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UPPL Update: Snagging a Spot (Week 12)

Nimbasa City Emolga
It is time for the playoffs!

Your Nimbasa City Emolgas have made it to the UPPL Draft League Playoffs! This is a great accomplishment seeing that I lacked battle experience compare to the other playoff competitors. Though, now we are in the big leagues as there are plenty of tough competitors who are aiming for the top spot.

Our first opponent in the playoffs will be Prof. Snag from P.U.C.L. Podcast and Pokemon Rollout. We battled him back in Week 10 and he is wanting to take a win. He knows his stuff and will surely show that in our rematch.

Pre-Battle Prep

Snag Team
This isn’t our first battle against Snag and we know it is going to be tough. Snag knows most of our tricks and what Pokemon we have. During our last battle, we wore down Snag with switches and chip damage. Eventually his Pokemon were low enough in HP to the point where our speedy Zeraora would out speed his Pokemon and knock them out.

So, today we are going to do something different. We are going to be talking about our key Pokemon for the battle and what they can do to help us win. After all, we had already discussed which of Snag’s Pokemon was on our watch list. We expect more of the same but with new ideas behind them. If Snag does anything different then that will be discussed in the The Battle section of the article.

ZeraoraZeraora: Our Zeraora was key during our last battle against Snag. He came in fast and took knockouts when most of Snag’s Pokemon were on their last leg. We are going to try to do the same thing but harder. That is why we decided to put on Choice Scarf on Zeraora.

A Choice Scarf will lock us into a single attack but it will ensure that our attacks will hit Snag’s Pokemon hard. That will especially be true when Snag’s Porygon2 or Celesteela comes in. We can swap into Zeraora and just hit those Pokemon hard. That way Zeraora’s speed will have plenty of punch behind them.

Scrafty: We are going with our classic Scarfty set that includes his infamous Shed Skin to sponge status and plenty of Special Defense bulk. This guy has done us good work and he will keep doing good work. After all, he can use Knock Off to get rid of Evolite from Porygon2. We can later Dragon Dance and do heavy damage to recover our HP with Drain Punch.

Our main plan is to use Scrafty to sponge up Special hits from Snag’s Special Attackers. From there we want to get rid of any of their items and then start smacking them. It is a simple plan but one that we know can be pulled off. If we can use Knock Off on something as it comes in then that will be great. That way we can mess things up for Snag if he decides to switch into Scarfty.

Mega AltariaMega Altaria: Mega Altaria will be making a return this week. We know that our Mega hasn’t been used much during the tournament and we wanted to make up for it here. Especially because Mega Altaria can take at least one hit from Snag’s Mega Latios. If that is true then we plan to use Fairy Return to strike back harder for a knockout.

The problem with this plan is that we will need something to be knocked out to guarantee that Mega Altaria comes in safely. After all, I learn the hard way during my last match against Snag in predicting Dragon Dance. It doesn’t end well because we lost our Noivern which was our main Mega Latios counter. At least with Mega Altaria we have some wiggle room.

Mega Altaria also is a good Pokemon to have against some of Snag’s other Pokemon. It can hit his Pokemon hard if we can find time to use Dragon Dance.

Kartana: We can’t leave home without our Choice Scarf Kartana. This Pokemon has been a staple on our team with his powerful attacks and moving fast. We are looking forward to revenge kill anything that isn’t ready for Kartana. If we can’t get a revenge knockout then we plan to at least hit something hard. Especially Tapu Koko who we expect to make a return appearance.

GliscorGliscor: This week we are going back to classic Gliscor. This Pokemon is our hard Defense Pokemon who can take physical attacks. We want to set up Stealth Rock and Toxic for day. Though, we need to make sure we don’t Toxic Porygon2. If we do then we may end up helping the Pokemon more then hurting it.

Also, during our practice matches, I had found out that Gliscor isn’t bad against Jellicent. Gliscor may not want to take a Water attack from Jellicent but a STAB Earthquake from Gliscor does plenty of damage to Jellicent. So, if we wanted to attack Jellicent with Gliscor then we know that is a viable option.

Volcanion: Lastly, we have Volcanion. He is our solid rock who can hit hard with Water and Fire attacks. There isn’t much to him except he is a bit bulky. We also decided to pack Volcanion with Defog this week. I do not really like this move but it is worth doing it because Stealth Rock will hurt our team a lot if we want to do a lot of swapping between Pokemon.

That said, time to talk about our battle!

The Battle


Click on the image to watch the battle!

This battle started in maybe one of the worst way that I wanted. I saw that Snag brought mostly the same team that he brought last time when it came to Pokemon. The difference was that Alolan Raichu was in the line up. I figured that this Pokemon was brought as a way to out speed Zeraora and hit us hard with Surge Surfer.

Though, we first need to deal with the Nidoqueen in the active with my Gliscor.

When I saw Nidoqueen, something told me that I should have started with anything except Gliscor. Perhaps Volcanion who can take one hit from Nidoqueen and fire back with Steam Eruption. We could have gone with Scrafty who would start doing work on Nidoqueen thanks to Knock Off and Ice Punch.

