Smogon's Official Ladder Tournament VIII - Quarterfinals

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Finchinator

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Ahsan-219 vs SoulWind - SoulWind is simply more consistent and proven, even in a tier Ahsan-219 plays more often. I do think Ahsan has a nice degree of surprise factor going his way, which could tilt the scales enough to give him a game and a fighting chance at the series, but SoulWind got a solid draw here and he is just as likely as some of the top dogs to take this tournament. His teams are mostly well-picked and he rarely makes egregious mistakes nowadays.

Ox the Fox vs beatiful - Amazing pairing between two of the top ten players right now in SS OU. Ox has been doing it for a little shorter, but his year this year has been absurd. beatiful has had it going for about a year now and shows no signs of stopping. I think Ox is a little better at building right now and I will use this to justify bolding him, but it is as close to even as it gets. beatiful is really polished with his in-game play, taking risks without thinking twice and oftentimes seeing them work out in his favor. If he can keep momentum up, he may very well win, but I trust Ox to stand his ground and take it in 3.

Sagiri vs devin - Two players who have done a great job proving themselves. devin has taken a harder road and really proven himself through hard work and creativity. I love stories like that and will be pulling for him, but Sagiri has done well despite being a bit more soft-spoken and less known. Do not count him out as this will be very close.

Punny vs Storm Zone - Both very talented players with cool ideas. Storm Zone is a little more creative perhaps and came off a dynamic victory last round, but Punny has been a top player for a few years and it feels like he wins every single tour game I see him play. The guy is basically a machine. I expect Storm to be ready for the normal bulkier set-ups Punny enjoys in SS OU historically, so if Punny can change it up, even while remaining balanced, or come up with something more aggressive and keep up his play at a high level, I favor Punny. I think he is smart enough to pull that off, so I will give him the bold, but this is super close and Storm Zone is near even, if not favored, vs everyone in SS OU rn. Cannot wait to see this set, gl both!
 
I think the playerbase left in this tour is good or very good and I've got some free time so I will write down a little analysis about every one of them.

Soulwind: haven't got that much to say about him, everybody knows his records. Even though he is able to constantly make it far in every tournament he signups for, I don't really think that he is in the same form that won him the Classic. He still has some shot since he is very experienced and solid and not easy to counterteam, but imo there are more accredited players for the final win this time. I still expect him to make it to the semis and then I think I wouldn't be surprised to see him losing by any of the other ones. Not because they are incredibly better in general, but because I think SW is not in his best form, atleast not enough to win the tournament. He would benefit a short break from the game probably.
How would I prep: both his possible opponents are a lot less experienced than him and his picks are various in both playstyles and Pokémon/sets used. I would play this smart and go with stuff that can provide a lot of firepower and maybe win with some magic outplay, since I don't know if they can handle with his experience in a fat vs fat war, for example.

Ox the Fox: gotta admit I am not the biggest fan of neither how he plays nor his team picks, but he grew up on the ladder and we know how dangerous ladder players can be. That being said, I don't think he's going to win the tournament because there are amazing players left and he is not the best of them.
How would I prep: imo bea will just go with something he likes as usual, but in Ox's building there are some schemes that could help in the prep. He uses a lot of different Pokémon but usually in the same cores and I'm sure this could be abused somehow.

Sagiri: he might be the surprise of this tour. I see he's getting hyped a lot and honestly I can see part of the reasons why. He looks way more solid than you would expect from someone that hasn't got that much experience in Officials and he is in very good form, I wouldn't be surprised at this point to see him arriving at the end. Keypoints imo are about having the right prep and dealing well with the pressure given by these important games.
How would I prep: he uses standard teams, so the prep you do for people playing standard. Usually the best strategies are <something> spam and trying to overload specific checks or just going with a single reliable countermon, possibly with one or a couple setuppers to clean the game.


I will write down the other analysis once the series between Ruby and Ahsan is over
Ahsan-219: AHSANATOR219, I would think this dude is a bot if he didn't say gg at the end of the games. He is a loose cannon and honestly even if I think he's not in the top 4 in this top 8, it's difficult to say how the run will end for him. His builds are not always super solid but always original and funny to play. Ahsan's in-game is also particular, he plays a lot with midgrounds and he's not afraid of risking when necessary, he is for sure way better then he was last year for what I saw. These features could be the key to get away with Soulwind. It will be difficult, but not impossible.
How would I prep: standard solid teams are for sure the better way to face him. He's probably a bit weak to very fast cleaners like scarfers or stuff that boosts speed in general.

