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Veteran Member - Level 12
If you're here you probably read the first part of my guide. If
you haven't, go read that first or some of this isn't gonna make any sense. As
for everyone else, you know the drill so let's get started. This is where it
gets kinda complicated, so buckle up.
SECTION I: EV Stats
EV (Effort Value) stats, or more officially Base Stats, have been
a part of the game since Gen 1. These give bonuses to a Pokémon's stats
depending on what kind of Pokémon
it defeats. An example would be if your Pokémon
fought, say, 100 Chansey. Along with the experience it gets to raise its level,
its HP stat will significantly increase more than the other stats. This is
because Chansey's naturally best stat is its monstrous HP stat. The same rules
apply to fighting 100 Alakazam. Its best stat is Special Attack, so your
Special Attack stat will get a boost as well as your level. Same goes for
Defense, Attack, Speed, and Special Defense.
is only allowed 255 of these "effort points" per stat, and are only
allowed 510 effort points total. Despite this, since stats are calculated by
dividing effort by 4 leaving out the remainder, you only really need 252 points
to maximize a stat. By default this leaves 4 points to spare on any other stat.
You know Carbos, HP Up, Calcium, and the like? Those are vitamins that raise
the effort value by 10, but they can't take them above 100.
When most people train a competitive Pokémon, they look at two stats that would
most suit the role the Pokémon
will fill, and max them. Sweepers, by definition, are required to be fast and
to hit hard, so you would max out Speed and Attack or Special Attack. Where the
last 4 end up is up to the trainer. Determine the best stats to maximize in a
finding out what roles they fit the best and what stats are their natural best.
Or, you could experiment and find out different ways your Pokémon can be a part
of your team.
Section II: IV Stats
Alright then, this is the fun part. IV stats, or Individual
Values, affect a Pokémon's
stats the most, and makes the Pokémon
unique. They're basically a Pokémon's
genes. Say you have a Rhydon and your opponent has a Rhydon, both of which are
the same level with the same natures and the same boosted EVs. You use
Earthquake, which takes your opponent down to a little over half health. Your
opponent also uses Earthquake, and it KOs your Rhydon. This is mainly because
the opponent's Rhydon had better Attack and Defense IVs than yours did. IV
values range from 0 to 31, 0 being the lowest and 31 being the highest. There's
a very specific way you can manipulate those stats through breeding.
If that's not complicated enough, here's the equation you use to
calculate IVs stats:
Believe me, if I was reading this for the first time I'd have
second thoughts about training for competitive, too. But let me reassure you
that at most this process of generating perfect IVs is just very time consuming. In X and Y version there's a person you
can talk to that judges a Pokémon's
IVs, which should give you a good idea on how to work with them.
There is a good way to make sure you have perfect IVs right out
of the gate in the Friend Safari in X and Y version. Every Pokémon you catch will
have at least 2 perfect IVs, so start there.
SECTION III: Abilities
has at least one ability. They're perks Pokémon
have that can give them the edge in a battle. They usually activate at the
beginning of a battle or during one. There's many different types of abilities,
like Overgrow, Blaze, and Static, but I'll mention a few ones you might
recognize and some you might not.
I'll start with Blaze, Overgrow, and Torrent. These are abilities
that are most commonly found in the starter Pokémon.
The flavor text is "Powers up _____ type moves when the Pokémon is in
trouble.", but not a lot of people know what that really means. It used to
be more vague back in the day, but now it's a bit more understandable. It means
that if a Pokémon's
health is down to about 1/3 or less, so their health is in the red, the power
of a certain type of move goes up by 1.5 times. Think of it as a STAB damage
boost on top of another STAB damage boost. So, if a Treecko is down to about
1/3 health, Solarbeam's power would be at 3x, 1.5x for Overgrow, and 1.5x for
the STAB damage.
Another one you see a lot, especially with legendaries, is Pressure.
Pressure makes a Pokémon
use more PP with an attack. The attack takes up 2 PP if a Pokémon attacks a
Pressure-user, and one more is used up if the attack misses.
