Project SM Monotype PotW #6: Moosical (Torkool)

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

Welcome to sixth 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 decided to change things up and interview an up and coming player after being suggested alternating between top players and those. This week we have Mono OMs expert, Monotype room Moderator and important contributor to the development of Monotype OMs.


Moosical

Can you tell us a bit about your life outside of Smogon?
- I graduated from college two years ago, and have been doing temp work for a cosmetics company while trying to get my foot in the door in the pharmaceutical industry. I play a lot of strategy games; in particular I’ve spent a lot of time playing Europa Universalis 4 in the past year, as well as a few others. Otherwise, I really enjoy cooking, and recently picked up gardening (fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables are A++). I also spend a lot of time going to the park or hiking various trails with my dog.​

Where did you get your username from?
- Over the years, I’ve had so many different IGNs across MMORPGs/platforms and haven’t ever really just stuck to one. I’m typically really bad at making usernames and usually just pick one that’s a (bad) play on words that I find funny at the time. My forum IGN, Moosical, originated from me being musical (I used to play two instruments through high school and college). I spelled it that way because I used a drawing of a moose playing a guitar as my avatar on an old MMORPG’s forums. My PS! username, torkool, was pretty much the same thing. I know it’s pretty cliché to use a Pokemon IGN (on a Pokemon simulator), but I swear I started using it on another video game forum first. Obviously it’s just a combination of Torkoal and cool, not very exciting.​

What are you most known for?
- I’m not sure I’m really known for anything in particular. I suppose I’m only known for being a moderator in the Monotype room on Pokemon Showdown!​

What made you play Pokemon competitively? What got you into Monotype and made you want to stay?
- Well, I’ve always been a fan of Pokemon, ever since Red/Blue came out when I was in Elementary school. As for competitive play, my freshman year of college roommate was really into Pokemon (as was I), which motivated the two of us to get better at the game. However, (I’m embarrassed to say) this was before Pokemon Showdown was even created, and just around the time Pokemon Online had come out (assuming I’m getting the dates correct), so our competitive battling was mainly limited to each other in game. We were friends through all of college, and kept interest in Pokemon, so we eventually found our way to Pokemon Showdown. Due to being extremely busy with my courses, extra-curriculars, and working, I didn’t do anything on it besides playing random battles occasionally. However, once I graduated I finally had more time to myself, so I decided to try out actual competitive play. I got into Monotype, I think, because I wanted to see if Pokemon that weren’t viable in OU could be useful there (I wasn’t technically wrong). I think my first team was Artiuno Ice or something like that, pretty terrible. However, I ended up liking the format and decided to stick with it. I realized that I typically like metagames that have limited options, as I can get overwhelmed in team building with metas where you have a huge chunk of viable Pokemon. Based off of that, Monotype is a pretty good fit, and I’m definitely glad I continued with it.​

What is your favorite Pokemon in general and favorite one to use competitively?
- My favorite Pokemon changes with each new generation that comes out. It was Azumarill in gen4, Walrein in gen5, Electivire in gen6, and right now I like Marowak-A. It has a really cool design and is a neat Pokemon overall. It’s hard to choose a favorite Pokemon to use competitively. I suppose it’d be Tapu Koko. Auto-setting terrain was a really interesting idea by gamefreak, and has really influenced every metagame that the Tapus are legal in. Tapu Koko hits very hard, but more importantly has amazing momentum between volt switch and u-turn, which is always fun to use. It was also fun exploring some crazier sets in the beginning of SM such as z-mirror move with it. While they didn’t end up being consistent, let alone useful, it was a good time.​

What is your favorite type?
- It’s really hard to pick a favorite type since I like to switch between a handful, but I guess my answer would have to be fairy. While most fairy teams end up being pretty “cookie cutter” (aka same 6 mons), it’s very consistent and still fun to use. It has a great set of Pokemon this generation, so it’s hard to change it up without sacrificing parts of your team. That being said, even with the Magearna suspect going on, I’ve been having fun using Mega Gardevoir in its place. While it isn’t as globally useful as Magearna (as well as the gen7 Pixilate nerf), it definitely is still very useful in the majority of match-ups.​

