Project Player Interview #3: Robyn

Rosa

Terrible Tyrant
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Robyn

Favorite Pokemon: Fletchling :fletchling:
Most used Pokemon: Magearna :magearna:

Most known for: Winning the recent 1v1 Classic and participating in multiple other 1v1 tournaments.
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Now, to start things off; tell me about yourself! What are some things that people should know about Robyn?

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Well, I’m admittedly pretty terrible at describing myself, but I’ll do my best. My name is Robyn, I’m 16, turning 17 in less than a month now, I’m from New Hampshire, and my main interests IRL are writing and ornithology.

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Nice nice. How are things going for you in general as of late?

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Things are going great! The past few months of my life have been bumpy with coming out as transgender online and the complications that came along with that, but overall I’m living my best life right now and enjoying every moment of it. 1v1-play included.

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Glad to hear! Now, let's take a bit of a walk down memory lane; how'd you get into Pokemon in the first place? What made it stick with you over any other game series?

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I’ve been playing Pokemon casually for almost as long as I can remember. My mom gave me Pokemon Black as a birthday gift when I was pretty young, and I fell in love with the games almost instantly. It took me much longer to become interested in the competitive aspects though. I started playing VGC in late 2016 after watching the World Championships and from that point on I knew my interest had become much more serious.

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Speaking of VGC, what exactly is your history with competitive? Did you attend irl VGC tournaments?

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I did! It was a bit difficult for me, as I live in a rural area that doesn’t have much activity in terms of local VGC tournaments, but in the fall of 2017 I made it down to the Hartford Regional Championships and finished very well. It was an amazing experience, and I would highly recommend it even to people who don’t play the format. The friends you make there are half the fun.

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Interesting! How'd you wind up on ps and smogon, then?

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I found Smogon after googling around for tips on how to better optimize the teams I was making ingame on ORAS. I believe the exact google search was “rotom wash moveset”. From there, I lurked around a while and found PS by clicking the very enticing “Play Online” button on Smogon forums’ home screen. Very glad I did, it completely changed the way I played.

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I'd imagine you probably went with the vgc format they had on there at the time, right? How'd you end up finding 1v1, though?

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I definitely played VGC on PS for quite a long time before finding 1v1, but eventually a few things happened that resulted in a bit of a burnout for me. I resigned from Room Driver and intended to quit the format entirely. That’s right around when I started playing 1v1, as well. I suppose I picked it up to fill the void that was left behind for me, and I really only intended to play for a couple weeks - but with significant persuasion from martha, I signed up for PL and was drafted by the Frozen Articunos. From then on, I knew I would be sticking around for quite a while.

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Glad you decided to stick around, even if you were stuck with 2v2 for most of that tour- Speaking of the Articunos, how was that experience? How would you say it compared to being on US East for the following World Cup?

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Well... It was definitely an experience. I don’t want to throw too much shade at anyone, but the team struggled a lot and that really showed during the tour. I personally was extremely unprepared to play 2v2, as it’s really not as easily comparable to other Doubles as some people think, but overall PL was a fun experience that solidified my love for team tours. World Cup on the other hand was an incredible experience for me - US East was (and still is) a tight knit bunch and we all put tons of effort and enthusiasm into the tour, and continued to help each other out afterward. I certainly wouldn’t have gone anywhere near as far as I did in Classic without US East. Can’t wait to do it all again this year.

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Nice. Now, even though you never really got to play 1v1 in either of those tours, it's still pretty undeniable that you had some experience with it, via your participation in seasonals, multiple suspect tests, general recreational laddering, and, of course, the 1v1 Classic- With that in mind, how would you say 1v1 formats handle relative to other metagames? In your case, mostly VGC. In addition, how would you say the whole atmosphere of online tournaments compares to irl tournaments?

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I would say it’s a completely different game, to be honest. 1v1 is significantly faster-paced than even VGC, which prides itself on being faster-paced than 6v6 Singles tiers. I will say that some of what I learned from 1v1 has actually translated back to VGC for me. The skill with predictions that I developed from playing 1v1 has let me make harder reads in VGC, and it’s given me a new perspective into how people play. The difference between IRL and online tours is huge though. In a smogtour, you’re only really playing one set every week, whereas in a large IRL tour for VGC you’re often going to be playing 7-8 rounds of Swiss, sometimes even without a break for lunch, and the whole thing is usually over in two days at most. Even just the atmosphere of it is different, too. Watching a highly anticipated hype match scheduled a week in advance is a whole lot different than watching a “win and in” match between top tier players for Top Cut after a full day of playing.

