Round 1 was a pool stage where you had to battle 4 other people, and I had absolutely 0 clue how my opponents played, what any of their gen 9 Pokemon did so I was pretty concerned even though I had a very favorable matchup in all of the games. My first battle was against abriel, and this team.
Something that stood out immediately to me about this team was how easy Tera Normal ESpeed Dragonite could mop the floor with their team as soon as Gastrodon and Corviknight were softened up a little bit, so that’s exactly what this team sought to do.
Not a ton of thought into this, enough Speed to outpace Ghost Tera Iron Moth at +1 in case it gets brought, Silk Scarf +1 ESpeed literally oneshots every Pokemon that isn’t Gastrodon or Corviknight, Fire Punch and Roost mean I can beat any Corviknight set 1v1 that isn’t exactly Iron Defense Body Press. Rest of EVs go into bulk since ESpeed is the move I’m clicking anyways any Speed doesn’t matter.
GT has an ok matchup but just ok. I wanted to possibly live a hit from Iron Moth to try and force it to Tera since as soon as I discover what Tera type the Iron Moth is I can plan out how to win with DNite, and even though a physically defensive GT would make Roaring Moon a non-issue, I discovered that Roaring Moon is a non issue anyways since as long as Stealth Rock isn’t up. Oh, and if he brings Torkoal I threw the last EVs into Defense so I could get the Defense boost from Protosynthesis and take on Roaring Moon even easier. I still thought Protosynthesis was a 1.5x boost to any stat at this time (it is 1.3x for everything besides Speed which is 1.5x) so I wasn’t at all concerned about it.
Scarf Gengar punches holes, and that’s all I really need it to do. Coverage hits all of my opponent’s team super effectively and there aren’t really any moves I mind being locked into. Max/Max to at least speed tie with Booster Energy/Protosynthesized Iron Moth.
Kingambit is here to get rocks up since it at least doesn’t invite in Hatterene and getting chip damage on Slither Wing/Corviknight/Torkoal, none of which I anticipate being HDB if they end up being brought. 8 Speed to outpace Hatterene (I’m incredibly stupid and thought Hatterene was base 50 Speed) and Gastrodon that invest 4 Speed to outpace me, rest is thrown into bulk. I didn’t see a use for Sucker Punch because honestly I hadn’t played competitive mons in a while and losing a game to a Sucker Punch 50/50 wasn’t on my to-do list.
Double Scarfed team with double super effective coverage on everything. Speed to outpace unboosted Roaring Moon.
Physically defensive Rotom-Heat here to spread red magic and always switch into Corviknight and Slither Wing, Resto Chesto to also potentially tank a Yawn from Torkoal, and if Yawn never happens I get a free full heal off.
A very short battle where everything went according to plan. I was willing to sacrifice my whole team to allow Dragonite to sweep so luckily I only had to sacrifice 2. I made some unnecessarily “bold” predictions but since I only cared about getting Gastrodon and Corviknight low they seemed wise at the time to me. I saw my opportunity against Hatterene and I took it, I made an assumption based on damage taken/done that it was a very offensive spread which meant it probably did not have Nuzzle, and my prediction was more than likely correct since I was able to effectively get all 6 kills with Dragonite, resulting in a 4-0 win for me, GG abriel.
My second match was against Pure_Peach, and including the game I lost this is the game I am most disappointed in so let me get into it.
Noticing a very physically biased team, I wanted a solid defensive DD Dragonite with Fairy type and no STAB moves seemed to be the best option. Since I was very physically defensive and a Fairy type, I wanted to outspeed Iron Moth and OHKO it with an Earthquake, with the rest dumped into bulk to allow me to get free DDs on a lot of my opponents team. EQ and Fire Punch hit everything besides Mimikyu super effectively and my team has a ton of answers to Mimikyu so it was not an issue for me. I couldn’t ever see Dragonite sweeping my opponent’s team so I instead opted for a set that allows me to wear it down.
Again, physical attacking team so I bring physically defensive mons. I brought Brick Break and Knock Off since I assumed Bronzong with screens would be the dedicated switch in to this, and Earthquake allows me to take on their Iron Hands, Iron Moth, and Toxapex a lot better. Rapid Spin is honestly more for speed boosts since my opponent does not have any Knock Off users and my Heavy Duty Boots users are likely the ones I’m going to be pivoting to the most anyhow.
