G'day everyone, good news! The MBA Season 2 kicked off this week, and I've had my battle for week one already. I won't ruin the surprise/result just yet, but if you want to know how I ended up, you can probably find it in the league's Google Doc, or by scrolling to the end of this article.
Wildwood Wobbuffets' lineup:
Coming in to this week, I'd already had a taste of the Wobbuffets in the preseason, so we both had some experience to draw on in preparing. My notes were as follows:
Be careful of Wobbuffet - physically defensive set can tank LO Bisharp. Bisharp bring Swords Dance. Keldeo can't do much to Wobbuffet, but also Wobb can't exactly stop a Keldeo either. Opposing team will get worn down by hazards and status. Shuckle good mon here.
Keldeo good apart from Slowking, maybe Ditto. Ditto less effective in early game as more counters to myself are available.
Sun only really nerfs Keldeo – can stall it out though, and at +2 won't matter. +1 with rocks. Substitute from full health can also stall it out thanks to leftied.
Arcanine will be good for stopping Char-Y, as will Stealth Rocks. Arcanine can also boss Blissey, and deal out decent chip damage. Wild Charge can also do huge damage to Slowking. Maybe include Wil-o-wisp as well for residual damage.
Cinccino is very fast. Be careful of it if you haven't got web out yet. Arcanine can also greatly limit Cinccino's damage output. Needs to be Jolly to outrun Keldeo and Galvantula though, so it is either slower than them, or can't hit as hard. Band and Life Orb also limit its sweeping potential until late game. Bisharp also OHKO's after Stealth Rock.
Web is mainly to gimp Cinccino and Ditto's potential, but need to be brought
Need rocks to break sturdy on Donphan – can carry annoying red card otherwise, or at least fire off annoying damage. Try to stop Donphan from spinning if you lose hazard set up potential.
With the opposing team in mind, here is what I brought, with notable choices in bold:
Inigo Montoya (Keldeo-Resolute) @ Leftovers
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Secret Sword
- Calm Mind
Aragog (Galvantula) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Compound Eyes
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Sticky Web
- Energy Ball
- Thunder Wave
Moldy Peaches (Shuckle) @ Chesto Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 156 Def / 100 SpD
- Shell Smash
Checkmate (Bisharp) @ Life Orb
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
- Stealth Rock
- Swords Dance
- Sucker Punch
- Knock Off
Cruise Control (Latias) @ Latiasite
EVs: 252 HP / 120 SpA / 136 Spe
- Calm Mind
- Dragon Pulse
Guard Doge (Arcanine) @ Life Orb
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
- Extreme Speed
- Flare Blitz
- Wild Charge
By opting for a full annoying Shuckle set, which would of course work best with Gliscor out of the way, I had no other way to bring Stealth Rocks with that lineup other than to put it on Bisharp. Fortunately, that isn't expected, and I had no real need for Iron Head this week, so that was easy to fit on. I also gave it Swords Dance to counter burns, and to potentially wallbreak if given the chance to set up against something more passive, like Wobbuffet or Blissey.
Galvantula got Thunder Wave to slow down opposing flying types like Charizard or Vivillon, and Energy Ball as its 4th move to give it a better option for hitting Donphan or Seismitoad should it need it.
Arcanine wasn't going to be hitting much hard with Close Combat based on the opposing lineup, so I still opted for a physically offensive set, but I gave it Wil-o-Wisp as a way to slow down many of the physical threats Wildwood had, as well as to chip away at things like Blissey and Wobbuffet. I chose Adamant for more damage output.
All the other sets were pretty much standard fare as far as I'm aware, aside perhaps from the EV spreads on Shuckle and Latias.
Season caps: 1 Keldeo, Galvantula, Latias, Bisharp, Arcanine, Shuckle
Wildwood brought: Vivillon, Charizard (Mega Y), Donphan, Wobbuffet, Spiritomb, Gliscor.
Upon seeing this, I was very happy for Keldeo, as under the right circumstances it could really bust through this team, even taking the sun from Charizard Y in to account. I also knew that Stealth Rocks would be as important as I thought. I felt Arcanine answered most potential leads pretty well.
Unfortunately, my decision to be Adamant meant that Vivillon outsped my Arcanine and got a sleep powder off. a 30% confusion infliction then 50% chance to hit myself in confusion meant that Galvantula was sacrificed as I attempted to switch it in and slow down Vivillon with Thunder Wave, using my sash as a shield. I really underprepared for Vivillon, and had to calculate things on the fly to find a way to stop it. With things looking like they would head south for me very quickly given Arcanine's sleepy state, I relied on Bisharp to bail me out. While Vivillon's focus sash came in handy for it, it wasn't able to KO Bisharp even with Life Orb Recoil - having put that in to the damage calculator, I think I was a bit lucky in that regard:
+1 252 SpA Vivillon Bug Buzz vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Bisharp: 229-271 (84.1 - 99.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Fortunately, Wildwood switched out Vivillon at that point, allowing me to set up Stealth Rocks as a last act before Spiritomb KO'd Bisharp. Latias or Shuckle would have been the next called in to stop Vivillon, but the battle would have been a lot more difficult without my entry hazards around to niggle.
In against Spiritomb, Keldeo was then in a decent position to tank a burn and start setting up Calm Minds. From +3, I decided to make the most of my remaining turns with burn in mind. Fortunately, Wildwood did not switch in their signature Wobbuffet until I had mown through the rest of the team, by which point Keldeo was ready to have a good rest, having taken 4 names - avenging Bisharp and Galvantula in a way the real Inigo Montoya would have been proud of. I let Shuckle finish off Wobbuffet, because why not, and I like Shuckle.
The end result was a 3-0 WIN
At 18 turns, it was quite a quick battle, but I think it demonstrates both the strengths and weaknesses of my team - while I can use priority to stop setup sweeps, they're also really threatening when they can earn free turns like Vivillon did with Sleep Powder, as I don't always have good ways to tank hits. Fortunately, the hole punched this week was not too big, so I was able to get by and execute my gameplan after dealing with the problem (which Focus Sash exacerbated), as I also have the ability to set up quickly and mow through teams if given enough free turns where I'm not fussed about what my opponent does.
I felt that I successfully managed to exploit Wildwood's weakness to entry hazards, especially Stealth Rocks, and water types, as well as pokemon that can hit on both sides of the spectrum (as Secret Sword or Psyshock would have taken care of Blissey) while setting up - while there are good dedicated Physical and Special Walls in the team, neither can really handle that kind of strong mixed attacking. As well, the team only has one member naturally exceed base 100 speed, so will often will have to take hits before it can dish them back out when you look at the amount of opposing teams that run faster than that. Without Donphan, Wildwood has no way to clear entry hazards, and it has precious little to take strong Dark Type attacks, which many teams have access to.
KO's: Keldeo 4, Shuckle 1, Bisharp 1 (through Stealth Rocks)
Season KO's: As Above
Team MVP Votes: Keldeo (3), Bisharp (2), Shuckle (1)
Season Team MVP Votes: As Above
Art courtesy of Aonik. Check them out at http://aonik.deviantart.com/
3-0 WIN vs Wildwood Wobbuffets (Replay)