Smogon Snake Draft IV - Week 4

been doing predictions for solely ru lately but i figured itd be more fun to expand it a bit and encompass uu nu pu too, not doing the others cause dou and lc are foreign lands and ive learned that im fuckin awful at ou. hopefully these arent Too Boring, tried to make them "unbiased" but idk maybe predictions are inherently biased in some way. w/e

UU: Poek vs SoulWind - this one is really hard cause both are very high level players and neither have particularly faltered in their games. they're also both willing to bring some disgusting shit, as they have been using similar stall teams recently. poek games are honestly super entertaining to watch so kind of rooting for him, since sw's in slam semis and has been playing good in that tour as well my gut is telling me to go with him.
RU: Pepeduce vs atomicllamas - llamas has been actually really impressive despite his week 1 shenanigans, he's been playing pretty methodically and knows how to properly pressure which is very imperative in this tier. his teams kind of give me a vibe similar to the bulky offenses that were common in oras during early - mid 2016ish when it was current gen, which is a take on the tier that no one else really has - risky in a way but he makes it work. with pepe idk i just feel like hes kind of slipping in a way, he's more creative compared to the other players in this pool but sometimes it doesn't translate well. he knows how to keep up but llamas has had some more inspiring play.
NU: Realistic Waters vs elodin - really don't like rooting against elodin because he has a good mind and is one of the funniest people on this website but rw has been super consistent. for the past like 5 years he's been constantly finding new ways to just break apart the tier despite lately playing a bit sparsely aside from officials (at least i think). elodin can do the same and probably will do the same tho.
PU: TJ vs false - this is kind of a weird game to me cause tj has been shaky and i get the feeling he hasn't really hit his groove yet, not that he's played badly or anything. on the other hand i have no idea what false has done this gen but while that pu icon shit rubs me the wrong way, he plays well enough to where i won't count him out entirely. i wanted to see kink here cause his games are always an adrenaline rush but alas

UU: Lilburr vs CBU - lilburr came through last week in a super tight game after a kind of eh showing week 2 and has had more of a propensity to use cool shit. cbu kinda slammed poek last week ngl. i had a feeling that he was going to get stalled out of ccs somehow but thankfully that didn't happen lol. cbu has had a better year for sure so it would make sense to pick him, but picking lilburr cause i trust in her (out)playing more
RU: snaga vs Ajna - seeing this matchup reminds me that i hate predicting ru cause theres going to be like 12121314 matchups that involve people i like a lot for the rest of the tour. snaga had a super cool team last week but unfortunately he ran into tspikes. having a tspike immune in this tier is like in theory necessary but no one ever runs it cause...well having a tspike immune is necessary, but then you dont run one and then run into tspikes anyway. @_@ snaga is a very creative builder and i think he will hit his stride but ajna has also found a solid footing. his game vs pepe inspired a lot of confidence and his teams all around dont really miss. probably the most even of the ru games
NU: Sjneider vs bugzinator - neider's past games have been kinda down to the wire, but i still view him in the higher end of the pool. having seen how he works he consistently brings cool shit, even if there was the whole duraludon as steel type thing week 2. he has snaga supporting him too which is a big plus. bugzi is a bit more well rounded, showing that he can fit just fine here and probably will play well, just feel that neider is going to get a better mu here.
PU: Xiri vs Vulpix03 - xiri has been crushing it, that specs support is really coming through well. vulpix is a pretty good player from what ive seen in his ou games but i can't really get a read on him in this tier. he might knock out some people but im not sure if xiri will be one of them, dudes on a roll and probably won't stop soon.


UU: hs vs Ramolost - this will definitely be a funny game, both are uhhhh personalities in the uu community. ramolost has been impressing me kinda, theyre both similar players in that theyre relatively fresh but just based off record, and the fact that the only two times i remember seeing an hs game is when he brought the dora team in oras ru, im picking ram. this is who i think will win tho, if youre not rooting for hs and youre not on the bushmasters then idk what to tell you
RU: odr vs roman - both have had kind of odd seasons despite being strong players. in theory i should pick roman because he won vs sun while odr lost vs sun, i have been corrected in that roman was the one using sun, not the one who won vs it. whoops. i guess we can say that he lost using sun, but my gut is telling me that odr is gonna turn it up here. i noticed i havent been doing the "i hope roman gets fucking destroyed i hate seeing him win" thing, that sentiment hasnt really gone away that much but he's adapted to this meta quite well, can't knock the work he's put in.
NU: Kushalos vs CyberOdin✝ - this might be surprising but odin has been real fun to watch in his games weirdly enough. his fundamentals have worked pretty well and even though he's 1-2 he can definitely put up a fight. kush did his thing and totally flipped the game around last week but something tells me that odin is gonna pull this one out of his ass, though i can also kush just whomping so idk maybe im reaching too hard
PU: Hamhamhamhamham vs soulgazer - ham is truly one of the coolest dudes on this website and i hope he wins. he's been bringing some really awesome teams too, and seeing him on the big stage is nice. however he's playing sg who like by virtue of him literally always winning games in some ridiculous fashion is hard to not pick. close one for sure

UU: Sabella vs Adaam - i really dont like this mu because i don't wanna see either of these dudes lose again, and i think whatever the outcome is this week is not indicative of who they are as players. sabella is a really hard worker and has a knack for crafting cool teams, and despite having less of a history with uu compared to most i can tell he cares a lot. adaam on the other hand has a very methodical way of doing things and despite having a variation of "with some luck" in his winposts a lot lately, is a dominant player who knows how to find the right winpaths in awkward games. i find them evenly matched but adaam has a win under his belt
RU: Charmflash vs Expulso - this may come as a surprise seeing me bold charms name, as i have some strong opinions on him, but that's not really pokemon related. as a player i don't think hes been playing badly or anything, though his week 2 game obviously left a statement. expulso came through with a dub when his team needed it the most last week - for someone who's dipping into the tour scene for the first time, that's big. however he's still kind of green so this game will probably determine how i feel about him in the future, though i know he has the potential to make a name for himself here again.
NU: Ho3nConfirm3d vs aim - ho3n copped his first win last week but well idk how to really feel about that one. it was certainly a game i'll say that much. joey has also been on a downward trend but i have a lot more faith in him, though before this tour a lot of good things were said about ho3n's building style so that has to count for something here.
PU: Ktütverde vs tlenit - tlenit is for sure one of my favorite players to watch, and i find him to be probably one of the most creative builders ive seen. this guy just churns out the wackiest shit and it works out, so his games are always a blast to see live. ktut is also known for similar reasons and has more of a name to himself but my faiths in tlenit.
 
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pokemonisfun

UU Community, Xros Heart, Neighborhood Perfume
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributor
RU: Charmflash vs Expulso - this may come as a surprise seeing me bold charms name, as i have some strong opinions on him, but that's not really pokemon related. as a player i don't think hes been playing badly or anything, though his week 2 game obviously left a statement. expulso came through with a dub when his team needed it the most last week - for someone who's dipping into the tour scene for the first time, that's big. however he's still kind of green so this game will probably determine how i feel about him in the future, though i know he has the potential to make a name for himself here again.
[/hide]
Let's start some drama, why do you hate Charmflash?
 

lax

YAMENAI
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL and WCoP Champion
kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk mlk vc é um dos maiores vermes que ja vi gama. vc nao tem nada com o assunto mas entra só pra poder alfinetar um maluco q vc nem conhece. particularment enao tenho nada contra vc mas é inegavel q vc tem, no seu sangue, tudo que um fdp precisa.
kkkkkkkkkkk Eu acho que o pablo é um noob tolo que peida e cocô muito nas calças e ele chupa muito e é baixinho e dum e realmente muito legal e bom no copinho que é legal merda foda pato de tijolo
 

TonyFlygon

is a Top Social Media Contributoris a Super Moderatoris a Tiering Contributoris a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
Super Moderator
With a second wave of the COVID-19 virus very much being a reality around the world, I want to be serious for a moment before diving into the predictions for this week. To prevent infection and to slow down transmission of COVID-19, please do the following:
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs.
  • Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.
It's really not that hard and you'd want people to exercise the same kind of caution around you and the people you care about. Now then, let's call some Pokemon players unviable.

:psyglad:

OU: Jytcampbell vs Sacri' - I want to start off this week's predictions by giving both Jyt and the Lindworms managers a lot of credit. Jyt is not only off to a very good 3-0 start, but he's done so as a round 12 (!) pick for the Lindworms. That is absurd value, matched only by, and this is true, obii. Jyt has brought structurally sound no-nonsense teams in all three of his games and he's piloted them more than serviceable, too. Frankly, I don't have a single bad thing to say about Jyt's season so far and against most other opponents this would've been an easy bolding of his name. However, against Sacri' that's not the case for me. Sacri' is off to a good start to the tournament himself, though he did suffer a setback last week. Sacri' ran into a wall match-up wise in his game against Leo and will need to take a harder look at his team if he wants to bounce back here. Sacri' has the ability to really go after his opponents with his aggressive playstyle and, assuming he has a better match-up than last week, I trust him to do so here. It's worth noting that Sacri' handily disposed of his opponent in OLT last week, losing only one Pokemon in the entire series; Volcanion may be good, but Sacri' is better. One of the highlight OU games for me.

OU: Eo Ut Mortus vs Storm Zone - For those of you checking in weekly, you may remember that I touched on the fact that Eo becomes one of the most dangerous players of any field once he gets comfortable and settles in. I think it's safe to say we've reached that stage of SS OU, as Eo has looked good so far. Not only is Eo 3-0, but he's 3-0 having gone through the third and eleventh overall picks as well, which is very impressive. Add to that a good start to the Smogon Tour season and a place among the OLT qualifiers (though he'd probably prefer me not to touch on that tournament right now..) and you get a very experienced and very much in tune with the metagame player. This level of comfort just wasn't there during his disappointing WCoP campaign with US South. Speaking of storm zones... Eo's opponent this week actually also took out two of the first ten OU players picked, but did so as a round 10 pick himself. Very impressive. Storm Zone is a hugely dangerous opponent that could bring all kinds of dangerous sets. This makes him a nightmare to prepare for, but also a risky player to back here. I can't wait to see what he brings this week, though I think Eo will have a smart squad ready to go up against whatever batshit insane team Storm Zone is going to cook up. Another highlight OU game without a doubt.

