Smogtour 23: The Final Eight

This article is a piece by our Author: Z0mOG

Smogon Tour 23: The Final Eight

Round 1 of this season’s smogtour has just finished, and with it came many exciting and revealing games, as expected with such a high level of competition between determined players.

From my own knowledge and from what we’ve seen in this first week, I’ve gone ahead and ranked the final 8 contestants (descending order under this post), as well as added my opinion on how they have fared so far.

Soulwind:

Soulwind entered playoffs after having successful runs in both SM and BW, both tiers in which he won an individual tour. He is also one of the most expected to take the entire tournament. In his series vs. Marshall.Law, he won in SM and ORAS, while dropping the BW game. While BW is Soulwind’s ‘best’ tier, Marshall put up a good fight, yet soulwind outmatched him in the other two tiers in clean and well played games. He has remained consistent throughout his time on Smogon and I fully expect him to at least make finals, if not take the tour entirely.

Alexander:

While many find themselves doubtful of the Italian Darth Vader’s skills and consistencies, he is still my number 2 choice for the entire tourney. Alexander had a very good showing against Blunder in round 1, who was likely his strongest competitor in ORAS, the tier he won a solo trophy in, as well as winning in a clean BW game. While he isn’t the most up-to-date SM player, his experience and time spent in ORAS is none short of masterful, as well as the skill he’s built up is sure to translate in between the other 2 tiers.

Nintendi:

Nintendi shocked many with his stellar performance versus ABR, taking down the OST champion in both SM and Nintendi’s best tier, ORAS. As far as the ORAS competition thins out with these final 8, Nintendi is among the best remaining players, as well as a very solid player in SM. Similar to the others who you will read about after, Nintendi is still inexperienced in BW, but I believe he has enough sheer strength in SM/ORAS to advance very far. Nintendi is a bird


Posho:

Posho returns after facing the disappointment of last year’s smogon tour, where he took 2nd place to BKC. Posho has a very strong grasp on all of the tiers remaining in the tournament, promoting himself as a “bw/oras main.” His SM ability may come into question vs. many of the other more dedicated SM players, but he is nothing short of a huge threat in the other two tiers, as well as someone who still shouldn’t be slept on in SM.

 

Steve Angello:

Steve Angello, when motivated, is a very scary threat in SM, as shown in his decent SPL performance. We only got to see him play ORAS and BW vs. Poek unfortunately, but he took both games with a strong performance, and Poek was also considered to be one of the best contenders for this trophy. If Steve can keep up his unpredictable SM teams as well as consistent ORAS performances, he should be able to advance very far, especially if he can get wins in BW vs. other people weak in that tier, as he is slightly better than some of the lower ranked players in BW.

craing ;_;:

OST finalist Ben Gay makes his first appearance in smogon tour after falling flat in OST finals to ABR. Known for being wildly unpredictable in his builds, while also being known for leaning towards gimmicks like baton pass and stall, many would consider ben to be the biggest enigma of this tournament. After missing his scheduled time with lcans, he showed up a day later to take him in an easy 2-0, especially dominating in his SM game. If he can stay motivated to win after the blow from OST, he will definitely have potential to do well.

Kickasser:

Kickasser is regarded as many as part of a new wave of French talent, similar to how Reymedy, Geemick, Mounts etc. were all at one point. In his game Vs. Ciele, virtually nobody was predicting him to stand a chance, yet despite a very unfortunate ending to an otherwise well played SM game, Kickasser managed to take the series. In his ORAS game, he showed a lot of proficiency with his ability to make plays and reads, as well as withstand such a long war, which many players tend to have trouble with early on into their careers. If he can keep winning in SM/ORAS, and get take some time to learn BW on a better level, he could find himself deep into this tour.

FlamingVictini:

FlamingVictini will round out my rankings in last place, however I don’t believe he is by any means not up-to-par with the rest of the competition. He collected a free win in SM, due to Empo bringing a very random team, and dropped the BW game to a man with 4 points throughout the entire season in that tier, which is nothing less than worrying. Similarly to Kickasser, I think if he can perform well in SM/ORAS in upcoming weeks, and practice BW as much as possible, he can still win his way through another round or two, but I don’t expect him to make it to finals as of what I know right now.

A lookback at OST XIII Finals!

A lookback at OST XIII Finals!

A piece by our author: zomOG

OST Finals!

