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Albatross)
Albatross Special setup is a build designed by Japanese players. By creating an Air T-Spin Double, one can quickly followup with a T-Spin Triple without wasting any T-minos in the stack (unlike DT Cannon or C-spin which both require one T to set up).
This opening requires a relatively early O. With five pieces in the preview, if one cannot see an O, then try a different opening. With a late O a T-Spin Double is still possible, but the logical followup of a T-Spin Triple and another T-Spin Double is lost. With an understanding of this, the weakness is avoided and becomes merely a telltale to do a different opening. What takes more foresight however is knowing which way to face the Albatross.
The other known issue with a bad draw of pieces is from an S Z T or a Z S T. If one gets that then try another opening (such as Pelican, shown below).
Another weakness is that it is garbage-sensitive. If one gets a garbage hole along the edge before placing their J or L for the T-Spin Triple, then the T-Spin Triple opportunity and subsequent T-Spin Double is nullified. There is a 10% chance of a garbage hole to ruin the second and third spins in this setup.
Introduction
Mirrored Setup
If one keeps both directions of this opening in mind, then they can always do it if they get an early O. Note that regardless of which way they do the Albatross Special, a late O is their biggest threat because if the Z and S are in place then they can no longer fit the O in the space.
The easiest way to determine which way to face the setup is by looking at if L or J comes first. If L comes first, prop the S on the left side and perform the T-Spin on the left. If J comes first, prop the Z on the right, and perform the T-Spin on the right.
Placing the S/Z Mino
When setting up the T-Spin Triple after the initial air spin, watch out for the following situation. By spinning in the S mino, one can deal with a sequence of pieces that may have seemed impossible.
Dealing with an Early I Piece
When setting up the T-Spin Triple, a late I piece is preferable because it allows a much flatter stack, and thus better followups. If one does get an early I piece (before the O and S), place it against the wall and fill the rest of the row with an L, J, or T. It is better to hold the T and place and L or J, because then they can still attack with their second T piece. However, if they finish their second bag and there is an early T, they can place it in the stack, and opt for a different followup. One may also leave the row incomplete and make a T-Spin Double instead.
Following Up
One of the best followups one can do after the T-Spin Triple, is to perform another air T-Spin Double. By changing the placement of the L and O pieces, this method will work with any bag.
It also leads to a Perfect Clear opportunity:
The probability for the Perfect Clear above lies at 12.4%. If O piece was placed on L piece, then the probability increases to 26.7%.
If Perfect Clear is not possible, one may also set up for another T-Spin Double or T-Spin Triple. In case of the first field, Yoshihiro SD is also possible.
Alternative followups include setting up a side 4-wide combo, or Infinite TST. Albatross into Infinite TST is probably the best way to start a game of Ultra - it allows one to attack with their first two T pieces, instead of wasting them in the stack. C-Spin is also possible, but it wastes a T piece.
Following Up After an Early I
- If one placed an L to complete the T-Spin Triple, one can perform a very similar followup technique.
- With the J option, there is not a great air T-Spin Double available, so it is usually best to opt for something simple, like stacking up for a 4-wide, or using a T-Spin Mini to clear the overhanging block and set up for a Tetris or another T-Spin Double.
- With the T option, set up for another T-Spin Triple.
- If nothing is dropped in the gap to make a T-Spin Double, an STSD is possible, which may also result in a Perfect Clear.
Perfect Clear after TSD
Instead of going for the TST, you could do a perfect clear. Credit to pwn_by_numbers. Albatross theoretically has a 99.99+% chance (211674/211680) of achieving a perfect clear after the first TSD. These are some notable shapes (96.83%, 90.48%, and 98.21%, respectively):
Placing Initial Pieces
For S and I, the goal is to create a shape like the first image (98.21% chance of achieving a perfect clear):
For L, J, and O, the goal is to create shapes like these (97.62% chance of achieving a perfect clear):
For Z, place as below, but it is not as ideal. However, it's the best if you have to deal with a double T (third image):
If you get a T, hold it
How to PC
This field works for SZI last.
For LJ last, you would want to build this:
For O last, hold T till the end:
2 Ts is the worst case because there isn't a universal solution like the others (SZI, LJ, or O). Below is an example of how you would perfect clear when you have 2 T's:
Perfect Clear after 8 lines
Perfect Clear after 8 lines in this form is possible, but in the second bag, T must be used in the stack. If Z comes late, then one may do a Z-Spin. First introduced by Riviclia.
Pelican Opener
- Further information: Pelican Opener
If one gets an SZT start, they can do a different air T-Spin Double, which leads into similar followups. As with Albatross, decide which mirror to use by seeing if L or J comes first. If J comes first, prop the S and spin on the left. If L comes first, prop the Z and spin on the right.
If Perfect Clear is not possible, one may set up a T-Spin Double.
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