OU: Ewin vs ima - Here's yet another game between two players that have enjoyed great starts to the tournament. It's almost as if both teams drafted excellent OU cores.. In any case, Ewin seems to have bounced back perfectly from a rough first game against Tamahome, in which Tama's Aegislash set paired with Tama's experience and aggression left him with next to no chance to win. Since then he's beaten frisoeva and Kebab mlml to back up his promising WCoP performance, which was his first official team tournament. Ewin's change of style since week 1 seems to really have worked for him and I expect him to have a serviceable remainder of the tournament at the very least. Another excellent late pick from the Lindworms, by the looks of it. This week, however, I'm going to predict against him. ima seems determined to become the best Snake player of all time. I doubt he'll ever catch Ajna on the sheet, especially with Ajna's good start to this year's tournament as well, but ima has looked very good again this year. In fact, ima was downright offended I didn't predict him to win last week and immediately tagged me after he won his game to let me know about it. I like it. Go on and get you another then.

OU: Garay oak vs robjr - Good lord, literally all 4 of these OU games are very exciting. robjr has officially rejoined us mere mortals here on earth after watashi ended the nuzlocke challenge two weeks ago. On top of that, last week's game against frisoeva was a tough one as well. I would attribute that mostly to robjr's bad match-up, but so it goes in the game we play. Besides, his match-ups were incredible during his 24-0 run. It goes without saying that robjr is a very good and experienced player by now, though it'll be interesting to see how he recovers from this setback after the dominant run previously. Don't forget he's coming off a 1-6 SPL earlier this year, too. I really don't think it'll go that south at all, but I think it's too early to label a good OU record as a given. The same can be said of Garay oak, as he similarly wants to establish himself as a good OU player. Well, if that's the case, then Garay was definitely busy inting in his main tier last week. His Choice Scarf Trick Clefable really deserved a lot better than to be switched into a Knock Off on the first turn of the game, but he did so against my team mate so I'm certainly not complaining. In fact, Garay and I have since come to an understanding. Knowing Garay he's going to take this week extremely seriously and I expect him to show up very prepared and ready to go. This is a big game for robjr's season, though, so I'm very curious to see what he'll show us.

DOU: umbreon098 vs Memoric - A doubles highlight, somehow. I mean no offense when I say this, but these are not the two players I had thought would be 3-0 in DOU at this stage of the tournament. That said, both have been great and this should be a very good game between two very confident players. I'm going to lean towards umbry here mostly because of her ability to make a huge game winning play when the situation calls for it. She sure as hell proved that last week as she subbed up with Excadrill to turn the game around from what was an awful position at that stage. Very impressive. Clearly these are two of the best DOU players at this stage of the tournament, so this has all the potential to be a banger of a game.

UU: Poek vs SoulWind - What a treat we have here. Two of the best players in our game's history are going to duke it out.. in UU, for some reason. Honestly, the more I think about it the more I get the feeling this is going to be one ugly game. If you look at the teams these guys have been using in Snake (and Slam in the case of SoulWind) so far, then you'll see what I mean. Poek's attempt to stall CBU did backfire massively, though, so there's a good chance the Lindworms are switching it up towards bulky offense or balance again. SoulWind is also coming off a rough game, having run into an extremely dire match-up against Ramolost while using a hyper offense build. Those things can happen with those types of teams. A lesson learned for both players? Are we going to get the highlight game this looks to be on paper? Let's hope that we do. I tend to go with SoulWind in games like that, even against Poek. SoulWind is just that good. There is a good chance that SoulWind is going to bring some stupid nonsense, though. This wasn't a UU game, but I have to mention that he brought a Shell Bell Zeraora to his OLT series last week. A Shell Bell Zeraora. Jesus Christ.

RU: Pepeduce vs atomicllamas - In an unfortunate turn of events, Pepeduce is no longer the most powerful player in the tournament. After eliminating an entire team in his debut game and dodging an Overheat to win against roman, Pepeduce finally suffered a first setback in his still very young career in team tournaments by losing to Ajna last week. Pepeduce, seemingly addicted to item swapping defensive Steel-types, gave Ajna's Passimian a Choice Scarf with his Bronzong, only to realize he really didn't have too great of an answer to this newly created Scarf Passimian he was now facing. Dire. atomicllamas' season has gone in the opposite direction. His first game against Charmflash was a disaster, but he's looked very good since. The post-Poltergeist powerhouse has impressed me with his sturdy and risk-free endgames, especially. Pepeduce is a dangerous opponent, though he'll need to start off very well against llamas, as llamas has proven he isn't about to let a lead slip this season. Should be a fun game.

NU: Realistic Waters vs elodin - elodin isn't quite there yet for me. After nearly throwing away his week 1 game and subbing out in week 2, elodin's game against CyberOdin last week didn't exactly inspire confidence either. Add to that the fact he's playing against one of the very few consistently great NU players in recent times this week and you have a really hard to win game on your hands. RW probably should've lost to CyberOdin in week 2, but timer management is a crucial part of the game, too. Following that game, RW prepared very well for bugzinator, which resulted in a really good match-up, especially after bugzinator's Silvally got burned by Rapidash's Flame Body on the first turn. bugzinator admirably worked his way back into the game, but RW is too experienced and too comfortable in NU to let such an advantage slip. I expect RW to go 7-2 at worst from here, with a 9-0 record not being ruled out. Unless elodin improves a lot in both the builder and his play, I really don't see RW losing here.

PU: TJ vs false - This is a tough one for me, since it forces me to choose between someone who has been playing, yet hasn't convinced, and someone that hasn't been playing and even had to be subbed out last week. A common theme in PU this season, for some reason; we're averaging one PU substitution a week so far. I'll give the nod to TJ for now as he's coming off a win last week, even though that game was a messy one overall. I'm really not sure what else to write here, to be honest. Both teams have struggled in PU, but one of them is going to be at least neutral after this week. I feel like false is better, having gone 6-3 in PU before, but last week's scheduling problems against soulgazer gave me insecure and 'not really wanting to play' vibes, from an outsider's perspective anyway. TJ, despite not having found his stride yet, seems determined to grab this opportunity with both hands, at least. TJ also, albeit inadvertently, created the now iconic "pop smoke" moniker for Throh, so there's that as well.

LC: dcae vs Ninjadog - This is one of my favorite LC games of the week. Both players have been amazing so far this season, though both of them lost for the first time this tournament last week. dcae, after some accidental ghosting from yours truly... (I'm so sorry, Serene..) nearly overcame Serene Grace's nasty DD Scraggy + Iron Defense Mareanie combination, while Ninjadog arguably choked against Kingler by going for a potentially unnecessary High Jump Kick that ended up missing. This end game was discussed a LOT and a panel of LC mains I trust tell me that going for Knock Off into U-turn might have been better. That said, if that High Jump Kick hits we're talking about a 3-0 Ninjadog here. As I said before, I'm on the Ninjadog hype train and I still consider him to be the best outside of the big three for now. dcae may overtake him if he beats Ninjadog fair and square this week, but until then I'm not changing my stance.


*The Serpents won the week last week, but don't mistakenly confuse this for a lack of already being eliminated

OU: BIHI vs Star - Awoooooo. With that out of the way, it's been dire for Star. In fact, dire might not even be negative enough of a word to accurately describe Star's current losing streak. Since the start of WCoP he has now lost 6 (!) straight games. A potentially comforting statistic for Star might be that had he won all three of his Snake games so far, the Serpents would still have the same amount of points. That's as good of a spin I can give this, Star. There are positive signs, though. Not only did Star enjoy a good first Smogon Tour weekend, making the final of Saturday's tournament, but the Serpents also managed to win their first week of the tournament. Doing so after already having been eliminated is admittedly pretty tragic, though. Given Star's overall ability and recent success in Smogon Tour I'm going to give him the nod over BIHI. As for BIHI, he admirably tapdanced around a very tricky Volcarona match-up nicely, but with the help of a timely full paralysis the Volcarona eventually got the better of him. While I haven't hidden the fact that I'm a BIHI fan at all the last few weeks, we have to consider that this is an OU1 vs. OU4 match-up. Assuming Star is meant to start winning games again eventually I'm expecting him to start doing so this week.

OU: Raiza vs Vaboh - Well, Malekith has been benched. Unlike when viv got benched last week, I can't say I disagree with rozes' decision here. I love Malekith, but he hasn't looked like his best self. His games and record are both below his formerly high standard. Vaboh is an excellent player to have off the bench as well. Unfortunately for Vaboh, however, his Snake debut is against a very good player in Raiza. Raiza bounced back from timing out against FMG perfectly with a really convincing win vs. Relous. Those first 7 or 8 turns were brutal, even with Focus Blast going to the left. Vaboh, known for eliminating SoulWind from BW Cup this year, did show a lot of promise in WCoP and his US West team mates all speak very highly of him. I definitely think Vaboh has wins in him for the remainder of this Snake season, but not this week against this opponent. Oh, Raiza is also Italian. Did I say that already?

OU: Finchinator vs watashi - Oh baby. This is for sure must watch television. Finch can't have enjoyed the last couple of days, in terms of Smogon at least. Only two points in Smogon Tour, maxray's Skarmory nabbing his Aegislash and ultimately going on a rant about having gotten lucked by the Mambas this week. Not an ideal look. On top of that, and Finch will tell you this himself as well, the current SS OU metagame doesn't come as naturally to him as he would like it to right now. This isn't the end of the world given his overall playing ability, but it is troubling when you're facing what might be the best player in the tournament after obii. watashi, a lover of pre-DLC looking post-DLC teams, is having what might just be the best year of his already rich tournaments career. I'd predict him to beat anyone and it wouldn't shock me if I end up bolding his name all 9 weeks. Obviously, this is an unmissable game. Mark this one in your calendars.

OU: Tace vs Tamahome - This feels awful. Tamahome is literally the most proven winner of all time and I keep predicting against him. He's 2-1 by the way, so I've just been a dumbass. Might as well keep at it while I'm here, since I have been drinking the Tace Kool-Aid all tournament. I'm definitely not going to withold myself from predicting against Tamahome off of a lack of current gen feel anymore, but Tace is just one of my favorite current gen players right now. There's very few people I rate over him; I think only watashi is better than Tace in this series.

