Project The Threat Assessment Project (Scenario 1, Stage 2 is up!)

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jpw234

Catastrophic Event Specialist
Approved by Subject 18 and Aragorn the King

Hello everybody, and welcome to the Threat Assessment Project. In this thread you can put the teambuilding skills and metagame knowledge you gain from other useful projects in the OU forum to work by analyzing live battle situations, and hear the thought processes of a variety of strong OU players, giving us a chance to improve our battling skills as a community.

What's this about?

In other places around Smogon you can learn a lot of really useful stuff about the OU tier, such as the top threats in the metagame, sets and EV spreads, good cores, and checks or counters for most relevant Pokemon. But all of these discrete pieces of knowledge are useless to you if you can't synthesize and apply them in a battle.

Let's take an example. Is it safe to switch an offensive Mega-Venusaur into a Thundurus-I? Being an intelligent OU player, you probably answered "yes", or perhaps "almost always yes". Thundurus-I's standard set runs Thunder Wave, Thunderbolt, Hidden Power Ice, and Focus Blast, none of which particularly bother Mega-Venusaur. Thundy can run other moves like Knock Off, Superpower or Grass Knot, but none of these moves really hurt you either. The only real threats to Venu from Thundy are the uncommon Nasty Plot/Hidden Power Flying set, or the very rare Psychic.

New question. Is it safe here to switch your offensive Mega-Venusaur into this Thundurus-I?


Many players will answer yes, since they know that Venusaur is a solid Thundurus counter. Unfortunately, those players just had Thundurus Nasty Plot on the switch, kill their Venusaur with Hidden Power Flying, and then proceed to wreck the rest of their team. Situations like this happen a lot and can be incredibly demoralizing, since players feel like their (correct) knowledge of the metagame has let them down, or that they couldn't have predicted such an unusual set.

However, threats like this can be sniffed out by an experienced player. For example, the given opponent's team has Klefki, which almost always has Prankster Thunder Wave, making a TWave Thundurus redundant. His main sweeper appears to be Mega-Altaria, which is completely walled by Venusaur, and his main wallbreaker is Crawdaunt, which is also completely walled by Venusaur - so we should expect that one of his Pokemon would be a lure for such a big threat. Thundurus seems to be a likely candidate, so think twice before you switch! By using our knowledge of metagame threats, what makes a good core, and what counters are important to lure, we can make an informed threat assessment of our opponent's team that will help us throughout the battle.

Project Rules

This project will give you an opportunity to train your threat assessment skills, so that you can make better predictions and plays in your games on the ladder or in tournaments. We'll divide the project up into scenarios, which will proceed through 2 stages:

In stage 1, I'll give you a screenshot of the start battle screen and the pastebin of your team. Your job is to do a pre-battle analysis of the matchup. A couple of things you should consider including:
- What is your opponent's wincon?
- What specific sets/moves would you predict your opponent to be running based on his team composition and the wincon you've identified? Is there any set you particularly need to scout for, or that poses a big threat to your team?
- What is your wincon?
- What is stopping your wincon from sweeping, and what is your plan for removing those threats? (No need to be too specific, just a quick outline of a battle plan)
- What Pokemon will you choose to lead with?
Here's an example of what this might look like:

Your team:
Quagsire @ Leftovers
Ability: Unaware
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Impish Nature
- Scald
- Earthquake
- Toxic
- Recover

Venusaur @ Venusaurite
Ability: Overgrow
EVs: 236 HP / 252 SpA / 20 Spe
Modest Nature
- Giga Drain
- Sludge Bomb
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Synthesis

Tentacruel @ Black Sludge
Ability: Liquid Ooze
EVs: 248 HP / 148 Def / 80 SpD / 32 Spe
Bold Nature
- Rapid Spin
- Scald
- Acid Spray
- Knock Off

Hippowdon @ Leftovers
Ability: Sand Force
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Impish Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Slack Off
- Earthquake
- Ice Fang

Jirachi @ Leftovers
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs: 252 HP / 96 Atk / 160 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Substitute
- Iron Head
- Fire Punch
- Toxic

Latias @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 72 HP / 184 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Draco Meteor
- Psyshock
- Thunderbolt
- Roost


Example response:
My opponent's team appears to be based around DD Mega-Altaria. He's supporting it with a Crawdaunt to break down checks like my Quagsire and Jirachi, and Spikes support from Klefki. Garchomp is probably a bulky SR set to check offensive threats like Talonflame and Lopunny, and I would be expecting Fire Blast to beat Ferrothorn and Scizor for Altaria. Given the team's weakness to Mega Venu and the fact that he already has Prankster TWave, I'd expect some sort of lure Thundurus set with Psychic or HP Flying along with SD Bisharp to pressure Venusaur.
My wincon is Venusaur, which does a bunch of damage to all the members of his team with the right move and has many good switch-in opportunities. I need to scout for potential sets that could wear it down or kill it (i.e. NP Thundy or SD Bisharp) and hopefully keep it away from an annoying Klefki paralysis. If I can wear down Klefki and keep multiple hazards off the field with Tentacruel I should be able to chip his team down fairly well.
I would lead with Latias anticipating a Garchomp lead, since there's no too awful matchup for me there (Altaria I go to Venu and Bisharp is unlikely to have Pursuit given he's not weak to Psychics).

You don't need to go incredibly in depth (although you are certainly welcome to!). 8-10 sentences should suffice, as long as you hit the important points and explain your evaluation of your opponent's team.

After a little bit, we'll proceed to stage 2. At this point, the battle has begun and is starting to kick into full swing. I'll give you a screenshot of a pivotal turn in the battle along with the logs of the turns up to that point. It's your job to make and justify the correct play for the turn. Use the log of the past turns to update your predictions about your opponent's sets, determine your wincon, and finally, pick the play that takes you to victory!
Here's how this might look:
We're on turn 13 of the battle, and this is the situation:

Here's the log of what's happened so far: http://pastebin.com/QmJ6q9yn
What's the play?

Example response:
The battle so far has revealed that Klefki is running TWave and Spikes, and Crawdaunt is the typical LO variant (likely with Swords Dance). We've seen Leftovers and Thunderbolt out of this Thundurus, but that doesn't pin down any particular set.
Venusaur is still our critical Pokemon, since it walls his two biggest threats (Altaria and Crawdaunt). It's at 77% right now and already mega evolved, so it switches into most Thundurus sets safely. However, given that we know his team is so weak to Venusaur (supported by the fact that he attempted to para it with Klefki despite risking losing it to HP Fire), it's very possible that Thundurus is some type of lure, possibly with Nasty Plot and HP Flying. Latias is not a safe switchin to that set at its current health and Jirachi/Tentacruel/Quagsire are all taking way too much damage from a +2 TBolt or Focus Blast. Given our weakened and incredibly important Venusaur and that Grass Knot seems unlikely from his team composition (he has Crawdaunt and possibly Toxic Garchomp to break down Grounds, and DD Altaria can muscle through them on its own), Whirlwinding seems to be the best play here, since it racks up hazards damage and will phaze a potential +2 Thundurus.

At the end of stage 2, I'll post the pastebin of the enemy's team along with a short explanation, so you can see what you got right and whether your ideas about the opposing team matched up with how it was built.

This was a somewhat contrived example, but hopefully you guys get the gist! Think through the scenarios carefully and give your reasoning - explaining as much as possible allows you to better understand your own thought processes, and gives others some perspective to understand your decisions. Hopefully we'll get a spread of battling experience and styles so we can learn from each other and improve. We won't vote on the best post since I want everybody to feel confident giving this a shot, but particularly impressive or well thought-out posts will be placed by me into an archive to show off to those participating.

