Smogon Premier League 9: NU Discussion (Week 5)


Hey, with SPL9 underway, this thread will be used to discuss NU related topics, whether it's about the players, general metagame trends, matches, predictions and so on. This thread will be updated frequently with each new week, player standings, and replays.

SPL Schedule
Auction Logs

Potential NUers:
Circus Maximus Tigers:
Hootie, Evan, p2
Indie Scooters: Eternally, Elodin
Team Raiders: Zukushiku
Ever Grande BIGS: Kushalos
Stark Sharks: Teddeh, dodmen, Tricking
Wi-Fi Wolfpack: Earth
Cryonicles: ict
Dragonspiral Tyrants: Meeps
Alpha Ruiners: Snagaa, Lax
Congregation of the Classiest: Pohjiis, Z+V, Rodriblutar, BOUFF

Power Rankings:

Player Standings:
ict: 2-0
Meeps: 2-1
Kushalos: 1-1
Eternally: 1-1
Earth: 1-1
Teddeh: 1-1
Zukushiku: 1-1
Pohjiis: 1-1
Hootie: 0-2
Snagaa: 0-2
Lax: 1-0

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hi there. i know it barely has been even 12 hours from the auction but i still couldn't resist my temptation posting as soon as possible. i can't sleep so i guess this is my way of trying to release pressure since it is about 8am (9am when i finished) when i am posting and having my first exam roughly in 5 hours and final one this semester on thursday. and who wouldn't want to speculate about the possible starters etc. in one of the most prestigious team tournaments on this site?

something about me since most likely not everyone has a clue about me and i am very likely going to play NU in SPL. ubers has been my main tier forever even though for a long time OU tiers across different generations has been my passion playing this game. during SM era NU was among LC my favourite tier to play and i enjoyed it the most. UU and RU were good but for instance UU had so many changes that it was quite ridiculous to keep track. NU had the stability which i liked a lot but also having different metagame trends made the tier enjoyable. USUM has brought new tools and i can't wait to see what the upcoming SPL has to offer in team building, creativity wise and in general in the metagame.

even though FLCL isnt playing, i think the pool looks solid to me despite some of good players not getting drafted. from week 1 match ups and in players in general i guess i'll just say something:

eternally has a really cool way of approaching the tier and i enjoyed the way he worked in snake (with bouff) while i just stood back watching. scoots made in my opinion a very solid pick by taking him and i am sure he will go positive again (5-3 in snake). elodin is a solid back up for him if he doesn't excel but i don't see why he wouldn't. i am not sure who cryo's will slot in NU but ict makes the most sense and him being a really good player in general i wouldn't be surprised if he did play NU. one of the highlight match ups to catch live.

ruiner's picks were interesting to me: not the most flashy names but snagaa and lax are good players regardless. i am not quite certain who will start but i assume snagaa has the upper hand after having a really good open run (top-4) and ending snake by beating the biggest threat (meeps) in snake finals. lax is very well capable starting and will be interesting who of the two will start in 2 weeks. tony and anti (kratosmana) picking earth for wolfpack is a very interesting and cool pick and him having the chance to shine is great to a guy who has been putting effort into NU for a while. first games will most likely show if he will excel or fail badly.

i have never been interesting in other metas so i have no clue about zukushiku other than being good at monotype. i am sure pearl and FLCL wouldn't pick him for the memes and i definitely would never underestimate a guy who hasn't been in the spotlights but has every tool to succeed (being a good player in general and having the best possible support from FLCL). i expected kushalos move to RU but it is always great to see him playing NU as i know from my experience (taking advice etc. from him a lot during SM). it will be interesting to see if he will rely more on his solid bulkier or xatu teams or on teams that he can only handle. interesting match up.

sharks picked several potential NU players but seems like a waste to me if dodmen didn't play UU and tricking (after his one week tournament ban ends) OU but mdragon and hikari know way better than me. teddeh hasn't been in the loop that much but lately he has showed his power and he ended up winning NU Seed. i am happy for him to get another shot at the biggest stage possible. tiger's also have several potential starters but hootie starting makes the most sense to me and is the best NU player on tigers. from my acknowledge evan hasn't been active during SM but he has made a return to USUM and it will be interesting to see what he can offer after his hiatus. this isn't his first SPL and i am keen to see what he can bring to the table to his team and NU in general.

tyrants picked in my opinion the best possible player. meeps has showed to be creative and unpredictable in terms of teams but also showing his power in playing the game. going undefeated in NUPL, making top-8 in open, winning NU Express and ending up with a snake trophy with a really good 7-4 record. he is the biggest threat and the player to beat. while, yes, i did win the latest iteration of the NU Open and made top-8 in NU Seed, i haven't been fully satisfied how i have lately performed. losing twice in grand slam playoffs, to dodmen in nu seed and getting yesterday beaten by flamingvictini in smogon has motivated me to push even further. regardless, whoever on my team (the classiest) ends up playing him, the upcoming season couldn't start with stronger opponent.

