PDL: Picks , Plans, and Personality 

Welcome Sports Fans… wait what is it… Puclonians. Alright! Welcome Puclonians to another PDL article. The PDL Commissioners have analyzed all the applications and have decided to go with these coaches:

  1. Norwalk Nosepass- Hydra 
  2. DC Crobat- Bigby
  3. Pittsburgh Piplups- Zcron
  4. Detroit Pyroars- Dr.Shamu
  5. New Jersey Jolteons- DizzyD
  6. Salt Lake Combees- Lynian
  7. Columbus Gallade- Geo
  8. Jacksonville Jangmo-o- Aggie
  9. London Landos- Ozzy
  10. South Hampshire Scyther- H3nz
  11. Hershey Herdiers- Uncle Oshawott
  12. Vancouver Vigoroths- xVforVIKINGx
  13. Brisbane Heatrans- Sparky!
  14. Miami Delphox- FackLuigi
  15. Baltimore Oricorio- R.Sigma
  16. Hartford Wailmers- Clod9
  17. Bedford Necrozma- Dennis
  18. Minnesota Nidokings- Snag
  19. Miami Lanturns- Seth Vilo
  20. Blackfoot Scrafty- RottedMushroom
  21. Italian Azurills- Whimsicott
  22. New York Yanmegas- Lampc
  23. Belper Beedrills- BritishGent
  24. Toronto Tyrantrum- SavageFire765

Let’s give a round of applause for this season’s coaches as they will spend the next 15 weeks (then playoffs) battling it out to determine who is the PDL Season 2 Champion!

I’ve announced the coaches in their pick order for the draft. Quick recap: The PDL drafts in a snake style format where pick will go 1-24 for Round 1, then 24-1 for Round 2, with this alternating every round for 10 rounds. I know a lot of the coaches have already started strategizing what they would like to draft and how they think things will play out. Now that the pick order has been released, most of the planing gets scrapped and you can revise your strategy from what is most likely to be available. For example if you are pick 24 in the draft, it is very unlikely that Tapu Koko will still be up for grabs, so you should probably not plan your draft around not getting Tapu Koko. However, if you are in one of the first spots, you only need to have a couple of Round 1 picks planned and there are quite a bit of very powerful R1 picks, so choose wisely!

How to create a good backup plan

It is almost inevitable that in a 24-person draft league that you will be sniped when trying to pick a Pokemon. It happens to everyone, and the better prepared you are for those snipes, the better your draft will turn out. This starts  with a good plan. Let’s say you want to complete that famous Fire-Water-Grass core, and you already have a Fire- and Water-type, and there is a good 30ish picks before your chance to take a good Grass-type. Depending on the draft and how many people have their own Grass-type, they might start all start getting grabbed. There is a trend in draft leagues once one person starts branching out into a popular type or role, everyone follows suit to try and get the next best option for their team. To avoid panicking and making a bad choice, it is always a good idea to list down all the viable Pokemon of the given type you are trying to get by their tiers. This way in the draft you can see which ones get taken and what still remains for you.

So you want that Grass-type and let’s say Shaymin was your top option and that gets taken, but  you still have the option of Roserade in the same tier. However, right after Shaymin someone else snags up Roserade. The top 2 on your list are gone, however you can still get Decidueye, which you have placed at your third spot. The person right before you takes Decidueye… what are you going to do? Luckily, pokemon has given us a plentiful amount of grass types over the years so there are many options still available like; Dhelmise, Whimsicott, Tsareena and if you decide to branch into T2/T4 there are more options like Breloom, and Rotom-M. The more you prepare what other mons you can take to fill the roles you want the better your draft will go. You will be able to make your pick, both with something that fills the roles and without the sense of panic that draft day can be infamous for.

Interview with Commissioner Ozzy

Clod9: Welcome Ozzy and thank you for taking the time to answer some questions about the PDL. To start, You have been around since the beta draft, and over the course of Beta to Season 2 of PDL there have been a lot of changes between Mons getting put in different tiers, new mons being added and different rules. What would you say has been the biggest change to PDL since beta?

Ozzy: Starting with the big question!  I was there at the start only as a coach initially, I wanted to get better at battling and saw that as an excellent opportunity, which it was. The beta then evolved into the PDL we know now. The most obvious and biggest change in my opinion is the number of coaches. In the beta there was only 8. We then triple that for season 1. This became interesting to manage in season 1 but for the most part we had excellent coaches that were keen to compete every week.

C9: I know there has been a lot of comments on the tiers, for those that think something is mistiered, what would you say is the best way for them to get their voice heard? (You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to)

OZ:The tiers have changed. To start with we used an existing template originally for the Beta and Season 1. We have tried to make things fair for both the experienced coaches and new coaches, finding that balance is hard. I am still relatively new to draft format and even battling so I do rely on the other commissioners to make the really hard tier decisions. After Season 1 we published a survey for coaches to voice their opinions to improve the season and I took the time to read them all. Some changes will reflect their opinions. But at some point we have to accept we can’t make everyone happy, but we try. Unfortunately by the time this article comes out I can see it will be too late to make any changes. But maybe we may take in any additions, there is no harm in asking. PM me to get that pokeball rolling.

C9:Much isnt know about the Beta league; how did you do/ what kind of team did you draft?

OZ: First rule of Beta League, you don’t talk about Beta League……….

