Discussion POT from coaching point of view

Phantron

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It's pretty clear during POT apparently most teams knows exactly the order your opposing team will play and can plan out their strategy exactly, probably because otherwise it wouldn't be too interesting if Tezuka constantly draws the fodder player of the opposing team. But let's say you don't actually know the exact order the enemy team will play, how will you choose your roster? In the case of Seigaku we will leave out Ryoma because otherwise you probably just do S1 Ryoma S2 Tezuka S3 Fuji D1 Golden Pair and there's almost no way you won't win at least 3 out of those 4 games. I won't attempt to try to figure out exactly who wins, i.e. if you get Tezuka versus Atobe we'll just say the outcome is *close*. I don't think it'd be meaningful to talk about Rikkidai since something like S1 Yukimura S2 Sanada S3 Niou D1 Jackal + Marui is pretty much set against any team, including Seigaku without Ryoma (they'll lose D1 but should have all the 3 single games wrapped up easily).

For Seigaku I'll go with:

S1 Tezuka
S2 Kawamura
S3 Fuji
D1 Golden Pair
D2 ???

Tezuka is not going to be an underdog against anyone besides Yukimura and Sanada and it's kind of pointless to try to match up against a team that obviously has the best players (in theory).

Fuji is chosen at S3 for strategic purposes. He obviously should be S2 but Seigaku doesn't seem to have a great S3 player without Ryoma. I picked Kawamura due to his ability to break people's hands and if you're going to rely on that you might as well put him on S2 and have him match up with the other team's better single player since it makes no difference to him (he just needs to break that guy's hand to win).

S3 and D1 should be guaranteed wins. D2 is probably a lost cause. If you get lucky Kawamura breaks someone's hands and Tezuka gets a much needed rest. Otherwise you'll need Tezuka to anchor S1 but it's certainly not a bad position to be in.

Hyotei I'll go with their setup against Seigaku in nationals:

S1 Atobe
S2 Kabaji
S3 Oshitari
D1 Ohtori + Shishido
D2 ???

S2 and D1 seems pretty safe bets (D1 may or may not beat Golden Pair, depends on what point of reference you use). S3 has a decent shot at winning, and if not you can always hope Atobe wins. You won't be able to beat Seigaku because assuming Seigaku lines up what I proposed early, all the games besides S3 is unknown (Fuji will definitely win) so Seigaku has an edge there. In particular, while Seigaku's D2 is pretty weak, Hyotei's D2 seems to be even weaker (they lost D2 in nationals, after all). Seigaku should have a 2-1 lead from S2/S3/D2 and getting 1 game from Tezuka/Golden Pair seems pretty safe.

Now here's an interesting one, Shitenhoji. They're obviously supposed to be the strongest enemy team outside of Rikkidai. We'll throw out Kintaro because he's sort of in the same spot as Ryoma (guaranteed win against all non-final boss/non-main character). I think there are two lineups you can do:

Traditional

S1 Shiraishi
S2 Chitose
S3 Gin Ishida
D1 ???
D2 ???

There's not much to base on how strong their doubles is, but Seigaku's double team is considered weak without Golden Pair, so it seems like the remaining guys should be able to win at least one game in doubles. They probably won't be winning D1 against a top doubles pair but D2 should be pretty safe. Might even want to put the better team at D2 and just forfeit D1. Shiraishi probably isn't beating Tezuka or Atobe, but S2 and S3 have a high chance of winning. If they win D2, then you wouldn't even have to play S1.

Given that Shiraishi isn't likely to beat Tezuka or Atobe to begin with, an alternative lineup might look like:

S1 ???
S2 Shiraishi
S3 Chitose
D1 Gin Ishida + ???
D2 ???

Now you obviously won't win S1, but your chance of winning S2 and S3 should be even better (and they were already pretty good). D1 can even beat teams like Golden Pair since you just have Gin maim the opposing team (of course you're not actually going to be able to win on pure tennis). In fact Gin can be paired up with the weakest remaining member since you're not even attempting to actuall play tennis in this matchup so it really doesn't matter who he's partnered with. You'd still have an advantage in D2 which should be your best real doubles team. I can see this team winning 3-0 or 3-1 reliably and never even getting to the guaranteed loss S1.
 