Sub Nasty Plot Gengar allows me to play around Kingambit a lot easier as well as switch into Toxapex and start setting up on it, with the moves I have hitting their entire team at least neutrally. Max/Max allows me to at least speed tie with the Iron Moth.
Scarf Garde clicks moves and can clean up fairly nicely so long as some of my opponent’s team is weakened. Modest hits for harder and I don’t have an exact reason for going max Speed, however I was a little concerned about losing the Scarf to Trick or something and not outspeeding Scream Tail with no Speed investment, and since 259 outpaces it I thought it would be ok to lose out on some bulk.
Here to spread red magic and click Volt Switch again. Foul Play is to 1v1 a Tera Fire/Substitute/Lum Berry Garchomp and Overheat is to nuke the Bronzong and Kingambit. Since I needed a Pokemon that at least could sort of take on Scream Tail, I spread out my defensive stats a tad.
Grafaiai is here to make sure I don’t lose to a random Mimikyu sweep, as well as pivot against all of my opponent’s team but Kingambit. Low Kick makes sure at the very least I don’t lose to Kingambit if it comes down to it, and it can also hit Iron Hands for a substantial amount more than Foul Play does. In hindsight, having a team already weak to Iron Moth and choosing to bring a Pokemon that can’t really hit it is incredibly dumb, but that’s why they say hindsight is 20/20.
Well here we go. I led Grafaiai expecting to get a free Parting Shot off, and got in Rotom-Heat with the idea to Will-o-Wisp on my opponents rocks. Unfortunately, the pivot move draft demon possessed me to overpredict for ABSOLUTELY no reason and now my Gengar is chipped to 27% and after the worst series of plays imaginable, my opponent gets a well deserved dodge and my plan for Toxapex is gone because I decided to be very, very dumb and overpredict like a madman. I at least sort of made up for it by predicting the Bronzong set correctly and taking a little damage with my Great Tusk as a tradeoff for the Bronzong. I also crit the Toxapex on the Earthquake which was very lucky for me, since it meant I could freely Knock Off after rather than taking a 50/50 against Bronzong, securing a kill against it. The Iron Moth revenge kills me, and I use the opportunity it is locked into Energy Ball to begin setting up with Dragonite, and I unfortunately get thrown out with Whirlwind into Grafaiai. I decide to Encore it into Whirlwind to keep it from doing anything to my team, and after a couple I am able to kill it and learn the Kingambit was Assault Vest, meaning that even if Focus Blast had landed earlier it would not have killed. I incorrectly assumed my opponent would Sucker Punch to pop my Multiscale and thought I had a free Dragon Dance, however I was wrong and since I Tera’d to avoid an Ice Punch from Iron Hands earlier I took more damage than I could sustain with Roost from Iron Head, meaning I lost the potential Dragonite sweep. In another thankful twist for me, my opponent forgot Regenerator on their Toxapex so my Grafaiai could kill it and the Garchomp with Foul Play, forcing me into a tough predicament. If my opponent Sludge Waved the only way I could have possibly won is if I Parting Shotted, sacked Gardevoir and avoided a crit, and then avoided a crit on 5 possible Sludge Waves from Iron Moth after Parting Shotting again. If my opponent had Fiery Dance and got 2 boosts, I had a 25% chance to lose. Thankfully neither of those scenarios happened and I pulled the least deserved win out of absolutely nowhere, GG Pure_Peach, now I am 2-0 +5 in the pool.
After the last embarrassing display on my part I really needed a well played win, and fortunately my next opponent had a team that demanded I play well.
I wanted a Dragonite set that beat Dondozo, Annihilape, Chien Pao, AND Baxcalibur and the best solution I could come up with was a physically defensive Fairy tera with Encore to beat Dondozo and tera Annihilape. Even though I had Dragon Dance, I wanted to be very slow initially so I could get a slow Encore against Annihilape and Dragon Dance myself into having a fast Encore. Although I can’t hit Iron Treads at all, the rest of my team takes care of it with little to no problem. EKiller doesn’t really work for me here because Tsareena exists and can hit me pretty hard.
