Tournament SPL9 - SM OU Discussion Thread


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OU & UU Leader

Hey, with SPL9 underway, this thread will be used to discuss OU related topics, whether it's about the players, general metagame trends, matches, predictions and so on. This thread will be updated frequently with each new week, player standings, and replays.

I know last year I tried (for a week) to do match analysis and post the teams that were used, if I feel like it I may try again, but don't expect anything. If I get around to it I (or someone else) may do the visuals of W1 without the analysis portion but we'll see how it goes.

SPL Schedule
Auction Logs

Projected Starters
Circus Maximus Tigers: Eternal Spirit & azogue
Indie Scooters: FlamingVictini & Obliviate
Team Raiders: TDK & Gondra
Ever Grande BIGS: John & Posho
Starks Sharks: BHARATH_THEBEST & Kickasser
Wi-Fi Wolfpack: ABR & Trosko
Cryonicles: Poek & Snou
Dragonspiral Tyrants: zom0G & psychicmewtwo
Alpha Ruiners: Cdumas & Kory2600
Congregation of the Classiest: Sabella & BlackOblivion

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
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Sad to see no posts still, guess i'll start it up. For what it's worth, this was pretty hard to make and i really don't believe any of the teams got a "bad SM OU duo"; i think the whole thing is extremely close and i can see pretty much everybody beat each other, lol. So it was a pretty good job from every manager i think, at least at in these tiers. (basically dont tag me if like the first duo gets fucked by the last one or something like that, nobody's bad here)

Strongest duo to me is definetly john alongside the sweetman. Even though john didn't live up to the "second pick hype" in smogon snake draft(4-5 record), i still strongly believe he's by far the best player in the SM OU pool, he just has a really good mindset to the game and will always be a threat to play against despite whatever record he puts in, imo. My man has been saving east in tiebreaks for ages now, and i just can't forget games like this one(prob one of my favorites), this one, or this one. I do have a lot of bias on this one, but i think that you know what i'm talking about if you've ever worked/teamed with john before. Excited to watch him play again. As for pancho, he's pretty much shown that he's probably top 5 best players in the site by now, amazing snake record(7-2) alongside the solid showing he pulls off in smogon tour playoffs season after season. Definetly expect a strong overall record from these two.

I hate to be that guy, but IMO the second strongest duo has got to be abr with troskoat(aka my teammates!). ABR has been an extremely consistent builder and player, making playoffs of basically everything that has to do with SM OU this year, winning OST and ending snake with a 9-2 record, with rumors of him being the one that built 90% of the bushmasters' teams in snake as well. Alongside him you have trosko who is actually another person i rly like watching games of, just a solid player that will probably get even better with abr's support(and mine i guess). I am pretty happy with these two in SM OU and hope we can live up to the hype.

Third spot to me is top de kek+Gondra. I'm pretty sure tdk just won't ever end up having a bad SPL; I saw first hand last year how much he cares about winning so he will always prep hard for his opps, with great playing alongside that of course. 8-2 record last season, 7-2 record the season before, don't think i need to say much more here. Gondra is my mans, and although his world cup record was clearly better than his snake one, he's still a very solid player that will surely abuse of TDK's excellent prep and end on a great record.

I think i'll go ahead and give Poek+Snou the 4th one. This is mainly because i believe Poek to be, alongside john, one of the players to beat in this SPL. Helping his team achieve that stupid good record in SM OU in snake(wasn't it 23-0 or something like that?) is quite a big deal, and his recent showing in smogon championship was great as well. Really good record last spl season, too. I think snou's an ok starter that will prob do well with poek's support, kind of similiar to gondra, but even if he doesn't they have London Beats in the back who ended up going having a good 3-2 in snake(was it ghosting? was it not? i really could care less because he seems like a really nice guy but at least i can tell you that i don't see what stops him from doing fine in SPL too). In any case cryos sm ou should be good to go i think.

Getting to the middle of the pak(shoutouts finch), we got flamingvictini+obliviate as 5th. FV's very similiar to tdk because he preps hard and plays rly well, just a very consistent, strong starter. Obliviate had a strong 5-3 record last season so i don't see what stops him from doing well now either. Just haven't seen much from him lately(mainly because he didn't join snake). This duo has potential to beat pretty much all of the above ones, and will probably end up doing fine as well.

