Project OU Player Interview #8: Eo Ut Mortus

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Welcome back to the OU Player Interview Project!! After a hiatus of several years, I'm back helping with this exciting project. This week, we have arguably the best OU Player, and most expensive SCL Draft in Eo! As always, leave any questions you have for him below, and stay tuned for more interviews in the future. We have several lined up!

Eo Ut Mortus


Most Known For: Winning Snake and WCOP, participating in four tiebreaks and not losing all but one of them
Favorite Pokemon: Leafeon
Most used Pokemon: Tapu Koko

Where did you get your name from?

Runescape pure name when I was 13; mistranslation of "I go to death" in Latin.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I'm a software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas. Before the pandemic, I might have had a life, but I definitely don't now. My quarantine interests have included cooking, drawing, chess, binging magic videos, and the Zetamac online arithmetic game.

How and when did you get into competitive battling?

I started on Serebii in 2006 and learned about Netbattle because they banned mentions of it from their RMTs. ADV was the current gen at the time, and I picked it up but was pretty casual until DP came around, and I started laddering on ShoddyBattle. 2009 is when I really broke into tours; that year, I qualified for Smogon Tour for the first time and went on to play my first WCOP/SPL 1.

What are your thoughts on the SS OU Metagame?

It's good, easily the best metagame we've had since the DLC drop now that all the Pokemon like Zygarde and Cinderace are out of the tier. I thought everything would go to shit once Lando was released, so I'm happy that SS has retained much of its identity and hasn't just regressed to a knock-off ORAS/SM OU.

To add on to that, what's your favorite tech that abuses current metagame trends?

Tapu Fini @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 248 HP / 104 Def / 36 SpD / 120 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Trick
- Nature's Madness
- Whirlpool
- Moonblast

Trapper-Scarf Fini. It's pretty much a direct response to the prevalence of Shed Shell Pex. The normal trapping set can't trap Shed Pex, and Scarf Fini's fourth slot is so much more useless compared to its two main moves; combine these two problems, and you end up with this. Pex is the main target, of course, but you can also trap a greedy Slowking-Galar (it's gone if it uses Future Sight, but you need chip to beat it if it locks into Sludge Bomb). Like the standard trapping set, this Fini retains much of its utility even if the surprise is spoiled, which is important to me; I don't really like Pokemon that immdiately become useless if the cheese doesn't work. Another nice thing is that against non-Pjab Black Sludge Pex, Tricking becomes a 50:50 rather than an immediate loss, as you either threaten to trap Pex or Trick Sludge onto something else, whereas typically, Pex can just sit on Fini until it's forced to switch out

Do you feel that there is anything that is suspect worthy at the moment?

I said Heatran/Teleport at the end of SPL; Teleport isn't great now, but Heatran might still warrant consideration in the future. It's really restrictive, and for the past few months, your best bet has just been to soft-check it with Landorus and some other stuff and rely on Magma missing enough throughout the course of a game (this is why Eruption Specs Tran has been a thing lately). In the last survey, I also said Magnezone half-ironically; even if it's not the strongest it's ever been, I've always thought Magnezone and the Shed Shell Steel-type dynamic was a dumb thing to navigate. All in all, however, I think I'd sit on the current meta; it's stable enough for us to just wait and see how it develops. Dragapult was the most viable suspect at the beginning of the WCOP, but the time for that has passed for now, and most of the arguments I see for testing it now aren't really up-to-date with what people are actually using now.

If you could change one thing about OU, what would it be and why?

I'd get rid of Magma Storm and Triple Axel (and other <=75% acc moves, but the rest aren't viable right now). I think they're too good to consistently avoid using, and while I think high-risk/high-reward moves are an acceptable gameplay feature, I don't think they should be this mandatory.

What's your favorite playstyle and why?

