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Show Up to Showdown! The LV Guide to the Showdown Competitive Game

Discussion in 'Pokémon General' started by Darcy, Jun 26, 2017.

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  1. Darcy

    Darcy Strongest Blade in Valor

    Eurydice
    (Brione)
    Level 21
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Posts:
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    PokéPoints:
    ₽1,095.3
    Philosopher's CowlPsychium Z ★★★★Gardevoirite ★★★★Galladite ★★★★Heart Scale ★★
    Pokémon Showdown is an online site run by Smogon that makes competitive battling easier than ever. You don’t have to waste hours breeding for egg moves, natures, perfect IVs, or anything. All you have to do is add six Pokémon to your team, give them whatever moves, natures, EV spreads, abilities, items, and whatever else you desire in order to make the team you want! ... If only it was that simple. While Showdown at its core is easy to come to grips with, since it's focused on competition and uses rules set by the Smogon community, it can be intimidating for players who are not very familiar with it. But fear not! This guide will explain tiers, commonly used strategies, counters for said strategies, useful moves, abilities, and items!


    Please note that the competitive scene on Showdown is constantly changing! New rules are added, Pokémon are tested and put into tiers. As changes are made, they will be noted here.

    In competitive battling, you’ll learn very quickly that what you do in a casual playthrough of a Pokémon game is ineffective here. You can’t just heal your Pokémon, switch into whatever is effective, and expect your opponent to sit there and take it. The main thing to remember is that you’re battling against human players. Battling against a machine is one thing, but it’s very different when battling against another person. They’re strategizing, trying to predict what you’re going to do next. The ones who’ve been in this for a good while probably already know what you’re going to do. You have to be strategic as well, or you’ll find that you’ll be swept under the rug.

    One thing that is used a lot in competitive play that may surprise newer players is that your opponent can - and will - switch out their Pokémon. They won’t be afraid to switch if it will give them an advantage, and you should utilize this as well. Switching is very important, especially since you can’t use items like Revives or Potions. You have to be careful with every member of your team.

    Logic is very important in competitive battling. Considering what your opponent will do and what they can predict you doing is an important aspect of competitive battling. Of course, prediction is not the most important thing, because perfectly predicting every move is impossible. Taking risks is not any better than playing it safe, but there is a time and place for it all. You have to think about everything in the long term, which is why logic is so important. Considering every possible situation and planning accordingly can win you the match.

    Tiers are how Pokémon are classified in competitive battling. This classification is based on a variety of things, like available moves, abilities, stats, and how much usage they get. Each tier, when played with that format in mind, has rules and Pokémon, moves, abilities, and items that are banned.


    Standard Rules:
    • Endless Battle Clause: Any moveset on any Pokémon that is capable of intentionally causing an endless battle is banned from competitive play. Thus:
    -A Pokémon may not carry Recycle and hold a Leppa Berry in conjunction with Heal Pulse and Milk Drink, -Moonlight, Morning Sun, Recover, Roost, Slack Off, Soft-Boiled, or Wish.
    -A Pokémon may not hold a Leppa Berry and carry Recycle and Pain Split on its moveset.

    -A Pokémon may not hold a Leppa Berry and carry Recycle and Fling on its moveset.

    • Evasion Clause: The moves Double Team and Minimize are not permitted in play.
    • Moody Clause: Pokémon with the ability Moody are not permitted.
    • OHKO Clause: A Pokémon may not have the moves Fissure, Guillotine, Horn Drill, or Sheer Cold in its moveset.
    • Sleep Clause: Only one Pokémon may be put to sleep on the opposing team at a time, if not induced by a move such as Rest.
    • Species Clause: Players cannot have two Pokémon with the same Pokédex number on the same team.
    • Pokémon may be up to level 100

    PU Tier: “PU” doesn’t actually stand for anything, as it's more of a joke than anything else. This tier has all of the Pokémon that are simply not used enough to be in the NU (Never Used) tier. Not all of these Pokémon are bad, per say. They just don’t get used enough for one reason or another. These Pokémon can still be used in NU, however.

    • Pokémon in the Uber, OU, UU, and RU tiers by usage
    • Barbaracle
    • Carracosta
    • Exeggutor
    • Linoone
    • Throh
    • Victreebel
    • Vigoroth

    • Drizzle
    • Drought
    • Shadow Tag

    • Swagger
    • Chatter

    List of Pokemon in the PU tier.


    Never Used (NU) Tier: These are the Pokémon that aren’t used enough to be in RU (Rarely Used). Like with PU, these Pokémon aren’t bad. They just don’t get used enough. You can discover many hidden gems here, like Ambipom and Cofagrigus. These Pokémon can still be used in RU.

    • Pokémon in the Uber, OU, UU, and RU tiers by usage
    • Combusken
    • Sigilyph

    • Drizzle
    • Drought
    • Shadow Tag

    Swagger

    List of Pokemon in the NU tier.