DOU: Paraplegic vs DLT JRL BELL - JRL has had a rough introduction to team tournaments so far. To be fair to him, his losses have been against both 3-0 DOU players, umbreon098 and Memoric, and Nails; definitely not an easy three games to start with. To me JRL hasn't looked particularly bad, but he's just lost to a certain threat whenever he's played. It was Iron Defense Corviknight, a set that seems to be stupid difficult to take down in DOU, in week 1 against umbry and Calm Mind Necrozma the week after that against Memoric. I can't tell you if these have been team building oversights, as I'm simply not experienced enough in DOU to make such claims. I can say, however, that Paraplegic is off to a nice debut tournament. Personally, I'm delighted that he is as I've always really liked Paraplegic as a doubles supporter on the Wolfpack in the past. My excitement definitely doesn't match his own, however, as he accidentally switched out his set to sweep Corviknight last week, only to have to switch it right back in to close out the game. The Corviknight's match-up was so good that it didn't end up mattering, thankfully. To me the difference I can observe between these players so far is that JRL has been losing to the broken sweepers, while Paraplegic has been sweeping with them. Again, I'm no expert, but it's enough to make me lean towards Paraplegic here.

UU: Accelgor vs Askov - This is honestly a pretty ideal situation for Askov. The Serpents basically sacrificed viv against two gods of our game in SoulWind and Poek, so that Askov could shine after the two Spaniards were no longer on the schedule. Genius. Extremely harsh towards viv, but a commendable strategy nonetheless. rozes may be eliminated, but he still has some cards up his sleeve for sure. As for Askov's game, it wasn't a bad one at all. Maybe a little shaky, though not to the point of being subbed right back out at all. This week's opponent is a bit more dangerous, however. Luigi is a good player, but not a UU main or expert. Accelgor is. Accelgor has very much been ahead of the curve in the team builder and looks to be one of the UU players to beat this tournament. I think Askov is going to run into a bad match-up or an unexpected tech that'll turn the game on its head for him.

RU: Feliburn vs Nat - It's a good thing the Serpents have already been eliminated for a while now, otherwise every week would've been an elimination week and who could handle stress like that? As always, this is by far the biggest game of the week for the Serpents. When you draft Nat, you live and die by the Nat result. If the Serpents want to achieve the impossible, overcoming mathenatical elimination, then they have to win the RU game this week. Nat, to her credit, showed some signs of life this week with a very much needed win. Her team not only would've tied the week if she had she lost, but I'd also be talking about how tko was going to get walloped by Feliburn this week instead. I still can't believe Feliburn lasted all the way till round 9; the biggest steal of the tournament to me. As mentioned earlier in the post, Jyt and obii are both round 12 picks with a 3-0 record, which technically makes them higher value picks (at this point), but those were way harder to see coming than Feliburn's performance. Feliburn was power ranked 4th despite being picked 10th out of the RU starters. Think about how crazy that is and consider how telling the difference is between how the managers valued Feliburn and how his peers valued him. As you guys can tell, I think Feliburn is one of the best RU players in the pool, probably behind only Ajna, which is the only reason Feliburn isn't on my team instead. I used to think he was, as the banned deucers call it, unviable. He kept losing for obii's Scooters in SPL and just seemed to be a nervous and inexperienced player, despite being around since like 2015. He has since worked his way up in the RU circuit and through experience established himself as one of the top dogs now. He's ahead of the rest in terms of innovation and I think he'll win this one in the builder, which is where I think his biggest advantage over Nat lies. Arguably the biggest highlight game of the week.

NU: GW vs Jrdn -


PU: keppy vs obii - Honestly, even just bolding his name puts a smile on my face. For those of you that have had the pleasure of having obii as your manager before, I'm sure you'll understand where I'm coming from. obii is just one of the good ones. Has there ever been anyone more deserving of a good tournament? In any case, obii can't slow down now in order to stay on top in PU this year. keppy may be 1-2, but keppy did already face both King Tut and soulgazer, the two best players going into the tournament. On top of that keppy has extremely good support from his managers, particuarly HJAD. Sadly for keppy, 3-0bii is up next, so it doesn't get any easier this week. I can't go against obii here given his ongoing killstreak, especially since I know he'll put in the time to be ready and he won't underestimate his opponent.

LC: LilyAC vs Mazinger - I'm still in SHOCK. My favorite player, LilyAC, lost.. :'( I can't believe it, but it really happened. I would say lightning doesn't strike twice, but if you've seen me play GSC before you'd know that it very well could. However, going 9-0 is really, really hard and you need a bit of luck to pull off such a feat. Sadly, Lily is going to have to settle for a 7-2 record this Snake, which is still a great performance, obviously. Mazinger, on the other hand, earned his first win of the tournament last week. A fun fact for those of you watching Snake at home: this was Mazinger's first win on the sheet since SPL 7. Yep, he's crust. He's also genuinely good at this tier. After an encouraging LC Open performance he's now showing he can keep up with LC's finest players in Snake as well. However, I don't expect him, or anyone else, to beat Lily. There is also a chance Lily brings a zoomer Pokemon that Mazinger then has to look up on Google, kind of like when Levi bamboozled teal with the confusing Spinarak set in Snake two years ago. Same franchise, too... If Mazinger wins this one there is absolutely no denying the fact he's a real LC option anymore. Looking forward to this one.


OU: Rexus vs Santu - Rexus really impressed me last week. In last week's post I gave Rexus and the Leviathans a little bit of sass about him subbing out twice when the week's result was already decided, as if battle differential doesn't matter. This week Rexus not only played on Friday, but did so playing a very nice game. Star maybe had a way to win if he was able to successfully bait the Clefable with his Dragapult, though only Sarah Michelle Gellar rivals Rexus' ability to move around the Grudge. I'm aware that nobody is going to get that reference except for maybe col49, and I'm okay with that. In any case, Rexus showed up and left a great impression on me. Santu, on the other hand, got 6-0d by ima last week after being unable to land a Focus Blast through Excadrill's Iron Head with Reuniclus. ima just seemed to have all the tools he needed for that match-up overall as well. Santu sacked Skarmory to the AV Reuniclus, which means Excadrill was always going to be a nightmare from there. I can't say I was overly convinced by his showing and team choice last week, so I'm going to go with Rexus here. Rexus also has Tricking's backing here.

OU: BK vs Lopunny Kicks - It's been a rough stretch of games for Lopunny Tilts. After last week's Grand Slam into Snake troubles it didn't get a whole lot better for him this week. His next opponent in OLT turned out to be Tricking, BK's manager, and to make matters worse he ran into Storm Zone's Rock Slide Kyurem for his Snake game. Punny now has to bounce back and has to do so without falling into the team builder traps that are being laid out for him. Frankly, he has to change up his style more or he's going to keep running into Rock Slide Kyurem type of sets and teams. Tricking knows Punny very well and had his number in last week's OLT series, despite Tricking getting tutti max rolls prendi. l2p moment, poorny. As for BK, he got, and this is true, eviscerated by a Stealth Rock Cobalion set last week. Not exactly a great confidence inspiring game either, but I'm going to trust BK and Tricking to be ready for whatever Punny might cook up. The X-factor for this game might be FlamingVictini, though. FV told me that he regretted not inserting himself more into the team selection and building processes during SPL this year, especially considering those very ideas and teams ended up propelling him towards winning OST. If I'm FV I insert myself into the preparation of this game for sure.

OU: John W vs frisoeva - A massive sigh of relief could be heard from the Netherlands last weekend. Not only did friso win his game to help earn his team a point, but in doing so he avoided becoming.. fris0-3va. Crisis averted. friso now has the task of taking down the Leviathans' round 1 pick in John W. friso is up to that task, if he puts in the time to get ready for his game this week. John, however, is the secure pick for me. I know John will take his prep seriously, play a good game and will want to continue turning his record around after his first real setback in team tournaments these first few weeks of Snake. The way I see it this could either be a really good game between two great players, or it's going to be John romping towards victory comfortably, depending on which version friso we get this week. Hoping for the former to happen as I'm definitely going to try and catch this game live. frisoeva will want to put up a good showing here, as Leo showed last week he's ready to take his place if he doesn't.

OU: ramboss vs Bloody alfa - Bloody alfa has had a rough start to the tournament. In fairness, his first two games have been against two now 3-0 players, with one of them being against the #1 overall pick in lax. Following those two games he had to substitute out of last week's series, citing being busy with personal projects when asked about it by the press (read: I tagged him in Team Europe). He's back now and we shouldn't forget that before his slow start in Snake he's had a near perfect year in SS OU. Undefeated in WCoP, a deep Smogon Tour playoff run and winning an SS OU Seasonal on top of all that. He's very good at this gen. That said, I'm going to go with the hot hand. I've been very pro ramboss in my predictions so far and that hasn't changed yet. ramboss is currently 2-1, with his only loss being against watashi, arguably the best player in the entire tournament. He seems confident and diverse in his team choices and put up a good peformance in last year's Snake as well. I'll root for my Team Europe brother this week, but my gut says that ramboss is going to keep his great start to the tournament going, especially if Bloody alfa is still busy with other obligations. For Bloody alfa the same thing applies as it does for frisoeva; Leo won as a substitute last week and could easily become a starter if the Bushmasters' Team Europe slots don't start winning soon.

DOU: Nails vs qsns - Nails is very experienced and in a timeline where Ezrael is 0-3 I'd say he's the guy to beat right now. qsns started off with a win, but has lost two games in a row since. This could be my lack of DOU IQ, but shouldn't he have gone for Grassy Glide instead of Knock Off in that endgame against Memoric as well? I admittedly didn't run this by a DOU panel, so I could be wrong on that. Regardless, I haven't been too convinced by qsns the last few weeks. I know qsns is a great DOU player and a very experienced one at that, but Nails is coming off of a lot of positive records in a row and is only looking to add to that by the looks of this tournament so far. I can't go against him here.

