uses Protect again, but I figured it was going to do that. I had Metagross take out Alakazam with Iron Head and Lele’s Psychic went into the Raikou, which didn’t take any damage thanks to Protect.
Turn 4 – Anabel sends out Lucario, which then mega evolves. Metagross uses Stomping Tantrum and finishes off Raikou, while Lele OHKOs Lucario with Psychic.
Turn 5 – Anabel sends out her final Pokemon, Latios. However, Metagross and Lele take it out with Ice Punch and Moonblast. The amount of damage Latios took from the Ice Punch meant it was set 1, so Lax Incense could have caused a miss but it wouldn’t have mattered much anyway.

And there we have it. This was a long one. But, I’m still really proud of this and I can’t wait to continue on with this team. Need to finish Bowser’s Inside Story first... Anyway, until next time. See ya.
 
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#779 vs Sightseer Ezra (Magnezone-3 / Heatran-3 / Gengar-4 / Latios-?): 5QVG-WWWW-WWX2-H9D9

Turn 1 – Ezra leads with Magnezone and Heatran. Uh-oh. This does not look good. Potential Scarf Heatran meant I probably wouldn’t be able to knock off Magnezone easily.
According to serebii.com Ezra doesnt have the scarf-Heatran, so you dont need to worry about that. Congrats to that streak! I was sure in Unburden lies serious potential; probably that was after i saw your first attempt with it.
 
According to serebii.com Ezra doesnt have the scarf-Heatran, so you dont need to worry about that. Congrats to that streak! I was sure in Unburden lies serious potential; probably that was after i saw your first attempt with it.
I think Serebii's trainer lookup is missing some set 4s because Ezra and Christian can both have all four Heatran sets. Also thank you! I always had a feeling it had the potential too, and I'm glad it was able to get there.
 
Does the AI take terrain into account in damage calculations? For example, will latios prefer to use Draco Meteor (130 BP) or Psychic (90*1,5=135) against a regigigas?
 
Does the AI take terrain into account in damage calculations? For example, will latios prefer to use Draco Meteor (130 BP) or Psychic (90*1,5=135) against a regigigas?
While not really possible to "prove" it, anecdotal experience definitely shows it's the case.

The Ai doesn't use priority moves with Psychic terrain, doesn't use Status with misty terrain (aside from rare cases, I think Levitate mons and swagger/flatter tend to not register the terrain presence), but when it comes to damage moves it's accepted to use weighted rolls skewed in favor of 1hkos.

Thus if you grant it a 1hko with your electric terrain, the AI will generally attempt to thunderbolt your face.
 
no, no slapfight, I just asked if I was using a wrong english term, I appreciate the clarification, always love to know the math behind stuff
 

Smuckem

Resident Facility Bot Wannabe
is a Community Contributor
I'm very much in an experimental phase and have begun to utilize the VGC finalists' teams from last year in an effort to max out my BP count in UM (also, as a way to pay my small tribute to them all, as I honestly wonder whether any of them will show up to the big dance this year, given how vastly different the meta's going to be). So, I'm rolling with these and will hopefully be able to update with any significant progress later.

For those interested in joining me on this ridiculous journey: VGC 18 World Championships Finalists' Team Dump (links to QRs are within the individual Pokepastes).

For those who won't be joining me: after looking at the Pokepastes, if you were forced to use one of these teams for Tree-climbing, gun-to-your-head-style, which would you consider using for this purpose?
 
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Paul Ruiz, no doubt. Double intimidate, fake out, setup opportunities, several win conditions, high immediate damage, fast modes and slow modes, recovery, natural bulk, special/physical split - I don't think you'll find many VGC teams better suited for the tree than his.

However, if I were you, I'd try the junior full trick room team, that seems so fun to play.
 

Smuckem

Resident Facility Bot Wannabe
is a Community Contributor
As it turns out, I tried Sota's team first: the structure demands that the team used be (setter)/Snorlax/MegaWile/Pelipper, but that means you're forced to carry a stunted Return on the team (the whole "QR Return/Frustration is a no-no" dealie). Because of that, Snorlax can only really deal damage with EQ...and since neither the setter (I used Dusclops) nor MegaWile carry Protect, chances to do even that are fairly limited. I tried and got only to 38 wins and Ferrothorn2 just grinded me down. Everyone, do yourselves a favor and make sure all of your teams carry some way to deal with all Ferrothorn.

Using Wonn's team has served better results so far: no matter the era, TerraCott in facilities has its place, even if no Wide Lens on Terrakion means that that place is an unstable one. With Soulblaze and MegaGar bringing up the rear, I have a powerful squad in place with Whimsicott as the centerpiece, since it can support every other team member with each of its moves and each other member has a "designated" support move it clearly benefits from. It makes decision-making with Whimsicott pretty easy. As MegaPunny streaks on here have shown, Encore also has its uses (locking Stealth Rock throwers into uselessness never stops being funny). At 63 wins with it, currently...

