Gen 5 Smogon Premier League IX: BW OU Discussion

Posho

It's like I'm hanging on to nothing
is the Smogon Tour Season 23 Championis a defending Smogon Snake Draft Champion
#1


Hello Smogon Community, SPL already started, and I'm pretty much thrilled about the matchups we're soon going to get. This thread will be used to discuss anything BW OU-related, be it teams, trends, players or match-ups, so I hope you share your thoughts whether or not you're playing the tier in the tournament.

  • Week 1 Match-ups:
[RUIN] ZoroDark vs SoulWind [WOLF]
[CRYO] Funkasaurus vs elodin [SCTR]
[CONG]LuckOverSkill vs dice [TYRN]
[SHRK] bluri vs McMeghan [TGRS]
[BIGS] Posho vs Jirachee [RAID]
Replays collected from Logs & Replays thread

  • Useful data

Power Rankings
Usage Stats
  • Some thoughts and predictions:

SoulWind vs ZoroDark:
Without a doubt, this will be the highlight of the week, two really good and proven players whose style is rather aggresive, so we're in for a really good one if hax doesn't get in their way. In terms of teams, they usually stick to their own style, which is pretty solid, I'm not expecting anything too otherworldly however, except for a few tricks they will for sure have up their sleeves. The favored one here is most likely SoulWind, as he has a pretty vast knowledge about the metagame, and overall he's the more experienced, involved, consistent, whatever you want to call it player of the two, which in itself, doesn't suppose a huge threat for ZoroDark at all, since he's pretty skilled himself, so this could go really both ways.
Funkasaurus vs Elodin
I was actually expecting Elodin to be playing NU as he was having a good streak during Snake, but that wasn't the case and looks like he is back to the land of Sand and Rain. However it is not going to be a cakewalk as he's facing no other than Funkasaurus, whose presence hasn't been that prominent in the tournament scene, but he's for sure good, as shown in his overall WCoP record and the fact that even after many years without playing the tournament, he was able to pull a 3-0 record in this year's World Cup, showing no signs of rustiness. Elodin is also a pretty experienced BW player himself, so I'm expecting this to be a pretty close match.
LuckOverSkill vs dice
This is probably going to be my favorite match to watch, as both are pretty creative players, with a pretty unique style. They already battled in last year's SPL, but the match was not as good due to the presence of some hax, so I hope it doesn't happen again and we're able to spectate a decent one. Given the Power Rankings and the general opinion about these two players, dice is obviously favored here, and also we haven't seen Luck hold his own against other players in pretty much a while but he manages to perform decently either way, so don't count him out yet.
bluri vs McMeghan
This is an interesting one for sure here, bluri's BW team arsenal vs the McMemes. This is bluri's first SPL in which he will finally be able to prove whether he can hold his own against the best of the best, whereas McMeghan is pretty much a known veteran player, so it is expected that he will be able to find a way to adapt to bluri's common style throughout his preparation, which can result in a threat for the German player. I'm pretty thrilled about this matchup, as well as seeing bluri's overall perfomance through this tournament. Expect a pretty good match here.[/URL]
  • Trending sets and cores:
 
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#4
Seeing a lot of sun and rain, and not that many Sand Offense teams with the likes of Keldeo, Latios, Chomp, Lando, Jirachi etc. Seems like people are going for matchup picks more than in the past, foregoing in the safe option that Sand teams provide, wher you focus on winning by outplaying the opponent. There's a reason why Ttar has been #1 in usage for the past tours, due to its reliability, and it's easoer to cover everything with s sand team. As I mentioned too, Sun is seeing a revival as a viable strategy with 3 games so far being Sun vs Rain (I think it was always viable, just that people needed to find new ways to use it) after the ChloroDrought ban, which is nice to see, and people will need to prep more for those teams, as sun went 2-1 vs rain this week (one of which I thought was built to counter the common sand team I mentioned earlier).
 

