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How do I drop my mean time down?

Steve AC

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
63
So I feel like I've hit a plateau. I don't know what I should do next. I feel like when I slow solve or just solve in general I am doing nothing new. Idk how to even begin to learn COLL, VLS, or ZBLL. I will list some stuff about my knowledge of cubing and let me know what I should be learning/studying/focusing on next.

Method: CFOP
PB: 10.593 seconds
mean: 16~18 seconds

+ Advanced cross
+ Full OLL & PLL knowledge (57olls and 21plls)
+ aware that saving regrips and rotations will result in faster times
+ advanced fingertricks
+/- sometimes look ahead is amazing, sometimes absolutely terrible
+/- intermediate F2L knowledge, I know a lot of tricks but bet I can learn a lot more
+/- I can do CN but am still strongest on white and yellow
- locky execution of some LL algs such as Y perm, Z perm, OLLs 1, 3, 4, 19, 20, 32 (I do lefty version but am right dominate), 34, 39 (cuz lefty alg), 42 (I hate OLL 42), 55, 56 for example
- beginner at forming Xcrosses
- rarely uses psuedo f2l pairing to solve two pairs with one slot then aligning the cross back to solve them both simultaneously
- not good at tracking pieces in my head, so planning cross + 1. I find difficult unless its really obvious and easy to preserve a pair or just work the cross around a solved edge piece and just align cross into a simple Xcross
- not able to predict how other F2L pairs will be affected while solving the current pair
- unable to predict OLL/PLL skips with proper AUFs
- subconsciously/instinctually still rotating too much during F2L and sometimes even have a rotation in the cross solution

YouCubers I watch:
J Perm, Laz0rMonkey, Cube For Speed, Matty, Tymon, Ruihang Xu

I want to get my solves to be sub10 on average eventually, so what do I need to do? Should I be aiming to get my averages to sub15 for now? How do I go about it?

Thank you forum for taking the time to read this.
 

CubeRed

Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2021
Messages
349
Location
a red-green-white corner piece of your first cube
Firstly, I think at your level look-ahead is VERY crucial. See if you can memorise and execute 2 pairs blindfolded. Do deliberate cross+1 practice. Then you can work on getting your OLL times down. Also, forced rotationless solves (FRS) might help with rotations but it is kinda boring so don't overdo it.
 
Joined
May 28, 2021
Messages
305
Location
Cubing
Firstly, I think at your level look-ahead is VERY crucial. See if you can memorise and execute 2 pairs blindfolded. Do deliberate cross+1 practice. Then you can work on getting your OLL times down. Also, forced rotationless solves (FRS) might help with rotations but it is kinda boring so don't overdo it.
How would you know? you're barely sub 20 as well
 

CubeRed

Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2021
Messages
349
Location
a red-green-white corner piece of your first cube
How would you know? you're barely sub 20 as well
Well, I am also very close to his average and I know what I struggle in. I gave him advice to my perspective and some cubing videos I watched. I am perfectly capable of giving advice since he provided me all the information I needed. Eg. weaknesses, capabilities and knowledge.
 

LBr

Member
Joined
May 2, 2021
Messages
261
Location
Running away from the feral ducks in my local park
practise home grip. It will make you F2l more regripless. Practise pinched u moves as in JPerms videos

Lookahead comes with practice, so if you are patient it will improve.

I feel like you are flooding your brain with too much. The main things to work on are fingertricks, grip and lookahead, not fancy OLS or LL.
 

Steve AC

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
63
Firstly, I think at your level look-ahead is VERY crucial. See if you can memorise and execute 2 pairs blindfolded. Do deliberate cross+1 practice. Then you can work on getting your OLL times down. Also, forced rotationless solves (FRS) might help with rotations but it is kinda boring so don't overdo it.
I feel like this is pretty solid advice. ty. So when do people typically learn ZBLL COLL VLS? sub10 solvers?
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
222
Location
Somewhere
I feel like this is pretty solid advice. ty. So when do people typically learn ZBLL COLL VLS? sub10 solvers?
Tbh none of those are really needed for CFOP. VLS is bad, COLL can slow down OLL recognition, and ZBLL is 493 algs (less with mirrors). A lot of top-level solvers just use basic CFOP.

I think easy WV and COLL cases are worth learning at sub 15, but not looking for them, only using them if you happen to notice them during a solve. As for ZBLL, maybe for sub 9/8?

To get sub 15, I would make sure that you can plan cross+1 in inspection, have good lookahead during F2L, and have all OLLs and PLLs sub 2 or use ZZ
 

Steve AC

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
63
I was watching Monkeyleague s4 recently and they consistantly hit an average of 6 seconds ish. Idk how they blaze through F2L so quickly and how they turn so fast in general. My TPS is typically around 3-4 turns per second, even my PB 10.593 was 3.493 seconds.

