Monotype Premier League VII - Power Rankings
Written by Decem
, and Zarif
Rankings done by managers from each team, with major help from Ticken
1. Dreamyard Darkrais
Kev (2), Kaguya Lys (10), maroon (13)
Despite their star and main SS player and manager Floss deciding to slot himself in Bo3, the Darkrais SS core led by Tier Leader Kev top the SS rankings by a significant margin. Following a combined 8-4 record in MWCoP and MWP albeit not all of it being in SS Monotype, Kev is expected to remain consistent and put up another great record. Paired with Kev for a second consecutive year is Darkrais retain Kaguya Lys, who has been consistently racking up multiple good records behind the scene for a combined 8-5 record over the past 3 team tours. Rounding off the core is former manager maroon trying his hand at SS after two seasons as a full time ORAS starter. While his SS experience might be limited, given his recent success in MWP and MWCoP he should not have any problem replicating that success with proper support. All in all, with four solid builders and players, the Darkrais should easily end the season with one of the best overall SS records, provided the multiple voices do not clash too often in the builder.
2. Goldenrod Gengars
dahli (1), Confide (8), LightScreener (21)
The Gengars find themselves 2nd in the SS rankings, sporting the best SS player in the pool in dahli as well as another top player in Confide. dahli has proven himself to be one of the best Monotype players over the last couple of years, having a combined record of 25-7 over his last five tours and a record of 6-2 in SS. Confide is also a force to be reckoned with, a top lower tiers player who has gone 5-1 in SS during MPL VI and MWP III. LightScreener rounds out the dangerous SS core, a DOU and ladder player hailing from the Spanish forums who is relatively unproven in Mono tours. The Gengars will be relying on dahli and Chaitanya to support the other two SS players with teams, given their inexperience in building Monotype.
3. Trick House Treeckos
Shiba (7), yedla (11), King Choco (14)
The Treeckos are 3rd in the SS rankings, with a well-rounded core that sees their 'worst' player ranked 14. Shiba is an experienced lower tiers player who has made a name for himself in Monotype, being an integral part of the Centiskorchers' MWP title run where he went 6-2 in SS. yedla is a French player who has been steadily improving in Monotype, making waves with his Circuit semi-finals run. King Choco is another good Monotype player who has gone 10-7 in SS over the last 3 team tours, and will be looking to repeat his strong performances here as well. The Treeckos will be hoping their SS core, ranked highest from all their slots, will be a key part of their aim to win MPL.
4. Blackthorn Bucks
kythr (5), Meta (9), TeamCharm (22)
The Bucks find themselves middle of the SS rankings, with three players who have experience in Mono and other tiers making up their SS core. kythr burst onto the scene last MPL, and has produced a 10-7 record in SS as well as results in other tiers, like winning the LC ribbon. Meta has been a staple of Monotype tours since MWCOP I, with his versatility enabling him to play different gens. He will be looking to improve on his 10-9 SS record so far, however. TeamCharm, the third piece of the Bucks' SS core, has not played in a Monotype tour previously but had a strong run in Grand Slam, reaching the finals of NU Open. kythr, Meta, and TeamCharm will also enjoy support from Decem, one of the premier SS builders.
5. Tohjo Falls Thunders
Conflux (4), Fylkir Pudin (15), Gtcha (19)
The Thunders have a good SS core, spearheaded by Conflux, who is one of the top builders and players in SS but will be looking to translate his ability into tangible results after picking up a 9-12 record in SS so far. Fylkir Pudin's low price and ranking is a surprise, given that he is the defending Monotype ribbon winner, but part of that is due to the belief that he is better suited to individual tours than team tours. Gtcha is the final piece of this trio, a tour player who picked up 2 wins in his debut Mono tour (MWCOP II) and will be looking to keep building his successes.
6. Meteor Falls Miniors
Maki (3), umbry (18), Fardin (23)
The Miniors' SS ends up near the bottom of the rankings, due to the lack of experience of two of its players in Monotype. They will be heavily relying on Maki, a top player in SS Monotype who started making a name for himself last MPL and has racked up a 11-4 record in SS, to pick up consistent wins and provide support to his two teammates in umbry and Fardin. umbry is a tour player who is making their debut in Mono tours, while Fardin is an Ubers main who will be doing the same. The success of the Miniors SS will likely be reliant on Maki, although Attribute as well as the managers can lessen his building load by helping out.
