Players of the Ladders

By Windsong. Art by Fatecrashers.
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After a long, hard day on the suspect ladder, every player's thinking the same things. I can get voting requirements in another few games, I'll hit the top of the leaderboard soon, people will eventually realize I'm not mediocre at this game after all, and so on. Everybody's relentlessly clicking the find battle button, wondering what they'll be up against next. Wondering whether they'll run into another carbon copy of Phil's famous frontier rain team, another copy of bog standard Deoxys-D hyper offense, Dugtrio Sun, or one of those weird teams full of UU Pokémon that you'll end up getting beaten by and losing two dozen ACRE points to. But many players become so entrenched in the laddering experience that they forget that there are players behind each screen; they forget there are individuals who want to win, play, and have fun with this absolutely wonderful game of Scald burns, Terrakion Speed-ties, and Focus Blast misses. Thus, in order to have a successful laddering experience, it's important that all players become aware of the types of people that they're likely to face on the OU ladder! Without further ado, let's discuss the players that you're bound to run into at some point in your laddering experience!

The Bitcher:

The Bitcher is one of the most common types of players found on the suspect ladders. These players oftentimes believe themselves to be cursed in the eyes of Lady Luck (also known as reyscarface's god), and generally feel that every obscure critical hit, miss, or stat drop is nothing less than the divine will of hax gods to make sure that they do not succeed in achieving voting requirements. In the most extreme cases, this can turn into complaining about their terrible luck when their Scald fails to burn or they miss one in five Focus Blasts. On the flip side, if they ever have the bad grace to land a critical hit against you, it undoubtedly "didn't matter" and they "would have won anyways" or "it was inevitable," as probability can only ever work in their favor. Finally, if you ever manage to defeat The Bitcher in battle, they will immediately turn to the few weapons they have left available; they might timerstall you for the last 150 seconds and hope that you disconnect, beg or threaten you to let them have the win, or, of course, their namesake: Bitch.

Searching for RMT:

Many a time, you will be incredibly close to reaching voting requirements, perhaps only a few matches away from that nifty Tiering Contributor badge. Inevitably, you will run into a player whose team is, perhaps, a little bit worse than yours (hard to imagine, I know!) and you will end up flooring him with the might of your incredible Pokémon skills. However, one move from the end of the battle and your victory, the opponent, who has likely been making the occasional comment during the course of the game, will pipe up and attempt to begin a conversation. Initially, the conversation will seem harmless enough, with him complimenting you on your incredible teambuilding skills. Given a few seconds of talking, your opponent will likely ask you for a little advice on his own team. After pausing at this point to consider, the smartest response is undoubtedly to click the kick button and have him get on with his life.

The really dedicated RMT seekers are a different matter, though. They will be so determined to receive a rate from you that they will relentlessly follow you from battle to battle, asking again and again for advice on their team. Attempts to redirect them to the RMT forum might be met with insults towards Smogon, and eventually, the most efficient option is to let them know that you'll be happy to give their team a rate if they post it in the prestigious Serebii RMT forum. If this doesn't get rid of them, the best course of action is to let them know that you're just trying to ladder, and that if they really want a rate on their team, user Aeroblacktyl is the one to ask. Be sure to screenshot results of the RMT seekers' endeavors.

Better than you:

Every so often, in your quest to peak the suspect ladders, you will encounter a player who truly knows that he is better than you (with the exception of most others, who simply think that they're better than you). In fact, this player is so sure of this fact that he will, without fail, beat you. Or, in the off chance that you somehow manage to defeat him, it will be because your plays are so bad that they're impossible to predict. Or that your team is using such bad movesets that they're impossible to play against, as no sane person would prepare for them. Generally, the sets in question that he will be ranting about the stupidity of will be extremely common movesets along the lines of Choice Scarf Terrakion and Focus Sash Dugtrio. However, when you use them, they're always terrible.

Despite your awful moves resulting in him overpredicting horribly, this player might, on occasion, succeed in beating you, often through situations involving repeated High Jump Kick misses and Scald burns. At this point, he will often offer you some well-intentioned (although usually bad) advice on how to improve your team, and will probably direct you to Battling 101. Generally, the best option for handling these players at that point is to simply ignore them, but if they manage to incite you to the point of violence, calmly closing your computer and breaking the nearest vase may be your best option.

