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[Guide] Competitive Pokemon Team Building


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#1 Yung

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:12 PM

Yung's Guide to Competitive Pokemon Team Building

 

 
Getting into competitive Pokemon battles can seem both fun and daunting, but I'm here to put your mind at ease. Beyond beginners luck you're not likely to be an overnight Pokemon Champion however it is easy and quite fun to get into making competitive builds.
 
Definitions:

Spoiler

  • Starting off involves finding your pokemon, for this I recommend Smogon's Strategy Pokedex. On here you'll see a list of pokemon alphabetically, their type, what tier they're in, their abilities, and their stats.
  • Next you should choose the tier you're interested in battling in. Tiers are pretty simple. To keep it short and sweet you can filter for Tiers, and then select which tier you're interested in.
    • When looking at this list you will see Ubers at the top and going in descending order you'll see NFE (Not Fully Evolved) at the bottom.
      • LC (Little Cup) can use everything in the LC tier and below (NFE).
      • NU (Never Used) can use everything in the NU tier and below (LC & NFE).
      • RU (Rarely Used) can use everything in the RU tier and below (NU, LC, & NFE).
      • UU (Under Used) can use everything in the UU tier and below (RU, NU, LC, & NFE).
      • OU (Over Used) can use everything in the OU tier and below (UU, RU, NU, LC, & NFE).
  • The next thing you're going to want to decide is what kind of team you want.
    • WEATHER: If you look at Politoed for example (OU Tier Pokemon) you'll see one of it's abilities is Drizzle this creates Rain on switch in which boosts water type moves and makes moves like Thunder hit with 100% accuracy. This ability works really well with a pokemon such as Kingdra for example (UU Tier), you'll notice one of its abilities is called Swift Swim and it doubles its speed in the Rain giving you an advantage over your opponent. This is a good example of how you could start to put together a Rain team. Other themed teams include Sandstorm  and Sunny/Sun.
    • BALANCED: In this type of team set up you'll want to focus on having a few specific roles filled: ATT Sweeper, SpA Sweeper, DEF Wall, SpD Wall, Hazard Setup, and Status Afflicting. This may seem like a lot but many people have one or more Pokemon pick up more than one of these roles. Clefable (Fairy type, OU) for example works as an excellent SpD Wall, or a decent Def Wall, and a great Status Afflicting. Some players prefer to stick to Att or SpA Pokemon only for their sweepers but a true balanced team tries to cover the full range.
    • FOCUSED: Some players prefer to pick one or two Pokemon, Abilities, or Moves and build their team around that focus group. In an ExtremeSpeed team the focus is to use Pokemon with Priority moves, specifically ExtremeSpeed, such as Dragonite, Togetic, and Arcanine. Any other pokemon are used for their niche priority moves or as support for the Sweepers. Sableye is popular for its Prankster ability which increases the priority of Status Inflicting moves by 1 meaning they usually move first before the opponent. Taunt, Toxic, Thunderwave, and Will-O-Wisp are all popular Status Inflicting moves which can benefit from being used by a Prankster Pokemon.
    • HYPER-OFFENSIVE: This play style is extremely aggressive and mainly entails the usage of five or six Sweepers. The pokemon used are generally able to give themselves boosts such as Dragon Dance or Shell Smash and then proceed to sweep the enemy team independently. These pokemon tend to be fast but slower sweepers are still formidable when used tactfully. Deoxys-Speed is a popular Uber tier H-O Sweeper and Dragonite is a popular OU H-O Sweeper.
    • STALL: This is virtually the opposite of Hyper-Offensive. The objective here is to wall and burn or poison your opponents to death. While the occasional STAB move may faint an opponents pokemon the main objective here is to stay alive. Using pokemon with Recover moves is vital, making those such as Clefable popular for this style team.
  • After that you're ready to start building your teams, you'll want to choose your medium for battling Pokemon. A popular choice is Pokemon Showdown.
    • Pokemon Showdown has some really great features. When you're in battle type /weakness POKEMON to see a list of weaknesses that pokemon posses so you can use your best Super Effective move against them! If you are against a Dragonite for instance you could use /weakness Dragonite and a list showing Dragon, Fairy, Ice, Rock (not counting abilities) will display. A type in BOLD means the move type is 4x effective.
    • If you'd prefer to broadcast your check of weaknesses you could use the !weakness POKEMON command instead, then your opponent will see what you see. The /weakness POKEMON displays to you and you alone.
    • You can also use the /effectiveness MOVE, POKEMON command to see how effective a specific move is against a specific Pokemon or type.
    • Other useful commands include:
      • /data POKEMON
      • /data TYPE
      • /data ABILITY
      • /data ITEM
      • /dexsearch MOVE, POKEMON (Tells you if a specific move is compatible with a specific Pokemon)
      • /dexsearch MOVE, ALL (Lists all Pokemon that learn that particular move)
  • Have fun with it; it's quite possible to use really dynamic teams and do well with them.