7. Hearthome Honchkrows
Padox (12), Skysolo (16), Rinda (17)
The Honchkrows, while lacking a standout SS player, showcase a well-rounded core of Padox, Skysolo, and Rinda. Padox, the highest ranked player from the group, is a tour player who debuted in MWCOP II and put up a good 3-2 record on Europe. Skysolo is an Ubers main and Monotype vet who was an integral part to the Miniors identity, and will be looking to do well in SS, a tier he has less experience in. Rinda, a French Monotype main, made a name for himself in MWCOP II and finished with a 3-1 record, and the other two will also be relying on building support for him. While the Krows have a well-rounded core, they will require the help of Isza as well as Rinda in order to ensure they bring solid teams.
8. Bell Tower Braves
TJ (6), tko (20), trace (24)
The Braves SS trio finishes last in the rankings, and will be hoping they can produce better results than what is expected of them. TJ is the best SS player from the three, a PU main with experience in official tours as well as previous Mono tours experience, sporting a 5-2 SS record. The Braves will be counting on him to produce good results in order to succeed. tko, an LC main who performed well in Mono LC during MWP II, is unproven in SS and will be relying on building support. trace also falls into this category, an LC main with experience in BW Monotype in past tours (highlight performance being a 4-1 record in MWCOP I) but inexperienced in SS. This trio will be relying on the manager Jolly Togekiss to supply high quality teams to defy expectations.
1. Dreamyard Darkrais (T)
Zap (2), Catalystic (7)
Zap and Catalystic start off the SM pool as the highest ranked players, being only tied with Pak and Xiri from the Blackthorn Bucks. Coming in second overall, Zap is mostly known for his SM Monotype playing in Monotype tournaments, with a large playing history spanning back to MPL 3. He's also currently active as Monotype TL and council. Catalystic, while not being as active as Zap in the community, is a long time player of Monotype team tournaments as well and will benefit off of Zap's support in SM.
1. Blackthorn Bucks (T)
Pak (1), Xiri (8)
Despite not being a builder Pak is known for having a phenomenal record as a SM player in Monotype team tournaments, going 7-2 in the previous iteration of MPL. Xiri is known as a decent player throughout the years as well. The success of this SM core lies in the team's ability to support these two SM slots since neither of these players build. However, if the Blackthorn Bucks find adequate team support, then Pak and Xiri will preform without a doubt.
3. Hearthome Honchkrows (T)
QWILY (3), Kenix (11)
Next up, we have two tournament players in QWILY and Kenix. QWILY is known for having a phenomonal SM record in Monotype WCOP on team Europe, albeit with Leru's support. Despite not having Leru's support this tournament, he seems to have grasped the depths of the SM Monotype metagame, not to mention Hearthome Honchkrows have a good form of SM support in Isza. Similarly to QWILY, Kenix is also a tournament player, but is new to Monotype with this iteration of MPL being his first time playing it which is why he's ranked so low. However, he is known as a solid OU player so he shouldn't have trouble adjusting to the format.
3. Goldenrod Gengars (T)
trash (4), Alpha Rabbit (10)
trash has a history of playing SM Monotype in previous iterations of MPL and has put up good performances each time. Contrary to his name, he's known as an overall consistent player. The same is true for Alpha Rabbit, albeit slightly more inconsistent than trash, which leads to him being ranked lower in the strong SM pool.
5. Bell Tower Braves (T)
Harpp (5), Mateeus (16)
The Braves have quite the interesting SM lineup. On one hand you have Harpp being ranked at #5 who is council and has played the format consistently in the past, most notably his impressive 7-1 record in Monotype WCOP 1 and MPL 4. On the other hand, you have Mateeus, who is a newer face in the community in terms of tournament playing, having only debuted last MPL playing the same tier. While he wasn't impressive then, going 0-4 while making a lot of misplays, his playing ceiling is very high when he's relaxed and has begun to win games in tournaments following that because of it. Being ranked last isn't the greatest, but if Mateeus calms himself down then he definitely has the potential to preform well.
5. Tohjos Falls Thunders (T)
Splash (6), Leo (15)
Splash has never been super big in SM Monotype tournament play, mainly dabbling in other tiers such as SS and ORAS. This MPL marks his first appearance playing the tier in MPL, which will be interesting to see. However, he does know the metagame quite well, being active during the time period in which it was current generation and having tournament experience in it elsewhere, most notably putting up an impressive record in LTPL. Leo is a newer face to the Monotype community which explains him being ranked low, but he's known as a solid OU player which means he definitely has the potential to preform well if his motivation is high provided his skill should transfer here.
7. Meteor Falls Miniors
Eternally (9), Vaboh (13)
Eternally and Vaboh are both newcomers to SM Monotype, which results in them both being ranked low. Eternally played ORAS Monotype to decent success 2 MPLs back to good success, so if his motivation is high for this tournament he can definitely put up good records in SM. Vaboh is new to Monotype in general, but has had success in SM OU and should pick up the tier easily despite being ranked low as SM Monotype is similar to SM OU in terms of sequences. It's important to note that this pair, despite being new to the tier, have phenomenal support in the form of Leru, DugZa, and Attribute.
