» This was posted for Reno’s CRMT Guide Section «
Being New Here: A Guide to Posting, Battling, and Competitive Pokémon
Part 1 - Introduction
First things first, this is reading for newbies who decide to poke their head into the forums for the CRMT experience. Its most likely that if you are already a functioning member who already has somewhat respect here, you should stop reading at about here and save yourself some time.
Now that I have my specific audience, its time that I explain what this is. This will be the noob’s starter manual to Competitive battling. This is meant to help you step into the realm of Competitive battling, and in turn make you a better battler / poster.
This guide will only cover your introduction to Competitive Pokémon, Battling, and Posting on the CRMT of SPPf, not everything you will eventually need to know. This is in no way a something to live by, but something you can read, take in, and use so that you can evolve, much like your Pokémon friends.
If you have any other questions that aren’t answered in this guide, please look at the other guides that have been posted on such things.
Part 2 - What Is Competitive Pokémon?
I would love to give you some kind of Prof. Oak intro to this, but this isn’t your little fucking adventure anymore. This isn’t some TV show where Pikachu follows you all the time and you wonder aimlessly in some stupid forest. This is a definitely more mature side of our favorite game that was made by the folks at Nintendo and Game Freak.
Competitive Pokémon is using the Pokémon game and using either a wireless communication (like on D/P/Pt) or a computer simulator (Shoddy Battle, NetBattle) to battle another actual person. Now it usually is preference, but Shoddy is usually better than NetBattle and actually playing the game. Using Shoddy is easy and very efficient, and tons of people use it daily. Shoddy can be downloaded here, for those who don’t already have it.
Competitive in itself, is very… competitive. The goal is to win, and to do whatever you have to in order to win. This means completely disregarding favorites and queer little in game gimmicks. Competitive is fun and enjoyable, while also being able to retain something of status once you become very good at it. In fact, there is a lot of respect for those who are good at Competitive.
The folks on Smogon said it the best, "Competitive Pokémon emphasizes an understanding of game mechanics, team organization, and battle tactics, rather than cramming four moves of differing types on your Pokémon and picking whichever one is super effective."
Part 3 - Battling: A Longer Process Than You Think
Now that you have some base knowledge on what Competitive Battling is, I’m sure you’re just ready to get out and battle. But there are a few things you need to do: Learn Game Mechanics and Learn the Rules. This kind of sounds like a drag to learn, but it is almost essential.
Part 4 - The Mechanics Behind The Game
Like in any game, there are mechanics to it. Just throwing some Pokémon together and telling them to fight doesn’t constitute much. So now you have to understand how battling actually works.
So a Competitive battle is pretty much the race to make the other team’s Pokémon faint and make sure their Pokémon don’t do the same. This can be achieved through inflicting damage to the other Pokémon. But on the flip side, you need to learn how to not take damage from the opponent as well. Both of these things are reflected by Moves and Stats.
Move Mechanics define how much damage is done. Moves, much like Pokémon themselves, have types. Now there are 17 types these being Bug, Dark, Dragon, Electric, Fighting, Fire, Flying, Ghost, Grass, Ground, Ice, Normal, Poison, Psychic, Rock, Steel and Water. Each one has specific things it is "Super-Effective" against and "Not Very Effectieve" against. For example, Ground type moves are super effective against electric type Pokémon. I'm sure you already knew this though, if you have ever played Pokémon before.
Being able to hit a wide variety of types super-effectively means that the Pokémon has "Type Coverage" or really only just "Coverage". Having a wide variety of moves at your disposal for fantastic Coverage really helps make a versatile Pokémon that will do well.
Another move mechanic is the diffrence between moves being "physical" or "special". Let's take for example the two moves Earthquake and Earth Power. Earthquake is a physical move, while Earth Power is a special move. The diffrence is that Earthquake bases it's power off of the Physical Stat and Earth Power bases it's power off of the Special Stat. Many moves are split this way and can have very profound results on specific Pokémon.
These are mechanics that affect the statistics of a Pokémon, and thus affect its ability to give, take, and avoid damage. There are three main components of Stats that should be defined. These are Natures, Effort Values, and Individual Values.
Natures are key values that effect Pokémon in a positive and negative way. Natures usually affect two stats. It raises one stat by 10% but lowers another stat bt 10%. Take for example a Modest natured Pokémon. The nature raises the Special Attack stat by 10% but lowers the Attack stat by 10%. This would really help a Pokémon like Alakazam, who has a vey high special attack.
