Gen 5 SPL X - BW Discussion Thread

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With SPL X underway, this thread will be used to discuss BW OU related topics, whether it's about the players, general metagame trends, matches, predictions and so on. This thread will be updated frequently with each new week, player standings, and replays.

SPL Introduction
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Potential BWers:

Wi-Fi Wolfpack
- TDK, Sergi, DeepBlueC
Team Raiders - Soulwind, Biosci, Menci
Dragonspiral Tyrants - Blunder, We Three Kings, Mana, Rodriblutar, Gilbert Arenas, CTC, GaryTheGengar
Alpha Ruiners - Lavos, Jimmy Turtwig, Luigi
Ever Grande BIGS
- Xray, FLCL, Sabella, Choolio
Circus Maximus Tigers - Dice, Zf, Bro Kappa, Reiku
Stark Sharks - Conflict, Posho, Znain, High Impulse
Congregation of the Classiest - Finchinator, ZoroDark, Insult
Cryonicles - ABR, Obii, Leru
Indie Scooters - Ojama, Will of Fire
(Starters are in bold)

Power Rankings:

1
. Soulwind
2
. Ojama
3
. Dice
4
. Posho
5
. FLCL
6
. We Three Kings
7
. ZoroDark
8
. Obii
9
. Luigi
10
. Sergi

Player Standings:

Soulwind: 6-2
FLCL: 6-3
We Three Kings: 6-3
Ojama: 5-5
Finchinator: 4-2
Posho: 3-1
Rewer: 3-4
Kevin Garrett: 2-1
TDK: 2-1
Zf: 2-3
ABR: 1-0
Elodin: 1-0
HSA: 1-0
Lavos: 1-0
Poek: 1-0
ToF: 1-0
Hyogafodex: 1-1
Zorodark: 1-2
Dice: 1-3
Sergi: 1-5
CTC: 0-1
High Impulse: 0-1
Jirachee: 0-1
Lopunny Kicks: 0-1
Luigi: 0-2
Obii: 0-3
Energy: 0-4
 
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ZoroDark vs SoulWind // 30-70

soulwind's impossible to pin down when it comes to team selection. zoro's offshoots from the standard have typically been pretty bad. ur not gonna be able to beat sw with even resources much so u need some kind of pregame advantage. and hard to see zoro getting either. just think this is a pretty lopsided matchup.

obii vs Sergi // 52-48

i'm pretty excited to see what happens here. i reckon it'll be a nice balance toe-to-toe, and it'll check the chops of both these rather unproven picks. rooting for obii juss coz he cute. -blush-

Luigi vs Posho // 40-60

when has luigi ever played pokemon lol vamos posho

FLCL vs Ojama // 70-30

ojama is really really good at bw. flcl is really really middling at it. watch me lose to him now. but still i stand by this.
 
Guess I'll liven this thread up with some BW™ OU predicts and general thoughts thus far.

Sergi vs Ojama - I think into most matchups, Ojama will always be picked to win. For the most part, the Kingpin tends to pick the right teams and pilots them to almost surely a victory. He brushed off a rough loss to FLCL week 1 and pretty much beat ZoroDark with an ungood pokemon Celebi in convincing fashion. Sergi has proven to be more competent in the tier than what was original thought of him, however. Despite his interesting battle vs obii week 1, he almost defeated SoulWind despite SW's attempts to throw the game away. I think this will actually be closer than most will think, but it's really hard to root against Ojama here.

obii vs We Three Kings - W3K is hot off two straight wins vs Dice and Luigi., proving any doubters wrong of his ability to show up in BW. I'm actually quite surprised to see obii here again after his win in ORAS and ABR's in BW. I'm typically a proponent of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," but it seems the Cryos want to put ABR into every tough matchup each week. I think obii is going to struggle here and W3K is gonna walk away with a 3-0 record when this one is all said and done.

FLCL vs Rewer - Hmm, this is definitely an interesting matchup. Definitely one I would have expected to see a lot in 2012-13 when BW was the current generation. FLCL has been doing quite well and is hot off his complete domination of one Sweet Posho. I don't think Rewer is a slouch in BW by any means, but I truly can't say I remember the last time I saw him play it. Back when, I recall him being quite competent in the tier. But for right now, I'm not quite sure. I don't think he'll just roll over and lose, but FLCL is definitely favored here.

