======================================= Pokemon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum Version ======================================= Strategies and Counter Strategies FAQ By Sui89 Version 3.4 Started on 8/5/07 Last modified on 4/14/09 The latest version can always be found at GameFAQs. ===================== I. Table of Contents ===================== I. Table of Contents II. Version Information III. Introduction A. Introduction B. Purpose Statement C. E-mail Policy (updated!) IV. Frequently Asked Questions (updated!) V. Before You Start Your Team A. Important Terms B. Strategy Explanations C. Natures D. EVs and IVs (updated!) E. Clauses (updated!) F. Official Rules and Classifications (updated!) VI. Status Conditions and Move Specifics A. Primary Ailments B. Secondary Ailments C. Weather Conditions (updated!) D. The Trapping Moves (updated!) E. Spikes (updated!) F. Hidden Power (updated!) VII. Things to Keep in Mind... (updated!) VIII. Move Prediction In Battle A. Why do I need to switch to be successful? B) How do I know when it's advantageous to switch? C) General Suggestions for Prediction Success IX. Team Synergy A) What is Team Synergy? B) Why do I need Team Synergy to have a good team? C) General Suggestions for Team Synergy X. Team Building - Overused Metagame (updated!) A. Picking Your Team B. Assigning Your EVs and Natures C. Picking Your Abilities D. Picking Your Move Sets E. Picking Your Hold Items F. Breeding and EV Training G. Leveling and Finalizing H. Strategy Explanation XI. Team Building - Underused Metagame (Old, revision coming) A. Picking Your Team B. Assigning Your EVs and Natures C. Picking Your Abilities D. Picking Your Move Sets E. Picking Your Hold Items F. Breeding and EV Training G. Leveling and Finalizing H. Strategy Explanation XII. Suggestions for Specific Strategies (updated!) A. Physical Sweeping (updated!) B. Special Sweeping C. Physical Wall D. Special Wall E. Mixed Sweeping F. Mixed Wall G. Specialized Team H. Baton Passing I. Choice Users (updated!) J. Annoyer XIII. Counter Strategies (updated!) A. Countering Physical Sweepers B. Countering Special Sweepers C. Countering Physical Walls D. Countering Special Walls E. Countering Mixed Sweepers F. Countering Mixed Walls G. Countering Specialized Teams H. Countering Baton Passers I. Countering Choice Users (updated!) J. Countering Annoyers XIV. Building a Baton Pass Team A. Type Selection B. Pokemon Selection C. Move Selection D. Order Selection E. Final Touches XV. Completed Examples of EV Spreads and Move Sets XVI. Additional Resources XVII. Acknowledgments (updated!) XVIII. Contact Information (updated!) XIX. Copyright (updated!) ======================== II. Version Information ======================== Version 3.4 - I apologize for the lack of updates recently. However, since Platinum was released, I felt like I should update for the updates in Pokemon's move pools. Smogon also finished the UU test, and so I felt the need to redo both the OU team building section (done for this version) for a better example (including Platinum moves) and the UU section because of the new style of play that the UU test made (not yet completed, but will be added for next update). I also added lots of information for Choice strategies and counter strategies (finally), as well as fixed lots of errors and put in some omissions that people have sent me via e-mail. I also redid a couple of sections that were massively outdated, as well as added some things to sections that have recently be discovered (such as some small things in the ailments and weather sections). Please keep e-mailing me with more errors and omissions. It's really hard to proof this thing all by myself. I appreciate all the help via e-mail. The next revision will be soon. The next thing on the list is for me to play in the new UU for a couple days, make a team, then change the UU team example here so it fits in more with the new UU. After that, I'm going to add more sections to the strategies and counters sections since right now I feel like those sections are kind of lack-luster in content. Oh, and thanks to the release of Platinum, I'm getting about 1000+ hits a day. 130,000 hits and counting. Thanks everyone! Version 3.0 - More lots of stuff was added! I added the entire UU team building section as well as adding a team strategy explanation to the end of both the OU and the UU sections, since I realized I never explained the strategy to use for each of the example teams. In addition, I also added a prediction/switching section, since that was suggested to me in an e-mail and I thought this was a really good idea since it explained a lot about why I choose the moves and Pokemon I do for the examples. I also fixed a mistake about Gliscor in the Baton Passing section. Other random mistakes I noticed were fixed. And I updated the credits again. Version 2.5 - Holy crap did I do a lot for this update. Let's see. First off, I rehashed pretty much the entire thing. I decided to redo the main section of the FAQ completely, splitting it into OU and UU sections for team building. OU section was completed. The UU section will be added with the next update (hopefully tomorrow). Baton Passing section was kind of redone, after some things I realized I did stupidly thanks to some e-mails. I also added in the tier lists since Smogon just redid those a couple of weeks ago (adding Garchomp to the ubers, being the main thing). I took out the "Specific Pokemon Counters" section since that was really outdated and was causing problems and was relatively little use (the rise of bulky waters and the fall of Skarmory, for example, made the section on Skarmory a little excessive while there was nothing on bulky waters). I fixed a couple errors here and there, added or removed a couple paragraphs here and there to more accurately state things. Hopefully the FAQ should feel more up to date now instead of being so horribly out of date. I also redid my purpose statement to more accurately reflect my thoughts of how you should battle (changing my initial statement of using want you want to using what you want, while sticking within the tier that you're building for). Also updated the list of allowed sites and the acknowledgements! Version 2.0 - Added a section especially for Baton Passing! Exciting. Hopefully people will find it informative, since the strategy is my personal favorite. Also, I've been told that I should add a section on weather teams. I might research this some and add something on this in future updates. Oh, also I took out some of the specific Pokemon counters I was never going to add. Version 1.76 - Been a while again. Sorry. I've got some more e-mail fixes I thought I should probably get in. Along with some potentially updated movesets for my examples and some typos. I've got a little time coming up, so maybe I'll have time to get in some new relevant content. Version 1.75 - Been a while since the last update. Unfortunately, this one is just minor. I got some suggestions via e-mail I thought were relevant, so I added them. Also removed the tier list I had since it was not only not official, but also outdated now. I've posted the link to Smogon's tier list now. Also added two secondary ailments and corrected something in the poison ailment section. In addition, I've changed some movesets I'm not happy with. If I didn't post anything different, I'm still thinking about them and will add my decisions to the next update. Added a couple questions to the FAQ too. Version 1.72 - Updated the list of specific strategies to be added. Updated information on Blissey's counter. Fixed an error involving Stealth Rock. Added some alternate strategies provided by Surging_Chaos via e-mail to me. Updated the FAQ section. Version 1.71 - Updated e-mail policy. Added more specific strategies. Added more stuff to EV training section. Version 1.7 - Added the "Trapping Moves" and "Spikes" sections. Reformatted to make status ailments a seperate section entirely and added move specifics to the category for additions planned on later updates. Added a couple of specific Pokemon counters. Version 1.61 - Fixed another few dumb errors. Added a couple paragraphs to the counter strategies section. Version 1.6 - Added quite a few status ailments to the list, along with a couple different additional ways to counter certain strategies. Fixed a ton of typos and little stupid mistakes. Also added a weather conditions and resource section. Version 1.5 - Added a counter strategy section and specific Pokemon counters section. Version 1.1 - Added the "Suggestions for Specific Strategies" section in order to try to accomodate people who wanted more to learn by than the specific example I showed in the team building section of this FAQ. Version 1.01 - Corrected some typos and errors in information certain people pointed out to me while I was having this proofed. Added several more "things to keep in mind" and subdivided things a little more. Version 1.0 - Finished all major sections of the FAQ. Currently proofing for typos, missing information, and just generally improving upon the whole thing before submitted for posting. Upon finishing, will be ready for submission. Version 0.X - Just starting this FAQ. Getting formating set up, as well as deciding on things to put in. Not yet ready for public viewing. ================== III. Introduction ================== A. Introduction ================ Hey all! If you're reading this, you're probably looking for information on team building in either Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, or Platinum for the Nintendo DS. My name is David, but I'm known everywhere online as Sui, or some variation of that name. As far as guides go, I've written a couple before, although I mainly specialize in rating characters in certain RPGs, so this particular type of guide is fairly new to me. Hopefully I do a good enough job that you'll all want to come back here to get more helpful tips. ^_^ B. Purpose Statement ===================== The purpose of this guide is to provide suggestions for you to make a CREATIVE competitive battling team. Too many times people only copy movesets or use only the most powerful combinations of Pokemon or the like with their teams. I say no to that, and decide to use other Pokemon, maybe less used, with better strategy. This guide is here to provide you with suggestions for using the Pokemon that you LIKE in your competitive team, and not just the "most powerful" like everyone else. This guide will attempt to teach via example (which is the best way I could think of). If you're not getting the drift of what I'm saying, and would like some help with your struggles, please feel free to e-mail me about it (see below). In addition to simply making your team, the purpose of this FAQ is to provide many explanations of different strategies in order to properly USE your team, and to counter other teams you might be having trouble with. However, just because you should use what you like does not mean that you should battle unrealistically. You should always try to stick within the tier you're building your team for. C. E-mail Policy ================= If you see anything wrong or missing in my guide, please feel free to e-mail about it. I also love to hear from people just about what they thought about my guide. So if you find something helpful, or feel that you could give me some constructive criticism, please e-mail me about it. So to sum it up: I WILL answer e-mails concerning: Questions that involve something not mentioned in the guide Something I missed in my guide Suggestions on how to make my guide better Arguments about opinions (as long as they're in an intelligent manner) Letting me know what you thought of my guide Other things you may just want to talk about (opinions, etc.) I WILL NOT answer e-mails concerning: Flaming of any sort Questions that have already been answered in the guide Anything that's stated in a disrespectful manor Anything else of the above sort Something that can EASILY be found on Serebii or another site if you put out the effort to do it Locations for good EV training (I don't care) And there you have it. That's what I will and will not answer. As a main rule, I'll usually answer anything that's stated politely, and will give a kind reply to e-mails as such. If not, you'll likely not receive a reply. Also, if you do send an e-mail to me, make the title something along the lines of "Pokemon FAQ" so I know which of my FAQs you're talking about and I don't ignore your message thinking it's spam. UPDATE TO POLICY Do NOT e-mail questions like "Where do you find Pokemon?" Or "Is move a TM?" Or pretty much ANY piece of technical information that you could really easily find on Serebii. It's annoying, and I'll be ignoring anyone who sends me these types of questions from now on. UPDATE FOR 1.75 TO POLICY If you do not tell me SPECIFICALLY what you have on your team at the VERY least, I probably will not even reply. So at the very least, I have to know what Pokemon you're thinking of. Do not just tell me types and jobs the types will do. This is not enough, it's not especially relevant, and I will no longer reply to e-mails if you only give me that much information. UPDATE FOR 3.4 POLICY I could have swore I mentioned this before, but apparently I missed it. Do NOT e-mail me about other places you think are good to EV train in. I really truly don't care. The guide's purpose isn't to tell you good places to EV train. If you want to know all the places, use the FAQ about it on GameFAQs. That's the purpose of that FAQ. Don't e-mail me about it. =============================== IV. Frequently Asked Questions =============================== Q: Where do I look to find a Pokemon's move pool? A: I use http://www.serebii.net. If you don't like it, google it. I'm sure you'll find something. Q. Where do I look to find a Pokemon's base stats and stat line? A: Serebii. Q. Where do I look to find a... A. Serebii. I've seriously never found any piece of technical information about this game that I couldn't find at that site. Check there first. Chances are they'll have what you're looking for. Q. Why don't you like those Pokemon? I think they're TEHZOMG RAWK!!!111!!! A. I dislike how people don't have the mind to make an effective special wall that isn't Blissey, and I hate how overused things like that get and how boring it makes the battles. Being creative and just using what you like makes things tons more fun. And we all know that more fun = win. Q. In your FAQ, you said that should use . I think that he's better off doing . A. The strategy you're talking about may be equally effective as the one I mentioned using in here. I'd have to test it out. However, the teams that I make are designed to work TOGETHER, and thus, each and every move (most of the time) serves a purpose in being there. Q. Rate my team! A. No. I'll help you determine things, I won't rate it for you. Q. Make me a team! A. No. I'll help you determine things, I won't make anything for you. Q. Why is Wobbuffet considered an uber? Everyone else on that list is a legendary! A. I've decided to redo my answer on this, since it wasn't completely accurate before. Encore and Shadow Tag make sure that if a Pokemon, for some reason, uses an attacking move on Wobbuffet, you will know how to counter. However, if a non-attacking move is used, Wobbuffet can simply switch out and switch back in after the opponent switches to an appropriate counter. Thus, Wobbuffet is just nearly impossible to counter and was banned from standard play. Q. Can I trade/battle with you? What's your friend code? A. My Wifi sucks, so sorry, but no. I've got about 30 Pokemon left to finish my Dex, and that's all I'll be using my Wifi for, since it's a pain to set up everytime. Q. What's your favorite Pokemon? A. Umbreon. Thanks for asking. ^_^ Also, I really like Suicune. Thus, my name. Q. Where do you get Pokemon? A. Look it up on Serebii and DONT EMAIL ME ABOUT IT. If you're lazy enough to not look up such a simple piece of information, I don't see why I can't be lazy enough to not answer your question. Q. Can you make me a suggestion about who to use on my team? A. See "Make me a team!" Because ITS THE SAME QUESTION. Up until now, I've been pretty good about replying nicely to e-mails like this. But I'm no longer going to give people a reply if they send me stupid questoins like that. I'll only provide help if you give me an IDEA of who want to use, or if you're looking for a last slot type of thing, or something alone those lines. Q. I've got of Pokemon that are sweepers/walls on my team! Can you give me suggestions on what else to put on? A. No. If you do not tell me SPECIFICALLY what you have on your team at the VERY least, I probably will not even reply. So at the very least, I have to know what Pokemon you're thinking of. Q. Why is Garchomp uber now? I loved using him on my team! A. First of all, I hate you for using Garchomp. Secondly, Garchomp was banned for similar reasons to Wobbuffet, in that he was just incredibly difficult to find a counter for. About the only thing that could kill it was Ice Beam. But no one is dumb enough to not switch out when they see something that probably has Ice Beam. Everything else takes many hits to kill it. Meanwhile, Garchomp builds with Swords Dance, and then sweeps the rest of your time. And this is assuming Garchomp DIDNT have a Yache Berry, which is a very common item for it to have. Needless to say, Garchomp was deemed too powerful for regular competitive play and banned. Q. Why did you take out the old team you used for this FAQ and rewrite pretty much the entire thing? A. I redid it because it was outdated, and people were nagging me about my FAQ being outdated. So I redid the main section to stick to the tiers while using what I want, in order to more accurately show how you should build teams for competitive purposes. Don't expect a rehash like this too often though. I can't keep up with Smogon's constant updates of the tier lists or anything. I just wanted to at least be kind of up to date with the release of Platinum and such. Q. I know a great spot to EV train that you left out of your FAQ! A. I don't care. Don't e-mail about it. That's not this FAQ's purpose. Q. Is there a place I can go that lists specific movesets for Pokemon? A. Yes. http://www.smogon.com. Smogon also makes the tier lists that most Pokemon players abide by, so also go there to check tiers. Smogon lists a lot of different options for Pokemon that you can use when first trying to make your teams. There's no shame in using these movesets. Just try to modify them, if necessary, to fit the specific needs of your own team. Q. Where can I go to find someone to battle? A. Well, you can either ask on the boards at GameFAQs or you can use the program ShoddyBattle (http://shoddybattle.com) and go on one of their servers (specifically, the Smogon server there) in order to find random battles against people with similar rankings as you (within tiers, of course). I recommend Shoddy since it's fast, there's always someone on there, and it's easy to build teams for. Q. I don't want to waste time building a team I don't know will work. Is there somehow I can test it before I make it? A. Yes. You can use ShoddyBattle in order to build your team beforehand. Make the team in ShoddyBattle, test it against the people in random battles in there, make modifications based on what you learned your team's weakness was, then make your team when you're satisfied with how it's performing. I highly recommend that everyone do this before they actually make their team. Q. I loved your FAQ/saw something wrong/just wanted to comment! A. Great! E-mail me, and I'll be happy to talk to you about whatever you're sending me a message about. See my contact information for my address and be sure to follow my e-mail policy! Q. I sent you a correction/suggestion you said you'd add, but you didn't! A. If you sent me a correction or something in the seven or so months I did not update the FAQ, I'm sorry, but I've since forgotten what exactly you said. I know there were a couple things, but I don't have the time to search through my e-mail to find all of them right now. So feel free to send them again if you want, and I'll make sure I actually add them now since I'm feeling more up to updating this thing now than I have been. More frequently asked questions may be added at a further date if I receive a bunch of the same questions via e-mail. ============================== V. Before You Start Your Team ============================== A. Important Terms =================== In order to fully understand my guide, there are a couple of terms you'll need to know beforehand. These may include: EVs - Effort Values (explained later) IVs - Individual Values (explained later) Clauses - The "rules" for the battle, so to speak. They often place restrictions on movesets, hold items, or the like. Natures - Listed on the Pokemon's status page, these affect different stat gains and caps for the Pokemon, depending on the nature. Egg Moves - These are moves that the Pokemon can only acquire through breeding. These are never learned through level up, and cannot be learned via TMs. Sweeper - A Pokemon that is meant to deal out damage fast and hard. Wall - A Pokemon that's meant to be able to soak up damage for long periods of time in a battle. Lead - The Pokemon you first throw out in a battle. These are meant to take out the enemy's lead before you get KO'd yourself. Tier/Tier List - Tiers are basically the "sections" of play for the Pokemon metagame. Pokemon are separated into different tiers, and three major metagames are played - Overused (OU), Underused (UU), and Uber (but there are more tiers than this, note). In higher tiers, lower rated Pokemon can participate, but higher rated Pokemon can not play in a tier below them. Generally, the tier list that everyone uses is put out by Smogon (not Nintendo). For the latest list, check Smogon.com. STAB - Stands for SAME TYPE ATTACK BONUS. It's when a Pokemon uses a move that is the same type as it. It receives a x1.5 power boost when it's used. HP - Stands for "Hit Points" or "Hidden Power" More terms may be added at a later date if deemed necessary. B. Strategy Explanations ========================= Before building your team, you'll need to have a basic understanding for what exactly you want your team to DO. Most teams are hybrids of what's below, so mix and match as you deem necessary. A "standard" team is usually consisting of two physical sweepers, two special sweepers, a physical wall, and a special wall. Physical Sweeping - A physical sweeper is a Pokemon that has good to excellent attack, meaning that it will deal more damage if the enemy has lower defense. Examples of physical sweepers include Electivire, Scizor, etc etc. Special Sweeping - A special sweeper is a Pokemon that has good to excellent special attack, meaning that it will deal more damage if the enemy has lower special defense. Examples of special sweepers include Porygon Z, Alakazam, etc etc. Physical Wall - A physical wall is a Pokemon that has good to excellent defense, meaning that it will soak up more damage if the enemy has lower attack. Physical walls include Steelix, Golem, Miltank, etc etc. Special Wall - A special wall is a Pokemon that has good to excellent special defense, meaning that it will soak up more damage if the enemy has lower special attack. Special walls include Blissey, Cresselia, etc etc. Mixed Sweeping - A mixed sweeper is a Pokemon that has good to excellent stats in both the attack and special attack areas, meaning that it can deal a good amount of damage no matter what type the attack may be, be it physical or special. An example of a mixed sweeper is Lucario. Mixed Wall - A mixed wall is a Pokemon that has good to excellent stats in both the defense and special defense areas, meaning that it can soak up damage, no matter what attack the opponent uses. There are very few of these. An example of a mixed wall is Umbreon. Tanking - A tank is Pokemon that is a kind of sweeper/wall hybrid. Many tanks prefer to use a strategy such as using Curse, boosting both their attack and their defense, while lowering their speed. An example of a tank is Snorlax. Specialized Team - A specialized team is a team that has a common theme to it, whether it be type, region, "cute", "cool", a certain move, a certain status condition it causes, etc etc. A simple example of a specialized team by the water type would be Starmie, Blastoise, Cloyster, Lanturn, Lapras, and Vaporeon. Baton Passing - Baton Passing is a very specific strategy that revolves around the move "Baton Pass". Only a very select number of Pokemon can learn the move, so using the strategy requires very careful planning. What Baton Pass does is it "passes" the current conditions of the battle on to your next Pokemon without resetting the conditions like normally would happen. A common reason for doing this is for using moves such as Iron Defense, Aqua Ring, or Swords Dance with one Pokemon, and then passing them on to your next Pokemon to sweep with especially good results due to boosted stats. Choice Items - There are certain items known as the "choice" items. These items make it so that you can use only one move (the first one you use) until you withdraw that Pokemon. However, they give you a x1.5 bonus on attack, speed, or special attack, depending on which of the items you're using. In certain situations, this can be a very effective strategy to use. Annoyer - In an Annoyer team, your main focus is using whatever status ailment/stat boosting move you need to tick off your foe. My personal annoyer strategy is the confusion strategy. But you could also do paralysis, attraction, and the like. More strategies may be added later upon consideration or popular request. C. Natures =========== The nature of your Pokemon affects, to a certain extent, what your Pokemon will be good at, and what it will lack in. Typically, you want physical sweepers to have an attack boosting natures and physical walls to have a defense boosting nature, and so on. There are exceptions, and only you can tell what is best to boost for your strategy. The following are all the natures in the game and what each boosts and declines. Hardy - Nothing raised or lowered. Lonely - Attack raised. Defense lowered. Brave - Attack raised. Speed lowered. Adamant - Attack raised. Special attack lowered. Naughty - Attack raised. Special defense lowered. Bold - Defense raised. Attack lowered. Docile - Nothing raised or lowered. Relaxed - Defense raised. Speed lowered. Impish - Defense raised. Special attack lowered. Lax - Defense raised. Special defense lowered. Timid - Speed raised. Attack lowered. Hasty - Speed raised. Defense lowered. Serious - Nothing raised or lowered. Jolly - Speed raised. Special attack lowered. Naive - Speed raised. Special defense lowered. Modest - Special attack raised. Attack lowered. Mild - Special attack raised. Defense lowered. Quiet - Special attack raised. Speed lowered. Bashful - Nothing raised or lowered. Rash - Special attack raised. Special defense lowered. Calm - Special defense raised. Attack lowered. Gentle - Special defense raised. Defense lowered Sassy - Special defense raised. Speed lowered. Careful - Special defense raised. Special attack lowered. Quirky - Nothing raised or lowered. HP is the one stat that you can neither raise nor lower via the Pokemon's nature no matter what, since no nature affecting this stat exists. Of note to natures and BREEDING is the fact that natures are passed on more assuredly through an Everstone. If you give a parent an Everstone, the child will have a 50% chance of inheriting the nature of that parent. Breeding for a specific nature is quite a bit more manageable thanks to this trick! Certain strategies usually carry certain natures for the Pokemon in them. They are as follows: Physical Sweeper: Adamant or Jolly Special Sweeper: Modest or Timid Physical Wall: Bold, Impish, or Relaxed Special Wall: Calm, Careful, or Sassy Mixed Wall: Bold, Impish, Relaxed, Calm, Careful, or Sassy Mixed Sweepers: Depends on the Pokemon and situation Needless to say, the specific nature you should have often depends on the Pokemon you're using, and the above suggestions should be taken with a grain of salt. D. EVs and IVs =============== EVs, short for "effort values", and IVs, short for "individual values" greatly affect your Pokemon's final stats at level 100. I'll start with EVs. EVs are what make trainer Pokemon better than Pokemon in the wild. Each Pokemon you kill increases a Pokemon's EVs by a certain amount in a certain stat. When you get four EVs of one stat, that will equal one point of the actual stat when the Pokemon is at level 100. You can have a total of 510 EVs total, with the max in a specific stat being 255. 