Technician is a newer ability that's also very effective. The
gist is if a move does 40 or lower damage, that move is boosted by 1.5x. We can
see this applied to the Pokémon
Scizor. Most people that use Scizor probably have a move called Bullet Punch
that goes with it. Bullet Punch is kind
of like Steel-type equivalent of Quick Attack, same attack power and
everything. With Technician, not only is Bullet Punch a priority move (an move
that's almost certain to go first), it's power is increased, allowing Scizor to
do more damage.
The last one I'll cover is Mold Breaker, another new(ish) ability.
Mold Breaker basically nulls any effect of another Pokémon's ability against an attack. That
means Excadrill, for example, could use Earthquake on Gengar (A Pokémon with Levitate),
and make it hit, or it could use Stealth Rock on a Pokémon with Magic Bounce (An ability that
makes moves like that backfire). It's a great ability that only a select few
Oh, and one more thing. Some Pokémon
have Hidden Abilities, or Abilities that they don't normally have. They're more
likely to have their Hidden Abilities if caught in the Friend Safari, so happy
SECTION IV: More Specific Roles
I've told you about the primary Pokémon
roles: Sweeper, Cleric, Wall, Support, and Tank, but now I'm going to break
down a couple more specific roles Pokémon
Some sweepers don't have the stamina or the durability to KO an
entire team if given the opportunity. That doesn't make them bad necessarily,
it just limits what they can do. These sweepers can sometimes have the uncanny
ability to DESTROY a Pokémon
before fizzling out, so we find a role in the Wall Breaker. The Wall Breaker's
sole purpose is to keep your opponent from stalling with a Wall and allowing
on your team an opening to either start stalling themselves or take the
offensive with the opening the Breaker just gave it. Pokémon like Heracross and Infernape find
their edges in Wall breaking.
Wall Breakers: Concerning Charizard Y
If you've done any previous research on Smogon, my primary
source, you'll know that time has not been good to Charizard. As popular as it
is and despite appearances in other games like Smash Bros, competitively
Charizard didn't have much to back up its ferocious disposition. With Pokémon X and Y and the
introduction of Mega Stones, Charizard got not just one, but TWO Mega
Evolutions, both of which gave our favorite flying fire breathing lizard some
solid edges. The one that I'll highlight here is its Y form. Its Y form boosts
Charizard's Special Attack significantly and boosts Fire type moves with
Drought. With this, Charizard's signature Fire Blast is able to KO opponents in
two turns, if not completely incinerate them. Add Solarbeam and a couple other
moves like Roost or Focus Blast and you get one of the best Wall Breakers in
RAPID SPINNERS/SPIN BLOCKERS:
Thought the move Rapid Spin was useless when you were younger? So
did I, so don't feel too bad. Actually, RS started getting real recognition
around the time Stealth Rock was introduced. Rapid Spin, despite being a low
power move, removes entry hazards like Spikes and Stealth Rock from your side
of the field. This makes it useful if your team could be crippled by hazards,
and a detriment to Support Pokémon
like Forretress whose niche lies within dropping hazards. There is one problem
with Rapid Spin, though. It's a Normal type move. And what's a Normal type move
not effective at all against? GHOSTS. This is why Ghost types are prime
candidates for Spin Blockers, and should always be considered if your strategy
depends on entry hazards on your opponent's side.
Rapid Spinners/Spin Blockers: Concerning Blastoise and Gengar
Speaking of Mega Evolutions, Blastoise was also among the Pokémon that received a
Mega Form. While a solid bulky Rapid Spinner to begin with, Blastoise got even
bulkier with Blastoisinite. In addition to this, it also received an ability
called Mega Launcher, which increases the power of moves like Water Pulse, Dark
Pulse, Dragon Pulse, and Aura Sphere. This nifty ability gives Blastoise a
better edge in coverage, especially with the boost to Dark Pulse's power, to
get rid of potential threats and spin blockers.
Like Blastoise, Gengar has always been a solid Pokémon. However, these
past few gens have not been the best to our favorite Ghost type, as more and
more threats have piled up to diminish its usefulness. Well, it's obvious that
Game Freak picks favorites, as Gengar's Mega Evolution made it almost broken.
While still holding its place as the best offensive spin blocker in the game,
Gengar also rose up to be one of the best offensive trappers in the game as
well, which I'll talk about in the next section.
