Week 2 vs Blackburn Brelooms (Ben Munroe)
It's time to update you with the results of my MBA Week 2 battle against fellow newcomer to the league, the Blackburn Brelooms. You can find the results both by scrolling through this post, or in the League's Google Doc.
Firstly, here is Blackburn's squad.
Personally, I feel like Blackburn missed a trick in not picking Mega Diancie, that thing has worried me so much in ladder testing. The team overall has a big weakness to Ground moves, as well as Water/Ice combinations, which can be more easily exploited once Virizion and Rotom-H are out of the way, both by bulky water types and fast boosting water types. Being mostly grounded also opens it up to opposing hazards, with few reliable ways to clear them, and the team is largely full of Physical attackers that can be burned and nerfed with Reflect. While these weaknesses aren't utterly crippling, many teams should be able to find ways to make use of them as a part of a gameplan against Blackburn while also building to limit the offensive output of the sand core. Still, here were my pregame notes.
A lot weak to Keldeo. Keldeo has to watch out for Jirachi though (only a 3hko at neutral if no burn, potential scarf), and Virizion potentially. And scary scarf Rotom-H if no sub is up/that is scarfed. Machamp can potentially 1v1 it if no sub up as well. Conserve it well until it gets good field position.
Sticky Web very useful, esp if Scarf Jirachi. Scout for Scarf on that, and make use of the choice lock.
Latias is solid, as is Bisharp. Don't give them up easily, as you may lose your win condition that way
Machamp is annoying, but will be KO'able due to its speed tier, provided you conserve the right things to deal with it.
Offensive Arcanine dents a lot of stuff, but also many physical mons can get burned. Maybe run pseudo support – Flare Blitz, CC, WoW, Morning Sun with Rocky Helmet/leftovers? Flare Blitz and CC cover everything Arcanine needs to hit anyway. How much bulk to run? Fast set is still handy. Keep in mind that Sand nerfs Morning Sun.
Blackburn lacks effective ways to clear hazards. - Scyther and Smeargle can Defog/Spin though, so be careful. Scyther will be annoying, but weak to Arcanine. Smeargle might also be Spore/Geopass/Smashpass, so watch out for that. Keep Bisharp around to use priority if necessary, especially if against Smashpass.
Rocks will be good to break potential sashes on stupid Smeargle, Kingklang, whatever else, particularly Rotom-H.
Many things weak to ground – Claydol useful? Consider Earthquake over Earth Power, as Sand improves Tyranitar and Diancie's SpDef.
Also vulnerable to spikes, perhaps more so. Accelgor can do that and pick up cheeky KO/damage if need be. But is it worth a slot?
Watch out for fast sand Stoutland being scary - Watch that it doesn't have access to much sand without Web up in the late game, as it could run through things as a result. From 50-60% health, Bisharp can deal with it.
Game plan - hazards up early as possible. Bisharp great for late game. Scout Jirachi's item asap. Make use of any opportunity to get Keldeo set up. Get rid of Sand setting asap.
Smeargle can also set up sticky web, so make sure you stop that from being an issue. At the least, keep Bisharp around to discourage it - dat +2 boost will be deadly if no Tyranitar/Diancie around to tank hits.
Keldeo is a great switch in for DD Tyranitar, need to be careful of Thunder Punch though.
Based on that, this is the team I went with (Bolded are noteworthy choices that I'll discuss):
Ferrari (Keldeo-Resolute) @ Leftovers
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Calm Mind
- Secret Sword
Golden Delicious (Latias) @ Latiasite
EVs: 252 HP / 80 SpA / 176 Spe
- Reflect Type
Blunt Force Trauma (Bisharp) @ Life Orb
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
- Sucker Punch
- Knock Off
- Iron Head
- Psycho Cut
Tigerdog (Arcanine) @ Leftovers
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
- Flare Blitz
- Close Combat
- Morning Sun
Zerg Rush (Galvantula) @ Focus Sash
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Sticky Web
- Thunder Wave
- Bug Buzz
- Energy Ball
Gizmo (Claydol) @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
- Stealth Rock
Season Caps: 2 - Keldeo, Latias, Arcanine, Bisharp, Galvantula, 1 - Claydol, Shuckle
Keldeo was the same old one I've been running through preseason as I though that set was still good enough here.
Latias, I decided that Surf would hit harder than Dragon Pulse on enough things, since I knew I could hit Tyrantrum and Kyurem hard with many other things, like Keldeo. I also went for Reflect Type over Calm Mind as I didn't feel like the boosting was that necessary, while I also felt that I could make use of changing type to get out of potential pursuit traps, as well as negating the offensive potential of Jirachi and Diancie in particular, as well as Scyther.