8. Trick House Treeckos
LuckyPiper (12), ArkenCiel (14)
Last in the rankings, we have LuckyPiper and ArkenCiel playing SM for the Treeckos. LuckyPIper's playing can be inconsistent at times when nerves mix in combined with his motivation to do well, so his success this tournament will mainly depend on his mentality. ArkenCiel is an old player and recently came back to compete this MPL. He could be crusty as he has not played Pokemon for a long ass time before this and wasn't particularly impressive the last time he played.
1. Meteor Falls Miniors
Coming in hot as the number 1 rank is Cell who's known for being one of the main champions and contributors for the format in recent years. Cell finished last MPL off with an admirable 4-1 record but came up short in the most recent World Cup at 1-2. His main advantage comes in with prep, placing his best foot forward in crafting well-built compositions and putting the effort in scouting and EV spread creation. However, after his string of the mediocre 1-2 performance in World Cup, being revoked as a manager, and stepping down from Mono ORAS contributions, his motivation is in question so we shall see if these hamper his motivation throughout the tournament.
2. Goldenrod Gengars
After a respectable 5-3 performance all the way back in MPL V, OU mainstay and NU TL Finchinator returns to leave his mark in ORAS Monotype once again after skipping MPL VI and finds himself ranked 2nd. Despite the last time he played the tier being Mega Medicham era, he should be able to settle in rather quickly thanks to the solid support on his team. On top of having the same support in former teammates Chaitanya and dahli that helped pave the way for respectable showing in MPL V, he also has additional support from ORAS main and manager izaya which should be more than sufficient to recreate the same magic from MPL V, for a great record.
3. Bell Tower Braves
As a player, lax easily ranks among the best of the best. However, unfortunately as of late the same cannot be said about his reputation as a teammate in Monotype team tournaments. After more or less cancering in both MPL VI and MWCoP II back to back, many questions remain about his motivation and if history will repeat itself yet again in MPL VII for a 3peat. lax has also not touched ORAS Monotype in ages and while typically this should not be a concern for a player of his caliber, the ORAS support the Braves have to offer leaves much to be desired. That being said, as one of the most skilled players currently, if the managers can somehow make it work and provide solid teams week after week and keep lax motivated, he can easily finish the tour with one of the best records in the tournament and successfully dominate the pool.
4. Hearthome Honchkrows
Despite having only dabbled in individual Monotype tournaments occasionally, jonfilch finds himself ranked rather highly in his Monotype team tournament debut. As he has next to 0 experience in ORAS Monotype, there is no saying how well he will adapt to ORAS Monotype but thanks to his proficiency in his home tier, ORAS OU, expectations can be high and with top ORAS Monotype mains in Isza, Wanka, and Sae supporting him he should easily have solid teams provided week in, week out. While his motivation for the tournament as a whole may be questionable, being surrounded by familiar faces such as Isza and ez should ameliorate that issue to a noticeable degree.
5. Trick House Treeckos
After a solid 5-0 showing in ORAS in MWCoP, taide finds himself as a full time ORAS starter this MPL, however this being the first tournament with no established ORAS Monotype main supporting him which many attributed his MWCoP success to. With two of his closest friends in LuckyPiper and Crashy as his managers, his motivation should be at an all time high, the latter can also provide building support as a former ORAS Monotype player. Taide is also creative in the builder which should give him an edge over most of the other players in the pool. As long as he keeps some of his more outlandish ideas such as Encore Mega Gallade and Brick Break Mega Sableye locked away and out of his teams, he could easily continue his amazing win streak from MWCoP II.
6. Dreamyard Darkrais
Following an extremely disappointing 1-6 showing in MPL VI, Toadow hopes to turn around his luck from last year, however, this time as an ORAS starter. Toadow’s experience as a whole in ORAS is extremely limited, with this being his ORAS Monotype debut in a team tournament. That being said, Toadow has had back to back Top 3 and Finals runs in the last two Monotype Generations tournaments which include ORAS Monotype and is known to consistently have good showings in individual tournaments. With proper support from teammates such as Zap and former ORAS starter maroon, Toadow can be expected to replicate his amazing individual tournament success in a team tournament capacity and correct the bitter memory he left in everyone's minds last year.