It's kinda getting hard from here but i think i'll give 6th to Cdumas+Kory. This duo reminds me of pretty much what i said in some chat, they took the bushmasters' SM OU core but forgot that abr is the one that balanced things up(and made pretty much all of the teams both of em used, from what i've heard). Regardless, teams are obviously not the only thing here, and cdumas certainly showed this year that he is a threat to be reckoned with, destroying both world cup and snake, so I'm excited to see how he does. Meanwhile, Kory had a pretty poor showing in snake, but an otherwise great one in smogon tour playoffs. Much like the duo above, i think these dudes have the potential to definetly do better than expected, and i'm curious to see what kind of teams they end up cooking.

The 7th spot will be the pitviper duo of gama+femen(eternal spirit and azogue). ES had a really poor showing last SPL, but he turned up in snake and showed that he's way better than most people think, so let's see how he does this time around. Femen's tournament record is insane and I'm curious to see how he does as well. Probably the dark horse duo of the tournament imo.

Much like the tigers have the pitvipers and the ruiners have the bushmasters, the tyrants have the gliders core represented by z0mog and psychicmewtwo for the 8th spot. Z0mog seems to have gotten a lot better this year, and he had some really well played games in snake like that one serperior game versus John, but i'm not too confident on him just yet(should be a fine starter for sure though). Psychicmewtwo is my mans and he always puts up a decent-to-good record. They'll be fine.

The 9th duo has an interesting core of bharath+kickasser. All bharath has at his wings right now is a world cup win where teal used a godawful team and a really strong 5-0 record in snake where he whooped abr's ass. A lot of other players had the same record though, and it's just hard to tell how much influence did people like Poek have for such thing to happen. Nonethless, he seems to play really well and we will get to see if the snake record was a fluke or not. Kick is a great player, but i keep hearing complains about him being a headache as a teammate in both world cup and snake(mainly inactivity issues), so they'll have to get around that. Really nice guy though and even if he doesn't have much time bharath will probably be there to help him out with the teams.

Last but not last, we have Sab+BO. Don't get me wrong here, i think sab's a great starter and he definetly showed so in both snake and OLT, the only thing that drags this team to last is that i believe blackoblivion is basically the only shaky starter out of every person in the pool. His snake games were really messy(hell, even his manager called him out for it), so we will have to see if he can do better than that. I love BO though and i hope he can prove me wrong this time around.

Like i said before, this is a pretty strong pool, and i'm excited to see how things turn out!
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Besides the starters, im curious about how some other players will manage their runs in this tournament.

p2 . Teaming with him last year was pretty cool because he shows up with a lot of insanely good ideas (mainly the splash plate ash gren and those litios sets) and even if he has had a bad showing during snake his SPL/WCoP runs were just good enough to stablish him as a great SM OU player and he will start in our lineup more than what people think for sure (and bring wins).

Will of Fire . This guy was on my list when people asked me to suggest solid but also underrated players. I really like the way his teambuilding goes on around things out of the radar. The tricking's success throughout the last months in SM OU is due to him as well.

Destiny Device . My man echelon has had issues throughout the last 2 years on the big stage, his playing seemed to be kinda out of place sometimes and he didn't have enough results to keep his name on top as he had during 2014/15 where he was easily top 5 XY/ORAS players. But now I do really feel that he's coming back, I've seen a lot of him during the last month and all he needs now is a chance to shine. I'm happy that Hantsuki noticed his growing in the SM OU metagame and gave him a shot.

London Beats . I've said before that he is something like a new Poek and I do really feel it. Not only because he is an unbearable weabo, but also because he is actually good as player and even has a solid teambuilding sense. I hope he gets a chance to start in the lineup.
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Colonel M

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Hello everyone, I'm sure many of you have already seen Week 1 posted, and I hope that everyone is as excited as I am to see some great matches in the coming week. Bear in mind that there may be substitutes, but for now these are the current teams and the players for SM OU!


