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UPPL Update: Out of Steam (Week 8)

Get ready for some heated battles!

Last week your Nimbasa City Emolga went up against the Amsterdam Koffing! This battle pitted your favorite team against Ken from the Lure Up Podcast. He has plenty of experience in Pokemon GO battling and some of that has leaked into Draft League. Will we be able to overcome his formula for success?

Pre-Battle Prep

Lure Up team
Ken has an interesting history when it comes to competitive battling. He shares a TCG background similar to me and a long time ago he  dabbled into competitive play. Though, the bulk of his Pokemon battling happens on the go. Pokemon GO.

Battling in Pokemon GO isn’t the same as battling in the main series games. Much less Pokemon Showdown. Though, it does take some strategy to know which Pokemon to use and when to use your Charged Attack. If Ken knows how to battle there then he can learn how to battle in the normal Pokemon setting. It has shown with him using new moves and strategies each week.

With that said, lets take a look at Ken’s big threats.

HawluchaHawlucha: Hawlucha starts this list and that is because of how much damage it can do under the right conditions. That is mostly thanks to Hawlucha’s Unburden ability. This ability gives Hawlucha a speed boost if his item was used. This also includes if Knock Off was used to get rid of the item. A fast Hawlucha can cause lots of damage to my team that I wouldn’t want to see happen.

What can make matters worst is if Hawlucha can use Swords Dance. That takes his above decent attack power to incredible levels. It will then have the speed needed to out speed anybody on my team and the attack power that can take out anything. That kind of combination makes Hawlucha into a wrecking ball that can wreck my whole team.

Our Solution: This one left me a bit puzzled on what to do. After looking at Ken’s past battles and my own experience from encountering Hawlucha from practice battles, my best idea to take on Hawlucha is never stop attacking it.

The battles that I have seen or been in with Hawlucha all have the same situation. If you allow Hawlucha to set up for free then you are going to be in a world of pain. There is nothing you can do to prevent Hawlucha from using up his item such as a Berry or Seed. Though you can prevent it from setting up for free. What we needed to do was ensure that we keep on attacking Hawlucha with everything we have. Preferably with Pokemon that can take a hit from Hawlucha.

GliscorNow that I have said that. What we did to prep for this battle is to have Gliscor know Aerial Ace. All my Pokemon can hurt Hawlucha in some form or way except for Gliscor. The only damaging move Gliscor has is Earthquake which can’t hurt Hawlucha. That means if Ken’s Hawlucha has Swords Dance then Gliscor would be perfect to get a free Swords Dance. If Gliscor has Aerial Ace then we can at least do some Super Effective damage on Hawlucha. We had to go without Toxic this week but it will be worth doing some damage. Especially if we are looking at having Misty Terrain around which prevents status effects from taking place.

Tapu Fini: We expect Tapu Fini to be Hawlucha’s partner in crime. Tapu Fini can set up Misty Terrain which will allow Hawlucha to come in and activate Misty Seed. This will activate Hawluncha’s Unburden ability. Tapu Fini’s ability also prevents us from using Toxic as freely as we want.

Tapu Fini isn’t a slouch with good Special Attack and bulky defenses. Misty Terrain helps boost the power of Moonblast. It can fire off solid Scald attacks to our Pokemon. If we have Gliscor then we can expect an Ice Beam attack from Tapu Fini. These attacking options plus solid defenses can make Tapu Fini a difficult wall to overcome.

ZeraoraOur Solution: We do have a few solutions against Tapu Fini. The best ones will involve Kartana and Zeraora. Both of these Pokemon can hit Tapu Fini with strong STAB attacks which will squash Tapu Fini. Kartana has Leaf Blade while Zeraora has Thunderbolt. Both of these attacks will hit Tapu Fini for strong Super Effective STAB damage. The only problem is that Tapu Fini will never stay put for us to fire off these attacks against her. Now, if we can corner Tapu Fini as the last Pokemon then we can fire off these attacks.

The most reasonable thing to happen is to have Volcanion around to take hits from Tapu Fini. Volcanion can pretty much tank any Moonblast or Ice Beam that Tapu Fini throws around. Water Absorb makes Volcanion immune to Scald. If we can fire off enough Steam Eruption and get a Burn after Misty Terrain goes away then that will put us in a good spot.

Raichu: Raichu is a solid Special Attacker that can easily take out Volcanion. One Thunderbolt will shock our fire-water cat monster in no time. It can also fire off a solid Hidden Power Ice to take out Gliscor. Pair that up with solid speed and we have something to worry about.

