The other weabs haven't written anything for quite some time and I have a lot of things to say so I thought I'd write about about my view on the Meta and what went wrong for me this season.
My Analysis of the Metagame:
I'm not exactly sure what I think of the Metagame right now. I know that the 2014 season started out with a bunch of random stuff doing well and that was due to most of the players including the "good" ones not knowing what was the right play. Over the season Mega Kangaskhan has clearly become the Mega to beat and is now by the far the most popular and arguably the "best" Mega. I tried using Mega Kangaskhan on numerous occasions but the thing that bugs me the most about it is the randomness of the mirror match. Literally anything can happen in the mirror match and I hate relying on randomness to dictate the pace of the game. There are so many factors in the Kanga vs Kanga mirror to think about and your opponent can have any one of them. You have to be careful of the faster Fake Out, The Power-up Punch on the partner, the Protect, Double Edge,and Hammer Arm on top of speed ties and some absurdly Bulky Kangaskhans. Currently one of the most common team set ups is Kanga + 5 Pokemon that aren't affected by Intimidate. Intimidate is the most popular method of beating Kanga along with Rocky Helmet on Pokemon like Amoonguss, Garchomp and Ferrothorn. Mawile, Garchomp, and Talonflame are probably the other Pokemon that Helmet really helps against but all of these are greatly weakened by Intimidate anyways. In my opinion the Meta has really become stale and I hope there is more innovation when Nats comes around.
I'm probably the only person who has this opinion but I think Rotom is utter crap, specifically Oven and 3AM Laundry aka Washing Machine. I've tried Rotom on numerous occasions and I just don't get why people think it's good. It has fair bulk and offense but it doesn't really excel at anything. I can sort of see why people use Oven mainly because it's one of 2 bulky Fire types in the Metagame with the other being Moltres and let's be honest, if you don't have Angel's Moltres you probably don't have one good enough to use. Whenever I tried to use either Rotom formes I would be in a position where I needed WoW to hit or I'd pretty much lose. In every situation, if I wanted to miss an attack, I'd rather use a move that can potentially do 60%+ a Pokemon with Draco Meteor or Play Rough than attempt to burn a Pokemon and cut it's damage in half. Some people argue that it's really good against Kanga because it can shut it down with WoW. All Kanga has to do is Power up Punch once and the burn is essentially neutralized and if you try to burn a Kanga, miss and let it get off a Power up Punch, you might as well forfeit. I believe that Rotom is alright if it hits all its moves but is less than subpar if it misses.
About my Season:
I ended up playing a Rain Room team that consisted of Mega Manectric/Politoed/ Kingdra/ Escavlier/ Amoonguss/ Scrafty. The Meta was random and unpredictable so I went with a team that could establish 2 difference forms of speed control. My first loss was in the 4th round after missing a Draco Meteor on Ampharos the turn it Mega evolved, I could have played the rest of the match better but didn't. My next lost was in Round 6 to Wolfe Glick. I played poorly by double attacking into Protects two turns in a row and ended up really throwing the match in his favor. I do end up pulling it back and probably would have won if I hadn't missed my Overheat on his Amoonguss. By the way his Vaporeon did not have Celebrate(I think this troll has gone on long enough) and if you still think he did, you're an idiot.
My 3rd loss was to Toler Webb on the bubble at round 9. I just straight up played terribly and messed up at team preview. He had 4 Pokemon that essentially get shut down by Intimidate and I brought neither of my Intimidate users for whatever reason.
Notable Players I played in this tournament:
Armadillo Calballarero (yes I know I misspelled it)
That's 3 Worlds players with 1 Worlds Second Place and World Champion
This was probably one of the hardest line-ups any one has ever had to face at a regional and it sort of sucks that I had to face it but I have to be/play better than these players if I want to make Worlds again. Note that I'm not trying to take away from these players at all by saying they played better than me. I fully respect their skill and know that I have to be better than they are if I want to make Worlds.
I used a similar team to the one I used in the Major(Aegislash/CharY/MegaMawile/Gardevoir/Noivern/
Garchomp) with the only differences being some EV spreads, Timid Charizard, Flash Cannon, Wide Guard 0 Speed Aegislash, and Noivern). I didn't lose my first round but I just want to note that he was a big promoter of Verlisify. He had a super cocky attitude and was preaching about how good his and Verlisify's strategies were. He used similar strategies like Belly Drum Snorlax. The game ends up taking awhile but I go up 4-2 and can easily timer stall to end the game but I decide to show him that I can beat him without it anyways. My first loss was to Zach who just straight up played better than I did. My second loss was to William Collins(Wiretap), I play the match pretty well but the RNG bails him out and he ends up getting a timely flinch on my Aegislash and Double Protect to avoid his Garchomp getting ko'd and ko'ing my Noivern with his Rotom. He also Dragon Claws my Charizard when I Wide Guard with Aegislash which sucks(Wide Guard ends up being useless the entire Tournament). My 3rd loss was to a plethora of questionable plays including Stone Edging my Charizard with Mamoswine when I Wide Guarded.