Posho

It's like I'm hanging on to nothing
is the Smogon Tour Season 23 Championis a defending Smogon Snake Draft Champion
#5
So, with week one over, we've been able to see how people have been trying to get their wins out of sheer match-up picks wielding Sun teams, these teams have been absolutely monstrous, it's incredible how they've been left unnoticed for a really long time until people realized their effectiveness. Interesting week to say the least:

Some common trends:
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: The classic Rain Ferrothorn core makes its appearence once again, a pretty solid one since it's pretty hard to hit ferro hard without some fire coverage and rain basically helps weakening it. This core was present in almost all rain teams showcased during the first week, which pretty much shows how reliable it is. We will see if it maintains its prominence. Usually, Ferrothorn carries a double hazard set which is abused by some sort of strong water type, either in te form of keldeo or starmie, which both can get big chunks against teams without a reliable water resist.

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: Sun has had a devastating appearence during this first week, we've had it in 3/5 battles which is impressive in itself, given that ever since the Chlorophyll ban, this play-style wasn't as popular, but people recently started to pick it up, with very decent results; we've had three Rain vs Sun match-ups, which ended up with a 2-1 victory for the latter. It is also a fact that these kind of teams owe their success to the so broken Dugtrio, which usually helps getting rid of opposing Tyranitar and Heatran, or even revenge-killing some threats, which shows how effectively these trapping abilities work alongside this play-style.

On another note, Sand hasn't been really popular this week(only dice brought a sand team), which strikes me as rather awkward since Tyranitar is pretty good in the tier. I'm guessing people have been afraid of using it given how popular are Excadrill rain and Dugtrio sun teams. Let me know your thoughts. Do you believe trapping abilities are ban-worthy?

Week 2 Match-ups

LuckOverSkill vs. Bluri
Jirachee vs. ZoroDark
Posho vs. dice
elodin vs. SoulWind
McMeghan vs. Funkasaurus
 

Finchinator

IT'S FINK DUMBASS
is a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributoris a defending World Cup of Pokemon Champion
OU Forum Leader
#6
yea -- just wanna expand on


Dugtrio has been rising to prominence in BW for a couple months. Previously, it was due to the Leftiez Sun team with a couple other trappers, but this Sun Stall we saw numerous times this past week clearly shows that Dugtrio does not even need other trappers to function very well as part of a team that integrates it properly such as this. The thing is that this Sun Stall isn't even like totally 50/50 with match-up like some past cheesy teams either as I feel like it puts itself at an advantage against most common balanced Sand structures while also rendering most fatter/non-heavy offense Rains pretty much useless -- hell, even Elodin used pretty heavy offensive Rain against Funk and would've lost without significant luck. I feel like this trend was kind of inevitable and is a bit of a trickle-down from SM/ORAS and honestly I fucking hate it. The tier has become more and more susceptible to cheese and exploits over the years and I just wish we went back to the boring ol' days pre-Exca and all these Dug stalls where I could run my Sand balance in peace with a couple techs here and there to spice it up ;_; I feel like Dugtrio could certainly be looked at in the near future and I think that we will probably see more of it in the future -- def not going to want to rush this tho. Anyway, it isn't as shocking as it usually would be to see less uses of 'standard sand' if only because of the way the metagame has essentially adapted to fuck it up w/ Excadrill being allowed and the aforementioned Dugtrio exploits running rampant. I think that this is kinda just an unfortunate cycle in the metagame that hopefully we will move past be it naturally or through a ban in the near future.
 