TL;DR:

Spoiler

 

Strong Pokemon, Weak Pokemon

That's the only selfish perception of people.

Truly skilled Trainers should try and win with their favorites.


Edited by Yung, 23 May 2014 - 02:10 AM.


#2 Sweeney

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:14 PM

"Find a pokemon with a cool ability and build a team around it."

Great guide. A+.

#3 DonValentino

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:23 PM

"Find a pokemon with a cool ability and build a team around it."

Great guide. A+.

 

Haha I usually think Sweeney overdoes it with the sarcasm but this one made me laugh.

Thanks for the guide Yung. 



#4 Turnip

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:40 PM

Since Smogon doesn't have them on the main site, don't forget that there's an entire new generation of Pokemon available now thanks to X and Y! There have been some pretty major changes in these like new items, and changing the types in some Pokemon thanks to the addition of fairy!! Like Gardevoir has gone from pure psychic to psychic/fairy and Granbull is pure fairy when it used to be pure normal ^^ It's good to keep this in mind since the new type really changes the game. This type chart is incredibly handy!! And if you haven't played the games yet, it'll be good to look around sites like Bulbapedia and familiarize yourself with the new Pokemon!! And if you put something like "smogon (pokemon name) xy", you'll pull up Smogon forum results which have updated builds that you can work with :3

 

Also Smogon really likes Leftovers, Life Orb, and the Choice items (which only allow you to use one move until you switch out), but there are actually a lot of other useful items out there!! So it'd be good to look around this list of items and berries too, since you might find some better items!! ^^ Like let's say you're using a Garchomp, you'll notice that it has a 4x weakness to ice. If you give him a Yache Berry, it'll weaken the ice move's power once! It's really handy and can change how the battle goes!!



#5 Bone

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 09:07 PM

Meh, weather teams aren't particularly viable anymore, since ability-induced weather isn't permanent in Gen VI.



#6 Elindoril

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 09:08 PM

Meh, weather teams aren't particularly viable anymore, since ability-induced weather isn't permanent in Gen VI.


If you were good you wouldn't have to worry about that.

:D

#7 Romy

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:24 PM

  1. The next thing you're going to want to decide is what kind of team you want. If you look at Politoed for example (OU Tier Pokemon) you'll see one of it's abilities is Drizzle this creates Rain on switch in which boosts water type moves and makes moves like Thunder hit with 100% accuracy. This ability works really well with a pokemon such as Kingdra for example (UU Tier), you'll notice one of its abilities is called Swift Swim and it doubles its speed in the Rain giving you an advantage over your opponent. This is a good example of how you could start to put together a Rain team. Other themed teams include Sandstorm  and Sunny/Sun.

 

This ain't 5th gen yo.


Meh, weather teams aren't particularly viable anymore, since ability-induced weather isn't permanent in Gen VI.

Don't let my politoed hear you saying that.