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Kaoz

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But let's say you don't actually know the exact order the enemy team will play, how will you choose your roster?
I think this still depends on the exact opponents to a great extent. And even against the same opponent the result obviously varies depending on what order you put people in.

For example, you might want to choose Tezuka as S2 to ensure that you win at least one of the first three games. As general thought, I wouldn't usually use the strongest singles player as S1, simply because they are the least likely to play (Atobe would be the exception here I guess, just because of his personality he wouldn't play anything besides S1 in Hyoutei).

Also, if you want to discuss Rikkai, how about removing Yukimura in their case?

Seigaku
Set Singles: Tezuka, Fuji
Set Doubles: Oishi/Kikumaru

I wouldn't always put Kawamura as third singles since I can imagine Inui or Momoshiro being better against a good number of opponents (Inui is better against those that aren't power players themselves but still immune to power and Momoshiro has better stats outside power, even if he's a bit weaker), and it really doesn't matter whether Kawamura breaks wrists in singles or doubles.

He'd probably make decent teams with Kaidou (think Kenya/Gin) or Inui (Hadokyuus should work great for limiting the opponent's options, making DT all the more effective).

Lastly, as I mentioned previously, I'd be more inclined to put Tezuka into S2 or S3 and maybe Fuji into S1. Fuji is still plenty strong to win against a lot of players there, but Tezuka has a greater chance of even getting the team there.


Shitenhouji
Set Singles: Chitose, Shiraishi
Set Doubles: N/A

Not much to say here, everything outside those two in singles is pretty flexible. Kenya/Gin is probably one of the strongest doubles pairs in the series though, so I'd be inclined to use those two together more often than not.


Hyoutei
Set Singles: Atobe, Kabaji
Set Doubles: Shishido/Ootori

Yuushi's position would be decided by the strength of the opponent's singles I guess. If he's strong enough to take on the majority of them, he gets the last spot, if not, him and Jirou in doubles doesn't sound too bad. Hiyoshi could fill the last singles spot in that case.


Rikkai (assuming no Yukimura)
Set Singles: Sanada
Set Doubles: Marui/Jackal

The rest can be used in any order. Niou is good in singles, but it's not like Yagyuu or Kirihara are weak (weaker in comparison, but still pretty good) and if you just need one more game, Yanagi/Niou sounds like a pretty frightening combination for example.
 

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I agree to leave Rikkai out of the equation. Since on paper they should win against every team at this point in the story.

@Phantron
For Shitenhouji you have

S1 Shiraishi
D1 Hitouji/Konjiki
S2 Chitose
D2 Kenya/Zaizen
S3 Ishida

Put that up against

S1 Atobe
D1 Ootori/Shishido
S2 Kabaji
D2 Hiyoshi/Akutagawa
S3 Yushi

From a coaching view of each time this is how I would play things. (Removing Kintaro).
(Databook shows Akutagawa can play Doubles. And although I really like watching Mukahi play, he does suck eggs and he seemed to be Prefectural level)

Also, if you want to discuss Rikkai, how about removing Yukimura in their case?
Not much point.
Sanada, Niou, Marui/Jackal, Kirihara, Yanagi or Yagyuu are better than everybody else's S3.
And Kirihara/Yanagi or Yanagi/Yagyuu could still make a decent team.
(Assuming Tezuka has no TnK here too).
 

Phantron

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Since I started with the assumption that you do not know of your opponent's exact order this means a team with a strong S1 player (Atobe/Tezuka) shouldn't try to get into mind games, i.e. drop their S1 player to S2 because the enemy team might put a fodder player in S1 (don't really see anyone outside of Rikkidai players beating either of these two players at S1). Otherwise you get into an infinite loop as you put Tezuka/Atobe in S2 and then the opposing team put their best player back in S1 again and so on.

