Featured Tutor #9 - TheEnder

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Alkov

plopping
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Welcome to the Featured Tutor project! This is a series of interviews where we will ask Official Tutors several questions about them, B101 forum and their experience with it. Through this project, we hope that it will provide entertainment and an insight on how they tutor. The project will be hosted by me. This week, we're honored to have TheEnder as our first interviewee!
· Can you tell us a little more about your life outside of Smogon/PS!

To be honest I would consider myself an average Joe; I am a 17 years old high school student, I play soccer and volleyball on my free time, and I enjoy playing video games, listening to music, working out, and hanging out with my friends. Other than that I’m afraid there isn’t a ton more to it, haha.

· Where did you get your name from?

My name in real life is Endre, so my nicknames on games have always been something related to the word “end”. Examples include Ender and TheEnd, but both were taken on here, so I settled with TheEnder.

· Can you share with us how and when did you get into competitive battling?

I’ve always loved the cartridge games, and I think I’ve played every version so far. One of the aspects I’ve found the most interesting throughout the years is wifi-battles. In the later generations (DPP / BW / ORAS) I started breeding and manually EV training my Pokemon to be able to beat my friends. This process, however, is incredibly time consuming, and I got into playing on PS!, where making a team took 15 minutes instead of 2 months. Eventually I signed up on smogon, too, and gradually became a part of the community. At first, I started rating teams in the RMT section, because I found the concept of posting cool teams interesting. It was also something I was decently good at, since I had some experience from teambuilding in-game (as smogon.com/dex was what I used to make sets etc.). After rating for a good period of time, I decided to start spending time to actually make consistently good teams myself, instead of solely helping other people. I hit the ladder, as I was unaware of the different tournaments on the site, and spent a ton of time trying to improve my battling skills. Eventually I found myself amongst the top 5 of the ladder, which was a long-time goal of mine. From that point on things escalated, I got involved in different parts of the site, I started joining tournaments, and my learning curve continued.

· When and why did you join the B101 program?

I joined the Battling 101 program about a year ago, as I thought helping other improve would help me develop as a player, too. I also questioned the serious lack of “guidance” on the site in terms of how to become a good player, which is one of the reasons I loved the sound of this project when I got to know about it.

· 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?

In my opinion the most important aspect of Pokemon is teambuilding; if you know how to build a good team you have a lot of the abilities it takes to be a good player. You have to have a good grasp of what the metagame is like, you have to have knowledge about what checks what, etc. While it is a complex aspect to learn, it’s essential to improving as a player.

· Is there any particular style you follow when tutoring?

I always try to map out what my tutee knows, and doesn’t know, before we start our tutoring (done by test battles, simple questions, etc.). The usual pattern I follow is metagame knowledge – teambuilding – battling – forums integration, but I try to allow the tutees to decide the order of things themselves.

· As an ORAS OU tutor, do you think the issue on "match up" is a huge factor to the game?

Match-up is a big factor to the game, yes, but not nearly as much of an issue as people make it to be. To be fair I hear about “match-up” more as an excuse for losing / sloppy teambuilding, than as an actual metagame concern. It is possible to create teams that have decent match-up (or “not auto-loss match-up”) against most variations of playstyles; it just takes a lot of skill, time, and effort.


· Can you briefly describe a concept you always go through with regards to the game? It can be either team-building or battling.

When tutoring my main focus usually is, as I said, teambuilding. Learning to build teams can be hard, so I normally try to ease the process by building frameworks with different roles.
For example, an offensive team can consist of the following – Stealth Rock Setter / Set-up Sweeper / Revenge Killer / Wallbreaker / Secondary Hazard or Hazard Removal / Filler. Learning what Pokemon does what is, in many cases, incredibly useful when building teams. Not having to check the strategy dex for each member you are considering to add will fasten the process by a lot, and knowing multiple possibilities for each role by heart will more than likely improve the quality of the teams you create. Going through all the different roles and options for each one of them is a tedious procedure, so I am only going to give some general examples here.
A Stealth Rock setter is a role that is needed on every team, regardless of playstyle. Understanding what the role does is easy – it sets up SR. However, there is a lot more to it than that. On both offensive and balanced teams, the SR setter can be both offensively and defensively inclined. Some of the prime defensive SR setters are Hippowdon, Ferrothorn, Clefable, bulky Garchomp, and bulky Landorus-T, to name a few. On the other hand, some of the best offensive SR setters are Terrakion, offensive Garchomp, offensive Landorus-T, and offensive Heatran. Deciding on what kind of SR setter you want to use often decides the nature of your team. An offensive SR setter wants a team capable of applying enough offensive pressure to the point where the opponent isn’t able to remove the hazards. A defensive SR setter, conversely, acts more as a tank – capable of coming in and setting up hazards multiple times throughout a game.
Additionally, both forms of SR setters have their pros and cons. Offensively inclined SR setters are usually able to keep SR up versus team with Mega Sableye, something most defensive SR setters aren't capable of. Having a defensively oriented Pokemon, though, usually means that your team will have a ,much easier times dealing with Pokemon such as Bisharp (handled by Garchomp and Hippowdon), Thundurus (handled by Hippowdon, Clefable, and Ferrothorn), and Talonflame (handled by Hippowdon, Landorus-T, and Garchomp).