The name says it all. The purpose of a revenge killer is to
eliminate or trap certain threats that the rest of your team isn't prepared to
deal with. Revenge killers share the same characteristics as Sweepers: High
Attack or Special Attack, high Speed, and relatively frail defenses.
Revenge Killers: Concerning Mamoswine
Mamoswine's typing alone seems like a death sentence, as Ice/Ground is a pretty type combo to take care of. It's
defensive spread isn't too great, either, so what gives? Mamoswine's Attack is
actually impressive, and it has access to Ice Shard. Ice Shard is very much
like Quick Attack or Bullet Punch, and behind Mamoswine it packs a large enough
punch to effectively revenge kill a wide variety of Pokémon, most notably Dragons.
Trappers are a bit more sinister. Again, their name basically
explains what they do, but trappers can be...crafty. Their methods of trapping
range from using moves like Mean Look, Encore, or Taunt or having abilities
like Shadow Tag or Arena Trap. The best ones can lock a Pokémon into an
unfavorable situation to allow another Pokémon
like a sweeper to set up and start going to town. For example, Mega Gengar is
one of the most notorious trappers in the game because it has the luxury to be
able to do both.
We all know Wobbuffett, right? That goofy looking blue Pokémon that Team
Rocket had for a long time in the cartoon? Yeah, that one. Surprisingly enough,
Wobbuffett's usefulness is exactly what you'd expect it to be: It excels at one
role but is just god awful at everything else. But how could it be good when
its only redeeming quality is its abnormally large HP stat, you ask? If you
look closer, it also holds the coveted Shadow Tag ability, allowing it to
effectively wall and trap at the same time. Looking even deeper, you'll find
that Wobbuffett has access to Mirror Coat and Counter, which allows Wobbs to
effectively trap and kill a lot of Choice item users. My word of warning is to
wait and use U-Turn or until your Pokémon
faints to bring Wobbs out.
There are many other sub roles to be filled, such as Baton
Passers, Dual Screeners, and Phazers, but I'll leave figuring out how those
roles work up to you.
SECTION V: Consider the Following
With all this in mind, it's high time that you start building a
team. You know the different roles and some of the sub roles, you know how EVs
and IVs work, and you know the importance of carefully deciding which moves
can use to be most potent. But there's some things to ponder first.
1) Will I need a pivot? If I do, who will it be?
Having a pivot Pokémon
can be very important if things go sour for your battle. Your pivot can either
rebuild lost momentum or help you further sharpen your edge against your
opponent. Nowadays in Gen 6, pivots are more commonly found within Pokémon that received
Mega Evolutions, so I would go there first if you want to find a pivot.
I wouldn't make your team solely around a pivot, but it's
important when you're building the rest of your team to keep it in mind.
2) Should I follow a theme? Do my Pokémon fit that theme?
While it's perfectly normal to have a team that doesn't follow a
distinct pattern, having a theme in mind when building a team is a good place
to start. The most common themes are based around weather. For example, if you
have a team that works the best in the sun, you'd have a team built around Pokémon with Drought or
Sunny Day, and have Pokémon
that are maybe Fire or Grass type. Or maybe you're a rain team (which is the
most common), and have Pokémon
that are Water or Electric type. While these teams aren't exclusive to those
types, they're the ones that you should look out for when building that team.
3) Should I prepare for a certain threat?
When battling on places like Pokémon
Showdown or X and Y online battles, it's very difficult to predict what Pokémon the opponent
will have. If you're not prepared for a certain threat then you'll be in big
trouble. But you can't build your team around a single threat, can you? Well,
kinda. The most common threats are the Pokémon
that are the most popular at the time, so preparing for that is a good
strategy. It's nearly impossible to be prepared for every single threat to your
team, so going with what works best for you should always be the main priority.
Remember, there are over 700 Pokémon,
each with their own traits and quirks. Never settle for just the first six Pokémon you use for
your team. Always be open to tweak and alter it as the metagame evolves.
So that concludes the second volume of my guide to competitive
you have anything you think I need to add or there's anything I might have
misspoken about feel free to let me know! Thanks again for reading my guide,
and happy battling, trainers!