    Rarely Used (RU) Tier: This tier includes Pokémon that fall just short of the UU (Under Used) tier. Pokémon placed in RU can still be used in UU, and while some of them can be pretty powerful, they aren't used enough in order to change their tier placement.

    • Pokémon in the Uber, OU, and UU tiers.
    • Dragalge
    • Froslass
    • Kyurem
    • Moltres
    • Pangoro
    • Shuckle
    • Tornadus
    • Yanmega
    • Zoroark

    Houndoomite

    • Drizzle
    • Drought
    • Shadow Tag

    Swagger


    List of Pokemon in the RU tier.


    Under Used (UU): These Pokémon are not used enough to be classified as OU (Over Used), but don’t be fooled. UU has plenty of powerhouses, like Mega Absol, Sylveon, and even our own mascot, Azelf. These Pokémon can still be used in OU.

    • Pokémon in the Uber and OU tiers by usage
    • Crawdaunt
    • Diggersby
    • Hawlucha
    • Klefki
    • Scolipede
    • Smeargle
    • Staraptor
    • Terrakion
    • Thundurus-T
    • Togekiss
    • Tornadus-T
    • Venomoth
    • Victini
    • Volcarona
    • Weavile
    • Zygarde

    • Alakazite
    • Heracronite
    • Medichamite
    • Pinsirite

    • Drizzle
    • Drought
    • Shadow Tag

    Swagger

    List of Pokemon in the UU tier.


    Over Used (OU): OU is Smogon’s standard tier, and the highest level of play is seen here. OU is the basis on all the other tiers on Smogon and is where most of the commonly seen competitive Pokémon are. Many Pokémon like Volcarona, Toxapex, and Garchomp can be found in this tier, so expect to see more Pokémon like that when battling in OU! The most powerful Pokémon, such as legendaries, are banned from OU, being placed in the Ubers tier, and OU Pokémon cannot be placed in Ubers based on usage. Classification in Ubers is based on power alone.

    • Aegislash
    • Arceus
    • Blaziken
    • Darkrai
    • Deoxys
    • Deoxys-A
    • Deoxys-D
    • Deoxys-S
    • Dialga
    • Genesect
    • Giratina
    • Giratina-O
    • Greninja
    • Groudon
    • Ho-Oh
    • Kyogre
    • Kyurem-W
    • Lugia
    • Mewtwo
    • Palkia
    • Rayquaza
    • Reshiram
    • Shaymin-S
    • Xerneas
    • Yveltal
    • Zekrom

    • Gengarite
    • Kangaskhanite
    • Lucarionite
    • Mawilite
    • Salamencite
    • Soul Dew

    Swagger

    List of Pokemon in the OU tier.


    Ubers: Here we are, the almighty powerhouses. This is the tier reserved for the strongest of them all. You’ll find most legendary Pokémon here, along with Pokémon that got Mega Evolutions that made them totally ridiculous. Expect to see Mega Metagross, Aegislash, and Arceus a lot here.

    Mega Rayquaza

    Swagger

    List of Pokemon in the Uber tier.


    You may be wondering where Mega Rayquaza fits if it's banned in Ubers, which seems to be fitting for this titan. Well… This thing is too powerful even for Ubers. It's the only Pokémon as of now that can only be used in Anything Goes, a format that allows for any Pokémon, items, and abilities to be used. Or, since the abbreviation is “AG,” we jokingly call it “A God.” Because it is.

    Sources: Smogon

    If you have anything to add, feel free to comment below!
    Thank you to @TheIllusionFox for helping with writing this guide and to @karatekid770 for reviewing it!
     
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    #1 Jun 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
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  2. Darcy

    Darcy Strongest Blade in Valor

    Eurydice
    (Brione)
    Level 21
    Joined:
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    Posts:
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    PokéPoints:
    ₽1,095.3
    Philosopher's CowlPsychium Z ★★★★Gardevoirite ★★★★Galladite ★★★★Heart Scale ★★
    There are many formats you can play in on Showdown. In fact, there are so many that explaining them here would take literally forever, so we’ll just be covering the most common ones.​

    Anything Goes


    Anything Goes is a format that allows any Pokémon from any tier to be used on the same team together. Along with that, the only rule is the Endless Battles Clause. There’s not much to it other than that.


    Tier Based Teams


    A common thing you’ll see on Showdown are teams that only include Pokémon from a specific tier. Many prefer this since you only have certain Pokémon to keep in mind when crafting strategies.


    Random Battles


    Random Battles is a popular format that allows players to battle each other with completely random Pokémon. These Pokémon have random movesets and items, and neither you or your opponent's know what you’re going to get until the battle started. It’s a good way to familiarize yourself with different Pokémon, their playstyles, and so on.