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#8
I was pretty certain sandstorm would have got less usage but I wasn't expecting such a rise for sun. I think Rain stall would perform similarly due to the general structure of teams. Sun stall is the one that better manages stallbreakers such as Taunt Jellicent and Mew but Rain has always been the solidest out of all kinds of stall especially when facing wallbreakers such as Hydreigon (only problem I see with recurring rain stalls is the complete lack of a spikes deterrent besides tauntmory, which forces tenta to spin too many times exposing itself to tyranitar).
By the way I loved seeing Soulwind and Luck>Skill's teams in action, even if they lost. Indeed I have two similar teams (with Roar Latias > Hydre in SW's case and custaptoed / three attacks jirachi / cm tios in LS' case, if I remember correctly).
On the matter of Excadrill, it surely is exerting an enormous pressure upon teambuilding choices, but I'm expecting to see more and more adapted sand teams as the competition goes on, so maybe we'll get a grasp of what he is really capable of in-battle...and act accordingly
The Sun + Dugtrio formula has always had occasional success but the problem often solves itself - things like enemy trappers, unorthodox sweepers, a random toxic from an offensive mon aimed to cresselia and SR blast chomp should be more than enough to keep it at bay, we'll see how players react

Edit in response to LL.
Humm. Rain stall can run trappers, too (dugtrio for removing ninetales, gothitelle for ruining chansey or cress) but I get your point. It's not like Rain could run these without a price to pay, especially because it lacks its own "hello-i-counter-half-the-meta" pokemon unlike sand (tyranitar) and sun (cresselia).
It's not true that every mon on Sun has reliable recovery, though. Only half the team does, so it is more or less on par with other weather stalls
 
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elodin

kingpin jr
is a Tiering Contributoris a defending Smogon Snake Draft Championis a Past SPL and WCoP Champion
#9
yea -- just wanna expand on


hell, even Elodin used pretty heavy offensive Rain against Funk and would've lost without significant luck.
I agree with some of the things you pointed out in your post, this bit isn't true though. From a spectator's perspective it might've seemed as if I had no way to play around Cresselia under sun, but I still had a couple tricks up my sleeve to cripple it and win with Garchomp later in the game. Not to mention that I couldn't get any advantage of rain boosted attacks from Keldeo / Starmie after missing Hydro Pump on Chansey (which was a 2HKO), because the minute Chansey went back to full it consequently made my Politoed get weakened (because Ferrothorn was my safest option vs Chansey and it invited in Ninetales which forced me to go Politoed) to a point where I got 0 kills under rain, when I could've probably gotten 2 with Starmie / Keldeo if luck favored me earlier. Now I'm not saying I was gonna win that game without that crit, but saying I would've lost is definitely an overstatement as both my Keldeo and my Garchomp looked like great win conditions if I crippled Cresselia, even under sun. I'm not saying this to defend my plays in that game btw, I'm just pointing out that standard offensive rain or sand teams can have ways of dealing with sun even after losing the weather war to Ninetales / Dugtrio, and they can also prolong the weather war with some adaptations to their inducers and find picks in the process.

Expanding on what Finch said in the rest of his post, I have mixed feelings about Dugtrio and Sun teams right now. Back when we banned Chlorophyll because it made Sun too "matchup reliant" and "forced too many matchup wins in BW" it wasn't clear for many of us that the playstyle would remain the same. Dugtrio was always the issue in those scenarios, as it makes it very hard for Rain and Sand teams to win the weather war vs Ninetales, while Ninetales on its own would most definitely lose any weather war (except vs Abomasnow I guess). While that does seem broken in the sense that this playstyle is still forcing matchup wins in the tier, I think we haven't had enough time to adapt to this current metagame trend and some underrated strategies should start seeing more usage now that Sun teams are popular again.

This is important to point out because these aren't gimmicky strategies at all, they're actually just underrated in the current metagame. There's this misconception in Smogon at the moment that Dugtrio is broken in every gen and that its presence forces you to run bad stuff to play around it, but Dugtrio Sun teams were always part of the BW metagame and it forced matchup wins back then and it forces matchup wins now. Shed Shell Tyranitar was probably the most popular set at one point (when the McMeghan Darmanitan Sun team was everywhere in Smogon Tour); Hippowdon spent several months being the best weather inducer because it wasn't trapped by Dugtrio ever and it could easily switch into Ninetales; we saw Rain teams (Tornadus offense mostly) often bring their own Dugtrios to trap opposing weather inducers and Jirachis... the list goes on. Now I'm not saying you're forced to run one of those things if you don't wanna be Sun weak, I'm just saying it might be a bit too early to determine whether or not Dugtrio is broken in BW and that players in the past managed to handle it, even when Sun teams were stronger (with Chlorophyll abusers). Let's see how the metagame and the players adapt first before jumping to hasty conclusions. Totally agree with Finch on this.

