Project SM Monotype PotW #4: Balto

#1
Approved by Eien , Acast & Vid
Based off of OU PotW and Gen 6 Mono PotW

Welcome to fourth edition of Monotype Player of the Week!


(credits to Seo. for the banner)

During this project, I will be interviewing some of the most influential players in Monotype today whether it be based on their exceptional contribution to the metagame or their outstanding performance in tours. If anyone has suggestions on who should be interviewed next, feel free to PM me your ideas.
This week I have one of the most experience Monotype players, having been here since BW, winner of the first Spring Seasonals and just an overall consistent tour performer.


Balto

Can you tell us a bit about your life outside of Smogon?
- I live in Iowa, and am about to start my senior year of high school. Most of my time outside of smogon is consumed by the gym, friends & music. I have a few colleges in mind to apply to as the school year progresses.

What are you most known for?
- Maybe my length of time playing, a few of my tournament runs like world cup & seasonal, or my roomvoice in monotype.

What made you play Pokemon competitively? What got you into Monotype and made you want to stay?
- Really I got started on PS by watching shofu's youtube series. He was laddering when PS was really fresh in 2012 or so, and the concept of the simulator looked really interesting. I made my way into the monotype community when it was really young also. The PS server originally hosted public league rooms, and I joined one. At that point monotype wasn't a playable tier, so it was a little complicated. The competitive nature of the league community is what drew me into playing long term. I didn't really know anything about smogon at the time.

What is your favorite Pokemon in general and favorite one to use competitively?
- My favorite pokemon is porygon2 due to the design and backstory of that pokemon, and it's viability to an extent. But from a competitive aspect, I find mega scizor & latios both really easy to fit on my teams, and can play a variety of roles.

What is your favorite type?

- Psychic has a lot of different builds & pokemon to use while maintaining viability, so that'd be my favorite type to use. Flying would be number 2, for the same reasons.

How about your favorite playstyle?
- I really like running offense. Always thinking about ways to do damage or breaking a balanced team's core is exciting from my player perspective. Playing balance/stall gets really repetitive for me after a while.

As one of the few BW monotype players still playing today, how does this meta compare to ORAS and BW? What are your thoughts on the current SM Monotype metagame? Are there things you think deserve a suspect, to be banned or unbanned?
- In my opinion, ORAS had the most competitive/balanced metagame out of the 3 we've seen. It's hard to compare to BW, since at the time the tier's banlist was the same as OU, & not much was done to balance that tier. SM monotype seems more MU based than previous tiers. In the current meta(post marshadow ban) nothing seems extremely overpowered, although I know many have called for a magearna suspect. I'm going to wait til the meta is a bit more concrete, and the newly released megas have been out for a while before making an opinion on that pokemon though. I think the council has also done a good job on bans, and there's nothing I believe should be unbanned as of now.

Once again, you’ve seen the Monotype metagame and community change immensely throughout the years. What can you say about where the community has gotten too?
- It's been really crazy to say the least. At one point the tier was an OM of the month or something, and now the room contests some of the biggest PS rooms on the server. I think a lot of the progress is thanks to the work scpinion did during his time as tier leader and roomleader. He really allowed the community to expand in competitive nature & playerbase with the subforum, increasing the tournament scale, and working towards creating a real monotype metagame by creating the council.

Many people have been comparing Monotype to children’s games like “rock, paper, scissors” and “tic-tac-toe”. What do you think about that bold claim? Is it a gross exaggeration of the type mechanics of monotype or an accurate description?
- It's an exaggeration for sure. All tiers have a huge matchup factor, but monotype might be more stressed than the others. However, I think as with any tier, monotype requires correct thinking to be consistent. SM monotype in particular might sorts enable this argument a bit more do it bring a bit more matchup based than previous metas but to me they're not comparable.

Do you have any advice for people new to Monotype or people who are trying to improve?

- Get correctly acquainted with the metagame. Build diverse teams for multiple types and learn how to play the tier from every perspective. Having the ability to play multiple types is necessary for tournament play, and learning how to do so will make you a better overall player.