Well fortunately I still hold the Beta Hub that I can refer to for this question.  I do remember that we actually did the draft over like 1 week, for 8 guys! It felt like it would take forever. I would be submitting my choices whilst walking the dog sometimes!

So I was relatively inexperienced to battling at the Beta, actually ‘relatively’ is a complement. So the type of team was a collection of mons the did not necessary have any synergy and if they did, I didn’t know it.

  • M-Gyarados
  • Garchomp
  • Mamoswine
  • Tangrowth
  • Dusknoir
  • Raichu
  • Victini
  • Crobat
  • Togetic
  • Registeel

The beauty of having only 8 coaches is the amount of mons available to you. And now looking at the team it wasn’t to bad a team. I ended up 6th with 4 wins and 4 losses with a 0 differential so I couldn’t complain about that performance either

C9: How did that team vary between beta and last season?

OZ: So season 1 team consisted of:

  • Garchomp
  • Slowbro
  • M-Mawile
  • Uxie
  • Breloom
  • Torkoal
  • Electivire
  • Chatot
  • Scolipede
  • Regirock

Garchomp was a favorite of mine in the Beta so wanted that straight away and I like the bulk of the Regi’s. Rest of the team was different and I tried to create a balanced team. I was happy with this bunch of mons though they did me well, even Chatot got some kills.

C9: You drafted Registeel and Regirock the last two seasons, can we expect a Regice this season?

OZ: Quiet possibly……

C9: It seems like you have learned a lot and improved drastically since Beta to Season 2, how do you think you will fair going up against some new coaches and some returning veterans?

OZ: Well I suppose I have, but when you have 0 experience the only way is up!  I am a big believer in learning from your mistake and I made a lot of them! But more importantly, members of the community were a great in help, providing me with advice and tips before during and after battles. I don’t accept to be winning the crown in season 2 but I am aiming for playoffs this season! The biggest thing for me though is to enjoy myself.  Even if it ends in a loss, as long as I had fun that’s what counts. Cheesy but true!

C9: I know last season that you just missed playoffs by tiebreakers. Does that sting or is it just more motivation to go for it next season?

OZ: No it didn’t sting. I started off the season poorley and to get to a possible playoff spot was a real surprise. I couldn’t have asked for a better finish.

C9: What was your favorite mon on your team?

OZ: Well I want to say Garchomp but thats an obvious answer and slightly boring. M-Mawile interested me during the summer league.  A certain gym leader had one and I would always find myself having a hard time with it. So I wanted her for the PDL. Mandy was a good lass, with me at the helm she managed 8 kills.  Looking through the data though Garchomp got 10. So Georgina wins it.

C9: Would you share one of your craziest sets that you ran in PDL and if it worked?

OZ: Not running EQ on Electivire! I’m still learning sets and going crazy seemed a bit too ambitious last season. Maybe this season I will feel more confident.  One of my proudest prepared mons was a Taunt, Nasty Plot, Heat Wave chatot. I won’t bore you with the battle but it was one of the battles commentated on the YouTube channel.

C9: You also do a lot of the behind the scenes work with the doc, which looks amazing by the way, did you learn to do that on your own or did you have prior training beforehand?

OZ: Why thank you. Not really, apart from usual stuff I got taught at school many years back. It has been mainly self taught with some assistance. I had looked through other examples to point me in the right direction. I enjoyed making it though.  Even the hub evolved during season1 which I have yourself to thank for. This season I have made some improvements so it runs smoother as well. Even potential new segments for PDL coaches and non PDL coaches to take part in.

C9: Ok lets learn about you as a pokemon Fan. When did you start listening to PUCL?

OZ: It will be about 1 and a half years now I reckon.

C9: What pokemon generation did you start with?

OZ: Gen 1!!!! However I didn’t play Gen 3 – 5. I only got back into it at the back end of Gen 6.

C9: What is your favorite region?

OZ: Kanto, probably for nostalgic reasons.

C9: Who is your favorite pokemon?

OZ: Arcanine. I love dogs and that was the first dog pokemon I came across.  Well growlithe was but Arcanine is bigger!

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

OZ: Attack,  There is that saying, the best form of defense is attack.

C9: What is your battle style:  Stall/Hyper Offense/Bulky Offense/Balance?

OZ: I have a new style its called hyper confused. Both me and the opponent can’t figure it it!

C9: Do you prefer Speed or Trick Room?

OZ: Speed

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

OZ: Living in the UK it always rains so not that! I would like the Sun. No actually that doesn’t work either that can get uncomfortable. It’s snowing here at the moment so hail isn’t my favorite. However sand brings back bad memories, it get everywhere! So the winner is……. A nice spring day. That ability is coming in Gen 8.

C9: Electric/Misty/Grassy or Psychic Terrain?

OZ: Electric terrain so I don’t fall asleep.

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

OZ: Paralysis if that helps me be quicker I am all for it.

C9: Have you watched the Pokemon anime? If yes, what is your favorite Theme song? I’m personally a huge fan of Pokemon Johto.

OZ: I want to be the very best! Like no one ever was!

C9: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today. I know you are rebranding your team for this season of PDL, would you like to announce that now?

OZ: Well in the Beta League we had the Darlington Dusknoirs

Season 1 was the Essex Electivres

Season 2 I have been seeked out to coach the infamous London Landos. I am very excited to see what they bring this season, the potential is there for sure!

C9: And are you ready for this season of fun and excitement?

OZ: OOOOOOOOO YES!!! Good Luck and most important Have Fun coaches!