Instead I started with Gliscor and knew that an Ice Beam was going to come. So, I went with my best choice in this situation which was Scrafty.

ScraftyOur Scrafty sponged most attacks from Nidoqueen such as Ice Beam and Earth Power. He may not be wanting to take Earth Power but he can without taking heavy damage. We also used Knock Off to get rid of Nidoqueen’s item which was Leftovers.

The problem that I had was that I kept on trying to predict if Snag would swap out to a different Pokemon. I kept on using Knock Off predicting that another Pokemon would come out. What really happen was Nidoqueen kept on withering down my Scrafty. Meanwhile, I should have used Ice Punch to do heavy damage on to Nidoqueen. If I wasn’t going to use Ice Punch then at least Dragon Dance. That way I can hit Nidoqueen with a harder Ice Punch.

Instead, I kept on trying to predict a switch that wouldn’t happen. In the end I had knocked out Nidoqueen but Scrafty took too many hits to be useful anymore without risking being knocked out.

We soon saw our first Pokemon fall in the form of Gliscor. We had brought in Gliscor to see what Tapu Koko would do. After all, we knew that it could have Dazzling Gleam but I was also wanted to see if it would use Thunderbolt. If it had used Thunderbolt then we can swap into Gliscor safely and set up Stealth Rock. Instead, Gliscor took a Dazzling Gleam-Hidden Power Ice combo. That wasn’t good but we could manage.

Soon after, we brought Zeraora in to handle but mostly to scare off Tapu Koko. We knew that Snag didn’t want a repeat of our last battle where we took advantage of his Electric Terrain. There was also the chance to catch Porygon2 come in as Snag would try to Trace our Volt Absorb. So guess what we did? Used a Choice Band Close Combat on the incoming Porygon2.

POrygon2It worked but now we were stuck on Close Combat. Snag wasn’t going to risk having his Porygon2 knockout so early so he swap into Latios. We were force to swap into something else but now Snag was beginning to see that our Zeraora was slightly different compare to last time.

The next few turns went as planned. We had to lose our Scrafty but knockout Mega Latios with Mega Altaria. Though, Mega Altaria was our next knockout.

From there, we were stuck between a rock and a hard place with our two Choice item Pokemon: Kartana and Zeraora. Could we take the win? Perhaps but we would need plenty of prediction to ensure anymore knockouts. The problem was that Snag had plenty of Pokemon left to swap in and out.

The result, we tried our best to juggle between our reminding Pokemon but could never really do a solid big hit on Snag’s Pokemon. Especially on Porygon2 who still had plenty of bulk and Recover to outlive any of our hits that were not Super Effective. Snag took advantage of our Choice items and made sure we paid for them. That cost was a lost.

So what happen?

Personally, I had just overthought too many things when it came to prep and the battle. I was too worry about certain things like Celesteela and Porygon2 that I had lost slight over the overall bigger picture. I knew that Snag would change things and I felt that I had to change things as well. Especially because we were in the playoffs and most people would come in prepping for things that they saw in our main tournament battles.

NidoqueenDuring the turn where Nidoqueen and Scrafty were battling was a prime example of me overthinking. I kept trying to use Knock Off on things that were not there when I should have been taking down the thing in front of me. An Ice Punch would have ensure that Scrafty would have more HP to deal with future things such as Porygon2. After all, my play style for the last few weeks has always been pretty direct with little prediction on my part. That has been part of my success.

Next, Choice Band on Zeraora was a bad idea. One of the things that I love about Zeraora is how fast and flexible the Pokemon is. It can hit things hard and then change on a moment’s notice. The Choice Band ruin the best thing that I love about Zeraora. If we could have at least used Volt Switch to do some extra damage on Mega Latios then things would have been smoother when it came to switching into Mega Altaria.

Also, I had no business putting a Choice Band on Zeraora. That was a last minute decision due to me trying to overthink things. It bit me in the butt during the battle and was one of the reasons why I lost.

Overall, I know that I could have done better. Especially if I had stuck to my more true and trusted strategies. Instead of battling a different way, I should have battle like myself to ensure that my battle was the best that I can do. Though, I did battle the best I could but I know that I could have done better. In the end, we gave a great battle and that is all I could have asked for.

Coming Soon

Our time in the UPPL League has come to a close with our defeat but we got a few more things left to do.

When it comes to the UPPL Update, I would like to do a retrospective on my experience in the UPPL Draft League. This was a new experience for me and I would like to say a few things. After all, it isn’t every day when a greenhorn in competitive battling makes it into the playoffs. Especially with a pretty good win streak.

Second thing that is coming up involving the UPPL is a rematch battle with Jolly. Prior to our match, Jolly said that he would like to battle us in the playoffs to give me a proper match. Though, in case something happens where one of us is knocked out then we will have a match after the season is over. Well, I got knock out.

But we are still getting a match with Jolly! So expect that to happen in the future. And you can expect us to talk about it!

For now, we are signing off but expect us back soon!

Record: 9-3-0

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