SPL XI - Commencement Thread

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The Dragonspiral Tyrants have been one of SPL's best franchises over the past couple of years. Hogg and reyscarface always manage to put together perennial title contenders; last year's squad was the first one in the history of SPL to not have a single below .500 player in the starting lineup. Despite their two impressive drafts in SPL IX and SPL X, however, the Tyrants had 0 hardware to show for it. In SPL IX, reyscarface perhaps overthought his tiebreak choices a bit, choosing to send out z0mOG over his team's ace player, blunder. The team fell to the Raiders in the semifinals, losing both tiebreak games; in z0m's infamous live-recording of his match with BKC, he wondered aloud whether BKC's Zygarde could be Weakness Policy...after clicking HP Ice with his Landorus-T. This was a sad end to an otherwise great season for the team. The team looked to build upon their success last year, and looked to be in cruise control for almost all of the season. They managed to amass a 6-2 lead in the finals, before their players slowly withered under the pressure, allowing the Ruiners to tie up the series at 6 games a piece. Smogon's greatest duo, 2019 lax and Lavos, would not let the Tyrants off the hook, as each of them won their games and propelled the Ruiners to a major upset over one of the best teams ever constructed. Expectations were thus naturally high going into this season, and pretty much everyone expected the Tyrants to be favorites for the trophy before the auction had even taken place. Personally, I was nearly certain that I would be enamored with the Tyrants roster; reyscarface, despite his lack of titles, is definitely one of the best SPL drafters of all time. His teams are always remarkable on-paper, and it felt inevitable that his drafting prowess would eventually be rewarded with a trophy. Would the Tyrants finally earn their much-coveted ring in SPL XI?



The Tyrants entered the auction with 3 solid retains: blunder, marcop, and Troller. blunder would be the franchise's cornerstone for yet another season, as the team gobbled up his hefty 28.5k retain fee with no hesitation. It's hard to predict how much blunder would have been in the normal auction, but the general consensus was that that retain was a sensible one. bro fist wound up being 26k in the auction, so its conceivable that the Tyrants could have saved a few thousand dollars by letting blunder go to the open market; however, it was also equally likely that both his and bro fist's prices would exceed 30k in the auction. So, all in all, this was a fine retain. The team's next retain provided them with some much-needed value. marcop was only 11.5k, which felt like a steal considering his past performances in ADV coupled with the rather dire state of the ADV playerbase. This was one of the best retains available. The team's final retain was Troller, whom they purchased for 11k. You all know that I'm not a big fan of spending too much on RBY; that being said, Troller was the consensus best RBY player going into the draft. 11k isn't too crazy of a sum to acquire the best player in a given tier, so even I was fine with this retain. The Tyrants' retain core propped them up for success heading into the draft, and raised expectations for the franchise to an even loftier state.

The team started off the auction by taking their other franchise player, CBB, for 22k. CBB was widely regarded as the best ORAS player in SPL, with the pool expected to be an absolute dumpster fire. CBB isn't really known for being a sheet warrior, but the dire state of the player pool coupled with his high skill level made this a solid selection for the price. The team then took Heist, now known as 'The Grand Babido,' for 11.5k. Unlike the Troller selection, I wasn't too enthused by this pick. I'm not a big fan of spending too much on the thinking gen; even though Heist is one of the best DPP players ever, 11.5k felt like too steep a price tag for someone with hardly any recent results. As we have seen time and time again this SPL, the crust rule should not be underestimated. Regardless, I figured rey could easily recuperate some of the potential lost value in this selection later on, so I wasn't too worried.

The team then picked up Luthier for 7k; he was coming off a solid debut tour in Snake, and was widely considered to be one of the top LCers going into the tour. This felt like a fine selection. The team then selected ima for 8.5k, who was coming off a breakout tour in Snake. I never drank the ima kool-aid, but this price wasn't too crazy, so it seemed like a decent enough selection. The Tyrants then picked up GarytheGengar for 4k, which felt very strange considering the fact that the team had already acquired Heist for DPP. Little did we know that these two, along with eden and Descending, who the team would take for 6k combined a little later on, would be the trade package for one of the best players of all time, Ojama. Ojama was purchased by the BIGs for a price far below his actual value due to his rather abrasive personality; he was naturally miffed at the prospect of having to play for the BIGs, so he essentially forced them to trade him to the Tyrants for ima, Gary, and some filler characters. This trade was probably the most lopsided exchange in the history of SPL; the Tyrants were making off with one of the best players of all time for only 18.5k in draft value.

The team selected John W next for 5.5k. He had done well in the most recent Smogon Tour, and many people were hyped about his odds to succeed on the big stage. I was a bit more dubious, but it seemed like a fine pick for the money. The Tyrants then selected Floppy for 3k to play GSC; at his peak, Floppy was only a mediocre player. Could he really put forth even a decent showing on the big stage while under the clutches of the crust rule? The likelihood of Floppy succeeding seemed abysmal; that being said, he was only 3k would be going up against a rather pitiful GSC pool, so this pick seemed defensible in a vacuum. marilli was next off the board for the team; he was only 3.5k due to a hiatus, and had performed well in Doubles in past tours, so this felt like a solid pick. The Tyrants rounded out the draft by taking ict, Nat, CTC, Christo, and starry. Nat and Christo would be starting in SS OU; there was no evidence that either of these lower tier mainers could succeed in OU, so I was a bit skeptical of their ability to notch wins on the big stage. They were both apparently tearing up the ladder, though, and considering that they were only 6k combined, both players felt like decent selections.