i look forward working with my team mates and hopefully the tier shifts happen eventually. good luck everyone!
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Eternally - Today at 11:29 PM
joo post or get infracted

i honestly am pretty happy w/ how this nu pool turned out, with just about every team having a solid starter w/ some good depth behind them in terms of support, which should hopefully lead to an interesting season.

i think coming from snake, hootie and eternally are the interchangeable number 1 and number 2 seeds here, as reflected by both of them going for 9.5 (.5k below me in spl7 >:3), and both are coming off of a nice 5 wins from there. i think eternallys been a bit more active / motivated for this tour, hootie being a bit busier and w/ more responsibilities might not be as hyped up as i think eternally is atm, so i personally think eternally takes the number 1 seed pre season, but hootie definetly showed w/ his 5-1 finish in snake he shouldnt be taken lightly when motivated, so i hope we see him fully active for spl.

i think the next few seeds are meeps / teddeh / kush, with meeps probably taking #3 with teddeh / kush interchangeable. while some ppl can argue meeps should be 1 / 2 after taking the number 1 record in snake along w/ a multitude of other things, but he hasnt really played usm and from what ive heard his motivation is quite low. he also had a few robberies in snake, flcl misclicking and rodris null being the ones i rmbr, but i still think hes fairly solid for this field and his motivation will be the largest indicator of his record. teddeh is interesting as up until ~3 weeks ago i considered him a very risky pick for spl, but since then hes picked up his activity a lot & won seeded with his usual fat shit so im quite pleased he was drafted & is able to give it his all. he has however been on a downward trend in spls, but his team does have backups dod and tricking (who can also build for him) which makes the sharks have some of the best nu support in the tour imo. i would be quite shocked to see that slot end with a negative record, but i do think it can happen. kush is an interesting pick because he had an above average snake, but a lot of that can be attributed to some rng going his way and his opps making some dumb mistakes. his last spl ended w/ him going 0-2 in ru followed by a 0-1 in dpp, but it has been 2 years since then and he does have self proclaimed "best nu help" finchinator as a captain so he could easily put up some good numbers.

the next batch is the retains i think, mainly ict / pohjis, both of whom will be playing nu for the first time in an official team tour in this tournament. ict is really good at lower tiers if he can maintain his activity, but the lack of nu help on the cryos may be its downfall as they are going to have to rely on star(?) building nu which i dont think is even possible. worst case i guess he rolls up w/ some sub hub and goes ham, but if ict does manage to stay active and get some good teambuilding support hes definitely going to be a threat. on the other side of the retain table we have pohjis, who has a lot more support than ict in z+v / bouff to build for him, both of whom have a fairly interesting take on the tier so the stuff they make should be creative to say the least. rodri is also able to take over, especially if its rodri computer mode, which allows pohjis to move over to other tiers like an ou of some kind if needed, but i think compared to the rest of the nu pool hes going to have an uphill battle most weeks.

to round off the pool we have the three bigger question marks, with earth / zukushiku / snaga. im biased towards earth so ill keep it brief, but hes a great player who had a good nupl & has a really nice take on building which i think will give him an edge. he is also extremely motivated to prove himself, and on a team that is able to support him well like wolfpack i think hes going to do amazing. zuku is a monotype main who has been hyped up by obii and pearl since monotype premiere league as the next big thing, and hes finally getting his chance in the spotlight. with flcl support for teambuilding and a high calibur in terms of playing ability, zukus definetly going to be one of the dark horses of this tour. he however can end up like a few of the past raiders failed non-nu players that they hope flcl can support like hack and end up falling flat on his face. i think however with him wanting to prove himself & how well versed flcl is in nu atm that he'll put up a positive record, but only time can tell. snagaa rounds up the nu picks, with support from lax, both of whom played in snake to put up mediocre records. i honestly dont see either player using this as their breakout tour and going amazing, but i think there is a much higher chance of the slot ending badly than it does amazingly.

if you didnt care to read that wall of text, this is what my pre-season rankings would be:
ict / eternally / hootie / meeps / teddeh / kushalos / pohjis / earth / snaga / zukushiku


ict is first in my heart and now in my rankings as well :3c
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#1 Eternally / Elodin - Eternally showed he is one of the best NU players, he gets the spot over Meeps purely that he has a teammate to work together with.

#2 Meeps - Won NUL, did really well in Snake, is creative builder. Only downfall is that he hasn't played much USUM NU yet. Not more to say then he probably will go positive.

#3 Pohjiis, Z+V, Rodriblutar, BOUFF - Pohjis has shown to be familiar with the tier over the course of grand slam and the recent seeded tour, but I'm still unsure of his ability to build teams himself. Pohjis also has like 4 people to help him.

