Project Doubles Community Spotlight #9 - Fangame10


Hero in a half shell
is a Tiering Contributor
Near last generation's end suddenly emerged a superstar in the making: eragon11145 went undefeated for 11 sets in a row during Fall Seasonal & Majors combined. These performances guaranteed him a starting spot on US West's World Cup team, where he would eventually win the trophy with a 5-1 record, including winning the finals tiebreakers. His performances and talents made him a highly coveted DPL pick. The Browbeat Lands bought eragon11145 for 18.5k, and with a 1-0 record already he's looking to add to his trophy cabinet once more.

Hi eragon, thank you for taking the time to do this interview! I'm sure most readers will be familiar with you, but could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi! I'm eragon(11145), and I'm an 18-year old High School Senior from California. I'm looking forward to escaping high school and studying Astrophysics in college in a few months!

What does 11145 mean?

Congratulations on your World Cup win! How was the overall DWCOP experience for you as an emerging player? Did you expect to get picked for them at all, and do so well as you did?
Thank you! DWCOP was great! I got to meet a lot of cool people and played some really fun games. I wasn't sure if I'd be picked up, but I was and it turned out well! It was a really great way to get introduced to the SV format with lots of room for innovation in the early meta. I'm never really sure how well I'm going to do in a given tournament, but I knew from the very beginning that the US West team was a really good group of players. I wasn't too surprised to see us do well!

What are you looking forward to most with regards to DPL? How much do you expect you'll go for in the draft — do you think the mocks have been accurately gauging your value?
I'm really enthusiastic about DPL, particularly the chance to build and play with even more good players. As of the time I'm writing this, the draft has already occurred, and I'm a little surprised with how much I went for considering the duration of my time in the scene. DPL should be great, Lands has pretty much a whole roster of players that I respect as builders and players, so I'm excited to see how far we can go.

How did you end up getting into competitive Pokémon and subsequently Smogon tournaments?
It's kind of a long story, but here goes: when the Pandemic came around, I was still in the early stages of having my own access to the internet, having just reached High School at the time. With pretty much all of my normal activities shut down, I returned to Pokemon, and kind of got obsessed with shiny hunting for a few months. However, I came to the realization that there wasn't much of a point or endgame to shiny hunting if you weren't going to play online. I stumbled across the existence of VGC from a WolfeyVGC video, and quickly became interested, particularly in how I saw it as a more creative version of Chess, which I had played for several years. For the next couple of years, I pretty much mained VGC, messing around with funny and unique strategies like Weakness Policy Urshifu or Assault Vest Zacian, but not really doing anything to make a name for myself since I didn't play tournaments. Around early 2022, I saw the Freezai video about trying to make Little Cup Open the largest tournament in Smogon history, so I quickly made an account as a joke and signed up (and subsequently forgot to check Smogon and got an activity loss). I didn't think at all about Smogon until a few months later, when I saw one of Aim's videos about OSDT (you're probably sensing a pattern here). By this point, I was kind of tired of dynamax and the idea of a 6v6 Doubles format with a banlist fascinated me. I quickly became addicted to DOU through the ladder, and one day I saw the signups for the Winter Seasonal. I remembered I had made that joke Smogon account, and I signed up just for the hell of it. From there, the rest is history.

I think it's fair to say your incredible performances came out of nowhere and blindsided many. Did you have any prior experience in Doubles related formats before participating in DOU tournaments?
I had played VGC for a couple years but never really played in tournaments. I think I was always decent at the game, I was just constantly handicapping myself by using unviable Pokemon because that was the way I had fun. When I got to DOU, it was so fresh to me that I didn't mind playing meta stuff for once. I checked out the sample teams and saw Zoe's AV Kyurem team. For whatever reason, something about that team really clicked with me, particularly when I changed Heatran's item to the unorthodox Choice Scarf. With that team, I was able to pick up wins against some good players who had no idea I even existed before our set. As I got more comfortable with the SS format, I started to branch out more with different teams. It was the perfect confluence of using actually good Pokemon for once, a new format that I really enjoyed, and being unknown in the scene that allowed me to perform so well in the late months of SS.

How come you're so active and successful in room tournaments? Do you feel like they help you prepare and play well in other tournaments?
Room tours are a great way to mess around with gimmicky strategies and have a good time. You can face some decently tough opponents in them, which makes room tours a nice second way to prepare for important matches, along with the ladder.

What have been your favorite sets you've played so far? And what player were you most nervous about playing against?
I think my personal favorite set I've ever played may be the games against Mishimono in Majors last year. After losing the first game (at the time, my first time losing game one of a set), I kind of just said "Screw it" and queued up with Dugtrio in game two. I managed to miraculously win that game on the back of shift-gear Genesect, and in game three I had one of my favorite moments in tournament play ever. For several consecutive turns, I chose not to protect with Tapu Fini in front of a Rillaboom, instead attacking and pretty much cleaning up the game with Moonblasts. It was a really fun set and it really had everything.

How do you approach preparation for tournaments? Do you extensively build a response against players, or are you a more 'playing'-oriented person?
It may surprise a decent amount of people, but I tend to consider myself a better player than teambuilder (although I think I’m improving at teambuilding). Especially as someone who started off on low ladder VGC, I don’t really have a lot of experience specifically counterteaming opponents. Typically, my team building process starts off by me examining the list of available Pokemon for several strategies or Pokemon that I think have potential, and then I’ll build around them. This will usually produce a pretty mediocre team, but by play-testing it I can determine my perception of the viability of the individual components of the team. From there, I single out the strategy that I think has the most potential, and I’ll build a team around it. This strategy can produce a lot of duds, but it ensures that I end up with a somewhat interesting team that I can have fun with. Occasionally, I come across a real sleeper pick that ends up being really valuable, which is extra fun.

Could you give us a team that resembles your building and playing style, and explain why?
Since DPL is ongoing, I’ll share my favorite team from a tier I’m not playing, SS.
:Tapu Lele: :Regieleki: :Tapu Koko: :Tornadus: :Dracovish: :Zygarde:
This was one of the teams I made when I was still relatively new to DOU, and while it may not be as polished as some of my more recent teams, I took several wins with it in both SSNL and majors thanks to its explosive and unconventional capabilities. Having access to two terrains allows for very flexible play and enables pretty ridiculous damage output. Regieleki and Tapu Koko are two Pokemon criminally underrated in SS, terrain control is so valuable and both of these Pokemon pair nicely with both Electric and Psychic Surge (which helps these frail Pokemon avoid stray fake outs). Tornadus is one of my favorite Pokemon, and it felt logical to pair it with Dracovish for ridiculous rain boosted Fishious Rends (I once KO’d GenOne’s Ferrothorn from like 85% on a crit). Zygarde rounds out the team with some support for the team’s (admittedly shaky) Trick Room matchup. I think this team fits pretty nicely with my tendency to use rare strategies despite having some flaws. It may be the team I’ve had the most fun piloting, there’s just lots of offensive potential in ways that feel more rewarding to me than anything currently present in SV. I feel like this team can be tricky to use in certain matchups, but if you’re ever messing around with a casual game of SS (or maybe even a more serious match if you’re confident), I would recommend giving this team a try. It’s just a lot of fun.

You've recently posted about wanting to suspect Chien-Pao and Chi-Yu; do you think SV DOU is exhausted right now? And what are you looking forward to most from the Home release?
I don’t really think SV DOU is exhausted, there is still definitely room for metagame development, especially with the addition of Walking Wake. I do think Chien-Pao and Chi-Yu (and to a lesser extent the other two Ruin Pokemon) are a little uncompetitive. Inflicting a defense drop as long as you are on the field prevents a lot of defensive counterplay– even resists taking large chunks of damage. However, I don’t expect any action on the topic until Home comes out, so the point of my post was more to bring the topic back into people’s minds for when Home drops sometime in the next few months. I don’t (at this point) think a metagame where Chi-Yu or Chien-Pao are legal along with more powerful offensive options like Urshifu and Landorus is tenable. However, I’m still very enthusiastic for Home release because when the meta settles down after bans it should be a very interesting format, with a multitude of at least somewhat viable Pokemon. One of my least favorite parts of the current SV metagame is it feels a little matchup fishy, which I think will be lessened with more “safe” options (such as Diancie for Trick Room teams).

In this regard, have you played Doubles' older generations and other metagames? If yes, what do you think of them so far?
I’m really intrigued by pretty much all the oldgens (except for maybe BW) and I’ve tried them a little bit, but I think I’ve only just scratched the surface. I really love SM and XY from my (albeit limited) experience with them, so I’m looking forward to learning more about these tiers during DPL.

What has been your favorite part about Doubles and its community so far? And is there anything, besides potentially suspecting abovementioned Pokémon, you would change about Doubles or its community?
I think more than anything else, I really appreciate how close-knit the DOU community is. There’s a lot of really cool people in it that are a big part of why I’ve stuck around and played so much of DOU. I don’t really have anything I’d want to change about it, it’s very well run by good TL’s who care about both the community and the health of the format. The one thing I would slightly wish for was more representation and acknowledgement for DOU outside of just our community (I didn’t even know it existed until less than a year ago), but that’s more in the hands of the higher ups of Smogon than the DOU community.

What are your goals with regards to Smogon/tournaments for the future?
Primarily, I just want to keep enjoying DOU and trying out new innovative strategies. It’s more important to me that I’m having fun with the game than that I achieve a specific tournament win. Besides, I’ve also found that I play significantly better when I’m happy with the format and what I’m playing anyway.

What is your favorite Pokémon?
:gligar: Gligar
although I have several favorites that's the biggest one

What are your hobbies and interests outside of Pokémon?
Outside of Pokemon, my main interests are Piano, Bicycling, and Tennis (although it’s difficult for me to do the last two at the same time of the year). I also enjoy coding, which people have probably already gathered from some of my Pokemon-related websites I’ve shared.

Is there anyone you would like to shoutout, or have kind words for?
Pretty much everyone in the DOU in the community is cool, but I’d especially like to shoutout everyone who was on or helped out US West during DWCOP, it was a great time and I’m really proud of everyone for pulling together to win it. I’d also like to shoutout everybody on Lands, I’m really looking forward to this season of DPL and seeing how far we can go!

And lastly, is there anything you would add to the interview?
I think pretty much everything was covered, thanks for interviewing me!
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Platinum God n1n1

the real n1n1
is a Tiering Contributor
I have some questions. Firstly I am happy to hear you are a big room tour enthusiast as well and hope more people will be open to playing in them.
What is your favorite bird?
Who would you like to see interviewed next?
Is there any particular player who you are inspired by or are most impress of and why?


(un)retired unmon enthusiast
is a Tiering Contributor
I have some questions. Firstly I am happy to hear you are a big room tour enthusiast as well and hope more people will be open to playing in them.
What is your favorite bird?
Who would you like to see interviewed next?
Is there any particular player who you are inspired by or are most impress of and why?
My favorite bird would probably have to be the Steller's Jay, I've always seen it as a much more interesting version of the Scrub Jays that live where I live. Pokemon-wise my favorite bird is probably Talonflame (I've always liked its design).

