Tournament Anything Goes Snake Draft III: Team & Set Dump


are you bored yet?
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Sharing the teams I built myself. SV monkey meta was very fun to build and play in. Shoutout to my teammates for giving me ideas and helping a ton with tests every week :sphearical:

Week 1

:iron-bundle: :chien-pao: :annihilape: :ting-lu: :dugtrio: :toxapex:
Wanted to use Annihilape before people found out about my obsession with him. Using a standard Taunt + BU set here (this was used before Guard brought Goth into the meta, so it's a little slower than usual) and I paired him with Toxapex and Ting-Lu to set hazards and beat the big threats. Band Chien-Pao is broken and I love using him so I added him to support the ape. Iron Bundle is also very powerful and good vs offensive teams. Lastly, Dugtrio helps me get rid of SpDef walls so Bundle has an easier time breaking. Tera Steel Ting-Lu was used because the DD Mira matchup was very scary, I would never rely on this to be a good check today but Ting-Lu had tricked me into thinking he is good like he tricked the rest of you. I was pretty confident about this doing well against the common balances everyone was using. In particular, I was worried about running into Chi-Yu Sun so I used the Dugtrio + Pex core to beat it, and Annihilape beats the rest of the guys on any Chi-Yu Sun team. TJ ended up bringing something standard and my Chien-Pao and Iron Bundle + Ape had a great matchup. I won w/o using Chien-Pao because my ape got a little lucky.

Week 2

:gothitelle: :miraidon: :corviknight: :clodsire: :toxapex: :great-tusk:
Gothitelle looked really good when Guard brought it in Week 1, and Scarf Tusk destroyed me in seasonal so I decided to use both this week. Double Scarf + a Specs mon is funny but I really wanted to use Goth and be OK into HO. DD Mira (or any offensive Mira tbh) is objectively better than Scarf here, but I had no idea what TaxFraud uses and Scarf just felt safer, my current version has DD LO, and it's definitely better. The other 3 guys make a very boring standard defensive backbone - setting hazards, removing them, and checking big threats. Thunder Fang Great Tusk is super weird but I ran into like 10 rain teams in tests, so I removed Knock Off to add it. The game was super fun, I got outplayed a lot and made some silly plays but I got every turn right in the end game, definitely the most exciting game I've played in a while.
edit: Looks like this is identical to Guard's W1 team, I think I just straight up stole it LOL

Week 3

:koraidon: :chi-yu: :ting-lu: :corviknight: :toxapex: :great-tusk:
I cannot share this team because it's not mine, I was super busy and not motivated for this game so I ended up re-using what loti had brought (I think he stole it from UWL too). Sub + BU Tusk looked very good vs him but this was super lazy prep and I can never use these teams well. Messed up the game pretty bad, and luck + MU were both on his side, not much to say here except that I did poorly overall.

Week 4

:miraidon: :espathra: :great-tusk: :iron-treads: :chien-pao: :koraidon:
Wanted to use something super offensive this week because I didn't wanna get rekt by some fancy core again. I worked on a cool team I stole from UWL, and ended up changing all sets and adding Espathra. I was super stressed about this game fsr, then I randomly added the bird without giving it much thought and the team became a lot better. Ox likes using funny mons and his teams are generally super offensive so I wanted to rely on outplaying here, and it worked out fine I guess. Espathra had a good MU and ended up sweeping which was really funny to me. Pretty happy about my prep + play in this game. Random note but the team now uses Sub on Espathra because honestly this mon doesn't really live for many turns to justify using Roost, and setting up on Clod and Corv + getting guaranteed Stored Power boost by spamming Sub is pretty goated.

Week 5

:palafin: :great-tusk: :pelipper: :iron-treads: :iron-hands: :miraidon:
Another funny offensive build, this is definitely my favorite out of the 4 I built in this tour. Wanted to try Rain myself after I ran into it last week. Palafin is super powerful and is really fun to use. Discovered the cracked Great Tusk set a few days before this game, so I added him too. Rocky Helmet defensive Tusk is definitely better though I feel. Pelipper is mandatory for rain obviously. Treads is a funny Occa Berry set that lowkey doesn't make sense on a rain build but it's really good when the rain is not up. (Trust me this scenario is very relevant :mad:). Do not ask me what Iron Hands does. (he fake checks a lot of things and is super powerful if you must know.) Mira was AV here to help with Bundle MU, and also Chi-Yu which is what I ran into and this helped a ton. Think I had the MU advantage here despite a Clodsire on their team, so I was able to win without much outplaying.

Had a lot of fun playing in an AG team tour after so long. Special shoutout to Frozoid, WrathOfTheLeopard, and Taxfraud for helping a ton with tests. They are really good players and should be expensive in AGPL. Congrats to my friends on Apes especially Guard for his 6-0 and first tour win.

See you all in AGPL
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Figured I'd do a team dump since I always wanted to do one but never made playoffs before :worrywhirl: so never really had the motivation to write them up. Thankfully, I broke my team tour curse this AGSD, and now here we are I guess. I'll also go over my matches because I have some stuff to say about most of them. This is long by the way, so read at your own peril!

Week 1 - vs. Skooma

Scarlet | Violet
Week 1 - SV.png

I vowed to put extra care into SV each week, since I really didn't want to start out a Bo3 down 0-1. My main plan before I even started building anything was to
  1. use broken Miraidon and Great Tusk as often as I could get away with, alongside the occasional sprinkle of Chien Pao, Iron Bundle, and the trappers.
  2. avoid the fraudulent trinity, i.e. Ting-Lu, Flutter Mane, and Koraidon on non-hyper offensive teams w/o Chi-Yu.

