Smogon Snake Draft IV - Week 3

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Ah shit, here we go again..


OU: dice vs 1 True Lycan - God, I really hate The Baron sometimes. That win post last week was hard to read and downright unbecoming of a Wolfpack player... Having said that, the fact 1TL posted a win at all is a pretty big plus in and of itself in this match-up. dice honestly hasn't looked great this tournament. The Taipans' OU talisman's biggest impact on his team has tragically been forcing the trading away of a potentially valuable piece for an inactive one. dice is obviously a proven player with many, many wins under his belt, but the motivation just doesn't seem to be there. While 1TL still hasn't moved me the way he did during SPL, he's definitely had a better tournament than dice has had so far, imo.

OU: Eeveeto vs Steve Angello - This game is essentially impossible to predict for me, but for now I'm going with Steve. In last week's predictions I talked about Steve having put together a nice little win streak since the start of WCoP and that he's a wild card in the best possible way; he could beat anyone despite being valued as a late/cheap pick. Speaking as a manager, we love players like that. He ran into Tace, one of the hottest SS players right now, and was a little too weak to Excadrill to win the game in the end, but Steve has looked good all year. I consider Eeveeto to be a wild card, too, but on a whole different level of danger. Eeveeto's mind in the team builder is unique and he'll find value in Pokemon that nobody else would. It's hard to imagine a game where Steve Angello is the 'safe' pick, but here we are. Eeveeto could just as easily take this one and to me this is a 100% must watch game for the fans.

OU: Void vs mncmt - Oh no... Where did this go wrong, Void? You for sure gotta sub out of this one, too. I fear that mncmt is going to cook Void or whoever subs in for Void. However, if Void wins I'll bold him for the rest of the season. Good luck my friend.

OU: High Impulse vs FMG - FMG switched it up in a genius way last week. After Volt Switching into a Trace Porygon2 with Zeraora in week 1, the mentality went from winning to 'not losing' last week. 250 turns and an Aromatherapy Clefable later, Raiza timed out and FMG was on the board. I suppose stalling your way through GSC Cup in Classic this year was a good investment, huh. I'm fairly confident FMG will take this one, too. He's clearly very comfortable using balances and going through the motions of a longer game, while High Impulse hasn't. In his game against Fear last week his Skarmory was the last Pokemon standing after Fear's Rillaboom had claimed 4 kills. Oof. Obviously, Fear did have a Magnezone, which made the match-up all but straightforward for High Impulse. That said, I'm not sold on High Impulse turning things around quite yet, especially against FMG.

DOU: Kiichikos vs Qwello Lee - Kiichikos is coming off beating my team mate and the consensus #1 DOU player, Ezrael, as we got completely outmaneuvered in the team builder, if we're being honest. Our Sun team ran into a Dragalge + Gigalith combination, so that was all she wrote for that game. Kiichikos, however, is now up against one of the hottest rookies of the tournament so far in Edward Scizorhands. Qwello Lee, like his OU playing countrymen, seems to have solved the current DOU metagame with his Scizor, Rillaboom and Necrozma cores in terms of offensive synergy. These are official team tournaments, though. He's going to have to switch it up eventually, especially against a fearless counter styler like Kiichikos. Being Italian, I have no doubts that he's up to that challenge, though.

UU: Adaam vs Lilburr - I'm very much looking forward to this game. My fellow councilman and councilwoman have both enjoyed a mixed start to the tournament. Adaam still hasn't looked as sharp as he did in SM UU, but does come off (a somewhat lucky) win against CBU. I've also enjoyed Adaam's team choices a lot, which is the main reason I'm leaning towards him instead of Lilburr. I predicted Lilburr to win both of her first two games, but her team last week has lowered my expectations somewhat. There were some fundamental issues that she simply couldn't overcome in her game, while offensively the team tried to do too many different things at once. Can Lilburr bounce back from that? Absolutely. Adaam is a tough opponent to try and do that against, though. Very curious to see these two's teams especially.

RU: Expulso vs snaga - snaga is coming off a rough day. The honeymoon period of snaga's breakthrough year is officially over. After making Slam playoffs and beating odr in week 1 of Snake he ran into a very well prepared Feliburn week 2 and came out of his Slam series with a couple of regrets, too. snaga, however, really should beat Expulso. Expulso is known as a super friendly and hard working contributor in a number of different lower tiers. That doesn't necessarily translate to wins while starting in team tournaments, though. Expulso's first game was obviously a very hard one against top dog Ajna, so we can't be too harsh on him for losing that one. It is a little concerning that the R6 RU player had to subbed out and rotated already, so I'm not overly confident in the Taipans' RU slot until we start seeing some wins, or failing that, close games at least.

NU: aim vs Sjneider - I'm not gonna lie, I hated Neider's team last week. No Fairy-type is already pushing it in last week's NU metagame, but not even a Steel-type? Duraludon does NOT count as a Steel-type. Neider depended on his Jellicent to withstand Drampa and that just isn't it. Especially if said Jellicent is slower than Drampa... Neider also assumed GW's Gallade was Scarf without scouting the set properly, which felt off to me given that GW was using Sticky Webs. Neider's gonna have to do a lot better in the builder, but I trust that this will be a wake up call for him. Neider is a Wolfpack staple, so I can speak from experience that he won't be lazy this week. Speaking of Wolfpack staples, aim hasn't had a great start to the tournament himself. He was pretty fortunate to win in the first week and got beat fair and square by bugzinator in week 2. Joey is a veteran of the game, but hasn't looked as sharp as he's been in the past yet. Big game for both players' seasons, imo. Expecting Neider to recover from last week better.

PU: tlenit vs Xiri - I know I know, I was gassing up Xiri a LOT last week and everything points to another great season for him in PU. However, tlenit is batshit insane and knows Xiri better than anyone else in this pool after being the Robin to Xiri's Batman on last year's Leviathans. tlenit isn't afraid to throw the team building handbook out the window and go hard on prepping for the opponent he's facing. My team mate was on the receiving end of tlenit's crack cocaine Bouffalant set last week, so now that it's not being done to us I can actually look forward to what he's gonna cook up for the Xiri game. Xiri is the better and more experienced player, but I have a feeling tlenit is going to have something preposterous ready that's going to win this match-up, and only this match-up. tlenit 1, Xiri 0.

LC: Osh vs Shrug - Both of these players are 0-2, which means one of them will be 0-3 after this week. Don't worry, my intellect scares me at times as well. I was very tempted to go with Shrug this week after Osh pulled a Nat™ at the end of his Grand Slam series against Santu (can we all please stop doing this?), but I have to believe in Osh's ability to bounce back. In fact, I'd argue that Osh has already gotten his two hardest opponents out of the way in LilyAC and Serene Grace, so a winning streak could very well be on the horizon. Shrug tragically found himself on the receiving end of LilyAC's Little Cup genius, as Zorua claimed not one but two Pokemon with Counter. That can happen. Shrug is good enough to get wins on the board and much like Osh is enduring a very tough schedule early on in the tournament. This week is going to be very hard for Shrug, however. Osh should win.