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What do you feel the best way to play 1v1 is? What methods would you attribute to success on ladder and in tournaments? And on that note, would you say ladder games and tournament games handle similarly?

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I’m more than willing to be cliche and say that the best way to play 1v1 is however you like best, but for me that’s definitely been tournaments. I think that everyone has different methods both for ladder and tours, but keeping cool and not letting yourself tilt certainly helps with the former. It makes my job easier as a Global Driver, too if people don’t blow up. As far as tours, just putting the time into prepping for each set and analyzing how your opponent plays their games can make a huge difference in knowing what will work best. While I wouldn’t say ladder and tour sets are completely incomparable, I think they’re extremely different. Playing 50 games with various different opponents and being potentially cteamed in high ladder is very different than playing 5 games with the same opponent using 5 teams you’ve built just for the occasion.

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On that note of preparation, if I'm not mistaken, you've said before that a lot of your teams are borrowed from others- What exactly are your thoughts on building for 1v1? Would you say other people's teams are typically better built than yours?

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You can ask anyone I’ve ever built with for VGC in the old days and they’ll tell you that they only asked once. I do try my hand at building for 1v1 when I can, but in general it seems my head is better for making plays than making teams. My highest ladder peak of SM was with a team I built that auto-lost to Zeraora. I’m very grateful to have had people willing to pass teams to me, and I think that with time and help from those same people I may be able to expand upon my teambuilding skills a bit further.

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Interesting. Perhaps you'd be willing to provide an example of a team that's served you particularly well and walk us through why/how it's been so good to you? Be it old gen, sm, or ss.

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I suppose I mentioned it so it’s only fair that I share it as well. I built this team for SM laddering at some point during PL, and while it’s a bit shaky in terms of actual quality, it still carried me to my ladder peak of 1802. I knew I wanted something with Durant, and Rockium sounded like a fun set for baiting Zards. The other two seemed pretty solid and patched up most obvious holes, so this is what I ended up with. It works great, as long as you make sure nobody else is laddering with Zera before you start!

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Nice. Now, something I've been curious about; as someone in the unique position of having more or less equal amounts of experience across all the generations of 1v1, what would your rankings for best to worst gen be (from 3-8), and why?

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I think for me I would rank it as 6 > 3 > 4 > 7 > 5 > 8. ORAS is a fantastic metagame and really the gen that got me interested in oldgens - it has some things I dislike such as the 1/16 crit odds, and some things that should be explored like a Blaziken suspect, but overall it’s a very well balanced and enjoyable meta. ADV is underappreciated and as such, under explored. Some of my favorite sets from Classic were in ADV, and while it takes some time to adjust to playing it’s well worth the effort. I personally find both BW and SS to be very boring to play and even watch, and I suppose they are similar in some ways so it’s not too surprising. Overall though I would be happy to play any gen in any tour, 1v1 is 1v1 at the end of the day.

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Oof- Well, hopefully we'll be able to get you to brighten up to gen 8 1v1, seeing as it's gonna be here for a good few years- Do you have any thoughts as to what might make the metagame better, or at least more enjoyable?

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haha, I suppose that is a bit doom-and-gloomy of me. I expect that with time the meta will balance out and we’ll also find ways of answering (or removing!) major threats like Mew that are weighing things down right now. We’re still in the early days right now for sure. In the end, I’m sure we’ll all miss gen8 as much as we miss SM now. You don’t know what you got til it’s gone.

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True true. A lot of people definitely seemed to dip once the generation turned; what I'm curious of is if you were going to be one of them- I know you joked around about having a reason to stay in the discord now that you got the custom color on the Classic winner role, but honestly, what's your investment in gen 8 1v1 looking like, in comparison to how it was during gen 7?

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Honestly, I didn’t plan to quit after Classic even if I do find gen8 to be rather boring. I don’t plan on dedicating myself too hard when it comes to gen8 tours like Seasonals or LT, but I intend to (hopefully) work hard at PL and World Cup in old gens, and to keep up with gen8 enough to write analyses once those get started. This is a community I want to stay involved in, despite its troubles. Besides, I need to defend my title eventually!

