Tournament Neverused Snake Draft Commencement Thread (Draft on 11/28 at 4pm GMT-5)

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Welcome to the second edition of the NeverUsed Snake Draft! Any NeverUsed discussion is welcome in this thread but please try to keep offensive gestures to a minimum. Make or find a gif to accurately illustrate your position on a topic for others to understand easier or to find humorous and lighten some of the stress throughout the event. Happy posting!

The tiers in this tournament are: 3 SS NU / 1 SM NU / 1 ORAS NU / 1 BW NU / 1 DPP NU / 1 ADV NU / 1 GSC NU / 1 RBY NU.
The managers are as follows:
:servine: Surfin' Servines: Expulso
:charizard: Shiny Charizards: Charmflash
:vullaby: Lullaby Vullabies: roxiee
:braviary: Bulk Up Braviarys: Oathkeeper and neomon
:crabominable: Pablominables: lax and TDK
:raboot: Rabioots: Rabia
:sigilyph: Neo Siphylis Sigilyphs: Ren-chon and mncmt
:ducklett: Dewford Duckletts: etern and Aawin


The draft will be Sunday, November 28th at 9 pm GMT / 4 pm EST.
 
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Everything Stays
is a Pre-Contributor
Hey everyone! I know this is very late, but I've made a Pre-Draft Predictions Contest! I'll be offering up a month of Discord Nitro (full version) to whoever answers the most questions correctly! If you'd like to participate, the survey is here:

https://forms.gle/otudbVVWCVJDVU5H8

Anyways, here's to a great NUSD, and I hope you all enjoy the draft tomorrow! :blobnom:

Edit: Sorry, new link I had to make a couple changes! Should be good now though :blobthumbsup:
 
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NU Snake Draft II Power Rankings
written by Meri Berry and I
voting done by all managers



TEAM OVERVIEWS
Surfin' Servines

The Expulsos’ have a very solid lineup, focusing a lot on older gens to start. Insult pick 1 is an odd choice, but it's easy to see why. In BW PL, Insult went 4-1 in a much harder pool, putting him far ahead of his competitors. Khaetis also had a good showing, going 5-1 in RBY PL which had a similar pool to this one. robjr in ORAS is a huge boon for the team, already having beat Garay Oak, the best player in the pool, and Feliburn in SM will likely pick up a few wins off of playing ability alone. Estarossa is also worth a mention, mostly having experience in GSC UU but having some skill to carry over to the lower tier.

Although their SS is good I can’t help but feel it looks rather average - Confide will be very dependent on team support from Pokeslice throughout this tour, and I’m not sure how he’ll pilot them. zS is also a really potent pick, but is relatively unproven in team tournaments for NU, while Thiago Nunes might struggle more in a 3 slot SS pool. LpZ and ArcticBreeze both seem like questionable starters, as LpZ comes across as a bench player to me while I haven’t seen Arctic touch the tier. Even this variance doesn’t stop their squad from looking very solid however, leaving them to be strong playoff contenders.

Shiny Charizards
The Charmflashes have one of the most volatile line-ups I have ever seen, spending their first 3 picks on 2 SCL starters and Star to give them an extremely strong start, then leaving many of the rest of their picks with high variance. For example, the 3rd SS player GoldCat is also a seasonal farmer similar to zS, but he is still unproven in team tournaments such as this one. Highways doesn’t have much NU experience, leaving many questions to whether he’ll perform. Frankly, most of the team slots on this team are mediocre or just unproven, without a huge breakout performance to put them into the top echelon of play. NHelioX7, Void, Roseybear, and Ika Ika Musume in particular come to mind when I say this.

