Published on July 28th, 2015 | by Braverius


NPA 4 Commencement

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the commencement of the 4th NPA! Everything (or at least most of it) that you need to know will be laid out in this post. If you plan on signing up, you need to read through everything here. It’s a lot, but if everyone is educated on the rules and understands what they’re diving into this year, we’ll have a much more smooth season.

NPA will be run by me and AP Frank (Nationals head judge Nic Freda) this year, with a committee of five respected, level-headed community members (TBA within the week) to help with any major decisions during the season. I’ll be doing more of the community side and the setup of the league, while Nic is your “head judge” so to speak – he brings experience from head judging both Nationals and Worlds and is one of the most knowledgeable in the community when it comes to problem solving and event logistics.

Before we get going, we want to make a few general things about the season clear:

  • We’re running NPA as a fun activity for the VGC offseason and a showcase of the best players in the game
  • There is no reward for winning other than “Nugget Bridge street cred”
  • This year, we want to return to this being a lighthearted endeavor. This doesn’t mean it has to get less competitive, but we want everyone to understand that this isn’t very important in the grand scheme of things. We’re hosting this so that people can have fun. The guidelines in place are there to help ensure that the league is directed towards doing so for the majority of people. If you aren’t in agreement with them and don’t plan to follow them, please think twice about signing up.
  • Give each other the benefit of the doubt. The very vast majority of players in the league mean well and are not doing anything as malicious as it may seem at first glance. Let the decisions be made by the managers and commissioners on a situation before you react to it. Be as patient as possible, and give other people some credit. No one is out to get each other as much as it seems at first glance. The quickest way to start unnecessary drama is to overreact to a situation you don’t have much information on.
  • Note that some rules may be adjusted over the course of the season. We haven’t had a ton of eyes on everything yet, and we want to make sure everything runs smoothly and continues to do so in the future. Any rule changes or updates will be posted in the thread here.


Teams and Managers

Next up, what you’re all probably most excited to hear, your NPA Teams, Managers, and Assistant Managers for the season! It was a really difficult selection process and was more realistic to go with 12 rather than 10, so we bumped it up two extra slots.


1) Goldenrod Rollouts
Manager: Benji
Assistant: Smith

The Rollouts return after having won the NPA title a year ago. Benji, who has qualified for Day 1 Worlds this season, returns to manage along with Smith, a longtime player and former Celestic Stars member.


2) Lilycove Cruisers
Manager: Simon
Assistant: Jio

The Cruisers are back with a new captain of the ship, with the former captain working on deck. Last year, the Cruisers made a run to the finals and lost a tight set to the Rollouts. Simon, a Worlds qualifier in 2011, has played all three years in NPA, while Jio has played one year and managed last year’s finalist team.


3) Viridian Forest Hornets
Manager: Dubulous
Assistant: Alaka

The Hornets were the strongest team in the regular season last year, and after losing in the semifinals, they’re back to prove they can win on the next stage. They have the managing experience to get there, with Dubs (Dubulous) and Alaka at the helm. Dubs is one of only two head managers this year with managing experience dating back to NPA1. Dubs and Alaka both managed in both NPA1 and NPA3, and Alaka has qualified for worlds three times, including qualifying for Day 1 this year.


4) Fortree Brave Birds
Manager: Kingofmars
Assistant: Hibiki

The Brave Birds bounced back from a rough NPA2 with the 2nd best regular season last year, only to be bounced by the eventual champion Rollouts in the semifinals. This year, Kingofmars takes over for yours truly, and has another former Brave Bird, Hibiki, alongside him. Gavin (kingofmars) has qualified for Worlds the past four years, including a Day 1 invite this year. Hibiki earned his first trip to Worlds this year with a Day 1 invite as well.


5) Mistralton Jets
Manager: Makiri
Assistant: Unreality

The Jets, another playoff team from last season, return with an experienced staff. Makiri played in NPA1 and managed in NPA2 and NPA3, and Unreality managed in NPA1 and NPA2 and played for the Jets last season. Makiri qualified for Worlds back in 2008 and has managed successful teams in both NPA and SPL, and Unreality was a qualifier in 2011 and was one spot away from grabbing his invite this year.


