Sunday, October 26, 2014

2015 Philadelphia Regionals Battle Report

2015 Philadelphia Regionals
Result: 7-2, 30th place, 30 CP

Part two of a three-part series detailing my 2015 Fall Regionals experience. Read "The X-Factor: 2015 Fall Regionals Team Report" first.

Formatting note: The first two Pokemon listed were the leads, the next two were brought in the back, and the two in parentheses were not brought to the battle.

Round 1 vs Christopher Kennedy
His Team:()

My Team:

My pre-tournament nerves were running high, so I was pretty relieved to see this team, complete with a Level 42 Scizor. That's not to say that a team like this can't be successful, but combined with my opponent saying he was relatively new to VGC, I wasn't really fearing much. Charizard-X had a good matchup, so I tried to get him set up early. Dragalge's Dragon Tail was a bit troublesome since it reset the stat boosts, but I was able to burn most of his team to rack up chip damage and eventually I was able to checkmate the match with Aegislash when I took out Greninja.

W 4-0 (Record: 1-0)

Round 2 vs Jalen Parente
His Team:()
My Team:

Teams like this are exactly why I put Lucario on the team. Hoping he'd lead with Kangaskhan, I led Salamence and Lucario to bait a Fake Out and get an Intimidate off. He led with Meowstic and Kangaskhan, and I knew that Kangaskhan was going down this turn unless he switched it out or Charmed Lucario. I switched Aegislash into Salamence's slot, and he ended up using double Fake Out. Thanks to Inner Focus, I wiped out Kangaskhan immediately. Aegislash was pretty key in taking out Meowstic, hiding behind a Substitute while it Charmed Lucario the next turn. Ferrothorn was easily dispatched by Salamence, who then proceeded to spam Fire Blast on Tyranitar since I didn't want to take the risk of switching something into a +2 Tyranitar (Aegislash's Flash Cannon activated a Weakness Policy). Salamence connected on all 4 Fire Blasts it used this match, and ended up burning Tyranitar on the 4th. It was an easy cleanup from there.

W 3-0 (Record: 2-0)

Round 3 vs Greg Johnson
His Team:()
My Team:

My opponent's name sounded familiar to me, but I didn't remember why. I was a bit leery looking at his team, as Zapdos and Conkeldurr could give me a bit of trouble. I led with Ludicolo and Aegislash to his Conkeldurr and Zapdos, and the way I played Aegislash during this battle was unfortunately my undoing. Turn 1, I used Fake Out on Zapdos and Substitute on Aegislash, only to have the sub broken by a Payback. I didn't think he'd attack into Aegislash again, fearing a King's Shield, so I used Substitute again while he paralyzed Ludicolo and broke the substitute with a second Payback. I don't remember a whole lot about this battle, only that at some point I knocked out his Zapdos with a couple Ice Beams and Tyranitar with Close Combat. At that point, I knew I had a chance to win if his last pokemon was something other than Mawile, but Mawile was sent out and I knew I was done in.

L 0-2 (Record: 2-1)

Round 4 vs Colin Schonewolf
His Team:    ()
My Team:

This battle was pretty intense from what I can remember. I Bullet Punched Aerodactyl down to its Focus Sash while he set up Tailwind on Turn 1 as I switched Aegislash into Salamence's slot to eat an Ice Punch. After I finished off Aerodactyl with another Bullet Punch, we tried maneuvering around each other until there was one turn where it was my Charizard and Lucario against his Machamp and Aegislash in Blade Form. I really needed Aegislash gone, but I was pretty confident he'd King's Shield so I doubled into Machamp and knocked it out while Aegislash did, in fact, protect itself. After this turn, he just had Kangaskhan and Aegislash to beat my Charizard, Lucario, and Aegislash. I knew that if I could preserve my own Aegislash while knocking his out I could win the game. Eventually, I was able to Shadow Ball and KO his Aegislash while Kangaskhan knocked out Charizard with a Return. Being in Blade Form, I decided to King's Shield before using Substitute on the off chance that he carried Crunch (he hadn't revealed Sucker Punch yet either). When the King's Shield animation started, my opponent looked visibly disappointed and I was pretty confident I had sealed up the game when I saw "Kangaskhan used Crunch!" There was no point in stalling out Sucker Punch with Substitute so I just went straight for a Flash Cannon, which ended up knocking it out from 70% or so with a critical hit. That critical hit really didn't matter, as his Crunch was nowhere close to 2HKOing Aegislash. This was definitely one of my best battles of the Fall Regionals.