However, there are extreme positives to this team. Roseybear was one of the better ADV NU players last year in NUPL, going 3-2 overall and bringing very creative teams. Diophantine is also a very proven GSC player, and although he doesn’t main GSC NU, he’s expected to go positive at the very least despite his shaky start. Star is one of the best players on Smogon, so he’s expected to do well, and Ho3nConfirmed has traditionally done very well in the NU tournaments, even going 5-4 in SCL. Xiri is back to SM which he is arguably more comfortable with, and he’s expected to be one of the best in this pool with his prior experience in the tier. Although this team shows massive potential, it's up to the later picks to carry their weight for them to make the playoffs and succeed, and there’s a lot of pressure on these earlier picks to perform at their usual levels.

Lullaby Vullabies
The Vullabies are a middle-of-the-pack team, and by dividing their team into two sections, its easy to see why. The Vullabies have one of the best oldgens in the entire tour, with some of their players being best in the pool. However, their SS was rated the worst out of everyone’s, meaning that oldgens will have to cover for SS almost every week and are expected to win most games. For example, Earthworm is one of the most recognized GSC players, and a heavy favourite to get the best record in the pool. Fatty is also a very good DPP player and is expected to do well. Although shiloh and Abejas haven’t been playing much recently, if they can brush off the rust they are among some of the best in their respective pools of ADV and ORAS as well. Atomicllamas might not have been expected to have played BW NU, but he has a significant amount of tournament experience backing him up and Roxie is very willing to support him.

However, Lord Thorx and QWILY aren’t very proven in their tiers, though QWILY has an impressive showing for their first match after beating Xiri, one of the best in the SM pool. Their SS has been struggling a lot too: Sabella was a SCL starter, but after having a rocky 1-2 start, he was subbed out for Ren-chon. The other 2 SS slots, Ark and EternalSnowman, are very unproven in the tier and haven’t had an impressive start either; neither is known as a builder by any stretch either, meaning that roxiee's ability to create lots of strong, consistent teams will be crucial to their success. It’ll be up to the older gens to make up for this relatively weak core unless one of them exceeds expectations.

Bulk Up Braviaries
The Braviaries are one of two teams buried far below the rest of the pack, clocking in far below average due to only three of their players being above average. No player on the team is regarded as a top-2 player in their pool, either, which means a lot of things will need to go right for this team to have a realistic chance at playoffs. After a first-round manager pickup that voters regarded as a poor strategic choice, putting neomon below average in the ADV pool, the Braviaries targeted only one SS player in the early rounds. EviGaro leads the team’s SS core, most recently playing NU in Swiss where she went X-0 in the first stage; she doesn’t play the tier with that much regularity but is an above-average player who can succeed with good temas. That might be up in the air, though -- Elias PSY is the next SS player on the Braviaries. Known for his very weird teams, Oath will need to do a lot of work for his SS core to bring the right balance between innovation and insanity; if he gets it right, their last SS player, TJ (taken late at round #10), can probably also perform well.

SM Splash comes in near the bottom of his pool, though support from former 27k SM player EviGaro may help -- particularly if anyone leaves their Mismagius resist at home. ORAS Gorex is also predicted to struggle a lot; in a pool with lots of players that have a longer history in the tier, he might struggle to deal with the tier’s many less common options, though it’s also possible everyone else gets lazy and loads Teddeh balance. Cb aaron judge in BW and Holly in GSC both seem strong; though they may struggle with juggernauts like Insult and Earthworm, the CB and CEO are both active players whom the other managers expect to do well. DPP Bughouse and RBY Oiseau Bleu both come in at the middle of the pack.
This is definitely an awkward team due to the lack of star presence; it’s unusual to come away without a top player in a Snake draft format, which definitely hurts them since they’ll really have to fight hard for each win instead of having a seemingly guaranteed W versus any opponents. They also have a few slots that project near the top of the pool, and not pairing Elias PSY with another, more standard SS builder seems crazy (but also entertaining to watch). They’ll rely on a lot of people overperforming, but it seems like a difficult season is in store for the Braviaries; playoffs seem quite unlikely and they could totally collapse before the season ends.