255, however, is not divisible by four. Thus, most EV trained Pokemon have 252 EVs in two stats, and 6 in another. Two of the six points of the last stat will go unused no matter what, since six is also not divisible by four. 252 EVs in a stat means at level 100, your Pokemon will have 63 more points of a certain stat than if you had not EV trained it. You will accumulate EVs naturally throughout the game. However, these will be random, and it's highly recommended you do not use your in game team for your post-game uses because of this. Instead, EV train your Pokemon against certain things in the wild fresh after you've beaten the game. Good sources for EV training are: HP - Wooper (1 point) and Quagsire (2 points) - Route 212 Attack - South of Solaceon Town - Bibarel (2 points); Right of Celestic Town - Machop (1 point), Machoke (2 points), Bibarel (2 points), Kricketune (2 points) Defense - Iron Island - Onix (1 point), Steelix (2 Points), Graveler(2 points) Special Attack - Old Chateau - Ghastly (1 point) - Haunter and Gengar (2 and 3 points respectively) will appear if you have a GBA Pokemon game inserted in your DS (room with picture with glowing eyes only), Golduck (2 points) - Resort Area (Surf) Special Defense - Route 223 (Surf) - Mantyke (1 point), Tentacruel (2 points) Speed - Poliwag (1 point) and Poliwhirl (2 points) - Route 228 (Surf) Also of note is in Solaceon Town's Ruins. Unown give 1 point of attack and 1 point of special attack, which makes them good to train mixed sweepers against. *Edit for 3.4 - Please stop e-mailing about "better" places to EV train your Pokemon. I don't care where you think is better. If you really want to know all the places in the game for good EV training, go use the FAQ on GameFAQs for EV Hot Spots. This FAQ's purpose isn't to tell you where to EV train. In addition to defeating Pokemon in order to gain EVs, you can also use vitamins in order to raise your EVs. Vitamins can be used to gain 100 EVs in a stat, up to 51 vitamins (which will put you at the EV limit), at 10 EVs gained per vitamin taken. However, these 100 EVs must be the FIRST 100 EVs added. In other words, the game will let you give a Pokemon vitamins until a Pokemon has a TOTAL of 100 EVs in that stat. The vitamins that increase each EV are as follows: HP Up: Hit Points Protein: Attack Iron: Defense Calcium: Special Attack Zinc: Special Defense Carbos: Speed In addition to raising EVs, you can also REDUCE your EVs if you accidentally gave a Pokemon some EVs you didn't want them to have, or something like that. You do this via special berries (the one's that say "Raise happiness, but lower X base stat"). The first berry you give them will lower their EV total down to 100 (no matter where it was at before that), assuming it was above that total. Each additional one after that will reduce the EV by 10, until you don't have anything left to take off. The berries that reduce each stat are as follows: Hit Point EVs: Pomeg Berry Attack EVs: Kelpsy Berry Defense EVs: Qualot Berry Special Attack EVs: Hondew berry Special Defense EVs: Grepa berry Speed EVs: Tamato Berry When EV training, you must keep track of how many EVs you have by yourself. There is no way to check how many a Pokemon has in-game. However, in the Sunnyshore seal shop, there is a lady who will give your Pokemon a ribbon if your EVs are maxed out. This is a way to check to make sure you're done with EV training. Just note that you can only check if EVs are MAXED this way, NOT what specifically you have EVs in. IVs, unlike EVs, are predetermined from the time you hatch or catch a Pokemon. Like EVs, they add to stats at level 100. The number can be anything from 0 to 31, and that number is the raw number that is added on to the stat at level 100. To determine what your IVs are exactly, have someone do a Wifi battle with you, record their stats, and then shut the power off. Then use a site like Serebii (or Google "Pokemon IV calculator" if you need to) use an IV calculator to calculate what the IVs are. The reason for the level 100 battle is so that you get a more accurate reading. If you breed instead of catching, IVs are inherited from the parents. Although there isn't a way of determining which IV will be passed down from each parent. Generally, getting good IVs takes a lot of random luck, so getting good ones isn't something that I necessarily recommend doing unless you have a lot of time to kill. It should be noted that if you do a battle online on wifi to check your EVs, it is best to do so BEFORE EV training your Pokemon. This way, you don't have any stats from EV training, and it's easiest to do the calculations and not mess up. However, even though IVs are random, there is a practical purpose for breeding to get different ones. The reason being that IVs affect the type and power of your Pokemon's Hidden Power move. Hidden Power is often a way to add coverage on a Pokemon that normally couldn't get a move of that type, so it's worth looking into. To figure out your Hidden Power type, in Pokemon Platinum, there is a guy in the game corner prize room who will tell you your TYPE, not the power. If you want to know the power (or if you're using Diamond or Pearl), you'll have to use an online Hidden Power calculator (type it in google, and one should pop up). E. Clauses =========== Clauses are essentially the "rules" of a specific battle. If you know that you'll be facing people who will likely implement a certain clause for your battle, it's a good idea to make your team abide by certain clauses. Common clauses include the sleep clause, which limits the number of Pokemon on each side that can be asleep at a time to one (excludes sleep induced by Rest), evasion clause, which prohibits the use of moves like Double Team, and the like. Some of the clauses you'll see listed on ShoddyBattle, and that are commonly used in general are: Evasion Clause - Double Team cannot be used (aka, you can't use any move to boost your own evasion) Extended Clause - Allows the use of things that exist in the games memory, but haven't technically been released to the public yet (things like Arceus and the Custap Berry, for example) Freeze Clause - Only one Pokemon on each team can be frozen at a time Item Clause - No two Pokemon on your team may hold the same item OHKO Clause - OHKO moves (Fissure, etc) may not be used Sleep Clause - No two Pokemon on the same team may be affected by sleep at the same time (self-induced Sleep due to Rest, etc, does not count towards this quota) Soul Dew Clause - Soul Dew may not be used on any Pokemon Species Clause - You may not use two Pokemon of the same species Strict Damage Clause - (ShoddyBattle only) This will disable ShoddyBattle from displaying more damage than the opponent has health Timed Battle - (ShoddyBattle only) Opponent is forced to surrender after so much time of being inactive F. Official Rules and Classifications ====================================== If you go to any event held by Nintendo, you'll have to follow the rules Nintendo puts out for the event. However, as Nintendo recently so kindly demonstrated, they don't really know how to make decent, logical rules for their events. Nintendo's rules are not the standard rules for the Pokemon metagame in general, and should be taken with a grain of salt. You really only have to follow these rules at Nintendo events. However, the rules that most people follow are made by Smogon. Smogon is constantly testing Pokemon to see how powerful they are, and they make tier lists according to how powerful the Pokemon are. Currently there are six tiers, though only three of the six have active metagames. The six tiers are (from most powerful to least powerful) Ubers, Overused (OU), Borderline (BL), Underused (UU), Neverused (NU), and Not Fully Evolved (NFE). If you play Pokemon online, you'll have to battle according to these tier lists. Pokemon that are lower on the tier lists may be used in tiers that are higher than they're classified as. However, higher Pokemon are not permitted to battle in a lower tier. Therefore, you must battle in the tier that your highest Pokemon is in, no matter what the other members of your team are. If you're going to play Pokemon online, the metagames that actively have people playing in them are ubers, OU, and UU. Since the tier list was JUST updated, I'll list the tier list here again. However, It's updated a quite often every year, so if you haven't seen an update on this FAQ in a while, check this site to see the current tiers: http://www.smogon.com/dp/tiers/ UBERS Arceus Darkrai Deoxys Deoxys - A Deoxys - D Deoxys - S Dialga Garchomp Giratina Groudon Ho-oh Kyogre Latios Lugia Manaphy Mew Mewtwo Palkia Rayquaza Wobbuffet Wynaut OVERUSED Aerodactyl Alakazam Azelf Blissey Breloom Bronzong Celebi Cresselia Donphan Dragonite Dugtrio Dusknoir Electivire Empoleon Flygon Forretress Gengar Gliscor Gyarados Heatran Heracross Hippowdon Infernape Jirachi Jolteon Kingdra Latias Lucario Machamp Magnezone Mamoswine Metagross Ninjask Porygon-Z Rhyperior Salamence Scizor Skarmory Smeargle Snorlax Starmie Suicune Swampert Tentacruel Togekiss Tyranitar Vaporeon Weavile Zapdos BORDERLINE Abomasnow Froslass Gallade Raikou Staraptor UNDERUSED Absol Altaria Ambipom Arcanine Azumarill Blastoise Blaziken Chansey Charizard Claydol Clefable Crobat Drapion Electrode Espeon Feraligatr Gardevoir Hariyama Hitmonlee Hitmontop Honchkrow Houndoom Kabutops Lanturn Ludicolo Magmortar Mesprit Milotic Miltank Mismagius Moltres Muk Nidoking Nidoqueen Ninetales Omastar Poliwrath Porygon2 Primeape Regirock Registeel Roserade Rotom Sceptile Scyther Shaymin Slowbro Spiritomb Steelix Swellow Torterra Toxicroak Typhlosion Umbreon Uxie Venusaur Weezing Yanmega NEVERUSED Aggron Ampharos Arbok Ariados Armaldo Articuno Banette Bastiodon Beautifly Beedrill Bellossom Bibarel Butterfree Cacturne Camerupt Carnivine Castform Chatot Cherrim Chimecho Clamperl Cloyster Corsola Cradily Crawdaunt Delcatty Delibird Dewgong Ditto Dodrio Drifblim Dunsparce Dustox Entei Exeggutor Exploud Farfetch'd Fearow Flareon Floatzel Furret Gastrodon Girafarig Glaceon Glalie Golduck Golem Gorebyss Granbull Grumpig Hitmonchan Huntail Hypno Illumise Jumpluff Jynx Kangaskhan Kecleon Kingler Kricketune Lapras Leafeon Ledian Lickilicky Linoone Lopunny Lumineon Lunatone Luvdisc Luxray Magcargo Manectric Mantine Marowak Masquerain Mawile Medicham Meganium Mightyena Minun Mothim Mr. Mime Noctowl Octillery Pachirisu Parasect Pelipper Persian Phione Pidgeot Pikachu Pinsir Plusle Politoed Probopass Purugly Quagsire Quilfish Raichu Rampardos Rapidash Raticate Regice Regigigas Relicanth Sableye Sandslash Seaking Seviper Sharpedo Shedinja Shiftry Shuckle Skuntank Slaking Slowking Solrock Spinda Stantler Sudowoodo Sunflora Swalot Tangrowth Tauros Torkoal Trapinch Tropius Unown Ursaring Venomoth Vespiquen Victreebel Vigoroth Vileplume Volbeat Wailord Wailord Walrein Whiscash Wigglytuff Wormadam Wormadam - G Wormadam - S Xatu Zangoose ========================================= VI. Status Conditions and Move Specifics ========================================= A. Primary Ailments ==================== In the game of Pokemon, there are certain moves you can use in order to inflict certain status ailments on the opponent. However, these do more than simply cause damage, immobility, or the like. They also cut certain stats. So I'll take a moment to explain the ailments and what each one does. What I classify as a "primary" ailment are the status ailments that are actually LABELED in the status. There are five of them: burn, sleep, freeze, poison, and paralysis. Two primary ailments cannot exist at the same time, nor can they replace each other. In addition, the condition remains even if they are switched out of battle. This type of ailment is tied to the Pokemon that it was inflicted on and cannot be Baton Passed to another Pokemon. The one exception to this rule is if a Pokemon uses Rest. If Rest is used, sleep will replace any ailment the Pokemon previously had. Burn - A burn is obviously caused by some type of fire move. Each turn, 1/8th of the Pokemon's HP is reduced from the Pokemon that's burned. In addition, the attack stat of the Pokemon burned is cut in half. You can cause a burn with certain fire type moves, however, Will-o-Wisp is the most reliable, since it's a move simply for that purpose, and not an attack with a small burn side chance. Paralysis - If you're paralyzed, you have a 25% chance of not being able to move. Paralysis is caused by certain electric moves, along with other moves such as Body Slam. In addition to sometimes not being able to move, the speed stat is cut in half. A common misconception of this ailment is that ground Pokemon cannot be paralyzed. This is untrue. While electric paralysis moves don't affect them (Thunder Wave, etc), Body Slam can still cause the ailment. Poison/Heavy Poison - Poison is obviously caused by poison type moves. When you're poisoned, a small amount of your HP is reduced every turn. However, if the poison is heavy (caused by moves such as Toxic), the damage will increase by 1/16th more every turn (previously I had said it doubles every turn, which is untrue). If a Pokemon switches out of battle, the damage done is "reset" and will start at 1/16th damage again. Steel types and poison types cannot be poisoned by normal means, although the move Twineedle, which is a bug type move, can poison these types of Pokemon. However, this move is pretty much NEVER used, and is therefore something you don't need to worry about. Update for 3.4 - It should be pointed out that previously I said that poison halved defense. That is untrue, and I've now made the correction. Freeze - If you're frozen, you cannot move at all until you thaw out. Freeze is obviously caused by ice type moves. Unlike all of the other status ailments, freeze is the only one that cannot be caused with an almost certain chance of being affected. There is no move that specifically causes the ailment, and instead randomly happens with moves like Ice Beam (10% chance). It should be noted that if a fire move is used on a frozen Pokemon, they are instantly cured of the ailment. In addition, no Pokemon can be frozen while intense sun (Sunny Day) is in effect. Sleep - If you're asleep, you cannot move at all until you wake up. The exception being if you know a move like Snore or Sleep Talk which enable you to move while you're asleep. Sleep is not connected to a certain type of move but instead is caused by a variety of moves such as Spore, Sleep Powder, and Hypnosis. Having the sleep ailment opens you up to the moves Dream Eater, Nightmare, and Darkrai's Bad Dreams ability. It should almost be noted that the sleep status is often limited in battles with the sleep clause, so planning a team solely devoted to it is often difficult to do legally. Edit for 3.4 - Thanks to Heintz for pointing out to me that if Uproar is in effect, no Pokemon can be asleep. B. Secondary Ailments ====================== What I consider a "secondary" ailment is a status ailment that is NOT labeled in the status. And, unlike primary ailments, you can stack these with each other, along with ONE primary ailment and infect the foe with as many of these as you want at the same time. However, secondary ailments are cured the instant you withdraw the Pokemon infected from the battle. Unlike primary ailments, if you use Baton Pass, these conditions WILL be passed on to the Pokemon you Baton Pass to (with the exception of Attract). Confusion - If you're confused, you have a chance to attack yourself for minor damage instead of the opponent. Confusion is not a labeled status ailment, which means you can be confused at the same time you have another one of the status ailments. It is also caused by a variety of types of moves, such as Supersonic, Confuse Ray, and Swagger. The damage inflicted by confusion is determined by the attack/defense ratio, which means the higher your attack is in comparison to your defense, the higher the damage will be. Attraction - Attraction (or infatuation, as it's sometimes referred to), is only caused by the move "attract". In addition, it's caused by the "Cute Charm ability". If you're attracted, you'll fail to attack 50% of the time. It's similar to confusion in that sometimes you will get through and sometimes you won't, only attraction does not have damage if you fail to attack. This ailment is only caused if the other Pokemon is the opposite gender, with genderless Pokemon being immune to this status. Also, in addition to the status being cured if your Pokemon leaves the battle, it's also cured if the OPPONENT'S Pokemon leaves the battle. Curse - Curse is a condition that's caused only when a GHOST Pokemon uses the move Curse against you. It cuts its own HP by half of its total HP and places the ailment on you. If you have the status ailment, your HP will be reduced by 1/4 of your total HP for every turn that goes by. However, this doesn't mean you will necessarily die in four turns. If your HP doesn't divide by 4, the ailment may take five turns to take you down. Leech Seed - This ailment is only caused by the move "leech seed". If you're seeded, a small amount of HP will be drained from you to the foe every turn that you're still infected for. Grass Pokemon cannot be hit with this move. In addition, even if the Pokemon that used leech seed is switched out, the new Pokemon still receives HP back. This status can be removed using the move "Rapid Spin". Nightmare - The nightmare status is obviously caused by the move "Nightmare". However, this move can only be used on Pokemon that are asleep. Similar to the curse status, the nightmare status removes 1/4th of your total HP every turn, until the status is cured when the sleeper wakes up. Flinch - Flinching is a condition that causes a Pokemon to lose its turn. The status only lasts for one turn, and can only be used by a Pokemon that goes first in a battle. Certain items can be used in order to increase the chance of flinching. Taunt - Taunt is caused by the move "taunt" and lasts from two to four turns. The taunt status disables any move that doesn't cause damage, such as Confuse Ray, Baton Pass, etc. If taunt is used first in a battle, and the opponent has a non-damage move set, it will cause that move to fail. Encore - Encore is caused by the move "encore" and lasts from two to six turns. When inflicted with the status, you can only use the move you used last when you had the move used on you. Torment - Torment is caused by the move "torment" and lasts until you switch the infected Pokemon out. Torment disables the use of the same move twice in a row. If the tormented Pokemon only has one usable move, the Pokemon will alternate between that move and Struggle. Substitute - While not an "ailment", per se, it's still a different status than normal. In order to create a substitute, you use the move Substitute and forfeit 1/4th of your total HP. Once created, the substitute will protect the user from enemy attacks. While behind a substitute, you cannot be inflicted with status ailments from your enemy, and the move can indeed be Baton Passed to someone else. Embargo - Embargo is a move that disables the foe from using their held item. It's not usually that useful in most situations. It's more annoying and sometimes problematic than it is usually worth your time to put this on your team. Heal Block - Heal Block is a move that disables the opponent healing for five turns. This can be effective in combination with something like Mean Look against a wall. Walls like to use self-recovery moves, which offen negate burn and poison damage. This move helps counter that. Uproar - Uproar isn't exactly an ailment, per se, but is similar. When Uproar is used, no Pokemon on the field may be affected by Sleep (whether caused by something like Hynosis or Rest). If I missed anything that could qualify as a secondary ailment, please e-mail me and I'll make the addition. Thanks. C. Weather Conditions ====================== If a weather effect is caused by the moves Sunny Day, Rain Dance, Sandstorm, or Hail, the condition will last for five turns. If the user of the weather move is holding the correct corresponding rock (Damp Rock, Heat Rock, Smooth Rock, Icy Rock), the weather effect will last eight turns instead of five. Weather effects can be erased by replacing them with another weather condition. However, you cannot "renew" a current weather effect by using the move again before it expires. If the weather effect is caused by the abilities Drizzle, Drought, Sand Stream, or Snow Warning, the weather effect will NEVER expire until a new weather condition is put into play. Rain's effects: 1) Make's water moves 50% stronger. 2) Makes fire moves 50% weaker. 3) Cuts the power of Solarbeam in half. 4) Makes Synthesis/Moonlight/Morning Sun heal 1/4 of your HP instead of 1/2. 5) Increases Thunder's accurary to 100%. 6) Changes Weather Ball's power to 100 and type to water. 7) Activates the abilities Swift Swin, Rain Dish, Dry Skin, Hydration, and Forecast. 8) Thunder has a 30% chance of hitting through Protect/Detect. Harsh sunlight's effects: 1) Makes fire moves 50% stronger. 2) Makes water moves 50% weaker. 3) Allows you to use Solarbeam without a charging turn. 4) Makes Synthesis/Moonlight/Morning Sun heal 2/3 of your HP instead of 1/2. 5) Reduces Thunder's accuracy to 50%. 6) Changes Weather Ball's power to 100 and type to fire. 7) Activates the abilities Chlorophyll, Dry Skin, Flower Gift, Solar Power, Leaf Guard, and Forecast. 8) No Pokemon may be frozen. Sandstorm's effects: 1) Hurts all non-ground/rock/steel/Sand Veil Pokemon between turns. 2) Rock types get a 50% special defense boost. 3) Cuts the power of Solarbeam in half. 4) Makes Synthesis/Moonlight/Morning Sun heal 1/4 of your HP instead of 1/2. 5) Changes Weather Ball's power to 100 and type to rock. 6) Activates the Sand Veil and Forecast abilities. It should be pointed out that Platinum introduced a glitch having to do with Sandstorm. When a Pokemon is KO'd with Pursuit while this is in effect, it can cause all sorts of glitches in the game, such as having weather effects happen multiple times in one turn (and many other things). This is just a glitch with Platinum. It is not supposed to happen in the game. Hail's effects: 1) Hurts all non-Ice Pokemon between turns. 2) Increases Blizzard's accuracy to 100%. 3) Cuts the power of Solarbeam in half. 4) Makes Synthesis/Moonlight/Morning Sun heal 1/4 of your HP instead of 1/2. 5) Changes Weather Ball's power to 100 and type to Ice. 6) Activates the abilities Snow Cloak, Ice Body, and Forecast. 7) Blizzard has a 30% chance of hitting through Protect/Detect. D. The Trapping Moves ====================== There are certain moves which you can use in order to trap your opponent in the battle, preventing switching out so they could gain an advantage against you. Using these moves is oftentimes excellent strategy if you have a certain move, such as Destiny Bond, that you know they'd smart enough to switch out against otherwise. There are two "categories" of these moves, so to speak. The first is the moves that simply prevent switching, but don't do damage, and last as long as that Pokemon is in the battle. The second is the moves that DO do damage, but only last a certain number of turns. The moves that will last as long as the Pokemon that used them is in battle are: Block Mean Look Spider Web Thanks to Tombola Man for pointing out Spider Web to me, though Spider Web can only be learned by Spinarak and Ariados. The damage inflicting moves with limited turns are: Bind Clamp Fire Spin Whirlpool Wrap Magma Storm (Heatran only) In addition to these, you can also SELF INDUCE yourself into not being able to switch out with these moves: Ingrain The Pokemon that can learn each of these moves are as follows: Block - Snorlax, Sudowoodo, Nosepass, Bastiodon, Bronzong, Bonsly, Tangrowth, Probopass, Geodude, Graveler, Golem, Slowpoke, Slowbro, Onix, Slowking, Steelix, Snorunt, Glalie, Froslass Mean Look - Zubat, Golbat, Ghastly, Haunter, Gengar, Jynx, Crobat, Umbreon, Murkrow, Misdreavous, Smoochum, Sableye, Duskull, Dusclops, Dusknoir, Grimer, Muk, Ralts, Kirlia, Gardevoir, Absol, Gallade Spider Web - Spinarak, Ariados Bind - Onix, Tangella, Pinsir, Steelix, Kecleon, Dusclops, Carnivine, Tangrowth, Dusknoir Clamp - Shelder, Cloyster, Clamperl, Gorebyss, Huntail Fire Spin - Charmander, Charmeleon, Charizard, Vulpix, Ponyta, Rapidash, Magmar, Flareon, Moltres, Magby, Entei, Torchic, Torkoal, Solrock, Chimchar, Monferno, Infernape, Magmortar, Heatran, Growlithe, Arcanine, Houndour, Houndoom Whirlpool - Shelder, Mudkip, Wailmer, Wailord, Clamperl, Huntail, Gorebyss, Piplup, Prinplup, Empoleon, Buizel, Floatzel, Finneon, Lumineon, Phione, Manaphy, Lapras, Chinchou, Lanturn, Marshtomp, Swampert, Barboach, Whiscash Wrap - Ekans, Arbok, Bellsprout, Weepinbell, Victreebel, Tentacool, Tentacruel, Lickitung, Lickilicky, Dratini, Dragonair, Dragonite, Shuckle, Seviper, Milotic, Chimecho, Deoxys, Chingling Magma Storm - Heatran Ingrain - Tangela, Sunkern, Sunflora, Roselia, Cacnea, Cacturne, Lileep, Cradily, Carnivine, Snover, Abomasnow, Tangrowth, Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, Venusaur, Oddish, Gloom, Vileploom, Bellsprout, Weepinbell, Victreebel, Exeggcute, Exeggutor, Chikorita, Bayleef, Meganium, Bellossom, Corsola In addition to MOVES having this effect, there are also certain Pokemon that have an ABILITY that has the same effect. These abilities are: Arena Trap** Magnet Pull* Shadow Tag * Magnet Pull only traps Pokemon of the STEEL type. ** Arena Trap doesn't affect flying Pokemon or Pokemon with Levitate The Pokemon that have each of these abilities are: Arena Trap - Diglett, Dugtrio, Trapinch Magnet Pull - Magnemite, Magneton, Nosepass, Magnezone, Probopass Shadow Tag - Wobbuffet, Wynaut Another thing to note for trapping moves is that the item "Shed Shell" allows Pokemon to always switch out. This is sometimes done with Skarmory to escape Magnezone, for example, but can be used on anything. E. Spikes ========== The game also has certain moves that will damage the opponent upon switching their Pokemon out. I've named this the "Spikes" category, for lack of something better to call it. There are only three moves in this category, and they are: Spikes Toxic Spikes Stealth Rock Spikes can be stacked up to three times. Since Spikes is a ground-type move, it cannot damage flying Pokemon or Pokemon with Levitate. Toxic Spikes can be stacked up to two times. The first layer will cause the incoming Pokemon to be poisoned. The second layer will cause heavy poison. Since this is a poison type move, steel Pokemon are immune to becoming poisoned when they switch in. It should also be noted that if a non-Flying/ non-Levitate poison type Pokemon on the opponent's team switches in on this, the Toxic Spikes will be "absorbed," effectively clearing them from the field. Stealth Rock can only be used once (IE, you cannot "stack" multiple Stealth Rocks). Since Stealth Rock is a Rock type move, things that are weak to rock normally receive x2 (or x4) damage from this move upon switching in, meaning that instead of 12.5% damage, they'll receive 25% or 50% of their health as damage. This is typically why things like Charizard and Moltres aren't used very often since they have trouble switching into Stealth Rock. Similarly, if a Pokemon is resistant to rock moves, they will receive less damage from Stealth Rock. Oftentimes the opponent is reluctant to switch after these moves are used on them, so these moves are often paired with moves like Roar and Whirlwind in order to force the switch. However, any of these moves can be blown away from the field by the move "Rapid Spin," (which also clears things like Leech Seed, for the record). If at any moment, your opponent uses Rapid Spin, all of your entry hazards will be cleared from the field and you'll be forced to lay them again. This is very handy to have on your team, since entry hazards are very common, but it can be a pain to deal with if your team relies on entry hazards for success. Pokemon that can learn each of these moves are as follows: Spikes - Cloyster, Pineco, Forretress, Quilfish, Skarmory, Cacnea, Cacturne, Deoxys, Omanyte, Omastar, Roselia, Snorunt, Glalie, Budew, Roserade, Froslass Toxic Spikes - Beedrill, Nidoran (F), Nidorina, Nidoqueen, Nidoran (M), Nidorino, Nidoking, Tentacool, Tentacruel, Cloyster, Forretress, Quilfish, Roselia, Roserade, Skorupi, Drapion, Venonat, Venomoth, Omanyte, Omastar, Spinarak, Ariados, Pineco Stealth Rock - Sandshrew, Sandslash, Nidoqueen, Nidoking, Clefairy, Clefable, Jigglypuff, Wigglytuff, Diglett, Dugtrio, Geodude, Graveler, Golem, Onix, Cubone, Marowak, Rhyhorn, Rhydon, Chansey, Pinsir, Omanyte, Omastar, Kabuto, Kabutops, Aerodactyl, Mew, Sudowoodo, Pineco, Forretress, Dunsparce, Gligar, Steelix, Shuckle, Magcargo, Swinub, Piloswine, Corsola, Skarmory, Phanpy, Donphan, Miltank, Blissey, Larvitar, Pupitar, Tyranitar, Celebi, Marshtomp, Swampert, Nosepass, Aron, Lairon, Aggron, Numel, Camerupt, Torkoal, Lunatone, Solrock, Baltoy, Claydol, Lileep, Cradily, Anorith, Armaldo, Kecleon, Relicanth, Metang, Metagross, Regirock, Registeel, Groudon, Jirachi, Deoxys, Turtwig, Grotle, Torterra, Chimchar, Monferno, Infernape, Piplup, Prinplup, Empoleon, Bidoof, Bibarel, Cranidos, Rampardos, Shieldon, Bastiodon, Wormadam, Bronzon, Bronzong, Bonsly, Gible, Gabite, Garchomp, Hippopotas, Hippowdon, Rhyperior, Gliscor, Mamoswine, Probopass, Uxie, Mesprit, Azelf, Dialga, Heatran, Arceus Rapid Spin - Squirtle, Wartortle, Blastoise, Sandshrew, Sandslash, Staryu, Starmie, Pineco, Forretress, Donphan, Hitmontop, Torkoal, Baltoy, Claydol, Tentacool, Tentacruel, Shellder, Cloyster, Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, Kabuto, Kabutops, Delibird, Tyrogue, Anorith, Armaldo F. Hidden Power ================ Hidden Power (HP) is a special move that doesn't have a specific type or power connected to the move itself. Instead, it's power and type is dependent solely on the specific Pokemon you have. If you have Diamond or Pearl, there isn't any way to determine your HP Power in game other than simply testing it against something to see how much damage it does. However, Platinum added a guy in the game corner prize room who tells you your Pokemon's Hidden Power TYPE, but not the power. If you want to determine the power, you'll have to use an online IV/HP calculator. Since Hidden Power's power and type is determined by your Pokemon's IVs, you will need to determine what your Pokemon's IVs are before you can calculate what kind of Hidden Power you have. Even though breeding Pokemon for good IVs to use Hidden Power is rather impractical (and thus, something I would never personally do for an online team, since it would take too long), with the upcoming popularity of using ShoddyBattle for battles, using Hidden Power as a move becomes completely doable. Since any Pokemon can learn Hidden Power, and Hidden Power can take any type, you can use Hidden Power to cover weaknesses of your Pokemon that you normally couldn't cover otherwise. It can be an excellent move if you use it correctly. =============================== VII. Things to Keep in Mind... =============================== Before I get started on the actual team building part, I figured I should give some general guidelines to consider while building, and some tips to help you along the way. 1) Use who you like. However, you should try to play within the tier you're building for. Just because you like something in the UU tier doesn't mean you should use it in an OU team. My initial statement of "you can take down anyone with proper strategy" is a little outdated now. While I still maintain that your teams should try to be original, you should try to stay within your tier to keep your odds of winning realistic. However, with the UU test at Smogon now over, the NU tier has been reintroduced. Therefore, my "play within the tier" advice still applies, but using a lot of Pokemon now classified as NU in the UU tier is very plausible, so don't feel discouraged from doing this. 2) Make sure your wanted moveset is possible before you finalize your selection. If your Pokemon is in the "ground" egg breeding group, then you can get any egg moves you want. However, for someone like Crobat, who is only in the "flying" egg group, and does not have a common crossover to the ground group (the only one being Farfetch'd), not all egg moves are possible at the same time. You can get them all one at a time, but it cannot learn more than one of them at a given time in a lot of situations. 