Project Player Interview #2: Nalei (MaceMaster)

Rosa

AAAAAAA
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Moderator
[art pending]

Nalei
Favorite Pokemon: Rampardos
1577211577666.png

Most used Pokemon: Gyarados :gyarados:

Most known for: Being a competent 1v1 player who succeeds with the use of typically unorthodox Pokemon
1577214786343.png

As a preface to all this, tell me about yourself; what are some things that the people reading this should know about you?

1577214807262.png

Hi! Readers will probably recognize me as the runner of 1v1's set compendium and while I'm pretty bad at describing myself, I'll give it a shot. I'm 18, from Minnesota, a senior in high school, and I wrestle and play [american] football.

1577214786343.png

2 sports at once must be crazy- Do you see yourself being a pro wrestler or football player in the future?

1577214807262.png

It can be a ton of work, but they don't overlap much so I usually manage to keep things under control. I really don't see myself going anywhere beyond high school in either of them for a couple of reasons: A) while I'm a good athlete, I possess no natural talent and B) HRT will make it impossible for me to compete at a high level.

1577214786343.png

Fair, fair.
On that last note, I'm not sure if too many people are aware of what's going on with that. I'm pretty sure you posted about it in the lgbtq+ thread somewhere, but would you mind summing it up here? And just in general how life is treating you with all that going on-

1577214807262.png

Sure! I'm transgender and nonbinary which I came to terms with in early October. There were signs that I was trans going back as far as age 5, and by middle school I was actively questioning my gender. Due to the way that I was raised, though, I repressed a lot of my feelings and am still unable to be out in real life bar a very close friend. Life is probably the best it's been before puberty for me and while I'm still having a rough time, I'm increasingly hopeful for the future.

1577214786343.png

Glad to hear things are going great!
Is the transition part of why you changed your name on ps and smogon?

1577214807262.png

While I've been considering a name change for a long time, transition definitely has to do with it. The name MaceMaster made me feel a little bit young, edgy, and male. I spent a few hours messing around with letters, sounds, and words until I came up with Nalei, which just clicked for me. The new name has also been really good for visibility as I've had about a dozen 1v1 regulars ask me my pronouns or if I'm trans since the change.

1577214786343.png

Nice, glad it's working out for you!
So, going back a bit, what got you into pokemon in the first place? And when did it just "click" that it'd be something you'd be playing up until even now?

1577214807262.png

My first Pokemon game was Platinum, which I got in 3rd grade. I kept playing the main series and a couple spin-offs until generation 6, when I started getting into competitive. I only did it on my DS at first, but eventually a friend introduced me to PS which changed things for me. I originally hung around the tours room and was a jack of all trades player, but when I started playing 1v1 I gradually let go of most other tiers. The moment that it clicked for me was when 1v1 got its own room, at which point I decided that I wanted to be a lot more involved.

1577214786343.png

Oh, wow, glad we were able to become a home for you, then!
Speaking of 1v1, how did things feel when you first started? If I had to guess, you started off in like, mid-SM era, right? Before the Ultra games came out, that is.

1577214807262.png

Actually, no! Around that time is when I become a more notable user, but I started playing 1v1 in late gen 6. When I first started, I had no idea how to effectively compose a team and didn't even use resources like the VR. It was utter chaos and while I was quite bad at first, I had a lot of fun and really feel like I started at the right time because it gave me the tools I needed to start SM off right.

1577214786343.png

Oh dang, never would've thought you were around for oras-
With that prevalence in SM in mind, what would you say were a couple of the key elements in reaching your success in the metagame?

1577214807262.png

I think that most of my success comes from my set and team building, but to get better at anything in 1v1, whether it be picking at team preview, learning the nuances of matchups, or building, practice is absolutely necessary. Another huge factor for me has been surprise, as I've been known to love off-meta sets and Pokemon. Most of my teams from last generation had at least 1 Pokemon ranked C+ or below and some even had multiple unranked Pokemon!

