Featured Tutor #14 - King UU

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Alkov

plopping
is a Tutor Alumnusis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnus

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Welcome to the Featured Tutor project! This is a series of interview where I will ask Official Tutors several questions about them, B101 forum and their experience with it. Through this project, I hope that it will bring about entertainment and an insight on how they tutor. The project will be hosted by me. This week, we're honored to have the king of UU (UU moderator) and an awesome tutor, King UU as our interviewee!


Can you tell us a little more about your life outside of Smogon/PS?

I'm finishing up a philosophy degree. My main stream is the ethics of power and epistemology. I just finished my second last paper ever, so I'm pretty pleased with that. Aside from working on a useless degrees, I'm also a useless musician and a useless former actor, meaning my job options are lined up six ways to Sunday. I'll be doing my postgrad in mediation and dispute resolution though, so hopefully I won't go hungry. I used to party way more than I should, and now I am a very tired and seasoned old fart who wants to do nothing more than take the energy I invested in acid trips and put them into becoming a UU guru. These days, my ideal weekend is 420 and chill, and talk about politics/world issues briefly before going home to hang out with you nerds.

Are you really the King of the Underused tier? Can you tell us more how you got that name?
I originally made the name 'King UU' because I realized that penetrating an online community such as PS/Smogon would require a lot of guile, so I attempted to generate my own after not having much success on my original account. I failed and, instead, became a meme. But in all seriousness, I figured 'if I become really good and helpful while calling myself King UU, they'll have to notice me." At the time, I had no idea who 'they' were, only they 'they' would notice me. Thanks CoolStoryBrobat and kokoloko for noticing me c: ps. I'm sorry to you both.

Perhaps one day you'll call me King of Underused, but that day is not today, nor is it tomorrow. Until then, I am just plain and simple King UU. My friends call me 'kink' and you can too c:

What are some of the qualities you feel that contribute to a great player and people should practice/follow?
Tremendous patience. It is so important to realize the diverse methods of solid team building, whether or not you focus on using standard or non-standard teams/sets. In general, the second a player starts intuitively grasping the rhythm of solid team building, they instantly go from average to good. When I attempt to tutour people, my focus is always on learning the feel of the mons. The more you play, the more you'll become in sync with this intuition. Also: my own little piece of advice... never talk during a battle unless you really think you can manipulate your opponent's perspective of the situation - silence is golden. Lastly, you have to put in the games in order to learn competitive levels of play. The more you ladder, the more diversity you'll eventually see; the more you practise with your friends, the more you'll establish your teams own strengths and weaknesses, and you can adapt from there. Adaptability is huge in Pokemon, and it is this element that transforms metas as time goes on.

Can you share with us how and when did you get into competitive battling?
Does Pokemon Stadium count as competitive? I've been reppin' that game since '98 (can you believe it's been that long?!). But real talk, I started playing occasionally on shoddy during Gen IV, and I was actually a huge fan of the Gen IV OU Meta. After that, I did some BW battling on Pokemon Online until finally joining PS in April 2013, where I attempted to make a name for myself in the UU tier.

When and why did you join the B101 program?
B101 was the first place where I began contributing in anything UU related, bar the PS! room. It was probably around March 2014, after only a month of being on the forums. Luckily, the mods/TL at the time were willing to vouch for me, so I started relatively quickly. The reason I joined was multifaceted: (1) I wanted to begin my rise as a known and exemplary UU contributor ; (2) more importantly, I wanted to expand our tier and professionalize its outward appearance. I figured working with new users was the best way to accommodate this change of expectation. Now, I feel like we have one of the most diverse and healthy tier populations. Generally speaking, I think it's fair to say that the work we (contributors) do on Smogon is really important to the users that love this game, and their appreciation has become very rewarding.

What are the tier(s) you tutor?
I focus on UU, but I have a strong familiarity with Ubers, as well as a passing familiarity with of all the Lower Tiers.

As an inspiring tutor, which aspect of the game do you think is the most important and it should be tutored by every other tutor?
I'm not sure if this is an "aspect" or not, but building up your own core knowledge of a tier is essential in succeeding in it. This includes knowing what projects and resources are available to you and every UUer, as this will help in determining what is and isn't competitive. As such, the first thing I generally do is go over a preliminary lecture on what we do in UU, the kinds of projects/resources available, and how the tutee themselves must learn to become self-reliant in order to ultimately succeed.

As a tutor, do you think the issue on "match up" is a huge factor to the game or is it just an easy way out for a battle lost?
In a game where types and abilities veto effectiveness, to suggest that matchup isn't a relevant factor in game decisions is a precarious statement at best and a foolish prospect at worst. However - and this is particularly true in UU - there is such diversity in the Pokemon available, that, logically speaking, a good player will be able to identify core builds and team options that will work around the majority of the meta. For instance, if I build a team that works against the whole meta bar Mega Aerodactyl, I've built a poor team. On the contrary, if I've build a team that works against the whole meta bar AV Reuniclus, I'm generally ok with this more often than not, as AV Reuniclus' prevalence and effectiveness is questionable at best, and is not generally something I need to consider when building for a UU squad. This does not mean one does not take into account AV Reuniclus at all, rather that there are degrees of consideration when building a team, and this consideration goes a long way in determining how a "poor match up" affects your match.

