Tournament Smogon Snake Draft 2019: RU Discussion


Banned deucer.
You've all waited for them, time and time, now, here they are: bkdrew's Midseason RU Snake Power Rankings.

#1: Nat (Shinto Ruins Serpents, 3-2)
Nat's loss in week 5 was not indicative of her lack of skill, but rather of my own underestimation of Alpha Rabbit. Nonetheless, she's shown clear and dominant play through Snake so far, and after speaking to her myself, seems unshaken over her loss and ready to bounce back in the coming weeks and make a big splash. Easily favored to win the rest of her games, look forward to more exciting and dominant play from the Serpents' RU specialist.

#2: Ajna (Sky Tower Lindworms, 3-2)
With everyone's win-loss records being so close together, it's individual play that determines rankings moreso than it is records. As for me, I've always seen high class play from Ajna, and when he's at his peak, he's nigh untouchable (see: week 4 vs Feliburn.) However, he isn't without his flaws, and being caught off guard can result in a surprise loss for him. However, similar to Nat, these losses are in no way indicative of his being anything less than a top 3 RUer, and he looks to stay that way.

#3: Averardo (Black City Mambas, 3-2)
The rising star of this year's RU pool sits comfortably with the same win-loss record as our two titans, and it's always a joy for me watching Averardo take the stage and perform at his best. His reliable playstyle rarely sees him taking unnecessary risks, and it's safe to say that he was underrated by many coming into Snake. Watch out for him, as it's highly unlikely Averardo finishes outside of top 5 at his current level of play.

#4: Roman (Lake of Rage Leviathans, 1-0)
Roman made his RU pools debut against one of the best players in the pool, and BOY did he show up to perform. I mentioned being caught off guard was a way Ajna ended up with some surprise losses, and nowhere it this clearer than here. I may be over-ranking Roman, as we've only seen one game from him, but he showed up and made a statement when the odds were stacked against him. We'll see how he performs in the weeks to come, but I most definitely like what I've seen so far.

#5: Kink (Lanakila Nagas, 3-2)
Kink's play hasn't exactly been amazing against the top players in the pool, but nonetheless, it's hard to ignore his record. He has never been a standout, a meta redefining player, but sometimes playing it safe is better than taking risks. Expect more of the same from Kink as the next few weeks unfold: good and solid play as he looks to finish with a positive win-loss record.

#6: UltraBallz (Celadon City Cobras, 2-3)
UB's play has been nearly as good as the players in the ranks above him, and while his match against Nat was absolutely thrilling, UB doesn't seem to be quite of the same caliber as the top 5. Either way, he could easily break into the top half with some good play in the coming weeks, it remains to be seen if he's up to the task.

#7: Feliburn (Ambrette Astrotias, 2-3)
My own Felibias aside, he looked borderline atrocious the last two weeks, but down but not out seems to be his personal slogan- an incredible bounceback in week 5 with a Togedemaru, no less. It's clear that Feliburn is a championship level player, as he's a veteran of the scene and a fan favorite among the RU community, but stumbling in his earlier games was a clear setback. Now, it's up to him to showcase his world-class peaks and break into the upper rankings of the pools. Go get 'em, man.

#8: Alpha Rabbit (Terminus Taipans, 2-3)
For the entirety of this Snake so far, I've had Alpha Rabbit at the rock bottom of my personal rankings and predictions, never expecting him to get more than a passing glance in his play, but when all looked bleak, he shocked the playerbase with a massive upset win over Nat- saving him, in my eyes, from a very plausible dead-last finishing. The season is far from over, but Alpha Rabbit needs to have more of the same play he demonstrated against Nat if he intends to keep his hopes of finishing positive alive.

#9: SPACE FORCE meeps (Berry Forest Bushmasters, 2-3)
Outside of an early-on upset win over Nat, I haven't been very impressed by Meeps so far this snake. His play hasn't been as clean as the players above him, and I haven't seen much outside of his win against Nat that makes me believe he has a reasonable shot at finishing positive this Snake. By all means, prove me wrong, but nothing to me suggests he deserves higher on this list.

#10: TDK (Rumble Hall Rattlers, 1-2)
When TDK was first announced to be taking rozes's spot as the Rattlers' RU player, I went to Feli and asked him what he knew about TDK. Once one of the most valuable players on the site, with building and playing abilities off the charts, but none of that seems to be coming to fruition here in USM RU. Outside of his week 4 win over a struggling Welli0u, TDK has shown none of his former prowess, likely as a result of being thrust into a relatively unfamiliar meta due to the Rattlers' reshuffling. It's possible he makes a return to form, but as of right now, it doesn't seem promising.


