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 Competitive play 101- Prediction and Counters

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lilsparks267
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PostSubject: Competitive play 101- Prediction and Counters   Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:28 pm

Competitive Play 101

In this topic Iíll try to explain the basics of building and using a good competitive team. Iím assuming you already know about IVs, EVs, Natures, and team roles. If not then read the other topics first and come back when youíre done.

Building a good competitive team is a tricky task. You canít just throw a bunch of good pokes together and call it a team. If you donít use pokes that cover each otherís weakness and work effectively together, youíll find yourself on the losing end of an embarrassing sweep all too often.

ALWAYS REMEMBER it is important to use a few pokes you really like in battle. After all, this is only a game and if you don't have fun playing it then what's the point?

Lesson 2: The Future is Yours

This lesson will be discussing the topic of move prediction. Move prediction is easily the hardest part of the game, but it is also one of the most rewarding. If you can become good at predicting your opponentís moves, youíll give yourself a huge advantage in battle. Trying to teach prediction is tough, bo Iíll try my best to explain some of the tactic involved.

Basic Prediction: There are certain times you should always expect your opponent to switch. Anytime you have a clear advantage you should be expecting a switch (such as your Weavile vs your opponenetís Alakazam). You can use these switches to set up your pokes in the form of substitutes, stat boost, or support moves like Stealth Rock. Likewise, you must also predict your opponentís attacks and switch in counters successfully. If you have a water type out against an electric type you should expect an electric attack. This is the perfect opportunity to switch in a ground type to absorb the attack for no damage and give you an advantage.

Scouting
: Scouting is something that a lot of battlers, even good ones neglect to do. Scouting is choosing not to set-up early game in order to see what kind of counters your opponent has for your sweepers. Hereís an example. You lead with Weavile. Your opponent leads with something unfavorable, like Alakazam. You know that your opponent wants to switch so you see an opportunity to get a free sword dance. However your opponent switches in a Skarmory and now your Sword Dance is wasted because youíll have to switch out. Instead try using a regular move, maybe Ice Punch. That way whatever switches in is guaranteed to at least take some damage and youíll know what to expect next time. Generally you want to wait until mid to late game before you begin to set up so that your opponentís pokemon are weakened and less able to counter you.

Countering a counter: This is something that I personally love doing, but it can be really tricky to pull off, and you need to implement all of the above strategies to pull it off. The idea is to predict an opponetís counter switch and switch in a counter to their counter. Sound confusing? Let me explain. Letís continue with our Weavile/Alakazam example. Later in the same matc we discussed above you switch your Weavile in on the opponentís Psychic. You now have a huge advantage again and should expect a switch to Skarmory to counter you. Because you know Skarmory is coming, you can switch in a counter for him, maybe Infernape or another fire type. Now you still have the upper hand and you can force your opponent to switch once again.

Mind Games: This is my final and most important point. Being able to use all of these strategies will be extremely helpful, but disabling your opponent from using them against you is even more awesome. The best way to do this is to never let your opponent know what your next move will be. This can be extremely difficult because sometimes you donít have a lot of options. However, whenever it's possible do something your opponent hasnít seen yet. Is your opponent expecting one type of counter? Switch in something else. Is he anticipating one particular type of move? Use something different. This will throw your opponent off-guard and cause him to second guess himself, often making him more predictable in the process. There is always a balance between staying unpredictable and playing smart. Finding that balance will make you a much better battler.


Ultimately prediction comes down to putting yourself in your opponentís shoes, figuring out what they want to do, and then having the courage to act on your predictions. Itís scary and sometimes it can backfire, but itís something you have to do if you ever want to be a top teir battler.
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Prof. Monk
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PostSubject: Re: Competitive play 101- Prediction and Counters   Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:21 pm

Don't forget pivot sparks.
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lilsparks267
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PostSubject: Re: Competitive play 101- Prediction and Counters   Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:30 pm

Im going to say it right now.

I have no clue what that is :3
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PostSubject: Re: Competitive play 101- Prediction and Counters   Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:33 pm

Pivoting
What is it?

There will be occasions during a battle where you are on the wrong end of a mismatch. That is, when your opponent's active Pokemon has a significant advantage over your own. In order to obtain a better match up, you must switch. This can be direct or via an intermediary switch. Pivoting describes the latter, where another Pokťmon, the pivot, is used to absorb the likeliest move and force the opponent to use a different attack. It is immediately switched out to facilitate a cheaper, or less risky, switch for the desired match up. Resistances are key to a pivot's usefulness and weaknesses are helpful to provoke the use of the correct attack.
How does it support teams?

Pivoting can offer you a valuable edge in competitive battling because your Pokemon will take less damage when switching into things that they are supposed to threaten. It is particularly useful when trying to salvage a weakened Pokemon. Anything can serve as a pivot, but the strategy is heavily dependant upon the accuracy of your predictions. An example would be Mamoswine vs Starmie. You would like to obtain the match up of Electivire vs Starmie, but a direct switch would lead to Electivire taking a STAB Surf. Therefore, you can switch to Gyarados (the pivot) first, induce a Thunderbolt, and then switch to Electivire and activate Motor Drive.


Taken from smogon, I made some mods.
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PostSubject: Re: Competitive play 101- Prediction and Counters   Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:54 pm

Oh I didn't know that it had a name...

Regardless, this is more of the basics if you know what I mean. That'd likely be overhead of the people who this guide is made for.
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