Alpha Ruiners (2) vs Wi-Fi Wolfpack (0)

SM OU: Cdumas vs ABR
SM OU: Kory2600 vs Trosko

Cryonicles (0) vs Indie Scooters (2)

SM OU: Poek vs FlamingVictini
SM OU: Snou vs obliviate

Congregation of the Classiest (1) vs Dragonspiral Tyrants (1)

SM OU: Sabella vs psychicmewtwo
SM OU: Blackoblivion vs z0mog

Stark Sharks (1) vs Circus Maximus Tigers (1)

SM OU: Lednah vs azogue

Ever Grande BIGS (2) vs Team Raiders (0)

SM OU: John vs Gondra
SM OU: Eo Ut Mortus vs TDK

You can find more information about each player in the SPL Power Rankings.

I will try to keep this thread updated constantly with the current weeks, replays, wins, and also my thoughts on some of the matchups and predictions as well. I will post personal thoughts and the like in a separate post, but I highly encourage SPL players as well as long-time spectators to post within here as well!

Let's hope for a great SPL season and get fired up!
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Treat People With Kindness
is a Top Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderatoris a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Championis a former Tournament Circuit Champion
BW Circuit Champion -- this is the first game that happened earlier today between BTB and p2 (CM editted it into his post above) and I will give my two cents on some things just to get the ball rolling.

I feel like BTB's team was a bit weird in terms of structure, but probably wasn't too bad overall. The match-up with Band Zygarde was problematic, however, and this proved to be his downfall in the long haul. p2 let his Zygarde take a questionable Toxic early on, but Healing Wish Chansey saved the day as he was able to run through and put the game out of reach later on. Overall, p2's team was a bit quirky, fitting into the weird fringe archetype of Chansey balance (with...Ditto), but it covered a lot of the metagame's playstyles well and I am interested to see future builds from him, too, as he always has an interesting take on things (free Naga!!!). In terms of other parts of the teams, the Mega Latios with HP Fire from BTB was a nice touch and I feel like more lure oriented Mega Latios sets definitely are viable and have some room to be tested out in the current metagame. As for gameplay itself, perhaps BTB had a greater chance against Mega Scizor later on if he saved his Toxapex, but ultimately Band Zygarde picked one everytime at that point in the game, so it is far from fair to say p2 did not have a good chance to win regardless given his position -- I'd say he had a solid shot. All in all, a bit of a weird game to start it off, but it is great to see some innovative ideas and teams being utilized and I hope that there will be much more of this to come, hopefully letting the metagame evolve alongside the tournament as it has throughout the past few years!


the flyest
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Teampreview analysis:

In this one p2 is using a team pretty similar to the RMT he posted during the SM era (Bastard) which revolve around a solid defensive core (scizor, chansey, toxapex) partnered by 2 strong wallbreakers backed up by a Healing wish chansey and a ditto doing ditto things lol.

On the other hand BTB (yo your name is way too long man) came up with a balance involving a tyranitar that could be either a DD mega (in pair with scarf latios as the team looks kinda slow) or a choice band one (can be paired either with a scarftios or a mega latios i guess), he add a jirachi that could do a lot of things here (supporting tyranitar and landorus with wish or healing wish or maybe setting up SR, it could be scarf as like I already stated i feel like BTB's team is somewhat short in speed control), last but not least the obvious lando who could be a Scarf or a rock setter. This team is somewhat interesting as pretty much all of BTB's mon could be different sets. To me at first glance i'd have expected something like MegaLatios, Band Tyranitar, Standard Toxapex, Scarf Healing Wish Jirachi, either 3 attacks or defog zapdos with HP ice and a leftovers defensive Landorus.

The first thing that come to mind in this match up is how Band zygarde can be threatening as it can come on a lot of things and basically destroys everything bar Landorus (hence why i first thought it was a leftovers lando). BTB also lacks real chansey answer which will be really problematic as he won't be able to abuse chansey's passivity as much as he wanted in this game. However if Tyranitar reveal itself to be a choice banded it may causes some huge problem for p2.

Game analysis: (in this part I'll detail the key turns and how they weighted in the favor of one)

Turn 1:
BTB opted for a lead zapdos whereas p2 started with tornadus, probably hoping to get momentum thanks to its high speed and u turn. But BTB revealed his zapdos wasn't pressure but static (just a reminder that in USM static + defog is legal). Hence p2 didn't take the paralysis risk for doing negative damage to zapdos and hard switched chansey on the discharge.