I think it would be cool to see Ratpacker interviewed next, he's a really good newer player who brings lots of interesting teams.

There's a whole bunch of players I look up to, but in particular I'm always really impressed by what GenOne builds. I'm someone that really appreciates wacky sets, and he invents new techs that even I would never have considered, such as Mean Look Ting-Lu.


(un)retired unmon enthusiast
is a Tiering Contributor
You're pretty well known for building with weird stuff like Stantler. What's the absolute worst Pokemon you've built a serious team with?
I think the answer to this probably depends on how you define "worst" and "serious", so I'll just share a few that I think are up there. There's definitely some that I'm forgetting, I switched devices at some point, so many of my old vgc teams are lost to time. I'll include the pastes of the teams.
My answers:
:Sunflora: or :Wugtrio: (Yes this is 1 team)
If serious is just something I tested thinking it had a shot at being good, this is probably the worst. I was like "Solar Power cool" and "Sunflora slow", so I made this. It honestly could have been worse, I may try it again sometime with less bad mons around it.
This is probably up there, I thought it would be funny to use gastro acid to stop farigiraf from blocking espeed, so I made this. Had a few good games with it. (Ladder Game)
This is probably up there too, I saw it got beat up and I brought this several times (including my final game of gen 8), so this was definitely a "serious" team.

Galarian Darmanitan is one of my favorite Pokemon, so on this team I tried to use its Zen Mode form. This is pretty bad, it's definitely up there.
Generally, most of the Pokemon that I bring I don't think are necessarily bad, they're just overshadowed by more popular and more consistent options. This doesn't make them "bad" in my opinion. However, here are some teams that are probably considered by others to be "bad":
:Stantler: (Obviously, but I think Stantler was actually viable for that short time when Ape was legal)
:Ursaring: (The less explored alternative to Stantler that I abandoned because I thought Stantler was better)
:Raikou: (Late gen 8 team that is pretty funny)
:Squawkabilly: (Team cooked up for dwcop that went unused)


Hero in a half shell
is a Tiering Contributor
The French phenom ratpacker burst onto the Doubles scene last year with a top 8 finish in Majors, finishing the year with a 13-7 record. He would go on to prove his worth in DWCOP III with a 6-1 record for Europe. Quickly rising to become one of Doubles' new stars, he was drafted for 20k by the Rustboro Baptist Church, looking to come through with yet another winning performance.

Hi ratpacker, thank you for taking the time to do this interview Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi May, well I am 27 years old, I work in nanoelectronics as an engineer, and am currently residing in France. I love the movie Paprika, the book His dark materials and lemon meringue pie.

Where does the name ratpacker come from and what does it mean?
It just happened to be the name of the account I was laddering with when OSDT started. I used to be vaguely into Magic the Gathering and there is a card called the pack rat, that generates more pack rats. So the one playing the packrats would be the ratpacker. It’s also the name of a character in a video game I was making as a side project, but that’s on a hiatus.

How did you end up getting into competitive Pokémon and Smogon tournaments? I'm always surprised when new players suddenly perform very well; did you have any prior experience in related formats before playing Doubles?
I’ve always enjoyed strategy games. I did a few Hearthstone competitions during engineering school, until I gave up on the game due to it becoming stale. I would also play a lot on Pokemon Showdown, mainly as a way to pass time in class or whenever I was looking for a distraction. Like everybody I started with singles, my favorite format used to be Gen 7 NU and Battle Factory. I mostly played randomized formats until I discovered Doubles OU during Gen 8, which I really enjoyed. Initially, I wasn’t motivated to get into competitive play, even if I sometimes watched a pokeaim video. This changed in 2021, when I went through a break-up from a bad relationship and fell down the Pokemon rabbit hole. I signed up for OSDT signup because it was the perfect opportunity for me to focus on something that had nothing to do with my everyday life. My loss in round 2 being due mainly to bad teambuilding, it led me to seek out the DOU discord and Smogon resources for better sets and Pokemon to use because Gengar just wasn’t going to cut it. So as rounds went by my teams greatly improved, until I could perform at a decent level during Seasonals and Majors.

What was your experience in DWCOP like? Did you expect to do as well as you did, considering it was your first DOU team tournament?
My experience in DWCOP was amazing, the people were nice and very supportive. Whenever I posted my ideas for the week I would always have several people come after and point out what mistake I had made or what my teams were weak to. There was real teamwork and a will to win. It’s a tour I would love to do again in future years.
Regarding my results, I definitely did not expect to perform that well, my only concern was to have a positive ratio at the end, since it was my first edition and they had even put me as starter. What helped are the fact I had been able to put in a lot of time to learn the meta and the great support I had from teammates.

Team Europe reached the finals, but ultimately lost the tiebreakers against US West. ratpacker won his tiebreaker game and finished with a 6-1 record.

How has your DPL experience on the Church been so far? As you were bought for 20k you could be considered their marquee player; does this price tag contribute to the pressure, or does it give you more confidence to perform?
It’s a change from DWCOP, the team is smaller and there are less people playing my tier, meaning I need to focus more on making sure my teams don’t have flaws I overlooked. But the Church gives a lot of good vibes, it’s pleasant to play for them.
It definitely gives me a lot of pressure to perform well. I would never have priced myself above 15k and I would feel very bad towards my team if I ended up with a winrate below 50% at the end of the season. It is much easier to perform well when you haven’t proven yourself yet in my opinion. And right now I am really not playing very well, mostly due to outside factors.

You have already faced the Cold Crew, Cratermakers, and the Thieves. Whom of these players and teams were most difficult to prepare for? And do you have anyone from the Sp_ndas, Tramplers, or Lands you really want to play against?
robjr was probably the hardest player to prepare for, because although there were a lot of replays available, it was quite clear he did not build a lot of his teams, meaning I felt I did not have much to go with to build.
It would probably be funny to finally play against eragon11145 in a tour, but every player is a unique challenge which I will gladly undertake. I practiced a lot against MADARAAAA so he’s a player I’m also very familiar with and would look forward to a game with him.

How do you look back on your Majors run, wherein you made top 8 by going 7-2?
I remember feeling very lucky with my pool, whereas others were stuck with four top players. I really wanted to bring Cofagrigus at least once since it was very likely to be my last Gen 8 tournament and managed to do so against Lemurro where it got a win in a very difficult matchup against Spectrier. I’m a bit disappointed about my last set against trace, I lose game 1 on an unfortunate crit that stops me from setting Trick Room and load a horrible matchup for game 2. But overall I am quite happy with my performance.

You made the finals of DUU Swiss Kickoff before losing to eventual teammate Nido-Rus; did you enjoy playing a lower tier and what have you learned from it? Also, are you interested in other metagames like DUbers and/or older generations of Doubles?
Playing DUU made me more aware of the potential of the DUU top threats, namely Scream Tail, Iron Moth, Iron Jugulis, Iron Valiant and Brute Bonnet, which means I am more likely to include them in my teambuilding process than another player. It was also fun for me to use Pokemon I like and can’t play in DOU, namely Primeape and Sandy Shocks.
The metagame that really forced me to rethink how to play Pokemon was 2v2. The emphasis is very strong on planning the whole game ahead, even before Turn 1, and designing intricate sets in order to matchup well into every threat in the meta. I played in their team tour and adapting to the format did prove very challenging.
I am not currently interested in DUbers due to the very limited metagame but that is going to change once Home comes out. I am excited to see what the meta will look like, and for the opportunity to play with viable Electric Terrain teams.

ratpacker was drafted on team GASTROWORLD for 16k and reached the semifinals in 2v2PL.

What has been your favorite set to play so far? And what player were you most nervous to play against?
I recall my sets against Chris Numbers in Seasonals and DUbers tour to have been both exciting and challenging to play, I would say they were my favorite. Winning with Excadrill in DUbers felt very rewarding.
The two players I was most nervous to play against were Akaru Kokuyo and stax. Regarding Akaru, I hadn’t started playing competitive for long and all I knew is that he was some top-of-the-brass player who won major tournaments before, so I really took a lot of time to build something good and brought what I believed to be my best teams. I am fully aware one of the reasons I pulled through was that he thought I was a beginner, meaning I might not be so lucky in a rematch.
For stax, what worried me is that I practiced against him multiple times for Majors and the final Gen 8 DUbers tour, and my winrate was absolutely abysmal against him, we’re talking less than 20%. It felt like he either always clicked the right move or he accurately predicted what I was going to go for.

Outside of DPL, is there anyone particular you would like to play in a tournament?
I know I would love to play Nails one day, his teams always look so clean and flexible and watching him play makes you believe he’s thought out the whole game and that everything is going according to plan.
I would really look forward to playing the JRL or SMB too, or finally catch a win against Yoda2798.

You have an excellent record in SV so far so adapting to its new metagame hasn't been a problem. Do you prefer SV to SS, and why? What do you consider the biggest changes between metagames?
I don’t know if I have a preference. SS seems to get a lot of hate but I do find it fun. Having to correctly predict when the opponent uses Tera feels like a coinflip sometimes.
The biggest change between metagames I feel is the absence of the good terrain setters. The meta would be flipped on its head if the Tapu were there.

eragon recently posted about Chien-Pao and Chi-Yu potentially being suspect worthy. Would you agree with this, or do you identify different Pokémon as problematic right now?
Chi-Yu is an extremely strong Pokemon and in my opinion the most worthy candidate for a suspect test. You simply cannot build a team without having a Pokemon that can check Chi-Yu but also naturally outspeed it. Chi-Yu doesn’t have a universal check, because it has such a variety of sets which, in addition to Tera, means it can always beat either its physical checks through resist berries and Will-O-Wisp or its special checks with Assault Vest and Snarl. This makes it very hard to determine which Chi-Yu set you’re facing solely on team preview. Chien-Pao doesn’t have this versatility, where Focus Sash and Assault Vest are the only viable sets, and its typing being very unfortunate. Chi-Yu walls Gholdengo and Armarouge. Chien-Pao walls nothing. I also am against an Iron Hands ban. The Pokemon is basically Rillaboom or OU-Landorus. It’s a glue that keeps the biggest abusers of DOU in check.
I would suggest to either ban only Chi-Yu, or ban Iron Hands, Iron Bundle, Chi-Yu and Chien-Pao all at once.

Is there anything you're looking forward to from Pokémon Home?
I am looking forward to seeing how the DUbers and DUU meta will shape up, although I weep upon the fact the ladders for each of these format will probably be as empty as it is now. I do fear the arrival of all the previous generation powerhouses will end up changing Gen 9 DOU into a Gen 8 sham. It’s going to be Mew on every team again.

What does your preparation for tournaments look like? Are you the type to rigorously scout and build a team in response, or are you a more 'playing'-oriented type of person?
I am more the type to rigorously scout. If I see the player always bring the same teams, I will 100% prepare and make a counter-team specifically tailored for them. If they have commonly used Pokemon, I will keep that in mind while building and take extra-care to not be weak to them.
If they are a ladder player or if I know they have a tendency to test on ladder, I will log on with an alt and try to catch them. I have been successful in that, notably during DWCOP.

