Darwinian Theory: UU Edition Round 4

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Ace Emerald

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Credit for DTC for the idea and OP.

What is This?

Welcome to UU Survival of the Fittest. In this interactive project, there are two teams pitted against each other. You have to try to figure out which team has a better chance of winning against the other team. There are multiple factors you should consider when trying to figure out which team has a better chance of winning, including but not limited to weaknesses to opposing Pokemon, ease in prediction, and dependency on luck factors.

This will also work like a BOTW of sorts. While the rounds are taking place, people may nominate players to battle against each other with one of the two teams. Post which player you would like to see battle in this thread, but that post must have other content otherwise it is null and void. If you do not have a chance to make a post with sufficient content, you may VM me your nomination. A week after the last set of teams was posted, a poll that will last two days will be put up with the nominated players. After that ends, the two teams will battle and then the cycle will repeat.

Point System

There will be a point system involved in this. Whoever has the most points whenever I (or a UU mod) decide to close or suspend this project wins. If you win, you will earn a spot in the Hall of Fame. There may be some other goodies down the line for you as well.

How to get points:
  • Predict which team is going to win right.
  • Be one of the battlers and win the battle.
  • Win the subjective "master debater" award.

All of those reward you one point each.

If you consistently get jipped out of points because of luck, you know who to complain to.

Master Debater Award

Whoever makes the most convincing arguments in any given week will win the best debater award. If you win this award, you will be granted a point. Do note that this award is subjective, and that kokoloko, RT, and I will decide on the winner.

kokoloko: 4
TPO3: 3
Metal Sonic: 3
Ernesto: 3
Queen of Randoms: 2
Silenced: 2
Santuga: 2
Pocket: 1
Bad Ass: 1
JabbaTheGriffin: 1
/B/utterfree: 1
Pokemazter: 1
tehy: 1

Ace Emerald

Minimal effort with maximum profit
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Top Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
Lanturn @ Choice Specs
Trait: Volt Absorb
EVs: 252 SAtk / 148 Spd / 108 HP
Modest Nature
- Hydro Pump
- Volt Switch
- Ice Beam
- Thunderbolt

Crobat @ Leftovers
Trait: Inner Focus
EVs: 176 HP / 136 Spd / 4 SDef / 192 Atk
Jolly Nature
- Brave Bird
- Taunt
- U-turn
- Roost

Virizion @ Lum Berry
Trait: Justified
EVs: 252 Spd / 252 Atk / 4 HP
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Close Combat
- Leaf Blade
- Stone Edge

Golurk @ Leftovers
Trait: Iron Fist
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 HP / 4 SDef
Adamant Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Fire Punch
- Shadow Punch

Flygon @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Levitate
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spd / 4 SDef
Jolly Nature
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- U-turn
- Dragon Claw

Zapdos @ Life Orb
Trait: Pressure
EVs: 252 Spd / 252 SAtk / 4 HP
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Heat Wave
- Hidden Power [Grass]
- Roost

Raikou @ Leftovers
Trait: Pressure
EVs: 252 Spd / 252 SAtk / 4 HP
Timid Nature
- Substitute
- Calm Mind
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Ice]

Shaymin @ Life Orb
Trait: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd
Timid Nature
- Seed Flare
- Earth Power
- Psychic
- Rest

Swampert @ Leftovers
Trait: Torrent
EVs: 252 Def / 240 HP / 16 Atk
Relaxed Nature
- Earthquake
- Scald
- Stealth Rock
- Toxic

Heracross @ Choice Band
Trait: Guts
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 HP / 4 SDef
Adamant Nature
- Close Combat
- Megahorn
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake

Cobalion @ Life Orb
Trait: Justified
EVs: 252 Spd / 252 Atk / 4 HP
Jolly Nature
- Close Combat
- Stone Edge
- Swords Dance
- X-Scissor

Rotom-Heat @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Levitate
EVs: 252 SAtk / 252 Spd / 4 SDef
Timid Nature
- Overheat
- Thunderbolt
- Volt Switch
- Trick
In my opinion, this is probably one of the most balanced rounds, so this one should be very interesting to discuss.