7. Blackthorn Bucks
Once touted as one of the best ORAS Monotype players around with solid showings such as his 7-3 run in MPL IV, Feen now sadly finds himself ranked at the latter end of the pool in consecutive years. Following a disappointing 1-4 showing in MPL IV, which included some extremely questionable playing, Feen hopes to reclaim his fame as a top ORAS player. As if it weren’t daunting enough already, unfortunately for him, unlike his three previous team tournaments he lacks any real ORAS support and is left to fend for himself in the building department. If he manages to revive the same proficiency he displayed in MPL IV, good things can be expected, otherwise it is bound to be an uphill battle for Arifeen.
8. Tohjo Falls Thunders
NU main and ZU TL S1nn0hC0nfirmed rounds off the ORAS pool in his debut Monotype team tournament. As a player, S1nn0hC0nfirmed has respectable results, albeit not in Monotype, most recently winning NU Open and having a good showing in NUPL. While his Monotype experience is non-existent, he should be able to transfer his results in other tiers over to Monotype fairly easily, provided he receives good support from his teammates in Splash and Sabella, both being long time ORAS Monotype enthusiasts. If he manages to pick up the tier easily, a good performance can be expected given his skill level, otherwise things could easily go downhill for S1nn0hC0nfirmed in his Monotype tour debut.
1st. Bell Tower Braves
Perhaps one of Smogon's best ever players, SoulWind established his dominance in his Monotype debut in the same fashion with an unbeaten 6-0 record in BW during MWC II beating the likes of Attribute, North and Caetano on the way. This along with his solid playing ability ranks him first in this pool with most people betting on SoulWind to lead BW in wins this tournament as well. While no one questions his playing ability, there are some reservations about who is going to build for him though as there really aren't any established BW players on this Braves team.
2nd. Tohjo Falls Thunders
Coming into second place is Sabella, who had his best ever Monotype team tour record last in MPL VI in BW with an impressive 7-2 record. As an innovator of popular teams in BW, Sabella is expected to build on his previous record with creative builds and efficient battling skills. With a weaker pool compared to last year, we should be in for another dominant showing from Sabella.
3rd. Blackthorn Bucks
The BW innovator extraordinaire, Jyph returns not only as the Blackthorn Buck's BW stan but as the co-manager as well. While he has never truly had a breakout tournament, only ever having a +2 differential at most, Jyph is one of the forefront figureheads of the format testing his chances with a plethora of lesser-used types such as Ghost, Ninjask Flying, and Sawsbuck Grass in tournament play. With that said, the question is how will he fare this tournament without both of his longtime friends sitting out of the tour this year, being North and Freeroamer. The BW pool looks more volatile than ever with many record-less players in the format so the question is will this be the breakout tour he's long overdue for or is he destined to continue his modest yet respectable record ratio.
4th. Trick House Treeckos
With successive positive records in MPL VI and MWC II, Crashy has jumped forward in ranks to fourth this year. Crashy proved more than capable to hold his own in a tough pool last year and will look to improve on that as he finds himself right in the middle. However with the added weight of managing along with playing this year, time will tell if he is able to pull through or crumble when his team needs him.
5th. Hearthome Honchkrows
Sae finds himself in new grounds this year in BW after an underwhelming showing in BO3 last year. While he went 3-2 in his BW games in BO3 last year, this will be Sae's first tournament starting completely in BW. Thankfully for him he has an experienced manager pair of Wanka under whom he went 7-1 in MPL V and Isza who will be able to help whenever needed.
6th. Dreamyard Darkrais
After a lackluster MWC II performance, Raichy failed to go positive in Monotype tournaments again. This time under new management he will hope to improve on previous showings but he will need extensive support from Zap and Kev in BW to really make his mark. The Darkrais have avarice as well who played BW last year but failed to achieve a good record. If neither of these two stick, the Darkrais are going to be in trouble for this slot.
7th. Meteor Falls Miniors
64 Squares (7)
64 Squares will be making his Monotype team tour debut in a pool that seems to stacked against him. Him being the only person in this pool to not have any prior Monotype experience exacerbates the problem even further. He does have West teammates Attribute and Maki to help him get used to the tier but they're going to need him to get familiar quick or else the former will have to step in himself.
8th. Goldenrod Gengars
SPACE FORCE meeps (8)
In the bottom of the barrel we have Meeps who is going to be playing BW Monotype for the first time this year. After a poor MWC II, not much is expected from Meeps and the Gengars in this slot in general, as they do not have any tried and tested BW player in their team. The team will really have to come together to surprise everyone in this slot.
1. Goldenrod Gengars
Standing at the top of Bo3 again is none other than the former Monotype TL Chaitanya and his dominant showing last year. With the rest of last year's top 4 not participating this season, it seems Chaitanya should have this slot on lock down once more. However, with other talented players such as Attribute, Isza, and Star in attendance, it is certainly not a forgone conclusion just yet. Chaitanya knows what he likes and is not afraid to tell you, so with his ego riding high and his motivation in question, we shall see if he bounces back from his winless record in Bo3 during last MWP season with a record of 0-3.