Could you show us a team and/or game that resembles your building and playing style, and explain why?
This is a match from Seasonals vs Yoda2798 with the corresponding team
:tyranitar: :necrozma: :amoonguss: :dracovish: :incineroar: :genesect:

Here is a very good illustration of my building process. I picked a set I liked and wanted to play, Substitute Dracovish, alongside Tyranitar for Sand Rush, and built a team around it after something I saw on ladder from Paraplegic. I used teammates I thought went well with it, traded out Mew for Necrozma, a Trick Room user which was naturally bulkier and stronger, added Incineroar and Amoonguss because of their amazing qualities, a fast mon in Genesect to outspeed threats and voilà. One of my biggest focus is Speed tiers. It’s always the first thing I look at while EVing my Pokemon.
During the game you can also see my worst flaws, as in making risky reads that don’t work out, losing my Tyranitar getting flustered and missing the obvious KO on Landorus the following turn. I am genuinely not aware of whether I have a specific playing style. For me Pokemon feels a lot like trying to determine what the best play is every turn and how likely it is that the opponent guessed it.

What has been your favorite part about Doubles and its community so far? And is there anything you would like to see done differently or added to Doubles and/or its community?
My favorite part of the Doubles community is how welcoming and tolerant it is for the nonsense I can sometimes spout. Being on a Pokemon discord server is hilarious, one moment people are talking about serious political issues, on the verge of conflict, but as soon as someone mentions Pokemon again, everyone remembers what brings them together, what they are here for, and answers immediately.
If I had to suggest any changes, it would be regarding ban policies. Tatsugiri did not deserve its ban.
The Tatsugiri ban remains a controversial decision

Did or do you look up to anyone as a player when you started playing tournaments?
I looked up to GenOne, because I would see him on ladder and he would destroy me with fancy teams and to the tier leaders, since I figured they had to be good to have been selected for their position. I wasn’t really familiar with the other good players and only heard about their accomplishments later on, like Nails, the JRL and zee.

Do you have any goals with regards to Smogon/tournaments for the future?
Originally I was looking towards DOU and DUU Invitationals, but I am giving up on goals with regards to Smogon and tournaments for the time being. I will be abstaining from team tours or from contributing to Smogon in the foreseeable future because of a lack of availability. I will probably still sign up for the DOU and DUU tours but I usually need a long time to build and prepare until I feel comfortable with a team so I don’t see myself doing very well. I did think about organizing some kind of event locally, because I actually don’t have any friends who play Pokemon, but I have yet to put this plan in motion.

What is your favorite Pokémon, and why?
My favorite Pokemon is Unown, because I was a huge fan of the Pokemon 3 movie back when I was a small brat. I still have the video tape somewhere. Unown’s simple design and the eery power it exhibited won me over.
I also really like Vespiquen (I spent hours in front of those honey trees in Pearl just so I could use it for my playthrough), Spiritomb, Celebi, Ho-ho and Cofagrigus. They are colorful, with a design I like. They have style.
:unown: :vespiquen:

What are your hobbies and interests outside of playing Pokémon?
I have been living mostly abroad since 2016. My hobby is to attempt to thoroughly discover the country I’m in and experience as much as I could about the local life. Recently it was India for two years and I can now say I’m able to make my own dosa. To anyone going there I do recommend visiting the mountainside in Himachal Pradesh, there are truly beautiful hikes and cities to discover.
I also write a lot and post my content online on my own website.
As I am back in France since last summer, I signed up for beginner courses of Bachata and found a theatre group to perform with. Our play happens in June.

Who would you like to see being interviewed next, if anyone?
Has the May interview happened already? (Editor's note: No)

Is there anyone you would like to give a shoutout or have any other kind words for?
I have nothing but kind words for the DOU community. I’ll definitely give a shout-out to my managers kaori and big pichu and to the rest of the Church team for their sunny disposition, and another shout-out to all my teammates from team EU. You people are great.

And lastly, is there anything else you would add to the interview?
A good trainer always nicknames his Pokemon. It’s much easier to find the set you’re using while doing calcs, and it slows down the opponent when he calcs if he doesn’t know all the Pokemon names by heart. It holds a fashionable and strategic purpose.


Did I mistake you for a sign from God?
is a Top Tutor Alumnusis a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Community Leader Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Top Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
very good read.

I notice when the interview took place and now have to ask, how did you react when being paired against me and how did you prepare for me?
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I still remember when you were asking people for games in the dou discord and owning me with cofragrigus. Can't believe it's been less than a year...
1. I've always enjoyed looking at your nicknames what do you use for inspiration when making them
2. You're a very creative builder, have you ever played or considered playing draft league?
3. What's your favorite indian dish?
4. What is the best chutney and why is it peanut?
Hey ratpacker, this was a really fun and interesting interview to read. I'm curious about your time in India; where did you live when you were there and what did you explore?
P.s. we must do DOU Dosa party sometime
I was living near Delhi, and I visited Jaipur, Jodhpur, Odaipur, Kerala, Puducherry, Goa, Dharamshala, Rishikesh, Manali, Varanasi, Shimla, Mumbai, Agra, Amritsar and I think that's it.
Dosa party works for me.

I still remember when you were asking people for games in the dou discord and owning me with cofragrigus. Can't believe it's been less than a year...
1. I've always enjoyed looking at your nicknames what do you use for inspiration when making them
2. You're a very creative builder, have you ever played or considered playing draft league?
3. What's your favorite indian dish?
4. What is the best chutney and why is it peanut?
Thanks :), yeah Gen8 feels like forever ago.
The inspiration for the nicknames is mostly the songs I'm listening to while I'm building, I just take the titles or the words, or characters from Kingdom Hearts, which I used to be a big fan of, or just anything that sounds interesting.
I never saw the signups for draft league or my time was already taken by another tour, that's mainly the reason.
My favorite indian dishes are paneer paratha and rasmalai, which are literally impossible to find in France.
Sorry I can't stand chutney. I just pretend they're not there when I see them on the table.

very good read.
I notice when the interview took place and now have to ask, how did you react when being paired against me and how did you prepare for me?
Thanks, yeah there was a bit of a delay between me getting the questions and me answering.
I had never played against you in any tour, so I looked forward to it. For the prep, I took the two teams you used before and used them on ladder for a bit, then I made a bunch of teams with Gholdengo and multiscale WP dragonite, my end goal was to have Fairy switchins and something solid overall, while using screens which I think are quite good right now.


Hero in a half shell
is a Tiering Contributor
Emerging onto the Doubles Scene in 2015, Akaru has proven themselves a player to be reckoned with their OSDT top 16 placement, 3 DPL victories and Doubles Classic win. And with their current 3-1 record in NDPL Akaru is looking to come through with yet another winning performance.

Hi Akaru, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hey! My name is Akaru, irl name is Oscar, I’m a 22 year old mexican currently studying Computer Engineering (6th semester hehe). I’m a DOU main most of the time but I enjoy Computer Engineering (6th semester hehe). I’m a DOU main most of the time but I enjoy
playing singles too (I suck there tho!). If you want to ask something more specific feel free to do so on the thread hehe.

Could you explain the origins of your username and what it means?

It's actually a pretty cringe story LOL. Back in 2016/2017 I was a hard af weeb (can’t becompared to my current self), so I wanted some “epic” japanese name. At the end I had something like Akarui Kokuyo, Akarui its supposed to mean “dazzling” (I did this with google translator don’t judge LMAO), and the Kokuyo part I honestly don’t even remember what it originally was, but the whole thing was supposed to be something like “Dazzling Starry Night”. The original phrase had an ugly color though so I just removed letters until I got a color I liked, which is the reason I don’t remember the original words.

How did you get into competitive Pokemon, and Doubles specifically?

Well I’ve been playing Pokemon since I was 4 years old when my brother gifted me his Gameboy Color with Pokemon Yellow, so yeah for my entire life I’ve been a Pokemon fan, but it wasn’t until 2013 VGC Finals when I decided to test myself competitively. I kind of played a bit at the end of BW2, and officially started learning about the basics of competitive on XY release. The Smogon Doubles thing, well VGC was what motivated me into playing competitive Pokemon, so naturally I was playing that format, and after some years of it (And even a Day 2 at Worlds 2016!), I tried Smogon Doubles and liked the 6v6 more than the 4v4, plus the entire idea of using some Pokémon that weren’t allowed in VGC was pretty innovative to me. So yeah I stopped playing VGC at 17 (terrible meta) and focused entirely on DOU from that point onward.

Congratulations on getting drafted into NDPL! What motivated you to join this tournament, and what kind of expectations do you have for yourself? What do you think of Zygarde in NatDex DOU, and are there other potential problem Pokemon?

Thank you! Well honestly I drop an “in” on most tournaments that I see have a DOU tier, the only exception being ADV cuz that tier SUCKS, but yeah, the CA prize is what motivates me most of the time haha. At the time of me answering this I just won for week 4 and sitting on a 3-1 record. I hope that I can keep the good pace and get an X-1, but it will definitely be tough since I feel the pool is super stacked with solid players. I think Zygarde is super splashable and I definitely want to bring it to all games, but I also feel people have kind of gotten used to it and are building very good squads to deal with it. However as the tier develops I hope people will get more weird Zyg sets that stomp teams and we suspect it again cuz I feel it's a bit too strong in the correct hands hahaha (not mine:( ). I haven’t really tried the new Pokémon from the DLC in natdex, but so far It doesn’t feel
like one is terribly broken. If anything I could argue Urshifu feels very strong, but not

You are a prolific sub-PL player, joining and being successful in BLT, EPL, SSPL, and LCPL: which sub-PLs are your favorite and what have been your favorite moments during these tournaments?

Hmmm I think all sub PLs have a different thing I like. For example BLT I was pretty unknown to most of the team and people outside of the DOU community, so It was satisfying to get good results to kind of get my name to the top. EPL is a tournament where I’m mostly with friends and people I know so I get to banter a lot and enjoy it in a different way, that can be said for SSPL too (Plus SS DOU is probably my favorite DOU so getting to play it again is pretty satisfying!). LCPL I actually only signed up cuz I had a pretty good run on LPL in ORAS LC LOL. Unfortunately I think I went 3-4 and the team was also out but I enjoy playing that tier a lot so yeah, at least I got to play a bit hehe.

How do you look back on your Classic win? What were your favorite moments during the tournament?

Oof Classic was a fun tournament. I think I did meh in Cups since I don’t really prep in those and only load what I have, but once playoffs were out I did prep for everyone. SMB helped me so much in the playoffs with team ideas and tests, paying off in the end since I won the entire thing. My favorite moment playing-wise was probably the SM Game vs Fangame10 where I tricked the Porygon2 and locked itself into Ice Beam, allowing my Tapu Fini to CM freely hehe. But of course, my top favorite moment was winning the entire thing, as it was my first individual tournament!

Speaking of Classic, what is your favorite DOU old gen, and why? Are there any changes you'd like to see to any of these old gens, such as freeing or banning certain Pokemon?

My favorite DOU old gen has to be SS. It was the gen I liked the most, probably the gen where I had the best runs and results (Although I was not playing mons the very first year of it), and I like the teams I’ve built and stolen enough to enjoy playing them over and over again. Changes could be fun for sure but I think a proper “suspect” or voting should be made in order for this to work. I can’t think of a mon that I would like to see suspected right now in old gens, but yeah if there ever is one I think it should have a proper way to test it. (Ban Thunder Wave on both BW and XY though).

