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 Basic Team Building Guide

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Captain Nick
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PostSubject: Basic Team Building Guide   Sat 17 Jan 2009, 10:05 pm

I've seen lots of people asking how to make a winning team. I'm posting this to hopfully point you guys in the right direction. There is almost no way to get a winning team right off the bat but there is a way to get most teams off to a good start.

So, let's start. Every pokemon on the team plays a role. The trick is finding a group of roles that will work well together. It isn't hard to figure out what a team needs but it's good to know what a pokemon will be doing on a team to figure out how you will deal with possible battle situations.


Pokemon Roles:

1. Lead - This pokemon is kinda tricky to figure out but dictates a lot of the rest of your team. There are a few ways you can choose to go. Here is a list of typical choices:

-The popular choice currently is a Suicide Lead. They will set up Stealth Rock, do as much damage as possible and then go down. They typically run Taunt to shut down other slower leads. These can be extremly effective if used right.

Typical EV Investment: Hp-6; Atk/SpA-252; Spe-252
Typical Item Selection: Focus Sash

Examples of Suicide Leads: Aerodactyl, Azelf

-Sweeper Leads can be fairly effective but require a good complimentary tank pokemon in reserve. This pokemon will be a special or physical sweeper that will come in and set up right off the bat and deal as much damage as possible.

Typical EV Investment: HP-6; Atk/SpA-252; Spe-252
Typical Item Selection: Focus Sash, Leftovers, Life Orb

Examples of Sweeper Leads: Yanmega, Weavile, Tyranitar

-Support Leads are more like tanks. They can take a couple of hits and set up things like Stealth Rock and Spikes. These pokemon will deal some damage but can be switched out for later use in a battle. Normally they specialize in physical or special defense, so it's a good idea to keep a complimentary tank in reserve to take predicted super effective hits.

Typical EV Investment: HP-152/252; Atk/SpA-106/6; Def/SpD-252
Typical Item Selection: Leftovers, Black Sludge, Lum Berry, Chesto Berry

Examples of Support Leads: Hippowdon, Sandslash, Bronzong

-Status Leads aren't that common but can be very effective if you get a little bit lucky. They rely on lower accuracy status moves to stop the foe's lead and allow your team to set up or just get some initial damage/self setup in. These pokemon are normally fast and have access to several status moves (typically Hypnosis or Sleep Powder). They can also be bulky and set out to status and cripple as many pokemon as possible.

Typical EV Investment: HP-6; Atk/SpA-252; Spe-252 or HP-252; Atk/SpA-6; Def/SpD-252
Typical Item Selection: Focus Sash, Wide Lens, Leftovers

Examples of Status Leads: Persian, Ninetails, Yanmega, Banette, Bronzong

-Anti-Leads are similar to Status Leads except that their sole purpose is to defuse an leads that show up. This takes a firm grasp of the metagame to utilize well but has great rewards if done properly. These pokemon normally abuse their Ability and have crippling and/or priority moves to take away the power and potential of the opponent's lead. These pokemon come in all shapes and sizes but mainly go bulky. Moves like Sleep Powder, Wil-O-Wisp, and Taunt are used and Abilities like Insomnia and Inner Focus are usually helpful. Essentially any pokemon with an Ability to resist common status moves and stop enemies' attempts to setup can be an Anti-Lead. Figuring one out for yourself is a bit tricky but can pay off well.

Typical EV Investment: HP-252 Atk/SpA-6 Def/SpD-252
Typical Item Selection: Focus Sash, Leftovers/Black Sludge, Choice Scarf

Examples of Anti-Leads: Banette, Crobat, Butterfree
--------------------------

2. Physical Sweeper - This role is one of that every team should have at least one of. This type of pokemon typically has high speed and attack stats. Without a physical sweeper you leave your team to get walled by Special Tanks (which we'll discuss later). This pokemon will deal a lot of damage and hopefully outspeed most of your opponents pokemon.

Typical EV Investment: HP-6; Atk-252; Spe-252

Examples of Physical Sweepers: Hitmonlee, Weavile, Salamence, Metagross, Scizor
--------------------------

3. Special Sweeper - This is another role that every team should have at least one of. Again, these pokemon normally have high speed stats but they have a high special attack stat instead of high attack (normally). These pokemon will come in to deal with pokemon that have low special defense or just deal large amounts of damage with special attacks.

Typical EV Investment: HP-6; SpA-252; Spe-252

Examples of Special Sweepers: Starmie, Yanmega, Togekiss, Gengar, Manektric
--------------------------

4. Physical Tank - These pokemon are normally a bit on the slow side but have large defense stats and decent to large HP stats. They will take the hits from physical attacks like they are nothing. They normally don't do much attack but that doesn't mean they can't. A few have high attack stats to match their defenses but normally they will provide support like Stealth Rock or Toxic. In order to stick around longer, these pokemon normally have a recovery move like Rest or Recover.

