Tag Archives: pokemon draft league

Luxray and Drifblim are underrated

by: Wutpulver

There are some features that make a Pokèmon very desirable in draft leagues.Some of the more well known ones are Electric types, Defoggers and versatility.The biggest upsides for Electric as a typing are the lack of weaknesses (only weak to ground) and Volt Switch.The momentum gained from it is crucial in the format since teams usually have a few star pokèmon that do the heavy lifting. Protecting these from damage and enabling them to apply pressure is one of the best things low tier pokèmon can achieve and these two tier 5 “losers” do it very well wich makes me wonder why they have not been used so far.

How to use them

Luxray

Actually that is not true. El Scizor and the Borussia Donphan picked up Luxray in the 4th week of season 5. However, it was not used a lot and since it did not get drafted initially in any season, I think it is still eligible to being called underrated.

Even though its best stat is the 120 base attack, Luxrays main role is that of a defensive pivot. Intimidate is a great ability to have on weaker pokèmon since it always cripples physical attackers regardless of the actual power of the user. This also applies to other chip damage/crippling abilities like Rough Skin, Flame Body and Static. Here, it allows Luxray to take physical attack surprisingly well and a slow Volt Switch is great to gain momentum or bring in vulnerable pokèmon like Weavile or Talonflame. It has many attacking types in its arsenal but often has to settle for the inferior version. Instead of the elemental punches it only has the fangs and instead of Close Combat is has to be content with Superpower. Wild Charge as the main STAB-move is also suboptimal since the recoil will keep Luxray from sticking around longer. The best items are probly Rocky Helmet, Assault Vest and Sitrus Berry to improve your chip damage, bulk or staying power.  A few more interesting moves are: Roar, Snarl and Thunder Wave. An offensive set with Guts and Facade is also possible but lacks the speed to really make use of Luxrays attack stat.

Drifblim

I’ll be honest. The reason I wanted to include Drifblim in here was Defog and Aftermath. Suicidal utility is very effective coming from low tiers. Once I started looking into its expanded movepool it became clear that it can be extremely effective and I am going to make the bold claim that it is in the TOP 10 OF TIER 5 POKÈMON.

Let’s calm down for a bit and look at what it actually has to offer. The base hp of 150! seems tempting but the underwhelming defense stats hold it back quite a bit. The overall bulk is still decent in tier 5 but it could have been so much more. The ability Aftermath is one of the best you can have on this type of pokèmon. Potentially losing a quarter of their max health to a sack will make people very cautious around the DEMON KING DISGUISED AS A BALLON! Ghost/Flying is an amazing typing as well. Important immunities to Fighting/Normal and Ground are great to have. Spin blocking is especially useful. Speaking of hazard control Drifblim learns Defog wich any team enjoys in their lineup. Utility in general is probably its biggest selling point. Not convinced? Well I have this list: Clear Smog, Haze, Baton Pass, Calm Mind, Memento, Disable, Knock Off, Pain Split, Sucker Punch, Thunder Wave, Destiny Bond, Trick, Will-O-Wisp, Icy Wind, Skill Swap, Magic Coat and Weather Ball. Drifblim is a damn swiss army knife.

I guess I failed at that calming down part. Anyway this MONS… I mean underrated low tier Pokèmon obviously has some downsides attached to keep it in check. One of the biggest problems is lackluster recovery. Drifblim is one of the few Flying types that do not learn Roost. There are other options available like Stockpile/Swallow and Rest (Resto-Chesto into Unburden anyone?) but they just dont feel the same. Pain Split is largely useless due to its insane hp stat anyway.

The offensive movepool is functional but not outstanding. Hex and Knock Off are probably the more effective options but Drifblim is not supposed to be a sweeper anyway. You can still use Unburden for some offensive plays but it does not allow for attack enhancing items like Life Orb wich really stops any sweep attempts. The most effective Unburden triggers are probably Chesto/Resto, Power Herb/Phantom Force/Fly and Natural Gift. Still Drifblim can do so many things on a slim budget that you are guaranteed to get a lot of bang for your buck.