I could say bulky offense, but that's a pretty generic answer and applies to the majority of teams in the meta. So I'll say terrain-based teams. I think timed mechanics like weather and Trick Room are engaging and rewarding to use but require you to commit entirely to the strategy (mediocre Pokemon + weather item). Terrain trades some of that impact for a much lower and more reasonable commitment cost, as every terrain can be set up by an actual good Pokemon. Something like an Electric Terrain-backed Magnezone or Victini is an additional thing you can set up in certain matches to gain an advantage, but you're also not stuck with something completely useless while terrain isn't up or if you run into a match-up where the setup is impossible. Plus, I think this playstyle is still relatively unoptimized, so there are a lot of good strategies left to uncover.

What's your favorite generation of OU and why?

Whatever I'm playing at the time, which is usually whatever gen is current. I think they're all playable enough and enjoy / get tired of them at roughly the same rate. Here are some things I like about SS OU especially, though: 1) no Mega-induced power creep, 2) reduced pool of viable Pokemon; fewer fringe threats/reduced teambuilding strain, 3) paraspam / Scald are less viable than ever, 4) hyper-offense has been viable but has felt fairer to play against than its screen-reliant incarnations in SM/ORAS.

How do you go about preparing for tournament matches? Does the process differ depending on the tournament?

Every week, I try and build a team I'm happy with as early as possible so I can get enough practice with it. When building, I try to gauge the state of the metagame, identifying what's too standard/good to avoid not using, and what can be changed that other people haven't caught onto yet. I don't really like opponent-specific prep; I think it's unreliable, and I've stopped watching my opponents' replays altogether because it just psychs me out. The process is different by tournament not based on what tournament it is, but on how I feel about the game; during WCOP, I built a lot more for myself and others because I felt like it, but during SPL, I asked others to build for me on certain weeks. More recently, I've been trying to be more conscious about spending the time I afford myself on this game better; sometimes, I'll try to build a team when I'm tired and in no state to focus, or I'll just spam test games ad nauseum with teams I don't really like, but it's not really helpful and just leads to burnout.

Speaking of tournaments, who are you rooting for in OLT?

Mostly my South mates and a couple of others, but a lot of them got exposed in R1, so fuck them. I'll be happy to see anyone win if they bring cool teams and play well.

Do you have any advice for newer players for playing, and for Smogon in general?

Always think about why you're here; it's not worth sweating over this game or participating in the community if you're not enjoying yourself. Take breaks from competing regularly and always prioritize real-life obligations. If you're a good player, opportunities on here will always come back to you. Finally, take accountability for your own actions and performances; focus on what you can do to improve yourself rather than jumping immediately to hax, the current metagame, or "bad plays" as excuses for losing.

Anyone you want to give a shoutout to?

My #1 fan iris, my #2 fan elodin, my apprentice Rumor, Earthworm for not wishing me a happy birthday, and SilentVerse for telling me not to use Toxtricity.

Finally, can you provide us a team that's a good fit for this metagame and reflects your playstyle, with a brief explanation of how it works?

https://pokepast.es/5a7428a6a2e9a038
https://pokepast.es/943303b793274dd1

This is the team I used vs. Relous and hsa used vs. MAX in WCOP finals. Victini is a difficult Pokemon to use, but it offers unique defensive utility against Pokemon like Tapu Lele, Volcarona, and Kyurem and fits in neatly on VoltTurn, which is how I was able to squeeze it in on several teams this tournament. The original version had Stealth Rock and operated more like a typical VoltTurn team, but I came up with the Critini set after my match vs. Relous and thought it would be a neat way to subvert expectations about the original team. Focus Energy + Scope Lens gives a 100% crit rate, which counteracts Intimidate, and crit V-Create OHKOes SDef Landorus, meaning that it can't just pivot into Bolt Strike to force Victini out. As you can see from my game vs. xray, it is really easy to fuck it up vs. the Lando + Heatran cores it's intended to beat, but I still think the set is good if you feel confident about your prediction ability + can back it up. Other relevant calcs include crit Bolt Strike OHKOing SDef Pex and 2HKOing Heatran under terrain. The original team plays more like a typical VoltTurn; early-game, Victini wants to U-turn a lot more than actually attack until you can chip its counters into KO ranges. With Critini, you want to do the same thing but start threatening stuff with Focus Energy once you have a good read on how your opponent responds to Victini. In retrospect, I think I like this team more than the one I brought in tiebreaks, which is extremely similar, but Glowking > Koko doesn't provide nearly as much due to the lack of F-sight abusers, and having the extra U-turn/pivot in Koko is much better.

