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Intro to Competitive Pokemon
Jun 13, 2014    10:07 AM
Gym Ops. (Flying)

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Post: #1
Intro to Competitive Pokemon
Welcome to the world of competitive pokemon.
(terminology cheat sheet at the bottom)

The Basics:
-Types, Moves, Stats, Abilities, Items-

The typing of Pokemon and their moves is at the core of competive battling.

There are currently 18 types found in the games: Bug, Dark, Dragon, Electric, Fairy, Fighting, Fire, Flying, Ghost, Grass, Ground, Ice, Normal, Poison, Psychic, Rock, Steel, & Water

Each type has Weaknesses and Resistances, with the typing of moves being offensive, and the typing of Pokemon being generally defensive. Pokemon can have either a single or dual typing, while moves may only have one type.
Weakness and Resistances affect damage based on a double/half system. For example, if a fire move used on a water type it will do half the damage as using the same move on a normal type since water resists fire. Conversely, if the same attack is used against a grass type, it will do twice the damage since grass is weak to fire.

Dual type Pokemon may have double weakness and resists or may have them canceled out. A Water/Flying type receives 4x damage from Electric attacks; A Grass/Poison recieves 0.25x damage from Water attacks, and also 1x from Ground attacks.

Some types also grant immunity to other types. Flying type Pokemon are immune to Ground attacks. This effect trumps in damage calculation for dual type Pokemon. For example, Zapdos, who is both Flying and Electric, still is immune to Ground attack even though Electric is weak to Ground.

[Image: original.png]
click on it to make it bigger

A Pokemon's moveset consists of a total of 4 moves with no duplicates.

Every Pokemon has a different move pool and thus a unique set in combination with typing, stats and ability: all Pokemon do not get all the moves, while most share moves some moves, and a few moves are unique to a single Pokemon.

Each move is one of three categories: Physical, Special, & Status.

Damage from Physical attacks is based on the user's Attack (Atk) and the defender's Defense (Def), and that from Special attacks is based on the user's Special Attack (Sp.Atk) and the defenders Special Defense (Sp.Def).
Status moves do not deal damage are are based on any stats of the user or defender. Status moves deal with healing, altering stats, or inflicting ailments such as Paralysis and Poison.

Each attack has a corresponding Acc and PP stats with Physical and Special attacks also including Power.
Power is how strong the the base power for the attack is.
PP is how many times it can be used.
Acc is the accuracy or the chance of the move to hit.
The effect of Status moves are found in the attack's description.

Some Physical and Special attacks have special effects. These added effects, usually bad effects to the Pokemon that used it such as lowering def/sp.def in exchange for a really powerful move, have a secondary accuracy, ranging from 100% chance to 10% chance.
These effect are unique to each move and change the way those moves are used; a low base power move that lowers your opponents speed may  change the course of the battle if you attack first each time.

Some attacks also have a priority stat. This means that an attack like Quick Attack, which has a priority of +1, will move first regardless of the opponents speed, assuming a move of equal or greater priority is used. Priority can also be negative, in which the move will go last.

When making a moveset, try not to have more than one attack move of each type, unless you have a reason for it, in order to have good type coverage.

Each pokemon has 6 stats: HP, ATK, DEF, SP.ATK, SP.DEF, & SPD

HP stands for hit points or health. This number is how much damage you can take.

This determines how much damage you deal with PHYSICAL moves.

This reduces damage received from PHYSICAL moves

This determines how much damage you deal with SPECIAL attacks.

SP.DEF or special defense
This reduces damage received from SPECIAL attacks.

This determines which Pokemon moves first, the higher the speed the more likely you are to move first. Speed priority also determines the order in which abilities and items are used.

On the turn a pokemon Mega Evolves it's speed will not change, It will get the speed Increase/Decrease on the turn After it Mega Evolves.

Each Pokemon has an ability, a special passive perk that assists it in battle with effects ranging from granting immunity to certain types, changing typing and power of moves used, altering stats, inflicting status ailments, and more.

Every Pokemon has 1-3 possible abilities; 1 or 2 regular abilities with most having a 3rd ability known as a hidden ability (HA) only available through special means.

The right ability at the right time can change the course of a battle.

Each Pokemon can be given one item to hold in battle.