    Double Battles


    Double battles are battles where both you and your opponent have two Pokémon out on the field at a time. While it seems very simple, there’s a lot of strategy here that isn’t in single battles. Moves like Skill Swap and Helping Hand are extremely useful here, and it makes you think twice about using powerful moves like Surf, Earthquake, and Lava Plume, which attack all Pokémon on the field. Double battles tend to go a lot faster than single battles, and it allows for a lot of interesting strategies.


    Monotype Battles


    Monotype battles are battles where you are only allowed to have one type of Pokémon for your team, and you have to battle another opponent’s Monotype team. A good example of this would be a team where all of your Pokémon share the Dark type, or they all share the Electric type. This format requires a little more thinking than some other formats because you have to think about what your team is weak to, and then build a strategy to combat that weakness. Say that you have a Fire Monotype team, and you know that a major weakness is Ground. Giving one of your Pokémon an Air Balloon item will make sure that it will not be affected by that Ground weakness, which leaves you with more time to focus on other weaknesses, as well as your opponent’s weaknesses.


    If you want to familiarize yourself with all of the Smogon formats, click here.

    Sources: Smogon
     
    #2 Jun 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
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  3. Darcy

    Darcy Strongest Blade in Valor

    Eurydice
    (Brione)
    Level 21
    Joined:
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    Posts:
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    PokéPoints:
    ₽1,095.3
    Philosopher's CowlPsychium Z ★★★★Gardevoirite ★★★★Galladite ★★★★Heart Scale ★★
    There are a ton of moves at this point in the series, so there are bound to be moves that are more useful than others and are used a ton because of that. We’ll be focused on the ones you’ll see on most teams.​
    Protect/Detect: These moves will protect you from an attack, be it damaging or status inducing, for one turn. Other than the amount of PP and the type of the move (which affects nothing with this kind of move) they’re basically the same thing. These two moves are incredibly useful. While they do not protect you against Z-moves, they do reduce the damage you take from them. It’s also really good if you have a Pokémon with the move Wish, a move that heals half of a Pokémon’s HP after one turn. This allows you to take no damage before your Pokémon gets healed. For additional information, click here.)

    Substitute: This move will create a doll-like substitute that will protect the Pokémon who used the move, and will remain in effect until a certain amount of damage has been taken. The downside to this move is that it takes ¼ of the HP of the Pokémon. This move does have its great uses though; it can be passed on through Baton Pass, and it cannot be affected by damaging and non-damaging moves, as well as Z-Moves. A good move to pair with Substitute would be Wish, which heals half of the Pokémon’s HP. When the Pokémon is equipped with a Normalium Z and uses Z-Substitute, all of the Pokémon’s lowered stats can be reset. For additional information, click here.)

    Baton Pass: This move is non-damaging, and switches out the user in order to pass both temporary increased and decreased stats to the Pokémon that is switched in. Statuses such as substitutes and confusion can also be passed. However, Baton Pass will not work if the user is the only Pokémon left in the party (then the Pokémon is just handing the baton to itself). And stat decreases are also carried over, not just stat increases, so you have to pay close attention. If equipped with Normalium Z, Z-Baton Pass will reset the user’s lowered stats. (For more information, click here.)

    Knock Off: When you’re in competitive and items are abundant and very useful, a move like this is very useful to have. It’s not the most powerful move, but hitting the opposing Pokémon with this will knock off their item, which can wreck their strategy. While this doesn’t work for Z-crystals and Mega Stones, it works for pretty much every other item. (For more information, click here.)

    Destiny Bond: Destiny Bond is one of the stranger moves, but nonetheless useful and common. If Destiny Bond is in effect when the user is knocked out, the opponent will be knocked out as well. This is best with fast and frail Pokémon, and they can turn what seems like an impossible situation in your favor. (For more information, click here.)

    Taunt: Taunt is one of those moves you’d never use in casual play but flourishes in competitive battling. With how much of it focuses on stat raising or weather conditions, Taunt is total murder. Taunt is a move that, when used, forces your opponent to use only damaging moves. This means that they can’t use Protect, any stat raising moves, any status moves, any recovery moves, none of that for three turns. While this doesn’t seem major, this is very useful since what most people do first in a battle is set up. This will delay that long enough for you to get some good damage in. (For more information, click here.)

    Priority Moves: Priority moves are moves that allow the user to attack before the opponent regardless of the difference in Speed stat (unless the opponent also uses a priority move. Which move goes first depends on high one has higher priority. If the moves have the same level of priority it's a coin flip, like a Speed tie). While these are usually low power, they are essential for slower Pokémon. A Sword Dance-Quick Attack is nothing to mess around with. (For a list of priority moves and more information, click here.)

    Stat Affecting Moves: These are some of the most useful, and common, moves you can have on a Pokémon. That is when they’re boosting your stats. These moves either have a chance of increasing (or just increase) or decrease a certain stat or stats. Some of the most popular ones that just increase stats are Tail Glow and Swords Dance, which increase Special Attack and Physical Attack respectively. There are also moves that are both damaging and have a chance of increasing your stats or decreasing your opponent's. Volcarona’s signature Fiery Dance is a perfect example of this, with having the highest chance of increasing a stat (Special Attack in this case) out of any damaging move like this. And then there are really powerful moves like Mega Rayquaza’s Dragon Ascent that decrease your stats after it's used. It’s a gamble with those kinds of moves. They are powerful but leave you incredibly weakened and sometimes vulnerable to attacks if a defensive stat is lowered.