3) Females pass on the species. Males pass on TMs and egg moves. To get egg moves, you're going to need a female of the species you want, with a male that knows the move you want it to know. Don't forget this. If you have both a male AND a female of the same species who BOTH know the same level up move, this move can also be passed on to the child if the two parents breed while both knowing this move. 4) When breeding for natures, it's helpful to use Dittos. Sure, catching Dittos of every nature can be a little time consuming, but depending on how many Pokemon you want, it may be worth the time. I have Dittos of every nature, and it took around 90 minutes to catch them all. Once you have the Ditto you want with the right nature, simply give it an Everstone when you go to breed and it will have a 50% chance of passing on the nature to the child. This negates the time it would have taken to get that nature randomly. 5) Consider the Pokemon you have access to. Granted, rarity should not be the highest on the list for consideration, but say you want something that's not easy to come by, and the gender you want is rare even within the species. If you're not willing to spend time on it, use something else. This really only applies for when you're making an online team. If you're using ShoddyBattle, this doesn't matter at all. 6) Consider the rareness/availability of your moves/items. Certain moves will only be available via TM, and certain hold items take a long time to get in the battle tower. If you don't think you have access to them, or aren't willing to spend the time to get them, make sure you can trade for them via the GameFAQs trade boards before you set your heart on having that moveset. Again, this doesn't apply if you're going to use ShoddyBattle. 7) Double and triple check your team and strategy. After you form what you want, go back over it and make sure everything works well together and you didn't make any stupid mistakes. Ask a friend to review it for you. Ask someone on the GameFAQs forums. Just make sure you have it right before you go and put your plan into action. I highly recommend using ShoddyBattle to test your team first. This way, you can build and test it quickly, and you don't waste any time building a team that doesn't work. 8) Use STAB to your advantage. Your Pokemon has type(s). Use that x1.5 bonus you get from STAB to your advantage. There's no sense in letting a bonus like that go unused. Exceptions to this obviously apply if you're not going to be attacking with the Pokemon or if other moves grant you better coverage. 9) Try not to double up on types. If you have one fire Pokemon on your team already, then don't choose another Pokemon that has the fire typing. Using more types of Pokemon on your team helps ensure that you cover as many of your weak points as possible. 10) If your Pokemon has more than one ability possible, make sure the one you breed has the one that's more beneficial to your strategy. Certain Pokemon have more than one ability possible in Pokemon DPP. You can't have them both, so decide which one you want for maximum performance. 11) Just because I labeled a Pokemon as a "physical wall" or a "special sweeper" or the like, doesn't mean that that's the ONLY thing they can be. Certain Pokemon are good at many different things and can often serve many purposes. Only you know what you're going for in a particular strategy. Things can also be artificially made to be things they're not via stat boosting moves as well. Moves like Curse can make a typical special wall into both a physical sweeper and a physical wall. Just remember that what something is often depends entirely on what you want it to be. 12) There is no "ultimate moveset" for any one Pokemon ever. One moveset may work well for one strategy, while a totally different one could work better for a different strategy. If someone questions a certain move you have on your team, tell them the reason it's there as opposed to something else. If a moveset that might *technically* be superior is suggested, but you have very specific reasons for using the moves you're using instead, stick with whatever makes your strategy work better. 13) Make sure you know whether your Pokemon is good in the physical or special area, and that the moves you're using correspond to that. Weavile, for example has great attack, but poor special attack. So using an attack like Ice Beam, which is special based, on a Weavile doesn't make sense. Instead, aim for a move that utilizes your Pokemon's stregths. Ice Punch, still an ice move, is a physically based move, and thus makes much more sense for the situation. 14) I HIGHLY recommend that you use ShoddyBattle to make your team, then TEST your team online. It doesn't take long to make the team you have on paper in Shoddy. Then you can test the team on their servers against people, take notes on what your team is having trouble with, edit, test again, and so on, until you're happy with how your team is performing. I HIGHLY recommend doing this because testing saves you time. You don't end up making a team that won't work this way. ================================ VIII. Move Prediction In Battle ================================ Move Prediction is an essential part of the Pokemon metagame. In order to battle well, you need to learn how to predict what your opponent will use. Battles are often decided by who is the better predicted. Sometimes you can over predict, and your opponent won't do something because he thought that you thought he was going to do it, so he didn't do it and it messed you up. Things like this are one of the more complicated parts of competitive battling. A. Why do I need to switch to be successful? ============================================= An essential part of the Pokemon metagame is knowing when to keep your current Pokemon in battle and when to withdraw and switch to something else. Obviously every Pokemon has their weaknesses, and not everyone can survive in any situation. So knowing when to switch is essential to every battle. For example, Earthquake is one of the more common moves in the game. Lots of things are weak to ground. If you've got an Electivire out and your opponent has a Rhyperior, why would you stay in while you're at an obvious type disadvantage? Switching to an appropriate counter here will save your Electivire from certain death, and is most certainly a smart thing to do. Some situations aren't as obvious, and you must simply remember that that Pokemon you're against can learn a certain move and will probably have it in order to provide coverage. Maybe you don't know that Starmie can learn Thunderbolt, so you think you're safe when you're versing Starmie with another Water type. If you don't know that Starmie can learn Thunderbolt, you're in a pretty deep hole. Switching is obviously good to do in situations like this too. No matter what the situation, however, switching Pokemon in battle when you think you'll lose the round is almost always an advantage for you. B) How do I know when it's advantageous to switch? =================================================== In competitive battling, switches happen pretty often, so how do you know when you need to do it and when you should stay in? Well, initially, the battle starts out without you knowing exactly what your opponent has on his or her team. People tend to battle more cautiously then since it's unknown what exactly will be used against you. Generally speaking though, if you start with an initial disadvantage with your lead, switching is a good idea. Some things are obvious. An electric type is out against something that pretty obviously knows Earthquake. This is when you need to switch to something that can fly. Ground is nullified, and death was avoided due to the switch. Here's where things get complicated though. After you've done that switch once, your opponent knows that should you throw out that electric Pokemon again, you will probably try to switch to your flier again if Earthquake is a threat. If you think they're going to use Earthquake again, you'll switch to the flier again, thinking that you'll avoid the attack and all will be great for you. However, your opponent thinks that you'll switch to the flier, and instead of using Earthquake, he uses Stone Edge, which is super effective against your flier, OHKO-ing it. This was an advantageous prediction for your opponent in which you made a miscalculation. Obviously the same thing can apply for you though, thinking the opponent will switch to something, and instead using something that will be effective against the SWITCH IN, rather than the Pokemon out now. Another situation it's advantageous to switch in is to absorb certain status ailments. Say you've got someone on your team who is poisoned. However, your current Pokemon isn't poison. The opponent switches to the Pokemon you know can inflict the ailment on you. You suspect that they might try to poison you again, since they were having a tough time getting rid of that particular Pokemon. Suspecting this, you could switch to your other Pokemon who is ALREADY poisoned, wasting their turn. This also works if you're asleep or paralyzed. If you have an ailment, you can use that Pokemon to absorb the attack of another Pokemon who tries to inflict an ailment on another Pokemon. Aside from type disadvantage and status ailment absorbment, it's also a good idea to switch if you think you'll SOON have a disadvantage in the battle. Let's say your opponent has an electric type out again and you've got someone with Earthquake (however, you don't know Stone Edge). You think that he will probably switch out, thinking you will use Earthquake. So instead, you switch out to an electric type in preparation for the flying type you expect your opponent to throw out. This saves you a turn and often throws your opponent off since they weren't expecting to also be at a disadvantage after the switch. C) General Suggestions for Prediction Success ============================================== Something that is really useful in getting to predict well is getting to know what kind of player your opponent is. If you know roughly how they play, you can better predict what they will do. There are basically four types of players: offensive players, defensive players, balanced players, and gimmick players. If a player is offensive, he is less likely to switch out and more likely to try to rush you with all out offense. They like taking risks and try to predict you (sometimes overpridicting in hopes that you predict wrong). Defensive players play more conservatively and hope that their opponent's make a mistake. Walls are more common for them, and they'll be less likely to take you down with a quick, fast and hard hitting sweeper. Balanced players are somewhere between the two, while gimmick players tend to use Pokemon with obscure movesets (IE, sets that aren't typically used, therefore, you are less likely to predict what the Pokemon knows). If you see your opponent switching a lot in order to predict you, you know the other player is offensive, and know that they are more likely to make a mistake in overpredicting. Don't try to think too hard against these players. Think about your past actions in the battle and, based on those, decide what you think THEY think you will do, and then don't do that. It seems counter-intuitive sometimes, but it often works. Taking advantage of types and abilities is essential to be successful at switching well. I've already mentioned the obvious switch in for flying types and things with Levitate against Earthquake, but there are other abilities (mainly Flash Fire and Water Absorb) that nullify other types of attacks. Water Absorb is particularly useful to switch in for since not only is the attack nullified, but you also regain HP when a water attack hits you. Using these to your advantage, if you ever think that another member of your team is going to get hit by something that can absorb types of attacks like that, you should switch to them. Taking risks is often a part of successful prediction and switching. For example, sometimes you KNOW that a Pokemon has a certain move, and that if they use it against what you currently have out, it WILL kill you and it will be very bad for you. However, you've already switched out against the same Pokemon once before in the battle. Knowing this, you think your opponent won't expect you to do the same thing twice, so they won't use the move that could kill you in prediction of this. It's a risky chance, since you don't know that you won't die, but it's often advantageous if you guess correctly. Ultimately, the best advice I can give you is to just learn what Pokemon typically learn what moves. Once you know what typically has what, you can make your switches based on what you know can probably kill you. You never want to not-switch when you know something can kill you. However, you have to always remember what you've done previously IN THE SAME BATTLE. If you've done it once before, don't expect the same switch to necessarily work twice. The opponent might have guessed what you were going to do and made preparations to counter what he thinks you're going to do. In conclusion, you need to switch in order to be successful at this, but you don't want to try to overpredict your opponent. Just remember what you've done previously in the battle and make your moves and switches accordingly. ================= IX. Team Synergy ================= A) What is Team Synergy? ========================= Basically, Team Synergy is your team's ability to work well together as a team, rather than just well individually. This is mainly why one move set is never ultimately the best moveset a Pokemon can have. On different teams, a Pokemon may need to do different job, depending on what else you have on your team. A part of Team Synergy is making sure you can cover as many of your team's weaknesses as possible. It's obviously quite impossible to be able to counter everything with a single Pokemon. Similarly, there aren't any Pokemon that can't be beaten by something else. Team Synergy is all about making sure your team can cover the other member's weaknesses, as well as their ability to work well together. The new example team I'm using in this FAQ for my OU team has excellent team synergy, since everyone is contributing to the same central team strategy. If you are still unclear about team synergy after reading this section, take a look at my example team and see if that helps you a bit. B) Why do I need Team Synergy to have a good team? =================================================== So what do I mean by their ability to work well together? Using my old UU example team as an example here, I'll explain. The team is basically set up to allow Swellow to have success. First we have to ask ourselves what Swellow is walled by. Steel is basically the only thing that walls it, which could be a problem. So we selected another Pokemon in order to be backup. Probopass, aside from being an excellent damage absorber, is on the team in order to destroy the steels - the only thing that walls Swellow. If a steel Pokemon comes out, Probopass switches in, thus trapping the steel type, and then destroys them. As you can see, without Probopass, Swellow is walled by steels, and they will probably be able to kill Swellow, and you're down a member of your team pretty easily. This is one part of Team Synergy. You need to make sure that if you are walled by something, you have an adequate Pokemon to compensate for the weakness. But obviously, just making sure that you have types of Pokemon to counter others isn't enough. Having adequate switches for things is also fairly essential. A Synergetic team should be able to avoid quite a bit of damage simply by switching to a counter at the proper time. If something is weak to ground, having something immune to ground is pretty nice to have. It's similar with other weaknesses. Obviously sweepers aren't usually going to be good at switching in to avoid damage, so it's important to consider how those are going to get in too. Some of your walls (or maybe just someone else who has an easier time switching in due to immunities) might need to have some moves (like Substitute + Baton Pass) in order to give some of your sweepers an easier time switching in. However, absorbing damage for each other is not the only thing a synergetic team can do. taking my new OU team example as a guide, the team is set up to basically give Suicune success. The team's strategy is based around the success of entry hazards and Roar, so each Pokemon should have something to contribute to this. Contributing to the team's OVERALL strategy is also key to having good team synergy. If you can't think of a good reason why a Pokemon you chose is on your team, you should probably think about replacing it or modifying it so it serves a better purpose. Ultimately, if your team cannot work well together, regardless of whether or not the individual movesets are good, it will probably fail. You won't be able to compensate for individual weaknesses, you won't be able to set up one Pokemon for success, and you'll basically just have a bunch of Pokemon with movesets that work well until you're walled by something, and then you will die because you don't have something to cover for your weakness. C) General Suggestions for Team Synergy ======================================== Generally speaking, in order to have good Team Synergy, you should run scenarios through your head constantly while you're making your teams. You have to think "what will this Pokemon have problems with, and how can I choose my other Pokemon in order to compensate?" After you plan a team, you should check it and make sure that multiple bases are covered. Can you effectively switch from one Pokemon to another without taking too much damage most of the time? You should be able to a lot of the time if your team has good Synergy. Things that are generally good for Team Synergy are planning things that can fly if you've got an Earthquake weakness, planning things with Flash Fire if you've got a big fire weakness, and so on. Making sure you can not take damage when possible is always good. Another thing that really helps with synergy is making sure that should one of your Pokemon be walled by something (Swellow is easily walled by Steel, for example), that you have something else on your team to take care of that (in my UU team's case, Probopass is there to take care of the things that wall Swellow). Things that are bad for Team Synergy include having six sweepers, each of them having mainly attacking moves, with nothing to support the other members of your team. Similarly, having all walls will not work. You have you have a good balance of Pokemon that will do the work and Pokemon that will support the others. This, combined with having adequate switches for the Pokemon your team are the most important things to keep in mind for Team Synergy. ===================================== X. Team Building - Overused Metagame ===================================== Since I recently decided to split the FAQ into two sections - one for OU and one for UU, there is no longer a need for a step to decide your tier. Read this section if you're playing the standard (OU) metagame, and skip down the page if you're playing the UU metagame. A. Picking Your Team ===================== With the 3.4 update to this FAQ, I've decided to redo this section of the FAQ again. The example team I have here works moderately better than the previous one I had as an example, plus it involves some changes to Pokemon movesets that Platinum introduced. I hope you all enjoy the new example team. While building in the OU tier, we need to keep a couple of things in mind. Unlike the UU tier, the OU tier is less about setting up a specific Pokemon for success, and more about ensuring that you have appropriate switch ins, counters, and ability to quickly sweep things. However, keeping a central strategy in mind is still fairly important for teams in OU. Team synergy is important, so keeping this in mind while choosing team members is very important. For this specific team, I already have something in mind. Its based largely around Suicune, and will utilize Roar and entry hazards in order to set the team up for success. Therefore, we'll have to look at the list of Pokemon that can learn Stealth Rock, Spikes, or Toxic Spikes (all of which, I have listed above, so I won't list it again). Of all these Pokemon that can learn these moves, there are several Pokemon that stand out. Keeping in mind that we need a lead for the team, we'll think of several things. First of all, leads are typically better if they are fast (not necessarily true, but it tends to help a lot). If it's a faster Pokemon, it can get Stealth Rock or Spikes down faster, and you are ensured to get some entry hazards down. Secondly, we should keep in mind that other people's leads also typically like to lay down rocks or spikes, so we would like to stop that if at all possible (in order to prevent the residual damage to our own team). Taunt is an excellent move that not only stops rocks and spikes from being laid, but also stops things that like to boost their stats (and other non-attacking moves). Keeping these things in mind, there are two excellent candidates that stick out: Aerodactyl and Azelf. Personally, I find Aerodactyl more appealing since his base speed is 130 instead of 115, giving you the edge in speed against NEARLY everything (115 gets beat out by a couple of things). Therefore, for the purpose of this FAQ, Aerodactyl will be acting as the lead for my team. He Taunts things, preventing other entry hazards from being used against you, and sets them up for you himself. With 130 for a base speed, he won't get beaten by anything in OU (other than Ninjask). He does everything you will need for a lead. Next I'll talk about Suicune, since I mentioned before that he was the main focus for this team. This team is all about shifting and causing residual damage with entry hazards. Therefore, Suicune is obligated to have Roar to make this happen. A strategy Suicune typically uses with Roar is the Calm Mind Shuffle. This basically involves Roaring out things to cause residual damage, then Calm Minding on something that doesn't like Suicune and using the turn to get a Calm Mind in. Suicune is a beast anyway, so it can take quite a few hits before going down (and pretty much can't be OHKO'd by anything short of a Thunderbolt from Magnezone, etc). Calm Mind boosts the special defense of Suicune to godly levels, allowing Suicune to basically wall for your entire team. He provides the needed defense the team needs, and also provides Roar to help with the team's central theme of causing damage with residual damage from entry hazards. Now that we've got a lead decided to support Suicune well, we need to start thinking about the rest of the team. Of immediate note is that so far, we only have Aerodactyl to set up entry hazards. With this in mind, we should note that we probably need another Pokemon to help set up entry hazards (Spikes or Toxic Spikes) in order to help make Roar do as much damage as possible. If possible, we'd also like to fit a Rapid Spinner on the team to help reduce the damage our own team takes from entry hazards (if Aerodactyl doesn't Taunt, or if they use the move after Aero is already dead or something like this). Looking at the list of Pokemon that can learn Spikes, Toxic Spikes, and Rapid Spin, there are a couple notable Pokemon. There's Tentacruel, who can learn Rapid Spin and Toxic Spikes, and there's also Forretress, who can learn Spikes, Toxic Spikes, and Rapid Spin. These are the main two candidates, though there are certainly other Pokemon who can learn one of these moves. Tentacruel, while it serves as a good wall too, is a water type, and since we already have Suicune, Forretress is a more versatile option for this team. Next we need to consider what we want to be doing the majority of the damage for our team. On these Pokemon, we want a variety of attacks for good coverage. Getting walled by things is bad, so we want to try to avoid this. Secondly, we may want to consider Choice Items to pack a punch for some of these Pokemon. Or perhaps moves like Swords Dance to boost stats. And most importantly, we want to make