As a three time DPL winner, what would you say was your favorite year and team to be on?

Hmm my favorite year was definitely last year, with Ducks. My first DPL win I was in Storms and only got to play one game (I won), second one was with Hippos and I think I played like 3-4 tiers LOL but was also pretty proud cuz the team trusted me on DUU and I managed to win on Finals. Last year though I was coming from a rough DOU run and was probably going undrafted if SMB wasn’t manager. He trusted me enough to draft me and played for a couple of games but started with a rough 0-2, then managed to get a win on last regular season week to guarantee our 1st seed spot, and another win in Finals to tie the 2-3 series, get a tiebreak and then win the tournament. Best thing about this was I was with more friends and people I knew than last times, and winning the tournament + CA prize was super satisfying. I definitely wish I could’ve gone with a better record or helped the team more but oh well, at least I didn’t go 1-7 like this year sighhh.

As captain of team LATAM, how do you look back on the unfortunate regular season, and are you planning on returning as manager for the upcoming dwcop?

It was a pretty unfortunate season after the Semifinals run 2 years ago yeah. I honestly could’ve done more for every single player but I didn’t since it was early meta. I didn't scout nor give much criticism to most teams posted on the server, which is a mistake I don’t intend to repeat. I’m not sure if I will be manager, it depends on how my schedule is. 2 years ago I had a super tight schedule and was unable to help much in the team, but yeah if I have the time and the team is fine with it then sure why not!

You made the OSDT hero run from 0-2 all the way into the top cut. How did these early losses affect you and what were your favorite moments during this tournament?

Those losses definitely took a toll on my mental. Thing is these first two weeks I was in last semester weeks so I was full of exams, final projects and stuff, so I had literally 0 time to test or try anything with post-Home stuff. So yeah starting 0-2 in such an important tournament was definitely depressing, but I just focused on at least getting far enough for circuit points. Once I was like 5-2 I just said “ok well we will focus on going to play offs” and actually tested and “prepped” a bit more, and yeah managed to qualify! Unfortunately I lost at top 16 but oh well it was a decent run at least. And my favorite moment definitely has to be at Top 32 vs Losconosciuto, when I Drain Punched my own Rillaboom to get my health back LOL.
Apparently quite a good amount of people saw that and would talk about it a bit. Even now with my SCL team someone completely unrelated to the DOU community said “Yo we got the self-drain punch guy” HAHAHA.

What have been your favorite sets you've played so far? And what opponent were you most nervous for? What was your Happiest win? Is there Anyone you're looking forward to fighting in particular?

Hmmm I haven’t really given a thought about a favorite set I’ve had in my time playing. I can say maybe my last year Classic sets since I got to see all the time I put into prep and test was worth it with a solid 8-1 playoffs run. Lately (for around 2 years), I haven’t really been nervous about facing X or Y opponent. Like I feel I’m at a level where I can beat pretty much anyone If I play correctly, but back in 2017+- I remember always being scared of facing top players, huge shoutouts to stax cuz I would be scared of him LOL. Demantoid too since I was never able to win an official set vs him (He genuinely kicked me out of like 4 different tournaments :( ), and of course SMB since I’ve been friends with him for so many years and seeing him go from a nobody to pretty much one of the best players DOU has ever had was pretty scary. I can’t remember a particular “happiest win” bo3, but the first tournament I was proud Currently, I’m looking forward to playing Nails in SCL! He’s ranked #1 in the power rankings and had an amazing 9-1 record last year, so I really want to get a win against him!

How do you feel about the new DLC and how it has affected the metagame so far? Do you have any predictions on how it'll develop from here?

The only mon I feel like has actually made a hard impact is Ogerpon, both water and fire Ogerpon are pretty good and can be made to fit your team’s necessity. I think grass can be usable, but very niche, and rock so far I haven’t found a good way to use it but I hope someone gets a good team with it. The other mons like Okidogi and rest (I don’t remember the names) can probably fit specific archetypes, and Sinischea is fun to play on those hard setups, but I don’t think its a very solid consistent mon. Rest are probably bad LOL (Or I might forget some new additions). Still, the addition of the Ogers + unbans in Basculegion and Ursaluna were enough to shift how a lot of teams have to be played, changing one mon for another, and so on. I’m a Ursaluna and Basculegion hater myself so I can’t say I’m glad they’re back, but oh well I hope at least we have a decent meta for a bit. I will predict that the game will shift towards the Offensive/HO side instead of the Cress Rilla builds, since now it feels like every single mon OHKOs everything, so I’m predicting it will be a “get a better position and speed control to nuke everything before they nuke you” game hehe.

What do you think is your most iconic team, and why?

It has to be the Mesprit Trick Room on XY. Definitely because it's a pretty meme team but

funnily enough it has won a surprising amount of official games LOL. I always laugh at

reactions like this:

What has been your favorite part about Doubles and its community? And is there anything you would like to see done differently or added to Doubles and/or its community?

I like how united it is. I see them together for a lot of things, mostly good and beneficial, but sometimes I think my opinion differs a bit from the community and I feel weird LOL. I don’t think I’m very immersed in the DOU community (mainly because I’m not in discord as much as I’d like anymore and most of the community is there, but I know for sure the majority of it is super fun to be with!), so I can’t really mention something done differently. I like the work our council and tier leaders have done (Though I know some people actually don’t agree with the council), and I hope they’ll continue to do their best for us!

Are there any non-doubles tiers that you enjoy playing?

Yes! I like SS OU a lot, even managing to get Round 12 on one Seasonal and doing ok at the few tournaments I ined. Already mentioned it earlier but ORAS LC is a tier I enjoy a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I despise LC, but this particular one I like it a lot cuz I have good memories from it when it was a CG, playing in different tournaments back then with it and having someone very good at the tier teaching me too. (I miss u Alice Kazumi :c)

Did or do you look up to anyone as a player when you started playing tournaments?

Hmm I didn’t really say “Ohhh I would like to be as X or Y player!”, but I do remember watching a lot of games from the following people: dad1, Dawg, Memoric, Braverius, Hashtag, Checkmater, and I might be forgetting more ppl but these are all I can remember. At the time, they had good results at tournaments I looked up, so I watched their replays to try to get a grasp on how they played, what teams they brought, what was good in X scenario and what wasn’t and so on. I think even today this is a good way to pick up a tier you aren’t very familiar with!

Do you have any goals with regards to Smogon/Tournaments for the future?

Yes! Currently my goal was starting in SCL, and fortunately by the time I’m writing this I managed to play week 1 and snatch a W. I would love to have a trophy of any tournament, team tournament or individual, and I would also like to win one DOU Invitational before I ever think of retiring or being unable to play more Pokémon!

What’s your favorite Pokemon, and why?

Metagross - Mega-Metagross, I like both a lot. Not sure If I have a reason why hahah. My favorite typing is steel, and I am a big fan of most of steel mons (Scizor, Heatran, Skarmory, even stuff like Bastiodon), I like the design of these mons a lot. But Metagross specially since I was a kid was always my favorite design, was a very strong mon and is even stronger with Mega, honestly all one could ask for.

What are your hobbies and interests outside of playing Pokémon?

I am ashamed to admit that I am a League of Legends player LOL. My gf playing it + a lot of close friends playing it too doesn’t help to stop this addiction, but oh well. I like programming stuff too! But I am ashamed to say I haven’t done much outside of what my school asks me to do lmao. Anyway I’ll soon have to start developing my Engineering Project to graduate so yeah I should start doing stuff. I want to meddle with AI and Data Science stuff so will probably start by learning the basics of this. Also I like cats a lot. Like, a lot. I was a shelter volunteer for a while some time ago in a Feline Shelter (Sorry if translations don’t make much sense I am doing literal translations from Spanish), and well I got to be with lots of different cats, from cute little scared ones to big aggressive scared ones. I love them so much and I’d love to have a lot of cats in the future (currently I only have 3).

If you could add an emoji to doucord which one would it be?

We need cat stuff. :madcat: or :cryingcat: or :ramirez: or :xd:

What is your favorite food?

I’m sorry, this is very cliché as a mexican, but tacos really are my favorite food LOL. Since we have so many types of it, I will narrow it down to Tacos al Pastor, Tacos de Suadero and Tacos de Carnitas. Outside of that, I’m a big fan of junk food, pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs etc. I also found a Japanese Restaurant that serves amazing sushi and also serves some other dishes like Takoyaki, some sweet meat that I forgot the name, Ramen and such and its pretty fucking good. And also I am not a fan of chinese food :(

Who is your favorite hololive?

Mori Calliope! I am actually not a big fan of watching live streams, I’m more of a clips person, but Mori and probably Ouro Kronii are the only two girls I’ve tuned in live cuz I like them a lot. Also I’ve been a fan of Mori’s other persona music long before she was in hololive, so yeah I might be a bit biased hahah. I like watching clips from most girls in all branches though, but only really see hololive stuff, not Vshojo or Nijis or that. Also bonus: If I ever win a personal Custom Avatar, I would love to have it from Mori.

Is Fluttershy still the best pony?

LOL I don’t know………..

You know, this is a very very very funny story. For those who don’t know, my old username was “Lorda Floterchai”, and it came from me impersonating a friend at the time whose nickname was Lady Fluttershy (Lorda = Lord, but adding an “a” to make it sound as a female noun, and Floterchai is the spanish way to pronounce Fluttershy). After that, a lot of people started to talk to me with this name and I honestly forgot to change
it, so by the time I realized this wasn’t really the username I wanted, a lot of people already knew me by this name so I just said “oh well” and kept it. But I have 0 knowledge about My Little Pony HAHAHAHA. After this I renamed myself to Akaru Kokuyo which is what I wanted and yeah, only people from a long time ago know me by Lorda xD.

Who would you like to see being interviewed next, if anyone?

Feyy! I think Feyy has had an amazing year, and definitely deserves to have a spot like this. My other candidates would be xqiht, qsns and Meminger21.

Is there anyone you would like to give a shoutout or have any other kind words for?

I’d like to thank you first for the interview! I had a lot of fun answering these questions and will definitely be pending on future editions hehe. (Also shoutout to Mayy cuz she was the one who originally told me this would happen). Shoutout to cold crew (dpl team), keldeo’s cavalry (derby team), LA team (and ppl in that disc), and some other specific users like Ann or SMB for helping me at being better at the game. I think I really am at a high level right now and it’s mostly thanks to them! I hope I’m able to bring good results on future tournaments, and I hope they have a good run too!
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I'm grateful for being remembered after all the years I've spend out of mons. I'm glad you made a name for yourself in those 6 years and now are considered a experienced player. I will always remember you trying to get me into doubles and me having negative game sense in the tier. I don't think I've ever won vs you in this tier hahaha.