Long story, short: Raichu can take out Volcanion which is our key to take down Tapu Fini.

Our Solution: We do have a few solid switches for Raichu. We can use Gliscor or Zeraora to take any Thunderbolt attacks that Raichu wants to throw out.

Gliscor will have to worry if Raichu is packing Hidden Power Ice. We can take maybe one Hidden Power Ice which will allow us to use Earthquake. That will get rid of Raichu completely.

Zeraora can take Thunderbolt thanks to the Volt Absorb ability. We can then use Focus Blast to do some solid damage to Raichu. That is the best that we can do if Zeraora has to come in to do some attacking.

Mega AlakazamMega Alakazam: Where do we start with when it comes to Mega Alakazam? It has high Special Attack and Speed. It can copy our Pokemon abilities using Trace. It can move fast and hit hard.

The main thing to worry about Alakazam is that once it Mega Evolve then it can use Trace to copy our Pokemon abilities. That means it can get immunities to two of our Pokemon types if done correctly. After Mega Evolving, it can come in to Trace Zeraora’s Volt Absorb or Volcanion’s Water Absorb. That won’t be good and we should be careful when we see Alakazam come out.

Once Mega Evolve, Mega Alakazam gets even more speed and power! It can easily run over our team if we leave it uncheck or not careful with our switches.

Our Solution: We need to go faster then Alakazam. That means our best bet would be Kartana. We may need to have a Pokemon get knockout but if Kartana can do a solid hit on Mega Alakazam then we can knock it out. For even better chance to knockout Mega Alakazam, we can have Kartana use Night Slash to take the knockout.

Salazzle: Salazzle is one of Ken’s favorite Pokemon to use. It will always open up with Toxic knowing that whoever comes out will get hit with it. Salazzle can fire off Flamethrower like no tomorrow and doesn’t care who it has to take down. Salazzle has amazing speed and will always hit the mark.

Our Solution: Go in with Gliscor to take any Toxic. After all, Gliscor doesn’t care about Toxic damage and will most likely be Toxic already. After that we can use Earthquake and take out Salazzle if it does decide to stay in.

RhydonRhydon: Rhydon is another favorite for Ken. This Pokemon has some huge defenses once it has the Evolite equip. It can do lots of damage as well with Earthquake and Stone Edge. We will see some Pokemon fall if Rhydon hits the stage. It will be troublesome if our Super Effective attack don’t take down this big rock rhino.

Our Solution: We have a few options to take down Rhydon. Our first one is to go defense verse defense. We can swap in Gliscor on an Earthquake and then proceed to use Toxic and Earthquake to slowly take down Rhydon.

We can have Zeraora be in the active and try to predict Rhydon coming in by using Grass Knot. That wouldn’t one hit knockout Rhydon but it will put us in a good spot. Especially if we get a second Grass Knot on Rhydon. After the second Grass Knot, that will bring down Rhydon.

If we want to be risky, we can use Volcanion to use Steam Eruption. That will knockout Rhydon with one hit. Granted, we will need to go first to ensure that Volcanion can get the hit without getting hit first.

With all of that said, we have a solid team that can take on Ken’s Amsterdam Koffing. Will things go to plan? Or will our steam run out?

The Battle


Click on the image to watch the battle!

We started off this battle with our reliable lead, Gliscor. It could have been a bad idea seeing that Ken likes to start his battles with Tapu Fini. This could be seen from his past battles but we knew that we can handle this type of situation thanks to switching into Volcanion.

This Volcanion verses Tapu Fini match up is going to be one that you will see a lot. In this first instance, you saw it result in Ken losing his Rhydon as he swap into Volcanion’s explosive Steam Eruption! That was one less Pokemon for us to worry about. We still have five more to deal with.

DhelmiseThis battle gets pretty interesting as Ken swap Salazzle into my Dhelmise. I wasn’t sure if Alakazam was going to stay to attack Dhelmise but if he was going to then I figure I could get some damage done by using Knock Off. Though, after seeing the replay, I think Alakazam was Choice Scarf in an attempt to out speed my Kartana in case they did battle. That would explain why after a Focus Blast that Alakazam swap out when Dhelmise came into play.

That being said, I could see from Dhelmise’s Knock Off that Salazzle most likely had Firium Z. I didn’t know what Ken was going to try but I knew that Dhelmise didn’t want to stay in for anything Salazzle had coming. That is why I swap into Gliscor.