Banned deucer.
your local snake expert here to throw out my takes on the last two weeks, let's keep this discussion going bc we look like a bunch of clowns w no forum activity lmao

these are.. well, darn near impossible right now. not for the reason that everyone is close together, but rather the ludicrous amount of substitutions the past few weeks have me thoroughly unable to get a solid read on the caliber of the players any week- but if I had to throw one together, it'd look something like this. take it with a grain of salt, though.

1- Kink (Nagas, 5-2): Kink's play has gone from okay to pretty decent to solid to nothing short of excellent, be it a result of opponents underpreparing for him or his firm grasp on the current meta, or both. Regardless, he's 5-2 and it's time to credit him with what he deserves.
2- Ajna (Lindworms, 4-3): The goat of RU comes off a weird loss to TDK week 7, but frankly I don't think it diminishes his skill overall. He's still just as solid as ever.
3- Roman (Leviathans, 2-1): After the obvious first two, I seriously struggled to figure out who the hell to put here, and eventually settled on Roman after some deliberation. I think he's a threatening opponent, with his ability to read his foes quite well.
4- TDK (Rattlers, 4-3): This one is also pretty fair. TDK has finally got back to his old self it seems, and with a win over the floundering Averardo, seems to have found his footing in a new environment. Probably finishing strong.
5- Alpha Rabbit (Taipans, 4-3): Rabbit, like TDK, seems to have found his footing too after struggling early on. Rabbit holds a respectable 4-3 record, and while not being one of the Tapians' trophy players, has quietly contributed his fair share to the team's incredible success.
6- UltraBallz (Cobras, 3-4): UB's record and general level of inconsistency keep him just out of my top five once again, but this isn't to say he's bad. Sitting damn average isn't always a bad thing, with pools this close. He'll probably end similarly, unimpressive, but just good enough to pose a threat and be someone you need to prepare for.
7- DurzaOffTopic (Serpents, 2-2): The Serpents are already down and out, but Durza entered the RU pools with a bang, slamming Averardo with very few cracks in his debut armor. Not playing for his team, but for his own sheet record, Durza finishes strong for sure. Only reason he isn't higher is because we haven't seen much from him, but what I've seen is promising.
8- Averardo (Mambas, 3-4): Despite seeming promising the first few weeks of Snake, with every feasible factor working against him, it's no wonder he succumbed to the pressure and tilted as hard as he did after his week 7 game. However, even with all that said and done, future opponents dismissing Averardo as not a threat might seem like something to bank on- until you realize he plays Harris and Kink.
9- HarrisIsAwesome (Astrotias, 0-0): After a disastrous 2-5 record, Feli bows out and Harris takes his place, to secure enough wins to try to push the Astrotias back into contention. While I've no doubts about Harris' skill, his ability to stack up against our current pool of players hasn't been tested at all, so I'll keep him near the bottom for now. Consider this ranking more of a "I don't know where he goes" and less of a "Harris is bad."
10- z0m0g (Bushmasters, 4-3) Similarly to Harris, I'm placing this brand-new roster swap at the bottom because I don't know how he stacks up vs our pools. While his 4-3 record in OU is respectable, he's also... the, uh, highest-scoring member of the Bushmasters. At 4-3. His final game versus Roman should be interesting.

not going to cover too many of these, but I'll plug the links for my video coverage of them here (week 5 recap) and here (week 6 recap). I go over each of the games in reasonable depth, and week 7's recap will be up in a couple days.

Roman vs Ajna (week 5) and vs Feliburn (week 6)
I've cited Roman's ability to scout his opponents ahead of time as part of what makes him such a dangerous opponent, and here's where that stems from. Watching over this game felt like Roman was just one step ahead the entire time, and what made me feel like he's a top threat in our current pools. Brutalizing Feliburn the following week only made this clearer, and his concrete and solid play is a great weapon in the Leviathan's all-but-playoffs-assured arsenal.

Feliburn vs SPACE FORCE meeps (week 5)
Okay, you already know what I'm gonna talk about here. Feli's Togedemaru was a sight to behold, and outplaying Meeps in godly fashion was the biggest feather in Feli's cap all season. Despite his evidently lackluster play all the rest of Snake, it's hard to ignore the Togedemaru showing as one of the best moments all season, for RU.