I appreciate both of you giving Paul's team such props, btw...not because he's a Champ, but because everyone acknowledging a fellow Ecuadorian's greatness is fucking cool.

(side note: if any of you actually know Wonn, or if he has any social media, let him know that his usual leads give the Porygons the "proper" Download boost. Bad times...)
 
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Eisenherz

επέκεινα της ουσίας
is a Top Smogon Social Media Contributor
INTRODUCTION

Hi everyone! It's been quite a while since I posted a streak on this thread, but that doesn't mean I wasn't active on the Battle Tree! As a matter of fact, my backlog of things I want to post about has gotten so big, that I had to scratch some stuff entirely, and plan a series of posts to cover everything I wanted to. I hope the several posts I'll be making over the next next couple of weeks won't be annoying - at the very least, their content should be pretty diverse. Without further ado, let's get into it!

THE RAIN STREAK

First things first, I'm reporting a completed streak of 1391 in Ultra Sun Super Doubles with a team of Pelipper / Tapu Koko / Mega Swampert / Celesteela (QR team).

The team remains the same as it was in the 1000 post, but as a reminder...


THE TEAM

@ Focus Sash

Modest | Drizzle
IVs: 31/0/31/31/31/31
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpAtk / 252 Spe
Tailwind / Hurricane / Brine / Protect

@ Choice Specs

Timid | Electric Surge
IVs: 31/4/31/30(HT)/31/30(HT)
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpAtk / 252 Spe
Thunder / Dazzling Gleam / Hidden Power Fire / Volt Switch

@ Swampertite

Adamant | Damp -> Swift Swim
IVs: 31/31/31/31/31/31
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpDef / 252 Spe
Waterfall / Earthquake / Ice Punch / Protect

@ Leftovers

IVs: 31/30(HT)/31/30(HT)/31/31
Careful | Beast Boost
EVs: 244 HP / 28 Atk / 108 Def / 124 SpDef / 4 Spe
Heavy Slam / Leech Seed / Wide Guard / Protect


—————————————————————

What a ride it's been! I have very little to add to what I already said about the team in my two previous team reports; the threats remain the same, and my enjoyment of the team as well. By now, I would call the "teambuilding" part of it entirely finished, I don't think I'd envision any modifications if I was going to use it again. I actually planned to replace Brine with Scald for 50 battles when I was somewhere in the 1200s, just as a comparison point, since I had been using Brine since the very start. But right as that I made that plan, I had a couple of battles where Brine picked up KOs that Scald wouldn't have in clutch situations, and I immediately canceled the experiment. "If it's not broken, don't fix it"; I realized I wasn't ready to put this streak on the line for the sake of experimenting when I had a move that had proven its worth.

A few noteworthy battles happened between 1000 and the loss, so I'll talk about these a bit after, but first, I would like to talk about the big event...


—————————————————————

THE LOSS // 1392 vs. YOUTH ATHLETE HILARIO (KJ5G-WWWW-WWX2-V6QW)


I was streaming on Twitch when it happened, but unfortunately, Twitch only saves the VOD for 10 days, and I didn't think of downloading it, so the live narration of it has been forever lost. However, since it happened a few months ago now, I've had plenty of time to reflect on it, so here's a turn-by-turn breakdown of it:

TURN 1:
vs.


Turn 1 was a pretty big one. I obviously couldn't know Alakazam would be Mega, so the possibility of Sceptile being the Mega was there, though the regular set with White Herb is always the most threatening to me because of potential Unburden, allowing Sceptile to outspeed M-Swampert in rain. However, the Mega possibility prevented Koko from going for any Electric move. In any case, this was a very threatening lead, where both opponents potentially outsped Koko.
I usually would have gone for Tailwind + Dazzling Gleam in this situation; it ensures I get something out of the turn, whether it's the speed control I need for Swampert/Pelipper itself, or otherwise, a 2HKO on both these two threats with D-Gleam. The AI had to double up Pelipper to KO it (though a Rock Slide flinch from M-Sceptile was a bad scenario), and Gleam was all the damage I needed for Celesteela to finish off whichever of the two ended up being more threatening (most likely Sceptile) with Heavy Slam. Additionally, if that was indeed M-Sceptile, as long as Koko didn't flinch, it would go down to Gleam. Mind you, I don't think I would have taken the time to analyze things that much - TW + Gleam was more like an "autopilot" pick that I would do in front of that type of lead, to ensure I got something out of it. From experience, I often lost Koko from such decisions, but it was usually worth it for the long run.
However, with this being live on Twitch, things were a bit different than usual. I noticed that whenever I'm streaming, I tend to play a bit differently; I try to be super "safe" with my plays (because I don't want to lose face by making a dumb play!), but I also don't feel comfortable sitting in front of a situation for a long time unsure of what play I want to make, because that's really un-entertaining; I feel pressured by the fact people are waiting for me to make a move.
Point in case, Level 51, in chat, suggested switching in Celesteela for Koko since it was a very safe switch vs. both of these Pokémon. While this went against my "usual" pattern of play, it actually did seem much safer than Tailwind + Dazzling Gleam, so my initial reaction was "oh, yeah, that's actually a much better idea, let's do that!". So I did...


