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Competitive Pokemon Battling Guide: Updated July 22, minor update January 18

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rate_me Posted at: 09:14 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553774
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I've been working on this all weekend, and I hope you like it:

A competitive Pokémon battling guide by rate_me

I. Introduction

Battling competitively is very different from and more complex than battling the elite four, or, really, anything else in-game. It can be confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it will be a great source of enjoyment. I’m here writing this guide to facilitate your understanding of the exciting and fast-paced world of competitive Pokémon battling.

II. The Basics

Pokémon battling is both simple and complex at the same time. If you know your type chart and defense stats, battling will be much easier to grasp. However, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t learn from mistakes easily, you’re in for a challenge.

The best way to get started is to use the tier list in the Battle Forum on SC, and get an idea of what Pokémon are OU and UU. OU stands for Over Used, and refers to the standard metagame for Wi-Fi and Shoddy. UU stands for Under Used, and refers to Pokémon such as Venomoth, Volbeat, and Bastiodon that have little to no potential in standard play. At the time of writing, smogon, the best source for competitive battling on the whole internet, is doing a test to balance out the UU metagame, and this guide shall be updated when the test is over. When making a team, countering OU Pokémon are the highest priority, but having counters for some UU Pokémon like Clefable, Ludicolo, and Lanturn is important too.

There is another tier called Über. Über is basically a ban list for OU, and includes Pokémon such as Rayquaza, Kyogre, Arceus, and Mewtwo. Über is not a tier to which all Legendaries are banned, as Celebi and Zapdos are considered OU, and Arcticuno is UU. Furthermore, non-legends are also considered Über, such as Wobbuffet, whose Shadow Tag ability, Encore, high HP, and Counter/Mirror Coat “break the game,” meaning that it requires too much preparation to defeat, and has no true counters. Another Pokémon like this is Garchomp, who also has no true counter and is too difficult to defeat.

While I can’t tell you what strategy to use, nor can I tell you how to use it, as that is what personalizes your team, I can tell you about the strategies that other people use in a future section.

III. Commonly used Phrases

The following are very commonly used phrases in competitive Battling:
Roles of Pokemon

  • Phazer / Pseudo-hazer- A Pokémon that uses Roar or Whirlwind
  • Status-absorber- A Pokémon that can avoid, remove, or use to its advantage one or more Status effects through means like Rest Talk or the ability Guts.
  • Suicide lead- A lead Pokémon that tries to set up entry hazards quickly and prevent opponents from doing the same (with Taunt) before dying.
  • Sweeper- A Pokémon that uses offensive moves to do damage and bring down an opponent's team. Many carry boosting moves like Swords Dance. Usually physical or special-oriented.
  • Wall- A Pokémon intended to take attacks, usually one side of the spectrum, extremely effectively


Metagame terms

  • Entry Hazards- Any of the attacks which deal damage as a Pokémon switches in - Stealth Rock, Spikes, and Toxic Spikes
  • Hax- An event which has a low probability of happening which critically affects a match. Also used to refer to luck in general.
  • HP- Hit Points or Hidden Power (depends on context)
  • OHKO- Short for "One-Hit Knockout", though it can also refer to moves that KO the opponent in one hit like Horn Drill, or a move that KO's a Pokemon in one hit (i.e. Weavile can OHKO Alakazam with Pursuit while switching).
  • Revenge Kill- KOing an opposing Pokémon immediately after one of your own Pokémon has fainted, therefore avoiding the risk of switching into an attack.
  • STAB- Same Type Attack Bonus, which increases the power of a direct attack by 50 if the one of the user's types is the same as attack's type.


Moves

  • BoltBeam- A combination of Ice Beam and Thunder Bolt which provides good type coverage.
  • CC- Close Combat
  • DD- Dragon Dance
  • EQ- Earthquake
  • SR- Stealth Rock
  • T-Wave- Thunder Wave
  • WoW- Will-o-Wisp


Pokemon

  • Bliss- Blissey
  • Gross- Metagross
  • [email protected] Latias and Latios collectively
  • Luke- Lucario
  • Mence- Salamence
  • TTar- Tyranitar


Items

  • CB/Band- Choice Band, an item that increases the power of physical attacks by roughly 50 but locks the holder into one move (CB is a very common prefix)
  • Lefties- Leftovers, an item that restores 6 of the users health each turn.
  • LO- Life Orb, an item that increases the power of the holder's attacks by roughly 30 but takes 10 health each time it issues a direct attack.
  • Scarf- Choice Scarf, an item that increases the holder's Speed by 50 but locks the holder into one move.
  • Specs- Choice Specs, an item that increases the power of special attacks by roughly 50 but locks the holder into one move.