    Status Moves: These moves tend to affect the opposing Pokémon, weakening them in some form or fashion. The status problems in Pokémon, like burns and poisonings, are brought into competitive in order to cripple the opposing team. Moves like Thunder Wave and Hypnosis can paralyze and make a Pokémon fall asleep respectively, without actually lowering a Pokémon’s HP, while Toxic and Will-O-Wisp poison and burn the opposing Pokémon and slowly faint the Pokémon. Other moves like Scald and Thunderbolt can also cause status problems like burns and paralyzing, and Poison Jab can also poison a Pokémon. Moves like Outrage can also confuse the user. Many people tend to use Toxic because the amount of damage taken by poison increases per turn. Poison Fang also has a chance of inflicting the target with the badly poisoned status. These are the only moves that do this.

    Team Affecting Moves: These moves affect your entire team when used for a certain amount of turns. These are instrumental to your team, especially moves like Reflect and Light Screen, which can really help if your Pokémon aren’t very defensive.

    Field Moves: These are moves that affect all of the Pokémon out on the battlefield, moves like Trick Room, weather moves like Sandstorm, and the Terrain Moves. Trick Room and weather moves usually require teams to be built around them, but these teams can be incredibly powerful and throw an unexpecting Pokémon off guard. The Terrain moves are best for Monotype teams.

    Recovery Moves: These moves recover the user’s HP or can heal status conditions. These are incredibly useful and can help you when you’re in a bind. Recover and Wish are the ones you’ll see the most often, and will heal half of the user’s HP. Wish, however, takes a turn after use in order to heal the user, while Recover heals the user upon using the move. There are other moves that heal Pokémon, like Soft-Boiled, Roost, and Milk Drink, but they can only be used by certain Pokémon (they still have the same effect as Recover though). Moves like Heal Bell are also very useful since they heal your whole team from status conditions like Burn and Poison. In double battles, Heal Pulse is a good move to have, since the user can target the ally Pokémon and heal it. And there’s also Healing Wish, which knocks out the user to fully heal an ally.

    (For additional info about status and stat affecting moves, click here.)

    Sources: Bulbapedia
     
    #3 Jun 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
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  4. Darcy

    Darcy Strongest Blade in Valor

    Eurydice
    (Brione)
    Level 21
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Posts:
    679
    PokéPoints:
    ₽1,095.3
    Philosopher's CowlPsychium Z ★★★★Gardevoirite ★★★★Galladite ★★★★Heart Scale ★★
    Like with moves, there are a ton of different abilities, some that are unique to certain Pokémon. This adds a whole new layer of complexity to battles and can make a seemingly average Pokémon into something pretty great.
    Status Based Abilities: These are abilities that boost a Pokémon in some way when afflicted with a status condition. The most common ability like this is Guts, which boosts the damage a Pokémon does when afflicted with a status condition. There are also some weird variations of this one, like Toxic Boost and Flare Boost, which increase physical attack when poisoned and special attack when burned respectively. And then there’s the unique ability of Poison Heal, which heals the Pokémon when poisoned or badly poisoned. Only Gliscor and the Shroomish family can have this ability and they utilize it very well. These abilities allow for some interesting strategies and playstyles.

    Weather Based Abilities: These abilities change what the weather of the battlefield is, and will give a certain type the advantage. One of these is Drought, where the weather turns Sunny Day-like, and boosts Fire type moves while weakening Water type moves. Drizzle is the Rain Dance equivalent, where Water type moves are boosted while Fire is weakened. Abilities like Snow Warning will start Hail, and Sand Stream will cause Sandstorms, both of which hurt Pokémon not resistant to the weather condition. Meaning, Hail will not hurt Ice types, and Sandstorms won't hurt Rock, Ground and Steel types. However, as soon as another Pokémon switches in with a different weather inducing ability, the weather will change to that one. A good example of this would be if a Pokémon with Drought was switched in, and replaced a Sandstorm with Sunny Day. (For additional info, click here.)

    Damaging Abilities: These are abilities which damage the opposing Pokémon by coming into contact with them. Rough Skin is a good example of this, where each hit to the Pokémon with that ability will take 1/16 of the HP of the opposing Pokémon if it makes contact. Iron Barbs is like Rough Skin, except it takes ⅛ of the opposing Pokémon’s HP. A move that hits multiple times, like Fury Swipes and Rock Blast, will trigger the ability each time it makes contact, making these damaging abilities much more dangerous the more times the move hits.

