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Dec 8, 12 at 5:45am ^Pokémon/Competitive battling/Making a Team
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First, try to see the theory of the jobs that your team should have. Except for a TSS team (Toxic, Spikes, Sandstorm), a team should not have all Sweepers, all Tanks, or all Annoyers. Of course this doesn't mean that they are not usable, but it is advised that you mix up the jobs that your Pokémon have. For example, if you have all Tanks and you encounter two powerful tanks such as Skarmory and Blissey, your hits will bounce off them, so you need another type of Pokémon to defeat these two Pokémon. Also, usually, you start with a Pokémon that is likely to "do something in a short time." Don't send out Steelix as your starter; send in someone fast and can cover many types. Zapdos is a good starter because it can Paralyze and Substitute, Ninjask is not bad because it will Baton Pass to a sweeper, a Choice Bander is not bad because it can probably greatly damage or One-Hit KO its opponent, and Zangoose is also a good choice since its Swords Dance + Salac Berry combination can probably take down one Pokémon. Like the "Introduction, Body, Body, Body, Conclusion" rule to writing essays, these jobs will be the basic structure to your team and you can deviate from these structures as you become a better battler.
a) Physical Sweeper, Physical Sweeper, Special Sweeper, Special Sweeper, Tanker, and Annoyer.
First, two of the six Pokémon need to also be a Hazer or Pseudo-Hazer. This will be the theme to all of the sets, because Hazing is so important that it's critical to have some Pokémon doing it. Second, a Spinner would be a great addition to this team, since this team relies mainly on attacking power and Spikes would greatly hinder that. You might make one of your Special Sweepers a Starmie since it can be both a Special Sweeper and a Spinner. Also, you might want to make your Tanker or Annoyer a Pseudo-Hazer since they are the prime candidates. Again, start with Zapdos or another fast Pokémon.
b) Baton Passer, Physical Sweeper, Physical or Mixed Sweeper, Special Sweeper, Tanker, and Wall.
Ninjask is perfect for this team, because Speed Boost will benefit all Sweepers and even Tanks. Plusle and Minun are also great because they benefit your special sweeper, rather than your Physical one, by using Nasty Plot. If you do manage a Swords Dance with Ninjask or a Nasty Plot with Plusle/Minun, then Baton Pass it to your Physical/Special Sweeper because it can really Sweep. The Tanker and Wall are for switch-ins, such as when the Sweeper encounters something that you're sure it cannot KO. The Tanker or Wall would then absorb the damage, sending out Ninjask again or another Sweeper when you predict a switch. This relies on some prediction. You can have only one Pseudo-Hazer in this team since this is a fast-paced team, and you should try to defeat your opponent before they can set up their Stat Changes.
c) Physical Sweeper, Special Sweeper, Physical or Mixed Sweeper, Drainer, Tanker, and Cleric.
This is a Sleep Talking team, even though it doesn't show it. Two of the Sweepers should have Rest, and so should the Drainer and possibly the Tanker. Then, the Cleric should pop up from time to time to use Heal Bell, and it would be good if this Cleric is a Tanker or Wall (not someone that can't survive very long like Vileplume or Miltank). This is actually an Annoy Team, even though it has many Sweepers. With Rest + Heal Bell, the Sweepers won't seem to faint!
d) Spiker, Physical Sweeper, Special or Mixed Sweeper, Tanker, Drainer, and Cleric.
This team is purely Annoying. The Sweepers are for Stallers or Drainers such as Ludicolo, but with a Spiker, Drainer and a Tanker, you will seriously aggravate your opponent, especially with a Cleric. A Sleep Talker would fit the theme here, and of course two or more Hazers or Pseudo-Hazers are needed. The more you Roar or Whirlwind, the more your opponent will be hurt with Spikes.
e) Baton Passer, Baton Passer, Physical Sweeper, Physical Sweeper, Special or Mixed Sweeper, and Magnezone/Probopass.
This is really a weak team in the hands of a novice but powerful in the hands of an experienced battler. It is true that Roar and Whirlwind clear Status Changes, but a good battler would know what to Baton Pass, when to Baton pass, and when to send in Magnezone or Probopass. One of Magnezone's traits is Magnet Pull, which prevents Skarmory from switching, getting rid of one major Pseudo-Hazer. Probopass can also have this trait. This team relies heavily on prediction.
f) Zapdos, Umbreon, Celebi, Drainer, Physical Sweeper, and Special Sweeper.
Once again, this team requires a lot of prediction and should only be handled by experienced battlers. Umbreon can use Mean Look and Baton Pass to Celebi and Celebi can use Perish Song. Zapdos' Thunder Wave and Substitute makes this strategy easier, especially because Umbreon and Celebi will not take that much damage from a Paralyzed Pokémon.
g) Spiker or Drainer, Special or Mixed Sweeper, Heracross, Magnezone, Dugtrio, and Shuckle.