UU: hs vs Ramolost - Alongside Leo, who is 1-0 and not starting this week, Ramolost is the Bushmasters' only positive player in the tournament so far. Oof. Obviously a lot of those records can still be turned around, but it does indicate the start to the tournament has been slow for them. That said, however, Ramolost has been a bright spot. By all accounts Ramolost seems to be a confident and winning player, which is in line with being the Christo pick, I suppose. The metagame knowledge is clearly there and he's been diverse in the teams he's brought as well. Against Ramolost we have the debut of a fan favorite, hs. hs is known for his forums and discord presence, specifically by using his own name to react to posts and messages. You know what to do here, hs. I have to admit, I'm a huge fan. I think he does a great job at enjoying himself and treating this like a hobby instead of an obligation. I'm curious to see how his debut is going to pan out, but until I see more I'm gonna go with Ramolost for sure.

RU: odr vs roman - This is one of my favorite games of this series, behind only the game I'll talk about after this one. odr and roman are both 1-2 right now, which means one of them is going to start the tournament 1-3. Especially for roman that seems like a rough hand to be dealt, considering how he lost against Pepeduce two weeks ago. odr followed up 6-0ing Charmflash with losing to hAHAHAHAHAYEAHHHH's Eject Button based Sun team, which is fair enough. Getting cheesed happens to the best of us. I'm expecting two aesthetically pleasing bulky offenses here with plenty of breaking power. A maximum of 30 turns and lots of aggressive predictions. Going with my gut and predicting odr to edge it out, though this is a very close game between two players that know each other well. Very excited to watch this one.

NU: Kushalos vs CyberOdin✝ - Yesssssssss. I'm STOKED for this game. CyberOdin has had a very interesting tournament so far, but if you watch his games you'll notice he's played well in all three. Bushmasters team mates of his tell me he's been working his ass off as well. In fact, Odin has probably been the better player of the two so far this season. Kushalos, however, is a genius. It's no coincidence he always, ALWAYS does well playing lower tiers in these tournaments, especially NU. His consistency is absurd and he gets that done in the team builder. Last week, when things were looking dire, he whipped out an SD Salac Berry Gallade and swept Jrdn's whole team with it to win the game after all. I expect Kushalos to have another tech at the ready for this game and simply can't predict against the master. CyberOdin is turning out to be one of my favorite picks of the tournament, though.

PU: Hamhamhamhamham vs soulgazer - This should be a fun one, too. Jon Hammhammhammhamm has enjoyed a mixed first experience as a starter in Snake, though his game against obii last week was extremely close. It came down to damage rolls against Kadabra after a demonic Drifblim set put in a ton of work prior to that. Frankly, Ham's been good. Solid games from him so far. Whether 'good' will be good enough against soulgazer is another matter, though. I don't think it will be. soulgazer, the best lower tier player of all time, is extremely difficult to beat and even harder to predict against, in my opinion. To me this a simple matter of Ham being good, but soulgazer being great. Ham may win this game in the builder, though, assuming there's more from where that Drifblim came from.. I'll do my best to catch this one live for sure.

LC: Xizaaa vs Kingler - Alright then, it's time. We're going to bold Kingler this week. Kingler, believe it or not, is coming off a win. Granted, he won by dodging Ninjadog's High Jump Kick, but he played a solid game and this obviously is a game of odds at the end of the day. Kingler is also a two-time LC Open winner, and in the last year and a half he has qualified for both Classic and Grand Slam play-offs. For some reason he can't get this level of individual success to translate into team tournament success, though. In fact, Kingler is a more reliable 2-7 than the group watching streaming service. No offense, twoseven. Xizaaa, meanwhile, ran into a Mazinger sized obstacle last week and I imagine Scarf Vullaby will have featured in a nightmare or two in the days following that loss. The week before that Xizaaa had a somewhat shaky game against Wail Wailord as well, so I'm not exactly brimming with confidence in him right now. So, factoring all of this in, I'm really going to do it. Let me make this crystal clear: I think Kingler is going to win this week.


OU: xray vs High Impulse - Sexray. The Mambas faced a do or die week last week and they came through. I'm properly aboard the Mambas hype train now. They showed backbone and a positive attitude as they took down the high flying Astrotias. Maybe a few games had some luck in them, but whatever, that's Pokemon. They had to win and did, lead by their round 1 player beating the Astrotias' round 1 counterpart. xray won one of the SS Smogon Tour live tournaments this weekend on top of that. The comeback is on for the Mambas and xray will lead the way doing so. I've never been so sure about anyone winning a game as I am about this one.

OU: Gefährlicher Random vs dice - I don't know what it is, but dice has been really disappointing so far. Last week's game against 1 True Lycan went down the drain immediately as his Ditto caught a Thunder Wave on the first turn, only to Heavy Slam 1TL's Tyranitar for 17% chip damage. The Tyranitar was back to 100% HP after turn 8... The Tiepans registered a 5-5 result last week and will have to get dice to start winning if they're ever going to win a week, as dice is their star OU player despite his play not having been at the level you'd expect from your OU1 slot. Contrarily, The Dangerous Random has been great so far. One of the Mambas' three 2-1 players, TDR is a massive part of why the Mambas' season is still alive. I touched on his effort and chemistry with the other Germans already and I don't think any of that has changed. He's been significantly better than dice, so unless we see a big improvement from the Taipans in OU, TDR should win. More like DarumFelix.

OU: ZDen vs Eeveeto - This is a tough one to predict and for sure the best chance for the Taipans to grab an OU win. Both players are 2-1 and both players have shown positive stuff in their games so far. Eeveeto is even on a 7-2 run since the start of WCoP. However, I'm leaning towards ZDen, because I trust Aurella and the Germans to somewhat 'Eeveeto-proof' ZDen's team for this week in what is another must win week for the Mambas, but also the Taipans. Now, if making teams Eeveeto proof was easy, then he wouldn't be winning as much as he has been. Eeveeto is an undeniably dangerous player and outsmarted the German prep in this year's WCoP quarter final, too. Logically speaking, everything points towards an Eeveeto win here, but my gut tells me ZDen will win. It's not really based on anything other than believing in the Mambas to rally more than I do the Taipans, as of right now.

OU: Relous vs Void - God Void. Void took my advice last week and intelligently subbed out of the mncmt game. Apparently there were some genuine issues that lead to him missing the scheduled time, but it was an excellent call nonetheless, as substitute le Lliolae got rock wrecked by mncmt's Rhyperior. Void is back in now to try it again, this time against a similar player compared to himself. Both of these guys aren't really team builders and both of these guys are capable of producing very good records if their team support is good. So far, neither of them has had that level of support yet, though. Relous got picked apart by Raiza last week and Void legit couldn't even begin to contest Feliburn in their week 1 game. I'm going to side with Relous here, because I trust Relous' familiarity and comfort level in the current metagame more. Another reason is that the only good thing about the Taipans' OU core has been Eeveeto, whereas the Mambas have been able to get wins from more than one player. Their support system seems better and Void isn't likely to take initiative on that front himself.

DOU: Frania vs Kiichikos - Kiichikos, like Memoric, is bouncing back from a very disappointing SPL nicely and can be considered one of the few bright spots of the Taipans' season so far. Frania's season has been a nightmare one, however. Picked as what might go down as the most premature pick in SSD history, into an 0-3 start to boot. Last week's game was tragic, too. An excellent start and big lead, only to have absolutely nothing for the Corviknight once it started boosting with Iron Defense. I'm hoping Frania can start contributing with wins soon, as the Mambas will need him to if they want to keep this resurgence going. For now, though, I simply can't go against the actually winning player.

UU: Sabella vs Adaam - Adaam's season hasn't been as great as he would've liked it to be so far. Adaam was picked as the 9th overall player, which means he's expected to lead the Taipans as their franchise player this season. While Adaam is a good vocal leader that's always active on Discord and on Smogtours, his games haven't been of the same quality yet. 1-2 isn't a round 1 player befitting start, not to mention that he enjoyed a lucky break or two in his win against CBU. Having said that, his season so far has been better than his opponent's. Sabella is 0-3 and now has to face a tough opponent in Adaam to avoid going 0-4. It's worth noting that the Mambas do have a good substitute in eifo to potentially cover this slot, should Sabella go 0-4. eifo has already won a game this Snake and had a deep run in this year's UU Open. As for the game these two are going to play this week, I'm expecting Adaam to win it. Sabella has been shaky and his game against SoulWind in particular was a real shame considering his advantage up until the ending. Adaam could've maybe been a bit more patient with his Obstagoon against Lilburr, as it took a lot of chip damage from Zarude's U-turn before going to work. After that he was one favorable damage roll away from winning the game anyway, so I don't wanna be too harsh on Adaam's start to the season. He's more proven in UU and I think he'll win this week.

RU: Charmflash vs Expulso - Not entirely sure about this one, so I'm going back to the mental health respect system; either I predict correctly or Charmflash loses, for a win-win scenario. Expulso actually really showed up last week, which impressed me. Playing a week deciding game on Sunday night isn't for everyone, especially if you're just starting out in official team tournaments. Expulso was clearly not phased by the occasion, though, as he played a nice and aggressive game without being afraid to pull the necessary triggers. It was nice to see and I hope he can follow it up with another win here against Charmflash. Charmflash, to his credit, has a lot more experience in team tournaments and will know how to play against those aggressive opponents. I expect an extremely unaesthetic bulky balance that doesn't instantly fold against Inteleon from Charmflash, while Expulso will probably lean towards a more Volt-Turn + nuke type of bulky offense. The Terrain based offense backfired immensely against Ajna's balance in week 2 for Expulso, so more of the same like his approach against snaga seems to be in order. Charmflash got rinsed by Feliburn's non-Choice item Heliolisk last week, which is a type of set he'll have to be more wary of this week. It really is tragic that he got caught out like that the one time in his life he didn't scout with Protect, though. Lesson learned? 10 bucks says Charmflash brings Umbreon this week.

