Building a Competitive Pokemon Team
If there's anyone who knows what's what when it comes to team building, it's Ray Rizzo. Those who follow the competitive world of Pokemon might recognize Rizzo as the dude who won the 2010 and 2011 Pokemon World Championships. Recently Professor Rizzo was kind enough to share with IGN his five tips on how to build an affective, competition-ready team.
Are you ready to Poke Pwn with your Poke Party? Or something similar? Good, because here we go. (And thanks for the advice, Rizzo!)
#1 Choose Pokémon that complement your team’s strategy
For example, say your team’s strategy is to utilize the move Trick Room, which makes slower Pokémon move first and faster Pokémon move last. First, you’ll want to choose a couple Pokémon that can learn the move Trick Room. You’ll then want to choose slower Pokémon with either high Attack or high Special Attack to fill out the rest of your team. Using a fast Pokémon like Jolteon or Aerodactyl is counterintuitive to a Trick Room strategy since they will be the Pokémon attacking last when Trick Room is in effect. Whether your team’s strategy involves Trick Room, Rain Dance, Sunny Day, or one of the many other possible strategies, make sure all of your chosen Pokémon bring something to the table.
#2 Choose Pokémon who don’t share common weaknesses
Even though Pokémon like Zapdos, Garchomp and Latios are all really strong monsters, if you create a team with all of them you will have three Pokémon that all share an Ice-type weakness. Even if your other three Pokémon are strong against Ice-types, it’s too risky to use multiple Pokémon with the same weakness. I recommend having no more than two Pokémon on the same team that share a common weakness.
#3 Make good use of your four moves
Each Pokémon can only take four moves into battle, so you need to make good use of them. I recommend not using two attacks of the same type (for example, you wouldn’t want to use both Fire Blast and Flamethrower). Unlike when you’re playing through the game, when you’re battling competitively you don’t need to have Pokémon that know all of the Hidden Machines or HM’s, so learning moves like Strength, Cut or Rock Climb is kind of a waste.
Also, moves that are the same type as the Pokémon using it get a power up, so always try to use a move that’s the same type as the user, even if it isn't Super Effective against any type (like Normal moves). Try to teach your Pokemon moves that can hit the opposing Pokémon’s weaknesses super effectively. For example, a Water-type can make great use of the move Ice Beam because it can hit Grass-types super effectively.
#4 Use Pokémon that can go up against commonly used Pokemon and strategies The more powerful Pokémon are naturally used in battle by more players. Make sure your team has a way to defeat these popular Pokémon because you will end up playing against them frequently. Have a way to defeat commonly used strategies, too. For example, it’s always a good idea to have one slow Pokémon that can be used against opposing Trick Room teams, or a Pokémon that resists Water moves when Battling against Rain Dance teams.
#5 Practice with your team and fix any weaknesses
Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version introduced a way to battle against trainers from all over the world. Take advantage of this opportunity and battle against a lot of other people to see how well your team performs against various Pokémon and strategies. Just because your team looks good on paper doesn’t mean it’ll perform well in battle. If your team is losing against the competition, take note of which Pokémon aren’t working well and figure out which Pokémon you can replace them with to fix your team’s weaknesses. It’s very rare for someone to build a really successful team on their first try, so don’t get discouraged if you’re losing a lot at first. Figure out your team’s weaknesses, fix them, and keep battling!