Good luck in doubles world cup, you got this!
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Hero in a half shell
is a Tiering Contributor
Coming from the draft leagues, rising star Feyy found themselves proving their worth on the cold crew with a 4-3 record and an impressive winter seasonals run, but impressed doubles most by winning OSDT III in their debut year. the newly crowned champion is looking to add to their trophy cabinet through scl Power Plant Dynamos and representing apac at DWCOP IV


Hi Feyy, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Howdy! I’m Fey and I’m a 19 year old Vietnamese studying economics. I mainly play draft leagues and DOU. It’s also approaching my 1 year on Smogon as of the time I’m writing this :D

Could you explain the origins of your username and what it means?
I think about 5 or 6 years ago, I was really into a pokemon gym league and became a fairy type gym leader in that league. At this time, I went through a lot of usernames without sticking to any one of them; friends from this time may remember MOOSE and EverKi. As I was talking to friends about the fairy type gym leader character I was acting as, we made names up based on the word fey, which we mistook for fay, which means fairy. Feyette, which is my showdown username, eventually came from this and Fey is what has stuck as my username since.

How did you get into competitive Pokemon, and Doubles specifically? And do you feel like your experience with the Wigglytuff Battle Guild and other draft leagues prepared you for top level Doubles OU?
11 years old me needed my dose of Pokemon whenever the anime was not on TV, so I looked to the internet for that. I found Pokemon showdown and lingered around small chat rooms and found a now deleted room called Meteor Falls. Here, I met my SCL teammate and good friend raf where I would occasionally watch him play DOU and get interested in it. Before I got into doubles, I spent a majority of my time playing draft leagues. I think draft leagues have allowed me to be a bit more open-minded in teambuilding with interesting Pokemon and concepts. I think a lot of skills from draft leagues are transferable into standard smogon formats as we’ve seen from others like me that came from draft to DOU like Lemurro, Flying Beagle, charmdi, etc.

Speaking of draft leagues, you're currently co-managing Low Horsepower along with vengabenga in the Draft Champions League. What were your expectations going into this tournament and how has your managing experience been like so far?
We knew going into the tour that there would be rough competition. Although I was confident in both Venga and I’s capabilities, Venga was a relatively new face compared to most other captains in the pool in draft and whilst I had been around for a while, I started playing VGC draft way later than other starters in the pool. So far I think our inexperience in managing has definitely shown, though I like the team environment we have and I know we can do well.

Congratulations on getting drafted into SCL! Did you expect to get drafted, and what kind of expectations do you have for yourself?
I had been told eyes would be on me and xqiht when we reached OSDT finals, although I still had a lot of doubts on whether I’d be picked up or not since this was only my first year playing DOU and the DOU pool looked very stacked. My goal for every team tour is to go at least neutral at the minimum and anything above is a bonus, which I hope to do the same for SCL and improve from my current 1-3 record.

How do you look back on your OSDT win? What were your expectations going into it and what were your favorite moments during the tournament?
OSDT still feels a bit surreal to me. I had told Yoda before the tournament that I had placed around top 16 in every tour I placed well in and had hoped I could go further and reach at least top 8. Funnily, I would then go on to play Yoda in top 8 which was also my favourite moment in the tournament as game 2 we both decided to load up set up spam and at one point had 4 Pokemons with set up on the field at the same time.

What have been your favorite sets you've played so far? And what opponent were you most nervous for? What was your Happiest win? Is there Anyone you're looking forward to fighting in particular?
My favourite set was against Yoda in top 8 of OSDT. He was one of my managers in DPL which was my first DOU team tour so he was a bit like a mentor to me and he had also been having amazing results throughout every tour and I hope to play him more in future tours. Another player I’m looking forward to fighting is Akaru, I think we’ve played 3 times and I’m 1-2 with my 1 win being pretty lucky so I hope I can even the score and give Akaru a good game.

What was your experience in DPL like? Did you expect to do as well as you did, considering it was your first DOU team tournament?
DPL was really fun and the Cold Crew was one of the best teams I could have gotten into. One of my fears going into DPL was that I didn’t know many players in the community at that point and talking to new people is always a daunting task for me. Thankfully, I was able to team with AIRedzone, fangame and Chris Numbers who I’ve already befriended by that point. I fully expected to just be a support or sub but I ended up starting a lot of games so I was pretty happy with that and I also learned a lot by starting. I also discovered my favourite emote from Cold Crew, Howdysire.

What do you think about the results of the most recent suspect test? And do you think there are any other problematic Pokemon in the meta that need tiering action?
Both Basculegion-M and Flutter Mane are problematic in my opinion and I personally voted for a ban on both. FM only very narrowly dodging the banhammer leads me to believe a future FM suspect is needed, especially one where Basculegion is already out of the equation since FM was often forced out or needed to run booster speed to not get revenged by Basculegion. Now, Choice Specs sets are much more free, have basically no resists and not many relevant scarfers to revenge FM. I would support another suspect test for only FM. I’ve also been of the opinion that Chien-Pao is problematic but it has felt somewhat tamed in recent times in post-DLC meta.


What do you think of your Doubles Derby experience, wherein you went 4-3?
Our Derby team was very fun and I got the chance to team with many friends and talk to people I wanted to befriend. I ended up being pretty busy during Derby and I could really only focus on my own games, usually last minute prepping or relying on teammates to pass me builds a lot. In the end, I got to vibe with a lot of cool people during the times I wasn’t busy and I went positive so overall I would say Derby was a success for me.

What do you think is your most iconic team, and why?

(screenshot progression of the team) (Pre DLC version) (Post DLC version)
Many teams I used in OSDT were qsns’ teams or recreation for xqiht’s teams from ladder. This team, however, is one that still gets brought up to me at least once every week. I brought this team to game 2 and game 3 of OSDT top 16 vs bage1 where he leads off with Dragapult in game 2 and basically instantly wins. That replay will forever be on my record and will haunt me for years to come. The idea of “Curse of Ra” (as Schister named it) was to have a set that lets Goodra-H break Amoonguss better and capitalise on hazards with Dragon Tail. I think this team is pretty bad and many friends have fallen victim to the Curse of Ra when I suggested to them this team for tour. Sorry Flying Beagle !

What has been your favorite part about Doubles and its community? And is there anything you would like to see done differently or added to Doubles and/or its community?
My favourite part of doubles are definitely the team tours. I enjoyed my time on every team that I’ve been on, it’s the perfect amount of fooling around with friends with all the fun of playing the tiers we enjoy together. With only being around the community for a year, I’ve enjoyed all of it and would not change a single thing.

Are there any non-doubles tiers that you enjoy playing?
There aren’t any at the moment but I’m always interested in singles lower tiers like RU and NU. I used to play a lot of RU and NU in the 2 prior generations, but I haven't touched SV RU or SV NU. If I venture out of DOU, those tiers will likely be where I’ll look to play next.

Do you have any goals with regards to Smogon/Tournaments for the future?
My first year on Smogon has been such a wild ride and everything came at me so fast so honestly I’m just aiming for some chill tours after this year. I likely won’t join as many tournaments next year but I do have plans on hosting some VGC Draft tours next year, either on or off Smogon.

What’s your favorite Pokemon, and why?

I have a rotating cast of favourite pokemon but currently it’s Clodsire. It quickly became mine and my group of friends’ favourite Pokemon when SV first came out and the Howdysire emote really helped with that. Some other personal favourites of mine are Roselia, Skrelp and Porygon2. I’ve even tried laddering up in DOU with Skrelp and managed to get to around 1800 ELO.

What are your hobbies and interests outside of playing Pokémon?
I have a younger brother who’s really young and spends a lot of time playing games, so I typically spend a lot of my free time hanging out with him messing around on Fortnite or Roblox. I also just like to play any multiplayer games that my friends are interested in at the time. At the moment, it’s survival multiplayer Minecraft where we go through different modpacks until we’re bored and go onto the next one. I’ve also been playing chess casually and want to learn more when I have more time.

If you could add an emoji to doucord which one would it be?


What is your favorite food?
My favourite food is bánh gối, which translates to pillow cake. It’s a deep-fried Vietnamese dumpling with meat, mushroom and veggies and eaten with a dipping sauce made with fish sauce, vinegar/lime and sugar with pickled carrots and turnips. It’s a dish I had a lot growing up and continues to be my favourite to this day.

What's your favorite dinosaur?
My favourite dinosaur is the T-Rex that pops up when you don’t have internet connection.

If you could have a lifetime supply of anything, what would it be?
Money. The answer to this question is always money.
Alternatively, beef jerky, I swear they’re never in stock whenever I want them.

Who would you like to see being interviewed next, if anyone?
I think qsns or xqiht has had some phenomenal performances this year and I would love to see them interviewed next.

Is there anyone you would like to give a shoutout or have any other kind words for?
Thank you for the interview, it was a lot of fun going back through different tours I’ve done this year, thinking about all the good times from them. Shoutouts to everyone that I’ve teamed with so far in DPL (Coldcrew), BLT (Articunos), Derby (Kingdra), SCL (Dynamos), I have and still am learning so much about Doubles and Smogon as a whole from these team tours. Shoutouts to all my draft friends and to Legend Alliance, Wigglytuff Battle Guild and Epic Gamer Agency. Shoutouts to everyone in the DOUcord, it’s always a good time talking to everybody. Also go APAC!


Hero in a half shell
is a Tiering Contributor
Emerging onto the Doubles scene in 2022, Xqiht quickly proved themselves to be a very capable player, being drafted in DPL, and their impressive performance in OSDT leaded to them representing the Showdown Shoguns in SCL. They also led Team China to a very respectable Quarterfinals finish in DWCOP!



Hi Xqiht, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a high school student from Fujian, China. I have been exposed to Pokemon since elementary school and only started playing Showdown in junior high school

Could you explain the origins of your username and what it means?
I think this is the most concerning issue for people, lol. The answer is that at the beginning, I didn't know that usernames could only be letters. After two consecutive invalid Chinese usernames, I randomly typed a few letters, which is xqiht

How did you get into competitive Pokemon, and Doubles specifically?
When I was in junior high school, I really enjoyed watching videos of "口袋迷ag" (I think I still like them today). He was a VGC player. But because Vgc2018 had already been closed while I was playing, I started playing SMDou and then participated in PSChina's competition. Later, with my Smogon account, I became more interested in Dou tournament

How do you look back on your OSDT run? What were your expectations going into it and what were your favorite moments during the tournament?
I think my entire journey through OSDT was joyful. I am very excited to play against jrl, nido, qsns, feyy, and others. A small regret is that I was unable to compete with memo and bage1. To be honest, my initial expectations were only for the top four. And my favorite node is when I play with JRL. I had a great time playing that game

What have been your favorite sets you've played so far? And what opponent were you most nervous for? What was your Happiest win? Is there Anyone you're looking forward to fighting in particular?
My favorite dishes are OSDT vs. Zom, JRL, QSNS, and Teamball vs. eragon. So far, Yoda and I have been the most nervous. The happiest victory I think is DWCOP Won Yoda. As for my most anticipated opponent, I mentioned earlier Meminger21 and bage1

How has your DWCOP experience on Team China been so far?
In team China, my teammates and I feel joy and excitement, tension and sadness together. Although we were eliminated from the quarterfinals this year, I believe I will do even better next year

What has your SCL experience been like so far? How has it been taking a support bench role for Eragon11145?
I didn't do very well in SCL. But due to my comparison, Captain Hype decided to eragon sub. In terms of team, eragon has provided me with a lot of ideas. In the subsequent competition, due to my own academic issues, I did not provide any help to eragon. I apologize. sry eragon11145

What do you think of your Doubles Derby experience, wherein you went 3-3?
I played just so so. But I have a great caption and support.