These items are seperated into multiple categories.
Items like berries are consumables (1 time use) that can heal or boost stats, but only activate after reaching some amount of damage (usually after HP drops below 50% or 33%).
Gems are consumables that can dramatically boost the power of single move of the same type as the gem(50%).
Some items provide a passive effect such as boosting the power of certain moves(10%).
Other items activate upon receiving or dealing damage with effect such as causing recoil, surviving a potentially fatal blow with 1 HP, or healing based on damage dealt.
Items can also continuously be active, such as Leftovers which heals a percentage of the Pokemon's health at the end of every turn(1/16th).
Choice items boost a stat by 50% in exchange for locking the Pokemon into a single move while out in battle.

As shown, the effects of items are wide and varied. The role, strengths, and weaknesses of a Pokemon should be carefully considered in assigning items.

So now you have:
1 Pokemon with 1 or 2 types, 4 moves, 6 stats, 1 ability, & 1 item.
How do you put all these together to battle?

-Team Building, Natures, STAB, EV's, IV's-

Well lets choose something:

Magikarp (Water type),
Moves: Splash
Ability: Swiftswim
Item: Leftovers

What can this do? Well nothing.
It regains 1/16th of it's hp every turn due to it's item. Other than that, it can't do anything; Splash doesn't deal damage and has no special effects.

Lets try it's evolution, Gyarados:

Gyarados (Water/Flying type)
Ability: Intimidate
Item: Leftovers
Move1: Dragon Dance
Move2: Waterfall
Move3: Earthquake
Move4: Ice Fang

What can this do?
First off, it regains 1/16 of it's hp every turn.
When it's sent out, its ability, Intimidate, lowers the opponents attack,
It can use Dragon Dance to boost both its attack and speed in a single turn. Finally, it has 3 powerful moves to attack with after the boost.

All the moves are physical. This is because Gyarados has a higher Atk than Sp.Atk, and it further increases that by using the move dragon dance.

Oh yeah, you may be wondering how Dragon Dance and those attacks up your stats. Well, each of the moves like that will up your stat or decrease your stats depending on the move a number of levels, maximum is six. Say you used Howl and upped your Attack stat by 1 level. What does that translate to? Well depending how many levels you have, those moves will up either your Attack, Defense, Speed, Special Attack, or Special Defense stats by a certain percentage.

-6 levels: 25%
-5 levels: 29%
-4 levels: 33%
-3 levels: 40%
-2 levels: 50%
-1 level: 66%
0 levels: 100%
1 level: 150%
2 levels: 200%
3 levels: 250%
4 levels: 300%
5 levels: 350%
6 levels: 400%

Even with a type advantage, a -6 (atk) Pokemon will deal next to no damage on a +-0 Pokemon and 1-2 damage on a +6 (def/sp.def)
while a +6 (atk) Magikarp can one-shot a Gyarados with the right set.

So now you have a Gyarados.
You go to battle a friend and he has a Gyarados, it always moves first, and it does more than yours. What gives?

Natures are probably the most visible factor in determining the difference in stats in two Pokemon of the same species. There are 25 Natures, 5 of which are neutral. The other 20 Natures affect the growth of two stats: one boosted and one hindered.

A stat affected by Natures will ultimately swing 10% at Level 100. For instance, Lonely increases Atk and decreases Def. Atk will be 10% greater and Def will be 10% lower on a Pokemon with a Lonely Nature compared to that on the same Pokemon with a Hardy Nature, one of the neutral Natures.

In older games Natures also play a role in factors not related to battling, such as the preferred flavors of Poffins, etc.

STAB stands for Same Type Advantage Bonus, and refers to the game mechanic by which the typing of an attack's user is considered in damage calculation. STAB boosts the power of attacks of the same type of the user by 50%.

In the case of dual-type Pokemon, STAB applies to both types. Gyarados (Water/Flying) receives the bonus for both Water and Flying attacks.

STAB does not affect Status moves or attacks that deal a fixed amount of damage.

EV's and IV's (Effort Values and Individual Values)
EV's and IV's are a hidden mechanic in the game. Although alluded to in game since the early games, X & Y bring them further into view.

EV's can be changed, reset, and retrained at any level, and are gained through EV training or Super Training. EV training involving defeating Pokemon, who, in addition to visibly granting EXP, invisibly grant an amount of EV's in one or more stat specific to the defeated Pokemon. Super Training allows for EV's to be gained through mini-games. In X & Y, a Pokemon's EV spread can be checked in the Super Training menu.

Effort Values range from 0 to 255 in each of the 6 stats, with a maximum of 510 EV's total. Yes, this means that only 2 stats can be fully maxed at most. For every 4 EV's put into a stat, the Pokemon receives 1 additional point in that stat. Due to 255 not being divisible by 4, the effective maximum number of EV's that should be put in a single stat becomes 252. In X & Y, 252 is a hard limit within Super Training.

