Pudding Predictions S4W5 (Special Power rankings edition)
The more I lose games the more I predict games correctly
Column this week is going to be slightly different, as I’m going to put up a mid season power rankings to go with predictions. So the actual predictions this week will be really quick and I’ll give my reasoning if you ping me. But first, a meme
With that out of the way (Dolly’s was better, but mine is filled with little Easter eggs,) I correctly predicted 8/13 of the matches, with one being a forfeit and one being a match that I didn’t predict because there was no matchup until mozart took the lineup. Now onto predictions
Predictions Week 5
Glump 0–2 Matieu
killazoid 1–1 Dolly
SPACEDUDE360000 1–1 DerpyDots
DoomCow33 1–1 Glitchtastic
Tyrannosaurus X 1–1 Korgoth
Sultann 0–2 Deathbypudding
bsvhsvj 2–0 VinnySal
Apeshift 2–0 Siixu
FatSloth 1–1 FJFJFJJ
dogical 0–2 Coahre
LoneWolf 2–0 Burrahobbit
bloodninja 0–2 Style
Mozart 2–0 Tiramisu
skynumber5 1–1 PatchThomas
Holoホロ 2–0 aponzeus
Everything is subjective, probably arbitrary, and I’m biased. No order within tiers. Teams are tiered based purely on my analysis of the teams, and are not actively influenced by the person piloting them.
Matieu — This team is just absurdly powerful. Given the tiers from last season, this could have been a legitimate S3 team that would have gone solidly mid to upper placings. With the power dropoff thanks to the loss of OU pokemon, this team just stomps things. There are maybe a a dozen things total in the entire league that can switch into a Darm flare blitz, and almost all of them get slapped by a coverage move. And two of the mons that don’t, milotic and quagsire, are on the same team. Combined with a choice scarf, Darm is outsped only by some opposing choice scarf users, a̵n̵d̵ ̵s̵t̵i̵c̵k̵y̵ ̵w̵e̵b̵s̵ ̵i̵s̵ ̵o̵u̵t̵ ̵b̵e̵c̵a̵u̵s̵e̵ ̵o̵f̵ ̵t̵h̵e̵ ̵t̵h̵r̵e̵a̵t̵ ̵o̵f̵ ̵g̵e̵t̵t̵i̵n̵g̵ ̵s̵l̵a̵p̵p̵e̵d̵ ̵b̵y̵ ̵a̵ ̵d̵e̵f̵i̵a̵n̵t̵ ̵b̵i̵s̵h̵a̵r̵p̵.̵ And then there’s bellossum which just beats whole teams sometimes. To top it all off, the team has a̵ ̵c̵l̵e̵r̵i̵c̵ ̵a̵n̵d̵ ̵w̵i̵s̵h̵ ̵p̵a̵s̵s̵e̵r̵,̵ a bulky slow pivot with webs, and a wall or two. With a more reliable source of hazard control, this team would probably be nearly unbeatable (which it kind of already is.)
Edit Now that Matieu has imploded his team, it’s hard to analyze. Noivern fills that hazard control slot and seems like an overall improvement, but dropping wigglytuff is very weird to me. Overall, I think it’s a net neutral change, but idrk.
Killazoid — Mamo sits. On everything. Like seriously everything just dies to this offensive mitochondria. Very few things resist Mamo’s powerful dual stabs, and thanks to an enormous atk stat, that means most lower tier mons just get deleted. And the rest of this team looks built to support mamo’s huge body. Rotom pivots and deletes bulky water types that could otherwise be a problem, Hitmontop gives hazard control and priority, Duraludon forms a powerful offensive core with Mamo, hitting with its stab moves that are resisted only by steel types, which mamo cleans up handily, and cleafairy is just clefable-lite. Jellicent also helps absorb water type attacks and musharna has its niche. This team is top of the KOs for a reason.
Glump — I couldn’t quite decide whether to place Glump’s team at S tier or here, as it seems very strong on paper but has consistently felt like something (vaporeon) is missing. I think the main thing that is holding glump’s team back is the lack of versatility and a wish passer, as it is prone to getting worn down by status and sandstorm chip. Glump only really has 6 viable pokemon, which makes his team much less versatile than most other teams. All that said, this team is still really strong. An great tricore of virizion, keldeo, and turtonator is supported by one of the best rockers and walls gigalith, a sand cleaner and revenge killer/fairy type answer dugtrio-a, and reuniclus (although he needs to stop running future sight.) This team gets to the top off of power alone, but it barely misses that top slot because of a lack of a certain water fox Glump was eyeing. If I had an A+ tier it would be there.