Here is my pb breakdown:

MoYu WeiLong WR M 2020 --> 10.593
cstimer WCA 3x3x3 scramble:
D L2 F2 R2 B D2 F2 L2 B' D2 B D2 F2 R D F2 U' B R2 F' L2

x2 y2 // inspection
B' R' D F R' F2 // cross (6)
y' (R U' R') U2' (L' U L) // 1st pair BRW FLS (7)
U R U' R' // 2nd pair RGW FRS (4)
y' y' y' R U2' R2' U' R // 3rd pair OBW BRS (5)
U2' R U R' // 4th pair GOW FRS (4)
U' (f' L F L' U' L' U L S) U // OLL (11)

Time: 10.593
Moves: 37
TPS: 3.493

That triple y' rotation makes me cringe too... I can't believe I did that and still got my PB with it.


Here are more solve breakdowns so you might notice patterns in my solve technique maybe:

QiYi MS M Rainbow --> 11.778
cstimer WCA 3x3x3
F2 R2 U B2 U2 R2 B2 R2 D' R2 U' L R' F' U B D2 F' U2 R

x2 y2 // inspection
U' R' U2' R' F D // cross (6)
U' (U' R U' R') (r' U' R U M') // 1st pair OBW BRS (10)
y' U U y (L U L') // 2nd pair RBW BLS (5)
U' (F R' F' R) // 3rd pair GOW FRS (5)
y' U (R' F R F') (U R U' R') // 4th RGW FRS (9)
U2' (l' U2 L U L' U l) U // OLL #5 (9)

Moves: 44
Time: 11.778
TPS: 3.736
=====================================
Supernova Gan 356 X M N-IPG --> 11.929 (yellow cross)
cstimer WCA 3x3x3
B R' B R' B' D2 L F U B2 U' B2 R2 F2 U' F2 D' B2 D B2

y // inspection
U' F' R' U R' // XXcross (5) RBY & BOY
y' U U L' U' L U2 R U R' // 3rd pair (9) GRY
y' U' y' R' U2' R U' R' U R // 4th pair (9) OGY
(L F L' U2 R U2' R' U2 L F L') // OLL #2 (11)
U2 U2' (x' R U' R' D R U R' D' R U R' D R U' R' D') // PLL E perm (18)

Moves: 52
Time: 11.929
TPS: 4.359
=====================================
MoYu RS3 M 2020 --> 11.961
cstimer WCA 3X3X3
D' L' F' R2 B U2 F U2 B L2 B' L2 R2 F' R' F2 R' D B' D2 F'

x2 y // inspection
R2' R' R U' R' F y' R' D2 // cross (8)
U y' U U' R U' R' L U' L' // 1st pair (9) BOW
U U' R U R' U2 L' U' L // 2nd pair (9) BRW
U' R U' R' U2 R U' R' // 3rd pair (8) RGW
y U y' R' U R // 4th pair (4) GOW
U2 U' (R' U' R' F R F' U R) // OLL #46 (10)

Moves: 48
Time: 11.961
TPS: 4.013
=====================================
DaYan Tengyun V1 --> 12.218
cstimer WCA 3x3x3
B' U2 R B2 R2 U2 R B2 R' U2 R' B2 L D' L' D B' F' U' B2 R2

x2 y' // inspection
R D R' L U R' B' R' /cross (8)
U' U R U' R' U R U' R' L U2 L' // 1st pair (12) GRW
U' U2 y L U L' // 2nd pair (5) OGW
L' U' L F R' F' R // 3rd pair (7) BRW
U L' U L // 4th pair (4) OBW
(R' U' R' F R F' U R) // OLL #46 (8)
(x R' U R' D2 R U' R' D2 R2) // PLL Aa perm

Moves: 53
Time: 12.218
TPS: 4.338
=====================================
Gan 11 M Pro --> 12.254
cstimer WCA 3x3x3
U2 B2 L' U2 L2 D2 R B2 R' B2 R2 B D R2 U2 R2 F U R U

x2 y' // inspection
R' B' y D' R D // cross (5)
U y' R' U' R U2 L U L' // 1st pair (8) GRW
U' U' R' U' R // 2nd pair (5) BRW
U R U' R' U' R U' R' U R U' R' // 3rd pair (12) OBW
U' U' L' U L // 4th pair (5) GOW
U' (F' R F R' U2 R U' R' U R U2' R') // OLL 47
(x R2' F R F' R U2' r' U r U2') B' // PLL Ja perm

Moves: 59
Time: 12.254
TPS: 4.815
=====================================MoYu GTS3 M --> 12.477
cstimer WCA 3x3x3
R B2 D F' D L' D L2 B' D2 L2 F U2 R2 F L2 F R2 F

x2 y // inspection
D2 L U L F' U' R2' D // cross (8)
U' R U R' U2 L' U' L // BRW (8)
U' R U' R' R' U R // GOW (7)
U' y' U R' U' R U2' R' U R // RGW (9)
U L' U L U2' L' U L // OBW (8)
U' (f R' F' R U R U' R' S') // OLL 40 (10)
U' (R U R' F' R U R' U' R' F R2 U' R') U2 // PLL Jb (15)

Moves: 65
Time: 12.477
TPS: 5.210
 

xyzzy

Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
2,418
Practise pinched u moves as in JPerms videos
Hot take: pinch U is overrated. Being able to do U with left index (and U' with right index) is more useful.