Having played major tournaments like Smogon Premier League, how do you go about preparing for games?
In all honesty, my previous SPL bout was relatively brief having only played two games and going 1-1. This being said, having gained much more experience in tours including UUPL, Grand Slam, and POWC, I can safely say that preparation involves having staple teams prepared in advanced that can serve as a bedrock for building the appropriate team for the opponent, and following the natural steps of testing against trustworthy comrades in order to test the limitations of the team. Knowing who your opponent is and the limitations of their creativity is extremely important. There are moments that I deemed 100% winnable until surprised with a Healing Wish Shaymin, and this is a great learning experience; preparing for your own strengths and weaknesses will ultimately prepare you for your opponent as well.

Is there any particular style you follow when tutoring?
Yes. Empower the tutee with enough base tier knowledge such that they can walk on their own two feet after our time is up.

Can you briefly describe a concept you always go through with regards to the game?
Most users who know me would probably say that I'm a Balance-fiend. I find balance to have such diversity, allowing every mon in the tier to see the light given the correct context. As such, when building balance teams, I tend to have a very specific checklist that will ultimately be tweaked as I test the team, but still serves as a terrific starting point. These checklists (which are actually just questions that I answer as I go along) include, but are not limited to, the following: (i) identifying the staple starting point; am I using Swampert for Rocks + phasing? Am I utilizing Gligar? Empoleon? Where is the starting point of my core? Who will handle the overall general utility? Will I divide this role into two slots (for example, Swamp + Whims). (ii) identifying the speed limit of the team; will I limit my speed cap to Mega Aero or Mega Bee, or will I utilize a Choice Scarf user? Do I want to, instead, focus on a setup sweeper such as Agility Zapdos, DD Mence, or Rock Polish LO Cobalion? I have to be sure the typing of this is heavily backed up by my utility mons. (iii) identfying the recovery potential of a team; a core with DefogRoost Mence, Swampert, Whims, and Recover Reuniclus will probably not need to rely on wishtecters/clerics such as Florges, however, a core that relies on less individual recovery may require the use of a dedicated cleric such as Umbreon or Florges. This is a very important decision to make when building balance teams. There are many other considerations to make, but I could probably write an entire essay on it.

Here is an example of two recent teams I made that each offer an example of a Balance team with and without a Special Cleric Wall
Hydreigon @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Draco Meteor
- Dark Pulse
- Fire Blast
- U-turn

Swampert-Mega @ Swampertite
Ability: Damp
EVs: 220 HP / 108 Atk / 4 SpD / 176 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Rain Dance
- Waterfall
- Earthquake
- Ice Punch

Zapdos @ Leftovers
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 248 HP / 152 Def / 28 SpD / 80 Spe
Calm Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Roost
- Defog
- Toxic

Florges @ Leftovers
Ability: Flower Veil
EVs: 252 HP / 232 Def / 24 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Wish
- Protect
- Moonblast
- Aromatherapy

Cobalion @ Leftovers
Ability: Justified
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Iron Head
- Close Combat
- Stealth Rock

Reuniclus @ Leftovers
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 240 HP / 252 Def / 16 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psyshock
- Shadow Ball
- Calm Mind
- Recover

Hydreigon @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Draco Meteor
- Dark Pulse
- Fire Blast
- U-turn

Whimsicott @ Pixie Plate
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Encore
- Moonblast
- Stun Spore
- U-turn

Cobalion @ Leftovers
Ability: Justified
EVs: 248 HP / 4 Def / 64 SpD / 192 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Sacred Sword
- Thunder Wave
- Volt Switch

Chandelure @ Choice Specs
Ability: Infiltrator
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Fire Blast
- Shadow Ball
- Energy Ball
- Trick

Suicune @ Leftovers
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 HP / 136 Def / 104 SpD / 16 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Sleep Talk
- Rest
- Roar

Zapdos @ Leftovers
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 248 HP / 180 Def / 56 SpD / 24 Spe
Calm Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Toxic
- Roost
- Defog

Is there any advice that you would like to give to aspiring tutors?
Develop your abilities. Keep working hard and dedicate yourself to learning the nuances of your preferred tier. Aim to try out as many projects and tours as possible, and always aim to succeed. Your path to becoming a valued member of B101 will be brief if you stay focused and keep expanding your knowledge.

Lastly, if you can change one thing about B101, what will it be?
Unmotivated tutees are the worst, especially when you put in the time to work with them as much as possible. This is a frustrating element of B101, but not one that would make me leave, as I am clearly still here n_n thanks for the fun times guys.
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There we have it! Thank you King UU for such an insightful interview! Feel free to leave any questions you have for him below.
 

Kink

it's a thug life ¨̮
is a Tutor Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
Great to learn a bit more about you, King UU . Can I ask why you don't play OU? Or at least didn't mention it as one of your preferred tiers?

Also

Brb making new team porygonz / dragalge / m-beedrill / cb corpfish
I dabble in it here and there. I guess you can say cause I didn't want to be like "every other player". I wanted a niche, and I wanted to support a community that I really appreciated. I liked the UU crowd, and I directed my efforts towards contributions. OU has its superstars and leaders, and it's an extremely powerful and prominent metagame, seeing as its #1. But that's all the more reason why I want to support UU; I want to see the UUnderdog shine. In the last couple years, smogon has pretty much doubled in size, whereas our community has quadrupled in size. I find that to be a prominent victory. We're pretty much the size of Gen 5 OU. We've got some great people and some great contributors who are working to make the community better and stronger, and our Tier Leaders really care to make the big picture work. That's not to say that OU doesn't, but I ultimately found that there was more opportunity in UU. Maybe I'll start putting more time into OU, I'd really like to participate in more official Smogon tours.
 
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