Dolly — Badmins. Dolly always manages to make a team that is way better than I first give it credit for. And this one is no exception. Sawk is great for its tier, with incredible coverage and excellent bulk and abilites. Kangaskhan is just stupidly good, and has been on top teams for multiple season but somehow always seems to keep falling in the draft. Skarm is busted against almost any physical attacker and all of Dolly’s other mons have varied niches. This is one of the teams with the highest amount of possible combinations that all seem equally scary. That versaility, backed up by the strong bulky offenses of sawk and kangaskhan, puts this team near the top.
Mozart — Here’s a hot take, this team is busted. As a newcomer to the league, toth did their best to draft a reasonable lineup, which was then picked up by Mozart after Toth had to drop for real life commitments. And let me tell you, from playing around with this team in testing, it’s incredibly good. This is probably the best tricore in the league, with gastrodon, incineroar, and decidueye combining to form an incredibly bulky and utility filled core with surprising offensive potential. Gastrodon in particular is a huge problem for so many teams, especially with its only weakness, grass, being a relatively uncommon coverage move that is heavily resisted. Dragalge just deletes things, and it finds multiple opportunities to switch in thanks to quad resisting gastrodons grass weakness and slow pivots out of incineroar. Cobalion is a great pokemon that provides more utility, physical threat, and can clean under the right circumstances. Rapidash-g rounds out the team as another cleaner and revenge killer. This team actually has a second great tricore thanks to these three, making a powerful offensive dragon-fairy-steel tricore that no other team really has. Seriously this team is really, really good. It only really lacks versatility and hazard control, as bringing vespiquen to remove hazards never feels great. But it can also just run a ton of boots and resists rocks really well, so it’s whatever. If I could have had one team to take over, it would probably have been this one. Let’s see if Mozart can figure out how to use it.
Fatsloth — Fatsloth has a good team, but the strength of fatsloth teams lies not in the team, but in the fatsloth. The Dark-Psychic-Fighting offensive tricore of krookodile, Slowbro-g, and Meinshao looks really, really good. Aromatisse is worse florges, but it still supports this team effectively. Froslass is a great option, as it can run choice band sets, choice specs sets, mixed attacker, or suicide lead all effectively. Wigglywoo is fat and has to be respected until it gets knock off’d. Overall, this team just has all the tools it needs to be a fearsome bulky offensive team. It just needs fatsloth to believe in it and channel it up to the top of the rankings.
Logical — A hot take for sure, but I think this new logical squad looks incredibly threatening. These pokemon just all hit SO hard. At its core, this is a HO team that has access to excellent setup sweepers, solid hazard control, and a varied spread of physical and special wallbreakers. Pyukumuku is out of place, but logical is actively searching for a new home for it. Overall though, these pokemon can overwhelm a lot of teams with sheer power and correct predictions. Almost nothing is capable of effectively walling this team, and barbaracle is an amazing pokemon for cleaning up games once its checks are removed. This team can also pivot with magneton and pangoro, allowing it to keep momentum and keep slapping things into the shadow realm. It also deals with priority easily, but shutting down any form of it using indeedee-F. I like this new team a lot more than I liked exploud strats, and I think it can put a lot of games in, especially against teams without fast strong pokemon, which is this teams main weakness, along with a general weakness to focus sash.
Style — Style has a team which I thought should have been incredible. Sharpedo is an absurdly good t2 offensive pokemon, Lycanroc-D is an absurdly good t1 offesnive pokemon, Mr.Mime-g is an abusrdly good… Well you get the point. I think the problem arises that there is nothing actually binding these incredible offensive pokemon together. There’s no screen setter to allow them to set up, rotom as a pivot is somewhat lackluster, tsareena as a spinner feels underwhelming, and there’s no safe way for these powerful but frail attackers to get set up to blow down opponents. One slowbro and this team would slap HARD. But instead, it has klinklang. And that means B tier at best.
Doomcow — I’m half tempted to drop this team down another tier just for dropping roserade, a star pokemon from last season, for slurpuff, the worst pokemon from last season, but I will restrain myself. Season 2 isn’t so far away that I’ve forgotten just how many games I watched of Caliber beating players who forgot how to play against a slurpuff to drop this team lower. This team excels off of a kind of chaos factor bound tightly in water fox glue. Vaporeon is an incredible pokemon that should never have fallen so low, and it glues much of Doomcow’s insanity together. Runerigus is a solid pokemon that lays extenisve hazards and helps vaporeon wall, while ninjask can deal with the grass types that threaten those two effectively. the support provided by vaporeon makes tons of Doomcow’s team viable, which combines with the sheer number of viable pokemon they have to make an unpredictable and threatening team. Vaporeon solo carries this to B tier, and everything else will determine if it should rise or fall.
