Gen 5 SPL XI - BW Discussion Thread

phosphor

it was just wish fulfillment
is a Tutor
1576975841438.png


SPL XI is gonna happen soon, so let's discuss players/ matches/ metagame trends/ predictions/ etc. Format lovingly ripped off from DKM's post here.

I'll try to update this weekly, I'll likely be commentating every single BW game on my Youtube channel anyway.

SPL INTRODUCTION


schedule

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NOTE:
the trades that happen
here will be taken into account

Potential BWers:
(I tried to take into account what they signed up for, so even if they are known BWers if they implied they won't BW I didn't list them. Vice-versa is also true, some guys are just so known for BW that even if they didn't sign up for it might as well throw their name on here.)

Alpha Ruiners - Empo, FLCL, Hyogafodex, Caetano93
Dragonspiral Tyrants - Gilbert arenas, blunder, The Grand Babido, TDK, John W, CTC
Indie Scooters - zf, Kevin Garrett, ZoroDark, Leo
Wi-Fi Wolfpack - BKC, Pearl
Ever Grande BIGS - ima, Mannat, jacob, GaryTheGengar
Circus Maximus Tigers - McMeghan, Zokuru, Luigi
Congregation of the Classiest - Insult, Raiza
Stark Sharks - Conflict, SoulWind
Cryonicles - Finchinator, Eo Ut Mortus, obii, z0mOG, shawyu 1313, Jirachee
Team Raiders - dice, Posho, Vulpix03


tell me if I missed someone obvious

power rankings aren't here yet but feel free to rank each team's estimated BW level in the comments!

player standings will be in this section
 
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My rankings based off the BW starters I predict:
1. Sharks- Soulwind
2. Raiders- Dice
3. Cryos- Finch
4. Scoots- zf
5. Classiest- Raiza
6. BIGs- Fakes
7. Wolfpack- Pearl
8. Tyrants- John W
9. Tigers- Zokuro
10. Ruiners- Caetano

Not 100% sure these will be the BW players so list would change if say FLCL or mcmeghan end playing instead. Lots of new players im excited to watch against the top players. Very close top 4 out of the players listed imo.

GL everyone!

edit: updated ranks since bans and stuff
 
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McMeghan

Dreamcatcher
is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a 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
Week 1 thoughts:

Stats:
  • Ferrothorn used 90% of the game, need I say more? Not surprising, but also something that can be abused/adjusted pretty effectively and I wonder if we'll see changes as soon as the second week.
  • Tyranitar/Rotom-W/Latios/Lando has been featured 5 times this week. Not surprising either, this core is very strong and flexible and proven to be strong vs just about anything.
  • The first victim of the sleep ban was Amoonguss, completely disappearing off the usage stats (lul ace11). Until next time.
  • zf graced us with a nice showing from the old warrior Scizor, while dice had to use his trademark Milotic, to a much worse result.
Games:
  • Caetano had a very cool Breloom set, and it did a lot of work vs Zokuru. Sub to ease prediction + Passive recovery + strong hits and good coverage hits all my personal marks, and I will remember it for the future.
  • John W kept his Smogon Tour form and gave us a solid game vs dice's...questionnable team. I think Milotic isn't good personally, although it was used quite well in that team with Skarmory and Gothitelle, but the latter is no more. Milotic can only do well when the hazards are off, and I don't think Scarf Drill is a particulary good spinner. As a result, we got John W laying them down and just winning through LandoT/Latios. I think the Latias is terrible but maybe I'll be proven wrong one day. Can't imagine giving free reign to Ferro with that team, and you probably don't wanna paralyze it bc then it abuses Milotic freely all day. I respect dice's creativity though, and I'm sure he'll give us some both interesting & good teams later on.
  • Big fan of zf's team vs Fakes. Outside of the Scarf Toed, which is sadly sometimes the only speed control option you can fit on those rains, it featured interesting sets and structure, with Scizor to give the team the Pursuit factor, which would help Toxicroak or Thundurus in some matchups. I do gotta say that Rain is already the weakest playstyle against Dragmag, and using two steels that are Magnezone bait is quite a risk in my opinion, especially Toad as fastest mon but it worked here and it tackled on the more popular core mentionned above quite well, thanks to the ever popular and trendy Thundurus, sporting the custom spread made to tank Ferro's Power Whip with Substitute. Also nice on zf to forego the ground spot but making up for it with Volt Absorb Thund.
  • SW vs Pearl was a very cool game! Close 'till the end with both players having their moments and doing their best to control the board state while attempting to make progress / preventing their opponent from doing so. I rewatcehd that game carefully and I feel like SW's standing as a player showed here, as he ended up making less mistakes and ended up taking the game for him. Turn 34 for example had Pearl waste a turn HP Icing Keldeo when it was safe to expect Scarf SR Lando from SW at this point. I could tell from Wcop that Pearl had a good understanding of the tier's dynamics and I'm looking forward his future games. He might not be the most eccentric builder but he makes up for it with his calculated choices and plays.
 

Mannat

jack uzi
is a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Caetano had a very cool Breloom set, and it did a lot of work vs Zokuru. Sub to ease prediction + Passive recovery + strong hits and good coverage hits all my personal marks, and I will remember it for the future.
Another note about this breloom set for a niche but still really nice use is that it lets you avoid getting screwed over by Worry Seed from Ferrothorn and friends, which has been gaining usage lately with the absurdly high Magnezone usage by certain users.
Nice on zf to forego the ground spot but making up for it with Volt Absorb Thund.
Expanding upon this, it offers a great volt deterrent and is more than enough to discourage volt spam when paired with good elec pivots like torb loom or ferro, even moreso than ferro lando since washer's pump doesn't ohko. I think fat sub is super cool and it's surprisingly powerful and can abuse the hell out of the ferro/ttar/lati type sand balances that are infesting the metagame right now.

Seeing as you didn't mention it in your post, I'd like to talk about Finchinator vs Raiza for a bit. Finch's team featured Scarf Tyranitar much to Jayde's chagrin, and I can't say that I'm a fan myself. Scarf Tyranitar really shouldn't be used without fairly consistent Alakazam counterplay, like Jirachi, or even the significantly less common Scizor, otherwise it's much too easy to get overwhelmed with it, even with spdef Ferrothorn or Heatran. Even in this game that he managed to win, Finch needed to win an Alakazam speed tie or dodge a Focus Blast to be able to escape the game alive.

Roro covered it pretty well, but SW vs Pearl was definitely the BW OU game of the week, being a closely contested contest between two veteran players that went to the man that basically made no mistakes down the stretch.

My main takeaway this week is that we saw a lot of people trying to push the envelope, with some teams/techs being successful like Caetano's SubPunch PH Loom and zf's cool Scizor team, whereas others like dice's Milotic ended up being less useful. It's good to see people trying to innovate and come up with creative teams and techs to stop the metagame from stagnating. I look forward to seeing what people come up with in future weeks and hope to see more of the same kind of innovation.
 

