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 Competitive Play 101: You've got a friend in me

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PostSubject: Competitive Play 101: You've got a friend in me   Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:44 pm

Competetive 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 3: Youíve got a Friend in Me

This lesson is going to focus on using multiple members of your team together to cover each others weaknesses and generally strengthen your team. The benefits of having a complementary team include allowing you to switch in more easily, setting up sweeps, and giving your team more options during battle.

Basic Coverage: The most important thing to do is make sure your team as basic type coverage both offensively and defensively. On the defensive side it is important to make sure your walls cover each other well. Having both walls weak to the same type can cause big problems countering that type. Instead, try to make sure that your walls cover each others weaknesses. For example: If youíre using Cresselia as one of your walls, choosing Umbreon as a second wall may not be the best choice, because both are weak to Bug attacks.

Offensively, type coverage is also important. You may think that your team of Fire pokes is going to burn through your competition, but with too many pokes of the same type youíll be walled all too easily. Instead use a variety of different type pokes on your team to make sure you can hit everything super-effectively.

Spiker + Blocker
: Using Spikes and Stealth Rock to add passive damage is a pretty common strategy, however, many people donít realize there is a way to make sure your spikes, etc. donít get spun away. How? By the use of Spin-Blockers (read: ghost). Because ghosts donít take damage from normal attacks, rapid spin fails to blow away spikes when used on a ghost.

Here is an example: You set up two layers of Spikes with your Skarmory. Donphan comes in. You should expect that he is going to spin your spikes away. So switch in a ghost. If you bring in a Gengar youíve now blocked Rapid Spin and will force Dophan out. Allowing you to possibly bring your spiker back in to set up more spikes. The top spike blockers are Dusknoir, Gengar, and Mismagius.

Lightning Rod + Lightning Eater: This is a pretty common strategy. It involves baiting an electric attack (normally with a water type) and then switching in a poke that can absorb electric attacks either because of type (ground) or ability. Using this strategy can really give you an advantage in battle. The most common abuser of this set-up is Gyarados and Electivire. Gyarados draws lightning attacks like no other and Electivire is arguably the best lightning eater there is.

Example: You have Gyarados out and youíre met with a Zapdos. Obvisouly you canít stay in. You predict a Tbolt and switch to Electivire. Electivire absorbs the Tbolt and turns it into a free speed boost setting him up for a sweep. Other good bait/swiches are Milotic, Suicune, and Skarmory (on the bait side) and Jolteon, Garchomp (esp. with choice scarf), and Rhyperior (on the switch-in side).

Wish Passer + Anyone Else: I saved this one for last as it is my personal favorite. Wishers are arguably the best team supporters in the game. The idea is simple: Wish on a turn you know your opponent will switch and then pass it to a counter for whatever switches in, getting free healing for a poke that normally canít heal itself. This works even better if the wisher and wishey cover each otherís weaknesses.

Example: Your opponent has setup Stealth Rock and you have Jirachi out against something that canít do much damage to it. You expect a switch, so you wish. Heatran comes in. Now you have to switch out. You switch to Salamence. Salamence take ľ damage from SR and a small chunk of damage from Heateranís fire attack. Now wish Heal Salamence completely and you are free to destroy it with EQ or Hydro Pump.

There are many more combos that I didnít mention here. Ultimately itís up to you to be imaginative enough to see who will work well together and why. But if you can find that perfect balance of team players and one-poke-showboats (Garchomp Iím looking at you), youíll have a very versatile and competitive team.
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