After the draft, the Tyrants felt like one of the strongest teams in the tour. The community would not sit idly by and let the team walk all over, though. The masses were outraged at the Ojama fiasco, and demanded his immediate tourban. One policy review thread and countless hours of Discord discussion later, and Ojama was forcibly ejected from SPL. Instead of having a legendary player on their team, the tyrants were left with ima, Gary, and two fodder slots. Despite still being one of the tournament favorites, the Ojama decision had without question significantly lowered their ceiling. Luckily for the Tyrants, though, another one of the BIG's superstars, TDK, was also distraught. The thought of playing for the BIGs sent shivers down his spine, and the team eventually agreed to ship TDK off to the Tyrants for the same package they had received in the Ojama trade. TDK was slumping mightily heading into this tour, so this move wasn't as slam-dunk of a deal as the Ojama trade. Nonetheless, it was still pretty clearly a win for the Tyrants, with TDK's teambuilding prowess expected to bolster the team's cheap SS OU core and propel them to the trophy. The team was ranked 1st overall in the official Power Rankings by a decent and first in my rankings as well; they were once again the favorites to win SPL.

Things would not start out so hot for the squad, though. Their Week 1 series against a pretty mediocre Raiders team was a challenging one that pushed the team to its limit, albeit with a fair amount of luck on the Raiders' side. The series eventually came down to Floppy of all people having to face off against Earthworm; if Floppy lost, the Tyrants would start off the season 0-1 against some pretty inferior competition. Almost no one expected anything of Floppy; the formerly mediocre player had basically been nonexistent on the big stage for years, and he was going up against Earthworm, a veteran like Floppy who, at one point, was considered to be the best player of all time. Could this journeyman crust player really bail the team out in its time of need? Well...kind of? LOL Floppy vs. Earthworm was pretty one-sided for most of it, with Earthworm firmly in control for the majority of the game. However, even legends aren't immune to the crust rule. Earthworm completely fell apart down the stretch, letting Floppy set up his CurseLax, which swept Earthworm's team and salvaged a tie for the Tyrants. Perhaps Floppy wasn't going to be the liability everyone assumed he would be.

The team smashed the Classiest 9-3 next week, with Floppy notching another win and proving that he may be viable after all. Just when it looked like the Tyrants were ready to be a juggernaut, though, things fell apart. The team was unable to best the Cryonicles, falling to 1-1-1 on the season. In addition to this, one of their SS OU players, Nat, tilted off the face of the planet after losing to Eo. Nat was always known to be a tilt-prone, and after an 0-3 start, it was rather unsurprising to see her quit so early into the season. The team was left with no choice but to turn to the basedlord himself in Week 4. However, as we know all too well, the crust rule should not be underestimated. CTC got smashed by Empo, and the Tyrants fell to to the upstart Ruiners 8-4. One of the team's star players, CBB, was also struggling mightily, amassing only one measly win in 4 weeks against a pool of players that was expected to be downright terrible. Suddenly, it seemed as if the season was in jeopardy. If the Tyrants fell to the revitalized MAGMA BIGs in Week 5, the season would almost assuredly be over.

With the season seemingly in the balance, though, the Tyrants' players showed that they had the hearts of champions, They managed to take down the BIGs 7-5. The rest of the season would prove to be absolute cakewalk for the team, as they would easily win the next 4 weeks and claim their spot in the playoffs. The players that took them there, though, were a bit...surprising. The team was being hard carried by Heist, Luthier, Floppy, and Christo. Troller and marcop were both also 6-3; however, the team's superstar Jerk players, CBB, blunder, and TDK, weren't performing too well. CBB did manage to salvage his poor record by the end of the season, ending on a hot streak that saw him go 4-0 in the finals 4 weeks of the season. Still, 5-4 is still rather poor for a 22k player. TDK was only 4-3, while blunder was somehow two games below .500 at 3-5. The playoffs are a different animal compared to the regular season. The team would almost certainly need their superstar players to perform if they wanted to win the trophy. Nevertheless, the fact that the team was able to cruise to the first seed despite their Jerk players failing them is a testament to the squad's unmatched depth. If CBB, TDK, and blunder could perform to expectations for 2 weeks, the Tyrants would almost certainly acquire those coveted red pixels by the end of the tournament.

The Tyrants squared off with the team that had conquered them in last year's finals, the Ruiners, in Round 1. This match-up looked to be relatively even on paper, so the Tyrants would almost assuredly need their 3 Jerk musketeers to propel them to the finals. The Tyrants started off the series with a bang, collecting their free donation in RBY as the Ruiners willingly sacrificed the slot by sending in an unviable player to face off against Troller. The Tyrants would not be so fortunate in the next game, though; an untimely Draco Meteor crit on John W's Celebi (yes, he used a Celebi in 2020 BW OU, but that's neither here nor there) spelled doom for the Tyrants, as Dr. Caetano leveled the series at 1 each. The team looked to one of their superstars, blunder, to help them retake the lead. However, he was unable to defeat the newly-ascended GOATDRA, who had smashed his competition up to that point en route to an 8-1 record. The team now turned to the basedlord, whose skills had clearly decayed a fair bit from his heyday, courtesy of the crust rule. CTC was in prime position to level the series at 2; just when everyone in the stadium was certain about the game's outcome however, the crust rule reared its ugly head yet again. CTC committed arguably the worst choke of his entire career, donating the game as if he was one of those Red Cross members he had laughed at many years ago. Choking one game in a tight series can spell doom even for the best teams. After qsns claimed a big lead in his game against marilli, the series looked to be over. However, the gods were not going to let the Tyrants, the pinnacle of consistency over the past few seasons, be eliminated so easily. They gave marilli not one, not two...but THREE freezes against qsns, allowing him to cruise to the victory and keep the Tyrants afloat.

This East-esque plot armor was not enough to save the franchise, however. Christo's team was ravaged by Empo's Chandelure, and it was clear that the season was slipping away from the Tyrants. Luckily, the team still had 2 of their superstar players, TDK and CBB, remaining. TDK could not get past his fellow Jerk comrade FLCL, though, as the former lower tier mainer pushed the Ruiners lead to 5-2. Things were looking more dire by the second, as every game remaining in the series was relatively close on-paper; the Tyrants had no big edges left, and were staring at a 3-game deficit. marcop was the next to the fall, as he was unable to topple Prinz's Suicune. Now facing match-point, it was only fitting that CBB, the final one of the Tyrants' three Jerk musketeers, stepped up to the plate. The victory looked to be within his grasp, as he demolished Raptor for the majority of the game. However, an untimely Thunder Punch para allowed Raptor to seize victory from the jaws of defeat with the help of his trust Manaphy, propelling the Ruiners to the finals and sending the Tyrants crashing out of the playoffs for the third season in a row.