With all that said, let's get this show on the road!

----------------
Nothing here yet!

If you are interested in submitting teams for this project, please PM me! Teams with innovative sets or featuring good lures would be great for this, and I will be sure to credit you.
 
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jpw234

Catastrophic Event Specialist
Welcome to the first scenario for the Threat Assessment Project!

Scenario 1, Stage 1:

You've just loaded into the battle, and this is what you see:


And here's the importable for your team:
Note: fixed ATK EVs on Crawdaunt, thanks all
Crawdaunt @ Life Orb
Ability: Adaptability
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Naughty Nature
- Blizzard
- Crabhammer
- Knock Off
- Aqua Jet

Alakazam @ Alakazite
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Psychic
- Focus Blast
- Shadow Ball
- Substitute

Ferrothorn @ Chople Berry
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 88 Def / 168 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Spikes
- Power Whip
- Gyro Ball
- Knock Off

Kyurem-Black @ Life Orb
Ability: Teravolt
EVs: 20 HP / 252 SpA / 236 Spe
Mild Nature
- Ice Beam
- Fusion Bolt
- Earth Power
- Hidden Power [Fire]

Heatran @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 248 HP / 220 SpD / 40 Spe
Calm Nature
- Lava Plume
- Stone Edge
- Stealth Rock
- Taunt

Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 24 Def / 232 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- U-turn
- Stone Edge
- Explosion

The battle is about to start. What's your plan of attack?
Keep in mind some suggestions for your post, out of the OP:
- What is your opponent's wincon?
- What specific sets/moves would you predict your opponent to be running based on his team composition and the wincon you've identified? Is there any set you particularly need to scout for, or that poses a big threat to your team?
- What is your wincon?
- What is stopping your wincon from sweeping, and what is your plan for removing those threats? (No need to be too specific, just a quick outline of a battle plan)
- What Pokemon will you choose to lead with?
Let's get this started!
 
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Albacore

sludge bomb is better than sludge wave
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- What is your opponent's wincon?

Probably Talonflame if it's SD Sharp Beak, all it really needs it Hetaran weakened and some SR damage on Lando-T and it can pretty easily sweep (not too hard if it repeatidely gets damage on it -> send in his own Heatran). BD Azumarill could sweep this team if Kyu-B is weakened, it can set up on Heatran and Crawdaunt (btw you're missing attack EVS on Daunt), which can Knock off and Taunt respectively (Knock Off leaves it at a range where it easily dies from Iron Barbs), but if you need either Daunt or Heatran for something else, the risk probably isn't worth taking

- What specific sets/moves would you predict your opponent to be running based on his team composition and the wincon you've identified? Is there any set you particularly need to scout for, or that poses a big threat to your team?

HP Ground seems plausible on Serperior, and defneitely quite problematic if it is the case since it hits your main switchin to Talonflame, Heatran. Converesely, BD Knock Off on Azu lures a couple of HP Ground Serp counters, more notably Ferrothorn which you also have, so you need to be careful playing around these. Since the team doesn't have another SR setter, Excadrill is probably running a Choice Scarf though I wouldn't rule out SpD. EPower heatran can actually causesome problems for you since you can't set up Rocks on it and therefore guarantee at least no hazard disadvantage

- What is your wincon?

I'm going to say Lando-T, since the opponent doesn't have a counter to it and it can just spam U-Turn to gain momentum. Furthermore, the only Ground immunity on the opposing team, Talonflame, is weak to SR. Kyu-B can easily punch ridiculous holes into this team, if it swicthes in on a predicted Azu Aqua Jet or Waterfall, or on Heatran and it can spam either Ice Beam or Bolt Strike, if Rocks are up probably Ice Beam since Bolt Strike invites Excadrill to Spin hazards away, though Ice Beam backfires if Azu has the guts to stay in, and Azu is a much bigger threat than Excadrill overall. MZam can probably put in a ton of work since nothging swicthes into it, though the opponent does have an Excadrill, which is Scarfed can check it and if SpD can take a Focus Blast, Heatran can probably take a Focus Blast as well. It can potentially clean but needs both prior users removed.

- What is stopping your wincon from sweeping, and what is your plan for removing those threats? (No need to be too specific, just a quick outline of a battle plan)

Both prio users need to be weakened for either Lando-T or Alakazam to sweep, the latter of which is also revenge killed by Scarf Excadrill. The best ways to remove them is to put pressure on them via hazards, and in Azu's case, try to get Kyu-B in vs it and force big damage on something. You can't really prevent spins from Exca, but you can dissuade them via Ferrothorn and Crawdaunt, especially if it happens to be Scarfed

Gameplan would probably something like this :

Get rocks up, get Lando-T in, spam U-Turn to freely get Kyu-B or Zam in and let them punch massive holes in the team (I'd go for Kyu-B early game, before rocks go up, while Zam seems better midgame when both STeels have been weakened).
Try to maintain hazard advantage by initially preventing Hetaran from getting rocks up since you have no way of getting rid of them, and using either Crawdaunt or Ferro to punish Spins from Exca. This enables you to either get up spikes to weaken Azu+Heatran; or bait Azu with Crawadaunt, thus weakening it, in fact you can probably afford to just sack Daunt to Azu given how much your wincons benefit from its removal. If Exca is Scarfed this is great news for you since you get a free turn every time it removes hazards, that being said SpD can't check Kyu-B as well so either set can be taken advantage of quite easily.
Keep Heatran healthy throughout the battle so that it outlasts Talonflame, and try to prevent Serperior from coming in in case it's an HP Ground set and removes Heatran completely. You can play around this by piovting between Ferro and Heatran to scout this, though this is kinda risky. You may want to sack Crawdaunt to Serp, Daunt is the least valuable member of your team and, combined with Serp's LO damage, Aqua Jet can hurt it enough for Zam to be able to revenge kill it. Once Talon and Azu have been killed by hazards, recoil, and chip damage from Ferrothorn, clean with either Lando-T or Zam, and reap spoils of victory.

- What Pokemon will you choose to lead with?

I'd go with Lando-T, it lets you easily force out Heatran so that it doesn't get up early rocks while racking up momentum. Pretty unoriginal but that's probably the way to go in this case.

edit : actually on second thoughts AM and everyone else is right, not only does Kyu-B check Azu but it also forces out Heatran and prevents rocks, and w/o getting locked in.
 
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Well. Let me give this a shot. Please dont kill me if there are any mistakes.
My opponent is running a pretty offensive team that seems to be based a SD talonflame sweep. Mega Manectric would support this sweep by allowing for more setup opportunities with Intimidate. Also, it can chip Heatran and Rotom-Wash with volt switch and deal great damage to opposing lando-t/tank chomp with hidden power ice. The serperior is there as a mandatory ttar/ hippo check. I would not be surprised to see serperior carrying taunt with lefties as the team seems to be weak to stall without it. The serperior could be carrying hidden power ground for opposing heatran as it is almost definitely not carrying hp fire due to extensive fire coverage on the team. The Azu is probably banded to prevent sand rush Excadrill from sweeping. It is carrying knock off>superpower as the team deals with ferro and defensive steels excellently. An offensive team needs good speed control so the excadrill is likely scarfed as it is the most efficient way of revenge killing +1 mega altaria. Without a scarf on drill, the team will fall to opposing manectrics far too easily. Furthermore it is great as a hazard clearer for talonflame. I believe the heatran is fast and is the teams rocker. I would not be surprised to see it carrying a balloon to provide an additional ground resist. It most likely carries taunt to prevent rocks which this team hates and because rapid spin on scarf drill kills momentum. I would feel that it is a Magma Storm variant carrying Earth Power though I would not discount Flash Cannon as a possibility.