Determining an EV spread is crucial in building a competivie team. A Pokemon may be given a 252 Atk/252 Spd to hit hard (physically) and fast or 252 HP/252 Sp.Def to be (specially) bulky. However, sometimes sinking EV's into multiple stats is benificial, such as a mixed attacker with 156 Atk/100 Sp.Atk/252 Spd.

Note that in a typical 252/252 spread, there is a leftover 6 EV's (of which 4 can be used) that is usually put into a non-critical stat (usually HP or Spd).

An effective EV spread compliments stat changes due to a Pokemon's Nature.

IV's are set once the Pokemon is caught, or is received as an egg/event, and cannot be changed.

Like EV's, a Pokemon has a separate IV value for each of the 6 stats.
Rather than ranging from 0 to 255, IV's range from 0 to 31.
For each IV, the Pokemon gets 1 additional point in the given stat (at Level 100).

In previous games a Pokemon's IV's also played a role in determining the typing and power of the attack Hidden Power. Typically, higher overall IV's result in a more powerful Hidden Power.

Lastly, while entirely possible to have 31 IV's in every stat, it should be noted that this is not always beneficial (beyond aiming for a specific Hidden Power type). For instance, the move Gyro Ball deals more damage based on how much the user's Spd is below that of the target. Here, having 0 IV's in Spd boosts damage, typically without hindering the Pokemon due to its use on slow, bulky Pokemon.

~Edits by Nano end at this point

Checking for IV's and Breeding for IV's
Checking IV's

In keloude city pokecenter there is a guy standing in the left side who will judge your pokemon's iv's.

He will list your best IV's and your worst(if 0)

After he tells you the best stats if they are 31 he'll say "stats like those, they simply can't be beat."

To get the exact iv's for non-perfect iv's you need to do whats called an IV battle.

To do this you either need a friend or to use the battle institute.

Enter a pokemon with no ev's and it will be set to lv.50.
Once the battle starts go to the switch screen and write down the stats and end the battle.

Once you have the stats you need an iv calc,(smogon has a gen 6 out. google it)
after putting the stats into the calc it gives you the iv's.
you can also do a reverse calc with showdown or pokemon online.

Breeding for iv's

start with a "passer" with at least one 31 iv.
lv.30 dittos from the in game gts work the best as they always have two 31's
(RNG'd 31x6 dittos from past games work wonders here)

breed for nature.
you'll want to get the right nature early in. breed until you get the right nature then go to step 3

give the "nature"(aka "N") an everstone.
give the "P" a destiny knot.
destiny knot randomly passes down 5 iv's from the parents,
this can be any 5(5 from one parent or 2-3 1-4 ect)

breed until you get a pokemon with the right nature and at least one perfect iv,

the goal is each generation gets at least one more 31 iv than the last till you get the right spread.
as one of the iv's is always random getting a 31x6 is a 1-in-31 chance with two 31x6 parents, a 1-in-196 chance with two 31x5's.

This method will only work if you have dittos with varying iv's to pass down,
Getting a random generation is pretty much winning the lottery.(harder than random shiny)

To start with neither parent having iv's and no dittos is going to mean alot of work getting more than 2 as you can't use the destiny knot as it prevents random iv's on all but one so you are limited at two iv passdown and even then you can't pass down natures with everstone.

So now you have
Pokemon: Gyarados
Type: Water Flying
Ability: Intimidate
Item: Leftovers
EV's:252atk 252spd 4hp
Move1: Dragon Dance
Move2: Waterfall
Move3: Earthquake
Move4: Ice Fang

Now you have one battle ready pokemon.
what happens when you battle a team of 6?(unless you setup and get very lucky) You Will Lose.

So now you need 5 more pokemon bred, trained, and ready for battle.

Now you've gone from a single pokemon set to building a team.

This is where is gets complicated.
When building a team try to never have more than two pokemon on that team weak to the same type, and try to Never have two that are double weak to the same type.

So lets go over some basic team builds.

most offensive teams have all attacking pokemon and one to two support.
so: attacker/setup attacker 2, sp.attacker/sp.atk setup 2, spinner/defogger x1 status healer x1
most offensive team have at least 4 dedicated attacking pokemon and a spinner or defogger to get rid of hazards, and a cleric or something that can cure status such as burn.
almost all of the pokemon on this type of team will be focusing on dealing  as much damage as they can to overpower the opponents team before they can recover from your attacks.
you need to hit fast and hard with this type of team.