The Stoic:

Occasionally in your laddering journeys you will encounter a player completely focused on the laddering experience. He has trained for months in the mountains, solely to peak at the top of the ladder at the conclusion of the suspect round, and will let absolutely nothing distract him from his goals. The Stoic will not utter a word, except perhaps to tell you to shut up and that he would have won regardless after you get irritated over four consecutive critical hits. Thankfully, if you succeed in getting slightly lucky against the Stoic, he likely won't respond. However, as your luck progressively increases (how else do you expect to win battles?) the Stoic will get more and more irritated, initially expressing his irritation in the form of mild obscenities after every tidbit of luck you get, and eventually morphing entirely into the Bitcher. If you succeed in beating him via luck, it is not an uncommon practice for the Stoic to beg for the win, or timerstall you until you kick him. He will also completely ignore any attempt at conversations you make. Overall, a very fun person to play against!!!

Hopelessly Hammered:

No information on this topic can be allowed to be published in such a high profile magazine as this, however, suffice to say that if you fall under this category, you should avoid driving. Or at the very least, avoid getting breathalyzed. For those seeking more information on this category, talk to user Jellicent, a player who commonly ladders under these conditions.

The Creepy Stalker:

Very rarely during your laddering experience, you will find a player very similar to Brock from the well-known Pokémon anime. No, not a player who can't open his eyes more than an eighth of an inch (although there are plenty of those), but one who finds it necessary to follow you from battle to battle without your permission, and without the slightest chance of stopping. It starts out as no big deal, with you entering a ladder match, beating your opponent handily (probably the only time you'll ever manage that), and then saying good game before closing the battle window. However, a second before you can click the little button to close up the game, your opponent will compliment you on your excellent play. Surprised, and assuming your opponent is a friendly person, you may make the mistake of attempting to initiate a conversation between the two of you. This critical error on your part will lead to that opponent entering your next dozen battles to attempt to converse with you, following which he'll likely ask you about tidbits of information that you don't feel particularly comfortable disclosing.

Given a week, he'll probably have all your passwords, know exactly where you live, who your friends are, and so on. At that point, the best course of action is generally to move to Canada. Either that or move to Australia, take your pick. But if you're in Canada, you have to deal with Iconic, so think carefully!

The guy who doesn't get why Regice is NU:

The guy who uses Charizard in Ubers makes his second appearance in the other BW tiers, most commonly appearing in the lower tiers such as NU and RU. While he might still be using Charizard, he will have a different gimmick to his name: his inability to understand why Pokémon with a Stealth Rock weakness, terrible defensive typing, and mediocre at best movepool, such as Regice, reside in NU, rather than Ubers, where he feels they should all belong. His justification? The fact that Regice is, despite being a hunk of ice that you could probably scrape off your car's windshield in the morning, a legendary Pokémon. And as this lovely player knows, legendary Pokémon are all, without a doubt, broken beyond belief. If you manage to defeat this opponent, it will always be due to the legendary Pokémon (or other Pokémon that he considers overpowered) that reside in your team, whereas if he beats you (usually by luck), he will spend five minutes proclaiming his excellence before clicking the last move.

Never, under any circumstances, allow this player to get into a discussion about what does and does not define a Pokémon as being legendary, as it will lead to his talk about how he spent months training his team for the VGCs only to make a dramatic first round exit after getting beaten by a player abusing Kyurem. Once you call his story a lie on account of Kyurem being banned in VGC, he will proceed to launch into a story about his mighty Charizard blasting through hundreds of Kyurems when on a laddering session, leaving you to realize the beautifully high level of ladder play out there.

The Nice Guy:

Finally, there is the Nice Guy, without a doubt the rarest of all competitive ladder players. Generally, the Nice Guy is characterized by the fact that he feels genuine remorse for beating you if he manages to win via luck, possibly even purposefully forfeiting or throwing the game in response to your complaining over luck. In addition, these players are always exceptionally kind, and will be willing to direct players that clearly have a very weak grasp of the game to Battling 101 and Smogon's strategydex. Literally the only way that the Nice Guy is likely to initiate any sort of conflict is if he directs a player who believes he has an excellent grasp of Pokémon to Battling 101, enraging the said player. This may cause the Nice Guy to go into a sulking depression, never to be seen again on the ladder.

The biggest thing that separates the Nice Guy from the average player (other than the fact that he probably has already achieved voting requirements on three other alts) is the fact that he understands that Pokémon is just a game, a lesson that should be learned by many of the players on the suspect ladders.


There are a number of different types of people that you are likely to encounter during your time attempting to reach suspect voting requirements for that nifty Tiering Contributor badge, and you always need to remember that you're not playing against an extremely lucky AI. You're playing against real people, and you can't afford to go numb to the world around you. Being behind a computer screen does not give you the justification to completely ignore the fact that you might be insulting another player for his luck, pestering someone who doesn't want to deal with you, or just outright being a creep. With that being said, happy laddering!

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