Smogon Tour Season 28 Playoffs - Finals [Won by ABR]

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It’s a hard blow to fall after flying so high. It sucks to disappoint the people who believed in me. And it sucks that my 1000th post won’t be the one I planned to do.

Even so I had fun prepping every week and I had a good time testing with my friends. I must admit that the preparation took a lot of time, but that was worth it – my performance speaks for it.
I had almost a perfect run (with some luck in the second bw game) and it would have persisted if I didn't make some mistakes against McM. For my second game I was too pussy and didn't bring the anti-stall Hoopa team because... idk. I think I doubted about my prepping skills that never failed so far, that must be it. My g1's LO clef was very good against him as I expected, but the team was too passive with clef as ONLY damage input and no setup sweepers, just a bunch of walls put together. Roro realised that and put a lot of pressure on my PPs and succeded in it. When I saw that I only had 8 pp of flamethrower left I panicked and I tried to rush the end. And that was the end of it, ggs.

Now I'd like to thank all the people who supported me, especially the Filo Gang. You guys really motivated me, and I enjoyed all the talks had and memes you sent throughout the playoffs.

These are the guys that helped me the most with testing: Curtain Alexander. Lopunny Kicks Raiza We Three Kings LuckOverSkill Eeveeto umbreon098 Pohjis Riccio Will of Fire Watchog Pais I truly appreciated your support

bella
 
2. ABR VS. 15. xray : Another match to hl. ABR is just smashing oppo's in SM + he improved in oldgens. xray is a very good player who can beat ABR if he prepare his teams and all that stuff. 55-45 (I wanted to put 50-50 but freeze can happen)
You missed a chance of god prediction there ^^'

Sad to lose because of what's probably a max roll (39% at -1 Exca vs Ferro) + sleep after that game 1 freeze.
 
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Jaajgko

I will disband the soccer club
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Hard to predict such a close pairing, both can win in any generation but I'll root for McMeghan to get a second trophy this year
 

Mannat

How cute.
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I honestly couldn't ask for a better Smogon Tour finals, good luck to both participants!

McMeghan (SM, BW) vs ABR (ORAS)

SM: Going with the upset pick here. Roro has been absolutely on fire in the second half of 2019, coming off of a win in Smogon Classic, and I expect him to carry the magic over to Smogon Tour. Before these playoffs started, I would've frankly had to lose my mind to bold Roro in SM, but his SM has looked incredibly solid compared to his past performances, going undefeated in that tier throughout his run. He's used some well-known and strong teams featuring various incredibly dangerous breakers. I think this style of bulky offense is basically the best you can get in SM OU right now, especially against someone with ABR's team tendencies. ABR's obviously no slouch and was ranked as the number 1 SM OU player in the snake power rankings for a reason. Between his incredible teambuilding prowess and brutal playstyle that can turn the tide of games in an instant, ABR is a force of nature in SM OU, but I believe that Roro's going to be able to pull up the upset in spite of that by using a team that can exert sizable offensive pressure on ABR and getting an early lead.

ORAS: I believe that ABR is really going to be able to capitalize on his increased familiarity and intimacy with the current ORAS OU metagame and earn a decisive win against Roro. For the most part, ABR favors very proactive bulky offense/balance teams that allow him to control the tempo of the game, abusing the best bulky wincons in the tier, most often CM Clefable and SD Gliscor. On the other hand, Roro seems to favor some team Germany-style Mega Tyranitar sand bulky offenses, with the exception of the stall team that he used against Quaze in the semifinal. Both team types are very potent at the moment, but ABR seems absolutely unstoppable in ORAS right now, steamrolling xray and SoulWind consecutively on the way to finals. Not only that, but I feel like the defensive cores that ABR favors tend to have a really strong matchup against sand teams while being able to deal with the metagame at large quite well. Considering his metagaming advantage combined with ABR's phenomenal play in ORAS as of late, it's very difficult to favor Roro here, even if he's quite hot right now.