The Tyrants were once again unable to seal the deal after an amazing regular season. The franchise seems to always fall short when the stakes are at their highest; no matter how good of a roster reyscarface is able to create, it seems as though the stars just never align for him. I honestly don't even know what to criticize the Tyrants' management for. The only draft move I disagreed with was their decision to purchase Heist for 11.5k, but he managed to blow my expectations out of the water and go 7-2. The Floppy move panned out in spectacular fashion as well. The Tyrants were clearly the best on-paper roster by the end of the regular season; they were just unable to bring home the trophy. The team's three superstar players, blunder, TDK, and CBB, all underperformed relative to expectations; none of them were able to even finish positive in this tour, and all three lost in the semifinals. I can't really blame reyscarface for drafting any of these players, especially since the Tyrants managed to acquired TDK for pennies on the dollar. The Tyrants will almost assuredly continue to be perennial contenders under reyscarface's leadership; one would think that the franchise will eventually win the trophy. The fact that these three amazing rosters were unable to amass one trophy between them is rather insane, though, at least to me. Perhaps the franchise is destined to never succeed. That being said, it would be absurd to count out such a great drafter. I believe that the Tyrants will notch their first SPL victory in the near future. However, three years of playoff heartbreak definitely makes the future a bit more murky than it should be.
 
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The Dragonspiral Tyrants have been one of SPL's best franchises over the past couple of years. Hogg and reyscarface always manage to put together perennial title contenders; last year's squad was the first one in the history of SPL to not have a single below .500 player in the starting lineup. Despite their two impressive drafts in SPL IX and SPL X, however, the Tyrants had 0 hardware to show for it. In SPL IX, reyscarface perhaps overthought his tiebreak choices a bit, choosing to send out z0mOG over his team's ace player, blunder. The team fell to the Raiders in the semifinals, losing both tiebreak games; in z0m's infamous live-recording of his match with BKC, he wondered aloud whether BKC's Zygarde could be Weakness Policy...after clicking HP Ice with his Landorus-T. This was a sad end to an otherwise great season for the team. The team looked to build upon their success last year, and looked to be in cruise control for almost all of the season. They managed to amass a 6-2 lead in the finals, before their players slowly withered under the pressure, allowing the Ruiners to tie up the series at 6 games a piece. Smogon's greatest duo, 2019 lax and Lavos, would not let the Tyrants off the hook, as each of them won their games and propelled the Ruiners to a major upset over one of the best teams ever constructed. Expectations were thus naturally high going into this season, and pretty much everyone expected the Tyrants to be favorites for the trophy before the auction had even taken place. Personally, I was nearly certain that I would be enamored with the Tyrants roster; reyscarface, despite his lack of titles, is definitely one of the best SPL drafters of all time. His teams are always remarkable on-paper, and it felt inevitable that his drafting prowess would eventually be rewarded with a trophy. Would the Tyrants finally earn their much-coveted ring in SPL XI?



The Tyrants entered the auction with 3 solid retains: blunder, marcop, and Troller. blunder would be the franchise's cornerstone for yet another season, as the team gobbled up his hefty 28.5k retain fee with no hesitation. It's hard to predict how much blunder would have been in the normal auction, but the general consensus was that that retain was a sensible one. bro fist wound up being 26k in the auction, so its conceivable that the Tyrants could have saved a few thousand dollars by letting blunder go to the open market; however, it was also equally likely that both his and bro fist's prices would exceed 30k in the auction. So, all in all, this was a fine retain. The team's next retain provided them with some much-needed value. marcop was only 11.5k, which felt like a steal considering his past performances in ADV coupled with the rather dire state of the ADV playerbase. This was one of the best retains available. The team's final retain was Troller, whom they purchased for 11k. You all know that I'm not a big fan of spending too much on RBY; that being said, Troller was the consensus best RBY player going into the draft. 11k isn't too crazy of a sum to acquire the best player in a given tier, so even I was fine with this retain. The Tyrants' retain core propped them up for success heading into the draft, and raised expectations for the franchise to an even loftier state.

The team started off the auction by taking their other franchise player, CBB, for 22k. CBB was widely regarded as the best ORAS player in SPL, with the pool expected to be an absolute dumpster fire. CBB isn't really known for being a sheet warrior, but the dire state of the player pool coupled with his high skill level made this a solid selection for the price. The team then took Heist, now known as 'The Grand Babido,' for 11.5k. Unlike the Troller selection, I wasn't too enthused by this pick. I'm not a big fan of spending too much on the thinking gen; even though Heist is one of the best DPP players ever, 11.5k felt like too steep a price tag for someone with hardly any recent results. As we have seen time and time again this SPL, the crust rule should not be underestimated. Regardless, I figured rey could easily recuperate some of the potential lost value in this selection later on, so I wasn't too worried.

The team then picked up Luthier for 7k; he was coming off a solid debut tour in Snake, and was widely considered to be one of the top LCers going into the tour. This felt like a fine selection. The team then selected ima for 8.5k, who was coming off a breakout tour in Snake. I never drank the ima kool-aid, but this price wasn't too crazy, so it seemed like a decent enough selection. The Tyrants then picked up GarytheGengar for 4k, which felt very strange considering the fact that the team had already acquired Heist for DPP. Little did we know that these two, along with eden and Descending, who the team would take for 6k combined a little later on, would be the trade package for one of the best players of all time, Ojama. Ojama was purchased by the BIGs for a price far below his actual value due to his rather abrasive personality; he was naturally miffed at the prospect of having to play for the BIGs, so he essentially forced them to trade him to the Tyrants for ima, Gary, and some filler characters. This trade was probably the most lopsided exchange in the history of SPL; the Tyrants were making off with one of the best players of all time for only 18.5k in draft value.

