Battle of the Week

By Reverb. Art by Xous.
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Have you ever wandered through the RMT archive, happened to come across two excellently built teams of completely different eras, and wondered when pitted against each other, which one would come out on top? Or perhaps you've always wanted to see two specific players in a head-to-head match, except it seems that whenever one is online, the other is not? Maybe you just enjoy sitting back and watching a good match every now and then? Well, these issues and more were the bases behind the idea of the Battle of the Week.

How does the Battle of the Week work?

Every week, Smogon users may nominate players that they wish to see in battle. Users may nominate up to three people, none of which can be themselves. Nominees must have shown activity within the past week and must be willing to participate.

After a period of time, the nominations will be tallied up, and the ten people with the most nominations will be placed into a 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 person with the most votes will be chosen as the first confirmed battler.

After the first battler has been selected, the other nine people will be placed in another poll and voted upon yet again. The person with the most votes will be picked as the second battler. The two players will then schedule a specific date and time for when they can have the match, which will be announced in the thread once decided upon. The Battle of the Week is usually held on the Smogon University 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 generally also be recorded and uploaded to Smogon's YouTube account, SmogonU.

The Battle of the Week program has been running for eight weeks, and it has produced eight excellent matches between sixteen stellar players.

Week 4: husk vs. Aeroblacktyl (OU)

An exciting Week 4 pitted two of Smogon's most notable users against each other. husk's impeccable showing at this year's World Cup solidified his image as one of the game's greatest players. Aeroblacktyl, also known as MoP, is one of Smogon's greatest enigmas, being the only moderator to be banned by accumulating infractions. However, he is still a fantastic player.

The game started off on a bizarre note, with MoP switching his lead Swampert out against husk's Tyranitar, opting to go to a Shuca Berry Body Slam Jirachi. The unorthodox strategy landed MoP paralysis against husk's Heatran and Swampert, yet Heatran gave husk a solid advantage since he had Stealth Rock up while MoP did not.

Since both players were using offensive teams, the game persisted in a kill-for-kill format until husk was left with a 3-1 lead over MoP. However, MoP wasn't finished yet. His last Pokémon was the deadly Agility Metagross. After one Agility it was ready to sweep husk's three remaining Pokémon. After KOing husk's Gengar, it was ready to go against Flygon and husk's remaining, unknown Pokémon.

Evidently MoP must have trolled Lady Luck sometime since 2005, because a 'Meteor Miss' allowed Flygon to take Metagross out, thus ending the game 2-0 in favor of husk. Since husk's last Pokémon was not revealed, it is unknown whether the 15% miss chance actually mattered.

Week 5: Jibaku vs. -Mind- (Ubers)

Truly an interesting duo to duke it out with the strongest Pokémon in the game. Jibaku and -Mind- are truly fantastic Ubers players. Anyone who ladders on the Ubers ladder should be keenly aware that 25% of the alts are Jibaku's. On top of that, Jibaku has astounded everyone by achieving an insane Ubers CRE of 1919! Mind has consistently been on the top of the Ubers leaderboard. He has time and time again proven that is he better than just about everyone. Overall, one could not ask for a stronger match up.

The battle began with Mind's Deoxys-e squaring off against Jibaku's regular Deoxys. Jibaku opted to take out Mind's lead in lieu of setting up Stealth Rock. Mind's lead managed to get an ExtremeSpeed off which allowed him to revenge kill next turn with Rayquaza. Starting off with Stealth Rock against an opponent who missed his opportunity to set SR up, Mind found himself with a comfortable advantage.

The game's quick tempo was slowed by Mind's Wobbuffet, which sucessfully took out Jibaku's Mewtwo after the latter scored a crit against it. However, Pokémon's most lovable Team Rocket member was soon eliminated by Jibaku's signature Pokémon, Giratina-O.

Encored into Dragon Claw, Mind saw Giratina-O as the right Pokémon to bring his Lucario in against. Jibaku then opted to bring his Wobbuffet in, whose Encore cleared the way for him to send his own Lucario in immediately after.

The opportunity was not misused, as Jibaku KOed Mind's Giratina-O, giving him a 4-3 lead. Mind was unfazed and persisted to bring in a series of lategame sweepers. In the end, Mind cleared the way for his Rayquaza to demolish Jibaku's Giratina-O and severely weaken Wobbuffet.

The game ended 1-0 for Mind; it was truly a nail-biter that clearly illustrated the fast-paced nature of the Ubers metagame.

Week 6: xianglongfa vs Twist of Fate (UU)

The match everyone wanted to see. xianglongfa's impressive run to #1 on the UU ladder had many players calling him the best. Twist of Fate is well known for insane UU ladder runs along with having the best UU tour record of the last three years. ToF was eager to show the new hotshot that he must respect his elders.