sure we have both physical and special attackers - or mixed attackers if applicable. It also helps when sweepers are fast. We want to move first, especially if the said Pokemon is fragile. If they're fragile and don't move first, they may die before they get to use all that power they have. So with this in mind, I'll make my selections. Fighting types are extremely important to have, due to the abundance of Blissey, so this must be considered first. Fire is also an important type to have simply because getting walled by things that resist fire is a major pain. With this in mind, Infernape seems like the best choice for a good sweeper here. However, Infernape serves as more of a mixed sweeper since his movepool supports it rather well, so we should also try to fit in another fighting type to counter bulky normals like Blissey and Snorlax. Of all the choices in the OU tier, one of the sturdiest ones (the most long-lived, if you will), is Machamp. He carries some good resistances, along with the ability to RestTalk, therefore I'll be using him as another sweeper for this team. I have one last slot to consider, and it'll be used mainly for the coverage I still need on my team. I've got Infernape for mixed sweeping and Machamp for physical sweeping. We're at more of a loss of coverage in the special field, so we'll need to consider another special sweeper here. One thing to consider for this is how we don't have any electricity or grass to deal with other people's bulky water types. A lot of the team so far is already bulky, so keeping a bulky theme in mind here will help the survival of this team in the long run. There are two decent choices for a bulky electric type here: Zapdos and Magnezone. Zapdos, while its defenses are a little worse and it lacks the massive 130 base special attack that Magnezone does, carries a better typing and superior movepool (thanks to the addition of some new moves from Platinum), along with the addition of a recovery move. Therefore, this FAQ will be using Zapdos, not Magnezone. According to what I've just said, my team selection is: Aerodactyl, Forretress, Zapdos, Suicune, Machamp, Infernape Zapdos and Aerodactyl have my ground immunity taken care of, while Suicune provides resistance to fire. Machamp resists rock moves to block things from hitting Infernape and Zapdos. Suicune, Forretress, Zapdos, and Machamp all can take hits rather decently, and we have ample coverage for attacks from all grounds. Our team's theme of causing residual damage is fulfilled by having Forretress and Aerodactyl and Roar on Suicune, and Forretress also blows away the opponent's entry hazards with Rapid Spin. Everything appears to be in place, so we can proceed to the next step of team building: assigning EVs and natures. ******************************************************************** * Team: Aerodactyl, Forretress, Zapdos, Suicune, Machamp, Infernape * ******************************************************************** B. Assigning Your EVs and Natures ================================== Okay! Now you've got the Pokemon you want on your team decided. The hardest part of the decision making is over! The very next thing you have to do is decide what natures you should give each of them, along with the EVs to train each of them in in order to best bring out their qualities. In order to do this, you'll want to look at the stat lines for each of the Pokemon you picked. Sometimes it's beneficial to assign EVs to their two best stats, then the remaining 6 to HP. However, sometimes, if their stats are good enough, overkilling them with EVs is unnecessary, so it's more beneficial to assign the EVs to something else. The same thing applies for natures. However, if you know a Pokemon is going to be walling, a useful tool for figuring out specifically how many EVs should go where is on this page: http://users.smogon.com/X-Act/defense.html We'll start with Aerodactyl, since he's my lead. Since Aerodactyl's purpose is mainly just to use Stealth Rock and Taunt, then get out, he doesn't need to accomplish a whole lot with his EVs. He has 130 base speed, but in order to ENSURE that he goes first (against other 130 base speed Pokemon), we'll need to give Aerodactyl 252 in speed. If Aerodactyl survives, we'll want him to be attacking, and since Aerodactyl is pretty fragile, it'd be a waste to invest in any defenses, so 252 EVs will go to attack, with the remaining 6 going to HP. We also want a Speed boosting nature (to ensure we beat out 130 base speed Pokemon, without lowering attack, so Jolly is a good nature here. Next, Forretress. Thinking of Forretress' purpose (being mainly entry hazards and Rapid Spin), we'll want him to be surviving a bunch of hits. However, since Forretress already has a decent typing (it resists a bunch of common attacks), we don't need to fully boost its defenses with EVs. Keeping in mind that the remainder of Forretress' attacks will likely be attacking, so what we don't invest in defenses, we should put in attack. If we put 252 EVs in HP, it helps with both physical and special attacks. Next, we should devout EVs to defense. The metagame is more physical than special, so it needs more help physically. 96 defense EVs will be invested, with the 162 remaining EVs going to attack. Relaxed nature is optimal here. Next, I'll cover Zapdos. As I stated before, Zapdos, even though he's mainly meant for attacking, is a bulky Pokemon with a recovery move, and is meant to last a while in battle. Therefore, we'll want to invest mostly in defenses rather than in attacks. Again, investing in HP is better than investing in one defense over the other, so 252 EVs in HP is optimal. We'll also want to invest a little bit in speed to barely outspeed a couple of common OU threats, so we'll stick 36 EVs into speed. The remainder of the EVs will go to defense, so 220 EVs in defense. Bold is a good nature here since it helps boost Zapdos' defense to boost his longevity. Next up is Suicune. Keeping in mind that Suicune will be mainly used for Roaring and stalling, we'll need a lot of defense here too. However, since Suicune's going to have Calm Mind, that will already take care of the extra special defense boost, so we won't need to devout any EVs there. Therefore, we'll have 252 EVs in HP, 252 in defense, with the remaining 6 going to special attack. Bold is optimal for nature since Calm Mind already covers the special defense boost nicely. Machamp's purpose is mainly to attack. However, he's slow, so we won't need to invest in speed. He does have some nice resistances, so we'll want to try to boost his longevity a little bit. Therefore, we'll want an Adamant nature, with 252 EVs in HP and 252 in attack. The remaining 6 will go to speed, for the extra 1 point in speed. Since Infernape is a mixed sweeper, we'll want to invest in attack and special attack, along with speed. With the absence of Garchomp (now banned to uber), Infernape only needs 192 EVs in speed in order to outspeed a lot of other threats. With 252 EVs going to special attack, the 64 EVs that are left can go to attack. Naive is a good choice for a nature here. **************************************************************** * Aerodactyl: Jolly, 6 HP, 252 attack, 252 speed * * Forretress: Relaxed, 252 HP, 162 attack, 96 defense * * Zapdos: Bold, 252 HP, 220 defense, 36 speed * * Suicune: Bold, 252 HP, 252 defense, 6 special attack * * Machamp: Adamant, 252 HP, 252 attack, 6 speed * * Infernape: Naive, 64 attack, 192 speed, 252 special attack * **************************************************************** C. Picking Your Abilities ========================== Certain Pokemon have more than one ability possible, while others have only one possible. Before you start to breed, you want to decide which ones you want your Pokemon to have. These abilities should be the ones that benefit your team the most. In my case, Aerodactyl can learn Rock Head or Pressure and Machamp can learn Guts or No Guard. For Aerodactyl, Rock Head doesn't really do me any good, so Pressure is the obvious choice. For Machamp, using No Guard allows me to use Dynamicpunch, which is a really useful move to have. If I use Guts, there's potential for more damage to be done, but we have to use other moves other than Dynamicpunch. It all depends on preference, really, but I'm going to use No Guard here since the powerful 100% confusion rate move is really good to have. ************************ * Aerodactyl: Pressure * * Forretress: Sturdy * * Zapdos: Pressure * * Suicune: Pressure * * Machamp: No Guard * * Infernape: Blaze * ************************ D. Picking Your Movesets ========================= This is a critical stage in the team building process. This is the time you decide the approach and style you're taking to your battle. Will you go on an all out offense? Will your moves be dedicated to stat boosting? Or perhaps you want to annoy your enemy to death? You can do multiple things with one Pokemon, but not really at the same time. This is mainly why there are several movesets that could work equally well for any Pokemon at any given time. So let's get get started on what we want to do. While deciding moves for Pokemon, we need to keep our team's central strategy in mind. In this case, our team revolves around Suicune, so we'll keep this in mind while selecting moves. Aerodactyl ----------- As previously mentioned, Aerodactyl is the lead for this team, and as the fast lead, Aerodactyl will be setting up Stealth Rock for the team, and Taunting other common leads that might want to set up Spikes or rocks. The next two moves will be mainly for coverage later on in the fight (if Aerodactyl survives that long to see it). Of course, we'll want to cover STAB here, so Stone Edge is the obvious decision. Then, for coverage, the other move is best suited to be Earthquake. Those two moves will give Aero decent coverage should he survive to see the rest of the fight after serving his initial purpose. ******************************************************** * Decision: Stealth Rock, Taunt, Earthquake Stone Edge * ******************************************************** Forretress ----------- Forretress' purpose for this team is mainly to help support Suicune by adding more entry hazards to the mix. There's two possible choices for this. Either Spikes or Toxic Spikes. Toxic Spikes are more useful in the long run if you're planning to stall your opponent. However, since Toxic Spikes can be absorbed so easily (and so many teams carry Tentacruel these days), and since this team lacks the ability to effectively stall for long periods of time (what, with Suicune lacking a reliable recovery move and all), Spikes appear to be the better choice for this. Then I've already discussed how Rapid Spin is another purpose Forretress is supposed to fulfill. The remainder two moves are mainly filler, but can be used for attacking. Explosion is a notable choice since if Forretress is low on health after being out for a while, Explosion can help you destroy even the heftiest of the opponent's Pokemon (it takes a pretty nice defensive power to stop it, and even then it hurts), so this is a good choice. The last move is generally given to Earthquake for better coverage. However, after testing this team, I noted that I generally lack a way to deal with psychic and ghost types (such as Cresselia and Dusknoir). So I decided that since there wasn't really a spot anywhere else on my team to fix this, I'd try Forretress. So I've given him Payback as a result of this. **************************************************** * Decision: Spikes, Rapid Spin, Payback, Explosion * **************************************************** Zapdos ------- Zapdos has an excellent typing and can stall pretty well if you need it to. In order to help Zapdos stall better, we can give it a recovery move. Roost is a decent choice for this, although you have to give up your flying type for the turn you use it on. As for the rest, we're mainly thinking about coverage. Before Platinum came out, in order to deal with bulky things, Toxic was optimal. However, since Platinum added Heat Wave to Zapdos' movepool, this has added a lot of extra coverage to his moveset (covering bug and steel types in particular, meaning Scizor is easy bait for Zapdos now, which is relevant since Bullet Punch Scizor is a pretty big threat these days). As for the other moves, we want Thunderbolt for sure, since we get STAB from it, and it also helps cover bulky waters (except Swampert) and also things like Gyarados. As for the last move, Hidden Power is going to be useful one way or another. There are two main types that we should look at as being potentially useful. HP Ice will cover dragons such as Salamence. But HP Grass will help cover Swampert and other things that Thunderbolt can't hit. Generally, people like to put HP Ice on Zapdos. However, through personal experience, I've found HP Grass to be useful in more situations. Therefore, I'll be selecting HP Grass for this example. ***************************************************** * Decision: Thunderbolt, HP Grass, Roost, Heat Wave * ***************************************************** Suicune -------- As I mentioned several times before, Suicune is the main focus of this team and will be utilizing a Calm Mind Shuffle technique. To do this, he needs both Calm Mind and Roar (and of course, the entry hazards set up for him). The remaining two moves will be used when Suicune has a couple of Calm Minds under his belt. So these two will be attacks. Surf is an obvious choice since it's a good STAB move for Suicune. For the remaining move, we have to choose between either Ice Beam (for dragon coverage) and HP Grass for coverage on things like Swampert. This is basically the same choice we had to make on Zapdos. Since I selected HP Grass on, I'm going with Ice Beam on Suicune, since otherwise this team is without ice at all, which is generally a bad thing. The plus side to this selection is that most people expect Suicune to carry HP Grass instead of Ice Beam, so you'll probably be able to score some KOs due to that fact. However, the downside is that even with a couple Calm Minds, you're completely walled by Swampert. But since Zapdos is there for coverage of Swampert, this is an acceptable choice. ********************************************* * Decision: Surf, Ice Beam, Calm Mind, Roar * ********************************************* Machamp -------- The purpose of Machamp is mainly to provide some extra fighting support for Infernape to help cover Blissey and Snorlax and the like, but since his type has some excellent resistances, he can help stall for your team as well, if need be. Since Machamp can Rest and learn Sleep Talk, we can take advantage of these resistances to help Machamp stay in longer, while still have a main focus on attacking. Up in the abilities section, we selected No Guard for his ability because Dynamicpunch will then have a 100 accuracy rate. That only leaves one move to select. Since Machamp is weak to flying types, and we're currently walled by flying types with the moves we have, Stone Edge helps cover this weakness, and is thus a good choice. ******************************************************** * Decision: Dynamicpunch, Stone Edge, Rest, Sleep Talk * ******************************************************** Infernape ---------- As I mentioned before, Infernape makes an excellent mixed sweeper. There are several strategies Infernape can utilize, even within mixed sweeping. However, after testing different Infernapes in battle, the one I feel that is most effective utilizes Nasty Plot. The thought is that opponent has something out that doesn't like Infernape, so you switch Infernape in. Knowing that they're going to switch so they don't get hit by Infernape, you use Nasty Plot, and then can proceed to sweep with boosting special attack as necessary. The moves you want to use to support this strategy are mostly for coverage. Fire Blast provides an excellent high power STAB attack that can tear up lots of things after a Nasty Plot. Grass Knot is quite useful since it helps defend you against bulky waters that would normally wall Infernape. The last move is to help deal with the problem of normal walls such as Blissey and Snorlax, the move being Close Combat. With this moveset, you can cover most things. However, you should note that you'll be walled by Gyarados, so proceed with caution. ************************************************************** * Decision: Nasty Plot, Fire Blast, Close Combat, Grass Knot * ************************************************************** E. Picking Your Hold Items =========================== Now you've FINALLY decided all of your movesets for your team. Don't worry, that's the longest process in the entire thing. Now comes a somewhat easier, yet still important part. Hold items. Hold items will aid your Pokemon in whatever way that they wouldn't receive otherwise. With hold items, it's best to assign them in a way that will help cover weaknesses, or boost your power over the top. You should evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each of your Pokemon when assigning these items. You should note that if you're planning on using Choice items, you'll have to plan for this while you're doing their movesets. And in most cases, you should have a hold item in mind while planning the Pokemon. Aerodactyl - Since Aerodactyl is pretty fragile, and he needs to ensure that he survives the round and sets up stuff right for you, Focus Sash will ensure that Aerodactyl can get the job done right. Forretress - Forretress' main purpose is to survive long enough to set up a bunch of Spikes for you, then explode (and blow away some things for you, if necessary). In order to help him last longer, adding Leftovers to the mix helps. Zapdos - Again, Zapdos is a bulky sweeper, so helping it survive as long as possible is optimal. Using Leftovers will help you recover more effectively. Suicune - Again, Leftovers is good, especially since Suicune lacks a recovery move for this moveset. Machamp - Leftovers again. Infernape - This mixed sweeping Infernape, while powerful, will come just short of KOing a couple of threats in OU. However, if you add a Life Orb to the mix, the extra damage will help you score some key KO's, so it's a good choice. The extra damage doesn't matter so much since Infernape is pretty fragile, and will die pretty quickly if he dies in the first place. ************************** * Aerodactyl: Focus Sash * * Forretress: Leftovers * * Zapdos: Leftovers * * Suicune: Leftovers * * Machamp: Leftovers * * Infernape: Life Orb * ************************** F. Breeding and EV Training ============================ Phew! Now the actual planning part is done, although you want to confirm that your strategy for your entire team will work and is effective before continuing on to this step. Ask for help with that as much as you can. Show a friend. Ask on this site. E-mail someone. I highly recommend that you test the team on ShoddyBattle just to make sure you have everything right and don't waste your time on something that won't work. Make sure it's good before wasting your time making a bum team. Once you're sure you're satisfied with all your hard planning, you can continue onto this step. The first thing you'll need to do is catch the base form of the Pokemon you want, should you not have it already. If you can't get it in your game, go on Wifi and see if anyone here at the GameFAQs trading boards has what you want. After you have it, what you need to do is breed for any egg moves you need, if any. If you have egg moves on your Pokemon, the Pokemon you have will need to be FEMALE. And then you'll need to find a Pokemon in the same egg group as it that learns the move you want and catch a MALE of that. When the male with the move you want and the female of your species breed together, the will create a Pokemon that's the species you want, and has the move you need too. However, you're not done breeding yet. It's helpful if that product you just got with the egg move is male, since then you can use Dittos in order to get the nature you want. Assuming it is male, give a Ditto with the nature you want an Everstone and breed it with the Pokemon you just got with your desired egg move. You now have a 50% chance of getting the nature you want! Much better than going randomly until you hit a small chance of hatching the nature you wanted. Also at this time, you should be noticing your abilities. If your Pokemon has BOTH the nature you wanted AND the ability you wanted (assuming it had more than one), then that's good. If not, keep breeding and hatching eggs until you get one that is exactly the way you want it. It could be perhaps time consuming, but not so much that it's unbearable. After you have the finished product with nature and egg moves, you can begin your EV training. Depending on what your Pokemon is, you will train in different places, which are listed for you earlier in this guide. If you're in doubt about which Pokemon give what EV and how many of them, simply look the information up on Serebii to find it. However, I don't recommend simply sitting down and EV training without any enhancement. There are certain things that boost the number of EVs you get. PokeRus doubles the EVs you gain. It can be acquired randomly through a small chance in a wild Pokemon encounter. More likely, you can trade for it on the trading boards on GameFAQs. There are also the "power" items, which you can get from the battle tower. They boost EVs of a CERTAIN TYPE, by 4. The Power Lens, for example, boosts special attack EVs by 4. There is a power item for every stat, so getting them all could take a long time. I recommend getting whichever ones you think you'll use the most and use the other item, the Macho Brace, for the rest of the training. You can get the Macho Brace by showing the Burmy fan in Pastoria City the three different types of Burmy. If you have BOTH the PokeRus AND the corresponding power item, a battle that normally gave you 1 EV of the stat will now give you a whopping TEN. EV training goes by much faster under these conditions. Also of note is the use of Exp Share. EVs are gained by gaining experience, so anyone who receives experience in the battle, even with Exp Share receives EVs from it. However, these EVs won't be boosted unless the Pokemon in question also has PokeRus, in which case they'll receive double of what the BASE EV was, and not the heavily boosted power item bonus was. Repeat the breeding and EV training process for your entire team until all of them are completed. However, it should be noted that if you're making an online team and you want to use Hidden Power as a move, you'll need to check your IVs online and make sure your Hidden Power type is what you need before you can proceed. G. Leveling and Finalizing =========================== The final stage of the team making process is FINALLY to level up your Pokemon and teach them whatever moves you assigned them to have. If you're extremely lucky, you may even not have to do this if your Pokemon was assigned all egg moves and TM/HM moves. Simply level them up with Exp Share and run through the Elite Four until they know everything necessary. And obtain the TM you seek by any means necessary. Teach them what they need to know and enjoy your newly completed team! Update for 1.76 - Apparently it is confusing what I mean here? I will clarify. Do NOT level or do anything until you're done EV training. Anything that gains experience in battle will gain EVs. So if you run through the Elite Four and you haven't EV trained yet, that Pokemon will have unwanted EVs on it. So EV train first, then level. H. Strategy Explanation ======================== As I've mentioned earlier, the main strategy for this team is mainly to set up entry hazards with Aerodactyl and Forretress, then Calm Mind Shuffling with Suicune. The other three Pokemon are for support when something is out that Suicune can't handle. Basically, you want to start out with Aerodactyl using Stealth Rock. If the other Pokemon is something like Azelf or something else that commonly likes to set up rocks too, you want to Taunt. That way they are forced to either do something else or switch, and no entry hazards get put up, and your team is a little safer. If for some reason, they attack you on the first turn (whether you Taunted and guessed wrong or whether you just get attacked), Focus Sash should save you, and then you can either run Aero into the ground or try to save him a little bit for later in the fight. Once Aero is done setting up, typically it's ideal to switch to Forretress. Sometimes this isn't smart because they have a Heatran or something that obviously knows a fire (or fighting) move out and Forretress would be suiciding itself, but you have to call this. When Forretress comes out though, Spiking is top priority. Usually, you're not going to be able to get three layers down, but sometimes you get lucky and they let you set up. Since Forretress is slow, you'll have to predict when he dies ahead of time (as in, he needs to be able to survive the damage from the turn you're on) and use Explosion. Not a lot really survives Explosion, so feel free to use it in a pinch if you need. However, saving Forretress to blow away spikes and rocks is good if you can. Try to call it so you don't waste a lot of potential when you use Explosion. If something comes out that blatantly doesn't like fire (such as Scizor or Forretress, for example), Infernape should come out and immediately Nasty Plot. Nine times out of ten, they will switch, and you'll get a free Nasty Plot in, and then you can usually take down a good couple of Pokemon before Infernape dies. Machamp is Infernape's backup for things like Blissey and Snorlax, like I mentioned earlier. He has a great set of resistances, so he can come in and survive a hit, use Dynamicpunch to confuse them, thus causing them to become frustrated, then Rest off the damage and Sleep Talk to continue doing damage. Machamp, while he covers your weaknesses of the team well, is more of a single player than the rest of the team is. Meaning, you'll be frequently switching between the other Pokemon a lot (other than Suicune if he's got some Calm Minds under his belt), but once Machamp is out, he typically likes to stay out since he can survive for a while. He's more of a late game Pokemon than the rest of the team. It should also be noted that even though Suicune has Roar, Machamp is fantastic for causing switches thanks to Dynamicpunch (most people don't like to play through the confusion), which is excellent to note in case you're having trouble. Zapdos is there mainly for coverage. If it's something Suicune can't handle (such as Swampert), Zapdos comes out with his excellent coverage and takes care of it, then recovers away the damage. He's also there just in case you find yourself facing an imminent Earthquake and need protection once Aero is dead. Altogether this team should be fairly successful if you can set up your entry hazards well. In case they get blown away though, you're still in good shape because of the sweepers' excellent coverage, and Suicune's excellent ability to take hit after hit after hit. This is a team that I have personally been rather successful with, so I thought it would be a better example for this FAQ. I hope you liked it. ======================================= XI. Team Building - Underused Metagame ======================================= Edit for 3.4 - It should be noted that this team is now outdated. With the UU test at Smogon now over, the tiers have been realigned. With a lot of old BL Pokemon now in the UU tier, and with the establishment of the NU tier, the gameplay in the UU metagame now plays differently than before. I'm planning a different team to accommodate this change of style for the metagame. It will be included with the next update. Many thanks to Anonymous1 from Saint Elimine's Sanctuary for the team I'm using as an example for this section. I'd planned out another team for it, but then realized that half of the team was the same as his, and the other half served nearly the same purpose. He volunteered for this team to be used, so I'm using the original example of this team, since I've seen it work wonders in battle. The Underused (UU) metagame is not the standard metagame in Pokemon. Pokemon in this tier are considered to be not as capable at battle as opposed to someone in the OU tier given their base stats and move pools when used by someone of equal skill. Thus, they are used less often, and