NU: Ho3nConfirm3d vs aim - Alright, this should be a win for Joey. Starting with Ho3n, he's coming off a first ever win after GW decided to take Mr. Mime-Galar out for a spin. Ho3n, as mentioned before, did have a good NUPL playing SS NU, so shouldn't be taken lightly at all. Joey lost in an extremely close game against Sjneider last week, coming down to a Protect vs. Swords Dance 50/50 with Ninjask, followed by Dual Wingbeat damage rolls against Wishiwashi, as it survived with just 1%. Joey hasn't particularly blown me away with his play so far, but I'll definitely rate him higher than Ho3n until I've seen more from Ho3n. I also don't like how there isn't a second "n" to make it Ho3nn, to be honest. Joey's biggest challenge for this week is not facing a disadvantage in the team builder. If he uses a good team with a workable match-up, then I'd be surprised to see him lose.

PU: Ktütverde vs tlenit - Last week's game was a dramatic entrance to this year's Snake for King Tut. After subbing out of both of the first two weeks, expectations were very high as he couldn't let down his team another week. Those expectations were met. He showed up and won in a well played game using a good team. The Mambas will definitely need him to deliver again, as your round 3 pick playing only once in three weeks is simply not good enough. With a win under their belts I expect the Mambas to step up again, though. King Tut is and has to be an integral part of that. tlenit, meanwhile, tragically lost on the second turn of his game. Very few sequences are as gut wrenching as trying to sub up on a Toxic user, only to find out said Toxic user is faster than you and lands one right before you sub up. Not good. The Politoed set in question would've been incredible had that not happened as well. tlenit is one of the most creative team builders in the entire tournament, so I'd be a fool to count him out of this game entirely. I think King Tut wins this one more often than not, but if tlenit's techs are going to hit he could be in a lot of trouble. As always with tlenit's games, I'm looking forward to this one a lot.

LC: Wail Wailord vs Osh - Serene said it perfectly after Wail Wailord beat LilyAC last week: "+Ser... Eneg Race: wail wailord took 2 weeks to go from unviable to viable. thats a glow up." Wail Wailord is legit. It's not just a good LCPL performance now, because he's out here beating players like LilyAC in Snake as well. And while I rate Wail Wailord higher than I did last week, I still can't bold him here. Osh is coming off a long list of good team tournament results, as well as a deep run in LC Open to help him secure #1 seed in Grand Slam. He's just too consistently good to against for now. This is also a matter of an early picking NEEDING to step up in a do or die scenario for his team. Osh HAS to win this week. I trust that will show in the game.


GGs Lindworms, you guys were the better team last week. No excuses. Gl hf to the Cobras, let's make it a fun one.

:psysly:
 
First time writing predicts, I've enjoying reading everyone elses so trying my hand at it. Thanks Tony cuz I stole your formatting from last week, and I've been really enjoying reading your predicts in particular.

OU: Jytcampbell vs Sacri' - I'll probably say this for a lot of people, but I'm not super familiar with jyt. From his games so far, however, he has shown a solid take on the meta and some good play to go 3-0. On the other hand I've had the chance to play Sacri' earlier this year, and in true biased fashion I believe he is a very capable player. Not too many people go from playing lower tiers to standout OU pick, but Sacri' is great, playing with a good mix of calculation and aggression in the right moments. With that I'm giving Sacri' a slight edge, but I do feel his teams can tend to the predictable side, and if jyt is able to capitalize on that he will be favored.

OU: Eo Ut Mortus vs Storm Zone - Eo seems to have gotten into his groove, using nice teams with a bit of flair and playing out solid games. He has been varying it up more than in WCoP and his takes have been very good, overall I'd say he's a level above most players in the field. Storm Zone on the other hand is a bit of a wildcard, which makes him a dangerous opponent to face. He seems to have handled the transition from ladder hero to tours pretty well, but I think Eo will stay a step ahead. If SZ unveils another innovation like serene grace rock slide kyurem he may be able to take this one.

OU: Ewin vs ima - ima is clearly the better player to me. He has very strong fundamentals and has been prepping excellently. Ewin is certainly turning things around from his disastrous week 1, but I still feel he has a way to go. I want to say this without categorizing Ewin as a "clicker," but I feel he has been playing heavily prediction reliant games, sometimes without a good read for risk/reward. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as he's shown his intuition is strong, but it lacks consistency and I think ima will be able to deliberately pick apart his playstyle en route to an encore of 8-3 (or better).

OU: Garay oak vs robjr - Garay has faced a very difficult row of opponents in watashi, punny, and lax, and performed admirably in my eyes. His teams have seemed good and his play solid. The Lindworms OU has also been performing well, and that support should certainly help. On the other hand I've not been a huge fan of the teams rob has been bringing. The rain was a bit funky, and the other two have had an odd mix of offensive threats and passive pokemon like mantine and gastrodon. Last week it looked like ima passed him a ben gay team with ferro > zor and magnet cm zera > specs, which I wasn't the greatest fan of and the lack of HDB really hurt him. His week 1 was good though, I think if rob starts bringing more active and solid team he'll return to his world cup nuzlocke ways.

DOU: umbreon098 vs Memoric - This should be an exciting match to watch. Memo and umbry have both been performing at the top of their field so far, showing excellent judgement in play and team choice. Without Dynamax holding him back, Memo is showing he is at the top of his game and SPL was just a fluke. That, or he tanked on purpose to be a nice value pick for snake :P. For my sanity I'll assume its the former. I'll admit my pick here is biased as I would really like to see memo perform exceptionally this tour and I am less familiar with umbry as a player, but realistically this is a very even matchup.

UU: Poek vs SoulWind - Another fire matchup and must-watch game. Overall I think this matchup is pretty even. SW's teams have looked a tad funky and Poek seems to have a bit more solid support, so I expect Poek to have the edge in mu. That being said I think SW is definitely the stronger player. Poek isn't a slouch by any means, but I lost some confidence in how he was picked apart last week with stall, and his week 1 seemed to be more of viv losing than poek winning. SW had a similar scenario week 1 vs Sabella, but in general has been able to outmaneuver his opponents better, albeit he couldn't overcome ramos' expertly EV'd glowbro. I'm predicting SW will bring a good BO this week and outplay a few key turns to win it.

RU: Pepeduce vs atomicllamas - llamas has looked much better than Pepe to me so far, in both play and team-comps. llamas has been leaning on a pivots + hard hitters BO style the past few weeks, which I think is a good take for playing more proactive games in this meta. Pepe, on the other hand, has been all over the map. While he certainly has a flair for creativity, I think his recent builds have been edging more on wacky and inconsistent. He managed to a land double scarf + mantine vs sun mu when he played roman, but quickly threw away both of his main wincons and won the game off an overheat miss. Pepe lacks and experience and I feel there is still much to be desired in both his play and building. That being said, in these single-match tour settings a team only needs to work once to win, and Pepe's wild-card factor can bring him the win vs anyone in the field.

NU: Realistic Waters vs elodin - RW is an excellent teambuilder, with fantastic aptitude for mixing creative ideas into a solid team. He has also executed quite well thus far, and his weekly cheering posts are always a plus. Elodin is also great, however he has looked a bit more out-of-tune with the recent meta. Elodin is a fantastic offensive player in my eyes, and I think he can really perform well if he sticks more to some aggressive and consistent BO. That being said, I think RW will take this one handily.

PU: TJ vs false - I am not too familiar with either player's strength in PU, but TJ has played some decent games thus far and I've yet to see false play. Mostly guessing here.

LC: dcae vs Ninjadog - Ninjadog has played some solid games thus far, outmanuevering a few tricky situations. Dcae has also played well, but it looked like he just recycled his week 2 team for week 3, which isn't a good sign in my eyes. A few of his plays were odd vs Serene and I feel he could've done a better job in avoiding that scraggy sweep. Mostly guessing here.

OU: 1 True Lycan vs Fear - Tony and I both simp for Fear, and I'm honestly bolding him because I want him to win. 1TL is the more experienced player, but Fear is one of the best to grace this game. While his home turf is indeed in GSC, he has been hitting up the SS OU ladder before this tour and I think he's slowly but surely settling into the swing of things. Week 1 vs punny was indeed a bit shaky, and some rookie mistakes allowed punny to get the upper hand, but fear played a solid week 2. Last week Fear decided to nerf himself with some nutty cobalion team; as much as I love cobalion, that wasn't it bro. If Fear brings something consistent and aggressive I think he can take it.

OU: FMG vs lax - I love FMG and think he's fantastic, but it doesn't look like he is repeating his 5-0 wonder performance in SPL anytime soon. Meanwhile, lax is in good form and shows no signs of slowing down. I don't think lax is necessarily a level above the field, but FMG or anyone else is gonna need to bring their A-game to take him down. Maybe a TPP scout will do the trick.

OU: Steve Angello vs Kebab mlml - This is entirely dependent on how well Steve's team hits. His creativity lies in a quantum state between genius and absolute crackhead, but when he strikes gold he strikes it hard. Some of his nuttier teams tend to have holes that get them picked apart, but if Steve brings something good I think he'll be able to pilot to a victory. Kebab has played some decent games but hasn't stood out to me in any way yet.

OU: mncmt vs Samqian - This is a really exciting match to me. Sam is more of a newer player to the tour scene, but he is tenacious and his intuition is strong. Despite his tendency to lose his cool on the ladder, Sam is generally quite level headed in tours and usually comes up with effective gameplans even in tricky spots. Despite that, mncmt is one of the best players in this gen imo and I think he has the edge over Sam. During OST he had a penchance for strong, aggressive builds which to me made him my toughest opponent, and it seems to me he has maintained his grip on the meta, landing a fantastic WCoP and getting off to a great start this tour. Both are very good and I can definitely see Sam pulling the upset.

DOU: Qwello Lee vs Ezrael - Jon has had a rough start to the tour, and last week he was dominating early game but a few predicts and untimely crits flipped the result on him. Some might be feeling down on their luck at this point, but Ezrael is experienced and also has Tony's managerial support, so I imagine he is fully focused on turning his season around. It definitely won't be easy to get past Qwello and his trusty scizor, however.

UU: Lilburr vs CBU - CBU did well to keep his cool and dismantle Poek's stall last week with his rak on a timer, and he also has TDKs support. Lilburr also won a very tight game vs Adaam last week with a cool SD incineroar. However, in week 2 she brought a questionable talon gastro team, and struggled to make any progress while she got picked apart methodically. I think she stands a good chance if she brings something more proactive like last week's team.