IV. Strategies

All Out Sweep- Having an all out offensive team is very common in the D/P/Pt metagame. All out sweep teams use Pokémon like Lucario and Salamence to do as much damage as possible as quickly as possible. These teams are frequently short on defense, or at the most use bulky sweepers like TTar or Gross. The best way to counter these teams is to use things like T-wave and Will-o-Wisp to cripple the sweepers. Reflect and Light Screen is also useful against them.

Stall Teams- Stall teams are not as common as sweeping teams, but just as threatening if you aren’t prepared to counter it. They use move and Pokémon which slowly wear away at your health and setting up a potential late-game sweep. Stall teams use moves like Wish, Toxic, Entry Hazards, and Heal Bell/Aromatherapy. Bronzong, Blissey, Hippowdon, and the Rotom forms are common on these kinds of teams. The best way to counter them is to use moves like Taunt to prevent Wish, Toxic, etc. while forcing them to use attacks which will probably not be very strong. Above all, not letting them set up will be one of the most reliable ways to defeat them.

Baton Passing Teams- Baton Pass teams almost use a Ninjask or Lopunny lead, and use Baton Pass in long chains to send stat boosts to a sweeper such as a Thick Club Marowak, or Scizor, which can proceed to sweep your team under the rug. Countering Baton Pass teams is difficult, but the best method is PHazing before a Smeargle is sent in and uses Ingrain to block it. Another method, though more difficult, is using Trick to give a passer a Choice item. However, this will not always work, because Ninjask’s speed boosts are passed on and the opponent will almost always have a sub up. Encore will force the opponent to use a stat up move long enough for you to try to kill it, but if you do manage to encore it, don’t waste any chances. Haze is another option, since it removes all stat boosts. Baton Teams frequently use Ninjask, Smeargle, Umbreon, and Scizor.

Sandstorm teams- Sandstorm teams a very common type of stall. These teams often carry moves like Toxic and Will-O-Wisp to wear down Offensive teams, as well as Stealth Rock and Spikes, which can be set up by Skarmory. They almost always lead with Hippowdon and use supportive spinners like Forretress, and less frequently, Tentacruel because of their immunity to Sandstrom (Tentacruel is immune with Leftovers/Black Sludge), ability to remove entry hazards, and they can also set up entry hazards. The best way to counter Sandstrom teams is to use bulky Pokémon that don’t mind the weather damage, like most Suicune, which can use super-effective attacks against the ground and rock types. Heatran is also useful, since it is immune to Sandstorm and it has Earth power and HP-Grass. Hippowdon, Gliscor, Cradily, Skarmory, and Cacturne are commonly used.

Hail stall- Plays much differently then sandstorm. They have fewer Pokémon usage options, since only Ice is immune to Hail, while Sandstorm is resisted by Rock, Steel, and Ground. Most Hail teams use Abomasnow as a lead, and have Pokémon such as Weavile and Walrein. To counter Hail teams, a fast Zapdos with Thunderbolt and Heat Wave, as it can take most Pokémon on a hail team barring Blissey. Scizor is the best counter for Hail teams. With his Technician boosted Bullet Punch, all the speed in the world doesn't matter if you are weak to steel, a common trait between ice types. Tyranitar is another of Hail's biggest enemies. With a STAB Stone edge coming off of 134 Base Attack, it can hurt a majority of Pokémon commonly found in Hail teams. Not to mention getting rid of the important hail. Hail teams use common walls such as Blissey and Skarmory, as well as sweepers like Weavile and Mamoswine. Blizzard and Substitute are commonly used moves.

Rain Dance- Rain Dance teams are becoming more and more popular in competitive battles. Unlike Sandstorm and Hail, there is no Pokémon in standard play that activates this weather effect, so Rain Dance is set up by a lead and frequently between 1 to 2 others. Rain Dance activates Swift Swim, so Pokémon like Kingdra, Floatzel, Azumaril, and Kabutops are common sweepers. Jolteon is also used occasionally to set up Rain Dance and absorb electric attacks. These teams are often led by Bronzong, Azelf, Uxie, or Jirachi which set up Rain Dance and possibly SR. Pokémon like TTar and Abomasnow remove Rain Dance, replacing it with weather that will probably benefit you. Tentacruel is a huge threat to Rain Dance teams because of its large special defense, resistance to Ice and Water, and Toxic Spikes, which will quickly wear down the LO carrying sweepers. Empoleon is also resistant to most of their attacks and has a large special defense. Rain teams usually have Kingdra, Bronzong, Ludicolo, Latias, Swampert, Jolteon, and Scizor, among others.