· Is there any advice that you would like to give to aspiring tutors?

Try to picture yourself in your tutee’s situation: What would you like the sessions to be like? Are you explaining thoroughly enough? In many cases I find myself trying to teach as if I was the one learning, and I try to adjust myself as a tutor whenever I would be unhappy in the tutee’s position.

· Lastly, if you can change one thing about B101, what will it be?

If restricted to changes with practical uses, no. The program is great as it is. However, if I can theorize, I know the project as a whole would improve if it were possible for tutors and tutees to be in a maximum of two time zones away from each other. Of course, this is impossible to implement for obvious reasons, but seeing as how a lot of us (both tutors and tutees) become busier due to school starting I think the amount of hours spent together would increase.


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There we have it! Thank you TheEnder for such an insightful interview! Feel free to leave any questions you have for him below.
 
1. Who were your favorite tutees?
2. Who would you wanna be tutored by?
3. Do you think there are any hidden gems (players that aren't recognized in the tournament scene who should be)
4. What is your favorite playstyle o:
 
What is it like being a Norwegian? I always wondered what it would be like to have that one Norwegian friend in a group of lazy, bean eating Puerto Ricans like myself thinking man this would make a great reality show.

Why is your favorite mon a Tangrowth?

x_x?

Are you and TDK plotting the ORAS demise together? Is BKC going to stop you?

How do you even get a tutor session going? Your timezone is by far one of the worst ones to have and I can only imagine what it's like to tell your tutee "tough luck I'm going to bed"

Adding on to the above guys question, would you like to be tutored by me? I teach Pokemon and the art of hax.

Why do you make so many Garde teams? Is there something you need to confess?

I had this chicken sandwich at little natural food restaurant today that was pretty good but really hot and my mouth was kind of burning. Should I have gotten another and endured the pain of the spice while savoring the food? The cashiers can be pretty cute too I wonder if any of them are norwegian :o
 

TheEnder

a petal in the wind
is a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past WCoP Champion
1. Who were your favorite tutees?
2. Who would you wanna be tutored by?
3. Do you think there are any hidden gems (players that aren't recognized in the tournament scene who should be)
4. What is your favorite playstyle o:
1) haha i don't think i'd be able to pick a favorite, everyone i've met on here has been super nice (and understanding in regards to schedules etc.)

2) If I had to choose I'd like to learn DPP with BKC, because he is both a cute user and a good player :o

3) Definitely. See the OLT standings, for example. Many pf the names amongst the top 30 are people I don't know of, and I'm sure some of them are going to make a name for themselves in the future.

4) Balance / Bulky-Offense

What is it like being a Norwegian? I always wondered what it would be like to have that one Norwegian friend in a group of lazy, bean eating Puerto Ricans like myself thinking man this would make a great reality show.

Why is your favorite mon a Tangrowth?

x_x?

Are you and TDK plotting the ORAS demise together? Is BKC going to stop you?

How do you even get a tutor session going? Your timezone is by far one of the worst ones to have and I can only imagine what it's like to tell your tutee "tough luck I'm going to bed"

Adding on to the above guys question, would you like to be tutored by me? I teach Pokemon and the art of hax.

Why do you make so many Garde teams? Is there something you need to confess?

I had this chicken sandwich at little natural food restaurant today that was pretty good but really hot and my mouth was kind of burning. Should I have gotten another and endured the pain of the spice while savoring the food? The cashiers can be pretty cute too I wonder if any of them are norwegian :o
Being a Norwegian means having a shitty timezone where you're online at 1) early mornings or 2) work / school hours for 50 % of your online friends. It also means most dishes involving beans are nasty seeing as how beans are solely sold om cheap cans with some yummy, clear, liquid-ish substance to keep the beans nice and soft. Otherwise Norway is amazing, would recommend!



n_n > x_x > o.o

Yea. No. We're unstoppable ;]

Being honest, yeah, I struggle with timezones a lot. When I get non-European tutees I know it's going to be hard, due to me having a decently tough schedule, especially for evenings (which is when American timezones usually are available). Sometimes I have to prioritize having a somewhat decent sleep cycle, so yea, "I have to sleep" is actually something most non-European tutees will have to hear, sadly.

I could need some luck man, please help by sacrificing Budews (the inferior tangle / bud pokemon).

Waifu? No?

Get more, definitely. Aren't you a huge fan of spicy food? I sure am (at least semi-spicy stuff, I'm not super hardcore). Having something like milk / ice coffee / latte is also nice with spicy food, it actually reduces the burn a lot! Also I like the fact that the assumption is "cute" -> "norwegian". Much love :*
 
Swedish people like me like jokes about Norwegians, Do you like making jokes about swedes?
How come you played for US East in WCOP even though you're Norwegian?
What is you opinion on Martin Ödegaard?

Would love to have you as a tutor at some point cause I want to learn ORAS OU.
 
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