Unofficial Metagames [SM ZU] - A.V.A. - "Arctic Vexillology Association" - [Peaked PS! #29]

A.V.A.



“Arctic Vexillology Association”



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Credits to h_n_g_m_n for this amazing artwork.







Hello Pokémaniacs :]. Here it is Mirbro again! This is the 4th RMT and, in this current issue of JAPS, I will be addressing the SM ZU tier. As I did in the last RMT G.L.I.G.A.R. “Good Luck In Getting Ahead Rapidly”, I will talk in detail about the state-of-the-art of stall archetype in the ZU tier.

I hope you find it easy-going, moving and exciting to take a deep look into the ZU tier. In my opinion, currently its metagame is quite healthy with some common Pokémon but any of them broken. At last but not at least, its community is also positive and welcoming.

As always, during all the RMT you will find some music that I have chosen carefully to accompany you in this sea of words. Each chapter will have a specific song (or set of songs in some cases) that synergize very well with its main goal. You will find them like this:









Here you have two songs that are the original one and a remix. I love both of them, they transmit me a thrilling moment of adventure and also some tension. These were the songs from GSC games when you entered both Ice Path and the Dark Path. My favourite generation + my favourite soundtrack. It is a gg, Game Freak.




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A.V.A. “Arctic Vexillology Association” [ PS!: Peaked #29]

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TABLE OF CONTENTS



I - Preface
  • SM ZU: Spin over my head
  • Project
II - Introduction
  • The Team: A.V.A.
  • The Synergy: Spinning and defogging
III - Results
  • Details: Pokémon sets
  • How to use the team: Replays
  • Peaks
IV - Discussion
  • Weaknesses
V - Acknowledgements

VI - Conclusions





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A.V.A. “Arctic Vexillology Association” [ PS!: Peaked #29]

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This remixed song always reminds me of an intriguing moment when you are entering the ship and you do not know what you will find but after some minutes you realise that is a great adventure. I think it fits pretty well in the Preface part of this RMT.



I - Preface



  • SM ZU: Spin Over my Head

As you may probably know, during my last months in Smogon I have been focused on SM ZU and NFE tiers. The more time I spend in these uncommon tiers, the more I like them. Due to the fact that they are growing right now makes the community very warming to newcomers. So I decided to give a try building a pure stall team in SM ZU.

First of all, I looked to VR to see the cardinal points of any stall in ZU and I spent some time watching replays to see how experienced stall players in the tier built their teams. Some of them were Kay, sketchy ecchi, pinktidal, gaygreengorilla.

Once I figured it out the main Pokémon that were needed for any stall I tried to build my own team. Due to the fact that I came from a hazard control team in SM RU (G.L.I.G.A.R.) I decided to go for it again. No rocks for you, no rocks for me. It is time to rock n’ roll!

In my last RMT, I commented the state-of-the-art of stall archetype in SM RU. This time I decided to leave it for my next RMT because it will be about a team I have had more success in it will be in SM ZU too. Moreover, it will be my last RMT before we get in the next generation. So please, this RMT will be just to bring more heat in SM ZU tier, a very comfy and beautiful tier, and to prepare the ground for my next one.





Post-Tangela state



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Tangela was gone some months ago during a tier shift. However, I would like to comment on this RMT how important it goes and its rise make this team not working afterwards. Imagine a very good physical tank with Regenerator as ability that pairs quite nicely with Pyukumuku our Unaware physical wall. It gives you KOff utility, electric sponge, Toxic spreading and Leech Seed recovery to not only Tangela but also to any other Pokémon that you will be swithing in next turn. Of course losing it was a nightmare trying to make the team rework again. You could say: “Gourgeist-XL could be a good teammate!”. In theory, yes. However, Regenerator is pretty good in a team which is absolutely passive trying to Toxic opposite Pokémon and keeping your hazards off. You will be switching in and out all day long. Synthesis as the only way to recover HP with your Gourgeist if you are truly pressured by Volt/U-turn teams you cannot do anything else than survive and clicking Toxic but you will not have a good match-up after all.



  • Project

I always say that writing and sharing a RMT is like explaining a fairytale. What you are reading it is me getting across a road trying to pick the good choices until I get home which is when I have the main conclusions and I have learnt something about the tier itself. During this long journey I would like to invite you listen to the music I am sharing and just spend 30 minutes of your life enjoying how a Pokémon passionate is trying to convince you that stall can be fun if played with respect and with head.




