During the draft of last season’s GBA League, PKMNTrainerSteve, aka M4GNITUDE, aka Battler X’s benefactor, made a surprising pick in Sawsbuck to join his team. Quickly derided and mocked for his choice, Steve stuck with the 4-legged buck and it had the audacity to go ahead and run a sweep through the Boston Red Sawks during Week 8. With just a single raise from its Sap Sipper ability, it quickly knocked out four of the opposing team and almost single handily winning the battle.
In a single battle, Sawsbuck showed that its horns are not mere decoration, but rather a bloody mess of corpses and lost dreams for the defeated. Those that mocked the steer were silenced, at least for a little while, and it even made Battler X a few new fans. Sawsbuck was featured as the 3rd best play in the League and people couldn’t believe their precious little eyes. This is the type of battling that needs to be shown more in the GBA League.
While competitive Pokemon is a blast and needs careful planning, especially in this format, it doesn’t hurt to consider that a good amount of Pokemon (that are usually trash) can actually be planned around in League rules. Sometimes a surprise draw can make opponents either not plan for those Pokemon, or be flabbergasted that someone would “waste” a slot on their team.
It would be a fun time to see a Lickitung tanking damage due to other coaches forgetting that it learns a vast array of moves due to its typing, as well as having respectable defenses when it holds an Eviolite. It also doesn’t slouch when it comes to hard hitting moves; it learns both Power Whip and Wring Out naturally, which can hit hard during a predicted switch. Or perhaps the untapped potential of Ursaring can come to the fray and destroy everything in its sight. Heck, maybe someone will go crazy and give it a couple of the ORAS tutor moves like Seed Bomb, so it can wipe out one of the many defensive Water type walls. Ursaring can throw out a Gunk Shot and hit those Fairy foes with the force of an ice cream truck. These are just a couple that I have come up with on a whim, but if one looks carefully they can find a great array of hidden assets to use.
This is an exciting time for the GBA League, with new games coming out and a boat load of new attacks, strategies, and Pokemon coming out to the fray. However, if one takes the time and dedication, they might just find a diamond in the rough.
[Sep 29th, 2016]