Glitchtastic — So since Gen 8 starter hidden abilities got released, Cinerace has risen to ubers and Rillaboom has risen to the top of OU. And Glitch saw that and took the NFE forms of both of them. This team has some great offensive pressure, thanks to grassy glides, libero coverage, obstagoon, and gardevoir all providing substantial and varied damage. Lanturn is a solid pivot, and braviary gives some nice hazard control. I think this teams biggest weakness is how slow it is combined with how bad some of these later pickups have felt. Glitch has been constantly changing up his lineup, never settling on a last member. And maybe lycanroc-midnight will stay, but probably not. It’s also pretty slow, with any base 100 pokemon or choice scarf user beating out the entire team and getting to take out these powerful offensive but weak defensive pokemon with ease.
Lonewolf — Lonewolf has, in my opinion, the second strongest monotype team by a fairly wide margin. A team full of normal types has the advantages of being hit only by fighting, and the combination of Indeedee-M, an incredibly strong pokemon thanks to expanding force, and the type changing ditto to help negate this one weakness. From there, a bunch of big fat animals just eat up attacks and spread status, hazards, and chip damage on top of the opposing teams. The major weakness of this team is how reliant it is on indeedee-M, which , if it goes down too early, leaves the team low on damage and control for faster pokemon. It is also forced into running a choice scarf most of the time, which misses out a a few KOs and/or coverage that other sets like specs or LO would provide.
Spacedude — TTar is good. Pallossand is good. Klefki is good, and stacks hazards with the previous two. Sigilyph is good. Eiscue is a decent win condition, and Cramorant is good if your oppoenents don’t know how that ability works. All the pieces of spacedude’s team are just good, but they’re not great. I feel like this team could be higher with a change or two, but I’m not exactly sure what that change would be. Regardless, it’s a solid team, so into B tier it goes.
Coahre — This team was originally going to be in A tier, and then it just keeps losing games. A good bit of that comes from the shared weaknesses across these pokemon. So many ice weaknesses and grass weaknesses and electric weaknesses punish this team hard with stray coverage moves. And while all the pieces seem to be there, this team has a hard time closing out games. So despite looking really solid, this team falls to B tier and could fall even further if the pieces keep failing to come together. I feel like with one or two swaps this team could rise easily though.
Edit With bisharp added, this team has gained a few resistances to its shared weaknesses. I think this is an improvement, and might help this team rise.
Sultann — I finally settled on placing this team in B tier after trying to decide where it would land for a while. This team has a nice, fast tricore of rapidash, whimsicott, and barraskewda that is very fast but very frail. Lycanroc supports these as another fast cleaner or sweeper. Copperajah and appletun serve as fat walls capable of absorbing hits for the these frail attackers, and the remaining pokemon try their hardest to find a niche. Of these last few pokemon, hippopotas does give Sultann access to a sand setter to go with Sand rush lycanroc. This team suffers from a general lack of good hazard control, shared weaknesses, and difficulty bringing in all these frail pokemon without a good slow pivot. As we have seen though, speed is king, and this team has it in bushels.
TX — This team is all over the place with swaps, and it’s hard to keep track of whether this most recent batch will leave TX with a better team than she started with. Umbreon is great, thanks to excellent bulky and typing, and it can effectively support a lot of this team. The recently acquired defensive tricore of Charizard, Shiiontic, and Starmie looks decent, but a bit lacking in ways to actually pressure the pokemon they come in on. Which feels like a theme for this team. It has a lot of bulk and chip and walls, but no good win conditions. It’s not bulky enough for stall, but not offensive enough for balance. Which makes TX have to pull weird and more gimmicky sets out to snatch wins from the jaws of slowly running out of tools. One good setup sweeper and this team jumps 1–2 tiers.
FJ — Compared to a couple of these lower ranked monotype teams, FJ didn’t have too many things sniped away from him. While this team would have loved access to a special , it still managed to get skuntank and weezing-g to answer some of the more dangerous checks to the poison type. This team is trying to slowly wear down its opponents with toxic damage and chip, and then use the stronger offensive tools in salazzle and haunter to clean up. That said, I think poison monotype is always likely to struggle without the pex, which just forms so much of the success of poison teams. As a side effect, this team has a hard time pivoting as much as it probably needs to do to win games. It’s certainly nothing to scoff at though, and is capable of taking games off of teams much higher on this tier list.