TURN 2:
vs.


...and it didn't work out too well. The AI did double up Pelipper, so I got no Tailwind out of it, and no damage either. Additionally, one thing I (and L51) hadn't considered: this allowed Mega Alakazam to Trace Beast Boost from Celesteela
Since I usually leave Koko in on any Alakazam and Thunder (thanks to this blessed calc: 252 SpA Alakazam-Mega Psychic vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Koko: 121-144 (83.4 - 99.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO), the thought hadn't even crossed my mind... oops! In the end, this didn't matter all that much, since it only forced Celesteela to target M-Alakazam as a priority over Sceptile, which I may have done anyway.
This is also where I realized something that had never come into play thus far: Mega Alakazam has Grass Knot! Since Heavy Slam was a 2HKO on both of these threats, it meant I basically had to sacrifice a second Pokémon to finally get M-Alakazam out of there with Celesteela. My best bet, at that point, was Sceptile not being Unburden, and going M-Swampert, which would outspeed both and score a KO before being sacrificed (252+ Atk Swampert-Mega Ice Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Sceptile: 148-176 (102 - 121.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO).
I had to hope Specs Koko in Rain and +1 SpD Celesteela would be enough to finish things off afterwards, which did seem very likely. With that plan in mind, I protected Swampert on that turn and got the first Heavy Slam hit on Alakazam. As expected, both opponents targeted Swampert.


TURN 3:
vs.


Second part of the plan: sacrificing Swampert and getting a KO on Sceptile in the process. From the previous turn, I saw Sceptile was indeed not Unburden, which at least helped a ton (otherwise, Koko also would have had to tank a -2 Leaf Storm on the following turn, which decreased my odds of success!).
This worked out as envisioned, Sceptile was OHKOd by Ice Punch, Alakazam got its Beast Boost from the OHKO on Swampert with Grass Knot, and Celesteela finished off Alakazam in return with Heavy Slam for its own Beast Boost. Phew, what a turn...!


TURN 4:
vs.


This is where things *actually* go very wrong. When I saw the last two, I had a huge sigh of relief. After stressing out for minutes over the last couple of turns, I thought this was a done deal. My thought process was the following: we're in rain, Starmie could be King's Rock and flinch Celesteela, which would prevent it from Heavy Slamming Lycanroc, so I need to prioritize getting rid of it with Thunder... but it could also be Sash, in which case I don't want to target it and get no KO out of this turn, because Koko might not be there next turn if Lycanroc Stone Edges it while Starmie is going for rain-boosted moves. From memory, one of the Starmie sets had Surf and the other Hydro Pump, which is wrong (both have Surf), so I thought I should just double-target Starmie to ensure the KO, and Lycanroc could be dealt with by any of Koko or Celesteela in the event that one of them was double-targetted or crit and went down that turn. If Starmie turned out to be King's Rock, then it would go down to Thunder and the Heavy Slam would be redirected to Lycanroc anyway, so this seemed like a good, straightforward play.

And I will forever regret that turn. I didn't take the time to look up the sets. I was just so relieved to have been able to get through Alakazam-Sceptile and be left with two "non-threats" (Lycanroc, in particular, never gave the team trouble in the past), and I felt like the stream had dragged on this battle for way too long already. If I looked up the sets, I would have seen Starmie only could have Surf, and would obviously not go for it next to Lycanroc (otherwise, it would be in my advantage as well anyway), so taking my Thunder OHKO on Lycanroc was actually much wiser; or at least, Heavy Slam it, because if Starmie is Sash, it's never a threat to Celesteela anyway! I also would have seen Lycanroc had access to an Electric Terrain-boosted Thunder Fang, which I completely forgot about; in my mind, it only had Stone Edge, Sucker Punch, and two filler moves it never used. In the end, this is the turn where the battle turned into a loss - not the debatable first turn - and it's entirely my fault.


TURN 5:
vs.


