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 A Guide to Teambuilding

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Bunselpower
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PostSubject: A Guide to Teambuilding   Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:40 am

Battling Pokemon is fun. It's a lot of fun. But the fun can be lost if you don't have a very good team. Teambuilding is a tough skill, and while I am far from a master, I have been developing a process that I think hits on the fundamentals of teambuilding and that some may hopefully find useful. I'll start off with a very general step by step section, then I'll put my process to the test and build a team from scratch right here. If you already have your own method of teambuilding, you can stop right here.

But Bunselpower, you say, why should I teambuild? Why can't I just pick the top 6 threats from the Smogon tier list and just battle? There are two reasons. The first is that everyone will hate you for using a "cookie cutter" team. Second, and more importantly, you will have no guarantee of synergy, and, even if you do, you won't really have an idea how the team works. Starting from scratch ensures that you have assembled parts that work well together, and also that you know how the team works as a unit. Using Pokemon based strictly on tiers leads you to believe that lower tiered Pokemon can't or shouldn't be used in the higher tiers, and nothing could be further from the truth.

The first thing to realize is that when you want to build a good team, from scratch, you should almost never be done in 5 minutes (Even a Hyper Offense team). You need to spend a good amount of time thinking about the team, what you want it to accomplish, and what it's major strong and weak points are. There is no magic formula, no 7 easy steps. I'm writing down my method because it works for me, but at the end of the day, team building is an art AND a science; an exercise in both creativity and critical thinking.

The first step when building a team should be choosing your main Pokemon. This doesn't have to be your Sweeper, it can be anything. I recently made a team based around a Choice Specs user.

NOTE: If you want to decide before this that you want to make a certain type of team (Volt Switch, OU, etc.), that's perfectly fine. Just look at the theme and pick a main Pokemon that executes your theme the best. The main steps remain the same, you can decide to make a specialized team at any point during the process.

The second step is to then begin setting up a core with your main Pokemon. Offensive, Defensive, or Mixed, you have to pick one or two Pokemon that will play well with your main Pokemon. There are countless criteria when choosing such a Pokemon. Ability, Stats, Movepool; but probably the most important is typing/coverage. An core with two or three Pokemon that cover the same types isn't going to be a threat if you happen to come up against a type that falls outside of your coverage. Make sure to cover weaknesses and get abilities and moves that play off of each other.

The third step is a type analysis. You need to pause and look at the typing of your Pokemon. I create an offensive and defensive chart that highlight Weaknesses and Resistances to every type. It takes a couple minutes to make and really helps you. This step is crucial because you need to make sure you don't have any giant weaknesses. If the weakness is too bad, you may want to change out a Pokemon or two. As long as it isn't too bad, you're ready for the next step.

The fourth step is a different one. Keep your newly assembled core in mind, but take stock of your team. Look at my definitions page in the section under Pokemon Roles, and see how many your existing Pokemon fulfill. Then take a look at what it needs. If it's susceptible to Hazards, get a Spinner/Defogger. If it has trouble breaking through common Walls, look for a Wallbreaker. And so on and so on. Try to fill as many roles as possible. This is probably the most crucial step, because it requires you to be able to analyze your own team and know what it's biggest threats are, causing you to know it much better. This step is usually left out by many teambuilders, and it shows, as they aren't cognizant of how their team really works. This step should yield you 2-3 more Pokemon, so you should now have 5.

Repeat Step 3 with your 5 Pokemon

The fifth step is the hardest. It's time for the "Glue". The sixth Pokemon is usually the hardest to fit on a team, because you're trying to fill as many roles as possible. This Pokemon will tie the team together Type-wise, Role-wise, and Synergy-wise. Your ability to fit in a perfect sixth Pokemon will ultimately decide how smoothly your team plays.

The sixth and final step is to test. Go to Showdown, make a test account, and battle. Continue to battle until you see how your team stacks up against the big threats in the tier. Then reevaluate until you can consistently win games.

Example

I used a Random Generator, and the first non-Uber/LC Pokemon I got was Dragonite, so I'll be starting with that.

Step One: Since the first Pokemon is entirely up to choice, I decided to let chance decide for me. I love Dragonite anyway, so let's just run with that. I'm just going to make a regular "Balanced" team, because Dragonite fits best onto that kind. I love Weakness Policy, so I'm going to run an Adamant Dragon Dance Weakness Policy Dragonite as my main Pokemon.

Step Two: Dragonite is Dragon/Flying and can tank a hit with Multiscale, so I'm going to pick something that will synergize well with it. It is weak to Dragon, Rock, Ice, and Fairy, so I would like something that can take on all four of those types. Obviously, this is a lot for one Pokemon, but we can at least take on the most dangerous ones. Looking at those types, I see that Steel can deal with those, and we don't have a Mega yet, so I'm thinking Mega Mawile would be a welcome addition to the team.

Step Three: After a type analysis, these Pokemon actually cover each other's weaknesses, but I see Mega Gyarados will hit these two hard, so I'm going to add Defensive Quagsire to the mix. Unaware really helps out my own team a lot.

Step Four: My sweepers could use some Cleric support, and I love Umbreon, so lets add him to the team as well. He can be a special wall too. He can pair pretty well with Quagsire to form a decent defensive core. I need to put my attention to Hazards now. Dragonite needs to be rid of hazards to get in, so I need a reliable hazard remover. Looking at my team, I don't have any special attackers, so that is also something to consider. I'm between Zapdos and Starmie, both are great options. But since we already have a water type, I'm going to go with Zapdos.

Step Five: Time for another analysis. Survey says I have a newly acquired weakness to Fairy and Ice. A Steel type will take care of that. But a Fire Type will as well. I think Chandelure will work quite well here.

Will the team work well together? I don't know. That's up to you to find out. Feel free to take it and test it and post what the shortcomings are.

I hope you enjoyed this guide, as I mentioned, this isn't the only or the best way to do this, but it is my way, and it has served me well over the years.

Extremely Useful Links:

Best Teambuilder I have ever seen (Credit goes to the YouTuber Pyrotoz)

Serebii - For checking out Pokemon stats, weaknesses, moves, and everything else you need to know.

Smogon Competitive Pokedex - Disclaimer: Do not become reliant on this. I am putting it reluctantly, because seeing the more effective ways to use Pokemon really helps you to decide if something will work or not. However, simply picking sets from here is a one way ticket to becoming a superbly average and predictable battler. I do not follow Smogon rules generally when I battle, and I don't take their sets as gospel.

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Last edited by Bunselpower on Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:00 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Mademoiselle C
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PostSubject: Re: A Guide to Teambuilding   Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:45 am

There's one in the trubbish bin if you need some inspiration Razz

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Bunselpower
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PostSubject: Re: A Guide to Teambuilding   Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:06 am

I actually have a method, I just haven't typed it up yet.

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Bunselpower
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PostSubject: Re: A Guide to Teambuilding   Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:19 pm

Update bump.

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PostSubject: Re: A Guide to Teambuilding   Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:00 pm

*standing ovation* (now I have one more expression in my vocabulary Very Happy cookie-cutter lol)
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Bunselpower
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PostSubject: Re: A Guide to Teambuilding   Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:46 pm

Update: Found a website with the slickest teambuilder I've ever seen. It basically is everything I said to do, only you don't have to do it by hand.

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