Offensive Great Tusk does a lot for me and the Scarf is invaluable for speed tying +1 Baxcalibur. My opponent does not have anything that resists both Ground and Fighting, and in fact the only Ground resist is Tsareena meaning I am able to click Headlong Rush pretty freely excluding a possible Tera Flying Annihilape, which I did consider a possibility. My tentative plan was to bluff a defensive set by getting up rocks, only to bring it in later to surprise something.
My opponent had a lot of solid choices for Stealth Rock, and this set is remarkably dangerous since if it fails it will fail hard, but I had a sneaking suspicion I could pull something off with it. At worst, I might be able to take the Iron Treads with me, freeing up the game for Dragonite. My real plan was to stop any turn 1 shenanigans from Iron Treads since it’s a fairly safe lead against my team, possibly allowing my Rotom-Heat to avoid Stealth Rock damage since it was Leftovers and not HDB in this game.
For the 3rd game in a row, I decided that Scarf Garde is best for me. I really needed special attackers for Dondozo and having something faster than Chien Pao is always helpful. I have something I think will be able to hit every possible tera type Annihilape brings against me, and Healing Wish in case I need to reset my Dragonite after an unfavorable late game trade. I wanted the rest of my bulk to go into phys def specifically so I could tank a Sucker Punch from Chien Pao that much better. Usually dumping into HP is correct however the lower a stat is the more EVs affect it, so since Gardevoir has such low Defense those 52 EVs add up (or multiply up if you want to be technical).
Heattom kind of handshakes with a couple Pokemon like Scream Tail and Annihilape that neither of us can damage each other too much so I decided yellow magic + Nasty Plot would be a nice workaround for that. Speed EVs to outpace paralyzed +2 Baxcalibur as well as Tsareena EV’d to speed creep me, rest in physical bulk since there are a loooot of physical attackers. I didn’t see much benefit to pivoting with this Heattom since I wanted to snag every turn of Leftovers I possibly could, and sometimes getting damage alongside the yellow magic is nice.
Finally, my suicide Baxcalibur answer in Vaporeon. Only thing it will realistically do is spam Haze until it dies against Baxcalibur/Chien Pao. That’s it. Helmet over Leftovers pressures my opponent to stop taking damage from the likes of Dondozo spamming Body Press and Chien Pao spamming Crunch which would allow me to revenge kill either of them a lot easier. Having a water immunity is also helpful since it means Curse RestTalk Dozo can’t run through my team.
Turn 1 went off like clockwork. I hoped since I missed my last Focus Blast I would be able to connect this one and I was able to kill such a huge threat in Chien Pao Turn 1. After that I cared more about finding out the Scream Tail’s spread than I did possibly getting a cheese kill with Destiny Bond, so I sacrificed my Gengar, however my opponent opted to set up a Light Screen. I figured that meant I was safe to switch out, since dual screens Stealth Rock sounds like a pretty bad set, and I got in my Heattom since from the Sludge Bomb damage and the fact it was faster than my Gengar I deduced Scream Tail was just max HP max Speed. Oh and now is a good time to mention that if you aren’t calcing after turns, it is so extremely helpful. You have 5 minutes on the standard SmogTours battle for a reason, use it. Using calcs to find out if your move kills does not matter if you have not first determined the opponent’s EV spreads. Back from that sidebar, I thought I would be safe to fire off a TWave and then a Discharge to get some damage off or possibly paralyze the next incoming mon, however I miss the para on Baxcalibur and deploy my dedicated Baxcalibur answer in Vaporeon. My opponent doubles to Iron Treads and since I’ve deduced that the Iron Treads is likely the Stealth Rocker and I have no removal, I take the risk in going hard to Gengar. I could have just stayed in and gotten some solid damage off with Surf, saving my Gengar as a sac later, but since my Gengar was faster than everything with Scream Tail paralyzed I would be able to possibly stall out some screens turns by making my opponent flounder trying to avoid getting killed off by Destiny Bond. Rather, my opponent killed my Gengar and I took out their Iron Treads with not too long on their screens left. I correctly predicted Dondozo to come out, and decided my Heattom’s worth would be preventing the Dondozo from sweeping and since I had the sac lead, an important stat to recognize in a game with screens, I did not mind losing my Heattom to threaten Dondozo into killing me. Gardevoir comes in to revenge kill the Dozo as well as kill Scream Tail, but not before it gets up double screens. Funnily enough, since I had Traced Unaware from Dozo with Garde I actually would have been able to 1v1 most Baxcalibur sets, however since the threat of Taunt Annihilape still loomed in the background and Vaporeon couldn’t do anything about it, I opted to let Vaporeon do its job and suicide to control the Baxcalibur. After, I wanted to scout if it was Adamant or Jolly since I was 99% it was Adamant, and even though I did not care much if Dragonite lived I was happy it did. I will be honest, I was still new to SV at this point and did not know of the item Loaded Dice, but if the Bax was indeed Loaded Dice I may have been in a bit of trouble. Finally, after an exchange where I just had to make sure to safely diffuse the Annihilape I secured a 2-0 win in a game I think I navigated fairly well considering how scary my opponent’s team was. GG Jedonn, now I am 3-0 +7.