I knew immediately what I wanted to load into Fardin in SV, i.e. a broken stallbreaker, so that I would be safe vs. the fat stuff Fardin loves to use. Skooma also has the best long game in the entire site due to his top-notch fundementals and ability to look 100 turns ahead, so naturally I wanted to avoid that. My choices boiled down to either Choice Specs Chi-Yu or Choice Specs Gothitelle. I decided to build with the latter, since it was much more unconventional at the time & also seemed more brain-dead than using Chi-Yu somehow. The rest of the the team came together very naturally: Double Dance Miraidon and Choice Scarf Great Tusk to mess up more offensive builds for Gothitelle, and the standard Toxapex / Corviknight / Clodsire core to take on the metagame's most common threats. Miraidon and Great Tusk not only have world-class synergy with each other, but also love Gothitelle trapping their few good checks in Clodsire and Pelipper. I was especially keen on using Infestation Toxapex on this, since trapping something with Infestation and preventing double switches seemed like a very funny interaction with Gothitelle, especially since the metagame's Toxic absorbers that love switching into a perceived passive Toxapex want nothing to do with Gothitelle.
I ended up loading into the exact matchup I anticipated, and thanked the stars on preview for choosing Gothitelle over Chi-Yu as there was a bulky Roaring Moon staring me down. It ended up being one of the more straightforward wins I've experienced with Infestation + Gothitelle hard-carrying, so I was happy about this.

Sword | Shield
Week 1 - SS.png

In SS, I also wanted to be safe vs. Stall since Fardin is definitely the type of person to stall you again after losing with it once in a Bo3, just to prove a point. Simultaneously, I wanted a playable matchup vs. bulky balances and Dual Xerneas as well. I ended up deciding on Taunt + Foul Play Yveltal to mess with a possible RestTalk Zacian-C Stall / bulky balance alongside a Ho-Oh + Ditto core to mess with Stall and Dual Xerneas. Thunder Wave Ho-Oh + Taunt Yveltal is also just an elite duo in general, since Yveltal solos everything bar an unparalyzed Eternatus, which is where Ho-Oh comes in. I definitely wanted to use a Groudon on this as well, since even the bulky Toxic sets that may not seem threatening at a first glance end up annoying fat teams without Rest Zygarde a lot. This also meant that I could avoid mid Stealth Rock Necrozma-DM and could use Dragon Dance instead. The main weakness of this team is a well-played Zygarde-C, since Eternatus is the only Pokemon that can actually damage it, but I decided to cope and use this build anyway. . .
. . .and loaded into double Zygarde. Yikes. This matchup seemed pretty dire, so I took some time during preview to decipher how to go about it in the best way. Thankfully, Skooma dropped his builder once, so I knew the Zygarde-C's were DD LO and Sub DD. In the end, I decided that Taunt Yveltal was my best wincon here, given that I manage to paralyze Eternatus. Groudon would have to serve as the sponge, taking on the Zygarde-C assault, with Ditto in the back in case things went awry. I also knew his Necrozma-DM didn't have Thunder Wave, so as long as I didn't play like a baboon with my Eternatus, it would put in some work as well. The game panned out pretty much exactly as I wanted it to, with my Groudon + Dynamax Necrozma-DM denying any sort of early-game momentum the Sub DD Zygarde-C could hope to clinch. I ended up getting a bit lucky by clicking Sacred Fire twice into Eternatus (expecting a Zygarde switch-in) and not burning it, before paralyzing it. This set up my Yveltal for a couple of kills. All I had to do now was deny the second Zygarde a chance to set up Dragon Dance so that Eternatus could come in and clean up, and this is exactly what ended up happening. I definitely think Fardin could have played this better by trying to weaken my Groudon with his LO Zygarde, before attempting a sweep with his Sub DD Zygarde, but I was happy with the way I planned and manoeuvred around this matchup anyway.

Week 2 - vs. pdt

Scarlet | Violet
Week 2 - SV.png

Week 2 prep was very dire, since I was forced to cram for exams Monday-Friday, meaning I had one day to scout and build teams. I thought it best to just keep it simple. My week 1 team did well, and I didn't even get to show off the Miraidon + trapper dynamic, so I decided to build around that again. I knew there was a fairly large chance pdt would load hyper offense, especially after facing his Electric Seed Hatterene team incognito on ladder. Instead of Gothitelle, I chose Dugtrio this time, as it was bound to perform better into offense. Substitute + Bulk Up Great Tusk also seemed annoying for offense to deal with, so I just slapped that on this team with an Iron Treads to check Miraidon and take over Rapid Spin duty. This specific Toxapex set and EV spread were made with the intent of creeping a possible Hatterene and getting a Haze off, while denying Iron Bundle a free Substitute with Sludge Bomb. The original team had an Annihilape, but I decided on Scream Tail last minute to help with opposing Great Tusk and Iron Bundle a bit more. This Miraidon set is a bit weird, but I mainly wanted to combine the game-ending potential of CM + Parabolic + Gleam with U-turn to bring Dugtrio in against Clodsire and Iron Treads, since Dugtrio is a lot more frail than Gothitelle and appreciates the free switch.
This game did not go the way I wanted it to at all, apart from Scream Tail + Dugtrio stifling pdt's Iron Bundle. Although him bringing offense was according to my predictions, Calm Mind Tera Water Miraidon was close to an instant loss for me, and I found myself annoyed at 1. missing that and 2. giving it an opportunity to set up instead of using Substitute earlier with Great Tusk so that I could have avoided giving up so much momentum in a matter of two turns. Thankfully, him Terastalizing Miraidon into a Water-type left him wide open to my own Miraidon. With this in the back of my mind, I tried bluffing Scarf Electro Drift after Iron Treads went down. Thankfully, this did some damage control, limiting his Miraidon to one kill. Once Tera Fairy and Leftovers were revealed, I knew pdt would try and revenge my Miraidon with his own, expecting low Speed on mine, when it was in fact max Speed. This meant that, sadly, it had to come down to a Speed tie, something that could have been avoided if I just used Agility like a normal person. I ended up winning the Speed tie, after which it was a wrap. All in all though, I would advise against using this team because Scream Tail is a horrendous flop. The second this post is sent, I'm changing Scream Tail to Corviknight and U-turn to Agility.