Finchinator

IT'S FINK DUMBASS
is a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributoris a Past WCoP Championis a former Tournament Circuit Champion
OU & NU Leader
Seeing as you didn't mention it in your post, I'd like to talk about Finchinator vs Raiza for a bit. Finch's team featured Scarf Tyranitar much to Jayde's chagrin, and I can't say that I'm a fan myself. Scarf Tyranitar really shouldn't be used without fairly consistent Alakazam counterplay, like Jirachi, or even the significantly less common Scizor, otherwise it's much too easy to get overwhelmed with it, even with spdef Ferrothorn or Heatran. Even in this game that he managed to win, Finch needed to win an Alakazam speed tie or dodge a Focus Blast to be able to escape the game alive.
Every single team brought in SPL in BW, or any other tier for that matter, requires trade-offs. A trade-off I elected to make was having a hard answer to Alakazam*** in return for a better MU against Latios and Rain offense (most notably teams with Thundurus/Tornadus) by using Scarf Tyranitar. It is also worth noting that this improved the synergy of my team greatly as I was using Toxic+Protect Keldeo, which is fantastic in the post-sleep metagame and only really struggles with Latios, which is handled phenomenally by Protect+Scarf Tyranitar.

I made this trade-off after scouting Raiza and looking through my historical building patterns. As many of you know, I use Chople Tyranitar more than just about anyone else in this tier and in addition to that I have recently used Jirachi Rain vs Raiza in multiple tournament games. Raiza also was not a big Alakazam user himself compared to some others, which made this trade-off seem like a wise one with Alakazam usage being at an all-time low in late 2019 throughout the metagame in general (see: WCOP 2019, where it was under 5% in usage and did not win a single game, and ST 28, where it barely cracked the top 20[/URL]). Couple this with the fact that, as I explain in the hide tags and show throughout the battle, I can still win games vs Alakazam, and you honestly just get another calculated risk being taken in a competitive atmosphere which mandates them.

I find it quite hypocritical for you to attack this, but praise the SoulWind vs. Pearl game and not comment on Pearl's team. Pearl's team was one I quite liked personally, but it took essentially the same calculated risk I did by using Scarf Tyranitar and being vulnerable to Alakazam. His main answer was keeping Rotom-Wash healthy and then either preserving Latios above SBall/HP Ice range or dodging a Focus Blast with Excadrill/Ferrothorn. This is fine because it is manageable -- you can legitimately set-up that scenario if you play a careful game, much like I did against Raiza -- and SoulWind rarely uses Alakazam, but it is quite literally the same teambuilding convention as the one I employed and you are mindlessly praising him despite calling out the same thing in the paragraph above.

Finally, to give examples of other trade-offs that you also completely glossed over just to put it in perspective...while I love zf and his creative flares that make every game of his a spectacle, his Scizor Rain team had no spinner, 4 Pokemon vulnerable to Spikes, and 3-4 Pokemon that let them up. This is obviously cause for concern against bulkier Ferrothorn/Skarmory Sand teams. He took a calculated risk knowing Fakes would likely refrain from that, which turned out to be correct as Fakes used a more offensive team and did not get the necessary openings to exploit this vulnerability. While I respect Fakes and his whole cartel of support, his team pretty much lost on team preview vs BU Loom + Pursuit, which is as common as ever lately. It's likely that his team is 1-2+ years old, which is why this is the case, but this is still a great cause for concern, but he knew zf was unlikely to bring it as his style is more flashy than standardized and it worked out. I can go on and on with countless more examples, but I hope you get my point: no team will ever be without vulnerabilities and every game requires calculated risks, be it in the battle or in the builder. Nitpicking individual ones of them without accounting for the other side is just poor.

Alakazam was still manageable (which I showed throughout the game) because I had SDef Ferrothorn (need to hit 2 Focus Blasts + not roll min to beat), max SDef Gliscor (need to be HP Ice to be able to 2HKO and I still almost always live HP Ice after SR, which is enough considering other measures I had and the fact that HP Ice dropped a ton in usage ever since the Reuniclus surge last year when more people began using Encore/Sball/Signal/TWave), my own Alakazam with Thunder Wave (this essentially limits Alakazam and prevents it from ever sweeping, which has been used as a historic anti-Alakazam measure on Alakazam teams as well), and Latios to live any hit to break sash.
 

Triangles

MOJITOES
is a Pre-Contributoris a Past SPL Champion
Every single team brought in SPL in BW, or any other tier for that matter, requires trade-offs. A trade-off I elected to make was having a hard answer to Alakazam*** in return for a better MU against Latios and Rain offense (most notably teams with Thundurus/Tornadus) by using Scarf Tyranitar. It is also worth noting that this improved the synergy of my team greatly as I was using Toxic+Protect Keldeo, which is fantastic in the post-sleep metagame and only really struggles with Latios, which is handled phenomenally by Protect+Scarf Tyranitar.

I made this trade-off after scouting Raiza and looking through my historical building patterns. As many of you know, I use Chople Tyranitar more than just about anyone else in this tier and in addition to that I have recently used Jirachi Rain vs Raiza in multiple tournament games. Raiza also was not a big Alakazam user himself compared to some others, which made this trade-off seem like a wise one with Alakazam usage being at an all-time low in late 2019 throughout the metagame in general (see: WCOP 2019, where it was under 5% in usage and did not win a single game, and ST 28, where it barely cracked the top 20[/URL]). Couple this with the fact that, as I explain in the hide tags and show throughout the battle, I can still win games vs Alakazam, and you honestly just get another calculated risk being taken in a competitive atmosphere which mandates them.

I find it quite hypocritical for you to attack this, but praise the SoulWind vs. Pearl game and not comment on Pearl's team. Pearl's team was one I quite liked personally, but it took essentially the same calculated risk I did by using Scarf Tyranitar and being vulnerable to Alakazam. His main answer was keeping Rotom-Wash healthy and then either preserving Latios above SBall/HP Ice range or dodging a Focus Blast with Excadrill/Ferrothorn. This is fine because it is manageable -- you can legitimately set-up that scenario if you play a careful game, much like I did against Raiza -- and SoulWind rarely uses Alakazam, but it is quite literally the same teambuilding convention as the one I employed and you are mindlessly praising him despite calling out the same thing in the paragraph above.

