Smogon Snake Draft IV - Week 5

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Merritt

literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Moderator

>Spreadsheet<
> Schedule <
Shoutouts: Ticken for the sheet improvements and Serene Grace for the schedule sheet!

Tournament Rules and General Guidelines

Matchups:



Rumble Hall Rattlers (4) vs (6) Lanakila Nagas

OU: Samqian vs ima
OU: Kebab mlml vs Regnite
OU: Fear vs robjr
OU: lax vs Sacri'
DOU: Ezrael vs Memoric
UU: CBU vs SoulWind
RU: Ajna vs atomicllamas
NU: bugzinator vs elodin
PU: Vulpix03 vs false
LC: Serene Grace vs Ninjadog


Celadon City Cobras (3) vs (7) Black City Mambas

OU: FMG vs ZDen
OU: TPP vs LittleBigPlanet2
OU: mncmt vs Gefährlicher Random
OU: 1 True Lycan vs xray
DOU: Qwello Lee vs Frania
UU: Lilburr vs Sabella
RU: snaga vs Charmflash
NU: Sjneider vs Ho3nConfirm3d
PU: Xiri vs Ktütverde
LC: Shrug vs Wail Wailord


Sky Tower Lindworms (6) vs (4) Lake of Rage Leviathans

OU: Jytcampbell vs Rexus
OU: Eo Ut Mortus vs BK
OU: beatiful vs Luigi
OU: Garay oak vs the pharoah
DOU: umbreon098 vs Nails
UU: Poek vs hs
RU: Pepeduce vs odr
NU: Realistic Waters vs Kushalos
PU: TJ vs Hamhamhamhamham
LC: dcae vs Xizaaa


Terminus Taipans (5) vs (5) Shinto Ruin Serpents

OU: Void vs Star
OU: High Impulse vs Tamahome
OU: Eeveeto vs watashi
OU: Indigo Plateau vs Vaboh
DOU: Kiichikos vs DLT JRL BELL
UU: Adaam vs Askov
RU: Expulso vs Mazinger
NU: aim vs Jrdn
PU: tlenit vs obii
LC: Osh vs tko


Berry Forest Bushmasters (3) vs (7) Ambrette Astrotias

OU: Santu vs BIHI
OU: Bloody alfa vs Raiza
OU: Leo vs Finchinator
OU: Lopunny Kicks vs Tace
DOU: qsns vs Paraplegic
UU: Ramolost vs z0mOG
RU: Sensei Axew vs Feliburn
NU: soulgazer vs GW
PU: pokemonisfun vs keppy
LC: Kingler vs LilyAC
Deadline will be October 4th, 9:00 PM GMT-4.
 
Last edited:

starry blanket

The Blanket
is a Community Contributor Alumnus
beat the ape last week. 2-1 vs him right now, ggs.

we are now at the midpoint of the season, so i have provided my own "midseason" thoughts on all the teams. no hate here... i think this tournmanet is very competitive and tight. the nagas and the lindworms stand a head above the rest, and the taipans, mambas, and serpents (yes, still) stand a bit below the rest. the other 5 teams, however, i think are all very competitive with one another, and i reasonably see them competing in a BLOODBATH to get those other two playoff spots. still, the nagas and lindworms aren't 100% out of the woods yet, and the taipans, mambas, and serpents aren't totally out of the picture, of course.

good luck to all participants, i've been enjoying spectating the games without having much of a stake in them.

Rumble Hall Rattlers (3) vs (7) Lanakila Nagas

OU: Samqian vs ima: ima is looking great this tour, sam is looking ok.
OU: Kebab mlml vs Storm Zone: he will get there. i believe...
OU: Fear vs robjr: the locusts have destroyed the farmer's autumn harvest, meanwhile robjr, while no longer a nuzlocke player, is looking good.
OU: lax vs Sacri': lax has had some easy draws so far, if he can beat the sac, i will bold him from here on out.

DOU: Ezrael vs Memoric: honestly i think ezrael wins but man i love to see memoric doing well. he put in a shitton of effort during SPL, and he just had a lot of unlucky draws... trust me, i was there, i saw it, it sucked. he's a great player and a great guy, and i am hoping he continues to do well in this tour :). ezrael is the goat doubles though, so this one might be tough. if memoric puts in half the effort he did while playing on the down and out scooters this last SPL, i think he can take the goat down.
UU: CBU vs SoulWind
RU: Ajna vs atomicllamas
NU: bugzinator vs elodin
PU: Vulpix03 vs false
LC: Serene Grace vs Ninjadog

the nagas, despite losing last week, are still my #1 team in this tournament. for context, i think the only teams clearly a top cut above the rest are the rattlers and lindworms, with the cobras possibly being #3 (they have had some tough breaks the last two weeks). alright. i fucking love this team. when mdrag manages the sharks, i always think he has a solid draft, and when gama helps with managing the tigers, i always think they have an ok draft (though last year had some questionable slot placement for sure as we all saw). when these guys get together to manage, however, my mind is fucking blown. none of it makes sense, there's no logic here, but that's the beauty of the mdragon and gama nagas drafts. you can see a very clear logic in a typical sharks draft, and honestly it is usually kinda boring. in this draft, those conventions are thrown out the window. i'm all for taking risks, but perhaps they are going TOO far LOL. still, i love to see it, and i love to see it working out more than anything. god this team is fucking sick. what an amazing OU core, especially once storm zone really finds his footing (HE WILL!!!! HE WILL I SWEAR!) the sac round 3? amazing. the lower tiers here are quite good as well, except maybe elodin and the unfortunate underperforming King UU / RU / PU. still, very good. this is the team i have pegged to win it all. no doubts in my mind about that one... unless they lose every week from here on out, in which case i've been a lindworms supporter since day one obviously.

the rattlers are one of the many teams that i see fighting for those last two poff spots. if they beat the nagas this week, i think they are solidly a playoff team, especially after last week's dominant performance (luck aside). that's the nicest i can be to a team i regularly call the rats. with all that said, i doubt they can beat the nagas, which hardly lost out to the other top contender team last week in a to the wire series that had some unfortunate circumstances for sure. as for the rattlers draft and how it has panned out... they had fantastic picks 1-4, especially with ezrael being back on the sheet now. like my initial reaction to the draft was "fuck this shit how does tony do it." because of those first four picks. this did not last long, as i started to realize that value was largely balanced out by some reaches and somewhat below average picks later on. they are still a solid team with a reasonable shot at playoffs, but certainly not a cut above the rest. simply put, beyond those big four, we haven't seen any wow factor players, and even in that big four, ezrael has struggled for the first time in his life. this is typical of TDK's and Tony's style as of late: safety. it wasn't always like this! i'm old enough to remember a day when TDK was the innovative builder and Tony was the fiery new manager on the block, but just like my dad moved on from his dangerous motorcycle to his practical sedan, Tony and TDK have seemingly grown comfortable with players who will do just good enough without having any real risk attached.


Celadon City Cobras (7) vs (3) Black City Mambas

OU: FMG vs ZDen: this would be a good matchup for FMG to regain some momentum... a solid opponent, but one he can overcome.
OU: TPP vs LittleBigPlanet2: not the type of opponent TPP likes to see, but i think he has overcome his nerve issues, so he can take the challenge.
OU: mncmt vs Gefährlicher Random: interesting MU. 50% of these guys' MUs have been the same LOL. gut says mnc.
OU: 1 True Lycan vs xray: hoping we get SPL quality out of these two rather than SSD quality... i know they have it in them.

DOU: Qwello Lee vs Frania
UU: Lilburr vs Sabella
RU: snaga vs Charmflash
NU: Sjneider vs Ho3nConfirm3d
PU: Xiri vs Ktütverde
LC: Shrug vs Wail Wailord

as i said above, the cobras have been in my top 3 teams. ok the original preseason rankings were something like nagas #1, cobras #2, and a whole lot of flip flopping on the next 2 (usually included the leviathans and bushmasters, though). i have followed the cobras games closely: these guys get pretty unlucky. nonetheless, they are still in this. their OU core worried me a bit post draft, largely due to mncmt r1 (who worked out), but also because i am just not the highest on a couple guys here... still good though! i have been disappointed that the god king steve isn't killing it, but he did sign up to be a sub, after all. still, him and FMG performing poorly hurts this team quite a bit. nonetheless, their lower tier core has good potential to carry them. i view this as a weaker version of the lindworms, but still an exciting and powerful core. i like this team a lot, and i think they will do well when all is said and done, but due to some rough circumstances, they will have to get through the BLOODBATH these next few weeks. a fantastic lower tier core paired with an (admittedly) fairly average OU core should be enough to get them there... i hope.

the mambas are certainly an entertaining team, and i was higher on them out the gate than most others were, but the german OU core has not lived up to the potential. i mean come on... team germany was the second most electric team this wcop (behind team us midwest, of course), so combining them with wof seemed like a huge recipe for success. with that not panning out, and some unfortunate draft blunders looming over them, i think the mambas will have a tough time from here on out. the frania round 2 pick is really what's hurting here, but also some of the riskier buys in general... charmflash, sabella, relous.. these are high potential players who are just not living up to it. beyond that, rodri has seemingly cancered, leaving this team with a missed out earlyish pick and a rough NU slot. overall, as much as i hate to say it because i really do love rooting for the villain, i think this team's days are numbered.

Sky Tower Lindworms (6) vs (4) Lake of Rage Leviathans

OU: Jytcampbell vs Rexus: certainly the hardest of jyt's MUs thus far, and i think it is one he will struggle with.
OU: Eo Ut Mortus vs BK: the ball is rolling and it won't stop. i would normally say this is an annoying mu for eo, but he beat storm last week, so..
OU: Ewin vs John W: genghis john. and john the pun is that john sounds like khan, as in genghis khan. u can't just use any fucking name for it bro.
OU: Garay oak vs ramboss: garay has looked fairly solid, record aside, but ramboss has looked electric, also record aside. interesting one for sure.

DOU: umbreon098 vs Nails
UU: Poek vs hs
RU: Pepeduce vs odr: i do believe odr will live up to his billing.
NU: Realistic Waters vs Kushalos
PU: TJ vs Hamhamhamhamham
LC: dcae vs Xizaaa

i did not rate the lindworms highly after the draft, but they were certainly contenders in my eyes. they have exceeded all expectations, of course, and i've become a huge fan of many of their pieces. one thing i always admired was their lower tiers, which is apparent in my predicts. they chose some really exciting players, and they've worked out well. their ou core, on the other hand, i was not the fondest of. well, they have proven me wrong, and i'm glad to see them doing so well, especially eo. i think the OU core has been a bit fortunate, but that does not take away from the core being overall better than i expected. when you combine an overperforming OU core with an interesting lower tier core that breaks all the question marks, you have a team that is more than capable of making playoffs, tied for strongest contender for the trophy in my eyes.

i thought the leviathans draft was exciting for sure. they got a lot of the types of fun players i like to see, not surprising from tricking. while i thought this was a solid team, i was always confused about the value here. this seems like the type of draft you take in SPL / an auction tour, where you can get a bunch of goons for <10k and then break the bank on 2 goats. that strategy does not work in snake, and i think it has been apparent in the leviathans' struggles. they also made poor use of john in the draft, imo. BK, rexus, ramboss: 3 fantastic players, but they are known for using explosive teams, not sitting through 200 turn stalemates while their moms bring them snacks. i question the decisions here, but i still think this is a solid team with many exciting pieces for sure. while the lindworms are basically a lock for playoffs, however, the leviathans are one contender among many in the BLOODBATH.

Terminus Taipans* (5) vs (4) Shinto Ruin Serpents

OU: Void vs Star: someone told me i do these predicts just to bold against star. they were right, that's literally the only reason i do this.
OU: High Impulse vs Tamahome: a lesson: never doubt a goat. why he fell to round 3 is beyond me.
OU: Eeveeto vs watashi: hard not to bold him, despite losing to finchinator.
OU: dice vs Vaboh: if he shows up. honestly, he probably won't.

