Many people come to Serebiiforums to request help with building a successful team for in-game use. While the general opinion is that an in-game team simply only requires high levels, a good one will need far more than this. It is important for someone who is seeking to create an excellent team to look into the workings of a game. They must carefully decide on moveset choices, Natures, Items, and EVs if they wish to use them.
I often see in IGRMT many people asking for help on where to begin with a team. They want to do well, but don't know what to look for or why to use one option over another. In this guide, I hope to create a tool which the less experienced may use to help them get started in building good teams. I will be addressing the main points of team building, as well as exploring some game mechanics. So, here we go.
What Am I Up Against?
All of the in-game battles in Pokémon games have two players; one human player, yourself, and one computer controlled AI. As you may expect, the AI does not behave like a human player. You must keep the following points in mind when building your team. The main differences between a human player and the AI are as follows:
• The AI will not switch in many cases.
While a human player will switch Pokémon as they need to, whether it be to bring in a Pokémon that can resist an opponent's attack, or bring in one to handle a tough situation, the AI will not identify these situations and so will not take advantage of their ability to switch out of them. You should try to exploit this by using a "safe" opponent to set up attacks, heal the remainder of your team, etc.
• The AI uses Hax to its advantage.
For those of you who don't know, Hax refers to the unfair ability that the AI has to activate the secondary effects of moves. For example, Water Pulse's 20% confuse rate may seem more like 40% or even 50% for the AI. Additionally, moves like Double Team will seem to work for the opponent but not your and OHKO moves will seem far too accurate where the opposition is concerned. Moves like Substitute are excellent remedies for this issue, as they will block the added effects of moves so that you can't be affected by them. Alternatively, fast and powerful Sweepers can outspeed and KO the opposition before they can begin haxing you to death. Remember that moves like Aerial Ace are also far more viable in-game thanks to evasion modifiers.
Which Moves Should I Be Using?
Perhaps the most important part of any Pokémon is the moveset that you give it. Even the best Pokémon can play very poorly if you give it a moveset that doesn't work. Offensive movesets are more popular in-game because of how they can easily sweep through many opponents, so my main focus will be on them. Here are a number of things that you should do when deciding on an appropriate moveset for your Pokémon:
• Play with your Pokémon's best offensive stat.
Look at your Pokémon's Base Stats on Serebii's Pokédex, or another location of your choice. You will notice that the majority of Pokémon have one stat that is superior to the other, and you should try to use this stat the most when you are choosing a moveset. A Breloom, for example, will benefit much more from using Seed Bomb, a physical move, than it will from Energy Ball which is Special. However, some Pokémon have multiple usable Base Stats, which are generally considered to be above Base 90. These Pokémon can add moves from both sides of the attacking spectrum to allow them to combat walls, which are Pokémon generally designed to take hits from one side of the spectrum, much more effectively.
• Get good coverage from your moves.
No matter how powerful the moves in an offensive moveset, it will not work well unless you can hit many types for good damage. Here is an example of a moveset with poor coverage. The Pokémon used is an Electivire.
More than one move of a single type is a bad idea, as you will be less useful against foes who resist that type. Additionally, all of the moves do the same thing; attempt to Paralyze the opponent. It would be very easy to improve on this moveset with something like the following.
• Cross Chop
• Ice Punch
These four moves together provide brilliant coverage, hitting 13/17 types for Super Effective damage. The moves serve a variety of purposes, and can handle multiple threats easily.
• Utilise your STAB.
STAB is an acronym for Same Type Attack Bonus. Simply put, this is a mechanic that boosts an attack by 50% if it is of the type as the Pokémon using it. For example, take Earthquake. It is a Base 100 move, but if a Ground type was to use it, this would be elevated to Base 150. It is clear that it will benefit you in almost all cases to use one STAB move on each of your Pokémon.
• Setup moves.
By this, I mean moves that will boost your stats over time to make you into a very potent threat. For example, Dragon Dance is a common used move because it boosts both your Speed and your Attack simultaneously, making you into a very dangerous Sweeper. You should remember that these moves exist, rather than just using four attacks on one set.
• Status inducing moves.
Moves such as Thunder Wave and Will-o-Wisp will force Status Effects to be induced on your opponent. This will help you because it disadvantages your opponent massively, giving you an easier time setting up. On a more defensive moveset, you should consider using these sort of moves carefully, as they can massively benefit you or hinder you, depending on how appropriate your choice. Be aware that a very viable tactic in-game, however, is to simply destroy your opponent quickly. For this reason, it is generally recommended that you use very few Status-Inducing moves on your team, and on the bulkiest members if possible when there are few better options available.