6) Sunyshore Chargers
Manager: Prettylittleliar
Assistant: Dtrain

Coming off of their second playoff appearance in a row, the Chargers are back and ready for another deep run. He-who-has-too-many-names, Prettylittleliar has managed in the last two runnings of NPA and qualified for Worlds back in 2011 and 2012, reaching at least top 8 both years, and Dtrain has played in all three seasons of NPA.


7) Fallarbor Flames
Manager: Pookar
Assistant: Feathers

The Flames, who had one of the most feel-good drafts last year, came up just short of the playoffs. This year, they return with the man who drafted for them, Pookar, heading the team. Feathers, last year’s manager, will keep watch over her Flames as an assistant.


8) Celestic Stars
Manager: Tan
Assistant: Chalkey

Although Tan had posted saying he was not going to manage this year, he had a change of heart and will end up managing his Stars yet again. Tan has managed for two years and has become the face of the league, holding up signs at Worlds and advertising his Celestic coffee all over. Chalkey, who played in NPA back in 2013, has been around the community for what feels like forever.


9) Fuchsia Ninjas
Manager: TalkingLion
Assistant: Cypher

The Ninjas return for a third year in a row, headed again by TalkingLion. Both years the team has been a middling threat, and ended up forcing five ties last year on one of the league’s toughest schedules. This year Cypher, who has played in all three NPA seasons and was part of the NPA1 champion Sacramento Slakings and NPA2 champion Seafoam Islanders, brings championship experience as a co-manager.


10) Hearthome Holy Spirits
Manager: Wolfey
Assistant: Ray

After getting the most undesirable schedule in NPA3 having to play five playoff teams in eight weeks, the Holy Spirits return in a season that won’t hand them a schedule of such unholy proportions. Wolfey, 2012 Worlds runner-up and four-time qualifier, takes over the team this year after playing in the previous two seasons of NPA. Three-time world champion Ray returns to the Holy Spirits to assist Wolfe on his Mission to win the championship. Amen.


11) Castelia Cones
Manager: Darnell Washington
Assistant: Duy

The Cones have always meant bidness. Big bidness. Darnell returns as the longest tenured manager in NPA, being the only manager to manage all three previous years that’s returning this year. He called up Duy on his Bluetooth to help him manage this year. Duy will provide solid comments on players’ practice games and also has qualified for Worlds once back in 2010, along with coming painfully close to an invite in 2013.


12) New Bark Loud Puppies**
Manager: Scott
Assistant: ???

We have one expansion team this year, and it’s going to be headed by Scott, who has played in all three of the previous NPA seasons. Scott qualified for Worlds in 2012 and 2013, and now essentially gets free analysis of players as part of his job, so he looks to have one of the most well-drafted lineups this season.

**Unfortunately, this is a placeholder, the New Bark Loud Puppies aren’t for real. The actual team name will be announced in the coming weeks.


Season Schedule & Setup

Season Length: 8 Weeks (3 superweeks + 5 regular weeks)
Playoff teams: 6 (3-6 seeds play round 1, 1-2 get byes; re-seeded pairings each round)
Players per team per week: 8 during regular season, 7 during playoffs
Draft format: Auction, 120k budget, 0.5 increments, starting bid of 3k.
Trade deadline: End of Midseason
Draft Date: TBD, very likely between August 26th and August 30th

All Nugget Bridge Circuit rules apply.

Format: VGC 2015 for all 8 slots
Additional Rule: The moves Minimize and Double Team are banned from play. Anyone to use Minimize or Double Team during a match will receive an automatic match loss. This is to prevent games from going to the full 60 minutes as a result of a single move.