Pablominables
The Pablominables moved away from their “jerk team” branding a bit with this draft, but that hasn’t stopped them from coming as a huge favorite to win the tour and defend their NUPL title. The difference in rating between them and the #2 Servines is far bigger than the difference between the #2 and #6 teams. Only 2 of their 10 players, SS3 GW and DPP Staxi, are ranked below average in their pools.

Their SS core comes in surprisingly middle-of-the-pack, without a true top-tier SS1; however, Davon is a strong player with plenty of experience building and playing well in these tours. Despite his recent SCL woes, he should be successful here. Raptor is another generally solid player, albeit one who doesn’t play NU, and he’s regarded by the rankers as about average. GW rounds out the core; Greninja stocks are low after his 0-7 SSD and NUPL, but he’s still a fundamentally solid player who made finals of the last circuit playoffs. With plenty of veterans in the Pablo chat to take the load of carrying a team off of him while also being able to give him mentality advice, this could be the tour where GW finally turns it around.

SM HSA and ORAS Garay Oak are both regarded as very strong players even outside of their true home of GSC (if you are to believe Garay’s signup…); both have the potential to dominate their pool. BW Lily, DPP Staxi, and ADV Raichy are all solid, middle-of-the-pack options that should be expected to put up a few wins. There are a few question marks, such as Raichy’s probably inexperience with the tier and Lily’s stated dislike of BW NU, but they have all the support they need to do well. The worst ranked of these players, Staxi, also went 5-1 in this tier in a prior NUPL; even if he does badly, ziloXX has played the tier before and can sub in if needed. GSC and RBY round out a very strong lineup on a high note; d0nut is regarded as better than almost every other GSCer except Earthworm (not too bad for a round 6 selection!) and Serpi is the best RBYer in the pool. The Pablominables look very strong without any noticeable weak spots; a lot will have to go wrong for them to fail to defend their NUPL title.

Rabioots
Landing a bit above the middle of the pack, first-time NU manager Rabia has a very solid roster full of proven players; they seem very likely to make playoffs and possibly go on a championship run. The SS core of Kushalos, freezai, and xavgb is criticized a bit in the rankings, as freezai and xavgb were placed near the bottom of the SS pool. Kushalos comes in near the top of the pool, of course; if active, his teams can perhaps lift freezai and xavgb as well. If he doesn’t have time or willingness to build, Rabia will have to step up on that front; alternatively, known OM meta-solver stresh can cook something up, though he is in a lot of tours at the moment. Motivation could also be a question for this SS core, which is average or slightly below average.

The old gens, however, look very reliable across the board with the possible exception of BW. SMer quziel is much more known for ORAS but is an active, motivated player who can be expected to bring solid teams every week and play well. Luck O’ the Irish fills in ORAS for quziel; Irish’s activity is generally not high and he isn’t on the skill level of Garay Oak or robjr, but he should still be expected to get plenty of wins in the ORAS pool due to quziel being one of the only builders for the tier. Heysup is the second-best DPP player behind only 9-0 HSOWA, and Enigami is regarded as the second-best RBYer behind Serpi; along with Kushalos, these three are the stars of the team. ADV banks and GSC vani are regarded as a bit below average, but both are experienced players who should be expected to consistently play well and have a fairly high floor. BWer Nalorium is the least proven player, but even then, this weakness is compensated for by the fact that BW is probably the weakest pool; he will square off against plenty of opponents that also haven’t shown much familiarity with the tier and can definitely get some wins for this reason. The Rabioots are a really strong and complete team; as long as SS building is successful, the sky’s the limit for them.