I am putting my vote on Team 1 because it fares a good offensive match up against Team 2, while having direct checks to every single Pokemon in Team 2. Although Cobalion may seem annoying, Team 1 has a full stop in the form of Golurk, and there's also the possibility to win the Speed tie. Team 2, however, struggles to deal with Zapdos and Virizion seeing as the best check to them both would be Rotom-H which is Choice-locked, insanely walled by Lanturn and weak to Stealth Rock. Once Rotom is down (and Cobalion, but to a lesser extent) both those threats can wreak havoc on Team 2. Flygon is also a nifty addition for Team 1 because it is the fastest Pokemon of the battle, getting the very sweet Speed jump on Cobalion and Rotom-H. Unless Team 2 has a really good player behind it and probably high-risk - high-reward predictions, Team 1 has the game

Metal Sonic

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I think team 1 will win.

Because Virizion sweep. Scarf Flygon also KOs Rotom-H, Cobalion and also Raikou.

I am not expecting to win master debater prize(because when I do put in effort I dont get) :(


Never practice; Always perform.
I like Team 2's chances in this game. SubCM HP Ice Raikou just runs circles around around it. (Fun Fact: 5 of team 1's pokemon are weak to Ice.) Overall, I think this makes the standard Raikou counters much easier to wear down. In addition, Shaymin's only real safe switch in is Zapdos, since Psychic is pretty scary for Crobat. This makes it a lot easier to get Raikou in safely, as Zapdos doesn't have the power to just U-turn out of whatever the incoming counter is. Raikou can also just double switch into either of them pretty easily, as nothing else can even dream about switching in consistently. You can try your luck with Virizion, but it's weak to Psychic, it doesn't have Roost, and it's also Team 1's biggest advantage over team 2 IMO, so that makes it hard to just switch it into what could possibly be an impending Psychic and/or SpDef drop.

Now don't get me wrong, this won't be an easy match by any stretch of the imagination. SD Virizion, while not normally the best sweeper, actually has a good matchup against most of team 2. Heracross is the only thing that can switch in repetitively. In addition, Specs Lanturn getting just 1 good prediction in the game pretty much means it gets to kill something. Overall though, I just think it's way to easy to get Raikou in safely, and having 5 pokemon weak to HP Ice is just going to be too much. I think Team 2 wins in a game that comes down to the wire.

EDIT: uh nominating DestinyUnknown and FlareBlitz. Because I think we're supposed to do this with our discussion. (and I also have no memory of who played last time.)
I apologize in advance should my trail of thought wander off, but there will probably be a lot f back and forth.

At first glance it looks like a very balanced match up (considering the fact that both Teams are more or less the same type of Balance-Offense team, it's not that suprising), but when looking more precisely at each poke's interactions with each other, Team 1 does look a tad bit superior to me, but Team 2 can still win this with proper judgment.

Specs Lanturn / Standard Crobat / LumSD Virizion / Standard Golurk / Scarf Flygon / LO Zapdos

SubCM Raikou / LO Shaymin / Defensive Swampert / CB Heracross / LOSD Cobalion / Scarf Rotom-H

Previous text wall which is totally confusing (which is why I scrapped it):
First of all: Let's look at team's win conditions:

Team 1 has Flygon and Zapdos, both of which are very fast Pokemon capable of hitting hard right of the bat. Then there is a fast set-up sweeper in Virizion.

Team 2 has Rotom-H, Shaymin and Cobalion, each of them having the exact same roles as Team1's Flygon, Zapdos and Virizion (heck, both set-up sweepers even have the same speed)

So what is the one big difference in this (roughly equally designed) "core"? The answer is simple (imo): the scarfer(s).

Both teams' scarfers serve as an emergency out to each others' set-up sweepers. But while Rotom-H can cleanly OHKO Virizion thanks to Overheat's massive 140 Base Power, Flygon's EQ won't be able to KO Cobalion without either prior damage (at least 30% to be perfectly safe) or Close Combat's defense drop.
To compensate for that, Team 1 has Golurk which completely walls Cobalion, while being able to set SR at the same time. Team 2 doesn't have such luxury. If Rotom-H dies, Virizion will be able to OHKO every member of Team 2 with the appropriate move after SR. Raikou is cleanly OHKO'd by a +2 Leaf Blade so Virizion doesn't even have to rely on CC for that particular matchup, while it takes only about 40% from an unboosted HP Ice (It will need to rely on Stone Edge for Heracross though, not to mention the speed tie with Cobalion).