Week 2 - USUM.png

I was super excited to play USUM in this tour! This would mark the first time I touched this tier in two years and my 3rd USUM tour game overall, so I wanted to build something solid and broken into the incoming standard Mega Rayquaza + Marsh build. Seeing as I didn't have much time, I kept it pretty basic by gluing together a Primal Groudon + Arceus-Fairy + Celesteela core with the busted trio of Mega Gengar, CM Ultra Necrozma, and Marshadow. I was especially keen on using Mega Gengar since it limits Mega Rayquaza builds very effectively, and is generally just the best Pokemon in the tier (yes, I regard it as better than Mega Rayquaza because their progress-making is similarly impactful into any given matchup, with Mega Gengar being the more brain-dead Pokemon to use that also doesn't flop into the infestation of Stealth Rock, Shadow Sneak, Dragon Tail etc). I wanted to mainly shut Arceus-Dark and Arceus-Fairy down with my Mega Gengar, which meant I wanted either Disable or Embargo, ideally with Poison coverage. I decided on Embargo for the sake of annoying as many CM Arceus formes as possible, since I knew pdt loves them. Primal Groudon is Roar over coverage since relying on Precipice Blades + Shadow Sneak to check Xerneas seemed iffy. Everything else should speak for itself.
I loaded into the matchup I wanted again, so this was nice. From preview, I guessed that the Arceus formes would probably be support Fairy / Dark and CM Steel with a bulky Zygarde-C. In any case, Mega Gengar + Ultra Necrozma was going to put in serious work here. The game went fine apart from a pepedumb sequence on my end that ended up with me sacking Arceus-Fairy instead of Celesteela, when pdt still had Zygarde-C and Marshadow in the back. Thankfully, this didn't end up mattering after I predicted correctly and stayed in with Mega Gengar on Marshadow. After this, it was pretty much a free playground for Ultra Necrozma. I definitely could have played this better, but I wasn't too worried about it in the end given my lack of experience with the metagame.

Week 3 - vs. Fc

Scarlet | Violet
Week 3 - SV.png

This week I really wanted to try my best; I was looking forward to playing Fc for the first time because he's a formidable player obviously (don't know why the Palafins were spouting nonsense about him every week). I didn't get to show off the Miraidon + trapper dynamic last week either, so I thought, let's just build with that again but with a twist this time: double Miraidon to really put the pressure on. The original team had Choice Scarf Iron Valiant over Choice Scarf Miraidon [], but I decided on Miraidon last minute because I couldn't afford to load fancy stuff into Fc; I needed to win. Miraidon + Miraidon + Gothitelle pressures the metagame's Ground-types into submission, which means you can survive without a Ground-immunity. It does make you weak to Chien-Pao in particular, which is why I slapped an unorthodox hard-check in Tauros-Aqua on this team. Bulky Great Tusk and Clodsire round out the team, checking the dragons and taking on entry hazard / removal duties.
I got lucky with the matchup here, as Fc brought Palafin + Floatzel Rain without removal into Tauros-Aqua + Water Absorb Toxic Spikes Clodsire. This gave me a lot of leeway to do whatever I wanted with the rest of my team. I ended up making a read into the incoming Hatterene with Great Tusk, which spelled its doom pretty much. After that, I only needed to set up a layer of Toxic Spikes to really drive the nail in the coffin. A pretty straightforward win that was decided in the builder, so I was happy with that.

Week 3 - USUM.png

After building some passive nonsense and getting called out for it by Zayele, I ended up building a Z-Lunala + Gravity EKiller hyper offense []. Zayele also recommended me to use Psyspam. However, I'm not great at piloting hyper offense, especially in a fairly unfamiliar metagame against an opponent that was likely to load Marshadow + Mega Rayquaza, so I just decided to recycle my week 1 team with Disable > Embargo Mega Gengar and Substitute Celesteela to ease prediction against Mega Rayquaza (so that I didn't pick the wrong sack again).
I ended up picking the wrong sack again anyway:facepalm:, this time Celesteela instead of Arceus-Fairy when Celesteela walled all of his Arceus formes. I was also expecting a standard Defog Arceus-Fairy on his side, but it turned out to be CM Refresh, meaning he had no removal at all. His Arceus-Fairy ended up 1v1'ing my Mega Gengar as a result. I probably shouldn't have stayed in on Mega Rayquaza with Ultra Necrozma either. Anyways, this was a fairly close game that could have gone both ways, props to Fc for manoeuvring around my team really well.