    Immunity Abilities: These are abilities that make the Pokémon immune to certain things, like status conditions or types of moves. Own Tempo prevents you from getting confused (which is very useful if you have a Pokémon with Petal Dance or Outrage), Immunity makes you immune to poison, Limber protects you from paralysis, and so on. There are also abilities like Flash Fire, Water Absorb, and Levitate that make you immune to certain types of moves.

    Trapping Abilities: These abilities ensure that the opposing Pokémon cannot escape or switch out of battle. Two good examples are Arena Trap and Shadow Tag, both of which prevents from Pokémon switching out. This can be bypassed, however, if a Pokémon uses Baton Pass or Volt Switch, so then the Pokémon can switch out. Ghost type Pokémon are immune to Shadow Tag, and Teleport will not work when Shadow Tag is in effect.

    Stat Increasing Abilities: These abilities are part of the reason why Mega Blaziken is placed in Ubers, and why Scolipede is so popular. These two both have Speed Boost, which increases their speed stat by one stage per turn. When paired with Protect/Detect and Baton Pass, that ability can be feared on the battlefield. There are also abilities like Moxie, which raises a Pokémon’s Attack stat by one stage every time an opposing Pokémon has fainted, as well as Beast Boost, which powers up an Ultra Beast’s highest stat by one stage. There's also Moody, which randomly increases one stat and lowers another each turn, but that is banned because of the Moody Clause (meaning that the only format it is allowed on is Anything Goes).

    Damage Increasing Abilities: These are abilities that (of course) increase the damage of the Pokémon’s moves. This gives some weaker moves that were previously outclassed the extra boost that they needed. Mega Launcher powers up aura and pulse moves, which makes the already powerful Dragon Pulse and Aura Sphere even stronger. Strong Jaw powers up biting attacks, like Bite, Psychic Fangs, and Crunch. And if you want to get really crazy, there’s Tough Claws, which powers up all physical attacks.

    Disguise: Disguise is a new ability that is exclusive to Mimikyu that allows for a whole new level of strategy. Disguise allows Mimikyu to take one hit without any damage, basically like a Substitute but without the health sacrifice. You can do anything with this free turn that you get, like setting up a Swords Dance, Will-o-wisp, or just attack.

    Protean: Protean is one of the most unique abilities to be introduced. This ability changes the Pokémon’s typing to the type of the move they used, allowing for STAB (same type attack bonus) on every move. Greninja is a well-known utilizer of this ability, with it’s good move pool, speed, and attack stats.

    Mold Breaker:
    This is an odd ability, but extremely useful. This allows the Pokémon to use moves on their opponent regardless of the opponent's abilities. For example, a Pokémon with Mold Breaker can use Earthquake on a Pokémon with Levitate. The only abilities where this does not apply are Aura Break, Magic Guard, Comatose, Full Metal Body, Shadow Shield, and Prism Armor. (For additional info, click here.)

    Magic Bounce: Magic Bounce is the ability version of Magic Coat, and just a bit more useful than Magic Coat because of that. Magic Bounce allows the Pokémon to reflect certain status moves back onto the user. This includes all stat lowering moves (excluding Memento), status moves, entry hazards, moves like Taunt and Torment, and so on. While very few Pokémon have this ability, it is very useful and can screw over your opponent. (For more information, click here.)

    Sources: Pokémon Wiki and Bulbapedia
     
    #4 Jun 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
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  5. Darcy

    Darcy Strongest Blade in Valor

    Eurydice
    (Brione)
    Level 21
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Posts:
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    PokéPoints:
    ₽1,095.3
    Philosopher's CowlPsychium Z ★★★★Gardevoirite ★★★★Galladite ★★★★Heart Scale ★★
    There are a ton of items out there, so many that there’s bound to be at least one that works well with any given Pokémon. They’re the centerpiece of quite a few strategies, so it’s best to familiarize yourself with at least a few.

    Leftovers/Black Sludge: Leftovers is an item that heals the holder’s HP a little bit at the end of each turn. This doesn’t seem like much, but since you can’t use things like potions, it gives you a good safety net, especially since not all Pokémon have recovery moves. Black Sludge is the same thing, but only with Poison type Pokémon.

    Berries: Berries have become very interesting in the past few years. Berries don’t just restore your health or heal a status condition when held anymore. Now there are also berries that reduce the damage of a certain type of super effective attack. This allows for Pokémon with some pretty big weaknesses to have something to fall back on. The classic Sitrus Berry is as reliable as it’s always been, healing a good amount of the holder’s health.

    Choice Band/Scarf/Specs: These are some of the most popular items in competitive battling, and some of the riskiest. These items increase a certain stat (Attack, Speed, and Special Attack respectively), but the holder can only use the first attack that they used until they switch out.