Even without Yukimura, Rikkidai's players are pretty much supposed to be best at everything so any reasonable lineup featuring them is supposed to win. The only match I can see Rikkidai losing without plot intervention is, ironically, their D1 which turns out to be surprisingly weak (they'll definitely lose to Golden Pair, possibly others).

I guess we should include matchups between Seigaku/Hyotei/Shitenhoji since those are the three strongest schools without counting Rikkidai so there is actually something meaningful manuever here.

Shitenhoji has a matchup problem against both Seigaku and Hyotei because if you just list your players from most capable to least, Shitenhoji is heavily disadvantaged in S1 and D1 since both teams have extremely strong S1 + D1. Even if you put Gin on D1 you're certainly not expecting to win this match based on tennis skills. That means you must win S2 S3 D2 and while Shitenhoji might have the best players overall, winning 3 in a row is pretty tough.

So for Shitenhoji I'd just concede S1 and put Gin on D1 and hope he knocks out the opponent's D1, and this also gives me Shiraishi and Chitose to work with in the remaining 3 games.

For Seigaku S2 Fuji S3 Inui is a pretty safe bet though Inui is far from guaranteed anything, so in this setup you're pretty much just playing everyone straight up. In absence of plot intervention, if you get Fuji versus Chitose or Fuji versus Kabaji it can certainly go either way. I prefer S2 Kawamura S3 Fuji because Fuji is almost certainly going to win S3 and Kawamura has a history of successfully breaking people's hands to win games he's not supposed to win so you might as well try to exploit it.

---------- Post added at 10:06 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:39 AM ----------

I guess it might be easier to list the strength/weakness of the 3 schools in question too.

Seigaku - Their strengths are obvious as Tezuka in S1 and Golden Pair in D1 is as close to guaranteed win as it gets. However, D2 is a huge weakness in Seigaku loses a lot of games in D2 even with plot immunity. Assuming you're not trying to do something cute like move Tezuka to S2 or whatever, Seigaku comes down to Fuji must win the game he is in because you don't have anyone else to be relied on. I'll rule out putting Fuji on D2 because in the games Fuji played in doubles, he doesn't seem to be particularly effective and that's a waste for someone who is clearly #2 player in Seigaku (without counting Ryoma). Whether you should use Kawamura would depend on whether the opponent team has someone who is likely an easy target for breaking his hands playing singles. If not, I don't see any inherent difference between Inui/Momoshiro/Kaido. They're all good players but certainly not someone who can guaranteed a win in a singles match against strong schools. Might as well draw their name out of a hat.

Hyotei - They are kind of like Seigaku-lite since they're supposed to be the rival school but obviously can't be so strong to actually beat Seigaku. They're one of the few teams to actually lose D2 against Seigaku, so they've even bigger problems. If Atobe is willing to go with a S1 Kabaji S2 Atobe that'd help Hyotei a lot, since Kabaji seems to be capable of at least double KO anyone he runs into due to his unique powers, and Atobe at S2 ought to be a guaranteed win (assuming no further mind games). In this case it'd be likely to end up with a 2-2 draw but in theory Hyotei has an upper hand in the 6th game because of their alleged depth, even though it sure doesn't feel like it.

Shitenhoji - As a whole their players are definitely the strongest (out of these 3 schools) but they literally can't win S1 and D1 as positioned. Since Saiki doesn't work in doubles for whatever reason, this means unless you put Shiraishi in a doubles team you won't have a chance of winning D1 legitmately (Gin mauling an opponent doesn't strike me as legit, though certainly a viable tactic). This school has to go 3-0 against a quality opponent (in particular, Seigaku and Hyotei) or bust, because I see no way for them to win the last two games. They should have the easiest time beating up weak schools (almost every one of their player is decent) but would have problem with the good schools, which is kind of ironic given they're supposed to be the #2 school.
 
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Ninomiya

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I think Fuji will defeat Chitose easily.
Closed Eyes breaks SKnK Phantron. Fuji is a tier above Chitose.

Also Phantron, you comment on Shitenhouji, but look at the line-up I gave.
My D2 is Hiyoshi/Akutagawa.