V. Prediction

Prediction is a skill necessary to preform well in competitive battles. You can't learn how to predict from a guide like this; the ability to predict moves and switches can only come from your personal battling experiences. Giving advice on how to predict is difficult, so I'm going to make a list of things to keep in mind during battles.

-Remember your opponent's Pokémon: Knowing what your opponent has can make things much easier. It is not a bad idea to keep a notebook by you during Shoddy or Wi-Fi battles so you can keep track of their team and their statuses, HP, and if possible, items. This will be easier on you as you can use these notes for later battles when facing a similar Pokémon.

-Try to figure out movesets as quickly as possible: If you can figure out an opponent's moveset, then you should be able to figure out how to counter it and what it counters. If an opponent sends out Salamence, you can potentially figure out the moveset just by looking at one attack. If the Salamence used Stone Edge and takes LO damage, it is probably DDmence. If it uses Dragon Pulse but doesn't recover with Leftovers, it's SpecsMence. For the most part, if an opponent's Pokémon doesn't take LO damage or heal with lefties, it is probably Choiced. Narrow down moveset possibilities as much as you can.

-Notice the way an opponent sends in their Pokémon: If you have a Scarftran locked into Earthpower after just KOing a Tyranitar, and your opponent brings in a Lucario when he could have used his Swampert to revenge kill, you know that the Lucario is scarfed. While an inexperienced player would normally attack thinking it's his lucky day, a player who knows the metagame would switch to his Rotom since he would realize that an unscarfed Luke vs. a Scarftran is suicide. Know the metagame and think from your opponent's point of view.

-Notice the opponent's play-style: If you're fighting a more defensive team, expect defensive sets. For a sweep based team, expect offensive based sets. Base your predictions off of what is more likely to be on a team you're fighting.

-Use moves with the least risk: Try to use moves with the greatest coverage against your opponent's remaining Pokémon when you expect a switch, but aren't sure to which Pokémon they will switch. Fairly self-explanatory.

VI. Choosing a Lead

Choosing a lead can be one of the most difficult parts of making a team, since there are a large amount of possible choices. The Pokémon should complement your strategy and set things up for your other Pokemon.

Suicide Lead- A suicide lead is a Pokémon that is fast and expendable. Most suicide leads hold Focus Sashes and use Stealth Rock and Taunt. Taunt is used to prevent other suicide leads from using Stealth Rock or taunting. After SR is set up, they either explode or sweep as much as possible. Suicide leads are generally fragile, and can be taken out in 1 or 2 hits, however bulky suicide leads like Metagross are gaining popularity. They are frequently used on offensive teams. Suicide leads can also be used as revenge killers if necessary. Common suicide leads include Aerodactyl, Infernape, Azelf, Metagross and Dugtrio. Because of their speed and Focus Sash, suicide leads can ironically be difficult to defeat. Paralysis and Burns is crippling to suicide leads, but Taunt prevents moves like Twave and Will-o-Wisp. Priority moves are your best bet for defeating suicide leads. Faster suicide leads almost always win against slower ones.

Anti-Lead- Anti-leads are Pokémon that are specifically designed to counter common leads that may cause trouble for the team. Anti-leads use moves with great coverage and usefulness. Anti-leads are capable of defeating suicide leads by using priority moves, weather conditions, and pure force. Anti-leads use defensive items like Leftovers and Lum berry to prolong survival. Each anti-lead is used differently. Anti-lead Weavile uses Fake Out to remove Focus Sash and then a priority move to finish the job, while anti-lead Jirachi tricks Choice Scarf to suicide leads, crippling them. Common anti-leads include Swampert, Scizor, Metagross, Weavile, Jirachi, and Tyranitar. Countering anti-leads can be difficult because strategy varies from Pokémon to Pokémon. Prediction is the most effective weapon against them.