Korgoth — A team that always seems to make me say “Gallade will need to come up big.” This team thrives off of gallade, but without it, runs into a couple of major problems. Flygon and heliosk are both great pokemon but they want to be able to build momentum for other pokemon. That’s what this whole team kind of wants to do, build momentum for each other. In what is becoming a common theme, this team struggles to effectively turn that momentum and chip damage into game wins. Some of these other pokemon outside of the strong three are also a little anti-value/weak for their tier.
Derpydots — This team is also a little hard to place. Some of these pokemon are amazing for their tier, notably araquanid and toxicroak, but some of them feel underwhleming and overrated, notably mudsdale and comfey. The team has a solid backbone to it, and I’m quite a fan of necrozma, but the team lacks the really great cohesion of top tier teams. The team also lacks any good pivots (silvally-ice does not count), making it pretty reliant on correct predictions to get and keep the momentum it needs to abuse the likes of comfey and toxicroak effectively. I do like all the pieces this team has, but it lacks the binding pokemon to bring it past C tier.
Bsv — This team looks like a great start to a trick room team that ended up as a solid bulky offensive team. Dusknoir and escavelier hit incredibly hard, but are slow and therefore very vulnerable to burns or getting KOd. Slowking provides slow pivots, but without many frail but strong pokemon, it is a little underwhelming. Zoroark can lead to a number of weird coinflips and mind games, but sometimes it just ceases to exist. The other pokemon on this lineup are all pretty average, and none of them really stand out as incredible tools. I like this team a lot, and it looks very good, but easy to punish.
Patchthomas — Ghost team looks pretty good honestly. The ghost type as a whole really struggles against dark types, and Patch has a lot of options to be able to answer those at least somewhat effectively. Cofagrigus and mimikyu work together to take out dark types and clean up games. Sableye is really good if it runs the right set (please people, there’s 1 set for this pokemon and no one has run it in 2 seasons.) Patch got a couple of the pokemon he would have wanted to round out his lineup sniped away from him, but this team can certainly take games. Polteageist is also one of my favorite pokemon from gen 8, and it just wins games sometimes when dark types are out.
Apeshift — Another monotype team in C tier, this one the bug squard. Honestly, this team felt like it got worse after dropping ribombee for orbeetle, as losing a pokemon that was so crucial to the success of bug teams past for overratedbeetle seems like a huge mistake to me. That said, the other tools that made this team good are still there. Heracross and scyther hit incredibly hard and carry a solid speed tier, which is made even better with webs support. Golisopod offers the rest of the necessary speed control forthis team with its very good priority. Silvally, crustle, and the newly acquired accelgor give this team the crucial versatility it needs to win games. Ultimately, I think this team will just struggle against its huge stealth rock weakness and lack of a good way to get rid of them or keep them off the field, forcing tons of these pokemon to either run boots or give up their item slot. Pre-trade, I would have placed this team in B tier, but after the shifts, it lands solidly one tier lower.
VinnySal — A half decent psychic dark fighting tricore forms the base of this team. Dual screen support from grimmsnarl makes space for NP celebi and Band or DDance flapple sets, and porygon2, passimian, and silvally-water all pivot for these two sweepers to do their work. This team falls short on two fronts. The team is filled with shared weaknesses, and it lacks versatility. Vinny cannot viably run pokemon outside of these 6 (shedinja lol,) and they’re all forced onto one or two viable sets. This leaves their team open to being easily exploited by weird coverage and sets, dropping it down to C tier.
Burrahobbit — The former fire team, now reborn as a kind of pseudo sun team, is certainly a big ? from me. This team could go a number of ways, as it still shares many of the typical weaknesses of a fire monotype team, but with access to some grass types that can help check rock, water, and ground type pokemon, this team has a little more spice. While I’m a big roserade fan, Shiftry is a premier sun sweeper, and may be worth picking up in one of this team’s T1 slots, either replacing roserade or talonflame. Torchic is a decent pokemon, with a lot of speed and access to skill link to punish frail and fast pokemon. Losing charizard is definitely a big minus though, as it is one of the best sun pokemon in the entire metagame, and losing it is a major downgrade.
Siixu — The Fighting type monotype team missed a couple of important pokemon it wanted, particularly better answers for poison, flying, and fairy types. The team has only lucario and silvally available to it as a special attacker, and only lucario is really able to take on fairy types effectively. Scrafty is an excellent pokemon, and along with Sir Fetch’d, helps answer psychic types that would otherwise steamroll this team. This team just struggles to deal with its critical weaknesses while also managing the rest of the enemy teams.