Starmie was Sash, so I successfully got rid of it with my double-up, but the AI also doubled up Koko, which led to this 1v1 Celesteela vs. Lycanroc. At that point, I still thought I had played it out properly and that the win was in my pocket. Then Lycanroc shows Thunder Fang, and I gasp, as I remember the possible side-effects, and the fact it's Terrain-boosted. It does more than half; if somehow Heavy Slam didn't go through this turn from a flinch, I could have protected, and 2 turns of Leftovers + Terrain being gone could allow Celesteela to tank another Thunder Fang, giving me another chance at Slamming.

But what Lycanroc got was not the 10% flinch, but the 10% paralysis... into a 25% full paralysis. That's where my gasp turned into sweat bullets. This... is still fine, right? I just need to not be fully paralyzed again as I protect, and then connect my Heavy Slam on the following turn... the odds are still in my favor, right?


TURN 6:
vs.


No, on a long enough streak, odds don't matter, the worst will inevitably happen one day or the other; "you misplayed, now pay the price!". Celesteela got fully paralyzed again, and Lycanroc finished it off. And that's how it ends.

It ends with a poorly handled threatening lead, which I was lucky to get out of, into a stupid misplay, into some very unlucky hax. If anything, I guess it's a testament to how good this team was, that it still got so many chances to run away with the win despite all of that. I meant it, when in my 1000 post, I said the team provides multiple chances to win when things don't go to plan, it certainly did in this case, and unfortunately, I was not able to grab those chances.

For what it's worth, I've replayed the matchup over 10 times in mock battles afterwards (a few of them on stream right after), and handily won every time by going for Tailwind + D-Gleam on Turn 1. But to be fair, the vast majority of the time, Sceptile actually ended up going for Detect on that turn, which made things infinitely easier, since I get both Tailwind and the damage on M-Alakazam, making the rest of the battle an absolute breeze.

I also have to take full responsibility for going Celesteela Turn 1: even though L51 suggested it, it did seem like a great idea to me, and I didn't think twice, which, as the one who has experience with the team, I should have! He obviously meant well with that suggestion, and it made a lot of sense as a defensive play, since Celesteela effectively walled both.
But even the actual safer play of using Protect + switch to Celesteela on turn 1 would, in my opinion, have been the wrong call in the end, since no position I could achieve prevented the AI from scoring a KO on Celesteela's partner; if anything, this ensured Tailwind wouldn't go up afterwards since they would be guaranteed to double-target Pelipper while I get my 2HKO on Alakazam. Had Sceptile been Unburden, this leaves me in the exact same spot as this battle did. Seeing how Tailwind was highly valuable, I think the aggressive turn 1 play was better since it had decent odds of granting it. This is all hindsight, though!

While I found this loss to be soul-crushing, because I will probably never get over how terribly I handled that Starmie-Lycanroc duo, I do find solace in one thing, and that is... the fact I actually should have lost 14 battles before.

—————————————————————

BATTLE SPOTLIGHT // 1378 vs. RISING STAR DOLLY

That's right, the streak should have been 1377, not 1391, because under no circumstance should I have won this game; it still blows my mind that I did. Do you think the AI reads your plays and cheats? Then please watch this battle and see it do the exact opposite: throw a guaranteed win.



Unlike the actual losing battle, there is not much in my, or the team's defense here. This would have been an absolutely legitimate loss; if anything, I probably would have been a lot less bitter and sad had this been the end. No doubt though, the disbelief and hype the ending created will definitely remain engraved as one of my best Tree memories!

TURN 1:
vs.


Suicune had a 50% chance of having Protect, and if it did, a high chance to go for it (from experience), so I took my safe Pelipper target with Thunder, and Tailwinded, a pretty straightforward Turn 1 play.
Unfortunately, Suicune went for Blizzard and froze Koko. Definitely not good, but I knew that if this was Suicune2, I could actually lose Koko to Hydro Pump on that turn, so a freeze wasn't actually the worst case scenario; at least, I had a chance to thaw.


TURN 2:
vs.


This time, Suicune does Protect, so the fact Koko doesn't thaw is pointless (I targeted Suicune with Thunder that turn). Because I considered both of my backline's Pokémon HP valuable for the rest of this matchup (both can do well against opposing rain usually), I decided to not switch and just sacrifice for the fresh switch. I knew Suicune would be a pain to break through, but Swampert + Celesteela usually can, especially if rain expires somewhere in there, which was more likely as the battle dragged. I hindsight, that was a mistake, since looking at Dolly's roster (this is something I never bother to do...), I could have seen Ludicolo is part of it, and that I may need to preserve Pelipper for that possibility. But I stand by my play; if I went as far as to look through entire rosters every time, battles would take absolutely forever, and I think my enjoyment would go so far down the drain that I could never have a streak this long. In the circumstance of having a fully healthy backline and only one unrevealed Pokémon from the AI, I think sacrificing the lead made sense, and probably would do it again, especially with the appeal of a 2HKO on Beartic with Hurricane.
Beartic, in retaliation, goes for Rock Slide, which brings both of my leads very low in HP, but doesn't score any KO.