My Win Con is scarf lando-t which deals well with all members of the team bar azumarill which can revenge kill. I have the matchup and can win by pressuring with rocks and lando-t. My priority would be preventing heatran from getting up rocks due to my lack of hazard removal.

I believe that he would lead Heatran due to balloon tran faring excellently against most of my team. My lead of choice would be Alakazam as I can force out the heatran with focus miss and mega evolve to outspeed manectric.
 

AM

GMT-4
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I don't have time to make a fancy post but I'm leading Kyurem-B. If your opponent has any common sense he's gonna realize your switch ins to Azumarill are realistically non existent and that he's the one at an advantage at this point in time. If you put anything except Kyurem-B in their first, and it's safe to assume that Azu is either Band or BD on this team, you're taking a gamble on it being band and getting Ferro nailed with a Superpower so early in the game you can't utilize the Spikes on your team to wear down the ground mons. You don't necessarily have to attack but you want Kyurem-B to force stuff out to put yourself in a favorable position through doubles so Azu isn't just killing something off Turn 1.

Scarf Excadrill, BD Azumarill (Bands likely as well teams annoyed by Char-X and sand), HP Ground Serp with Life Orb and lame Giga Drain (If it has Taunt it would be way better), M-Manectric, Air Balloon Heatran, SD Talonflame. Whether or not that's Natural Gift Talonflame remains to be seen but it's a possibility.

Lol you win by maintaining what I seriously hope is Roost Kyurem-B. If Heatran and Exca are the only things left you can use Crawdaunt but it's going to be hard pressed in this match to do a whole lot other than getting a free Knock Off when Heatran comes in.

Game plan is just getting Kyurem-B in to scare something off. He'll go to Excadrill unless he's one of those guys that use Heatran as their Kyurem-B switch in lol so that's a free Ferro switch in to get spikes. Double to Lando-T and if you're scarf U-Turn out get in a rocks or spike. The first point is kind of set in stone the other stuff you go with the flow and not get into an M-Manectric / Talonflame cleaning range.
 

Unlucky Desperado

Banned deucer.
first off let me say, the Crawdaunt EVs are wrong.

his team probably band azu, standard serp, mmane, sd talon, scarf exca, rocks tran probably offensive stallbreaker maybe power herb solarbeam
Here are some things I wanna do:
- keep tran alive for talon
- mega evo alakazam fast bcuz its ur revenger for shit like mane

I'd lead Kyurem because other than excadrill nothing really ohkos it while everyhting else ohkoed in return. I'd get rocks and pressure the excadrill with doubles. Ferrothonr is a free switch for a lot of shit and imo it isnt doing much this game. scarf lando t is also good.

My wincon probably just weakening his team with kyurem, and then clean with Alakazam/scarf lando. Crawdaunt imo is really useful because it does a fuckton to Azumarill and wears it down. Stopping the priority is key. not really any alakazam switch ins.
 

bludz

a waffle is like a pancake with a syrup trap
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Opponent's win conditions:
These are assumptions considering the sets are unknown but here goes anyway. SD Talonflame can clean up after Landorus-T has been weakened slightly and Heatran is brought to low HP. It needs to set up on Ferrothorn or Landorus-T locked into EQ though, nothing else will allow it to get a Swords Dance up. BD Azumarill can sweep if Kyurem-Black and Crawdaunt are weakened, but it only sets up on Heatran (while praying for no burn) or Landorus-T locked into Stone Edge. Another win condition would be to eliminate Alakazam, Landorus-T and weaken Heatran for Manectric to sweep. If Excadrill is Choice Scarf, it can clean late game if Landorus-T and Crawdaunt are removed and Ferrothorn is weakened. Serperior wins if Heatran and Landorus-T are eliminated and Alakazam is put into Leaf Storm KO range while retaining enough HP to live Psychic + Crawdaunt's Aqua Jet - but if it's HP ground then it needs Ferro gone instead of Heatran.

Specific movesets I'm anticipating:
I find it very likely that this Heatran is standard SpDef because the team struggles with powerful special attackers and the rest of the teambuild implies that it isn't stallbreaker (Serp is good vs stall and Talonflame could be stallbreaker) or Solar Beam (2 water type killers already), and Scarf seems pretty questionable considering he has a Talonflame. Based on the offensive nature of his team, if Heatran is indeed SpDef, his Talonflame is probably a Swords Dance variant potentially with Will-O-Wisp to lure in some of the physical fatmons that the team isn't super fond of like Hippowdon and Quagsire which annoy Manectric. Scouting for this isn't super important considering Talon is a rather large threat regardless of what set it is running & Heatran is the primary counter to it which doesn't care about wisp. Azumarill is the mon that is the scariest because the team lacks a true counter to it - Ferrothorn loses to BD while everything else just hates switching in. I would anticipate a Choice Band variant because the team is weak to Sand Rush Excadrill (BD Azu only does around 65% with Aqua Jet whereas CB usually OHKOs) and also there are already a couple of sweepers in place with Talonflame, Serperior and Manectric. I do think it's likely he is running Knock Off over Superpower on Azumarill since his team has no other Knock Off support aside from potentially Serperior which would rather spam Leaf Storm. If these assumptions are true then Excadrill is most likely a Choice Scarf variant, although it is also possible that it is a Focus Sash lead set or Air Balloon.

Things to scout for:
Excadrill's set in particular is important to scout for as it could be a threat to Kyurem-Black and Alakazam if it is Choice Scarf and Balloon could be troublesome for Landorus-T. Azumarill is also something to scout although this is quite simple; switch into Ferrothorn. If he ends up Belly Drumming and KOing it with Knock Off then Kyurem-Black can revenge kill. If he ends up using an attack then a damage calculation can be performed to deduce the set. Worth scouting if Heatran has a balloon or not before spamming Earthquake with Landorus-T. Also important to find out Talonflame's item so getting up Stealth Rocks early is important, since Lando-T will hate to be lured in on a Will-O-Wisp.

Win conditions:
Alakazam can clean up if the priority mons are removed, things are weakened into KO range and Excadrill is either not Choice Scarf or removed. Heatran can actually clutch a late game scenario if Azumarill and Excadrill are removed while Manectric has been weakened somewhat - though this will depend on the other Heatran set and also if Serperior has HP Ground or not. Late game cleanup with Landorus-T is the most probable win condition since it outspeeds the other team entirely but it sorely needs Talonflame & Azumarill gone and any potential Balloons removed as well so it can safely spam Earthquake without allowing setup. Crawdaunt can sweep if Talonflame is removed or turns out to be SpDef (not strong enough to OHKO with BB), Azumarill is removed or heavily weakened and Serperior is removed.