2. Tohjo Falls Thunders
Known to many as one of the premier battlers on Smogon in general right now, Star's placed in the upper echelon as the #2 rank. He did not play Bo3 last MPL where he played SS and ORAS instead, leading the ORAS pool at 4-0, but he accumulated the highest SS Bo3 record during MWP proving he can take on the best. Star's only crutch is not practicing Monotype consistently and having to rely on other's teams/input, and with both his managers being new to managing compounded with six teammates at or hovering around the minimum draft price, it will be interesting to see how he holds up.
3. Meteor Falls Miniors
The face behind the Miniors franchise at this point, unable to rid himself of it is Attribute. Attribute's tournament performance in the beginning was hit or miss however has made an improvement in recent tournaments when playing the formats represented in this season's Bo3. He made a name for himself in the ORAS department while started focusing a bit more on BW. He is well-experienced in each format playing and prepping for each with proficiency but securing the win is his main struggle.
4. Hearthome Honchkrows
His first real MPL in a while after being banned from MPL III and again in MPL IV, Isza returns as a co-manager of the long-standing Hearthome Honchkrows. While he has been out for a while, he has been helping the Honchkrows for multiple years behind the scenes with prep and test games and if you factor in participating in MWP III, MWC II, and official tournaments, he has plenty of recent experience to continue building upon. With all that said, he is still unproven as a clear-cut top contender going 4-3 in MWP III and 3-2 in MWC. Some rivals such as Trichotomy and Leru are not in attendance this season but he still has stiff competition to stand up against.
5. Blackthorn Bucks
Another former TL opting to take on Monotype's finest is Decem who's particularly known for his recent generation success, predominantly SS. Decem is no stranger to the spotlight playing each week in MWC, tackling last year's Bo3 competition, and placing in the top 3 of this year's PU Open, his most prestigious placing to date. He has undying energy to discuss and socialize with his team in an effort to improve/maintain his team's environment, however his team choices can be rushed and plays off intuition. He has the ability to upset anyone but also has the ability to lose to anyone so only time will tell how he performs this season.
6. Bell Tower Braves
After a long hiatus as a result from being forum banned, similar to Isza, is Bushtush coming in at #6. Bushtush hasn't played in MPL since his aforementioned ban back in MPL IV where he went 1-3 but returned for the most recent iteration of MWP with a record of 2-5. Nowadays Bushtush is a tournament player who focuses on UU and with an overall win % just a couple percentage points higher than Floss thanks to his tournament success many years ago, we shall see how well he does in this tour keeping up with the newer breed of players.
7. Dreamyard Darkrais
Finding himself near the bottom of the pool to the surprise of some is one of the Darkrais managers Floss. Floss is still seen as one of the newer players predominantly known for his proficiency in SS as a top tier builder. Bo3s start with SS so that should surely give Floss a fighting chance in the format but the rest of the formats leave some uncertainty regarding if he can close out the sets. Floss has multiple Monotype figureheads he can rely on such as Kev, maroon, and Zap to remedy this issue.
8. Trick House Treeckos
Placed at the bottom of a stacked group is TheArchitect_ who's known for playing the more recent generations. This is TheArchitect_'s first time on a new franchise outside of the Honchkrows so it will be interesting to see how he fares with a different group to support him. His records in the past have been consistently in the middle with 3-3 in MPL V, 3-2 in MPL VI, and 1-0 in MWP III. TheArchitect_ has demonstrated that he can consistently get numerous wins but is unproven in the Bo3 environment and has yet to have a break out tour to cement himself as a clear threat. He does not have much to lose so this is a great opportunity for him to test his skills against veterans in the sport.
1) Goldenrod Gengars
SS (2), SM (3), ORAS (2), BW (8), Bo3 (1)
New management, but it's business as usual for the Gengars who once again find themselves at the top of the PR. Even without Zap and Feitan, half of the main Gengar's core, they were able to assemble a strong squad with decent talent across the board. The backbone of this team is of course the Gengar mainstays that are returning, dahli and Chaitanya who are both recognized amongst the best players in the tier, respectively ranking 1st in their slots, and are both capable of providing support across the board. In the older generations, they have some tournament players like Finchinator and trash that have found success in their respective slots in the past. In past tournaments, the Gengars (and their MWP counterparts the Chikoritas and the Miltanks) tend to pick up a relatively unproven player, who has somewhat caught the eyes of the community through either the ladder or performance in a small tournament. Filling in that role in this years iteration is Lightscreener (and Aeran who is benched). It will be intriguing to see if he goes in the route of dahli and breaks into the tournament scene or is more of a lukewarm, mediocre finding like Dieu Amphibien. Overall, this team is a solid attempt from manager Izaya who is desperately aiming to avoid a 4th consecutive last place in the Monotype Team Tournament scene. Its strong blend of experience Monotype players and solid tournament players should lead to a good run. The biggest concern will be if their decision to invest so much in Chaitanya will end up costing them like it did for the MWP alternative the Miltanks.
