Week Six vs East Side Excadrill
This week I battled against the reigning champions of the MBA, the Tottenham Espurr. We kicked off the week, so this update comes fairly early as well. You can find the results both by scrolling through this post, or in the League's Google Doc.
Firstly, here is East Side's squad.
This week was trade week, and East Side's makeup completely changed with one fell swoop, when they added Mega Diancie to their lineup at the expense of Excadrill and Gyarados' mega stone. Diancie, alongside Dragonite, is one of the biggest threats my team faces, and it immediately made my matchup a lot more difficult. I may have mentioned this when discussing my teambuilding plans against my week two opponents Blackburn, who formerly had Diancie without its mega stone.
Here was my planning:
Watch out for Diancie, it's really threatening – Need to slow it down somehow. As well, Light Screen makes its Moonblasts less threatening. May need to team up on it to take it down. If Josh is smart, he'll look after it as a win condition, so try to make use of that to improve your own board position, avoid getting Sticky Web reflected.
Gyarados will probably be a nuisance Pokemon
Latias does very well if it can get a couple of CM's set up, especially if Sticky Web is up. Can even tank Mega Diancie OK
Rocks are nice – Rely on Bisharp setting them up in a free turn? Vulnerable to hazards and doesn't have a defogger with offensive presence.
If Scarf Keldeo, can I keep the surprise up for long? Any KO's I should target? (Kyurem-B/Diancie)? Use it to clear threats to Latias, imo.
Look after Galvantula – Web, Energy Ball, Thunder, Bug Buzz. Can hit a lot of his team pretty solidly aside from setting up Web
Sub on stuff will be great for avoiding Thunder Waves from Gyarados. Keldeo pretty strong, can set up on Gyarados. Has to be scared of Heliolisk and Scarf Moltres. Also can cleric it away.
Bisharp is decent now that no excadrill and no mega gyarados. Still won't like Chesnaught
Fairys are decent – Aromatisse with Aromatherapy? And Wish.
Arcanine's best moves seem to include Wild Charge and Flare Blitz. WoW for Kyurem too? Morning sun and Leftover
Many things taken out by Accelgor. Pick whichever one you want.
Don't waste Galvantula unless its job is safely done with the web.
Lots of ways for me to take out Chesnaught, might not bring it.
Number 1 priority is looking after Latias and getting it to a position to sweep (Main threats: Diancie, Kyurem-B if scarfed). Bisharp at +1/2 is scary to him. Web being reflected isn't the end of the world in that case. Try to look after Bisharp, but can be sacrificed for the greater good. Make sure Keldeo gets free opportunities to pick off its targets. Arcanine and Aromatisse are your switch ins, maintain them while you set up your board position. Don't be afraid to go hard early with Latias if there's an opportunity, you can cleric it back to health if necessary.
Get Rocks up to help you pick up KO's – many of his guys weak to rocks.
Use Aromatisse to pivot and cleric for you. Arcanine can also do that, prefer not to make Latias do it, but it can.
Expect to see: Diancie, Moltres, Gyarados (Support?), Kyurem B. And probably some random ass ones there, possibly a bunch of his RU and NU picks. Many guys off the ground, not vulnerable to Web, but strongest attackers are vulnerable, and those that dodge web get hit by rocks.
Expect to see him counter lead for Galvantula, possibly with Diancie. Arcanine or Aromatisse can be a good lead in that case, or perhaps Bisharp if you get a strong feeling about Diancie – You can Stealth Rock on the switch in that case. Light Screen up with Aromatisse before switching in to Latias if you need to shut down Diancie – play carefully with his Kyurem, try to scout the item before letting Latias stay in on it.
With that in mind, this was my team
Skynet (Latias) @ Latiasite
EVs: 252 HP / 120 SpA / 136 Spe
- Calm Mind
- Dragon Pulse
Pony Express (Keldeo-Resolute) @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Hidden Power [Electric]
- Secret Sword
Diagonals (Bisharp) @ Life Orb
EVs: 24 HP / 252 Atk / 232 Spe
- Iron Head
- Knock Off
- Sucker Punch
- Stealth Rock
Meow (Arcanine) @ Leftovers
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
- Flare Blitz
- Wild Charge
- Morning Sun
Go Go Dancer (Aromatisse) @ Leftovers
Ability: Aroma Veil
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
- Light Screen
8 Eyes to See You (Galvantula) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Compound Eyes
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Sticky Web
- Bug Buzz
- Energy Ball
Team Caps: 6 - Keldeo, Latias, Arcanine; 5 - Bisharp; 4 - Shuckle; 2 - Claydol, Aromatisse
I ran Choice Scarf Keldeo to get around a potential Scarf Kyurem, and to negate speed tier problems coming from facing Diancie and Heliolisk in particular. HP Electric was there because I didn't really have much need for moves outside of Surf (Slightly higher damage than Scald) and Secret Sword, as I dislike Hydro Pump and Focus Blast's accuracy, and could then sneakily hit Gyarados hard, and Taunt was there to stop annoying mons being annoying if I had nothing better to do.
I put Stealth Rocks on Bisharp in case I got the opportunity to set them up, as it chipped things like Kyurem-B, Gyarados, and Golbat pretty well. Originally, I would have left out Bisharp, but with Diancie and Heliolisk coming in for Excadrill and Hoopa, I suddenly felt like Bisharp was a lot more necessary in the matchup.
Arcanine got a more defensive set to try to act as a bit of a pivot, with me feeling that Wild Charge gave the best all around coverage, particularly giving me a good way to finish off Gyarados before it got too annoying, with Close Combat unlikely to KO Kyurem-B anyway.