Basic plan:
I agree with AM - lead Kyurem-Black. Thing is difficult to switch into and will most likely be able to remove one of the opposing team members or heavily dent a couple of them before going down. It is not needed in a late game scenario unless the opponent is actually BD Azumarill (though Lando-T intimidate after the BD + Ferrothorn can actually beat it if that's absolutely necessary). It is imperative to set up Stealth Rocks and Spikes which will wear down the opposing team much more quickly and pressure Excadrill to come out which can allow for free turns if its Scarf or for Alakazam to potentially get a Sub up while threatening it out. Ferrothorn is key in this match since it beats Azumarill but is also capable of luring both Heatran and Talonflame with Knock Off making them easier to wear down. Ultimately my basic plan would be to try to get up hazards and make aggressive double switches to force favorable scenarios where I retain momentum and am able to wear down the opposing team to set up for a late game sweep by either Landorus-T or Alakazam behind a Sub. I would also probably try to bait him into revenge killing Alakazam with Azumarill or Talonflame provided it can take one hit and weaken them significantly to set up for a Landorus-T sweep.
 
1) What is your opponent's wincon?
From first glance, I think the opposing team's best chance on winning is either his SD Talonflame or Azumarill (not sure whether Banded or Belly Drum)

2) What specific sets/moves would you predict your opponent to be running based on his team composition and the wincon you've identified? Is there any set you particularly need to scout for, or that poses a big threat to your team?
That Serperior there, I don't think it's carrying HP Fire since his team have 3 Fire-users already in Heatran, Talonflame and Mega Manectric. If I had to take a guess, it might be HP Ground to remove Heatran since he needs it gone for Talonflame to sweep.

This also ties into his other win condition, the Azumarill set. If it is Choice Band, it is bound to carry Superpower so that Ferrothorn doesn't annoy Serperior too much. Of course, it can also be the Belly Drum set which one-shots Ferrothorn with +6 Knock Off.

As for Talonflame itself, I said it is a SD Talonflame, right? I have to watch out for a potential Will-O-Wisp since Lando-T doesn't like being burned. Of course, it could also turn out to be a Natural Gift set, in which case the Serperior could drop HP Ground for Glare, Knock Off or Giga Drain instead.


3) What is your wincon?
Scarf Landorus-T or Mega Alakazam would be the best bets.


4) What is stopping your wincon from sweeping, and what is your plan for removing those threats? (No need to be too specific, just a quick outline of a battle plan)
For my win condition to do their job, I need to remove Azumarill and this can be achieved by laying down hazards early to rack up damage on it. Double switching on a predicted Azu switch-in using Kyurem also chips away at it's precious HP, moreso if it's the Drum variant which is unable to check as much stuff before set-up. As for Talonflame, Stealth Rock should deter it enough, and Heatran is a counter to it unless it runs Natural Gift.

That Excadrill is most probably Scarfed because his team is based on Talonflame so he wants to Spin. This can be taken advantage of by Crawdaunt and Kyurem-B to land big hits on the opponent's team while Ferro can chip away at it with Iron Barbs, weakening it so that it will eventually faint and allow Mega Alakazam to clean.

5) What Pokemon will you choose to lead with?
I'm forced to lead with Kyurem-B here because 5/6 of the team loses to Azumarill one on one. If I lead anything else and he leads with Azumarill, which can be Banded, then my Ferro is at risk of eating a Superpower and I can kiss goodbye to my plan on wearing his team down with Spikes and aggressive play.
 

Malley

Dominachu
Ayt, so here it looks like we're facing a team based around an offensive core of Manectric and Serperior, complemented by Choice Band Azumarill as a wallbreaker. Heatran is probably specially defensive with rocks, as Excadrill is needed for Rapid Spin support and rocks + spin + switching into Latios would be too much pressure for Drill to handle. Drill is therefore probably Choice Scarfed. The team as it is has no Charizard Y or Gengar switch-in, so Talonflame is likely also specially defensive, probably with Taunt to break stall and possibly with Bulk Up to more reliably manage Altaria. Will-O-Wisp is an option in place of Bulk Up, as is Swords Dance. Stallbreaker Heatran, probably still with rocks and possibly on an Air Balloon, is also an option, leaving specially defensive Excadrill as the team's primary Latios switch-in. This is unlikely, but it can be scouted for by judging how willingly Excadrill comes in to revenge kill Zam, Tran, and Kyurem, and how willingly Heatran comes in on our own Heatran or on Alakazam. Hazard damage would also be enough to reveal the presence or absence of Leftovers. I would expect Serperior to be running Hidden Power Ground to enhance its synergy with Manectric, which can be easily scouted for by switching Ferrothorn into a Leaf Storm or Dragon Pulse, then double switching to Heatran on the likely (if Serp does have HP Ground) Manectric, Talonflame, or Heatran switch.

With this in mind, we have a few potential win conditions. Looking at every team member in turn: once Crawdaunt has lured in and weakened Serperior with Blizzard (which it can do given a free switch against Heatran or Excadrill) it can be preserved for a late-game Aqua Jet sweep for after Manectric and Azumarill have been weakened, although it may be better to sacrifice it in order to weaken Manectric.

Alakazam is a major threat to the opponent's team, as the opponent only has one switch-in for it in specially defensive Talonflame, and that requires them to keep rocks off their side of the field at all times. Once it has Mega Evolved, Zam can take advantage of free switches against Azumarill if it's not locked into Aqua Jet, Manectric, Serperior, Heatran, and Excadrill if it's locked into Rapid Spin. Once Talonflame is gone (after being sac'd to get rid of Crawdaunt, or being forced to switch in with rocks up, or being caught by an unexpected Stone Edge from Heatran) Zam can exploit these free turns further, by using Substitute on predicted switches and so easing prediction.

Ferrothorn's main roles are to wall Serperior in tandem with Heatran, to lure in and catch out Azumarill with its Chople Berry, to fairly effectively wall Excadrill, and to repeatedly set up Spikes to weaken Manectric (primarily) and force Excadrill to lock itself into Rapid Spin. With no recovery, Ferrothorn is unlikely to be the final win condition and so may be better used to take out either Azumarill or Serperior early- to mid-game.

Kyurem-B takes advantages of the free switches that it finds against Choice-locked Azumarill and Excadrill, and against Heatran, by using Ice Beam as every opportunity. Kyurem can also stay in against Manectric and Serperior in a one-on-one, as neither can do much damage against it. There is little reason to use anything apart from Ice Beam early-game unless Kyurem is facing off against Azumarill or Heatran and you think the opponent isn't going to switch, since both things that resist Ice Beam are outsped and KOd anyway. It may be useful to reveal Hidden Power Fire early on, feinting an Excadrill prediction, in order to bluff a non-Earth Power set and thereby lure in Heatran. Kyurem could work well with Crawdaunt to weaken Azumarill and Heatran for Aqua Jet KOes.

Heatran's main roles are to wall Serperior in tandem with Ferrothorn, reliably switch in to Manectric (although we need to be careful to not let it get too weakened), set up Stealth Rock, and counter Talonflame; it is unlikely that Heatran will ever be able to wall the opponent's team, so it should not be kept around unnecessarily once Manectric and Talonflame are dealt with.

Scarf Lando-T matches up well against everything apart from Azumarill, as the opponent's only switch-ins to Earthquake are Serperior (which fears U-Turn) and Talonflame (which fears Stone Edge); we can exploit this by getting off free Earthquake damage on Azumarill (probably the best mid-ground switch-in) early on. Landorus can pressure Excadrill to prevent it spinning, since it gets a free turn whenever Drill does switch, which can remove Talonflame as a switch-in to Alakazam and thereby allow Zam to get a kill every time it comes in. Landorus is also a potential win con in itself if Serperior is weakened and Talonflame is removed, as Earthquake can then sweep.