OU: Bloody alfa vs Sacri' - Man, I just realized I'm predicting my Europe team mates to go 0-4 this week. :'( This is why writing weekly predictions is a ridiculous idea, but fuck it I've committed now.. I hope Pohjis isn't going to read this post. Let me start this prediction off by saying I'm a huge Bloody alfa fan. As a fellow Sunday night regular and dead game enthusiast we have a lot in common, too. We got along great during WCoP and he's been excellent all year. That said, Sacri' has been on point so far, while Bloody alfa is off to an 0-2 start. Bloody alfa also isn't as hard of a worker and prepper as Sacri' is. Sacri', to me, seems completely over his WCoP metagame struggles and is looking as good as he ever has in SS right now. This is my third week in a row bolding Sacri' and I am fairly confident he'll take this one home, too. It's also worth noting that the Bushmasters OU core isn't working as well as expected with a 2-6 overall record so far after being power ranked as the second best OU core behind the similarly slow starting Serpents.

OU: Santu vs ima - Santu, however, is one of those two wins thus far. I'm perhaps more so curious to see the teams these guys bring than I am to see the actual game. Both are notorious team stealers and ima even just used whatever team lax used earlier in the week in his two games, winning them both. The Bushmasters are coming off a 1-9 walloping courtesy of the Lindworms, though more concerning to me was their 0-2 Italian OU record. I'm going to consider this a fluke, given that both players also had Grand Slam to play for and in Punny's case even OLT on top of that as well. Santu has been winning a truckload lately, just took out the #1 seed in Grand Slam and is still too hard to predict against for me. The day I predict against an Italian player is nearing, though. I'm expecting a 95% win record from you guys this week, preferably 100%.

OU: frisoeva vs robjr - As expected, robjr's nuzlocke run ran into a watashi-sized obstacle last week. Don't take anything away from robjr's playing this year, though. watashi is just one of the best players in the entire tournament. As per nuzlocke rules, robjr is no longer allowed to use Aegislash, Pelipper, Zeraora, Corviknight, Clefable and Keldeo anymore, so that should make prepping a lot easier for the Bushmasters. As for frisoeva, I think he was on track towards a good chance to win, until he let Dragapult get knocked by Reuniclus. With its Specs still there I'm pretty sure the Dragapult would've been a massive problem. Ewin then followed it up with a Focus Blast through paralysis on the switch as frisoeva went Urshifu and that was that. frisoeva could absolutely take this one if he's in the right headspace for it, but I'm not confident that he is. His team got dismantled last week and he did sign up saying he'd like to play a non-ou tier this Snake. Going with the junior here.

OU: Lopunny Kicks vs Storm Zone - Punny regrettably broke the cardinal Pohjis rule of playing in tournaments; don't play another tournament game or series after you've already lost one that day. Punny, being a master of the art of johning himself, played for all of Grand Slam, OLT and Snake on the same Sunday night. Unsurprisingly, after crashing out of Grand Slam he was in no mood to play for Snake at all, especially considering the already dire result that week for the Bushmaster. No substitutes were available, so Lopunny Tilts had to play and lost. Now, I still think very highly of Punny and I don't really doubt him in this match-up at all. Storm Zone is good and dominates the ladder, but Punny is a very experienced tournament player by now. He'll bounce back.

DOU: qsns vs Memoric - Look away now SPL 11 Scooters, because Memoric has already surpassed his win total of this year's SPL in the first two weeks of Snake. I know the pain all too well... Memoric, in his game against JRL last week, was able to get Necrozma going before JRL's Toxic Spikes went up and it all snowballed from there. Necrozma was unstoppable and it was a fairly comfortable outing for Memoric. qsns had a godly week 1 match-up against Ezrael, but lost in a tough game against umbreon098 last week. The Clanger was too much and Gothitelle couldn't stop Toxtricity from Volt Switching around a bunch. I'm expecting a more proactive team from qsns this week. If Memoric wins again I'll have no other option but to hop aboard the train, as he has admittedly been playing nicely. Until then, I'll trust qsns to improve in the builder and to take this one home.

UU: Ramolost vs SoulWind - I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that Ramolost talked a bit of trash towards Poek, given that he's Christo's pick. That said, Christo himself at least talks trash while having consistent results tucked under his belt. To be fair to Ramolost, the first half of his schedule is very hard with CBU, Poek and now SoulWind to start off his season. SoulWind, meanwhile, is off to great start in the tournament, to nobody's surprise. He's 2-0 and beat CBU in the UU game for their Grand Slam series, too. Ramolost is obviously nowhere near as proven as SoulWind on the big stage, so we're gonna have to see some team builder gymnastics from the Bushmasters to see a win in this game. I didn't love Ramolost's team last week, which doesn't exactly inspire much confidence on that front. Definitely taking SoulWind here.

RU: roman vs atomicllamas - atomicllamas bounced back against Nat last week and thereby avoided an SS RU legacy of being The Poltergeister. I really like llamas, so I was glad to see him play a solid game and get a win on the board. After using a good enough team and playing a sturdy end game I have faith in him putting up an average record at least, which would be incredible value for the Bakers given how late they were able to pick llamas in the draft. roman, however, is someone I rate a little higher in terms of gameplay. roman is very aggressive and very hard to read. He seemingly has no regard for getting a play wrong and goes all in all the time in any given game. Respectable, but obviously very nerve wracking to spectate as a team mate. As a neutral observer, though, this is a game I'm looking forward to a lot. Good luck to you both!

NU: CyberOdin vs elodin - Odin's tragic loss due to timing out broke my heart last week. He's such a nice person and really earned that victory, if not for losing track of his remaining time at the end of the game. Looking past that, Odin has played two good games so far. elodin won in the first week and subbed out in the second week. elodin fumbled the ending of his game two weeks ago, but won the resulting speedtie to win the game after all. elodin simply didn't look as sharp as he's looked in the past, so I'm not convinced yet. Knowing Odin, he'll work his ass off and he'll do whatever he can to earn back the trust of his team mates. Going with my instincts here and I'm picking Odin to win.

PU: soulgazer vs false - The king of UU has not turned out to be the king of PU.. Thankfully this is not a big problem for the Bakers, as they drafted a familiar PU name in false to step in this week. false is, however, immediately tasked with taking down a lower tier giant in soulgazer. soulgazer lost in the first week, but bounced back last week on the back of a big Pop Smoke performance against TJ. false has proven he can win team tournament games in PU, so I'm definitely not ruling him out of this game or future Snake games for that matter. soulgazer (assuming obii won't 9-0..) is just the best of the entire PU pool to me, especially with King Tut not even playing his games. Expect me to bold soulgazer every week regardless of his opponent.

LC: Kingler vs Ninjadog - Ninjadog has been great and perhaps even one of the most positive surprises of the tournament so far. This is Ninjadog's first outing as a starter in a team tournament, yet he's been playing like a seasoned veteran. I said it last week and I'll say it again: Ninjadog looks like the best of the rest so far and might even challenge Osh for that #3 LC spot from where I'm standing. I've been thorougly impressed. Kingler, my friend, simply isn't made for team tournaments. I don't know what it is, but he's won LC Open (beating LilyAC in the final!) and yet I'm going against him for the third straight week. My man cannot do well in these. I'm going to root for my pal and ally Kingler, but I'm fearing the worst. He's usually good for at least two wins, though!