Set-Up Leads- Set-up leads are Pokémon that set up entry hazards, weather, and/or Baton Pass chains. The term is broad and encompasses all leads that put the rest of the team in an advantageous position. It is difficult to summarize their strategies because set-up leads range from Ninjask to Bronzong and from Abomasnow to Zapdos. Common set-up leads include Ninjask, Bronzong, Tyranitar, Zapdos, Jirachi, and Heatran. Countering them depends on what type of team you're facing.


VII. Base Stats, Typing, and Coverage

A Pokémon’s stats and typing often determine its tier. For example, Celebi has a good supportive move pool and usable stats for Über battling. However, its 7 weaknesses bring it down to OU. Because of this, keeping your weaknesses in mind is crucial to battling competitively. When battling, it is a very good idea to familiarize yourself with the most commonly used Pokémon’s stats. If you don’t have any idea what a Pokémon’s highest stat is, you should find out before you try to beat Blissey with Zapdos. You should also keep in mind your own attack and defense stats (this guide assumes you understand EVs), since they will give you a better idea of how to switch a Pokémon into an attack. Just look over the stats of the top 20 Pokémon, and figure out how best to counter them.
Another important factor of competitive battling is your moveset’s coverage. If you have a Charizard with Flamethrower, Fire Blast, Cut, and Dragon Claw, you won’t do very well. However, if you use Flamethrower, HP-Grass, Focus Blast, and Dragon Pulse, you will do much better. The main goal of type coverage is to hit as many types for as much damage and with as few moves as possible. Between your team’s moves, you can give attacks that cover every type effectively, and it is wise to use this opportunity for good coverage as strategically as possible.
However, there are some moves that you want to avoid at all costs. For example, Hyper Beam and its variations are horrible moves, because of the turn spent recharging. Over the course of the two turns used after, say, Blast Burn, you do an average of 75 damage, whereas with Flamethrower, you do 95 both turns. Other moves to avoid are moves like Rollout and Ice Ball, which lock you into a move for 5 turn, during which your opponent could bring in a Pokémon that resists the move and use something like Swords Dance to set up for a sweep.

VIII. Threat List

Offensive threat list:

[email protected] Choice band
Adamant
252Atk 252Spe 4HP
Technician
Bullet Punch
Superpower
U-Turn
Pursuit

Arguably the best trapper and scouter in the game. Bullet punch and U-Turn will be the main attacks. Pursuit can be a nuisance to face as it gets Technician's boost and catches any foolish Gengar who try to switch out on this.

[email protected] Life Orb
Adamant
32 HP / 252 Atk / 224 Spe
Swords Dance
Bullet Punch
Brick Break / Superpower
X-Scissor / Roost / Quick Attack

This Scizor set has the potential to be virtually unstoppable. Once a Swords Dance is used, the Technician STAB LO boosted Bullet Punch can sweep entire teams. Zapdos, Heatran, Magnezone, and Rotom-h are good counters for both sets. Scizor has been in the number 1 spot since November, so it is recommended that you put a permanent Scizor counter on your team, since it won't likely go away soon.

[email protected] Life orb
Adamant
252Atk 252Spe 4HP
Dragon Dance
Outrage
Fire blast
Earthquake

DDmence is beastly. Without a good counter that can also take a Draco meteor it’s pretty much over. The three moves listed provide magnificent coverage. Mence is surely something to fear. The best way to deal with most Salamence is to use a bulky water like Suicune that can take a hit and use Ice Beam.

[email protected] Band
Adamant
252HP 252Atk 4SpD
Aqua tail
Stone edge
Crunch
Pursuit

A monster that can about 2HKO all of OU. Torments Blissey by either Crunching or Pursuiting it. Swampert and Gliscor work the best, as well as Fighting Pokémon like Hariyama, Machamp, and Lucario.


[email protected] / Life Orb
Timid / Modest
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Calm Mind
Dragon Pulse
Surf
Recover / Grass Knot / Hidden Power Fire


Latias is a very good bulky sweeper with equally good typing. This set is mostly designed to revenge kill or to switch into a Pokémon that will switch out from Latias, setting up CM, and sweeping. Latias can be hard to stop because of its speed and defenses. Tyranitar can use STAB Dark attacks to bring down Latias, and Steel types like Scizor and Metagross can Pursuit. Blissey can also stop Latias with Twave and a strong Special defense.