have been given the name "underused". It should be noted that anything less than OU can be used in this metagame, so borderline (BL) Pokemon can be selected to be on these teams too, should you choose. A. Picking Your Team ===================== The UU metagame is much different than the OU metagame in that the UU metagame is much more about setting up than the OU tier is. Strategy in the UU tier should be about your Pokemon setting up one Pokemon on your team for success. Thus, you need to have adequate switches and such in order to make sure that you can ensure the star of your team for success. The first step in making a team for the UU tier is, again, separating who you like and don't like (keeping in mind not to eliminate too many, and especially keeping in mind things that won't take much damage and will be good for switches). So I'll do that now (note that I won't be including the BL tier for this FAQ example, but normally you can make teams with BL Pokemon on it if you want): Absol, Arcticuno, Banette, Blastoise, Chatot, Claydol, Clefable, Dewgong, Drifblim, Electrode, Flareon, Froslass, Girafarig, Glaceon, Golduck, Golem, Gorebyss, Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee, Hitmontop, Jumpluff, Jynx, Kabutops, Lanturn, Lapras, Leafeon, Luxray, Manectric, Mantine, Meganium, Mightyena, Miltank, Mr. Mime, Ninetales, Persian, Poliwrath, Probopass, Raichu, Rapidash, Sandslash, Shuckle, Swellow, Venusaur, Vespiquen, Vileplume The UU tier is huge, so I've got more Pokemon to narrow down than I did with the OU team. So I'll again separate them into categories: Sweepers: Absol, Chatot, Clafable, Dewgong, Drifblim, Electrode, Flareon, Froslass, Girafarig, Glaceon, Golduck, Gorebyss, Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee, Hitmontop, Jynx, Kabutops, Lapras, Leafeon, Luxray, Manectric, Mightyena, Mr. Mime, Ninetales, Persian, Poliwrath, Raichu, Rapidash, Sandslash, Swellow, Venusaur, Vespiquen Walls: Arcticuno, Blastoise, Claydol, Clefable, Dewgong, Drifblim, Golduck, Golem, Lanturn, Lapras, Mantine, Miltank, Poliwrath, Probopass, Sandslash, Shuckle Utility: Banette, Blastoise, Claydol, Electrode, Flareon, Froslass, Girafarig, Gorebyss, Jumpluff, Meganium, Mr. Mime, Vileplume There's still quite a bit to choose from in terms of sweepers, but at least now we can see who our choices are for walls. We need to keep in mind that walls are what are ideally going to be taking damage a lot of the time for our team, so it needs to not get hurt very much and be able to take quite a bit of abuse. Since reducing damage by switching is so important in the UU tier, the walls are what we should choose first. Looking at our choices, it's looking like Claydol and Probopass will be the best options for walls in regards to minimizing damage done. Claydol also has Levitate, granting it immunity to ground type moves. Considering that Probopass is x4 weak to Ground moves, should we choose to have them both on the team, this will make an excellent switching sequence. Probopass is mainly appealing since even though it has a nasty x4 weakness to ground, as long as you switch on essentially anything BESIDES a ground attack, damage done will be minimal. His moveset is really less important than him just being there, since often Probopass will be switched to take the oncoming attack, and then you will switch to something else as needed. Claydol is appealing because of his immunity to Spikes and Toxic Spikes, in addition to his resistance to Stealth Rock. Meaning that he can switch in without damage from those, Rapid Spin them away, or set up his own. Both of these can learn and be effective with Stealth Rock, but we probably won't want them both doing that, but we can still plan them both as walls for now regardless, and decide later which one of them we want doing Stealth Rock. Next we'll decide what we want to be sweeping. Keeping in mind that these are what we want to set up for success, we can make our selections. From personal experience, I can say that Swellow works really well in the UU environment due to the strategy it uses (which we'll get to later). If we don't choose it as the lead, or if it switches out, we can switch back easily due to the ground immunity. This said, we need something that is going to draw out Earthquakes, since if you can't easily predict an Earthquake (which usually is because you're weak to it), you can't really predict on when to switch on one. Keeping this in mind, there's a couple of things we need for the team. First, priority moves are HUGE in UU. It is very important that you have them since sometimes something with very little HP left will be thrown out, and you won't be able to outspeed it to kill it. So priority moves. Bulky waters are also nice too, and at the very least, we should try to fit in an ice move somewhere for dealing with the many things that are weak to ice. Unfortunately, there's not exactly room on the team to have all of these on the team and still get the rest of what we should have on. So we'll need to make some choices. First of all, note that both Claydol, should they be attacking, will use special attacks. Meaning that if we pick two more special attackers here, we'll be in a vast shortage in terms of physical attacks. So we'll try to pick out a physical attacker here. Keeping in mind that I'm also trying to fit a bulky water in here, it seems that Poliwrath can make a good choice that fits both of these descriptions. Poliwrath also has Water Absorb, which acts as a bonus for switches a lot of the time. With that covered, we've got two Pokemon left to select for the team. We don't have an outright special sweeper on the team yet, so now is time to consider one of these. Ice Beam is preferable to be fit somewhere on this Pokemon to hit everything that is weak to it. I also want something with outright destructive power since my only other real dedicated sweeper is Swellow. So we'll need something else to help with the power issue. Glaceon is notable here since 130 base in special attack is pretty useful. And with a Choice Scarf in effect, the special attack on it will be very impressive indeed. As for the last spot, it's generally useful in UU to have a Pokemon that acts as kind of the nurse Pokemon, healing other Pokemon up when you need it. There are several things they can do: heal, remove statuses, disable the opponent. Generally things like this. Grass Pokemon are nice for this since they can learn a lot of supporting moves like this. While looking through the list, Vileploom sparks the eye since Aromatheropy is good for status heals, and it can also double as a special sweeper. So this will work well here. This final selection makes my team: ************************************************************** * Swellow, Claydol, Probopass, Poliwrath, Glaceon, Vileploom * ************************************************************** To doublecheck: Claydol and Swellow are both immune to Earthquake, while Probopass is x4 weak to it. Probopass can take damage pretty well for things that aren't ground typed. Poliwrath can absorb water attacks walk away from ice attacks without much trouble. Vileploom heals. Everything else supports Swellow for success. We should be okay here, so we can proceed. B. Assigning Your EVs and Natures ================================== Okay! Now you've got the Pokemon you want on your team decided. The hardest part of the decision making is over! The very next thing you have to do is decide what natures you should give each of them, along with the EVs to train each of them in in order to best bring out their qualities. In order to do this, you'll want to look at the stat lines for each of the Pokemon you picked. Sometimes it's beneficial to assign EVs to their two best stats, then the remaining 6 to HP. However, sometimes, if their stats are good enough, overkilling them with EVs is unnecessary, so it's more beneficial to assign the EVs to something else. The same thing applies for natures. However, if you know a Pokemon is going to be walling, a useful tool for figuring out specifically how many EVs should go where is on this page: http://users.smogon.com/X-Act/defense.html We'll start with Swellow. Swellow is ideally going to be my lead, since he has really good speed and a nice move pool for leading. This said, Swellow's EVs and nature need to reflect this. There's not really a lot else we need to do with stats, so we can do the general attacking spread of 252 attack, 252 speed. The remaining 6 should go to special defense since that's the place most lacking defense-wise. Jolly is most beneficial to the strategy here. Not Next, Claydol. Claydol is primarily serving as a wall to take damage for things on switches. So we want EVs and a nature to help it minimize damage. However, it's move set isn't going to be devoted solely to defensive moves, so we're going to power up its special attack a little bit too. 252 EVs should be placed in HP since its HP only has a base of 60. The rest of the EVs should be split between defense and special attack. 144 defense, 114 special attack. Bold nature is best here. Probopass has some of the highest defense stats in the game, so it's not like he actually needs a whole lot of help with not taking any damage. Its HP base is also 60 though, meaning it needs help here. Since Claydol also makes a good Spinner, Stealth Rock is probably more beneficial for this team on Claydol. Thus Probopass will be doing other things (mainly taking take of the steels that will wall Swellow). So we need to plan EVs keeping in mind that even though we'll still be absorbing attacks with him, taking care of steel types is another purpose. 168 EVs in HP, 252 in special attack, and 90 in speed with a Modest nature are best for this particular nature. Poliwrath is going to serve as a sweeper and also as a bulky water, meaning that his EVs should reflect both of these things. In order to help him bulk up, so to speak, HP EVs are a good idea here, and attacking EVs help with the damage he should be doing, with the rest going to speed. 252 HP, 252 attack, 6 speed. Adamant nature to help boost the attacks. Glaceon is a pretty standard example of a special sweeper, so there's not really a lot of variation we need to do with its set. However, since it isn't exactly the fastest to begin with (plus its defenses are pretty good) we should focus some EVs in HP to make it survive longer. 252 HP, 252 special attack, 6 speed. Timid nature. Vileploom is going to serve primarily as support, but will also double as a special attacker. So we'll need to devote some EVs both to defenses and to special attack (with the EVs very spread out, in this case). 252 HP, 50 defense, 148 special attack, 60 defense. Modest nature helps the attacking do a little more damage. *********************************************************** * Swellow: Jolly, 252 attack, 252 speed, 6 SD * * Claydol: Bold, 252 HP, 144 defense, 114 SA * * Probopass: Modest, 168 HP, 252 SA, 90 Speed * * Poliwrath: Adamant, 252 HP, 252 attack, 6 Speed * * Glaceon: Timid, 252 HP, 252 SA, 6 Speed * * Vileploom: Modest, 252 HP, 50 Defense, 148 SA, 60 Speed * *********************************************************** C. Picking Your Abilities ========================== Abilities are important to certain strategies, so it's important that, if a Pokemon can have more than one, you get the right one for your strategy. In my case, Swellow, Claydol, Glaceon, and Vileploom can only learn one ability, so this isn't a problem for them. But I have to decide what abilities I want for the other two. Probopass can have either Sturdy or Magnet Pull. Sturdy is a fairly useless ability since not only are OHKO moves not really reliable, thus no one uses them anyway, but they're also outlawed most of the time. So Magnet Pull is an obvious choice here. Poliwrath can have either Damp or Water Absorb. It's not really a question about which one we want here since Water Absorb is infinitely more useful than Damp in pretty much all situations. *************************** * Probopass: Magnet Pull * * Poliwrath: Water Absorb * *************************** D. Picking Your Move Sets ========================== This is a critical stage in the team building process. This is the time you decide the approach and style you're taking to your battle. Will you go on an all out offense? Will your moves be dedicated to stat boosting? Or perhaps you want to annoy your enemy to death? You can do multiple things with one Pokemon, but not really at the same time. This is mainly why there are several movesets that could work equally well for any Pokemon at any given time. So let's get get started on what we want to do. Swellow -------- All right. I'm planning Swellow for my lead due to his extremely high base speed and nice move pool for it. It's pretty obvious what should be done with Swellow given his skill: Guts, but I'll explain anyway. Guts increases the attack of a Pokemon 50% if they're statused. Swellow is also a normal type. These things mean that Swellow can use a +50% attack STAB'd Facade. Facade is already a 140 base power move when statused. Combine that with a 50% attack boost from Swellow and STAB, and that is a lot of power in one move. So the majority of this moveset is going to revolve around using this move. In order to get Guts to activate, Swellow needs to have a status ailment. We can't just wait for this to randomly happen in order to be effective, so we're going to self-induce either poison or burn by giving Swellow a Poison/Flame Orb (for this FAQ, I'll be using Poison Orb, but either works). We want this to activate without Swellow taking damage, so Protect gives us a free turn to do that, with the added benefit of scouting for moves. Then we have to look for another good STAB move for Swellow, taking care of the Flying type. Brave Bird offers just that, so it's a good choice for a second attacking move. As for the last move, should Swellow come up against something that you know you can't beat (or will get killed on their attack), you will want a quick hit and run move - U-Turn. U-Turn offers a way to get in a quick attack before you call it back and switch to an appropriate counter. ************************************************* * Decision: Facade, Protect, Brave Bird, U-Turn * ************************************************* Claydol -------- Remember how I said that Claydol was really good for a utility unit since he is immune to both Spikes and Toxic Spikes and resistant to Stealth Rock? Well, Claydol's moveset is going to reflect this. Since it can switch in so easily against these moves, it is an excellent candidate to be using Rapid Spin in order to blow those away. And on a similar note, he can also lay down your own Stealth Rock while he's at it. The last two moves will be going to help you attack a little bit, should you have the need. Since Claydol's attack and special attacks are the same, and the options for special are better, this is what we're going to be using. Luckily, Earth Power is a ground move that is special based (they're pretty rare, and Claydol can learn the move naturally). As for the last move, Shadow Ball is optimal since it could be switching in to block your Rapid Spin, but Toxic is also an option since it can help take out other walls that are common switch ins to Claydol. I'll be going with Shadow Ball in this case. **************************************************************** * Decision: Rapid Spin, Stealth Rock, Earth Power, Shadow Ball * **************************************************************** Probopass ---------- Probapass' set is going to be tricky since he is also a fine candidate for Stealth Rock. But we've already assigned that move to Claydol. So should we assign it to Probopass too and have two options for Stealth Rockers? That's certainly an option, but let's put Stealth Rock on hold for now and deal with the other moves first for now. Probopass' primary purpose here is to serve as a wall and to to give support to the rest of the team - and more specifically, to serve as the steel counter for Swellow, since steels are the one thing that walls it. With this in mind, we need to make sure we get rid Probopass' ground weakness since, if we're to be facing steel types, which could possibly have Earthquake, we need to take care of the possibility that they could KO us. Thus, Magnet Rise is the first move here. The next two moves provide a way to attack in order to both take care of steel types and other things you might encounter. Earth Power is nice for getting rid of the Steel types, while Flash Cannon is a nice STAB move for you to have for other things. As for the last move, we want to consider that since Probopass is a wall, and thus hard to destroy (Earthquake aside), an option for taking him down is via status ailments (mainly Will-o-wisp, since he is immune to Toxic). Thus, Taunt is a good option here since it forces them to attack you, which means that you can't be statused to death, which is great for someone with defenses as high as Probopass. Plus Taunt is just a great move to have on a team in general since additionally, it can stop things such as Baton Passers from doing their job. *********************************************************** * Decision: Earth Power, Flash Cannon, Magnet Rise, Taunt * *********************************************************** Poliwrath ---------- Poliwrath is a bulky water serving as one of our physical attackers. Thus we are going to want some attacks, but before we assign some, there are some things to note. Poliwrath can learn Hypnosis and can also learn Focus Punch. A commonly used tactic people use with Focus Punch is hiding behind a Substitute and then using it, since it prevents you from getting hit so the move is successful. Hypnosis puts your opponent to sleep, meaning that if they don't switch, you get free turns behind a Substitute. If they do switch, it gives you a free turn to set up your Substitute for Focus Punch. Breloom commonly uses a very similar set (with Spore instead of Hypnosis in the OU tier. It's a very good tactic and is pretty effective if you use it right. As for the last move, Poliwrath should be able to take care of things like dragons without needing to switch to Glaceon to take care of them with an Ice Beam, so Ice Punch seems like it would be a good choice for the last slot. Plus Ice Punch covers bases that Focus Punch does not and provides a more secure way to attack, should you not want to take the turns in order to set up for Focus Punch. ********************************************************** * Decision: Focus Punch, Substitute, Hypnosis, Ice Punch * ********************************************************** Glaceon --------- Like I said before, Glaceon was selected in order to have another solid candidate that can deal a lot of damage. Thus, we're planning Glaceon with Choice Specs, which will make its special attack absolutely devastating. Unfortunately, Glaceon's moveset is pretty limited as to what you can put in it. Ice Beam is an obvious move for STAB, but really the only other move that's viable is Shadow Ball, which it should also have. Thus, we're left with two more slots to fill and not much to choose from. This is when we look to Hidden Power for help. HP Fighting is most preferable here since, in combination with Ice Beam, there isn't a Pokemon in the game that resists this combination. The last move is mainly filler but does have some reason for its selection. Sleep Talk makes Glaceon a good Hypnosis or other sleep move absorber. If you see something that commonly uses the move, you can switch to Glaceon, who will then have the ability to attack while asleep, meaning that you won't be down a Pokemon until they wake up. It's a decent tactic to be using anyway. ************************************************************ * Decision: Ice Beam, Shadow Ball, HP Fighting, Sleep Talk * ************************************************************ Vileplume ---------- Vileplume is going to serve mainly as Aromatheropy support since the ability to use this move is extremely useful as a status healer for your entire team, but it obviously has to do other things too. A status move is good to have for a second move to keep your opponent on their toes. They will probably assume upon seeing a Vileplume that they have a one of these moves, but they probably won't know which one. Sleep Powder and Stun Spore are both viable options normally, but Poliwrath already has Hypnosis, and since Sleep Clause is quite common, not planning too many Pokemon with sleep inducing moves is important as to stick to the rules, so in this case we'll be using Stun Spore. As for the last two moves, we'll be taking advantage of Vileplume's decent special attack. There are two types of STAB to take advantage of, but there are really only one move of each that are viable options. Sludge Bomb is good poison STAB, and either Energy Ball or Grass Knot (depending, since Energy Ball is more consistent, but Grass Knot is better for heavier things since damage is dealt proportional to weight) is good for grass STAB. I personally prefer Energy Ball for more consistency, so that's what I'll be going with here. **************************************************************** * Decision: Stun Spore, Aromatheropy, Sludge Bomb, Energy Ball * **************************************************************** E. Picking Your Hold Items =========================== Now you've FINALLY decided all of your movesets for your team. Don't worry, that's the longest process in the entire thing. Now comes a somewhat easier, yet still important part. Hold items. Hold items will aid your Pokemon in whatever way that they wouldn't receive otherwise. With hold items, it's best to assign them in a way that will help cover weaknesses, or boost your power over the top. You should evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each of your Pokemon when assigning these items. Swellow - As I've already stated, Swellow's entire strategy is based on it having a Toxic Orb for Guts/Facade activation, so Toxic Orb is pretty much just what we have to give it here. Claydol - Being a wall, Leftovers are generally good. Leftovers are good for so many things, which makes them such a good hold item just in general. Probopass - Leftovers again. Same reasons as Claydol. They're nice on walls. Poliwrath - Leftovers. Mostly filler. Leftovers are never not useful. Glaceon - As with Swellow, our strategy was based around us giving Glaceon a Choice Specs, so that's what it gets. Vileplume - More Leftovers. F. Breeding and EV Training ============================ Phew! Now the actual planning part is done, although you want to confirm that your strategy for your entire team will work and is effective before continuing on to this step. Ask for help with that as much as you can. Show a friend. Ask on this site. E-mail someone. I highly recommend that you test the team on ShoddyBattle just to make sure you have everything right and don't waste your time on something that won't work. Make sure it's good before wasting your time making a bum team. Once you're sure you're satisfied with all your hard planning, you can continue onto this step. The first thing you'll need to do is catch the base form of the Pokemon you want, should you not have it already. If you can't get it in your game, go on Wifi and see if anyone here at the GameFAQs trading boards has what you want. After you have it, what you need to do is breed for any egg moves you need, if any. If you have egg moves on your Pokemon, the Pokemon you have will need to be FEMALE. And then you'll need to find a Pokemon in the same egg group as it that learns the move you want and catch a MALE of that. When the male with the move you want and the female of your species breed together, the will create a Pokemon that's the species you want, and has the move you need too. However, you're not done breeding yet. It's helpful if that product you just got with the egg move is male, since then you can use Dittos in order to get the nature you want. Assuming it is male, give a Ditto with the nature you want an Everstone and breed it with the Pokemon you just got with your desired egg move. You now have a 50% chance of getting the nature you want! Much better than going randomly until you hit a small chance of hatching the nature you wanted. Also at this time, you should be noticing your abilities. If your Pokemon has BOTH the nature you wanted AND the ability you wanted (assuming it had more than one), then that's good. If not, keep breeding and hatching eggs until you get one that is exactly the way you want it. It could be perhaps time consuming, but not so much that it's unbearable. After you have the finished product with nature and egg moves, you can begin your EV training. Depending on what your Pokemon is, you will train in different places, which are listed for you earlier in this guide. If you're in doubt about which Pokemon give what EV and how many of them, simply look the information up on Serebii to find it. However, I don't recommend simply sitting down and EV training without any enhancement. There are certain things that boost the number of EVs you get. PokeRus doubles the EVs you gain. It can be acquired randomly through a small chance in a wild Pokemon encounter. More likely, you can trade for it on the trading boards on GameFAQs. There are also the "power" items, which you can get from the battle tower. They boost EVs of a CERTAIN TYPE, by 4. The Power Lens, for example, boosts special attack EVs by 4. There is a power item for every stat, so getting them all could take a long time. I recommend getting whichever ones you think you'll use the most and use the other item, the Macho Brace, for the rest of the training. You can get the Macho Brace by showing the Burmy fan in Pastoria City the three different types of Burmy. If you have BOTH the PokeRus AND the corresponding power item, a battle that normally gave you 1 EV of the stat will now give you a whopping TEN. EV training goes by much faster under these conditions. Also of note is the use of Exp Share. EVs are gained by gaining experience, so anyone who receives experience in the battle, even with Exp Share receives EVs from it. However, these EVs won't be boosted unless the Pokemon in question also has PokeRus, in which case they'll receive double of what the BASE EV was, and not the heavily boosted power item bonus was. Repeat the breeding and EV training process for your entire team until all of them are completed. However, it should be noted that if you're making an online team and you want to use Hidden Power as a move, you'll need to check your IVs online and make sure your Hidden Power type is what you need before you can proceed. G. Leveling and Finalizing =========================== The final stage of the team making process is FINALLY to level up your Pokemon and teach them whatever moves you assigned them to have. If you're extremely lucky, you may even not have to do this if your Pokemon was assigned all egg moves and TM/HM moves. Simply level them up with Exp Share and run through the Elite Four until they know everything necessary. And obtain the TM you seek by any means necessary. Teach them what they need to know and enjoy your newly completed team! Update for 1.76 - Apparently it is confusing what I mean here? I will clarify. Do NOT level or do anything until you're done EV training. Anything that gains experience in battle will gain EVs. So if you run through the Elite Four and you haven't EV trained yet, that Pokemon will have unwanted EVs on it. So EV train first, then level. H. Strategy Explanation ======================== All right! So I've shown you how to build this team in the UU tier. Now you'll need to know how to use it. As I stated before, UU is much more about setting up a single Pokemon for success than the OU tier is. Thus, this team is all about one Pokemon while the others give it support. Swellow is obviously the Pokemon we're focusing on here. Swellow is also the lead here. Basically what you want to do right away is use Protect in order to have the Toxic Orb activate in order to poison you. On the next turns you can either switch or attack with Facade/Brave Bird. If you need to switch, it is preferable to use U-Turn since you can usually outspeed things and you can get some quick extra damage beforehand if you do. Eventually, you will probably need to switch though, since Swellow can't survive forever in there, especially given the poison. This is where the others come in. Claydol is there in order to easily switch