The PokéCommunity League (PCL) is a prestigious event spanning over several weeks in which participants, separated into clans, battle against each other for glory. After the signups took place a couple of weeks ago, the first seventeen registrants were sorted into a double-elimination tournament to showcase their strengths as battlers, but most importantly to demonstrate that they were active members who were worthy of participating in PCL.
Several weeks had passed, but the finals had finally arrived. Here are your finalists for this signup tournament:
Coming from the winner’s side of the bracket is our friendly Dragon (Futabaa Sakura)! Using his battling experience and expertise, he managed to knock many other battling veterans into the loser’s bracket – Dragon’s consistency is to be commended.
During his path to the finals, he handed losses to Chrollo, wolf, Christos, and Aaron.
And the other contestant, fighting through the loser’s bracket, is none other than Nah (Zekrom52)! Nah’s tenacity and fighting spirit allowed him to stay in the tournament after being knocked into loser’s in just the second week of battling.
After defeating Sam1994, Nah lost to 5qwerty but went on to defeat ShanWow, Decidueye, Choice Specs, and Aaron to reach the finals.
The decision was to disregard the double elimination bracket, and so a best of three was played for the finals of the signup tournament. We’ll be covering game two, as it was the standout battle. At this point in time, Nah has won game one.
We start off the battle with Nah’s Serperior versus Dragon’s Rotom. Rotom is forced to switch against Serperior, and reveals Scarf in order to get some chip damage with Volt Switch as Nah’s Serperior uses this turn in an attempt to gain momentum by going for Leech Seed. As Beedrill is switched in, Nah is forced to swap Landorus-Therian in to take the U-Turn. It’s worth noting that Nah’s Lando carries Leftovers over Rocky Helmet, which makes Nah’s team quite a bit weaker versus Mega-Beedrill. After the U-Turn, Dragon goes into his own Lando to get up Stealth Rocks while Nah’s Lando goes for the Hidden Power Ice. Both are good moves: Dragon’s Stealth Rocks heavily pressure Nah into going for Defog with Tapu Fini to clear the way for his Volcarona, while Nah’s HP Ice weakens Dragon’s Lando for Serperior, Nihilego (both of which can now pick up OHKOs and get boosts), and Terrakion (which can now 2HKO).
As Nah’s Lando goes for a second HP Ice, Dragon makes the smart switch into Rotom-Wash. Nah correctly predicts the Rotom’s Hydro Pump and switches into Tapu Fini and goes for Defog the next turn as Dragon swaps out to Mega-Beedrill. Mega-Beedrill again goes for U-Turn as Nah makes the switch to Landorus, fearing the Poison Jab. Rotom is sent out on Dragon’s side, but this time he goes for Volt Switch as Nah goes for a switch into Serperior, and Mega-Beedrill is sent out after the Volt Switch. Mega-Beedrill once again goes for U-Turn as Nah’s Lando switches in, but Dragon brings out Volcanion this time. Lando’s Earthquake fails to pick up the KO against Volcanion with Earthquake, and drops to a Steam Eruption. Landorus being gone means that Dragon’s Mega-Beedrill and Rotom-Wash can run rampant for the rest of the game with the fast Volturn combo.
Serperior is sent in to revenge kill the Volcanion, but the terror known as Mega-Beedrill comes out for Dragon, picking up an easy Poison Jab + Drill Run kill on Nah’s Terrakion, which was switched in either as a sack or on the predicted U-Turn. Scarf Nihilego is sent out from Nah’s side, and Dragon is forced to go into his Excadrill on the expected Power Gem. Dragon makes an excellent double switch the following turn, going back into his Mega-Beedrill as Nah switches out into Serperior. Nah finally sacks the Serperior to U-Turn, allowing Dragon to bring in his Rotom. The remaining three members of Nah’s team are all weak to a Scarf Rotom that has yet to lock in its move, but Nah sends out Tapu Fini, deeming Nihilego and Volcarona to be more useful. Fini drops after two Thunderbolts, but not before dealing significant damage to Rotom with a Moonblast. With Rotom locked into Thunderbolt, Nah goes into Volcarona and sets up a Quiver Dance as Dragon switches out to his Excadrill as a sack.