#4 Teddeh, dodmen, Tricking - Teddeh, while being out of the tier and metagame for some time has once again proven his ablity to play well. His builds still look quite outdated and weird but judging skill at the game he has the potential to finish with one of the best records in the pool. Also has maybe the best trio in NU SPL.

#5 Hootie, Evan, p2, esteemed TL, had a really stubborn beginning of Snake but has shown his skill in the later stages, usually seems to fall back on similar patterns when building which might be his downfall. The other 2 potential NU'ers also aren't better in building then Hootie himself.

#6 ict - He has clearly established himself as one of the most consistent all around lower tier players in the game, you could argue that he belongs higher on this list, but there is people more familiar and confident in the tier, which puts him at number 6 on our list.

#7 snaga/lax - both have proven their competence in SSD, snaga defeating argueably the best SM NUer Meeps in the finals, with a very convincing performance

#8 kushalos - Kush has shown to be very hit or miss in the past, while his approach to building and playing is creative and solid, we might see some random articun vileplume stall every week, we dont know. On his best day he easily deserves to be higher but the situation is not clear of how well he will perform.

#9 Zukushiku/shake - never heard of zukushiku and shake quit 3 days ago, so I'm not sure how in shape he is especially after his SSD performance, FLCL and Pearl most definetly didnt pick randomly for this slot though, so we might see some ''suprise'' wins from either, whichever gets the opportunity to start. Team support from FLCL will be key in this slot, and a big factor of the success of the NU slot.

free monotype

#10 Earth - Earth has not proven himself in major tournaments yet apart from NUPL where he showed his skill in ORAS, there is not much intel on his confidence in SM. Still rooting for you though :]

Honorable Mentions:

Jarii: The one and only, 18th seeded rank. After doing very well in NUL till his finals performance, he dipped on NU, and came back recently to redeem himself for his past SPL performance. He didnt get drafted, which is unfortunate, because i think he would have deserved it.

Kiyo: With an average NUPL and low activity till recently, Kiyo didnt get the opportunity to establish himself as a top SMer.

Disjunction: Disjunction hasnt made any major tournament impact yet, which is probably why managers avoided buying him.

Garay Oak: Learn to spell gary you goon. On a serious note: Garay has shown that hes certainly capable of performing on the big stage in his game against bushtush, but he hasnt proven himself enough to justify purchasing him just yet.

Solidsweeps: deemed by wintertime as a bad player in his pastebin, laurens hasnt shown much since NUPL where he did well but came up with some very weird and shaky builds.

Santu: Santu has shown competence in seeded, which he could have won if not for some missplays in game 3, he would have deserved a shot.

every bad english sentence credits to jarii, he still doesnt know how to english
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OU Forum Leader
Kushalos is gonna dominate the field for my team of course, but as for the rest of you goons, here is where I rank the prospective starters:

1a. Hootie

Hootman the GOAT is #1a and it should be no surprise seeing as he won five of his last six Snake games, dominated NUPL, and has been an active TL throughout the generation. He is far from a sure thing, but I think it is more likely than not that he will go positive as he now has a grasp on tournament play and he has valuable experience losing crucial games and almost throwing away other games in Snake, which will help reinforce a proper mindset here (yea, a bit of tough love, but I honestly think struggling in Snake made Hootie a lot better in the long haul). I also believe his preparation and playerbase knowledge is the best of the group, so it should be no surprise that he likely going to succeed.

1b. Eternally

While Hootie I feel has a bit on Eternally as a player, I think Eternally belongs in the same discussion because his tier knowledge and building competency is unparalleled, especially in USM. I feel that Eternally is only slightly above average as a player in this pool, which is still good enough to consistently win, but he has everything at his disposal to give himself an advantage in the teambuilder and by knowing the insides and outs o the tier. Eternally should be confident going into the tournament and do relatively well, if not dominate.

2a. Teddeh

Long time NUer Teddeh has been solid in the past and should be here once again after taking a break from NU for a bit. He came back and won NU Seeded while also showing that he still has it as a player. Teambuilding will not be easy for him, so he might start off slow when adapting to the tier, but I fully expect him to be up to speed and winning consistently come midseason.

2b. Meeps

Well like normally he'd be within the first tier, probably even on top, but this happens to carry on for the next month, too, as far as I know, so I can't say I am too confident in his ability to learn the tier if he hasn't started yet. With this said, he's still really good and will make it work a bit if he doesn't fall into SPL 6 full on tilt unlucky mode.

3. ict

Ict is a very good player who simply is not in a tier one might expect him to be in. I have him around the middle with potential to easily exceed expectations, but also potential to flop if he does not adapt well. Ict gives his team what he needs -- a strong overall player who can slot in any lower tier, but now it will be tested how well he will do while slotting into a lower tier he normally does not associate with. I expect early struggles leading into sustained success in the long term, sort of like Teddeh, if he gets a grasp on the tier down the line.


