Media Solo Maining vs Dual Maining

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#1
Armada recently made a video about solo maining vs dual maining, where he made the argument that unless you're already a top 30 player or near that level, you're probably better off solo maining if you want to get good, since in the long run you'll be better at the game if you focus on learning one character really well.

Do you guys agree with this? Disagree?

 

Zachmac

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#2
As a PT main I have a lot to say on this topic. Here goes.

"Divide your time"

This is by far the most common argument I hear against playing multiple characters and it's one that has never really sat that well with me. Sure, if all characters were technical like Joker or Peach I'd possibly agree, but different characters require different amounts of time to master their character-specific skills. Fundamental based characters such as Ike or Bowser with simple combos may take more effort to master then many people give them credit for but they're still basic enough to study as a secondary that I can't imagine picking one up hurting too much.

He also mentioned how it means there's more match ups to learn. Not only is some match up knowledge transferable between characters (similar to fundamentals), but if you're picking up a secondary for specific match ups then you only really have to grind out and study those specific match ups. While it is more information to learn I don't think it's as big of a problem as people treat it like.

"Cheese the player"

I'm glad he mentioned this as I often see "match up inexperience" listed as a reason to pick up a secondary. I agree with him here - it might work in the short term but taking this approach will only hurt in the long term. It's not sustainable. I think if you pick up a secondary, you probably want to know what match ups those secondaries are for.

"MUs don't matter THAT much"
I agree with him here as well, at least when it comes to high / top tiers. As a former :4charizard: main however, I can assure you that some characters further down the pecking order will sometimes have more divisive weaknesses and might require a secondary. He's speaking in the context of a players who want to get as far as they can, they probably shouldn't be maining characters like that in the first place, so I'll give it to him on this one.

As for my personal stance on the issue?

I think secondaries are doable and can come in handy at more middling levels of play, I don't think that people should feel pressured to pick one up. While I don't fully agree with it as a reason to avoid secondaries altogether, the "divided time" argument still hold some truth to it and playing any secondary to a degree of competence is going to be a large commitment. In a lot of situations it might just be easier to learn a single bad match up with your main then it is to pick up an entire new character just so you can counterpick it.

On the other hand though, since I've started maining Pokemon Trainer I've started to believe that studying other characters can help you improve your basic fundamentals and general understanding of the game. Playing Squirtle has helped me gain a new perspective on the importance of aerial attack angles, for instance. I think there might be some value in learning secondaries and pockets for that reason, especially if they have a different play style then you're used to (but then again, having a different play style then you're used to might make them harder to learn).
 
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xzx

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#3
To everyone reading this: Stick to your main, and only to your main. That's the fastest and best way to get good. It worked for me and my brother during the Brawl era, where we played our mains about 95% of the matches for 1-2 years. I can't stress enough how important it is to have a main. If you don't have a main then your top priority should be to get one. If you can't decide on a main, then I'll tell you something that always works for me: Pick the one that is the most fun character to play, preferably one that fits your play style. (Even if it means that that character may (sadly) be unviable.) This has worked for me in Smash, Pokkén, Pokémon and Splatoon.

If this message helps out only one person then it has done its job. Have a good day/evening!! =)
 

VodkaHaze

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#4
To everyone reading this: Stick to your main, and only to your main. That's the fastest and best way to get good. It worked for me and my brother during the Brawl era, where we played our mains about 95% of the matches for 1-2 years. I can't stress enough how important it is to have a main. If you don't have a main then your top priority should be to get one. If you can't decide on a main, then I'll tell you something that always works for me: Pick the one that is the most fun character to play, preferably one that fits your play style. (Even if it means that that character may (sadly) be unviable.) This has worked for me in Smash, Pokkén, Pokémon and Splatoon.

If this message helps out only one person then it has done its job. Have a good day/evening!! =)
I would also add that if you want to change your main, that's fine as well. You don't have to stick with a main for the remainder of the game. You can switch mains either because another character is more tournament viable, has a playstyle that suits you, is more fun or even if you're a big Banjo Kazooie fan. Just don't swap too much, otherwise you'll run into the problem that dual maining has.
 
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#5
I don't think Armada's wild opinion holds that much weight, to be honest. Especially in regards to Ultimate, I'd actually call that opinion sheer lunacy and I'd also point out that Armada shouldn't be the go-to for opinions specifically on Smash Ultimate.. a game he continually keeps threatening to drop and doesn't seriously compete in.
These ideas are hardly "wild", I've seen lots fo players support them. What you're doing is just ad-hominems rather than attacking his points, despite Armada being likely better than nearly everyone on Smashboards (he's been playing top Swedish players on stream and doing really well, and there's little reason to believe most people on Smashboards are as good as the top Swedish players, including Armada). Is Armada a top 30 player in the world? No, right now he's not, but she's still skilled enough and analytical enough to give some insight.