OU: Finchinator vs xray - If xray maintains his current upward trend he's gonna get two kills against Finchinator... Man, it has been a rough, rough start for xray and his Mambas. Obviously there were huge question marks surrounding their draft from the start, but I didn't think it'd be this dire. To me, this week is absolutely must win for the Mambas and I have lost faith in their leader. He not only faces a great player in Finch, but he's seemed defeated to me. Deflated. He wasn't even mad after losing to ramboss so much as he was giving up on SS OU overall, calling it a complete match-up fishing metagame. I not only, respectfully, disagree with that, but it gives me zero confidence in xray to lead his team out of this pit. Finchinator and the Astrotias on the other hand seem to be cruising so far. Their teams have looked good and I'd be surprised if we didn't see the Astrotias in the playoffs at the end of the season. I'd love to see xray putting up a great fight to lead his team to a much, much needed win here, I just don't think it'll happen.

OU: Raiza vs Relous - Relous is great and notably took down John W last week. In fact, Relous might be a better SS OU player than Raiza right now, but this is also a matter of trusting the Astrorias' OU building more than the Mambas'. I'm expecting a more proactive team from Raiza after last week's loss against FMG, while Relous will probably use a similar breaker-based bulky offense like he used last week. He's always been great with those types of teams in SM, too. Until I've seen more from either player, though, I'm anticipating more Italian success for now. Looking forward to this one!

OU: Tace vs ZDen - Still a huge Tace fan, as stated in both of the first two weeks as well. He can't seem to lose right now. ZDen 6-0d last week, but it wasn't a particularly dominant 6-0 to me. CB Rhyperior picked every time and the pharaoh sacked Corviknight for some reason, which meant Earthquake was free every time from that point onward for ZDen. The Rhyperior outbreak in SS OU has been crazy, btw. I love it. Such a fun Pokemon to use and see being used, too. As said before, I don't think ZDen is bad by any means and a very sufficient OU4 type of pick without a doubt, but Tace is very near the top of SS OU right now. It'll take watashi or perhaps an Italian for me to predict against him, if even then.

OU: BIHI vs Gefährlicher Random - I'm a bit hesitant to predict in favor of The Dangerous Random, especially after a rough game against Bro Kappa last week. The main reason I'm going with TDR anyway is due to my faith in his motivation to come back from that game. Granted, my exposure to his work ethic has been minimal, but from what I've seen and heard from others his attitude is stellar. Not only that, but the the Mambas are faced with a must win scenario after their awful start to the season. Don't forget that TDR was an early pick for them. Frankly, he has to show up big this week and I'm going to back him to do so. BIHI, as said before, is a perfect fit for the Astrotias in my mind. I expect him to work extremely well with Finchinator in particular and he should win them a handful of games, which is huge value given where they picked him. I'll never not root for BIHI, but I trust TDR to show up this week.

DOU: Paraplegic vs Frania - Honestly, my feeling for this game is similar to the one above. Frania is the Mambas' second round pick and like their first round pick, he's started off the season 0-2. It's do or die for the Mambas and Frania has to show up this week. Ezrael and Nails consistently speak incredibly highly of Frania and his work rate, which I've seen up close myself too during WCoP last year. Paraplegic seems to be better and more comfortable right now, but Frania has to and most likely will work his ass off to produce a great team and a great game. The Mambas won't survive this week if he doesn't.

UU: Accelgor vs Sabella - Accelgor has been good so far. I think especially so in the builder. He's been reading the metagame perfectly, abusing what's good right now and applying it well in his games. I was a little worried about Accelgor last week after his UUWC finals game, but he handily beat Lilburr in a very solid showing. Sabella on the other hand has struggled. His week 1 game was all but secured until he fumbled the bag, while he missed a crucial Power Whip against Luigi last week that resulted in having to play a much harder game. The match-up against Luigi was always going to be a hard one, though, given the demon coverage on that Slowbro of his. I like both of these guys a lot and would be happy seeing either of them win, but Accelgor has definitely impressed more thus far.

RU: Feliburn vs Charmflash - I said this after the draft and I'll say it again: Feliburn is the biggest steal of the draft. He went waaaaaaaaaaay too late. This shouldn't and normally wouldn't have happened, but Ajna fell to our team, so we moved on in RU. Obviously, this was very nicely taken advantage of by the Astrotias and Feliburn has looked very sharp so far. His prep and team against snaga last week was innovative and exactly what you wanted to see in the first week after usage shifts. Charmflash, on the other hand, suffered a very painful loss at the hand of odr's Focus Energy Inteleon. Charmflash went hard to his Scarf Passimian, forgetting about Inteleon (logically) switching up its attack to Ice Beam on that turn to avoid a low Dark Pulse roll (and a Passimian pivot..), and that was that. The Inteleon cleaned out Charm's entire team. Charmflash, like xray and Frania, will have to step up big time this week as one of the pillars of the Mambas. Charm has lead teams before, in fact he's lead a Snake team to victory before as a round 1 pick, which happens to be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Mambas. Feliburn is for sure favored in my eyes, but maybe Charmflash can show up big for his team when it matters most. It's worth noting that he wasn't able to in last year's finals, though thankfully for him, Garay oak was.

NU: GW vs Ho3nConfirm3d - Honestly, GW has looked really good and could just as easily have been 2-0 right now, if it wasn't for some untimely misses against Joey in week 1. With Finch overlooking the Astrotias NU prep I'm sure GW will continue to bring fundamentally sound teams and a positive record wouldn't at all surprise me at this point. Ho3n looks to be the permanent NU option for the Mambas ever since Rodri was subbed out after week 1. Obviously, this is a huge setback for the Mambas on top of everything else that's gone badly already. GW, while great so far, isn't one of the stronger slots for the Astrotias on paper (yet), so I imagine the Mambas will make sure Ho3n is going to be extremely well prepared for this game. I don't think it'll be enough, though. GW and GW's teams have looked good in terms of respecting the metagame's top threats and respecting the type chart (thank you, Finch) as well. Huge, huge game for the Mambas.

PU: keppy vs Ktütverde eifo - Assuming King Tut won't show up again, I'm going with keppy and more importantly the Astrotias' PU backing here. eifo, to his credit, has been a surprisingly good substitute so far, especially when you consider that PU isn't his main tier at all, as well as the fact that neither substitute was planned and had to be made last minute. keppy lost to Xiri last week, in what was one of the least unlucky games I've seen from anyone in a long while; Xiri used an anxiety inducing amount of inaccurate moves and hit all but one. After Heatmor missed a Fire Blast, though, it promptly burned on the next one to make up for it. Nice. I'm still not really sure what to make of keppy. Until I'm convinced one way or the other I'm going to trust HJAD, though. Also keppy is apparently from Costa Rica, which is a country I'd love to visit sometime.