If we had to make a decision right now I'd probably vote to not ban trapping abilities though, because their combination with Sun Stall isn't inherently broken, it just makes the metagame extremely boring, forces matchup victories and doesn't add anything to any playstyle other than Sun Stall. If we ban it we will surely see the BW metagame shift back to standard Rain Exca Offense teams and Bulky Sand teams though, which is the pinnacle of lack of creativity. Banning Dugtrio to maintain this status quo is not something I'll ever be in favor of, so thankfully we don't have to make a decision right now.
 
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#10
where I could run my Sand balance in peace with a couple techs here and there to spice it up ;_;
I find this part interesting, as this is the first time since the Exca unban that I've seen many players try to make Sand less reliable, by using the aforementioned Dugtrio on sun and Excadrill on rain. Why has it taken this long for people to start trying to cheese their way thru the good old Ttar/Latios/Garchomp/Keldeo/steel type/filler teams?
 

McMeghan

Dreamcatcher
is a Tiering Contributoris a Tournament Director Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnusis the Smogon Tour Season 14 Championis a Past SPL Champion
#11
The elephant in the room and hottest subject of conversation right now is Sun. I don't think anybody expected it to show up in 3 games out of 5 possible. It is a very strong metagame pick. Cresselia in particular wins so many games by itself under the sun and is the primary reason as to why you'd want to use Sun imo. Current rains abusing the like of Excadrill or Toxicroak will have to think twice before going into a game, as those typically offer an horrid match-up vs Sun (see SW vs ZoroDark).

Leftiez' Sun and Cresselia abuse require pretty different counterplays making it even harder to prepare for under the current standard frameworks. With the week 1 showing in mind, I expect people to take it more into consideration. Unlike the other playstyles, Sun is more extreme as it is much harder if not downright impossible to play around its threats without the proper tools. I'd talk about them but that'd against my interests for now :p

One of the biggest contributing factor to this Sun performance was obviously Dugtrio. I've always felt that Dugtrio was very strong in BW, and not only in Sun teams. Maybe we'll see it in other archetypes in the future? It is pretty strong against Sun too afterall.

Even though teambuilding is probably gonna be harder due to these new things in mind, I feel like it's gonna reward people able to think outside the box a bit and adapt accordingly, which is great imo. Maybe people will feel like a change needs to be done in tiering afterwards, we'll see.
 

Posho

It's like I'm hanging on to nothing
is the Smogon Tour Season 23 Championis a defending Smogon Snake Draft Champion
#13
I would give you a point, but how can you say that after week 1? There were literally no Sand vs. Sun match-ups, so don't try to make it appear as if it was fully intended to counter-style those kind of teams, it can be effective against everything else. Rain gets punished by Politoed getting constantly worn down by Ninetales will-o-wisp plus some "reliable" water resist, say, Chansey in this case, so it eventually loses and there's also the chance Dugtrio comes in to revenge-kill it and practically make it impossible for the opposing team to knock out the likes of Cresselia or Volcarona. Weatherless gets directly punished by Cresselia's Moonlight + Toxic and Dugtrio getting rid of potential Jirachi or Magnezone, unless you can have it getting tricked or crippled by something, but that's literally a really difficult task to do given the support it receives; Chansey and Xatu can absorb and block status respectively, also given the match-up you have you can pick a trick-fodder so Cress keeps on being annoying for the opposing team. Sand is pretty clear, you usually try to get free turns to get your Dugtrio to revenge kill Tyranitar, or if you're using Xatu, it just comes in and wears it down with Rocky Helmet + Toxic/Night Shade so it's in Dugtrio's eq range and it doesn't even get to set hazards up and thus making it imposible to defeat sun.