Typical EV Investment: HP-252; Atk-6; Def-252
Typical Item Selection: Leftovers, Black Sludge, Lum Berry, Chesto Berry, Muscle Band

Examples of Physical Tanks: Gliscor, Shuckle, Dusknoir, Umbreon, Steelix, Drapion
--------------------------

5. Special Tank - Much like the Physical Tank, these pokemon are designed to take hits really well. They will provide support for the team or set up their own stat boosters, like Calm Mind, to deal damage while they sit and take hits. They normally have special attacks to compliment their special defense, so be aware of other special walls coming in on these. Like the Physical Tanks they have recovery moves to stay in the battle and absorb hits.

Typical EV Investment: HP-252; SpA-6/106; SpD-252/152
Typical Item Selection: Leftovers, Black Sludge, Lum Berry, Chesto Berry, Wise Glasses

Examples of Special Tanks: Tentacruel, Slowbro, Cresselia, Blissey, Mantine, Dustox
--------------------------


That's it for the main roles that pretty much need to be filled for any successful team. By no means is that the only way to make a good team but its a good general structure for a standard team. I've seen teams of all sweepers and I've seen teams of all walls that were great.

The main thing you need to think about is balance in a team. Having roughly the same number of physical and special attackers (three of each) will help keep you from getting walled. Balancing the types on your team is important. Each pokemon should have something that can switch in to take a hit that would other wise take out the current pokemon in battle. (Example: Electric pokemon are weak to Ground, so having a Levitate or Flying pokemon to switch in would be a good plan)

As you may have noticed that is only 5 slots. This leaves a final slot for you to fill. The last pokemon can really be anything you want. Use it to fill in the gaps in your team at the moment; either in typing weaknesses or move types that your team is otherwise lacking. There are other smaller roles that you could consider for filling in this last slot. They may not be the best for typing purposes but can help in other ways that could be more beneficial.


Alternate Roles:

6. Cleric - This is an almost pure support pokemon. They take both physical and special hits moderatly well and keep your team free of status. They have the move Aromatherapy or Heal Bell and come in to help out the team. Normally, they have a self healing move, a statusing move (Toxic, T-Wave) or Stealth Rock, and an attacking move to go with Aromatherapy/Heal Bell. They can be really helpful for waking up sleeping/burned/paralyzed sweepers, that would otherwise be useless.

Typical EV Investment: HP-252; Def-128; SpD-128
Typical Item Selection: Leftovers, Lum Berry, Chesto Berry

Examples of Clerics: Blissey, Meganium, Miltank
--------------------------

7. Phazer - This type of pokemon is mainly for shutting down your opponents pokemon that are trying to set up. They all have the move Roar or Whirlwind and are typically rather bulky pokemon. This pokemon will come in at the first sign of a setting up pokemon and Roar them away to stop any sweep they may attempt. They typically have two other attacking moves and a status or support move like Toxic or Stealth Rock. In place of Whirlwind or Roar there are pokemon that can use Haze which works similarly but it won't keep the pokemon from setting up further. Taunt also works on Phazers but this type of Phazing normally requires your pokemon to be fast.

Typical EV Investment: HP-152; Atk/SpA-106; Def/SpD-252 or HP-152; Atk/SpA-106; Spe-252
Typical Item Selection: Leftovers, Black Sludge, Lum Berry

Examples of Phazers: Crobat, Swampert, Steelix, Drapion, Suicune
--------------------------

8. Annoyer - These pokemon are used just to annoy the opponent. They use Taunt, U-Turn, Protect, Toxic, Trick, Wil-O-Wisp, Whirlwind, etc to interupt what the opponent is trying to put together. There is no real outstanding method to these guys other than to screw with your opponent as much as possible. They come in all shapes and sizes and usually abuse their ability (Serene Grace, Magent Pull, Magic Guard, Wonder Guard, etc) to benefit their attacks.

Typical EV Investment: Nothing Specific, Usually Bulky or Fast
Typical Item Selection: Leftovers, Focus Sash, Lum Berry, Toxic Orb

Examples of Annoyers: Crobat, Clefable, Rotom, Togekiss, Dunsparce, Porygon2
--------------------------

9. Staller - These pokemon thrive on indirect damage. They are bulky in HP, defense, and special defense and all rely on some means of indirect damage to attack. Stealth Rock, Toxic, Spikes, Toxic Spikes, and in some cases Burn all make Stallers effective. The Staller itself doesn't necessarily need those moves but benefits from their detramental affects on the opponent. Stallers typically have an instant recovery move like Roost or Recover and will either use Protect to increase Toxic damage or Whirlwind/Roar to keep Stealth Rock damage going. The only draw back is that they are weak to Taunt and can end up being useless towards the ends of battles.

Typical EV Investment: HP-252; Def-204/152/100; SpD-100/156/204
Typical Item Selection: Leftovers, Black Sludge

Examples of Stallers: Skarmory, Blissey, Vaporeon, Dustox
--------------------------

10. Setup Sweeper - This type of pokemon can be either a physical attacker or a special attacker. They start out bulky but use a move like Dragon Dance, Bulk Up, Swords Dance, Calm Mind, etc to build up stats and then proceed to sweep. The EV Investment for these depends mainly on the pokemon that is being used. These pokemon can be devistating to the opponent if they can't counter it. The draw back is that without setting up these pokemon normally can't do much. The stats that they are attacking with rely on the boost from their support move and will otherwise do insufficient damage. For example, Dragonite without a Dragon Dance under its belt won't be fast enough or strong enough to sweep and can't come in to revenge kill anything.