DOU: Kiichikos vs DLT JRL BELL
UU: Adaam vs Askov
RU: Expulso vs Mazinger: expluso has actually looked pretty solid despite 3 incredibly challenging MUs for a new player.
NU: aim vs Jrdn
PU: tlenit vs obii
LC: Osh vs tko

so to recap, right out of the draft i had the nagas and the cobras as my top two teams. in the BLOODBATH, i had every other team except the two we have here, who i ranked a tier below those other 6. the taipans draft did not have any gaping holes, but rather, many small ones that start to add up. the idea of going for two lower tier players first as a later pick is a pretty clever strategy, but supplementing that with an OU core with weaker than average building hurts a lot. none of the players on this team are bad... i just don't see any synergy here, and the last four weeks have really shown that. i like a lot of these guys, and i want this team to do well, but i think it's too late.

where the rattlers did a somewhat below average job of capitalizing on their early round games, the serpents did a catastrophic one. i mean come on... getting FLCL and tama like that??? incredible. the picks after that... early jumps on malekith, nat, jrdn (who i am high on)..... idk. the subs and juggles speak for themselves (except askov, who should've probably been starting from the get go). the last two weeks have been fortunate for the serpents, but i don't see it continuing. after all, they are mathnatically eliminated, right?

Berry Forest Bushmasters (4) vs (6) Ambrette Astrotias

OU: Santu vs BIHI: santu's incredible. bihi's solid.
OU: Bloody alfa vs Raiza: i'm kinda 50/50 on this one.
OU: Leo vs Finchinator: some might call this fight anakin vs obii wan. i am not some lmao it's two nerds playing pokemon.
OU: Lopunny Kicks vs Tace: punny is kinda slumping, tace is a mastermind. in general i rank tace a tier above punny, bias aside.

DOU: qsns vs Paraplegic
UU: Ramolost vs Accelgor
RU: roman vs Feliburn
NU: CyberOdin✝ vs GW
PU: pokemonisfun vs keppy: what.
LC: Kingler vs LilyAC

i have no clue what is going on with the bushmasters. the power rankings might've been off ranking them number one, but this team is clearly solid on paper. beyond just on paper, their play has been largely fine too... i mean 3 ties tells the story here. i think punny as a r1 pick was a bit of a stretch, honestly. beyond that, some of the other picks you expect to perform well just... didn't. i always liked this team's OU core, less so now with leo in, and their lower tiers looked solid with ramolost and odin proving to be pretty good. i don't know, if this team's morale isn't totally shot, i think they have the talent to make poffs for sure. it will be a tough task though.

the astrotias are the typical finchinator draft, really. maybe different characters, but similar archetypes for sure. i mean just look at the teams their OU guys bring every week. it's always fucking tyranitar sand. like bro. lighten the grip a little bit. also like most finchinator led teams, my post draft thoughts on this team were "they're pretty good." pretty good. never "WOW!" never "lmao what dogshit!!!" always just pretty good, honestly. the OU core here is definitely good, as raiza, bihi, and finchinator are all above average players, and tace is a child genius. the lower tiers though... idk. lilyac, accelgor, and feliburn were all good picks taken at good times (maybe lily r2 was a reach though but she's 3-1 so who cares), but the other guys not so much. they're "pretty good." this team definitely has a shot at poffs, but i can also see their season ending like the cobras did last year...
 

z0mOG

doggy dog world
is a Social Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris the Smogon Tour Season 26 Championis a Past WCoP Champion
predictions:
OU: Samqian vs ima - ujhdnjdasjjifeujjtrnadsokjjm adsmdsa
OU: Kebab mlml vs Storm Zone - adjjnljqr3 jnwr jkewqjowerirf
OU: Fear vs robjr - kfdsmbfdkniqtphniq wqsdfasasdaadsads
OU: lax vs Sacri' - wqojieiejqi3213123213213
DOU: Ezrael vs Memoric - 919202490094094120904912jf
UU: CBU vs SoulWind - wejnrj3 fbsn kweqeoj3ok24`kl1
RU: Ajna vs atomicllamas - krkm23p5r
NU: bugzinator vs elodin - 12390u9u312hb41b 51bj 15bo15ioppi15jpi14j41o14kpo412
PU: Vulpix03 vs false - ej asdkdsnkakjdnajksnkrqenkvj2o31ikm3v 1
LC: Serene Grace vs Ninjadog - wjsadmmcxmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

OU: FMG vs ZDen - 111111111111111111111111111111
OU: TPP vs LittleBigPlanet2 - fndkaknafsknfaknafsnkfas
OU: mncmt vs Gefährlicher Random - 123912393t2njsdnksadfnkafqwsadsa asdf sa asdas
OU: 1 True Lycan vs xray = daskkd odsakoaskoeq221321sa
DOU: Qwello Lee vs Frania - dasmcmzmcmmcmmcc
UU: Lilburr vs Sabella - 9219230nm12k3k212k3nk 231nk3n21n213n2323132121332112213
RU: snaga vs Charmflash - aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaab
NU: Sjneider vs Ho3nConfirm3d - dasksmamdaskdsankadsnadsknadsknkasdnkdas
PU: Xiri vs Ktütverde - kme2kdsaksdamkdsjsa ipj2 ewddsadassdadsadasdasdsa
LC: Shrug vs Wail Wailord - ds akm sdkmamsadmksdakmsadmkmadksmkadskmdamkdakmadsmkmkadsmkdmksamkdasmkadsmkdasmdasmkmdakmkdasmkasd

OU: Jytcampbell vs Rexus - dasmdsakdsamdmc cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc
OU: Eo Ut Mortus vs BK - CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
OU: Ewin vs John W - dsao dasokjdsaoko2qwqqqqqq
OU: Garay oak vs ramboss - 1232 111111111111111111111213dfmk sads
DOU: umbreon098 vs Nails - dasyawdsasasd as
UU: Poek vs hs - bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb
RU: Pepeduce vs odr - adaksksalsakdlsakldsakldsakldkalslka
NU: Realistic Waters vs Kushalos - dsamkdsakewqoekoewqkweqoweqwqewqe qweqewqdamldaos owieoikewqpkwqeas
PU: TJ vs Hamhamhamhamham - deqw0oe021o3o13o12312321231231321123
LC: dcae vs Xizaaa - 9979979797979979797997979979799

OU: Void vs Star - adoksnmwq 3m21nkj3n21lkj3n21ijn4 nm,dnslsnek wqjmpk21j 4
OU: High Impulse vs Tamahome - 231oko231 nfdaknwdskan daksnk dsajdsakjsad
OU: Eeveeto vs watashi - dsaoiewq9iyqwuWUai asshysausnaa
OU: dice vs Vaboh -d saasm213-12l plfdpklasp0-921820 qwoiaosdpkdsa
DOU: Kiichikos vs DLT JRL BELL - 93490910342023904904123042090298630315901300-412-0421
UU: Adaam vs Askov - 4jmMMMMMMMwdmdsamd skadls MMMMM
RU: Expulso vs Mazinger - KEjkdasjjkdxcznxzmmqrwnmn mxzc mnfdlkzjklskljdklASJDK
NU: aim vs Jrdn - oksadijqwienjqenbwdjkanxmmnlaskdjaskej2mew
PU: tlenit vs obii - odjsaosjaoPEWOAIOIOIOIIIIIEWOIOEOIIOOIIOIOIOIOOIOOOIOI
LC: Osh vs tko - 20319nkdnkadsiqwjo dj;jlkadshi jlkadSJhpiuQHRUIHDSA

OU: Santu vs BIHI - ASJDAH34OIH1JKNQWAJKNASDKJN4JK21JRQWSAD A
OU: Bloody alfa vs Raiza -d asijdsajndsaasd
OU: Leo vs Finchinator - asoieo2oisda dois close one
OU: Lopunny Kicks vs Tace - adooskja kdkajkej21kmeddsasa
DOU: qsns vs Paraplegic - ad-421- 40-12-02410-421024-0412421
UU: Ramolost vs Accelgor - dsapsadkoasokjd faofkafas
RU: roman vs Feliburn - dakkakakakakakakkakakakakkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkda
NU: CyberOdin✝ vs GW - daok4198983v9 2898qw983219819283981212dsdassdas
PU: pokemonisfun vs keppy - 23wqass
LC: Kingler vs LilyAC - idk
 

IPF

dire
is a Tiering Contributor
11/19 last week, 43/75 overall

SS OU: Samqian vs ima - Samqian's game last week was all over the place. Somehow he managed to bring a Rillaboom in on an Amoonguss, and come out of that exchange having taken no damage, no status and a dead Amoong without it even being acro. Not to mention the shenanigans with Zone and his turbo Corv. ima was unlucky to have not beaten ewin last week, albeit the game was extremely messy, but he's still playing at a very high level so I will bold him again
SS OU: Kebab mlml vs Storm Zone - I'm still undecided on Storm, but I feel like his creativity in the builder will be able to take advantage of Kebab's tendency to use bulkier teams
SS OU: Fear vs robjr - Fear just hasn't convinced me that he can put things together in SS, believe robjr will take this
SS OU: lax vs Sacri' - Highlight game for sure, lax is broken so I'll bold him but both players have been ridiculously good as of late

SS OU: FMG vs ZDen - Been a rough start to the season for FMG but I rate him highly and expect him to win here
SS OU: TPP vs LittleBigPlanet2 - Not gonna mention the sheet because that's been beaten to death, this matchup is really interesting to me. TPP obviously has bundles of metagame knowledge and will have the scout on deck, and the last time we saw LBP2 in tour was WCoP 2019 where he finished 0-3 so this is honestly a coinflip, gut says LBP2
SS OU: mncmt vs Gefährlicher Random - mncmt switched out a maxed out Corv last week and while I haven't done the math to see if he was losing the PP war, considering his timer never ran down I don't think he did either. That aside he was unlucky with full paras and has been very strong in this tour so far, while TDR hasn't been as convincing to me
SS OU: 1 True Lycan vs xray - The Baron is thriving while the Scanner is struggling, I'll go with the hot hand but counting out xray is foolish

SS OU: Jytcampbell vs Rexus - Rexus decided to play with the slot machine last week and took an L and Jyt's game last week left a lot to be desired too (even if Kyurem probably won eventually), feel like Rexus will take this one though
SS OU: Eo Ut Mortus vs BK - Another great game as both players have been outstanding so far, Eo has been dominant so I'll go with him
SS OU: Ewin vs John W - I have predicted Ewin incorrectly every week thus far which is fun. Fresh off becoming Smogon's latest villain he runs into John W, a player I've bolded every week, and I'm going to stick with him again. Frankly I consider him the stronger player of the two and has had more comprehensive performances
SS OU: Garay oak vs ramboss - Been a rough couple of weeks for ramboss and although his creativity in the builder is commendable, it may be worthwhile to reel it back in for a bit. That being said he's been more impressive than Garay so far so I'll bold him

SS OU: Void vs Star - Star finally got a win on the board and Void shocked everyone with his win last week, gonna have to see more from him before I can bold him though
SS OU: High Impulse vs Tamahome - Alright I'm tired of predicting against Tama, he's been really solid while Impulse has looked shaky so gonna go with him
SS OU: Eeveeto vs watashi - Fooly couldn't have done anything against Reuni last week and that's not enough for me to bold his opponent just yet, even if Eeveeto has been really strong lately
SS OU: dice vs Vaboh - Vaboh lost an extremely tight game against Raiza last week, coming down to a 50/50, and I rate him pretty highly while dice hasn't looked at home at all in this tour

SS OU: Santu vs BIHI - Santu has been far more convincing than BIHI and could potentially be on his way to a Slam trophy too, extremely good and will not predict against him
SS OU: Bloody alfa vs Raiza - alfa showed signs of his WCoP form and I think he'll be good but Raiza has shown his ability to clutch out tight games and has been really impressive
SS OU: Leo vs Finchinator - Finch has had a mixed bag of a tour so far but I suppose he's given me more to work with than Leo's single game, so I'll bold Finch
SS OU: Lopunny Kicks vs Tace - Weird one, these are two players who I've bolded pretty much every week so far but both players have been trending downwards, another loss for one of these players could potentially tank their season. Punny losing 4 in a row just seems unlikely to me so I'll bold him

Good luck to everyone!
 