Bulky Offensive:
most BO teams focus more on dealing damage while staying alive,these are a mix of different roles, most teams will have slower pokemon that will deal slightly less than pure offensive teams but will take MUCH less damage in return, teams like this also tend to have at least some hazards, these teams often consist of:
bulky attacker x2, pivot x1-2,  spinner/defogger x1, cleric x1, setup sweeper x1(if only one pivot).

these team run heave with status, hazards, and super bulky walls with recovery.
the whole team is based around slowly damaging it's OP while recovering it's own health, most stall teams will have lots of hazards, sandstorm, and lots of status/recovery moves. most stall team consist of:
hazard layer/shuffler x2-3 spinner x1 cleric x1 (late game)setup sweeper x1
all of which will be focusing on maximum survival with DoT.

Side note: As stall teams need flawless coverage and great prediction it is highly recommended that newer players AVOID using stall teams until they get used to the metagame.
keep in mind these are examples and not musts for those teams.

Now you may be asking whats a spinner? or Whats a cleric?

pokemon builds:
a leads sole purpose is to lead your team into battle and set the field for victory!(you can hope...)
most leads are fast, have a hazard move, and then either explode or bounce back to the trainer.
these most often use focus sash so they can put up hazards 99% of the time.

Anti Lead,
not used as much since gen5 but still worth listing,
Anti leads are sets made to counter common leads.
these sets almost always are fast, sashed(focus sash), and run taunt to prevent setup of hazards.
Most antileads tend to also have at least one hazard and a switching move.

a fast pokemon with high atk or sp.atk, focuses on damage output.
these often use either life orb, choice specs/band, choice scarf or focus sash.

Setup sweeper,
Setups can range from a bulky pokemon with a boosting move made to last until it gets that 400%atk to sweep, or attack after a single boost.
there are many sets under this category but most will use either: life orb, leftovers, or lum berry.

Bulky offensive
a pokemon with many uses, it can lay hazards one turn then attack the next, pivot, setup boosts for team mates, or even stall.
this set focuses on dealing damage with a focus on the long term instead of the short.
most of these use leftovers.

these pokemon focus on outlasting their opponent while dealing damage over time with status like toxic, Will-o-wisp, hazards and weather like sandstorm, while recovering hp with moves like rest, slack off, wish.
almost all of these use leftovers to aid in long term recovery.

a spinner is called a spinner simply because it has the move Rapid Spin.
this move removes all hazards from the users side and is thus quite useful.
most spinners will have at least one hazard on them for added usefulness.

like a spinner it means this pokemon has the move Defog, unlike rapid spin this removes ALL hazards from the field so this move is rarely used by teams with hazards. most defoggers come with a recovery move and a status move like toxic.

a cleric is a pokemon that can heal your WHOLE team of status in a single move, and can even restore hp upon switching.
the key moves for a cleric are: heal bell & aromatherapy which remove all status on the team of the pokemon that used it, and wish which restores 50% of the hp of the pokemon that used it at the end of the turn after it was used, this effect can be passed by switching, and the hp number is generated by the pokemon that used wish.
so if a blissey with max health uses wish, it can restore up to 357 hp to whatever pokemon is on the field at the end of the next turn.(that's full hp recovery for most pokemon)
most clerics also use status such as toxic due to recovery and bulk.

so now you have an idea for the type of team you want so it's time to find 6 pokemon that don't share weaknesses and work well together.

lets choose:
latios(sp sweeper)
landorus-t(bulky attacker and stealth rocks)
gliscor(toxic stall)
togekiss(bulky sp.atk and cleric)

see a problem? a single fast ice type could destroy this entire team.

lets try:
gyarados(setup sweeper)
mega manectric(sp.atk and fast pivot)
garchomp(phys sweeper)
rotom-w(lead, pivot.)

Much better type coverage.
now we need moves
(i'm just going to fill this in and explain the move sets at the end of each set)
Mandibuzz (F) @ Leftovers
Trait: Overcoat
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SDef
Impish Nature (+Def, -SAtk)
- Roost
- Defog
- Knock Off
- Foul Play
Knock Off gets rid of op's items which can hurt them in the long run, roost for recovery, foul play to damage atk based OP's, and Defog to clear the field of hazards.

Blissey (F) @ Leftovers
Trait: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SDef
Calm Nature (+SDef, -Atk)
- Wish
- Seismic Toss
- Toxic
- Heal Bell
Wish lets you not only restore 50% of your hp but if you switch you can fully restore your teamates.
Seismic Toss give you reliable damage(100) every turn and wear down you OP if they can't recover.
Toxic either forces a switch after a few turns or puts major pressure to KO blissey before toxic KO's them
Heal bell heals your entire team of status in a single turn, a must for fighting stall teams.