into spikes and Stealth Rock, upon which he can spin away and then lay his own. He resists a lot of things, so doing this shouldn't be a problem. Probopass is there mainly for countering the steel types that wall Swellow. With Magnet Pull, the steels are trapped, and you will be free to sweep them with Earth Power as desired. However, in addition to this, Probopass also serves as a wall for soaking up damage. With his rock and steel typings, he can soak up quite a few attacks, assuming they aren't ground attacks, so a good use for Probopass is switching into something to absorb the damage, and then immediately switching out AGAIN to something else. He can take quite a bit before he dies, but just make sure your opponent doesn't catch on to your strategy and make you switch Probopass into an Earthquake, thus killing him. If ever you think one might be coming, Probopass needs to switch back to Claydol or Swellow. Poliwrath serves mainly as a second physical sweeper, but also gives some bulky water support, and can survive pretty well himself, having Water Absorb to switch in on (ideally) and also Substitute, meaning he should be able to survive a couple attacks himself. Glaceon also serves as a sweeper, though is admittedly not as useful as the others. Its sweeping ability, while great, isn't as useful due to it not having as many good opportunities to switch in on. Hypnosis absorptions are one good use, but if you can get Glaceon out when you might need it, it's always a good idea. Vileplume is used mainly for status healing support, but also for Stun Spore to support Swellow. The remaining attacks are used if you don't need to switch out after taking care of status. Basically, the idea is to start with Swellow, sweep as much as you can, and then switch when you need to, preferably to Claydol so he can set up some Stealth Rocks for you. From there, you switch in accordance with what happens in the battle, negating as much damage as you can with switches. Things are there to support Swellow, so eventually you should be able to throw Swellow out again and continue sweeping. Should Swellow die, both Poliwrath and Glaceon are there as backup sweepers, and hopefully you should still be fine. Ideally though, Swellow is the main attraction of this team. ========================================= XII. Suggestions for Specific Strategies ========================================= So I've run you through one specific example of how to build a team. But what if you still aren't sure how to start for what you specifically are going for? Well, in this section, I'll try to give you some things to go on for each specific strategy that I've listed above. A. Physical Sweeping ===================== To be a physical sweeper, you need to have a good base for attack. Or, at the very least, attack should be one of the stats you're better in. Speed is helpful for physical sweepers, though if you don't have a lot of speed, but still have a lot of power, sweeping is certainly still possible. The point of physical sweepers is to hit hard against the opponent's defense. Thus, you're going to want something with fairly high attack power. A good place to start for determining who you want to be a physical sweeper is Serebii's Pokedex, viewing highest to lowest in base attack, which you can view at the following address: http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/stat/attack.shtml As far as strategy itself goes for physical sweeping, typically physical sweepers don't know a lot of supporting moves since their defenses tend to be not so great. So you'll probably want to stick to three physically based moves, along with something else that could possibly get you out of a sticky situation. You should always take advantage of STAB for the types of your Pokemon (both of them if necessary, although certain Pokemon don't know good moves for both of their types: IE Lucario and steel), and then things that cover your Pokemon's or TEAM's weaknesses the best. Let's take Flygon, for example. Flygon has a x4 weakness to ice. So a good choice for a move for Flygon is something that can cover an ice weakness. Ice is weak to fire, rock, and fighting moves. Since in this situation, Flygon is a physical sweeper, Stone Edge is a good choice, since it's a physical type move, and fits the description of covering the ice weakness. Always try to think of where you're weak and what you can do to cover up your weak points. Along with your own weaknesses, you definitely want to make sure that your Pokemon has decent coverage for its moveset. What I mean by this is that you should try to choose a moveset that will cover your bases in the most situations it can. If we take the Suicune in my OU FAQ team for example, Suicune only has Surf and Ice Beam as attacking options. As a result of this, Suicune is going to have trouble against other water types because it doesn't have any more that can do decently against a water type. Clearly you're not going to be able to make sure that you're not walled by ANYTHING for every Pokemon on your team. This is mainly why you have several Pokemon on your team to help them cover each other's weaknesses where they are walled. B. Special Sweeping ==================== Special sweeping is exactly the same as physical sweeping, only with special attacks instead of physical attacks. To be a special sweeper, your special attack should be fairly high. Again, you don't need to be really fast to be a special sweeper. Speed helps, and it sometimes helps you score KOs you couldn't otherwise, but you can be slow and be a sweeper. Power is the most important factor for this. To get a start on what exactly you want to use for your special sweeper, Serebii's Pokedex listed highest to lowest in special attack is a great resource to use: http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/stat/sp-attack.shtml Strategy for special sweepers is essentially the same as it is with physical sweepers, only things are special based instead of physical based. Generally you're going to want to have at least a couple of special attacks, with an added fourth attack for certain sticky situations, or maybe to stall for a bit more time. Again, you should take STAB into consideration when assigning your moves, and ensure that you cover your Pokemon's types with those moves. Try to cover as many weaknesses of your Pokemon and team with your moves again. A classic example of this is a fire Pokemon. What is fire weak to? Water, obviously. All fire Pokemon can learn the move "Sunny Day", which boosts fire moves and gets rid of the water weakness (essentially, since it dimishes the power of water moves). In addition, a lot of fire Pokemon can learn Solarbeam. Solarbeam is strong against water, thus covering the weakness, and also can be used without charge up thanks to Sunny Day. You should try to come up with things like this in order to cover and counter things your foe may throw at you. The same thing I said in physical sweeping for planning moves that don't let you get walled applies for special sweeping too. You want to plan for a variety of situations so that your sweeper doesn't need to swap out as much as humanly possible. C. Physical Wall ================= A physical wall is a unit that specializes in defense. Physical wall's typically don't have very high speed, and as such, speed should be the last thing on your priority list when trying to pick out a physical wall. Defense is obviously the most important thing here, but HP is also important to an extent. Thus, EVs are typically given to defense and HP. To get an idea for where exactly you want to start for picking out a physical wall, take a look at Serebii's Pokedex listed by defense. http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/stat/defense.shtml Walls are generally NOT thrown out first in a battle, and really don't need too many attacking moves period, unless you're running something with the Curse strategy. Walls are also excellent to switch to from a sweeper, if you suspect your foe of going to use a certain move. Let's say your foe has a Weavile out, while you have Staraptor. The obvious move from the foe would be to use Ice Punch on you. But if you thought about it, you would have predicted that and, assuming your physical wall isn't also weak to ice, you would switch out and absorb the attack. Switching out to walls is one of the main uses for them, but they can also stall for time. Stalling for time requires that you either know recovery moves, stat boosting moves, or both. Being a physical wall, obviously if you can boost your defense higher with still staying alive, you should. Thus, moves like Iron Defense are usually great choices for physical walls. You also should be able to soak up damage without a problem, but not die, even after many attacks. Thus, if you can recover your HP, you should. Rest plus a Chesto Berry is a great combination for this, and most every Pokemon in the game can use this. You fully recover your HP, and the berry wakes you up from the sleep status. Other good recovery moves include Milk Drink, Roost, and Recover. A third use for physical walls are status ailments. A typical setup is a wall knowing Toxic. Toxic will slowly drain the foe's HP and ensure a death in several turns. Meanwhile, you can sit there and soak up damage and watch them have their HP drained. They get weaker and weaker while you are still reasonably unaffected due to your ability to take tons of damage. The final use for a wall is a supporting role, and not one many can fulfill. A very select few Pokemon can learn moves like Heal Bell or Aromatherapy or even Healing Wish. These moves aren't for the Pokemon necessarily, but rather to benefit your entire team. You can heal status ailments from the whole team with Heal Bell and Aromatherapy, and Healing Wish allows you a full recovery of someone else on your team. If you're stalling for time and are about to die, this makes a good last move to give yourself another chance. D. Special Wall ================ Special walls serve essentially the same purpose as physical walls do, only you use them on Pokemon that use special attack instead of regular attack. Obviously they need to have a high special defense stat in order to be considered a special wall. A good place to start for choosing a special wall, if you have no idea, is Serebii's Pokedex by special defense: http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/stat/sp-defense.shtml As with physical walls, speed is not an important stat for walls, and it's probably best if you disregard the stat entirely when making your decision. Special walls, as with physical walls, are also good for switching out when you suspect a move to be used. Let's say you have a Flygon/Garchomp out, while the foe has a Starmie. Starmie is definitely going to use Ice Beam and kill you. However, you're smarter than that, and switch to your special wall Vaporeon! Your Flygon/Garchomp is saved, and you neutralized the damage by using your special wall with a favorable typing. Using special walls like this can save you from a tricky spot in battle more than once if you're smart about your switches. Again, as with physical walls, special walls are also great stallers. Using a move like Amnesia, which boosts Special Defense, will lengthen your time on the field, and make your foe even more angry that they cannot hurt you. In addition, knowing recovery moves, as with physical walls, is also suggested. Again, Rest plus a Chesto Berry is a good combination, as are moves like Roost and Recovery. The longer you can recover your health and stay out on the field, the better. In combination with Leftovers, this kind of thing can keep you alive for quite a long time. Special walls can play the "wait it out" game just as well as physical walls can. A move like Toxic or Will-o-Wisp will slowly drain your foe's health while you sit there and watch them die, meanwhile taking little damage and recovering your own HP. Use of these moves can be a great strategy to get rid of something pesky you couldn't otherwise touch. And again, as with physical walls, the supporting role can also be played with special walls with moves like Heal Bell and Aromatherapy. E. Mixed Sweeping ================== Mixed sweeping is a strategy that is difficult to pull off. The Pokemon you use to be a mixed sweeper has to be good in both of the attack areas. As you've probably guessed, not a lot of Pokemon are equally proficient in both of these areas, so finding a mixed sweeper, should you want one, can often times be difficult. Basically, a mixed sweeper combines physical and special sweepers into one Pokemon, and can be used in both situations. Apply the same tactics you would use for both physical and special sweepers and use them for your mixed sweeper, and you should be fine. As far as having a place to start for choosing a mixed sweeper, there's no easy way to tell aside from just looking at base stats and comparing if attack and special attack are similar. You'll have to just check that on your own to find out if the Pokemon you want is proficient in both of the attack areas. In an e-mail recently, someone pointed out something that I hadn't even thought of before for mixed sweeping. That being if a Pokemon has high stats in both attack and special attack, they, and they alone, can get some benefit out of moves that severely lower special attack. The other three moves would be physical, and most (if not all) EVs would be devouted to attack. And then the move (such as Overheat, Draco Meteor, Leaf Storm) would be used as a finisher. Since both attack stats are high, this move is still fairly effective, but since the other moves are devouted to the other attack stat, their stat isn't hurting when they try to attack again. It's quite feasible. F. Mixed Wall ============== Mixed walls are perhaps the most useful of all the types of Pokemon. The reason being that they can be out in pretty much any condition and still stay alive for quite a long period of time. However, because this is true, mixed walls are even more difficult to find than mixed sweepers. The best example of a mixed wall I can think of is Suicune, who has excellent defense and special defense, and can soak up the damage like there's no tomorrow. As far as using a mixed wall goes, use the same strategy you would as if you were using a physical or special wall. The purpose of a mixed wall is exactly the same. G. Specialized Teams ===================== Specialized teams are something that not a lot of people do. Mainly because of the fact that using them competitively against other teams is simply not practical. However, I find that making specialized teams is quite a bit of fun, so I like to use them whenever I can. Typically on a specialized team, you're going to be focusing on a particular type of Pokemon. To get a start for who you want to use on whatever type team you're planning on using, use Serebii's Pokedex and browse by type. http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/ Simply scroll down a little bit and click on the type you want to view, and you'll see all of the Pokemon listed from that type. First and formost, on a specialized team, you want to get rid of as many common weaknesses as possible. With certain types, such as electric, this is just simply not possible, due to lack of mixed types. But for certain types, such as the water type, this is possible. A water/grass type gets rid of the electric weakness, for example. You'll want to find as many different mixed typings like that as possible as to cover the common weakness that making a specialized team brings. On that same note, covering weaknesses in moves is also key to success with these types of teams. For example, electric Pokemon are weak to the ground type. Obviously someone with Earthquake is just going to destroy you if you don't do something about that. Thus, you look for options. Conveniently, there's a move called "Magnet Rise" that gives you the Levitate ability. Ground moves can no longer hit you, and you've eliminated the weakness. On a similar note, on a fire team, water is going to be a huge problem. Thus, you'll want to have someone with Sunny Day in order to get rid of that weakness, as well as boosting your own fire attacks in the process. Using a specialized team, you should also follow the typical "four sweepers, two walls" formula for a team. This is most easily done with the water type, since walls are rarer than sweepers, and the water type holds a lot of the walls the game has. Using this formula can still perhaps save you in a couple of situations if you find yourself up against a move/Pokemon that you cannot overcome in other ways. The final thing to keep in mind when making a specialized team is to always know what your weaknesses are. For example, on a fire team, your weaknesses are water, rock, and ground type moves. Thus, in your movesets, you're going to want as many things strong against these types as possible. Water is countered by Solarbeam and Sunny Day, which you should likely have. Rock is countered by ground type moves. Someone in the type is bound to be able to learn Earthquake. Ground is covered by Solarbeam again. In giving your Pokemon these types of moves, you effectively can counter things that you're weak against. H. Baton Passing ================= Baton Passing is a very specific strategy that requires at least a couple members of your team to have the move "Baton Pass". This strategy is a personal favorite of mine, mainly due to the number of possibilities of things you can do with this strategy. First and formost, if you want to Baton Pass, you HAVE to use the following Pokemon: Mr. Mime, Eevee, Jolteon, Flareon, Vaporeon, Espeon, Umbreon, Glaceon, Leafeon, Mew, Sentret, Furret, Ledyba, Ledian, Togepi, Togetic, Togekiss, Aipom, Girafarig, Celebi, Surskit, Masquerain, Ninjask, Mawile, Plusle, Minun, Huntail, Gorebyss, Ambipom, Drifloon, Drifblim, Buneary, Lopunny, Mime Jr., Venonat, Venomoth, Scyther, Spinarak, Ariados, Gligar, Scizor, Torchic, Combusken, Blaziken, Skitty, Delcatty, Meditite, Medicham, Volbeat, Illumise, Spinda, Absol, Buizel, Floatzel, Gliscor, Smeargle It should be noted that certain Pokemon (mainly Eevee coming to mind here) can learn the move while their evolution cannot. Certain Pokemon can also only learn the move via breeding. So you'll need to check on the specifics of how each Pokemon learns the move if you want to use them. The basis of Baton Passing is to have the Baton Passer, whoever it may be, know a couple of stat boosting moves, or at least moves that benefit you in some way that don't do damage. These moves might include things like Swords Dance, Iron Defense, Rock Polish, Agility, Aqua Ring, Mean Look, Wish, etc etc. After these moves are used in the quantity you want, you then use the move "Baton Pass" in order to "pass" the effects on to one of the other Pokemon on your team. Normally, if you withdrew the Pokemon who used the stat boosters, the conditions would be gone when they were withdrawn. But under the conditions of Baton Pass, those effects are still in play for the next Pokemon you use. This is especially useful for getting stat boosts in certain stats to Pokemon that couldn't obtain them normally. Or to give a certain boost to a Pokemon that can't learn that move. Or to heal a Pokemon that can't learn a recovery move by passing on a Wish. The possibilities are almost endless with what you can do with this. As far as the Pokemon themselves go, I personally consider all of the Eevee evolutions to be the best possibilities for Baton Passing. They can learn a variety of beneficial moves in combinations that tend to be especially useful, while no one else in the game can learn these specific set of moves at the same time. Examples of things they can do are Vaporeon and Aqua Ring passing. Umbreon and Mean Look passing. Jolteon and Agility passing. Leafeon passing on Swords Dance. And all of them can learn the move "Wish", which means if you use Eevees to Baton Pass, you provide a way to heal any member of your team of any damage they may have received. This is the main reason why I consider these Pokemon the best. Other excellent choices for Baton Passing are Gliscor, Scizor, Togekiss, Drifblim, Blaziken, Girafarig, etc etc. As long as the Pokemon can learn at least one move to pass on that will benefit your team, it's a decent choice. Mr. Mime and Smeargle are also notable choices for Baton Passing. Sound Proof is very useful since it prevents things like Roar from being used, which is obviously important for a Baton Pass team since Roar ends your chain and you have to start all over. Smeargle can learn every move in the game, which is obviously useful. Another Pokemon to note for Baton Passing is Ninjask since it has the Speed Boost ability. You can lead with it, either give it a Focus Sash (and then give it something like Swords Dance too) or use Protect. Then you can get some guaranteed stat boosts onto your next Pokemon. As far as strategy goes for Baton Passing, it depends on how involved in your strategy it is. If you've only got one passer, then the things you can do are limited. An example of things you can do with only one passer are to have Gliscor out as a wall, while having him use Swords Dance, and then passing that on to your physical sweeper. Limited, yes, but still effective. If you have more than one passer on your team, you can do quite a bit more. Your first passer in the chain could be Gliscor with the Swords Dancing. Upon which he could pass out to Scizor, who would use a series of Iron Defenses. Scizor could then pass to Jolteon, who used a bunch of Agilities, and then pass to Vaporeon, who would use Aqua Ring and pass to Umbreon. Umbreon could lock in with Mean Look and then pass to your physical sweeper, who would have an immensely boosted status and would be essentially guaranteed the KO. As you can see, the idea is just to use the beneficial moves, and pass them, and then sweep. The more you have to pass, the better, but it's up to you to decide how many passers you want to use. I. Choice Users ================ What a choice team is, or just a choice user let's say, is a team that using one of the choice items to boost their status. These items are the Choice Scarf, Choice Specs, and Choice Band. These items boost the speed, attack, or special attack (depending on which one you are holding) of one attack you use by x1.5. However, the catch is that you can ONLY use that move until you withdraw the Pokemon. In other words, it's like a self-induced Encore status until you withdraw the Pokemon. This obviously has its pros and cons to it. Obviously the huge pro is that you have a significantly boosted status right off the bat in battle. The con is that if you come out against something you have a move to counter, but you can't use that move, you have to go out of your way to withdraw and resend in order to counter it. When used properly, the choice items can give you a nice edge in battle. There are several things you'll want to keep in mind when using choice items on your Pokemon. First of all, a set of ALL attacking moves is usually recommended (since you're locked into one move anyway). However, there are some exceptions to this. One of the best strategies to use while using Choice items is to give the Pokemon Trick. This allows you to swap items with the other Pokemon. For some Pokemon, holding Choice item is completely crippling (like Blissey and other common walls, for example, or anything trying to use a Baton Pass chain), so Trick is an awesome choice for moves. Pokemon that generally like to use Choice items are Pokemon that have high attack or special attack (such as Weavile or Alakazam). They use the Choice item in order to boost their already massive attack power to unreasonable levels and pose a giant threat to anything on the other team. Other Pokemon that use Choice items are Pokemon with mediocre speed. They use a Choice Scarf to boost their speed to make it decently high, allowing them to out- speed things that normally outspeed them, allowing you to get in a surprise attack and a possible KO. Another good strategy to use with Choice items is to use Choice Band in conjunction with priority moves (and STAB, if you can). A really good example of this is a Staraptor with Quick Attack. Priority moves generally are really important anyway, but with the extra boost of STAB and the Choice Band, it becomes a highly powerful move that should be feared. Along the same lines, U-Turn in conjunction with Choice Scarf is a good combination. You will (or should) outspeed the other Pokemon, hit them with U-Turn, then have the opportunity to switch to an appropriate counter. This also works with Choice Band, but only if the Pokemon is already fast enough to go first without fail (since that's the idea of this strategy). Another thing to do with choice items is to use moves like Outrage which are normally not so good to use. What I mean is that since these moves are powerful and force you to use the same move over and over again ANYWAY, if you use them with a Choice item, you have a highly powerful move, and the restriction to one move doesn't matter because you're locked with the choice item anyway. Other than these things, remember that you generally want to plan Choice items on things that are high powered moves. Plan for lots of coverage, and try to cover as many situations as possible. Prediction is key with Choice items, since if you use the wrong thing, you're screwed and forced into a switch. You'll want to watch for scouters when using Choice items (things with Protect, U-Turn, etc), since they will scout your team for things with Choice items, find out you have the item, and then your surprise is ruined. J. Annoyer =========== To use an annoyer team, you have one purpose and one purpose only: to annoy. If you still want to win, that is another issue entirely, but your main purpose for this is to annoy your foe totally and completely. You'll obviously be doing this with a variety of different status ailments. I personally LOVE the annoyer strategy, and find it to be quite effective in tons of situations. To start off, you're going to want to get someone who has a status ailment you can most benefit from, and makes sense for the type of Pokemon you have, and in certain cases, their gender. The point is to inflict them with as many status ailments as you can in order to hinder their moving, followed by which you either wait it out until they die from poison/burn damage, or you start attacking them, with the security of knowing they probably won't be able to hit you back. Classic annoyer moves include things like Confuse Ray, Toxic, Will-o-Wisp, Thunder Wave, Attract, etc etc. Personally, I find that starting out with something like Spore or Hypnosis to put them asleep works the best, followed by a Confuse Ray to make sure they'll have trouble attacking you even when they wake up. Other options for things you can do would be to start out with something that causes either sleep or paralysis, and then do a follow up with secondary status ailments and then stack them. An example would be Spore -> Leech Seed -> Confuse Ray -> Attract. As you can see, not only do you benefit from the ailment by receiving HP back yourself, but you also essentially remove their ability to attack at all. Quite useful in tons of situations. One drawback of this strategy is that secondary ailments are all cured by withdrawl from battle. If you want maximum performance out of the strategy, it's a good idea to combine it with someone who knows a move like Mean Look, Fire Spin, Whirlpool, Block, etc in order to LOCK them in the battle and ensure they don't escape and get cured. ========================= XIII. Counter Strategies ========================= Just like most everything has its strengths, everything also has its weaknesses. Should you be having trouble getting rid of something specific in a battle, here is the section to come to in order to find how you can overcome that tough opponent. A. Countering Physical Sweepers ================================ One of the key things you have to remembering when countering a certain strategy or a certain opponent is that taking away their source of use is one of the best ways to overcome them. In countering the physical sweepers, we have to ask ourselves this very question. What's their best asset? Of course, it's their high physical attack. Cutting the attack power of the user will help ensure survival. So what exactly can we use to destroy attack power? If you remember, earlier in