Sword | Shield
Week 3 - SS.png

In SS I wanted to catch Fc off guard, since that's his strongest gen. I was just expecting a generic balance / bulky offense with stuff like Groudon and Kyogre so I wanted a good matchup vs. that. I ended up building a LO DD Necrozma-DM balance, with Landorus-T and Ho-Oh to soak up pressure from a possible Zacian-C. This was an exciting team to use, because DD LO is the last set that comes to mind when you face Necrozma-DM on balance, and giving it a turn to set up can be deadly. I also had a Focus Sash Calyrex-S on this team to capitalize off of the surprise factor and slightly ease the matchup against Hyper Offense. Taunt Yveltal + Thunder Wave Ho-Oh served me well against Fardin, so I just slapped that on this without much of any thought, although I did want Sucker Punch on this since there's no Speed control otherwise. All in all, definitely one of the more unorthodox builds out there, which was bound to well into anything except Sticky Web.
And of course, Sticky Web is what I ended up loading into! I can't lie, I got pretty nervous during preview because I knew the room for error here was going to be minimal for me, while Fc was free to batter away at my team without too much hassle. I decided that I wanted to get Stealth Rock up as quickly as possible to break his Calyrex-S's Focus Sash and limit Yveltal. Since Icemaster Galvantula doesn't have a way of setting up Stealth Rock, my Calyrex-S would have an untouched Focus Sash all game, which gave me the possibility of using it as a bluff / burn two Dynamax turns with it at the least. After setting up Stealth Rock, I decided I'd just let the game take me where it went, with enough faith I could play around most things with smart plays. I had to be very careful around his Eternatus, since it could easily wear my Ho-Oh down to a point where his Yveltal just cleans up. Thankfully, I got a paralysis when I needed it and the Eternatus ended up only claiming one kill. After this, it got dire. Fc made a good read by going for Draining Kiss as I switched out my worn down Ho-Oh into Yveltal, and restored his Focus Sash. This gave him the opportunity to Baton Pass a Nasty Plot boost into his own Yveltal. I needed a moment here to figure out the best plan. I could realistically burn all three Dynamax turns with my Yveltal and Focus Sash Calyrex-S in the back. After that I was free to Dynamax my Ho-Oh and take down the Yveltal. Sadly, with +2 Oblivion Wing in the picture, I needed to burn all three Dynamax turns on my Ho-Oh to beat Yveltal, after which Psychic Fangs would finish me off, as Sacred Fire under Sun doesn't OHKO Necrozma-DM. My other option was to sack Yveltal to the first Dynamax turn, burn the remaining Dynamax turns by Dynamaxing my Ho-Oh, and wear Yveltal down into Draining Kiss range. From there, I had to hope that Fc would go for Dark Pulse instead of Oblivion Wing on Calyrex-S (since he had no reason to suspect Focus Sash on my end). If this didn't flinch, my Calyrex-S would clean up the rest of his team. I decided to go for the latter plan, and by some miracle, it actually ended up working! This was one of the most tense tour sets I have ever played, and I was glad to clutch out a win.

After the match, I got annoyed at myself, since this was the second time I made a wrong sack in USUM and the second time I got my prep wrong in SS, the latter of which is very unlike me. I couldn't afford to keep making silly mistakes like these, since the standings for playoffs were still close.

Week 4 - vs. lotiasite

Scarlet | Violet
Week 4 - SV.png

After quickly scanning over the teams brought by the Hydreigons in SV, I noticed they liked Baneful Bunker Toxapex and Corviknight as their check to Chien-Pao. I decided to prey on that and build a team around SD Tera Electric Chien-Pao. Naturally, I immediately added a Miraidon as it's Chien-Pao's best partner. After using bulky Great Tusk last week, I decided it was going to go on the fraud list. Instead, I added an offensive Leftovers Great Tusk, which I consider to be its best and most reliable set by some margin. The rest of the team was added fairly intuitively, with Pelipper checking Koraidon and opposing Great Tusk, Clodsire checking Miraidon and Iron Bundle, and Garganacl checking Flutter Mane and opposing Chien-Pao. The only interesting thing here is Tera Dark Haze Clodsire, which I opted for because at this point everyone knew I hated Ting-Lu's guts, so I was afraid of getting counter-teamed by a random Espathra.
Loti actually ended up bringing Espathra! I didn't expect him to bring Skeledirge, though; this was a bit annoying, because it walled my Chien-Pao. It wasn't the end of the world of course, since nobody's first instinct is to switch Skeledirge into a Chien-Pao, so I could still get some value out of it if played smartly. I was happy to see he had brought a Koraidon instead of a Miraidon, since this would alleviate a lot of pressure from my Clodsire, allowing it to annoy Espathra if needed. The game went well! Loti misjudged the situation and sacked his Skeledirge early, which opened up the floodgates for Chien-Pao. If I stayed in and clicked +2 Ice Shard into Koraidon, this game would have been over very soon, but I didn't in fear of Tera Fire. This meant that I had to carefully manage the Espathra with Tera Dark Clodsire not being a possibility anymore since I had terastalized Chien-Pao already. Thankfully, this didn't prove to be too difficult in the end, and once Garganacl got an Iron Defense boost, it was pretty much a sealed deal.

Sword | Shield
Week 4 - SS.png

[no pokepaste, everybody knows this team]

I hadn't brought hyper offense to a tour game in a while, so I promised myself to bring it this week if I won SV. If I lost SV, I had a Leech Seed Calyrex-S team prepared []. I was a bit nervous to bring Icemaster Galvantula, since this was the first time ever in a tour match I didn't use a team built by myself. I'm also not the best hyper offense pilot as I said before, so the very sight of Ditto would make things exceptionally difficult. However, I wanted to bring it anyway, because using a variety of team structures and staying unpredictable can be the key to someone's success long-term.
Sadly I loaded into the exact matchup I didn't want to load into for the third time in a row :facepalm:. What's even worse is that I managed to win off of luck after throwing away an early lead like a proboscis monkey. I was very frustrated with myself after this, royally messing up a game like this after playing this metagame for such a long while was so bad. I should have just confronted Loti's Kyogre with my Eternatus head-on, instead of sacking half my team to it for no reason. Honestly, the less is said about this game, the better off we are. Let's pretend it didn't happen.