W 1-0 (Record 3-1)

Round 5 vs Julius Solomon
His Team:()
My Team:

Seeing the lead matchup, I thought I was in a pretty good position. Since Charizard-Y doesn't really threaten Hydreigon, I thought he'd Fake Out and Draco Meteor the Salamence slot and decided to switch Aegislash in. He did burn his Fake Out on that slot but ended up targeting my mega-evolved Charizard X with Draco Meteor for a quick OHKO. This kinda threw me for a loop, as I knew a really good win condition against this team was setting up Charizard, provided he didn't bring Azumarill (he didn't). I still had a fighting chance if I could get his Hydreigon and Charizard out of the way since Aegislash walls Mienshao and Gardevoir pretty easily. Lucario handles these two very easily, outspeeding and OHKOing them both. My opponent's Mienshao gave me a lot more trouble than I anticipated, and I had a chance to KO it with Aegislash but instead decided to double into and knock out Gardevoir. In hindsight, I really should have taken out that Mienshao since Gardevoir really doesn't trouble me too much. Mienshao proceeded to take out my only ways to pressure Charizard and Hydreigon with High Jump Kick and Stone Edge, combined with a timely Heat Wave burn on Salamence. I really could and should have played this battle smarter, and my lack of forethought led me to my second loss.

L 0-2 (Record 3-2)

Round 6 vs Julia Bernhard
Her Team:()
My Team:

Julia is a friend and training partner, so I knew that her team had a couple tricks that could give me a little trouble. The most key information was that her Sableye held a Lagging Tail and knew Trick and that her Garchomp was running Substitute instead of Protect. I had a hunch she wouldn't bring her Venusaur since it has a poor matchup with Charizard and Aegislash, so I took Rotom along to help out with Talonflame and try to burn Gyarados. Knowing she'd probably lead with Sableye, I led Charizard and Aegislash to bait a Trick onto the Aegislash slot. I also knew that Sableye in general can do almost nothing to Charizard X, so it would be easy to start setting up. She did lead Sableye, along with her Mega Gyarados. We both Dragon Danced on Turn 1, while I switched in Salamence to make Sableye switch its Lagging Tail for a Choice Scarf. I was completely fine with Salamence taking the Lagging Tail since his speed wasn't too necessary in this matchup. Garchomp doesn't OHKO it, Gyarados would be increasing its speed with Dragon Dance anyway, and Talonflame had its Gale Wings. The first few turns were just us trying to get in position to knock out the opposing mega evolution and sweep from there. I was able to chunk her Gyarados with a couple Dragon Pulses while we both did some switching around in our non-mega slot. At one point, it was Charizard and Rotom against Gyarados (with no attack boosts) and Talonflame. My bigger priority at that point was burning Gyarados as opposed to killing Talonflame, and I was able to tank an Earthquake and land a Will-O-Wisp. From there, Charizard tanked a Brave Bird and KO'd Gyarados while Rotom knocked out Talonflame. I was able to finish off the battle from there, as Charizard had a speed boost and could freely OHKO the Protect-less Garchomp. I was happy to have won the battle, but it sucked to knock out a friend from the tournament. I encouraged her and told her to win out with me, and we both got ready for round 7.