Neo Siphylis Sigilyphs
The Meri BRs face very significant challenges on paper with a lineup that finds only Mncmt ranked above average. It’s quite possible to see them overcoming this in SS: Meri Berry is known as a good builder, mncmt’s playing ability may be understated with the #7 SS ranking, and it wouldn’t be a shock to see tlenit finish average or better despite an early 0-1 start. Old gens become more difficult, though. SM Askov, BW Monai, and DPP Beraldinho all surprise me with their low rankings due to their great potential to succeed. Askov is 1-0, albeit against one of the lower opponents in the pool; a finish of 3-4 is probably about his floor and he could end up positive. Monai is completely new to NU and the tournaments scene in general, but his one appearance was a top-8 finish in this year’s BW (OU) Cup; it’s quite possible he puts up plenty of wins in a pool where everyone but Insult comes with major question marks. NU Classic #1 seed Beraldinho was ranked all the way from first to last in the pool; with the support of Askov, author of some broken dpp sample teams, it’s very possible he will put up some wins in the “variance gen”.

ORAS Spl4sh, GSC Siatam, and RBY Koalacance each seem likely to struggle against the top few opponents in each of their pools but can probably grab 2-3 wins from the others. Hyoga’s definitely skilled at ADV metas on the whole, but it seems unclear how he’ll get tier knowledge or solid teams in ADV NU, which certainly seems important. Overall, the Sigilyphs have potential to reach .500 in most of their slots but it seems unlikely that everyone will be able to go even; after all, the team somehow only has one player ranked above average. To have a shot, they will depend very heavily on Meri in SS and Beraldinho in old gens to build or provide lots of teams and keep activity high. Anything is possible in mons but things do not seem great for the Brazilian army.

Dewford Duckletts
Ranked well above average, the Duckletts enter the tour with formerly 9-0 HSOWA in DPP and the strongest SS core by a large margin, but their SM, BW, and GSC are all considered some of the weakest slots in the tour. Sensei Axew and OnArceus are both excellent players that combined for 13 wins in the last official tournament and are both in the top 5 of SS players for this tour; getting them on the same team was a spectacular coup for the Duckletts. daniYSB completes the SS core as a very motivated new player who will build plenty of teams for them; he may have played more SS NU than anyone else due to the 5 sidetours he is somehow in at all time. He’ll be able to pass plenty of good teams and his playing skills aren’t bad either. poh is a motivated player perhaps more known for SS or SM, but in a very stagnant tier like ORAS his non-zero motivation should go a fairly far way and secure him a finish of at least 4-3. 9-0 DPP HSOWA is extremely strong and it’s a miracle that he fell to the end of round 3; Jisoo had a similarly impressive performance in ADV last NUPL, finishing 6-1. Some reversion to the mean is expected, but even then both will be among the strongest players in their pools.

SM HANTSUKI is regarded with a lot of skepticism, ranked as the weakest SM in the pool; however, Eternally’s vast trove of SM teams should be able to give him the edge in preview for a decent number of games. I doubt his SM slot would ever end up 0-7, for instance. Togkey’s a very new NU player whose totally unproven nature led him to the bottom of the BW rankings, but he’s very motivated and already has 1 win under his belt. The weak nature of the BW pool as a whole is only a boon for the motivated rookie. Lunala’s knowledge of GSC, not to mention GSC NU, is quite up in the air; while she’s a good player, it’s very reasonable to expect her to struggle in the very strong GSC pool. pac rounds out the weaker half of their slots after an 0-2 RBYPL showing, but he is currently 3-1 in UUSD which speaks well to his general skill as a player. Grabbing a few wins against the non-Enigami, Serpi, and Khaetis half of the pool is very much on the table.

Overall, the Duckletts look like a very strong team; their few weaknesses are in the right places. Though a few oldgen slots seem likely to drag them down, they’ll probably be outweighed by their insanely stacked SS core and excellent oldgen players like HSOWA and Jisoo.


PLAYER RANKINGS
Points correspond to the average rank assigned to a player. Small number = good

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OVERALL RANKINGS
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Good luck to all teams!:heart:
share your thoughts below or in the NU discord
(yes we all saw Kushalos #16)
 

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