TDK vs Averardo (week 6)
If you want to watch a game and witness nothing but a brutalization, this is probably the one to watch. From preview, it almost looked like a cteam, and for me, was what marked TDK's return to form we witnessed over the past two weeks. Every play Ave made, he got harshly punished for, as TDK's Roserade got much more than it should have gotten. I know the game had a negative effect on Ave's mentality, so I won't drag him any more than I already have. However, to ignore and say TDK's skill wasn't on display here is foolish.

Alpha Rabbit vs Nat (week 5)
Brandishing a team starring recent metagame superstars Necrozma and Mandibuzz, Alpha Rabbit comes into his own with a well-executed win over Nat to solidify his place in the upper echelons of RU play with this win. It's not the flashiest, but it showcased perhaps the most undervalued part of that week- we'd all been sleeping on Rabbit, myself included.

some ending questions for anyone reading to consider and comment on: what would your own rankings look like, who are your favorite players to watch, and what mons do you want to see more of/see at all? for me, the answer to the first is that I love watching Roman's games, and as for the second, one of you cowards needs to bring a Hoopa one of these weeks or I'm going to riot (:
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Banned deucer.
Hello everyone! Your local Snake Draft enthusiast here again.

Our four playoffs teams have been confirmed, so congratulations to Kink of the Nagas, Alpha Rabbit of the Taipans, roman/Welli0u of the Leviathans, and Feliburn/Harris of the Astrotias. It's been a delight watching the six of you play, and I'm even more excited to get into the playoffs since I'll only have two games a week to cover, not five. I'd like to take a second to go over our RUers going into the playoffs, as well as discuss the ones that didn't make the cut.

Here we go!

Mercilessly thrashing the player pool with high-caliber play that nobody else in RU has seemed to replicate, King RU takes confident strides into the playoffs with the rest of the Nagas, holding his impressive 7-2 record far aloft other competitors, and his only two losses coming to UltraBallz and Feliburn, one of which won't be appearing in the playoffs, and the other unlikely to be taking the stage. Kink has proved time and time again to have a thorough understanding of RU, bringing great, well-rounded teams and not being afraid to shake things up with aggressive plays that catch his opponents off guard. A far cry from his 8th-place power rankings before the season, Kink stands proud atop RU.

Their combined 5-4 record is respectable on paper, as roman holds positive in RU and the Well did well for himself, and will likely be starting in OU again. That said, let's look at roman. He's flashy, he's unpredictable, and a fan favorite, it isn't a surprise that upon entering the pools, he went positive, immediately slamming scene veterans Ajna and Feliburn back to back to prove he's a strong competitor. Losses vs Kink and a surprise loss to the hands of blarghlfargl's Snorlax and 80 turns of shitass block stalling do little to undermine roman's successes, and despite being a relative newcomer, he's sure made his name.

Say what you want about Feliburn's scoreline, but it puts a smile on my face to see my friends evigaro and feliburn making playoffs. Now, wholesomeness aside, it's impossible to argue that the Astrotias' RU performance was less than stellar- and sure wasn't what got them to playoffs. After a dismal 2-5 record, Feli handed the reigns over to Harris, who put up a good 2-0 scoreline, bringing them to a palpable 4-5 total. Harris, 99 times out of 100, will be starting over Feliburn. I look forward to seeing what he brings in playoffs, as his scoreline proves he's a competitor, and holding a nifty 4-0 record between an SPL showing and this Snake is nothing to scoff at.

Another feather in the Taipan's adorned cap, Alpha Rabbit may have started slow, but true to the opposite of his name, slow and steady wins the race. Alpha Rabbit's caliber of play steadily increased week to week, and eventually ended in him going positive. Being one of the few players not subbed out means we have a good idea of what to expect from Rabbit heading into playoffs- careful play with calculated aggression that has shown itself more and more in the past weeks. I started out very low on Alpha Rabbit, but at the end of week 9, I'm a bit higher on him than I initially thought I'd be. Way to show people you're more than another 'garbdicks mainer', man.

Lindworms- Ajna (5-4): it wasn't Ajna's fault the Lindworms didn't make playoffs, even though by the middle of the tour nearing the end, he looked pretty burnt out, exacerbated by a smashing at roman's hands, probably. Regardless, he isn't considered the best player in the tier for no reason, and it's completely unfair to say that it's Ajna's fault his team didn't qualify. Despite looking a bit worse than his usual self, he did still go positive, after all.