Last edited:

ima

My Beautiful Dark Twisted 8-3
is a Tiering Contributoris a Past WCoP Champion
predictions:
OU: Samqian vs ima - ujhdnjdasjjifeujjtrnadsokjjm adsmdsa
OU: Kebab mlml vs Storm Zone - adjjnljqr3 jnwr jkewqjowerirf
OU: Fear vs robjr - kfdsmbfdkniqtphniq wqsdfasasdaadsads
OU: lax vs Sacri' - wqojieiejqi3213123213213
DOU: Ezrael vs Memoric - 919202490094094120904912jf
UU: CBU vs SoulWind - wejnrj3 fbsn kweqeoj3ok24`kl1
RU: Ajna vs atomicllamas - krkm23p5r
NU: bugzinator vs elodin - 12390u9u312hb41b 51bj 15bo15ioppi15jpi14j41o14kpo412
PU: Vulpix03 vs false - ej asdkdsnkakjdnajksnkrqenkvj2o31ikm3v 1
LC: Serene Grace vs Ninjadog - wjsadmmcxmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

OU: FMG vs ZDen - 111111111111111111111111111111
OU: TPP vs LittleBigPlanet2 - fndkaknafsknfaknafsnkfas
OU: mncmt vs Gefährlicher Random - 123912393t2njsdnksadfnkafqwsadsa asdf sa asdas
OU: 1 True Lycan vs xray = daskkd odsakoaskoeq221321sa
DOU: Qwello Lee vs Frania - dasmcmzmcmmcmmcc
UU: Lilburr vs Sabella - 9219230nm12k3k212k3nk 231nk3n21n213n2323132121332112213
RU: snaga vs Charmflash - aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaab
NU: Sjneider vs Ho3nConfirm3d - dasksmamdaskdsankadsnadsknadsknkasdnkdas
PU: Xiri vs Ktütverde - kme2kdsaksdamkdsjsa ipj2 ewddsadassdadsadasdasdsa
LC: Shrug vs Wail Wailord - ds akm sdkmamsadmksdakmsadmkmadksmkadskmdamkdakmadsmkmkadsmkdmksamkdasmkadsmkdasmdasmkmdakmkdasmkasd

OU: Jytcampbell vs Rexus - dasmdsakdsamdmc cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc
OU: Eo Ut Mortus vs BK - CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
OU: Ewin vs John W - dsao dasokjdsaoko2qwqqqqqq
OU: Garay oak vs ramboss - 1232 111111111111111111111213dfmk sads
DOU: umbreon098 vs Nails - dasyawdsasasd as
UU: Poek vs hs - bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb
RU: Pepeduce vs odr - adaksksalsakdlsakldsakldsakldkalslka
NU: Realistic Waters vs Kushalos - dsamkdsakewqoekoewqkweqoweqwqewqe qweqewqdamldaos owieoikewqpkwqeas
PU: TJ vs Hamhamhamhamham - deqw0oe021o3o13o12312321231231321123
LC: dcae vs Xizaaa - 9979979797979979797997979979799

OU: Void vs Star - adoksnmwq 3m21nkj3n21lkj3n21ijn4 nm,dnslsnek wqjmpk21j 4
OU: High Impulse vs Tamahome - 231oko231 nfdaknwdskan daksnk dsajdsakjsad
OU: Eeveeto vs watashi - dsaoiewq9iyqwuWUai asshysausnaa
OU: dice vs Vaboh -d saasm213-12l plfdpklasp0-921820 qwoiaosdpkdsa
DOU: Kiichikos vs DLT JRL BELL - 93490910342023904904123042090298630315901300-412-0421
UU: Adaam vs Askov - 4jmMMMMMMMwdmdsamd skadls MMMMM
RU: Expulso vs Mazinger - KEjkdasjjkdxcznxzmmqrwnmn mxzc mnfdlkzjklskljdklASJDK
NU: aim vs Jrdn - oksadijqwienjqenbwdjkanxmmnlaskdjaskej2mew
PU: tlenit vs obii - odjsaosjaoPEWOAIOIOIOIIIIIEWOIOEOIIOOIIOIOIOIOOIOOOIOI
LC: Osh vs tko - 20319nkdnkadsiqwjo dj;jlkadshi jlkadSJhpiuQHRUIHDSA

OU: Santu vs BIHI - ASJDAH34OIH1JKNQWAJKNASDKJN4JK21JRQWSAD A
OU: Bloody alfa vs Raiza -d asijdsajndsaasd
OU: Leo vs Finchinator - asoieo2oisda dois close one
OU: Lopunny Kicks vs Tace - adooskja kdkajkej21kmeddsasa
DOU: qsns vs Paraplegic - ad-421- 40-12-02410-421024-0412421
UU: Ramolost vs Accelgor - dsapsadkoasokjd faofkafas
RU: roman vs Feliburn - dakkakakakakakakkakakakakkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkda
NU: CyberOdin✝ vs GW - daok4198983v9 2898qw983219819283981212dsdassdas
PU: pokemonisfun vs keppy - 23wqass
LC: Kingler vs LilyAC - idk
E0179FC0-9565-4F0C-9BEC-2BFC376AF5D1.gif
 

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
Ubers Leader
Another week, another 10k words (yes, really) thesis on the Smogon Snake Draft. I swear I could've finished my education three years faster if I had put in the same amount of time and dedication. Tragic. Like last week, I'd like to start with a service announcement re: COVID-19. To prevent infection and to slow down the transmission of COVID-19, please consider 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.
We all know it's really not that hard to follow these guidelines and you'd want people to exercise the same level of caution around you and the people you care about. Now then, is FMG going to win his Snake game this week?

OU: FMG vs ZDen - Yes! Might as well start things off with predicting one wrong, right? In fact, I think I've incorrectly predicted the result of FMG's game every week so far. I blame FMG. As for this specific game, both players are coming off of losses last week. FMG was up against lax and his, and this is true, Life Orb Slowbro, while ZDen took one for the team in order to grant Centiskorch the 100% win rate it deserves in SS OU. FMG, to be fair to him, played mostly fine against lax. Risking Rotom-Heat into a Sludge Bomb wasn't it in my opinion, but lax got essentially every break he needed to win after HE (read: not me) forgot to make Amoonguss Clear Smog. Neither player has particularly impressed me so far, though I was definitely higher on FMG going into the tournament, so that's what I'm sticking with. It is worth noting that FMG has bigger things to worry about, as our POCL team qualified for the play-offs last week. These are very exciting times. Go Arcanines!

OU: TPP vs LittleBigPlanet2 - I can't be the only one surprised upon seeing this game show up this week. Don't get me wrong, the surprise is a positive one. It's good to see some of the people that don't usually get to play getting a chance. LittleBigPlanet2 may be an unfamiliar name to some of you, though I'll always remember him for his iconic game against bro fist, where his Volcarona got countered by John's Hydreigon... Even just watching this replay again was incredible. Regardless, neither player has cemented themselves as a winning player yet, so this game is a bit up in the air. The differentiating factors for me here are that I know TPP will work his ass off to be ready for this game and that I simply haven't been impressed with the Mambas overall, with the exception being two weeks ago against the Astrotias. TPP was actually on the Rattlers with TDK and I last year and his attitude towards prep and being ready for these games is very high up there with the best I've ever teamed with. As one of the OU players on that team last year I can say that TPP was a blessing to have as support looking over my teams with me. TPP was also FV's premier ally in his OST winning run. Now, have these things translated to success in TPP's own games? No, not yet. Have these things turned him into a better player and team builder? Absolutely. Go get what's yours, TPP. You got this.

OU: mncmt vs Gefährlicher Random - This is a really good game that I'm already looking forward to. mncmt tragically got fleeced by Samqian's Nascarviknight (or Corvette?) last week, as mncmt's Magnezone saw the bird U-turn the other cheek in the face of adversity. That, however, has been mncmt's only loss since the start of WCoP. Very impressive. The Dangerous Random aka TDR aka DarumFelix aka WarumSteelix (I registered that for you if you want to use it (just pm me), which you should given the Mambas' custom avatar!) is also 3-1 and somehow 1v1'd a Flamethrower + Roost Volcarona with a Clefable last week. The Clefable wasn't Psyshock, Stored Power, Thunder Wave, Encore, Laser Focus (heat?) or any other tech that actually allowed it to beat Volcarona. Just your regular old Calm Mind, Moonblast (feat. Special Attack drops) and Soft-Boiled. It's crazy that's even possible to be honest. Clefable might be a problem. TDR was a bit fortunate to win against BIHI as well, so while I don't want to put an asterisk next to his performance so far, I'm certainly favoring mncmt in what has been his breakout year.

OU: 1 True Lycan vs xray - So long as the Mambas have a statistical shot at making the play-offs, I think I'm going to predict xray to win every week. Against the Astrotias the Mambas 100% needed to win the week to avoid an 0-3 start to the tournament and xray showed up to lead his team to victory by beating his round 1 counterpart, Finchinator. It's that kind of back against the wall type of win that can get a team going, even in dire times. Admittedly, xray suffered a setback last week. The Mambas tied the Tiepans, a team they really wanted to beat if they are to make a play-off push, with xray, the 5th overall pick, himself losing against the 132nd overall pick, High Impulse. The next three weeks for the Mambas are all against teams right above them in the standings. They cannot lose any of them anymore, so I expect xray to essentially will this victory into existence. He was picked in the first round, so he's going to have to. His team mates will be looking to him to lead them. 1 True Lycan, meanwhile, has picked up where he left off in SPL. He's 3-1 right now and his win posts have improved, too. I'd use the term less is more here, but I'm the one writing a weekly encyclopedia on the Smogon Snake Draft. I'd have predicted The Baron to beat any of the other Mambas OU players, but (assuming he hasn't given up yet) I have to back the Mambas' franchise player this season. Nail care emoji.

DOU: Qwello Lee vs Frania - Frania is officially on the board! I for one am very happy for him, as that must've been a grueling few weeks. We have to be honest in saying that Frania scored a huge critical hit (while already at -2) with Draco Meteor against Kiichikos' Urshifu, but I think mentally this is a huge step into the right direction for Frania nonetheless. A burden lifted, if you will. Next up for Frania is Qwello Lee, who's enjoyed a decent 2-2 start in his first ever team tournament. However, Edward Scizorhands over here is 2-0 with Scizor, 0-2 without... Coincidence? One has to wonder. My sentiment here is the same as for xray's game. Qwello is new to the scene and has nothing to prove. The Cobras are in an okay position as a team as well. Frania was picked in the second round and the Mambas have to start winning weeks right now. Frania is going to have to will this win into existence and I think he's up to the task now that he's won his first game of the tournament.

UU: Lilburr vs Sabella - To be honest, I'm a little surprised we're not seeing eifo here this week. I obviously don't know the inner workings and discussions with regards to the Mambas lineup, but an 0-4 record is becoming harder and harder to back. Sabella did show flashes of great play against Adaam last week, though ultimately fell short for a 4th straight week. The story for Sabella this tournament seems to be that he's displaying good play every week, only to be unable to make it across the finish line first. As much as I might want to, I just can't back a player that is seemingly unable to win. Lilburr, on the other hand, got humbled by CBU and his Obstagoon last week. Those games can happen and CBU is obviously not an easy opponent. Not to mention that Lilburr has been putting up a high value performance given how late the Cobras were able to pick her; round 9. It's now or never for Sabella, so if there's another gear then it has to be found this week. Assuming that doesn't happen, I'm predicting Lilburr to win.

RU: snaga vs Charmflash - You guys know the deal. We respect mental health and thus we'll keep going with the win-win system. If you or anyone close to you is struggling with mental health problems, don't forget it takes one Google search to start finding out about your options in your area. There is no shame in it! As for last week's games, Charmflash handily dispulsed of Expulso while snaga pulled out a vintage snaga move as he ran away from Ajna once the week was already decided. A confidence inspiring move from the Cobras' 5th pick, if ever there was one. Very good. Let's hope that extra loss in BD doesn't come into play by week 9, right? Frankly, this prediction might not even be just out of respect for my mental health. Charmflash probably wins this. snaga hasn't won since Rindonesian Golurk crashed odr's party, while Charmflash actually bounced back well from his earlier setbacks last week. Show me something, snaga. Give us another heat tech.

