Project RU Featured Player 1: Kushalos

approved by atomicllamas
stole op from uu forum

banner by Lax, edited by yours truly

Hello, and welcome to the RU Featured Player series, where col49 and I interview
some of Smogon's most accomplished and well-known RU players in order to gain
some insight into both who they are and what their views on certain aspects of the metagame are.

Player 1:

col49: Hello Kushalos, how are you?
Kushalos: I'm good thanks dude, how about you?
col49: I'm doing well, thanks. And congratulations on winning the RU Generations Tournament! How do you feel the tour went, being the first iteration and all?

Kushalos: Think we can both agree that my ORAS was even better than expected, not having lost a single game in the whole tour and getting multiple 6-0s in the tier, even winning the respective cup finals without losing a single mon. Of course you know which team I have to thank for that :p. I went really far in BW and had a really good chance to win, but unfortunately Lax was a lot luckier than me and came out on top cause i risked my moltres getting crit twice by a leaf storm from sceptile. That one tasted especially sour since he decided to throw in the cup finals >.<. I just didnt find any fun in SM for the first round, so I decided to give my opponent the win for that in round 1, though I do enjoy the tier right now to a good extent. Playoffs were also pretty cool, I liked my games vs Rakan and Arifeen. Unfortunately the finals vs ZoroDark kinda sucked because I completely killed the hype by playing late and the games were too short and not very good. But hey at least i got a cool banner to match my BBFF Lycans :p. All in all the tour was fun, I'd like to see a repeat of it next year!

col49: Your ORAS performance has certainly been impressive, both here and in the circuit tournaments that proceeded it. Would you consider your mastery of this metagame a statement on the state of the ORAS RU metagame, ie being essentially "solved" in what does and does not work, and would this idea of centralization (whether or not it is accurate) play into your draw to it over other metagames?

Kushalos: Even if I think the tier is kind of "solved", it is ofcourse still centralized around a few really good pokemon (Alomomola, Flygon, etc.), which isnt a bad thing cause its common in every tier. I wouldve liked to see what the meta would look like without Mola when it and Dug got suspected together, but i guess it just fits now. I like that theres a good enough portion of lower tier mons viable in it(Xatu, Audino, Abomasnow, Steelix) that will regularly pop up on teams to cause some variety. I think I keep getting back drawn to it because I've gotten to a point where I can build a team and have such a solid formula that I barely need to predict. The sense of accomplishment you get when you've built something like that is just amazing. My interest wavers from tier to tier from time to time though. Start of this year i was really into UU and build hundreds of teams for that, after that you could find me in ADV PU all the time and now I hope to be the next best SM RU player for tours like the upcoming Snake Draft, and perhaps even SPL.

col49: Thanks, it's interesting to here the thoughts on someone so in touch with the metagame. Speaking of SM, how are you liking the current tier? Are there any pokemon or playstyles you feel are currently problematic (particularly ones like Reuniclus, that are currently slated for suspect)?

Kushalos: I think that Reuniclus as of right now is the only mon that should 100% go. Theres already so many offensive threats that you have to prepare for like Sharpedo, Salazzle, and Feraligatr. To have such a strong defensive setup sweeper like this thing that is just unkillable for certain teams is just a bit too much in my opinion. I feel like the community will make the right step and ban the jel. After that we could take a look at our offensive waters if really necessary. Speaking of those, one of my fav things to do is just slapping a random Sharpedo on my Toxic Spike stalls, because it happens to fuck with offense so well. The Rhyperior Mantine balances are unfortunately not my thing, even if they seem to work out pretty well for others. I feel like balls to the walls hazard stack hyperoffense is the weakest style as of right now, because of how good the hazard control is, extremely fat teams being popular also doesnt help much >.<. Even when I look at sun, it seems managable with the many protect users and pokemon like Dragalge in the tier.

col49: As a key player on an RUPL finals team (congratulations there as well, by the way), how do you feel the tournament has gone? Did teams perform as you'd have expected them to, or were there groups or individual players that you feel performed above or below capacity?