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A.V.A. “Arctic Vexillology Association” [ PS!: Peaked #29]

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This song is quite relaxing and beautiful to start an adventure or a RMT like this.



II - Introduction



  • The Team: A.V.A.

What does this acronym stand for? Although the main star of the team is Tangela (rising and getting out of the tier) the Pokémon that I loved with all my heart is the ice wall Avalugg. It is like a pirate boat and helps on the name of the team. “Arctic Vexillology Association” means a group, in this case of Pokémon, that love flags, in this case the pirate star is Tangela, and they are just travelling around the arctic due to Avalugg as the boat. As you will be able to see, Pyukumuku is the deep sea guard, Altaria the one that is watching over the distance, Komala the sleepy boy (Xayah) and Lickilicky the helmsperson.



  • The Synergy: Hazardless

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I started building around two great spinners of the tier. Avalugg is a beast in the physical way. It can tank a lot of physical hits super-effective or not. At full HP and with its ability it is able to survive any hit and then return it with Avalanche increasing the total power if it was hit by a physical attack. The other was the sleepi boi Komala which is my spinner in the special part and it can pass some Wishes and helps getting rid of opposite objects with Knock Off.



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Then I added one of the main cornerstones of SM ZU stall archetype. Lickilicky has a great bulk in the two parts and with its ability Oblivious it does not get taunted (one of the best ways to deal with stall). Moreover, it is the cleric of the team and it can pass some Wishes like Komala. Altaria was also a good adding because it helped against special fighting attacks against Komala and Lickilicky. The set I will be presenting you is a bit weird trying to get a good role compression as much as I could with Defog helping both Komala and Avalugg against Gourgeist and Dusclops and Haze against users like Swoobat that can overpass my main Unaware wall.



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Finally, I went with one great core as Tangela + Pyukumuku. As I said before, Tangela gives me Regenerator, electric sponge, Toxic spreading and KOff utility. Pyukumuku is a mixed wall (mainly physical though) and it is my main way to deal with setting up Pokémon due to its ability Unware. Furthermore, it helps spreading Toxic and Blocking some offensive threats.




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A.V.A. “Arctic Vexillology Association” [ PS!: Peaked #29]

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Here we have a song that is not related with Pokémon universe. Bag Raiders - Golden Wings symbolize the greatness and success of this team. Each member has this Golden Wings that allowed them to fly until the final peak. Old but Gold.



III - Results



  • Details: Pokémon sets




Avalugg XY
Perito Moreno (Avalugg) @ Leftovers
Ability: Sturdy
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature
- Avalanche
- Rapid Spin
- Recover
- Roar

Role: Hazard Remover + Phazer

Full physical wall. Avalanche to hit harder when receiving a physical hit, Rapid Spin for hazards, Recover for HP and Roar to phaze some physical threats like Bouffalant and Arbok among others. I went with Leftovers to get some recovery over Rocky Helmet although both can work pretty well.

Nickname: Its nickname refers to the biggest glacier of the world meaning how big and difficult to deal with is Avalugg. An iceberg that will not melt due to climate change.



Komala SL
Phascolarctos (Komala) @ Leftovers
Ability: Comatose
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Knock Off
- Protect
- Rapid Spin
- Wish

Roles: Hazard remover + Wish passer + Knock Off user

Komala is a very good special wall and it helps passing Wishes, scouting opponent’s attacks with Protect and hazard removal with Rapid Spin. A very straightforward set.

Nickname: Phascolarctos is the Latin genre name for Koala. The name for the species is Phascolarctos cinereus.


Lickilicky Pt
Wi-Fi (Lickilicky) @ Leftovers
Ability: Oblivious
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Knock Off
- Heal Bell
- Protect
- Wish

Roles: Cleric + Wish passer + Knock Off utility + Anti-Taunt

Lickilicky is one of the cornerstones for SM ZU stall archetype. Total special wall tanking many of the special hits in the tier. Protect helps scouting and getting some recovery altoghether with Wish. Knock Off helps against Choice Specs and Leftovers recovery for opponent’s Pokémon. Heal Bell is the cleric move for all the team.