The team selected John W next for 5.5k. He had done well in the most recent Smogon Tour, and many people were hyped about his odds to succeed on the big stage. I was a bit more dubious, but it seemed like a fine pick for the money. The Tyrants then selected Floppy for 3k to play GSC; at his peak, Floppy was only a mediocre player. Could he really put forth even a decent showing on the big stage while under the clutches of the crust rule? The likelihood of Floppy succeeding seemed abysmal; that being said, he was only 3k would be going up against a rather pitiful GSC pool, so this pick seemed defensible in a vacuum. marilli was next off the board for the team; he was only 3.5k due to a hiatus, and had performed well in Doubles in past tours, so this felt like a solid pick. The Tyrants rounded out the draft by taking ict, Nat, CTC, Christo, and starry. Nat and Christo would be starting in SS OU; there was no evidence that either of these lower tier mainers could succeed in OU, so I was a bit skeptical of their ability to notch wins on the big stage. They were both apparently tearing up the ladder, though, and considering that they were only 6k combined, both players felt like decent selections.

After the draft, the Tyrants felt like one of the strongest teams in the tour. The community would not sit idly by and let the team walk all over, though. The masses were outraged at the Ojama fiasco, and demanded his immediate tourban. One policy review thread and countless hours of Discord discussion later, and Ojama was forcibly ejected from SPL. Instead of having a legendary player on their team, the tyrants were left with ima, Gary, and two fodder slots. Despite still being one of the tournament favorites, the Ojama decision had without question significantly lowered their ceiling. Luckily for the Tyrants, though, another one of the BIG's superstars, TDK, was also distraught. The thought of playing for the BIGs sent shivers down his spine, and the team eventually agreed to ship TDK off to the Tyrants for the same package they had received in the Ojama trade. TDK was slumping mightily heading into this tour, so this move wasn't as slam-dunk of a deal as the Ojama trade. Nonetheless, it was still pretty clearly a win for the Tyrants, with TDK's teambuilding prowess expected to bolster the team's cheap SS OU core and propel them to the trophy. The team was ranked 1st overall in the official Power Rankings by a decent and first in my rankings as well; they were once again the favorites to win SPL.

Things would not start out so hot for the squad, though. Their Week 1 series against a pretty mediocre Raiders team was a challenging one that pushed the team to its limit, albeit with a fair amount of luck on the Raiders' side. The series eventually came down to Floppy of all people having to face off against Earthworm; if Floppy lost, the Tyrants would start off the season 0-1 against some pretty inferior competition. Almost no one expected anything of Floppy; the formerly mediocre player had basically been nonexistent on the big stage for years, and he was going up against Earthworm, a veteran like Floppy who, at one point, was considered to be the best player of all time. Could this journeyman crust player really bail the team out in its time of need? Well...kind of? LOL Floppy vs. Earthworm was pretty one-sided for most of it, with Earthworm firmly in control for the majority of the game. However, even legends aren't immune to the crust rule. Earthworm completely fell apart down the stretch, letting Floppy set up his CurseLax, which swept Earthworm's team and salvaged a tie for the Tyrants. Perhaps Floppy wasn't going to be the liability everyone assumed he would be.

The team smashed the Classiest 9-3 next week, with Floppy notching another win and proving that he may be viable after all. Just when it looked like the Tyrants were ready to be a juggernaut, though, things fell apart. The team was unable to best the Cryonicles, falling to 1-1-1 on the season. In addition to this, one of their SS OU players, Nat, tilted off the face of the planet after losing to Eo. Nat was always known to be a tilt-prone, and after an 0-3 start, it was rather unsurprising to see her quit so early into the season. The team was left with no choice but to turn to the basedlord himself in Week 4. However, as we know all too well, the crust rule should not be underestimated. CTC got smashed by Empo, and the Tyrants fell to to the upstart Ruiners 8-4. One of the team's star players, CBB, was also struggling mightily, amassing only one measly win in 4 weeks against a pool of players that was expected to be downright terrible. Suddenly, it seemed as if the season was in jeopardy. If the Tyrants fell to the revitalized MAGMA BIGs in Week 5, the season would almost assuredly be over.

With the season seemingly in the balance, though, the Tyrants' players showed that they had the hearts of champions, They managed to take down the BIGs 7-5. The rest of the season would prove to be absolute cakewalk for the team, as they would easily win the next 4 weeks and claim their spot in the playoffs. The players that took them there, though, were a bit...surprising. The team was being hard carried by Heist, Luthier, Floppy, and Christo. Troller and marcop were both also 6-3; however, the team's superstar Jerk players, CBB, blunder, and TDK, weren't performing too well. CBB did manage to salvage his poor record by the end of the season, ending on a hot streak that saw him go 4-0 in the finals 4 weeks of the season. Still, 5-4 is still rather poor for a 22k player. TDK was only 4-3, while blunder was somehow two games below .500 at 3-5. The playoffs are a different animal compared to the regular season. The team would almost certainly need their superstar players to perform if they wanted to win the trophy. Nevertheless, the fact that the team was able to cruise to the first seed despite their Jerk players failing them is a testament to the squad's unmatched depth. If CBB, TDK, and blunder could perform to expectations for 2 weeks, the Tyrants would almost certainly acquire those coveted red pixels by the end of the tournament.