Kushalos: As someone who has not ever been on a team that has even made it to the playoffs I couldn't be more glad that our squad managed to make it. My and Arifeen's initial plan was to get me to build all the ORAS and BW teams, and TDK after his recent UUPL success to help out with making SM teams(I also wanted to keep him away from -Tsunami- at all costs because I figured he would be a giant threat on his team if he would be looking for an Omfuga replacement.) We thought we'd have enough cash left to buy some cheaper but very solid players(think Void, Welli0u), but unfortunately they turned out a lot more expensive than we had thought and you happened to snag most of them away >.<. While the team didnt completely pan out how we planned it (we managed to snag Lax for the Kinglax meme), we still somehow made it out here after few rough patches. When I look at the standings, i feel the teams performed exactly to their quality as of the start of the season. For players who stood out, I knew Natalie. was a hidden gem already from watching her on the ladder (tried to get her too), but for her to go 5-0 undefeated is quite a feat. EviGaro's record over multiple gens was really cool too. As for underperformers, I expected Dundies, lighthouses and Poek to do a lot better, but that might be cause they had the wrong team environment (lack of teambuilding help, motivating friends etc.). All in all glad how this tour went, while I have been more succesful in it before as an individual, I have never gotten this far as a team! Hope we get some good games between our squads in the finals without any timeouts :p.

col49: That is the dream, isn't it? Advancing on to a bigger stage, you mentioned a desire to get picked up for SPL, and in a similar vein the upcoming Snake Draft. Historically speaking, RU has been a tier that has seen "mains" such as yourself taking second seat to more developed veterans in games. Do you have a stance on this practice, and are there any players you hope to see picked up this time around?

Kushalos: For sure the tier has previously more or less been taken over by experienced overused players in favor of mains who happen to have the knowledge(think Heist, Ginku and Luigi), but I think that as of late I've been able to cement myself as someone who does well overall. On the same note I do hope that some of the other eligible mains(you yourself, Arifeen, Ajna) will be taken a look at first as well before managers go to the tried and true throw an OU tour player in a lower tier strategy.

col49: That makes sense. As someone who's began to make a name for yourself in tour settings recently, do you have any advice for players looking to crack that ceiling themselves?

Kushalos: I know that looking at replays of high level players in spl and wcop and gaining knowledge and inspiration from those has helped a lot for players who try to make it to the big leagues, but I think just playing the game, trying laddering, optimizing your builds on your own are really good steps. Proof of this is the reason that out of tours like OLT always pop new players who afterwards soon make their splash on tiers like WCOP and SPL(Think R!cardo and TheThorn on just Team Europe alone). I wouldn't be the best to ask this question to though these kinda questions belong to people like ABR and TDK since I sometimes feel like im just barely holding on haha.

col49: Thanks! Would you be able to provide a team that you feel captures you as a player for us?

Kushalos: I'm the most known for using the core of Diancie, Alomomola and Xatu known as The Holy Trifecta in ORAS RU. That's why for now I'll post this team that has even been used to success by a couple of your guys.
Goal of the team is to set up a sweep for virizion by breaking walls for it with camerupt and pursuit trapping mons that viriz cant touch well with drapion. Diancie and mola form a defensive backbone to handle faster threats like scarf emboar and sneasel. Xatu is a glue mon that provides a fairly solid fighting resist with Mola's aid and just helps this team switch into the few hazard setters that might be annoying even if this team isnt hazard weak at all. Try not to let anything get too low if its not necessary so its healable by Mola, thats why i chose three fairly tanky offensive mons so they are capable of receiving wishes.

col49: Well, thank you for your time Kushalos, we appreciate it. Is there anything else you'd like to add while we're here?

Kushalos: Shoutouts to choolio for showing me the ropes around this community making me want to stay alive and be a better person, Team Europe, The Slammers and the RU community are p cool too. Also np appreciate you too man.

You are welcome to ask questions to Kushalos by posting in this thread!​
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