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

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Congrats on your well deserved ring ABR, you finally made it and you offered us an insane finals

Roro has done an incredible year in solo tournaments and was so close to win his second ST, definitely a tremendous performance here

you wanted the stour ring for a long time and everyone knew you'd get it eventually. fucking congrats bro

amazing job to roro for his consistency for over decade as well. its really hard to stay on the top for that long but youre someone really special


is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Top Tiering Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis the 5th Smogon Classic Winneris the Smogon Tour Season 14 Championis a Past SPL Champion
Big Chungus Winner
tough loss to swallow, i wanted to win this tournament really badly and i fell very short of it... feels even worse because both losses felt within my reach and then i either got outplayed or went for wrong paths, i'm still not sure

trusted my ideas 'till the end and as wack as they looked, i was never out of any game so i'm at least glad about that part; also happy to have won the last BW game of smogon tour, farewell to that generation close to my heart as a player

ggs ABR, you played great and been a strong player for a lot of time. in one way i'm glad bc you deserve it, and on the other hand it feels worse to lose to a rival like you, cementing his legacy

shout-outs to my friends, the usual gangs... also thanks to everyone who showed me support and helped me, sometimes unsollicited, i truely appreciate it
great job abr, glad to see you finally have an stour ring, long overdue for someone of your caliber. can't wait to see you continue to lead the pack in making watching competitive pokemon a great experience

roro, great to see you with another amazing performance to cap off a historically great year for you even at the end of a decade of playing. keep your head up and you'll grab another, i'm sure.
Won 2-1 vs McMeghan, ggs

Roro I spoke to you a lot on discord already but I want to reiterate the respect I've gained for you (on top of what was already enormous) after your individual performances this year. You had a full revival with a classic win and now surprised everybody with new gen domination as well. You're inevitably going to regret this one in some form but you still have much to be proud of and shouldn't forget that. You're an all time great regardless of this series.

As for the series itself, the games and everything leading up to them were an entire rollercoaster of emotions for me. I was uncertain about my team choices and I knew my opponent was a force to be reckoned with so creating high confidence wasn't an easy task. I was also fearing some wasted opportunity after going far in many tours over the past couple of years and falling before the finish line. I'm privileged to have won 2 individuals at this point but the fear of self disappointment always lingers for anyone at any time. Between having the Clown vs Tar in SM and inching that out, into losing BW and it coming to an ORAS game 3 where I had to think of a way to outmaneuver the whole team of threats and surprises, I was and am absolutely ecstatic to have come out on top of this one.

I also couldn't have done this without any of my close friends. BKC Finchinator KratosMana obii Star TDK teal6 TonyFlygon you're all amazing and mean the world to me. You're always there to support me every step of the way whether its about pokemon or not. Thank you for putting up with my constant tags, playing games with me, and overall balancing my state of mind. I'd also like to thank anyone who cheered for me and went out of their way to encourage me during these playoffs. You have a stronger impact than you know and I'm grateful for it all.
this was an incredible series. so entertaining & in another echelon compared to most finals. could feel the tension even just watching the replays. genuinely can't think of a better set of games off the top of my head.

congrats ABR and well played McMeghan. the level you both have reached is insane. there were so many instances in this series where lesser players would just crumble, but both of you consistently found outs in pretty ugly situations. totally going to digest the replays again in full later today. watching series like this is pretty inspiring & primarily the reason for why I'm back competing.

what would be really really cool is some sort of breakdown/postmortem of the tournament & this series in particular. I'd love to get a better handle on your decision making & thought processes (both in and out of battle) as its pretty evident to me that they're far, far above whatever level I reached personally (and also the level you were at when I was seriously competing, McMeghan). a turn-by-turn commentary with both players (perhaos hosted by BKC) would be incredibly interesting and valuable for the community as there's so much to learn from both of you.


formerly Descending
Congrats ABR, this BO3 was probably the best competitive mons match i've ever seen including VGC, just incredible from both sides.
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dayum i missed this crazy hype lol.

congrats to u ABR. like McM said, u have cemented ur legacy with such a win. u really are inspiring, well played.

hey McM : when i think of legendary players, i often find myself thinking of "old players" who arent able to perform in new gens. but you, broski, ur somethin else. u redefined urself, found a new motivation and showed urself and us how its done when a player is havin fun and is strong at the same time. i perfectly feel u when u say u wanted this one badly. take the next one in an even more legendary matchup.

gratz both :pimp:
Congratulations ABR! It's a well deserved trophy considering how dominant you have been during the previous ST seasons ; while how you play/build may not be as flashy as others, it will definitely come down in Smogon records as one of the most effective ways to play 6v6 Singles. Cool techs during the finals too o7

And Roro, while you lost, both your team choices and plays were as great as ever. Coming so close from a second individual trophy during the same year, while it may leave a slightly bitter taste, remains an amazing accomplishment. You were one of the players I looked up to as a legend when I first started competitive Pokémon and I'm glad beyond words to see this legend is still alive and still kicking after all this time.

Three great games between two amazing players ; that's the best epilogue seventh generation Smogon Tours could ask for.
Agreeing with Heist; even watching the replays of this set had me on the edge of my seat.

