PDL Week 4 Recap

This is the final week before the first bye week and teams are giving it all they have got before a well deserved week of rest.

DEP vs. BAL: 2-0

NWN vs. AUK: 0-4

HEH vs. MIN: 0-3

VAV vs. DCC: 0-4

TOT vs. MIL: 0-3

BFS vs. MID: 0-3

COG vs. ITA: 6-0

SHS vs. LOL: 6-0

SLC vs. JAX: 3-0

NJJ vs. HFW: 0-5

BEN vs. PIP: 3-0

NYY vs. BLP: 3-0

This week the Corsola Cola Division played off against the Rhyhorn Steakhouse and lets just say that Corsola Cola can’t overpower the flavor form the Rhyhorn Steakhouse. With 5 out of the 6 games going in favor of the Rhyhorn Steakhouse division. The same  outcome happened between the Green Tauros division and the Toxapepsi Division. The hooves from Green Tauros stopped the Merciless flavors of Toxapepsi in almost every match. The past 3 weeks have pinned division vs division and those matches overall were closer with the Rhyhorn Steakhouse coming out with the most wins of all the divisions thus far. Is this telling of how things will look for playoffs or is this just week 4 madness stretching across the conference. I guess we will find out soon enough. 

I have to mention how impressed I am with how well teams are adapting to this format and improving already. A bunch of team got their first win, or made strides towards the top of the standings, with now only 3 teams left undefeated. What’s becoming more and more apparent is that the teams that do good prep usually come out on top. There is one match in particular that highlights how useful prep can be when your opponents don’t expect something. That would be the AUK vs NWN game. Sparky! Coached his team through a difficult match up and showed why he is a force to be reckoned with this season. (If you want to see Vileplume, tied for #3 on the MVP leaderboard, sweep a team I recommend checking out the HFW vs. NJJ game.)

AUK Side: DG6G-WWWW-WWWL-B2AY

NWN Side:  AEJG-WWWW-WWWL-R29W

Pick’ems

These are becoming tougher and tougher to pick correctly with the majority of teams this week with only 7 correct. However no one got a perfect week so they do not get mentioned here. The reason for that is because of the 4 Pick ‘em upsets. Despite COG being 3-0 ,at the top of the standings and a previous UUTC winner, the majority of picks 9 went in favor of ITA the most current UUTC winner. While this is not a traditional upset it is one in terms a pick ‘ems. The second one comes at SHS taking down LOL with the same margin 9-4. NYY gets their first win over BLP who came off an upset win last week. Those picks were 10-3 in favor of BLP. Finally there was one person who called the BEN upset over PIP this week. Clearly and match no one saw coming.

Trades

Here are the Trades from week 4 that will be live week 5 after the bye

DCC Tyranitar T1 Free Agent Reuniclus
DCC Hitmontop T4 Free Agent Aerodactyl
NYY Azumarill T1 Free Agent Tyranitar
VAV Rotom-W T1 Free Agent Azumarill
VAV Gardevoir T3 Free Agent Meloetta
VAV Altaria T5 Free Agent Servine

 

DCC after a rough start made some necessary changes to help improve their matchups in weeks to come by adding Aerodactyl and Reuniclus to their roster. Some fancy mon dropping in free agency allowed NYY to drop Azumarill to pick up the Tyranitar that DCC dropped and VAV picked up the Azumarill. VAV also added Meloetta dn servine to their roster which is bound to bring in new energy to the team.

Interview with Hydra

This week I’m joined by (In my opinion, one of the better battlers in PUCL) Hydra.

C9: Thank you Hydra for taking the time to answer these questions for the fans. Being randomly selected for first pick of the draft, how did you feel about?

Hydra: Whenever I see I’ve gotten first pick in a league, there’s always a rush of excitement due to all the options it gives for starting a draft. So, I was definitely happy that I could build a plan that didn’t have to factor being sniped in round 1.

C9: How do you think that impacted your draft, if at all?

Hydra: Due to the way PDL does S-tier picks, there’s a cost associated with picking the usual draft format no-brainers like Tapu Koko or Celesteela, and you can’t just jump on one of those round 1 without consequences. Additionally, the mons I ended up desiring weren’t ones I usually see taken quickly in draft format. As a result, I don’t think it ultimately influenced my draft much.

C9: What are your goals for this season of PDL?

Hydra: I’d ideally like to use all of my Pokemon to their full potential, and with a wider variety of sets. Last season I was using pokemon with more straightforward roles (also there were some Free Agency trades over an awkwardly long period of time,) and as a result there just wasn’t as much variety week to week.

C9: Who are most looking forward to battling this season?  

Hydra: Geo for sure. Going off his record he seems like a strong battler, and we may or may not have had disagreements in the past involving a flying prehistoric pokemon with facial hair.

C9: Is there anyone you are glad you don’t have to face in the regular season?

Hydra: I’d say Thatch. I faced him twice last season, and although I can’t recall if it was bad plays, prep, or just an unfortunate draft matchup, I lost to him both times. So, it’s nice to not have to worry about a third match (at least until a potential comeback in season 3!)