Storm Zone: for sure the most experienced SS OU player in the pool, his problem is that his experience only comes from the ladder. So he does what ladder players do: he has a very good instinct and the bravery of risking aggressive plays, but he chokes as frequently as people do in ladder. While this can create problems the first times you face him, a strategy based on midgrounds and control to wait a false step from him can be a good way to approach the series.
How would I prep: almost anything works if it's well built, but the added value is given by unusual offensive sets he might not expect. A counterteam looks impossible (reminder that Storm Zone is Mr. Untitled 23300) but surprising him isn't.

I finish later
 
Ahsan-219 vs SoulWind - SoulWind is simply more consistent and proven, even in a tier Ahsan-219 plays more often. I do think Ahsan has a nice degree of surprise factor going his way, which could tilt the scales enough to give him a game and a fighting chance at the series, but SoulWind got a solid draw here and he is just as likely as some of the top dogs to take this tournament. His teams are mostly well-picked and he rarely makes egregious mistakes nowadays.

Ox the Fox vs beatiful - Amazing pairing between two of the top ten players right now in SS OU. Ox has been doing it for a little shorter, but his year this year has been absurd. beatiful has had it going for about a year now and shows no signs of stopping. I think Ox is a little better at building right now and I will use this to justify bolding him, but it is as close to even as it gets. beatiful is really polished with his in-game play, taking risks without thinking twice and oftentimes seeing them work out in his favor. If he can keep momentum up, he may very well win, but I trust Ox to stand his ground and take it in 3.

Sagiri vs devin - Two players who have done a great job proving themselves. devin has taken a harder road and really proven himself through hard work and creativity. I love stories like that and will be pulling for him, but Sagiri has done well despite being a bit more soft-spoken and less known. Do not count him out as this will be very close.

Punny vs Storm Zone - Both very talented players with cool ideas. Storm Zone is a little more creative perhaps and came off a dynamic victory last round, but Punny has been a top player for a few years and it feels like he wins every single tour game I see him play. The guy is basically a machine. I expect Storm to be ready for the normal bulkier set-ups Punny enjoys in SS OU historically, so if Punny can change it up, even while remaining balanced, or come up with something more aggressive and keep up his play at a high level, I favor Punny. I think he is smart enough to pull that off, so I will give him the bold, but this is super close and Storm Zone is near even, if not favored, vs everyone in SS OU rn. Cannot wait to see this set, gl both!
finch plz tell me how u can have talent in pokemon, how is it possible to have "natural skill" in this game? the game does not have enough depth for someone to be "talented", its like saying someone is talented in connect four.
 

Xevara

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finch plz tell me how u can have talent in pokemon, how is it possible to have "natural skill" in this game? the game does not have enough depth for someone to be "talented", its like saying someone is talented in connect four.
There are people that dont need to practise a lot to make the best play (talented) , others may need a lot of practise to get used to this game (not talented) and then there is Sagiri, a guy who has mastered the definition of strategy and learned that the best way to win is burning every mon and having all the odds in his favor (LITERALLY NOT HUMAN)
 

WhiteQueen

The most fabulous user on Smogon.
is a Tiering Contributorwon the 11th Official Smogon Tournamentis a Past SPL Champion
I firmly believe once you’ve reached a certain level of practice (i.e., having a sound understanding of the metagame), the rest comes down to 1. Team building, 2. Matchup, 3. Luck, 4. Not choking on big black dicks in game, and 5. Most importantly, your natural intelligence. You can and will still lose if you are a literally stupid person (lack common sense) even with the advantages of 1-4.

I’m kinda gay for Storm Zone at the moment. Get that fucking trophy and sit on it, boo!
 
Sagiri Eres un ser increíble, diste lo mejor de ti y por eso te admiro. Pasaste por varias transformaciones, fuiste tan poderoso que todos nosotros te odiamos. Espero que renazcas como un buen tipo, te estaré esperando para pelear. Yo también entrenaré, entrenaré mucho para volverme más fuerte.
 
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