The Tyrants squared off with the team that had conquered them in last year's finals, the Ruiners, in Round 1. This match-up looked to be relatively even on paper, so the Tyrants would almost assuredly need their 3 Jerk musketeers to propel them to the finals. The Tyrants started off the series with a bang, collecting their free donation in RBY as the Ruiners willingly sacrificed the slot by sending in an unviable player to face off against Troller. The Tyrants would not be so fortunate in the next game, though; an untimely Draco Meteor crit on John W's Celebi (yes, he used a Celebi in 2020 BW OU, but that's neither here nor there) spelled doom for the Tyrants, as Dr. Caetano leveled the series at 1 each. The team looked to one of their superstars, blunder, to help them retake the lead. However, he was unable to defeat the newly-ascended GOATDRA, who had smashed his competition up to that point en route to an 8-1 record. The team now turned to the basedlord, whose skills had clearly decayed a fair bit from his heyday, courtesy of the crust rule. CTC was in prime position to level the series at 2; just when everyone in the stadium was certain about the game's outcome however, the crust rule reared its ugly head yet again. CTC committed arguably the worst choke of his entire career, donating the game as if he was one of those Red Cross members he had laughed at many years ago. Choking one game in a tight series can spell doom even for the best teams. After qsns claimed a big lead in his game against marilli, the series looked to be over. However, the gods were not going to let the Tyrants, the pinnacle of consistency over the past few seasons, be eliminated so easily. They gave marilli not one, not two...but THREE freezes against qsns, allowing him to cruise to the victory and keep the Tyrants afloat.

This East-esque plot armor was not enough to save the franchise, however. Christo's team was ravaged by Empo's Chandelure, and it was clear that the season was slipping away from the Tyrants. Luckily, the team still had 2 of their superstar players, TDK and CBB, remaining. TDK could not get past his fellow Jerk comrade FLCL, though, as the former lower tier mainer pushed the Ruiners lead to 5-2. Things were looking more dire by the second, as every game remaining in the series was relatively close on-paper; the Tyrants had no big edges left, and were staring at a 3-game deficit. marcop was the next to the fall, as he was unable to topple Prinz's Suicune. Now facing match-point, it was only fitting that CBB, the final one of the Tyrants' three Jerk musketeers, stepped up to the plate. The victory looked to be within his grasp, as he demolished Raptor for the majority of the game. However, an untimely Thunder Punch para allowed Raptor to seize victory from the jaws of defeat with the help of his trust Manaphy, propelling the Ruiners to the finals and sending the Tyrants crashing out of the playoffs for the third season in a row.

The Tyrants were once again unable to seal the deal after an amazing regular season. The franchise seems to always fall short when the stakes are at their highest; no matter how good of a roster reyscarface is able to create, it seems as though the stars just never align for him. I honestly don't even know what to criticize the Tyrants' management for. The only draft move I disagreed with was their decision to purchase Heist for 11.5k, but he managed to blow my expectations out of the water and go 7-2. The Floppy move panned out in spectacular fashion as well. The Tyrants were clearly the best on-paper roster by the end of the regular season; they were just unable to bring home the trophy. The team's three superstar players, blunder, TDK, and CBB, all underperformed relative to expectations; none of them were able to even finish positive in this tour, and all three lost in the semifinals. I can't really blame reyscarface for drafting any of these players, especially since the Tyrants managed to acquired TDK for pennies on the dollar. The Tyrants will almost assuredly continue to be perennial contenders under reyscarface's leadership; one would think that the franchise will eventually win the trophy. The fact that these three amazing rosters were unable to amass one trophy between them is rather insane, though, at least to me. Perhaps the franchise is destined to never succeed. That being said, it would be absurd to count out such a great drafter. I believe that the Tyrants will notch their first SPL victory in the near future. However, three years of playoff heartbreak definitely makes the future a bit more murky than it should be.
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FriendOfMrGolem120

aka. FOMG
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Battle Simulator Moderatoris a defending SPL Champion
Moderator
Since I won't be playing in the tiebreaker, I already want to show you guys a collection of my best creations this season.

Replay
Initially we planned to play on Saturday but Roro wanted to reschedule to Sunday. Since I was at a family party and didn't know when I would be home but still preferred to play afterwards instead of during the morning/early afternoon due to my weird sleep schedule, we both realised that neither of us would mind playing so late. However, as it turned out, my Snorlax did mind it and slept for the maximum duration which was particularly sad because it was a Lk-MonoLax which would have been quite nice in that matchup.

Replay
The first battle ended in a draw due to reaching the 1000 turn limit (of which neither of us knew during the game). We both had Struggle as our main win conditions at some point but it would take a while to make progress with it. However...

Okay, that was it... I won't cover the other weeks since I didn't come up with anything special.
"B-but I wanted teams!". Okay, fine, here you go!

Load up on drugs (Exeggutor)
Ability: None
- Sleep Powder
- Thief
- Psychic
- Explosion




Bring ur friends (Golem) @ Leftovers
Ability: None
- Earthquake
- Rapid Spin
- Fire Blast
- Explosion



Iknowadirtyword (Cloyster) @ Leftovers
Ability: None
- Surf
- Spikes
- Toxic
- Explosion



Entertain us (Snorlax) @ Leftovers
Ability: None
- Double-Edge
- Earthquake
- Thunder
- Self-Destruct



A mosquito (Zapdos) @ Leftovers
Ability: None
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 22 Atk / 26 Def
- Thunder
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Sleep Talk
- Rest



My libido (Steelix) @ Leftovers
Ability: None
- Earthquake
- Curse
- Roar
- Explosion
Before you try to correct me, yes, he once sang "Load up on drugs" instead of "guns".


EveryMieEveryMew (Starmie)
Ability: none
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 2 Atk
- Surf
- Thunderbolt
- Thunder Wave
- Recover






TooManyFriends (Golem)
Ability: none
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Body Slam
- Explosion



SongToSayGoodGame (Chansey)
Ability: none
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 2 Atk
- Ice Beam
- Thunderbolt
- Sing
- Soft-Boiled



SleepingOnThatHill (Snorlax)
Ability: none
- Body Slam
- Ice Beam
- Reflect
- Rest



BosCOW (Tauros)
Ability: none
- Body Slam
- Earthquake
- Blizzard
- Hyper Beam



TheNeverendingRhy (Rhydon)
Ability: none
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Body Slam
- Substitute
Is this team good? Not really, but it's based on some really nice songs.