LC: LilyAC vs Wail Wailord - Regular readers of the predictions will already know how this one's gonna go. I'm predicting Lily to win every week, no exceptions. Even I, one of Lily's most loyal fans, didn't see the Zorua game coming, though. Good lord. I'm setting alerts on my phone for each Lily game from now on, as they are clearly unmissable. Wail, to his credit, bounced back nicely from a shaky debut game last week, so that's encouraging for the Mambas. However, Lily is way too far ahead of the rest of the field (barring Serene!) for me to even remotely entertain an outcome other than a Lily win.

*Remember that the Serpents are already eliminated, so we can't be sure if they'll prepare their games seriously.

OU: watashi vs ramboss - Two players I'm high on and two players that have started the tournament perfectly with two wins. As much as I like ramboss, though, I'm not going to predict against watashi. Not here, and quite possible not at all this Snake. Obviously, as mentioned in the disclaimer, doobie is already eliminated and might bring some doodoo. For now I have to believe he'll still bring real teams, though. Assuming he does, he is the best OU player in Snake after lax, in my opinion.

OU: Star vs Rexus - It's been a rough few months for Star, as he's now lost 5 straight SS OU games between WCoP and Snake. Not only that, but he's facing an Italian this week, so make that 6. I imagine Star is lowkey starting to look foward to being out mathematically, given that the Serpents are currently only out mathenatically. Rexus, in iconic fashion, has johned as much as possible in order to be able to sub out both weeks after the result was already decided, with the pharaoh going 0-2 off the bench for him. Let's pretend battle differential never comes into play and consider this to be very cool instead. Having said that, not having played any games yet tragically makes me feel better about Rexus than about Star right now. Did I mention he's Italian yet?

OU: Malekith vs John W - What a banger. Malekith has not really looked great so far, but John W has started off the tournament 0-2 himself as well. As the #4 overall pick, I might add. One of the two has to start winning this week and I believe it'll be John. Malekith's team is already out and he's probably gonna use some crack shit, while I know John will really want to turn his record around as soon as possible. I'm quite high on John W, so I trust him to do exactly that this week. Malekith might use some insane shit in order to nab this one away from John, but that would depend on how much time Malekith is going to put into the preparation of this game. My guess is it'll be a lot less than the time John will put in.

OU: Tamahome vs BK - BK has looked very good so far, which obviously makes sense given his nationality. I've always been very high on BK, so I'm happy to see him doing well in these early weeks of the tournament. Tamahome is as experienced of an opponent as he's gonna get, but 1 True Lycan and TDR are no slouches either in SS OU. Tamahome is coming off a loss against Sacri', who to me is one of the better OU players in the tournament, so I'm not particularly shocked there. I'm gonna go with the hot hand here and predict BK to win, even though Tamahome can beat anyone on any given day as he's proven over and over again. As things stand, though, his comparative lack of consistency outside of old gens is still holding me back a bit.

DOU: DLT JRL BELL vs Nails - JRL, the hottest DOU prospect of all time, has not yet lived up to the hype. Not only that, but Nails stopped having bad tournaments a few years ago, so it's looking quite dire for the Serpents DOU player. I'm very high on Nails and I think he's particularly good at beating players he's supposed to beat. I know Nails thinks highly of JRL as well, but JRL will be under massive pressure to avoid going 0-3, which I believe Nails will capitilize on fully. I am admittedly a bit pissed that Nails has used the same team as Ezrael both weeks so far, while getting better match-ups than us, so I wouldn't hate a JRL win here. If I were a betting man, though, I'd go with Nails this week for sure. I actually am a betting man as well, so if anyone wants to bet just hmu.

UU: Askov vs Luigi - Well then. I'm not gonna lie, this definitely feels wrong. viv got drafted to start in an official team tournament for the first time, ran into the combination of Poek and SoulWind for his first two games, only to get benched after that. This ain't right. I don't think viv has played particularly great or anything, but who would survive a first ever two games against those two players? In any case, with viv rotated out we get a Brazilian match-up instead. Askov made a name for himself as a UU player this summer by making a deep run in UU Open, so I'm fairly confident in Askov's ability to be on top of the metagame. Luigi, to me, is the better and more proven player, though. Going against his instructions, I watched the last couple of turns of his game against Sabella, which wasn't a pretty sight. Regardless, I'm backing the backer.

RU: Nat vs odr - First of all, I'm impressed with the fact that Nat is still in the line-up. I suppose 0-3 into quitting would be consistent with her SPL trajectory than 0-2 would be, though. SPL, however, wasn't played in her beloved RU tier, so I imagine this tournament so far will sting a lot more. Her game against llamas from last week really came down to a single turn. Gardevoir nuked Nat's Steelix with Focus Blast and the entire backbone of her team was left exposed. llamas was able to flowchart it home for the rest of the way from there. Can she bounce back this week? Maybe, but doubtful. I imagine morale can't be high at all on the Serpents, considering they've been eliminated ever since Pepeduce beat Nat two weeks, so that doesn't bode well. On top of that, odr came back from a tough debut game with a mission to prove the doubters wrong. Charmflash was disposed of handily with the help of his Inteleon and I imagine odr is determined to double down this week against Nat. Honestly, I think he'd be doing her a favor. This game clearly does her more harm than good.

NU: Jrdn vs Kushalos - The god chef showed up for his scheduled time last week, which means I don't have to tell you who won from there. Jrdn played a solid game last week as well, but he's not at the chef's level yet. I rate both players highly, so I'm really looking forward to this game. Excited to see how the post bans NU metagame will shape up to look like, too. I'm saddened by the Toxicroak ban, but otherwise I'm loving NU right now. The chef to take this one, as he's as experienced and consistent as they come in NU.

PU: obii vs Hamhamhamhamham - Even just looking at this match-up is putting a smile on my face. Was there anyone more due a couple of wins than 2-0bii? Maybe nice guys don't always finish last. God bless. obii seems to have really picked up the PU metagame well, despite a few small hickups in both of his games so far. He's on top of the sets and trends and clearly prepared well for both of his games. Ham Adebayo and his Hitmonchan meanwhile successfully climbed the eifo tower last week, as King Tut had to sub out yet again. Honestly, Ham has looked solid and could end up delivering a very respectable record when it's all said and done. This may be the only time ever I could reasonably predict obii to win a game, though, so I'd be a fool not to take my chance.

LC: Mazinger vs Xizaaa - Project Z has started off a bit rocky. An 0-2 introduction for Mazinger, despite Star's notorious team building support, isn't what the Serpents had hoped for. Obviously, going with Mazinger instead of a more proven (in LC) LC main was risky, with the upsides being that Z is a very experienced player and that Star and Z get along great. It hasn't even looked awful for them, but they just haven't won yet. I'm gonna take a risk and anticipate that first win to come this week. Xizaaa played a shaky endgame last week, as well as being unable to pull the right triggers with Staryu, in my opinion. Mazinger could be smelling blood here, as I'm sure he'll want at least one win before calling it a day.

GGs Taipans and gl hf to the Lindworms this week. Let's make it a good series! Gondra



formerly mc56556
Hey, hey, everyone :)

It's been far too long, so...predicts time!