I used the same team I used in the Major. I cruised through the first 4 rounds going 4-0 and defeating Aaron Zheng in the 2nd round. In Round 5 I lose to Chuppa mainly because he has Rain Dance Meowstic and I didn't expect him to Sucker Punch my Aegislash when it didn't have a sub up (Who wants a +4 Mega Kanga anyways?). My second loss was to a random that double paralyzed my Gardevoir and Mawile on the first time with Discharge Rotom and crit Mawile to go with it. I try to bring it back but my Mawile was too low and couldn't survive long enough to be able to Rock Slide his Rotom Oven and Char Y at the end. I went on tilt and more or less played the rest of the Tournament like crap.
Fun fact, at each Regional I lost to a top 4 player at that Regionals.
Toler got top 4
Zach won first
Chuppa got 2nd
My total CP for the season is a whopping 70 in comparison to the 242 I had at the same time last year.
Reasons for my Poor Performance this Season:
I've always been a player that likes to go for big plays by reading my opponents but it seems like my opponents have either gotten more random or smarter. I've always been one to tunnel vision and I think that's currently one of my biggest weaknesses. Like in my match against Chuppa, I thought to myself "He's probably going to Power-Up Punch his Salamence here because my Aegislash is obviously going to sub" what I didn't think was "Well he doesn't really have that much to lose if I Sub since his Salamence is locked into Dragon Pulse").
In past games I've always had that one Pokemon I always rely on (Terrakion in 2011, Thundurus-T and Tyranitar in 2013) but I haven't really found anything I really love in this meta yet. Gardevoir is probably the closest thing. As a result, my team building has been really subpar so far. I'm having a lot of trouble making teams that can deal with with both the Meta stuff and the random teams I would see at Regionals. This all stems from the issue that I haven't really found that one core Pokemon I'm always going to enjoy and be comfortable with.
How has the Crisis of 2013 affected me?
As most of your know I bubbled on my Worlds Invite last getting 13th place where the top 12 received invites. The 12th place players had 274 Championships points and I had 272. I'm still really upset about it and I don't think I can ever let it go and I think it's a huge reason for my poor performances this year. I deal with this crisis by raging at people on League of Legends and watching an obsessive amount of anime(Thanks Marco and Angel). I also think I sort picked up a Douche bag/asshole type personality on the Nuggetbridge forums telling people that I hope they bubble like I did. This is really mean and I hope that people don't take me seriously when I do this. It's not a good way to release the infinite amount of frustration I've built from this. I talk about this to Angel/Gavin/Zach/William etc a lot and it still really hurts to think about what happened last season. Angel was in a similar position for the TCG and both of us really fear that the same thing could happen again(more relevant to Angel in this case because he hasn't botched his entire season). We both don't want to accept that this can happen again. I've sort of done something that probably isn't actually a good idea and reverted to "give zero shits" attitude that got me my Worlds invite in 2011. Basically ignoring the entire season and go big at Nats seeing as I didn't exactly take Nats as seriously as I should have last year.
Basically, I feel like a byproduct of one of those superhero experiments you see in movies because the 2013 season was essentially an experiment and I ended up being the one screwed by it. And like those characters I felt (and occasionally still feel) resentment and and frustration.
Looking to the Future:
As for what the future holds... I'm going to go to Nationals and I'm going get top 4 again so I can prove my retarded theory that Regionals don't matter. But more than that I'm going to prove to myself and everyone that believes in me (Angel , Zach etc) that I'm the player everyone thinks I am seeing as I've been doubting myself in this regard(qq I'm a shit player, I didn't deserve my worlds invite in 2011, I didn't get my invite in 2013 because I didn't deserve it type of rants on skype). I've been practicing and theorymoning a lot with friends and I really hope it all pays off.
If you've been wondering what I've been using recently, I've been experimenting with Blastoise mainly because it has a good match up against Kanga and Rotom-H specifically. If you played against Blastoise Zapdos Tyranitar Aerodactyl teams on PS, that was probably me. The team hasn't been doing as well as I hoped it would in the International Challenge mainly because it's weak against a lot of unpredictable stuff like random spread moves on Kanga and Rotom.
Anyways this was a pretty long article and good job if you read through all this ranting in one go. Thanks for reading and I hope to see everyone at Nats and Premier Challenges if I decide to go to them.