    Focus Sash: This item is particularly popular in competitive battling, and is used by most players. The Focus Sash prevents a Pokémon from getting an OHKO (one hit knock out), but only works when the Pokémon holding the item is at full health. It’s like the ability Sturdy except that it can only be activated once per battle. This works well when given to a fairly frail Pokémon like Jolteon and Zoroark, which will not get knocked out in just one turn, allowing for the Pokémon to have a chance at healing or getting an advantage over the opponent.

    Life Orb: This item is particularly popular in the competitive scene because the holder’s moves are powered up by about 30%. The downside to this though is that the user loses about 10% of their HP every time this happens. A Life Orb is great to have on your team since the outcome of a battle depends just on the power of the battling Pokémon. So it pays to have that extra boost, even if a bit of HP is lost. A good strategy would be to pair a Life Orb with a recovery move or ability, so then your Pokémon could dish out damage while not worrying about fainting.

    Flame/Toxic Orb: These two items are rather strange, but they have satisfying results. The Toxic Orb poisons the holder at the end of a turn, and the Flame Orb burns it. While it seems like these hold items don't seem to have any use in competitive battling, there are a few strategies to make use of them. The Poison Heal ability will let Pokémon holding the Toxic Orb will heal an eighth of the holder’s HP each turn. The Flame Orb can be paired with a Pokémon with the Guts ability and the move Facade. Guts, which boosts Attack when there is a status problem, would be triggered by the burn from the Flame Orb, and Facade will also be boosted by the burn.

    Power/Mental Herb: The herb items, while their uses are situational, are incredibly useful in competitive play. The Power Herb allows the holder to use a two-turn move like Solar Beam in one turn. These moves are quite powerful, and this item can help if you’re in a desperate situation. The Mental Herb cures the holder of the effects of Attract, Disable, Encore, Heal Block, Taunt, and Torment. This is especially useful in the competitive scene, where this moves are commonly used and can really screw you over.

    Rocky Helmet: This item is quite popular in competitive, where the opposing Pokémon will get hurt if it attacks the holder with a physical move. This goes well with the Rough Skin or Iron Barbs ability, which also hurts the opponent if it makes contact. Both of these put together can put a dent in your opponent's HP, making it easier to knock them out.

    Eviolite: Evliolite is a rather strange item. It boosts the holder’s Defense and Special Defense if the holder can evolve. While this doesn’t seem useful, it’s great for certain Pokémon that change drastically when they evolve. Magneton is a great example of this. Magneton is still very powerful and is commonly used in UU, and Eviolite turns it into a great tank. While its uses are situational, it can really throw off your opponent and give you the advantage.

    Z Crystals: Z Moves are a staple feature introduced in Sun and Moon and are popular in competitive battles. There are Z Crystals for each type of move. There are also special ones for specific Pokémon. Equipping a Z Crystal to a Pokémon will allow them to use a devastatingly powerful move, although it can only be used once. Even though the Pokémon cannot hold any other items like Leftovers, that Z Move could mean a win or a lose in competitive battling.

    Mega Stones: Mega Evolution is a feature introduced in XY and has since become widely used in competitive play. Mega Stones are the items that allow your Pokémon to Mega Evolve, which gives your Pokémon a huge boost in power. However, this means you can’t have things like Leftovers, so it is quite the sacrifice.
     
    #5 Jun 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
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  6. Darcy

    Darcy Strongest Blade in Valor

    Eurydice
    (Brione)
    Level 21
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
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    Philosopher's CowlPsychium Z ★★★★Gardevoirite ★★★★Galladite ★★★★Heart Scale ★★
    In most competitive teams, you’ll find that certain Pokémon fulfill certain roles. While you don’t need to set up your Pokémon this way, it can be pretty useful to do so and to be able to recognize Pokémon that most commonly fulfill these roles.


    The Sweeper: These are Pokémon that are really fast and hit hard. They’re typically hyper offensive, with a moveset that can take care of just about anything. Because most good sweepers don’t have good recovery moves, they tend to have an item like Leftovers. Expect a Flame Orb for Guts sweepers or a Life Orb. Many like to combine this with stat raising moves, increasing their power.
    Counters: Most sweepers have pretty awful defenses, so if you actually manage to get a hit on one, it usually isn’t too difficult to knock them out. Sucker Punch is great at this, along with most priority moves. Walls are the bane of a sweeper’s existence. They stop them in their tracks and absorb hits while they set up. Supporters are also good since they tend to be quite bulky and you can heal up your wounded teammates.

    The Wall: These are the Pokémon that are a pain to knock out. Their defenses and HP are very high and usually come with recovery moves and a status move in their moveset, which makes them even more difficult to combat. And if the wall is holding Leftovers, that just makes them even more annoying. They basically exist to take hits and ruin your day.
    Counters: While it may be hard to defeat these defensive Pokémon, using super effective moves against it definitely brings down their HP. Taunt is also a great counter since most walls have nondamaging moves, which can put them in a rough spot.

