LC Player of the Week 4: tko

After spending the past year going undrafted in SPL, getting knocked out of round 3 in LC Open, and most disappointingly, finishing 1-2 in LCPL 5, tko quits Pokemon for the 28th time to become a fully fledged anime main. But just as LittleCupVille is starting to cope with the gaping chasm left where thecrystalonix once stood, rumors begin to circulate that not only has tko returned, he has returned with a vengeance. Managing a team alongside the Original sweaty nerd, Nineage, DPP legend tko rocks the competition in every tier he plays. Three wins in, it has become crystal clear that tko will be going all out this LCPL, for he has his sights set on the most prestigious trophy of them all: the Little Cup.

Player of the Week 4: tko

What does your name stand for?

thecrystalonix, my original name, came from a video that a youtuber I used to watch (Alex Ogloza) made. Back then I laddered on the PS VGC ladder, and needed an alt to use, so I went with thecrystalonix (surprised it wasnt taken). I then went on to take thekrystalonix as an alt laddered on that on the ru ladder, so people from ru knew me as thekrystalonix first. Eventually, they abbreviated it as tko, and even though my true main was thecrystalonix, no one called me tco. Later on, I wanted to get rid of the yung thecrystalonix's name since the name was outgrowing me, and abbreviate it to have a cool 3 letter name. Since everyone in ru I knew called me tko, and tco was a lame abbreviation, tko stuck.

technical knock outs are cool too

Your debut in LC consisted of these shockingly insightful contributions to the Baton Pass suspect. Would you still consider Baton Pass suspect-worthy? How else do you feel the metagame could be improved?

It can be suspected, but I don't think it will be banned. About a full chain, I don't feel the same way about BP this gen than I did last gen; with the shifts the meta has had, setting up solid chains has become a hard thing to pull off, and as a result, BP has now less matchups that it wishes to be in compared to ORAS. I think the best form of any type of Baton Pass currently is QuickPass, Torchic + some wallbreakers that appreciate the extra speed can be threatening to any team if supported and used correctly, but I am still not convinced that it is good enough to be banned. Quickpass, similar to a full chain, requires some extra skillful playing by your opponent, but quickpass also has its own set of issues (mainly things that can absorb hits from the BP recipient) which is swaying me to the not broken side.

Diglett is definitely a suspect worthy mon as well, as a solid revenge killer and trapper. I don't think Diglett, however, was as much as a threat as it was in ORAS. It feels like it is a harder mon to throw in to the battle, and while it can revenge an opposing mon that is weakened with Tectonic Rage, after that, it mostly becomes useless. I understand that the whole point of Diglett is to get rid of a specific threat, but in the current meta, it just seems less menacing as it was last generation (aka to the point where I find it bearable).

Abra has been becoming increasingly better with the release of Counter + Magic Guard now being legal, while Life Orb + Substitute is still solid and hard for any team to deal with. I am actually not too sure about how I feel about Abra, because I don't use it often, but I can see it getting suspected and even banned. While Pursuit users do exist to give it a problem, since it recently got Counter, if the sash is intact, it can KO the opposing user, which fits in really nice with many other Pokemon (Snivy and Gastly, for example). Abra works on a variety of styles, but since I don't use it often, I don't really think I have more of a say on it.

I feel like the meta can be improved with the absence of Onix + Staryu (it's not broken, I just think stuff would be more fun without that stupidly splashable core). Maybe it could cause us to see some more fire hazard controllers, not the same things over and over again.

Week 1: ggggd of the Litleos ambushes a tko to secure the tie.​

Would you have considered Diglett banworthy in ORAS, then? What are your overall thoughts on the transition from ORAS to SuMo? Which generation of LC do you prefer the most, and why?

Yeah, I considered Diglett something that should have been banned in ORAS. It worked well on a variety of cores and the things it trapped existed much more, and its restrain on team building felt like much more of an issue. Life Orb and Sash were more effective back then than it is today, as well. In general, Diglett had much more of a threatening presence on more builds and made team building difficult, which is why I felt that it should have been banned. I believe someone said that if your opponent didn't have a Pokemon that could be trapped by Diglett, then Diglett already did its job, something I agreed with strongly back then.