Draft order (randomized order) (snake promotion):
1) Jets
2) Chargers
3) Holy Spirits
4) Flames
5) Cones
6) Loud Puppies
7) Brave Birds
8) Cruisers
9) Rollouts
10) Ninjas
11) Hornets
12) Stars

Season Schedule:
Week 1-2: Aug 31 – Sep 6
Week 3-4: Sep 7 – Sep 13
Week 5-6: Sep 14 – Sep 20
Midseason: Sep 21 – Sep 25
Week 7: Sep 26 – Oct 2
Week 8: Oct 3 – Oct 11
Week 9: Oct 12 – Oct 20
Week 10: Oct 20 – Oct 29
Week 11: Oct 30 – Nov 8
Quarterfinals: Nov 9 – Nov 15
Semifinals: Nov 16 – Nov 22
Finals: Nov 23 – Nov 29

Team Schedules: Will be released soon, along with the rest of the season spreadsheet!

Players will be able to be sold back for 50% of their original value. All auctions start at 3k and will end after 12 hours without bidding activity. All auctions will automatically end at 11:59pm GMT+0 on September 25th.

Dynasty Rules:
Starting next year, teams will be able to retain their players. The cost for retaining will be either 10k + 3k or the player’s value + 3k, whichever is more expensive. Retaining rights will also be able to be traded between teams before the season begins.

Activity Rules:

This year, there are going to be slightly more objective rules on activty as to prevent as many issues as possible. However, if too many rules are created, players will find workarounds and play the activity system rather than try to schedule a match, so most activity calls will be left in the hands of the commissioners. Please get your matches done; playing out a game is much easier and less stressful than pushing for activity in most situations.

Both players must message each other with their availability within 48 hours of the round being posted. Players must post at least three time frames of five hours each on three different days in which they are available to play (the more time frames and the more hours in each, the better – please work on getting matches actually complete rather than rule sharking.) If there is too much conflict in the times, the commissioners must be notified no later than 72 hours from the start of the week. “Anytime” and “Sunday” are NOT time frames; any player using these types of vague descriptions of times to play are going to be given significantly less leverage in a decision. Please be respectful of your opponent’s circumstances and at least give them a very concrete time window in which you’re able to get the match done.

Example of good dialogue:
Player A:
Hi! We’re paired for this round. I’m GMT+0 and am able to play Thursday and Friday from 5-10pm GMT+0, Saturday from 2-10pm GMT+0, and Sunday from 5-11pm GMT+0. Let me know your times and dates so we can organize a time effectively.
Player B:
I’m in US Mountain Time (GMT-7) for reference; I’m able to play 5pm-10pm GMT-7 Friday, Noon-Midnight GMT-7 Saturday, and Noon-5pm GMT-7 Sunday. In your time zone, that’s midnight-5am and 7pm-midnight Saturday and midnight-7am and 7pm-midnight Sunday. It looks like we’re both able to play from 7-10pm your time Saturday and also 7-11pm your time on Sunday. Should we plan for 8pm on both nights, Saturday as the primary time and Sunday as a backup time in the event one of us would miss the Saturday time?
Player A:
9pm my time would work slightly better for me than 8pm on both nights, would that work for you?
Player B:
Yes it would. See you at 9pm GMT+0 Saturday!
Player A:
See you then!

Example of bad dialogue:
Player A:
Hi! I’m from US Eastern Time and I can play Friday and Sunday basically anytime.
Player B:
Hi, I’m GMT+0 and I can play Thursday, Friday, and Saturday basically anytime as well, what’s best for you?
Player A:
Afternoons are better in general
Player B:
Let’s plan on Friday afternoon then, I’ll be around pretty much all day as I said. See you then!
Player A:
Sounds good!

The bad example is usually when one person shows up for /their/ afternoon and things get extremely out of hand and haywire. Please follow the first example and be conscious of your opponent’s time zones and their situation when scheduling. Schedule exact times and show up to them a few minutes before if possible to coordinate things such as exchanging friend codes and setting up streams more easily. The player exhibiting the better manners and following protocol when scheduling will be more likely to receive the activity call in a scenario where both players have equal leverage otherwise.

Again, all activity calls will be handled by the commissioners, and the committee will vote if necessary. Our goal is to have no activity calls at all, but in the event that things do get too sour or too impossible to schedule, we will do our best to make the most reasonable call possible and provide transparency to everyone involved to help explain our reasoning.
Now if you’ve read all of this and are wanting to play in NPA this year, sign up in the thread over here!

Note for first-timers: not everyone who signs up will be guaranteed a slot. Players will be put up for auction and bid on by the managers.

Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks! If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, feel free to post them in the thread.

About the Author

started playing competitive Pokemon in April 2011. Since then he has been fortunate enough to compete in numerous official live events, qualifying for Worlds in 2013 and winning four Regionals along the way.

65 Responses to NPA 4 Commencement

  1. rapha says:

    I am personally opposed to multi battles. Too casual and not VGC imo.

  2. Scott says:

    I think multi-battles make sense if the goal is to make the tournament more fun and less serious, but having like 800 VGC 2015 slots sort of pulls in the other direction. I think you kinda have to commit to doing all serious formats or mostly joke formats, just doing a bunch of 2015 with multis thrown in would be pretty weird.
    I’m not huge on the keeper thing — I’d be opposed this year regardless (since I don’t have a team to retain), but I haven’t had good experiences in fantasy sports with small parts of teams being kept. Typically a few teams build up very strong keepers that sort of break the game. There’s a lot of player turnover in Pokemon compared to a fantasy sport, which would help, but I think rosters are too shallow and the game is too volatile to really build for the future effectively enough for the keeper system to work competitively at all. I think the only way doing something like that really improves the tournament is if people just want to make a team of their friends, in which case, we probably shouldn’t be drafting to begin with.
    There is lots of potential trouble with how high manager turnover has been in this tournament, as well. It’s a very different scenario to inherit a fresh team than to end up inheriting someone else’s poorly managed roster when you have to compete with a bunch of teams with stronger keepers. Being almost guaranteed to lose isn’t much fun regardless of how serious the tournament is meant to be taken.

  3. Simon says:

    I have a screenshot of Zach spam pming a team manager. This is not behavior fit for a commissioner. 

  4. Braverius says:

    Manager PM will go out this evening.

    I specifically warned everyone earlier about this happening and just now you do something?
    Note that I only mentioned ONE MANAGER. Don’t get on my case about this. I do what I want. 

  5. Huy says:

    I ran the multi battle tournament at the beginning and would not suggest. Scheduling is hard enough as it is, and WiFi connections for 6th gen multibattles drop as much as WiFi battles for 5th.
    I also want retains so I can keep rapha.

  6. pookar says:

    Since everyone is kind of voicing their keeper opinions I’ll throw mine here as well.
    Keepers work (sometimes) in traditional fantasy sports leagues due to the form of arbitrary value, especially in auction formats where the aggregate value of every auction draft in the same format is given in the form of the average draft price for that player, or average draft position. This allows for fair evaluation of compensation for keeping these players, you usually want the keeping team to take a sort of hit as a cost to retain the player. However, in our NPA league, I think this sort of thing is borderline impossible. If you have a single arbitrator to define the value of every keeper (it probably can only be max 1 or 2 a team, in my opinion) each year, I guess it could work, but is a lot less stable. You can’t draw single year draft values out of a single draft and use that as a base, it doesn’t assign value fairly. Especially in this league where people actually have to interact with their players and kind of manage them more than just “Starting” them, “value” is difficult to define. Do you start valuing players by how many wins they got? I’m not sure.
    Rewarding people for finding value in lower valued players is cool, I know, but it also creates a potentially unbalanced league where one player originally valued very low is kept potentially “forever” while having an actual value way higher than the price is paid. I think trying to assign players a value, pretty much guessing really, is just a huge hassle and not worth what the NPA is trying to accomplish.
    Other Metas: I don’t think its a great idea. None of the choices are established (or things people want to play over 2015) and are hard to plan for. I know its about fun, but not knowing who is good at a meta or wants to play it is a different story.

  7. makiri says:

    I’m getting spammed by the commish

  8. Braverius says:

    impeach him maybe

  9. Unreality says:

    I would also like to add that there was no 56k warning on the manager signups thread and the page took too long to load because of the bird pictures and gifs. Please impeach.

  10. Hibiki says:

    Has the Like-farming begun already? Cause y’all seem super thirsty.

  11. Dubulous says:

    Can I just retain my whole team from last year?