On a more serious note, the Ruiners have been amazing this year even though I didn't interact much outside of the GSC/RBY channels. And not even that much in RBY because I don't speak Italian. In particular I want to thank Hyogafodex, Alexander. who had quite good gut feelings about which teams I should use and Century Express who was there as an unofficial supporter.
Also a shoutout to all my opponents. All of them were really nice, no scheduling issues or flaming for being on the bad end of RNG. I could have played better here and there, especially making an unecessary risky play in my first match vs Kratosmana and getting punished for it by RNG, losing a highly favorable matchup was very painful but overall I am quite happy with my performance.
Now defend the Trophy, FLCL , Empo and Alexander.. I believe in you!

I'm off celebrating St. Pet Rocks Day!
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YAHALLO AND WELCOME TO THE CLASSIEST EULOGY

The Congregation of the Classiest were arguably the worst franchise in SPL...until Dave came along. He was one of the first to hop aboard the PO bandwagon, filling his roster with notable players such as Afro Smash, [IDM]Problems, and Artemisa. He led them to the playoffs in SPL V, paving the way for kokoloko and myself to finish his rebuilding project in SPL VI. With an amazing new gen core coupled with some rather shady tactics, we were able to lift the trophy and cement the Classiest as one of the top 5 franchises in SPL history. The SPL VII team was almost as successful, coming two games short off of lifting that coveted ring. Since then, though, the franchise has been mired in despair, suffering losing season under losing season under a plethora of different managers, including myself. This year, the keys were handed over to US South stars FMG and d0nut; could these two really return the Classiest to their glory days?



The Classiest's lone retain was Insult, whom they kept for only 10k. Many people on the site were pretty high on Insult going into the draft, so this felt like a solid retain. I was never a huge believer in him, but this price felt relatively fair either way. The Classiest looked to be in a pretty decent position heading into the auction; could these rookie managers thrive in the hostile draft environment, though?

The team's first pick was Tamahome, whom they acquired for only 18.5k. This felt like a great pick to me; even though Tama had only signed up for DPP, he is capable of playing other tiers such as ADV or SM should the need arise. He was also definitely too cheap, which was made even more apparent after individuals such as Pearl and FLCL with far less OU success went for larger amounts of money than him. He could have easily gone for around 2.5-3k more. The team then took another Brazilian, drafting Anti for 22.5k. This felt like a slight overpay to me, especially because Anti was going to be playing GSC, a tier he had very little experience with on the big stage prior to this tournament. That being said, he's still a very good player, so locking down a solid core of Insult, Tamahome, and Anti for only 51k put the team in a relatively enviable position.

The Classiest then picked up stax for 10k. stax is someone who was constantly hyped at every turn, but has failed to truly live up to his potential on the big stage. That being said, 10k was around the max price for Doubles players in SPL XI, and considering the fact that stax was ranked 3rd in the official Power Rankings, this felt like a decent pick-up. The team's next selection was blarghlfarghl, a player I have often disparaged in the past. He had recently become sort of a sheet-warrior, though, and acquiring his services for only 7.5k felt like a pretty sensible decision at the time. The team then filled their vacant LC slot by picking up Serene Grace, a relatively hyped mainer looking to make his first full-time appearance on the big stage, for 6k; this was another justifiable selection by the team. I was a bit dubious of his ability to succeed, though, as he wasn't chosen to be a starter in Snake III, which was definitely a red flag. That being said, they didn't invest too much money into him, so the pick was fine either way. The Classiest then rounded out their OU core by drafting suapah for 11k; I've never really been a suapah fan, so this felt like a bit of an overpay to me.

The team then purchased Amaranth, otherwise known as TIN, for 8k. I'm not really a fan of spending over 4k on RBY, so I was naturally unenthused by this selection. That being said, he has proven to be a capable RBYer, and he didn't go for too much money, so in a vacuum, this was a fine pick-up. As you can tell by my thoughts on the draft so far, the Classiest managers had had themselves a relatively mistake-free draft; they certainly hadn't done anything egregious that could sink their team's ship before the season even started. As we've learned from these eulogies, though, it apparently is impossible for most managers to go through an entire draft without making at least one head-scratching decision. For the Classiest, that decision would be their acquisition of Raiza for 14k. This was easily one of the biggest overpays in the entire draft; it made absolutely no sense to me how someone who could only manage to scrape together a .500 record against a bunch of mediocre PU mainers in Snake III could possibly go for 14k to play BW OU against much stiffer competition. Raiza had no other results on the big stage, either, so this pick just felt like absolute lunacy to me; even the Raiza defenders could not possibly justify his high price in this tour. The team would definitely need to avoid any further mistakes if they wished to contend for the playoffs.

The team then picked up Relous for 10.5k; he was coming off back-to-back solid performances in Snake and World Cup, so this felt like a rather fair price to pay for him. The team then picked up danilo for 3k to play ADV; this felt like it had the potential to be a steal, assuming danilo actually showed up this year. He was a pretty good ADV player back in the day, so taking a flier on him for 3k against a pretty mediocre player pool felt like a rather wise decision to me. The team finished off their draft by taking Persephone, Excal, Teclis, and some filler character named DaWoblefet. Persephone was someone who put up some decent results in World Cup; there was a decent chance he could provide value for the team against a rather mediocre player pool for the price of only 5.5k. Excal and Teclis were drafted to be substitutes, but they would be forced to step into the limelight later in the season.

The Classiest's players had barely finished greeting each other when it was discovered that the TDs had completely dropped the ball regarding danilo. He was actually banned from SPL XI due to his inactivity last year; it just so happened that no one relevant had remembered that this had happened. The team was forced to cut bait with their veteran ADVer, forcing one of their filler characters, Teclis, to prove himself on the big stage. Luckily for the team, they did have Tamahome on the roster, so, if Teclis flopped spectacularly, they could flex him into ADV after 2 weeks. With the 3k they acquired by virtue of ridding themselves of danilo, the team picked up false, who would almost assuredly provide no real tangible value to the team, at least not on the sheet. Overall, the Classiest had a decent draft. I personally wasn't too high on many of their players, labeling nearly all of them as "decent,"; the Raiza overpay as a black mark on an otherwise acceptable draft, and the danilo decision certainly hurt the team's upside. I ranked them 7th in my Power Rankings, but felt that they had some playoff potential due to the lackluster drafts other teams had put together. They were also ranked 7th in the official Power Rankings.