Turn 2:
BTB then switched to his toxapex while p2 used Stealth Rock, giving him a huge advantage really early in the game.
NOTE: as zapdos was static he couldn't pp stall chansey's stealth rock which is actually really HUGE.

Turn 3:
Very interesting turn; p2 brought his zygarde on a toxic, which means the number 1 threat life is now on a timer. However p2 is now in a pretty good position as it can freely fire some thousand arrows with the stealth rock on the enemy field. Oh and zygarde isn't threatened by scald burn anymore.

Turn 4:
BTB went by the most logic play and brought his Landorus. the band zygarde did 39% which gave him the information on the landorus spread which is max HP without a defense investisment. Hence BTB's rocker is probably this landorus.

Turn 5:
p2 withdrew his big snake and brought the tornadus while landorus used u-turn, granting him the momentum with a switch on zapdos).

Turn 6, 7 & 8:
BTB predicted the chansey switch and brought Tyranitar which threaten p2's team a lot. He then went for a stone edge that die a little more than 50% on toxapex (revealing the choice band). p2 decided to save his toxapex and brought zygarde instead which got critted by stone edge (the move did 54%). BTB knowing that his best win condition was his ttar, he couldn't afford to let it die on a 1k arrows and brought his landorus on a thousand arrows. With the stealth rock damage landorus died but after the poison damage zygarde fell to a 9% HP meaning he won't be able to spam his thousand arrows much anymore.

Turn 10 & 11:
BTB decided to revenge kill p2's zygarde with his latios. p2 probably fearing a trick on chansey brought scizor on the psychic. But seeing Latios mega-evolving he obviously knew that trick wasn't an issue anymore and brought chansey in order to scout a possible HP fire from Latios. He did well as BTB's Latios effectively used HP fire.

Turn 12-14:
Chansey used Seismic toss on the incoming Jirachi, which revealed itself to be a leftovers Jirachi. p2 brought tornadus in an attempt to knock off jirachi's item. But jirachi used protect and then hard switched on toxapex. We now know 3/4 of jirachi's moves (iron head and protect + the obvious wish paired with protect, last move could be either u-turn, body slam or even stealth rock if landorus doesn't have it but i really doubt it).

Turn 15-32:
BTB brought toxapex that then lost his item because of tornadus, p2 used some hurricane fishing for confusion while the infamous toxapex recovered. p2 then brought his own toxapex for an epic pex vs pex 1V1 (actually he just wanted a burn). BTB decided to bring his Latios on a scald. p2 brought tornadus in order to tank the psychic. However psychic did 75% on the tornadus (revealing it wasn't wearing an assault vest; maybe a Z move torna with defog ??). p2 then brought his chansey as latios can't do a shit against it.
BTB went to his jirachi and revealed the two last move (aka u-turn and wish). => another pex war. P2's pex used toxic spikes. BTB brought his latios but p2 switched on chansey the same turn.
Nothing relevant will happens in this span of time outside of jirachi healing latios and zapdos from SR damage.

Turn 33-34:
BTB brought his zapdos on a scald from p2's toxapex which resulted in a burn and used defog, getting rid of these so painful stealth rock.

Turn 35:
p2 played this turn very well in my opinion. He went with ditto on a zapdos defog. as zapdos carries defog it lacks either heat wave or hp ice. meaning it can be abused by either scizor or zygarde depending of the move it didnt have.

Turn 38: Chansey used stealth rock again.

Turn 39: Chansey used healing wish on zygarde, giving him back all his health. allowing him to threaten BTB's team again. He even got a free hit right off the bat as BTB's toxapex was on the field at this moment.

Turn 40:
BTB knowing that toxapex could take a 1k arrows with a decent damage roll stayed on the 1k arrows probably fishing for a burn or a toxic.
Unluckily for BTB, p2 got the roll and killed toxapex.

Turn 41:
BTB brought Zapdos to threaten Zygarde with HP ice. However p2 knowing that zapdos didn't have heat wave brought his scizor, and proceeded to set up some sword dance on the zapdos while BTB defogged.