The transition into SM was kinda significant, with stuff like Porygon & Goth ban, Fletchling nerf, Dark buff, Z moves, etc. The new Pokemon and forms also makes SM and ORAS noticeably different. I definitely prefer SM over ORAS, because ORAS had so much stuff that did not make the tier enjoyable for me (Drifloon, Gothita, Diglett), and I ended up just not playing the tier for the final months of its time as the current gen. Meanwhile, I actually try harder in SM and still build for this meta, so I guess I prefer this gen more, ahaha.

You're best known as a DPP LCer, seeing how your team dump was for DPP LC. What are your most and least favourite parts of it? How do you feel it compares to other generations? Is there anything you would change about it?

My most favorite part about DPP is the offensive nature of the tier. Every game is so fast pace and it makes every single game a blast to play compared to any other meta. The lack of team preview also means you can have unexpected threats packed in the back, and I like using whack Pokemon, and having no team preview makes it easier for those Pokemon to do something good late game.

My least favorite part about DPP is the lack of players (does this count?); I usually play the games with the same people and it makes it boring to use unique sets if the same 4 or 5 people have seen it at least 10 times.

DPP is much faster than any other meta; this can be attributed by the lack of Eviolite and Berry Juice, and overall less defensive Pokemon compared to the newer gens. There isn't anything I would particularly want to change about this, since I like the meta's pace as it is. Additionally, nothing really stands out as broken to me, so there isn't really anything that I would want to change.

You are currently undefeated in both SM and DPP for LCPL. Excluding the needs of your team, which tier do you feel more comfortable in and why? What are your thoughts on the tkos and this LCPL as a whole? How much better than Heysup would you consider yourself?

I definitely feel more comfortable playing DPP over SM, because I have been playing the meta for a much longer time than I have with SM. It is easier for me to build (and innovate) in DPP, and playing is also more of a spot for home for me, since I am familiar with what type of Pokemon a team needs, which helps me despite no team preview. Meanwhile, SM is still having its changes in the meta, which can make it slightly difficult while building teams, and there are definitely times when I struggle while building a team. In DPP, team building feels more natural and I don't mind using unorthodox mons or unusual sets.

I love the tkos so far. Our team atmosphere has been fun and laid back a little, which is making this year very enjoyable. Our players are also very strong, and with the help given to each other, whether it be Heysup supporting with team building in literally any gen or rozes helping a big amount behind the scenes, we are able to perform well through the weeks. It is a pleasure to have the team that we have, because it is easy to work together and enjoy whatever we are trying to do. LCPL as a whole has been great too; I don't usually go out of my way to watch replays but this LCPL has gotten me to do it on numerous occasions, whether it be to discover some good tech in the recent gens or just watch some good old dpp. There have also been many tight series between teams, and watching the deciding games live have been a blast.

heysup aint even good; it seems like he always loses to me if im bein honest

Week 2: tko masters the element of surprise in his attempt at stopping the communists.​

Which aspects of the community do you enjoy the most? What are the areas you think that we could improve on?

I like the people who are always down to battle and build, or even talk, it makes the community a fun place to be in. I believe that there can be issues with how cliquey the community can be, which can make it somewhat difficult for new users to get involved in. We have made good strides since when I felt strongly about that fact, but it is still something not fully alleviated.

Are there any LC players who you particularly respect or look up to? What about the ones you think are garbage?

I have only looked up to 2 LC players: Brazilian Army and Heysup.

BA, even though we don't really interact much lately, was the person who really got me into playing this tier. I still remember the days of young thecrystalonix and his abuse of the water spam team that BA had passed, which was legit the only team ever used. I think I used that team for the entire LCLT, as well as just in other tours (like open and the one on the tour's forum for the lc circuit or smth which im forgettin). If it weren't for BA, I probably wouldn't have stuck in this tier.