Typical EV Investment: Nothing Specific, Depends on Individual Pokemon's Needs
Typical Item Selection: Leftovers, Life Orb, Muscle Band, Wise Glasses

Examples of Setup Sweepers: Dragonite, Metagross, Hariyama, Poliwrath, Tyranitar, Suicune
--------------------------

11. Spinner - These pokemon are on your team to clear the field of entry hazards (Stealth Rock, Spikes, Toxic Spikes). They are almost always bulky (normally specializing in a specific defense [Special or Physical]) to get off a Rapid Spin and survive. Any pokemon that can learn Rapid Spin can be a Spinner but not all are viable for the role (mainly Delibird) because they take extra damage from SR or other entry hazards or they better serve a different role (like Hitmonlee or Hitmonchan for example). These pokemon aren't always needed but if a pokemon on your team is highly weak the SR it is highly recomended that you have one on hand. They normally tank well, so it's not too much trouble to fit one in.

Typical EV Investment: HP-252 Atk/SpA-6 Def/SpD-252
Typical Item Selection: Leftovers

Examples of Spinners: Hitmontop, Claydol, Foretress, Starmie, Sandslash
--------------------------


Thats about it for the different roles that pokemon can play. Here are a few tips to leave you with when planning out your next team:
1. Keep it balanced. Use pokemon that compliment anothers weaknesses.
2. The Lead, P-Sweeper, S-Sweeper, P-Tank, S-Tank, Extra Pokemon structure is really basic but proves itself as a good starting point.
3. Don't be afraid to try different pokemon if you don't like one you chose to begin with. The majority of team building is done through trial and error. Don't give up if your team fails at first.
4. Find out your team's weak points and adjust to cover them.
5. Lots of pokemon overlap categories and can give you extra space to play around with.
6. Some strategies will suit your team better on different pokemon. So, if you want a Cleric but dont like the one you have; then try a different one.
7. Don't stop until you're the best. ;P


Last edited by Captain Nick on Sat 24 Jan 2009, 11:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Basic Team Building Guide   Sat 17 Jan 2009, 10:49 pm

awesome tips nick. i think ill start referring to this when im working on my team Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Basic Team Building Guide   Sat 17 Jan 2009, 10:56 pm

Yay now i won't have to ask you guys for help any more lol
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PostSubject: Re: Basic Team Building Guide   Sat 17 Jan 2009, 11:46 pm

amazing :O

but im going to stop before im the best
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PostSubject: Re: Basic Team Building Guide   Sun 18 Jan 2009, 12:10 am

Glad you guys like it. I'll start work on a moveset planning guide next weekend to get some of you who hate that you are relying Smogon for sets.
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PostSubject: Re: Basic Team Building Guide   Sun 18 Jan 2009, 12:38 am

thats brilliant nick thanks
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PostSubject: Re: Basic Team Building Guide   Sun 18 Jan 2009, 8:15 am

smogon sets are okay for ou pokemon but theyre kinda predictable because everyone uses them.
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PostSubject: Re: Basic Team Building Guide   Sat 24 Jan 2009, 7:43 am

Hey nick, can you add something about anti-leads in there? I have no idea what one is, but want to try one on a team. And I can't for the life of me figure it out =(

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PostSubject: Re: Basic Team Building Guide   Sat 24 Jan 2009, 3:27 pm

Yeah sure Brikien.
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PostSubject: Re: Basic Team Building Guide   Sat 24 Jan 2009, 11:50 pm

It has been updated.

Additions:
Anti-Lead
Spinner

If anyone else thinks of something I've missed let me know and I'll add it.
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PostSubject: Re: Basic Team Building Guide   Thu 29 Jan 2009, 6:47 pm

Thanks Nick I needed that
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PostSubject: Re: Basic Team Building Guide   Sat 31 Jan 2009, 5:29 pm

cleric...i like it!!

it would go well with the really crappy OU team i built (its 0 for 20!!)

anyway this guide is making things better for my UU team which is winning more and more thanks to that clertank and its heal bell (plus its a cute special sweeper and physical wall)

thanks a lot cowie =]]]]]]
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PostSubject: Re: Basic Team Building Guide   Sat 31 Jan 2009, 10:41 pm

Cowie didn't make this guide. O_o

I'll just asume you meant to thank me, and you're welcome.
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PostSubject: Re: Basic Team Building Guide   Fri 06 Mar 2009, 3:20 pm

Thanks i use it whenever i make a team now haha =D


Last edited by Lunarsolstice on Sat 03 Oct 2009, 11:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Basic Team Building Guide   Fri 06 Mar 2009, 3:22 pm

Captain Nick wrote:
Cowie didn't make this guide. O_o

I'll just asume you meant to thank me, and you're welcome.

lol haha yeah sorry
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