Honestly, this team was the one I was least concerned about since I was already 3-0, a scoreline that all but confirms you make it past round 1, and the matchup was fairly heavily in my favor. I still wanted a win though so I put together the team I thought would best deal with my opponent in a riskfree way.
Ground tera removes Scream Tail, Forretress, and Gyarados’ ability to Thunder Wave me and more importantly stops Forretress from Volt Switching on me meaning that there won’t be any way for them to use my Dragonite as a way to pivot while breaking Multiscale. Ground and Ice were really good types against my opponent and my only reason for not choosing Thunder Punch over Ice Spinner was I wanted to catch the Garchomp off guard if it had tried to Dragon Tail me. In my infinite wisdom, I noticed Gyarados lost Roar but did not even think of Dragon Tail, so my decision definitely would come to bite me later. EVs allow me to outpace Scream Tail, and with it Iron Moth and Garchomp. Being a little slower was important to me since my plan was to set up on Forretress which, thanks to Gyro Ball, thrives off faster Pokemon.
Iron Hands really scared me for some reason. Phys def GT as a counter to it, and a check for physical Garchomp. Looking back this was a pretty bad set, but if it looked good to me at the time then that’s no big deal.
My opponent had a pretty slow team and Specs Gengar really chewed through it. Shadow Ball was such a clickable move that the last 3 were just filler, Trick and Thunderbolt since my team was still weak to Gyarados and Psychic for increased damage against Iron Hands/un Tera’d Iron Moth if it came to it.
Can’t say anything about Scarf Garde I haven’t said 3 times before. Revenge kills, hits somewhat hard, prevents sweeps.
Hey, I never said I’m reinventing the wheel with my sets but you know what? They work, and that’s enough.
I’m sure I split the bulk for a specific reason but I’m writing this a pretty long time after so I can’t remember. Otherwise, just here to ensure Gyarados doesn’t wipe the floor with me since it lost Power Whip this generation and even if I get Taunted I have a chance to win the 1v1, assuming it is HDB and not Leftovers.
Predicting either Forretress or Garchomp, I led my Great Tusk into my opponent’s Gyarados, starting off with an already unfavorable matchup. This caused a series of events that allowed my opponent to get a Spikes off on me as well as chunk my Heattom to 32%, a very dangerously low number. Playing on the back foot with an aggressive team is never good so I needed to wrestle some control of the game back from my opponent, and did this by letting my Gengar get extremely low just to kill Forretress, AKA the Pokemon I had planned to set up on with Dragonite. Nowhere near disastrous, however the situation I find myself in is very bad and at this point the best out I see is just start setting up with Dragonite and see where I can go from there. The answer is not very far, and I lose my Multiscale for nothing except the information that Gyarados still learns Dragon Tail, something I should have really known before the match started. After a couple more meaningless exchanges, I am finally able to get going with Dragonite, and here is where if I had Thunder Punch instead of Ice Spinner I would have literally just won the game. Instead, I take out the Gyarados and get revenge killed by Iron Hands. I am able to return the favor with Gardevoir, and since Iron Moth is a whole lot more threatening than Garchomp at this point I try to stave it off by using Psyshock instead of Moonblast. If he goes Iron Moth, I can assume his tera types matches up with Psyshock very advantageously, but he does not and I can sort of deduce what the types probably are. I sac Gengar to ensure Gardevoir can return to Moonblast safely again, since I still have Great Tusk as a sac, and am able to finish up the game with Gardevoir. GGs Nametab, and I finish the group stage 4-0, meaning I get a bye past Round 2.