Turn 47:
BTB went with his Latios fishing a for a paralysis to HP fire the scizor. Thanksfully for p2 he didn't got it but got OHKO'ed by a +4 bullet punch.

Turn 48:
BTB then went for bandtar, got the paralysis and killed scizor with fire punch.

Turn 49-63:
p2 killed tyranitar with his zygarde, then he started a pp stall process on the enemy zapdos with his ditto + toxapex as ditto could afford to lock itself on roost without fearing a pursuit from ttar.
On turn 60, p2's tornadus got rid of zapdos'es leftovers thanks to knock off.
On turn 61, zygarde swallowed an HP ice from zapdos and killed it with 1k arrows.
On turn 63, he ended the game with a thousand arrows on Jirachi.

p2 drew the first blood of this year SPL for the tigers. He played this game really well, killing landorus early really was the key of his success as BTB couldn't put Stealth rock on p2s field and therefore couldn't put any pressure on his chansey (which won the hazard war against zapdos as the latter didn't have pressure but static).
Band zygarde was just too much to handle for BTB's team with the healing wish support.

Colonel M

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I've been updating the Week 1 with replays, and will keep trying to do so throughout the next upcoming weeks. If I'm slow, especially on Sunday, I apologize for that.

Anyway, I'm going to talk a little about Kory vs Trosko, because it had two key Pokemon throughout the match that have been within the radar of some competitive players but, more often than not, sometimes underprepared for:


Z Psychic Tapu Lele has been discussed a bit every now and then, and it's a pretty powerful threat at the moment. +1 Shattered Psyche under terrain does a shitload of damage and it's very hard to stop by conventional means. Mega Scizor's Bullet Punch is thwarted by Psychic Terrain, and Heatran and Ferrothorn do not always carry a Steel-type move. Even so, Focus Blast still covers it most of the time (or Hidden Power Fire), which only leaves Specially Defensive Celesteela as a decent defensive countermeasure to it, and even then, it's going to take a lot of damage from the Z Move if it fails to Protect.

Bulkier teams as of late have shaky answers to this Pokemon, and right now I would call this a sleeper threat. Mega Medicham's Pure Power just puts nasty dents on a lot of defensive teams without Pokemon such as defensive Mew, Reuniclus, and other fat Psychic-types. As of late, these Pokemon have not been used very much (outside of, coincidentally, this specific match. And used by Kory, nevertheless). It proved to be very potent against Trosko today as it slowly picked apart his team without having reliable answers to it.

I'm sorry to not be as tryhard as Finchinator and Exiline above in terms of in-depth game analysis, but figured touching up on some of the notable Pokemon used was great for future discussion within the Metagame thread, Viability thread, and of course this thread.
Since there's 0 discussion in here, I thought I'd do a bit of analysis. I'm gonna talk about megas in week 3. In general, megas are nowhere near as necessary this gen, and the selection of viable one are limited to a small pool now. But I'll go through order of appearance

the FV vs Gingy game was a bit of a blow out due to the connection issues but there were still enough turns to showcase what Sableye does... Not a lot. With Koko in the tier and it not running a choiced set, it was constantly forced out due to having 0 offensive pressure. It was useful for deterring Spore from Amoonguss but ended up getting poisoned as a result, needing to be wished up by Alo later on. Ultimately it was a nuisance but defintely not game defining.
Brofist vs BO. Knocked off Pex but that was it. Constantly gave up momentum to Scizor and didn't prevent Rocks from going up. General poor matchup but Sableye did nothing for itself here.
P2 vs ABR, did a bit more than in previous games? But still was unable to take control of the hazards game. Constantly gave up momentum, and had an interesting tech in Mean Look which looked absolutely pointless but I'm sure someone can clarify what's staying in/switching into Sableye that it beats down. Ultimately a meh showing but not useless I guess?

Didn't come out I believe in the FV - Gingy game.
London Beats vs Lednah, took out Lednah's Clef thanks to a Pup set. Was essentially sacked in doing so, despite Clef not being a big threat to LBeat's team. Could have been utilised better.
Psychic Mewtwo vs Sab. Didn't come out.