Week 5 - vs. Satanic Beast

Scarlet | Violet
Week 5 - SV.png

At this point, I had gotten pretty confident in my SV teambuilding and knew what I liked and didn't like. I just opted for a simple Miraidon + Great Tusk build again, this time around with an Iron Bundle since I hadn't used this Pokemon yet by some miracle and I regard it as the second best Pokemon in the tier right behind Miraidon. A very generic team with the most interesting thing being the Corviknight set, which I chose since I wanted to be safe vs. random hyper offense sweepers like Dragonite, Roaring Moon, and Baxcalibur, while still retaining the ability to pivot out of Bulk Up Great Tusk. I don't rate Defog Corviknight highly anyways, so dropping it was a non-issue on a Rapid Spin Great Tusk team.
The game went fine! Edgar's mistake was throwing away his Chi-Yu, since that was probably his game winner along with Koraidon. With Chi-Yu out of the picture, I still needed to manage the CB Wild Charge Koraidon (cool bring by the way!), but this was fairly easy with a Toxapex + Ground-type core. I ended up reading Edgar very well in this game, which made the game seem a bit lop-sided. In the long term though, my chances of winning were probably still pretty good, since whomever passed Edgar this team forgot to include a very sorely-needed check to Great Tusk.

Week 5 - USUM.png

s/os to both Zayele and Arushi for suggesting Ho-Oh against Edgar, because there's no way I would have built with it otherwise. This is, again, a pretty generic Mega Gengar + Marshadow balance, with SD Arceus-Ground in the back to break through some checks to Marshadow that aren't trapped by Mega Gengar (notably Zygarde-C). Primal Groudon and Arceus-Fairy complement Ho-Oh very well, annoying the likes of Primal Kyogre and Mega Rayquaza, with Ho-Oh putting a stop to the annoying Celesteela and Ferrothorn teams that otherwise trouble most balances.
The match started off super well. I got rid of Mega Rayquaza very quickly with some nice reads, after which it was pretty much a kiddie playground for Ho-Oh. I definitely could have managed my Pokemon better vs. the Specs Lunala, which would have prevented the necessity of having to bait Soul-Stealing-7-Star-Strike from Marshadow. Thankfully, everything worked out fine, and I even ended up getting the roll with my Ho-Oh vs. the +2 Marshadow (which was in my favour, but still), after Edgar made a nice gutsy play by using Bulk Up twice, props to him for that.

Finals - vs. pdt

Scarlet | Violet
Finals - SV.png

Finals week was pretty dire on my end, because I ended up having to prep, build, and play with high fever. Luckily, due to the free time given to me by the semis tiebreaker, I had the opportunity to prep at least SV for both Fardin and pdt. For pdt, I knew I wanted to use hyper offense, since his volatile builds are too much of a tossup to play against using the standard balances I'd been bringing the first five weeks. Initially, I was going to use an Annihilape offense with Never-Melt-Ice Iron Bundle []. However, lead Annihilape gives up too much momentum to Double Dance Miraidon, which is a death sentence for hyper offense. It got so dire at some point, I even started considering Scary Face on Annihilape! Thankfully, I got my eureka moment a day before the match: lead Cloyster! Cloyster was bound to do incredibly well into pdt's teams stacked with balance breakers that can't outspeed +2 Cloyster, with Toxapex being a rare sight. I also changed Iron Bundle into Koraidon. I hadn't used Koraidon before, and this way, instead of giving opportunities to Double Dance Miraidon with Iron Bundle, I had a breaker that didn't give opportunities to it. Focus Sash Chien-Pao is broken on hyper offense, although it does necessitate Rapid Spin / Mortal Spin support from a Glimmora or Great Tusk. Iron Moth is mandatory on hyper offense in my eyes to soak up Toxic Spikes, and is a humongous threat in general under the right conditions. Double Dance Miraidon rounds out the team; it's the best Pokemon in the metagame, and that statement is especially true for hyper offense.
I loaded into the exact matchup I wanted, with no Cloyster or Miraidon check in sight. This meant that I could just lead Cloyster here and force Terastal immediately, after which my Miraidon was bound to go off with my Terastal still intact. My plan almost worked out, with Double Dance Miraidon pretty much 6-0'ing after Tera Water was forced on Great Tusk. Sadly, I lost focus and didn't care to calc the interaction with Gothitelle. I should have just gone for Parabolic Charge to keep myself out of Headlong Rush range, before locking myself into Dazzling Gleam. This ended up being not too influential overall, as my other Pokemon (particularly Chien-Pao) were able to brute-force through anyways.

Sword | Shield
Finals - SS.png

In SS, I'd been wanting to use offensive Landorus-T for a while, so I just built a very generic team around that without too many second thoughts. My secondary way of winning was by paralyzing Eternatus with Thunder Kyogre, after which my Expert Belt Eternatus was bound to do well. A specially defensive U-turn Yveltal was used alongside Choice Scarf Calyrex-S to limit Baton Pass Calyrex-S, which pdt seemed to like. I added a DD Necrozma-DM just for the sake of it, since it's always a good wincon when you have the option of stalling out Ho-Oh's Sacred Fire with Rest Kyogre / Eternatus.
pdt ended up bringing what is probably the most creative and gutsy build I have seen to date in this metagame. Although I didn't play that well overall, I do think there isn't a whole lot I could have done against the Suicune + Cresselia core after fumbling my Dynamax like a rookie. Props to pdt & his helpers for this one, I didn't see it coming in the slightest.