OST is smogon’s consistently most popular tournament that upwards of 2000 people join annually. A week ago from this post, the two finalists, ABR and ben gay, after winning vs. 8 other opponents finally met each other in the finals for what was expected to be one of the best finals of all time, considering the insane amounts of hype generated, and the high regard both players are held in. ABR was hailed as the best player of ORAS, spotting a 10-1 record in SPL 7, and ben gay a long-standing tournament player, was widely renowned as one of the most creative and consistent builders in recent OU years.

As of 2017, OST has been shortened to best of three series, including the finals. This means each player only needed to prepare 3 teams as opposed to up to 5, like in previous years. Both players decided to take the route of counter-“styling” (counter teaming for what you generally expect your opponent to bring in a tournament).

Game 1

This is shown in ABR’s game 1 team, which features a Mantine, a Pokémon good for stopping many offensive setup sweepers, particularly Suicune and Volcarona, as well as Tapu Lele — for the off chance that ben gay brought one of his trademark bulky offense/semi-stall teams. This preparation paid off, as ben gay brought a team with Dual Screens Koko to support Volcarona in its’ endeavours to sweep.
ABR Game 1 vs. ben gay Game 1

As game 1 began, ABR got an early critical hit against ben’s Greninja, which arguably didn’t matter as virtually nothing on ben gay’s team had the power to break through the Mantine. Two of the possible things that could give it trouble, Landorus-T and a possible Trick/TBolt Latios, could be easily conquered by ABR’s Weavile. Before ben even attempted to setup his Volcarona to no success, the two played a game of 1 for 1 trades with ben’s Mawile and Koko dropping in exchange for ABR’s less than useful Lele. This led to a very fast 26 turn game for ABR to claim as his.

Game 2

ABR Game 2 vs. ben gay Game 2
Game 2, ben gay tried for another team based around a less-than-common setup sweeper duo with Mega Gyarados and Z-Outrage Zygarde. However, ABR did his research and brought a Pokémon with a set that has not seen any tournament play before this game. The set was Fire Blast Nasty Plot Togekiss @Firium Z . Right off the bat from turn 1, ben found himself lost at how to beat ABR’s lead Togekiss, due to the unpredictability of the set that ABR could have been running. Instead of hitting Togekiss with a strong STAB Sludge Wave from Gengar, he opts to go into Clefable, take a thunder wave, and get setup on by the Togekiss. As ben frantically tried to find a way to take a hit, he brought in his steel type special wall Celesteela, which was lured by the unheard of Z-Fire Blast set. He then proceeded to sack off both his Gengar and Mega Gyarados before realizing Zygarde could take a hit, and kill Togekiss with a Thousand Arrows + Extremespeed, but by this point the game was long over, and ABR had won the tournament, with game 2 being the shortest OST finals game of all of Smogon’s history.

Looking back, it’s very clear how well ABR prepared to counter style what he predicted ben gay to bring, while ben gay found himself in a cruddy matchup game 1, and lost for how to play in game 2. Had ben went for an attacking route and tried to kill the Togekiss, we could’ve potentially seen a much longer match that either player could take, as the Z-Outrage Zygarde did do a bit of work to ABR’s team.

 

The Callous Invitational – An ADV Tournament with a $500 Prize Pot!

The CALLOUS Invitational (ADV)

Tournament Prize

A Little About the  Tournament:

The 3rd generation (also referred to as ADV / RSE) tournament is hosted on Pokémon Perfect forums, a competitive community with a large user base for older Pokémon generations. The invitational tournament is designed to keep the Pokémon players on the ball. The tournament opts for a best of 3, double elimination format to allow for a loser to challenge the winner in the finals which are bo5. It is an advanced (3rd) generation tournament and as such bp+ingrain pass, BP+BD pass, and evasion boosting items are banned. The standard clauses are observed.

 

Who’s the Host, and How do I get a Slice of That Pot?

CALLOUS is an ADV battler who hosts his own youtube channel full of Pokémon analysis and narration. He is a prominent ADV battler and enthusiast who has achieved notable victories such as in the 2012 POCL team tournament where he went undefeated.

Unfortunately the tournament is an invitational. It cannot be applied for, and so it is thus down entirely to the host and his aids whether or not you will receive an invite. On the bright side, the tournament looks to be full of high octane games of great entertainment value which can be enjoyed by all.

 

Related: Callous’ Youtube Channel covers many of the games, visit it here.