Sample Sets

Luxray

  • @Chesto Berry
  • Ability: Intimidate
  • HP 252 Atk 12 Def 244 Relaxed
  • Volt Switch
  • Superpower/ Ice Fang/ Fire Fang/Signal Beam/Hidden Power
  • Wild Charge
  • Rest

 

  • @Flame Orb
  • Ability: Guts
  • Atk 252 SpDef 4 Speed 252 Jolly
  • Facade
  • Wild Charge
  • Quick Attack
  • Crunch/Ice Fang

Drifblim

  • @Chesto Berry
  • Ability: Unburden
  • Atk 252 SpDef 204 Speed 56 Careful
  • Rest
  • Defog
  • Destiny Bond
  • Acrobatics

 

  • @Rocky Helmet
  • Ability: Aftermath
  • Def 252 SpAtk 4 SpDef 252 Bold/Calm
  • Clear Smog
  • Will-O-Wisp/Thunder Wave
  • Hex
  • Thunderbolt

 

Conclusion

There are still many hidden treasures buried deep in tier 5. Most of them should only be used as enhancing talent to your core but every man with two hands has a fighting chance. The choice of your benchplayers is more important than most players realize and they often offer the crucial bit of spice to really unlock your teams potential. They are more than just waterboys.

[Oct 3rd, 2016]

 

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Revamping The Mega Tier List

by: Wutpulver

Why should the list change at all?

I believe that the current mega-tierlist stops many Pokémon from being drafted and severely limits the amount of viable choices.
Pokemon like Garchomp, Houndoom and Glalie went undrafted on the last 2 seasons and need to be more attractive.
If we take a closer look we see that 20 out of a total 36 available mega Pokémon are placed in tier 1.
Shouldn’t tier 1 be reserved to the absolute best Pokémon in the draft format?
How can that be the case when over half of choices are supposed to be the cream of the crop?
It is hard to justify having M-Sceptile in the same tier as M-Lopunny.

How can we improve it?

To make as many Pokémon as possible a viable choice i think we have to spread them out a bit .
First I want to expand the tiers to 5 just like the tierlist for regular Pokémon.
Also I want to make sure to slim out tier 1 and distribute them more evenly (Spoiler: My list is still pretty top-heavy).
This will decrease the average prize of megas so we might want to think about decreasing the total funds by a bit so that more low tier Pokémon get a chance to shine.

My Tiering Principles

  • Ideally every Mega is a viable choice.
  • It is better to have a Pokémon that is too strong in its tier than the other way around to ensure no mega feels like a flat-out bad pick.
  • If Pokémon are very much alike each other (Medicham and Gallade for example) they should be in different tiers so that one does not outshine the other.
  • A mega Pokémon can be in a lower tier than its regular counterpart because it has to compete against the other megas and in some cases (Tyranitar/Garchomp) is worse than the original.

The List

Tier 1

  • Medicham
  • Pinsir
  • Sableye
  • Charizard-X
  • Scizor
  • Venusaur
  • Altaria
  • Lopunny

Tier 2

  • Slowbro
  • Manectric
  • Heracross
  • Gardevoir
  • Alakazam
  • Diancie
  • Gallade
  • Charizard Y

Tier 3

  • Gyarados
  • Aerodactyl
  • Garchomp
  • Absol
  • Beedrill
  • Swampert
  • Blastoise
  • Aggron
  • Tyranitar

Tier 4

  • Sceptile
  • Ampharos
  • Houndoom
  • Pidgeot
  • Glalie
  • Sharpedo
  • Steelix

Tier 5

  • Camerupt
  • Bannette
  • Audino
  • Abomasnow

What are the upsides to this version?

This would give players a reason to draft Pokémon we haven’t seen so far.
Especially the Tyranitar/Garchomp duo, who would finally have a reason to be picked instead of just using the non mega versions. Other Pokémon, such as Steelix or Camerupt, can also be serious value picks.