First up, though, I wanted to select some highlight matches, for those who perhaps might not have time to read through all this:

My Highlight Matches of the Week

OU: Finchinator vs. xray
RU: roman vs. atomicllamas
RU: Feliburn vs. Charmflash
DOU: qsns vs. Memoric
LC: Osh vs. Shrug
NU: aim vs. Sjneider
NU: bugzinator vs. Realistic Waters
OU: Tamahome vs. BK
DOU: Ezrael vs. umbreon098
LC: LilyAC vs. Wail Wailord
UU: Askov vs. Luigi (how could I not pick this? LOL Smogtours will be losing its mind.)

Rumble Hall Rattlers (6) vs (4) Sky Tower Lindworms

OU: Samqian vs Eo Ut Mortus ~ Eo is ranked highly in OU for this Snake in the PR and for good reason. He's been playing some very solid Pokémon recently, so it wouldn't surprise me to see him end up having one of the better records in SS OU this Snake by the end.
OU: lax vs Garay oak ~ Garay is for sure a good player in a number of tiers, but it's very difficult to pick against someone in as good form in SS OU right now as lax. He's looking at the moment to post a near faultless record this tour.
OU: Fear vs Jytcampbell ~ The GSC OU whiz continues to appear in CG OU; however, he starts out this Snake in a less compelling way than Jytcampbell has. Jyt is continuing to improve and getting results quickly: He's already at 2-0 this tour and looking like a very solid pick by the Lindworms. Fear does have some good SS OU support on his team, but I think Jyt will get this one.
OU: Kebab mlml vs Ewin
DOU: Ezrael vs umbreon098 ~ Ezrael may have started out this tournament 0-2, but it's hard to see arguably the best DOUer around losing with any more regularity this tour. I expect they'll get back on track this week with a strong performance and remind us why he's been so successful in recent tours.
UU: CBU vs Poek
RU: Ajna vs Pepeduce ~ Interesting match. Ajna, one of the favorites to perform quite well this Snake, comes into Week 3 at 1-1, while Pepeduce is at 2-0 after two very strong wins after excellent lower tiers players in roman and Nat. I was very close to picking Pepeduce again here, but I think Ajna will be too strong this week.
NU: bugzinator vs Realistic Waters ~ Great match here. Realistic Waters is undefeated so far this tour and ranked highly in the PR, but bugzinator has long-time experience as an NUer and in the community. I think he's up for the challenge this week.
PU: Roseybear vs TJ
LC: Serene Grace vs dcae ~ The battle of the undefeated LCers. Serene Grace certainly has the tier knowledge and experience as a long-time community member to put together an impressive run this Snake in LC, which I expect will happen. dcae is a solid player, though, having already beaten Kingler and Maziner. Potential upset alert? We shall see...

Terminus Taipans (4) vs (6) Celadon City Cobras

OU: dice vs 1 True Lycan ~ dice is an excellent player, but 1 True Lycan really is looking to be one of the top players to beat in this tour after successfully navigating through competitive SS OU so far with some excellent results.
OU: Eeveeto vs Steve Angello
OU: Void vs mncmt ~ I was one of the players whom mncmt beat along the way to their OST finals performance, so I got to see firsthand their excellent in-game play, and I think this will contribute to an impressive record this Snake. Void is good too, but I think few players will stop the Brazilian this tour.
OU: High Impulse vs FMG ~ I thought about this for about 10 min. since I didn't want to pick an OU sweep against the Taipans. However, FMG seems to be the more solid of the two players so far this tour. They had an impressive win against Raiza last week and just have lost to Eo so far. Conversely, High Impulse has lost to both BIHI and Fear, and has some work to do to catch up. They are certainly a good player, so maybe this will be the comeback week, but I'm picking FMG for now.
DOU: Kiichikos vs Qwello Lee
UU: Adaam vs Lilburr ~ I expect Adaam to put together another very impressive series of lower tiers performances this tour, as he is one of the top players around and defending Slam champ. Always one of my favorites to watch in these tours. :)
RU: Expulso vs snaga ~ Hard one to predict here, at least based on each player's results so far in this tour. snaga and Expulso both had losses against very tough opponents last week (vs. Feliburn and Ajna, respectively). Expulso only played last week, and I think snaga's experience will help them through this one.
NU: aim vs Sjneider ~ In a week full of excellent matchups, this is high up there. :) Sneider and aim are some of the top players in this year's NU pool. Each has dropped and won a game so far, and will be eager to get this win for their team. Interestingly, both lost their first game last week, but these came against tough opponents in GW and bugzinator. Very close here, and ultimately this could easily go either way, but I think aim will get this one.
PU: tlenit vs Xiri
LC: Osh vs Shrug ~ Definitely one of the best matches this week. Osh is a top LC player, and although he starts out this Snake at 0-2, it is worth noting that those losses came against Lily (who frankly appears to be the best LC player around this Snake) and Serene Grace. Shrug certainly has the experience and excellent in-game play to upset Osh here, but I suspect this is when Osh shows us why he is ranked #1 in the PR as he gets back on track for a strong season.

Berry Forest Bushmasters (7)) vs (3) Lanakila Nagas

OU: Bloody alfa vs Sacri' ~ I had a tough time deciding this one. Bloody alfa is a really friendly, up-and-coming player who's very deserving of his starting SS OU role this Snake. I also think he's got the confidence and drive to perform really well this Snake. But, Sacri is among the more diligent and dedicated big tour players, and I think their 2-0 start could foretell a particularly strong tour. I'm picking Bloody alfa for the upset (que tengas suerte :blobuwu:).
OU: Santu vs ima
OU: frisoeva vs robjr ~ I had the pleasure of co-managing a team with robjr on it recently, and I got to see how his in-game play and teambuilding are helpful to any team he's apart of. He's already at a very strong start having taken down xray and then FLCL--a start that could have very reasonably seen him be at this same stage 0-2 instead sees him at 1-1. For this reason, I'm going with robjr.
OU: Lopunny Kicks vs Storm Zone ~ One of the better OU matches this week in my opinion. Storm Zone pulled off an impressive win against Star already this Shake and is looking in good form. However, they are going up against an in-form Lopunny Kicks who in tandem with their Italian brethren just won WCoP in convincing fashion. I think this will be tight, but Lopunny Kicks' confidence I'm sure is quite high and will assist in the win.
DOU: qsns vs Memoric ~ I'm not sure for how many non-Doubles players this match will be on their radar, but this is a highlight match this week for sure. qsns has already pulled off an impressive win against Ezrael and is looking in stellar form this tournament. Likewise, Memoric is in excellent form and has longtime experience in the tier to help support a strong run this tour. Memoric is undefeated so far, but given the difficulty of the two players qsns has faced so far, I'm picking qsns in this one.
UU: Ramolost vs SoulWind ~ SOULWIND is SOULWIND--very successful and having one of their best years over a legendary competitive Pokémon career. That success is extending into UU in this lower tiers tournament season after a UU Open finals run. Ramolost I have heard is a solid player, but SOULWIND will continue to be very tough to beat.
RU: roman vs atomicllamas ~ Man, RU has some of the best matches this week in my opinion. This is really close. atomicllamas not only has one of the best PS/Smogon usernames, but is also a skilled RU player. However, going up against roman, defending Snake champ and versatile lower tiers player, will not be easy. This one could go either way, but I'm picking llamas for this round.
NU: CyberOdin✝ vs elodin ~ CyberOdin! :blobuwu: Such a lovely person around Smogon and the Smogtours community. Truthfully, I'm not sure about how experienced he is in CG NU, but it is definitely of note that his 0-2 start is from losses to Realistic Waters and bugzinator, two of the best NUers in this tour. elodin is solid, but I have faith in CyberOdin to win this week.
PU: soulgazer vs false ~ For some, this battle may have been an easy call; soulgazer is, after all, the second-ranked PU player of the tour according to the PR, which is for good reason. But, this may be one of false's stronger tiers, and he has experience to assist. I think this is a lot closer than some might expect, but I'm giving the nod to soulgazer, regardless.
LC: Kingler vs Ninjadog

