VGC Tips #2: Approaching a Best of 3

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Welcome back to another time with VGC Tips, where I try to give out tips that can best help you understand VGC, no matter the skill level. Today, I'll be talking about how to play a Best of 3 match. For newer players, a Best of 3 match is where you play up to 3 games against your opponent where your job is to win 2 games before your opponent. This a really good skill to have in VGC as if you want to do go far in VGC, then you'll need to know this as all matches in the Top Cut, single elimination portion of tournaments are Best of 3 matches, and most events are starting to adapt to only Best of 3 matches. Let's get into it and hopefully, you can learn about how a Best of 3 match work and how to best deal with it.

Things to Remember: There's certain things that when playing a Best

  • Your goal isn't to win Game 1 only, but to win 2/3 of the games you'll play with your opponent
  • Generally, more gimmicky strategies are difficult to pull off as your opponent can adapt to it and make changes. The rule is if your strategy relies on your opponent not knowing what it is, then it may not be best for a high level event with loads of strong competition.
  • There's more room for risk and errors as your opponent can see your tendencies and use them to their advantage of them
How to approach Game 1: There's many ways to approach the first game, but there's some things I do recommend doing or at least to keep in mind
  • Play safe and analyze how your opponent reacts to various situations you put them in 
  • Gather information on your opponent's team, mainly how it functions together, the items. natures if you can figure it out, and the moves your opponent uses
How to approach Games 2 & 3: Once Game 1 is over, you have Games 2 & potentially 3 to look forward to, where this is this some things I feel like are good to have known
  • Don't allow your opponent to do the same strategy twice. If it worked the first time for them, then you don't want them to do it again
  • Analyze how Game 1 went - Did your opponent win/lose because of a certain Pokemon/Strategy? Like I said above if they won because of something, then stopping that from happening again is your main concern
  • Get inside your opponent's head and try to put them into a situation where they have to second guess a decision that may/may not work
Examples of a BO3 match that showcase what I've said above
The reason I put 2 links in is because this was a match between Angel Miranda and Aaron Zheng at the 2015 Pokemon World Championships. Although Angel was able to win the first set in Round 2 on Day 2 of Swiss, Aaron took the knowledge is he had learned from their set to pull a dominate comeback and knock Angel out of the Top 8. 

Extra Knowledge: Just some important info that you can keep in mind
  • Take notes, but only write down the important info that can help you out like your opponent's Pokemon, items, and moves and anything else that you may find helpful
  • Never reveal information unless you have to. If you reveal something key to winning to early, you may jeopardize your chances at winning
  • Don't feel pressured to change your gameplan unless you need to. Sometimes, its good to stick with the same 4 Pokemon before if there your best shot at winning
  • Make sure you choose the right Pokemon in each game so you give yourself the best shot at winning
  • Treat each game as its own game, but use all the info you gathered from your opponent
I hoped you enjoyed this and got some useful information out of it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I'll try my best to answer them. Check out my other VGC Tips article on the basics of VGC and I'll see you next time. Bye!


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