2) Blackthorn Bucks
SS (4), SM (1), ORAS (7), BW (3), Bo3 (5)
In second place, we have the Blackthorn Bucks with a team full of Monotype Team Tournament regulars. While not ranked very high in his respective slot, the star of the team is Decem who provides essential support in SS and SM on this team that has many players that are passed teams instead of self-building. The team will rely on him preparing competent teams for these slots, however he is lucky to have teammates with lots of experience; they should be able to assist him in this process so that it does not fall completely on him. In terms of the PR, their best slot is SM in which they have two players that aren't Monotype mains but have a long history in the tiers tournament scene that they might as well count as ones. Despite being gone for a while, Pak delivered a great 3-0 in MWC II so there isn't much concern on if he is rusty. While this may be the case for him, two of the teams other oldgen starters Xiri and Feen have had fluctuating results as of late which is a notable concern for the team. Assistant manager Jyph is also in the same boat, having only one positive BW performance despite being a regular since MPL IV. There will be a lot of pressure on him to finally have a remarkable tournament after taking up the role of manager. The problem permeates into SS where their 2 main players have had some messy games, with kythr messing up many late games last year and Meta messing up Psychic Terrain mechanics in MWP III. Despite these more negative comments, all these players definitely have great potential to do very well as they are competent and reliable at their best; it is not difficult to envision this team making a playoffs appearance. While most of these players have been seem many times in Monotype Team Tournaments, their starting lineup is finished off with TeamCharm who made Smogon Grand Slam playoffs and is known for bizarre teams. It will be worth watching if his "unique" building will prevail or fail; it will most likely make an appearance in the tournament as the main builder that is supposed to keep him in check is Decem who is particularly insane himself.
3) Dreamyard Darkrais
SS (1), SM (1), ORAS (6), BW (6), Bo3 (7)
In third place, we have the Dreamyard Darkrais who finished last in the previous season. While their team last year was very heavy on non-Monotype players and seemed almost more like an RUPL team than an MPL one, they took a completely different approach this season. Similar to the Blackthorn Bucks, this team is full of Monotype mainers or outside players with enough experience they might as well count as such. The Darkrais are the only team that managed to secure two first place rankings in the PR with both SS and SM. They entered the draft with an already very heavy CG lineup with both managers being active players of the tier, Floss in particular being recognized as one of the best builders and players in SS after a breakout season last MPL. They also have Kaguya Lys who has silently been putting out strong records in SS consistently and was anticipated to be a pretty desirable buy from the other teams had he not been retained. Their SM is composed of Zap and Catalystic who have played the tier in many past tournaments and been successful. The main concern here would be on if the two will be able to provide fresh and unpredictable teams as their activity has not been the same it once was. Where this team starts to get shakier is in the older generations which pulls their PR ranking down. In ORAS, they have Toadow who has not played the tier in a team tournament before despite being a regular in the Monotype scene. There also isn't a dedicated "modern ORAS" builder, however SS starter maroon was formerly more of an ORAS player in previous renditions, so there is plenty of flexibility in terms of moving around slots and building input. As for BW, the team has no specific BW builder which could make things difficult for Raichy. The team's lowest rank is Bo3 where they have Floss; it is very surprising for many that he is Bo3 instead of SS. He has never played any of the older generations in big team tournaments and doesn't have much of a history in them so people question his ability to perform. He will need to prove that he is not just an SS mainer, but an all around good player. Overall, this team definitely has the pieces to make playoffs, but it will come down to the different voices in the loaded newer generations to mesh well together as well as get a hold of the old generations.