There is an exception to this Nature rule. There are 5 natures that do not affect any stat whatsoever. They are Hardy, Serious, Bashful, Quirky, and Docile. These natures should never be used in a competitive setting since they provide no beneficial stat boosts to the Pokémon.
For a list of natures and what stats they affect, check here.
Effort Values (or EVs for short) are values that help raise the stats of a Pokémon. A Pokémon’s Effort values can total up to 510 points, but you can only put 255 points in one stat. Another interesting part of this is that every 4 EVs equals 1 point in that stat. But 255 is not divisible by 4, and so the max you can have in a stat without wasting points is 252. This will leave you with 6 points, which is also not divisible by 4. So you are free to put your leftover 4 points in any other stat. Sound kind of confusing? I’ll break it down again.
510 EVs total, but only 255 max in any given stat.
4 EVs is equivalent to one stat point.
252 EVs is the highest value that doesn’t waste any points.
4 EVs are leftover if you use 252 in two different stats.
Individual Values (or IVs) are values between 0 and 31 that apply to Pokémon whether it has been trained or not. It is the diffrence between the same Pokémon you would find in the wild that has the same nature, but different stats. 0 is the lowest value you can have, meaning it has the lowest stat possible, and 31 is the highest value, meaning it has the highest value. Every 1 IV point is equivalent to a stat point.
Unlike EVs, IVs are permanent and you cannot change them to what you would like. The only way to flourish with great IVs is through breeding in-game (Unless you are using Shoddy, where you can opt for perfect IVs). With this being said, when playing on wifi, it is nearly impossible to get good IVs. But that is a whole other discussion for another guide.
Part 5 - Rules to Live By
So now that you know how stuff works in the Competitive world, its time for some rules and regulations you have to live by when battling.
There are 6 main divisions (of Pokémon) to Competitive battling, also know as Tiers. These are particularly important as you start, and these most be realized. They are as follows:
Over Used (OU)
Border Line (BL)
Under Used (UU)
Never Used (NU)
Not Fully Evolved (NFE)
The abbreviations are commonly used instead of the whole word on forums and such. These are vital because they separate Pokémon into groups in which they strive and have much of the same range of power and usability. As you can tell, Ubers seems to be the most powerful, and NFE looks to be some of the weakest Pokémon. I'll explain each with as little effort as possible:
Ubers: Pokémon like Mewtwo who are way powerful and would be too used to be in OU or any tiers below. The Pokémon who are only allowed in Ubers usually have amazing stats.
OU: These are the standard Pokémon in which other Tiers are set. There are Pokémon like Lucario, Tyranitar, and Blissey, to name a few. These are Pokémon that are fairly powerful and get used a lot more than that of the lower tiers.
BL: These are Pokémon that are pretty much misfits. These Pokémon are those that are too strong for UU but not quite strong enough for OU. This is Pokémon like Abomasnow and Staraptor.
UU: Pokémon that GF obviously didn’t give enough loving too. These Pokémon are usually really cool but have par to sub-par stats around the board. Some Pokémon like Steelix don’t follow this (by having a phenomenal Def stat) but have pretty much crappy typing and lower stats everywhere else. Examples here include things like Hitmontop and Swellow.
NU: It’s not even GF this time, its pretty much poke-god (Arceus?) who doesn’t love these guys. This is where the suckiest of them all roam. These Pokémon aren’t even good enough for UU, and they are never really used anywhere else. This includes Pokémon like Luvdisc or Golem.
NFE: These are Pokémon who aren’t even evolved yet. I suppose they deserve somewhat of a mention.
Little Cup: A fun little derivative of battling in which you can only use the lowest evolved form of a pokemon chain. All pokemon are set to level 5, which makes for interesting battles and stratigems. For example, a level 5 Diglett would be allowed, but not a level 5 Tauros because it doesn't have any lower evolution chain.
Each one of the Tiers has separate metagames and each are radically different in terms of gameplay and strategy. If you need a really simple list for what Pokémon are in what tiers, go to this link here. But to keep it really simple, I will stick with standard, or the OU metagame, to explain things / examples.
One thing that does not change between tiers though is this: the clauses. Competitive has some standard rules, also known as clauses. These clauses set rules for certain situations within battles that can or cannot be done. Here is a simple list of the clauses:
Species Clause: You must use six different Pokémon on your team.
Sleep Clause: You can only put to sleep one Pokémon on an opponent's side at any time. For example, if you use Spore to put one Pokémon asleep, you cannot use it again to put another Pokémon asleep until the first one wakes up.