Nickname: Wi-Fi refers to its belly drawing that seems the typical wave for Internet connection. This Pokémon with its waves can help all other components of the team.


Altaria E variocolor
Golden Wings (Altaria) @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
- Aerial Ace
- Defog
- Haze
- Roost

Roles: Status absorber + Hazard removal + Hazer + Ground immunity

Altaria helps a lot on role compression for hazard removal against Ghost type Pokémon, tanking special fighting attacks and being the ground immunity of the team. With Aerial Ace and Haze it can more or less stop Swoobat otherwise it could get an easy sweep against all the team. Aerial Ace also helps against Gourgeist-XL and Tangela (in the past).

Nickname: As some of you may have pointed out, Golden wings is a song made by Bag Raiders. I have used this song in my last RMTs due to the fact is one of my favourite ones and it helps me getting full of energy to play some long stalling games.


Tangela RA
Airpod Plant (Tangela) @ Eviolite
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
- Giga Drain
- Knock Off
- Leech Seed
- Toxic

Role: Regenerator + Toxic spreader + Knock Off utility

Tangela is one of the stars of the team and its captain. It rose due to its ability to tank many physical hits and with Synthesis/Giga Drain/Leech Seed and Regenerator as ability recover HP pretty easily. Knock Off helps getting rid of opponent’s items and accumulating some residual damage. Toxic is just Toxic.

Nickname: Airpod Plants are a group/cluster of air plants that normally enlarge its leaves in the air to get more humidity (they are normally acting like cactus and growing in extreme locations).



Pyukumuku SL
Holothuroidea (Pyukumuku) @ Leftovers
Ability: Unaware
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Block
- Recover
- Soak
- Toxic

Role: Unaware Pokémon + Status spreader + Trapper

As I said above, Pyukumuku helps against setter sweepers. You can Block them and Toxic them (with Soak if needed). In SM ZU tier, it helps a lot against apes (not Simisage due to typing) and other sweepers that cannot be tanked by Avalugg.

Nickname: Holothuroidea is the Latin genre for sea cucumbers a weird marine species of echinoderms.



Avalugg XY
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A.V.A. - "Arctic Vexillology Association"






The environment of the beginning of the song is just very calm but you feel like there will be a moment which it will break up with tension. When it happens is like a race which seems you must win. However, at the end you finally realizes that you had won from the beginning, being there was the actual prize.



  • How to use the team

In this section I will post some replays in which you can find the way to use the team. You will find a description of the battle (with the keypoints) and you will only need to click on the image to be redirected to the replay :]. I will try to classify them according to the opposite team.



Captura10.PNG

Avalugg stops Golem of setting up Stealth Rock. Flareon can be dealt with Pyukumuku and Bellossom, the most annoying one, can be stopped with Haze Altaria when you get Lickilicky slept by Sleep Powder.




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At a first glance, this team seems quite bothering. Double hazard with Crustle, Volt-Switching with Ampharos is always bothering for any stall team without a Ground type Pokémon, Gogoat can sweep if Avalugg is weakened. Oranguru is also quite bothering as it is running Calm Mind but Altaria with Haze and some help can stop it. Finally, Abomasnow as it can run mix spreads is always something you need to be afraid of and try to scout the set as soon as possible.



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Sandslash as a rocker is stoppable using Avalugg but you will normally get it Toxiced. Combusken + Butterfree can be totally stopped using both Pyukumuku and Altaria. To play around Leech Seed recovery from Ivysaur I switched in and out both Altaria and Komala.



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Nasty Plot Simisear can be bothering for stall although playing with Pyukumuku helps a lot (and also with Haze Altaria). Shiftry, right now, is one of the best Pokémon of SM ZU but in the past could be stopped pretty easily with Tangela as it can stop SD Knock Off and Leaf Storm with the same set. Finally, Silvally-Psychich running SD and Multi-Attack can be tanked with Pyukumuku as all Silvallys running physical sets with SD.