Ambrette Astrotias (6) vs (4) Black City Mambas

OU: Finchinator vs xray ~ It always pains me to bold against my friend Finch, but I do expect this to be a very tightly-contested battle, featuring lots of preparation and good plays by both. Perhaps the OU battle of this Snake week, this will be a close one. xray is off to a shaky start so far at 0-2, but I actually think that's what will propel him to the win this week, either from the freedom that 0-2 affords or from the pressure that 0-2 imposes.
OU: Raiza vs Relous ~ Fresh off a WCoP team win, Raiza is clearly among the players to beat in SS OU this tour.
OU: Tace vs ZDen
OU: BIHI vs Gefährlicher Random ~ This is going to be a close one. Truth be told, I know little of Gefährlicher Random, but hey, his name translates from German to "Dangerous Random", so perhaps that is the point. I know he's off a very successful run with Germany in WCoP this year, so that much certainly speaks to his skill in the tier. Also, he's had a tough couple of matches to start, going up against Storm Zone and BK. I'm picking BIHI for this one, though, in light of their experience in many tournaments, consistent high-level play, and also a nice run in WCoP with Team France.
DOU: Paraplegic vs Frania
UU: Accelgor vs Sabella ~ I'm very excited for this one. :) One of my highlight matches of the week, as two excellent UUers go at it. As with Robjr, I had the pleasure of co-managing a team this year with Sabella on it, and :booty: was phenomenal. Definitely one of the top tournament players around in my eyes. Accelgor is of course very solid as well, so this should be an exciting match.
RU: Feliburn vs Charmflash ~ Should be in for a great battle here. Feliburn definitely has strong lower tier experience and is one of the better Slam/Snake players around. Charmflash of course is no slouch either, though, and has plenty of high-level tour experience.
NU: GW vs Ho3nConfirm3d ~ GW has had a remarkably difficult start to this Snake tour, going up against top players Sjneider and aim. Despite this, he comes out of those two battles at 1-1, and will have a strong sense of confidence insodoing. Ho3nConfirm3d is starting out at 0-2, but this will be a difficult week for them to try and rebound in my opinion. GW gets the win here.
PU: keppy vs Ktütverde ~ Very nice to see my friend Ktut at it again in Snake. :) I look forward to his PU games this tournament, and I think it won't be too often that other players get wins over him if he's fully focused and committed to the tour.
LC: LilyAC vs Wail Wailord ~ I'm a big fan of Lily's teams in major tournament play, like here in Snake and back in this year's SPL. She's very solid and often has inventive ideas to tackle common issues faced in LC games. Wail Wailord is also a strong player, but I suspect Lily will take this one. Personally, I think Lily is looking like the LC player to beat this tour. Certainly makes the Osh and Serene Grace matchups down the road all the more exciting.

Shinto Ruin Serpents (5) vs (5) Lake of Rage Leviathans

OU: watashi vs ramboss ~ It's not going to be an easy task beating FLCL this tour, regardless of there being a stacked SS OU pool out there.
OU: Star vs Rexus ~ Star is one of those players who almost seems to be able to touch a tier and just excel in it. Very good tournament player, and it's no surprise he was a 1st Round pick. Rexus is also quite good, so we should be in for a solid game. Star I think will get back on track with a win this week. I expect this at least in part because this will be a high-pressure game with each player having a decent shot to win and with big implications for each team's chances to win the week. Star's big tour experience I think will help him get through the pressure to a win.
OU: Malekith vs John W ~ We have an excellent game awaiting all of us here. Although both Malekith and John W have started out at 0-2, these two will both have the competitive hunger to strive very hard to get that first win this week. I personally feel that John W has been the more solid of the two so far by a slight margin, but this could go either way. We should all be excited to see what they come up with for each other.
OU: Tamahome vs BK ~ This is a juicy game right here. Tama is quite the player, as we all know, particularly in ADV OU but also in SS OU where they're ranked highly in the PR. On the other hand, BK is undefeated so far this tour, after wins against 1 True Lycan and Gefährlicher Random. This should be very close, but I expect Tama to narrowly win.
DOU: DLT JRL BELL vs Nails ~ Nails, when playing Doubles really in any format (VGC or DOU), is one of the strongest players around. Although they've recently been focused on RBY OU, I suspect it will not take long for Nails to get back into excellent form to post a stellar DOU record this Snake. DLT JRL BELL is 0-2, but these losses came against umbreon098 and Memoric, who are both looking to be some of the stronger DOUers to start out this Snake. So, we could be in for a stronger performance this week from DLT JRL BELL, but it would have to come against another of the strongest players in this pool. Very tough start for them, but perhaps it's possible with a lot of prep and assistance from :mish:.
UU: Askov vs Luigi ~ The battle of the Brazilians. You can bet Smogtours Lobby will be going crazy during this one. LOL Askov is solid, but I'm going to go with Luigi due to his significant big tour experience in the past.
RU: Nat vs odr ~ In an RU pool that so far still seems to be feeling its way through who will have standout performances and who will sport mediocre records by the end, Nat and odr find themselves in not too dissimilar positions. However, it is the difference between them that convinces me of who will win this week: odr has had a difficult couple of matches to start, losing to snaga first but then with an impressive win against Charmflash last week. Nat is at 0-2, after a comparably difficult start, losing to Pepeduce and atomicllamas. Either could definitely take this, but I think odr is looking a bit more solid so far.
NU: Jrdn vs Kushalos ~ Jrdn is a top player from the OM community, and while not playing one of his main tiers, in this Snake he does have plenty of support from his team managers, NU tier leaders eternally and spreadsheet-obsessed rozes. That being said, he is up against a top player from this pool in Kushalos, who will be hungry for wins against a talented field. I think Kushalos' experience gets him the win this week.
PU: obii vs Hamhamhamhamham ~ Well, well, well, if it isn't 2-0 obii in Smogon Snake Draft IV. I think virtually no one could have seen this coming. I had a tough time deciding my prediction here, but although Ham has looked very solid these first couple of weeks of Snake, I'm on the obii train for 3-0.
LC: Mazinger vs Xizaaa