SoulWind vs dice - Ah, here's a good one. I think thus far, dice has been playing pretty damn well, despite what his record may show. His week 1 yielded rather unlucky results and his week 2 matchup was pretty much unwinnable. SoulWind, on the other hand, has looked pretty shaky, to be honest. Week 1 had him lose to ZoroDark pretty cleanly and he played his endgame in his week 2 win vs Sergi a bit dodgy. I still think SoulWind's one of the better players in the pool of players, but I think dice is gonna pull through with a win here. Should be a fun one to watch, either way.

Posho vs ZoroDark - Another game I'm looking forward to seeing. Two friends. Both players coming off rough losses in week 2. Posho has contracted the Marshall.Law syndrome after getting his Smogon Tour trophy and forgot how to win games. At the same time, ZoroDark has generally looked rather shaky in the last year too. To Zoro's credit, he has Smogon's biggest dork and tryhard™ Finchinator as his support squad and teambuilder. I think Finchinator will have to put in double time to make sure Zoro is ready here. Personally, I think when Posho is at his best, he's truly one of the best players, no matter what the tier. But I think until he finds his footing again, this one will be a toss up. My gut here says Posho is going to pull through, but my brain thinks ZoroDark with Finchinator support will emerge victorious. Hope I can watch this one live.

Until next time.
 
My takeaways so far:

- Ferrothorn was always hovering around the #1 spot in usage (shared with Tyranitar), but it is now pulling ahead. Players abused the trend in the second week with 2 Magnezones specifically geared towards eliminating Ferrothorn (Ojama's Sub CBeam Mag and FLCL's Sunny Day Magnezone). We might see changes in Ferrothorn's held item if Magnezone keeps showing up like this.

- Landorus-T is also #1 in usage, that's a bit surprising to me honestly, as I think the mon isn't that great to be #1, although the amount of utility it provides as a scarfer is unmatched. U-Turn, Ground immunity, Intimidate, checks a lot of dangerous threats. On the other hand, I feel like it's a bit too easy to abuse, and has speed issues. We've seen Protect Terrakion, and I'm expecting to see other ways to abuse Landorus' ubiquity as the scarfer of choice.

- Thundurus-T looked like the mon to beat week 1, but it fell flat week 2. It is still super dangerous and I expect it to end in the top 10 most used mons by the end of the tour. Rain is very popular and Thundurus is very dangerous to Rain teams, as well as thriving in them. Substitute is the #1 set as of now, but I'm expecting Rain teams to become a little bit more offensive, running NP to break Sand.

- The Sun team we've seen will remain an isolated experiment, I wouldn't expect it to proliferate like Sun teams last year. We might see variations of it, but I wouldn't expect it to appear more than 2-3 times over the season.

- I'm expecting Magnezone to keep showing up, as it is more and more likely to provide a team with offensive value, eliminating an annoying defensive threat. Which in turn would mean we'll get to see more Garchomps (only 3 so far), which could scare away people from bringing Thundurus.

- Latios is always up there. Don't expect it to leave anytime soon. The mon is always amazing. It's powerful, it's immune to Spikes, it can play around with different sets to screw with a lot of its counters, and it gives some defensive utility.

There's other possible things to discuss about, but I'll need more data for that. Maybe after week 4 :toast:
 
Some thoughts on week 4/what's been used in general (don't expect expert analysis though).

158407
: Reuniclus got plenty of usage this week, Magic Guard is obviously nice for all the sand and Spikes, making it a pain to KO. Some players seemed to use a CM set with Thunder + HP Ice for BoltBeam coverage which is annoying for alot of common teams. There was also a couple of TR varaiants that can mess with more offensive teams.

158410: Ferrothorn is still on the top in terms of usage, setting up hazards and switching into Latios as usual. Magnezone got used a couple of times this week but it didn't exactly work out, regardless I don't think Ferrothorn will be going anywhere.

158413: Garchomp got more usage this week, perhaps due to the high Magnezone and Thundurus usage, not to mention a somewhat low Skarmory usage. A well played Swords Dance Garchomp can punish teams that use Ferrothorn as a dragon resist, while the Choice Scarf set obviously keeps alot of things in check.

158415
: Gastrodon was used for the first time this week on a couple of teams. It's one of the few Pokemon that can reliable deal with Thundurus and Magnezone as well as Rotom-W, it also checks Keldeo and the Jirachi variants that were used on rain teams.
 
