Tuesday, 29 August 2017

The 2017/18 Season and I

Ayelola friends, Captain Dreykopff the Eastern Kingbird writing. It's been a while...and I'm overusing this phrase a lot. This time for real though. Yet another rambly post ahead, but will also feature a paragraph or two of Pokémon talk near the end. Short version of it all: I'm back and you may have to deal with it if ol' uncle Tom so chooses.

The Bad Mindset That Carried

One year ago, I issued that long ass VGC quitting statement. What then actually happened was that I never really left but stayed around being the filthiest of all casuals. It was a plan to eventually get back into things after all, so nothing wrong there. Anyway, "the bad mindset that carried"...ja, that is such a typical thing to happen with me. In that year of being nothing but a filthy casual, I did quite fucking well, if I may say so myself. I memed it up at not one but two International Challenges, beating out most of my tryhard results at those. I got my first positive record in the NPA. I still semi-dominated my local scene that I like to build with power just how I like to destroy opponents with power. And in the last 4 months, I basically didn't the touch the game at all, then picked it up again in very recent weeks for some fun tournaments and thus far there's only one person who got a positive record against me. But most importantly, I won the IDM back in March -- a prestigious tournament in old Internet Germany that I've tried to win quite literally forever and always fell short.

And while all of that happened, I honestly gave just about zero fucks. Just play the things to prevent my metal self from gathering rust, you know, and just whatever about the results, nothing to lose, playing for fun, yada yada yada. And I'm not in the least surprised because this excuse of an mindset has already served me greatly back in 2009, when I came out of somewhere (I guess) to become the first VGC National Champion of Germany -- I just wanted to meet my friends and scoop to them but knock everyone else out! And what then followed, you also know, were years of wasted effort on my quest to get to Worlds just one more time. The best of them probably was the last one I officially partook in: the 2015/16 season. There was just no way I could be too serious about the steaming pile of shit that the 2016 format was, but certainly I was serious about my event attendance and that blew up my wallet to the extent that attending my easily achieved Worlds day 1 wasn't affordable. And now...I'm back for revenge. I'm just gonna chill in the circuit to the extent that is reasonable, filling my murky gardens with your sweet and spicy graves.

Thoughts on the New Season and Plans

There are many things I hate about the previous season and most of them are still right here, so I can by no means say I'm happy with everything. I'm just happy with the little stuff that they changed to the good (a good CP bar for everyone and a plannable season schedule), but all of the rest I still find pretty fucking awful (EU Internats in November, entry fees, top-heavy prize and stipends distribution, snowballing, the exaggerated UK bias, stressful but barely meaningful Premier Challenges, overblown best finish limits, etc.).

My position in this mess now is very much clearer than ever: I'm gonna snag that invite and then book my summer vacation in...fucking Nashville, Tennessee. What, this is not what, whatever, I can deal with it (I think). Worlds is Worlds. I always wanted to be there again, and now I'm (likely) gonna be there again! That and only that is the plan. I'm looking to beast it at my local events just like in the last two years, that should get me the majority if not all of my invite, and just for safety I'm gonna use sanctioned online competitions and a stray Regional or two to make up for what might not go quite as intended in this so unpredictable wilderness that is the metagame of Berlin, capital of the Federal Republic Germany. Well, and (hopefully!) there will also be other locals keen on getting that invite, so...ja, the more the merrier.

"Stray Regionals" will probably just be in Germany, for my international readers here, unless there are comparably cheap options outside that I might end up needing or whatever, but I sure as hell hope not. So, if you're not coming to me (I wouldn't recommend, slaughter is inevitable), you'll only meet me at Worlds -- but at least you will meet me at Worlds at all, after all!

The Random Pokémon Section

I've slept a bit on the metagame, and the moment I went from sleep to snooze, all I saw was that it was cracked wide open and it seems there's nothing left to truly believe in anymore, team-wise. Matchup luck galore, we're quite literally the Pokémon TCG at this point. As a somewhat effective generalization, we have come to a good old matchup triangle here: there's a bunch of successful teams that apparently have no Gigalith matchup, then there's teams that have an amazing Gigalith matchup (Metagross, various fighting types, Bulu), well, and then there's somewhere good old FAKEPG and similar teams still remotely around, to either feed on the fancy naïve or fall at the fancy hideous. Oh ja, and Marowak is quite literally back from the dead. Oh how I actually miss Chandelure; has more manageable Speed, doesn't kill itself with Fire STAB, no Intimidate shenanigans to mess with calcs etc., but oh well, can't change it. And Lightning Rod has become the worst Ability in the game after Prankster got nerfed (finally!), and it needs to stop. I fucking hate Lightning Rod, because there's always some annoying bulky mons that are only weak to Electric and one other type that varies and rarely has more than one good mon...yuck. Well, for what it's worth, 2017 was and is still a cool format, but I have the feeling it has already lasted long enough, haha. Hell, you know, in other years, it was the post-Worlds metagame that brought the clarity we sought, and now the thing is that we had that same clarity only before Worlds but now it's gone again because the whole fucking dex is proven viable!

Also, Ninetales (♥) is still my favorite Pokémon of Alola, but for the life of me I can't believe it to be worth using. Just why would anyone good at this game lose to a 3-mon team that maybe has Aurora Veil for a bit, because that's basically what happens when Freezes don't happen...oh well.

I mentioned FAKEPG shortly, the thing proclaimed as "the new CHALK" earlier and shit. You know what, I think they weren't as wrong as most of you think. People tend to falsely believe that CHALK be the ultimate archetype of 2015, which is just wrong, sorry not sorry. It's a good one for sure but it's not the answer to everything. Like, I found those without Thundurus generally easy to dismantle, and those with Thundurus were a pain in the ass mostly because Thundurus was broken as fuck and his friends became too powerful with that kind of luck. FAKE is no stronger or weaker than CHALK, there just is nothing as bullshit as Thundurus to support the core. (Fini's Muddy Water is still a load of bullshit in itself, but it doesn't have Prankster and counterplay is more readily available etc.) Why, of course people prepare hard for it at Worlds when the jig was up long before time, and the same would happen if we just hosted Worlds 15-2. (And let's also not forget that the 2015 top cut is a blatant lie about the true metagame because those samey Japanese just got lucky with the tiebreakers at X-2 and the real variety was all in the failed X-2s.)

Wrapping Up (No Presents)

Aaanyway...I've used some nice and fucking FAKKPG to get second at a recent grassroots Worlds party in Augsburg and I'll probably share that team here, as boring as it may possibly be. Some day in September, whenever I feel like. I'll probably not be too active with the blog again, mainly because I'm simply not looking to play Pokémon all year to begin with. There are just other things I enjoy notably more right now, a private life to take care of, and everything else. Some balance will be needed, and it should be for the best. Alola!

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