NU: Sjneider vs Ho3nConfirm3d - Tragically, seeing Ho3n in this match-up means that Rodri not coming back is now Confirm3d. I miss you Rodri and I hope you're doing well. I imagine the Mambas miss him more than I do, though. Ho3n has gone 1-3 in his place and looked outmatched last week against the much, much more experienced pokeaim. It doesn't get any easier for Ho3n either, as he's now up against Sjneider, one of the best NU players in the tournament. Sjneider has been a little shaky, but with a 3-1 record he's well on his way towards another great season playing NU in Smogon Snake Draft. I'd be surprised if Sjneider lost this week.

PU: Xiri vs Ktütverde - The highlight PU game of the week for sure. In his game last week, Xiri fell behind at the behest of a behemoth Beheeyem doing the beheading on Vulpix03's behalf. Alright, alright, alliteration aside the Beheeyem truly was a massive problem as Xiri lost his first game of the tournament. At 3-1, Xiri is obviously still one of the best players on this Cobras team and should be expected to win most weeks. This week, however, I don't think he will. King Tut has started off with two wins after being subbed out the first two weeks. Thanks to eifo's heroics off the bench that means the Mambas' PU slot is 3-1, just like the Cobras'. King Tut to me is more at home in PU and more of a PU main than Xiri. Xiri, to me, is more of a tournament player that, unlike others, is now accepted by the PU community as one of their own. He's clearly very good at winning PU games in Smogon Snake Draft. I just have a feeling that King Tut has truly been unleashed now. Like xray and Frania, he's going to have to do it big this week if the Mambas are to survive another week.

LC: Shrug vs Wail Wailord - Now THIS has been a great development. His debut was shaky, but Wail Wailord has been on fire since. I think it's pretty safe to say now that WW's LCPL run was no fluke. He was my team mate in that LCPL, so I can call him that. We're close like that. As for Shrug, it's been a rough ride so far. An 0-4 record looks incredibly dire, but Shrug did face LilyAC, Osh and Serene Grace all in a row the last three weeks. He can't be expected to rock a positive record at this stage, so I'm not going vilify him for it. That said, Shrug and the Cobras definitely need to make some changes in order to start winning games in LC. Especially from a team building perspective I think a lot of ground can be gained, though I'm obviously no LC team building expert myself. All in all I certainly can't and won't go against the 3-0 streak in favor of the 0-4 one; the Wailord is going to have a Wail of a time.


OU: Jytcampbell vs Rexus - Woah, I guess that means I'm predicting the 4-0-0 Lindworms to be unable to win the week. Why would I say something so controversial yet so brave? Jytcampbell lost his first game of the tournament this week, which means obii is now the sole leader of the tournament in terms of draft value. Incredible. Jyt had to try and counter a Substitute + Dragon Dance + Roost Kyurem with Nasty Plot Rotom-Heat last week. No bueno. Sometimes something just wins, though taking Toxic with his own Kyurem wasn't ideal I suppose. I'd argue that was more so Sacri' making a good play than Jyt making a bad one, however. Rexus, on the other hand, unsuccessfully tried to cheese Santu with Cloyster and Quick Draw Slowbro-Galar. I doubt he'll risk that again and I still think he's the better player of the two. That might change if Jyt puts up another good showing, though. Could this be his breakout tournament?

OU: Eo Ut Mortus vs BK - Eo is really good at Pokemon, in my opinion. Not only that, but he defied all odds last week by being the first round 1 player in the history of our game to defeat Storm Zone in a Smogon Snake Draft game. I wonder what Eo's facial expression looked like when the Hydreigon revealed Dragon Dance. I suppose it ultimately shouldn't surprise us that it was Rotom-Heat of all things that handled Storm Zone's scorching movesets in the clutch; that's what the oven mitts are for. Bro Kappa, meanwhile, played his game on his main account, which meant I could find the game without having to open the replays thread. I challenge myself not to use it, so that was nice. As for the gameplay, he clicked his way past Lopunny Kicks nicely with an SS OU favorite double Wicked Blow sequence as Clefable double switches out. Booyah. Bro Kappa has been great and as a fan I love seeing that, though Eo is top 3 for me in this SS OU pool right now. I would've bolded BK against any of the other three Lindworms OU players, but Eo is on a mission this tournament. One of my favorite games of the week without a doubt.

OU: Ewin vs John W - It all became a bit too much for Ewin at the end of his game against ima, as the Adrenalindworms were able to close out the week vs. the Bakers. Thankfully his team not only won the week, but on top of that he was only the second biggest PR problem for the Lindworms behind substitoutetoute Moutemoute. Thank god, right? However, we shouldn't forget that besides yelling out "LAMOOOOOOOOOOOO" last week, he also secured a 3-1 record in this tournament, which is really very good. He's done so against good players as well. This week he's up against another one of 2020's hottest players around in John W. The W is currently turning his tournament around as his 0-2 start has been patched up into an acceptable 2-2 record now, which he'll want to continue to build on. John's game against frisoeva last week was... interesting. It seemed that neither player was really sure how to finish the endgame of that game, leading to an awkward conclusion to a very entertaining match. I'm going to back John W this week, mostly because he's a round 1 pick that I know will work hard to secure a good record for his team despite the bad start. This should be a great game.

OU: Garay oak vs ramboss - While the following statistic is great for the Lindworms, it isn't so much for the player in question: Garay oak is the only player on the Lindworms with a negative record right now. In fairness, Garay's schedule has been watashi, Lopunny Kicks, lax and robjr, which is about as hard as anyone's first 4 games are going to look in this OU pool. He started off great against robjr last week, even netting a surprise KO with Mirror Coat Gastrodon. Unlike his Gastrodon, however, Garay was unable to keep a hold of things as the game progressed. robjr gradually gained ground on Garay and was able to take the game home. Realistically, this week's game is a game Garay should win if you look at where in the draft both players were picked. In fact, this is the first game of the season in which Garay isn't the underdog on that front, despite being picked relatively early himself. ramboss has won more games than Garay has so far, though. Unfortunately for ramboss, last week wasn't one of those wins, as the Scolipede Alakazam team he brought didn't get the match-up he was looking for. What match-up that was I doubt many people know, but it wasn't this one. I'm gonna go with Garay, because he knows he should win this game and I don't think ramboss can keep getting away with bringing these wacky offenses either.

DOU: umbreon098 vs Nails - I know, I know, this is a 4-0 vs. 2-2 match-up, but I just really trust Nails to have a great tournament again. As an experienced RBY player, Nails is a master at trusting his odds and never giving up on a game. This makes him one of the hardest players to actually beat. To actually finish off. Not only do I think Nails could win a game while 3-6 down in Pokemon, crucially he believes that as well. He's been stringing together very good team tournament records for quite a while now, while umbry is just getting started on that front. As far as that goes, though, you can't really ask for much better. Winning 4 out of your first 4 games on the sheet is hugely impressive, especially in a tier like DOU that has a deep playerbase. I by no means intend to claim umbry hasn't been great so far, because she has been. Nails has a literal decade of experience on her, though. Unless Nails starts inting or can't win as much as he should be winning, I'm probably bolding his name every week. Too many wins for too many tournaments in a row.

UU: Poek vs hs - Poek is actually coming off back to back losses after a strong start to the tournament, though those losses were against SoulWind and CBU, respectively. Fair enough. In both games the match-up / team building being the problem, not his playing. There is a chance he again runs into a poor match-up, but the gap in experience is a lot bigger now. hs, one of Snake's most charismatic players, is up against one of the best players of all time here, all the while looking shaky against Ramolost during his debut last week. I simply can't get myself to go for the upset here, even if the Lindworms haven't solved all of their team building woes. Poek is too good at this game for me to get there.

RU: Pepeduce vs odr - Even though as of last week the summer is officially over, this is not the first time a season ended this Smogon Snake Draft. Pepeduce drew first blood when he eliminated the Serpents in the very first week of the tournament and has gone on to establish a 2-2 record since. The 2-2 record being a little generous, given how fortunate he was to beat roman in their week 2 meeting. Last week Pepeduce ran into the seemingly unstoppable atomicllamas and simply had no shot against llamas' Sun. Maybe Substitute + Calm Mind Klefki isn't it. odr too has struggled, though he was unfortunate to lose last week's game against roman off of a Drill Run crit against his Dragalge. Add to that a loss against Sun, like Pepeduce and the aforementioned Rindonesian Golurk in week 1 and you end up with a 1-3 start to the tournament. If I'm odr's managers I'm not worried about him yet, though. I will say that I think round 2 is looking premature as of right now, but a 5-4 regular season record wouldn't at all surprise me from here, for example. odr should take this, assuming his team doesn't lose to Ninjask.

NU: Realistic Waters vs Kushalos - This is my favorite game of the week and by far the best NU game of the season for me. Two NU titans going head to head after building up a combined 7-0 record in the tournament so far. They've been the best before and they're the best again now. I love it. The main reason I'm going with RW here is because I don't think he'll be thrown by Kushalos in the team builder. Waters has just seemed extremely ready and very calm in his playing. His grasp of the metagame seems unmatched to me. If there's anyone that may catch him out with some type of insane tech, then it's probably Kushalos, but I could also see Kushalos having an "oh right i forgot it could do that" moment at the same time. That thought is unimaginable when it comes to his opponent. What a treat this game is, though. I'm blowing off work to watch this if I have to.

PU: TJ vs Hamhamhamhamham - Honestly, Hamela Anderson might be the next big thing. I for one have been a big supporter since the Dewott default avatar days, so this has been great to see developing. And boy has it developed. While not quite as powerful as Pepeduce's stunt week 1, eliminating an entire team, what Ham has done does come close; Ham benched the best lower tier player of all time. We'll get to the Bushmasters later, but taking out soulgazer like that is a real power play. Anyone capable of handling such force is clearly worthy of having their name bolded in the TonyFlygon Smogon Snake Draft predictions. TJ is proving to be a decent PU starter at the very least, though I'd still like to see a bit more steady playing from what was a round 6 pick. There is no pressure on TJ to gradually improve, however, as the Lindworms' late picks have all been spectacular. Until that happens, though, we're Team Hamslam.

LC: dcae vs Xizaaa - dcae's been great, while Xizaaa has had ups and downs so far this season. Xizaaa should be good for another win or two, but dcae really has been one of the most positive surprises to me. I was a little afraid he'd either be washed or banned by now for not being able to resist the urge to sign up with two accounts. It appears dcae has Shell Smashed the crust perfectly, though, as he was extremely close to starting this tournament 4-0. Last week's decisive game was a real rollercoaster as well, in which dcae overcame significant luck going against him to pull out the win for his team. Impressive. dcae looks very much to be the real deal and there's really no way around the fact that the Lindworms bagged a steal by getting him.


*The Serpents have won two weeks in a row, but don't let this confuse you; they've been eliminated ever since Pepeduce delivered the final blow in the first week of the tournament.

OU: Void vs Star - Last week was a big week for both of these players, as they bagged their first wins of the tournament following a challenging first couple of weeks. My confidence in Star is definitely greater, though. Void not only is massively dependent on a Taipans supporting cast that hasn't gotten their OU core going, unless he's going to roll up with Trollxapex and Dittroll this week, but his win last week was achieved through a formulaic hyper offense team as well. So what it comes down to for me is that I haven't seen enough from Void that warrants predicting against the #3 overall pick. Star's fortune seems to be changing for the better on top of that, as he's off to a great start in Smogon Tour and played a nice game last week to get himself on the board in Snake, too.

OU: High Impulse vs Tamahome - Oh yes, the Serpents have lost the week for sure. It's finally time; I'm predicting Tamahome to win this week. For the record, I've predicted Tamahome to go 0-4 so far, only for him to put up a 3-1 record. It's quite embarassing and clearly shows how little I actually know. Let's see if this prediction will now will a loss into existence. Somehow, I doubt it. Tamahome has been on point and even overcame both a Magnezone and a Zeraora with his Bulk Up Corviknight last week. Sabella and I are still in awe of that performance. High Impulse is coming off a win against round 1 pick xray, mostly off of the fact that his Togekiss was faster than xray's Rotom-Heat. When Togekiss outspeeds 5 out of 6 Pokemon, with the 6th being a Dragapult, it gets real dire real fast. He'll need a similarly great match-up to overcome Tamahome I feel, as Tamahome is destined to get to 100 overall team tournament wins this season. An incredible milestone for the most consistently good player in team tournament history.