C9: I know I’m not looking forward to our match, week 7, but either way it should be a fun battle.

Hydra: I’m flattered by your dread! But as long as we’re not going to fight twice in a row like we had to in the UUTC, it should be fun. Back-to-back battles aren’t usually a great time, but maybe that’s just me.

C9: Why did you choose the team name, The Norwalk Nosepass?

Hydra: I’m glad you asked- it’s the violently creative combination of my hometown, Norwalk, and a pokemon that possesses my favorite type, Nosepass. Despite both this Connecticut town and gen 3 Pokemon lacking any noteworthy characteristics I can discern, I’ve got a fondness for both of them.

C9: Were there any secret techs that you brought for your matchups that you didn’t get to showcase?

Hydra: There’s surprisingly already been a few. Though I did get to show off Shattered Psyche Serperior (EM Mirror Coat being the base) as a finishing move, it didn’t prove to be the surprise game winner I thought it would be as my opponent didn’t bring the Pokemon it was meant to break through, Amoonguss. I feel like I might end up bringing the other wacky techs again sometime soon, so I’ll keep quiet on those.

C9: Who would you say is the mon you are most excited to use on your team this year?

Hydra: Surprisingly, it’s proven to be Miltank. I wasn’t terribly excited about using it at first, and simply picked it to add some bulk to my draft. But it’s been a very effective and versatile Pokemon, so much so that every week so far I’ve had reason to breed a new set on it. Makes sense considering usable stats for several roles, an expansive movepool, and three good abilities to pick from.

C9: Let’s learn about you as a pokemon Fan. When did you start listening to PUCL?

Hydra: I was really into the VGC15 meta, especially post worlds, and at the time was also expanding the amount of different podcasts I listened to quite a bit. PUCL was the only one I could find that covered the format and competitive battling overall in any meaningful sense, and I’ve been a listener since.

C9: What pokemon generation did you start with?

Hydra: For me, it started back- I mean, right around gen 4. No particularly interesting story to tell, unfortunately. I’d been obsessed with the cards or anime from time to time, and eventually got Pearl upon hearing about from my older brother (but not yet understanding) the wonders this franchise had to offer in video game form.

C9: What is your favorite region?

Hydra: I’d probably go with Hoenn. As far as I remember it has the most diverse locations (and did a lot of them first,) featuring volcanoes, forests, deserts, pillars that touch the sky, and just the right amount of water. Now that I think about it, Alola is probably just as diverse in terms of locations, but it needed multiple islands to get that done so I’ll stick with Hoenn.

C9: Who is your favorite pokemon?

Hydra: Hydreigon! Ever since I first saw it and its incomparably cool typing browsing Serebii while waiting for BW’s American Release, it’s been my favorite. Worth even the absolutely ridiculous grind for level 64 and a 4x weakness resulting from it being too broken in gen 5. Snorlax and Psyduck would be my honorable mentions.

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

Hydra: I’d go with Special Attack. Intimidate is gross, and moves like Psyshock or Secret Sword mean you can get the best of both worlds going with Special sometimes.

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

Hydra: I generally lean Hyper Offense, simply because it’s quicker/easier to build for and battle with, which of course means more time for more battles!

C9: Do you prefer Speed or Trick Room?

Hydra: The answer’s probably obvious to anyone who battled me in the UUTC this year, but Trick Room. The setup is convoluted of course and means that you’re often better off going for straight speed in singles, but the payoff is immense when it works. It’s usually my default strategy when trying to figure out a new VGC format as well.

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

Hydra: Definitely Hail, partly due to it being the underdog of weather conditions for so long and me being a New Englander who doesn’t mind the cold weather. Hail was my favorite playstyle in the previously mentioned VGC15, as Blizzard would largely tear apart CHALK type teams if you had Heatran covered. The new tools it got in gen 7 finally put it on par with the other weather conditions too, so it’s less of an uphill battle to use it now.

C9: Electric/Misty/Grassy or Psychic Terrain?

Hydra: Grassy Terrain! I like Bulu a whole lot, and the effects of Grassy terrain lend themselves better than the other terrains to building defensive cores. Heatran’s another Pokemon I really like, and it can form an impeccable core with Bulu thanks to the three effects of Grassy Terrain that all benefit it.

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

Hydra: Paralysis for me. Even though it only cuts speed by 50% now, that’s still enough to make most things slower than even a lot of your walls, and that 25% chance of total immobility can mean you pulling of all kinds of things you otherwise couldn’t. And of course, I thought that the animation for it looked really neat in Diamond and Pearl.

C9: Have you watched the Pokemon anime? If yes, what is your favorite Theme song?

Hydra: I unfortunately haven’t watched the anime in quite some time, so it’s hard to say. But, I’ve heard that a Patrat goes for a high five but gets left hanging in one of the Black and White theme songs, and that sounds fantastic to me, so I’ll go with that.

C9: Thank you Hydra, for joining us today! We will be back in 2 weeks after the week 5 matches. See ya soon