So anything in that video is basically theorycraft, and I'd say it's pretty flawed. Armada is a damned good player, but his opinions hold weight in Melee, not so much here where he keeps saying he'll probably quit playing the game and has only went out of his way to seriously compete once at Genesis 6, summit and the invitational I don't look at as going out of his way to compete.

Armada streams Ultimate, he doesn't really compete in it. Even those who primarily compete at a local / regional level like myself have more invested into the game than him, he's been transparent that he hasn't even really wanted to seriously jump into the game because he keeps saying he'll drop it (Though for what it's worth, he hasn't yet) on top of it not being Melee.

If it were say, Leffen, the opinion would hold a lot more weight in this game imo.
More personal attacks, nevermind that many skilled players agree with him.

Many players below the top level kind of complain about how good or how bad a character is, and they put so much time into counterpicking to find a quick answer. It might work short term, but you don't end up getting better as a result. Many people end up staying the same level because of this, too.
I even saw this happen at top level in Smash 4, where top players tried using a secondary and failing in some matchups before they just decided to stick with their mains and learn the matchup.

However, if you are still learning the more basic fundamentals of the game (AKA haven't quite reached the mastery of top level players yet), I feel like taking the time to understand the match-ups you're struggling with, and learning from what you're doing wrong with the character you're using is more important. Trying to look for a secondary when you're still getting the hang of the game sort of feels like applying a Band-Aid or a temporary fix to a larger issue in the end.
Yes, this is what Armada is saying as well: In the long run you benefit more from sticking to one character and really learning the game, and once you have learned the game well enough you could consider a secondary.

But a tool is only as useful as the wielder. Stretching yourself over 6 tools isn’t useful when your ability with each tool is about the same.
I've seen people held back because they focus on too many characters, and when they focus on one instead of 3-4 they become much scarier. If you want to improve, it's probably a good idea to not spread yourself too thin.

In the short run, playing multiple characters can be beneficial, but in the long run you'd probably be better off being really good with one rather than somewhat good with two, at least if you main a top or high tier (low tier mains might be different but you already aren't maximizing your chances of winning if you pick a low tier character).
 

Rizen

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#6
First of all, top players have waaay too much influence on how people look at these games.

There are a lot of benefits to learning different characters. If you have good enough fundamental skills at the game that knowledge transfers across most of the cast so it's not as much of an ask to learn new characters as one might think. The problem with solo maining is you develop tunnel vision about the game. Maining :ultyounglink: I thought DDD was bad because YL has really good tools to shut him down in that MU. After player different characters I learned DDD actually has a decent mid range and walling game vs many characters. Learning new characters helped me understand disadvantage better because many characters can't go very deep offstage to intercept (Wolf) so retreating to the ledge is often safer than trying to land. With better understanding of other characters my disadvantage state and recovery options got better.
 
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DeDeDIke

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#7
Not a competitive player here, but most of the time, I just play for fun. I'm probably the only person (in this forum topic) that dual mains. I do spend an equal amount of time on both, but I would use one over the other depending on the situation. If it's just online for fun and just playing casually, I would play D3. Tournament wise, I'd use Ike. I don't really care what placement I get in a tournament, I'm just there to have fun. I do agree that solo maining will make you better at the game in the long run, but the problem is you're only seeing matchups from one perspective. Playing a few other characters can help you learn their playstyle, their weaknesses, etc, so you become more knowledgeable. Another thing is it's just personal preference. I main the two fighters I play because I like their playstyles and I also like them as characters. Last thing I should mention here, some of us dual main players try to choose two mains where one main can cover the other one's weaknesses and vice versa.
 
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ProfessorVincent

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#8
On the other hand though, since I've started maining Pokemon Trainer I've started to believe that studying other characters can help you improve your basic fundamentals and general understanding of the game. Playing Squirtle has helped me gain a new perspective on the importance of aerial attack angles, for instance. I think there might be some value in learning secondaries and pockets for that reason, especially if they have a different play style then you're used to (but then again, having a different play style then you're used to might make them harder to learn).
Super agree with this. I rarely see people bring up the fact that, beyond dividing your time, learning characters other than your main can help you understand the game better. Stuff like, if your main is a swordy, learning how to play a zoner can give you a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses than simply playing against zoners would. That knowledge can then be applied to your gameplay with your main.
 