Congrats to ABR, and very well played to both.

McM - I can’t believe you brought that ORAS team, but I also totally respect it.

One of the best finals I’ve witnessed. Thanks for making it a good one.


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is a Forum Moderatoris a Tiering Contributoris a defending SPL Champion
Two very impressive performances, sucks that one of you two had to lose considering the way both of you played this tournament.

McMeghan, you were one of the persons I looked up to the most after joining the site and my respect for you even grew once I got to know you. The way you use unconventional stuff and the fact that you manage to prepare well for tiers you are not completely comfortable with is incredible.

Amazing performance, ABR. Despite rooting for your opponent in almost every round, I always had a feeling that you'd take it. I have rarely seen such a dominant Tour win on here, congrats. The amount of effort you put into this makes it even more deserved. There might be 2 opinions about the person ABR, but not about the player. I wish I could have given you a better series
Amazing series, thank you ABR and Roro. The 3 games were close and it was a mesmering experience to watch the replays. I felt like both of you could have won the different games, but at the end ABR made it and I think he deserves it. Especially for this win in Game 1 with a negative matchup. I was also truly amazed by this Counter Gostrodon. Congrats.

I would have loved to see Roro win, but at least he delivered an amazing performance and won the last BW match in Smogon Tour history, I'm happy about that. I will still support Roro in the future, as long as he keeps playing the game. Roro already proved that he's more than a classic player, and I hope he will claim back the trophy in the next seasons.
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I'm going to take The Grand Babido up on his offer and analyze my stour run one series at a time. I'll also post movesets + items of all mons to explain my plays more.

So, starting off is my round 1 vs xray.

Game 1 - SM


Looking at preview, I know it's going to be Zard-Y and that he'll expect me to counterlead the fires that are quite threatening with my Lando or Tran, and so he'd choose Lando or Fini to counterlead those. I chose to lead off with Serp because it wasn't going to win long term and I just wanted the instant glare or knock pressure to ease my time walling his fires. I expected scarf Lando to uturn into Tran turn 1 but glaring on the stay in was fine too. As evidenced by the next few turns I was pretty set on just getting the glares off early even if it meant losing my Serp. Because my Zam was mostly walled by Tran and my Tran was mostly walled by Fini I wanted to bluff non scarf Lando / going for eq next to gain some momentum by uturning. I get my chip on Victini, and try to keep up the momentum by going Lando on it instead of Tran. The game is pretty straightforward the next few turns and I'm just trying to get my Zam in as much as possible and use my gear to volt and get it back in, and fortunately I even get to ice beam and kill his Lando, opening up volts later on. Jumping to turn 20, this is where things get tricky. I haven't revealed anything about my Tran besides rocks yet so I figure he may still be fearing spdef toxic and just try to focus blast here. I also knew that if I truly needed to I could bluff edge on Lando to scare out Zard and stall out sun turns as well. He solar beams, and I get to volt it into Zam range and claim another KO. I then decide to go Heatran instead of Lando because I tried that last time and I didn't really need to take the risk at that point. I didn't want to risk Tran with Zard Tini still alive either so I went Fini on Tran and got to claim a KO with Serp dead on his side. I do what I can to stall out sun and pivot Fini back in to claim another KO. On turn 36 I knew the game was essentially locked up because volt / psychic / hpfly combo always did enough to Zard and I went Lando on Tini because uturn stopped Zard healing and if he crit me, Fini was still faster than -1 speed Tini. The matchup felt relatively neutral at preview but I felt in control for most of the game and am happy with how I played it.

Game 2 - ORAS


All of the sets on his team were predictable at preview, except stuff like Cune's 4th move after cm scald rest and Zone Lati items. I thought the Clef lead from him was pretty likely because everything else is a bad lead vs Rotom except Latios which is a bad lead vs scarf Lando, and it also lets him go for early rocks. He also has Scizor to come into if I lead meta. This is what happens, and I predict this by doubling into Heatran on the Scizor and I'm able to get my early rocks. The way this team handles Clefable outside of Meta, in case it gets walled / chipped / trapped is to go to Rotom to twave first and then use my orb Clef to win the CM war. I do this and pretty much attack what's in front of me until turn 10 when he brings in Scizor. I had a speculation it was knock or super for Tran after he revealed his Clef couldn't touch it at all so I went into Lando and then Rotom to scout around it. I get Clef in vs Glisc and this lets me force a Cune rest which progresses my long term game plan of trying to win with Clef (by stalling Scizor's roosts eventually w rocks / moonblast chip). To expedite the process though I was able to just eliminate his Gliscor from the equation with ice beam. From there I mostly try to force Scizor to take chip more swiftly by doubling from Meta to Tran over and over, but when I get Meta in vs Clef I notice I can pursuit it and start finishing the game right there with my hp fire Tang. Tpunch meta is able to cleanly 3hko Cune so I was never worried about that getting out of hand, especially with both Tang and Lando potentially knocking it. Scizor was a mild threat throughout but the Tran pivots and Tang insurance vs no bug move let me keep it at bay and come out on top.

Thanks for the encouragement to write these - I intend to write similar analyses of the remaining series as well. Enjoy
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