Gen 2 Stop using Thunder instead of Thunderbolt

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elodin

Tournament Banned
is a Tiering Contributoris a Past Smogon Snake Draft, SPL, and WCoP Champion
Disclaimer 1: couldn't think of a better place to share this message so here I am
Disclaimer 2: I've been guilty of it, and probably will again in the future, but this doesn't take away from the idea I want to share and general wake-up call I want to spread


I'm going to go straight to the point with this one. As crusty as the title sounds, it perfectly echoes an opinion of mine that I've discussed and shared with other players by now. Here are the reasons why I'm asking people, and GSCers in particular, to stop using Thunder over Thunderbolt in GSC matches.

1) Using Thunderbolt over Thunder is a big part of the game, and it takes skill

I think this one is straight-forward, right? Studying the metagame, knowing what works, or what will work in a given time period, takes time and analysis skill. Using Thunderbolt over Thunder is a tool that will help to get good results. You know this is rewarded if you do it well and often, a notorious example is ABR, known for his results and constant calculated use of Thunderbolt.

On the other hand, you have players who constantly use inaccurate moves, never take the time to consider the safer option, and get lucky with Thunder hits and manage to do well thanks to them. Not gonna mention names here, but there are even players whom you know would do a lot worse without that kind of luck. Basically, half the work of winning the game is attributed to one move hitting (if not multiple times during a match).

2) If you're using Thunder, you're actually hurting yourself as a competitor

Allow me to develop here, as I have two separate ideas to share. The first one is, you know how using accurate moves takes skill and well, nobody can churn out hitting inaccurate moves everyday. By using Thunderbolt over Thunder against everyone, you're able to continuously outplay your opponents, as they get pressured real fast since every move you use is hitting them and thus Thunderbolt should see a lot more play in tournaments. If you're using Thunder, you're then forced to get lucky again and again to take another step ahead of you're opponent, always and always.

Talking about tournaments, let's say you're a player whose force is outplaying rather than getting lucky. Why would you give everyone better chances at beating you by using a move that can miss against them? Especially players who arent self-reliant and would do worse without all that. Sure it feels good to see people get nervous over Thunder hitting, but wouldn't it be better to get that "glory" with skill only? Having a more accurate move than Thunder is a huge step in winning an even game, so if you're a good teambuilder, use that accuracy to your advantage and get those good results without relying on luck.

3) If you're a player, you're not being complete and not getting all the credits

Ok, this take is very subjective and I don't know if most people would even care about that.
The idea is that, if you wanna be a more complete player, you should want to not be reliant on a 70% accurate move. I mean, this is an skill-based game afterall. I think ideally, the perfect player is both a good pilot and a good calculator of odds. If you win a tournament but used Thunder over Thunderbolt throughout your run, you know all the credits isn't yours either. Once again, very personal take here, but I can guarantee you I have a lot more respect for players who don't NEED lucky Thunder hits to do well.

Going in a completely different direction, if you're a struggling player while never using Thunderbolt, maybe a good idea would try to start using this move. You will hit moves that will make you comfortable with, and you will know damage calculations better if you hit every time. Makes me laugh when I see people in tour games saying stuff like "How was I supposed to beat X when I missed Thunder", either because they don't understand how superior THunderbolt is or because they just didn't have enough PP.

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I also reckon that, even if people stopped using Thunder so easily, players could just go try their luck out and try to imitate whatever lucky Thunder-using player they like, but at least they wouldn't have the lucky advantage of your own misses or PP. Not to mention we're making and more and more progress in developing skill over luck (both for Thunder users and trash players).

For all those reasons, I want everyone involved in the competitive scene to reconsider their take on using Thunder over Thunderbolt. Make your skills, workrate and efforts worth more. Don't let worse players take the advantages Thunderbolt users deserve.
 
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