Do you think it is possible to be sub-3 using Ortega? The good news is, YES! It is! I have an official sub-3 average on 2x2 using Ortega. After reading this blog, you will know how to be sub 3 with Ortega.
What is Ortega?
For newcomers, Ortega is a method for solving 2x2. A beginner would usually solve layer-by-layer (LBL). A more advanced solver would use EG. For someone who is not very serious about 2x2 but wants to be decently fast at it, Ortega is a good choice of method. It is not as move efficient as EG, but it is better than LBL. You can learn ortega from this tutorial.
An Overview of Ortega
Step 1: Solve any one face
Step 2: OLL-Orienting Last Layer [7 algorithms]
Step 3: PBL-Permuting Both Layers [5 algorithms]
- Ortega is better than LBL because the average move count is lesser.
- Since you do not have to solve an entire layer first, it takes fewer moves to solve the first side. This makes predicting OLL much easier. It reduces one pause as you can directly solve or sometimes even cancel into OLL.
- You don't have to learn a lot of algorithms like in EG, which requires you to learn at least 85 algorithms.
- This method is perfect for someone who is not serious about 2x2 but wants to be decent at it.
- The average move count is more than that of EG.
- If you are serious about 2x2 and want to get great results, Ortega is not a suitable method because one-looking is not practical. I suggest that you learn EG.
Tip 1: Inspection
Use inspection very wisely. You should plan out the first face during the inspection, and also predict where the headlights will end up. Watching a lot of example solves will help you. You should be able to do this in about 8 seconds at most. It may seem impossible at first but with practice, it is possible.
Predict what OLL you are going to get. This is the technique that will help you the most. The following practice drill will help you learn this skill:
Step 1- Plan out the first face entirely.
Step 2- Predict the last layer corners’ orientation one by one. Do this by tracing in your mind how the moves will affect each piece.
Step 3- Predict only 3 corners’ orientation and deduce the 4th corner's orientation with that information.
Using this practice drill, you will eventually be able to bring this all down to less than 12 seconds.
You should be able to solve till OLL with your eyes closed.
Tip 2: Optimization
Although Ortega requires you to learn only 5 algorithms for PBL, you can learn 4 more algorithms that make some nasty cases easier.
Although rotations can’t be avoided entirely, they can be reduced with the help of one simple trick. Just make sure that the headlights on the first layer do not end up on the right or the back. With this, you will never have to do double rotations. If you see that your solution results in the headlights being on the right or at the back, simply do the same solution from another angle.
Tip 3: Turning
Ortega requires a relatively higher number of moves when compared to EG. So, you must have a high TPS to get fast times. To improve TPS, drill all the algorithms and use good finger tricks.
Use both hands as and when required and reduce the amount of regrips.
Also, work on improving pickup and drop times.
Make sure that your solves go fluidly. Fluidity and high TPS work hand in hand.
Tip 4: AUF Prediction
You need to be able to predict AUF. This will come naturally by doing a lot of solves. Before doing OLL, try to predict AUF and finish with your eyes closed. You may fail at first but eventually, you will become perfect at it.
In short, these tips will allow you to 2-look 2x2 solves, which gives a massive advantage over generic ortega. If you implement the above tips in your solves, you can average high 2 to low 3 or even faster.
Hardhik Kalidindi Varma
Hardhik Kalidindi Varma from Hyderabad started cubing at the age of 12. He has a competitive experience of 1 year. His main events are 3×3 and 4×4, but he enjoys solving all the other WCA puzzles as well. Apart from Cubing, he likes to play badminton and carrom. He also enjoys watching movies and Japanese anime. He has attended 5 competitions and has a total of 7 podiums with 2 gold medals, 2 silver medals, and 3 bronze medals.