Try and put your Shitenhouji against my Hyotei.
Personally I think Kenya/Zaizen should win since they were genuienely aware that Tezuka/Inui pair were going to be their opponents and they still went on with the match as if they actually had a chance of taking a game.
So I reckon they have something to back them up.
 

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I think Fuji will defeat Chitose easily.
Closed Eyes breaks SKnK Phantron. Fuji is a tier above Chitose.

Also Phantron, you comment on Shitenhouji, but look at the line-up I gave.
My D2 is Hiyoshi/Akutagawa.

Try and put your Shitenhouji against my Hyotei.
Personally I think Kenya/Zaizen should win since they were genuienely aware that Tezuka/Inui pair were going to be their opponents and they still went on with the match as if they actually had a chance of taking a game.
So I reckon they have something to back them up.
Fuji's power fluctuates throughout the story. I recall seeing a chart on win % rate of Seigaku players and Fuji is not especially high on that list (neither is Tezuka). He's certainly favored against most players but I don't think you can say it's guaranteed win versus Chitose.

For the lineup:

S1 Shiraishi
D1 Hitouji/Konjiki
S2 Chitose
D2 Kenya/Zaizen
S3 Ishida

Put that up against

S1 Atobe
D1 Ootori/Shishido
S2 Kabaji
D2 Hiyoshi/Akutagawa
S3 Yushi

I'd say Hyotei wins S1/D1. Shitenhoji wins D2 and S3. Let's just say any game involving Kabaji is a coin toss for the sake of simplicity.

However you've to consider the degree of dominance here.

D1 is going to be a blowout victory for Hyotei (Hyotei D1 can play Golden Pair straightup).
S1 is a very comfortable victory for Hyotei (Atobe is higher tier than Shiraishi).

In particular, I don't see Shitenhoji winning D2 or S3 more comfortably than Atobe will win his S1.

That means it's more likely for Hyotei to pull off an upset in D2/S3 than Shitenhoji pulling an upset in S1/D1. And Kabaji probably should be favored against anyone. He was ahead of Tezuka until it started raining.
 

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It's funny how in every single match coaches know the enemy's line up, but instead of making an almost sure win (let's say, GP at D2, Fuji in S3 and Tezuka in S2) they always make their line up to have the most competitive match. The only one that tried to get an advantage of that is Mizuki (but Saint Rudolph sucked too much).
 

Phantron

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It's funny how in every single match coaches know the enemy's line up, but instead of making an almost sure win (let's say, GP at D2, Fuji in S3 and Tezuka in S2) they always make their line up to have the most competitive match. The only one that tried to get an advantage of that is Mizuki (but Saint Rudolph sucked too much).
Well in the world where everyone knows everyone else's lineup if you try to change it the opposing coach would know it immediately and change their roster too.

I saw a ranking of how good coaches are at predicting the enemy lineup and coming up with an effective counter, and I think it went like Shitenhoji = Hyotei >>>> Seigaku. In fact, Seigaku's lineup choices are just downright horrible. If they don't have Ryoma's guaranteed win + plot immunity they'd be thoroughly outcoached.

For example, against Higa, D2 and S2 were likely losses without plot immunity, and Seigaku is way stronger than Higa. Putting a doubles specialist at S2 while putting one of your best singles player at D2 is just downright dumb.
 

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@Phantron,

Fuji IS better than Chitose. Chitose has nothing that can score against Fuji. How hard is that for you to understand?

Saiki cannot get a point off of Closed Eyes. So Fuji is a level above him. it's that easy.
I agree with you on our match-ups.

But on D2 Hiyoshi/Akutagawa VS Kenya/Zaizen isn't a given.

For Zaizen, yeah he is the next captain of Shitenhoji, so we could parallel him to Kaidoh/Kirihara tier who are the next captains of their teams.
But Hiyoshi is also a next captain. So for all we know, Zaizen is just Hiyoshi tier.

Kenya is also just Hiyoshi tier. And Kenya and Akutagawa are the same tier.
So for all we know this could be a match with ALL players involved at the same ability level.
Since Kenya, Akutagawa and Hiyoshi are on the same level.
 
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