Finally, to give examples of other trade-offs that you also completely glossed over just to put it in perspective...while I love zf and his creative flares that make every game of his a spectacle, his Scizor Rain team had no spinner, 4 Pokemon vulnerable to Spikes, and 3-4 Pokemon that let them up. This is obviously cause for concern against bulkier Ferrothorn/Skarmory Sand teams. He took a calculated risk knowing Fakes would likely refrain from that, which turned out to be correct as Fakes used a more offensive team and did not get the necessary openings to exploit this vulnerability. While I respect Fakes and his whole cartel of support, his team pretty much lost on team preview vs BU Loom + Pursuit, which is as common as ever lately. It's likely that his team is 1-2+ years old, which is why this is the case, but this is still a great cause for concern, but he knew zf was unlikely to bring it as his style is more flashy than standardized and it worked out. I can go on and on with countless more examples, but I hope you get my point: no team will ever be without vulnerabilities and every game requires calculated risks, be it in the battle or in the builder. Nitpicking individual ones of them without accounting for the other side is just poor.

Alakazam was still manageable (which I showed throughout the game) because I had SDef Ferrothorn (need to hit 2 Focus Blasts + not roll min to beat), max SDef Gliscor (need to be HP Ice to be able to 2HKO and I still almost always live HP Ice after SR, which is enough considering other measures I had and the fact that HP Ice dropped a ton in usage ever since the Reuniclus surge last year when more people began using Encore/Sball/Signal/TWave), my own Alakazam with Thunder Wave (this essentially limits Alakazam and prevents it from ever sweeping, which has been used as a historic anti-Alakazam measure on Alakazam teams as well), and Latios to live any hit to break sash.
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McMeghan

Dreamcatcher
is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a 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
Week 2 thoughts:

Stats:
  • First this week and first overall, we find Landorus-T, which is deserved imo. I think it's the best Pokemon in the tier offensively and it showed in the games as well. More on this later.
  • People keep loving Breloom, used 5 times this week. I honestly think it's overrated but whatever, especially without the threat of Spore, you know what you're facing and if you don't get too complacent, it's not the end of the world to deal with.
Games:
  • Fakes had an interesting offense against Finch's standard Rain. However, the latter had a pretty unusual Thundurus-T set that came up big time. I feel like Fakes had better ways to finish this game but after rewatching it many times, I can't really picture what he should have done. Finch set up the field quite well and he did get slightly lucky with the para dodge + Thunder hit. If anyone wanna explain how it should have been played I'm interested.
  • Why Landorus-T is amazing, part1: Pearl vs Zokuru. Ground + Ice is amazing offensively, especially when paired with Uturn to pivot off the would-be checks. Add to that immunity to Spikes, sand and no Rock Weakness and you have a momentum machine that fiends off slow builds and many metagame staples like Tyranitar or Heatran. Also Breloom is NOT a Landorus-t answer, especially in Sand, it takes way too much chip damages and can't heal that well in Sand, especially compared to Landorus. Anyway beside that, Pearl played better and didn't let Zokuru get anything out of Heatran despite the superb matchup.
  • Part2: SoulWdind vs zf. The game was already looking over on turn 2 honestly. I've seen and used that team from zf (made by dice) and its horrendously weak to standard Landot, and it showed. Amoonguss lack of Spore also showed its limits here, not threatening Ferro and letting it get a Spikes to further let Landorus do its thing later. Breloom also showed its limits in Sand and couldn't heal enough to come or setup or kill anything.
  • dice's teambuilding eccentricity landed much better than in the first week against Caetano. FerroCent doing its job against RainOffense here, with Zapdos and Encore Alakazam patching up the holes. Props to dice for not playing this too safely as otherwise Thundurs could have left a bigger mark on the battle. From what I gathered, Caetano had a Hurricane Dnite ft Superpower, which is a pretty sound idea to catch the flying resists of the tier, at least Excadrill and Tyranitar, but dice doesn't obey the rules and brought Zapdos! Despite being unpopular compared to its hayday, Jellicent can be disgusting to face for Rain, pretty much netting the win by itself here. Maybe we'll see more of it in the future with Breloom being easier to account for and Amoonguss role as a regenerator + sleep absorber gone?
 

assless jorts

Banned deucer.
kind of a throwback to the finals of BW cup last year where Dice brought Ferrothorn + Excadrill to all 3 games. BKC made a great video on the finals here. Dice's team is pretty interesting, but I also feel he got pretty lucky (or scouted well) with the matchup. Ferrocent against Keldeo rain is amazing, Zapdos against Hurricane dnite, and he's a little lucky there was no Jirachi on the rain for Alakazam. I feel like his team could struggle against some more standard sand balance, with shaky Reuniclus checks and such. Zam makes a lot of sense, checking a lot of stuff the team is somewhat vaguely weak to, but it's a one time check to these things. Jellicent is a really interesting pick that I think is trending up - people are straight up not running grass moves on Breloom, and toxic Keldeo seems to be trending down as a wave of Reuniclus and bulky Breloom has come up to counter it. The big play of this game was Dice switching Zam into focus blast from Thundurus. Rather than saving Zam as long as possible, he found an opportunity to entirely shift the momentum and put himself in the driver's seat. Given that he got the focus blast prediction correct, there was a 30% chance of no punishment for the switch at all.

We'll see if people continue to bring the Politoed Keldeo Loom Jirachi Tentacruel Landorus/Thundurus team. It's a really good team but it's not perfect, and running something like sub Thundurus (like the set zf used in week 1, or even without focus blast like Finchinator's set) could go up in usage as it's something that team could easily struggle with.
 

Mannat

jack uzi
is a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Seeing as the BIGs are out of SPL, I wanted to share some new(ish) sets in BW OU that had notable uses during this SPL and recently in BW OU in general. Huge credit to jacob for being a great metagamer to bounce ideas with and helping make sure everyone who got put into BW OU was as knowledgeable as they could be in the provided time.


Ferrothorn @ Leftovers
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 48 Def / 208 SpD
Impish Nature
- Power Whip
- Knock Off
- Spikes
- Worry Seed

Worry seed ferro is a reasonably recent tech that people have adopted for a variety of uses that allows it to circumvent mons that it normally struggles with. The most obvious use for worry seed is that you can click it on the switch to zone or when it sets up sun to avoid getting trapped. Additionally this punishes pheal mons that normally pivot in on ferro for free after they activate their orb, forcing Breloom and Gliscor to take continuous chip. Finally, while it's not necessarily as common, worry seed has been combined with toxic or tspikes on other mons to make ferro not flail against reuni as much, punishing it by forcing continuous chip damage.


Thundurus-Therian @ Leftovers
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 104 HP / 164 Def / 60 SpA / 180 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 2 Atk / 30 Def
- Substitute
- Thunder
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Focus Blast / Agility

Prior to and at the start of SPL, a lot of teams simply relied on constantly attacking into thundy with mons like slam rachi and whip ferro, combined with soft checks like latios and ttar to deal with sub sets. By investing in bulk, this set's subs can't be broken by rachi's slam or ferro's whip, meaning that it can absolutely rail teams that rely on being able to break its subs with these utility mons. I personally prefer focus because you're walled by exca and need an absurd amount of chip to be able to beat ttar and tran without it, but guys like finch have opted for agility over focus to do especially well against rain and offensive teams. Since this set has picked up popularity, a lot of ferros have started using gyro ball to break its subs, so it's not as devastating as it was at the start of SPL, but it's still a very potent set.