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Mawile is one of the best rockers against A.V.A. team. However, with two spinners and one defogger rocks can be erased between turns. Electivire is always a mess with Volt-Switch and Shell Smash with Z in Crustle is always bothering although you are running Pyukumuku. Nasty Plot Simipour is also stopped by Pyukumuku but between Crustle and Simipour a lot of pressure can be put on our Unaware wall. Finally, Vigoroth with Sub and Bulk Up is quite scary. If running Taunt, this is practically a gg but if not between Haze in Altaria and Roar in Avalugg you can deal with it.




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In this case, Gabite as a rocker would seem inoffensive against Avalugg. However, running Toxic it is quite bothering to play around. Floatzel with Trick is a nightmare for any stall team if you do not expect correctly when the opponent will be blicking it and finally, Butterfree with Quiver Dance can be a mess and can put you no sleep. Altaria + Pyukumuku can stop it.



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Silvally-Fighting with SD can be stopped easily by Pyukumuku. Muk is a bit more bothering due to Rest + Curse but Avalugg with Avalanche and Roar is everything you need. Cradily will set up rocks on you but with no Ghost Pokémon Komala can just Rapid spin over it. If played correctly you will have the control of all the game.



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When I see both Sawsbuck and Rotom-fan in team preview I am always scared. Rotom-fan can Volt-switch and Trick two ways of dealing with stall. Moreover, Sawsbuck can SD and play around Headbutt (hax flinch-para). However, these two Pokémon had sets that were more stoppable (no Trick on Rotom-fan and Leech Seed in Sawsbuck). Just to finish, it was running a team full of hazards using both Shelmet and Hippopotas. But as you will be able to see none of them will stay in the ground for more than 2 turns.



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With no critical hits Avalugg can Rapid Spin and tank Stone Edges with STAB from Golem. However, after the critical hit I had to play more carefully to get the game done.



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Komala can totally stop Bronzor of setting rocks and getting some of my Pokémon Toxiced. Pyukumuku can sit in front of Butterfree and Toxic it. Finally, between Altaria and Komala you can stall Meganium.




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In this game the two main things that are important to showcase is how Altaria can deal with Swoobat and Pyukumuku can stop Water Spouts from Wailord.



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A total full offensive team with no synchronicity but Stealth Rock on Corsola. However, between Avalugg and Pyukumuku many of the threats can be walled like Bibarel and Slaking.




There is one guy which in that time was in high ladder with different accounts but playing with hazard stack offense teams. He was normally running Pinsir/Arbok as a win-con, Sandslash as a rocker and spinner, Tangela as Shiftry and physical wall. However, some iterations had Probopass as a rocker, Scraggy as a win-con and Roselia as Spikes stacking. I normally tried to get hazards out with Komala, Avalugg and Altaria as soon as possible. I played around his Tangela with my own one. Pinsir and Arbok could be stopped by Avalugg and Pyukumuku although the latter could only stall them out (Arbok was Poison type so no Toxic working on it and Pinsir was a Substitute variant). Finally, Scraggy with Shed Skin as ability was really bothering as I needed to go with Haze Altaria.


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I had to admit that this guy was really good and his teams were really difficult to play around.




  • Peaks
Beyond the peak in the PS! this team had some success in roomtours.





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A.V.A. “Arctic Vexillology Association” [ PS!: Peaked #29]


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This song represents when something is just ending but the feels are quite good because you know something else is coming even better than the one you are right now living.


IV - Discussion


  • Weaknesses
This team can overcome most of the current playstyles in the current metagame. However, it is important to mention which Pokémons can provoke some troublesome moments. I will highlight in red the Pokémons that can be very annoying, in orange the moderate ones and in yellow the slight ones.


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Bouffalant/Vigoroth – Bouffalant can get a Toxic over Pyukumuku and set up a Substitute to then SD and return over all the team. Vigoroth with Sub + Taunt and Bulk Up can do pretty much the same.

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Toucannon – SD set with Rock Blast, Bullet Seed, Brave Bird is quite bothersome if your Pokémon are weakened (i.e. Avalugg and Pyukumuku).

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Pawniard – SD with Knock Off and Iron Head is a quite annoyance. It can run Toxic too making it more difficult when you switch in Avalugg.

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Bellossom – At +1 with Moonblast can hit hard to Altaria. Giga Drain does a ton against Pyukumuku our Unaware wall. Sleep Powder helps a lot him to set up and if it is running Safeguard you will not be able to put a countdown on it.