[email protected] Specs
Timid / Modest
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Draco Meteor
Surf
Dragon Pulse / Thunderbolt
Trick

This set can be used similarly to SpecsMence. Tbolt gives it good coverage, especially against steel and water types, both of which are types that commonly switch into Latias. However, since it can get locked into not very effective moves, it is easier to counter with Pursuit. Be careful of Trick, though. Scizor can become a fraction as useful as it would be without Choice Specs.

[email protected] Choice scarf
Naïve
252SpA 252Spe 4HP
Earth power
Fire blast
HP-Ice
Explosion

Heatran is a good revenge killer and is a top tier threat. It Earth Powers other Heatran, Fire Blast for powerful STAB, Explode to laugh at Blissey, which will do a ton of damage, and HP-Ice for dragons.

[email protected] orb
Adamant/Jolly
4 HP 252 Atk 252 Spe
Dragon dance
Waterfall
Earthquake
Stone edge

Gyarados is very bulky Pokémon with great typing, Dragon Dance, and a base 125Atk are nothing to laugh at. Gyarados's moves hit everything at least neutrally, except Breloom. It’s a bit more counterable than Salamence, but it can’t be overlooked because a Crit from Stone edge slaughters most of its counters. A Celebi is your best counter for Gyarados, with Reflect weakening Ice Fang and GK 3HKOing. Breloom doesn't like Intimidate, but it can put it to sleep with spore.

[email protected] Berry
Adamant
252HP 252Atk 4Def
Explosion
Bullet punch
Meteor mash
Earthquake/Stealth rock

Gross used as a lead. It forces suicide leads to only use one move. With a 135 Base Atk and Great defenses it even comes back later in the game. Meteor mash is a great STAB move with a chance to raise Atk one stage. Metagross is countered well by Rotom-h, Zapdos, and is easily revenge killed with Heatran.

[email protected] Orb
Naïve/Hasty
64 Atk / 252 SpA / 192 Spe
Nasty Plot
Fire Blast / Flamethrower
Close Combat / Vacuum Wave
Grass Knot / Hidden Power Ice

The "NP Mixape" was made for wall breaking. Close Combat will OHKO Blissey, TTar, Heatran, and Snorlax, all of whom are common switch-ins to Fire attacks. After just 1 Nasty Plot, GK will take out most Suicune, Milotic, and Slowbro, while Hippowdon, Donphan, and Swampert might as well just faint now. Fire Blast is prefered over Flamethrower, as it can OHKO Zapdos alone, and with Stealth Rock, Flygon, Cresselia, and even Salamence. Gyarados can beat any Infernape that doesn't have Tpunch or Stone Edge; just make sure SR is not present, and a Suicune that has some Special Defense can OHKO with Surf. Latias, Salamence, Cresselia (provided it has Psychic), and even Moltres can take Infernape out.

[email protected] orb
Adamant
Inner Focus
252Atk 252Spe 4Def
Swords dance
Extremespeed
Close Combat
Crunch

Luke is an awesome sweeper. With a ton of resistances, base 90 Speed and 110 Attack, Lucario is just…awesome. It is a great wall breaker and it can be difficult to counter at times. If you watch out for Ice Punch, Gliscor is the best counter, followed closely by Weezing with Will-o-Wisp and Flamethrower.

[email protected] Specs
Inner Focus
Modest/Timid
4 HP 252 SpA 252 Spe
Aura Sphere
Shadow Ball
Hidden Power Ice / Hidden Power Rock
Vacuum Wave

Specs Luke. This thing is an unreal wall breaker. Though not as common an the physical version, most people don't expect one. Calm Blissey can use T-Wave, and Gyarados can come into Aura Sphere with its surprisingly good Special Defense.

[email protected] Orb
Timid
4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Shadow Ball
Thunderbolt
Focus Blast
Hidden Power Fire / Explosion / Hypnosis

Gengar is a huge threat to many teams. It is fast and has a very diverse move-pool, making it unpredictable in many cases. Its poor defenses are compensated by three immunities: Fighting, Normal, and Ground. Anything with Pursuit can ruin Gengar, thus Weavile, TTar, and Gross can cause problems. Although no longer OU, Spiritomb can cause massive damage to any variant, especially the Choice sets, with Sucker Punch and Pursuit. Another common counter to Gengar is Scizor, which can use Bullet Punch which is an immediate OHKO or Pursuit which OHKOs on the switch.