this FAQ, I took the time to point out added bonuses of certain status ailments. I wasn't just blowing smoke with that. It has particular use in this section. Burns cut physical attack by half. Inflict a physical sweeper with a burn, and they'll have trouble doing as much damage to you as they normally would. Of course, you can try to get lucky with something like Flamethrower or Fire Blast to try to inflict the burn, but I don't recommend that. If you're going for a certain status ailment, rather than relying on luck, you should always take the safer route. In this case, Will-o-Wisp. The move will inflict a burn with a good chance of infliction (assuming that the target isn't immune to the burn ailment). Of course, there are certain things that can't be burned, and certain teams that won't have Will-o-Wisp on them in order to specifically counter this, so we have to come up with alternative options. One of the most obvious is to plan moves onto your team that take adtantage of some of the weaknesses of common physical sweepers. For example, Salamence is an immensely common choice for a physical sweeper, so you should plan a move to counter him, should the need arise. His typing is dragon/flying, which has a x4 weakness to ice. Ice Beam is obviously the optimal choice for this, and many things in the game can learn the move, so at least one Pokemon on your team should know it. Another common sweeper is Tyranitar. Again, a x4 weakness. This time to fighting moves. Optimally, you should have a fighting type Pokemon that can take advantage of STAB, but if you find yourself in a position that you cannot use a fighting move, Earthquake is an almost-as-good alternative to a fighting move. Earthquake is also a great counter and a way to get rid of anything weak to earth really, or just anything with low defense, so you should plan that move on any team anyway. The last main threat for a physical sweeper is Metagross, a psychic/steel typing. In this case, it's better to take advantage of the steel typing with a nice fire attack. In most cases, Flamethrower does fine. Thus, in planning these certain moves onto your team, you provide ways you can defeat common sweepers in the game. But what if there's a less common sweeper you haven't planned the given move to counter for? Obviously, there are ways to handle this too. A great way to handle an unexpected sweeper is simply disabling their ability to move. This works equally well with common physical sweepers as well, however, it's better to just take them out quickly if possible. In order to disable their ability to move, you're obviously going to need some sort of move that can prevent movement. Namely status ailment causing moves. The only for *sure* ailment that will prevent movement is sleep. However, certain sleep causing moves are less accurate than other alternatives. Other options are confusion, preferably caused by Confuse Ray, attraction, obviously caused by attract, or paralysis, caused by Thunder Wave. Paralysis has an added bonus of cutting the speed of the enemy by half, so in addition of perhaps not being able to move, you'll likely gain the advantage of going first, if you didn't already have it. Any one of these ailments is good at stopping sweepers from doing their job. On that note, you can kill the physical sweeper with other, non-immobilizing status ailments like burns and poison. In order to use these things effectively, you should use a physical wall. Using a physical wall not only limits the damage you take from their attacks, but in combination with the poison or burn, it enables you to come out of top of an otherwise difficult situation. Another status changer is of decent mention, this time beneficial to yourself. Using the move "Reflect" will cut the damage done by all physical attacks to your team. So even if you're in a double battle or if you switch out, it will be in effect until the wall fades. Cutting the damage they can do to you this way is often quite effective. The final way to counter a physical sweeper is to simply kill it before it can kill you. In order to do this, however, you need to be able to outspeed it and go first, preferably with a super effective attack. If you can go first in the battle, you have an edge in taking out the opponent. B. Countering Special Sweepers =============================== Countering a special sweeper is somewhat more problematic than countering a physical sweeper, simply for the reason that you cannot use burns in order to cut their attack. However, everything else you did to counter a physical sweeper, you can also do to counter a special sweeper. So let's start with countering the common threats. In planning your movesets, it's always a good idea to plan against commonly used things, just in case. If you're going up against ubers, this is especially useful, since all of the highest special attack bases are held by ubers. Conveniently, a lot of these same things are weak to ice again, so packing in an Ice Beamer is always a good idea. Aside from them, commonly used special sweepers include Porygon Z, Alakazam, Togekiss, Jolteon, and so on. Togekiss is already covered under Ice Beam. Jolteon can easily be covered by an Earthquake. Porygon Z and Alakazam, both tied for the highest special attack bases in the game for non-ubers have less common weaknesses however. Porygon Z luckily has somewhat shabby defenses, so blowing through him with a couple of powerful physical attacks might even do the trick, even if they aren't fighting type moves. As for Alakazam, Shadow Ball is probably the most common move you have to finish him, although better choices for the job are things like Crunch, X-Scissor, and Shadow Claw, if you have them. Another counter to special sweepers, as with physical sweepers, is just disabling what they can do. What you do is exactly the same as what you would do to a special sweeper, so I won't run through the whole thing again. Another counter is obviously a special wall. Special walls are surprizingly effective against stopping special sweepers in their tracks. Throw in the added effect of burn or poison, and that tough foe can be easily defeated. The most commonly used special wall is Blissey, due to her defense special defense and simply massive HP total. However, to be original, I prefer to use other things. Tons of water type Pokemon serve as excellent special walls and can learn moves like Aqua Ring to stay alive longer to boot. So simply walling a special sweeper with a special wall is surprizingly effective if you can't beat the sweeper outright. Similar to physical attacks, special attacks also have a move that cuts the damage done by them. It's called Light Screen. Using Light Screen will cut the damage your entire team receives from special attacks, meaning that even if you're in a double battle your partner will get the effect too. And this effect lasts until the wall fades, even if you switch out. And again, the final way to counter a special sweeper is to beat it before they beat you. Whether you do this via special or physical attacks doesn't make a lot of difference a lot of the time. Just try to use type advantage to the best favor you can give yourself, along with as much speed as you've got on your team. C. Countering Physical Walls ============================= Physical walls are oftentimes pretty tricky to get rid of. If for nothing else, for the fact that it's intensely hard to damage them. However, given proper planning, taking them down can be made a whole lot easier. An obvious first mention is to just plan for encountering common physical walls. The most common physical wall ever is Skarmory (in combination with the special wall of Blissey). Skarmory is steel/flying and also has pretty bad special defense, so anything special based and fire/electric is going to do pretty well against Skarmory. Type advantage even physical based still do the job pretty well though. Other common walls include a ton of rock types since their type obviously is resistent to a lot of attacks, in addition to having the high defense. These things are obviously begging for an Earthquake so plan that move on your team as well. Another way to beat a physical wall is to counter with another wall of some sort, and poison or burn them until they die. Damage on the both of you will be severely reduced, since you're both walls, but this will ensure that they do die eventually. Poison is a good choice for using against walls since when using Toxic, the damage done each turn is increased, and you'll be able to get rid of them a little faster than if you burned them. The downside to this is that a lot of walls also carry these types of moves, so the same strategy may be used on you as well, which would destroy you both in the end. To counter this downside, it's always a good idea to give your wall a move like Refresh, Heal Bell, or Aromatherapy to heal ailments, should the opponent do this to you as well. Or just give your wall a Lum Berry to cure any ailment one time. Alternatively, if you don't want to beat the wall right now for one reason or another, you can simply Roar them out of the match and force the opponent to use something else. This can be helpful in times you want to ensure you can beat everything else before draining your resources trying to take out something not so easily defeated. Stat boosting can also do wonders on physical walls. Swords Dance or Nasty Plot, depending on which Pokemon you're using, will put your attack power over the top enough to do a decent amount of damage on most walls. On the complete other end of the board, there's destroying status effects. Walls love to boost their stats so you can do as little damage to them as possible. You can fix this of course, with one simple move: Haze. Haze a wall, and all the effects they've accumulated go down the drain. Similarly, walls also use moves that place a status effect on you. A way to counter this is to simply make it impossible. Safeguard will protect you from any ailments they try to place on you. Another surprisingly good way to stop a wall is by another move: Taunt. Taunting when your opponent has a wall out will ensure that the wall cannot use those nasty healing or status effect moves that they always carry, which forces the opponent to either do poor damage on you, or to switch out to get something better. Stopping them from healing with this is especially important, since if you have a Taunter, you can often go first against a wall (since they're usually slow), preventing them from doing much of any good to you. Lastly, most physical walls have poor special defense to compensate their excellent defense. Type advantage and a powerful special attack can easily take care of a lot of physical walls. Be aware though, as trainers usually know the weakness of what they're using and perhaps will switch out when you try to take care of them this way. The trick to this is, you have to predict switches, and when certain things will be coming in and out, in order to hit at the right time in certain situations. Another alternative to this is simply to lock them into the battle with a move like Block or Mean Look and simply force them to face their weakness. D. Countering Special Walls ============================ Countering special walls is very similar to countering physical walls. Only you're dealing with special instead of physical defense. In order to counter special walls, you need to find a way around their especially high special defense. The most common special wall is Blissey, and for good reason. Blissey has the highest HP in the game by a LOT, so much so that her HP can sometimes be raised into the 700s. In addition her special defense is also quite high. But this comes with a price. This is her one and only job. She can't really attack very well, and her defense is simply horrible. The low defense is what you need to take advantage of. A good fighting attack with some decent power behind it is often enough to take down Blissey in a shot or two. However, combined with Skarmory, not a lot of players will let this happen. The best way to combat this is to simply fool the opponent into throwing Blissey in against someone they would never expect to have this type of move. Or the aforementioned locking her in battle. Other common special walls are Dusknoir, Cresselia, and Milotic. Always exploit weaknesses. Ghost type moves such as Shadow Ball (or Shadow CLAW, if you have someone with it) work well for the first two, and electric moves work well for Milotic. Always remember that you can take them down via status ailment should everything else fail. Those not on Blissey, for the fact that all Blisseys know either Refresh or Heal Bell. Generally, countering a special wall can be as easy as just using another special wall and waiting it out until they die via poison or burn. In any case, always be prepared for the same tactic from the enemy with a status healing move or a Lum Berry. As with physical walls, you can always push off dealing with the Pokemon until later, if you so desire. Roaring out of the battle can oftentimes save your team some strength in order to take down the rest of the team before having to deal with the special wall. If nothing is working at the moment, putting it off until later with Roar isn't a bad idea. And again, status boosting does wonders. These are special walls we're dealing with here, so they'll have lower defense than special defense. So the most beneficial stat boosting move to use would be Swords Dance, to exploit the lower of the defense stats. Swords Dance a time or two, and then see how much damage you're doing now. On the complete other end of the board, there's destroying status effects. Walls love to boost their stats so you can do as little damage to them as possible. You can fix this of course, with one simple move: Haze. Haze a wall, and all the effects they've accumulated go down the drain. Similarly, walls also use moves that place a status effect on you. A way to counter this is to simply make it impossible. Safeguard will protect you from any ailments they try to place on you. Another surprisingly good way to stop a wall is by another move: Taunt. Taunting when your opponent has a wall out will ensure that the wall cannot use those nasty healing or status effect moves that they always carry, which forces the opponent to either do poor damage on you, or to switch out to get something better. Stopping them from healing with this is especially important, since if you have a Taunter, you can often go first against a wall (since they're usually slow), preventing them from doing much of any good to you. E. Countering Mixed Sweepers ============================= Mixed sweepers are simply a combination of sweepers already mentioned, so I won't detail too much more about countering them. I will point out a few more things though. Being mixed sweepers, they have to take advantage of both high attack and special attack. Oftentimes this means sacrificing EVs in other areas, such as speed. In any case, if the trainer wanted to fully take advantage of both of the attack areas, EVs weren't placed in another category that might have otherwise been used. It's a good idea to find exactly what area is lacking and to exploit the lack of points. Another good option for countering Pokemon that know both the types of attacks is just to block them with a mixed wall. They can't do much damage no matter which attack they use, so effectively, they'll have to withdraw and switch to another tactic if they want to get passed you. F. Countering Mixed Walls ========================== Mixed walls are pretty tricky to get passed in any respect. You can't really do much damage to them no matter what attack you may try, so you have to go about getting rid of them with other methods. Again, a lot of the same ideas that applied to physical and special walls still apply here, so I won't repeat the same things again. The most common mixed wall, and the only mixed wall I can think of being used on a large scale at the moment, is Umbreon. A lot of times, Umbreon doesn't know even one attack and will just sit there healing itself with Wish or Moonlight while you're locked in with Mean Look and being poisoned to death. Obviously, if you get locked into the battle, you can't do much else to counter besides what you already have out, so make sure you don't screw yourself too badly with the one chance you may have to switch when Umbreon is initially sent out. Umbreon is a pure dark type, so it's a good idea to exploit the weaknesses, those mainly being fighting moves. Brick Break is typically a good option for this, since a lot of things can learn that particular move. Other options to getting out of a Mean Look are Roar, since it forces Umbreon out of the battle, who is needed for the Mean Look to stay in effect, or Baton Pass, should you have that on your team. On the complete other end of the board, there's destroying status effects. Walls love to boost their stats so you can do as little damage to them as possible. You can fix this of course, with one simple move: Haze. Haze a wall, and all the effects they've accumulated go down the drain. Similarly, walls also use moves that place a status effect on you. A way to counter this is to simply make it impossible. Safeguard will protect you from any ailments they try to place on you. Another surprisingly good way to stop a wall is by another move: Taunt. Taunting when your opponent has a wall out will ensure that the wall cannot use those nasty healing or status effect moves that they always carry, which forces the opponent to either do poor damage on you, or to switch out to get something better. Stopping them from healing with this is especially important, since if you have a Taunter, you can often go first against a wall (since they're usually slow), preventing them from doing much of any good to you. G. Countering Specialized Teams ================================ Obviously this is going to be the easiest thing to counter out of everything, since a lot of things are going to have a common weakness. Once you know what type of team you're dealing with, you just have to use the corresponding move that is effective against it. However, if you were smart when building the team, you would have provided counters against what was super effective. So in order to counter this good planning, we have to think a step ahead. A lot of Pokemon can learn moves that aren't their type. So the counter provided by the specialized team won't necessarily cover your actual type, if you're simply using the type move that's effective against them. In effect, you can still decimate the team, while keeping alive yourself for getting around the counter strategy. H. Countering Baton Passers ============================ Baton Passing teams have TONS of strengths, considering how many things they can pass on to one another via the move Baton Pass. However, this strategy has one major flaw that lets a single move undo it most of the time. Of course, the move I'm talking about is Roar. Roar forces the Pokemon back in their ball without the opportunity to pass the moves onto another Pokemon on the team. In effect, the chain for passing has to start all over again, and you've cost your opponent a lot of time and effort in the process. Along those same lines, you could simply just destroy all of the status boosters they've used with the move Haze. Haze will erase all of them and make it as though nothing happened at all. Of course, using this move requires that the opponent LET you use this move. Often times, this will prove to be difficult, provided what the foe is already doing to ensure maximum stat gains for their team. Perhaps they put you to sleep first. Or maybe confusion, or attract. In any case, it's unlikely they simply left you to attack them while they tried to boost their stats. Sadly, there's not a lot you can do about this and just have to try to get the move out there through whatever you're being hindered by. There's always Lum Berries to solve the problem once, but otherwise, you'll have to rely simply on luck to get through whatever is hindering your progress. Other counters to Baton Passers involve stopping the chain of passes as well. If you can disable whoever the chain is currently on, you give yourself some time to KO whoever has the boosted stats, thus ending the chain. An excellent example of this would be to put them asleep. Putting a Pokemon asleep that has a lot of stats on it will either stall for time to kill them on your part, or will force the opponent into withdrawing the Pokemon completely, thus ending the chain of boosted stats, which was your ultimate goal anyway. Immobilization stops what they do and, in effect, what they pass on. If they can't pass things on, the entire structure of what their team is based on, and allows you to effectively destroy them. Another option doesn't exactly involve STOPPING them, per se, but it's quite effective, nonetheless. This option is using the move "Psych Up". It allows you to copy all of their stat boosts in a single turn. And considering that Baton Passers usually have quite a few of them accumulated at some point, copying all that work and getting it on yourself with only one move is quite decent, if I say so myself. Or of course, you could simply Taunt them and let that work well for you. It'll disable whatever boosting moves they want to use, ensuring that they can't boost anymore, and in addition, can't even pass them onto someone else. Although you should be warned that if you Taunt, you should do it BEFORE they use a couple of Swords Dances so that you don't get repeatedly hit by the high attack effects of that. I. Countering Choice Teams =========================== Countering Choice Teams is really similar to actually playing with a the Choice item. Remember how I said that Trick was a really good move to put on something with a Choice item? Well, similarly, you can use Trick on a Pokemon to counter Choice items. Oftentimes, Pokemon with Choice items depend on their item for their moveset to work. So if you switch something onto them with Trick, their item is gone, and oftentimes the strategy they were using. Be careful with doing this though, since if you Trick the item onto yourself and you can't use it effectively, it often ruins your own strategy. Probably a better thing to do is use a scouter on your team. Some moves you can use to scout are things like Protect and U-Turn. Basically, what these moves do is waste an opponent's turn, allowing you to see a move in their move pool, and oftentimes what item they have. If they have a choice item, it should be pretty obvious. If you U-Turn, the move will do more damage than it usually does (or they'll go before you when they shouldn't), and if you Protect, they will be forced to use the same move (or swap out because they're locked into something they don't want). This gives you insight that you didn't have before and oftentimes will ruin them since Choice items often rely on surprise to work effectively. Another thing you can do to counter Choice items is manage your switches effectively. Generally, Choice item Pokemon tend to have the same moves all the time. If you know what they generally have, you can guess what they might try to use on you, and switch to something either immune or has a resistance to the move you think they'll use. If you guess right, they're forced to switch, and you get a free turn. Status ailments are also somewhat effective at taking Choice item users down since it impales them. Burn will cut a Choice band user's massive attack, and paralysis will make it difficult for them to use their hindered attack options. Poison isn't really that effective, and probably should be used in moderation. The best thing you can do other than these things is try to take them down quicker than they can take you down. This is oftentimes harder in practice than it is in theory, but out-predicting them is oftentimes pretty helpful. J. Countering Annoyers ======================= Two words: Lum Berry. Lum Berries absolutely decimate annoyer teams. The more of them you have, the more successful you will be. Annoyer teams are based around a variety of status ailments. If you hold an item that cures any ailment you may be inflicted with, you effectively waste one of their turns every time you throw out a new Pokemon. In addition, you make several of the opponent's moves useless, since you automatically neutralize the effects of them. This limits their move pool, and gives them fewer things to use against you. Other obvious things to use are status healing moves. Refresh is good. Heal Bell and Aromatherapy are MUCH better, since they heal the ailments of the entire team. combined with Lum Berries, if you have one Pokemon with Heal Bell or Aromatherapy, there should be no reason you can't win against an annoyer team. You've already got a free shot with the berries, and when you become infected with even a couple of Pokemon, Heal Bell resets everything and you're back to normal. ================================ XIV. Building a Baton Pass Team ================================ Since Baton Passing is my personal favorite strategy for the Pokemon meta- game, I've decided to devout an entire section to building a Baton Pass team. So just what is Baton Passing anyway? Baton Passing involves the move "Baton Pass," which essentially replaces one Pokemon with another on the field, without changing any of the field circumstances. Meaning that any stat boosts, secondary status effects, and so on that your previous Pokemon had will still be there affecting the new Pokemon after Baton Pass is used. It is as if you never switched at all. The catch to this is that if, for any reason, you're forced to withdraw your Pokemon from the field normally, the Baton Pass chain will end, and the boosts and status effects will be cancelled. This includes things like fainting, switching, being roared or whirlwinded, and so on. Basically, if you switch Pokemon without using Baton Pass, the chain ends. So how to you use this strategy, and why is it advantageous? Well, essentially, you're not simply limited to one Pokemon's moveset this way. You can take advantage of many stat boosting moves even if that Pokemon itself can't actually learn them. Using the strategy involves packing as few or as many stat boosting moves (and others too, like Mean Look) onto your team as you need/want for your strategy, and then giving that Pokemon the move Baton Pass to pass them on to someone else, who will do the work of attacking for you. A good example is starting out with a couple of Iron Defenses to boost defense, then passing onto someone else, who will use a couple Sword Dances, then passing onto your sweeper. The extra defense ensures that you won't die, and the attack boost tries to ensure that you can OHKO them. Obviously things are a little more complicated than this, but that's the main gist of things. Of course, not everyone can learn Baton Pass, so to use it, you'll need to have one or more of the Pokemon that know it on your team. Here's a list of the Pokemon that can learn Baton Pass: Mr. Mime, Eevee, Jolteon, Flareon, Vaporeon, Espeon, Umbreon, Glaceon, Leafeon, Mew, Sentret, Furret, Ledyba, Ledian, Togepi, Togetic, Togekiss, Aipom, Girafarig, Celebi, Surskit, Masquerain, Ninjask, Mawile, Plusle, Minun, Huntail, Gorebyss, Ambipom, Drifloon, Drifblim, Buneary, Lopunny, Mime Jr., Venonat, Venomoth, Scyther, Spinarak, Ariados, Gligar, Scizor, Torchic, Combusken, Blaziken, Skitty, Delcatty, Meditite, Medicham, Volbeat, Illumise, Spinda, Absol, Buizel, Floatzel, Gliscor, Smeargle It should be noted that not all of these Pokemon LEARN Baton Pass on their own, and instead have to learn it in a previous evolution (all of the Eeveelutions, for example need to learn it as an Eevee), and others require that you breed it onto them since it's only an egg move, and they never learn it naturally. So you'll need to check the specifics on this for how they learn the move. Of particular note in this list is Mr. Mime and Smeargle, due to Sound Proof which prevents things like Roar from working, saving all of your boosts from being erased. Smeargle can obviously use every move in the game, which is beneficial. Of particular interest is Smeargle's ability to use Spore in combination with Belly Drum and then passing it on. It's fast, quick, and effective. In addition to stat boosting moves, another move you're going to commonly want to use with Baton Passing is Substitute. Substitute prevents status ailments and also saves your from unpredictable