Latios (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Draco Meteor
- Surf
- Grass Knot / Psyshock
- Roost

With the revisions to sleep clause, specs stalk latios isn't needed on nearly as many teams, especially dragmag, so other set options have opened up a bit, and Life Orb is one that I'd like to talk about a bit. The main benefit of orb is that you aren't forced to lock into a move against protect spam teams, namely rain with jirachi, and that can be incredibly advantageous because it means that you can surf to try and catch a jirachi switch into protecting waters without worrying about being forced out immediately afterwards. For the third slot, it comes down to a combination of personal preference and team need. The main benefit of gk is that you always 2hko ttar on the switch after rocks, and ~85% of the time straight up, assuming spreads, but it also has some fringe use against gastro and terrak (without sand) without needing to lower your spatk with draco. On the other hand, psyshock basically gives you an OHKO move vs tent, which can be very useful for denying spin and it also has the added benefit of ohkoing keld without dropping spatk and OHKOing terrak with sand up, with all of its other options fail to do.


Breloom @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Poison Heal
EVs: 236 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 16 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Substitute
- Focus Punch

- Seed Bomb
- Protect

SubPunch Breloom is an absolute menace vs a myriad of teams, as they usually rely on offensive pivots like latios and hp fly lando and others to check it. This set punishes those checks by subbing on the switch on an ineffective move against something like ferro and wreaking havoc on these offensive checks with focus punch. This set is a really nice anti-balance tech that can go insane in a lot of games, but it's important to note that some mons like thundy that wouldn't be threats otherwise are going to be harder to deal with since this set invests in attack rather than special defense. In the last slot, but protect is obviously good to scout stuff like specs lati and scarfchomp that can be otherwise annoying to pivot into.

I hope you guys enjoyed my post, and I encourage players from other teams to post about the metagame too! BW this SPL was interesting in more ways than one, with funny events like the pearl raiza mirror match as well as innovative teams and ideas from guys like dice, zf, and caetano, so I'd love to see everyone's thoughts on it!
 

Finchinator

IT'S FINK DUMBASS
is a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributoris a Past WCoP Championis a former Tournament Circuit Champion
OU & NU Leader
Hello!

Over the course of this SPL, I have noticed a lot of new things about BW. Some that others have taken note of well before me and some that are completely fresh takes. Over my ten games, I used a variety of teams that I liked and I was mostly happy with my performance. I also enjoyed the games that others played because I love BW overall. Because of this, I recorded each of them since week 2 (and 2 week 1 games) on my personal YouTube channel. I will be making three posts in this thread: one outlining some creative sets/spreads/moves I utilized over the course of the tournament, one outlining some metagame takes/trends, and one outlining all of the teams I have used and why I used them. Alongside each post I will include ~15 of the 40+ total videos I made as that is the limit for shared media per post.


Week 2 vs Fakes

Thundurus-Therian @ Leftovers
Ability: Volt Absorb
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 104 HP / 164 Def / 64 SpA / 176 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 2 Atk / 30 Def
- Agility
- Thunder
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Substitute

Agility Thundurus-Therian is a great pick in the metagame; Substitute Thundurus-Therian is also a great pick in the metagame. Nobody has ever paired the two up to this point, however. I actually posted the set in the Underrated Sets thread here a bit over a year ago, but it never gained traction or saw official usage. I got to finally bring it out myself in my game against Fakes.

The point of the set is to be able to have the immediate threatening nature of Substitute variants of Thundurus-Therian while retaining the sweeping prowess of Agility Thundurus-Therian. It was able to exhibit this perfectly in my game against Fakes, which is part of why I am highlighting it here. The only dreadful drawbacks are that you are hard-walled by things like Chansey or Gastrodon, which are both quite uncommon now and able to wall Agility sets regardless (honestly, Nasty Plot variants are pressed to break through them as well still). It is true that Excadrill can shrug off the initial assault from this Thundurus-Therian, but offensive Excadrill still takes a large chunk from Hidden Power Ice, cannot kill it quickly, and oftentimes is taking a Knock from Ferrothorn (on every Rain team with this set) in the early-mid game, making it only problematic when facing teams with Excadrill + Magnezone. Ferrothorn is not problematic as it is also a likely Knock target in the inevitable early game Ferrothorn war and can get Tricked/burned very easily. This coupled with it usually not being able to break the substitute and taking decent chunks from Thunder makes it very manageable.

All things considered, this is probably my favorite Thundurus-Therian set right now. I think you could argue that NP or 3A are more consistent, which is why they see more usage, but with minimal support that is oftentimes found on Rain teams regardless that I mentioned above, this set has such high upside and I love using it because of this. There are a number of different spreads I have used on this set and plenty of viable alternatives, but these specific EVs allow for you to outrun Adamant Landorus-Therian and Excadrill while also getting all relevant Choice Scarf users at +2. The HP/defense allows for you to survive Body Slam from Jirachi behind a Substitute, Power Whip from Ferrothorn behind a Substitute, 2 Facade from defensive Breloom or a single +2 Facade from defensive Breloom, -2 Draco Meteor from Choice Specs Latios after Stealth Rock, and Life Orb Toxicroak Ice Punch after Stealth Rock. The special attack is mainly leftover, but it guarantees you OHKO Politoed with the special defense investment to live Choice Specs Latios Draco Meteor, gives you like a 7/8 chance of killing offensive Breloom after SR or Sand damage with HP Ice, and guarantees a 2HKO on max special defense Rotom-Wash after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery.
0 Atk Jirachi Body Slam vs. 104 HP / 164 Def Thundurus-Therian: 68-80 (20.9 - 24.6%) -- possible 6HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 Atk Ferrothorn Power Whip vs. 104 HP / 164 Def Thundurus-Therian: 67-79 (20.6 - 24.3%) -- possible 6HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 Atk Breloom Facade (140 BP) vs. 104 HP / 164 Def Thundurus-Therian: 138-163 (42.4 - 50.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
+2 0 Atk Breloom Facade (140 BP) vs. 104 HP / 164 Def Thundurus-Therian: 275-324 (84.6 - 99.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Life Orb Toxicroak Ice Punch vs. 104 HP / 164 Def Thundurus-Therian: 203-239 (62.4 - 73.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
-2 252 SpA Choice Specs Latios Draco Meteor vs. 104 HP / 0 SpD Thundurus-Therian: 205-243 (63 - 74.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

64+ SpA Thundurus-Therian Thunder vs. 248 HP / 68 SpD Politoed: 384-452 (100.2 - 118%) -- guaranteed OHKO
64+ SpA Thundurus-Therian Hidden Power Ice vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Breloom: 242-286 (92.7 - 109.5%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
64+ SpA Thundurus-Therian Thunder vs. 248 HP / 252+ SpD Rotom-Wash: 142-168 (46.8 - 55.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery


Week 4 vs SoulWind

Seismitoad @ Leftovers
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 248 HP / 228 Def / 32 SpD
Bold Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Scald
- Knock Off
- Refresh

I did NOT come up with Seismitoad. I know people like BKC theorized with it before SPL and dice used it the week before me. However, nobody publicly used Knock Off (although the sample size was pretty limited to just dice at that point) before my game against SoulWind and it seems to have become a standard on it since then. It has gotten to the point where people are using more of a utility variant without Stealth Rock so that they can also fit Earthquake to threaten Jirachi, Heatran, Tyranitar, and Tentacruel more directly while also checking the rare Toxicroak or Protect in order to milk Leftovers and scout Latios. With this said, Knock Off has been finding its way onto Seismitoad sets fairly often and I am happy to see this.