RU: snaga vs Ajna - Ajna is certainly one of the top RU players rn, and I think he has done a good job so far. While snaga's tech hit hard in week 1, I wasn't too impressed with his last two teams. That being said I think Ajna's teams have been a bit passive and his recent opponents have not been taking advantage, if Snaga can take advantage of Ajna's bronzong and win this in the builder he can definitely take this.

NU: Sjneider vs bugzinator - bugzi has been quite good in my opinion, and while neider has been very strong as well he's had a blip or two. Something about bugzi's NU vibes with me and he earned my respect by beating odin, so I'll go for him here.

PU: Xiri vs Vulpix03 - Xiri has been on a roll and I'm not familiar with Vulpix' PU.

LC: Shrug vs Serene Grace - Serene looks in form and the scraggy last week was cool, Shrug on the other hand has looked a bit off.

OU: BIHI vs Star - Star's WCoP and last three weeks have definitely left much to be desired, but I think he has been underperforming heavily rather than being in a slump, and he did do well in the recent stour so maybe he is regaining his groove. I don't think bihi is a strong enough SS OU player to beat Star.

OU: Raiza vs Vaboh - Raiza is a solid aggressive player and seems to have a good feel for the meta rn, especially with excellent team support with Finch and Tace. I recall he had a difficult MU vs Eeveeto but made a lot of great calls with timely aggression to edge it out. Being able to recover from a tough spot like that is a huge plus in my book. Vaboh also lacks experience on the big stage, so Raiza will be a tough opponent for him.

OU: Finchinator vs watashi - Watashi has been on a roll and shows no signs of stopping. Finch is fantastic and will definitely work hard on his prep, but I don't think he'll be able to maneuver flcl. Finch should bring some max defense mons to account for max atk.

OU: Tace vs Tamahome - Man, where's the love for Tama in these predicts? I think he's just fundamentally the stronger player, and the serpents seem to be piecing their OU together a bit better lately. Tace has been solid, but if Tama has a good team to pilot I think he can take it.

DOU: Paraplegic vs DLT JRL BELL - I'll bold paraplegic off of the fact that JRL is 0-3 right now, and might be feeling a bit down right now especially as I believe this is his first official team tour. However, I don't think that record is necessarily representative of his abilities. He played some good games and he played both players who are 3-0 rn along with nails, a very tough schedule to start out with. Paraplegic has had some decent games to start but got a bit fortunate vs kiichikos and has yet to face anyone who I see as the top half of this field, so I don't think he has that big of an edge.

UU: Accelgor vs Askov - Accelgor is off to a strong 3-0 start and seems to be on a roll, so I'll go for him on the hot hand. Askov did send Luigi to the bench though and based on what little I know of him from his OU teams I think he has some strong skills, so this will be a fun one to watch.

RU: Feliburn vs Nat - Feliburn looks to be a very different player from where he was a few snakes ago. His teams have been aggressive and creative, and he has piloted them well so far. Nat got off to a rough start but got back on the sheet with a nice win vs odr. While I'm not as big a fan of lazzle on sun compared to lisk, its speed tier and strength in sun did prove very useful that game. While Feli's has a good streak going rn I've always considered Nat one of the stronger RU players, and I'm hoping she can turn her season around.

NU: GW vs Jrdn - Jrdn had an unfortunate loss last week vs Kushalos' nutty salac gallade set. I believe this result was more a reflection of how good Gallade is than anything on Jrdn's part, as he played a very good game and made what I think was the most immediately reasonable play in that scenario. Personally I would've maybe tried to avoid a situation where you'd need to swap and Gallade could grab an SD, but sometimes there's nothing you can do. GW has brought some finch-like teams which have been solid but nothing especially inspiring, meanwhile I'm not as sure about Jrdn's builds but they seem to have been working for him. Honestly I just feel bad about last week lmao so i'm hoping Jrdn bounces back.

PU: keppy vs 3-0bii Happy to see obii is doing well, on a roll right now and shows no signs of slowing down.

LC: LilyAC vs Mazinger Lily has looked to be at the top of her field. The Zorua team was super cool and landed pretty hard, excited to see what else Lily comes up with.

OU: xray vs High Impulse - xray looks to be getting back into his groove after a tough first two losses, and also did well in last week's stour. I generally think he's the better player so going for him here, but Amir has definitely made some good plays and has a reasonable shot at taking it. He better watch out for a max atk toxapex.

OU: Gefährlicher Random vs dice - TDR has piloted some interesting teams so far and generally played out some solid games. Meanwhile dice is underperforming, in part due to poor luck, but I've also not been a greatest fan of his brings. In general his teams have tended to the more passive side, and this gives more opportunity to the opponent to fish for hax. I feel TDR will be able to win this in the builder with some random mon that dice won't have a strong response to.

OU: ZDen vs Eeveeto - Eeveeto's builds have been getting better, and I absolutely love his lack of fear for using uncommon pokemon to great effectiveness. There have been a few times where its been more than a miss than a hit, but he generally plays a strong game as well so I think he'll be able to take out ZDen, who I'm not too familiar with.

OU: Relous vs Void - One can only hope for the Taipans that Void finds his groove, and fast. Void is a very talented and capable person and could definitely pick up any meta quickly with the right motivation, but I imagine he has irl priorities that keep him from playing too much mons. Drafting him early for RU seemed like a huge mistake to me. He has definitely found success in the tier before and I've had the pleasure of teaming with him for quite a few of those times, but in many of those tours he relied entirely on my team support, and sometimes just didn't enjoy the meta much anyway. Relous, on the other hand, is very solid in OU and has been for a while. Perhaps one of the few games of mons I'll never forget is when I HP-Electric'd a pelipper with Zard-Y and then proceeded to get completely swept by his Fleur Focus Magearna. I trust his experience in the tier and support from his Deutsch brethren will give him the edge here.

DOU: Frania vs Kiichikos - Kiichi has played some good games, and in my eyes should be 3-0 right now. I think his team and play week 1 was may not have been optimal, but the game looked to be his until an unfortunate crit + double protect. Frania has been decent, but hasn't stood out in my eyes. If he prepares for Dragalge he should have a reasonable shot at it though.

UU: Sabella vs Adaam - This is an unfortunate matchup as both have been underperforming. Sabella let his game vs SW slip away from him, and seems to be falling just short of the mark every game. I think he can definitely turn it around, but it will take some work. Adaam has been at the top of his field for a while now, which is enough for me to give him the edge.

RU: Charmflash vs Expulso - Expulso seems to have a better grasp of the meta to me. While his psychic terrain team certainly missed the mark, I assume he brought it without full seriousness, and his team last week looked a lot better. Charm, on the other hand, has a strange obsession with ground types, Golurk in particular, and I feel he tends to miss the bigger picture in his builds because of this. Off of tournament experience I'd say Charm is probably the better player, but I'll give nod to the new kid on the RU block.

NU: Ho3nConfirm3d vs aim - Ho3n's team last week was exciting, showed a flash of creativity and insight that I hadn't seen before. Joey is one of my favorites and he has been bringing some solid teams, but nothing particularly inspired and he has had a couple missteps in his games. I imagine Expulso is passing him generic goodstuff and he's running with it, which can definitely work to put up a solid record given Joey's calibre as a player. Overall I'd say he is probably the stronger opponent, but I'll give the edge to ho3n hoping he can bring something creative and win the matchup.

PU: Ktütverde vs tlenit - After subbing out for two straight weeks, Ktüt finally delivered with a solid win last week using a standard but effective team. I expect he will be able to maintain an advantage here.

LC: Wail Wailord vs Osh - Wail Wailord pulled a surprising upset against the Air Conditioner last week, bringing a very standard team and outmanuevering her with his diglett. The win should certainly be a boost to his confidence, and I don't think he can be counted out vs anyone. That being said Osh has a history of top performances, and his two losses were to some of the strongest LC players this snake. His experience gives him the edge here imo.

Damn do these things take a while to write. GGs Bakers and GL HF to the Leviathans.
 

Eo Ut Mortus

Elodin Smells
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OU & Tour Head
OU only:

SS OU: 1 True Lycan vs Fear - I ranked Fear highly in the PRs because I thought his GSC playing ability would translate to the slow-paced SS metagame; however, his two losses have left me dissatisfied. Last week, he took an unfavorable Cobalion vs. Magnezone trade that immediately shot his chances of winning. The most charitable interpretation of this play was that he didn't know about defensive Magnezone; the least is that he thought the trade would benefit him in the long run. Though sometimes to a fault (Heracross), 1TL has been bringing some creative teams, and I was a fan of his last week's build exploiting Grassy Terrain + Primarina. I expect him to bring something solid yet off-kilter enough to take advantage of Fear's relative metagame unfamiliarity.

SS OU: FMG vs lax - What has stood out to me every time I've teamed with FMG is his ability to play defensively and patiently and withstand any amount of offensive pressure. But due to the saturation of defensive teams in the current metagame, every player should know by now how to exploit these tendencies, and none more so than lax. He self-admittedly did not play his 200+ turn game vs. Garay perfectly, but with the implicit pressure of maintaining his current win streak, I don't think he'll exhibit the same impatience again.

SS OU: Steve Angello vs Kebab mlml - My sources have told me that Steve has been the mastermind responsible for promulgating some of the weird techs we've seen lately (Safeguard Volcarona, Bloxapex in SS, Block Aegislash (edit: my other sources have informed me that my first source is incorrect)). Unfortunately, every good tech requires a good team, and in this past tournament cycle, we've more often seen these sets thrive in the hands of other players than in Steve's. Nonetheless, I'm going with him for this matchup; in Kebab's two losses, he brought fairly basic balances and was blasted with some overlooked offensive threats (3-attack LO Reuniclus and Specs Primarina). I can't fault him too much for being caught off-guard by surprises, but that's the price you pay for going bog standard, and I think that's something Steve is well-poised to exploit. I'm counting on Steve to rein in his creativity enough to build a solid team to accompany it.

SS OU: mncmt vs Samqian - sam reused lax's team last week, but unlike in ima's games, the series wasn't over. Was this a consequence of doubt in his own teams? I might be reading too much into this, but the similarities in his W1/W2 teams make me think he could've hit a wall in his own building come Week 3. To be fair, mncmt also reused a team, but it was a Conk/Rhyp offense built by someone cool and handsome. I anticipate sam's bounceback at some point, but this week, I'm going with the player I ranked top 2 entering the season.