Pairings

TreinerOrenge vs Astamatitos (TreinerOrenge is JabbaTheGriffin)
VIL vs Eden’s Embrace (Eden’s Embrace is Sunny)
Blightbringer vs ace matador
thelinearcurve vs reyscarface
Cowboy Dan vs ToF
Ugly Duckling vs Ibidem
M Dragon vs Fear
SoulWind vs Colchonero

Completed:

sky chord vs undisputed (sky chord is Tamahome)
Bomber vs autumn leaves (autumn leaves is BKC)
dragonuser vs Lady Schala (Lady Schala is We Three Kings)
Mael vs Fakes
Ace Matador’s Comments:
Shocked at some of the results, notably Earthworm’s loss over 3 games vs Coffe. A game 1 critical hit on Jirachi spoiled his chances and the next two games were close. Other notable dark horse wins include undisputed’s, and Bomber’s. Teams in this tournament have so far been high tier Pokémon, on defensively orientated builds. A few surprises scattered around such as a Camerupt from Tamahome are going to prove pivotal in many upcoming series to take advantage of the imperfect defensive cover which defensive builds often settle with.
More updates from the invitational coming soon…

GSC OU Earthworm vs Veteran in Love – with commentary by Earthworm

GSC OU Battle Analysis with commentary by Earthworm

SPL 8 GSC OU: Earthworm vs. Veteran In Love

This article is a guest feature written by user Earthworm of Smogon about his SPL victory over VIL in GSC OU. Earthworm is a multiple Trophy winning battler with an extensive career history in older generations. In recent history he mainly participated in the Smogon Premier League series and World Cup series where he achieved strong showings. The article was edited by Ace Matador. Where possible we have included Pokémon sprites to aid you in keeping track of the score when reading. If you are struggling we encourage you to keep open the replay whilst you read, it is available here.

Leads: Raikou vs Exeggutor

                    

Raikou is most often played on defensive teams, it is also a viable choice for offensive teams. Exeggutor is mostly played on offensive teams, and is also viable on defensive teams. From this both players can make immediate deductions about what could possibly be on the other team.

Lead matchup: Raikou may or may not have HP Ice (players sometimes forgo it for Reflect) Raikou may or may not have Sleep Talk (it usually does not) Exeggutor can be Sleep Powder or Stun Spore – Raikou usually wants to avoid Status and doesn’t want to Rest early unless Sleep Talk, If Raikou has HP Ice and Exeggutor misses, it takes a significant chunk of HP and can create a useful advantage to be exploited. However, if Exeggutor hits, it is a good advantage to the Exeggutor team – Paralysis on Raikou or Zapdos often provides the opportunity for the “6th slot” offensive Pokemon (e.g. Machamp, Vaporeon) to sweep.

Turn 1 (from here on abbreviated to T1, 2, etc.): I use Stun Spore on Skarmory – can provide opportunity for a Fire move Snorlax/Exeggutor or Marowak/Machamp.

              

T2: Skarm is often a free switch for Cloyster or Forretress, particularly if it doesn’t have Toxic (usually has Curse over Toxic). First Spiker to come in is a typical momentum point for GSC teams – winning the spikes battle can win the game.

   

T3: Cloyster is often awkward to play against for Defensive teams due to Explosion and Surf – Forretress typically has the disadvantage, and the first player to switch Cloyster in has the advantage over his opponent. Misdreavus is an attempt to get momentum going by threatening Mean Look or Thief.

T4: Tyranitar is Misdreavus’s worst enemy, although can often take Tyranitar down or signicantly weaken it.

(Itemless)

T5-T7: Tyranitar ensures that Misdreavus is punished by repeatedly using Pursuit, gets a CH on last turn which enables it to conserve more HP. 6-5 Earthworm.

T8-9: Suicune scouts switchin then lands Toxic – being forced to Rest will eventually give VIL potential recovery turns and give Zapdos fewer free switchins.

   

T10-11: Zapdos goes for paralysis on Raikou by trading hits. Both drop to around half health.

 

T12: VIL attempts to switch in on Rest, Earthworm switches to Lax.

T13: VIL scouts for Fire Blast – staying in has too high a degree of risk. Earthworm aims to put Forretress to sleep on speed tie with LK – aiming to maintain Spikes advantage. Misses Suicune

T14: Earthworm covers for Skarm switch and Suicune toxic with Zapdos switch

T15-16: VIL makes defensive Raikou switch and aims to pressure Zapdos and keep Raikou awake by attacking

T17-19: Resources at play are Raikou’s HP due to Spikes and Zapdos’s attacks vs Earthworm’s PP on Lax and Zapdos.