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Thanks a ton to Eo for taking the time to do this. Leave any questions you have for him below. See you guys in the next one!
 

Abhi

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What kind of music do you like?
And
What is your least favourite Pokemon to face in ssou?
Edit:

Oh also what's your favourite subject to study and why is it Math / Biology?
 
Hi Eo. I've always considered you to be a very insightful player and I've enjoyed reading many of your thoughtful suspect test/tiering related posts over the years, so thank you for your contributions!

1. What factors do you take into consideration when scouting an opponent you aren't familiar with?

2. Are there any changes you believe would make Smogon a more welcoming community/a better resource for players?

3. How much weight do you assign to a Pokemon's ability to be "outplayed", or prediction generally, when evaluating a Pokemon's place in the metagame?

4. Do you have any advice for dealing with burnout/mental fatigue, or is it really as simple as putting the game down for a while and coming back fresh?

5. Did you go by the same tag during the Netbattle/Shoddy era? I like hearing that players from this era are still around.

Thanks in advance if you choose to respond to any of these, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
 

Eo Ut Mortus

Elodin Smells
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What kind of music do you like?
And
What is your least favourite Pokemon to face in ssou?
Edit:

Oh also what's your favourite subject to study and why is it Math / Biology?
Indie/pop mostly, which has lately been whatever my friends recommend me. Recent favorites have been Still Woozy, Caroline Polachek, and Rina. I also enjoy video game soundtracks a lot. Recently played Paradise Killer, which not only has an awesome score, but also has the gameplay set up in a way that allows you to enjoy it to its fullest (heavy exploration + a rotation of tracks that shuffles as you move between areas/time passes).

e: My least favorite Pokemon to face in SS is Kyurem because of the number of different sets with different counters + Freeze chance + it's difficult to force out except with a select few defensive Pokemon if it gets a Sub up.

I studied English in college as my secondary major, so I have to say that. I enjoy reading/watching film for fun, but I also like analyzing/critiquing it from an artistic context.

if you can get a plushie of any pokemon you want for free, what would it be?
Shaymin; I've seen Nails's Shaymin plushies on VGC streams, and they're the best.

Hi Eo. I've always considered you to be a very insightful player and I've enjoyed reading many of your thoughtful suspect test/tiering related posts over the years, so thank you for your contributions!

1. What factors do you take into consideration when scouting an opponent you aren't familiar with?

2. Are there any changes you believe would make Smogon a more welcoming community/a better resource for players?

3. How much weight do you assign to a Pokemon's ability to be "outplayed", or prediction generally, when evaluating a Pokemon's place in the metagame?

4. Do you have any advice for dealing with burnout/mental fatigue, or is it really as simple as putting the game down for a while and coming back fresh?

5. Did you go by the same tag during the Netbattle/Shoddy era? I like hearing that players from this era are still around.

Thanks in advance if you choose to respond to any of these, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

1. If I have any excuse to not scout an opponent, I'll take it. I feel like I'm at my best when I go in blind and am just doing well because I build better teams in the meta rather than attempt to "outplay" the opponent in builder based on what they've been bringing.

2. It's hard to consider this question from a site-wide perspective. From the site's beginning to the mid 2010s, you could easily gather a large yet manageable group of people who were entirely representative of the community. That was the idea behind badgeholders and Inside Scoop, which was much more active back then. With Smogon's growth, the community has fractured to the point where it's hard to identify a problem and apply a single consistent solution to every splinter community on here. In the past, the tutoring program and the RMT sections were considered canonical route for a new player to be shuttled through to improve; today, they're much more niche. They still have their uses, but they can't serve every player.