    The Baton Passer: Baton Passers are meant to pass on stats. They come with stat boosting moves, like Bulk Up, Calm Mind, Dragon Dance, Agility, or even Substitute (basically whatever stats the player wants to pass), along with the move Baton Pass. These Pokémon can be equipped with Leftovers, in order to gain that little bit of HP, or a Focus Sash, in case of those OHKOs. These Pokémon can range in stats, but Speed is one of the major stats Baton Passers have.
    Counters: The best way to faint Baton Passers is to have a Pokémon with good speed and attack with you, and use it against the Baton Passer before it can start setting up. Your sweeper would be a good choice for this, as they have both of those key stats. Haze is a useful counter, since it resets all stat changes on your opponent, making all of that setting up Baton Passers do go to waste. Using Taunt is also a good idea since these Pokémon most likely don't have damaging moves, presenting a flaw in your opponent's plan.

    The Annoyer: These Pokémon exist to make you angry. They usually come with moves like Fake Out, Taunt, Double Team, and other things that aren’t easy to combat. The best annoyers are the ones that are fast, have tons of HP and a wide movepool. If their moves have additional effects, many will have an ability like Serene Grace to increase the chances of these effects, or a King’s Rock to give all their damaging moves a chance of flinching the opponent's.
    Counters: Taunt works wonders on these Pokémon. Most of the moves they’ll have are nondamaging, so this can stop them from doing a lot of the things that are meant to annoy you. Magic Coat is also really good, essentially turning their strategy on them. Sweepers can take care of these Pokémon relatively quickly after a Taunt is used since annoyers typically aren’t strong attackers.

    The Supporter: These Pokémon support the team with moves like Heal Bell and Healing Wish, which heal up your teammates. These Pokémon are typically very defensive and have a wide range of these types of moves. A common use of supporter Pokémon is to give them Baton Pass and Wish, which will pass the Wish to another teammate.
    Counters: Taunt, Taunt, Taunt. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. This prevents supporter Pokémon from doing a lot of things that their role requires them. After Taunt is used, a good sweeper should be able to make quick work of them.

    The Bulky Attacker: The bulky attackers are what they sound like: they can take a good bit of damage while also dealing damage. These Pokémon tend to have good stats in defense and attack and can hold items like Leftovers or a Life Orb in order to heal up on HP or deal out extra damage. These Pokémon may or may not have recovery moves, and may also have a decent movepool, making bulky attackers quite dangerous on the field.
    Counters: While these Pokémon may be rather daunting in competitive play, there are a few strategies to bring them down. The most basic way to do this would be to use a super effective move on the bulky attacker. It would also be a good idea to use your own bulky sweeper against it, and status problems are always a good idea. If you can't faint it easily, status moves like Toxic are a way to go. Heavy hitters like your sweeper are your friend here. Doing tons of damage on these Pokémon is important.
     
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  7. Darcy

    Darcy Strongest Blade in Valor

    Eurydice
    (Brione)
    Level 21
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    Philosopher's CowlPsychium Z ★★★★Gardevoirite ★★★★Galladite ★★★★Heart Scale ★★
    There are a few different types of teams that you’ll commonly see, most centered around moves. They’re easy to recognize, but not always the easiest to counter.


    Rain Dance Teams: These teams are usually comprised of Water type Pokémon, and take advantage of Rain Dance. Usually, a Pokémon with the move Rain Dance or the Drizzle ability is sent it on the first turn, making sure to start as soon as possible. Damp Rock is also useful since it prolongs Rain Dance. With that weather setup done, that Pokémon could be switched for anything really, like a sweeper, wall, or supporter. Because Rain Dance was set up, Water type moves are powered up, Fire type moves are weakened, and moves like Thunder and Hurricane are guaranteed hits. A sweeper equipped with moves like that, plus the Rain Dish ability (which heals a bit of HP per turn when Rain Dance is in effect) or Swift Swim (which boosts speed in rain) can be a serious problem.
    Counters: Even with all of those strengths, there's always a counter. Because Rain Dance teams are usually comprised of Water types, it's a good idea to use super effective moves against them, like Electric or Grass. If there isn't a Drizzle Pokémon on the team, and just relies on Rain Dance, then using Taunt will mess up your opponent's strategy. You can also just change the weather with your own weather move.

    Sandstorm Teams: Sandstorm teams are some of the most dangerous out there. Sandstorm is a move that gives Rock types a 50% special defense boost (along with boosting the power of Rock, Steel, and Ground type moves) when it’s in effect while damaging every type other than Rock, Ground, or Steel. Most of these teams have a Pokémon with the ability Sandstream, which activates Sandstorm when sent out. The Smooth Rock keeps Sandstorm in effect for longer. Pokémon with Sand Rush have their speed doubled in Sandstorm (which was why Excadrill was Uber and even banned for a time), Sand Force increases the damage of Rock, Ground, and Steel type moves and Sand Veil increases the Pokémon’s evasion. Sandstorm gives Rock types some good special defense to fall back on, along with letting Ground and Steel types to flourish.
    Counters: Of course, there is always a hamartia. While these types of Pokémon get a great boost, there are still plenty of shared weaknesses, like Water, Grass, and Fighting. Sandstorm can be canceled out by another weather move, and Taunt can prevent it from being set up at the beginning of a match if there aren’t any Sandstream Pokémon on the team.