My idea behind including it was that it lets you cripple common pivots such as Ferrothorn, Politoed, Reuniclus, Amoonguss, Jellicent, and any Breloom that did not automatically get their Toxic Orb up. Limiting the survivability of these Pokemon is huge on teams with Seismitoad as they can potentially take advantage of it in their own unique fashion depending upon the circumstances. Ferrothorn and Reuniclus are the biggest targets and crippling them can go a long way towards enacting many gameplans, so keep this in mind whenever using it of course. As for the EV spread, physically defensive makes the most sense on Seismitoad as you soak up common special moves like Water attacks from Keldeo and Electric attacks from Thundurus-T as is, but you are commonly encountering Secret Sword from Keldeo, Earthquake from Landorus-T or Excadrill, and other miscellaneous physical attacks. The physical defense allows for you to survive 2 Close Combat or a single +2 Close Combat from Terrakion, 2 Earthquake from Landorus-T after a layer of Spikes or burn damage, 2 Outrage from Scarf Garchomp after Stealth Rock, 2 Specs Secret Sword from Keldeo when at full without hazards up, and 2 Psychic from Alakazam when at full without hazards up.
252 Atk Terrakion Close Combat vs. 248 HP / 228+ Def Seismitoad: 172-204 (41.6 - 49.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
+2 252 Atk Terrakion Close Combat vs. 248 HP / 228+ Def Seismitoad: 345-406 (83.5 - 98.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Landorus-Therian Earthquake vs. 248 HP / 228+ Def Seismitoad: 157-186 (38 - 45%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after 1 layer of Spikes and Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Garchomp Outrage vs. 248 HP / 228+ Def Seismitoad: 174-205 (42.1 - 49.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Choice Specs Keldeo Secret Sword vs. 248 HP / 228+ Def Seismitoad: 184-217 (44.5 - 52.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Alakazam Psychic vs. 248 HP / 32 SpD Seismitoad: 184-217 (44.5 - 52.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery


Week 6 vs Caetano93

Ferrothorn @ Leftovers
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Spikes
- Knock Off
- Endeavor
- Gyro Ball

During week 6, I used a team with 3 Psychic types. A lot of teams in recent months have made use of these cores that involve stacking Pokemon of the same type that compliment each other in overwhelming or luring counterplay that tends to overlap. However, sometimes teams come with multiple checks to specific types (such as Psychic or Ground) of Pokemon or specific threats that are common (such as Latios, Alakazam, or Reuniclus). Because of this, it is nice to find other ways to potentially lure or cripple these Pokemon in order to reach a threatening position in the long-term. I already had Stealth Rock on my Landorus-Therian and did not find a need to fit Power Whip for Tentacruel, Politoed, or Keldeo with my Latios, Alakazam, and Reuniclus present on a Sand team, so I elected to use Endeavor as my filler move on this Ferrothorn. Endeavor technically lacks a specific scenario in which it is for, but there are countless times in which you can alter your gameplan in order to make use of this to weaken something like Heatran, Excadrill, Tyranitar, etc. that are switching in to you (specifically in Heatran's case) or trying to progressively weaken you while limiting your progress. This has saved me in a number of games over the weeks. Unfortunately, it did not come into play in my game against Caetano93, but I still think this is a very viable option on the right team and I hope more people explore it in the future.

There is nothing to say about the spread beyond the fact that it is one of the few viable Ferrothorn spreads. This team utilized ore of a mixed offensive Tyranitar with speed investment, so I needed to maximize special defense on Ferrothorn here, especially with my team also having defensive Landorus-T for physical attackers. You can still use Endeavor with the other viable spreads and moves, too.

Week 6 vs Caetano93

Reuniclus @ Leftovers
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 2 Atk / 30 Def
- Calm Mind
- Focus Blast
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Recover

This is not the most creative set that will be posted here, let alone the most creative set I will be including in this post. It has actually been used very sporadically over the years and I am not taking credit for it specifically. Eo was the one who told me to use it on this build specifically and he has used it historically. I had Reuniclus on the aforementioned Triple Psychic team and the Calm Mind variant with the attacking moves of Focus Blast and Hidden Power Ice worked wonders. Hidden Power Ice is clutch to hit things like Gliscor, Landorus-T, Garchomp, Latios, and Dragonite. Focus Blast is great, especially with other Psychic types, for Tyranitar and various Steel types. You do get fucked over by Substitute Tentacruel if Rain is able to remain up throughout the battle, but otherwise the drawbacks of lacking Thunder or a Psychic STAB move are not too bad. Another very intriguing dynamic is that if you reveal one of the attacks, opponents automatically assume it is paired with the common compliment (i.e: Hidden Power Ice with Thunder or Focus Blast with Psychic/Psyshock). This can allow for free kills or opponents taking suboptimal routes in attempt to check/counter Reuniclus, giving you openings or progress that you otherwise would not be able to attain.

The EV spread on this is straightforward and standard as well. You can tinker with it in various ways. You can also give it a Life Orb if you wish to increase damage output, but I dislike that on non-PsyFocus variants of Calm Mind Reuniclus as the damage output without many boosts is never going to be overwhelming.

---

I have some other "techs" ranging from surprise moves to new EV spreads, but they either did not get used this SPL or are things I wish to save for the future. These are the most noteworthy and known ones regardless, especially in terms of metagame impact and departures from the previously established norms. I will try to get the second post of the three I outlined above in the near future, but it may be a 1-2 week process to get them all up.
 

Finchinator

IT'S FINK DUMBASS
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OU & NU Leader
As I promised, this would be a three-parter. The second part of this post will discuss some metagame trends and larger implications of it all. I dive into the things that are surging in the current metagame while including some historical perspective and speculate what may be in store for the future on various fronts.