#8 Bone

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:30 PM

If you were good you wouldn't have to worry about that.

:D

 

If you're really good, you don't need to rely on gimmicky strategies. ;)



#9 Elindoril

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:31 PM

If you're really good, you don't need to rely on gimmicky strategies. ;)


I don't even know what strategy is.

#10 Fikri

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:44 PM

can't i just pick a cute pokemon and pray for the best? :crybaby:



#11 Kat

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 11:15 PM

can't i just pick a cute pokemon and pray for the best? :crybaby:

 

That's what I usually do :p



#12 redlion

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 11:47 PM

Team building is about balancing the covering of a good range of types and getting a good mix of strikers and sweepers. Know your fundamentals before jumping in to tiers.

You want almost every stat to be well represented in your party. So you need a tank, a mage, a physical attacker, and a sp def tank. Also need slow and fast pokemon, big and small pokemon, and status afflicting pokemon.

But these are generalizations that don't always hold true. Many of the best pokemon fill many roles. But quite obviously if trainers chose solely on diversity, everyone would have some useless rodent pokemon (statistically distributed, Bibarels have got to be the most populous pokemon) and few useful pokemon. Diversifying only takes you so far. But it does mean that you'll have more options when someone throws a hard counter to the lynchpin of your strategy.

It's better to start by trying to make good balanced teams before trying to run something crazy like Swift Swim Kingdra.

#13 Yung

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 02:05 AM

Team building is about balancing the covering of a good range of types and getting a good mix of strikers and sweepers. Know your fundamentals before jumping in to tiers.

You want almost every stat to be well represented in your party. So you need a tank, a mage, a physical attacker, and a sp def tank. Also need slow and fast pokemon, big and small pokemon, and status afflicting pokemon.

But these are generalizations that don't always hold true. Many of the best pokemon fill many roles. But quite obviously if trainers chose solely on diversity, everyone would have some useless rodent pokemon (statistically distributed, Bibarels have got to be the most populous pokemon) and few useful pokemon. Diversifying only takes you so far. But it does mean that you'll have more options when someone throws a hard counter to the lynchpin of your strategy.


Yeah I can agree with you there. My better teams involve 3 Sweepers and 3 Support.

It's better to start by trying to make good balanced teams before trying to run something crazy like Swift Swim Kingdra.


Swift Swim Kingdra isn't crazy. Sap Sipper Azumarill is crazy. :p

 

To everyone else, I've expanded on this guide a little bit every day since I initially wrote it. I just come in and edit it as I can to try and make it more beginner friendly. If you have any advice or opinions on how to make this guide easier for a complete newbie to comprehend I'd love feedback.

#14 Chocodile

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 01:08 PM

I appreciate this a lot.  I've been trying to get better at teambuilding, and there are a lot of resources out there for sure, but it helps me to read a lot of them from different perspectives! I wouldn't call myself a complete newbie, but as someone who's not very into competitive pokemon it reads easily for me.



#15 cheesecanman

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 02:01 PM

Where is the teambuilder link on the pokemon showdown website?



#16 Yung

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 02:06 PM

Where is the teambuilder link on the pokemon showdown website?


dI2RrOQ.png

#17 cheesecanman

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 02:26 PM

Thanks Jung, I was on pokemonshowdown instead of play.pokemonshowdown



#18 CheatingIsBad

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 11:14 AM

This is a really solid guide, just glanced over it. Didnt realize there were knowledgeable pokemon players here :o



#19 ceterisparibus

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 07:04 PM

Sorry but is VGC a thing in here? I think there's a case for it, given the increasing popularity and availability of competitions. If it is i'll like to create a thread for it.



#20 Yung

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 06:05 AM

Sorry but is VGC a thing in here? I think there's a case for it, given the increasing popularity and availability of competitions. If it is i'll like to create a thread for it.

 

I'm not huge into VGC myself but I'm sure others are and there's nothing holding you back from starting a dedicated topic for it. :p




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