SS OU: BIHI vs Star - Star's a good player, but I don't think his builds are giving him a fair chance to show it. Block Pex and Grudge Dragapult + Hawlucha signal to me that he's tunneling way too hard for on-paper wins. Combine that with his W2 team, a variant of the universally reviled SkarmBlissZera core, and I don't think he's comfortable building standard in this meta. BIHI, on the other hand, dropped Teleport on his W1 Blissey for what I can only assume was Toxic, foregoing what would have been a great Teleport Blissey + Crawdaunt/Dragapult core, and I think passing up on that opportunity is a criminal misuse of Blissey. His W3 team was inoffensive if uninspiring, and he's been the more consistent player in this matchup, but I think Star is due to recover from his slump at this point.

SS OU: Raiza vs Vaboh - Last week, Raiza used his favorite team ever and won fairly comfortably. Meanwhile, the last time I saw Vaboh play, he beat me with a Storm Zone SubMarowak build on ladder. Not much to go off here, so predicting Raiza based on overall body of work.

SS OU: Finchinator vs watashi - Sure, Finch was unfortunate to encounter max Attack Skarmory last week, but it doesn't reflect super positively on your build if you have to take a game-deciding 50/50 so early in the match. Tilting that easily both in and after the game is not good, either, and I think Finch will need to do some serious introspection to get back on track. FLCL, on the other hand, has exhibited impressive stoicism in the face of the Serpents' early losses, and perhaps he might actually start building new teams off the back of his team's first win this season.

SS OU: Tace vs Tamahome - Despite what Smogtours chat said, tama did not throw a guaranteed win last week; the alternate plays of switching to Cobalion/Magnezone both opened up additional 50/50s, including damage rolls, and I don't fault tama for pulling the trigger early. I think his play has been fine; the question is if he'll scrounge up the builds to facilitate it, or if someone will feed him another Incineroar/Kyurem team. Tace is a fine player himself, and I liked his build last week, but it's not a coincidence that he ran into two Stored Power Clefs this past weekend. People have a lot of material of his to prep against, and I am predicting (or at least hoping) that the Serpents challenge his and the other Astros' homogenous builds this week.


OU: Rexus vs Santu - Rexus played well against Star in his Week 3 debut match, and Santu brought another SkarmBlissZeraora team with inadequate Reuniclus counterplay. Also, he called me Vasco Rossi, which is probably a grave Italian insult or something.

OU: BK vs Lopunny Kicks - I prefer Punny's W3 team to the slow and frankly esoteric build he brought against Garay in a decided week; unfortunately, he had little chance to showcase it against a Kyurem hellbent on putting my Aegislash to shame. I'm also a fan of what BK has brought so far; his solid builds have rewarded him with two favorable matchups, and even his W3 team looked pretty good; he just had the misfortune of pulling Skarmory into Magnezone. I feel like I should reasonably predict BK here, but against my better judgment, I'm picking Punny to recover from a tough weekend that I don't think is representative of his ability.

OU: John W vs frisoeva - Something that bothered me about John W's W2 build is how much it stalemated Clefable; we saw that its failure to muster offensive pressure against Clefable allowed it to pass several free Wishes, included a very important one to Conkeldurr. I'm not convinced his W3 build ft. Urshifu-RS was enough to solve this problem, but it didn't come up against Malekith. Builds like these indicate a tendency to tunnel on defensive coverage. Will frisoeva be able to capitalize on this? He was out-offensed by ewin during W2 and looked far better in a defensive matchup vs robjr, which I'm willing to call John's domain for now. Of note is that he along with rob were two of the first to participate in a trend I expect will continue throughout the season: rocks-less Spikes. This is a close one for me, but I'm counting on John W to evolve his builds and edge out the win here.

OU: ramboss vs Bloody alfa - Last week, ramboss's third offense hit a brick wall against FLCL's team. A Burdened Hawlucha was forced out early to try and generate momentum, and Aurora Veil mitigated damage from all of one attack. That said, this doesn't challenge my confidence in ramboss thus far. If you're using HO, you just have to accept these matchups sometimes, and even if it's not the most reliable style, I think it's a viable choice to frustrate counterteaming efforts. This week, I'm hoping to see ramboss bring something akin to his Week 2 team, which has been pinpointed as one of the better offense builds to come from this tour and subsequently enjoyed use from other players. Alfa, the only other W1 HO-user, lost in a near-mirror against JYT W2. Overall, JYT outplayed with Urshifu, but I think Alfa got impatient and let Dragapult take a Toxic for no reason. A week break should be a good mental reset, but I still think ramboss's early performance gives him the edge here.


OU: xray vs High Impulse - xray's matchup qualms fully materialized in his last week's team. He brought Trick Scarf Clefable in a meta riddled with Gastrodon, Skarmory in a Magnezone minefield, and the occasional auto-win generator known as Primarina. I wasn't a huge fan of the back half of the team and feel like several Pokemon would've made more sense in the Zeraora slot. That said, I can't hate anyone who deviates from sand balance, so I'm hoping to see more of the same from xray, just a bit more reliable. High Impulse brought Urshifu-RS, and instead of relying on Knock Off support to enable a sweep, he combined it with Magnezone for Skarmory/Corviknight and Hydreigon for the Grass-types. It was a pretty interesting concept that ended up picked apart FMG's defensive team through VoltTurn alone; Urshifu ended up having 5 uses of U-turn compared to one use of each of its STABs. His build and play were both solid, and despite losing to xray in Tour finals last Friday, High Impulse is poised for a resurgence here.

OU: Gefährlicher Random vs dice - It's been harped upon, but it is an absolute mathematical misplay to Heavy Slam in a mirror match-up because it's based on weight differential. dice's theorycrafting has hit its limits; he needs to feel out the tier more or risk making more of these misplays. That aside, dice's three losses have been marked by errors of impatience. Week 1, he sacked his Rhyperior to Amoonguss for Rocks that were almost immediately cleared; Week 2, his Clefable ate an Excadrill Iron Head to get a Trick off; and Week 3, his misguidedly optimistic Heavy Slam cost him his Ditto on the first turn of the battle. Gef. Random brought ramboss's Volcarona/Zarude offense against BIHI. In this episode of "Who wore it better?" I would give the nod to the creator himself and Rexus. Gef didn't make any egregious misplays, but BIHI strung together a bunch of incremental outplays to reduce Gef's initially decent winning chances to the point where a full paralysis and a sleep roll decided the game. Still decent odds for him, but there's a lot Gef can take away from this game. I think he'll do so, and honestly, I think he should be favored here, but with the Taipans on the verge of elimination, their OU must be committed to redeem itself, right?

OU: ZDen vs Eeveeto - Eeveeto's teams make me uncomfortable. Like Steve, I think this is an issue of techs needing better teams (which may admittedly be hypocritical of me to say). His last week's team was too weak to Volcarona and Rotom-Heat for my taste, but I did like the Slowking concept. I think I prefer ZDen's builds, which aren't as bleeding-edge but employ some solid offensive techs nonetheless, such as Band Rhyperior and CM Stored Power Clefable. That said, I think Eeveeto's burned through most of the chaff in his playbook by now; whatever he brings this week should be solid enough, and I can't complain about his play thus far.

OU: Relous vs Void - I've managed Void; I know this game isn't getting done.
 
Realistic waters vs elodin - I think RW is the more well rounded player, builder, friend, chat presence, student, family member, and all around human being. Elodin stands no chance and I'd be surprised if he killed a single one of RWs mons. Oh also dont mind the weird bolding I'm just testing a new prediction format where I bold the loser.
 

Finchinator

We'll be a fine line
is a Top Social Media Contributoris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderatoris a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Championis a former Tournament Circuit Champion
BW Circuit Champion
Playing watashi tomorrow night at 10:30-11pm -4, let's go Astrotias!
OU: Jytcampbell vs Sacri' - Jyt is off to an impressive 3-0 start, but it is not a sexy 3-0. He squeaked past Malekith with some good fortune, I honestly fell asleep in the middle of his game against Bloody alfa -- confirming its status as a real snoozefest, and he seemed to just be all over Fear, which is perhaps half because of strong team selection and half because Fear is still learning. Is this impressive? Oh absolutely and Jyt deserves massive credit. But he played two guys who are closer to the bottom of the pool and Bloody alfa, who is still adjusting to being a tournament regular, so this is his biggest test yet. And as harsh as this might sound, I do not think he will pass this test. Sacri' will likely be on-top of building this week after a rough game last week and I think that if he avoids a rough match-up, he is much more capable of playing aggressively, making the most of openings he finds in a battle, and winning high leverage games. Sacri' is more experienced and his experiences have brought much better results thus far. I rate Sacri' as one of the better SS players in this field and I think that he will return to his winning ways this week. He has been in mostly good form in OLT, he was one of the best players in SPL, and I do not see anything indicating he is in much worse form than that now, so he is a tough out for anyone. Jyt may be peaking now, so this is his best chance, but I view it as an uphill climb regardless.

OU: Eo Ut Mortus vs Storm Zone - Continuing my streak of predicting against Mortimer the least mighty of Bagons, Storm Zone -- soon-to-be known as the enigmatic one -- is on one of the most streaky trajectories. On the one hand, he lost his first game handily and he has suffered some rough losses in OLT. On the other hand, he was able to stomp on third overall pick Starmaster and edge out another first round pick, Lopunny Kicks, with the help of some good fortune. On one day, he can be a denier of top players seeking another victory to add to their already impressive resumes. On another day, he can be subpar. What will these days bring? I do not know. But I do know that Eo will spend hours searching the vast wasteland of unearthed moves, Pokemon, combinations, and strategies until he pulls something effective out of what would seem to be an abyss of nothingness. I do not know for sure who will win this game and my prediction is mostly done in jest as I will be predicting against Eo each week, but I do know this one is a treat for the spectators. We will see two innovators with potential to mobilize the metagame as we know it each week. Eo has already helped evolve generation 7 and generation 8 from his tournament games whereas Storm Zone has created numerous trends from the ladder this generation. If you enjoy the SS OU metagame, this is a must-watch.