T20: Raikou HP is too low – Rests on Snorlax switch T21-26: Earthworm lowers Skarm’s HP at cost of Body Slam PP

T27-29: Earthworm burns the last Sleep turn and switches to Marowak, revealing the biggest threat to VIL’s team – Raikou with one turn left before waking up. Earthworm can SD or Earthquake targeting Suicune switch – one-time option due to having revealed lack of Sleep Talk. SD best move if Skarmory is to switch in. If Cune switches in on SD, it would trade for ~75% of Marowak’s HP barring CH – likely just outside Skarmory Drill Peck range.

T30: VIL elects to switch to Skarmory on Earthquake, temporarily negating the threat

T33-34: VIL attempts to send Snorlax into a potential Marowak switch to get momentum – is instead met with Snorlax and decides to switch to Skarmory to avoid Lovely Kiss

T38-39: VIL decides to take Sleep in exchange for Spikes

T40-41: VIL defensively switches to Skarmory as Earthworm switches to Cloyster and reveals Rapid Spin – with Forretress asleep, the game is likely to unfold with Spikes only on VIL’s side

T42: VIL burns last Raikou sleep turn

T44: VIL goes to relatively safe switch Suicune which can also cause a Rest with Toxic, potentially letting Snorlax in at low cost – met by Zapdos

T45-50: Earthworm takes advantage of Spikes and Skarmory’s lack of threat to wittle Raikou’s health down

T51-54: Snorlax comes in to avoid risking Raikou to spikes + Thunder paralysis – Toxics Zapdos before Resting. Earthworm anticipates the Rest but does not risk the more threatening Marowak switch and instead takes less risky but still aggressive Snorlax switch to attempt to force Snorlax out without it burning Rest turns. VIL successfully burns one Rest turn at no cost.

T56-58: Full paralysis forces Skarmory to Rest

T59: Earthworm takes advantage of forced switch from VIL to send in Marowak on Raikou.

T60: Earthworm is seemingly unwilling to trade 40% of Marowak’s health for potential Raikou KO – switches to Snorlax.

T62-64: Earthworm forces the Raikou Marowak matchup again but this time determines that VIL is not willing to risk his Raikou. Still hesitant to take risks, goes for EQ instead of SD. Skarmory reveals surprise Sleep Talk fourth move – giving it potential to beat Marowak despite being asleep.

T65-66: Earthworm forces same matchup again but still Earthquakes – given that Skarm has burned a Rest turn already, setting up is not ideal. Meanwhile, Raikou can no longer switch into Zapdos due to Spikes damage.

T67-69: VIL makes aggressive double switch to Snorlax to burn sleep turn, however misses crucial Toxic on Snorlax which would alleviate a lot of pressure.

T72: VIL has determined that he prefers to be asleep rather than risking Paralysis – Earthworm switches to Zapdos to force Skarmory out without it being able to burn sleep turns.

T73: Earthworm double-switches to Marowak, however VIL forced to switch to Snorlax anyway due to Raikou’s low health, unless he is prepared to sacrifice it. Snorlax v Marowak matchup favours VIL due to Toxic.

T74-76: Earthworm absorbs Toxic with low-usefulness Tyranitar. Misses first chip damage with Rock Slide. Tyranitar KOed. 5-5 Tie.

T77-78: Earthworm fears Raikou switching in and uses Surf initially, as VIL’s Toxic misses. Earthworm then hits the second Toxic as VIL misses again. T79: Earthworm predicts Toxic from VIL and switches to Zapdos only taking 6% Poison damage.

T80: Earthworm predicts Rest and switches to Marowak to gain potentially game-winning momentum, however VIL anticipates this and uses Toxic – potentially a do-or-die turn for both players. Marowak now has much greater potential to be stalled out by Skarmory.

T81: VIL makes the safe play by switching to Skarm, but Earthworm aggressively switches to Zapdos – hitting a Thunder from this position will likely net a KO, and VIL must choose which Pokemon to sacrifice.

T82-83: VIL sacrifices Forretress to Thunder in exchange for the turn to Rest with Raikou. 5-4 Earthworm.

Earthworm switches to Exeggutor to gain momentum, knowing the odds are against Raikou to rest loop Psychic and knowing that Explosion poses a large threat.

T84-85: VIL goes to Skarmory to attempt to wall Exeggutor, then takes an unexpected move to attempt to burn a sleep turn against a predicted Zapdos switch. Earthworm does not switch, instead opting for Stun Spore, miscounting sleep turns or aiming at Suicune, and so VIL ends up taking Spikes damage on Raikou.