1. left index U, pushing right on LBU: good for OH and big cubes too
2. left index U, pushing back on FLU: good for OH too
3. right index U, thumb on top, pushing front on BRU: only good for 2H (and it's not even that good), irrelevant for OH (equivalent to left index F', but that's not even a U-layer move), unreliable on big cubes

Obviously it's even better to be able to use all three, but priority-wise I'd say it's (#1 or #2), #3, then (#2 or #1). (The situations where you can use #1 and #2 are mostly the same, so using both is mostly redundant.)

(PS: my fingertricks are garbo, don't take this too seriously. Also, OP already said they know "advanced fingertricks"…?)

- locky execution of some LL algs such as Y perm, Z perm, OLLs 1, 3, 4, 19, 20, 32 (I do lefty version but am right dominate), 34, 39 (cuz lefty alg), 42 (I hate OLL 42), 55, 56 for example
- beginner at forming Xcrosses
- rarely uses psuedo f2l pairing to solve two pairs with one slot then aligning the cross back to solve them both simultaneously
- not good at tracking pieces in my head, so planning cross + 1. I find difficult unless its really obvious and easy to preserve a pair or just work the cross around a solved edge piece and just align cross into a simple Xcross
- not able to predict how other F2L pairs will be affected while solving the current pair
- unable to predict OLL/PLL skips with proper AUFs
- subconsciously/instinctually still rotating too much during F2L and sometimes even have a rotation in the cross solution
Locky execution: Either drill your current algs or find alternatives.
Xcross / cross+1: You don't need this at your current level, but it's good to start actively practising this early.
How F2L pairs affect others: You don't need this either. Probably the least problematic issue in your list of weaknesses.
Predicting skips: Completely pointless, don't bother. Spend your effort on common cases, not rare cases.
Rotating too much: I'm guilty of this too, so no advice from me here.

Edit (because there's nothing actionable above): Besides the last point about abusing F2L rotations, the weaknesses you pointed out are not especially big weaknesses, and from looking at people in the 10-15 range, a lot of them (including myself) suffer from the same problems.

You can try filming a handful of solves and being the harshest possible critic on yourself. Play the solves back in slow motion, or even frame-step through them. You know what your cubing knowledge covers, so e.g. criticising yourself for not choosing a different F2L solution to influence the next pair doesn't make sense when that's not even in your skill set, but criticising yourself for doing unnecessary rotations is. Fixing up the mistakes in your fundamentals, especially mistakes you were not previously consciously aware of, will go a long way – fast cubers are not fast only because they turn fast; it's also because they make less mistakes.

So when do people typically learn ZBLL COLL VLS? sub10 solvers?
Whenever they feel like, which can be… pretty much whenever. I started ZBLL while I was averaging over 20 seconds or something. (And it wasn't completely pointless, since I had a (former) FMC NR single with a ZBLL finish…)

Most COLL cases aren't good enough to be worth it; I think the current meta is to learn just the TUL cases.

Full ZBLL is obviously a net win if you can sink an unlimited amount of effort practising it, but realistically, most people can't do that. You can still prioritise learning/practising the cases that have easy algs or are easy to recognise. For instance, T and U ZBLL recognition might be similar to 2-sided PLL recognition, so if you're already good with that, it's (relatively) easy to pick up the recognition for T and U ZBLL too. The problem with ZBLL is that every individual case is rare, which ties into what I said above regarding focusing on common cases rather than rare cases – ROI-wise, there are often better things to work on than jumping straight into ZBLL, at least until you average like 8-9 seconds (like DiamondGolem12 said).

(I don't have a strong opinion on VLS. It's probably mostly bad. Just learn VHLS and ZBLL instead lol.)

Here is my pb breakdown:
Here are more solve breakdowns so you might notice patterns in my solve technique maybe:
I'm too lazy busy to look through all of those, but you should be focusing on solves with typical times (again: common cases, not rare cases). You said you average 16-18, so your solves within that range will be more representative than all of those sub-13 singles you posted.
 
Last edited:

OreKehStrah

Member
Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
663
As far as learning advanced stuff goes, the general consensus is only a handful of COLLs are worth it, but you should learn how to recognize CP to get better look ahead into PLL. VLS can get good times but you shouldn’t force it. If you don’t learn to be slot neutral, you only get to use it when your last slot is your VLS slot, and it can cause option select issues when you also know ZBLL. ZBLL you can learn whenever, but you would want to know full CP recog first. If you want to start learning ZB, start with either T or U, and learn by COLL/CP sets.
As far as what will help now, learn more finger tricks, try to plan more during inspection, and learn some rotationless F2L pairing/insertions.
 
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