4) Hearthome Honchkrows (T)
SS (7), SM (3), ORAS (4), BW (5), Bo3 (4)
Befitting their 4th rank spot, we have a team with middle rankings across the board. While the Honchkrows are under completely new management this year, the essence of the team continues to live on with this iteration as it focuses on 2 big Monotype players in the starting lineup and then fills out the rest with tournament players and an unproven mainer. In terms of Monotype players, they have Isza and Sae. After years of being banned and touting himself as the king of the tier, Isza makes his return to MPL and gets the opportunity to put his money where his mouth is in the Bo3 slot. With many of years of experience, he has gained good knowledge of pretty much all the generations which allows him to support in almost all the slots. As the Monotype builders are scarce on the team, the onus of deciding and preparing teams across the board falls on him. The other half of the veteran mainer core is Sae, who finds himself in BW after a rough season playing Bo3 in the previous iteration. His being in BW comes to a surprise to many as he is more traditionally seen as a Bo3 player or an ORAS one. This will be his first time focusing solely on this slot so it will be intriguing to see how he approaches it. As one of the Monotype players with the longest history in the tier, and someone who is highly regarded as a motivated and competent teammate, there is not much doubt that he will be able to handle the slot. From the tournament players on this team, the two most desired buys are the core from Monotype World Cup's team Europe, QWILY and Padox. These two players put up solid records in SM and SS respectively in said tournament despite not having much experience with the tier beforehand. The two should once again do very well as long as they are provided good teams weekly. For the hidden gem, Monotype main of the team, we have French player Rinda. Despite this being his first MPL, he was a very coveted buy because of all the progressive hype he has built up over the past year and a half or so. There will be some pressure on him to make a name for himself in this tournament and to provide his teammates with SS teams as he might have to be the main builder for the gen. If Rinda can live up to his SS hype, and Isza and Sae can effectively support the old generations, the team can be a serious threat.
4) Tohjo Falls Thunders (T)
SS (5), SM (5), ORAS (8), BW (2), Bo3 (2)
Tied with the Honchkrows at 4th, we have the Thunders whose top 2 players are coincidentally former mainstays of the Honchkrows. As expected from a team that wanted to be the Honchkrows, they adapted the same style of prioritizing tournament players and limiting Monotype mains to what is necessary to complete their coverage in terms of prep. As the managers Splash and Conflux have experience in generations 6 through 8, they decided to invest huge amounts into Sabella for BW. Being one of the only remaining players from that era of Monotype in the tournament, his long experience with the metagame is definitely valued. As the 2nd ranked BW player, behind only Soulwind who took first after only one tournament, and one of the few well versed players in the pool, it should be expected he does well here and can provide support to their Bo3 player who he has worked with many times before. Said Bo3 player is Star, who is considered one of the best players on Smogon and has a history of incredible performances in Monotype tournaments. While not playing any of the generations outside the setting of the tournament, he has shown an excellent ability to pick up any generation and perform at a high level. As he has a decent amount of support on the team, he should not have much trouble performing well in the tournament and once again delivering a strong record. While these two players are solid, the purchase of them completely drained the wallets of the managers which forced them to pick up 3k players to fill up the rest of their slots. Despite that, they still managed to mostly pickup some decent Pokemon players from outside the community who should be able to do decently well. If their players can adapt to the metagames of their respective gens, and remember the mechanics they might not be as familiar with (Spikes don't hit Flying type teams !), there shouldn't be much of an issue. The thing to look for this team will be the performance of ribbon winner Fylkir Pudin. Despite this status, he went for a very low price because none of the other managers held him to any standard whatsoever so he clearly has to prove himself as a competent builder and player. It will also be intriguing to see how both managers perform as neither has managed to have a remarkable tournament as of yet and have issues with motivation. If they are able to stay in line and can churn out competent teams, the Thunders will absolutely be big contenders in the playoffs race.
6) Meteor Falls Miniors (T)
SS (6), SM (7), ORAS (1), BW (7), Bo3 (3)
In 6th place, we have the Miniors who are taking a much different approach than usual. Their team structure imitates the style of the Honchkrows but with some newer tournament players with less experience with Monotype and some with less caliber names. Perhaps many years of falling just short has caused the new managers to try something new. The star of the Miniors, for the 4th consecutive year, is Attribute who looks to finally go positive in an MPL after getting his first very good performance with Monotype World Cup II. Having gone from being bought, to being retained, to managing and now being bought again, Attribute's history with this team is the deepest the tier has known. He is one of the few players in the Bo3 pool that has a good and real knowledge of all 4 generations. Another Monotype mainer on this team is Cell who finds himself as the 1st rank ORAS player after a while of self-proclaiming the tier as his and putting the most investment in it compared to anyone else. Finishing up the mainer core for this team is Maki who is relatively new but blew up in the scene in a big way. He has proven that he is a good SS player with some decent tournament performances since his debut last year. These 3 players together give the team a wide coverage of all the generations and that is only amplified by the managers who are both competent builders in different generations. It is a given this team will have strong teams, bur it is questionable on if many of their slots will adapt properly to their tiers. To complement Attribute and Maki, the Miniors purchased a US West core of Vaboh and 64 Squares. Both these players have no known experience in Monotype and are still breaking their way into the tournament scene so it is unclear how they will perform. Another inexperienced starter on the team is umbry, who is expected to do relatively well as she has shown to adapt to new tiers very comfortably in the official team tournament scene. The team also has Eternally who did well in his last experience in the tier, however it was in ORAS instead of SM where he finds himself on this team. While it is a change in metagame, there isn't much doubt that he will still do well as he performed well in SM low tiers and adapted fine to ORAS Monotype without experience. Overall, this team has some big names, but there is a big focus on new names who could be hit or miss. The team has a good chance at playoffs, but it relies heavily on Attribute, Maki and Cell being very consistent.