How about your favorite play style?
- I tend to play either balance or bulky offense. I’m usually not very successful with hyper-offense, so I tend to stay away from it (and stall is terrible so, nope).​

What are your thoughts on the current SM Monotype metagame? Are there things you think deserve a suspect, to be banned or unbanned? How does it fair compared to ORAS?
- I think the SM metagame is in a really good place as is right now. There’s a lot of type diversity in the metagame, and a large number of types are viable to use in a tournament setting, which is actually really nice. I think the discussion on Magearna has been exhausted at this point (with the suspect concluding shortly), so I won’t talk about that. I don’t think there’s anything glaringly obvious that deserves a ban or suspect, and at this point in time I definitely wouldn’t consider unbanning anything. I know a few people have talked about Shadow Tag being uncompetitive when given a chance, but I haven’t personally used it enough to have a concrete opinion. When compared to ORAS, I definitely like SM a whole lot more. As I said, there’s more type diversity, and overall balance, at least for tournament play. I was pretty terrible through most of ORAS though, so I don’t have much to say about it.​

You’ve transitioned from Voice to Moderator quite rapidly, what motivates your avid participation in the development of the monotype community?
- I don’t think anything in particular really motivates me. I have always enjoyed helping people learn, and teaching in general (I tutored in college), and it’s nice to be able to share a metagame I enjoy with other people. I think it also takes a certain amount of patience and level-headedness to help manage a room such as Monotype’s. It’s typically a very active room, having one of the highest daily room counts on PS. For those who are looking to participate more in the Monotype community, there’s a couple of different pieces of advice I can give. First off, if you’re going to give advice to other players, make sure you actually understand or have experience in whatever they’re asking about. I often see people try to help with teams or types (which is good in general), but they themselves don’t really understand what they’re talking about, so they end up giving bad advice and have to be corrected, which can bring down other’s opinions about you as a player. This also goes along with those who talk about specific Pokemon or Monotype in general without a real grasp of metagame. Second off, consistency and activity is also very important. Given the huge player base, it’s hard to get noticed in the Monotype room, so being active in the room is a large part of it. This also goes along with participating on the Monotype forums. Writing thoughtful and detailed posts in threads such as the Viability Rankings or the Metagame discussion thread can definitely help you get noticed as a player. However, you have to keep in mind that this can backfire if your posts contain incorrect or irrelevant information, so make sure you completely think out your posts. Quality is always much, much more important than quantity when it comes to the forums.​

Do you have any advice for people new to Monotype or people who are trying to improve?
- My biggest piece of advice for people new to Monotype would be to check out the resources on the Monotype forums. There’s a ton of great information that various people have put together to help aid new players specifically, and it’d be a shame to not use it as a reference. For people who are generally trying to improve, I’d say make sure you don’t play too quickly (one of the biggest mistakes I make). When battling, think about your plays – what are the possible moves your opponent could make this turn, and your possible options. Make sure to reference the damage calculator; don’t just leave it to estimating in your head as rolls can often ruin your strategy if you don’t know the exact chances of KO. Aside from that, make sure you try out every type. I know a large proportion of the community like to main types. If you want to main a type, that’s perfectly fine, however, don’t only use that type. When I first started playing Monotype, I basically only used Electric type. I only really started improving as a player once I actually branched out. The best way to learn and improve is to understand how each type plays and the decisions they have to make, which will not only help you improve for your main type, but as a player overall.​

Similar to the previous question, what did you do to become to “up and coming” player you are today?
- I don’t think I really did anything in particular. Like I said, I only really started improving as a player once I began using every type. Otherwise, it’s just constant learning and practicing the metagame. I mostly was given an opportunity to become noticed in the Monotype community, and ended up doing well, which put a good impression on some of the veteran players.​