Latios is easily the best Pokemon in the tier. This was the case before this SPL, but the ban of sleep moves solidified this. Not having to run Sleep Talk opens up Choice Specs Latios quite a bit. Not only does Latios now always have the room to run Trick, but it also can run Trick + Recover for longevity against things like Keldeo, Thundurus-T, and Heatran. Alternatively, it can stick with Dragon Pulse in order to have more Dragon PP against Protect Breloom and a spammable move against weatherless offensive teams. On paper, Tyranitar is able to trap Latios, Ferrothorn and Jirachi are able to function as strong checks to Latios, every team has at least one faster Pokemon that can threaten Latios, and Rain teams (aka the ones that lack Tyranitar) tend to have at least 2-3 Protect users to scout out what move it is locking into. Despite all of this, Latios still functions as the most threatening Pokemon in the metagame. Despite all of this, Latios still finds a way to outlast its checks and counters consistently due to Trick, hazard support, progressive wear and tear, and a variety of other measures. Despite all of this, Latios is the undisputed king of the weather generation. In my eyes, you are handicapping yourself on most teams by not using Latios at this point. There are very viable teams without it and you can justify not using it, but you are doing yourself a disservice if you go out of your way to avoid it and even if you expect a Jirachi or a max SDef/Scarf Tyranitar, then you can still make use of Latios both offensively and defensively. I used it 10/10 times during SPL and I do not regret this whatsoever, even when people started to bring out Scizor.

Many people believe Latios is broken in BW OU; I happen to agree with this assessment and have for a number of years (predating the recent sleep ban), but I do not know if I want it banned despite this. The rippling impact a Latios ban would have on the metagame may never truly stop a potential spiral that could involve various periods of relative unbalanced metagame states. Of course, tiering based on this theory and making/not making tiering decisions based solely on fear of a worse future is something to avoid whenever in doubt. However, old generation tiering is unchartered territory and I am unsure if typical conventions of current generation tiering such as these still apply to the same extent. The lack of a dedicated playerbase coupled with the lack of a sample size of high-level battles relative to current generation formats make it so that accounting for consequences of tiering decisions and reacting to future metagame problems is something that is far less possible. Truth be told, I see both sides of the coin. I instinctively lean towards the conservative status quo as I find the current metagame to be both enjoyable and competitive, but I also believe that Latios is broken by textbook definition and there is a possible future metagame that is better without it. This possible future metagame may be an entirely different metagame -- meaning a number of bans over a long period of time -- than the one we have currently and stripping an identity of an old generation is another bit of unchartered territory that we would have to weigh philosophically before acting. I do not know what the best line-of-action is at the end of the day, but I do think that our playerbase should have an open dialogue about this and other matters in the near future.



Landorus-T is another one of the best Pokemon in the current metagame. Personally, I would say it is second to Latios, but you can plausibly put it behind Ferrothorn or Tyranitar if you wish to make those arguments. They all fulfill vastly different roles that are unique and end up impacting every team, be it directly through usage or indirectly through the constructing of different cores around the prospect of their presence on opposing teams. Landorus-T has always been one of the better Pokemon in the metagmae, but for years the Choice Scarf variant dominated the usage stats while the occasional Swords Dance (usually with Fighting Gem) set was thrown in to get some surprise value and breaking power on the right team. This changed drastically in recent months; team structures have shifted to welcome Stealth Rock Leftovers Landorus-T to the party and it is now a staple.

While the other Landorus-T sets are still very viable, with Choice Scarf arguably being as good as ever before even, Stealth Rock Leftovers Landorus-T is peaking at the perfect time. The metagame is filled with Excadrill, Poison Heal Breloom, Tyranitar, and even Gliscor/Garchomp to a lesser extent. Leftovers Landorus-T is able to soft check all of these Pokemon barring unlikely circumstances/sets popping up. Soft checking things while maintaining momentum and having a definitive purpose on teams is pretty much how a Pokemon rises in popularity in BW. Unlike modern generations, there is no Defog, less Regenerator, less Magic Guard, etc. -- BW is largely a no-nonsense metagame in terms of pacing and the gifts of Stealth Rock Leftovers Landorus-T are so rich because of this. Respectable built-in longevity, the ability to reliably set-up Stealth Rock while threatening to kill all common removers, U-turn to pivot out quickly, Hidden Power Ice to make it a nuisance to switch into for many teams, and Earthquake that still is able to hit Ferrothorn/Politoed hard enough to punish their switch-in during the midgame. I used this Landorus-T set during 5 of the last 6 weeks of SPL and this was absolutely no coincidence. I do not think it is mandatory to use to the same degree Latios is, but if you see an opportunity to make use of it then odds are you are going to be well off with it on your team. Of course, other variants are still respectable and can be used similarly to previous BW metagames, which honestly just adds to the already sky high viability of Landorus-T right now.



Breloom was perhaps the Pokemon that had the most questions surrounding it coming into SPL. Would it see a stark decrease in usage due to the loss of Spore, which was one of the best moves in the game? Would people suddenly stop accounting for it, opening the door for Poison Heal sets to wreck havoc? Would it see another shift in viability due to a novel application of it (like my Facade set around last SPL)? The answer to these questions was no, yes, and yes respectively. Breloom not only avoided a decrease in usage, but it shot up into the top 10 in usage for the first time in a little while. It is even higher than this mark in raw viability, too, in my eyes. People did neglect to prepare for conventional Bulk Up and the growing standard of Swords Dance Poison Heal Breloom in early weeks of SPL; it did see a decent amount of usage over this span of time and it experienced success because of this. It and Keldeo are the only top 10 Pokemon with a win% of 60% for good reason. Finally, dice created the Substitute / Protect / Seed Bomb / Focus Punch Breloom set that is very challenging to handle, especially for teams lacking the aforementioned Landorus-T set to slow its progress early game or something like Amoonguss, Reuniclus, or Celebi.

Breloom is such a unique Pokemon because it has always been good, but we have adapted to different uses of it over the years. It has gotten to the point that what Breloom truly is in BW OU has been redefined more than anything else that has been as consistent as it is in BW in any generation of OU prior. I find this phenomenon to be intriguing and I think it just shows that you always need to lean towards the side of overpreparing for it whenever in doubt. During the BW1 days, bulky/grimy Poison Heal sets and even SubPunch were strong. During the BW2 days, Technician took over and honestly ran rampant for a while. During the years following that (aka the XY settling of BW), Breloom still was seen as a top threat, but as this metagame grew stagnant Breloom usage began to decline. In recent years, we have seen a slight uptick due to Poison Heal sets popping back up and also opening up for more surprise factor behind the still potent Technician sets. This got to the point that we banned Spore, but this ban arguably made it even better over the course of SPL, which is honestly crazy. The sheer adaptability and versatility of Breloom over the years is fascinating. Breloom is one of the most interesting Pokemon in BW OU to me because of this. I look forward to seeing how it is used and why moving forward. It is no longer a question if it it will be one of the top few tiers of Pokemon, but now it is simply a question of why it is up there and with what specific sets.