critical hits. The main attraction of Substitute though, is that it allows you to pass it to one of your Pokemon that normally has problems switching in. My favorite example of a Sub-passer is a Jolteon with Baton Pass, Yawn, Substitute, and Thunderbolt. Yawn to force a switch or cause them to sleep (you don't care which), Substitute on the switch, and pass to someone else. It's really useful in getting things out that normally couldn't survive. And without further adieu, I'll start on the specific examples on how to build a team like this. A. Type Selection ================== First of all, you're obviously going to want to decide just how in depth you want to go with this strategy. In most cases, people only apply the strategy to a part of their team, with only maybe two of their Pokemon knowing boosting moves and Baton Pass. But obviously, you can take it farther than this and use Baton Pass on every member of your team. If you're using the other part of this FAQ, you'll be using my advice and using Pokemon you like, so you'll probably just want to use a couple of Baton Passers on your team. In this case, just apply what I say in this section to those Pokemon who use the move and keep in mind what I say in the rest of it. But for the sake of purity I'm going to say I'm going to go all out on the Baton Passing with this team. Therefore, four of my Pokemon will be boosting, with two Pokemon left over to receive and use the boosts. B. Pokemon Selection ===================== All right. The amount of variety we've got in making a Baton Passing team is much less than it is if we're just making a normal team (and even less than that if you're restricting yourself to certain tiers). So we've got to make really good use of the choices we've got here. Again, I'm not going to use anyone that I don't like. Luckily, a lot of my favorites fall into this group of Pokemon that can learn Baton Pass. They are: Mr. Mime, Jolteon, Vaporeon, Espeon, Umbreon, Glaceon, Leafeon, Togekiss, Girafarig, Ninjask, Huntail, Gorebyss, Ambipom, Drifblim, Lopunny, Venomoth, Scizor, Blaziken, Medicham, Absol, Floatzel, Gliscor Once your narrow down your favorites, you obviously want to take into account what type of moves your team is passing. In my case, I'm going to want a little bit of everything, but if you're not using all six members as passers, you might not need to boost all of your stats. If you know which sweeper you want to pass to, you might not necessarily need Nasty Plot if they're a physical sweeper, for example. But in my case, I want everything, so I need things that can learn a lot of the moves. Stat lines don't matter, to a point, so long as your lead can take a hit or two. We'll get to that later though. For simplicity's sake, I'll assume you can look up who can learn what move and just list off which ones of these I know can learn moves I'll be wanting. Mr. Mime, Jolteon, Vaporeon, Espeon, Umbreon, Togekiss, Girafarig, Ninjask, Gorebyss, Ambipom, Drifblim, Lopunny, Scizor, Medicham, Absol, Gliscor The moves I was looking for when making that selection were: Calm Mind, Amnesia, Nasty Plot, Swords Dance, Iron Defense, Acid Armor, Agility, Rock Polish, Dragon Dance, Mean Look, Aqua Ring, Substitute, etc Now from here I need to consider typings (to an extent) and who I can use to both begin and end the chain in order to get a good balance for the team. Obviously there are a bunch of options for this here, but I'll just select a few who I know will do a good job for the team: ********************************************************************* * Selection: Mr. Mime, Umbreon, Gliscor, Scizor, Gorebyss, Starmie * ********************************************************************* In this selection, four are boosters, while two are receivers. Both Scizor and Starmie are there to receive boosts, not to boost their own stats. Once the Baton Pass Chain is complete, either of the two are swapped to (depending on what you did), and you sweep as necessary. C. Move Selection ================== Now I've got my selection. And unlike normally where you want to do your best to give each Pokemon a moveset to both prevent it from being walled and to cover its weaknesses as well as you can, in building a Baton Pass team, you want to make sure all of your passable moves are covered as well as you can. So to start the selection off, I'll just list off the passable moves for each of them. It's good to do this since if, when you list them off you see that something you wanted isn't covered, you can go through and select again. Mr. Mime: Meditate, Substitute, Calm Mind, Double Team Umbreon: Mean Look, Double Team, Substitute, Curse Gliscor: Harden, Swords Dance, Double Team, Rock Polish, Substitute, Agility Gorebyss: Agility, Amnesia, Aqua Ring, Double Team, Substitute, Iron Defense I'm going to assume Evasion Clause is in effect, so I won't be using any Double Teams. Now that I've decided roughly who will be doing what, I'll get into specifics on the moves. For simplicity's sake, I'll start out with Umbreon, since the whole idea for the team stems off Umbreon's success as the lead (which will be explained in the Order Selection section). Umbreon -------- Umbreon is the only Pokemon in the entire game who has the ability to use both Mean Look and Baton Pass (other than Absol, but no one cares since he can't use it very well). This team abuses this fact beyond what is really necessary to achieve success. As for the other two slots, we have a couple of options to consider. Firstly, Umbreon can learn Wish. Wish passing can heal any member of your team half their health. And since none of them know recovery moves of their own, this could be important to have just in case things don't go as planned. As for the last slot, most people choose Toxic to have Umbreon stall as a wall. However, there's a far less popular option of giving Umbreon Yawn. Yawn will make the opponent fall asleep on the NEXT turn. There's several reasons this is advantageous to you. Firstly, since you Mean Looked beforehand, this means they WILL fall asleep and cannot switch to escape it. More importantly, the delay in the sleep means that you don't waste a turn when the stat boosts start. You Baton Pass out with Umbreon once your setup is done, and start boosting. The opponent will be asleep and you'll have time to do as you please. Knowing this, the rest of the team will be much easier to decide now. *********************************************** * Decision: Baton Pass, Mean Look, Wish, Yawn * *********************************************** Mr. Mime --------- As someone kindly pointed out to me via e-mail, Mr. Mime is an excellent Baton Passer due to his ability: Soundproof. Soundproof moves that he can't be forced to switch with Roar, meaning your boosts are essentially safe once you use them. This said, Mr. Mime has pretty limited moves he can use to pass. Calm Mind is the obvious one. Substitute also works well here. That is essentially all Mr. Mime is good for passing for. So the last move will essentially be filler: Psychic. ******************************************************** * Decision: Baton Pass, Calm Mind, Substitute, Psychic * ******************************************************** Gliscor -------- Gliscor has quite a few options at his disposal. Since he can learn Rock Polish, Swords Dance AND Agility, he makes an excellent passer. Since he is not the receiver of the boosts, he doesn't actually need to know any attacks, meaning we can put two of those three moves on (since two of them do the same thing, there's no need for both Agility and Rock Polish). As for the last move, Taunt is probably a good idea since when the opponent say, confuses you, or otherwise causes stat ailments to your party, it's especially harmful to Baton Passing teams. Taunt also prevents you from being Roared or Whirlwinded away, which is always helpful to have, and on a Baton Pass team especially. ********************************************************** * Decision: Baton Pass, Swords Dance, Rock Polish, Taunt * ********************************************************** Scizor ------- Scizor is one of our designated receivers for the boosts we're giving, so he's got to be loaded up with attacks that deal some damage. We should also take into consideration that since we only have two things that are attacking, we need to make extra careful that we're not easily walled. Scizor's two obvious attacks are X-Scissor and Iron Head. Brick Break is another good choice since it will easily take care of Blissey and other normal walls after a couple of Sword Dances. Night Slash is possibly an option for the last slot, as is Aerial Ace. In this case, I'm just going to go with Night Slash since, after the boosts, you shouldn't have problems KOing things regardless of which of the two moves you choose. ************************************************************ * Decision: X-Scissor, Iron Head, Brick Break, Night Slash * ************************************************************ Gorebyss --------- Earlier, we decided that Gorebyss was going to be solely devouted to boosting, since it could do so much. Amnesia is a must, since no one else on the team can learn it, and we need a way to boost special defense. We already decided that Aqua Ring wasn't going to be very beneficial for this team, and Substitute is also not necessary since Mr. Mime has this move. The only other things left on the list are Agility and Iron Defense now. These two are good to have since earlier we determined that we could afford to put on attacking moves since these would be covered here. So this is a good choice. ******************************************************** * Decision: Baton Pass, Amnesia, Agility, Iron Defense * ******************************************************** Starmie -------- Starmie is our second receiver. Starmie will go out after Mr. Mime, should you choose to boost special attack rather than physical attack. As such, this will be a fairly standard Starmie, able to take out many things. Surf, Thunderbolt, and Ice Beam are all fairly standard moves on a Starmie, and that gives it decent coverage. Instead of Recover, which is normally the last move, since Wish can be used should Starmie get hurt (which shouldn't happen), we'll add an extra move for a little more coverage. Either Grass Knot or Psychic could work here. Psychic gets STAB though, so this is the move I'll be going with here. ************************************************** * Decision: Ice Beam, Surf, Thunderbolt, Psychic * ************************************************** After You've Picked Your Moves ------------------------------- I won't explain this in detail again, since it's the same as normal. But after you pick out your moves, you're obviously going to breed for natures and EV train your Pokemon, and then level for moves and such. The process is the same as before, so look above in the FAQ on how exactly to go about doing this. I'll simply list these for this team, since there's no need to explain the decisions for this. ******************************************************** * Umbreon: Careful nature, 252 HP, 92 SD, 164 speed * * Mr. Mime: Calm nature, 252 HP, 40 SD, 216 speed * * Gliscor: Jolly nature, 252 HP, 6 attack, 252 speed * * Scizor: Adamant nature, 6 HP, 252 attack, 252 speed * * Gorebyss: Timid nature, 252 HP, 6 defense, 252 speed * * Starmie: Timid nature, 6 HP, 252 SA, 252 speed * ******************************************************** And then the other thing we need to consider is abilities, if they can learn more than one. Mr. Mime's is most important here, since Soundproof is needed for this strategy since it prevents Roar from working. Gliscor, Scizor, and Starmie also have two, but theirs are less important what they actually are. ************************** * Mr. Mime: Soundproof * * Gliscor: Sand Veil * * Scizor: Swarm * * Starmie: Natural Cure * ************************** D. Order Selection =================== Obviously with Baton Passing, the order you choose to put your Pokemon in is even more important than usual. More specifically, your lead is important and the end of your chain is important. Generally speaking, in Baton Passing you need to either be able to inflict an ailment that will stall for time to boost or be able to boost once or twice because of an ability to survive that long on your own. Either way, the key is that your lead either has to have good defense to boost or needs to inflict an ailment to stall so you can boost. In this case, Umbreon does both. I gave Umbreon Yawn, which is the setup for the team, meaning that it must go first in this particular setup. Ultimately though, survival is the key. Under no circumstances do you want to chance your chain ending. The other thing to consider is who will end the chain. Obviously if you had this planned before as to who the receiver would be, you already know this though. In my case, either Scizor or Starmie ends this chain. E. Final Touches ================= The last thing we need to do before we're ready to battle (other than confirming our strategy) is to decide items. This isn't really too difficult though. There are two things we want to keep in mind: Umbreon will be getting beat up since it's the lead and will be out before the sleeping begins, so it will need healing, and secondary ailments also get passed with the chain. All things considered, Umbreon should be getting Leftovers to help it survive. Other than this, you might want to cover up some weaknesses with a Focus Sash or a special berry (the weakness reducing ones, you know). A last option is a Life Orb for one of the attackers to increase your damage. I don't think this is entirely necessary though, considering we'll have a boost already. In this case, these are the items I'll be using: ************************ * Umbreon: Leftovers * * Mr. Mime: Leftovers * * Gliscor: Yache Berry * * Scizor: Occa Berry * * Gorebyss: Lum Berry * * Starmie: Life Orb * ************************ And that's it! The team is built and you can start using it against other people. But you have to know how to do it first. I kind of explained as I was building, but I'll take a little bit to go through the whole strategy now. Baton Passing Strategy ----------------------- All right. So Umbreon is an important lead here. The idea is to first lock in the other Pokemon with Mean Look. This way, you know what you're up against and have proper time to boost with this in mind. After you lock, you promptly use Yawn, and then get out of there with Baton Pass. If it looks like Umbreon won't be able to survive three hits, you'll have to Baton Pass early so your Mean Look is in tact (three since Umbreon will probably move second). Who you switch to after this will depend on what you want to do next. If it looks like your attacks will be more beneficial with Starmie, switch to Mr. Mime in order to boost your special attack. If it looks like normal attacks will be the way to go, switch to Gliscor to boost your attack with Swords Dance. Obviously you're also going to want to boost your Agility once or twice in order to move first, and also your two defenses to make sure you can survive, but for the most part, switch according to what attack stat you want to boost. If they wake up from the Yawn, switch back to Umbreon to put the to sleep again and repeat the cycle. Continue with this until you feel you have enough stat boosts to sweep properly, then switch to either Scizor or Starmie and sweep the rest of their team. That's essentially it. If you get the Yawn and Mean Look in at the beginning, the combination is essentially unstoppable since they can't do anything to stop you. They're asleep and locked into the battle. Meaning even if they have a taunter/roarer/etc, they won't be able to switch to them to break your chain. And by the time they get out in the battle, you'll have enough Agilities in to go before them and OHKO them. It's a very effective and powerful strategy. You don't necessarily have to use the Pokemon I used in this example for it either. The only essential component for it is Umbreon with Mean Look, Yawn, and Baton Pass. Then you can mix and match as you want. And that's all on Baton Passing. I hope you learned a little something on how powerful it can be. Thanks for reading this new section! ================================================== XV. Completed Examples of EV Spreads and Movesets ================================================== In this section of the FAQ, I'll provide examples of teams that either I have made, or one of my extremely well informed companions have made, and provide the strategy that goes with each team. If you'd like me to add a team that you've made to this section feel free to e-mail me your team in the format I use here, and provide an explanation of the strategy you use with it. If it's at least somewhat decent, I'll post it here, and everyone can know what great talent you have at making awesome teams too. Sui's old FAQ Example Team --------------------------- Froslass (female) @ Focus Fash EVs in speed and special attack / Timid nature Ice Beam (TM) Shadow Ball (TM) Thunderbolt (TM) Destiny Bond (level 59) Flygon (female) @ Life Orb EVs in attack and speed / Naive nature Dragon Claw (level 45) Earthquake (TM) Stone Edge (TM) Fire Blast (TM) Miltank (female) @ Leftovers Scrappy EVs in HP and defense/ Impish nature Milk Drink (level 11) Heal Bell (level 48) Body Slam (level 24) Earthquake (TM) Lanturn (female) @ Leftovers Volt Absorb EVs in HP and SD / Calm nature Confuse Ray (level 17) Surf (HM) Thunderbolt (TM) Thunder Wave (level 6 Chinchou) Yanmega (male) @ King's Rock Speed Boost EVs in special attack and speed / Modest nature Bug Buzz (level 54) Hypnosis (level 38 Yanma) Protect (TM) Air Slash (level 49) Absol (female) @ Razor Claw Super Luck EVs in attack and speed / Jolly nature Night Slash (level 52) Swords Dance (level 25) Psycho Cut (level 60) Sucker Punch (level 44) Strategy: The key to this team is knowing who has advantages in what area and when you need to switch and when you need to stay. Froslass is the lead. Tons of things are weak to ice, and it's fast enough to go first in most situations. In a case where you won't be able to OHKO, you have a couple of options. You can either switch to something else to preserve Froslass for later, you can try to take it out in a couple shots with Froslass, or you can wait until you're SURE Froslass will die in the next turn, then use Destiny Bond to make them die too (assuming they're slower than you, that is). Aside from Froslass, you need to learn to switch well. If you suspect an Earthquake, you need to switch to Yanmega or Flygon, depending on the situation. Earthquakes like to kill Lanturn, so that's usually the switch you'll be making that one on. If you suspect a Thunderbolt or something, Lanturn absorbs those. Just learn the switches. Aside from that, Flygon's strategy is fairly obvious. He can OHKO a lot of things. And he's got a surprise Fire Blast in there, which is a move not many people will expect him to have. So that's a great think to have going for you. Yanmega's strategy is to Protect first turn, then Hypnosis, then sweep with the other two moves. Miltank can stay alive for stupid amounts of time. So Milk Drink her to death. Also switch to her for Heal Bell if you need a status problem gone. Lanturn switches in on a Thunderbolt, then uses Thunder Wave to half speed. Then Confuse Ray for increased chances of them not being able to do anything. Absol Sword Dances ONLY if you think you can get one in or expect a non-attacking move or something like that. This team actually works really well together and can take out teams that are far above it in tier if you know what you're doing. Sui's Baton Passing Sleep Team -------------------------------- Vaporeon (male) @ Leftovers EVs in HP and special defense / Calm nature Wish (egg move) Baton Pass (level 36 Eevee) Aqua Ring (level 43) Ice Beam (TM) Ninetales (female) @ Wide Lens EVs in speed and special attack / Timid nature Energy ball (egg move) Nasty Plot (move tutor) Flamethrower (level 24 Vulpix) Hypnosis (egg move) Gliscor (female) @ Shell Bell Hyper Cutter EVs in defense and speed / Jolly nature Earthquake (TM) Rock Polish (TM) Swords Dance (level 34) Baton Pass (egg move) Crobat (female) @ Black Sludge EVs in speed and attack / Jolly nature Confuse Ray (level 21) Return (TM) Hypnosis (egg move) U-Turn (TM) Umbreon (male) @ Lum Berry EVs in defense and special defense / Impish nature Wish (egg move) Yawn (egg move) Baton Pass (level 36 Eevee) Mean Look (level 57) Lucario (male) @ Muscle Band Inner Focus EVs in attack and special attack / Lonely nature Aura Sphere (level 37) Extremespeed (level 51) Shadow Claw (TM) Dragon Pulse (level 47) *Note* - this is not the Baton Passing Team I've got listed for example for the Baton Passing part of this FAQ. Strategy: Contrary to the order I have them in there, Crobat is the lead here. He has one of the highest base speeds in the game, and with that Jolly nature and EVs in speed, there's almost nothing that can normally outspeed him (unless something like a Choice Scarf is used). This is needed. He's sent out and uses Hypnosis. While the opponent sleeps, Confuse Ray, in order to stall for time when he wakes up. Then switch out to Gliscor. Gliscor then proceeds to use a variety of Rock Polish and Swords Dance, which he will then Baton Pass on to Vaporeon once the foe wakes up or Gliscor is in trouble. Vaporeon will use Aqua Ring, and then Baton Pass to Umbreon. Umbreon will use Mean Look to lock in the foe, and will then Baton Pass to Lucario, who will then sweep the board with his incredibly boosted status. Should something go wrong, Umbreon and Vaporeon are there to wall, and both have Wish, which they can Baton Pass to heal any member of the team with. Ninetales is there for the sleep theme, and can also be passed some Rock Polishes, should the situation call for it. The Wide Lens she has boosts Hypnosis' accuracy, further ensuring the sleep status on the foe. While they're sleeping (after an option Mean Look Pass from Umbreon to make sure they don't switch out from it), Nasty Plot raises Ninetales' special attack. Once you've used it once or twice, or if they wake up, sweep away. Energy Ball obviously covers Ninetales' water weakness. And Vaporeon has Ice Beam instead of Surf to cover the fact that many more things are weak to ice, and I didn't have an ice move to cover it. More teams coming soon! ========================== XVI. Additional Resources ========================== In addition to this FAQ, obviously you might want some other information that will come in useful to making your team. This section is dedicated to providing you with some useful locations for various things that help you do that. Specific listed movesets for certain strategies on Sinnoh Pokemon can be found in Parrot_Lover's Competitive Battling guide here at GameFAQs. I've read this guide personally and found it to be excellent. For extra EV training spots other than the one's I listed in this guide, use Alexcalibur's EV Training Hotspot guide here at GameFAQs. For information on movesets, base stats, and anything else to do with a specific Pokemon, check out Serebii's D/P PokeDex, found here: http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/ To browse by egg groups to check on how to breed certain moves onto a Pokemon, check Serebii's dex by egg ground, which can be done by selecting a group from the scroll down menu on the page from the link above. For information on specific attacks, who can learn a specific move, and anything else that's attack related, use Serebii's attack dex. http://www.serebii.net/attackdex-dp/ To check on hold items for your Pokemon, check out Serebii's D/P item list and BerryDex. http://www.serebii.net/diamondpearl/items.shtml http://www.serebii.net/berrydex-dp/ And, of course, Smogon has a tier list and other sections you should check out! http://www.smogon.com/dp/tiers/ Also, if you need help on coming up with movesets and don't want to e-mail me (I'll help you. You just need an idea of what you want first), you can use Smogon. They've got specific sets listed and everything. If you have an excellent Pokemon resource that you feel would be a good addition to this list, please e-mail me and let me know about it so that I can add it and let everyone use the awesome resource you found! ====================== XVII. Acknowledgments ====================== I'd like to thank GameFAQs for hosting this guide, along with Nintendo and GameFreak for making the wonderful series we all know as Pokemon. Also thanks to my good friends at Saint Elimine's Sanctuary for participating in daily talks about this type of thing that help us all keep at the top of our game with this stuff. Thanks especially to Anon and Heintz for editing and critiquing many of my things via PMs there! Thanks to the people who helped me proof this guide for errors and gave me suggestions on making it better (all from Saint Elimine's): Anonymous1 RBW berserk_banana Plague Abyssion Heintz A special thanks to Heintz for providing me with very detailed descriptions about what exactly was wrong and needed fixing with this FAQ. Many sections and pieces of information could not have been added without your help. A special thanks to Anon for learning so many things about battling and Pokemon in general over the last couple months. Despite your wtf moments, I think you actually know what you're talking about finally. >.> A special thanks to Michelle. Just because. Thanks to the following people for providing me with corrections/tips/other helpful things via e-mail: Ryver15 - Pointing out that I missed Kingdra when copying the tier lists KevCrist - For pointing out that I missed Cloyster, Huntail, and Gorebyss when listing the things that learn Clamp Lusandre Dessin - For reminding me I needed to add a Choice item strategy and counter strategy section, as well as giving me some good tips on what to do with it Surging_Chaos - Specific counter tips Force of Light - Stealth Rock correction Timic83 - for pointing out that Steel and Poison types can be poisoned by Twineedle. Chumblespuzz - for pointing out that Embargo and Heal Block are other secondary ailments that I missed. Scion - Various suggestions/other things that were quite insightful and such. Tombola Man - For help on the Lanturn moveset suggestion, along with Spider Web and the Stealth Rock correction. Shikamaru200 - For giving me a bunch of suggestions on how to improve my FAQ to make it more current and less outdated. Ryu-Kage - For pointing out a mistake regarding Gliscor in my Baton Passing section. If you sent me a correction or something in the seven or so months I did not update the FAQ, I'm sorry, but I've since forgotten what exactly you said. I know there were a couple things, but I don't have the time to search through my e-mail to find all of them right now. So feel free to send them again if you want, and I'll make sure I actually add them now since I'm feeling more up to updating this thing now than I have been. In addition, thanks to the following sites for all of their excellent information on this game: Serebii Smogon Psypokes More thanks coming on future updates! =========================== XVIII. Contact Information =========================== Got a question about something you saw in this FAQ? Maybe you want me to give you a little personal help with building your team? See some missing info in the guide? Or wrong maybe? Maybe you just want to tell me how you thought my guide was? Whatever the case, if you want to contact me, e-mail me! Just make sure to follow my e-mail policy, covered earlier in this document, when sending your e-mail. You can contact me at: Sui892001@gmail.com Remember to title your e-mail as something like "Your Pokemon FAQ" to ensure you receive a reply! ================ XIX. Copyright ================ This FAQ is for personal use only. If you want to use my guide at another website, or for something other than for personal use, you must contact me for my permission first. More than likely, if you contact me first, I'll let you use it. I don't have a problem with it or anything. Currently, the sites with permission to use this are: www.gamefaqs.com www.supercheats.com www.GamersHell.com www.gamesradar.com www.cheatplanet.com www.1UP.com www.MyCheats.com Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl Versions are both Copyrights (C) 2006 of Nintendo and GameFreak. Pokemon Platinum is Copyright (c) 2009 of Nintendo and GameFreak. Copyright (C) 2007 - 2009 Sui89</p>