I see nothing wrong with trying to fix a tier and strive for its healthiness, just like it was done in ORAS with getting trapping abilities banned, I am pretty sure we can agree something should be done.
 
#14
3 years of 8 sand teams per week and noone tries to ban that shit. 1 week with 3 sun teams with an average winrate and suddenly its the most broken shit possible....

:hmmmm:

How about not using these ridiculous small sample sizes to claim something is broken??? Basically read dice post and instead of crying broken think about measures you can take to actually account for a forgotten threat.
 

Finchinator

IT'S FINK DUMBASS
is a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributoris a defending World Cup of Pokemon Champion
OU Forum Leader
#15
Unsure why people assumed "I feel like Dugtrio could certainly be looked at in the near future and I think that we will probably see more of it in the future -- def not going to want to rush this tho." from my first post meant that I (or anyone else, for that matter) wanted to ban it right now, but I want to clear the air for the sake of clarification and healthy discussion: I want Dugtrio to be looked into carefully right now as opposed to banned outright. We are in the middle of the most important tournament and changing the metagame significantly would be ridiculous. If tiering action is needed in the future when it is more reasonable, then the BW Council will handle it appropriately given that it is our jobs to do so.

3 years of 8 sand teams per week and noone tries to ban that shit. 1 week with 3 sun teams with an average winrate and suddenly its the most broken shit possible....
Nobody tried to ban "that shit" because "that shit" wasn't remotely banworthy. As a community, we tier in order to promote the most healthy and competitive gameplay in our metagames. If we find that a Pokemon or element is banworthy, then we act to get it banned. This has little-to-nothing to do with preserving or destroying archetypes in this context. There is, admittedly, a bit to do with minimizing collateral damage on a tier that simply does not drastically shift enough anymore to where it could afford to healthily survive and shift away from the ban of something so prominent as weather outright or even Latios arguably, but all in all people are discussing Dugtrio because they believe it may be banworthy and we could act on it in the future, not to preserve some Sand heavy status quo. Looking at it from the terms you just posted or Dice did in his first "hot take" post is not only missing the point completely, but also is employing a poor generalization that is misused as a defense for the point-of-view that states nothing should be done to change the tier. There are legitimate arguments to support this notion, too (see: what Dice ended his last post with), but I find this to be far from one.

How about not using these ridiculous small sample sizes to claim something is broken??? Basically read dice post and instead of crying broken think about measures you can take to actually account for a forgotten threat.
Addressed this in the first part of my post and will again just to make more sense of it, but it's not my fault that you guys jumped to the conclusion that we wanted it banned right away -- nobody outright said Dugtrio was banworthy (besides Posho when he labeled it as "broken Dugtrio" in the post summarizing week one, who is not a member of the BW Council and was more attesting to the significant impact it had in those games as opposed to actually making an argument to ban it quite yet) and nobody said it should be banned right now, in the middle of SPL.

I'm personally glad that we are having a discussion about it and people care about the state of the metagame as this is one of my favorite tiers, but I feel like things would go a lot smoother if we all took a minute to understand each other as opposed to jumping the gun and making misguided assumptions.
 

McMeghan

Dreamcatcher
is a Tiering Contributoris a Tournament Director Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnusis the Smogon Tour Season 14 Championis a Past SPL Champion
#17
I mostly agree with dice and Conflict's sentiments personally.

Posho everything you're describing in your post is true and works against the current Sand/Rain/Weatherless builds. Emphasis on "current" though. Those archetypes have better ways to play around Sun. And Sun may adapt too as a result, but not everything is as simple as it seems and the tools are there in both camps.

Something to keep in mind is that Sun is by far the most fragile of the playstyles available (which is partly why it's so underrepresented). One thing goes wrong and the whole team crumbles.

Off the top of my head, there are 3 ways to beat Sun:
  • hazards
  • escaping trap of key threats
  • outsweeping them
I'll elaborate a bit. We all know that Sun is very weak to hazards, especially Stealth Rock. They go lenghts into preventing their opponent from keeping them up, be it from using Xatu, a spinner, or both. The Sun player will often have to be very meticulous at team preview and when playing to prevent SR from dismantling them. This can be used at your advantage by a clever teambuilding in multiple facets.