What influenced you to taking charge of Monotype OMs? What is your favorite one?
- Well, I’m not sure I’m really “in charge” of Monotype OMs, Tyke and I co-host the OM Mega Thread together. It was started by the two of us to help kick start them as sub-metas. If you’re interested in something, I think it’s always worth taking the initiative rather than just waiting for someone else to do it, which is what the two of us did. Anyways, I personally really enjoy playing the sub metas, to me they’re a fun “break” from playing only SM Monotype. It’s also an interesting way to get a “taste” of the other metas while keeping the Monotype flair (without having to actually play the “real” version of the meta). For example, while I have really no interest in playing something like Ubers, AAA or Doubles, trying out the Monotype versions are pretty fun for me. I think it’s pretty apparent based on my posts that I really enjoy playing Monotype LC. I already have a great time playing regular LC, which was a ton of fun representing the Monotype room for PSPL. Little Cup is definitely very different from every other metagame. The EVs are different, calcs are different, and different moves are more or less useful than in most metagames. Throwing in Monotype just adds on to the fun for me, as its metagame is pretty interesting. I suppose that Monothreat also counts as a Monotype OM, which would be my other favorite. I got into that metagame mainly because Ticken picked me out after watching me play a couple of room tours, and started to talk to me about it a ton. That was right around the time that his Type Expert Tour was going on. It forced me to quickly learn about each Monothreat type, make teams, and participate in 3 types’ tours per weekend. I ended up coming in second place (of course Ticken winning), but I did make it to the grand finals for a good chunk of types. I’d say that was one of the biggest factors that improved me as a player and team builder, and I’m really grateful that he got me involved in it.​

Do you think they deserve a presence in competitive monotype or do they simply belong in occasional room tours?
- I wasn’t around for MPL2 so I don’t know off hand how throwing Monotype OMs in a competitive tour play out personally (not counting monothreat), though I’ve heard from other veteran players. I think that the majority of Monotype OMs aren’t competitive enough to be worth including in a tour of that stature. That being said, I see no problem with them being included in less “official” tours, such as BLT this year whenever it happens, or any other team tournaments that may be in the works.​

This was your first time participating in MPL. How did you feel about the tour as a whole? Any memorable moments? What was your favorite game?
- It was definitely interesting to say the least.This was my first time participating in, but also spectating a premier league. I only started playing Monotype around July last year, quite a while after MPL2 ended. I’m personally not an overly competitive person, so I had a fun time playing my battles. I think a few people took the tournament a little bit too seriously, it’s just a game, but I can’t blame them for being competitive. I was grateful to also meet and get to know a bunch of players that I otherwise probably wouldn’t have talked to otherwise. Managing a team looks like it’d be fun, but I doubt I’d be in a position to manage next year’s tournament, hopefully whenever BLT rolls around, I’ll be chosen to manage a team for that. I don’t think there was anything too memorable, but watching top tier players in their prime was very entertaining and informative. While I didn’t watch every battle, I had a great time watching Zukushiku’s, Eien’s, Paleo’s, TheThorn’s, and Clearly’s replays in particular. They’re all really amazing players and team builders; definitely battlers to look up to. My favorite game, that I played, was probably my Dark Monothreat battle vs ashaury. I was debating whether or not to use Z-Parting Shot Pangoro, and was really happy it worked out.​

Not only was it your first MPL, but you were voted as the best newcomer based on your great record despite the price. How did you deal with preparing weekly and the pressure of this image?
- I think I was pretty fortunate for how things ended up for my first MPL run. I’m really grateful that Acast (and Bondie) gave me the chance to start every single week, even though I was a mostly unproven player, with very little tournament experience. I’m not sure that other managers would’ve been willing to risk that, but it worked out. Also, playing a more niche meta made it easier to stand out as a player than if I was playing something like SM which was filled with a lot of very skilled players. That being said, it was pretty apparent after the first couple of weeks that the Bloom Doom Glooms weren’t going to be a top contender in MPL. I think that fact helped me relax in the tournament; there wasn’t really a huge amount of pressure for me to do well for my team. I went into each battle just trying to do my best, have fun, and get the highestW/L I could, considering it was my first major tournament. Preparing weekly was pretty interesting, as I had never put in so much effort into team building before. I had a pretty good support group between Ticken and Sae Sae, who helped a lot with testing out my teams.​