In the Obliviate vs Gondra it was sacked to a Lele Psyshock and did nothing else. Honestly looked like dead weight anyway, due to Gondra having so many options against it.
ES vs Trosko. Diancie was played really well within its capabilities. Constantly threatening out Torn/Tran meant it kept rocks up all game. Didn't have to do any work offensively early game due to Toxapex being around; but being able to come in consistently to reset rocks was so important to set it up later on to comfortably take out Zygarde and Torn. Best showcase of this mon I've seen in a while.

this thing put on mad pressure against Obliviate. Tracing Flash Fire made it an excellent check to Tran, even stomaching a Bloom Doom. It basically forced a sack every time it came in, with Psychic Terrain powered Psychics being so hard to switch into.
Didn't really do anything for Lednah vs LBeats. Revenge killed Tini though which was pretty essential.
Brought by Z0mOG vs Empo. Had a really cool tech in Knock Off, allowing it to get rid of Mag's AV. Unfortunately had to rely on Focus Blast due to not running Lele with it. This miss on Mag sucked cause it allowed it to revenge kill it later on. Zam was pretty much all of Zom's offensive pressure this game thanks to Gren/Tran being knocked out so early on. Ultimately couldn't win the game on its own, but was still the best mon on Zom's team.

Sacked by Poek vs BtB. Sacked by Sabella vs Eo.

Bo vs Brofist, basically ran the game here. Bro Fist's weird stall team didn't really have anything for it, kept pivoting in and out at will and applied a ton of pressure with SD & U-turn. Didn't necessarily get off much damage, but keeping BO on the front foot was ideal for the win.
Eo vs Sabella: as before, incredible momentum grabbing all game. Don't think I've ever seen a match where Scizor has lasted all game without roosting, but it formed a beautiful U-turn core with Koko & Lando, who benefited greatly from the constant switch ins of Tapu Fini/Heatran respectively. Only outperformed By Koko here.
Not quite as influential for ABR vs P2 as it was in previous games but still a good momentum grabber. Kept Clef/Chansey threatened as you'd expect vs stall. P2 playing too risky with Chansey definitely helped Scizor's performance here, but yeah, not too much to say constantly U-turning to keep momentum in ABR's favour.
Trosko vs Eternal Spirit. Got para'd early on, kept getting fully paralysed late on so ended up being sacked to Zapdos. Kept Diancie checked early game which was useful, but ES having counters in both Zap & Celesteela really preventing it from having any serious impact.

Brought by Cdu vs Sab, and continued to show why it's rising in popularity & viability. Forced Psychic Mewtwo to sack his Tran, which ultimately led Latias to sweeping late game. Put a ton of pressure on PM, could have ultimately finished off the game too towards the end.

Z0mOG had nothing for this mon. On top of losing both Gren + Tran to it, it he would have easily lost to it late game too. Pinsir showed that it's still a top tier threat in this game and paved the way for Mag to finish off the game, still a weirdly underprepared for mon especially looking at most teams this week.

Ultimately, this week has generally proven that megas just aren't that fantastic any more. The amount of times they weren't used or were simply sacked was telling, and in all honesty I think only a few are really worth using now.

Mega Scizor was the standout one this week, generating a ton of momentum in its games, besides the one where it was constantly getting para'd. It showed that even if it's not a stall breaker, it does really well to bring in your other breakers who can. And how well it pairs with fellow momentum grabbers. SD seems to now be the go to set, and quite rightly, Tran being everywhere means there are much better Defog options and being able to U-Turn out is so essential.

I was surprised but Mega Zam was actually quite threatening. I still think it should be paired with Lele for maximum effectiveness, but unless you have a max Spdef Celesteela/Magearna, you're going to struggle with this.

Mega Pinsir/Medicham were both only brought once but showed how effective they still are in the current meta. While Pinsir is hurt by the ever so popular Zapdos at the moment, its constant offensive pressure makes it a massive threat currently. It was nice to see it being used as a mid-game breaker rather than a sweeper, allowing another mon to take its place in the late game. I still probably prefer EQ to CC but it ultimately comes down to team choice ofc. Medicham while not extraordinary, still applied a ton of pressure in the game it was brought in, and is able to take advantage of the high usage of all of Landorus, Toxapex and Heatran. The decreased usage of Mew has been massive for this mon and it's currently a great anti-meta option.