Finals - USUM.png

My first thought for USUM was: I can't bring Mega Gengar for the fourth time in a row @.@ So grudgingly, I decided to try my hand at Mega Rayquaza balance. One of the first things I did, was pairing it with Defog Arceus-Ground since I didn't want my Defogger to be forced out by Primal Groudon when using Mega Rayquaza. The first version of the team had a Marshadow on it, with Arceus-Steel to take advantage of Arceus-Fairy []. However, this was too weak to opposing Marshadow for my liking, so I ended up rebuilding it by using Choice Scarf Yveltal instead of Marshadow as the Speed control, with offensive RestTalk Primal Kyogre (with enough investment to live Dragon Ascent) to abuse Pokemon like Celesteela and Ho-Oh for Arceus-Ground and the rest of my team. This meant that I could change Thunder on Arceus-Steel into Fire Blast to better handle Ferrothorn. I was also happy about this change since I knew pdt loves CM Arceus-Steel himself, so getting the upper hand with mine could be nice. I also decided to use both Stone Edge and Dragon Tail on Primal Groudon, because it gave me the option to bluff not having one or the other in-game, which could be nice to lure either Ho-Oh or Mega Rayquaza.
The game itself ended up being pretty messy on my end. I ended up throwing away my Primal Kyogre to a critical hit, when it had a very good matchup. I had to regroup and readjust my game plan after this. I decided that the best thing I could do now was bring Zygarde-C into range of my Arceus-Steel, after which I could go for the win with it, while keeping Marshadow on its toes with Choice Scarf Yveltal. This ended up working beautifully! After getting the necessary chip on Zygarde-C, I even ended up getting a bit more with a timely Dragon Tail prediction. This ended up bringing it into even Foul Play Yveltal range. Fire Blast Arceus-Steel ended up being incredibly clutch, winning the Speed ties it needed to and hitting two Fire Blast in a row to take out pdt's CM Roar Arceus-Steel. After this, it was pretty much over, as nothing could take a Foul Play from Yveltal anymore.


All in all, I do think I could and should have played / prepped for all of my matches in SS and USUM a bit better. Regardless, I'm glad that my first stint in Bo3 was a success and resulted in my first tournament win in AG (finally. . . ). I am now 11-0 in AG Snake and 18-2 across AGPL and AG Snake overall, which feels pretty weird and mind-boggling to me. This tour was a real confidence booster as well, since I never saw myself as up there with veterans like Skooma and all-around phenomenal players like Fc and pdt, but turns out I can go toe to toe with them just fine :3

~ Shoutouts ~

s/o to Frozoid for being a fantastic manager (not just for the first time, but in general) & having enough faith in me to draft my unproven-in-SV, washed-in-SS, inexperienced-in-USUM self round 1. I'm thankful & relieved I could do right by your decision. The Annihilapes can count themselves lucky to have an invested and passionate manager like you!

s/o to Spellcaster and especially Theia for hosting & being the God-given gifts they are to this community

s/o to all of my teammates Dockiva~~, emma, Inder, Mashing, ox04, Shivam3299 & Seldanna for being cool people and supportive teammates, especially Zayele for bearing with my rookie USUM builds & being my lucky charm, and Inder, Mashing, Shivam, & Zayele again for their dominant performance. We did it, guys :swole:

s/o to pichus for being a very cherished friend and my personal cheerleader :heart:, congratulations on a tremendous performance yourself :3

s/o to my opponents for some cool games, especially pdt for bringing some of the coolest teams week in week out, had a lot of fun watching your matches in particular!

s/o to Skooma and the citizens of FAP for making me laugh every day

s/o to Rihanna for carrying my prep music and giving purpose to my existence

I am very glad I signed up for this tour after a difficult 2021-2022 in which I went from juggling two bachelors and three jobs to battling leukemia and depression. The thrill of teaming up with friends and playing vs. the best in my favourite metagame again gave me a sorely needed dose of fun and joy, and for that, I am indebted to this franchise and community ~

There is no way you just read all of this, but if you did, thank you & peace
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hello i made a lot of teams this tour and pichus said do a team dump, not gonna do sm because i suck at building it and i also used half cata teams, so enjoy sv and ss :)

w1 v satanic beast (W) - - first week, i was still learning the ag meta. I had been laddering a bit, experimenting with dugtrio + miraidon but didn't feel it was consistent enough. I decided to go with a no nonsense tinglu + balloon gholdengo spikestack with some breakers to take advantage of it. I stole this neat bundle set from trade who used it earlier that week in uwl, as well as perhaps greedy but insanely threatening sd lo pao. av miraidon was meant to blanket check a bunch of threatening special sweepers, as it had nice flexibility with tera and also good compatibility with the rest of the team. tusk is tusk. i think the team worked pretty well.

w2 v guard (L) - - this week i had been playing around on ladder with a lot of different ho ideas, and as guard mentioned he was incognito on an alt and saw me using a some hatterene hyper offense, which i was actually testing for my teammate togkey (, but mostly i just wanted to use annihilape for some reason, so that's what i did. i saw tera water miraidon in uwl and thought it was interesting so thought i would give it a crack. i think the team is pretty good but it probably needs some more speed control, and i think i played it like trash in the game even though i think i still had a chance to win. Some cool things include tera fire + tera blast lo bundle on korai structures, because i feel like often some of the counter play is weakening hydro pump with sun and going into a steel/other ice resist type.

w3 v skoma (L) - - so basically its skoma who is garbage at everything, so i thought he might try to fat me because he can't play any other playstyle. i picked garg as a niche pick and band pao to annoy bulky structures and hopefully garg can just straight up win the long game. honestly this team is kinda trash and i wouldn't use it again, also i think corviknight kinda sucks. the garg set i think is cool though and could've been supported better.

w4 v fc (W) - - at this point in the tour i was coming off a bunch of sv losses and my brain was turning into mush, so i decided to go back to my old friend tinglu + gholdengo, but with a pretty different take. it relies on power and revenge killing much more heavily than the other version, but also carries stronger matchups into stuff like miraidon than the other tinglu team. tbh idek if nmi is worth it on bundle but i wanted to haha click buttons with it so i slapped it on. i've completely forgotten what my cursed av flutter mane spread does (good mon btw), but it has something to do with miraidon and protosynthesis (does not beat cm miraidon). this team is pretty good though and also eject pack miraidon is good.