TURN 3:
vs.


Now would be a great time to thaw, Koko! Please?
Nope. However, I do get my KO on Beartic with the second Hurricane, while Suicune goes for a surprising Surf (that would most likely have finished Beartic off! Imagine if I just protected Pelipper! But I couldn't count on that happening...) and KOs both of my leads. In my mind, at this point, things are looking up, since Celesteela can wall Suicune entirely with Wide Guard, and probably just Leech Seed it to victory. Surely I have the means of handling the last one, let's see what it is...


TURN 4:
vs.


:blobastonished: <- me when Ludicolo came out.
So... um... how does Swampert-Celesteela beat Ludicolo? After spending several minutes discussing it with myself and chat, we came to a unanimous call: it doesn't.
Ice Punch does a sizeable chunk of damage, but if it's Ludicolo3, it heals it all right back with Giga Drain. It was thus established that to win, I needed an Ice Punch freeze. Suicune froze Koko, that would only be fair right?
Of course, that's "long term" - for now, I can at least protect Swampert for a turn and setup Celesteela for an unlikely endgame by getting the extra recovery it will very much need: Leech Seed successfully goes into Suicune, while Ludicolo reveals to be set 3, and Suicune Surfs.


TURN 5:
vs.


Time for that freeze! Go, Ice Punch!
...oh well, I tried.
Giga Drain OHKOs Swampert, Ludicolo is back at full, Celesteela is down to half HP and Heavy Slams Ludi for way more damage than I expected (a good 25%?), but with Leftovers, it's negligible damage in the end.
Rain ends, which means Suicune is left to be a mostly passive presence I can ignore (at this point, worrying about more Blizzard freezes is the least of my concerns).


TURN 6:
vs.


So now, Ludicolo just has to Leech Seed Celesteela, and through a long and painful dragged-out ending, be guaranteed to win from that, since the Leech Seed recovery Celesteela gets from Suicune will run out, and Ludicolo will heal more than I can damage it every turn. A slow and painful death.

While Ludicolo has taken some damage (keep in mind it's taking a little bit from Suicune's Surf every turn as well - all chip is good chip) I decide that if somehow Celesteela can do this, it will be through several Heavy Slam crits, and I better get going while it's "low". So I do, and Ludicolo prioritizes setting the rain again over Leech Seeding, which makes sense knowing the AI, and Heavy Slam dents it down to about 40%, which is making me almost hopeful! Maybe a super crit next turn could do it before it Leech Seeds for the win?


TURN 7:
vs.


Thanks to Leech Seed + Lefties, Celesteela managed to remain relatively healthy through all this. Ludicolo goes for the Protect on this turn, which makes sense because it was also going for Surf, and the AI *loves* to Protect next to a spread move when possible. Unfortunately, that's free Lefties for Ludicolo, and free rain-boosted damage on Celesteela; I felt like I couldn't afford to give free Lefties to Ludi in case in didn't Protect, though.


TURN 8:
vs.


Ludicolo is still around 50%, which isn't too bad? And that's when the unbelievable happens... Ludicolo goes for Giga Drain?? Into Celesteela?? Not Leech Seed?? WHY???
I'm sure there's a reason, obviously, the answer to my question is somewhere in the AI's code, but from experience, that Ludicolo set loves to Leech Seed stuff, so I guess I may have gotten lucky? Anyway, that obviously does no damage, while Suicune crits Surf on Ludicolo (which also does no damage, lol), and Heavy Slam dents a big chunk further. Celesteela is now very low from the repeated rain-boosted Surfs, but Ludicolo is in the red, and will be KOd by another Heavy Slam!! Is this possible?!


TURN 9:
vs.


This turn, I'm forced to protect, because Celesteela was too low on HP, and from the previous pattern, Ludicolo was very likely to Protect from the ally Surf anyway, which is exactly what happens. However, Leftovers only take it up to low yellow HP, perhaps in range of Heavy Slam still, especially with the small Surf chip?


TURN 10:
vs.


Yup! Ludicolo goes for Giga Drain again, which makes no difference this time since it was definitely in Heavy Slam range, and just like that, the AI's wincon has come and gone, and I am left in disbelief. All it had to do, on any of these turns, is Leech Seed, and it was over.


TURN 11+:
vs.


At this point, Celesteela can spam Wide Guard to wall Suicune entirely as Leech Seed does its thing, which is exactly what I did, so I'll spare the turn-by-turn narration.

Looking back at it, other than the fact it may have been wiser to preserve Pelipper, or at least to Protect it on the turn Koko+Pelipper went down, I'm not too upset at myself for how I played it. Unlike my loss, this was very much played the way I usually would, and would have been a fitting, yet cruel ending: Celesteela Leech Seeded to death, the very way it brought despair upon its enemies for hundreds of battles...