• More and more Breloom, perhaps inspired by Ojama's CB Breloom performance, perhaps just by virtue of the fact that Amoongus' usage fell off a cliff compared to the past editions of SPL. I have never liked Bulk Up Breloom when it was at its peak, and with all the Reuniclus we've seen, less so now, but offensive Breloom is always scary. Fighting Gem Focus Punch OHKOes anything that isn't a ghost or a very sturdy resist, Bullet Seed annihilates Reuniclus and Jellicent, and most mons that can take Mach Punch somewhat comfortably are weak to Stealth Rock.

• Reuniclus is cementing itself as the premier Spikes abuser. Calm Mind has been the favored version, Trick Room is dangerous as well, but it requires a bit more support, so we've only seen it once. Both sets are dangerous. More on this later.

• Thundurus went unused week 4. In fact rain only saw the light in 2 games, a huge drop in usage compared to the previous weeks. I don't think this is due to any specific reason, more so that people just favored Sand this week, possibly due to Reuniclus' usage.

Some mons that aren't being used that I hope to see soon:

• Mamoswine: I get it, it's hard to use and fit onto a team. This mon is amazing. I'll be upset if I don't see a single Mamoswine used in the whole season.

• Hydreigon: we've only seen 1 so far, Reuniclus' usage is at an all time high. Though I guess Reuniclus' usage is a double edged sword for Hydra, since you want Dark Pulse, but then either you drop Focus Blast and can't deal with Heatran very well, or you drop your Fire move and then you're relying on hitting Focus Blast a tad too much. Maybe we go back to seeing Expert Belt or other items that aren't Life Orb in order to drop Roost?

• Mienshao: this mon is good. Use it. I promise it's good. I like Life Orb personally, and Scarf is always fine.

• Starmie: offensive Starmie does about 150% to anything that switches in. A real powerhouse. The best check people use is Rotom-W, which coincidentally is the easiest mon to wear down. It also doesn't really switch in if it isn't full health. You don't even need to run Rapid Spin, just run 4 attacks and roll over some fools, or Recover if you're really paranoid. If you don't like the style, you can always run Trick variants with all kinds of items (Flame Orb comes to mind)
 
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Some thoughts:
- Rain: of course there are few exceptions like Ojama's team with cbloom, but rain in general has become incapable of evolving and it's losing hard to pretty much any sand team. We've seen Politoed/Tenta/Jirachi/Ferro plenty of times and if you tie it up with Lando/Tios you have trouble breaking Sand's backbone, if you don't use these two mons chances are you're losing solidity against Keldeo or Terrakion or Thundurus-T or renouncing to a ground immunity etc. Rain balance really needs to reinvent itself else I expect Politoed's usage to shrink down.

- Gliscor: this was already notable some months ago but Protect Taunt Gliscor has become extremely annoying to face, because under Sandstorm it can permanently chip pretty much the entire tier bar things like Slowbro. Right now it's even better than sdef Heatran at being a "playmaker" (in the sense that forces Skarmory and Ferrothorn to switch out and harasses their teammates) for bulky Sand teams, and I don't think it will leave anytime soon. Also, just like Heatran, it can run Toxic and a Sp. def. spread to tank and ruin dangerous wallbreakers such as Hydreigon. Gliscor is basically the sole reason we've seen so many HP Ice Reuniclus/Jirachi and even Icy Wind Skarmory, lol.

- Reuniclus: I don't think BoltBeam is THAT good especially if you happen to find an opposing Reuniclus, but I can see why it's having success. Reuniclus almost disappeared during the Rain Excadrill era because it was almost impossible to find time to setup and win in that more offensive metagame. Now it's back also thanks to its new defensive niches (keeping Protect Toxic Keldeo and Gliscor in check).

- Ferrothorn & Magnezone: I advocated ferro to rise to S in the defunct VRs almost one year ago, duh. Anyway, these two have a really strange relationship: one year ago Magnezone's winrate was 21% (which suggests Ferro was able to do its work anyway), now it's 60%. 5 Magnezones is still too little of a sample size to draw conclusions but even outside of SPL Magnezone gives me the impression it has become way more threatening, even if its targets are always the same.

- Protect LO Garchomp: used by Luigi in week 2, this definitely has some potential. I personally prefer to use SD Protect with Zone support, though, because I don't think Draco Meteor has great synergy with Protect. With Protect you want to stay in more turns esp against choice users and Draco's drops aren't really helping you with that, I believe.