So, our three main win conditions to aim for are a Crawdaunt Aqua Jet sweep (if hazards can be kept up to and Serp + Azu weakened considerably), Zam continually forcing sacs if rocks can be maintained, and a Lando Earthquake sweep once Serperior and Talonflame are killed. Serp, Azu, and Talonflame are therefore the biggest obstacles. All of these should be weakened by Kyurem-B early-game, Zam once rocks are up, and hazards at all times. Maintaining rocks is vital.

The biggest threats to our team are Manectric, Azumarill, and Bulk Up Talonflame (SD doesn't scare me so much). Heatran is the only switch-in to Manectric, and that is threatened heavily by everything else on the team bar Talonflame and Heatran if it lacks Earth Power. We only need Heatran for Manectric and Talonflame, however, so Talonflame should be targetted early with rocks and Scarf Lando 50/50s, after which Manectric can be isolated and gradually worn town by rocks and Spikes. Azumarill should be dealt with by attempting to lure it in with Ferrothorn, and if that fails by taking advantage of the free switches Zum's choice-lock gives to Kyurem, Zam, and Lando. Talonflame finds it hard to set up, but it can do so against Ferrothorn or a choice-locked Landorus; for this reason, if rocks for any reason cannot be maintained (although it should be easy enough to pressure Excadrill so that they can be) both Landorus and Heatran should be used sparingly until Talonflame reveals its set. Heatran can also be annoying with Lava Plume burns on Lando, Kyurem-B, and Crawdaunt, but Mega Zam can Trace its Flash Fire and Kyurem-B can potentially lure it in by concealing Earth Power until the last moment. Heatran can also be easily revenge-killed, and ultimately gives up momentum to our team's powerful attackers.

I tried to write this without looking at anything people above said, but I couldn't avoid seeing that everyone wants to lead with Kyurem-B, and I have to agree. It gains momentum against everything bar Scarf Drill and Will-O-Wisp Talonflame, and most importantly anti-leads the opponent's most likely leads in Manectric and Azumarill. One could also make a risky play by leading with Ferrothorn to attempt to immediately take out Azumarill, but since Serperior then becomes a problem this is probably too risky.

Not a bad match up eh
 
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jpw234

Catastrophic Event Specialist
Great start to this project! Some awesome posts so far.

I tried to write this without looking at anything people above said, but I couldn't avoid seeing that everyone wants to lead with Kyurem-B, and I have to agree. It gains momentum against everything bar Scarf Drill and Will-O-Wisp Talonflame, and most importantly anti-leads the opponent's most likely leads in Manectric and Azumarill. One could also make a risky play by leading with Ferrothorn to attempt to immediately take out Azumarill, but since Serperior then becomes a problem this is probably too risky.
Nobody should feel the need to avoid reading what other players have said - in fact, I encourage everybody to read the other posts while developing their opinions. Don't let what another user says determine your position entirely, but do consider others' analyses and use them to improve your own.

I think that Stage 2 will probably go up sometime around tomorrow night, depending on how many responses we're getting. Keep up the good work!
 

Croven

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this is a really cool project, good job jpw! let's keep this running for a good amount of time, could really help out some battlers

Welcome to the first scenario for the Threat Assessment Project!

Scenario 1, Stage 1:

You've just loaded into the battle, and this is what you see:


And here's the importable for your team:
Note: fixed ATK EVs on Crawdaunt, thanks all
Crawdaunt @ Life Orb
Ability: Adaptability
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Naughty Nature
- Blizzard
- Crabhammer
- Knock Off
- Aqua Jet

Alakazam @ Alakazite
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Psychic
- Focus Blast
- Shadow Ball
- Substitute

Ferrothorn @ Chople Berry
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 88 Def / 168 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Spikes
- Power Whip
- Gyro Ball
- Knock Off

Kyurem-Black @ Life Orb
Ability: Teravolt
EVs: 20 HP / 252 SpA / 236 Spe
Mild Nature
- Ice Beam
- Fusion Bolt
- Earth Power
- Hidden Power [Fire]

Heatran @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 248 HP / 220 SpD / 40 Spe
Calm Nature
- Lava Plume
- Stone Edge
- Stealth Rock
- Taunt

Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 24 Def / 232 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- U-turn
- Stone Edge
- Explosion

The battle is about to start. What's your plan of attack?
Keep in mind some suggestions for your post, out of the OP:
- What is your opponent's wincon?
looking from team preview, your opponents wincon/win scenario is getting rocks up, as you have no removal, and pressuring the hell out of heatran with manec and landot with excadrill, and potentially cleaning late game with talonflame. serp could also be hp ground to lure in heatrans for talon, so be sure to watch out for that. bd azu could clean up if kyub gets whittled (2 sr switch ins or 1 sr switch in + 2 lo recoil). overall the manec is going to be the biggest issue; while it wont sweep you outright due to priority and alakazam and scarf landot, its 2 checks on your team are also severely needed for opposing threats, and with rocks up, you could easily fall to proper manec playing. scarf driller also looks like a threat, as without lefties ferro isn't the greatest answer and seeing as your own landot is scarf, both will be taking good damage from it. cb azu with ajet could also clean if ferro/kyub are weakened, though that seems a lot less likely than talon/drill. still be careful with it. so win cons are manec + talon/azu, and potentially driller.
- What specific sets/moves would you predict your opponent to be running based on his team composition and the wincon you've identified? Is there any set you particularly need to scout for, or that poses a big threat to your team?
really scout for hp ground serperior, as if it is, your #1 talonflame answer just went down the drain. again, scarf landot isn't the greatest answer to talon, as it is "outsped" by brave bird and without proper bulk investment, its taking a hell of a lot. balloon tran also looks like its ready to get a couple kills, as daunt is possibly one of the frailest things alive, and it gets an easy switch in on ferrothorn. be sure to pop the balloon early if it is loon, so kyub/landot can safely KO or threaten to KO it. talon looks like standard SD, which is the most threatening to the team, so make sure to try and prevent it from getting to +2 if possible, and to keep one of heatran/landot very healthy (preferably tran). azu could very well be bd, as manec/serp help to whittle down its main checks in lati@s and m-venu. while it wont make too much difference in this match, heatran could possibly be a magma storm + pherb solarbeam lure for rotom-w, or something of the sort. overall with the mons he has, bd azu seems like the most probable set, which means that keeping kyub healthy is vital. probably shouldnt even bring it in unless rocks are off the field or azu is at +6 already tbh, LO + rocks really just wears you down. 1 or 2 kills means nothing if you simply lose the game to bd azu.