In the end, I do take comfort in knowing this should have been a loss when I think about the actual loss and feel terrible about it.


—————————————————————

CLOSING THOUGHTS

I obviously was hoping to take the team further, but my goal was 1000, and it had been reached a while back, so I'm still happy of how far I ended up taking the team. The way I lost leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, but I guess it's a learning experience. I don't want to limit myself with categorical statements, but I don't really intend to revisit this team again. Between the many small streaks where it slowly came together and the two actual big streaks it achieved, I spent countless hours playing with it, and I've had my share. It's been fun, but I'm ready to move on to new things (spoiler alert, I already have
)!


TOUKO'S TEAM

Next, I would like to go back to some unfinished business...

[...]
As a matter of fact, I'm currently testing the team since I had these 3 Pokémon ready in my boxes and only needed to retrain them. As I write this, I'm at battle 83 and have been very impressed, I was skeptical, but it's been working better than I thought. M-Blaziken is probably underrated as a hyper-offensive option for singles, and Ferrothorn has been an absolute monster, the glue and true MVP of the team so far! I was skeptical of the 2 inaccurate moves, but misses are very rarely a big deal. Latios, on the other hand, has been handy for its resists, but feels like the weak link, both offensively and defensively. With no bulk investment, it can't repeatedly tank resisted hits, and usually finds no time to Roost, while the Z-move barely misses out on many KOs.
I have also noticed some of the criticism come into action: Ferro is indeed the go-to switch in for water-types and inevitably receives a lot of Ice Beams and Blizzards, so I can see a loss to freeze coming at some point in the future. Also, the "no backup plan" point mentioned rings very true, as sacrificing Blaziken or Latios is sometimes a necessity without knowing the last Pokémon and whether you will need them or not. But the typing synergy has been making up for it thus far, since it's often possible to find a good switch-in and preserve.

My (preliminary) opinion from these battles would be that the team would need quite a large amount of luck to reach 400, especially if movesets aren't being looked up. But there's no denying the team is pretty good (and fun!).

If anyone else is interested in a similar exercise, I made a QR code, the EVs are exactly as instructed by Touko: https://3ds.pokemon-gl.com/rentalteam/usum/BT-4AE1-8D7E

I'll report back once my streak with this team ends with any additional thoughts I will have gathered about it!
As a refresher, the team in question is the one that was featured in this post, which sparked some discussion and doubt. As promised, I'm now reporting back after the Ultra Moon Super Singles streak ended at 133 - I don't want it on the leaderboard, I just want to discuss a little more.

—————————————————————

THE TEAM

@ Blazikenite

Adamant | Speed Boost
IVs: 31/31/31/31/31/31
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpDef / 252 Spe
Flare Blitz / Superpower / Thunder Punch / Protect

@ Dragonium Z

Timid | Levitate
IVs: 31/0/31/30(HT)/31/30(HT)
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpAtk / 252 Spe
Draco Meteor / Psychic / Surf / Roost

@ Leftovers

Brave | Iron Barbs
IVs: 31/31/31/31/31/0
EVs: 252 HP / 124 Atk / 36 Def / 92 SpDef
Power Whip / Gyro Ball / Leech Seed / Protect

—————————————————————

THOUGHTS


Firstly, I want to say I believe this is actually a pretty solid singles team. I don't have a ton of experience doing singles, but got a very decent streak out of it on my first attempt, and the streak could have been higher considering the losing battle was very winnable. It's a case of a rare singles team that doesn't rely on setting up and crippling, but rather on the more "intuitive" approach (outside of Tree) of raw damage and resist-switching (not to mention what I would consider the key element of the team, Ferrothorn's Leech Seed stalling potential).

Several concerns have been raised about the team, all of which definitely make a lot of sense, so I would like to address a few of them:

- Charizard X as a lead: I haven't faced any Charizard X lead, so I can only theorize the outcome, but in front of a Charizard lead, Protect would definitely be the play. Since Charizard X already outspeeds, I would think it's very likely to go for Dragon Rush over Dragon Dance, in which case on the following turn, Blaziken outspeeds and can Superpower twice, while Charizard starts an endless loop of Dragon Dances to try and catch up to Blaziken speed-wise. However, since Dragon Rush is not a guaranteed OHKO on Blaziken, there may be a chance for it to Dragon Dance turn 1? If that were to happen, doing the switches Touko mentioned (going Ferrothorn on Dragon Rush for the Iron Barbs, then Latios on the Flare Blitz, then Ferro again, etc.) would work, but probably at Latios' cost (it can only tank 2 +1 Flare Blitzes). Depending on the backline, this could be bad.