What do you think is your most iconic team, and why?
ofc this
:Kingambit: :Heatran: :Iron Hands: :Basculegion: :Rillaboom: :Spectrier:
This is my first team that top 1 in ladder.It helped me get many wins in osdt.

What are your thoughts on the current state of the DOU metagame and how it's evolved over the course of SCL?
I think dou is developing very well now. At the beginning of SCL, DLC1 was just released. At this point, the environment is the same for everyone. Everyone fully unleashes their brains to build teams. Until the mid to late stage of SCL, the environment tended to stabilize. However, there are still many Pokemon worth exploring. I think this is a very good phenomenon

What has been your favorite part about Doubles and its community? And is there anything you would like to see done differently or added to Doubles and/or its community? And how do you think we could integrate the Chinese DOU playerbase into the doubles community better at large?
My favorite part of the dou community is the itinerary section. Competitions always excite me. I hope to have more old genes team tours. I have also made many attempts to integrate Chinese Dou players into the community on PSChina myself. I think we can have a friendly match between PSChina and Smogon Dou.

Are there any non-doubles tiers that you enjoy playing?
national dex ou and uu

Do you have any goals with regards to Smogon/Tournaments for the future?
tournament champion!!!

What’s your favorite Pokemon, and why?
amooguess. I think it so solid

What are your hobbies and interests outside of playing Pokémon?
Reading books and singing. I like reading hugo's novel. And my favorite song is see you again, but I cannot sing it well lol.

If you could add an emoji to doucord which one would it be?


What is your favorite food?

What's your favourite dinosaur?
dinosaur?? I dont like it

If you could have a lifetime supply of anything, what would it be?
my family and my friends

Who would you like to see being interviewed next, if anyone?
eragon11145 and hi.naming is hard

Is there anyone you would like to give a shoutout or have any other kind words for?
my friend 雷电云. He helped me a lot a lot, I can say no him no me

ryo yamada2001

ryo yamada2001
is a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnus

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi, I’m Hunter, recent computer science grad that plays way too much Pokemon.

What does qsns stand for and how is it pronounced? Is it q s n s or quiznos?
My headcanon is pronouncing the letters individually. I am happy when people do not do this so I can forget the embarrassing account I signed up with when I was 13.


How did you end up getting into competitive Pokemon and Doubles specifically? What made you stick around at the time?
I somehow snuck onto the Serebii forums when I was 10 to do wifi trading (my parents were quite livid) and got into competitive mons from there. First exposure to Doubles was through Verlisify, and stuck around DOU after winning a 4 person suspect tour with Umbreon. I promise you, no matter where any of you started, it was less embarrassing than mine.

For a few years it felt like your tournament performances did not live up to your reputation and quality as a player. To speak of a breakout year nearly a decade feels insane, but the qsnssaince is undeniable with a 61-17 record this year; what has been the biggest key to this massive improvement in results? Who and what have been your key influences, helpers, and inspirations throughout the year?
Probably my biggest “oh fuck” moment while playing a video game was Nails ghosting me in Hearthstone. He was at the time the rank 1 player on the NA server and no question the best in the world at piloting the Spell Mage deck at the time. Nearly every turn, I auto piloted the game I’d been playing for a decade, blindly believing I’d made a good decision, and he’d stop me after I had already clicked to correct me on “this is not the correct choice of extra resource in the matchup” or “this is not how the matchup plays” or a million other things. Within an hour, it really inspired me to actually think about my turns. It sounds stupid as hell, but I’d just played so many games that my critical analysis had turned down to zero and thinking about my incorrect plays or doubting my immediate instincts hurt my ego. This translated over into Pokemon this year, I think. Thank you very much Nick Navarre, Hearthstone superstar.

Genuinely, I think the biggest improvements besides that have been my a. separation of my self-worth from my performance in a children’s competitive video game and b. development of my self-confidence. I used to be extremely bad with choking and not being able to close out a game. I am significantly better with my timer management and ability to play under pressure these days and actively look for easy turns with easy buttons to click to save 30 seconds. I have a lot more confidence in making reads and am not scared of my opponents. I still care about my wins and losses - I get happy, sad, mad and everything in between - but I dwell on them a lot less now. It’s been a pleasant experience, though it did take a decade to develop.

Playing a thousand games with Bagel helped during SV. That part helped a lot. Thank you Bagel.

:tyranitar: :hitmontop:
qsns boasts a #1 64-19 record in Doubles on the year, winning their first solo trophies in DPP Cup and Oldgens Invitationals, respectively.

Despite having little-to-no pre-Home tournament activity, you managed to make it to OSDT III's semifinals. How do you look back on your result; did you expect making a deep run at all? Is there anything you wish you would've done differently against xqiht? And what was your favorite match to prepare and/or play for?
I didn’t really recognize it at the time, but my ability and motivation shot through the roof after starting 3-0 in the tournament. I think I recognized I was going for a deep run when I discovered the magic power of going onto Limitless and stealing things for VGC tours. Looking back at previous generations in hindsight, they usually stabilized a year after we started copying the best VGC structures, and I was feeling strong with my head start on that!

I just got smashed in the xqiht match. It was a very clean 2-0 from him and I think it showed me the limitations of blindly believing the Limitless doctrine. They tend to be fantastic starting points, but adjusting for the 6v6 format and your opponent is important. VGC teams tend to be designed for a wider field and I could have brought something more resistant to off-metagame picks, as xq was bringing at the time. Wouldn’t really go back and change anything, it was an important lesson and I’m very glad he could make finals.

Going for 15.5k in SCL III seemed quite scary, but you proved being worth it with your 7-1 record. Even though you unfortunately did not make the playoffs, how do you reflect back on the tournament and on working with sempra and Amaranth, respectively? Did sempra's VGC knowledge play a key role in team preparation? What was your favorite match to prepare and/or play for?
I was quite happy getting Sempra on the team because I was deathly afraid of flopping in a team tournament again (especially after going for 15.5k) and wanted someone’s play quality that I could trust in case I did poorly. He was helpful in tossing around initial ideas for my teams, especially weeks 1 and 4. I am hoping you stick around and start in every tour sempra :D

I get bored of Pokemon sometimes and I build garbage that works about 25% of the time. Amaranth told me not to bring that garbage and instead bring boring good teams. This worked out because a. I was using good Pokemon instead of garbage and b. I get the most enjoyment in the game from throwing stat sticks at my opponents, and this kept my motivation up. I think I would’ve brought an Eviolite Flaafy-tier team at some point if Amaranth was not on the team. I attribute a lot of my success in this tour to Amaranth telling me a lot of “no”s and his good game sense on the powerful things to do in the tier.

Also croven was in the server. He unsurprisingly did not contribute to the teams at all but the vibes and the “is qsns the best” in the game chats were immaculate and extremely appreciated.

qsns was one of the Technical Machine's marquee players and unfortunately just barely missed playoffs

How are you feeling going into the Circuit Invitationals? Who would you consider, besides yourself, to be the biggest favorite to take home the ribbon this year?
I think Bagel is genuinely the second coming of Christ in DOU. I have played against him hundreds of times at this point, and I’ve seen so much improvement happening so rapidly. I think I went 2-12 testing against him for Week 8 of SCL - I had to start counting because I got very irritated. There are days where I feel like I’m playing against a Nails alt, which is about the highest compliment I can give. Hoping for him to take it home, though I think everyone in the playoffs is extremely strong. I think Farfromani and Entrocefalo are quietly some of the most solid performers and preppers in the tournament and would also love to see them take it. I am always rooting for my hero Raf, xqiht and the other churchers/jerkers zee and Nido.

Speaking of Invitationals, you just managed to, unsurprisingly but impressively, win the inaugural Oldgens Invitationals. Can you elaborate some on your expertise in Doubles's old generations, and would you consider yourself to be the real strongest oldgens player?
I have just been around for a while and I’m playing pretty well at the moment. I challenged myself to build new SM teams for the tournament, as it currently has the reputation of being a solved or stagnant format, and could not find that farther from the truth. There is a lot of value to be gained in porting sets and concepts from previous generations up to the one you’re prepping for, as well as backporting ideas from more current generations. I definitely understand enjoying one generation over another, but I do not think “specialists” would perform significantly worse in other oldgens tier - good Pokemon players are just good Pokemon players, in general.

I don’t know if I’m the strongest player or anything, oldgens invitational was an absolute blast to play in because the play quality was consistently high.

You have been especially good at DPP Doubles, with a 12-1 record to date. What would you consider the essential attributes to get results in this tier?
I’ve found DPP to be the most honest generation of Pokemon and getting good results is often from being “creatively dishonest.” I have put Toxic on basically everything bulkier than a Deoxys-Attack to circumvent the general bulk of the tier. Dual Screens into setup is very powerful. Explosion is somehow a genuinely underexplored move, and catching people off guards with Boom is powerful.

You still have to stay within the confines of the generation, which means the stat sticks are going to be bashing into each other for most of the game, but you get a ton of leverage for identifying common metagame trends.

qsns maintains a superb 13-2 record in DPP, taking home the DPP Cup trophy along the way. They're 29-6 in games.

Could you rank Doubles' oldgens from most to least favorite, and explain your ranking? Are there any tiering decisions you'd like to see made or talked about in any older generation?
:tyranitar: DPP :metagross:
Probably gets some recency and results bias but I have a blast every time I play. The tier has its “staples” of good stat sticks like Metagross and TTar but the rest of the tier is constantly in flux. The tier is extremely straightforward to play - you’re almost always rewarded for strong building, reacting to metagame trends, and good positional play. There’s a ton that is not on the VR that’s definitely good and a ton of unexplored sets on the best. I enjoy the consistent pacing and damage thresholds that the top tier Pokemon hit (threatening OHKOs is quite rare), allowing much more in depth planning and resource management.

:conkeldurr: :deoxys-speed: XY = SM :gengar-mega: :gothitelle:
XY is a tough nut to crack because the metagame is so rigid, but it leads to the most wild evolutions. The best teams in XY 2 years ago would just die to any Conkeldurrs or any Deoxys-Speed hazard stacks going around right now, sentences both unheard of until recently. It’s so fun to watch the metagame evolve. Zee wrote a quick history on the metagame since 2021 - a rarely played, decade old metagame, mind you - and its length speaks to the incredible creativity of the playerbase. Though my record isn’t great this year, I am proud to have pioneered a lot of the MGar balance builds in 2021 and anyone who has pushed development in this tier should also feel very proud and very creative!