And that was a good switch! Mostly because Salazzle decided to use Toxic in an attempt to put Toxic on my Dhelmise. Gliscor simply took the Toxic and thanked Salazzle for activating Poison Heal.

Ken tried to take down Gliscor by hitting it with a surprise Hidden Power Ice. Though, Gliscor took the hit and hit back with an Earthquake. That would be another Pokemon down.

After this moment, we hit Volcanion verse Tapu Fini part two. This was maybe one of the longer altercations that these two Pokemon had during this battle. Volcanion kept on using Steam Eruption while Ken tried to have Tapu Fini use Calm Mind to boost the damage.

Tapu FiniDuring this part of the match, I wished that I didn’t drop Roar for Protect. I had decided to have Volcanion know Protect for this match in order to catch Ken’s Hawlucha by surprise in case he decided to use High Jump Kick against Volcanion. The idea would be that Hawluncha would take half damage and Volcanion can take the next attack. I know that Volcanion can take one hit which will give him the chance to strike back. Though, Roar would be nice to keep Ken from racking up Calm Mind boost on Tapu Fini.

This won’t be the first time during this battle where I wish Volcanion had a different attack on it. Especially with how much I was using Steam Eruption during this battle.

Volcanion and Tapu Fini duke it out long enough for Misty Terrain to disappear. At that moment we got one of the things that I wanted. A burn from Steam Eruption on Tapu Fini. That would help negate the healing from Tapu Fini’s Leftovers. It could also make Ken want to retreat Tapu Fini for a different Pokemon.

Eventually this altercation ended and we saw Kartana facing down Tapu Fini. That made Tapu Fini disappear and instead we saw Alakazam take the active position. Though, it wasn’t for long as Kartana’s Leaf Blade was enough to take out Alakazam. I guess a STAB and Physical attack from Kartana was enough to take out Alakazam.

That did open up the chances for Ken to take out his Hawlucha. I had no idea what kind of Hawlucha this was but I knew one thing. Do not allow Hawlucha to get a free boost of any kind.

That is why I stuck to my blade and had Kartana to stay in and use Leaf Blade. Best case scenario: We hit Hawlucha with a Leaf Blade while it uses Swords Dance. That way we can strike again for a possible two hit KO. Worst case scenario: Kartana gets knocked out by a Fighting attack.

VolcanionThe worst case scenario happen as Hawlucha used Focus Blast. That was unexpected but at least Hawluncha had no boosts. All we did was send out Gliscor who used Aerial Ace. I was hoping to bait Ken into using Swords Dance if he had it. Instead, we saw Gliscor shrug off a Stone Edge and then take the knockout with Aerial Ace.

From there, we let the colonel take us to the win. We kept using Steam Eruption until we were out of steam. We knocked out Raichu who came on a Steam Eruption. All that was left was our third and final assault on Tapu Fini.

During this assault, Volcanion ran out of steam. Literally. We had no more PP for Steam Eruption. Before us was Burned Tapu Fini with a little bit of HP left and Volcanion who best move at this point was Flamethrower. We figured now was a good time to use Flamethrower. That was enough to take down Tapu Fini and give us the win.

After the match, I found out that Volcanion could learn Sludge Wave. That would have made our matches with Tapu Fini much easier to handle. We also wouldn’t have risked running out of Steam Eruptions midway during the battle. Either way, your Nimbasa City Emolga got the win.

Coming Soon

Lavender Town Gengar
The next few weeks are going to be tough matches for your Nimbasa City Emolga. Starting this tough cycle will be Thatch from the P.U.C.L. Podcast and his Lavender Town Gengar! A tough contender with plenty of battle experience under his belt.

I am going to be honest with you. This match is going to be a scary one. Thatch has over eleven years of battling and has survived many different formats. He may have had a tough start but the man has found his footing and knows how to battle. I have proven that I am a competent battler and shouldn’t be underestimated. Though, Thatch is an experienced battler who knows how to counter any opponent when given the time.

Thatch’s roster is pretty tough too. He has two Ice type Pokemon in the form of Kyruem Black and Alolan Ninetales. These two Pokemon can cause some serious damage to my Pokemon. We also have to worry about Arcanine and Metagross who have quite a lot of coverage to them. These Pokemon are nothing to sneeze at and we will need to bring our A-game if we want a chance to beat Thatch.

We are facing a tough opponent as we enter the final stretch of the tournament. We are not safe but can only take things one week at a time. Once again, our goal is to knockout three of Thatch’s Pokemon. Time to die a hero or live long enough to become a villain. Only time can tell.

Record: 7-1-0

Signing off!

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