- Mega Salamence: I actually faced 2 Mega Salamence leads, one of which I saved and mock battled several times. My conclusion is that because the AI doesn't recognize the Aerilate ability turn 1, it will always go for Earthquake in front of Blaziken, and the safest play is to instantly switch to Latios to take advantage of the fact it doesn't pick Double-Edge. Then, on Latios, it will *almost* always Dragon Rush, so on turn 2, switching to Ferrothorn is the play, for some Iron Barbs chip. Then, obviously, Protect... at this point, it will spam Double-Edge, so you're stuck in there with Ferrothorn. After the Leftovers recovery, Ferrothorn can handily tank a non-crit Double-Edge, and has a very slight chance to tank even a crit; the second Iron Barbs hit, in addition to Double-Edge recoil and this calc:
124+ Atk Ferrothorn Gyro Ball (150 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Salamence-Mega: 81-96 (47.6 - 56.4%) -- 80.9% chance to 2HKO
ensures it will either go down at the end of that exchange, leaving Ferrothorn relatively low on HP, or with enough bad luck, be extremely low, in which case the next Iron Barbs hit takes it out, but then it's a 1 for 1 trade. If Salamence turns out to be set 3, then it will try to Hydro Pump Blaziken turn 1, making the Latios initial switch very safe.

- The team has no status protection: This is a very valid concern. In the long run, I think it's bound to go down to an untimely freeze, or a lot of paralysis in a row. Ferrothorn ends up being at the forefront of all battles that drag on. During my short streak, it got frozen 3 times, but the combination of Leftovers and Leech Seed allowed me to have enough turns to finally thaw out at some point, which was obviously lucky. Sooner or later, a deadly freeze was pretty much certain to happen, especially when Ferrothorn has to take care of Water-types that spam Ice moves in front of it.

- The team has no setup moves: It might not be the common approach to Tree, and certainly sounds unviable for a very long streak at first thought, but to me this was not an issue per se, it just means playing this team won't fit the usual pattern of "find the right matchup to setup something entirely and sweep", which is the tried and proven way of getting long singles streaks. I would raise this as an issue if someone told me they wanted to get 1000 with this team, but otherwise, I don't think that matters too much.

- Inaccurate moves: I would usually agree with this, but my experience has shown otherwise. This is mostly the way I feel about Celesteela on my rain team as well; it's really not a big problem that Leech Seed isn't 100% accurate, because in the very vast majority of cases, missing doesn't matter: you get a second, third, or even fourth chance and very rarely get punished for missing. In this case, the same went for Power Whip; I missed plenty of them, but it never mattered. In the long run, enough bad luck will surely happen, but of all Pokémon, I think Ferrothorn can pull off relying on inaccurate moves. So to my experience using the team, not really an issue. Ironically, the same cannot be said of Latios' Draco Meteor. If ever, you have to rely on hitting one, it means you're probably in bad shape and missing will be extremely costly; Latios doesn't tend to get multiple chances to attack. While regular Draco is very uncommon to be used compared to Ferrothorn's inaccurate moves, I found it to be way more of a problem.

- No backup plan: Now, this is, I think, what really nails the biggest problem of this team. Because it relies on resist-switches, some trades are bound to happen. More often than not, Latios gets "wasted" to handle one Pokémon, which means if it's needed as a switch-in against the last one, well... it's not there. I'm specifically taking Latios as an example because as a matter of fact, it had extremely underwhelming bulk, which made the typing synergy with the rest of the team almost irrelevant. Moreover, using the Z-move is a big gamble, not knowing what's in the back. I very, very rarely was able get any use out of Roost, it just doesn't have the bulk to pull off this set reliably in the Tree in my opinion. Ferrothorn, on the other hand, was an absolute champion at coming out on top of 1v1s, ready for the next one - but that also meant that if it had to be sacrificed at any point, things became very shaky, once again coming back to the point of no backup plan. The team has really good synergy, but once a piece falls, things can go down like dominos, and since you can't know which last Pokémon a trainer has in the back, you can never plan accordingly, your hand is almost always forced into certain plays, certain sacrifices for the threat at hand. I often found myself thinking "welp, here's hoping I won't need this Pokémon in the future!".