- What is your wincon?
ah yes, back to our side. enough of depressing talk about the amount of win cons the opponent has, lets try and see about our side of the field! zam looks like a huge, huge threat, being able to essentially get a kill when it comes in, especially if rocks are on the field. the only thing stopping this would be AV azu, which is of no harm to you and would actually be a slight relief, as it allows kyub to come in when it wants and get kills, since azu is a non-issue then. of course, if it isn't av azu, then zam is doing major damage to everything. keeping rocks on their side of the field seems huge; with talonflame posing a major issue, keeping rocks on the field will make it enormously easier to handle. manec will be whittled with rocks too, so thats another bonus. getting spikes up, while it might be difficult considering ferro gets pressured by a hell of a lot, would be even better; manec gets very few switch ins, azu will find it infinitely harder to BD up, and serp will be easier to revengekill. it will also turn a lot of near ohko'es to straight ohko'es with alakazam. furthermore, exca seems to be his spinner so if its choiced, spin will be easily taken advantage of and punished by landot. if its an odd non choice variant, literally every time it comes in is a free attack with lando, and looking at his team, he doesnt have much. landot is a large threat to him; while keeping it healthy for talon is great, you have heatran and with rocks up, he has pretty much no switch ins for this (u-turn a bit early game to scout for AB tran, which seems very likely atm). if somewhere midgame you feel safe with a decent amount of layers up and in your own play that bd azu is no longer a threat, kyub opens up and becomes a killing machine, nabbing kills whenever it comes in. however, it seems difficult to get it in on anything other than heatran, who can threaten with a burn or a potential flash cannon (or it could be AB as stated earlier). overall, landot seems like the best win con with zam and potentially kyub breaking him midgame.
- What is stopping your wincon from sweeping, and what is your plan for removing those threats? (No need to be too specific, just a quick outline of a battle plan)
spamming eq with lando is the win con, and the things stopping this are talonflame, serp, aqua jet from azumarill, and a potential AB from tran. talonflame can be dealt with by keeping up stealth rocks and whittling it with recoil from tran; stone edge really helps as it cannot roost on you, forcing it to come in, take big sr damage, and switch back out immediately. serp will be slightly harder to whittle down, as its really not coming on much. getting a layer of spikes on the field would be great, and possibly eq'ing prematurely might lure him out and make serp take that damage. also, serp cant ohko you, so if azu and talon are out of the way then you can simply stay in, get eq damage, then sac something to rkill it/force it out, which would put it in range of the next eq after hazards. azu can be dealt with by iron barbs from ferro + hazards. ab from tran is the easiest; it will be the one most inclined to switch in so spamming u-turn early game/midgame can potentially catch him and pop the balloon. zam also gets kills when it comes in; its up to the opponent what he wants to sac, and really anything will be good, since all of the mons on his team have some type of role they play in the game (azu sweeper/priority, serp eq resist, manec momentum grabber/whittling heatran, heatran stealth rocker and potential ground immunity, exca hazard removal, talon sweeper). so the overall game plan is: setting up hazards and keeping them up early game, pressuring with zam and getting momentum/whittling with landot midgame, and cleaning with landot (or even zam, depending on how the game played out) late game.

- What Pokemon will you choose to lead with?
lol fuck i'm really bad at leading, but i'll see what i can do. #1 priority is keeping rocks off the field, so leading with ferro or heatran is out of the question, considering his most likely rocker is his own heatran. i would also prefer to not lead off with landot, since we lack superpower and balloon is likely. if we know for a fact the opponent is a good player, we could actually lead off with landot and uturn against a heatran lead, since scouting for superpower would be the likely play. however, if we have no idea of the skill level of our opponent (ladder and such), then its best to play it safe. i would probably lead alakazam; it prevents rocks and has a solid matchup against most of his team. also, m-volving early is great for trace to get lightningrod from mane and flash fire from heatran. this also prevents his mane from m-volving, keeping him in regular form with lightningrod, which could help threaten the trace later. if he leads azu, talon, or exca, we wont be able to evolve, but there will be benefits from each lead. if azu, its immediately able to be whittled by iron barbs, and spikes can go up easily (with chople, its a safe switch in regardless if he superpowers or not). with talon, tran is free and rocks go up (and a little bit of recoil isn't bad either). if exca, landot is free and immediately starts to gain momentum or damage with u-turn/eq respectively. overall, i feel that leading zam provides the most benefit with the least risk, which is always desirable when leading.

Let's get this started!
alrighty, time for the battle to begin! nice match of offense v offense, should be fast paced and overall a great game

(lol sorry for enormous response, i tend to keep typing when i find something i want to type about on forums)
 
- What is your opponent's wincon?

SD Talonflame. Once heatran and lando are weakened and rocks are up, it can sweep really easily, and depending on the situation, might not even need to set up. Belly Drum Azumarill is another major threat, as it only needs kyurem weakened. With either one of these, their game plan is to set up rocks and then use manectric to whittle down Heatran for talonflame or Kyurem for Azu. Serperior, if it has HP ground, can be really useful for them as well because it baits in ferrothorn for the free manectric or heatran or talonflame switch.


- What specific sets/moves would you predict your opponent to be running based on his team composition and the wincon you've identified? Is there any set you particularly need to scout for, or that poses a big threat to your team?

Excadrill is likely choice scarf since other than a scarf user his fastest is Manectric, leaving him weak to faster stuff like Mega Aero and Mega Alakazam. Also, I think running Excadrill and Heatran with neither one scarfed is kind of redundant.

Heatran is the Stealth Rock setter, I’m guessing spdef but it might be the speedy stallbreaking one with Taunt, maybe will-o-wisp for bisharp too.

Talonflame and serp are both sweepers, probably an offensive SD talon and some sort of lure serperior, with knock off or hp ground to take out heatrans. Alternatively, a natural gift talonflame is possible. either way, going into this battle I would assume one of them has the lure move.

Azumarill really could be anything. Choice Band is likely given his lack of stallbreakers, but Belly Drum seems to be a good fit as well.


- What is your wincon?

Landorus-T since it beats everything 1 on 1 except azumarill, and the only ground immune is 4x weak to rock. Alakazam is also a potential win condition if excadrill turns out to not be scarf. The pokemon that can break apart their team for a lando or zam sweep are Kyurem-B, Alakazam and crawdaunt, so those are likely the things I would bring in from U-Turns or on doubles.


- What is stopping your wincon from sweeping, and what is your plan for removing those threats? (No need to be too specific, just a quick outline of a battle plan)

Priority from Talonflame + Azu is the main thing stopping Landorus. So the goal is to set up entry hazards, preferably rocks, and whittle down those two. I think crawdaunt is the best bet here: every time it comes in on Heatran, it gets a kill unless they switch to Azumarill. If that’s the case then it still gets severely weakened and loses its item. This means not only do they lose a lot of health for their Priority mon, but also a potential sweeper if it’s BD. Once azumarill gets weakened, this also frees up kyurem a bit freely wallbreak instead of needing to be healthy enough to eat SR and +6 aqua jet. The way I would aim to get in Crawdaunt safely is by doubling it in vs. heatran (from ferrothorn or my own heatran), or bringing it in as they go for rocks. Also, while I would definitely play crawdaunt aggressively, I would try to at least keep it alive to take advantage of a scarf rapid spin, or just to Aqua Jet something.

Alakazam is another major threat, as once it comes in safely from a u-turn it easily forces in one of: a) heatran, which is an easy crawdaunt switch, b) excadrill which is an easy lando switch (and if they iron head on the switch then u-turn to crawdaunt), or c) talonflame which is a little more problematic but switching in heatran and if they SD immediately going lando to scout for natural gift should work fine.

For both of these, Landorus getting off free u-turns is really important. Fortunately that shouldn’t be hard to do since it outspeed everything and can force out ⅔ of the enemy team.

So basically the game plan is to set up rocks if possible, use u-turn from landorus to bring in zam and crawdaunt, and fire off strong attacks to whittle down Azumarill mainly. Eventually the opposing team will be weak enough for lando to pick them apart one by one or even just sweep with Earthquake. Heatran has to remain healthy as it beats Talon or Serp, depending on which one does not have a lure move. Kyurem has to be at least at around 75-80%, so BD azu can’t sweep.



- What Pokemon will you choose to lead with?

I would lead lando because it outspeeds and threatens everything. The only bad matchup is Azumarill which is an easy ferrothorn switch, since I doubt they would drum turn 1. I would switch out from azu, u-turn on heatran to crawdaunt if they stay in, u-turn on serp to heatran of they stay in, u-turn on excadrill to ferro, and attack talonflame or manectric. I would not lead kyurem because taking an overheat or dragon pulse could lower it into azu range. They only leads I would stay in on with kyurem are Azumarill and heatran, and so I would rather lead lando where I’d be comfortable staying in on 5 out of 6 of the opposing team.
 