1577214786343.png

Well, somehow, some way, you definitely made it work, despite the insane sets!
That kind of success must've attributed towards tournament performance as well- As one of the few players to be both a team manager and drafted for high price as a team player in two consecutive Premier Leagues, tell me, what is that experience like? What would you say really sets apart managing and playing for these major team tournaments, if anything?

1577214807262.png

Most tournaments last generation are something of a blur to me, but I remember managing fairly well. My co-manager was Whammerist, and while I don't want to talk too much shit, he messed up our draft and became entirely inactive with no notice halfway through the tour. I wasn't a great manager myself either, so the Deluxe Dustox was something of a failure. My experience playing was a lot better, and while I was flattered by the price I went for, I really shouldn't have gone for that much. I think that I'm going to be more active in tournaments this generation and possibly manage in PL again.

1577214786343.png

oof, looks like we've both been ghosted by our managers, then ;P
As far as 1v1 tournaments in general go, I'm glad you actually brought up that experience as a jack of all trades with other formats. How would you say 1v1 tournament games handle in comparison to the more typical 6v6 stuff? Additionally, would you say there's more of a stark difference with ladder vs tours in 1v1 than there is with 6v6?

1577214807262.png

I'd say the largest differences between 1v1 and 6v6 in tours are the increased potential for cteaming and the Bo5/7 that 1v1 is usually played in. While properly preparing for your opponents is important in both, you'll typically prepare multiple teams for a 1v1 series and need to predict when to pull out each team during the series. That said, while I was in the tours room, I mostly participated in room tours which are more like laddering than Smogon tours in my opinion. Regardless, the way that one ladders in 1v1 is totally different to that of most 6v6 formats because of the number of games you can play in a short time and the lower number of people on the ladder at once, both of which make "sniping" opponents much more effective (I believe you have some experience with this).

1577214786343.png

you know it c;
With your history in 1v1 tours, I'm sure there must've been dozens, if not hundreds, of teams made for tournaments- Why not show us an example? If you're able to recall, do you think you'd be able to show us a team that you prepped for a tournament opponent that you feel particularly proud of and explain your thought process behind it? If you can't recall one, a general team that you're proud of would also work.

1577214807262.png

1577212214448.png1577212243280.png1577212262669.png
Thanks to my awful memory and cryptic names, I'm afraid that I can't differentiate between my general and preparatory teams. This is a team that I built later in USM and features the incredibly niche Specs Gengar, a Mega Gallade set I innovated earlier in the gen, and a bulky Mega Metagross. Ironically, when I originally built the team, it was structured around HypnoHex Mega Gengar, but after some testing I realized that I could substitute it for Specs to remove RNG from a lot of matchups. Like a lot of my teams, it worked better at first than it did later while no one knew what sets I was running, but it still holds its ground as one of my favorite teams. While a lot of people might talk about which roles each mon fills on a team, there's not much to say here; while the team members work together to cover most viable Pokemon in 1v1, they also don't hold any specific role which can make teams like this off-putting to play against.

1577214786343.png

still great all the same-
With that said, now that gen 7 has come to a close, how do you feel about the end result of the USUM metagame? Anything extra you think could've been done or would've liked to see?

1577214807262.png

While there's always something to regret, all things considered, I was very happy with USUM in the end. I hold some niche opinions such as banning Choice Scarf, the Charizardites and only low accuracy sleep, but I don't think there's anything that I could have done that would have resulted in their bans. That said, my largest regret has to be my lack of motivation towards the end of the generation. I let the sets compendium go without an update for almost a year which I'm going to take special measures to ensure won't happen this generation.

1577214786343.png

Glad you've still got your motivation for the sets, I'm sure people'd never let you hear the end of it if you just let it die-
How about the people in 1v1? As someone coming in from late oras era into the now early ss era, how do you feel about the community as a whole? Would you say there are significant differences in the people from back then to right now?