So, I'm just going to answer this questions from the perspective of the OU community. I think a goal should be to foster more direct interaction between community members. A lot of projects seem to be "post-then-vote," which doesn't really give much room for posters to actually interact with each other. The most interaction you get is in meta/suspect discussion threads, typically in the form of hostile arguments. I think coming up with projects or competitions where more extended discussion is encourage if not mandated would be a good idea. Also, I think it could potentially be a good thing to allow more involved discussions to take over threads until they've run their course. Threads without discussion are just mostly about posturing, and it kind of sucks. Unfortunately, this is a flaw inherent to message boards. Message boards suck. But anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that it's really easy to participate on this board without ever being able to integrate into a "community" of some sort. That's why the OU room (and maybe the OU discord, but I'm less familiar) has a stronger sense of community; it's because they enable the type of person-to-person interaction that's more difficult to achieve on forums, and this is the type of interaction that encourages newer people to stick around and get more involved.

3. A lot. The biggest example I can give is an SM one; Mega-Mawile was broken on paper, but much less impactful than something like a Mega-Medicham because its power is distributed through 4 coverage moves, while Medicham's is only 2-3. In most scenarios, getting a Medicham play correct is a 50/50, and you can more easily determine what an opponent is likely to do based on past moves. On the other hand, Mawile has to guess 1/3 and 1/4 more often, and it's very common that some of these options will share the same weight. Here's another post (for BW) that put into words exactly what I was thinking. For actual SS examples, the two main offenders of this concept are Kartana and Tapu Lele, both of whom will have multiple viable switch-ins on most teams by virtue of the fact that nothing is really a safe switch-in if they get the move right. In short, it makes it much harder to make informed decisions the more equally-viable options your opponent has, even if all those options incur a high cost should the opponent get it wrong. Kartana and Lele are at their best when they can spam a move without repercussion, and this takes work against a well-built team; if you use one of them, you're probably building the team around it.

4. Yep, but it's not just about extended breaks. It's also not good to spend an entire evening playing when you're worn out and no longer in the right frame of mind to absorb information and improve from that. One thing I'm trying to do, especially in this tournament, is be more deliberate with my time instead of just playing when I feel like it or when someone asks me for a test. I'll set a hard limit on the amount of time I spend playing for an evening or block out a specific hour to build something/test and then go do something else. Doing this helps me avoid stuff like queueing up for one last ladder just because I want the dopamine hit from winning; not good to rely on games in that way.

5. I was Eo Ut Mortus on Shoddy. On Netbattle, I was "Spectre," I guess because the French spelling was cool to 12-year-old me.

1. Are you gonna quit mons? If yes, when?
2. What is your best tier besides SS OU?
3. What's your favorite game to play?
1. Probably. Mons fits in neatly with all my other obligations and hobbies; if something begins to crowd it out, then mons is probably the first thing to go. Likely when I feel like it's okay to go out consistently again.

2. Honestly, I suck at all of them now; I used to be able to manage multiple tiers at once, but I had more time and the community was smaller, so I only really have time for SS OU. Aside from SS OU, DPP UU was my best tier, historically.

3. I think my most played game is Fire Emblem. Finished Three Houses last month, and I'm hungry for more.

1. who's your favorite santcuary member?
2. do you believe in ojama's theory about ciele being a member of the british royal family?
3. what kind of woman is your type?
4. el guimo or pichu?
1. goao
2. Ojama's been awful quiet lately.
3. Elderly, rich, no living heirs
4. Pichu can't even win a battle vs. morbid obesity, let alone El Guimo.

How was it being on the Tyrants this year?
A lot of us were very similarly competitive (sweaty) and that is what ended up defining the team. Despite his best efforts, Rey could not manage to get us to do anything because we'd just rather test with each other. At the same time, pretty much all of us were invested in each other's success/games, sometimes to a fault. We were a miserable (quiet) team when we were losing and a very happy team when we were winning. I think each player had their own antics that would rub a different player the wrong way, but none of us ever actually fought with each other, except for elodin with everyone. It was a memorable experience all things considered, but I obviously can't reflect too fondly on it because of how it ended. I also have to say that John W is a great teammate; hope he gets his trophy when he comes back.
 
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