Speaking of Stealth Rocks: SR are a HUGE factor in this matchup: It severely limits Rotom-H's amount of switch-ins, especially when coming in on Zapdos to check it. More importantly, Rotom-H is Team2's scarfer, meaning that the sooner it is out of the way, the easier it is for Virizion to do work. Now do note that Team 1's scarfer actually resists SR so its longliv ... longvie ... whatever that word is spelled (you know what I mean) as a potent revenge killer is much greater.
Of course SR also severely cripples both Crobat and Zapdos but there are a few things to be considered: For instance, both Crobat and Zapdos have access to reliable recovery AND are able to safely switch into certain pokemon, namely Heracross (locked into either of its STABs OR EQ) and Shaymin respectively.


Okay you know what, this is taking forever to analyze each and every goddamn little thing, I'll just do it like that:

Team 1

Specs Lanturn
checks: Raikou (Hydro Pump will break even +2 SDef Subs, heck even Surf does), Rotom-H.

is checked by: Shaymin, Heracross, Swampert.

additional notes:

  • Lanturn's EV spread allows it to outspeed 0 Spe Heracross by 1 point, meaning that it can potentially KO both Heracross and Swampert if those two are below 75% with Hydro Pump.
  • Rotom-H can cripple Lanturn with Trick, more on that later.
  • Hydro Pump can miss (duh)
  • Hydro Pump can be PP stalled by Raikou (VERY IMPORTANT), which is why I personally would advise Surf in this particular scenario, but that's another story.
Standard Crobat
checks: Heracross, Shaymin, Swampert (more on that later)

is checked by: Raikou, Swampert, Rotom-H

additional notes:

  • Dies to CB Heracross' Stone Edge
  • Dies to LO Shaymin's Psychic after SR (I knew without even calcing, I'm such a nerd!)
  • Doesn't like getting burned by Scald
  • When SR are not yet up, Crobat can threaten Swampert with Taunt, and U-Turn into Virizion or Zapdos instead, both of which can threaten Swampert with an OHKO, and thus effectively prevent SR from getting set up.
  • When SR are up, Crobat no longer keeps Swampert at bay but vice versa. (As I said, SR are THAT important!)
  • BUT: important to note is the fact that Swampert is still a very reliable switch in against Standard Crobat so if Team 1 can keep up its momentum, Swampert will have a very hard time getting SR set up.
LumSD Virizion
checks: Swampert

is checked by: Heracross

additional notes:

  • Can't actually OHKO Swampert reliably (only about 25%) without some prior Damage (Crobat's U-Turn will do about 12%, half of which will be healed by Lefties, making the OHKO a rough 50/50 slighly in favor of Virizion)
  • Takes "only" 40% from unboosted HP Ice from Raikou (assuming no SDef drops from CC), while OHKOing with +2 Leaf Blade
  • Should be glad that Crobat is not on the opposing team (LOL)
Standard Golurk
checks: Cobalion, Heracross, Raikou (without sub at +1 or lower)

is checked by: Shaymin, Swampert, Rotom-H, Raikou (when below 40% HP)

additional notes:

  • takes about 80% from Raikou's +1 HP Ice
  • deals about 50% to Rotom-H with Shadow Punch, will get OHKO'd by Overheat though
  • Heracross 2HKO's with EQ, even when accounting Lefties
  • +2 Cobalions LO Stone Edge deals 34% - 40%, X-Scissor deals 28% - 33%. Keep these numbers in mind when trying to check Cobalion
Scarf Flygon
checks: Raikou (without Sub), Cobalion, Shaymin (only below 50%), Rotom-H (IMPORTANT fact imo)

is checked by: Swampert, Rotom-H and Shaymin (if locked into EQ in case of the latter two)

additional notes:

  • Can't kill Cobalion without either prior damage or CC's Def drop
  • Can effortlessly switch into Team2's Rotom-H (3 STAB moves + Trick Scarf), thus being a secondary check to Rotom-H without risking the scarf being tricked onto Lanturn.
  • TAKES 4 times less damage from SR than Team 2's scarfer
LO Zapdos
checks: Shaymin, Swampert, Heracross (below 85%), Cobalion (unboosted)

is checked by: Heracross (at full HP), Cobalion (when below 70%), Rotom-H (when below 75%)

additional notes:

  • Heracross will live one Heat Wave at full HP and OHKO with Stone Edge
  • Cobalion's LO Stone Edge at +0 deals up to 73% or something around that number
  • There is a 28% chance of getting OHKO'd by Overheat after SR, which means 100% when counting in one Life Orb hit. When at full HP, Overheat can't kill Zapdos, which could make Rotom-H more likely to go for Trick instead.
  • Can actually die to Shaymin if it switches into a Seed Flare (+ SR damage), catches a SDef drop and
    • subsequently wins the speed tie next turn while going for Roost whereas Shaymin fires off an Earth Power
    • subsequently loses the speed tie next turn while Shaymin hits with with either Seed Flare or Psychic

Team 2

SubCM Raikou
checks: Crobat; Lanturn, Golurk, Virizion and Flygon (see additional notes for these four)

is checked by: Lanturn, Flygon, Golurk

additional notes:

  • Checks Lanturn locked into Tbolt (never gonna happen in this matchup), but Ice Beam won't be able to break +2 Subs
  • Can completely PP Stall Lanturn's Hydro Pump (very important)
  • Can check Flygon locked into Dragon Claw
  • Can check both Golurk and Virizion when those are below 40%
LO Shaymin
checks: Lanturn, Golurk

is checked by: Crobat, Zapdos, Flygon

additional notes:

  • Seed Flare can miss (duh)
  • KO's Crobat with Psychic after SR
  • Takes about 43% from Flygon's U-Turn and 53% from Outrage
  • Takes about 65 % from Golurk's Fire Punch
Defensive Swampert
checks: Lanturn, Crobat, Golurk, Flygon

is checked by: Lanturn (see additional notes), Crobat (indirectly, see additional notes), Virizion, Zapdos

additional notes:

  • Lanturn deals up to 70% with Hydro Pump, and has only a 20% chance of getting OHKO'd by EQ. In a directy 1 on 1 match up, Lanturn win's with a tiny bit of HP left (not enough to switch into SR because EQ's min damage is 88,28%)
  • As for the interaction with Crobat: see above
  • Virizion actually also has only a 20% chance of OHKOing Swampert, but Swampert can't do that much in return
  • Takes about 30% from Brave Bird
CB Heracross
checks: Virizion, Lanturn, Flygon, Zapdos

is checked by: Crobat, Lanturn, Golurk, Flygon, Zapdos

additional notes:

  • The extra HP investment allows it to take a Hydro Pump or Heat Wave while OHKOing back with the appropriate move (tanking one Outrage is a given)
  • cleanly 2HKOs Golurk with EQ
  • takes 59% - 69% from +2 Virizion's Stone Edge
  • Can't switch into anything outside of Virizion, making it more of a revenge killer sorf of check. Moreover, after 2 SR switch ins, it can't really check anything anymore.
LO SD Cobalion
checks: nothing really ... maybe Crobat

is checked by: Lanturn, Crobat, Golurk, Flygon, Zapdos

additional notes:

  • Lanturn has a 46% chance of OHKOing with Hydro Pump
  • Crobat deals only about 25% with Brave Bird, but Cobalion will probably just attack right away instead of risking getting taunted
  • Can't to jack shit to Golurk
  • As for interaction with Flygon, see above
  • Will be threatened with an OHKO by Zapdos if at +0
Scarf Rotom-H
checks: Crobat, Zapdos, Golurk, Virizion, Flygon (locked into EQ)

is checked by: Lanturn, Flygon

additional notes:

  • SR weak + no recovery
  • Can cripple Lanturn with Trick, but can't get around it regardless, loses the war of attrition courtesy of its own Fire-typing
  • Flygon can switch without fear into this set
  • Shadow Punch deals about 50%
Overall, Team 1 has less "deadweights" than Team 2, simply for the fact that neither Heracross nor Cobalion can really switch into anything due to being either too slow or just useless when brought out too early.
While Heracross can easily switch into Virizion, Team 2 doesn't have any real Virizion bait; well Swampert actually does lure in Virizion but it is more likely that Zapdos will just come in and forcing Rotom-H to switch into SR or something like that.
BUT one must not forget the fact that Lanturn can be easily PP stalled by Raikou due to Pressure. But is Raikou's ability to play around Lanturn enough to give Team 2 a huge advantage over Team 1? I really do think it comes down to the wire and the better decision-making by the respective players, seeing as how both teams' playstyles are more or less the same.