w5 vs loti (W) - - this team is one of my favorites that i made this tournament. i saw skoomer using hippo to check miraidon, and i wanted to build a team with it that without all the garbage pokemon skooma was using. i got this core in my brain of hippo + spd glimmora + gholdengo with double balloon. the glimm set is kinda cracked and kinda just spikes and dies but it sponges a ton of useful hits, as well as being v threatening with tspike. i returned to my favorite av dudes in order to slap on some miraidon, bundle, and opposing flutter mane insurance, and then i chose scarf tusk last. the benefit of using hippo is that you can free up that tusk slot, and scarf tusk is extremely strong as a revenger killer / cleaner on these spikestack structures. i think i rolled an insanely good matchup, with two guys hard walling his clod and scarf tusk goin crazy. this team is pretty fun to use, i laddered with it a good bit.

semis vs skoma (W) - - this kinda marked the start of my obsession with the families. when prepping for skoomer i was certain i was going to use double etern against him in ss and got me thinking about the doublers in sv. tusk is so flexible that having two of them is almost always helpful, and double bundle can also be really difficult for teams without hard counters or insane priority / speed control to deal with. i hadn't used any treads so i decided to just do an av treads for my initial miraidon check, and then rely on my speed control to deal with it after. unfortuantely i ran into sun + overheat and got a p lucky dodge, and looking back i think i definitely should've used a different mon here instead of treads, one to deal with miraidon much more reliably. sub bu tusk was a uwl set gaining traction, and it seemed like a good potential fat breaker into skoomer. got pretty lucky in this one but this team is still pretty sick, i think i would edit the treads though.

finals vs guard (L) - - still on my family wave i decided to go with a sun based team in the finals. i had barely used any koraidon this tournament, and i felt korai was heavily underexplored in this ag format where you can have multiple of them. i was really expecting some kind of balance or bo that guard had been using all tour, but instead rolled into cloyster ho which was admittedly not what i wanted to see. this game was still winnable though, pretty sure i threw it by sequencing my tusks and koraidon wrong in the midgame and endgame. some cool stuff here like eject pack korai + goth to own pex and others, and tera steel spd koraidon as an out to cm mirai or wincon after the other guys do their thing. i think this team is pretty sick and would autowin into most balances, but i would probably add something a bit better for cm fairy mirai bc its just so busted.

overall sv is a mess but that honestly is what makes it fun for me, building these super cracked teams while these other dudes are loading pex balance cmonnnn. there are also some teams that i made for togkey that i don't think were that great (sorry D:), so left those out. definitely will be building some more insane things in the future so enjoy these ones

w1 v satanic beast (W) -
w5 thiago v jellyalt (L) - - i knew people were going to be mostly recycling or getting passed in ss, since the meta had been played so extensively not too long ago. i planned to feed my team a mix of icemaster classics and my own teams, which meant i needed to build a few, as well as make some adjustments to teams depending on the opponent. this week i just assumed trade was going to feed my opponent a team, as i knew trade is a very strong ss player, so i cooked up this don balance based off of some teams that i've seen fc and bacon using with a couple twists on it for metagame trends. the first great thing about ferro don is that you can use dd ndm without giving up rocks, and those three all form a nice little core along with our big3 ndm etern ygod. gyro ferro + max spd is an adjustment for the xern stuff, and i figured i could probably figure it out between scarf caly, ndm, and ferro. scarf caly is much needed speed control here, and i chose this over something like ditto because of the trick outs and the aromatherapy support, which i saw as big for ferro, ndm, and don. it ended up coming down to a speed tie after some unfortunate bad luck for me early, which i fortunately got. i like this team and think its fine, but it does have some bad matchups. for example thiago lost against The JellyAlt using a well picked lunala balance that completely fucked over this team, which i suspect yung loti had a hand in. so maybe i would make some changes to make that matchup better.

w2 thiago v inder (W) - - we hadn't used any ditto so far, and i had prepared a couple teams for my bo3 with guard to pick from, and ended up giving thiago this kyogre ho-oh balance team with ditto. this structure was inspired i think by skarph and loti, and loti helped me improve the team by advising me to use hone claws ygod pairing with spd hooh and ditto. that particular ogre set also does really well into the standard balances that we usually see from inder, with ditto + hooh patching up the ho matchup a bit better. the game was kinda messy and don't think we played it optimally, but we did play well for it being thiago's second tour game in the tier which i love him for, so we take those.

w3 v skoma (W) - - i knew there was a chance skoma would stall but didn't want to overcommit in the prep, but i chose specs ogre for that reason. my plan was honestly just try to get up rocks, use hooh and ygod to annoy, and then try to hax my way thru with ogre + status. i fucked up the prep though because if that was my plan i really should have put shed shell on my ndm, so i ended up critting and winning anyways. skoma coped though because he brought a trash stall and lost again. this team is nothing too crazy, but yeah if you're prepping for stall put shell on your ndm.

w3 thiago v opnoob (W) - - i made this team w2 when prepping for guard, but since i already had it i just fed it to my goat silva the next week. it's just a take on icemaster's xerneas team except with sd zacian > the second xerneas, which i think has advantages and disadvantages. there are very minor edits to the other sets to account for the zacian change, but it's nothing too crazy as an idea. thiago played this one well and got a very convincing win here.

w4 vs fc (W) -
finals thiago v shivam (L) - - i prepped this team with fc in mind who basically pretty much only uses these bo / balance type things in ss so i just decided to go with a kind of cteamy offense that is way more ho-esque than it initially seems. it's a bit sketchy into ditto potentially but as long as you plan your lines carefully it should be fine, also playing to deny rocks is pretty important. it ran into good matchups in both games i think, fc's team just kind of folded after ndm killed lunala and got a quick freeze on the etern, and arguably thiago had a very good chance to win his game as well, with an unfortunate ending. this team is an adaptation of my favorite team skooma has every produced, a zekrom offense that he passed to me first back in the umpl before last ( ive used that original team tons of times and loved it, so i wanted to make an adaptation of it for myself. pretty happy with how this one turned out.

