Battle of the Week Vol. 2: Weeks 4-6

By Ray Jay. Art by Nastyjungle and icepick.
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Tauros  Steelix  Yanmega


The end of the second installment of the Battle of the Week tournament has proved once again that any sort of leadership is evil and that the people should decide everything. Not only were exciting battles witnessed from around the globe, but these battles were not limited to the tiers you and I may play regularly. Today we take a look at some in-depth coverage of some of the oldies-but-goodies of the Smogon tier world, such as DP OU, which is so two years ago. However, if you're willing to listen to stories about the Pokemon your grandpa played with, join me in looking at the exciting battles 4-6.

How does the Battle of the Week work?

The Battle of the Week is a tournament that consists of weekly exhibition matches where tiers and participants are decided by the Smogon community. It lasts until Earthworm gets too busy partying to run it. Each week, Smogon users may nominate an unlimited number of metagames that they wish to see played. Practically anything can be nominated, including past generations (i.e. RBY OU), official non-OU tiers (i.e. BW Ubers), or even gimmick tiers (i.e. DPP Ubers without "Farceus"). The metagame that receives the most votes will be the one played for that week. There are no restrictions on how many times a metagame can be played, so it is possible, albeit unlikely, for a tier such as Standard BW OU to be played every week. In the same vein, a metagame does not have to be played at all if it never receives a majority vote in any week, so sorry to the five ADV Doubles players reading this.

After 24 hours, nominations will close, the most popular metagame will be selected, and battler nominations will commence. Users may nominate players they wish to see in battle. Users may nominate up to three people, none of whom can be themselves. Nominees must have shown activity on Smogon within the past week and must be willing to participate. Even if someone has played in the previous weeks, they can be nominated again. If the people demand it, who are we to deprive them?

After another 24 hours, the nominations will be tallied up, and the ten people with the most nominations will be placed into a public poll. Everyone will be able to vote for the player(s) they wish to see in the Battle of the Week. After 24 hours, the two people with the most votes will be selected as the participants in the week's battle. The battlers will then schedule a specific date and time for their match, which will be announced in the thread as soon as it is decided upon. The Battle of the Week is usually held on the Smogon University Pokemon Online Server. If the battle picked is an older generation (RBY OU, GSC OU, and sometimes ADV OU), it will be played on Netbattle Supremacy, likely on the ATQ server.

If you miss the battle or somehow cannot attend, fear not. The log of the match will be saved and added to the first post of the "Battle of the Week" thread (with spectator comments omitted, no less). The match will also be recorded and uploaded to Smogon's YouTube account, SmogonU. Without further ado, let's look at battles 4-6.

Week 4: GSC OU: Umby vs. Hipmonlee

What's that? You say 251 Pokemon aren't enough? Well, you'll feel nothing lacking when Umby and Hipmonlee squared off just like the ancient Romans did: using only the GSC OU tier. There were some striking similarities between the two teams: both teams had a Machamp, a Steelix, and an Exeggutor. Further, both teams focused on phazing to stop set-up threats that could otherwise ravage a weakened team.

Umby lead with Machamp, which was rather unfortunate when compared to Hipmonlee's lead Exeggutor. The choice of lead allowed Hipmonlee to gain an early advantage by forcing a switch and being able to get off an early Stun Spore. The next portion of the game involved both players scouting each other to get an idea of when the coast was clear for a sweep. Early on, Hipmonlee identified that all Umby's Starmie could do to his Vaporeon was set up Light Screen, which became important later. Vaporeon easily was able to get off a Growth, which lead to a critical hit on Umby's Exeggutor, dealing upwards of 70% damage. Umby was forced to switch to Umbreon to absorb hits and attempt to stall some of Hipmonlee's team out with help from a Miltank and the weakened Exeggutor.