Next, Dragon’s Dragonite is sent out and takes an absurd amount of damage from a +1 Inferno Overdrive from Volcarona, and fires back with an Outrage that does massive damage but fails to knock Volcarona out. After running some calculations, it seems that Dragon’s Dragonite was Inner Focus instead of Multiscale. Volcarona goes for another Fire Blast and knocks the Dragonite out. Rotom is sent in, and knocked out by a Giga Drain. Now both finalists are down to two Pokémon, Nah with his Quiver Dance boosted Volcarona and a Nihilego in the back, and Dragon with his Landorus-Therian and Mega-Beedrill. Dragon goes into his Mega-Beedrill and Nah, not wanting to risk a miss, goes for HP Ground with Volcarona, which results in Volcarona getting knocked out by Poison Jab. However, Mega-Beedrill also gets burnt by Volcaron’s Flame Body. Nah’s only choice is to go into Scarf Nihilego, but for some reason goes for HP Ice instead of Power Gem, gets a low roll, fails to knock Mega-Beedrill out, and falls to Mega-Beedrill’s Drill Run. With no Pokémon left to battle, Nah loses the battle and Dragon is declared the winner of the game. Dragon later goes on to win game three which results in him winning the entire tournament.
Now let’s take some time to analyze these last few turns and the questions we all have regarding the choices made this game, one being having Inner Focus on Dragonite (teambuilding) and the other being using HP Ice over Power Gem (decision making).
Let’s address Inner Focus on Dragonite first. Assuming Nah played perfectly, there was only one way that Dragon could have won this game if he was Multiscale Dragonite, and it depended on all the other parts of his set. If Dragon had the correct spread (say 144HP/112Atk/252Spe +Spe -SpA just to name one example), he could take a Fire Blast with Multiscale (max 22.5%) and then take an Inferno Overdrive (max 76.3%). Why does this matter? It is because this would have allowed him to for sure get two Dragon Dances instead of one, letting him outspeed and KO both Volcarona and Nihilego and win the game (depended on rolls with Earthquake, since Misty Terrain was up). Of course, this is all theoretical, and he could have had no Speed investment, in which case even +2 Speed would not be able to outspeed +1 Volcarona or +1 Nihilego. After confirming with Dragon and Nah, it was revealed that Dragon’s Dragonite was a Choice Band Dragonite and that Nah was running standard 252 SpA/252 Spe Volcarona, so the Ability of Dragon did not really matter in this case. However, Multiscale is a greatly superior Ability when compared to Inner Focus. It did not matter in this battle, but there are numerous occasions when Multiscale saves the day.
Now onto Hidden Power Ice over Power Gem for Nihilego. This is most likely a case of nerves, something that plagues even the best of us from time to time. To be blunt however, there is no reason why Nah should not have gone for Power Gem in the last turn of the battle – it would have KO’d Mega-Beedrill and give the +1 Beast Boost to Nihilego in order to for sure knock out Landorus-Therian the next turn (the only case where Lando-T lives a +1 Power Gem at 43% is if it’s fully SpDef, and we know that it’s not fully SpDef based on HP Ice damage from earlier). At first glance, going for HP Ice over Power Gem was reasonable. After all, it’s hard to think that it would not knock out a Mega-Beedrill at 31% (was a roll). It’s possible that the burn on Mega-Beedrill allowed for the underestimation of its damage output. What can we learn from this? In the heat of battle, it’s a good idea to take a step back and think about the decisions that could be made. In this case, doing a damage calculation could have saved Nah the game.
It’s also worth mentioning that if Dragon had Multiscale and had gone for Outrage like he did, Nah most likely would have won the game. At that point in time, Dragon’s Rotom was still alive, so Nah would have been forced to go for Power Gem, which at +0 would OHKO all of Dragon’s remaining Pokémon (except for Landorus, which had a chance to live, but would be outsped the next turn).
The PokéCommunity League
Now that the signup tournament is over, The PokéCommunity League will be starting on Monday, May 15th! Stay tuned over the next week for exciting matches.
Edited by bobandbill, gimmepie, and wolf.