Week 1 would be a big test for the squad, as they faced off against the team I had ranked 2nd in my Power Rankings, the Cryonicles. The week got off to a poor start, with the team's rookie ADVer Teclis getting lucked by z0mOG. The rest of the team was able to carry him, though, as they notched a very impressive 8-4 win against a pretty solid team. The team would not be so lucky in Week 2, though, as they got absolutely smashed by the pre-season favorites, the Dragonspiral Tyrants, with anti and Tama both suffering losses. Anti's loss to Floppy was particularly concerning, since the latter wasn't expected to really do anything notable in SPL XI. Teclis also suffered his second loss, this time to marcop. Through two weeks, it appeared as though Tamahome would almost assuredly need to flex to ADV at some point in the season. The team also turned to false in Week 2, who got lucked by starry. The team bounded back the following week, smashing the Ruiners 9-3; Teclis even miraculously managed to take down Prinz and notch his first win on the big stage. false unsurprisingly lost yet another game in Week 3; surely, the team would not turn to him again.

The team could not keep up their winning ways, though, as they fell to the struggling Wolfpack in Week 4. The week was lost in a pretty unfortunate manner; at 5-6, Relous was ABR'd by Welli0u's Lopunny. Speaking of Relous, that untimely freeze left him at winless in four appearances; the team could not really afford to have him struggle this badly. Relous wasn't the only Classiest member to get MrE'd in Week 4, though, as Raiza got brutally lucked by Pearl, dropping the overpay to a 1-3 record. The team did have some solid performers through four weeks, though. The star player of the team was surprisingly suapah. He had managed to go 3-1 against a murderer's row of opponents in Eo, blunder, FLCL, and Star, with only blunder managing to take him down with the aid of some timely luck. Insult had also put together 3 wins in 4 weeks. Could the OU core continue to carry the load? The team would almost assuredly need some of their other slots to step it up if they wished to make a run to the playoffs.

The team managed a tie against the Scooters in Week 5; they sat at 5 points through 5 weeks. The team still had many holes, though; Relous and Raiza only had 1 win between them, and Teclis got washed yet again, this time by CyberOdin, making it even more clear that he simply wasn't ready for the big stage. Despite these flaws, I actually ranked the Classiest 4th in my midseason Power Rankings due to the surprising performances of their OU core; I figured that Tamahome would eventually salvage their ADV slot as well. Raiza had also been exceedingly unlucky; surely his fortunes would have to turn around sooner or later. Week 6 was a big blow to their playoff hopes, though, as they fell to another playoff hopeful, the Sharks. On the bright side, the team FINALLY decided that they had had enough of Teclis, slotting Tamahome into ADV, where he proceeded to notch a win against Blightbringer. The team's DPP replacement, Excal, also notched his second win in 2 attempts. However, Raiza and Relous both suffered losses yet again; could the team really carry these two anchors to the promised land? Working in the team's favor was their schedule, which was remarkably easy down the stretch. The team would square off against two bottom-feeders in the Tigers and BIGs in Weeks 7 and 8, before playing the upstart Raiders in Week 9.

The team took full advantage of these cupcake match-ups, defeating both teams and putting themselves in position to clinch a playoff spot in Week 9 against the Raiders. Relous and Raiza continued to struggle, though, as neither could buy a win to save their lives. The team even thrust snaga and false into the limelight once each; unsurprisingly, neither was able to find a win. The team simply had no choice but to continue to start Relous and Raiza and pray for their success; the two had only managed to amass ONE MEASLY WIN COMBINED in 8 weeks. The fact that the team was still in control of their own destiny despite having spent 24.5k for a 1-13 record between two players is honestly pretty remarkable.

As the week progressed, the situation turned more and more grim for the Classiest. Despite Raiza managing to finally win a game, albeit against the decaying corpse of the jaja once known as Posho, the team found themselves on the brink of elimination. If the Raiders were able to secure a tie against them, the Raiders would clinch the final spot in the playoffs. The Raiders managed to build themselves a 5-4 lead; if the Classiest lost any of the next three games, they would be sent packing. It was up to Insult, blargh, and Anti to lift the team to glory. Insult was first up; he faced off against Vai Lusa, putting up a solid fight...until he missed Will-O-Wisp with Dragapult against a +4 Corviknight and lost the game. And so, just like that, the Classiest season was over...except it wasn't, because Vai Lusa put on one of the worst performances of the season and handed Insult the win on a silver platter. Newfound sheet-warrior blargh managed to secure a win for the squad as well, putting the season in the hands of the team's best player, Anti, who had amassed a 6-2 record up to that point. It would be a tough game, though, as he was up against dice, a player whom I bold seemingly every week. Anti managed to overcome his nerves and take home the victory, though, lifting the team into the playoffs against all odds.

Through the efforts of the team's OU core, as well as those of Anti, Tama, and stax (who had managed to put up a ridiculous 7-2 regular season record), coupled with some solid performances in the variance tiers, the team managed to reach the playoffs for the first time since SPL VII. They would square off against the Cryonicles, whom they managed to beat in Week 1. Almost everyone anticipated this to be a close, back-and-forth series. All expectations were shattered after the first two games of the series, though. Relous and Raiza, two players who had combined for 2 wins in 9 weeks, EACH MANAGED TO WIN...AGAINST GOOD PLAYERS TOO!! They took down Eo and Finch, respectively, putting the Classiest in a commanding position in the series. The Cryonicles simply had no answer for the team as a whole, as the Classiest continued to pile on wins, setting up match-point with Excal up against soulgazer. Excal had managed to go 4-1 in the regular season, and was nearly able to seal the deal for the team. However, he was unable to get the double Protect he needed to win, and the Classiest celebration was put on hold. This would only be temporary, however, as Tamahome was able to defeat z0mOG in the next game, sending the Classiest to the finals in dominant fashion. The team would go up against the Ruiners, who were coming off an impressive victory against the Tyrants. Everyone expected this to be a close series...but who would take home the win?