Some of these players I really don't know a lot about, so no disrespect if I didn't comment on your match!
Maybe I'll compete with Tony for likes. :psysly:

Have fun, everyone, this week!
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no longer Harry’s house
is a Tournament Directoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Top Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Championis a former Tournament Circuit Champion
OU & NU Leader
Battling my fellow councilmen xray Sunday after Smogon Tour, let's have a good one bro


Overall: 34-33
Last week: 17-17
Busy week for me, so only getting around to OU and NU this time. Super glad some others are doing detailed predicts though :blobthumbsup:
OU: Samqian vs Eo Ut Mortus - Samqian has gotten robbed a ton and Eo's season is going far too smoothly for an Eo season. Sometimes, you just know things are bound to go haywire and it is just a matter of picking the timing for that to occur. He is obviously one of the best players, but Eo is cursed in these team tournaments still. I think that time for things to go a bit south shall be now, especially given how disruptive Samqian can be if he does not get unfortunate. I feel like Samqian's playstyle/team selection is really good for an opponent like Eo as he seems to switch up backbones a bit (besides obligatory Clefable) and a lot of Eo's ideas revolve around exploiting specific trends. I do not doubt Eo will come prepared regardless and play a good game, but I think Samqian will break out and there is no better time than the present. Now that I've predicted this upset, I am bound to look like a moron though, so sry Rattlers.

OU: lax vs Garay oak - Garay beating Lopunny Kicks is great, but I do not think he can keep it up. I almost feel bad for him getting FLCL -> Lopunny Kicks -> lax, but if he manages to win this and go to 2-1, I will have a ton of respect for the dude. lax is a great player and he seems to be off to a normal, strong start. Garay is still unproven in OU and I think he has a high ceiling, but he will need all of that and perhaps more to overtake lax.

OU: Fear vs Jytcampbell - Fear is much better than Jyt will ever be at Pokemon, but I'll throw Jyt the bone because he is much more experienced this generation and seems more polished in the current metagame specifically. Fear's W1 battle rubbed me the wrong way and while I like what I saw last week, there is still a lot of improvement for him to reach his absolute peak, especially given how well he has done in GSC. Jyt is solid enough to take it here so long as he does not fuck around.

OU: Kebab mlml vs Ewin - Close game, but I am still subscribed to the "pick Italy whenever in doubt" mindset and Ewin still has a lot to prove. Good showing from him last week, but Kebab took out dice handily and seems to be in good form.

NU: bugzinator vs Realistic Waters - bugzinator is the better player here, but Realistic Waters is my pick because of his style. I think it is really hard for non-mains to prepare for him and I also think that he is likely to bring out some techs. Overall, these two are both great and it will be close, so it could go either way, but I side with RW against most of this field atm, even if bugzy may have looked a little better so far.

OU: dice vs 1 True Lycan - Tough one. I think 1TL mismanaged our game last week at points, but he made some great plays as well. dice has looked a bit off this tour thus far, but also has the ability to bounce back against anyone. I think I will go with dice because he is the more proven player, but this is a great game and could go either way. Both are solid and I am interested to see the teams.

OU: Eeveeto vs Steve Angello - Eeveeto will bounce back here I think. He had a really strong WCOP and I am still a believer. Steve is great and I can see him taking this, too, but I think Eeveeto just is a bit better in this generation. I am curious to see what Steve uses to try to pick up a win against someone as unconventional as Eeveeto, as this can put him at an advantage potentially.

OU: Void vs mncmt - Do not think Void is the solution to the SS3/4 issues with the Taipans unfortunately. At least not vs mncmt, anyway, who is a great player with an already strong record. I expect fake jamvad to keep up the winning ways.

OU: High Impulse vs FMG - FMG just seems better to me. He picks solid teams every week, he does not make any egregious misplays, and he keeps up with the metagame. High Impulse is a solid player, but to me he always projected out to be more of a substitute here whereas FMG is a solid SS2/3. I think as the tour goes on, High Impulse will gain his footing more and bring in some wins, but this one will be tough.

NU: aim vs Sjneider - bugzy into neider is rough for aim. Sjneider is coming off of a rough one last week, but to me he is still the best in the field and I think he could legit win out. I trust his ability to adapt to the evolving metagame and come through here. aim is obviously great and I think he will finish positive, but he will have his work cut out for him here.

OU: Leo vs Sacri' - Leo is a good player, but Sacri' is just better. He is more experienced, he can build at a high level, and he seems motivated. I think Leo will be able to bring in some wins if he stays in the line-up, but this is a really tough opponent to start off with and I have to favor Sacri. Expecting to see two bulky-offense/balance teams and a clean one.

OU: Santu vs ima - Major highlight. Italy took a hit last week and it was not entirely Santu's fault. I think he bounces back here and takes a win off of famously good Smogon Snake Draft player ima, who is in a serious pursuit of replicating his 8-3 2019 run. Santu is one of the best players in the field and with the team support of Punny and Leo, I think he can get a leg up on ima, who is pretty crafty himself. I think this makes it a close game as neither has a huge edge in playing or prep, but Santu seemed a little better this year leading up to their game, so I'll side with him and Italy as usual.

OU: frisoeva vs robjr - The nuzlocke NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Jokes aside, robjr is still great. He has been locked-in recently and I think he gets back on track this week. frisoeva is a solid opponent and he will not fall easily, but robjr is a more aggressive and more proven at this point. I feel like friso did not play optimally last week, but he is capable of getting in to winning positions and could make this one close. One of the more exciting games of the week for sure.

OU: Lopunny Kicks vs Storm Zone - Rough Sunday for Punny last weekend, but if you do not think he will bounce back, then you are a fool. He has been one of the strongest players over the last few years and I see no sign of that stopping here. Storm Zone is great and last week will go down as the first of many wins to come for my dude, but this is another rough match-up. I expect Punny to come out strong with a nice bulky backbone and perhaps some surprises up his sleeve and pull off another victory here, getting back on track.

NU: CyberOdin✝ vs elodin - Odin was on the verge of pulling off a surprise win last week, but then the timer struck zero and that was an unfortunate wrap. elodin strikes me as the better conventional NU player, but week 1 he struggled and got bailed a bit. He did win, but it was not one to use as a big endorsement for someone as good as elodin. Odin has played well, especially last week, and it seems like he gets the gist of the tier. I gotta side with him as crazy as that might sound. I will probably regret this as elodin is a veteran in NU at this point and has Ren-chon support, but I think Odin is just a tad better.

OU: watashi vs ramboss - ramboss is insanely fire, but watashi is probably the most successful team tour SS player and I see little reason to predict against him. ramboss is going to keep winning games with heat, but this one may be just a bit out of reach for him.

OU: Star vs Rexus - Star is cursed as shit. I am convinced. Ungodly WCOP in to whatever the hell happened last week against Smogon's newest enigma Storm cannot win for the life of him and I do not even think it is a reflection on his play much at all. Crazy as it is, I am going to continue to bold Star because I know for a fact he will win if I do not and I also believe he will break out of it. It was not easy to pick against god Italy, but I do not know what is up with Rexus and I do not trust anyone on this roster besides John W to take Star despite his recent struggles.

