Banner by Skarm™
Welcome to OU's Player of the week, a project
where I interview well known players to gain insight on how they battle, as well as get to know some things about them. The goal of this thread is to have these high level players give insight to other players in this community in hopes of creating a better overall experience in the OU environment. As always, if there's someone you'd like to see interviewed, feel free to shoot me a PM. So without further ado, lets get to it!
Eh, I don't really have any significant tournament results to my name, but I did play for the Ruiners this SPL! Besides that, I spend my time on Smogon tryharding on the forums for likes. I also enjoy long memes on the beach, and watching the views from the 6.
My favourite Pokemon is Quagsire. My favourite Pokemon to use would be Moltres in BW, and Klefki or Charizard-X in XY/ORAS.
Most used Pokemon:
In ORAS, I love using Fire-types that can wall Scizor-Mega, which is a threat I always overcompensate for in teambuilding. At the moment, my most used Pokemon would probably be SpDef Talonflame, because it can check a sizeable portion of the meta, cripple common switch ins with a burn, and boost quickly w/ SD.
Where did you get your name from?
My name comes from a game called Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime. It's an old DS game I played in the 6th grade. It's kinda hard to explain but most of the characters are slimes. At a certain point in the story, you rescue a trio of ninja slimes - Gooshido, Goosashi, and Tokyo Tom - and they help train you. While the first two speak like stereotypical ninjas, Tokyo Tom talks like a surfer dude, which I always thought was jokes. I couldn't really think of a username when I decided to go on Smogon, but I'd always been a fan of alliteration (my previous name on PO was Bob Backspin, from a game called Grand Slam Tennis), so I thought I'd roll w/ Tokyo Tom.
How and when did you get into competitive battling?
Pretty long story.
I first heard about PO in the ninth grade when an school friend of mine, Richard, told me about the game and a server called Quantum that was hosted by a kid in the grade above us. Everyone had to get laptops for school, so everyone from the biggest dusts to the coolest kids were playing lordly games like Facebook Tetris Battle or Plants vs. Zombies. However, Pokemon was coming back big as well, with tons of kids on emulators or PO. I had stopped playing the actual games by then (I lasted from Ruby to Diamond), but it interested me, so I decided to give it a shot. I was just a small-server guy, mainly there to talk instead of battle, so I was never any good.
I wasted hours and hours on these small servers (Reborn, Treehouse, EXTREME LEAGUE, what have you), until one day Quantum's owner decided that he'd stop hosting the server. To my amazement I put the game down for two years and worked on building my non-existent social life instead. However, I kept in touch with user: 49, a friend I met on Quantum, through entry into POYT 2012 (Pokemon Online Youtube Tournament), shown to me by another IRL friend (shoutouts Davey). I built teams and posted them to the Quantum forums that were still up, and 49 would comment on them, bringing me one round away from winning 30 Euros, which was pretty jokes. I wouldn't touch Pokemon again until fall 2013 (grade 12) though, when Davey told me X&Y was soon to come out, and to hop on PS and play Pokebank OU. It's at this point where 49 showed me Smogon's forums.
At the same time, a buddy of mine showed me a Shofu video and I was like, who is Shofu? Through Shofu, I found and started watching Pokeaim videos to better my understanding of the game, and through some way or another I found about the "infamous" IDM. My initial thought process was: get reqs -> apply to IDM -> get featured in Shofu and Pokeaim's videos -> achieve WORLDWIDE FAME and EPIC MEMES w/ my IRL friends that watched Shofu. It didn't exactly turn out that way, but I took a BWOU team from 49 and laddered up to the top on the PO BW ladder in the twilight days of 5th Gen. Little did I know that IDM doesn't actually do tryouts, but from my understanding they were in a call to do an XY channel tournament, and CTC felt generous, so I busied myself for the next 2 hours beating Official Tester Sogeking in every way, shape, and form with a total of 2 different teams. I got into IDM, leading me to grab Skype and from there met a wide variety of people, and was quickly thrust into the Tournament community without any skill or results to back it up. So, I spent a while on Smogon lurking and trying to improve my skills at the game, and that brings us to where we are now.
How do you feel about how ORAS plays compared to XY?
I'm not a huge fan of ORAS. Not because I think it's unbalanced or volatile or w/e, but I just don't think it's as fun to play in general. I really regret not making a big attempt to improve my playing during XY, because looking back it was one of the most fun metas I've played. Back when Aegislash and Deo-S n' all were unbanned, everything was just 1v1 trades and Hyper Offense everywhere. For reference: Shake vs. DU, SPL 5 Finals. Sure, it wasn't exactly a meta where skill would always prevail, but it was fresh, fast, and entertaining. I personally hate watching battles where there's SR on both sides of the field, every item is Knocked Off, and a Clefable is slowly setting up CMs on w/e, which kinda sums up ORAS. But that's just me.
To add onto the above, thoughts on the team matchup issue?