Thundurus-T is another Pokemon that I feel has evolved over the years. Unlike Breloom, the lows it saw were quite low, even to the point where it was something far off the radar in terms of Rain threats to prepare for and seen as more of a niche option than anything else. Nowadays, however, it is one of the most potent threats on Rain teams and bordering staple status on some archetypes. The classic, SoulWind inspired Substitute variants (be it with my personal favorite of Agility from the last post, Nasty Plot which is something SoulWind himself has used to so much success in numerous important settings, or just Focus Blast to make it a huge threat off-the-bat to standard team structures) are superb right now. Substitute avoids having to predict around a lot of switches and it also takes advantage of Ferrothorn, which it encounters in more games than not it seems, and Jirachi, which is seeing a slight increase in usage after years of gradual decline, specifically due to the commonly used defense investment. The fact of the matter is that Thundurus-T Rain is ridiculously consistent right now due to the fact that it has the ability to threaten just about everything outside of some sporadically used stall structures that have their own set of crippling flaws. Rarely have we ever seen a type of Rain team that has so few drawbacks and so much consistency that inspires user confidence to this degree. I think SoulWind, myself, and others resorting to it on such a frequent basis is a direct testament to this, too. I personally only used it once this SPL, which is honestly a ridiculous undersell of how much I normally use it, but I did break the bad boy out during WCOP over the last couple of years and intend to again moving forward in some other important setting. Thundurus-T was a top 20 Pokemon and should probably be within the top 15 now. It is winning >60% of its games and while the sample size is small, the users who feel highly about it are some of the best players and this is just not a coincidence. The win rate is similarly not a coincidence.



Scizor is an anti-metagame pick that has been receiving more usage than before recently. It is true that "before" did not set a high bar as it was virtually unseen in the tier for a couple of years, but the zf-inspired bandwagon seems to be well on its way to metagame-trend land. I do not have a ton to say on this Pokemon when compared to those listed above because I do not use it much, I have been outspoken against it at various points in the past, and it is simply less viable than all of the aforementioned Pokemon. However, I will say that I do see why it is worth considering. A ton of people are running double -- even sometimes triple -- Psychic and the match-up improvement with Scizor over an alternative is drastic. Even if you do not encounter this specifically, Latios alone is common enough to where you can see the merit of having it on some Rain builds (weatherless is a far harder sell for me, however). I do feel that teams with Scizor are inevitably going to have some trade-off flaws as Scizor fills a specific role that you still need to cover elsewhere through a secondary Steel if you do not go crazy like zf did against me, which I would not personally advise as there is far too much risk in this to find consistency. With this said, the upside can outweigh the negative end of the trade-offs and I hope that people see this, explore with it more, and we can get a clearer picture of Scizor's overall viability in the current metagame. It has been dormant for years and seeing another Pokemon in the mixture in old generations is always a positive in my eyes.

The third and final leg of this will likely be delayed by a bit as going through ten teams and discussing my entire process takes a while. I am also moving back home on Wednesday, so that will be a dead day when it comes to making progress. It is in the works and will come in the near future though, so do not worry.
 
Hey everyone

As SPL has ended for my team, I wanted to drop the teams I used throughout this SPL with a brief explanation behind them v my opponents. Feel free to take these teams and make ur own EV spreads! Special thanks to the people who tested with me throughout the season and to my team that made my first SPL a positive experience and so memorable. Im going to do this in 3-4 game increments throughout a span of a few days so that I won't get sloppy writing all of this at once.

Week 1 vs Dice https://pokepast.es/a1cb70e7ae482643
Going into this game I knew Dice was probably gonna be the most difficult guy to prep for this season as he is known to bring creative teams but since it was w1 I expected something standard with his own twist to the team which is why I went with a common metagame team that I knew I was pretty solid at playing vs most matchups while usually being able to get a neutral matchup. The team itself is pretty straight forward with the wincon being cm Reuniclus. My only tweak to the team was making Reuniclus focus blast + psychic rather than Thunder + HP ice because of Dice's high Excadrill usage. Overall the game went as well as it possibly could have and I was pretty happy with my plays in this one.

Week 2 vs Raiza https://pokepast.es/65f4c93e27a629df
Until this point I had used sand in every official BW game going back to my Smogon Tour series vs Adri so I wanted to switch things up and go with a rain team. My initial idea was to incorporate hp flying thunder Zapdos into the team over lando t to counter Breloom as Breloom was a strong metagame pick and usually rain teams were a bit weak to Breloom with the common core of defensive Politoad, Tentacruel, Ferro/Rachi having a hard time dealing with Breloom. Ultimately I decided against Zapdos because it was a free lefties excadrill switchin everytime I played it which would result in me losing momentum in many of my test games. I opted for seed bomb Breloom since my team was incredible weak to Jellicent and I couldn't risk having Breloom and Keldeo being completely shut down by Jellicent since I decided to not bring a hard hitter such as Latios and Thundy/Torn. I am a huge fan of wish tect rachi in the metagame with the absurd Latios usage but don't do what I did and run it on a build like this. Since Latios no longer has to run sleep talk, it usually uses trick as the 4th move which completely cripples wish tect rachi so the only way I suggest a set like this to be ran is if you have a secondary steel or majority of ur mons have protect to scout if the Latios clicks an attack or tricks. I would have been fine in the actual game if I had protect Politoad rather than Rest Talk.The rest of the team is pretty straightforward to patch some holes and cover common threats. Not gonna lie this was probably the worst team I used all SPL and definitely the worst BW game I played this season. I learned a valuable lesson from this game that I used going into future weeks.

Week 3 vs Finch https://pokepast.es/bb94e017d30acec6
After last weeks performance, I really wanted to win this game to get back on track. This was probably the game I spent the most time on this whole season and I went through a lot of different ideas and watched a bunch of replays from finch to get an idea of what he likes to use. I noticed a few trends of finch's common teams which really inspired me to make a triple psychic build consisting of Zam Reun and Latios to overwhelm his "psychic" check. The first set on this team was Latios, rather than a specs variant I wanted to use a flame orb set to catch ttar ferro or rachi which would help my other 2 psychics later in the match. Even if this didn't go to plan and I tricked something else, I knew having roost latios would be beneficial vs his common Keldeo Thundy T teams. The 2nd Psychic type was Reuniclus and I saw how deadly a trick room set was vs Finch as he liked popular metagame mons which didn't appreciate Trick Room especially if one of them got tricked a flame orb by Latios. My final psychic type was Alakazam and the sets pretty standard with HP Ice + Psychic + Focus Blast. After settling on these 3 psychics I needed to fill the holes so I went with a common core of Ferrothorn, Lando T, and Tyranitar for hazards and synergy. I was super confident with this team and it was a lot of fun to play in test games and even though I lost this match in a close fashion this was my favorite team I made this whole SPL and one of my favorite battles from it.

Thanks for reading, feel free to hit me up if you wanna discuss anything.
 