  12. Chalkey says:

    Thanks NPA people for giving me a shot as Assistant Manager! 
    Getting back to the topic of commencement posts: 

    some stuff 

    Tan pretty much covers everything I’m looking for. Just as a few additional notes to newcomers and returning players who are hoping to get drafted: 

    • I could be mistaken on my math, but I’m reasonably sure we hit more signups than slots available some time ago – this happened pretty early on last year too. That said, for those that don’t get picked, this is not a reflection of you as a person! Logistically speaking, it is very hard to make this choice, and I am willing to bet there are plenty of times we want to pick people but just can’t. Already my inbox is being blasted, and all the applications so far have been strong players. That being said, you have nothing to lose by trying! 
    • Please don’t assume that because we are friends I’m going to pick you – it wouldn’t be fair to newcomers if every NPA Manager just picked people they liked personally, and I plan to try to be as unbiased as I reasonably can be.  
    • For those sending PM applications to Tan and yours truly for the Celestic Stars, proper grammar and spelling to a long way with me, as does being polite. I tend to respect someone who goes out of their way to make a good first impression. 
    • I shouldn’t have to say this, but if your application badmouths other players, that instantly puts you behind the other applicants in my eye. I fully support Braverius and the admins in trying to rebuild the lighthearted mentality of competition that will bring us together, and one of the most important traits for me when building a team is a group of people that not only can get along with each other as a group, but also work together with our team and other teams without drama. This is also in support of Tan’s vision of the Stars in the past, which wanted a team that shared camaraderie as well as wins. Let’s have some fun with this!
    • Last but not least, please don’t spam my inbox with Bidoof battles. Looking at you, JTK. 
  13. Huy says:


    • Last but not least, please don’t spam my inbox with Bidoof battles. Looking at you, JTK. 


    For a minute I thought you set off the word filter and was like WHOA THERE WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE MAN. Then I realized you meant the actual Pokemon Bidoof.

  14. kingofmars says:

    kokako’s are so 2014, this is the year of the kakapo
    As for tryouts, me and hibiki will try to be on pokemonshowdown as much as possible, hit us up with a pm there or on the forums and we’ll try to work out a tryout.
    I’m not saying changing your nuggetbridge profile picture to a bird will help you get picked, but I am typing it.

  15. Scott says:

    Is it too late to post a picture of a bird?
    It’s ok this is a video anyway

  16. JfriasPokemon says:

    Really excited about that! How can I try to be selected in the draft?

  17. BattleArena says:

    Interested in trying out for any teams possible (: Please PM me if you are interested. If you are curious I have a youtube channel you can check out if you want.

    YT: (:

  18. Level 51 says:

    Please PM me if you are interested.

    I don’t think that’s how it works

  19. BattleArena says:

    I don’t think that’s how it works

    Yeah… I saw the sign up thread. Please ignore. Lol. 

  20. TheAshAttack says:

    Is it too late to post a picture of a bird?

    It’s ok this is a video anyway


  21. tikkibikki says:

    wait isnt blasting the inbox a bit aggressive lol, that would sour me to them :P

  22. Braverius says:

    NPA draft is this Friday at 6pm PST / 9pm EST! Sorry for not posting here, word was on Twitter previously. Draft will take place in #npa on IRC if all goes according to plan.

  23. Glurakxy says:

    Forgot to sign-up :unsure:

  24. LightCore says:

    Forgot to sign-up :unsure:

    You had something like a month and a half to sign up dude…

  25. TheSaxlad says:

    NPA draft is this Friday at 6pm PDT / 9pm EDT! Sorry for not posting here, word was on Twitter previously. Draft will take place in #npa on IRC if all goes according to plan.

    Are we allowed to watch? If so can someone confirm the server that #npa is being hosted on?

  26. kamikaze17 says:

    Are we allowed to watch? If so can someone confirm the server that #npa is being hosted on?

    should be synIRC as I am on it right now

  27. Szymoninho says:

    mistake post lol. Sorry.

  28. iss says:

    Spirits should play multi battles against their opponents

  29. 000aj says:

    Quick question about something I noticed:
    Why did the Chargers get 5.5k for a 10.5k player, but the Rollers get 1.75k for a 3.5k player? 

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