[email protected] Specs/Scarf
Natural Cure
Timid / Modest
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Surf / Hydro Pump
Thunderbolt
Ice Beam
Trick / Grass Knot / Psychic

Starmie is a fast Pokémon with a great special attack and move pool. Because of its boltbeam, it can hit everything but Magnezone (hit neutrally by Surf, though), Lanturn (weak to GK), and Shedinja at least neutrally, and Starmie shouldn't even be out against them anyway. Surf provides even more coverage and STAB. Any of the three moves can work in the last slot. The one you choose depends on the rest of your team. The best Starmie counter is probably Lanturn, which can take a few GKs and it doesn't mind Choice Specs. Snorlax and Blissey can also counter Starmie effectively as well.

Defensive threat list:

[email protected]
Natural Cure
Calm
252 Def / 80 SpA / 176 SpD
Wish
Protect / Softboiled
Flamethrower / Ice Beam
Toxic

Blissey is perhaps the best Special Wall in the game. Her large HP and SpD stats make her very difficult to take down, and her Natural Cure ability eliminates the possibility of stalling it out with Toxic. Her Defense is pitiful, but can be compensated by max def combined with her large HP stat. The best counter to this set is Machamp, as Guts gives Machamp an incentive to get statused and the No Guard variants can Rest it off. Heracross also welcomes status, but must watch out for Flamethrower. Scizor is immune to Toxic, but must be even more wary of Flamethrower.

[email protected]
Relaxed
240 HP / 216 Def / 52 SpA
Earthquake
Ice Beam
Surf / Hydro Pump
Stealth Rock / Roar / Protect

Swampert is the only Bulky Water immune to Sandstorm, immune to Electric, and resistant to SR. This set is a support lead, as well as a general tank. Swampert's popularity can be attributed to its all around great stats aside from speed. This set can be difficult to switch into and counter because of the strength of both the moves and Swampert, in addition to it having merely a single weakness. The best counter to Swampert is Ludicolo, which can take Ice Beam and kill with Energy Ball. Celebi can also take an Ice attack and KO with GK. Basically, if it can survive a hit or outspeed, and it has a strong Grass attack, it can effectively counter Swampert.

[email protected]
Sand Veil
Impish
Earthquake
Roost
Stealth Rock / Knock Off
Stone Edge / Aerial Ace

Gliscor can be used as both a physical wall and team support. Gliscor can 2HKO TTar and OHKO Luke with EQ and Scare away Breloom and Heracross with Aerial Ace. However, Heracross and Breloom are all that Aerial Ace is going to hurt, so go with Stone Edge to beat Gyarados, Zapdos, and Salamence switch-ins. Gliscor is vulnerable to most Water types as they generally carry Ice and Water attacks. Gliscor also can do little to Cresselia.

[email protected]
Bold
248 HP / 228 Def / 32 Spe
Thunderbolt
Roost
Heat Wave / Hidden Power Ice
Hidden Power Grass / Roar

Zapdos works best as a general steel counter. Zapdos can switch into Scizor, Skarmory, Forretress, and Metagross (if there are no SR up) and threaten them with Heat Wave. HP Grass is for Swampert, which is a common switch in. Most Zapdos can be walled by Blissey and Tyranitar. Gliscor and Flygon can also be effective, but must beware of HP Ice.

[email protected]
Bold
188 HP / 252 Def / 68 Spe
Wish
Protect
Surf
Hidden Power Electric / Ice Beam / Toxic

Vaporeon is a support Pokemon; its job here is to keep its teammates alive. Wish can heal teammates while Vaporeon switches into Water attacks to heal itself. Ice Beam makes Vaporeon a good counter to Salamence while HP electric can counter Gyarados. Vaporeon can also stall opponents with Toxic and Protect, being very annoying to Pokemon that can't get around it. Since Vaporeon is so light, Grass Knot won't do too much to it, making it easier to bring in than other Bulky Waters. Tentacruel can treat Vaporeon as set-up bait even with HP electric, and Porygon2 can trace Water Absorb and use Tbolt on it. Magnezone, Rotom appliances, and Jolteon can force a switch as well.

[email protected]
Bold
252 HP / 168 Def / 88 Spe
Thunderbolt / Discharge
Shadow Ball / Hidden Power Fighting
Overheat
Will-O-Wisp / Reflect

Rotom-H is one of the best general steel counters in the game. It can switch into virtually everything Scizor does and force a switch with Overheat. It also is effective as a Rapid Spin blocker. Many Pokémon find trouble trying to switch in, as Rotom has great coverage and many potential counters are afraid of WoW. Tyranitar can switch in and counter it, but it must be careful of being burned. Machamp can work, but it can't take too many hits. Spiritomb also fairs well against Rotom-H.