    Sunny Day Teams: Sunny Day teams are teams centered around the move Sunny Dance. These teams usually include either Fire or Grass type Pokémon. Fire types can easily utilize the boost Sunny Day gives their Fire type moves, along with protection from Water type moves. Grass types are a bit riskier because of this boost, but these Grass type Pokémon on these teams usually have Solar Beam, which instantly charges in Sunny Day, making these Pokémon deadly. Some teams like to have a mix, along with some other Pokémon that benefit from Sunny Day, like Ground types. Pokémon with the Drought ability are usually the centerpieces of these teams. They set up a Sunny Day the second their sent out so they don’t have to waste a turn on it. Combined with the Heat Rock, which keeps Sunny Day in effect for longer than normal, these teams can be destructive if you’re not careful.
    Counters: Sunny Day only stays in effect for so long, and it can be overwritten with another weather move. Teams that have mostly Fire types still have a major weakness to Ground and especially Rock, which is very common. Grass type Sunny Day teams obviously have Fire types to worry about, along with all of their other weaknesses. If there isn’t a Drought Pokémon on the team and a Sunny Dance user instead, Taunt can easily tear down their strategy.

    Hail Teams: Hail teams are usually made of Ice type Pokémon, and their strategy relies on Hail. Hail can be set into effect either by using the move or having a Pokémon with Snow Warning sent out. The Icy Rock prolongs Hail. One of the most common strategies is using Aurora Veil after Hail is set up. Aurora Veil can only be used during Hail, and it reduces the damage of all damaging moves by half for five turns, which is good for the frail Ice type Pokémon. Blizzard is a 100% accurate move in Hail, so it finds a place on many Hail Teams. Pokémon with the ability Ice Body restore a little bit of health each turn during Hail, which is good for tankier Pokémon. Snow Cloak increases the Pokémon’s evasion, and Slush Rush doubles the Pokémon’s speed.
    Counters: Ice type Pokémon have so many weaknesses it’s not even funny. While the damage caused by Hail is pretty annoying, it usually isn’t that big of a problem, especially if you have a recovery move or something like Leftovers. Hail, like any other weather condition, can be canceled out by another weather move. Taunt also destroys this strategy. Even if you don't have Taunt your sweeper can take these Pokémon out quickly.

    Trick Room Teams: Trick Room teams are rather strange, as they rely on slower Pokémon, and the move Trick Room. There isn't much of a type similarity when it comes to Trick Room teams though. On the first turn, a preferably fast Pokémon with Trick Room is sent out, using that move as soon as it can do it. This makes slower Pokémon go first, giving the Trick Room team an advantage. Pokémon like Bronzong are great for a Trick Room team since has good stats except for in Speed, which Trick Room can easily take care of. The nice thing about Trick Room teams is that all slow Pokémon benefit from it, so it isn’t limited to just specific types.
    Counters: Since a Trick Room’s setup requires a Pokémon that knows Trick Room, it's a good idea to defeat that Pokémon before it can set up. This is a good job for the sweeper, which hits fast and hard, and faints the Pokémon before it can act. It's a good idea to use super effective moves against the team since this is key to winning as well. Taunt will destroy the opponent’s strategy, since Trick Room will not be able to be used, thus making the whole team vulnerable.

    Monotype Teams: Monotype teams are all centered around one type of Pokémon, and have varying strategies based on the type. Some of the teams mentioned above can be used in a Monotype team, as well as varying others. There isn't much of a limit as to what Pokémon you can have, as long as they share the same type. These teams are capable of sweeping, stalling, and much more.
    Counters: It's not difficult to defeat an/the other team when in Monotype. Since teams are based on one type, all of the opponent's Pokémon will have at least one type weakness. Making sure you have moves that cover almost everything is key, so using super effective moves is key in these battles. If the team is centered around a certain field problem, Taunt will mess up their strategy. A lot of strategy for combating monotype teams is made up in the moment, but making sure your team is ready for anything is key.

    Hyper Offensive Teams: It’s not as bad as it sounds. Well, it is, just not what you may be thinking. Hyper Offensive teams are different from other teams since they can consist of just about any kind of Pokémon. The focus of these teams is to try to counter every type. These Pokémon typically have very wide movepools and are quite powerful. They’re good with countering just about everything.
    Counters: The best way to combat these teams is to be hyper offensive yourself. You have to try to take care of all of those Pokémon before you get knocked out yourself. Walls are very effective as well since their defenses are so high and they tend to not have many weaknesses (or resist a lot of things). Your bulky attackers are also good here. High defenses and high power are great here. Of course, your sweeper is also a good choice for taking out big threats.
     
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