Not Very Effective: Missing the Mark

I did not hit my stated goal in Season 8 of GO Battle League. I wanted to not only hit Veteran (which I did), but I wanted to end the season at above 2500 ELO. After finishing my battles today I’m ending at 2248. Not only did I fall short of my target, but I also will finish lower than I did last season (Veteran, 2257).

Where did things go wrong?

In breaking down my season, I can identify three times when I tanked myself. Let’s go over them.

Great League Remix

I never got a good read on the meta for this cup. Instead of running a team from a content creator or just a good overall squad, I jumped around almost every day. This kept me from finding a rhythm and establishing a practiced cadence. The result was a Cup where I could have made gains but instead I dug myself a hole.

Ultra League Premier Cup

During this Cup I actually hit Veteran and reached a new high ELO at 2614. If there was any one point that prevented me from hitting my goal it would be that: 2614. In my mind I had hit my mark – I knew that no matter what I would end at Veteran and if I had stuck to my guns with the team that got me there (Roserade – Alolan Muk – Lapras) I might have been able to climb higher. But that wasn’t my goal. And instead I tried learning other Pokemon in anticipation of Season 9. That dropped me down below 2400, again putting me at the bottom of the hill.

The Final Week

I put too much pressure on myself for the final week of Season 8. I knew that I could still hit my goal and tried to find a fun team for the climb. Some of the teams I put together worked for fits and spurts but were easily squashed by more meta picks. I should have done a better job selecting a team knowing that there would be tons of top meta options seeing play. And while I finally found a team that did well enough against the meta, I didn’t find it until the day before the season turned over.

So where does that leave me ahead of Season 9? The same place at the start of Season 8. My goal is to hit Veteran and finish the season above 2500. When I hit Veteran I am going to take a moment to see if hitting Expert is a possibility.

Without knowing that all the moves will look like for Season 9, I am planning on using the same team I used for my final day of Season 8. Skarmory lead, Jellicent on the switch, and Gliscor as a closer.

This A-B-A line came about because I kept running into Bastiodon – Medicham cores. I wanted to have Gliscor in the back as a Flying type attacker for the various Fighting types I saw, but also one that could put a hurt on Bastiodon and Galarian Stunfisk. Gliscor fit the bill, but I knew it would be weak to Ice types. That led me to Skarmory in the lead and Jellicent – which is all around fantastic – taking the safe swap role. The teams gets most of its work from Skarmory and Jellicent, both of which are top tier for a reason. I switch out of any bad matchup immediately to try and gain an energy advantage on Jellicent. Gliscor is best when you have a shield advantage (the other two work just fine down a shield) and can apply pressure with Night Slash and Earthquake.

The team does have some glaring weaknesses. Unova Stunfisk is a nightmare that can do work against the lead and switch. In a shields down scenario, Grass types are dangerous as they can take down both Jellicent and Gliscor.

I’m under no illusions that this is a fantastic team but it is one I am comfortable with after a day of battles. It has a good amount of bulk and as long as there are not a ton of Galvantual running around it can put in some work.

So here we go. One season down and another begins. I’m excited to try and reach my goals in Season 9. I look forward to keeping you all up to date on my journey.

Published by Alex Ullman

Alex Ullman has been playing Magic since 1994 (he thinks). Since 2005, he's spent most of his time playing and exploring Pauper. One of his proudest accomplishments was being on the winnings side of the 2009 Community Cup. He makes his home in Brooklyn, New York, where he was born and raised.

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