Pohjis retain was a mistake and I do not understand it, but he is still a damn good player and will be able to compete with anyone in this field. Not only is he crafty and versatile overall, but he is smart enough about NU to hang with the better players. I would not say he is outright favored against anyone above him, but he can pull the upsets and compete with anyone, as shown by his Grand Slam run and general Ubers playing results. I am interested to see if he can bring strong teams and scout at the level necessary to do well when he is not as big an NU name as some of the others, who also excel in this regard, such as Eternally and Hootie.

5a. Earth

Inexperienced, but in good hands. If he is ghosted or not, I do not know and I do not really care, but I think not. Earth is a strong player for a tournament like NUPL, but SPL will be a legitimately challenging transition for him and I expect him to embrace it, but perhaps struggle throughout the tournament, especially later on in games when complex situations approach him and the timer runs down. I think Earth will bring respectable, even trend-setting teams with the assistance of Rozes, but I also think that he has a ways to go as a player to prove himself to be on par with the names above him. I think his ability to make early-mid game optimal plays is going to set him apart from those below him and keep him in games with those above him, but he still is not the full, complete thing until we see him winning some actual SPL games, in my opinion.

5b. Snaga

Unlike Earth, Snaga lacks the grasp on the optimal play in mid-game situations, but he is a risk-taker and a trigger puller, which can go a long way against a fairly conservative, even pedestrian playerbase. Snaga's teambuilding is all over, encompassing unviable Pokemon and some decent techs depending on if he hits or misses, and I think this will be his saving grace a few times and his demise most other games. I struggle to see him going positive, but he does have Lax to provide support, which is nice as Lax is a good NU builder without a doubt, but he does not have anyone to help him make reasonable plays and secure games, so Snaga could be in trouble if he does not become more consistent and a bit less wild at times where it simply is not necessary.

6. Zukushiku

two emotes from discord sum this pick up quite well:

claim your mans, raiders -- we're all waiting to see how he breaks out and he could very well surprise us all, but you gotta start from the bottom when there is not much known of yourself, so this should be no surprise


is a member of the Site Staffis a Super Moderatoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
C&C & NU Leader
Hey there! Happy to be playing in SPL for the Tigers and looking forward to all of the matchups during the main season. I think the pool of players for this SPL is a bit weaker than the starters in Snake overall (no FLCL is a big hit), but this a decent pool nonetheless. Not going to go and rank people, but I will leave some thoughts on some of the players, especially the ones starting in NU for the first time.

Pohjis I'm most interested to see flesh out as a player considering he won open and I really liked his take on building for most of his games (not entirely sure how much he built, but whoever did I'm a fan lol). I feel as though he'll have an impressive performance when backed up by some solid lower tier support. Always cool to see players in other tiers break out and perform well in another. ict is a fantastic lower tier player and I think he'll do very well just on that fact alone, though very little in the way of teambuilding support is likely going to hinder him a bit assuming he doesn't have someone helping him behind the scenes already. Regardless, he'll put up the results he needs to. Earth I feel as though will have a hard time transitioning from NUPL to SPL, but teambuilding support from rozes definitely is favorable, he just has to make sure that his play is up to standards and I know from experience that this may make things rough for him initially. Zukushiku is obviously the biggest question mark of the tour, but I've heard good things about him playing-wise, so assuming he's already solid in that department, he'll definitely go positive with arguably the best NU support in FLCL. Raiders wouldn't draft him if they didn't have some sort of trust in his play so he shouldn't be underestimated.

Also have some brief thoughts on the rest of the players. meeps is a good player and he'll do well as long as he picks up the slack. I really don't think with meeps' case that records mean everything here, as he had some questionable games in snake, but regardless he's still shown consistency and I love seeing the weird things he brings during his games that somehow work. Not much to really say about Eternally that's already been said, he's very knowledgable and he's shown from snake that he's very capable of playing at a high level. I expect good things from him. Teddeh being back in action is a nice change of pace and I can't say I'm really surprised by this because he's had a history of being incredibly consistent in NU during XY, so I'm glad to see he finally got a chance to finally break out in SM NU. He also has some great support in both dodmen and Tricking that can back him up if necessary. Kushalos has been a long time lower tier player and did decently in snake, though his builds have been rough at times, which may lead to his downfall in some games. Luckily Finchinator is there to save Kushalos from using too many "unsets". I feel he'll still perform and may end up going positive. snagaa and lax both had decent runs in NU open, but both put up mediocre records during snake, so predicting how they'll do by the end is a bit hard, but building-wise, I think lax will support snagaa nicely and still can very well start too. They'll just have to work with each other on their play more and they can do well.

Anyways, the pre-season has me hyped to be playing in what I feel is one of the more stable and fun metas for NU this gen (lets just pray usage shifts don't screw up our meta too much :p). Most of the changes from the transition from SM to USUM are nice additions, so I'm interested to see how builds will shape out by the end. Looking forward to working with all my teammates and I hope the rest of you competing enjoy this season as well!


is a member of the Site Staffis a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
I think power rankings are a waste of time, so I'm just going to ramble about players that I'm looking forward to watching.