- Terrakion: Terrakion sits in an strange spot. It has seen 1 usage or something, pretty much due to the abundancy of Landorus/Gliscor/Reuniclus, however plenty of teams were weak to it. Think of obii's, rewer's and sergi's week 4 teams, dice w1 team etc. I'd use it more, even if it's kinda hit or miss right now, just like stone edge I guess.

- One year ago I genuinely thought Scarf Landorus-T was one of the best pokemon in the tier. Now many things have changed and while its usage has even increased further, I don't think it is as good anymore. Protect is everywhere (heck even Terrakion and Garchomp use it), Skarmory most of the times runs Rocky Helmet to punish Excadrill's attempts at spinning, Gliscor is very strong against sand balance and makes you wonder why you would bother using Landorus over it, Sand Rush Excadrill is gone and so is the utility of catching momentum against Sun. It still offers great role compression, but I doubt that justifies such a high usage. Offensive sets are the way to go imho, as shown during last week.

- Certain players are forgoing their Scarf user. Not only in SPL, and I don't know how to feel about this. It's
basically the epitome of sacrificing solidity for functionality which is something rather common today (think of using Knock Off > one real attacking move on Ferrothorn or giving SR to choice users). I mean it's fine to do that if you pack enough bulk, but I wouldn't leave home without safety nets such as Sash Alakazam or priority moves.

Predictions: I expect things like Alakazam, Mixed Garchomp, Hydreigon, maybe Gengar and Salamence to show up. Mienshao seems a threat not only for most bulky Sands, but also more offensive ones, albeit it suffers from Protect being everywhere. Lucario and Toxicroak also have Fight+Ice coverage but they need something to help with Reuniclus. Rain will probably drop either Ferrothorn or Jirachi to better adapt to current trends, something that I've seen Finchinator do with that SD Loom rain team. Latios *may* go back to running Surf + HP Fire, at least a couple times, and I’d like to see some EQ + HP Fire straight outta 2013 to try to overcome the most popular core right now, Tyranitar + Ferrothorn.
 

phosphor

it was just wish fulfillment
is a Tutor
We're seeing too many sun stalls (in SPL) that I think would get wrecked by sand but succeed anyway because they don't end up facing sand. How much of a risk is this supposed to be?
 

Finchinator

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We're seeing too many sun stalls (in SPL) that I think would get wrecked by sand but succeed anyway because they don't end up facing sand. How much of a risk is this supposed to be?
First and foremost, I find this to be a bit too much of a generalization. Sun Stall is a playstyle that is riskier than your everyday Sand bulky-offense/balance and this is without a doubt. However, to say that they fall against opposing Sand in general is false. The Sand still needs to have the tools to break through and these tools are not found on every Sand team. Keep in mind that generalizing "Sand" is silly considering how many different things can fit on it, how many different playstyles "Sand" encompasses, and simply how common "Sand" is right now. Personally, I was skeptical of the teams ABR and zf used myself until I tried them myself. While neither team is perfect, I find both (and other options of a similar nature) to be more consistent than someone on the outside may imagine. Sure, it is "cheese", but it is not a complete match-up fish and there are games where outplaying can lead to winning undesirable match-ups. I implore individuals to try these themselves and perhaps create their own variants in order to see a new playstyle grow in the metagame now that Dugtrio is no longer usable!
 

phosphor

it was just wish fulfillment
is a Tutor
First and foremost, I find this to be a bit too much of a generalization. Sun Stall is a playstyle that is riskier than your everyday Sand bulky-offense/balance and this is without a doubt. However, to say that they fall against opposing Sand in general is false. The Sand still needs to have the tools to break through and these tools are not found on every Sand team. Keep in mind that generalizing "Sand" is silly considering how many different things can fit on it, how many different playstyles "Sand" encompasses, and simply how common "Sand" is right now. Personally, I was skeptical of the teams ABR and zf used myself until I tried them myself. While neither team is perfect, I find both (and other options of a similar nature) to be more consistent than someone on the outside may imagine. Sure, it is "cheese", but it is not a complete match-up fish and there are games where outplaying can lead to winning undesirable match-ups. I implore individuals to try these themselves and perhaps create their own variants in order to see a new playstyle grow in the metagame now that Dugtrio is no longer usable!
I don't have a strong opinion on this variant of sun stall admittedly, I'll try playing with it then come back with the results I guess.
 

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