OU: Eeveeto vs watashi - Holy shit, what a game. Must watch television for sure. Eeveeto, quite frankly, is having a spectacular 2020. How many games does he have to win before we all start putting respect on his name? As his WCoP team mate I've often had my doubts about both his playing ability and his unconventional teams, but man he is winning so many games nowadays and carried our group all the way to the final. Last week he made quick work of a Clefable by casually setting up on it with his, and this is true, Centiskorch. Amazing. watashi, meanwhile, ran into a Reuniclus and that was that. Sometimes Reuniclus just 6-0s your team. It's one of those Pokemon. It does to me seem like that's the only way watashi is going to lose games this year, as (close to) even match-ups have consistently gone his way off of his playing ability and experience. Preparing for Eeveeto's bag of tricks, however, is a nightmare, which I can attest to having lost to Eeveeto myself in last year's Snake. The Serpents, denying the reality of their elimination, might be motivated to go at it hard this week after winning back to back weeks, though. I'd have gone for Eeveeto if he wasn't up against watashi, but I'm going to have to assume that FWCW won't be 6-0d by something at preview again, and within that timeline I have to assume he'll be the better player. I'm extremely excited about this match-up.

OU: dice vs Vaboh - Alright. dice is 0-3 and apparently mistook GMT +2 for GMT -2 last week because he was high when he scheduled his game. More of the same from notorious Smogon Snake Draft cancer dice, I suppose. I feel bad for my friends Analytic and Jordy and hope dice just doesn't sign up next year, assuming he doesn't get reported before the tournament ends. dice has looked like a free win so I assume Vaboh will either beat dice or dice's substitute, which is probably more likely. Another extremely disappointing season from a player I know can be great.

DOU: Kiichikos vs DLT JRL BELL - I'm not sure if Paraplegic got an absolute min roll or if JRL was using the bulkiest Dragapult of all time, but after it devoured Solar Power Charizard's Dragon Pulse last week the game pretty much ended on the spot. As a premier Paraplegic ally this was really sad to see, though at the same time I'm glad JRL finally has a win under his belt. With that in mind I'm going to back him this week as well. I had JRL higher on my personal rankings than Kiichikos before the tournament started and now that he's won his first game on top of having half a season's worth of experience now, I believe he'll get going from here on out. Kiichikos, in fairness, was unlucky to have lost against Frania last week. A huge Draco Meteor crit from Frania's Dragapult turned the game around. Kiichikos could've been 3-1 and has looked a lot better compared to SPL. This game was the hardest game to call of this series for me, but my gut says JRL is gonna start collecting now that he's on the sheet.

UU: Adaam vs Askov - Operation protect Askov is off to a great start for the Serpents. After sacrificing vivalospride against the Spanish one-two punch of Poek and SoulWind, Askov has come in and taken out Luigi and Accelgor respectively. Accelgor, notably, was 3-0 before falling victim to Askov's Escavalier, which was seemingly able to 1v1 the entire planet last week. As for Adaam, he pulled his record back to neutral last week with a much needed victory over Sabella. He played well, used a cool Sylveon set and looked sharp to me. They may have the same amount of wins, despite it taking Askov half as many games to earn them, but Adaam is still the more proven UU player to me. Excited to see what both players come up with in the team builder this week.

RU: Expulso vs Mazinger - Yessssssssssss. We love a good juggle. Mazinger is now in RU after the Nat pick backfired in a shocking twist. Here at the TonyFlygon Smogon Snake Draft predictions office, we knew this would happen as soon as Ninjask showed up at team preview of Nat's week 1 game against Pepeduce. I would've thought that it'd be a straight swap for tko, however. tko won the RU Snake Draft tournament as a manager and player, by virtue of shamelessly cheesing the much stronger line-up of the Nav Fans Nidoqueens after all. In any case, Mazinger actually has a very rich history playing RU. This history does date back many generations, however. Back when SPL was still being broadcast in black and white, Mazinger wiped the floor with his competition in RU. Will this translate to success here in the Smogon Snake Draft? I'm not sure. Mazinger is definitely not bad in 2020, but he's nowhere near as familiar with the metagame as his opponent is. For Expulso the challenge is now to find some consistency. So far he's either gotten rinsed or he's won, seemingly going back and forth between the two options. Should he follow that pattern, then this week's game should result in another W for the Taipans. Can Mazinger overcome his lack of metagame knowledge in a week? Maybe, but I'll have to see it before I blindly predict against a very motivated, active and dedicated mainer. Good chance Mazinger gets Expulsed here.

NU: aim vs Jrdn - I just realized that the mascot is elite in the current NU metagame, so I suppose this all makes a lot of sense looking back. I am not and have not been particularly blown away by Joey quite yet. I don't think we're seeing prime pokeaim plowing past Pokemon. He did look good last week, though. Not only did he play a nice game against an opponent he really should always beat, but his opponent was anything but solid in his win against GW. I was quite high on Jrdn before the tournament started and it wouldn't have surprised me at all if he were to repeat last year's 6-3 performance. I'm losing that level of faith as the tournament goes on, though. Neither GW nor Jrdn played great last week, though Jrdn was more than a little fortunate to walk away with the win after dodging a crucial Zen Headbutt (or two). Can Jrdn bounce back from that? Absolutely. He's more proven in recent times than Joey is in tournaments as well. Until he plays a better endgame than he did last week I'm going to have to go with the player that has been good for the last few weeks.

PU: tlenit vs obii - My favorite part of the post is here again; bolding my friend obii's name. My team won the week last week, but obii winning might just bring me more joy than my own team's success. It makes me believe that there's still good things happening in the world, even in a year as dire as 2020. On paper this is a very lopsided affair. tlenit1-3 has only won one game and this came off of a Cotton Guard + Amnesia Bouffalant sweep, to which his opponent simply had not one answer. obii has had to earn each of his 4 wins through being the better player in neutral or close to neutral match-ups. He's risen to the occation each time. tlenit is still an incredibly dangerous player, though. His losses haven't been blowouts at all, especially considering he was a Focus Blast away of winning his week 1 game outright with Mr. Mime. Add to that his unrivaled creativity among the PU players and you get a tricky game to prepare for, to say the least. I could never predict against obii given his current run, but he'd make a huge mistake if he underestimated tlenit here. Knowing obii, however, he'd never make that mistake. oboat.

LC: Osh vs tko - Osh hasn't seemed the same since he got knocked out of Grand Slam play-offs by Santu. 1-3 isn't a record befitting a player of his stature and consistency in this tier. Like with Shrug, however, Osh has already played against both LilyAC and Serene Grace, so his schedule becomes a lot easier from here on out. Though, players like dcae and Ninjadog have proven they can compete with the big guns already, so I wouldn't at all want to imply Osh now has a bunch of freebies lined up; he absolutely doesn't. This week, however, he should win. The Serpents haven't been able to get the ball rolling and I for one am convinced that Starmaster support isn't worth shit in LC at this point. We tried it in SPL, the Serpents are trying it here, but we're looking at a combined 4 wins between the two tournaments out of 13 games. Clearly, the team building support only goes so far. tko's accomplishments in LC fade in comparison to Osh's, so if they want to take this game they're going to have to figure out what isn't just a good match-up, but a great one. If Osh loses this week the Taipans are 100% eliminated regardless of whether they win the week or not. Book it. tko, you have an opportunity to join Pepeduce this week as one of Smogon's most powerful players. You control the destiny of an entire franchise. In fact, you may even be able to overturn your team's mathenatical elimination here. Like a little person at a barbecue, the stakes have never been higher.


OU: Santu vs BIHI - Santu has been on fire all year. A great SPL, a great WCoP and he's in the Grand Slam final on top of that. Frankly, I can't go against him here. There's just too many wins to put against any counterargument I might even try to conjure up. BIHI has been decent, but keeps having to play the best performing OU player on the opposing team it seems. Tough luck there, unless Finch is throwing him under the bus following their beef that one time during Smogon Tour. How is THAT for a conspiracy theory? I should make a Facebook page so that one guy from your high school could share this and alongside his other wild theories. SURELY you all know such a guy from your high school, right? BIHI better get an easier opponent next week or I'm going to bring this up again. Santu does have the Grand Slam final to worry about this week obviously, so maybe that could lead to a lack of focus towards Snake? Then again, Santu's level of focus is probably waiting for the team to be posted, importing it and then winning the game. Man you've really won a stupid amount of games this year, Santu. You were right I should've drafted you again in SPL. My apologies.

OU: Bloody alfa vs Raiza - My favorite part about Raiza's game last week was Pietro alerting the lobby whenever Raiza made a spicy play, just in case we might've missed it. Thank you Pietro, we don't deserve you or your presence. Bloody alfa bounced back nicely from a rough start to the tournament by virtue of tossing ramboss towards a loss. These two are actually both very consistent SS OU players this year. Between WCoP and now Snake they've both won a shitload and this one really could go either way, which is why I'm going to need a tie breaker... Raiza is Italian, Italians are good at SS OU, I can't predict against the Italian here, etc. etc. etc... This is probably one of the most closely contested games of the whole week on paper. I rate both very highly and will do my best to catch this one live.

OU: Leo vs Finchinator - This is a spicy game with lots of backstory. These two users were both on track to be and remain Smogon's posterboy users. Beloved by most, if not all, they were excellent contributors and close friends. Finch would make sure to get Leo onto his team tournament teams, as his OU forums deputy became his team tournaments deputy as well. This seemingly perfect partnership took a turn for the worst, however. Everything changed when the fire nation attacked. Or NG, rather. Both users got caught in the crossfire and were demoted from the positions they held on our forums, going their separate ways since. Leo, to the disliking of many users, standing by his NG comerades following his demotion, while Finch focused on improving for the better, treating others with kindness instead. With all of this behind us, fate arranged this meeting of two former allies as they duke it out on the big stage of the Smogon Snake Draft. As for the actual game, Leo actually impressed me two weeks ago against Sacri'. I mentioned last week that I thought it'd be a matter of time until he got his shot for the Bushmasters, and here we are. Finch, though, is still the definite favorite in my eyes. Fresh off of taking out watashi, Finchinator has a chance to turn his record positive again. Knowing Finch he'll REALLY want to win this game as well, outside of his already incredible motivation normally. Hoping for some BEEF here, but expecting a solid team + win from Finch in an anticlimactic game, which is exactly what Finch will be hoping for.

OU: Lopunny Kicks vs Tace - I'm not gonna lie, I've gotten a lot of shit for gassing up Tace these last few weeks. I'm gonna need you to bounce back from last week's sizeable Ls, Tace. You're making me look bad here. That's as far as I'll take it for now, though. No flipflopping yet. Meanwhile, Lopunny "Tilt Chamberlain" Kicks has now lost three Snake games in a row after being selected first by the Bushmasters in the draft. He's going to have step up here if the Bushmasters want to climb out of this hole, and he has to do so against one of the best current gen players of 2020. I like Punny and wouldn't mind seeing him take this one at all, especially since he'd be doing it for my former franchise. What it is exactly that's going wrong for the Bushmasters I'm not sure, but I have to believe that Punny is at the heart of it, given that he's their centerpiece player. It's do or die this week for Punny, so we're giving another player a chance to join the elite ranks that currently only Pepeduce is worthy of; if Tace wins this week, the Bushmasters are officially eliminated. One of the biggest games of the week by far.