I'm not gonna say too much about the others brought, but I'm not convinced by any of them. I don't understand the stalls being used currently and they all look horribly lacklustre. I don't know if this is extenuated by Sableye or whether Sableye is made worse as a result of them but either way the meta still isn't kind to it. It should have been keeping control of the hazard games and it just wasn't. Ultimately just spent the whole time giving up momentum. Lopunny is so meh. Too many things chip it, its not powerful enough to break. It basically mandates PuP now, which while a decent set, just doesn't provide the pressure you'd want. Mawile basically has to be playing hard balance to do any work any more. Too easily pressured and too difficult to get in. Terrifying for defensive teams, just a shame it didn't face any. Diancie was 50/50, but clearly is leaning towards a role of offensive hazard setter rather than breaker/sweeper. Too many bulky steels running around just ruin this thing.

Obviously this is only a handful of games looked at and it would take too long to do full breakdowns of each match and how they could be utilised better for the match up or the plays available. I'm not as well versed in OU as I was last gen so please do criticise if you disagree with anything. I don't know if this thread is intimidating to non-SPL players but it would be nice to get some discussion in here, whatever it's about.

If people like stuff like this, next week I might go into trends shown so far in SPL, or maybe evaluate the top mons per match. Thanks for reading :)


Treat People With Kindness
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BW Circuit Champion
Since regular season SPL just ended, I thought now would be the best time to bump this thread. Anyone that was tagged feel free to share any ideas that you had during the season, much like what was done for this thread for Snake Draft. You may include teams, sets, cores, analysis, thoughts, etc. -- anything goes!

Eternal Spirit Eo Ut Mortus bro fist Cdumas Blackoblivion ABR BHARATH_THEBEST z0mOG FlamingVictini Trosko Kory2600 TDK psychicmewtwo Gondra Lednah p2 Leftiez Sabella soulgazer HT The Goomy Z+V -Tsunami- CrashinBoomBang Empo Obliviate azogue Snou Poek Axel blunder Will of Fire Analytic aim Gingy R!cardo London Beats

(for those in playoffs, obviously this applies more when you are no longer in the tournament)


Eo Ut Mortus

Elodin Smells
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OU & Tour Head

Heatran @ Binding Band
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 200 HP / 52 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Magma Storm
- Earth Power
- Taunt
- Protect

Used week 1 vs. TDK. Binding Band increases the residual damage output of Magma Storm by 4.16% per turn, culminating in an extra 8.33% across two turns with Protect. Unfortunately, it faces stiff competition for Heatran's item slot, making it somewhat of a novelty option, but it's fun to do 60+% to Zygarde.

Heatran @ Chople Berry
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 200 HP / 52 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Stealth Rock
- Magma Storm
- Earth Power
- Will-O-Wisp

Used week 4 vs. BTB. Chople is a failsafe vs. some Kartana and Z-Fight Magearna; sadly, Heatran still dies to stuff like Medi HJK and +2 Z-Fight Kartana.

Tapu Koko @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 24 Def / 232 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- U-turn / Volt Switch
- Protect

Used week 3 vs. Sabella. Shuca is something I used in early SM but never got to bring out in an actual tour match until now. The ubiquity of Landorus-Therian makes it a really good choice in the current metaame, and I tend to prefer this set over the prediction reliance necessitated by Specs. Protect turned out to be more of a niche option than anything, but the idea was to scout Scarfers (especially Lando) often used to revenge Koko. It also has good synergy with Toxic Spikes, which I used against Sabella; although the move choice didn't technically affect the outcome, it would've allowed me to secure a guaranteed win in several other endgame scenarios had they panned out.