Umby wasn't able to get much done stalling however, as Hipmonlee still had Steelix available. After many clever switches, Hipmonlee was able to get in Snorlax and get a Curse off. Umby brought in Umbreon, who was then taken out by a critical hit from Body Slam, paving the way for a Vaporeon sweep the slightest bit more. Snorlax was then able to cripple Umby's Machamp with Lovely Kiss, allowing Hipmonlee's Machamp to set up a few Curses against a Miltank to take it out. It was at this point Umby was forced to put Machamp to sleep, at which point Umby made the decision to use Explosion, maybe catching Vaporeon on the switch. However, Hipmonlee brought in Zapdos, who then acted as death fodder in return for eliminating Umby's Exeggutor. At this point, Umby's Steelix Roared in Vaporeon. Vaporeon forced it out, and was then able to gain multiple boosts with Growth while waiting for Ice Beam to freeze Umby's Starmie. Eventually, it did, and Hipmonlee had the match in the bag.

Week 5: RBY OU: Jackal vs. Husk

If GSC is the tier the Romans played, RBY was most definitely the competitive tier of choice on Noah's Ark. Jackal and Husk engaged in an interesting battle that revolved around making the most of well-timed switches to capitalize off of status effects and Explosion. Jackal led with Alakazam, who, at first glance, appeared to be problematic for Husk's team, as Husk had his Jynx paralyzed, his Chansey walled, and Exeggutor walled bar Sleep Powder. At this point, Husk switched Chansey in to absorb Jackal's Starmie's hits, which forced Jackal to bring in his Golem to eat an Ice Beam to the face from Chansey. Jackal was then able to bring in Tauros, who looked to be in a good position, until Husk brought in Cloyster. In the words of Jackal himself, "a nice cloy".

Next, it became obvious that in order to take down each other's Chansey, they had to engage in a huge stall war with their own Chansey. Both Chanseys were paralyzed, so the resulting battle was about ten turns of no importance. However, Jackal decided to keep Chansey in, which paid off when Husk brought in Jynx and lost it to a Chansey Ice Beam. Husk then went straight to Cloyster and used Explosion, taking out both Cloyster and Jackal's Starmie. The battle remained even until Jackal brought in Golem to absorb an Explosion from Husk's Golem. At this point, Exeggutor was able to finish off the sleeping Alakazam and Tauros was able to finish off Husk's Chansey.

Husk now revealed his final Pokemon: Zapdos. Zapdos was able to finish off Jackal's Golem, preventing it from Exploding. However, Chansey then came in to paralyze it, but got a nasty surprise. Zapdos pulled off an Agility, allowing it to easily crit Chansey to death. Jackal had no choice but to bring out Exeggutor and explode, bringing it down to each player's final Pokemon. However, Husk's Exeggutor was too crippled to do much of anything, and Jackal's Tauros took it out easily for the win.

Week 6: DP OU: Atticus vs. Lady Bug

Diamond and Pearl certainly lacks some nuances the refined Platinum metagame has, but nonetheless, the ubiquity of Garchomp certainly makes for some interesting matches. As expected, both players capitalized on Stealth Rock, possessing leads to get an almost guaranteed setup, while both battlers made use of a Garchomp / Metagross / Gengar core. The battle began as expected, Atticus started off with Azelf using Stealth Rock, while Lady Bug's Infernape used Flamethrower to guard against a Taunt. Atticus used Explosion to force Infernape to set up Stealth Rock and be brought down to its Focus Sash. Atticus then brought in Heatran to finish off Infernape.

Both players eventually identified just how similar each of their teams were. Lady Bug and Atticus both made decent predictions early on, bringing both Garchomps down to dangerously low health. At one point, it seemed as if Lady Bug was going to deal massive damage with Gengar behind a Substitute, but two untimely Hypno-misses brought Gengar to the grave... again. Atticus then brought in Yanmega, who was undoubtedly the star of the show. Yanmega was able to get off a Bug Buzz while Lady Bug switched in Garchomp, bringing it to the zone of an easy KO. Lady Bug then had to sacrifice Metagross in order to bring in Gyarados. However, Atticus was able to get a critical hit on Air Slash, instantly taking out Gyarados and putting Lady Bug into a cold sweat. The critical hit was so perfectly timed, Atticus had no choice but to announce "wow im gay". At this point, Lady Bug had nothing else to stop Yanmega, and was squashed 4-0.

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