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Glad to hear :) On that note of PL, rumor has it you plan on signing up to manage a team! Is that true?

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It’s something I’m considering for sure, but I don’t have a co-manager as of right now! I suppose only time will tell what happens. Whether I decide to sign up to manage or not, I’m sure the experience of the tour will be extremely enjoyable.

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Fair enough. In my opinion, it's more a matter of whether or not you're super fond of the tournament community, since as a manager, you get to decide whether or not you want certain people on your team. Would you say you're comfortable enough with the community to be okay with being dropped off in a random team of them? Or would you rather go about handpicking the people you'd absolutely want to be around?

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There are definitely people in this community who I would not want to be on a team with, as I find them to be a very negative presence. I would certainly rather pick out my own team and let those people go to someone else, but at the end of the day my main hesitation is I’m not certain I have the time to manage effectively. I think that were the community still how it was at this time last year, I would be extremely wary of being dropped onto a random team, but there has been a lot of improvement since then.

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Glad we could improve since then. Lastly, any closing statements you wanna make? Advice, plugs, shoutouts, trash talk, anything-

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Well, first of all thank you for choosing me to interview. As far as a closing point to readers, learn to love each other, be chill, enjoy this amazing tier and have some fun.

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Thanks for your time :)
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Duration of interview: 2 hours, 5 minutes

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

As for the next interview, you still shouldn't expect a consistent schedule behind these-​
 

Robyn

If you can read this, you are valid.
is a Battle Simulator Moderator
Hey favorite cool person Robyn, what are some of your current favorite sets for SwSh? Also, what are some of the goals that you hope to get done in SwSh?
I think that Sawk and fighting types in general are pretty under explored right now. I’m also loving the diversity that Dragapult has in terms of sets.

Depends what you mean by goals, but I would love to start writing analyses and, hopefully, become a less shitty teambuilder :p
 
-> Do you remember what the meta was when you first joined 1v1? Like, was it pre-Koko ban, or pre-KyuB ban, pre-KyuB second ban, or when?

-> Any memorable battles for you, doesn't necessarily have to be 1v1......?

-> Bots can also read CT's, so would you consider them valid?

-> Which Pokemon do you hate facing in the ladder more - Mimikyu or Mimikyu?

-> Who builds your best 1v1 teams?

-> Why did Rosa have to change her name? :(
 

Robyn

If you can read this, you are valid.
is a Battle Simulator Moderator
robyn, what's your favorite old gen team? (any gen)
Admittedly I don’t have any one favorite. Loved seeing all the innovative sets that people like LRXC used in Classic though!

will u manage with me in pl and why not
No. I don’t think we would make a very functional duo.

When are you deleting BW?
As soon as I’m allowed. Down with the worst old gen.

-> Do you remember what the meta was when you first joined 1v1? Like, was it pre-Koko ban, or pre-KyuB ban, pre-KyuB second ban, or when?

-> Any memorable battles for you, doesn't necessarily have to be 1v1......?

-> Bots can also read CT's, so would you consider them valid?

-> Which Pokemon do you hate facing in the ladder more - Mimikyu or Mimikyu?

-> Who builds your best 1v1 teams?

-> Why did Rosa have to change her name? :(
I joined right before the second Kyu-B ban, and voted in that suspect.

Top 8 of Hartford Regionals for VGC was quite memorable for me as I managed to win an “unwinnable” matchup, and defeat my only loss from the previous day. If you want something you can watch though, g5 of ADV vs. ggopw seems to stand out in my mind-

Everyone is valid.

Mew. Mimikyu is whatever.

Yami for oldgens, that’s for sure. I think both Rosa and Elo Bandit made very impressive teams in SM, and VG is doing great in SS.

You would have to ask her. I think it’s great though.
 
Create a Subroom for OMs and Old Gens y/n

Do you think OMs should be added to the official schedule

What’s your favorite Pokemon to use in each generation?

What’s your overall favorite pokemon to use in any generation? (E.g. gen8 Sawk or gen6 Excadrill)

Do you intend to focus on Old Gens during the OG down Periods between large tours?

Who is the best player in each generation in your opinion?
 
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