Clefable @ Leftovers
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Stealth Rock
- Moonblast
- Wish
- Soft-Boiled

Used week 5 vs. Cdumas and week 8 vs. Trosko (and it would've been good vs. Leftiez had I not chickend out and opted for Toxic). I've always been a fan of Wish Chansey, and it's good on Clefable for the same reason: it helps to offset the momentum loss that comes with using a defensive Pokemon. SR/Calm Mind is useless in many matchups nowadays because preparing for it entails minimal teambuilding cost, and Clefable really wants an auxiliary move that allows it to retain momentum against the all-too-common Heatran switch-ins. Enter Wish, which can be used to facilitate repeated Zygarde/Greninja switch-ins and in general keep your offensive Pokemon healthy against more defensive teams. Both of the Steel-type Mags are good partners; Wish allows Magnezone to switch into Celesteela more liberally, and Magearna can switch into Clefable's defensive switch-ins and benefit considerably from the additional sustain.

Magearna @ Normalium Z
Ability: Soul-Heart
EVs: 240 HP / 16 SpA / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Volt Switch
- Flash Cannon
- Heart Swap
- Heal Bell

Used Week 5 vs. Cdumas. Heart Swap is fairly known by now; it's useful for countering the CM pantheon of Clefable/Reuniclus/Latias/Suicune. John came up with Z-Heal Bell because my team lacked a Z-move, and the one-time full recover combined with Wish Clefable gave Magearna sufficient longevity for my tastes. Together, the two helped sustain the Zygarde I paired with them, enabling it to switch more freely into potential burns from Toxapex and Heatran.

Magearna @ Leftovers
Ability: Soul-Heart
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Volt Switch
- Fleur Cannon
- Heart Swap
- Protect

Used Week 8 vs. Trosko. Heart Swap because my team lost to Calm Mind once again. Protect compensates for the special bulk sacrificed by foregoing Assault Vest; the additional damage incurred from something like a specs Gren Hydro Pump is somewhere along the lines of 13-15%, which can be recouped by switch-in lefties+ one Protect and more than made up from switch-in + Protect on switch out + Protect again. And as always, Protect is also useful for scouting choice Lando and co. Of course, there are clear downsides: you can't use Magearna as a pivot as easily, you're yielding tons of momentum if you're staying in and spamming Protect all the time, etc. I paired it with Mega Latios and Magnezone to take advantage of common Magearna switch-ins who'd otherwise do too much with a free turn, as well as Wish Clefable once again to help with longevity and taking stronger hits.

Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 236 HP / 76 SpA / 196 Spe
Naive Nature
- Earthquake
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Earth Power
- U-turn

Used Week 5 vs. Cdumas. Earth Power OHKOes Kartana while allowing me to run HP Ice. EVs secure KO on Kartana and the SR/2HKO on all but the bulkiest Zygardes. In the actual game, I actually tried to run myself out of EQ PP so I could maybe surprise KO Heatran with Earth Power, but I didn't manage to get to that point.

Hidden Power Flying is an option I was also considering; it hits a surprising number of Pokemon, including Kartana, Hawlucha, Pinsir, Heracross (and Tangrowth and Bulu I guess).

Landorus-Therian @ Flyinium Z
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 236 HP / 100 Atk / 36 Def / 136 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance / Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Fly
- Knock Off / Hidden Power [Ice]

Used Week 8 vs. Trosko. Bulky Z-Fly Lando isn't necessarily new, but I think it's gaining more traction now with the rise of Hawlucha. Credit to ayevon for the EV spread. We ended up going to 100 Atk for KO on Kartana with SR, and I ended up shifting the Def to HP for Latios-Mega, but leaving them in Def allows you to always survive +2 Kart + rocks.

Decidueye @ Ghostium Z
Ability: Overgrow
EVs: 252 HP / 168 Def / 88 SpD
Careful Nature
- Curse
- Spirit Shackle
- Protect
- Roost

Didn't use, but every artist knows that sometimes the painting never leaves the canvas. Z-Curse restores all your HP, allowing you to fire it off at will and then spam Protect/Roost to kill the enemy, assuming you've properly trapped it. If you pair this with Eject Button Toxapex and Scarf Magnezone, you can even get rid of Heatran.


Week 1 vs. TDK
Week 3 vs. Sabella
Week 4 vs. BTB
Week 5 vs. Cdumas
Week 7 vs. Leftiez
Week 8 vs. Trosko
Week 9 vs. HT


hunting for a dream
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