The first one is having multiple Pokemons potentially able to get Rocks up. This will give you an advantage in the game as unexpected Rocks staying up can go a long way into winning a game vs Sun. Xatu-Suns for example would like to switch Xatu into every potential Rockers, but this may very well cost them Xatu's life before Rocks even go up. I will admit that Rain would have an harder time with that approach (hard to deviate from using SR on either Ferrothorn or Jirachi), but Sand and weatherless teams can definitely afford this luxury. The second way is to carefully pick both the Stealth Rocker and then its moveset to give you counterplays when facing Sun. Fire Blast Garchomp can threaten all the anti-hazards options in the tier for example. A Jirachi can be equipped with Thunder(bolt)/HP Fire to threaten all spinners and Xatu.

Regarding escaping the trap of key threats, you once again have options at your dispositon to adapt for Sun's current archetype. Shed Shell Tyranitar is probably more viable than ever. The Psychic types are at an all-time low and Chople isn't as needed as it used to be. Even then, you could still use Shed Shell Tyranitar + a different Hydreigon/Alakazam check on your team. This is just one of the many options at your disposal. Keep in mind that in a lot of situations, trapping will only work in perfect conditions (mainly thinking of Dugtrio's sash being intact here).

Finally, as it stands, Sun has to often follow a pretty strict framework tailored to win the weather & hazards war and as a result has a very tough time preparing for some threats itself. If Volcarona is thought of as one of the best Sun abuser, it's also one of its greatest ennemy. It's true that Cresselia makes finding such threats a lot harder, but there are still some Pokemons that can abuse Sun's common walls. Think of it like packing an Excadrill for Sand.

Also, and I realize this is a very personnal take on the matter, but I think weather wars are really fun to play in general. Sun vs Rain for example requires a lot of clever double switches to take advantages at the right times. I value a lot this diversity in general gameplay and also what makes Gen 5 so unique to me.
 

Posho

It's like I'm hanging on to nothing
is the Smogon Tour Season 23 Championis a defending Smogon Snake Draft Champion
#19
Alright, with week two over, looks like Sun teams have made a short retreatment, probably because most of us were trying to prevent people from using any anti-sun measure, such as Shed Shell( I myself used Shed Shell Tyranitar), which shows how we're trying to adapt ourselves to this new side of the metagame that wasn't explored until recently.

Some trends:

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: Sand makes a triumphant return, five out of ten teams had Tyranitar on them, which is quite curious given the lack of presence that Sand had last week, guess people forgot how good it was for a while. As usual, we find it paired with Spikes, bluri, elodin and SoulWind's followed such structure and alongside it, we find Gliscor, which hasn't been that prominent these months, but it's a fact that not many teams can handle its plethora of annoying moves, those being Protect, Toxic, Taunt and even Knock Off, which helps remove Skarmory's leftovers and thus it stops being a counter. The combination of Sand + Spikes + Gliscor's annoying movepool can be quite annoying to deal with, as Gliscor manages to slowly wear down its checks and finally making it unkillable for the opposing team.

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: Excadrill Rain makes another return, considered one of the most broken play-styles currently, as you either get swept by Keldeo in rain or you set up your sand and have Excadrill outspeeding your whole team, making it a problematic threat. It is not easy to play around this core for sure, which is why it can be a really good team-choice against the usual sand wielders, for instance.

Awkward choices:

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: Pretty standard mons, but users ZoroDark and Jirachee had some tricks up their sleeves. Jirachee's Latias was Choice Specs, which is not really common given how you usually prefer Latios as the Specs user, it is most likely that it was carrying Healing Wish to support Volcarona with Healing Wish, so we could consider it a clever choice. On the other hand, ZoroDark was using Choice Specs Sleep Talk Psycho Shift Latios, which is an incredible tech, especially when mons such as Ferrothorn or Tyranitar think they can come in for free and they catch that Sleep, it can also be used for other circumstances such as when you're Toxic'd.