SM is probably the ideal DOU metagame. Extremely wide variety of options, solid staples that are rarely overbearing, plenty of strong balance builds, methodical to play, etc. I find it difficult to build for, as the wide variety has led to me scrapping a lot of ideas over the years (probably 75% of my initial drafts?), but it is incredibly satisfying to see them work. Ban Gothitelle

:thundurus: ADV ≅ BW ≅ SS :dracovish:
ADV scares me every time I play, and I think that’s because of Explosion. Making hard reads or hedging correctly around it is very rewarding, as it often nets you a free KO, but opening yourself up to getting 2 important team members boomed is so scary. I would personally have a more fun time playing if boom were banned. People that call it skilless are definitely getting skill issued, it’s just not for me.

Nothing complex to say about BW, the teambuilding just never clicked with me. Thundurus does silly goose things but risk management is a big part of every Pokemon metagame. Probably the most indifferent towards this tier, it’s decent honest Pokemon.

I had a pretty vocal dislike of playing SS but I think I just associate negative memories of my time flopping in the later stages with the metagame. I did extremely poorly in the post-DLC2 SCL I played (going 0-4 and then benched for the lovely zoe) and the tier never clicked for me after we finally destroyed Cringe Sun. Coming back to the tier for old gen invitationals and a Homefield set or two, I had a good time playing it. The pace is often either too fast or too slow for my personal preferences but otherwise it is decent.

A few weeks ago I noted your record (54-17) being close to that of Ezrael in 2017, whose 64-17 stands as the best individual year in Doubles history to date. You said you would just have to win 11 straight, and at the time of writing, you actually managed to win 7 sets straight. Do you feel like you can beat this record, if you care about it at all? Did you realize how good of a year you were having?
I did not. Thank you for keeping the sheets updated. You are a hero your work for the sheet will not be forgotten. I respect Ezrael a metric fuckton as a player and being in the ballpark of his record is genuinely insane to me. Considering Invitationals are coming up with the hardest bracket in the year, I doubt I’ll actually do 11 straight, but we shall see where the year takes us :D

Edit: i did not do 11 straight. Congrats to DaAwesomeDude1 for winning DPP friendly :D

Besides that impeccable playing record this year, you spent most team tournaments as a co-manager, snagging steals in draft and building unanimously #1 ranked rosters; what are the keys to success when it comes to consistently drafting strong teams?
I am happy to prep and/or steal teams for a lot of different tiers and it is personally important for me to go big on slots I cannot do that in. Top-heavy teams have historically performed pretty well and I tend to go by that philosophy. In DPL, getting Actuarily and DaWob for DUU and BW, two tiers I don’t touch, was pretty stellar for the overall gameplan. I don’t think the rankings mean a ton besides overall beginning motivation and I think a variety of styles can absolutely work, something I’d maybe like to explore in future tours.

qsns co-managed the Santalune Storms and Jubilife Jockeys in DPL 9 and Derby I with fespy and Smudge, respectively. The Storms made it to finals and the Jockeys made it to semis.

6 activity losses, of which 2 came in semifinals. And that's not even considering the two unfinished Draft Leagues (incl. Chirch Draft)......... how and why
Usually something else comes up. I am happy to schedule around high stakes tournaments I’m super invested in but I’m not going to turn down a text hanging out with friends to play Pokemon. Hobbies are cool but so are friends!

Also how: I forgor why: I have ineffective ADHD medication
How do you feel about Doubles' lower tiers, such as DUU and NatDex DOU?
Very happy to see them do well, especially Natdex DOU!!! I was on the council when it started and realized I did not have the energy to split between that and DOU / oldgens play, but I think Smudge and big pichu have been doing a great job. Really appreciate the Coaching suspect that has gone up recently, they’re listening to their engaged players and reacting very quickly. DUU has just never clicked for me for some reason, but big games of this gen have been engaging to spectate, esp invitationals.

Now we're moving on into a fresh metagame, how do you reflect back on post-home SV DOU, its developments through and between OSDT and SCL respectively, and if there's anything you wish you could've seen or changed, e.g. Pokemon with untapped potential, overrated Pokemon, and/or the ramifications of Flutter Mane staying in the tier by 1 vote?
I think tiering-wise we did pretty ok. I really think the double suspect was probably a mistake in retrospect. It was a hedge against a wildly unpopular council vote, but I think we did ok from the options we were given. I am just hoping we don’t have to be in that situation again - council votes for DLC2 went well in terms of optics IMO.

To me, OSDT (playoffs specifically) was exploring the vast array of offensive tools we had access to, and SCL was refining them. I would smack myself for some of the garbage I brought in OSDT but limit-testing Pokemon like Chi-Yu and how greedy you can be with Torn offenses is important for development.

Doubles OU has a really bad habit of sticking to atrocious setup sweepers that can autowin the game given the correct circumstances. I think our play and time to dedicate towards teambuilding intricacies would go up significantly if as a community, we somewhat dropped this attachment. Kommo-o being ranked in Tier 2, Palafin still seeing consistent use, the Okidogi devotees, etc. It’s fun! I get it! But these mons suck!!!!!

Flutter Mane ban mostly says to me >40% of the playerbase thought the metagame was in a basically perfect spot. I viewed it mostly as a referendum on that, as it’d be extremely unlikely to get further suspects through if Flutter didn’t. I am ok with that! DLC1 SV was a fun metagame.

What are your expectations and hopes for the new DLC's releases? Can we expect the same kind of activity and performance for you going into a new metagame in 2024?
I am hoping the DLC remains at relatively the same power level after our initial wave of bans. I’m enjoying the tier at the moment and personally don’t want huge shakeups, though I find it hard to believe that the new additions would shake up the tier a ton.

How did you feel about the Doubles Circuit structure in 2023 and the massive increase in side tournaments? What are some tournaments formats (whether official on unofficial) you preferred or would like to see more of, and which could you do without?
Tournaments good. Smogon as a whole has a shockingly low amount of tournament games played compared to other games because we’re scheduling weekly. If people want to play, more tours is good, and I think we haven’t cannibalized other tournament signups for the increase.

Something I did not get to proposing this year was changing DLT to a straight up ladder competition with a lower points payout. I think ladder qualifying -> a standard 16 player elimination bracket is extremely dull and doesn’t reward the laddering part of the ladder tournament enough. DLT has a lot of value to me for bringing in newer players, even if it doesn’t appeal to me as much. Lower points payout would make people feel more OK skipping it and it would appeal more to its core demographic.

From your position as a Doubles councilmember, what are your stances on tiering the new DLC and possibly beyond? Do you have any goals for Doubles to work towards in 2024?
Really glad we aren’t on an insanely rushed schedule now that all of the DLC and home updates are out. We can take some more time to identify suspects, wait for tournament results, run community polls, etc. than we could previously. Tiering-wise, I think we’re doing OK. Main goal as a council member in 2024 is propping up the circuit events and contributing quality content, whether through writeups or streams, for them.

You have also consistently been among the more involved Quality Control team members; as a co-lead, how do you plan on stimulating wider involvement for SV DOU C&C, if at all? You've been around this section for so long, how do you feel it has changed over the years? Personally, I feel as if it has deprecated somewhat from its glory days; do you share this feeling and can Doubles remedy this?
The glory days happened because talkingtree was the most insane workhorse the section has ever seen. I am trying to keep him away from the section for his own sanity. It is hard to replicate that care in a single person, much less an entire team. We are absolutely doing good work now though, and our team kicks ass.

It’s difficult to encourage people to write at the moment. I’m glad people are much less motivated by badges in 2023 but that was a major draw to the section. I personally feel the format of the smogon dex is a bit prehistoric but struggle to think of strong ways to modernize it myself. My current plan is to spread the word of “writing about your hobbies is very fun and encourages you to think deeper about it, and helping newer players get help is rewarding” - I think any bystander in DOUcord can see this in the #analysis-discussion channel. I think people would be more interested in the current gen with good examples and consistent output to reference and be motivated from, and I’m planning to pick up the pace of the section a lot more.

qsns is among the most involved DOU C&C members of all time, having written 10 analyses and done 59 checks, not to mention their extensive work in re-organizing the section, putting up sample sets, and uploading analyses. you are a hero your work for the analysis section will not be forgotten

Known as an extraordinary builder throughout your many active years; what teams would you say are you most proud of, in any tier or during any metagame?
I regrettably delete my teams regularly to keep my

As a mainstay since effectively Doubles's beginnings, how do you feel the community has changed both socially and competitively from years ago. For example, how do today's players match up against e.g. the 2018-19 "Strong Era", or the 2016 VGC takeover?
Socially - my god, we were awful. There were a ton of unique and fun people but their light was constantly being shut out by the edgy xD culture of the time.
Competitively - emforbes and ezrael are still the two best to touch the tier (along with Nails). However, I think we’d put up a much better fight these days - strategy games tend to catch up really quickly with the best. If you look at any of our plays or any of our teams against them, any decent 2023 tournament player these days would just laugh, and they’d be right to. This SCL, we had a ton of new players, and many of them stood up well to the titan of the previous generation, JRL, and the effect would be much more profound if removed another generation.

Does Doubles pale in comparison to VGC?
Just different audiences. Good DOU players succeed in VGC (many DOU players qualified for worlds, ESM recently won a regional!!!) and we obviously have had a ton of great VGC players in our community. Smogon brings a lot of value in its tiering, centralized community, and purely online status, and VGC has a larger player base, TCPI support and more in person connections/tournament hype. Both are cool!

I remember there being so many complaints about our ladder being embarrassingly bad way back then. Though you've never been the most involved ladder player, do you feel like it has improved or become more representative/viable for usage-based tiering since the dark days of XY?
A ton! There are still gimmicky players on the ladder but it’s quite easy to get a top tournament player in 2-3 games. Mostly because Bagel has 20k ladder games this year, but Actuarily and RelicanthPrimal are also on a ton. The ladder is now something I use for genuine practice, which is not something I could’ve said when I joined.


um actually bagel had only 7k games played on alts he remembers

Speaking of 'dark days of XY', we reflected a little bit upon your 2015 interview wherein you mentioned Focus Sash Gengar as 'an amazing support with fast Wisps, Taunt, and Speed Control through Icy Wind, while being a really great switchin to Mega Kangaskhan and Landorus-T'. don't you just fuckin miss the unbridled creativity and liberating badness of the old days sometimes?
A little bit… but I think the game experience is much more interesting when you have general knowledge of what your opponent’s going to do. I think our creativity is being applied much more specifically to the metagame at hand instead of saying “xd this pokemon has a funny move like Encore.” That is a lot more difficult and I have a lot more respect for it.

I did pull up to Grand Slam semis (?) with Rotom-Mow Terrakion rain. There is a pang of sadness when I realize I will not do something like that again.

I could not find the Grand Slam semis game but enjoy this SPL 7 replay vs Checkmater, both players bringing teams that would absolutely never get brought to a team tournament today

Is there a chance we'll ever see former Grand Slam top 16 finisher qsns playing singles tiers competitively again? :eyes:
My hopes and dreams were demolished at the time after competitive legend -Tsunami- made a WORST CHOKES OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! video on my NU slam playoffs game. This gen, after trying to build my own NU team, I immediately queued into rabia and aim on an alt and got demolished. No. I am bad and washed and do not need to think more about Pokemon.

What is the best random Pokemon format?
There is nothing better on than incessantly bugging someone to play BSS Factory [Gen 7]. Incredibly balanced, no DMax, quick enough because it’s 3v3. So good.