Pohjis, the NU Open champion, is the player I will probably be following the most outside of my regular group of friends. I was very impressed by the way he handled NU Open finals and, despite a disappointing snake, he's obviously shown he knows what he's doing in battle. I know he also cares a lot about the quality of the teams he brings, so I'm looking forward to seeing how he shapes the meta.

Zukushiku is a big question mark for a lot of people, but I think that's what makes him so exciting. All three of FLCL, Pearl, and TDK are extremely competent players and likely wouldn't have picked him up unless they had faith in his ability. If snake this year wasn't a good indicator, these kind of question mark players can be pretty threatening. I'm hoping he does well and am looking forward to seeing his playstyle and builds.

Kush has been a great low tier all-rounder for a while and an especially cool NU'er on top of that. It's good to see him getting the kind of respect he deserves for the level of skill he's demonstrated in the past year. I'm expecting him to make a big splash this SPL and it'll be awesome to see if he brings the same caliber of teams he brought in snake.

ict has been an inspiration since I got to team with him in lcpl. I don't know if he's played NU since beta, but I know that he'll be able to get back into it with ease if he hasn't considering he's the kind of player that you can trust with any format and expect results. It'll also be interesting to see how his teams will turn out without (seemingly) any NU support from his teammates. I'm looking forward to watching him do well because ict in his prime is awesome.

Not gonna focus as much on my friends Hootie, Eternally, Earth, Meeps, Lax, and Evan cause they all know how much I love them. I'll probably be testing with a few of them anyhow, so I can't get as invested from the spectator's perspective. It's looking like an awesome SPL so far and I'm excited to see where these players will take the metagame in this historic period for metagame growth.


i got to hug megazard /o/
is a Tiering Contributor
I can't compete with these long ass posts so i'll keep it short and sweet.

Eternally is a cute user, and has proven he's a top NU player so i'm putting my money on him to have the best performance.

Hating Teddeh still seems really popular, but coming with the momentum of winning NU seeded he's looking like he's back to his old self and ready to have a good run which is exciting. It's clear he hasn't really built much recently but with Tricking's help I don't think that'll be an issue.

Also rooting for Snaga and Earth. Snaga is just wild and is always fun to watch, and I can't slack on cheering on a fellow Dedenne. Excited to see Earth play and I hope this is the tour where he really puts his stamp on the tier.
dont worry ict i believe!!!

im really excited to be working w/ hooter this year, I think ppl really underestimate the value of having someone competent in the tier to bounce your ideas off of and help build / test with, especially w/ it being so many ppl's first SPLs, and I can't wait to see how hootie does this year.

speaking of that i know that everyone is hyping up the young blood this year (and believe me, a lot of it is warranted) but i hope that people don't start sleeping on meeps and teddeh, theyre easily in the top 4 for me (alongside hootie and eternally) which I consider to be a slight cut above the rest of the pool (no offence to anyone else playing, they just either have all the right conditions to succeed or have done it before).

I think that meeps' style of really not being afraid of bringing kooky shit that he thinks will work (just look at kiyos teams in the latter half of spl 7 to see how effective it can be) but still being a very solid player is the ideal combination to have for spl, and i'm excited to see his builds throughout the season.

After however many years of watching teddeh all the way back to xy i've just kind of grown to never bet against him. The dude is gonna do what he always does and it's gonna pull a positive record. As much as people are gonna say "oh he had a not so good showing in nupl, he's on the decline", just trust me he's not, and he's gonna be positive again lmao

i kinda group ict / pohjis / kushalos in kind of that second tier since they're all very solid players who have a solid grasp on the tier, but are just that slight bit lower mainly because I don't think that they'll be as willing or comfortable to step far enough outside the box like I believe the people in the top tier are (except for ted but his stuff ALWAYS works w/ a few minor tweaks thrown in).

finally i feel like theres another slight step down into the snaga / zuku / earth tier. zuku did some stuff in oras iirc? so he's a fairly solid player im guessing, flcl builds rly good teams as well so i'd give him the edge over the other two. honestly i dont know a ton about snaga, he and lax had ok snakes from what I saw out of replays and stuff but nothing seemed too noticeable. i know earth hasnt really proven himself in any kind of tournament setting but rozes builds cool teams sometimes so i wouldnt count them out of a few wins either

fr though, im really looking forward to spl its such a fun tour and I hope everyone has an awesome time this year!

e: oops theres a pretty bad freudian slip in there but ill leave it in in case anyone else catches it xd


I'm up and coming like I'm fucking in an elevator
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
Hi! I feel like I'm gonna add in my own thoughts on the draft :)

Personally i think that the playerbase is quite interesting with a weird mix of tournament players and NU mains. We have some standout performances from snake with Eternally / Meeps, which means that with similar motivation levels that they would be able to replicate. However, both saw a slight dip in form towards the end of the tournament whereby they started off extremely well, yet lost their last few games... It will be interesting to see how and if they will be able to recover from this. Hootie on the other hand was the complete opposite and started badly, yet finished extremely strong, which shows a lot of character and I hope he manages to do well (except week 1 hehe). Kushalos did okay in snake, but nothing spectacular, however he will probably finish the middle of the pack. Snaga / lax is a question mark for me, not entirely sure what they will produce as they had a mixed bag of results from snake. Snaga won during snake finals which was an impressive feat, but had an overall mediocre result in the tournament, whereas lax i haven't seen play sm at all.