DOU: qsns vs Paraplegic - I'm not gonna lie, I have no idea who wins this one. I saved this game for last and I know that watashi and Eeveeto are about to play so I just really want to finish this stupid that I've been working on for what feels like a month. Okay. They've been good, but not great, right? qsns beat Nails last week and I rate Nails very highly, so that's a big plus. Paraplegic's Charizard didn't kill Dragapult with Dragon Pulse, but I'm still not sure whether or not that was a min roll or not. If it's Timid Zard and 0/4 bulk Dragapult, then it would've been an absolute min roll and extremely unfortunate. I'm gonna go with Paraplegic here, mostly because the Bushmasters are all but down for the count while the Astrotias will REALLY want to bounce back after an awful two weeks that both slipped through their fingers as they were about to win it. I trust the environment and overall mentality on the Astrotias on that front more, if that makes sense. I get somewhat deflated vibes from the Bushmasters, but that might also be because I talk to soulgazer a lot, who is always negative and deflated during team tournaments. Even when we were winning every week in SPL 9... Two good players, two super nice users and hopefully a great DOU game. By all accounts a very closely contested game from what I can tell so far. Sorry for the rambling there.

UU: Ramolost vs Accelgor - I feel bad going with the talking loudmouth over my kind friend Accelgor, but I have to follow my instincts here. Ramolost, bluntly put, is the one good thing about the Bushmasters' season up to this point. Not only is he off to a 3-1 start in his first team tournament, he's achieved that record having already played against all of CBU, Poek and SoulWind. Very impressive. Accelgor ran into his first loss last week, which means he too is 3-1 at this stage of the tournament. Accelgor's strength of schedule, respectfully, hasn't been as strong as Ramolost's, though. Obviously you can only beat who you're given and Accelgor has been up to the task so far, but it is a notable difference when looking at this particular match-up. Other than that, I think we're looking at two players that are both expected to end up with positive records from here, if not just below even in the worst case scenario. I'm excited to see how Accelgor bounces back in the team builder in particular. Maybe a Fire-type move somewhere out of a newfound Escavalier paranoia? Escavalier steal the shell covering from Shelmet when they evolve, btw. Could become personal for Accelgor at this point.

RU: roman vs Feliburn - Rurk on rurk violence lead to Feliburn permanently retiring his friend and ally, Nat. It had to be done, however, and it's probably for the best anyway. roman scored a crucial crit on odr's Dragalge last week, though roman also missed a crucial Overheat against Pepeduce two weeks before that. So it goes in these tournaments. Feliburn hasn't put a foot wrong yet, though. As evidenced by last week's elaborate rant, I think Feliburn is the most underrated player in the tournament. He continues to prove that week by week and I don't expect him to slow down now. You got the longest paragraph last week, Feliburn, so I'm just gonna go for balance and end it here.

NU: CyberOdin vs GW - CyberOdin has played better and more secure than GW over these first four games, in my opinion. GW's inexperience is showing and he's clearly not as adept at closing out games as the much more experienced CyberOdin is. Frankly, Odin has impressed me and has been playing great as far as I can tell. 1-3 isn't a good record, but he timed out once and put up competitive fights against both bugzinator and Kushalos; two of the most experienced players in the entire tournament, let alone the NU pool. The NU slot is the least of my concerns if I'm Bushmasters management. To be fair to GW, he has been thrown into the deep end and let's not pretend that playing perfect endgames in big tournament games is easy. The best players mess them up at times as well. GW has shown bright moments, but ultimately comes across as shaky for now. It's worth noting that the Astrotias have Bouff among their substitutes, so should GW remain unable to get going they do have an alternative in the back. As for this week, though, my money is on Odin 100%.

PU: pokemonisfun vs keppy - Yes. Oh, yes. This might just be the easiest prediction of my life. pif is one of the most legendary players of all time and by FAR the most dominant and consistent ladder player ever. Anyone that claims that fact to be as much as arguably is not only incorrect, but downright disrespectful. Nobody comes close to pif. When I started playing on Pokemon Online in 2011 I wanted to top the ladder in every BW tier, but tragically pif was already 100 points ahead of the competition even then. 100 points were a LOT more on PO's ladder system than PS!'s, mind you. I don't know if you remember this pif, but I laddered a lot on the alt "CharlieSheenWinning" back then. We had some heated battles back in the day. In any case, I have nothing but respect for one of our most iconic players ever. He isn't an established team tournament player, he isn't known for his PU prowess, but pif is taking the Chinese Premier League by storm and he's a God of our time and has been for a decade. He was at the top then and he's still at the top now. Hell, go ahead and take a look at the UU ladder rankings right now. Also, what happened in keppy's game last week? Did the Drifblim not have Strength Sap, or was keppy not aware that spamming Strength Sap beats Lurantis one on one? Contrary boosts attack instead of dropping it, so you stall out +6 Leaf Storm by healing 100% each time. What am I missing? I'm pretty sure keppy also just won with Silvally if another Swords Dance was clicked against Type: Null. I'm not convinced by keppy's playing ability, which is a shame given the god tier level support the Astrotias bring to the table. In fairness, keppy is new to tournaments and at these early stages each week results in a huge amount of experienced gained. Let's keep an open mind and see how keppy does against pif. Honestly, I'm so excited about pif playing that I almost forgot soulgazer isn't playing this week.

LC: Kingler vs LilyAC - The hosts saved my favorite player for last... I'm sorry Kingler, but I'm talking about your opponent here. :( Low Timer Lily bounced back from her first loss of the tournament nicely last week by utilizing another cool new tech in Substitute + DD Scraggy. I for one can't wait to see what she comes up with next. Now, it has to be mentioned that Kingler recently beat Lily in a bo3 for the LC Open title. This is, however, Individual Tournament Kingler (ITK). ITK is a LOT better at winning games than TTK. Kingler has actually been really good in individuals throughout his time on Smogon, qualifying for more playoffs than most players. In team tournaments this somehow translates to a 2-7 record every time, with Kingler tragically being on track for another one this Snake. I won't predict against Lily, but I have to admit that this is one of the tougher games remaining for her. Kingler has beaten her in a tournament before and very few LC players can even say that in recent times. I can't and won't predict the upset, for I am loyal towards my favorite player in the tournament, BUT if there's anyone (other than Serene, obviously) that I could see beating her, it's Kingler. For those of you watching at home, keep in mind that Kingler can only win one more game in order to end with a 2-7 record. So if he does win, he'll have to lose every week from here on out.


GGs Cobras, good luck this week and gl hf to the Bakers this week as well. I'm looking forward to our games. lax vs. Sacri' should be a banger especially. Eo Ut Mortus and FlamingVictini, are you guys posting predictions again this week? Your posts were great last week.
 

Eo Ut Mortus

Elodin Smells
is a Tournament Directoris a Super Moderatoris a Site Staff Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a defending Smogon Snake Draft Champion
OU & Tour Head
OU: Samqian vs ima

Last week, sam brought a fun build, and by fun, I don't mean a joke team, but a team featuring something fun to use a la Specs Primarina. To me, this was a show of confidence in the face of back-to-back losses; when you're on a losing streak, there's always the temptation to revert to something safe, and I think mncmt would've exploited this. So, good choice by sam, but did he execute? Kind of. He played a bit too impatiently and got Barb Tricked after scouting just once for it. I noticed this same type of impatience playing against him, and I think this is something he'll continue to work on. That said, he didn't give up in the face of a maxed out BU Corviknight, and I've seen my fair share of premature forfeits to know not to take this discipline for granted. Overall, this one was a tricky matchup for sam to play, and I'm still counting on him to develop more as a player throughout this tournament, because I don't want to have to move again to play WCOP group stages. ima, on the other hand, has to rebound from a frustrating loss last week. It's easy to bet on a surging ima, whether it be the 8-3 ima from last year or the 3-0 ima leading into last week, but not so much a tilted ima, like the ima from last SPL. I'm counting on the more cohesive team environment and the still lingering promise of an 8-3 to prevent him from slipping into tilt, though. In terms of Pokemon factors, I appreciated ima's Mamoswine pick; it's a menace to any team without a Slowbro, which is taking its sweet time to catch on as more than a lax pocket pick. Playwise, we saw ima's trademark aggressive plays go unpunished last week; will he continue to find the confidence to make them? I say yes, and I'll go further to say that it's one of them that will net him the edge over samqian this week.

OU: Kebab mlml vs Storm Zone

Kebab brought a team that harkened back to my Week 3 team and with a Cobalion on top of that; naturally, I respect the choice. Unfortunately, SubPult wrested control of the game early on and denied us the chance to see the rest of the team at work, but that doesn't take away from Kebab's display of dominance last week. Storm Zone brought sun against me, and although I hate it when people bring weather hyper offense against me, I have to respect it coming from him. He pushes the limits of offense in ways few others feel safe enough to do, and looking past the esoteric sets (most of which have worked), there's actually a lot of logic to his builds. Moving forward, the big question for me is whether he will continue down this path or attempt to diversify his builds. Last weekend, we also saw him branch out in his series vs. ABR with a few balance-looking builds featuring Clefable and Toxapex; however, he looked a bit out of his element and played those teams a bit too much like offenses they weren't. If he can acquire proficiency with more defensive styles, then Storm Zone will have a strong case for being the most versatile player in the tournament; even if he doesn't, it's a difficult judgment call for an opponent to ignore the prevailing metagame trends in favor of preparing specifically against him. Regardless, it's hard not to root for him, and honestly, this bold is more of a testament to my belief in Storm than a fair assessment of Kebab's matchup vs. him.

OU: Fear vs robjr

Fear vs. 1TL is an interesting matchup that this brief analysis won't do complete justice. Given the matchup, I don't think Fear should have had a chance if 1TL played perfectly, but one might argue that the route 1TL took was viable. More on that in his section. For Fear, an early Barb Trick onto Blissey opened up the potential of a Primarina sweep later in the game, especially when he Scald burned Bisharp. However, he then let Primarina get its Leftovers knocked. If you've ever faced one of the autowin CM Kissers, you know that denying Leftovers doesn't always stop them from getting back to 100%. In this case, though, Knock was fatal, because if Prim kisses Blissey, it gets the Barb. I think this was an unforced error from Fear, but as someone who also forgot the Barb mechanic in the heat of the moment last SPL, it's a bit more forgivable than other errors we've seen. After that, Fear's only chance to sweep was through CM Clefable, but we all know a paralyzed CM Clefable has never swept in a non-DPP tier. Much of the same I said about Fear last week still applies; he'll need to continue shoring up on mechanical nuances of the SSOU, but these are all growing pains you expect when you put someone in a (relatively) new and unfamiliar tier. On the other side, robjr has looked fine for the most part; I think his losses have come from handicapping himself in the builder. His Week 1 CB Rhyperior was a hit that I and others copied from him, but his Week 2 Keldeo and Week 3 Obstagoon failed to replicate the same success. Both partially for the same reason: they both got worn down by Spikes and couldn't output enough damage to compensate for it. In a meta more polarized between offense/stall, I imagine they would've performed better; not so much in this balance-infested one. I'm not sure how much fault I should assign to him, though, because both teams smell of The Magician's influence. Come Week 4, rob brought a more meta build and played it unobjectionably. Based on that and his Week 1, I think he's developed a good enough meta read to excel moving forward, or (if my suspicions are correct) at least he's learned to think twice about going with Gama's teams :^).

OU: lax vs Sacri'

Sacri is best known as a player who uses exciting sand teams . Which set him up to lose to Leo's Rotom-Heat Week 2. Thankfully, the Magician stepped in last week and spared us from another Tyranitar-Excadrill-Corviknight build with a team featuring his trademark matchup-fish moth. This week, if he builds, I expect Sacri to revert back to his boring teams, but of a different flavor, probably something with Blissey after he was reminded last week of the existence of Specs Kyurem. In all seriousness, my general assessment of Sacri is that he's one of the best players at doing everything "correctly," whether in the builder or in-game, and knowing this is the key to taking advantage of him. Enter lax, who is proficient at doing both. His builds have been solid balances but with slight twists that have kept him ahead of the metagame; in the past two weeks, he's revived Slowbro and the forgotten Future Sight Slowbro/Urshifu combo that terrorized the initial post-DLC metagame. I'm not too concerned that his last two builds have looked similar; I expect he'll branch out at this point (can someone really build three viable Slowbro teams in this meta?). Despite his reliance on Gama last week, and despite his insistence in his signup that he needed a "dedicated builder" for this season, I feel Sacri's pride will get the better of him, and he'll build something solid and interesting just for this match, only for lax to then outplay him and win.