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jpw234

Catastrophic Event Specialist
Thanks to everybody who's participated so far! It's time to move on to stage 2 of our first scenario, where we fastforward into the thick of the battle and you make the critical play.

We're only 7 turns into this offensive slugfest, but the Pokemon are dropping like flies on both sides. What happens in the next few turns could make or break the outcome of the game. Here's the situation:

Here's a replay of what's happened in the battle up to this point, so you can have some context: http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-248259564

And here's the importable of your team, just so you remember:
Crawdaunt @ Life Orb
Ability: Adaptability
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Naughty Nature
- Blizzard
- Crabhammer
- Knock Off
- Aqua Jet

Alakazam @ Alakazite
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Psychic
- Focus Blast
- Shadow Ball
- Substitute

Ferrothorn @ Chople Berry
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 88 Def / 168 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Spikes
- Power Whip
- Gyro Ball
- Knock Off

Kyurem-Black @ Life Orb
Ability: Teravolt
EVs: 20 HP / 252 SpA / 236 Spe
Mild Nature
- Ice Beam
- Fusion Bolt
- Earth Power
- Hidden Power [Fire]

Heatran @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 248 HP / 220 SpD / 40 Spe
Calm Nature
- Lava Plume
- Stone Edge
- Stealth Rock
- Taunt

Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 24 Def / 232 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- U-turn
- Stone Edge
- Explosion


It's your job to make and justify the correct play for the turn. Use the logs of the past turns and the Pokemon Showdown damage calculator to update your predictions about your opponent's sets, determine your wincon, and finally, pick the play that takes you to victory!
 

bludz

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So some quick observations based on the replay;

The Azumarill is definitely either Belly Drum or Assault Vest because Waterfall did not OHKO Heatran and it switched moves. I think it's safer to assume it's Belly Drum just to be prepared for the worst case scenario. EDIT: Looking back on it now, Belly Drum sets don't really run Waterfall so it's most likely an Assault Vest variant. I'd still keep Belly Drum as a possibility though.

Because his Talonflame is down, preventing Excadrill from spinning is not that imperative. In fact, outside of Balloon Heatran (and I guess potentially Balloon Exca as well but seems somewhat unlikely), his team is actually weaker to some layers of spikes.

Scarf Landorus-T as the win condition has been solidified to some extent - Talonflame is gone (that makes 1 of the 2 priority users and his only true ground immunity), Azumarill is confirmed as not Choice Band (revenges Lando from higher HP), and we know Heatran is Air Balloon. This makes the primary obstacles to a sweep removing Heatran's Balloon, a potential one from Excadrill (which I think at this point is looking like Scarf), and weakening Serp. Given that he lead with Heatran, it is most likely his Stealth Rocker as well.

First things first; Kyurem-Black's spread allows it to outspeed any Heatran that isn't holding a Choice Scarf. So we already know Kyu-B will move first, and it can also take 1 Flash Cannon barring a crit:

252 SpA Heatran Flash Cannon vs. 20 HP / 0 SpD Kyurem-B: 288-338 (72.7 - 85.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Not to rule out Modest but that can't OHKO either.

So as we stand the possible plays are any of Kyurem-Black's 4 attacks or switching out to one of the 3 team members.

Switching Out: I think in the scenario when you have a powerful attacker like Kyurem-Black in play and the opponent doesn't necessarily have a safe switch-in or a way to OHKO, pulling a switch out doesn't make sense and it's better to attack. I don't think this is the optimal play so I'm not going to go over the pros and cons of switching to each team member.

HP [Fire]: I think we can rule this out right away as not the best play. It's a wasted turn if Heatran stays in and really only hits Serperior and Excadrill super effectively while Ice Beam would do more to both anyway and potentially pops Heatran's Balloon while it is still resisted by Azumarill.

Earth Power: Nails Manectric and Excadrill on the switch-in while doing a decent amount to Azumarill. However it doesn't do anything to Heatran (whose set has not been revealed and may carry Flash Cannon which would be able to 2HKO Kyu-B while Kyu-B cannot OHKO Heatran with its Balloon intact). I don't think this is the best play either.

Fusion Bolt: This pops Heatran's Balloon and nails a possible Azumarill switch-in. However it could also give a free switch for Excadrill which threatens to revenge kill if it's Scarf and could also allow Mega Manectric to get a Lightning Rod boost if he were ballsy enough to switch it in. Allowing a free switch-in for Excadrill is not the worst thing since that draws in Ferro which can either Spike up or lure Heatran and pop its Balloon.

Ice Beam: This is the safest and most predictable play. It pops Heatran's balloon and does massive damage to anything bar Azumarill.

It is looking like the best play is either Ice Beam or Fusion Bolt. To make a more informed decision, let's consider the opponent's possible plays:

Stays in with Heatran: Both Ice Beam and Fusion Bolt accomplish the task of popping the Balloon while the damage output of Fusion Bolt does allow a 2HKO if Kyu-B goes for another and avoids having to go for Earth Power. However a follow-up with Earth Power doesn't really lose much anyway so I think in this scenario both are equally good.

Switches to Serperior: Ice Beam is obviously better. I think this play is extremely unlikely though.

Switches to Manectric: Ice Beam once again nets the KO. I also think this play is very unlikely.

Switches to Excadrill: Ice Beam is better since it actually gets damage off. There is no benefit to Excadrill coming in for free.

Switches to Azumarill: Fusion Bolt is the superior play here since it would KO Azumarill.

Of these 5 plays I find Manectric and Serperior to be extremely unlikely so it's between Heatran, Azumarill and Excadrill. Excadrill and Heatran are both unable to be OHKO'd by Kyurem-Black as they are so they are safer plays. Because of this, I think Ice Beam is the best play. The worst case scenario is Heatran crits Kyurem-Black with Flash Cannon, but this could happen with Fusion Bolt as well. The second worst case is the opponent switches into Azumarill, but it will then take a fair amount of damage and is susceptible to a Fusion Bolt (and a switch to Manectric is not safe whatsoever).

So I think that Ice Beam is the best play.
 
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MrAldo

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Gotta give it a try cause this sounds actually pretty fun.

Scarf landorus-t is clearly my trump card (win condition) given that it hits all the remaining mons hard besides serperior. Talonflame down gives the team a lot of room to breathe as well. Azumarill revealing that it isnt choiced helps, since it is either belly drum or assault vest and if belly drum, it doesnt set up against anything on the team.

Speaking of serp, it is looking really threatening for the team now. The thing is that letting kyurem-b take a flash cannon will severely weaken it and serp can kill kyu-b from that range with leaf storm and potentially clean the rest of the team now that heatran is gone (assuming it has hp fire, kind of unlikely given the team but isnt safe to assume that).

252 SpA Life Orb Serperior Leaf Storm vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Kyurem-B: 104-123 (26.5 - 31.4%) -- guaranteed 4HKO

Assuming the player has flash cannon on heatran, it is safe to assume that the opposing player is attacking since setting stealth rock doesnt make much sense now when the rest of my team isnt bothered by it except for kyurem-b so he will like to weaken kyurem-b for serperior to clean up.

Now, looking at his team kyurem-b excellent matchup against all the remaining mons (particularly worried about serp) and seeing that crawdaunt isnt so particularly useful right now. IMO the best play to do is switching crawdaunt into heatran and keeping kyurem-b healthy.