I think heysup is a goat in many ways. He is one of the people I play LC with the most now, since no one is really as good as he is. I still think he is one of the better players of all time, and his current LCPL record displays that. I was kinda disappointed to see his record in SPL since he didn't get too many lucky breaks, which had a number on his record, and didn't reflect his skill. I only really tested with heysup and levi for SPL, but doing so made me respect heysup as a player.

also dont ever mess with my man sparktrain, dpp goat, made lcpl fun last yr

I think Corporal Levi is hot trash. Who could be worse than him?

Wait, Nineage is pretty bad too.

A romance like this can only end tragically.​

Lastly, do you have a team that you would like to share with us?

This is the dpp team I built for week 3 of LCPL. The whole idea of this team was to get rid of ghosts and weaken annoying stuff like Bronzor, so that Riolu could win late game. Riolu at +2 doesn't have much that can beat it, but getting the set up opportunity to do so can be more of a challenge. Wynaut + Munchlax is there to help Riolu get that clean opportunity; Munchlax gets rid of Gastly and handles Duskull decently well, while Wynaut can trap a variety of things that threaten this team (locked scarfers, Munchlax, Tickle Bronzor down to where Munchlax can suit trap it, etc), and can also Tickle an opponent to the point where Riolu has the opportunity to set up. Gligar was my scarfer of choice, as it helps revenge kill a good amount of the meta, and works well with Wynaut, which deals of Bronzor. Gastly was my other staple, as I felt like I needed a mon that can provide some immediate offensive pressure, and having a ghost on any team provides valuable support (against fighters and scarf Gligar, for example). The whack Chimchar set was there just because i didn't want to be denied rocks by stuff like Fake Out users to 2HKO my Chimchar, and thought WoW would be nice for potential switch ins into physical attackers. Rocks helps Riolu have an easier time sweeping, as it can do things like make Duskull potentially in range to die to Crunch, for example. Having a burned threat also gives an opportunity for Riolu to set up, in case there would ever be a scenario when the burned mon would be in vs my Riolu. Aside from probably the worst innovated Chimchar set in history, this team is a really fun build and also highlights my desire to use uncommon mons, such as Riolu.

Chimchar @ Focus Sash
Ability: Blaze
Level: 5
EVs: 64 Def / 212 SpA / 232 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Stealth Rock
- Overheat
- Protect
- Will-O-Wisp

Wynaut @ Oran Berry
Ability: Shadow Tag
Level: 5
EVs: 236 HP / 132 Def / 52 SpD / 12 Spe
Careful Nature
- Encore
- Counter
- Mirror Coat
- Tickle

Gastly @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
Level: 5
EVs: 36 Def / 200 SpA / 200 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Substitute
- Shadow Ball
- Sludge Bomb
- Hypnosis

Munchlax @ Oran Berry
Ability: Thick Fat
Level: 5
EVs: 236 Atk / 36 Def / 236 SpD
Brave Nature
- Return
- Shadow Ball
- Pursuit
- Fire Punch

Gligar @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Sand Veil
Level: 5
EVs: 236 Atk / 236 Spe
Jolly Nature
- U-turn
- Earthquake
- Aqua Tail
- Aerial Ace

Riolu @ Life Orb
Ability: Inner Focus
Level: 5
EVs: 196 Atk / 36 Def / 36 SpD / 196 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Agility
- High Jump Kick
- Crunch
- Ice Punch

Thank you for the very detailed responses, tko! Nice to see you leaving OP in the dust as usual.


Thanks for reading our fourth player of the week; I'll try and get the next one up in a week or two.


Redefining Success
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
I'd probably give it C rank. I think Riolu is somewhat similar to Cranidos; they are both basically frail sweepers that require the opponent to be weakened enough and needs the right opportunity to set up. Mankey and Machop are easily better Fighting types, which is also a reason why Riolou I'd probably rank down at C (since it is outclassed). However, with the right team support and a niche in Agility, I think it could be a C rank mon (probs mid or high C).

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