OU: Malekith vs John W - Rough couple of weeks for John W, but I think he has hit rock bottom and everything is up from here. John W is still a great player and while early r1 may have been a stretch, he was still a top 10-15 pick in my eyes and he will show it here. Kith is a crafty veteran who will not be an easy win for anyone, but John W is stronger in the modern day and especially in SS. I expect a cool build and some solid execution for John, who will be returning to the winner's circle this week.

OU: Tamahome vs BK - Sticking with the trend of Italy and going with the hotter player of the two. BK has looked a bit better so far and I am still unsure where Tama is at in SS OU, especially with the meta having changed since WCOP, where he did not even look too hot either. I guess I just am not super confident in the Serpents and that trickles down to slots like Tama, unfortunately. I hope they all turn it around, but BK has been strong and he is Italian and he is unpredictable, so gonna give him the nod.

NU: Jrdn vs Kushalos - Jrdn is better this generation than Kushalos imo. Last generation, the cook would have made a snack out of Jrdn for most of the time, but recently Jrdn has been more active and successful I feel. Jrdn + god tier support will overtake Kushalos, who I am just unsure how to rank at this moment in time. I think this is probably the NU highlight, but honestly every game is exciting in this metagame with these players.

Finally, check out Jordy's post here and Gingy's post here if you are in to SSD OU! Moutemoute provides a nice UU break down here, gorex gives some great analysis on RU here, Expulso shareds some NU insight here Dreamcatcher briefly touches on LC trends here, and Bowman goes over some DOU observations here! Loving all of the posts :heart:
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no longer Harry’s house
is a Tournament Directoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Top Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Championis a former Tournament Circuit Champion
OU & NU Leader
After an intense negotiation session, Luigi bribed me with an SS OU team featuring my beloved Clefable and Blissey, so:

UU: CBU vs Poek - CBU was ranked higher and seemed better at the UU tier coming in, but Poek has looked better thus far and is the better overall player. Gotta stick with that until CBU can prove otherwise.

RU: Ajna vs Pepeduce - Pepeduce is going to give Ajna a headache with his creative ways, but Ajna is good enough to work around it and find a way to win. I think this is probably the RU highlight for me as both seem solid, but I still struggle to predict against Ajna. Pepeduce needs to prove himself a bit more to get to this level I feel.

LC: Serene Grace vs dcae - Serene is really good at this Pokemon thing and in an LC field where not everyone is the most experienced or proven quite yet, I see him collecting a lot of wins as he has in the past (SPL). dcae is a solid opponent who is off to a 2-0 start and I figure this will be a close game, but Serene is coming off of a win against Osh and should be able to edge dcae out probably.

UU: Adaam vs Lilburr - Adaam got back on track last week while Lilburr struggled in a big game last week. I think these tracjectories continue here, too, as Adaam has shown some amazing heights as a player. I have cited fears about it translating to official team tournament success, but I do not know that there is much for Lilburr to take advantage of teambuilding wise and I think there is a noteworthy gap in terms of gameplay abilities between the two, so that's enough to convince me on Adaam here despite my previous worries.

RU: Expulso vs snaga - snaga got beat up last week by Feliburn of all people, but he seems to have his shit together overall and is far less susceptible to using unnecessarily risky things like Expulso. I view Expulso as boom-or-bust oriented; it feels like he cuts corners teambuilding wise to integrate specific offensive synergy. His team last week was pretty cool on the surface, but I feel like it was too close to being all-in on specific win conditions cleaning up than it needed to be. Perhaps this is my conservative and standardized teambuilding beliefs taking the forefront as opposed to seeing the merit in risky strategies, but I think Expulso needs more experience all-around to consistently beat someone more polished like snaga. Do I think it's possible? Absolutely, especially if he keeps up the aggression like he did with Seismitoad crippling the Tangela last game I suppose, but I don't think it is particularly likely overall. snaga uses mostly solid teams and does not fuck around too much, so he feels like one of the more stable RU options atm, even if he is not going to go above and beyond like the top handful of players.

PU: tlenit vs Xiri - For those wondering if Xiri was going to repeat his SSD dominance this year, the answer is yes. tlenit has a great mind for the tier, but his execution is going to have to go further than ever before for him to take out his one-time teammate in this one.

LC: Osh vs Shrug - Osh will bounce back. He is really good overall and Shrug strikes me as solid, but not quite on par with the top 3-4 players in this field. Osh is bound to finish with at least 5-6 wins if his track record is to hold-up, so nothing beats starting off here and never looking back as his schedule becomes a bit less daunting.

UU: Ramolost vs SoulWind - Can we see pif already so I know what UU stalls to recreate for my own guilty pleasure?

RU: roman vs atomicllamas - I feel like roman is a step ahead of llamas when it comes to building and playing. llamas is able to do more than the bare minimum and is clearly competent, but roman is perhaps within the top half of this field and also seems less mistake prone. llamas may never hear the end of that costly turn in his w1 game, but truth be told, I cannot see roman blundering like that and that makes a big difference to me if both use solid teams. I will say llamas did his job last week, but I want to see more from him than that to be confident moving forward. roman has all of last SSD under his belt in recent history, which is reason to be confident in him seeing as he did well.

PU: soulgazer vs false - If false somehow wins, then PU is basically the anti-OU at this point.

LC: Kingler vs Ninjadog - Kingler is a master, but not of something overly ideal. He is a master of finding creative ways to lose games. Throwing away a lead, burning too much timer, running in to one of the bigger weaknesse of a team, or simply struggling from the first turn -- all of these things can be applied to Kingler at one point or another. In fact, as he sees this prediction, I am sure he just had his fair share of mind-numbing flashbacks, so you're welcome buddy! Anyway, what I can say positively is that he dominated LC Open and there are some signs of greatness. They are just obstructed by lots of rough defeat over a long stretch of time, which leaves us to wonder what Kingler we will get for this game. I do not know the answer, so I am going to default to Ninjadog taking it in a game which really could go either way.

UU: Askov vs Luigi - In a battle for Brazil's unconditional support and the pride of an entire nation's Pokemon community, Askov is left in a tricky spot for his debut. While SS UU Luigi is not on par with prime OU Luigi perhaps, there are still a lot of positives. Luigi is capable of outplaying anyone, but the main issues lie within his management of details and tracking of positions, which could have proved costly in his end-game last week. Askov is not exactly one to take advantage of these things a ton though -- or he might be, but we do not know this yet as we do not know much about him in official SS UU play. He knows the tier well supposedly, but how will this translate in to prep and teambuilding? I do not know, but I do know that I will favor Luigi against anyone who is more of an uncertainty than not. Hopefully Sogeking does not roll over in his grave watching this end-game.

PU: obii vs Hamhamhamhamham - obii is finishing undefeated without a doubt.

LC: Mazinger vs Xizaaa - Rough week 2 for both, but Xizaaa looked solid in week 1 and it seems like a lot of the LC followers are higher on Xizaaa atm. I have no clue who will win honestly because LC is the one tier I do not follow super closely, but I'd imagine Xizaaa is the favorite given what we have seen up to now.

let's go astrotias
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