OU: FMG vs ZDen

Last week, FMG brought a more defensive version of lax's Week 1 team against lax himself. Look at the replacements: Spin > Spikes, Rotom > Zeraora, and even Amoonguss > Toxapex honestly facilitates more defensive play right now. Not that I think this is how he built the team, but the comparison illustrates how FMG's defensive tendencies creep into his building. At that point, I think you just drop Hydreigon and commit to more of a defensive build; against more defensive builds, it's not facilitating sweeps from any of the other Pokemon, and offensive builds have a much easier time handling it without complementary pressure. He did get slightly unlucky in Clefable vs. Corviknight, but that's the type of thing a CM Clef build should aim to minimize, and I don't think the support (e.g. Pult status) was there. It's a rough time for FMG, where he needs to pick between diversifying his builds at the expense of comfort or going full comfort and risk getting exploited by enterprising preppers. I'd go for the latter. Meanwhile, ZDen assembled a bunch of techs unveiled by other people into a team of six I actually liked a lot. However, why would you run Knock Off as your auxiliary Clefable move when you brought a Marowak who (I assume) is running Poltergeist? Something as simple as CM/Trick would've been better, and it would've given him a fighting chance against "Heat Snake(?)" on top of that. Ultimately, this didn't really affect the outcome of the match, but it does make me doubt the logic behind ZDen's building. All that said, I have preferred ZDen's builds to FMG's up to this point; I'm going with a biased bold here because I am confident that FMG is going to begin to find his footing.

OU: TPP vs LittleBigPlanet2

Two new starters and not much to go off. Unless that was a meme, LBP2 was Tricking's builder at some point in SM, so there's that. Despite teaming with TPP, I don't know what his meta read is at this point, which is the most important consideration. In lieu of anything concrete, I'm judging this based on building support, and in that regard, I favor the Mambas.

OU: mncmt vs Gefährlicher Random

mncmt got a bit greedy last week, didn't optimize his odds, and got punished by RNG after being caught off-guard by the fast Corviknight. It's one of those one-time hiccups that you don't spend too much time dwelling on. Gef. Random had several missteps vs. LLL and had to get a crit + max roll (?) against a Volcarona on top of LLL not playing the end as safely as he could have. In all fairness, Gef. got into timer trouble midway through the game, and I expect that was partially a consequence of unfamiliarity matching up vs. HO. That said, I have to favor the safe pick in mncmt here; he's still clinging to life after some OLT setbacks, so I don't think he'll be particularly tilted after last week's loss.

OU: 1 True Lycan vs xray

I spoke on 1TL vs. Fear earlier, and I mentioned that I think 1TL squandered a winning matchup advantage. He allowed Blissey to get Tricked when he had a Gastrodon to scout for it, and this opened the door for Fear to sweep with Primarina. It's possible he did not actually forget about CM/Trick, but he thought the trade was worth taking because Gastrodon doesn't actually beat CM Clefable without additional support, as Clear Smog has a lower PP count than Calm Mind. But I think in that case, absorbing Trick with Skarmory was better. Or maybe it was Storm Drain and scouting was impossible. I don't know. I'm going with not scouting for Trick given the same thing happened against Finchinator. I don't think this is something available for opponents to exploit, but it's a bit messy, and I'm hoping The Baron polishes his play a bit to complement the fairly good teams he's bringing. On the other hand, xray looked a bit out-of-sorts in the building department early on, but his last week's team was fairly solid. The only issue is that Togekiss defies all conventional building expectations; defensive resistances are not enough unless you're a Tyranitar. Honestly, more players than just xray have neglected to fully cover Togekiss, and who can blame them? It's not used that much and sometimes, you just want to use an Aegislash or Rhyperior and assume Togekiss won't flinch them to death instead of packing a bunch of redundant defensive coverage. All that said, even after his loss, xray's still on an upward trajectory from the beginning of the season, given his tour win and a cathartic last-game tie for his team last week. Giving him the nod in a close matchup.


OU: Void vs Star

I picked the wrong Taipan to flake last week. Void emerging as a competent hyper offense pilot surprised me, but that's a bit unfair to him; it's not his fault Osgoode can't build anything besides paraspam, MagDug, and Cacturne. Not much to go off from that game, but it looks like the Taipans made the correct move to juggle him into OU. Meanwhile, Star got on the board with a team I liked much more than his previous ones, abusing the good (Teleport) Blissey's synergy with Dragapult, Rhyperior, and Urshifu. The only potential concern here is whether or not this points to Blissey as a crutch mon for him, as it also featured on the WCoP team he and ABR built, which he used twice in group stages amidst concerns of team NE's building inflexibility. I think Star's pedigree as a player earns him the benefit of the doubt here, though, while Void has a bit more to prove this week.

OU: High Impulse vs Tamahome

I'm not sure if he's the one building, but High Impulse's teams have been quiet favorites of mine. Like lax, he brought back the formidable offensive combination of Slowbro + Urshifu, which, paired with Amoonguss for double Regenerator and TSpikes absorb, completely invalidated xray's Toxapex. Unfortunately, an Urshifu stay on Clefable completely negated the advantage he had accrued to that point. Credit to xray for the presence of mind to call it out, but it was a greedy play, and brings to mind a similar one called out by Fear in their encounter. High Impulse will have to take extra care not to go too autopilot versus his opponent this week, because Tama, the biggest clicker in Smogon history, will punish those plays, whether on purpose or by accident. This is exactly how poor Tace lost last week, and I am going to bet on the same thing happening again on top of another disadvantageous team matchup for Tama.

OU: Eeveeto vs watashi

Already happened, so let's look at the game. FLCL brought 5*/6 the same I brought vs. Storm Zone (Clefable = Weezing, Excadrill > Primarina), and I mention that as a point of reference rather than any claim to the team, which resembles builds a lot of other people have brought. Some of the weaknesses of the build I observed in tests came to light in the game. Ferrothorn is susceptible to being overloaded, as you need to keep it healthy for certain Pokemon, especially Excadrill, but you also need Spikes and Knock Off to generate momentum against certain Pokemon, especially Amoonguss / Tangrowth / Toxapex. Magnezone is an issue; obviously, this was more of a concern for me, but even with Excadrill, Magnet Pull ensured Excadrill could do nothing on-switch-in besides chip Tangrowth (and Corviknight, which was likely Bulk Up). Finally, the fundamental issue with this team (and a lot of offenses in general) is that despite featuring a balanced-ish looking defensive core, this team will never outlast most balanced builds without Regenerator or reliable recovery outside of Clefable. You have to win through Spikes + offensive pressure, and for that reason, I think you reconsider the Excadrill set (Toxic), if not drop it altogether, even if it makes Magnezone look scarier. If Eeveeto had been running Rapid Spin > Rock Slide, it's likely that he would've won through exploiting this component of the match-up, barring a lot of outplays with Rotom. As it stood, his additional coverage allowed him to simply brute force his way through FLCL's "optimistic" Excadrill counters. A final noteworthy mention of this match is Thunder Wave OHKOing another CM Clefable. Sound game from Eeveeto, but I don't think it was a poor showing from FLCL, just an example of the limitations of bulky offense in this meta.

OU: dice vs Vaboh

Vaboh's team is an example of why Toxapex is overrated isn't finding its way into as many defensive builds nowadays. It doesn't really counter anything well, and even if it had been preserved to deal with the Aegislash, it would've just served as WishPort fodder against Raiza's team. In terms of play, Vaboh played well to generate an early lead, but started losing it to Aegislash, and he wound up mismanging the ending despite a huge timer advantage. All things considered, it was still a decent debut versus a good opponent. As for dice, I gave him a confidence bold last week, and since he didn't play, I'm carrying it over to this week, but I'm not so sure about it. :(


OU: Santu vs BIHI

BIHI brought a weird Toxtricity set last week, and I liked the Boots/all-out-attacking concept, but not Toxic. Volt Switch strikes me as a better choice so you don't get your momentum sapped by Blissey, and you can still use Sludge Bomb to fish for poison against Rhyperior. Of course, you also need a Rhyperior counter for this strategy. That matchup vs. Star was particularly unfortunate, but I don't think his build did him any favors. Santu's team last week is comparable to FLCL's team this week, so once again, Ferrothorn is susceptible to being overwhelmed, and Excadrill is a threat; however, it commits more to immediate offense by foregoing Drill's utility for CB Rhyperior as well as going Trick > CM on Clefable. I think these changes are better suited for the metagame, but all that really didn't matter against Rexus's HO last week. I have favor Santu for his builds here, but I'm hoping BIHI manages to get something to stick, because I appreciate his creativity.

OU: Bloody alfa vs Raiza

Raiza once again brought his go-to Kommo-Mantine-Zera-Aegislash build, this time featuring new appearances from Hydreigon and my Serene Grace Aegislash. He managed to withstand an early onslaught and clinch the game with a great play at the end that showcased his experience, switching Aegislash in on a Dragapult knowing that Vaboh would attempt to minimize his odds of hax and go with U-turn instead of Draco Meteor. Great stuff from him; the question for me is what is he going to bring now that he's exhausted his comfort picks? On the other side, Bloody alfa brought Zeraora + Dragapult last week, and whenever that combination shows up, it makes me feel like something went wrong in the builder. Specs Kyurem was a good call against ramboss's offenses, though, and it held its weight that game. Definitely interested in seeing what both players bring this week, but going with Raiza because he's been more consistent

OU: Leo vs Finchinator

This matchup just makes me sad. We all teamed together on the Cobras last year, and things are different now and look to remain that way. Leo established himself as an emerging player in the past few team tournaments, and his Week 2 win over Sacri' proves that he's still there. Finchinator recovered from his loss to xray and swept FLCL with a Reuniclus. Giving Finch the nod based on body of work.

OU: Lopunny Kicks vs Tace

The entirety of Tace vs tama can be boiled down to a three-turn sequence. tama won a game-saving (but not game-winning) 50/50, and Tace, possibly tilted by tama leaving in his Blissey on an Urshifu and getting away with it, risked his Magnezone in another 50/50 two turns later. tama once again got it right and on top of that nabbed the burn that would end up winning him the game from there. Classic. Against most other players in the field, at least one of the two reads made by Tace works, and the plays are therefore "correct" in general; however, all that means nothing against the wrong opponent. Games like this show the little refinements Tace will want to make in his play to achieve even more consistency on top of what he's already been exhibiting in the past few tournament. Punny, on the other hand, lost to BK wielding ABR's OLT stall last week. It's hard to pinpoint a specific reason for the loss, but it seemed like a difficult matchup, and choosing the opening on Corviknight to attack with Urshifu felt a bit optimistic to me. At best, it Roosts and wastes PP that'll inevitably be exhausted by the double Regen core; at worst, it attacks, as BK did, accelerating its death to RHelm chip. To be fair, finding other openings for Urshifu, such as on Blissey or on a double, may have entailed an even higher degree of risk, but I think if there was a way to win that match-up, it lied in this avenue. Gameplay nitpicks aside, I'm still confident in Punny turning it around, and I think it'll start here, but it'll be a close one.
 

Finchinator

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OU: Samqian (45) vs (55) ima - ima got roughed up by the random number generator last week, putting an undeserved blemish on his otherwise flawless record thus far. I worry that this could lead to some stress on his end as he tries to replicate amazing results that he found last Snake, but if he keeps his head in the right place, then this is his game. Samqian is someone I have been high on and will continue to be high on, but I think I view him as where ima was at a year or so ago honestly. Smart player with a lot of potential, but still in need of a little more experience before becoming a clear-cut SS1/2 to rely on. ima is already there and because of that I give him a slim edge.

OU: Kebab mlml (55) vs (45) Storm Zone - Kebab is quietly winning his fair share of games. I feel like I never give this guy enough credit; he brings cool teams, he is not overly mistake prone, and he is able to identify win paths. That alone goes a long way in this field, I feel. Add in the fact that he is Italian and he gets my vote here. Storm Zone is one of the most up-and-down players around right now. His OLT playoff run went downhill promptly, but his Snake games have brought some success with wins against Star and Lopunny Kicks. He is solid, but I feel like there is some variance in his approach that could haunt him against a more experienced Kebab.