OU: Ewin vs ima - ima is the best Smogon Snake Draft player over the last year and change. The sheet backs this and predicting against him would be foolish otherwise. Ewin, who is not a bad player by any stretch of the imagination, has bounced back nicely after a rough stretch. Is he out of the woods yet? No, I still want to see more consistency out of him, especially because he is newer. But I think Ewin's future trajectory is promising. He has a continuously growing supply of novel ideas, he seems active, and he gives off the impression of someone motivated to stick around. All of these give me the vibe that Ewin will make noise in the near future. The issue is that making that noise against someone who has solved the problem of consistency and been on a tear is hard. ima is peaking now and when someone who is skilled at the game and in-touch with the metagame hits their stride, it is hard for anyone to interfere with their success.

OU: Garay oak vs robjr - Garay motherfucking oak is taking on the gauntlet this Snake. I do not know if the Lindworms secretly hate the guy or if the randomized line-ups have been out to get him, but this has been rough. I do think he has a chance here though. robjr showed he was actually human against FLCL, but he still is doing well overall. robjr is another one of the people from the Tigers SPL team that had uncharateristically bad SPLs that I refuse to hold against him. Tace, robjr, Eeveeto, etc. all had poor SPLs, but followed it up with great WCOPs. robjr had what may be the best WCOP r1 ever and then he had a great week 1 here, too. I am not sure who makes his teams or how much he likes the tier right now, but I do think robjr is in good shape at the moment. This one is pretty close to me, but I think robjr is the better player and has more experience in the metagame.

UU: Poek vs SoulWind - Really close game, one of the lower tier highlights this week for sure.
RU: Pepeduce vs atomicllamas
NU: Realistic Waters vs elodin - Waters is one of my favorite people to watch in developing metagames. Curious to see what he brings, should be a tight one.
PU: TJ vs false

OU: 1 True Lycan vs Fear - 1 True Lycan shows a lot of promise, but also some signs for concern. He is an ambitious creator on the teambuilding front. While he may neglect a handful of threats each week while trying to integrate his strategies, something that is important is that he is able to diversify his vulnerabilities from week-to-week, thus maximizing his chances I feel. 1 True Lycan is also in good form as a player for his standards, I feel. I like where he is at and while I think there is still room for improvement, I am confident in 1 True Lycan. As for Fear, he seems still to be a bit lost in SS. I think that he opens himself up to sequences or even prompts specific trades that lead to an unfavorable position. He needs to take some more time to analyze the consequences of his moves. It does not come as naturally to him as GSC does and that is ok. I believe Fear can salvage this, but it may take a few more weeks.

OU: FMG vs lax - lax is an explosive player. He is able to create openings and make progress with more efficiency than just about anyone in this field. I was not huge on the overall team that lax and samqian brought last week though. I feel like a LOT of people praised the team and I do not think it is bad, but it had some major vulnerabilities to Kyurem (I realize the Clefable probably had SDef, but still not a durable response to Choice Specs variants) and an overreliance on Dragapult for Rotom-Heat/Volcarona. I think a lot of teams we see right now suffer these type of issues and I worry they can be abused, but I think that lax has the ability to keep pressure enough to really pilot builds with some rougher match-ups to victory. FMG, on the other hand, is the epitome of solid, but not outstanding. Aside from a few blunders last season, he has been pretty good overall for a while now, but he has never been quite near the top player status some may have projected for him upon his initial rise to relevance. I think that FMG has a steady hand and can pilot balance well, but you need a lot more than that to upset a surging lax, so I expect lax to prevail.

OU: Steve Angello vs Kebab mlml - Both are fearless players with interesting teams. I expect a close one, but I am not too sure who I predict to take it. Steve is more experienced and perhaps a little better overall, but Kebab has had the better 2020 and seems to be more comfortable in this generation. Normally, I would favor Kebab due to the whole Italian thing, but Germany is having a good year as well. Excited to see this one!

OU: mncmt vs Samqian - Fake Jamvad continues his pursuit of overtaking real Jamvad. mncmt is one of the gutsiest players. He is not afraid to take risks and this has shown on countless occasions. As for Samqian, he looked lost last week. Hard match-up against a strong opponent. It was a rough showing. I do think he will find some wins this Snake and his record is not a fair representation of his play, but it may have to be another week seeing how strong mncmt is. Lowkey a close one, but gotta go with the conventional favorite.

UU: Lilburr vs CBU
RU: snaga vs Ajna - Round 2 talent and blatant early round snub snaga will be upset by clear underdog round 3 pick Ajna.
NU: Sjneider vs bugzinator - Two of the best in the field. Sjneider is a bit more in-touch with NU I feel, so will side with him, but this one is a big highlight for me.
PU: Xiri vs Vulpix03 - Curious to see how Vulpix adapts to this opportunity, but gotta go with Xiri, who is in great form.
LC: Shrug vs Serene Grace

OU: Rexus vs Santu - Santu's a really good player. I think Rexus is solid, too, and he was able to win last week, but he may be overmatched by his fellow Italian. I think a lot of this one comes down to team selection and that could make it hard for Santu to bring it home depending on what the Leviathans cook up, but Santu has had his fair share of strong brings that leave me less worried. Should be a close one as neither seems too mistake prone lately.

OU: BK vs Lopunny Kicks - BK looks pretty solid to me. He can use anything, he can play aggressively, and he knows the tier well. Lopunny Kicks, on the other hand, has a couple of rough losses, but is conventionally very strong. I think I still side with Lopunny Kicks, but it's damn close. I feel like this one will drag out for a while and both will bring more conservative teams. I trust Lopunny Kicks more in that setting, but if BK ends up going the offensive route and picks the right breaking combination, it might be an uphill climb for the Bushmaster's first rounder.

OU: John W vs frisoeva - John W brought a weird team week 2, but otherwise I think he has been locked-in. A rough loss here or there that may have been a bit out of his hands, sure, but he dominated STour and he was able to prevail last week. I think he is still in the same form that he was in during OLT, which is a great place to be. frisoeva is pretty average for this field. That is not a diss as it is a strong field, but he has yet to prove a ton to me in SS specifically. Can he upset John W? Absolutely and he has won against bigger names before, but I think that he will have to bring something solid and play above-and-beyond to pull it off. I think he has made some errors thus far, even if nothing egregious, and I am not sure if I trust him to execute at a higher level than John W currently.

OU: ramboss vs Bloody alfa - I was super high on Bloody alfa and pretty low on ramboss coming in to the tournament. Bloody alfa has not quite replicated his success from WCOP or SmogonTour yet while ramboss has been tearing it up with some amusing teams. At this point, I do not know what to think. My instincts have been wrong, but then I second guess them and they turn out to be right. As a predictor, it's a mind game, so I shall not predict this game. As for the match up though, both are intruging players. ramboss is one of the flashiest guys in SS OU. He is fearless, capable of bringing out something from the depths of a lower tier and making it dominate an OU game. Bloody alfa is a bit more in-touch with the contents of the metagame and has had a nice streak of success earlier this year, so he can easily take it, too. I really do not know who will win, but I am eager to see what comes of this game.

UU: hs vs Ramolost
RU: odr vs roman - Personal highlight, both are passionate about the tier and come up with cool teams imo.
NU: Kushalos vs CyberOdin✝ - Odin is unironically one of the stronger options in this pool. His transition has been cool and I think he solidified some things over the last couple of weeks. Perhaps this is an upset because Kushalos is more of a conventional NU player, but Odin has a ton of raw skill as a player and he seems to be showing it here.
PU: Hamhamhamhamham vs soulgazer

OU: xray vs High Impulse - xray's team choice last week was weird. It was really weak to Kyurem and Aegislash. With this said, he has been playing fine. Maybe he started 0-2, but it is not like he did anything awful in those games. He is a good player and he is still having a good year after all. He got back on track with a great STour showing and I have to imagine he will even his record out here. High Impulse is a great dude and I was glad to see he prevailed last week, but the Taipans are still a major work-in-progress in OU and I do not get the vibe that they will be pulling off many high profile upsets like this one would be.

OU: Gefährlicher Random vs dice - Gefahrlicher Random made some weird moves last week, but I am still high on him. He gets the tier and he is not afraid to take risks, even if some of them may not be in his own best interest. dice has yet to figure it out this Snake and honestly I worry that he might now. I do not know how into the metagame he is, so I really cannot be too sure. A motivated and active dice is a dangerous player and someone I would pick here, but idk what to expect given what we have seen so far. He is not even playing awfully per se, he just has not had it translate to wins. I'll side with the German as most of them are having good years and dice is struggling, but can go either way.

OU: ZDen vs Eeveeto - ZDen made some absolutely horrible plays last week and some really good ones, too. His team was kinda whack, but I'm starting to get the vibe that WoF is just a master fisherman, so I'll hold my judgement. I do not have much analysis left in the tank because I am tired and that seems to be the only thing surfacing in my brain right now, so fuck it Eeveeto time. At least Eeveeto has some really solid results recently. ZDen is quietly good in WCOP, too, but I feel like he is a step behind Eeveeto.

OU: Relous vs Void - Relous got outmatched by Raiza, but I would still take him over 2020 CG OU Void I think. Void has a high ceiling as a player and can beat anyone on any day, but I do not picture him as the solution here. I do not know how much he knows the tier, who is building here, and how they will prepare. Relous is reliable and solid. Gotta go with him.

UU: Sabella vs Adaam - Sabella's teams are really cool, but Adaam is one of the best UU players, even if team tournaments make him struggle to reach peak consistency sometimes.
RU: Charmflash vs Expulso
NU: Ho3nConfirm3d vs aim - This one won't last 30 turns probably.
LC: Wail Wailord vs Osh


For the UU enthusiasts, be sure to check out Moutemoute's analysis here and pif's game breakdown here (great game btw). For the RU followers, you cannot miss gorex's deep dive into trends here. For the NU nerds, Expulso is back at it again with some thoughts on the evolving metagame here. For the PU fanatics, definitely check out avarice's highlights here. For the LC players, check out Dreamcatcher's insights here and taranteeno's interview of Wail Wailord here. It's really cool that the communities are brought together and the metagames are constantly evolving because of these tournaments; I hope everyone has a fun week!
 

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