The tournament players bracket - Pohjiis / ict / elodin - these guys are solid as fuck. It wouldn't surprise me if they did really well, but at the same time I would expect their tier knowledge to lack, in areas whereby if they don't see something that's standard, they will have no clue what it will do, whereas most NU players have seen / thought / used the majority of things the tier has to offer. However in terms of playing ability, they will do very well, they just need the proper support in terms of team building. Obviously elodin is working with eternally so will be an excellent back up, pohjiis is working with z+v / rodri / bouff so they will have a lot of back up, but ict will have to do it himself, which he is more than capable at doing, however he might struggle for the first couple of weeks. But I wouldn't be surprised if he hit the ground running.

Then the "are these guys going to perform at all?" bracket - which i suppose fits anyone who didn't play snake which was the only other official team tour which included NU. For this We see Earth, myself, zukushiku. This doesn't mean to say that this bracket of players will do badly, it's just an unknown entity for most people. Between Earth and Zukushiku, i don't know what they will be able to produce in terms of results as they haven't played NU in any official team tour. With no disrespect intended, they may be the lower end of the pack simply because they weren't picked up for more than 3k, but with other options not getting drafted like garay oak / jarii / kiyo / disjunction - they did something to edge out the competition and to impress the managers. Zuku will have flcl's support which judging by his name, that's how he got onto the raiders as a complete weeb. So with some bonding over anime, they might be able to spare some time for pokemon team building on the side and do decently well, but obviously i have no knowledge on this player whatsoever. Earth however has been very active in the NU community and will have a decent meta knowledge, and will certainly have the motivation to work hard to try and produce a good record. He will however need to keep his nerve and ignore any team tour nerves that may encourage choking, so if he can keep his nerves, he will be the underdog to do well this tournament.
Then that leaves me, who I will attempt to judge unbiased (lol) - after being on full tilt during nupl / pupl with a combined record of 2-8, not signing up for snake and generally not knowing anything about NU, i was on the "do not buy list" - which tbh I would have put myself. But despite these things, I would say I've bounced back enough in recent times with tournament results, such as winning xy cup, making round 10 of pu ssnl (still going) and most recently winning nu seeded after beating out Soulgazer / finch / kush, I would say I've picked up the tier and found form once again. So long as I can prepare properly in my weeks, I would back myself to win every match haha! (more likely to get a barely positive record imo)

Overall i think the strongest NUers are Meeps / Eternally / Teddeh
Second tier are Kush / Teddeh / Hootie / Pohjiis
Third tier (not as likely to get the strongest results but still very possible) are ict / Earth / snaga + lax / zukushiku
Special thanks to the following people for contributing in the creation of this article: ABR, Arifeen, Astamatitos, atomicllamas, Axel, Bedschibaer, BKC, blunder, Bouff, Bushtush, CALLOUS, Chill Shadow, Christo, Ciele, col49, dekzeh, dice, dodmen, Earthworm, elodin, Energy, Eo Ut Mortus, Eternal Spirit, Evan., Fear, Finchinator, FlamingVictini, FLCL, Funkasaurus, Genesis7, GGFan, gilbert arenas, Hikari, Hogg, Isa, jacob, Jayde, Jimmy Turtwig, kamikaze, Kaori, KratosMana, Kushalos, Lax, Level 51, Lord Ninjax, Lutra, Lycans, Manipulative, McMeghan, M Dragon, Memoric, Mizuhime, Mr.378, MrAldo, obii, Ojama, Pearl, Philip7086, Poek, Pohjis, rozes, Sabella, Sacri', soulgazer, stax, sulcata, talkingtree, TDK, teal6, Tony, Void, We Three Kings, Zamrock.

And a double thank you to the following people for helping even more, either with stat hunting, analysis, description, art, and more: ABR, BKC, Eo Ut Mortus, obii, talkingtree, teal6, princessofmusic, rozes, GGFan, Analytic, Finchinator, z0mOG, Earthworm, stax, Tony.