Serpents- Nat (3-3), DurzaOffTopic (1-1): The queen of RU didn't look quite like herself this tour, and clearly got pretty tilted in the last weeks she played. As for Durza, he did.. okay. Not really a whole lot I can say about the Serpents this tour, except that between Nat and Durza, two very capable players, you'd have expected the Serpents to go positive in RU, but that's just the way the lava cookie crumbles sometimes.

Bushmasters- SPACE FORCE meeps (2-4), Eternally (0-1). z0mog (0-1), blarghlfargl (1-0): what a fucking joke of an RU showing, good lord. one good showing with meeps' win over Nat, but the rest was a pure dumpster fire befitting the rest of the Bushmasters. goat blarghlfargl coming out on top with the best w-l in his entire team. next

Mambas- Averardo (3-6): poor pizza. The odds were really just stacked up against him from day one, huh? An unknown prospect being thrust into a huge team tour, with little to no support behind him and enormous pressure to put up results, it surprises me he didn't fall apart earlier than he did. Regardless, 3-6 isn't an awful showing to put up for such overwhemingly bad odds. Good luck in the future, friend.

Cobras- UltraBallz (3-6): There's not really a while lot I can say here, UB never really did exceptionally well, though he was never awful, really. He had a few moments, but overall, wasn't enough to save him from going negative. GG go next

Rattlers- rozes (1-1), TDK (3-2), Reje (1-0), Gondra (???): RU was a high point in the rattlers' otherwise pretty garbage season, unfortunately. None of their players performed badly, in fact, it's the same boat as Ajna where you can't really look at the RU players as bringing the team down. Sad we won't get to see them play anymore. Good games, lads.
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Don't think I would feel adequate without writing a tad bit here to mention some special friends who helped me immensely this tour.

eifo - I think this tour solidified to me at least that you're definitely my best friend in this community and overall a top 3 builder in USM. You're always extremely sensible in your approach to teams and build really well rounded and balanced teams. You're approach to games is also methodical and honestly you pointing out my mistakes every game after I played them were amazing personally for my own growth in terms of playing. I was decently satisfied with the teams I brought this snake and you were the most integral part of it all always helping me improve them and pointing out set changes or ideas to bounce off that would generally buttress the team. I also defaulted to you in a lot of scenarios just to get ideas and it worked out great. Thanks for everything you did this tour because god knows I needed it.
Bebo - your hyperactive and cheery personality lit up the last few weeks for me. A lot of the time if I was feeling inadequate with prep or teams you never rested till I had the perfect team to bring in a game and gassed me to infinity in the RU discord. We didn't honestly talk at all before this tour and I added you to the discord because eifo liked you but man fuck Im so glad I actually did. You're an amazing guy, I think a lot of people give you way too much stick for that open run but fuck them lol, you'll do amazing in team tours as time progresses, I just know it
The Leprechaun - you held down the fort as fuck in my early weeks. I must have tested like 100 times vs you before I just realised tests are overrated as hell. I think then real life got really busy with you but just the general help you offered in the first few weeks was invaluable. You're also a great builder when you're motivated but I'm glad you're making irl a priority now since that's always healthy. I hope after reading this you'll hit us up more to discuss about how things are going and how utter shite arsenal are LOL.
Averardo - I was really glad I got our match over and done with week 1 since then I could use you as my testing ground for a lot of shit. I think you're an incredibly solid pilot and know you'll just do better as time goes on. Hopefully we'll team up in a tour soon as we were meant to do on the mambas.
Killintime - You were never afraid to throw out some wack idea but more importantly point out to me that some ideas were shit lol. Your sets are genius and I used quite a bit of them as the tour progressed. I think though the biggest impact you had was in week 5 when I was at my lowest confidence point vs Nat. The advice you gave me that week to just use what I loved most was the best advice anyone has given me throughout this tour and even though the game was sketchy just having the two techs on necrozma and metagross that I trusted to work and that won me the game sorta turned it around for me in terms of the tour. Thanks for being someone to always rely on in this tour for sound idea and proper criticism of teams like eifo.
Pohjis - huge morale support and a boost to confidence every week when I needed it. We'll definitely see more of each other as the tour progresses.

This was quite a bit longer than I expected lol but you guys had a huge impact on me this tour which is otherwise super tiring to play and prep for so thanks for making it an easier and a more worthwile experience. It's unfortunate we came up just a bit short Taipans but I love you all and I have nothing but optimism left even for you Mana. See you guys around and I hope some of you enjoyed reading this. Peace <3

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