The series started off with Insult facing off against the fake Jamvad. This game was pretty uninspiring, as Insult absolutely obliterated him and put the Classiest on the board. TIN finished off his solid campaign with a win over Hyoga, which isn't too surprising considering the latter's unviability. The Ruiners would not simply keel over, though. FLCL's Rotom-Heat absolutely smashed suapah, giving the Ruiners their first win. The next game seemed to be a lock for the Ruiners; their best-performing player, Gondra, would be going up against Relous, who had only managed to amass 1 win in the entire season. However, with the help of ABR's teambuilding, Relous managed to take home the win against Gondra, putting the Classiest in a solid position to claim the franchise's second ever ring. stax finished off a great campaign with a demolition of qsns, leaving the Classiest only 3 wins away from the coveted title. With their best players in Anti and Tamahome left to play, the Classiest looked to be in absolutely commanding position. Tama was unable to notch a victory, though, as he was defeated by Prinz, bringing the Ruiners within two games of the Classiest.

The next game was in the variance madhouse, featuring Excal and Emeral. Excal looked to be in dominant position throughout most of the game, as his stall team shut down Emeral at seemingly every turn. Perhaps the stage was a bit too big for the rookie, though, as he faltered down the stretch, making some sub-optimal plays that left the door open for Emeral to ABR his way to a win...And that's exactly what happened. Emeral's Milotic froze Excal's Clefable, effectively ending the game and bringing the series to 3-4. The team then turned to Raiza, who had struggled and been lucked for most of the season; could he be the hero the team needed? Well...no. He lost in a rather one-sided game against Dr. Caetano, who leveled the series at 4 games apiece. The Ruiners were favored in 3 of the 4 remaining games in the eyes of the masses, so this would be a challenging series for the Classiest to win. The pressure was increased even more after FOMG haxed Anti, leaving the Classiest with almost no room for error. Serene Grace was able to take down Zebraiken in a close-fought game, though; he OHKO'd the latter's Dewpider on turn one with a Head Smash from his Onix, paving the way for his victory. The team then turned to blarghlfarghl to put them on the cusp of the trophy. Unfortunately, he drowned in the Empo kool-aid, getting absolutely annihilated in one of the most one-sided games of the season. The team's last hope was Persephone in ORAS OU; could he take down Raptor and keep the team's hopes alive?

Some nifty building from the Classiest's side granted them a relatively favorable match-up. Scarf Tyranitar was a big threat for Raptor's team, and it eventually brought home the win with some Rock Slides. As we all know, we can't have a modern SPL without a tiebreak, so this one felt like the work of destiny. The Ruiners picked SM OU, a tier the Classiest had struggled in mightily throughout the course of the season. The team countered with DPP OU, sending out arguably the best thinking gen player of the modern era in Tamahome to duel against Prinz. The team let Anti play SM OU against Empo, and picked Insult to face off against FLCL in SS OU. This was one of the only times where the variance madhouse was actually a viable tiebreak selection; it would have been nonsensical to leave Tamahome out of a tiebreak, and DPP was the only tier the team really had an edge in outside of Doubles, which was never going to be picked for obvious reasons. Could Anti, with the help of ABR, rise above Empo and the Smogtours nutriders and help the Classiest claim the victory?

Unfortunately, Anti did not have another carry performance left in him. He was outplayed by Empo in a rather one-sided affair; his matchup seemed nearly unwinnable on the surface, though, as he had almost no answer for Empo's Mega-Latias, which wasn't even sent out in the game. It all came down to Tamahome in the thinking gen. Tama outplayed Prinz on turn 1, and set himself up with a relatively solid position heading into the late-game. Prinz got a timely crit on Tama's Jirachi with his Azelf's Explosion, though, which seemingly shifted the game back to even-ground. Playing DPP without one's Jirachi is like trying to walk without legs; it simply doesn't work. Tama showed he was more than up for the challenge, though, as he managed to get himself into a favorable position with his Zapdos. His core of physically defense Zapdos and Swampert would almost assuredly win the game if he was able to paralyze Prinz's Jirachi with Thunder Wave. However, Jirachi had other plans, as it ended the Classiest's season with a timely Ice Punch freeze on Zapdos that essentially nuked any chance Tamahome had of winning the game.

Overall, this was a sad end to an otherwise amazing season for the Classiest. They managed to surpass almost everyone's expectations, reaching the finals with some nice performances from a pretty well-balanced squad. Anything can happen in a tiebreak, and the team was simply unable to get the luck it needed to claim their second trophy. The draft ended up working out well for FMG and d0nut, as many of their picks look rather stellar in hindsight. The Raiza overpay looms large over the season, though; even if his 3-8 record doesn't fully reflect his performance due to his poor luck, it seemed rather unlikely that he would ever live up to his ridiculous price tag. It's hard to criticize a team that lost in the finals tiebreak, though, especially one that was haxed. With some better luck, the team could easily have been hoisting its second ever trophy right about now. Either way, this was still a very impressive season from the squad. If FMG and d0nut continue managing, I think that the Classiest have a solid shot to return to their former glory sooner rather than later.

Maya-chan is pleased with your performance:

 
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Mr.E

im the best
is a Pre-Contributoris a Past SPL Champion
Speaking of Relous, that untimely freeze left him at winless in four appearances; the team could not really afford to have him struggle this badly. Relous wasn't the only Classiest member to get MrE'd in Week 4, though, as Raiza got brutally lucked by Pearl, dropping the overpay to a 1-3 record.
tympolefacejs.jpg
Maya-chan is pleased with your performance:
up6fr16i4to01.jpg
 
MrE, I was gonna copypasta your comment to my earlier post in this thread where you said something along the lines of “wow, we’re really at the level of virgin shaming”

But, you deleted it so you could virgin shame shake LMAO


Edit: found it, not deleted. Phew

“ are we still doing virgin shaming in 2020 bruh”
 
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