Who are some of your favorite people that you met on Pokemon Showdown?
- The two people I talk to the most would have to be Ticken and Tyke. I’ve gotten to know a lot of other Monotype staff members and players in general more recently, especially when MPL was going on. There are a lot of really cool people around. In general, I think I’m a pretty friendly guy so, if anyone ever wants to talk to me about anything feel free to reach out.​

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

Regirock @ Chople Berry
Ability: Sturdy
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature
- Curse
- Rest
- Sleep Talk
- Drain Punch

Aerodactyl @ Focus Sash
Ability: Rock Head
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Defog
- Iron Head
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake

Terrakion @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Justified
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Close Combat
- Sacred Sword
- Iron Head
- Quick Attack

Kabutops @ Chople Berry
Ability: Battle Armor
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Aqua Jet
- Low Kick
- Stealth Rock
- Rapid Spin

Cradily @ Chople Berry
Ability: Storm Drain
EVs: 248 HP / 252 SpD / 8 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Giga Drain
- Recover
- Toxic
- Stealth Rock

Carracosta @ Salac Berry
Ability: Sturdy
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Superpower
- Shell Smash
- Aqua Jet
- Waterfall

- This is the Rock Monothreat team I used vs. Ticken in MPL. Not sure how to explain it without going into full detail about Rock Monothreat, but basically the goal for this team is to set up with either Carracosta or Regirock and then sweep. There are few special attackers in Rock Monothreat, so once they’re dealt with, it’s very hard to break down Regirock; even Carracosta can’t safely set-up on Regirock after +1. However, Ticken did have the tech being Dragon Tail that should’ve prevented my Regirock from sweeping. Carracosta is the other set up sweeper on the team, with Salac Berry to outspeed scarf Terrakion after shell smash, as +2 Aqua Jet doesn’t OHKO. Looking back, I think Z-Iron Tail would’ve been a more generally useful set.​

Any last words you want to leave us with?
- Always remember to have fun. Don’t be afraid to join tournaments, whether it is in the room or on the forums. There’s no pressure for you to do well besides whatever you place on yourself. Regardless of if you think you’re good enough for them, it’s one of the best ways to improve, and usually a fun time.

This concludes my interview with Torkool. A huge thanks to him for taking time out of his day and replying all my questions with such detailed answers! Feel free to now ask your own questions to our Player of the Week.​
 
#2
Will there be any future mono OM tournaments? Cuz I missed out on the one currently happening, and I'd be interested in possibly entering one.
 

Eien

I'll face myself
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Monotype Co-Leader
#5
What do you think is the biggest issue we as a community face in the following (and optionally, what do you think is a possible solution):
  • Chatroom
  • Forums
  • The Monotype format itself
  • The general Monotype community
 
#6
Will there be any future mono OM tournaments? Cuz I missed out on the one currently happening, and I'd be interested in possibly entering one.
There's definitely going to be future tournaments with OMs involved in them. I'm not sure if it's planned yet, but last year's BLT (best leader tournament) featured a couple of Monotype OMs and I think that happened around September-October last year. But besides that, I'm sure there will be some in the near future.

thoughts on megapert gorund?
what instruments did you play?
are you kool irl?
ban mag or nop?
1) I'm really not a fan of ground type this gen and no amount of memes can redeem it for me :[
2) I played Saxophone and Oboe in High School, and just Oboe in college. I also (badly) played the Clarinet and Flute for select Jazz songs in High School.
3) Probably not
4) As much as I enjoy Magearna, I'm probably leaning more on the ban side. Though I doubt I'll get reqs since laddering makes me want to die. But, maybe I'll try later in the week.