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Camerupt – You need to weaken it for decreasing the total power of Eruption. Otherwise, it can click it or Earth Power if your opponent predicts your Pyukumuku.

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Sawsbuck – SD with paraflinch can go over the team if you have your Avalugg and Tangela with low HP.

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Carbink – This can be a gg if it is running CM with Rest. Moonblast can hit a lot to Altaria at +1 and stall it out with Rest. Pyukumuku will not be able to stall it out.



Generally, Taunt/Encore users stopping your recovery and hazard removal moves, although Lickilicky helps against them. Volt/turn are an absolute pain because you will enter in a switching in/out vicious circle that never help any stall team. Moreover, Rotom-fan specifically can Trick one of your Pokémon and then click Volt-Switch.



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A.V.A. “Arctic Vexillology Association” [ PS!: Peaked #29]


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Rammstein. A great group of german heavy metal that I had the opportunity to watch recently in Finland. I liked it in the past but right now I can say it is one of my favourite groups I have ever listened. Although it is a bit extreme, I recommend you to give it a chance.



V - Acknowledgements



As always, building this team and its own success would have been possible without some people that have been there just backing me up or giving some advising.

I would like to thank all of you that get out of your way to help me or just discuss with me over competitive Pokémon or Pokémon vanilla. I will do some brief shoutouts to people that have not participated directly to this team but I know they are there: hjkhj , Posho , Essence , Lycon , Simbo , Cheff Gordo. General thanks to the ZU community in which I am totally focused on. Although I have been kind of inactive recently, I feel like ZU is the tier I really want to be enrolled in.

However, I want to mention with more emphasis the people that have been there during the performing of this team. They have participated more or less directly to its creation.

M – Aquí tenim el 5è equip que tant ens va costar de trovar un nom adequat. Gràcies per tot i en poc temps ens veiem a London. Recorda que el primer equip que vam publicar era amb la portada de Nature .

tlenit1 – The bestie itself. Thanks for everything and sharing with me some PU stall teams that just bring some heat whenever I use them. It is a shame that I have come twice in two months to Helnsiki and I could meet you…

Cookees – Hope everything is going well. As always, a big inspiration on me and I would like to encourage you to try ZU for the next RMT and campaign .

5gen – One of the best TLs I haver ever met. Thanks for your passion and all that gives to the SM ZU community. Moreover, you trust on me during the ZUPL auction and, although I did not play due to many reason, I am so grateful for you kindness.

h_n_g_m_n – Again thanks for this amazing banner. You capture accurately what I want in the banner. I could never have imagined something better. Thanks!

Reiga – Thanks for the patience. You did an amazing work for the Dragonite. Cute and comfy, a pure Dragonite :).




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A.V.A. “Arctic Vexillology Association” [ PS!: Peaked #29]

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These credits' song is just astonishing. There is joy mixed with nostalgy because you have reached your main goal but now you have to search inside yourself to choose another one. I have added a cover that I find amazing, please give some likes to this amazing work they have done.



VI - Conclusions



This is the end of my 4th RMT. My plan is that this will be my penultimate of this generation. The last one will be in ZU too but with the team I have had more success and more fun of all I have played.

Right now, I think I have found my spot in Smogon community. Being participative in both ZU and NFE and a chair in the ORAS NFE council make me so happy. Hopefully I will follow with this two tiers and ladder on them during the next generation.



And just to finish these concluions, my main statement is that stall archetype in SM ZU is viable although has plenty wallbreakers which make difficult to build a consistent stall team. Tangela’s rising was a big loss for stall archetype being able to stop Shiftry, a big problem right now for any stall team with SD, Seed Bomb, Knock Off and Leafstorm. However, I think I have found a cool way to play defensively but with some offensive pressure and I will present you that team with a more detailed state-of-the-art of SM ZU wallbreakers in the next RMT. Stay Tuned!!!!!



Remember Pokémaniacs, Pokémon is just to enjoy any piece of time you spend on it. Peace always in the battles against Hyper Offense or against Stall because, at the end, what makes you happy playing it is your attitude. Life is not easy, but it is not difficult. Life is life, face it with a big smile (like this Dragonite :D)!





Click me, I am spherical ;)

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Credits to Reiga for this amazing artwork.





See you all Pokémaniacs in the next RMT! :)
 
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