252 SpA Heatran Flash Cannon vs. 4 HP / 0- SpD Crawdaunt: 118-139 (44 - 51.8%) -- 14.1% chance to 2HKO


Why? As stated above, it is clearly the less useful mon on my team and it can switch into heatran once (literally once) and threaten to break heatran´s balloon which helps landorus-t a lot given that its only ground resist will be serperior. And nothing on his team would enjoy taking a knock off or crabhammer if you are ballsy enough to predict a switch given heatran could like to keep its balloon. And crawdaunt most likely switch-in takes a lot from knock off or crabhammer, 2hko-ing after rocks

252+ Atk Life Orb Adaptability Crawdaunt Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 240 HP / 0 Def Azumarill: 172-203 (42.8 - 50.6%) -- 2% chance to 2HKO

Landorus-T + Kyurem-B can win so it is important to keep those at the moment since kyurem-b can still check Azu really well and handle serperior and landorus-T can win the game given serperior is weakened and heatran´s balloon gone.

Really fun project, looking forward to contributing more on this!!

Cheers!
 
I agree with MrAldo . Kyurem-B is one of the most important piece in this game alongside Lando-T so I need to preserve its health so that it can check Mega Manectric, Serperior and Azumarill later on. Seeing as Azumarill revealed Waterfall and switched moves, it is most possibly the AV set which gives me some breathing space when dealing with it (although some weird BD sets run Waterfall, it is very rare). For now, I'll just sac Crawdaunt since it really cannot do anything meaningful with Azumarill, Mega Manectric and Serperior all hard-checking it. Switching Crawdaunt into an obvious Flash Cannon also lets it threaten to break the Balloon with Aqua Jet (this will help Lando-T to clean) or just smack something hard with its STAB moves if you predict a switch. While I lose an Excadrill check like this, Scarf Lando can deal with any Scarf or Specially Defensive Excadrill. If he switches Azumarill in on Crawdaunt, I can confidently go to Ferro with the knowledge that it is an AV set (unless it decides to run Superpower for whatever reason). This move allows me to set up more Spikes to weaken Serperior and Mega Manectric.
 
Gonna echo MrAldo here and say that switching to crawdaunt is the best play. First off, keeping kyurem-b healthy is necessary since it still checks mega man, serperior, and can switch into azu's water moves. Crawdaunt won't be doing much this match except this turn. Everything on his team bar azu will die to a knock off+aqua jet and since azu is most likely AV, or even a lure set, it's safe to assume that it isn't max speed jolly. That means crawdaunt can threaten heatran and go for the safe knock off and follow it up with a crabhammer netting the kill on azu. Here's a calc:

252+ Atk Life Orb Adaptability Crawdaunt Crabhammer vs. 240 HP / 0 Def Azumarill: 177-209 (44.1 - 52.1%) -- 16.4% chance to 2HKO
(177, 179, 182, 183, 186, 187, 190, 192, 194, 196, 198, 200, 203, 204, 207, 209)
Crawdaunt is the best play since it should get a kill once it comes in.
Also going to agree with random passerby in that daunt forces azu in which allows a free spike for ferro which further wears down his team.

Knowing this, the opponent should sack his most useless member which I believe to be scarf excadrill and then go into mane and go for the safe volt switch which kills crawdaunt and grabs momentum once more.

EDIT: I think that serperior is carrying hp ground since heatran and mane handle ferro. The point of the serp+talon+azu offensive core is for the mons to break for each other. Serp would beat rotom for azu and heatran for talon.
 

Unlucky Desperado

Banned deucer.
Well right here I assume Heatran is going to go for Stealth Rocks. I feel safe knowing that Lando T is scarfed and is going to take care of (non scarf) Serperior and beat Mane. Right here I would definitely switch to Crawdaunt. Sadly its not SD, but I'd just go for Knock Off after, since the opponent's best Kube switch in is Heatran and his revenge killer for it is Excadrill. Nothing really wants to take a Knock Off, and I think Azu actually dies to the combination of Knock Off + Crabhammer. Going to Crawdaunt gets a free kill and therefore it is the best option, especially to even the score to 4-4.
 
I'm doubting that Exca is scarfed due to him not bringing it out on the sack, although I'd still act like it is, as it seems likely and I wouldn't risk losing Cube to it. The tran will probably be an offensive rocks tran carrying flash cannon or the opp really wants rocks up and would sack tran to fusion + EPower to do so. I'm thinking the latter, as the only mon tran beats dies to Mane anyway, although risking Cube is a little ehh. The only realistic plays for me are:

Switch to Crawdaunt
Use Ice Beam
Use Fusion Bolt

Since Azu is likely AV, I think switching to Crawdaunt is the safest option, as he has no switchin and we can sac Craw for a kill without caring too much. Popping Trran's balloon should only be done if EPower kills the standard SpDef set after the attack (cant calc as on my phone) and if Ice Beam doesn't do that, I'd rather not risk it, but Lando-T could stomach the switchins ( Daunt would need to be sacked for Mane tho) anyway. IMO Daunt is safest, since Tran gets rocks up either way and it's a case of risking a key mon or a not particularly useful mon (and Tran can't touch Daunt as it isn't power herb solar beam). There is not much benefit to staying in, all you do is pop Tran's balloon, which isn't hard to do or particularly detrimental until we need to revenge mane, so I would Switch to Crawdaunt.
 
People writing paragraphs about this geez.

My assessment was literally 3 steps:
1. It's probably offensive tran
2. Kyu-B is too important to lose most of its HP to a Flash Cannon
3. Switch to a threatening resist (Crawdaunt) which also happens to be the least useful mon moving forward

This whole assessment basically boils down to 'he's probs offensive with flash cannon because why ELSE would he go with the tran on the free Kyu-B switch?' Unless mind games in which case he can take the free turn imo. Also this probably means no scarf on Exca because that would the the better play for him I think.

Clearly I've missed a lot of the nuanced considerations that other people are making but hey, same decision right?
 
So ya'll are writing novels about this but with my simple mind here's what I can tell

  1. That's probably offensive Heatran, since it has a balloon.
  2. Because the opponent clicked Fusion Bolt on Turn 7 when we have a Excadrill, it's most probable that it isn't choiced
  3. K-black crushes the rest of our team, so keeping it at a good amount of HP is very important
  4. Crawdaunt is the very obvious play, so it's also very likely that our side will double to Manectric, but most likely Azumarill
  5. If our side doubles to Azumarill on the obvious Crawdaunt switch, the opponent will more than likely go to Ferrothorn
  6. Because Azumarill switch from Waterfall to Aqua Jet, it's not Choiced, so it's probably Belly Drum or AV
 
So ya'll are writing novels about this but with my simple mind here's what I can tell

  1. That's probably offensive Heatran, since it has a balloon.
  2. Because the opponent clicked Fusion Bolt on Turn 7 when we have a Excadrill, it's most probable that it isn't choiced
  3. K-black crushes the rest of our team, so keeping it at a good amount of HP is very important
  4. Crawdaunt is the very obvious play, so it's also very likely that our side will double to Manectric, but most likely Azumarill
  5. If our side doubles to Azumarill on the obvious Crawdaunt switch, the opponent will more than likely go to Ferrothorn
  6. Because Azumarill switch from Waterfall to Aqua Jet, it's not Choiced, so it's probably Belly Drum or AV
??? We are on the side with Kyurem-B and the opponent is the one with Azum and Manectric
 
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