I opted for Psycho Cut on Bisharp as a 4th move to hit Virizion and Machamp harder, and I didn't feel like I really needed Low Kick, given Iron Head largely did the same job. While Psycho Cut wasn't going to be an OHKO on Virizion or Machamp from full HP, it would be enough after chip damage, and could also punish a switch in more if I threatened out something like Jirachi.
Arcanine still had an offensive spread, but I opted for Leftovers, Wil-o-Wisp and Morning Sun in order to be able to keep it around longer, make use of free turns to preserve Arcanine, as well as nerf the multitude of Physical attackers on Blackburn's team.
With Sand around, I felt like Thunder would be largely wasted on Galvantula both in terms of accuracy, and ability to hit hard, so I gave it Swarm, and Energy Ball instead, as well as Thunder Wave over Volt Switch in case I had nothing better to do, or needed to slow down a boosting Pokemon.
Claydol came in here over Shuckle, as it could set up Stealth Rocks and get off a little bit of offense against a ground weak team, as well as setting up a Reflect to further neuter the opposing physical attackers.
Replay. Result: 4-0 WIN
The battle had a false start as I was attempting to record and commentate the battle using OBS, but in doing so accidentally brought the wrong team to respond to Ben's challenge, realising this only as we got to team preview. I was happy to continue using it, but Ben was really nice about it since we hadn't actually started the battle at that point, and let me bring the team I'd planned. I have to thank him for that, I think a non-specific team from me would have made the battle a little more difficult. As a side note, I don't know how people manage to battle and commentate at the same time, it's very stressful and I feel like even though you're thinking aloud, you lose a bit of concentration and ability to multi-task on things such as damage calcs. Also, my computer seems to struggle with it.
Anyway, to the battle. I was able to scout the scarf on Jirachi straight away as it led against my Galvantula. Fortunately, I didn't flinch and was able to get my web up, then get a free switch in with Bisharp on the Zen Headbutt. Knowing a switch had to happen, I'm proud of my call to Psycho Cut the incoming Virizion switch. I didn't have to Sucker Punch it, but I didn't want to lose Bisharp to a Scarf set, so finished it that way. Ben then courageously Defogged with his Scyther in front of my Bisharp, but Galvantula paralysed it and neutered it for the rest of the battle from there. Under Tailwind, Tyranitar was a little threatening, but fortunately Keldeo took the Superpower well enough, and Claydol was later able to safely come in on a -2 attack Tyranitar and get my own rocks and Reflect up.
Arcanine picked up a couple of KO's with Tailwind down, but not before Stealth Rocks came up from Tyranitar. Scyther also went down, and I had a 6-3 lead and was in a good position. Stoutland was able to switch in at that point, but Claydol was able to be sacrificed, having done its job, and being scared of my Arcanine once at -1 attack meant that Stoutland left Machamp to be Arcanine's third KO of the battle.
Jirachi came back in only to U-Turn out, but with the sand down, Stoutland was unable to do anything other than KO itself against my Latias, who I was frankly wasteful with. Jirachi finished off Latias, allowing my Bisharp to come in and KO it with Sucker Punch, clinching the battle 4-0 for me. Considering how important I had felt Keldeo would be, it ended up not really being needed, as Arcanine, Claydol and Bisharp together seemed to be enough to run through Blackburn this time, perhaps aided by the fact that he surprisingly didn't bring Rotom-H or Diancie, the former of which could have been very useful in a number of roles, in my opinion, while Diancie would have been difficult to switch in against.
I'm happy with how I played most of this battle, despite feeling distracted by my recording, especially when I noticed it froze. I'll try recording and streaming again in the coming weeks, but the quality of the recording will need to improve drastically for me to consider it worthwhile. Perhaps I will commentate a different battle to reduce the stress on myself.
Team Golden Fist
Arcanine 3, Bisharp 2
Overall: 4 - Keldeo, 3 - Arcanine, Bisharp, 1 - Shuckle
Team MVP Votes:
Arcanine 3, Bisharp 2, Claydol 1
Overall: 4 - Bisharp, 3 - Keldeo, Arcanine, 1 - Shuckle, Claydol
Art thanks to tsaoshin, check out the gallery at tsaoshin.deviantart.com
Week 2: 4-0 WIN vs Blackburn (Replay)
Week 1: 3-0 WIN vs Wildwood (Replay)
Vs New York Klefkis (Travis)