Aromatisse was brought in to act as a cleric, and I gave it Light Screen as a way to help things like Bisharp, Keldeo and Latias all take Moonblasts better if need be given the threat Diancie posed.
Galvantula got Energy Ball and Bug Buzz for coverage as I felt they were the next most appropriate move options..
Replay Result: 0-3 LOSS
I was made to pay early with me not betting hard enough on an opposing Diancie lead, expecting Josh to think that I would lead harder against Diancie. Aromatisse and Arcanine taking such large damage at the start set me back a long way, as it meant my switch in options were much more limited. To complicate things further, Josh inexplicably ran Iron Head on his Gyarados as his only attacking move, incorrectly logicing that it would hit more of my team harder. Unfortunately for me, it did hit Aromatisse harder, and flinched me, preventing me from getting some cleric work on Latias, which I had been a bit too aggressive with in letting it get Thunder Waved, which I should have seen coming from Josh's previous battles. This Iron Head damage also put me in KO range to Gurdurr's Rock Slide later in the battle, something Waterfall would not have done. I guess things just work out like that. Josh also intelligently defogged when he got a solid opportunity against Latias, with me not using Bisharp as aggressively as I could have. Further, I did not set up Stealth Rocks when I got the chance, something that came back to haunt me a bit later in the battle when Keldeo failed to KO Kyurem-B. Although I was able to pick together some KO's, falling so far behind at the start left me with no way back against a team that looks a lot more threatening offensively, while remaining solid defensively, after its trades. The battle ended as an 0-3 LOSS. While that one Iron Head Flinch was influential, I'm not convinced that it ultimately made much of a difference - I've been unhappy with the way I've been battling for a few weeks, and today I had an opponent who was playing really well, and made me pay. Having a post match chat, Josh did say a couple of things that rankled with me in my post-loss state, so I'll address them a little now before I dissect my loss and what I'd do differently next time.
Firstly, Josh asserted that I am predictable, partly because we've battled so much in the past. Whether or not such a comment has valid grounds, I feel that this vastly undersells the effect that having such an early lead, as well as a Pokemon that my team just really struggles to stop through defensive switch ins, has on the outcomes of battles. It can be a lot easier to predict and make safe moves when one is ahead in the battle, particularly when it comes to being able to look after win conditions.
Secondly, Josh stated that my team starts to struggle if it's not allowed to get Hazards, like my Sticky Web, or Stealth Rocks, up. I feel like this is a pretty general statement. While Sticky Web is one of the key components of my team's efforts to control the board against the opponent, and helps secure win conditions, stopping it is not a magic key to beating me. Against a team with lots of threats that are at 110 speed or above, Sticky Web is certainly useful, especially for making Arcanine and Bisharp a lot less reliant on priority, but there are quite a few matchups, as I'm sure we'll see throughout the rest of this season, where hazards are far less important to me in trying to earn a victory, especially when I have to face against slow bulky teams that I naturally outspeed anyway.
After the battle, I made some dot points dissecting my loss. At the risk of facing Josh again and him reading in to any adjustments I will have made, here is what I came up with as lacking on my part (Josh's excellent play non-withstanding):
Led wrong, fell behind from the start.
Lost Aromatisse too early because didn't conserve it and that iron head flinch :(
Made Arcanine irrelevant thanks to early switch in.
Treating both pivots like that so early gave me too little leeway to switch around against his bulky slow guys.
Should have switched out Latias to Galvantula expecting the Thunder Wave.
Missed having substitute for playing Gyarados.
Never got a chance to use Keldeo as planned
Let Latias get para'd too early after effectively losing Aromatisse.
Didn't set up Stealth Rocks using Bisharp when I had an opportunity.
Probably should have bet harder on a Diancie lead with a Bisharp lead to safely set up rocks.
Hopefully I wasn't too salty here in presenting my loss. Nobody likes losing, but I was a bit disappointed not to hold off Josh despite knowing that he'd be extra pumped up to try to steal a win off of me given the rivalry we share. Hopefully I can bounce back stronger next week, one cannot let one loss get to their head and stuff up future matches as a result.
Team Golden Fist
Week Five: 1- Keldeo, Bisharp, Latias
Overall: 8 - Bisharp, Latias; 7 - Arcanine; Keldeo; 1 - Shuckle, Aromatisse
Team MVP Votes:
This week being a loss made it a bit more difficult to pick an MVP. Latias and Bisharp probably did the most work to keep me in the game, while Galvantula was the only pokemon that I can categorically say did the job planned for it, while Keldeo was able to at least be threatening, if not as sucessful as I would have liked.
Week Six: 2 Latias, Bisharp; 1 - Keldeo, Galvantula
Overall: 9 - Bisharp, Latias; 6 - Arcanine; 5 - Keldeo; 4 - Shuckle; 1 - Claydol, Aromatisse, Galvantula
Art found on smogon.com. Sue me.
Week 6: 0-3 LOSS vs East Side Excadrill (Replay)
Week 5: 2-0 WIN vs Tottenham Espurr (Replay)
Week 4: 3-0 WIN vs Tullamarine Auras (Replay)
Week 3: 2-0 WIN vs New York Klefkis (Replay)
Week 2: 4-0 WIN vs Blackburn (Replay)
Week 1: 3-0 WIN vs Wildwood (Replay)
Vs Epping Eevees (Chris)
While Week 7 is Rivalry Week, this will effectively be my second rivalry grudge match in a row, so I'll need to work hard to get back up for a third tough match after my close win against Mark, and my loss against Josh. Chris has had some excellent unconventional strategies so far this season, and I look forward to having a bit of fun mixing it up myself in taking him on, especially since I feel like my last few matchups have forced me to run my bread and butter Pokemon at the expense of being able to showcase my lower-tier picks.