That being said, I still think that Team 1 has an advantage due to having more immediate answers to Team 2's pokes but Team 1 has only one reliable switch in to Raikou which Raikou can play around as I already mentioned. I think Team 2 needs to focus on getting that Raikou set up in order to win ... or just smash faces with CB Heracross, which takes a good amount of prediction, not to mention even finding a chance of bringing Heracross in safely without sac'ing something (which is imo a really bad thing to do in a Balance-oriented team)

As for nominating players: ... I don't really care as I believe everyone participating in this discussion should be a reasonable and experienced enough player

edit: it took me 2 hours to make this post ~~ I was really into it so you better acknowledge this piece of tl;dr I slapped in here Q_Q
ace emerald asked me to bump this, i'm not being a dumb

I simply looked at each team and pretended I was the player to come to this judgment: I think Team 1 will win.

Team 1's plan is straightforward: Set up rocks early, force switches to Rotom, sweep with Virizion when Rotom falls.

The hardest part by far of team 1's game will be the setting of SR itself. Golurk can only set easily on Hera and Coballs, and try as I might, I simply can't come up with a situation in which i can force a predictable double-switch to either of those two Pokemon. Ironically, those two Pokemon being dead weight is the only thing standing in the way of team 1's easy victory. I could also set against Swampert, though not without sustaining heavy damage. Still, SR being of paramount importance to the game plan, i would set it as soon as I have golurk in on pert/cobal/hera. I can't set against Raikou for fear of it setting up (rather would eq), or against Shaymin or Rotom-H for fear of being KOed first.

Once i have rocks up, I would simply bobble switches between Crobat, Virizion, Zapdos and Flygon trying to lure Rotom-H. Lanturn shits all over rotom-h, who is afraid to trick and be outsped by virizion (if that happens, gg). I'd double switch to Virizion whenever i get a Lanturn/Rotom-H matchup, since H is forced to switch (overheat at -2 is doing piddlydickets, and then rizi sweeps). Once I've gotten Rotom-H pretty low, it's as simple as killing it with Rizi and proceeding to a sweep.

My biggest concerns with this team would be the two Pokemon with very limited switch-ins: Shaymin and Heracross. Either one, when in, threatens to KO literally any team member of mine, which means keeping them from getting free switches is crucial to winning. Fortunately, Zapdos threatens both of them, as does Virizion at +2. Flygon, Lanturn, and Crobat all have VolTurn and should be spamming it when in. If i give these guys too many free switches, though, I'm done.

Another worry would be Coballs. Golurk might be crippling himself to set rocks—a sac i'm willing to make. Like Hera, coballs has a hard time getting a free switch. But he does threaten to sweep if entirely healthy, and flygon can't ohko. If opponent is smart, they won't bring Cobalion in to tank hits, ever. But chipping him down if he tries to sweep shouldn't be too hard thanks to his choice of item and Crobat still outspeeding and roosting like a (BAN ME PLEASE).

If i were playing as Team 2, i'd know i'm in a tough spot from the start. My plan, in a nutshell, would be to force Team 1 onto the back foot, so it can't lure Rotom-H, by playing aggressively with Heracross and Shaymin.

Early game, i'll try to set up SR. Ironically, like team 1 will most likely be setting against Swampert, team 2 will probably set against Golurk. After that, my play would revolve around putting pressure on Team 1 to make predictions with as many double switches as possible to Heracross. This'll be hard, since Team 2 has three VoltTurn users and no reason to double switch with Virizion, so double switches will be rare. Virizion, Flygon, and Lanturn are too important to team 1 for countering things, and since I'll aim to cripple Golurk on the set, i'll probably just end up using Stone Edge. If I can get a numbers advantage on team 1 early, I could win. My other option for early-game pressure is to bring in Shaymin; while he is more reliably beaten by Zap, he has recovery and more speed, and can 2hko zap if it wins a speed tie and either gets the drop with seed flare or predicts and psychics. Cobalion/Raikou might be useful to apply pressure, but overall i think these two are gonna be carrying the match. I have to look out for: well, i covered most of it with team 1's descriptions. I can't let myself switch passively, basically, and i have to make sure i never make myself open to a Virizion switch, since it'll be a downhill domino from there.

In summary, both teams are playing the same game—get up rocks early, maintain switch advantage. However, it'll be easier for Team 1 to recover from a minor stumble. Unless team 2 makes a nice predict that knocks out a Pokemon on team 1's team before team 1 can get Rocks up, they'll probably be on the back foot. For that reason, I'm going with team 1.

Ace Emerald

Minimal effort with maximum profit
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Top Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
Hey, if anyone is still interested in this project I'm more than happy to continue it. Any suggestions will be taken as well. If not I'll probably just shut it down.
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