Bloodninja — The delibird team drops to this tier only because of a few weak, low value picks. Goodra and machamp are both very underwhelming as T1 pokemon, and sneasel feels way worse at T3 than it did last season at T5. The tier 2 pokemon, kingler and rhyperior, for this team are very solid (heh,)and strong physical attackers. Delibird is a decent suicide lead, but this team doesn’t really have any ways to capitalize on a suicide lead effectively. Aside from goodra, this team also fell into the trap of picking all attackers of one type, and this team is just chock full of physical attackers. Skarmory could probably solo this entire team aside from goodra and barely bat an eye. Even pokemon that are just somewhat physically bulky can punish this team hard.
Tiramisu — In my opinion, this is a team with a good bit of redundancy and weak pokemon filling up its slots. I’m not a fan of bronzong or Mr. Rime, and I feel like they are considerably weaker than the majority of the other pokemon in their tiers. Sesimitoed, weezing, bronzong, and piloswine are all bulky pokemon that lack reliable recovery, and so theoretically sylveon should be amazing paried with them. But because of the lack of any good offensive tools on this team, sylveon cannot simply wish pass for the rest of this team, as it has to pick up the offensive slack left by all these defensive pokemon. Tiramisu has too many walls, too many rockers, and too few pokemon that put real pressure on their opponent.
Holo — This team just does not have the pieces together. Blastoise, thanks to its move up to T1, was probably the worst pokemon drafted in that tier. And, despite having the first overall pick in the draft, Holo took falinks first overall, leaving the team with weak picks in all the other positions. Tentacruel feels a little anti-value for this league, but having both of your t1 picks be bulky water types means you get checked by the same things. The eevee spread is entertaining but anti value, since, aside from espeon, these eevee forms are pretty weak and one dimensional. Drapion and Espeon give this team some spice, but not enough to give it more than a vague flicker of life. This team could use some major changes.
Aponzeus — Probably the objectively worst team in the league, ice monotype had a truly tragic time during the draft this season. It seemed like Aponzeus got every one of his picks sniped out from under him just before e could take them. Losing Mamo, Sandslash-a, Pilo, and even eiscue left aponzeus with a very weak overall team. It is very hard for this team to get off the ground, but it doesn’t seem so far off from being a stronger team with a few changes. Aponzeus could pick up vanilluxe and sandslash-a in return for some of his weak t3 pokemon, enabling his team to have very considerable offensive threats backed up by a full 2 aurora veil users. That combo threatens to take out a lot of teams, and cloyster could use that space to come in and shell smash to victory. Teams in this tier are undeniably looking for new choices, and aponzeus probably has the most available to him.
Skynumber5 — After abandoning the ghost monotype from last season, Sky decided they still really wanted to lose to dark type moves. This team looks like it struggled to find a cohesive identity during the draft, and is filled with redundancy. Both xatu and claydol are psychic types immune to ground moves that provide hazard control. Both Chandelure and Drifblim are ghost type special attackers that try and sweep late game. Outside of these heavy redundancies, this team shows promise. But with them, it’s a bit like bringing only 3 or 4 pokemon each week. And a team with only 3 pokemon is not going to beat a team with 6.
Deathbypudding — I’m going to avoid directly ranking my own team, but I’m relatively happy with it. It is very strong, and I think it can beat almost any team in the league with correct play. But man is this team incredibly hard to execute correctly. There is basically zero room for error when using this team, and I’ve been able to pinpoint almost all of my losses this season to one or maybe two crucial mistakes I made during the game. This is not to take away from the execution of my opponents, but just to illustrate how much this team relies on perfect play. I think my team is easily the strongest monotype team, thanks to the raw power this team has, but beating these top teams, or lower ranked teams with one or two excellent counters, is not easy. In the hands of a better or more experienced player, this team would be very hard to beat. As I learn this team more, I expect to make far fewer of these mistakes, and I’m hoping that the recent changes I made will help patch up some of my weaknesses. This team feels a lot more similar to my season 2 team than my season 3 team, due to the learning curve this team has before I can stop losing games. Having to play Mat and Dolly in a row was also really hard. I believe in this team, but not necessarily in my personal ability to execute it correctly. It is also a little less flexible than I would like it to be, but adding morpeko gives me a lot more options for strange items and momentum.
Wow this took a while. I expect opposing power rankings Dolly/others