Monday, 19 May 2014

[VG] 2014 International Challenge May Review

This marathon was something else, I feel. Lacking something else on my game, I just used my Bochum team again. Read on for how it went and some fun stuff. Also, these Battle Box pictures from the Global Link are really cute, so here's mine (click to enlarge):

The most interesting thing would probably be the record and rating, except: it sucks, it simply sucks. I went 31-21 and having lost my last game too, it's a rating below 1700 for sure. Welcome to mediocrity! As always, I've logged my experience, and here it is.

My Feelings about the Tournament and Reasons for Failure

Hated it and loved it, your typical masochist has spoken. I did get some nice games out of it and I learned how to handle some critical situations/matchups better, so I got just as much out of it as I had expected and that's good. But of course, I really hate my performance. Better now than sometime else, when I might actually need the CPs, though. I would like to say/think my record and rating don't reflect my skill level like some other people tend to do, haha, but with how I threw some games away like the dumbest idiot in human history, it does feel right to an extent.

This brings me to the reasons for failure. Probably about one third of my losses I simply choked. Another third of them our most beloved friend the RNG bit me decisively (not denying it also helped me occasionally). And the final third of them I just got outplayed, that obviously happens too. The team choice, might the team choice be a reason? Can't rule it out completely, but I heavily doubt it. It's basically the only team I “can play”, so there's no way I'm actually making better decisions when I use something “fast”. The results might only turn out similarly/better, because this format is literally a bag of freak shit where small miracles happen every other game. But maybe my solid showings in Bochum and the NB Major also were some of this freak shit and this marathon taught us the unprettified truth, who actually knows... It may also be noteworthy that my team technically is an upgrade of what I ran in the Beta (not that I actually posted about that here), and the Beta was much more of a trainwreck for me. This also means, it's still an improvement. Not one to be satisfied with, but it's one.

Things to change for June? First, now really use a fast team – I hated how long it took me to even get the 20 battles per day in; I wanna spend less time on this while actually getting the full 60 in. Second, drink more. No matter how hard I try, I only get older, not better. However, I do play better when I'm drunk!

Some Highlights

I don't feel like bothering with the replays I saved throughout this now. I eventually will, and chances are some stuff is also going to be uploaded to YouTube. So it's just some texts for now, straight out of memory.

I played two MEGATAR mirrors back to back. Dominated the first one just as I like it, but lost the second one due to a bunch of effective surprise movesets.

Got matched up with Kangaskhan + Smeargle twice. Both were games somewhat closer than I should like, but they were fun and that matters the most. In the second one of them, MEGATAR got to kill four of these non-jumping kangaroos!

I was going to lose to a terrible human being with special-attacking Charizard X, Play Rough Klefki, Sand Veil + Brick Break Garchomp (his Swagger hit it, my killing Crunch missed it twice *cough*) and whatever else, it probably was the most hilarious game in this entire marathon. But then I didn't get to save a replay because a disconnect happened mid-game, and it was not even on my end!

Poison Jab Scrafty is the new meta. I clicked that move only twice, and both times it fucked with my Fairy-trusting opponents hard. That might also be because it even poisoned them both times!

I recall some people having seen team Tyranitar, Gigalith, Tyrantrum and friends. I played it too. Other people probably have seen the Trick Room sooner, but I totally didn't expect it just from a Meowstic alone. End of story is, I focused my attention on the other mons, Trick Room came in and then I soundly lost a 4-2 lead to Mawile + Gigalith. Only the curse of 90% accuracy all over the place could have possibly saved me (this is also the reason why I personally hate to use Mawile: Play Rough causes too much pain and misery on the wrong end), and it didn't.

I had to play at least one of the various Sejun copycats. The game bullshat me on T1 with a Brave Bird crit onto my Gardy that was supposed to survive and then just Dazzling this Gyarados that foolishly ME'd right there. I was in a situation that seemed absolutely unrecoverable. Though, somehow I did recover! Ah well, I'm gonna upload that anyway.

Someone rolled me with Choice Specs + Switcheroo Manectric. It's apparently not always Mega! It was another game that looked so bleak, but then I basically realized it was normal Manectric and Talonflame what he had on the field. To say it with Ray's words, these mons suck, and because they suck, I could still build MEGATAR right in their face and the mons in the back weren't great at stopping it, too. But as close as I get to turn this game around, then I completely forget that Talonflame has revealed Quick Guard on turn 1, Fake Out right into it and choke it all away like that.

Ugh, well that's pretty long already... So you see, it was an eventful experience indeed!

What I Learned

I led with Rotom and Gardevoir a lot. I can't dedicatedly remember ever starting with those two before (!), but now I did it a lot and most the time they did a solid job there indeed, so that's probably my discovery of the tournament. Protect-less Rotom also didn't disappoint. There were situations where I would have liked to have it, and there equally were situations where Thunder Wave added effectively to my options. Being used to Protect-less Rotom from running a Chesto Resto set before probably goes a long way in feeling that new set though.

On the other hand, it looks like I still hate bringing Aegislash to battles – but when I do bring it, it's actually good (unlike Amoonguss)! And I brought Tyranitar in all of my games, not quite sure what to think of that especially after only using it in 6 out of 8 games (and winning the other 2) two weeks before. I'm usually not diehard on bringing my Mega at all, so I probably did feel like it really was the right pick for every matchup. This doesn't feel like making sense, man...

Fuck Kangaskhan. Just fuck her, now even I kinda want her gone, too. See how anti-Kanga my team is supposed to be? I'm fully behind those decisions, it makes all sense to counter Kangaskhan hard. But what doesn't quite make sense is how often I still lose to Kangaskhan. One undesirable reason of it are all those timely critical hits; I wish multi-hit moves were just simply banned from critting ever... Just think about this for a moment: Getting crit by Kanga is more likely than missing your 90% move onto her that might additionally prevent her from moving altogether. Knowing how much pain and misery the 90% cause to us, it's easy to figure how much pain and misery Kanga is capable of causing to us. The other, more valid reason is moveset surprises. Hammer Arm is one of them that struck me multiple times. Another one is Double-Edge. In my very last game, I again led Rotom without Intimidate (partner was Bisharp, that's why). It got DE'd immediately, and it died immediately. It doesn't die from Fake Out nor Return (unless crit *cough*) and a Sitrus might have actually saved me here but it was on Meowstic. I have no problem at all with moveset surprises in a Bo3 environment, but expecting the wrong moves from Kangaskhan in this Bo1 setting is one of the greatest and also most present dangers in existence. So yes, I really can't say I enjoy this monster being in the format any more. Game Freak, please nerf Parental Bond in the remakes. I said it, and I finally whined about some balance thing.

...And when all is said, only one word shall remain: MEGATAAAAAARRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!

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