A lookback at OST XIII Finals!
A piece by our author: zomOG
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).
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.
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, 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.