Gyarados (M) @ Life Orb
Trait: Moxie
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Waterfall
- Earthquake
- Ice Fang
- Dragon Dance
offensive sweeper set, DD once and sweep.
With Moxie every ko is +1atk

Manectric (M) @ Manectite
Trait: Static
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Flamethrower
- Volt Switch
- Signal Beam
fast, frail, annoying as (really? thats filtered?).
Volt switch lets you scout your OP's team and fighting style while taking little or no damage if you move first.
other moves provide coverage and damage.

Garchomp (M) @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Sand Veil
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
- Earthquake
- Fire Fang
- Outrage
- Stone Edge
can also run life orb, outspeeds +1 328's and scarfed 328's(base 100)
this team's Main sweeper, it can outspeed almost any non-scarfed and even +1 100base(328) speed pokemon,
moves are for coverage and max damage.

Rotom (Rotom-W) @ Leftovers
Trait: Levitate
EVs: 228 HP / 60 SAtk / 220 Spd
Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)
- Volt Switch
- Will-O-Wisp
- Hydro Pump
- Hidden Power [Ice]
the smogoon special, works well.
Works as a Pivot, A bulky sp.atk'er, and can cripple phys attackers with burn(50% atk)

(this team is more or less usable so anyone reading this can use it, it's just not recommended)

Now you have a team, it's time to learn how to use it.

As long as both players have a good team and are about the same skill level, it's all about prediction.

Lets say your mandibuzz ko's a 1hp OP with knock off.
Your op sends out jolteon, whats it going to use?
Well highest chance is thunderbolt or volt switch, Thats simply because it's the most effective move and it's on most jolteon sets.
Now the question is if you know it's going to use that then what do you do? Well scarf garchop is immune to electric and can outspeed and oneshot it.
So you switch to gar and jolteon uses hidden power ice... what just happened?

Well your op saw you had garchomp and decided that you'd choose to switch to that to avoid the electric attack. in short you just got out predicted.
prediction wars go back and forth with will he predict my prediction of his prediction ect. learning to predict your Op's predictions is key to battling at higher levels of play.

learning prediction is one of the hardest parts of pokemon,

okay you're in the same battle as shown above,
Mandibuzz is VS'ing a full health jolteon, now lets switch places.

You now have a jolteon and are fighting a mandibuzz, what move are you going to choose?
Volt switch, signal beam, Shadowball, HP-Ice,

you know your op has a garchomp as it KO'd one of your pokemon earlier,
now you can either volt switch KO'ing mand and switching, However thats a risk that garchomp could be sent out thus costing you a turn.

or you could use HP-ice which while doing less damage to mandi it will do massive damage if your op sends out chomp.

This is called a "safe" prediction, either way you'll deal damage without too much risk, and if it pays off then you just KO'd one of your OP's sweepers.

A risky Prediction otherwise known as a gamble can range anywhere from costing you a turn to deciding the match, Unless you feel confidant in your ability to predict it's recommended to play it safe when you can.

There is no great secret to it, you simply have to battle and learn for yourself.

not sure what else to add for now so more later?

Metagame refers to current sets and common pokemon used
Hazards refers to the moves: Stealth rock, Sticky web, Spikes, Toxic spikes
Stab is a move thats the same type as the user(0.5 power boost)
Setup is a pokemon with a boosting move, Either 1-2 boost and sweep or a bulky setup made to last till +6
Sweep means to KO your OP's in rapid succession
OP refers to Opponent
PeriDeath is a team that uses perishsong and shadowtag(mainly doubles)
Uber refers to pokemon that are deemed too powerful to use in regular play and are therefor banned by player vote.

Credits ect.
Original draft by kamakazi
Edited by NanoCatalyst & Executionator
Also thanks to
Faust, Ilovedogs2,

You may copy and repost as long as a link to and credit is given.

I'll see if i can keep most of this current and reverent to the meta so there may be a few updates later on.

if you see any typos or anything it's missing then please send me a pm, don't post below.

if you have any questions, comments, or anything you'd like added then send me a pm
If you just want to say thanks then rep the users who helped me make this.

All Work and No Play... PM me if you need something, Sorry I'm not as active as before.
TSV:3452 Please note: My internet doen't like me or my 3ds, please be patient when trading with me.
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