Teambuilding kinda sucks w/ all the threats in ORAS to consider, but it's not as bad as people think. I used to complain about matchup before I realized having a gameplan and executing it well trumps that. Obviously, I was not the paragon of demonstrating this during my SPL matches, but I'd like to think those were bad examples of my overall level of play. Overall I think besides a few overcentralizing 'Mons ('Gross, Lando-I), ORAS is well balanced and is generally a meta where if you build a solid bulky offense/balance team, you will be able to be consistent.
What are your thoughts on the current Giratina Suspect Test? Is there anything else you'd like to see retested / suspected?
[2015-03-29, 9:39:37 PM] Tanaka Masuda: just say
[2015-03-29, 9:39:41 PM] Tanaka Masuda: i make love to haunter
[2015-03-29, 9:39:42 PM] Tanaka Masuda: everyday
I am very into the idea of a Landorus-I suspect! A lot of people have spoken to this already but I am amazed at its ability to adapt to the meta with relative ease, and force the meta to again adapt around it.
What's your favorite playstyle and why?
Hyper Offense! It's fast, fresh, and you can use a variety of different 'Mons to good effect. It's also the most skill-less and inconsistent style! Balance and Bulky Offense are enjoyable as well, as a kind of mental game, like chess. But if you're talking the most fun, it's Hyper Offense for me.
What's your favorite generation of OU and why?
BW2! A lot of people think BW sucks, is a stale metagame, or is very volatile. I started on PO when Gen 5 had just come out and I still honestly love it. There is plenty of room for creativity, there is plenty of room to get past bad matchup, it all just depends on the teambuilding imo. Also, I like BW because you can hazard stack + spinblock *-* and HO is more viable than in ORAS.
Favorite and lease favorite moments of SPL?
Honestly, I was ecstatic just to be picked up. I really didn't have any expectations going into this SPL season, because I had no concrete results to my name. But being picked up by the Ruiners (I honestly didn't even know they were undefeated haha) and being able to be part of such a dominant regular season was amazing, and I got to meet tons of amazing people as well. My least favourite moment, was obviously losing in the finals after going in w/ high expectations. Also, right after losing the week, I got tossed by Ben Gay in an embarrassing fashion with hax and good matchup supporting me, never really getting into the right mindset for the game. After preparing all week, seeing all that time go to waste primarily by me playing lazy as fuck when it counted sucked, and I threw away my chance to prove myself and show my improvement over the last couple months. I do not want to take anything away from Ben, he is a good friend and played great, and flexed more of his trademark creativity in the match.
How do you go about preparing for tournament matches? Does the process differ depending on the tournament?
The only prep I deem noteworthy is for my finals match, where I asked TDK to counterteam me based on the builds I had shown in my replays, and then work off that. Going off replays seemed to be a popular trend in SPL, but since BenGay is so unpredictable I decided I'd try to cover my own weaknesses instead. I also asked Gingy, my opponent from the previous round, about his thought process when preparing for me. As for other tournaments, SPL6 is really the only tournament I've played on Smogon, so I assume it would go similarly.
Favorite to win OST?
Probably Blunder, although I'd like to see WhiteQueen win as well because I think it would be great (and Shake would get mad as shit rof). If Club Penguin Ghoster [NAME REDACTED] is still in the tournament, that would be cool too; alas, I think his final life was knocked out, shame.
If you could change one thing about OU, what would it be and why?
Oh man. I would take away these moves that have literally no opportunity cost to just spam, like Scald and Knock Off. If not that, I'd simply buff back the Hidden Powers and the various attacks that got nerfed.
Do you have any advice for newer players for playing, and for Smogon in general?
Oh, man. I'm not gonna sit here and pretend like I'm the paragon of a wonderful user on this wonderful site (I've used "paragon" so much that I'm not sure if I'm using it right anymore), because I'm not, but I can speak from the experience of having been regarded as a bad user (again, I could still be regarded as a bad user! who knows). First, lurk before you speak. See where others are failing and try to steer away from that. For example, don't fill up the SmogTours chat for no reason even if your OU room friends are playing! Although the tournament community is very much centred around smack talking, don't join in unless you actually know people! I made this mistake last year, until Dekzeh called me out, thanks for that haha.
Try to be a nice person! Don't talk behind peoples' backs (I cannot say I am anywhere near perfect in this regard, haha) because it can always come back to haunt you! Try to sound enthusiastic when talking to people, try to care (or at least, act like you care), and try to be pleasant to hang around. You just want to be known as a nice person and perhaps a good player. If you think the community is unfairly trashing you, try to find reasons why they might be doing that. Reflect on your behaviour as a user and see where you might be going wrong. Although you don't want to act like a complete bitch, as a newer user it's often better to be apologetic than argumentative. People will forgive you much more easily if you are willing to admit your mistakes.