OU: Fear (45) vs (55) robjr - This one is weird because my instincts say Fear is going to pull the upset, but all signs of logic point towards robjr. Eo made some great points here and I tend to echo them, especially the one about robjr being cautious about using Gama teams. I feel like robjr has made some dynamic picks in the builder on a more serious note though and this can go a long way against an older player like Fear. Fear has shown some promising signs, but his record is not what you would like it to be and robjr has put up the results since WCOP, proving that the SPLXI Tigers curse is real. Given all of this, I side with robjr in what could be a close game if Fear continues to improve in form. It is clear he is committed given his play and the fact that he has done things like getting reqs, so if the Rattlers end up making a deep run, I expect Fear to be a part of it.

OU: lax (49) vs (51) Sacri' - Upset alert if you believe in that. lax has been the better player thus far and arguably one of the best players in the tournament thus far. His dominance is no surprise either, but I feel like if anyone will stop him, it's Sacri'. Sacri', while capable of growing unhinged promptly, does not give a crap about getting caught up in the vortex or falling a little behind so long as he can identify a win path. And once he identifies it, his ruthless pursuit of the win path is impressive. During SPL, I witnessed Sacri' make a lot of plays that generated high rewards, but had far less risk involved with them. These type of trade-offs are what he thrives on and I feel like with lax always trying to stay a step ahead of his opponent, Sacri' will be able to find his openings so long as he does not deviate from his playstyle of carrying sufficient offensive firepower alongside a reliable defensive backbone. Stylistically, lax ranges from standard to unconventional structure wise with a few surprise Pokemon in the mix, making him less predictable than one might think, but Sacri' tends to not prepare a ton for the opponent and just bring what he feels most confident in. Now despite this and despite the fact that I feel like Sacri' has the balls to outmaneuver lax, I still struggle to bold him if only because lax has been absolutely fantastic thus far. But hey, my gut says Sacri', I've been wrong countless times so getting one more wrong if I'm off is just kinda whatever, and I genuinely think that Sacri' has a good chance, so why not? Regardless of the outcome, this one is an absolute highlight and I expect both to dominate from here on out!

DOU: Ezrael vs Memoric - Jon will find a way to finish positive, fuck it.
UU: CBU vs SoulWind
RU: Ajna vs atomicllamas
NU: bugzinator vs elodin - I wonder if me bolding bugzy will hurt elodin's feelings. I sure hope not as he is a swell fella :pirate:
PU: Vulpix03 vs false - I like Vulpix. He's an underrated player and I am happy to see him getting a chance on the big stage over this stretch.
LC: Serene Grace vs Ninjadog

OU: FMG (60) vs (40) ZDen - FMG tends to beat competition ranked lower than him and lose to competition ranked higher than him. Yea, I know there are some exceptions -- he lost to ramboss, he beat Raiza, etc., but if you go back historically, this is oftentimes the case and his records oftentimes fall near the middle of the pack because of this. The 5-0 SPL debut is perhaps the only outlier to that general rule, but ever since he has been a relatively well-known player, he has gotten the job done just fine without going above and beyond much. I think that he is more proven than ZDen, who has some great moments and also some really questionable ones. One thing to hold against FMG has been relatively mediocre team selections thus far, to which I will again echo Eo's points above -- I feel like he can make more out of this. However, ZDen has not proven to me he can capitalize on this specifically, even if his teams in general are close enough to solid, so I do not know what to make of that info. Overall, just going to go with FMG and see how that pans out.

OU: TPP (??) vs (??) LittleBigPlanet2 - I got no clue what the fuck to expect from this game, but TPP works hard and he is in-touch with the metagame. LBP2 could be the next best player or he could just be another substitute thrown into the mix. I at least know TPP will put in the work, so I'll give him the nod.

OU: mncmt (55) vs (45) Gefährlicher Random - Both guys are solid players with the ability to make some fire plays. This one is going to be a treat. mncmt got a little sloppy last week and I reckon Gef has some recent regrets as well, but I love how both are not afraid to take risks in the builder and in the battle. If mncmt avoids bringing builds decimated by entry hazards anymore, I will side with him for sure based on sheer reputation, which he has built up amazingly this year thus far. However, Gef. is not one to count out and is absolutely not a slouch here. I feel like if he goes with a more aggressive build here, this game can easily go down to the wire and I do not think mncmt has much of an edge in end-game management or gameplan analysis, thus making it a lot closer than some may imagine. Gef. is the real deal, but mncmt is one of the strongest players, so this is a tough one and I gotta side with scamvad.

OU: 1 True Lycan (45) vs (55) xray - 1TL has some cool ideas, but they either do not translate as well as he would like or they do, but then small mistakes prove costly. He has brought in some wins and he should be proud of them, but I worry that if he does not have a more detail oriented approach, then this will begin to take an even larger toll. Last week, there were some blunders of note, but I feel like xray is not at his best here? Maybe it has been some rough match-ups. Maybe it has been rough metagame adjustments? I do not know, but I know that right now xray is on vacation and he is chilling with a recent STour win under his belt, so I feel like this will be a time for xray to reset and get it all together if he ever will this Snake. I am going to trust his process and his instincts as he has had so much success this year and give him the edge, but 1TL has looked a little better thus far. May come down to team choices honestly, to which I also give xray the small edge.

DOU: Qwello Lee vs Frania - Frania is still a really good player. Maybe not R2 good currently, but wins will come and you gotta trust him if you are a Mamba right now.
UU: Lilburr vs Sabella - Sabella is going to find a way to go close to even in this field, which he almost always does.
RU: snaga vs Charmflash - The classic hero vs villain match-up. Unfortunately, Smogon's hero will fall to the infamous snaga.
NU: Sjneider vs Ho3nConfirm3d - Ho3n deserves some love, but Sjneider is Sjneider and the dude wins games. Gotta give credit where it is due in these lower tier pools. I expect two fresh builds and perhaps some trends to be set here.
PU: Xiri vs Ktütverde
LC: Shrug vs Wail Wailord - WW lowkey heat. This guy has a super bright future in LC. Shrug is solid, but I side with the hot hand here.

OU: Jytcampbell (45) vs (55) Rexus - Before I get into any of these, let's take a minute to realize what the Lindworms have rn. The squad is obviously tight given all of the things we can see in the public eye -- passion on discord and STours, chain posting of the god damn penguin, and so much more. On top of that, they got ranked near the bottom, but have managed to put up some of the best results this far. We have seen this before: they are the lovable underdogs overachieving. There's one of these teams almost every tournament and it will be interesting to see how things transpire for them. Unfortunately, this game may not be their best bet. Jyt has leveled up this year, but Rexus is the man. He's Italian, he has a nice win against Star under his belt, and he has plenty of team support to help crack this one open. I think this is not super lopsided, but I favor Rexus here. Jyt is yet to show me he can go above-and-beyond, even if he has made some strides as a player, and I think it takes that to win this one.

OU: Eo Ut Mortus (49) vs (51) BK - I pledged to predict against Eo every single week, so here we are. BK has moved past his average track record. He is no longer one unfriendly sequence away from tilt or quitting. Nope, this is a new and improved BK, defeating his fellow Italian Lopunny Kicks. I mean shit, BK is virtually fearless. He can stall, he can use HO, and he can use most things in between. Eo is similarly creative and versatile, but I reckon that he will struggle to prepare when there are very few things he can pinpoint due to BK's versatility. Gonna side with the upset because of that, but should be good.

OU: Ewin (45) vs (55) John W - Ewin could have had a win under his belt and an improving record to show for his efforts in the eyes of everyone, which is huge because perception of newer players is what carries them into the future. Instead he opened his mouth and shot himself in the foot. I guess that's 2020 for ya, but now we got everyone who could be saying "oh he got lucky, but good job" now saying "dude's a clown" and that's the big takeaway. I do not actually think Ewin is a clown though, but I do feel like he could adjust his tendencies moving forward to improve, much like every other up-and-comer. On the flip side, John W has established himself already, but the man tried to give the entire Leviathan team a number of heart attacks last week. Somehow evading absolute disaster, he pulled out an ugly one, but this was not one to use as a confidence booster. I think this week will turn the tide though as I feel he is a more consistent builder and a less mistake prone player, which is saying a lot in my belief in John W after watching the catastrophe of last week. Idk, normally this is an easy bold and a 65/35, but here there is absolutely some hesitance until John gives us reason to believe otherwise.

OU: Garay oak vs ramboss - Only thing more dangerous than two rogue Spaniards going at it is when two Italians get paired. I do not know what to predict here, but I know damn well ramboss's team will be more fun, so screw it. Trying to predict his matches is impossible to me, but he has fun with it and uses cool stuff. Garay is on the down now after facing so many rough opponents and he is legit their only negative player. It has to hurt and I know he cares a lot, so I hope he uses this to motivate himself and not feel overly pressured. Guess we will have to see, but yea I cannot be sure what happens here and my prediction is, more or less, a guess.

DOU: umbreon098 vs Nails
UU: Poek vs hs - Poek won't mind the SW loss. He will return to his winning ways and finish very strong I feel. Dude was mostly locked in this season thus far and seems to get the metagame.
RU: Pepeduce vs odr
NU: Realistic Waters vs Kushalos - Going to be some of the more creative teams, should be a highlight for sure.
PU: TJ vs Hamhamhamhamham
LC: dcae vs Xizaaa

OU: Void (40) vs (60) Star - Star finally won one and now I think he wins even more. Void is also in the win column, but I just doubt his grasp on the metagame relative to dudes grinding it out all generation like Star. Maybe I am ignorant, but maybe I am not and there is cause for concern. This OU core has been weak at points and they have to prove their strength before they get the respect in predictions. Star gets the benefit of the doubt here.

OU: High Impulse (35) vs (65) Tamahome - High Impulse used a really cool team last week, but his win was largely due to some good fortune. xray was a step ahead as a player to me, but High Impulse did still walk away with a win, if that means much. Tamahome, on the flip side, demolished tace. I think he made some unnecessary risks, but that's his game: taking the risks he knows will work out, even if they demand a high level of potential losses if they do not work out, and winning off of their rewards. Point is that Tamahome's intensity will be too much for High Impulse, who I still feel is struggling a bit. Team selection honestly may favor High Impulse and the Taipans lowkey solid building, but Tamahome is a superior player historically and recently I feel.

OU: Eeveeto vs watashi - Already happened, but read Eo's post for some sound analysis of the game itself.

OU: dice (45) vs (55) Vaboh - Vaboh is one of the most underrated players in Snake. He did well in WCOP, even with a small sample size, and every single time I get paired with him in tournaments he plays super well. I know he messed up late game last week and I honestly did not love his team selection either, but it was his first ever Snake game and I feel like a larger sample will be friendly to him. I know he is capable of amazing things and I believe they will start here. dice has looked poor thus far and I do not know if his head is in the game, especially after the no-show last week. The Taipans should be worried about this slot; I gotta side with Vaboh, even if dice is still far more proven.

DOU: Kiichikos vs DLT JRL BELL
UU: Adaam vs Askov - Don't sleep on Askov though, he's underrated.
RU: Expulso vs Mazinger - Cool line-up change for the Serpents and I think Mazinger will appreaciate the change of scenery if he has time to adapt. Expulso is too ambitious and may need to standardize a bit more than he would like to handle someone who is not super in-touch with the tier, hopefully he realizes this. Gonna go with Mazinger because I trust his support more than Expulso's sheer instinct on this front.
NU: aim vs Jrdn - Both had lame games last week, but Jrdn was on the fortunate end of his. aim has looked a bit better, but I think both are superb if they remain calculated and composed.
PU: tlenit vs obii - 9-0bii LGI
LC: Osh vs tko

UU dudes: pif enlightened us once again here and moute dropped knowledge here
RU dudes: pick gorex next snake ffs this dude puts in the WORK and llamas gave some perspective here
NU dudes: expulso analyzed the meta super well here
PU dudes: gum discussed some new reactionary trends here
LC dudes: DC mentioned some trends here and kingler finally admitted he was a disappointment here
OU dudes: stop using veil without a fire resist probably :psycry:

have a great week everyone -- be sure to stay safe! go Astrotias, even you HJAD
 
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