If you're been battling for a while, then you should know what to do here. Shuckle's Wrap and Encore keep its opponent in while you switch to Heracross or Dugtrio, doing damage. Magnezone is there once again for Skarmory, and it's nice to have a Spiker to take off more damage as your opponent switches since this is a major Annoy team. As always, you need a Sweeper to take down those Stallers.
Neutralizing your weaknesses
Let's say you choose set A from the above. You cannot send in two Fire Pokémon and two Rock Pokémon! You will then have a major Water weakness! After you're done with making a team, try to list the weaknesses of each Pokémon as 2 and the resistances of each Pokémon as 0.5. It doesn't matter if it's 4x or 0.25x, just list them as 2x or 0.5x. For example, your team could be:
Pokémon Weaknesses (2x) Resistances (0.5x) Immune (0x)
Zapdos Rock and Ice Grass, Fighting, Flying, Bug, Steel Ground
Blissey Fighting N/A Ghost
Ludicolo Poison, Flying, Bug Ground, Steel N/A
Skarmory Fire, Electric Normal, Flying, Psychic, Ghost, Dragon, Dark, Steel, Grass, Bug Ground, Poison
Metagross Fire, Ground Normal, Grass, Ice, Flying, Rock, Dragon, Steel, Psychic Poison
Regice Fire, Fighting, Rock, Steel Ice N/A
Now, multiply the weaknesses and Resistances of each type that shows a weakness. All this means is that you should start with the weaknesses of each type and start to look around. After all of the weaknesses (2x) are done, stop.
Rock = 2 x 0.5 x 2 = 2x team weakness
Ice = 2 x 0.5 x 0.5 = 0.5x team weakness
Fighting = 2 x 2 x 0.5 = 2x team weakness
Poison = Immune by Metagross and Regice
Flying = 2 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 = 0.25 team weakness
Bug = 2 x 0.5 = 1x team weakness
Fire = 2 x 2 x 2 = 8x team weakness!!
Electric = 2 = 2x team weakness
Ground = Immune by Zapdos and Skarmory
Steel = 2 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 = 0.125 team weakness
As you can see, this team is weak against Fighting and very weak against Fire. In general, you should not get a 4x team weakness and definitely not a 8x team weakness and above. Here, you have to exchange a Pokémon weak to Fire for a Pokémon strong against Fire. It's recommended that you try to get a Pokémon that resists Fighting also.
Of course you don't have to do all of these calculations, but it's recommended. After many battles, you should be able to look at a team and spot out its weakness. Until then, it's best if you do the above.
This section deals with offense. This section is mainly about teams that have more than two Sweepers, since Annoy teams usually use other tactics, using Type Alignment Advantages to win. Of course, there are some moves that you should have:
A Water Attack
A Fire Attack
A Ground Attack,
A Ghost Attack
An Ice Attack
An Electric Attack
Having these moves can pretty much deal super-effective attacks to most teams, and there should be a Fire Blast in there somewhere, as well as Earthquake and others listed above. If you can't find enough Pokémon to fit 5 of these moves, then your team should undergo a different strategy besides Sweeping.
Picking the Pokémon you like
It is often said that people should use what they like, as opposed to only the most powerful. For example, suppose you like Flygon better than Garchomp. For you, Flygon is the one to use. Equip it with a Focus Sash, and it will easily defeat Garchomp, because most Garchomp have something that isn't a Focus Sash. Many people expect Pokémon like Skarmory, Blissey, Garchomp, and Metagross. If you send out Castform, for example, the opponent will not be as prepared for it, because very few people use Castform.
Finalizing your Team
First of all, look back over it. Do you have conflicting moves? If one of your Pokémon has Rain Dance and the other has Sunny Day, then you should take off one Area Effect. Do three of your Pokémon all have Fire Attacks? If so, then you have too many; exchange one for a Ground Attack or the useful Shadow Ball. Do you have a strategy to take down Blissey, or Skarmory, or Slaking? Do you have enough Pseudo-Hazers in case you encounter one of those Baton Passing Chains? What are your strategies against a Calm Minding Suicine, a Cursing Snorlax, a Dragon Dancing Salamence, or a Choice Banding Metagross? Does the opponent, by any chance, have underused Pokémon that no one expects? These are the questions that you must answer before you send a team off into battle. It seems as if there are too many restrictions, but the more questions you can answer, the better your team is. Remember that you cannot possibly defeat every team with just one team, and that one team will always beat yours, so do not overdo these questions. However, the Pokémon that are listed above are some of the most popular Pokémon choices out there, so it's critical that you have a method for at least making them switch out. With this in mind, try a few battles, see what you're weak at, and improvise. You will improvise many times before you make a team that you're comfortable with and win more than you lose. Patience is one of the keys to success.
Just like many games, theory and practice are two different things. You might have a great team, but you might not know how to use it. Maybe your anticipation isn't as good, or that you forgot which Pokémon can counter your opponent's menacing Metagross. You won't get success right away, but you have to keep trying. Practice makes perfect, or near perfect. This page should have given you one half of the process to become a competitive battler. It's up to you to train the other half and your determination will decide everything. Good luck!
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