1577214807262.png

I wasn't involved in the community very deeply in ORAS, but from the start of SM to SS there's definitely been some big changes in the culture of 1v1. While there's always going to be some level of toxicity in 1v1, the initially small and gilded community in early SM had very little of it. Certain users proved to be negatively influencing our otherwise positive atmosphere and even put a stain on 1v1's reputation from outsiders' perspective and while I don't agree with actively curating our playerbase to the extent that we have, I can't deny the results; things have gotten better. We're probably the closest we've been to how things were at the start of gen 7 right about now as we have the early gen zeal going for us and removal of some toxic users has kept things (mostly) friendly.

1577214786343.png

Cheers to a better future where we don't have to be so strict, hopefully.
Going back to the game, how do you feel about gen 8 1v1 right now? With a Mew suspect coming and a Sableye suspect probably following short after, do you think there'll be any drastic changes to things if they were both to be removed?

1577214807262.png

I'm enjoying gen 8 (post-dynamax ban) a ton so far. There's so much room for innovation right now and while that makes the meta unstable, it's all part of the process. Mew and Sableye are both hugely oppressive Pokemon in my opinion, especially Mew. I think that they'll both be banned and that their removal will open up even more niches. While each ban will make a huge impact on the meta, our instability means that it's hardly anything new and I welcome the change.

1577214786343.png

What would you say is your ideal vision for a general "end result" of 1v1 as a whole, so to speak? Like, where would you want to see 1v1 and the community by the end of Gen 8?

1577214807262.png

That's a hard question for me to answer. Frankly, I have no idea what the best version of gen 8 1v1 is, but I think that we're headed in the right direction and I'm excited to see where we go. More broadly, I obviously hope it'll be balanced and interesting to play. As for the community, I'd like to see an overall increase in maturity. I love our community, but all the same, 1v1 seems to be a magnet for edgy 12 year olds. I think that that will likely plague 1v1 forever, but I'm very optimistic that 1v1 will continue to be fun to play and fun to engage with.

1577214786343.png

Any last words you have for the readers?

1577214807262.png

Play some 1v1, have a great day, and thanks for reading!

1577214786343.png

Thanks for your time :)
======================================================================

Duration of interview: 1 hour, 58 minutes

If you have any questions of your own for Nalei, feel free to ask them here!

As for the next interview, don't expect a consistent schedule behind these-​
 
Last edited:
Hi, Macemaster (oops; Nalei, I mean hehe) Merry Christmas!! c:

What sort of music do you listen to?

Which did you like better in gen71v1 - Tapu Lele or Mega Gardevoir?

WYR Bacon on ice-cream or Choice Specs on Hustle Durant? :blobthinking:

Which user influenced you/your playstyle the most over the time you've been playing 1v1?

Last question: Rampardos sux. Period. c; JK. How can people with any semblance of sanity and cognitive thinking capabilities not yet realize that Alakazam is just an undercover government operative here to spy on us and gather info? :blobglare:
 

Le Creme Brule

Formerly AllFourtyOne
1th Question: hey bum bum bum, got any grapes?
2st Question: What's your favorite new pokemon or new strategy for an old pokemon in Gen8?
3nd Question: What's the most fun EV spread you've made either in Gen7 or 8 or 6 idk?
 

Nalei

out!
is a Pre-Contributor
Hi, Macemaster (oops; Nalei, I mean hehe) Merry Christmas!! c:

What sort of music do you listen to?

Which did you like better in gen71v1 - Tapu Lele or Mega Gardevoir?

WYR Bacon on ice-cream or Choice Specs on Hustle Durant? :blobthinking:

Which user influenced you/your playstyle the most over the time you've been playing 1v1?

