Intro to PDL and an Interview with the Champion!

Hello… is this thing on? It is? Good! Hello Everyone I’m Clod9 and I’m here to bring you a new series of articles coming to PUCL. Many of you may remember several times during the Fall of 2017 podcast Thatch and his co-hosts would mention that they were preparing for the PDL or PUCL Draft League. What is a draft league you may ask? Imagine you crossed Fantasy Football and Pokemon together into one awesome format for battle. Basically you have the coaches draft Pokemon, one at a time, until each coach has drafted 10-11 unique Pokemon. Then each week they use their set squad against their opponents. It fosters creativity and some incredibly unique sets that would not normally be seen (AKA Thunder Ferrothorn).

I’ll be bringing you articles leading up to Season 2 of PDL and throughout the season, about the PUCL Draft League, some of the highlights of the week, standings,  and some interviews with the coaches so that we can learn how they drafted, how they prep, and who they are as puclonians. This week I’m lucky enough to be joined by the winner of the first season of the PDL TheLoanRanger.


Clod9: Thank you, TheLoanRanger for joining me today to discuss your triumph in the PDL but first, how did you find PUCL and how long have you been listening to the podcast?

TheLoanRanger: My older brother used to listen to the podcast way back when it originally started, and about a year ago I wanted to see if it was still around so I looked it up and sure enough there it was.

C9: Have you done a Draft League before PDL? If yes would you care to elaborate on that experience and how it helped you in your championship run in PDL?

TLR: The only other draft like format I’ve participated in was the UUTC (which was a locked draft so sets could not be changed in between rounds). Most of my draft league knowledge from watching other players on youtube and other streaming platforms.

C9: You went 11-1 in the regular Season, were you expecting to do this well when it started?

TLR: Not really. I knew my draft had what it takes to succeed, but i never expect to do as well as I did. It was my first official draft league, after all.

C9 : If someone wanted to go back and rewatch your games which would you recommend?

TLR: I’d say the best games I had were probably the season games against RottedMushroom and SublimeManiac, and then my Finals game against Def Not Tatch and the Cleveland Jynx. Although all those games were decently lengthy, I think they portrayed the deepest amount of skill from both me and my opponents.

C9: What was your focus when going into the draft? Where there any pokemon that you drafted around/how did you do that?

TLR: When drafting my mons, I really wanted to get a good mix of offensive and defensive pokemon, as well as good type synergy and mons that could perform multiple roles. Since Mega Gyarados was my first pick, i decided to draft my other mons to support that pick. Defensive mons like Clefable which could switch into the fighting and bug type attacks and Bronzong which could take the grass hits helped a lot, as well as the offensive mons like Gengar which could threaten the bulky fairies and grasses that Gyara can sometimes have trouble taking down.

C9: What was your favorite mon on your team?

TLR: Gengar, for sure. He’s my favorite pokemon from gen 1, I’ve loved him ever since the series began, and I was so glad to have him on my team.

C9: With Ultra Sun and Moon adding new move tutors and egg moves, what pokemon do you think got the biggest buff in Draft League format / why?

TLR: I’d honestly say Silvally. It’s one pokemon that can fulfill almost any role it needs to thanks to its ability to be any type and all around good stats, and now it gets moves like tailwind and defog to further boost its potential.

C9: Let’s step back from draft league and get to know you as Pokemon Fan.

What Gen did you start with?

TLR: The first Pokemon game I ever played was Pokemon Yellow, however that was when I was only 4 years old. I got into the competitive scene early Gen 5; I was around 14 or 15 I think at that time.

C9: What is your favorite Region?

TLR:  I’d have to say my favorite region is Orre from the gamecube games. Despite being a more steampunk region, I loved exploring it; it just gives me nostalgia just thinking about it.

C9: That’s one of my favorite regions too! Good Answer! What is your favorite Pokemon?

TLR: Chimecho. I love its design; it’s so cute and adorable. If I could have any pokemon friend in real life, it would definitely be a Chimecho.

C9:  If you had to pick: Attack or Special Attack?

TLR: I tend to veer more towards physical attacker, but maybe that’s just because a lot of them have more tools than the special ones (for example, swords dance is a TM but nasty plot isn’t, giving more physical attackers access to a boosting move)

C9: What’s your battle style; Stall/Hyper Offense/Bulky Offense/Balance?

TLR: I prefer to use Bulky Offense. It just sits with me the best and I have the most fun using it as opposed  to other play styles, although I do like to use my fair share of Balance and Hyper Offense, as well.

C9: Do you prefer Speed or Trick Room?

TLR: I tend to use tailwind for speed control most often, so i guess I’d say speed, but I do like to use trick room if I feel it fits the team.

C9: What is your favorite Weather; Hail/Sand/Sun or Rain?

TLR: Rain. Mega Swampert is my favorite mega pokemon, and rain just makes him a monster to face down.

C9: Electric/Misty/Grassy or Psychic Terrain?

TLR: I’d have to go with Electric. Despite having the least amount of positive effects (only preventing sleep), it does boost electric type attacks and I do like to use my fair share of those.

C9: Favorite status to inflict: Sleep/Freeze/Paralysis/Burn or Poison?

TLR: Well, if I had to choose one status to befall upon my opponent, it would have to be paralysis. They don’t call it the yellow magic for nothing.

C9: Very true, it can change the style of the whole game.  I know you have your own Youtube channel where you posted your videos, what is it?

TLR: You can find me on YouTube at TheLoanRanger117. I don’t upload a ton, but I try to upload fun Battle Spot Lives, mostly VGC stuff if you’re into that.

C9: When PDL comes back for Season 2 will you be joining to Defend your Crown?

TLR: As long as I’m not too busy with school and work, I sure hope to be.

C9: Thank you again to TheLoanRanger for joining us for this interview. Until next time, I’m Clod9 and I’ll catch y’all later.

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