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: Milotic was used by dice against me, and it turned up to be quite the nuisance. Milotic has really good defenses, so it can sponge hits from strong attackers such as Keldeo, Landorus-T, Tyranitar, and even Alakazam at some points. This set in particular was wielding Magic Coat, which can be useful in a plethora of situations, in this case, when my Bronzong got burned by its scald, it was almost imposible for me to Toxic it.

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: I decided to use Bronzong, because I consider it a pretty decent and annoying mon if supported correctly, it also offered me a good Alakazam switch-in without having to use Chople Berry on my Tyranitar. I was using a Protect Toxic set, paired with a Choice Specs Magnezone that helps me get rid of annoying steels that can wall it, be it Scizor or Ferrothorn, for instance. So once I get rid of those two, Bronzong becomes a big nuisance for most teams since they have a hard time wearing it down, specially the common sand teams.

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: Something you don't see that much, double weather in BW, as you usually have a sole preference during the team-building stage. This was already used by Ciele last SPL against Tokyo Tom, who was utilizing a Sun team, and sadly it didn't succeed and this time used by elodin. This team it met the same fate against SoulWind's almost similar team. Either way it's interesting to see the measures that are being taken to overcome Sun teams.

Week 3 match-ups

elodin vs Jirachee
Funkasaurus vs bluri
Posho vs LuckOverSkill
SoulWind vs McMeghan
dice vs jacob

Really interesting match-ups, with the incorporation of jacob to the BW pool. Most of these match-ups already happened in tours before: elodin vs Jirachee was a matchup from SPL VI semifinals, Funkasaurus vs bluri happened in the most recent WCoP and SoulWind vs McMeghan fought in the first iteration of the BW Cup in the finals, so let's see how things turn out this time.
 
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Posho

It's like I'm hanging on to nothing
is the Smogon Tour Season 23 Championis a defending Smogon Snake Draft Champion
#20
Ok so, week 3 is over, teams have been pretty standard with some surprises up their sleeves, the metagame has been developing slowly into this new "cheesy" phase with sun, so the trends have been just the usual.

Some trends:

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: Excadrill rain continues being pretty dominant due to the traits mentioned before. This time we got to see it wielded by users SoulWind, LuckOverSkill and Jacob, ending up with some mild success against sand teams at least, dice vs Jacob match-up was pretty much one-sided since CM Cress pretty much did the whole job.

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: Tyranitar plus the mon that once dominated the BW lands is a pretty classic core that we've been able to glance with not many success either. Though I consider it a pretty nice core, since adding up that small special defense boost alongside Terrakion's raw power can be pretty neat, as mons such as Alakazam fail to KO it, for instance, and in exchange they receive a good chunk back.

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: We've also seen a couple teams with these two together as they work pretty well, Scarf Sand Force Excadrill is a pretty strong threat that might give some trouble in the long run, but in my case, I utilized Mold Breaker on my team as I was struggling vs some Latios builds during the late game phase and overall, it can deal with offensive teams pretty handily.

Weird picks:
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: I think some people might wanna kill me for this, but allow me to explain: I know for a fact that tyraniboah isn't as good as it used to be in ADV but I experimented with the set a bit and discovered that with proper support it can be really annoying to face. I used Discharge Zapdos and Thunder Wave Ferro as my means to paralyze opposing mons and give Tyranitar some free turns to set up a sub, which isn't too difficult given the surprise factor of this set, and then I wrapped it up with Alomomola as my Wish Passer to heal it up given Tyranitar's natural bulk. In the end, it did end up not working because of the circumstances it was in, Toxicroak ran through my team pretty easily so I did not get to showcase it as I expected.

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: Zapdos is another odd mon that we got to see this week. I feel it is a pretty strong mon, specially since it is really hard to knock out without SE moves and it might as well paralyze and roost the fuck out of you. Rain teams have a hard time facing this guy for instance. Sadly though it didn't have much success this week, but I believe it has potential.