BW: Everyone predicting has already said that this game is closer than we think and all that, and while that's certainly true, ABR's going to have to show us the proof here before I'm going to bold him against one of the greatest BW OU players of all time. I think that Roro's fortunate win in BW OU against John W is going to serve as a wakeup call for him and ensure that he doesn't underestimate his opponent this time around, leading him to do his due diligence preparing and playing, coming out with a convincing win here. ABR has been spamming the shit out of strong, bulky sand teams with ample ability to maneuver around the entire metagame, whereas Roro has gone for more of his own crazy style with less common picks like Magneton and Scizor to spice up his teams. I think that because Roro will be taking this final so seriously, he will bring a fairly strong team that's relatively no-nonsense while still staying true to his style and ride his knowledge and overall information advantage to a victory over ABR. This is definitely the tier of the three that I'm looking forward to the most from a playing perspective, as I believe the game will come down much more to who plays a better game than who brings the better team, and I'm excited as hell to catch this live if possible.
 
It's really hard to predict in such a high level series like this. These two players are nearly at the ceiling of how good at competitive mons a human can get. Hardly one of them will misunderstand the scenario during a match and get played or miss anything. Wich leaves me to believe this series will be decided on either hax, team matchup, or in the best case scenario, whoever gets more predictions right. I am pretty far away skill wise to judge these guys in the first place so I will likely say a bit of bullshit, but since predicts are being asked too much, I feel like giving a try based on the campaign.

They both have played 1 game of BW in playoffs only. In a tough matchup of a not-chople tyranitar vs reuniclus, ABR understood the role of heatran in the game and used it to it's fullest, was not scared to go for the outplay in the rotom vs excadrill scenario where he saw that he probably lost right away if he got it wrong on both sides of the 50. Sand force exca can do anything obviously, but I believe the list of players that would not lose to reuniclus in this matchup, or even people that would not lead amoongus and click spore for the easy sleep, is not very big.

McM's game was a bit of a ride, he showed nice team building where he nabs the gliscor with the scald/ice beam gastro and good awareness by chosing not to go for a seemingly free earthquake fearing a surprising scarf/shuca tyranitar where many people would have lost, however John W was no slouch and understood his outs (terrakion) and played them to its fullest, did risk the scald burn but then he let go of the jirachi to get stealth rock up and pull the excadrill (an easy thought for anyone since his ground immunity was dead) so he could attempt to go downtown with terrakion against it again. McM did read the play correctly despite the passive moves, and going back to that scenario was not very likely anymore for John W, so the out he found was pulling a crunch against starmie for a justified boost, and McM did fell for it. Sadly for him the stone edge missed and the game finished, but John W did get McM's number here in what looked like a very dire situation.

History favors McM who is perhaps the most accomplished BW player on the website, but ABR was more impressive in his BW match and I'm sure he knows the current metagame just like McM does, so he will be my pick.

BW: ABR, 55-45.
They both played 3 games of ORAS in playoffs. ABR had a very nice team building display against xray, where the cm life orb moon/ice clef and knock scarf lando did a lot of work, and made some nice plays such as punishing xray for trying to go for the chip against the av tangrowth as he had a suicune, and some nice plays from metagross to heatran to not let suicune come into heatran and do it's thing. I wonder why he didnt reveal pursuit against the low latios like everyone would, he must have thought about some use for it later, random chip damages I guess. Had he let tran get knocked by scizor he would be potentially doomed as well, and he even had hp fire tang for the final touch. In his second match, a crit against tornadus puts him behind early game. But then Punny gets put in a bad spot by spiking with skarm against a diance/magnezone team, and the skarmory falls with sr+spikes on his side, and then ditto falls to get them out in a nice read. More good teambuilding displays with the full def curse gastrodon, a good pick against Punny's tendencies. Another nice move baiting clefable attakcs using moonblast until it's on diamond storm kill range, and gastro sealed Punny's fate as it easily 1v1's the psyshock cm megabro. We don't have to talk about the third game. A lot of positives for ABR in team building and getting almost all of the short team predictions right, and it feels to me that he has not been truly tested in this tier yet. I will say his teams look a little heavy on the matchup gamble, standard looks with specific techs against specific players, but that has always been his style.