Then as a player. Always have a game plan. Recognize how you can win, and what you need to do to get there. Then do the same for your opponent, and you can get an idea of their game plan to get a general sense of how they are going to play. There are a lot of people who play turn by turn, and those are the people who complain the most about hax, matchup, or what have you. As Hack once told me, 90% of hax can be avoided by playing smart. Think ahead, have a plan, and then execute.
If you could change one thing about Smogon as a whole to make it better, what would it be and why?
I'd work on closing the divide between contributors and tournament players. I know for example that Henry believes the tournament players should be more active in the C&C forums, or the competitive forums, or what have you. I know there is a solid amount of overlap between contributors and tournament players, and I appreciate the people who do that, but as someone who hangs out with a good number of both, there is always a bit of mutual disdain. I think tournament players should have to contribute at least a bit, because at the end of the day they are the ones with "significant" experience (like, experience where it counts, if that makes sense).
What players do you look up to / are good friends with?
49 is someone who I always thought had the skill to meme it up w/ the big dogs, but never really took himself seriously enough to do so, but I'm glad now that he's attempted to get into the tournament scene. He carries the tournament mindset well, formulating solid gameplans and making good reads when necessary. He also has wide multi-tier and multi-generational experience that people don't know about, which helps him see potential in various Pokemon and create some cool builds. By that I mean Spikes Stack on literally every BW team regardless of tier.
Another player I look up to is Myzozoa. I'm not exactly sure why, but I enjoy his "no-fucks given" Hyper Offensive style, and I was a huge fan of his thrashing of Lamppost in one of the WCoP replays on the Smogon YT channel.
Since this is a PoTW, I gotta mention ben gay. People know him mainly for his creative building but he is also a very smart player as well. I've known him for a while now and it was nice to see him achieve mainstream success!
As for friends, I actually appreciate this space for the chance to give shoutouts that no one cares about for no reason, haha. The DragonKnight, sugarhigh, Tesung, Stathakis, Jaiho, Henry, Steve Angello, and Kushalos are users that I would consider my best friends on the site. Each of them are competent players except for Tesung, who simply seems to luck his way through every mainstream tournament! Actually, I also don't know if Jai plays Pokemon, but his sleuthing skills make up for it.
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?
Unown-S @ Choice Specs
EVs: 16 HP / 240 SpA / 252 Spe
- Hidden Power [Psychic]
Unown-I @ Stick
EVs: 16 HP / 240 SpA / 252 Spe
- Hidden Power [Ground]
Unown-X @ Nanab Berry
EVs: 16 HP / 240 SpA / 252 Spe
- Hidden Power [Flying]
Unown-G @ Metronome
EVs: 16 HP / 240 SpA / 252 Spe
- Hidden Power [Ice]
Unown-O @ Sport Ball
EVs: 16 HP / 240 SpA / 252 Spe
- Hidden Power [Fire]
Unown-D @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
- Hidden Power [Dragon]
beyond wonderland (Weavile) @ Life Orb
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
- Icicle Crash
- Low Kick
- Ice Shard
- Knock Off
verdant skies (Talonflame) @ Leftovers
Ability: Gale Wings
EVs: 248 HP / 252 SpD / 8 Spe
- Brave Bird
- Swords Dance
life in colour (Starmie) @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 248 HP / 28 Def / 4 SpA / 228 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
- Rapid Spin
digital dreams (Metagross-Mega) @ Metagrossite
Ability: Tough Claws
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
- Meteor Mash
- Hammer Arm
- Zen Headbutt
unknown memories (Hippowdon) @ Leftovers
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 240 HP / 152 Def / 116 SpD
- Stealth Rock
- Slack Off
- Stone Edge
nights in kyoto (Toxicroak) @ Life Orb
Ability: Dry Skin
EVs: 8 HP / 248 Atk / 252 Spe
- Drain Punch
- Gunk Shot
- Swords Dance
- Sucker Punch
The team I built for XRay during week 9 of SPL. I decided on Weavile after deeming it decently anti-meta and anti-offense, which I thought would work well against XRay's typical builds. Besides that, it's just a collection of stuff I hadn't used before and wanted to use (SpDef Talonflame, Mega Metagross, Toxicroak). The team is a somewhat bulky offense, revolving around Talonflame, Metagross, and Toxicroak all sharing similar checks and wearing these checks down for one to clean late-game. Weavile provides insurance against opposing offensive teams with its strong priority, preventing me from being swept by things such as RP Landorus or NP Thundurus. Hippowdon and Starmie form my defensive backbone. I always like having a 'Mon like Hippo to absorb Volt Switch and not be too fazed by the threat of HP Ice, allowing it to stop momentum from opposing Raikou/Manectric. Toxic on Metagross was a random tech when I realized I had nothing to handle Mega Slowbro (since GK wouldn't do enough at +1), and doesn't see much use besides that, haha.
if you have any questions for vintage tokyo swag, leave em down below. id like to thank him once again for doing thise. see yall next week peeps.