Last question: Rampardos sux. Period. c; JK. How can people with any semblance of sanity and cognitive thinking capabilities not yet realize that Alakazam is just an undercover government operative here to spy on us and gather info? :blobglare:
Merry Christmas Eve to you too!
I listen to just about every genre out there bar country, but I think that I listen to more rock than anything else. My favorite artists are Grimes and Tool.
Bacon on ice cream sounds unironically good; thanks for the idea! :psysly:
Overall, I feel like my playstyle hasn't been too heavily influenced by any one user. If I had to pick one, I think it'd go to Felucia because she shares my passion for good EVs and we've worked together on things like Electric Seed Tapu Koko.
Rampardos good, cease, corrupt mods, etc.
1th Question: hey bum bum bum, got any grapes?
2st Question: What's your favorite new pokemon or new strategy for an old pokemon in Gen8?
3nd Question: What's the most fun EV spread you've made either in Gen7 or 8 or 6 idk?
1) No. (So he waddled away)
2) My favorite gen 8 Pokemon (by design/flavor and to use) is Appletun and my favorite new set for an old mon is Salac CurseKyu with Phantom Force which beats mons that are faster than it.
3) Best question. I think my most influential EV spread was my bulky Mimikyu (240 HP / 128 Atk / 96 Def / 44 Spe Jolly). This really changed the way that Mimikyu was used and played against as it beat most Mold Breakers and Sturdymons.
 

pqs

u rly thought
"I love our community, but all the same, 1v1 seems to be a magnet for edgy 12 year olds."
:blobsad: jk
hi nalei!!!!
1: what is your favorite tv show / movie?
2: what's your favorite generation of pokemon?
3: what's your favorite pokemon game?
 

Nalei

out!
is a Pre-Contributor
"I love our community, but all the same, 1v1 seems to be a magnet for edgy 12 year olds."
:blobsad: jk
hi nalei!!!!
1: what is your favorite tv show / movie?
2: what's your favorite generation of pokemon?
3: what's your favorite pokemon game?
1) I don't watch many TV shows or movies, but I really enjoy Stranger Things, Rick and Morty, and most Marvel movies. Hazbin Hotel is also great.
2/3) Gen 4 and Platinum win for me on account of nostalgia, but if I'm being objective, I think I have to go with gen 5 and BW2.
 
Most impressive series you had or one that made you really proud for whatever reason
Most surprising/interesting/impressive series u watched
Scariest opponent to face/prep for
Player u would want to be on your team the most
Most meth set u made

and finally, would u try and taste [redacted] again?
 

Nalei

out!
is a Pre-Contributor
Most impressive series you had or one that made you really proud for whatever reason
Most surprising/interesting/impressive series u watched
Scariest opponent to face/prep for
Player u would want to be on your team the most
Most meth set u made

and finally, would u try and taste [redacted] again?
Here's a series from BST limit that I had a lot of fun with: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen71v1-987264685 https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen71v1-987265222 https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen71v1-987263793
The first team fit seamlessly into the BST limit for that week and was perfectly Mez-themed. Second was fairly ingenuitive and third was just good. I tend not to get too excited about how I play and these teams were super hype.
I don't spectate much so I can't answer that very well.
Probably osra. I'm still traumatized from the time that she unveiled Laser Focus Aegislash against me before literally anyone else was using it.
I'll have to go with osra again provided drafting price is excluded; she's really a nightmare to face when she takes the time to cteam well.
Alakazam-Mega @ Alakazite
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 120 HP / 144 Def / 108 SpD / 136 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Grass Knot
- Barrier
- Taunt
- Recover

[redacted]
fmk ggopw toad bubbie (explain why for each)
Won't give any explanation, but f toad m bubbie k ggopw
 

Nalei

out!
is a Pre-Contributor
Wrong answer but oki
Hot question, there have always been people voicing the way 1v1 has been run almost immediately after the room's been made, What are your thoughts on the way 1v1 is being conducted rn?
I'm happy with the way the council, QC, and resources are functioning right now. We're much more productive than we were mid-gen 7. As for moderation, as I touched on in the interview, I don't like the extent to which we curate our playerbase. It's better than nothing, but I tend to be very conservative with blacklists. I'm fine with blacklisting consistently toxic users after they've been warned, but I prefer for there to be a proper offense for the blacklist and not just culminating past behavior.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)

Top