Final thoughts

The list I presented is obviously not perfect and up to change, but I wanted to give an example of how a new list could look and mostly start a discussion about it.
Sun/Moon will shake the tiers up anyway, but I do think that a more nuanced list can go a long way to allow for more creative but competitive teams.
People can even make a decent argument for the tierings being better when they are unbalanced because it allows the players who have a better understanding of the format to draft significantly stronger teams and by that reward game knowledge more.
Personally I don’t buy into it because in my opinion a strong draft should be about carefully fitting pieces together instead of mashing the overpowered ones into each other.

09.30.2016

[Sun and Moon Speculation] – Alolan Ninetales

 

by Ben Hyman

With the release of Pokemon Sun and Moon on the horizon, there’s still a lot of things we don’t know too much about. Ultra Beasts, Z-Moves, the possibility of Mega Evolutions disappearance or return, and much more. Will Game Freak shake up the type matchups again like they did when Steel received its nerf, or will the status quo remain the same? There’s so much to speak on regarding this, but for now I’ll focus on what I’m personally most excited for: Alolan Forms!

When Alolan Forms were first revealed, I nearly lost my mind. I mean how couldn’t I? Alolan Exeggutor is the most ridiculous thing! Being a fan of Ice types far more than is probably competitively healthy, I also instantly fell in love with the Alolan Sandslash/Ninetales lines….And I’ll be primarily focusing on the latter today. Alolan Ninetales is an interesting beast, and it’s time for some rampant competitive speculation. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

To start, let’s go over the non-Alolan form. Ninetales has always been an interesting pokemon. With pretty much average or below average stats all around, save for base 100 Sp.Def and Speed, there needed to be a very good reason to use the crafty fox. Then, Generation 5’s Dream World came and blessed it with the amazing ability of Drought. Bringing the Sun for a ride whenever it came into play was a metagame changing event, one that warped Black and White’s meta, for better or for worse. So, what can Alolan Ninetales get to make it better than its brethren?

Let’s start with stat distribution, shall we? Ninetales stat-line is as follows: 73/76/75/81/100/100. Not too impressive, as it stands. Assuming Ninetales receives only buffs to important stats and/or decreases from irrelevant stats to put into relevant stats, we may end up with something along the lines of: 73/51/65/101/105/105. Much more fitting of an Ice/Fairy type, right? Ice types are generally fast and decently strong, whilst Fairy types tend to be weaker on the physical side whilst very strong on the special side, a nice mixture! Speaking of that Ice/Fairy typing, it’s definitely a double-edged sword. Defensively, you are now 4x weak to Steel, gain a Poison weakness, are now neutral to Fighting, and gain a Dragon immunity. Seems pretty good to me, you weren’t staying in on Steel types anyways! Offensively, there’s really not much to say other than holy crap. Two of the best offensive typings in the game on one Pokemon? Sign me up! Watch out for those dastardly steel types as per usual, but Dragons beware, a new Dragon Killer has usurped Azumarill.

As for moveset, this is where things get interesting. Assuming Alolan Ninetales (Now referred to as A. Ninetales for convenience)has its only ability available at the start to be Snow Cloak, it effectively has no ability since it cannot afford to set up Hail on its own. Awkward. Moving on, we can assume it’ll get both Ice Beam AND Moonblast, so that’ll likely be on every set. At least part of Ninetales normal move-set will carry over…which isn’t too useful but will give us some neat options like Dark Pulse and Psyshock. Really, anything to hit Steel types neutrally is what we want. Calm Mind is also an interesting option, boosting that speculated Special Attack stat even higher, threatening many a wall with the possibility of just getting blown away by a +1 Moonblast or Ice Beam. On the other hand, the rest of the support move-pool will likely be…lacking. Unless Game Freak blesses A. Ninetales with Will o Wisp, there’s not much else this icy fox is going to be able to do. It’ll be one dimensional, but it’ll be very very good at its job.

Now, for probably the set it’ll run 90% of the time

Alolan Ninetales @ Life Orb

Ability: Snow Cloak

EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Timid Nature

– Ice Beam

– Moonblast

– Calm Mind

– Dark Pulse

 

Keep in mind, as with all speculation none of this is even REMOTELY confirmed, so keep your ear to the ground and eyes to places like Serebii, you never know what info might pop up.

 

[September 13th, 2016]