Back in 2015 you said 'Litwick' was your favorite Pokemon because it was the first shiny you ever caught. Is it still your favorite Pokemon, or are there more contenders to that title now? Which are your favorite Pokemon to use in a competitive context, in any tiers? :litwick:
I am still a Litwick fanatic. I have a plushie that sits on my dresser to wake up with me every day :D

I like Pokemon that make me think less so I get to save timer. Flutter Mane is my hero.

This is half a joke answer, but I spent a while thinking about it and I do not have strong likes or dislikes for the vast majority of Pokemon I’m using. I like using what wins. Which means Flutter Mane.

Thinking about having interviewed you in 2015 is kind of insane to me. Some of my earliest Doubles memories come from talking to you about Death Parade on Skype... so much time has passed since then, what would you say are your fondest memories in the Doubles community? And now we're making this trip down memory lane anyway, are there any users or things you miss from back then?
So fucking strange we’ve been around this long. I always say “I’ve been around for too long” but when you bring that up, another wave of memories hits me entirely.

PS! Room used to be a lot more active and it was just such a pleasure to dick around with everyone in there. Chat was always active, could talk for hours and get everyone in your ladder game where you’re beating x tournament player up with Spiritomb Litwick Claydol. Definitely a combination of different PS rules and the rise of our Discord that would prevent us from doing the same but there is something uniquely nostalgic about those times.

Community’s entirely different and I think that’s mostly been for the better. DOU used to be an extremely toxic place where you’d get flamed by Stratos for a single misplay for months on end, much less the casual (and non-casual) bigotry we let slide. I think we’re a lot more welcoming now and I appreciate that a lot.

Thankfully we always still have Croven, who together with you makes for arguably the most iconic collaborative efforts in the community. How did this working relationship come to be, and how have you two always managed to stay so successful throughout the years? Seeing as Croven is semi-retired nowadays, has bage1 become the new protégé?
Croven’s just a phenomenal, no-nonsense player and I like building for my friends. I appreciate that he’s able to pilot any style of teams and that lets me pass him whatever I happened to be feeling that week. I don’t think there’s a secret sauce, playing Pokemon with him is just fun.

Bagel actually builds his own fucking teams unlike Croven

Can you tell us about the evolution of your collaborative history with Croven, which is more in the form of playing Nuzlocke romhacks and ghosting on Slay the Spire? What have been your favorite romhack Nuzlocke experiences? What is your favorite character to play in Slay the Spire?
Croven and I both got sick of competitive Pokemon, him before me. I am not that great at Nuzlockes and the meticulous planning you need to beat the hardest ROM hacks (emerald kaizo, radical red (not that good of a game), run and bun) but I will always enjoy Croven sharing the 20-page planning doc with me for an E4 run. We also play a lot of spire and there’s nothing better than getting drafted for a team tour, inviting croven and immediately demanding the STS chat so we don’t derail prep.

I adore the Ironclad in STS. I think all of Clad/Silent/Defect are all wonderfully designed, but the Clad’s play patterns appeal the most to me. You have strong basic cards towards the beginning of your run, letting you path aggressively for the random chance of “i win” cards and relics, and somehow have to piece together a pile of energy-cheating garbage or infinite combo that raggedly climbs over the finish line. I have about a 55% winrate over my last 50 games with Clad, which is solid, but pales in comparison to god Croven’s recent 10 win Silent streak.

Your success in strategy games extends beyond Pokemon and Slay the Spire; you've also proven a consistently worldwide top player in Hearthstone and Teamfight Tactics. Is there a unifying skill that makes you so successful at strategy games? What goes through that noggin of yours?
A lot of time. If you jam hundreds or at this point, thousands of games, you recognize the patterns a lot quicker. I have a few other hobbies but am happy to just spend a month on a game and think of little else in my free time. My noggin is empty

When I asked you about your music taste in 2015 you answered with "I like rock"; do you have a Topster to show the evolution of your taste since then?
I don’t know if I actually listened to music in 2015

Happy to talk music anytime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love music now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you Phoebe Bridgers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you still claim being a weeb?
Definitely less so nowadays. I usually just join in whatever my partner’s watching these days. They’ve been getting me into a lot more Japanese rock music if that counts (big tricot fan).

If you could add one emoji or sticker to DOUcord, what would it be?
I don’t think homurakms would be appropriate but I feel like I really need it in discussion sometimes. we need a hampster sticker

What are your favorite Chirch memes?
any croven edits and any drunk posting. please post your favorites may or in the COMMENT SECTION SBELOW

With 2023 wrapping up soon, how do you look back on your year? What do you think has been your best moment, either personally or Pokemon-related? (whichever you find more comfortable)
Personally, I’m a lot more comfortable with myself. I’ve definitely had some more tangible things happen, progress in my life etc., but I’m noticeably more reflective and honest with myself. It opens up a lot of options for bettering myself in the future and it’s both very terrifying and motivating.

Pokemon-wise, I’m insanely proud of my SCL performance. I have always been a shitter on the master sheet and I was quite annoyed with how a lot of people saw me - consistently OK. They weren’t wrong to think that at all!!!!!! My performances were quite mediocre and I was carried on the bench, and then going 5-6 (?) into two SPL trophies. Just happy to break out of that for a season.

Who would you like to see get interviewed next?
I have made it clear I’m a huge bage1 fan. Would also like to see Xrn, I think he was under everyone’s radar before SCL (including mine) and would love to see the Incredible Mind behind a 9-1 performance. Lunar. too if he’s not done with DOU o7

Do you have any concluding words for this interview? Worry not, if you forget something there's always a chance at another interview 8 years from now :')
Thank you so much for putting this together May, I really admire your work ethic and care for this community, and answering these questions was a joy. See you in 2031 :,)

4 MANA 7/7​

ryo yamada2001

ryo yamada2001
is a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnus
what's the best hearthstone deck of all time and why is it midrange shaman?
what's your favorite hearthstone class to play (real)?
what's your favorite TFT archetypes throughout history?
do you have any anime recommendations that will shape my media taste for the rest of my life again?
what's your favorite song off every album in your topster (if this isnt too much work)?
as a former 'cutest user of the year' powerhouse, who do you think are category frontrunners this year?
who would win in a physical fight between you, croven, and bagel?


is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Top Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Community Leader Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
UPL Champion
4 MANA 7/7

we need to bo5 (DOU TFT Hearthstone Spire Nuzlocking) some time it is actually fucking ridiculous how much overlap we have
don't mind the fact i'm various degrees of retired/washed in basically all five
actually let's find 6 other people and run it (so we can all be in the same tft lobby and set up minitours in the 1v1 games)

gz on a nasty year of DOU and thank you for the Big Interview, i enjoyed reading


quite alright
is a Tiering Contributor
lovely interview :heart: thank you for all the support throughout the years (particularly this year though, changed my life fr), i'm sure everyone appreciates you being a part of this community and it wouldnt be the same without you.

1) WHAT is your favorite redirector across all DOU gens
2) HAVE you played Hades, if not then what the fuck why
3) IT appears you are a TFT enjoyer, may I suggest League of Legends?
4) reply to me on skype
what's the best hearthstone deck of all time and why is it midrange shaman?
Day 1 Demon Hunter and it's not close. 10 cards from that deck were nerfed throughout the expansion. It required a game first emergency balance patch, happening in under 24 hours, and redefined how Hearthstone handled its balance cadence. Unnerfed deck throughout an expansion definitely goes to Midrange Shaman, though.

what's your favorite hearthstone class to play (real)?
Druid. The gameplay is linear (heehee i have more mana crystals than you) and consistently just dies to aggro but it feels so powerful when you ramp into the game ender on turn 5.

what's your favorite TFT archetypes throughout history?
1 backline unit and 7-8 frontliners is always my favorite. Ahri sentinels and annie in the current set, neeko bastion, and others like those. I slam a lot of defensive items early and going into frontline heavy comps often rewards quality frontline slams.

do you have any anime recommendations that will shape my media taste for the rest of my life again?
i am not sure i've seen an anime you haven't at this point
EDIT: my partner hijacked this question

I'll edit in the recommendations

what's your favorite song off every album in your topster (if this isnt too much work)?
Punisher - I Know the End
Time 'n' Place - Swimming
You Will Never Know Why - Your World is Eternally Complete
Emergency & I - The City
The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads - this album on the topsters is a bit like cheating because it's just a live with most of their pre-Speaking in Tongues work, and I really think it's their best performance of almost every song, but it bites me in the ass here. Going with The Great Curve
The Dreaming - Night of the Swallow
How I'm Feeling Now - Forever
Charmed - How Did You Know?
To Pimp a Butterfly - The Blacker The Berry
Cheat Codes - Belize
RINA - Cyber Stockholm Syndrome
The Loveliest Time - Psychedelic Switch
Liquid Swords - the toughest one for me to pick here. I'll go Duel of the Iron Mics.
Bottomless Pit - Bottomless Pit
Actor - Actor out of Work
Since I Left You - Electricity
Atrocity Exhibition - Pneumonia
Starfucker - Rhinestone Heart
Pinata - Harold's
We got it from Here... Thank You 4 Your service - Black Spasmodic
Reading, Writing & Arithmetic - You're Not the Only One I Know
Aethiopes - Smith + Cross
Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time - Pangaea Girls (Magic Feeling)
When The Pawn... - Paper Bag
Blackout - Gimme More
Things Fall Apart - Dynamite
Jubilee - Paprika
Halcali Bacon - タンデム
Minecraft - Volume Alpha - Sweden
That! Feels Good! - Begin Again
6 Feet Deep - Deathtrap
OMORI OST - World's End Valentine
Aquemini - Aquemini
Red Burns - I don't think I've listened to a song on this album without listening to an entire side
Deep Trouble - Laplander
Bon Voyage - Breathe In, Breathe Out

as a former 'cutest user of the year' powerhouse, who do you think are category frontrunners this year?
I am voting for xqiht solely off of chickren as the funniest + most endearing thing I've seen this year

who would win in a physical fight between you, croven, and bagel?
croven is jacked and hits the gym. he is beating the shit out of both of us

What's your favorite clicker Pokemon of all time?
Specs Gholdengo. It has 1 move and it is so stupid and has no immunities and is so easy to get into position. God bless

we need to bo5 (DOU TFT Hearthstone Spire Nuzlocking) some time it is actually fucking ridiculous how much overlap we have
please drop any more game recommendations you have, I'm sure I'll like em :D I'll get the lobby organized, I know Nails is back on the TFT grind too

1) WHAT is your favorite redirector across all DOU gens
I Fucking Love Wellspring. I have always wanted a redirector that can be a Tier 1 offensive threat and can still do a very solid job at taking the hits. This pokemon is so fun to use.

2) HAVE you played Hades, if not then what the fuck why
I am waiting for Hades 2 but you bet your ass I will be on that day 1

3) IT appears you are a TFT enjoyer, may I suggest League of Legends?
I spent 10 bucks on Goth Annie, lost 5 in a row, and never went back. I need someone to handhold me through every part of mid laning.
4) reply to me on skype
View attachment 584991
it might take me another few hours to get back into that account but I will try!!!!!!

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