Freeze Clause: Only one Pokémon on each team may be inflicted with the freeze condition at any time. Subsequent uses of a move with a chance to freeze will not freeze.
Evasion Clause: Moves that solely increase evasion are banned. Double Team is an example of a banned move.
OHKO Clause: Specialty OHKO moves are banned. Horn Drill, Fissure, and Sheer Cold are examples moves banned under this rule.
These rules are STANDARD and should be lived by during any battle, bar the Freeze Clause on Wifi, because you can’t control the freezing of Pokémon. These rules also make things fair and easier for people to play.
Part 6 – What Now / What to Expect
Now that you have been barraged with new information about Competitive, I'll give you a few pointers on what to expect and whatnot.
As i have said before, this is nothing like your cute little DS game in which you have to beat Team Galactic and save the world. This is something more radical. This actually takes intelligence to prevail.
One thing that you can expect, no doubt, is the presence to switching and luck. Switching your pokemon and prediction is a huge part of Competitive and it takes so much prediction it's not funny. But no one is the best at prediction. Many times just one slip in prediction can cost you the game, yet that’s all the fun of the game. With prediction comes luck as well, which is things like critical hits and such that can totally affect a game. These are uncontrolled and almost at random, so expect them to hit you hard and it to cause games sometimes.
Well, what do you do now? I not including team building (in this guide :D) but I will inform you on being an ideal poster, which will take you far within this forum.
Part 7 – How to Become an Ideal Poster
This is a section for people who are good at Competitive already, as well as newcomers. Take a look at this first, please.
Posting on Serebii might be one of the easiest things you have ever done; you type a bit, and hit 'Submit Post' so the whole forum can see. But not in this place, the CRMT is much more difficult to post in.
In order to become better, there is something you first have to do, which is lurk on the forum. Watch. Observe. Learn. Lurking can do so much for you and learning. But take heed, you need to learn from the best here.
There is a list of posters I would like to recognize on this forum that say beautiful things whenever they post. And realize this isn't Smogon, people are actually nice and considerate here, so if you need help, just ask. Anyway, these are the people to look out for and recognize (in no particular order):
Kill.Mate.Repeat. (lol, only kidding)
Blue Harvest is great
These people are always ready to help and are very intelligent with everything pokemon battling. Watch what they post and learn from how they think and what they do with certain information.
To be honest, being a good poster just takes thought. Please, don't post blatantly obvious things or things that have already been stated. Every new post should bring something new to the table that the Original Poster (OP for short) didn't know and would benefit from. If you’re just spamming the thread or saying something completely stupid, you don't deserve to be here. Understand me, if you’re new and don't quite get one particular aspect, that’s not being stupid. That’s being new.
To give you an example, I will quote a post that should never have been posted. HINT: This was MajorGambit.
This was posted by a somewhat experienced player, but he didn't know much about posting or anything about giving advice. So, how can you make a post like this better?
Salamence says: OH my! An entire team to sweep! Sweeet!
In order to make posts with some kind of value, follow this guideline (I have applied the above post to how it should look for an example):
Address a Problem
Explain how this is a Problem
Hey, you have a Salamence weakness. It rips though about 2/3 of your team, so i would look into it.
Address a Solution
The common MixMence will hurt this team alot, along with Flamethrower toting DDMence varients.
Explain Pros / Cons of a Solution
A way to fix this is by adding either a Porygon2 or a Mamoswine to your team. The Porygon2 set will have to be bulkier in Special Defence so it can take Draco Meteors and/or Flamethrower. Mamoswine will have to be Choiced with Ice Shard.
If you can't do this, then it shouldn't be worth posting. I know it’s not possible to do it this way every time, but if you come close to this, it is acceptable. And it might take a while for you to get to a point where you can suggest these kind of things, but just lurk a bit and take it all in.
Adding Porygon2 or Mamoswine will bring new weaknesses to the table. Porygon2 brings a Fighting weak that can hurt your team. Mamoswine brings alot of weaknesses, that will also bring alot of concern for the rest of your team. Take caution if you choose this route.
Part 8 – OK, I'm Done
Well it’s about time I close out on this Guide. I Hope the people who are new to competitive take this to heart and realize the full potential you can have if you just have fun with it.
Hope You Enjoyed -
NOTE: I paraphrased and quoted some stuff from Smogon and some of their Guides / Crap so if it looks familiar, don't sue me. I said I used the stuff here. Fuck MLA.