Now looking at McM, he gets a bit lucky against Finch at the start of the game, laying a spike against a vital knock off, wich allowed him to scare away excadrill far more comfortably later. The only hope for Finch looked like slowbro, but McM was not letting rotom die and I will assume it's speedy since it was being faster than Finch's mold breaker Excadrill and that made Finch's situation even harder, so nice team building touch there. I dont know how the game without play out without the para on turn 6, but with it, it seems that Finch had little to no chance. As it was the case for McM himself against John W since Heracross was just free to go crazy, but I do believe he made a mistake letting tornadus be paralyzed on turn 5, as the only revenge killer of heracross after that was keldeo, not very ideal against slowbro and ferrothorn, and if there was any hope to being with, it died there. In the third game, McM pulled a win against Quaze in the best tier of the latter, but I dont think Quaze's mindset to this game was very good, as this webs team has no means of beating a quite common stall build except for flinching the quagsire with bisharp I guess. Webs teams can add techs to their team to make their life against stall easier or even completely turn the matchup around, but unfortunately Quaze had none of it. Nothing unimpressive or impressive on McM's side as he just played solidly to collect the win. The ORAS games of McM felt like very large team preview edges were involved, favorable or unfavorable, wich makes it hard to make a call.

McM is a obviously fantastic pokemon player, but these games led me to believe that ABR has superior ORAS knowledge, and thus I believe he will nice prep his way to take this one too.

ORAS: ABR, 60-40.
Interesting start for ABR in his first SM game, sacking serperior to paralyze two pokemon at the beginning, but he did get lucky with the para allowing 41% chip on lando. ABR realizes xray has limited Alakazam answers, and thing start to get scary. ABR got more short team predictions right, punishing xray for predicting volt switch and ice beaming and volt switching against charizard's solarbeam. I believe xray made some objectively questionable moves in this game though, such as switching charizard into tapu fini as sunlight goes down wich made him lose a potentially important sack, and solarbeaming a near full health vest magearna cant be a good idea in the first place. ABR manages to hold charizard down until zam can go in get one for himself. Sub u-turn victini is interesting, but by then getting free turns for zard-y doesn't matter as it's free real state for alakazam and scarf landorus. Interesting hp flying landorus reveal in the end. Against Punny, ABR uses ditto and kommo-o to prevent amoongus from making progress, as they are both immune to spore, and eventually one mon gets slept in Punny's side. More nice plays to chip tornadus with facade and come with ditto against heatran. Magma storm misses against kommo and that's a bit unfortunate since tran could at least bring it to low hp, but then Punny brings it back some turns later catching the magnezone with heat wave against ditto but gets unlucky again, missing the hurricane against rotom and dying to pursuit scizor. Punny reveals that his heatran is actually hp ice wich is really cool. Even at this HP, heatran is still a hope for Punny, since it is faster than gliscor, but some plays to heal gliscor's hp seal the fate. I'm not sure why Punny let his most important pokemon in the match take a drain punch, but he played pretty well regardless and would have much more chances without the hurricane miss, maybe even win since ABR would not have a rotom to pivot in the end. Good moves by ABR in the game too, especially the ditto usage to deal with amoongus and heatran and being patient with his gliscor. ABR maintains his style for SM, standard teams with a lot of techs for specific matchups, and A LOT of consistency in getting short terms predictions right, wich makes me think he spends a lot of time studying his opponents alone.

McM's first SM game starts with mawiles being traded, good read by Finch there punishing McM for expecting u-turn. If the calc is not failing me, Finch had around 81% chance of killing zapdos with the z move and McM survives the damage roll, and despite mispredicting, he gets to keep his zapdos for now. McM makes nice moves with kyurem predicting finch's magearna twice and the game feels evenly matched until and a stone edge miss does allow McM to chip the landorus more then. Nice read by finch again u-turning on koko's u-turn, but McM went absolutely crazy in this end game predicting tornadus almost every time to send tapu koko and manages to get past torn+magearna and wins the game. Finch would have probably won without the low roll or edge miss, as landorus would have a lot more oportunities to come in and click earthquake (z rock u-turn is very nice btw), but extremely impressive end game performace by mcm predicting almost everything right for a string of 15 turns after kyurem-b was sacked. A crazy start against John W, McM chooses to bluff hp ground to get a kill on gliscor with a volc that's usually worthless against heatran without hp ground, and uses it to find a free turn for medicham, resulting in another kill. Mawile crits landorus resulting in both players trading kills, until a timely double switch ends the game as medicham heals with grassy terrain enough to take a sucker punch and John W's team is too slow. In his third game, McM brought a classic Ben Gay squad against another fat looking team with a life orb clefable and final gambit victini leaves hippo with 4%. Very drawn out game, with Quaze trying to break through with his life orb clef and McM switching a lot to guard against it, and some weird freeze + toxic miss is unfortunate. McM shows the patience of a shaolin monk in this game, using the sleep tornadus to double into his low hp hippo to heal him up after 75 turns and playing around clefable's flamethrower pp until quaze gets impatient, and he picked apart the exact turn he got impatient to kill it with charizard flare blitz and win the game. Despite winning a game he probably shouldnt have through luck, McM displayed superb flexibility to outplay his opponents, be it through positioning, bluffing and patience, something I did not see him doing in other gens at all, at least in this playoff run.