W 2-0 (Record 4-2)

Round 7 vs William Gu
His Team:()
My Team:

A Charizard X mirror! Seeing this team (and assuming his Charizard was the Y form...I fell into my own trap), I knew that Charizard had a field day. He didn't even need a boost to beat out most of this team, so I kept him in the back to play it safe. Ludicolo and Aegislash were my leads of choice, and they matched up well against my opponent's Mr. Mime and Snorlax. I did my default play of Fake Out + Substitute, and targeted his Snorlax since he could potentially do a lot of damage to Ludicolo. Mr. Mime set up a Light Screen, so I essentially got a free Substitute. The next turn, I targeted Snorlax with Scald and Flash Cannon, again ignoring Mr. Mime since his very low damage output wasn't threatening me at all. I ended up scoring a Burn and a Critical Hit through his Light Screen with that Scald, which was a nice little bonus. Mr. Mime used Icy Wind and Snorlax used Power-Up Punch on Ludicolo, and based on the relatively low amount of damage it took from Scald + Flash Cannon I decided it was Assault Vested. I kept chipping away at Snorlax while he failed to do meaningful damage to either of my Pokemon, eventually knocking it out. He replaced his fallen Snorlax with Gardevoir, which I promptly burned on the first try with Scald. Aegislash was still hiding behind his Substitute from Turn 1, which I was able to preserve with a couple timely King's Shields that blocked double targets. Eventually I KO'd his Gardevoir and Mr. Mime with Aegislash and his Charizard was on the field against my Ludicolo and Aegislash, which hadn't left the battle at all. I had won that battle at this point, as even the best Charizard X can't win a 1 v 4.

W 3-0 (Record 5-2)

Round 8 vs Anthony Rossano
His Team:()
My Team:

This team looked a bit scary. He had the Raichu + Azumarill combo that Baz Anderson used to win the Nugget Bridge Invitational, and Raichu and Weavile both have the power to disrupt teams very well. They can create a bunch of free turns for Pokemon to set up or deal heavy damage. I knew Rotom would be important, but had to play carefully around Raichu to avoid giving him any Lightningrod Boosts. On Turn 1, I expected the Fake Out from Weavile onto Rotom, but didn't want to Protect in case Raichu came in next turn for the Encore. He did Fake Out Rotom, while mega evolving his Pinsir and using Return on Charizard. Charizard tanked the Return like a pro and was able to KO Pinsir with Flare Blitz. I could tell my opponent was counting on that Return OHKOing the assumed Charizard Y, and even told me afterwards that usually knocks Charizard Y out in one blow. I forget how the turns played out exactly after that, but he ended up flinching Rotom again the next turn with Fling + King's Rock and (I think) set up a Belly Drum with Azumarill. I was eventually able to burn the Azumarill (again, leery of trying to Thunderbolt it in case Raichu switched in), which put Azumarill in range to be knocked out by Giga Drain after a couple turns of burn damage. Raichu ended up being very easy to manage, especially since Rotom was feeling particularly cooperative this round and didn't miss a Hydro Pump.

W 3-0 (Record 6-2)

Round 9 vs Benjamin Sorohan
His Team: ()
My Team:

I don't remember a whole lot about this battle. My notes were pretty scarce, and I actually wrote down Talonflame twice so I'm not sure what his sixth Pokemon was. From what I do remember, this was another match in which Lucario proved his worth, outrunning and dealing significant damage to Blastoise before it could get off a powerful Water Spout and making Tyranitar much easier to beat. This was the second Raichu I faced in a row, yet both times I brought my Electric type since it had too good of a matchup to pass up. My opponent switched Tyranitar into a Hydro Pump to activate his Weakness Policy, and I would have knocked him out with another on the next turn but Hydro Pump missed. Rotom barely survived the incoming Rock Slide and I believe I brought Lucario in the next turn. Rotom was in Thunderbolt range from Raichu, and I was pretty confident he'd Protect Tyranitar so I used Protect on my own Rotom and Close Combat on Raichu. Thankfully my bold play paid off as he did exactly what I predicted. The next turn I was able to KO Tyranitar and freely Thunderbolt the Blastoise for the win.

W 3-0 (Record 7-2)

I had managed to claw my way up to an X-2 finish after a poor start, and I was pretty happy with the way I finished. Since we had a Top 16 cut there were a few X-2's that made it, but I knew my resistance would be too bad to make it. Nevertheless, I hovered around the pairings and waited for standings to be released. I didn't make top 16, but I did manage to have a high enough resistance to make top 32, a threshold some X-2's failed to reach. All in all, Top 32 is a solid result in Philadelphia considering the heavy talent in the region, but I can't help but think I could have gone farther.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to read the Team Report and Fort Wayne Battle Report as well.

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