The battle ended up being xiang's signature hail stall against ToF's stall. For ToF, everything worked like clockwork as he drew first blood by OHKOing xiang's Snover with his Arcanine. To some avail, xiang had an opening to set up Stealth Rock with his Chansey. xiang also managed to spin away ToF's Stealth Rock with his Hitmontop; however, his spinner took a big hit from Froslass in the process, which effectively ended its usefulness in the battle. Froslass, in turn, was able to recover from 11% by using Pain Split against xiang's Chansey. ToF then proceeded to lay Spikes with his newly revitalized Froslass. After driving Froslass out with his Drapion, xiang proceeded to switch into his own Froslass and proceeded to lay Spikes.

All was lost for xiang when ToF revealed his Blastoise. A Foresight / Rest variant with Rapid Spin, Blastoise was able to remove all of xiang's entry hazards while successfully stalling him out. ToF eventually went to Froslass to add to his entry hazards while always bringng in the appropriate counter for each of xianglongfa's Pokémon.

In the end, ToF's Blastoise proved insurmountable for xiang to the point where it indirectly sealed his fate. After revealing Blastoise, ToF was able to take advantage of xiang's limited switches until, one by one, xianglongfa's Pokémon were executed by a thousand paper cuts.

In a battle of the greats, ToF came out on top with an unprecedented 6-0.

Week 7: Kevin Garrett vs JabbaTheGriffin (OU)

Week 7 saw a cataclysmic North Jersey versus South Jersey showdown between Metro teammates Kevin Garrett and JabbaTheGriffin, both excellent players. Kevin is hailed as one of the best ladder players in the game while Jabba's battling skills are just as notable as his drinking habits and womanizing.

The battle started out with KG immediately switching his Skarmory in against Mamoswine. Thinking that Jabba would not use Magnezone, Kevin opted to run Leftovers on his Skarmory. He managed to get one layer up before sustaining a 99% hit from Zone while phazing it out. Immediately after, Skarmory was killed by Jabba's Suicune.

The battle progressed as an offensive melee with both sides leaving big dents in each other. Luck on both sides aided in bringing the battle down to the wire very quickly. In the end, it was Kevin's Scarf Tyranitar and Mixmence against Jabba's three-attack Suicune and Calm Mind Jirachi. Salamence weakened Jirachi significantly, allowing it to be revenged by Tyranitar. Kevin's 75% Tyranitar now stood against Jabba's 38% Suicune, and it looked like Kevin was going to be the surefire winner.

However, it was not meant to be, as a last turn critical hit and 3% survival on Jabba's side allowed JabbaTheGriffin to come out on top of an epic battle 1-0.

Week 8: Jumpman16 vs Aeolus (OU)

'Can the admins even battle?' This often-asked question was answered in Week 8. This week saw two of the most powerful and influential Smogonites go head to head. Jumpman16 has been a member of Smogon since December 2004; a member of 'old school' Smogon, he has been the epitome of a perfect user. However, his battling skills are just as significant, with a Battle Tower record of 1001 consecutive wins. Jumpman has proven that he is a master of battle strategy and tactics. Aeolus' Pokémon career is equally impressive. The founder of the Battling 101 program, Aeolus is responsible for enabling many other Pokémon enthusiasts to become top notch battlers. Overall, watching two prolific users going head to head is always fascinating.

The battle started off with Aeolus sending out his Jirachi into Jumpman16's Wish Jolteon. Opting to use Stealth Rock on Jolteon's Substitute, the battle was underway. Jumpman's Jolteon proved to be very unusual. While managing to severely weaken Aeolus' Heatran, it eventually was taken down to dangerously low HP. By using Jolteon's Baton Pass, Jumpman was able to successfully scout out Aeolus' switches and send his Kingdra in to set up; however, a Thunderbolt critical-hit paralysis and full paralysis quickly ruined his plans.

At this point in the battle it became evident that Jumpman was using a very unorthodox team is comparison to Aeolus' more standard Pokémon. This became especially noticeable when Jumpman sent in his signature Pokémon, Espeon. As a mono-type Psychic, Espeon has no true place in the OU environment, but some things are too good to pass up. With a team of trappers and pranksters, Jumpman was definitely making the battle interesting. His Substitute Magnezone's handling of Aeolus' Jirachi helped him recover from the previous hax and get back in the game.

However, being unorthodox doesn't win battles alone. In the end Aeolus was able to use his synergistic team's strengths and finish Jumpman16 off 2-0 in a great game. Aside from all the work they do, the admins are still good battlers!

Week 9: zerowing vs. Batpig (VGC)

The next match will be a VGC-style clash between zerowing and Batpig, noted champions of official Nintendo tournaments. Details on the match can be read in this thread! After that, voting will be held to determine the players for the final week of Battle of the Week.

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