- No knowledge of the Tree sets: And here is, in my opinion, the nail in the coffin of the claimed streak. While I firmly believe that team is solid and could - with some luck - reach a number like 400, I don't think it's possible at all without looking up sets. I went into this not wanting to look up any sets to get the "real" experience of the claim, but I simply couldn't. Firstly, I already know several of the sets, so this would be some kind of "cheating" already, but in addition, I quickly realized the team's potential heavily relied on looking up sets. The Tree sets have a lot of unusual, surprising moves that can and will screw you if you're not expecting them. That team, in particular, has absolutely no margin of error when it comes to those. You leave a Pokémon on an unexpected move, and suddenly, a crucial piece of the equation is lost; not only that, but most likely the piece you thought was the answer to what you're currently facing. This takes the "no backup plan" point to the next level, because without looking up sets, you can't make any sort of reliable prediction. Relying on generic competitive knowledge doesn't work out for Tree, at least not in the long run, because the Tree has too many unconventional sets. The Mega Salamence plan I outlined, for example, relies entirely on not only knowing the moveset, but AI behavior as well, and that kind of stuff came into play almost every single battle. I don't believe I could even have reached 100 without looking up sets, it's the one thing that allowed the synergy of the team to come into play and shine. Thus, from my personal experience, I would have an extremely hard time believing this team got above 400 without any knowledge of the Tree sets, without looking them up, and without doing calcs.

Which makes for a pretty good transition to the losing battle, because as it turns out, a move took me by surprise...

—————————————————————


THE LOSS // 134 vs. ACE TRAINER LEVI (YQMG-WWWW-WWX2-VK9A)



I managed to choke this battle not once, but twice!

TURN 1:
vs.


Arcanine has Intimidate, so I have no chance to OHKO, and the -1 Def from Superpower actually makes any hit + Extreme Speed KO - not to mention, it can go for All-Out Pummelling if set 4. The obvious switch-in is Latios.

TURN 2:
vs.


Arcanine is set 4 and does go for All-Out Pummelling, doing about half to Latios.

TURN 3:
vs.


First misplay, and it's a big one! I decided to Roost with Latios, since I thought it walled Arcanine (I didn't check the sets and only went from memory - Flare Blitz, Close Combat, E-Speed... what was the 4th move again? Probably irrelevant, I never see it...). News flash, it doesn't! Arcanine has Crunch, and does over half to Latios, making me regret going for Roost.

TURN 4:
vs.


New plan! Never mind the fact I could have Z-moved Arcanine on the spot and gotten rid of it, for some reason, I had a real brain fart, and decided I needed to take advantage of that next Crunch to get some Iron Barbs chip on Arcanine and put it in range of Superpower; the plan being to switch Blaziken in on the Flare Blitz Arcanine would target at Ferrothorn. That's a good plan, right? Why Z-Draco didn't cross my mind, I'll never know! Ferrothorn tanks the Crunch, gets the Iron Barbs chip.


TURN 5:
vs.


Well obviously I'm not going to switch right back out, I need to Protect for my extra Leftovers! That's Ferrothorn 101, duh!


TURN 6:
vs.


On the switch, Blaziken takes a hefty 40+% from Flare Blitz. But it's in Superpower range! I swear, I'll get through this Arcanine, somehow!


TURN 7:
vs.


Go, Superpower! Oh no... Arcanine outspeeds... what the heck? Obviously, this is my second misplay, and this one cost me the game. I expected M-Blaziken to outspeed. It doesn't. I had no reason not to Protect for the Speed Boost, other than laziness, and I got slapped hard for it. Arcanine is Jolly 252, you fool, you're Adamant, you fool! Arcanine Close Combats Blaziken for the KO. There goes my unnecessary 200 IQ plan. (Side-note: Arcanine actually crit Close Combat there, and without the crit, it never KOd. That's not an excuse at all, since in any case, Protecting was the play, but I guess it adds salt to the wound?).


TURN 8:
vs.


Somehow, it feels like I made a convoluted circle to come back to the starting point. I wonder if Surf will KO after the Close Combat? Looks like it's a roll, just like Psychic... WAIT! THE Z-MOVE! This is the where I realized how dumb I had been. I could, and obviously should, have just nuked it from the very beginning. Well... better late than never?


TURN 9:
vs.


Uh oh, I'm pretty sure I needed Blaziken to beat this. No, actually, I'm very sure I needed Blaziken to beat this. Well, let's... click Surf? Because I really have no better play, and the "Super effective" feature is luring me like a beginner that clicks Earthquake on Rotom. Surf does about half, Volcarona Bug Buzzes, Latios is down.


TURN 10:
vs.


That's not an ideal matchup for Ferrothorn. Among the possible bad matchups, I'd say it's definitely somewhere up there. Luckily, there may be a tiny bit of hope, since Volcarona has Heat Wave! Oh... I guess they never miss, huh?

And thus ended my adventure with the team, granted, a bit prematurely because of terrible play. While the turn 2 play of Roost, in my opinion, would have made sense to anyone who doesn't know the Tree sets, switching out instead of going for Z-Draco really is inexcusable.


This concludes post #1 (out of 4, if things go as planned, which they may not!). I would love to do some shout outs, but I don't want to constantly tag people, so I will do these at the end of the 4th post, which I'm hoping will be the best of the bunch!

Until the next one, thanks a lot for reading!
:heart:
 
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