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
PU: Vulpix03 vs false
LC: Serene Grace
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
vs ZDen: this would be a good matchup for FMG to regain some momentum... a solid opponent, but one he can overcome.
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.
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
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.
RU: Pepeduce vs odr
: i do believe odr will live up to his billing.
NU: Realistic Waters
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
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.
vs Vaboh: if he shows up. honestly, he probably won't.
DOU: Kiichikos vs
DLT JRL BELL
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
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
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.
RU: roman vs Feliburn
PU: pokemonisfun vs keppy
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...