Which WoA member would you prefer to MoA your lawn and why is it Zarif?
Let's be real, he could probably use the money the most, and I'm all about that charity.


I'll respond to Eien's questions a little later on, gonna take more effort than I have right now to answer.
 
#7
What do you think is the biggest issue we as a community face in the following (and optionally, what do you think is a possible solution):
  • Chatroom
  • Forums
  • The Monotype format itself
  • The general Monotype community
Chatroom
Monotype is one of the most popular chatrooms on Pokemon Showdown, second only to OU when referring to only metagame rooms. With that in mind, there’s a large amount of players who frequent the room who are new to the metagame, and they ask questions or ask for team advice. Like I said in my interview, the biggest problem I see is people responding to these questions without an accurate idea of the metagame, sets runs, viability, etc, therefore giving bad advice. There are a number of us who try to be active in the room and answer these questions, but realistically there aren’t that many well-versed people actually active in the room. Ideally I would hope to see more of the experienced players be active in the room to help out these newer players, however, you can’t force someone to participate in chat if they don’t want to.

For anyone reading this, if you ever want help or have questions, the staff in the Monotype room are friendly people, and would likely be glad to help you out if they have the time.

Forums
I don’t know the specific forum statistics, but I think the Monotype forums specifically could use more foot traffic. It would do well for the general Monotype community to visit the forums and take advantage of the many resources available there. It can be frustrating to constantly link people to the forums, but I think that’s the best way to get people from the chatroom onto the forums. I know I personally try to link general users to the forums when they ask questions that have already been addressed, or a resource already solves their question, so hopefully it makes a difference.

The other issue I see would be the quality of posts. However, that goes hand and hand with attracting more general users to the forums – there’s more posts, and of course those with low quality. The Monotype forum moderation staff does a great job of removing troll-posts, one-liners, and unnecessary arguments already, so that’s great to see. I believe the best way to deal with this is responding to them with why their opinion may be clouded or not a representation of the actual metagame, but in a relaxed or polite manner. I think when some users reply to questions or statements on the metagame discussion or VR threads, it can come off very passive aggressive or even hostile, which is really unnecessary.

Format
I think monotype as a format is in a very good place right now, at least much better off than it’s been in the past. While I don’t know the politics of supported tiers and such, it’s very interesting to hear how the metagame has evolved over the years from my more veteran friends.

That being said, something I would like to see is a little bit more transparency from the council. I know you are usually very vocal on the forums, leading discussions and giving your opinions, but I would like to see that from other council members as well. I’ve had a fair number of users ask me questions regarding what the council may be considering for bans (especially leading up to the Magearna suspect), and I am not able to answer those questions. So, I think at least a little bit of transparency regarding opinions, what may be considered, etc. I know this doesn’t apply much right now considering the general balance of SM, but it’d be nice to see moving forward.

Community
The biggest problem with the Monotype community, in my opinion, is how segmented it is. There are a huge number of sub-communities within the over-arching Monotype community as a whole. The communities are often very against each other, and it seems to get very toxic. I understand doing so for the sense of competition, however all the extra drama seems excessive. I haven’t had any involvement with this personally, so I’m just going off of what I’ve heard from others. I’m not sure how this could be solved easily, unfortunately.
 
#9
how the hell do you play clarinet i can't figure it out

edit: oops this is incredibly late but i'd still like to know
Well I started with saxophone in like 4th grade, and playing clarinet is extremely similar to saxophone....so it wasn't hard for me to learn. I'd probably ask you the same thing about brass instruments, I've tried and can't do it - I can barely even play the flute and I had to do that for performances.

You just have to learn how to play a reed instrument correctly (the embouchure) and then it's pretty easy. The only problem with clarinet specifically is that its keyholes are actually holes you have to cover with your fingers, unlike most other instruments which are buttons you just press down...it's super annoying.
 
#10
i tried to play it last night at marching band and i could hardly get a sound out of it, i suppose i was trying to play it like you play a brass instrument - and that obviously wouldn't work