[email protected]/Shed Shell
Keen Eye
Impish
252 HP / 64 Atk / 176 Def / 16 Spe
Brave Bird
Roost
Spikes / Stealth Rock
Whirlwind

Skarmory is a tough Pokémon to use without the right support. Skarmory needs a Special wall like Blissey or Latias to absorb special hits, as well as another Pokémon to take out the opponent's Pokémon which threaten it. The easiest way to use Skarmory is to have a weather condition such as Sandstorm or Hail to wear down the opponent, as well as another Pokémon to provide Toxic Spikes support. The reason why Skarmory needs so much support is because it has little offensive power and relys on damaging through Phazing the opponent into entry hazards. Skarmory is easily countered by Magnezone, Heatran, Rotom-H, and virtually any super-effective special attack.

[email protected]
Levitate
Sassy
252 HP / 86 Atk / 80 Def / 92 SpD / 0 Spe IV
Gyro Ball
Stealth Rock
Hypnosis
Earthquake

Bronzong can be a very annoying wall to take down. Gyro Ball can OHKO many of the fastest leads and sweepers such as Aerodactyl, Weavile, Gengar, and 2HKO TTar. Hypnosis can cripple threats and force switches, while EQ hits what Gyro Ball doesn't. Magnezone outspeeds Bronzong and can use magnet rise to avoid EQ, and the Rotom formes, especially Rotom-H, resist Gyro Ball and EQ, and can force a switch. Infernape and Heatran can come into Gyro Ball and kill, but must do so before it uses EQ. Moltres and Blissey can counter it too.

IX. Helpful websites

http://www.serebii.net/index2.shtml- Probably the best general reference Pokémon site ever.
http://www.smogon.com/- Provides the best articles and movesets that can be found. I recommend reading the speed tiers, maximizing defenses, and team support articles.
http://www.psypokes.com/dex/index.php- This is a lesser used site that offers some unique tools which I find useful.
http://www.smogon.com/calc/- This is the most user friendly damage calculator that you can find, and extremely easy to use. Far superior to the previous one.
http://shoddybattle.com- shoddy battle is costless and virus-free java based online battle simulator. Focker, lee212, and I do most of our battling here. I recommend it whether or not you can battle on Wi-Fi.
http://www.smogon.com/forum...?t=60906- August usage statistics. These are invaluable for making teams.
http://www.smogon.com/forum...?t=59234- Average mevesets and EVs for July.
http://www.smogon.com/forum...?t=51656- A helpful guide on prediction
http://www.smogon.com/forum...?t=51714- A helpful guide for strategic switching


X. Thanks

Lee212, for writing parts of, contributing to, and reviewing this guide for me
Rich, for making the SC fora
Gaylord M. Focker, for indirectly giving me the idea for this guide
Smogon.com, for providing most of this information
You, for reading it

If you have any questions or comments, post them here.

« Last edited by rate_me on Jan 18th 2010 »


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hatershateme Posted at: 09:51 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553795
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You forgot to mention the Quake/Slide combo

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rate_me Posted at: 09:54 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553800
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On 22-Feb-2009 hatershateme said:You forgot to mention the Quake/Slide combo
For what, and where would it go?


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hatershateme Posted at: 10:10 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553817
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Quake/Slide covers pretty much anything that is on the ground
You should put it where you put the Bolt/Beam combo

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rate_me Posted at: 10:16 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553820
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On 22-Feb-2009 hatershateme said:Quake/Slide covers pretty much anything that is on the ground
You should put it where you put the Bolt/Beam combo
Earthquake and Rock Slide? I've never heard it called that before. Since it is a list of commonly used phrases, I don't think it would go there. However, I will mention the coverage on the threat list.


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hatershateme Posted at: 11:30 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553867
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Did you do it yet?

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rate_me Posted at: 11:34 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553871
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On 22-Feb-2009 hatershateme said:Did you do it yet?
Yes, it's the thing about Gyarados's coverage.