Very tough call to make, but I will give McM the edge here since ABR has been relying on these short term reads to win his games and I dont think these will work against McM given how incredibly creative he has been to outplay his opponents in all 3 games, I think it will be way too hard for ABR to just download McM's tendencies and act accordingly.

In the end, this entire series feels like preparation vs outsmarting to me, the two masters of two different schools of competitive pokemon, and I can't wait to see it live.

SM: McMeghan, 55-45


tldr: ABR takes BW and ORAS, McMeghan takes SM.
 
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McMeghan (BW [60-40]) vs ABR (SM [60-40], ORAS [55-45])

Really hyped to watch this finals, it's probably one of the most intense clash of styles to me. ABR seems like he knows what he wants to use, and usually only ventures outside his comfort zone if he needs to, but he's really good with what he does regardless and seems like the more clinical player to me. Roro clearly knows how to win, though his style to me is pretty erratic. I think he's honed in on what kind of stuff works for him in the new gens after last tour, and is able to use stuff that's a little weird but still workable, which means he can play at his own pace. I think pretty much most of this is decided on the battlefield; although I feel like their styles clash, I feel like both McM and Adam are incredibly similar in some aspects. They're pretty good at the mental game and not getting tilted (incredibly important for a finals like this). They're also both trendsetters; feel like ABR is over the past couple of years what McMeghan used to be in terms of having weird shit always hit, a different yet calculated style, and almost dominating success in certain aspects, though I imagine he'd really like to win tour after coming close a couple of times (his adversary has one to boot). People have noted that ABR is "lucky af"; these comments applied to McM a while back from what I can tell. I agree to an extent, and this works out for me since I was rooting for him anyway.

I think McMeghan takes BW, he probably has the kingpin helping (he's certainly not helping abr LOL) and I think it's fair to say ABR's BW isn't as strong as his ORAS or his SM. I think ABR should prevail in SM; unless McM manages to find a good team that can deal with all of the stuff Adam can throw at him, I assume he'll end up with a decent matchup and convert. ORAS is kind of a mess and I know both players have a good amount of history with it (ABR moreso than McM in its current edition imo), so I'll give a slight edge to Adam. I think this one's almost a tossup though, and ORAS is pretty volatile in my eyes anyway so I think this one comes down to mu the most. In general, I think teambuilding is going to be a huge theme of the series, and I hope we get to see some new ideas in this.

as an aside, this bo3 against the backdrop of mcmeghan vs the OU council is a pretty entertaining narrative, so I hope to see some banter; doubt abr says more than "gg" every game though unfortunately
 
ABR is obviously favoured in a bo3 with SM + ORAS vs pretty much anyone considering his general meta knowledge + a peculiar risk vs reward based gameplay, the only thing that makes me trust Roro here is the ability he has to show unconventional picks and compete at the top in literally any single existent metagame, along spicy and aggressive in-game reads that easily get people off guard, specially mainers (smt that ABR lacks a bit i feel). This is probby the best finals matchup we had in ages now and even i, that rarely watch playoffs games, wanna see It live.

Im personally rooting to my boy McMeghan, i hope you get it to cap the incredible year you had in individuals and its been really cool to see you showing the giant player you still are. Easily the best oat to me. Good luck to both tho :psyglad:
 
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