T86-87: Earthworm anticipates the Skarmory switch and does significant damage with HP Fire, forcing VIL to answer with Suicune which he had been reserving for Marowak.

T88: VIL lacks options with Suicune vs Exeggutor and goes for Toxic, however it is absorbed by Zapdos.

T89-91: Earthworm does not make a double switch fearing having to take Toxic with Snorlax or Exeggutor and instead goes for Thunder to chip Raikou and allowing it to burn a sleep turn. Earthworm decides to make his move with Marowak despite it now being on a timer. VIL responds by switching to Skarmory.

T92: VIL goes for Sleep Talk – Drill Peck would leave Marowak on 50% (Suicune Surf range), Rest would force Marowak to continue to try its luck, and Curse would leave Skarmory very low health and slower than Marowak, but alive, from which point VIL could choose to sacrifice a Pokemon or switch to Suicune. Rest is selected leaving Earthworm in an awkward position, however Rock Slide critical hits, meaning the same situation is in play again, but with selection of Curse resulting in Skarmory fainting.

T93-96: Interestingly, Skarmory selects Drill Peck on the turn where Marowak would die to Poison afterwards, leaving it on 12% with one sleep turn left to burn. 4-4 Tie.

T97: Earthworm decides to send in Cloyster instead of Zapdos, aiming to force in Suicune instead of Raikou, but risking a speed tie Sleep Talk Rest in the process. VIL decides to switch to Suicune.

T98-99: Earthworm scouts for a switch-back to Skarmory on a predicted Toxic but instead simply gets Poisoned by Suicune’s Toxic then Roared.

T100-101: VIL anticipates that Earthworm will not risk Toxic and uses Surf to hit Zapdos or Cloyster. Earthworm finally lands Toxic on Suicune and sacrifices Cloyster to allow Zapdos in. 3-4 VIL.

T102-103: Earthworm sends in Zapdos to force out Suicune, then doubles to Snorlax (Raikou taking Spikes damage). Skarmory is in KO range of Body Slam on the switch, and also Curse Body Slam after one turn of Leftovers, should he not select Rest or Curse with Sleep Talk.

T104-105: VIL sends in Suicune, knowing that neither Curse nor Body Slam will be threatening enough that he is forced to sacrifice a Pokemon. However, Earthworm then absorbs Toxic with Zapdos, forcing the same situation as two turns ago but with his Pokemon on lower health. T106-108: Earthworm again double-switches to Snorlax on the Raikou switch from VIL. He decides to Curse, potentially anticipating a Suicune sacrifice which would enable Skarmory to rest. VIL instead stays in and uses Roar, which favourably brings out Zapdos instead of Exeggutor.

T109-113: Earthworm sends in Exeggutor, which VIL now has no switch for now that Suicune has been worn down by Spikes and Toxic. He gets Paralysis with Thunder, which would potentially allow him to win the Rest loop. However, on the same turn, Earthworm’s Psychic lowers Raikou’s SpDef. VIL sacrifices Suicune to bring in his Snorlax. 3-3 Tie.

T114-117: VIL predicts a switch to Snorlax and uses Toxic, however Earthworm attacks with Exeggutor, forcing Snorlax to Rest the following turn. Earthworm still stays in but is fully paralysed. He then explodes on Snorlax to take it down. 2-2 Tie.

At this point, to have a chance, VIL must successfully guess whether Earthworm will send out Zapdos or Snorlax. Should he choose correctly, due to Spikes being up on his side of the field, he would then have to KO one Pokemon before he runs out of PP, because Earthworm can otherwise simply switch ad infinitum. Also, should Zapdos run out of Thunder, VIL could potentially win with Skarmory, although Sleep Talk would still pose a problem.

T118: VIL chooses incorrectly and is forced to sacrifice Skarmory to Zapdos. 2-1 Earthworm.

T119-125: Although a paralysis + fully paralysed Snorlax turn gives VIL a glimmer or hope, in the end Snorlax KOs Raikou.

2-0 Earthworm.

Pokémon Sun Moon OU Team Building Lesson

Pokémon Sun Moon OU Team Building Lesson – With Cool Trainer Gorgie

This is a guest feature written by user Gorgie from Smogon. Pay close attention and develop your team building with his useful tutorial below.

Don’t forget to check out Cool Trainer Gorgie’s other videos which feature exciting and important Pokémon battles to get you fighting like a professional.