6) Bell Tower Braves (T)
SS (8), SM (5), ORAS (3), BW (1), Bo3 (6)
Tied with the Miniors in 6th place, we have a surprising combination of players. Entering the tournament, many assumed the managing pair of Mateeus and Jolly Togekiss would heavily invest in Decem and would pack their with Monotype mainers. In a surprising twist, the team has the least starting mainers compared to any other team and decided to pack itself with big tournament players. The highlight of the team is Soulwind who is one of the best players on the site, and is extremely hyped up in the BW slot after a dominant performance in MWC II. These reasons pushed him to the top of the PR and has many expecting him to excel in the slot. While this team does have many non-Monotype mainers, many of their players have either formerly been members of the community or have a lot of experience with the tier. In particular, lax and Bushtush have both been very involved in Monotype in the past and have a long history of doing well so there is definitely the potential for them to perform once again. They also have TJ who is being hyped up after having success outside the tier and having a strong MWC II. However, their other tournament players tko and trace have both fallen short when it comes to have noteworthy performances in the past. In terms of Monotype players, they have the manager Mateeus and Harpp. Mateeus had the worst record of the tournament last MPL and choked many of his games so there is going to be a lot of pressure on him to perform this time. As for Harpp, he has gone from being considered one of the top players in the tier to being treated as more of a pretty average competitor. He will have to work hard to return to his glory days of MPL IV and prove to the community that he is still a good player. The biggest concern for this team is if they will be able to adequately support their players with teams and if motivation will stay strong throughout the tour. Many question if Mateeus, Jolly Togekiss and Harpp will be able to deliver competent teams in the different slots as neither is considered particularly good builders. In terms of motivation, one of their main players is lax who has abandoned his team in his last few Monotype Team Tournaments, so it is questionable on if he will be consistently active. Losing a big player like that could be very devastating for this team with an uninspiring bench. Also for motivation, the confidence of manager Mateeus will also play a big part. He will need to maintain his cool unlikely the previous MPL or even MWP3 where he benched himself. If this team manages to cooperate cohesively, they could end up being a real threat for the other competitors.
8) Trick House Treeckos
SS (3), SM (8), ORAS (5), BW (4), Bo3 (8)
In last, we unsurprisingly have a team managed by LuckyPiper. At this point, is it really a Monotype Team Tour if his team doesn't find itself in last place? While the other teams all seem relatively close, the gap is quite noticeable here. However, you gotta give LuckyPiper credit in the fact that his bad on paper teams always manage to perform decently through the power of anime and friendship or something. The star of this team is manager Crashy who has transitioned from a mediocre player who somehow managed to get more rings than actual wins into an actual mainstay in the competitive BW scene. After a couple solid tours, he's proven to the community that he is one of the best BW players and builders in the tier. The teams success will rely heavily on him being consistent throughout the tournament. Another player to lookout for on the team is the controversial taide. After some decent ORAS performances, he had a very strong tour in MWC II going 5-0. However, he did have excellent support in that team in the form of Attribute and other outside helpers. He will need to show that he can perform without their help in order to give this team a good run. While these two are the more noteworthy members of the team, the highest ranked slot for the team is their SS trio of yedla, Shiba and King Choco. Shiba is the most decorated player in Monotype history having been on 5 winning teams in the past, so perhaps he will be the lucky charm this team needs. Overall, all 3 of the players have put out decent records in the last few tournaments, while yedla and Choco should be able to build so there isn't too much of a concern here. SM is where this teams suffer the most with its core of LuckyPiper and Arkenciel. LuckyPiper has not had any remarkable performances besides an upset Bo3 victory in tiebreak over Chaitanya last year, and is considered very inconsistent as a player. As for Arkenciel, he has been gone from the competitive scene for a long time and wasn't a very impressive tournament player back when he was active. He has an overall 7-16 record across 4 tournaments when he was actively playing, so there isn't much expectations for him to do well after a hiatus. This team is unlikely to make playoffs, but it isn't completely unforeseeable that they manage to find success.
That's all folks.