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with regards to rankings, i can't help but feel teddeh and kushalos should be switched with ict and pohjis. i think that all four of these guys are really respectable players and i'm glad they're in the field -- we will see plenty of interesting games -- but i feel like the former two have become a bit more of tier mainstays and are at least close to on par with the latter two. pohjis you can at least argue is familiar with the meta due to nu open and recent performances (i.e seeded), but i feel like kush's misplays and whatnot in snake have been overstated a bit (like people keep pointing out the meeps game when he might have very well made 1 main misplay, but he outplayed the rest only to get a bit unfortunate to likely cost him the game. and not to mention other things i feel like are either made up or exaggerated bc honestly he played pretty well throughout snake, just made some more risky plays that others in the field tend to neglect doing as they are more conservative players, which is totally fine and just a different perspective moreso than "right" or "wrong"). teddeh on the other hand has been one of the best nu players for a minute and he once again established himself in this sense throughout the seeded tournament and he also has dodmen to work with so like ranking him sixth just seems ridiculous to me when ict doesn't really know the tier to a great extent given everything we have seen and all. i suppose besides these four, imo, being messed around with, these rankings are solid and the descriptions are great. i'm looking forward especially to seeing ict and earth play as both have interesting minds for the game and are making their essential NU debuts in terms of big team tours here, so hopefully they will wow everyone in the process and put up good results regardless of the rankings and my personal beliefs as to where they should be ranked. finally, kinda feel like meeps has to sorta reassert himself at the top even after a strong snake because some games sorta fell into his lap (like three of them tbh, but esp the flcl game) and he has not played a ton of usm until lately, but this intrigues me, too, seeing as he always has a unique take on putting together teams and executing his strategies within the game itself.


Tournament Banned
Would you say the same thing if rozes posted? No. My tourban status has nothing to do with anything, so please stop.


P.S. Don’t make any comments about me not being Hipmonlee
@ above: the major difference is that rozes actually has valuable input and is not an unequivocally bad poster and PS presence

Regardless, this is a cool pool of players this time around. Seems like the biggest question is how Zukushiku and Earth will stack up to the proven NU tour players like meeps and co. It's also always interesting watching the lower tier players that are more entrenched in their tier's metagame and community compete versus the jack-of-all-trades type of players---the top three ranked NUers would definitely fall under the former category, so I wonder if that trend will hold up through this SPL.

I hope Hootie and meeps both do extremely well---it seems likely given their ranking, so I'm not sweating much.

Ultimately, if I had to guess, I would say meeps/Hootie/Pohjis end up with the top three best NU records in some order, but I'm kinda just an armchair NU guy interested because friends play it so take what I say with a grain of salt lol
havent had predicts since snake so ima throw in my thoughts on the matches

SM NU: Pohjis vs Teddeh 40-60 - Teddeh came back really strong for his week 1 while Pohjis had to deal with the insufferable human known as meeps flinching all of his pokemon. on the real, i just think teddeh's support is superior to pohjis's. godmen + tricking + himself is pretty insane and i think he'll have the better team as well as outplay

SM NU: Kushalos vs Ultra MEEPS 40-60 - it's really hard to predict against meeps in most cases because we all know he'll bring some random shit that kush will have no chance to prep for. kush has shown to bring innovative stuff that have good matchups against his opponents but he won't be able to do that to meeps. as a result, kush will probably bring some standard bulky xatu stuff and meeps will end up bringing 6 starter pokemon or something and outplay

SM NU: Eternally vs Earth 55-45 - this is a pretty interesting matchup that'll end up pretty close, imo. both are students to resident tour banned user sezor and should have a pretty similar building style cuz of that. eternally is a lot more experienced though and had a really nice showing in snake, he should have the upper hand in playing ability but it could very well come down to teambuilding and that's a toss up for me

SM NU: Hootie vs ict 40-60 - ict is the most experienced player out of pretty much the entire nu lineup this spl as well as one of the most consistent. he was ranked pretty low on the power ranks but that really doesn't mean much when you look at raw skill itself. hootie is the more experienced builder but i've noticed a pretty similar building style between a lot of his teams that could backfire. ict will be unpredictable because the only nu games on his replays are where he got DECIMATED by ultra ballz. result: ict will outplay
sad not as many ppl have done predictions for spl compared to snake, so hopefully a few more ppl get around to posting bc reading predictions w/ some explanations behind them is always interesting