w5 vs loti (W) - - well i feel like loti and i have played a bunch of times and this tier and know what each other like, but i was pretty sure he wasn't going to deviate from his usual style and instead make sure he was safer against cracked offenses (which meant i was pretty sure he was bringing ditto). i still wanted to bring something aggressive, but needed to figure out a way to be relatively safe after setting up. lo sub caly came to mind as a premier breaker against balances, and something that can fuck over ditto. when looking for a way to completely imposter proof it, i had the idea of double yveltal. this gives two main advantages to the structure. first, you can pressure eternatus super hard with offensive yveltal, which is great for nasty plot calyrex, hooh, and your own support yveltal. second, you have tons of security vs calyrex, which allows you to diversify the functions of both your ygods (foul play and defense investment on the support one). the rest of the team is all relatively standard. i can see the team having some issues vs certain ogre teams, but overall i think its a good team. im not sure i would bring it into an ho matchup, but i was pretty sure i would be facing a balance in this one.

semis v skoma (W) - - against skoma in the semis i was sure to face a heinous fat team again, so with that in mind i started looking into double eternatus. double etern is interesting because of the ability pressure, which is actually extremely strong in this tier in my opinion, due to a lot of important moves having relatively low pp. this is a trend that you'll see continue for the rest of the tournament as i became a little obsessed with making pressure broken. the idea is simple, its a simple groudon ditto balance structure but with a second etern over the kyogre. accounting for the weakness in ground types, shuca is probably mandatory on at least one, and then relying on offensive pressure of the other. this structure is actually pretty cool but i ended up being p weak to giratina, so lucky me that i crit it. i honestly have no idea how this game wouldve gone if i didnt get lucky but i dont really wanna think about it to be honest cuz im lazy.

semis thiago v opnoob (W) - - thiago liked the team that was used against him the last week, the lunala balance, so i asked loti for the paste which he kindly gave me (sorry if i'm not supposed to share this). i did make a good amount of changes to the sets and spreads to my liking before passing it to nunes, who rolled a pretty good matchup into webs HO, and was able to pull out a pretty nice win. this team isn't anything too crazy, but it's a nice structure and take on the ferro hooh structure.

semis tiebreak thiago v skoma (W) - - so we pretty much knew some sort of stall would be coming but we didn't know what. leru and i started making a bunch of dumb ideas to cteam stall, including different trapping strategies, triple eternatus, and tons of meme sets. after about two hours i settled on building a team around my idea (double eternatus) and leru's idea (resttalk sheer cold ogre), to make a team that would be able to overwhelm most stalls without a ton of trouble. the difference between the other double etern structure is that both are meteor beam, which is more well suited to the stall matchup as mons like confide blissey would have trouble dealing with both mons. my idiot self forgot to put shed shell on ndm again, which ended up kind of fucking us over a bit. we still would've been fine but the matchup was not played optimally, because understandably its thiago's first game against this type of team and the lines are pretty complicated. we ended up getting some crits that sealed the game earlier than expected, and the whole team and game was extremely funny for our team to watch and for thiago to play. killing two with sheer cold was super epic, and i could go on a huge rant about how this team works but i'm getting a bit tired. goat silva though fr.

finals v guard (W) - - ending off finals with a bang with probably my favorite team that i built all tour, as well as probably one of the more creative teams i've tried in this tier. big shoutout to Spellcaster for inspiring this idea. in the aftermath of the sheer cold freezing skoma for 80 years incident, spelly c said something about lunar dance cresselia + the resttalk sheer cold kyogre that leru had proposed the prior week. something clicked in my head, and i suddenly got this urge to recreate a core that has been used in multiple different tiers (oras uu, oras ou, sm ou, just to give a few examples). my earlier point about high value moves in this tier having low pp still stands, and i developed the team around the extremely frustrating core of suicune + lunar dance cresselia. i selected a bulkier take on the team due to its slow burning nature, which led to the development of the zac set. i knew i needed some immediate power and a way to waste my opps resources reliably, so i settled on a bulky zac-c with sd and protect. not only does this protect against a good amount of ditto counterplay, it also allows me to scout certain moves, especially something like a scarf calyrex that guard seemed to like. the cresselia set was meant to pack as much utility into one mon as possible, so i chose the choice scarf set to reliably lunar dance more often, as well as trick and thunder wave being extremely strong utility moves and potentially surprising for guard. shadow ball was chosen last because you can 2hko calyrex and you're faster than it with scarf, but you could also choose soemthing like ice beam or another move to patch up other matchups. i knew that suicune needed help in a tier like ag, so i decided to use toxic along with lunar dance to allow it to essentially bypass its usual counterplay. lunar dance is the only move that restores pp in gen8, so it has a leg up over healing wish. the big 3 are standard with toxic on ndm to support cune, and more defense on ygod than usual because of my help from spd zac-c and my worries about dd ndm (which i did end up seeing). cune did its thing in the game, stalling kyogre out of pp and then coming back and helping to clean up. definitely an extremely cool team but i think its a little difficult to pilot if you don't know your cune lines pretty well.

i had surprisingly a lot of fun building ss this tour even after the despair of my last agpl performance in the tier. i was also extremely happy with our overall record in ss, with only two losses overall (neither of which i was upset with) and my not dropping a single game in the tier despite some favorable luck in a couple weeks. big shoutout to my boy thiago for picking up the tier, and hope the games were fun to watch crafted by pdt and The Strap

thanks for reading !

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