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Gaylord M. Focker Posted at: 11:35 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553872
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I am heavily impressed. This must have taken alot of time to do. I respect you more than ever since I cant imagine how hard it is try and cover so much so fast. To think this took a whole weekend. Applause You seem to have coverd the moste important things and I think people here on SC will understand competetive battling much better after taking a look att this. Btw Isnt a Rapid Spinner a commonly used phrase? And one qeastion. How did I indirectly give you the idea for this guide. Just curious. All in all fantastic work.Thumbs Up
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Gaylord M. Focker Posted at: 11:41 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553876
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Btw I would like you to add a description on balanced teams on section IV. Strategies. A team who has 3 or 4 sweeprs, 1 or 2 walls, 1 tank etc etc. Since I couldnt find a description of that team typ. Think it would be nice if you add that.
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rate_me Posted at: 11:43 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553879
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On 22-Feb-2009 Gaylord M. Focker said:I am heavily impressed. This must have taken alot of time to do. I respect you more than ever since I cant imagine how hard it is try and cover so much so fast. To think this took a whole weekend. Applause You seem to have coverd the moste important things and I think people here on SC will understand competetive battling much better after taking a look att this. Btw Isnt a Rapid Spinner a commonly used phrase? And one qeastion. How did I indirectly give you the idea for this guide. Just curious. All in all fantastic work.Thumbs Up
Thanks! I didn't include Rapid Spinner because I thought it was obvious what it is. When we were on shoddy a little while ago talking about how to improve the overall general knowledge of the average user, I forget what you said, but it gave me the idea to do this guide. I was up until 2:30 last night finishing it up because I wanted to post it first thing today.


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pity Posted at: 11:43 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553880
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please do not double post. edit your post next time ;P

and rate_me... wow, excellent guide!!! Applause
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rate_me Posted at: 11:50 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553887
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On 22-Feb-2009 Gaylord M. Focker said:Btw I would like you to add a description on balanced teams on section IV. Strategies. A team who has 3 or 4 sweeprs, 1 or 2 walls, 1 tank etc etc. Since I couldnt find a description of that team typ. Think it would be nice if you add that.
Balanced team is a bit of a broad category, and they focus on too many strategies to put in a general guide like this.

Thanks, Pity.

« Last edited by rate_me on Feb 22nd 2009 »


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pity Posted at: 11:56 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553892
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Hey rate_me, I find difficult to get the desired Hidden Power type and power. could you help me on this?
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Gaylord M. Focker Posted at: 12:01 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553898
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On 22-Feb-2009 pity said:Hey rate_me, I find difficult to get the desired Hidden Power type and power. could you help me on this?
There is a HP calculator on Serebii.net. The calculator helps alot.
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pity Posted at: 12:01 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553900
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i didn't understand it very much lol. - - U
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rate_me Posted at: 12:03 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553902
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On 22-Feb-2009 pity said:Hey rate_me, I find difficult to get the desired Hidden Power type and power. could you help me on this?
If you click the first smogon link, then go to articles, there is an awesome breeding guide. Here is the part about IVs: http://www.smogon.com/dp/ar...de_part3


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DemonOfSand Posted at: 12:16 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553914
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On 22-Feb-2009 pity said:i didn't understand it very much lol. - - U
Try metalkid's http://www.metalkid.info/Pokemon/OnlineProgram/Calculators/HiddenPower.aspx

For IV's, here's another: http://www.metalkid.info/Pokemon/OnlineProgram/Calculators/IV.aspx

P.S. Moving to correct forum.

« Last edited by DemonOfSand on Feb 22nd 2009 »
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rate_me Posted at: 12:24 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553921
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On 22-Feb-2009 DemonOfSand said:Try metalkid's http://www.metalkid.info/Pokemon/OnlineProgram/Calculators/HiddenPower.aspx

For IV's, here's another: http://www.metalkid.info/Pokemon/OnlineProgram/Calculators/IV.aspx

P.S. Moving to correct forum.
poke.addicted said that it was fine in general series. I'm not sure of how much attention it will get here.


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DemonOfSand Posted at: 12:31 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2553929
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On 22-Feb-2009 rate_me said:poke.addicted said that it was fine in general series. I'm not sure of how much attention it will get here.
You should have said that in your first post. Anyway, I'm not moving it back as that's going to make the forum look messy.
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lee212 Posted at: 14:02 Feb22 2009 Post ID: 2554000
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Where is the part about Blissey?
You edited it out?

« Last edited by lee212 on Feb 22nd 2009 »

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