• What not to use.
While there are a great number of moves that are usable, some should be avoided as much as possible. They are as follows.
Hyper Beam and Hyper Beam-esque moves.
These moves are incredibly powerful, but they leave you completely immobile next turn. You cannot use items, you cannot switch, and you cannot attack during this time. In virtually every case, you can use two turns more productively, and so these moves should always be avoided. The moves are Hyper Beam, Giga Impact, Frenzy Plant, Blast Burn, Hydro Cannon, Rock Wrecker, and Roar of Time. Additionally, two-turn moves should be avoided for the same reason. They are Dive, Dig, Fly, Razor Wind, Sky Attack, Skull Bash, Solarbeam, and Shadow Force. Focus Punch is not one of these moves.
Their accuracy is simply too low when the AI's Hax is factored in. You can use these moveslots with much more reliable moves. The OHKO moves are Horn Drill, Guillotine, Fissure, and Sheer Cold.
Certain HM Moves
With the exception of Surf and Waterfall, the HM moves are either extremely poor or outclassed. Avoid them for this simple reason, and get what is referred to as an "HM Slave" instead, which is a Pokémon that knows four HM moves for field use only.
Note about 5th Gen HM Moves: To complete Pokémon Black and White, you do not need HMs, other than Cut, which appears only once. Therefore, if you are looking to beat only the Elite Four and come back to do the rest later, you should not teach your team members HM moves.
Which Natures Should I use?
Natures have a great bearing on what your Pokémon is good or bad at. They can boost one of your stats and reduce another by 10% each, or leave them alone completely.
• Commonly used Natures
Here are some commonly used Natures and reasons why they are used often.
- Single Focus: Jolly ~ This is a very good Nature for a Physical Sweeper. It boosts your Spe, but lowers your SpAtk. Timid ~ This is a very good Nature for a Special Sweeper. It boosts your Spe, but lowers your Atk. Adamant ~ This is a very good Nature for a powerful Physical Attacker. It boosts your Atk, but lowers your SpAtk. Modest ~ This is a very good Nature for a powerful Special Attacker. It boosts your SpAtk, but lowers your Atk. Bold ~ This is a very good Nature for a Pokémon that focuses on its Def alongside Special Attack moves. It boosts your Def, but lowers your Atk. Impish ~ This is a very good Nature for a Pokémon that focuses on its Def alongside Physical Attack moves. It boosts your Def, but lowers your SpAtk. Calm ~ This is a very good Nature for a Pokémon that focuses on its SpDef alongside Special Attack moves. It boosts your SpDef, but lowers your Atk. Careful ~ This is a very good Nature for a Pokémon that focuses on its SpDef alongside Physical Attack moves. It boosts your SpDef, but lowers your SpAtk.
- Mixed Focus: Mild ~ A useful nature for a Mixed Sweeper, with emphasis on its Special side. Commonly used when the Sweeper's type weaknesses have more attacks utilizing SpAtk; it raises SpAtk and lowers Def. Rash ~ A useful nature for a Mixed Sweeper, with emphasis on its Special side. Commonly used when the Sweeper's type weaknesses have more attacks utilizing Atk; it raises SpAtk and lowers SpDef. Lonely ~ A useful nature for a Mixed Sweeper, with emphasis on its Physical side. Commonly used when the Sweeper's type weaknesses have more attacks utilizing SpAtk; it raises Atk and lowers Def. Naughty ~ A useful nature for a Mixed Sweeper, with emphasis on its Physical side. Commonly used when the Sweeper's type weaknesses have more attacks utilizing Atk; it raises Atk and lowers SpDef. Hasty ~ A useful nature for a Mixed Sweeper, with emphasis on its Speed. Commonly used when the Sweeper's type weaknesses have more attacks utilizing SpAtk; it raises Speed and lowers Atk. Naive ~ A useful nature for a Mixed Sweeper, with emphasis on its Speed. Commonly used when the Sweeper's type weaknesses have more attacks utilizing SpAtk; it raises Speed and lowers SpDef.
Abilities also factor in greatly with movesets. Depending on the aim of the moveset, the ability can make or break the success of the Pokemon. A perfect example would be Togekiss, whose two abilities are Hustle, which increases the power of Attack moves at the cost of accuracy, and Serene Grace, which doubles the chances of added effects happening. Serene Grace, which makes HaxKiss such a monster, is commonly picked due to Hustle being almost worthless to Togekiss.
Last edited by Noctourniquet; 6th June 2012 at 8:04 PM.