What are your thoughts on Monotype OMs? Do you think they deserve a presence in competitive monotype or do they simply belong in occasional room tours?
- Monotype OMs don't really seem overly competitive to me. From a players and captains perspective I didn't really miss them at all in MPL this year. Maybe there could be a side community for them, but I'd prefer OMs and monotype stay separate for most of the large tours. In roomtours for more casual play, I think they're completely fine.

Are there any up and coming players that have impressed you or that you think will be able to make a mark in the community?
- Leru and bigger name players like soulgazer and shake had really good showings in MPL this year. Leru in particular seems to have shown interest in playing monotype long term, so I could definitely see him making his place in the community.

How was it managing in MPL for the first time? Ignoring the obvious controversy, tell us a bit about the experience of working with your manager, the draft and the simple week to week. Is it something you’d consider doing again?
- Aside from the issues, it was fun managing a team. Leading up to MPL I didn't really have any intention of having a time, but Misaka asked me to assman. Overall as a first experience it was decent. I had a really good time drafting and working with players I liked. I'd probably do it again if the opportunity came up.

Who do you think are the top 5 SM monotype players right now?
- Paleo Thorn Rnbs wanka & Lycan in no specific order.

You have performed consistently well in tournaments, what advice do you have on prepping for a match?
- Looking into your opponents style of playing. In an especially matchup based tier like monotype, it's really important to understand what potential types your opponent will bring. Before a game, I'll also usually run a few matches with teams I plan on using to get a better feel for what I'm going to be playing.

Who are some of your favorite people that you met on Pokemon Showdown?
Dak Prescott Hammy Ridley Mold , the goons.

Finally, can you showcase a team that you think represents your style as a player and provide an explanation on how to use it?

Azumarill @ Normalium Z
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Belly Drum
- Aqua Jet
- Knock Off
- Play Rough

Clefable @ Leftovers
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fire Blast
- Soft-Boiled
- Moonblast
- Stealth Rock

Klefki @ Light Clay
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Light Screen
- Reflect
- Foul Play
- Thunder Wave

Tapu Koko @ Magnet
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 30 Atk
- Taunt
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- U-turn

Tapu Bulu @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stone Edge
- Superpower
- Wood Hammer
- Horn Leech

Magearna @ Assault Vest
Ability: Soul-Heart
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Focus Blast
- Volt Switch
- Fleur Cannon
- Flash Cannon


- Pretty standard fairy team I built a while ago. Mega venusaur + counterbuild steel teams are the only real issue.

This concludes my interview with Balto. A huge thanks to him for taking time out of his day and replying all my questions! Feel free to now ask your own questions to our Player of the Week.​
 

Bushtush

UU Tour Champion
#3
I have some questions for Balto:

One of these Pokémon is not found on Route 110. Which one is it? Oddish, Poochyena or Taillow?

One of these Pokémon is not of the Water type. Which one is it? Azurill, Lotad or Wingull?

One of these Pokémon does not use Leech Life. Which one is it? Dustox, Zubat or Nincada?

Which of these Pokémon did Wally borrow from your father? Ralts, Zigzagoon or Slakoth?

Which of these Pokémon was chasing Prof. Birch? Poochyena, Shroomish or Zigzagoon?

Which of these Pokémon did Team Aqua use in Petalburg Forest? Poochyena, Zubat or Carvanha?

Which costs more? Three Harbor Mails or one Burn Heal?

Sell one Great Ball and buy one Potion. How much money remains?

Do one Repel and Soda Pop cost more than one Super Potion?

In Seashore House, were there more men or women?

In Lavaridge Town, were there more elderly men or elderly women?

In the Trainer's School, how many girl students were there?

In Slateport's Pokémon Fan Club, how many Pokémon were there?

In Fortree City, how many tree houses were there?

On the Cycling Road, how many Triathletes were there?

Rustboro Gym Leader Roxanne used a Geodude. Was it female or male?

How many Bikes does Rydel have on display outside his cycle shop?

How many people give you Berries at the Pretty Petal flower shop?

How many signs are there in Lilycove City?

Bonus question: Now tell me, which hand holds the coin, the right hand or the left hand?