Week 4 match-ups:

BKC vs McMeghan
Funkasaurus vs SoulWind
elodin vs dice
LuckOverSKill vs ZoroDark
bluri vs Posho

ZoroDark makes a comeback after having Jacob covering his back last week and we get the inclusion of BKC to the BW pool, who will be facing the mighty McMeghan, in one of the most hyped up match-ups of the week, the Smogon Tour 15 finals (I believe) rematch is something that we all are looking forward to spectating, so let's hope they give us a show.
 
#22
: I think some people might wanna kill me for this, but allow me to explain: I know for a fact that tyraniboah isn't as good as it used to be in ADV but I experimented with the set a bit and discovered that with proper support it can be really annoying to face. I used Discharge Zapdos and Thunder Wave Ferro as my means to paralyze opposing mons and give Tyranitar some free turns to set up a sub, which isn't too difficult given the surprise factor of this set, and then I wrapped it up with Alomomola as my Wish Passer to heal it up given Tyranitar's natural bulk. In the end, it did end up not working because of the circumstances it was in, Toxicroak ran through my team pretty easily so I did not get to showcase it as I expected.
Out of curiosity, what coverage did u use on Boah? I haven't tried it but I can definitely see it being a good set to surprise people with, given the fact that Ttar can cover so many things, depending on the moves u choose.

Another interesting thing to note is that there was a rain team in every game last week, and all of them were running either Starmie or Exca + some rocks weak wallbreaker/sweeper in Thundy-T, Tornadus and even a Volcarona as an anti-sun measure which has been discussed earlier. Exca continues to be a mainstay on both sand and rain, people have finally started realizing its potential. People are trying to punish Ttar based teams more than ever, w/ Duggy and Exca, and we haven't seen many Sand Balance vs Sand Balance games at all, compared to last SPL where Ttar was on more than 60% of all BW teams. For the first time in forever, the meta is evolving, which is great to see.
 
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Finchinator

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#23
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen5ou-345547

Easily one of the best BW games so far. The end game is especially intriguing to me personally. Zoro brought a pretty generic, but effective rain whereas luck had a Sand balance with that cool Fighting Gem Landorus + Scarf Chomp core. Overall, pretty well played on both ends and I hope we see more like it throughout the tour. Looks like the first game not ending did lead to something good after all
 
#24
I'm glad people stopped using Zapdos :mehowth:

Other than that, Latios underperformed heavily, Slowbro + Amoonguss seems to be a very strong pick for sand teams, Ferrothorn is #1 in usage, and Excadrill is also rising to the top 3 spot in usage, unsurprising honestly, seeing how popular Rain has been so far, and Sand still has high usage, and both these mons can easily fit in both archetypes. Skarmory and Alakazam both completely dropped in usage, most likely in a result of teams adapting to Excadrill: both of these mons are at their best in an archetype that is pretty Excadrill weak until more people start adapting to the presence of the mole (we've seen 2 Superpower Landorus-T this week already, and Gravity Landorus is also seeing a decent amount of usage, nullifying Excadrill's balloon).

I personally don't have a strong opinion regarding Sun, nor Dugtrio in general, so I won't comment on that, but I'm keeping an eye on it.
 
#25
Can we please ban Excadrill? This mon is broken with Sand Rush, it's broken with Sand Force, it's broken with Mold Breaker. It has like 5 different sets, all of which are annoying on their own. Not to mention Gravity Lando-t + Scarf Sand Force Exca is actually kinda broken when his EQ OHKOes / 2HKOes everything in the tier.

On a side note, this SPL feels quite bad for BW OU. I feel like the level of games has been pretty lackluster so far (some exceptions being Luck vs Zoro and McMeghan vs BKC), regarding creativity in teams and the way people are playing. I don't know, just think we're having games with less quality compared to previous editions. I don't exclude myself from this criticism.

Posho is the goat tho
 

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