first off wanna drop some thoughts on the week one games bc while not all of them were that spectacular watches, they still are interesting enough for me to talk about a little
SM NU: snagaa vs Earth - both of their spl debuts, and both decided to go w/ more standard builds and not rlly branch out w/ anything that innovative for their first game. snaga rocked a vika balance, smth thats been on a bit of a decline lately due to how unkid the meta is to vika w/ its low base speed and weakness to the two most common mons in phox and boar. earth brought a standard lix bro balance w/ wincon viv that sticks w/ the basic guidelines of a lix balance that have been around for a while (tho defogmowtom was a huge boon to the balance w/ usm). the game was fairly interesting, w/ snaga applying early pressure to earth w/ his z bug vika, but earth was able to make plays w/ his rotom-mow in order the threaten the seis / steelvally / xatu core in order to get lix in more to have the pressure of rocks up on snagas side. eventually the game came down to a "viv vs all" scenario since if earths viv failed to make its way past snagas team vika would sweep from there. snaga sacked his seis to sleep, and then went sneasel to rely on what he thought was a 43% roll (252 Atk Choice Band Sneasel Ice Shard vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Vivillon: 272-324 (90.3 - 107.6%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO), which combined w/ the shard crit rate + hurricane miss gave him fairly good odds to revenge it. however earth was using a viv spread i came up w/ to specifically tank cb sneasel ice shard + scarf tbolt from rotom at +1 (96 HP / 168 SPA / 4 SPD / 240+ SPE) which reduced the sneasel roll to (252 Atk Choice Band Sneasel Ice Shard vs. 96 HP / 0 Def Vivillon: 272-324 (83.6 - 99.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO) meaning sneasel had to crit there or viv would win. i think the only play snaga could have done to avoid this would have been sacking emboar to sleep -> seis and forcing a 50/50 w/ scald and tox as scald always breaks the +1 vivs sub, but if he lost it at any point then he would straight up lose which gave it much better odds for earth, which is why the sneasel play made sense w/o knowing the viv spread. overall this was a fairly good game and i hope to see both players keep it up in the coming weeks.
SM NU: ict vs Eternally - what started as a fairly good game shifted quickly to eternallys favor after getting a couple crits (one that was a roll), but one mistake from eternally ended the game fairly quickly for an ict victory. i dont think this is gonna be a common mistake eternallys gonna make, and hes def gonna bounce back w/ his next few games (after earth tho :3).
SM NU: Pohjis vs ULTRA MEEPS - probably the weirdest (and most dominating) game of the week was meeps vs pohjis. meeps deciding to bring out one of his signature creative teams ft kings rock cinno and nuzzle toge quickly decimated pohjis team due to his lack of a good cinno switch in. pohjis may have had a shot in the end game depending on what the last move on toge was (encore or zing zap would have won anyway), but if pohjis was sub klinklang he could have potentially subbed and boosted up in order to avoid the ditto transforming and revenging it, but that also depended on him being able to kill the slowbro before it could break his sub.
SM NU: Teddeh vs Hootie - teddeh came out w/ a lixbro balance (only diff between his and earths was toxicroak > viv) and had all the right tools in order to break hooties team. a well played scarf sucker boar for the midgame revenge on rotom, getting fairly lucky w/ hootie bringing a band guzzlord vs specs which could have done some work, but generally just had a good team matchup and played well in order to not lose the lead he gained early. if teddeh can keep it up w/ the standard builds and get away w/ his opps not realizing his trends in the next few weeks hes sure to continue w/ a decent record.
SM NU: Kushalos vs Zukushiku - one of the games i was more interested in this week, bc i wanted to see how zuku did in his first tour game as the only time i had seen him play nu before was when he tried out for me in nupl. @ preview both teams seemed fairly interesting w/ kush using a fairly standard klinklang balance @ team preview, with zuku bringing a cool looking spike stack w/ brav and boar. however a few of the sets turned out to be a bit diff from what they brought @ tp. on zukus side he had a gknot boar (which didnt even kill the sies ;_;) and a scarf brav, tho i think bulk up is the only viable brav in this meta due to how much ppl underprep for it. the game kept switching between who seemed to be in the lead, both playing while and zuku eventually getting up both spikes and sr to put a lot of pressure on kushs team. however the game looked just about over, w/ kush having three weakened mons vs 5 of zukus, but then kush pulled out a bulk up z fighting boar which managed to sweep from there and nab a win for the pigs.
ok onto the predicts for this week

SM NU: Pohjis (40 - 60) Teddeh - pohjis has a pretty shitty debut while teddeh came out strong w/ a solid win which makes me favor him quite a bit more. unless pohjis decides to step out of the box w/ smth a bit more creative / bit more stylized for the kinds of builds teddeh uses hes gonna have an uphill battle and will probably be playing from the back for the majority of the game. hopefully its an interesting watch tho bc both are capable players.
SM NU: Zukushiku (55 - 45) snagaa - both players w/ their second games coming off a 0-1 in their debut. from what i saw last week i think im gonna have to favor zuku a bit more as he had a good team and played it fairly well, and i still have a few issues w/ snagas build vs earth, but if both players manage to get an even mu i think the game will be fairly good.
SM NU: Kushalos (45 - 55) Ultra MEEPS - idk lol. meeps will prob bring smth whack and it depends on if kush has the proper checks. gonna favor meeps bc he has higher odds of bringing smth kush cant handle.
SM NU: Eternally (1 - 99) Earth - earths gonna crush eternally lol
SM NU: Hootie (40 - 60) ict - ict seems a bit more motivated than hootie is atm, depending on how much hootie actually cares to play / build over the next few days will def be the decider in this mu.

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