Week 4 vs Caetano https://pokepast.es/00c9b1995710fc38
Based off the past 3 weeks, I noticed how weak Caetano's sand builds were to spe def skarm so that is what I wanted to get a team around. I really became a huge fan of lefties sand force drill in the past few weeks and I thought a standard sand build would be effective vs Caetano or a offensive rain team, but since this was a busy week I sorta just went with a build im comfortable with in breloom sand. Im gonna be honest, I made a rookie mistake this week by being underprepared for dragmag and it showed through this game. At this point I was very unhappy with my performance through this season and it didn't help that our team was struggling too. My record was 1-3 but I wasn't worried because I made considerable mistakes up until this point.

Week 5 vs Jacob https://pokepast.es/5e4d9d1cca0ded4e
I didn't have that much to go off Jacob's preferences in BW besides older replays but I didn't wanna focus too heavily on trying to get a cteam since I was in a slump. I decided to watch replays of notable BW players and I remembered McMeghan used a team vs me in Smogon Tour Quarters with the exact 6 I used vs Jacob but with Amoongus over Celebi and I really liked the idea of Gliscor + Magnezone. Upon further thoughts I noticed that gastrodon was quite effective vs most of the SPL builds by various players throughout this season. Based off this I became sold on the team and debated different variants of the build with the common core of Gliscor/Tyranitar/Excadrill/Magnezone. In the end I settled with Celebi + Gastrodon for more of a defensive approach for the popular rain teams and breloom. I was pretty happy with my team choice in this game as gastrodon was a major threat to his build and even though I ended up misplaying a little at the end after playing a solid early game I was able to win this one in a close manner.

Week 6 vs Steve https://pokepast.es/e7dcfda17a9868aa
I used 4 sands and 1 rain until this point and I knew that I needed to switch up my team choices to keep my opponents guessing. I started to get more help from Ojama from this point on as well and he actually gave me this team but with a offensive politoed. I had no intention of using this team until an hour before the actual game because I was more comfortable with other rain builds but I made a change to defensive Politoed and I really noticed how solid the build was in general and decided to roll with it. I used my first Torn I this week too hoping to catch Steve off guard and at team preview it looks just as effective as I had thought. I did get a bit lucky this game with the confusion on Tyranitar but I thought I played a fine game for the most part and I started to become more confident and comfortable with nerves during the game.
 
Well, following finch example, i'm posting some of the techs me and my team mates cooked for this SPL. Some are goods, some are bad, but all are funny in the end. Have fun trying it on your own.

Week 1 x Zokuru:

1585256458578.png

Latios (M) @ Colbur Berry
Ability: Levitate
Happiness: 0
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Draco Meteor
- Surf
- Recover
- Psycho Shift

Latios with his focus on a support role. Even that his best set is a Specs one, in a team with double grass and one being SubPunch Breloom we need good ways to check Heatran outside of Rotom-W. Colbur Berry is to ensure that i can still have my Lati if i lost the Pursuit 50/50 with Tyranitar (and it can even allow me to kill something with it AND still keep Lati alive after Ttar comes to trap it). Psycho Shift is a cool tech that allows me to absorb scalds and WoW and then burn an unexpected Ttar. Worked wonders in the test games but sadly Zokuru bringed a rain team... Well, at least i still grabed the win in the game after my brainfart x hp fly lando...

Week 2 x Dice:

1585256999115.png

Dragonite @ Fighting Gem
Ability: Multiscale
EVs: 24 Atk / 252 SpA / 232 Spe
Mild Nature
- Hurricane
- Thunder
- Superpower
- Agility


Dragonite in rain teams aren't a new tech. It was pretty common to be frank in the sleep meta. Howerver the tech here that Alexander helped cooking is a Special one to destroy standart sand. Hurricane is nuts and damages almost every mon in the tier. Thunder is a good spamable move and can force yellow magic. The inovation comes with Superpower + Fight Gem to nuke away oposing Ttars, Ferrothorns and Excadrills. God, this worked so nice in the team tests. Agility ensures i'm faster than any mon up to scarf chomp and can easily be swapped by Extremespeed (both work well, just funbction in diferent MUs). For my absolute horror, Dice bought a Zapdos and a SpDef Hippo to our game and Dragonite did nothing at all...

Week 3 x Raiza:

1585257695318.png

Latios (M) @ Fire Gem
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 2 Atk / 30 SpA / 30 Spe
- Draco Meteor
- Surf
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Recover

How i was crucified by the BWers because of this tech. The crucial idea is that i was playing with a spinless team with a Jirachi. I could not aford any free spikes or i will be in a very bad spot (even if i trick a specs to a ferro, the free spikes still sucks a lot). After testing a lot with Rewer, we decided that LO was not giving us the damage necessary and we swaped it for Fire Gem and the team rocked to the skies. THIS ISN'T A TECH THAT WORK IN EVERY TEAM. It's just e team need because of it weakness to spikes.

1585257997382.png

Garchomp @ Life Orb
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 30 Spe
- Draco Meteor
- Earthquake
- Fire Blast
- Hidden Power [Ice]

Raiza love for fat sand is a well know fact and because of that, instead of the SR in the 4th slot, i decided to go with HP Ice to nails a good HKO in his Landos / Gliscors as i almost never use ChainChomp (scarf chomp still is my favorite chomp). Nothing to big or game changing but HP Chomp is never espected by thye great majority of the players.

Week 6 x Finchinator:

1585258222304.png

Terrakion @ Life Orb
Ability: Justified
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
IVs: 30 HP / 30 Def
- Close Combat
- Stone Edge
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Quick Attack

After almost 2 years with Protect Terrak being the standart move for SD / LO sets, i and the rest of the Ruinners builders thinked in making a small change. Quick Attack have a great utility for finishing a weak Latios, Keldeo, Tornadus and especialy breaking Alakazam Sash. This Terrak have the most dangerus set atm in my option because he have literaly 0 switchs in if predicted correctly.

Week 9 x zf:

1585258646648.png

Salamence @ Dragon Gem
Ability: Moxie
EVs: 24 HP / 252 Atk / 44 SpA / 188 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 30 Spe
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Dragon Dance
- Hidden Power [Ice]

Dragon Dance Mence in a DragMag, nothing new. What i wanted to show this week was the ability to destroy standart Ttar Sand structures that uses Lando / Gliscor as a def wall. EVs make HP Ice have an very high 1HKO in max HP Lando (no SR) and to 2HKO SpDef Gliscor with Protect.

Final x Raiza:

1585258940591.png

Garchomp @ Dragon Gem
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Substitute

SD chomp in Rain is a very popular choice for agressive oriented players. The big diference here is that i decided to not use the traditional Water Gem + Aqua Tail combo to have a much better Rotom-W MU subing in his WoW and then wrecking havoc with SD Dragon Gem. It removed a Gliscor from play before being revenge killed by a Latios but i was very happy to make a good use of it (forcing Latios to Dragon Pulse showed me that he lacked recover and this makes me plan much better the end game).
 

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