DeDeDIke

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#10
In your opinion: Would playing any of these combos :ultmarth:/:ultlucina:, :ultpit:/:ultdarkpit:, :ultpikachu:/:ultpichu:, :ultroy:/:ultchrom:, :ultryu:/:ultken: , :ultvillager:/:ultisabelle:, :ultmario:/:ultdoc: or :ultyounglink:/:ulttoonlink: really count as duel maining?
IMHO I think that just counts as a single main, since the echoes you listed play exactly the same way as the original, with a few minor differences (most of those differences aren't that important, though they are exceptions...). I.e., if you main Ryu, then Ken would feel natural to you as well since he's an echo fighter with exactly the same moveset as Ryu.
 

Rizen

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#11
One thing I thought when watching Tweek vs MKLeo in Evo was "Tweek should have swapped to a new character". Tweek's PT beat Leo the first 2 games but then Leo downloaded him and won the next 6 games (over 2 sets). Switching characters is a good way to stay fresh.
 

ProfessorVincent

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#12
One thing I thought when watching Tweek vs MKLeo in Evo was "Tweek should have swapped to a new character". Tweek's PT beat Leo the first 2 games but then Leo downloaded him and won the next 6 games (over 2 sets). Switching characters is a good way to stay fresh.
I don't disagree, but wouldn't Tweek have been downloaded again with a different character? Also, couldn't he adapt to Leo's Joker the same way Leo adapted to his PT? I mean, in the first two games, Tweek's PT was looking unstoppable. Leo seemed to make the necessary adjustments, it was up to Tweek to do the same.

Somewhat related to the topic of solo maining vs dual+ maining, I wonder if it would have been any different if Tweek's PT wasn't as new. Tweek looked like he had mastery over the character, but Leo probably still has put more hours into his Joker than Tweek put into his PT. That might have played a part too.
 

Wigglerman

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#13
IMHO I think that just counts as a single main, since the echoes you listed play exactly the same way as the original, with a few minor differences (most of those differences aren't that important, though they are exceptions...). I.e., if you main Ryu, then Ken would feel natural to you as well since he's an echo fighter with exactly the same moveset as Ryu.
I disagree. Ken/Ryu are not the same. They have several moves that are different and the properties of the majority of their moves are vastly different. They are a rare example of Echo Fighters not really being ECHO fighters. Especially considering Ken is actually FASTER than Ryu as well (They took most of the differences between them from SF2 and applied it in this game). Their combos are quite different and their game plans different also. So in this case, flip flopping between the two would actually be, theoretically, bad for your master of either character.

Likewise I feel the differences in the projectile play of Young Link and Toon Link. Their projectiles have differing properties (Arrows behave different in speed, hit box, and enemy reaction to hit and thus combo potential) as do their bombs, if to a lesser degree. Boomerangs are also a bit different. Their follow ups aren't exactly the same and their speeds are also different (I believe, it feels like Tink is faster than Young Link but I've not checked that frame data). Also their throws differ thus kills/combos are different, and so on.

Isabelle and Villager also fit into this situation. Their move pool is quite different and their strats and techs are not the same, even if they may share a few similar moves.

Pika/Pichu have different combos overall, different ranges on attacks and even several different attacks. These aren't small changes and certaintly impact your ability to play either one effectively. Switching back and forth without mastering either could easily get you mixed up.

Mario and Doc also begin to fit this mold the more and more Nintendo tries to differentiate them (properties of moves are generally all over the map in differences, thus game plans are much different).

So I'd say yeah, they are different characters despite the 'echo' tag and thus could as Dual Maining. Their changes are not near insignificant like Dark Samus, Belmonts, Pits (Who have a few major differing factors but not quite enough as the two main examples) or the Mushroom Princesses (Who have constantly been patched to be more and more identical play wise, sans their hurtboxes due to poses).
 

VodkaHaze

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#14
In your opinion: Would playing any of these combos :ultmarth:/:ultlucina:, :ultpit:/:ultdarkpit:, :ultpikachu:/:ultpichu:, :ultroy:/:ultchrom:, :ultryu:/:ultken: , :ultvillager:/:ultisabelle:, :ultmario:/:ultdoc: or :ultyounglink:/:ulttoonlink: really count as duel maining?
Maybe :ultpit: and :ultdarkpit:, since they're very similar, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's better to play as one or the other in certain match-ups. The rest of them, no, because while they're similar on the surface, they are divergent enough to be called semi-clones. The exception to this are the Fire Emblem characters, but even then, spacing is big to them. With :ultmarth:, you want to keep your distance, with :ultroy: you want to get in close, but with :ultlucina: and :ultchrom: it doesn't matter as much. It's that small difference that has made a character practically unused while the other gets to Top 8 at EVO.

I would count :ultsamus:/:ultdarksamus:, :ultsimon:/:ultrichter: and :ultpeach:/:ultdaisy: as secondaries though.
 
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