Hello there little monsters, the sun is shining and it’s about as hot as a Torkoals as…uhm tail out there, so I am staying in to write you another Top 5. This week I will be there for you! Well at least those who are just dipping their feet in the world of Pokémon We all started our journey by just slapping four powerful attacks on our entire team, and sweep leagues with it. However if you ever want to Nuzlocke, play fan games or maybe play a few Pokémon matches for real, you should do well to heed these tips.
Bonus tip: Check out Pokemon Showdown
What is Pokémon Showdown? Well it is a browser based Pokémon battling game, in which you can build and test out teams, by allowing you easy access to all moves without having to go through breeding for it, or even IV or EV training. With easy slider controls anyone can build their custom Pokémon very easily and test them out in a battle. A perfect tool to practice the tips I am about to share. Play the option to do random battles as well,to get a good feeling on what movesets work and which don’t .
Furthermore I won’t be going into EV’ and IV’s in this post because these are too complex for a non dedicated post. Showdown is such an amazing tool for the aspiring battle you should really pay it a visit, after you are done reading the post of course! Otherwise I will come online on Showdown and kick your Mudbray.
Tip 5: Know your move categories.
“Pinke what do you mean by that move categories, that’s not even a word’ Well no it’s two, but when I would have called it move type it would get confusing , as I am not referring to Pokémon typings. I am referring to physical and special moves.
You know the reason why you have attack and special attack with the same going for defence and special defence. Yet, so many rookie trainers run bite on Espeon or Dark Pulse on Absol, because it kinda looks cool. Now don’t get me wrong, running either of these moves can still be smart but you would not be playing to your Pokémon’s strengths, partially because the game doesn’t properly teach you how to do it correctly. When you learn a new move, it features one of three symbols. A red and Yellow explody mark, a purplish blue, ripple in the water like symbol, and a grey Yin and Yang. The grey yin and yang symbol, signifies status moves. Non combat moves that effect either stats or conditions. Toxic, Calm Mind and Laser Focus are all in this category, and should not be slept upon. The red and yellow explosion thingy signifies a physical move, it means the pokémon have a lot of muscle their, punches and clawing hurts. Most physical attackers are fairly recogniseable. If their physical stat (after like level 30 or so) is like 25% higher or more, its oftenly a good idea to run them with physical moves only. If your Pokémon is level 50, and it’s stats in a category are less than 70 I’d say for a rookie its best to ignore said move type.
The purple blue, rings signify a special attacker, these are your ‘ranged’ attackers. In generally if you feel the move would classify as magic, it’s quite oftenly a special attack. Pokémon with a high special attack stat, you oftenly want to equip with moves like Psychic, Thunder and Fireblast. Pokémon who have high defensive status you’ll oftenly want to equip with moves of the Yin Yang categorie.. Chansey for example has a high special defence modifier, and is quite safe to swap into a , let’s say Primarina. It will benefit most from the yin-yang type moves, a defensive mon will oftenly deal more damage with toxic or leech seed, then with it’s own attacks. If you understand your stats, and the role moves take onto the battlefield, you will understand what role your Pokémon has and you will be able to utilize them better.
Tip 4: Status to victory
Assuming you read the last tip, it is important to keep in mind though too not overly rely in high power special attackers and attackers either, most of the time it is unwise to run four random attacks, or even four chosen attacks, yes there are Pokémon who are so good at offence you should let them focus on it, in general you will want to be able to inflict some status conditions as well. However, aside from poison, young trainers oftenly are under the misconception that you status for its primary effect, which in some cases are true, but both burn and paralysis offer secondary beneficial effects that are way more important than a 30% skip chance or a bit of damage over time. Paralysis halves an opponent’s speed stat, which allows you to get the drop on an opponent who otherwise might have outsped and knocked out your sweet friend. Burn halves the physical attack stat, Slaking and Hitmonchan might seem scary, but when burned they will deal but a fraction of the damage they could before. Charm and confuse are great, but be sure to bring moves that are sure to hit, you do not want to deal with supersonics miss chance. Sleep still is a great status, Yawn is great for forcing an opponent to swap his pokémon, allowing you to create favorable momentum for yourself, while Spore is the best sleep move in the game with it’s 100% accuracy. Stay away from dream eater though, comboing of status you inflict can be fairly unreliable, so only use these if your Pokémon can take a hit. The best moves to combo of a status would be Hex and Venoshock. Hex being the more versatile of the two. Whatever you do, never bring a team with only offensive moves. Pokémon is not just about raw power, it has a lot to do with momentum as well and nothing can shift the balance as much as status.
Tip 3: A good defence and build up
A good Mon is easy to build, a good team is much harder. When you begin battling, I would very much recommend taking one or two walls along. I am not referring to stakkatakka , though he actually is a wall… and a wall. The word in Pokémon terms is most of the time what a “tank” would be in your MMO like setting, however in a 1V1 format, agro isn’t much of a thing. So you will want to bring a Mon that can take a hit, Shuckle, Umbreon, Chansey, Aggron, Tyranitar, Snorlax and Slaking are functional examples but Sigilyph and Politoed are also some amazing walls. You can defend yourself in other ways as well. Protect in itself might be somewhat pointless, a well timed one, can prevent you from an explosion or even a one hit knockout move. Rest is your friend! Though it seems very unfavorable to go to sleep for two turns, the 100% heal, including any other status, because rest overrules it, is one of the greatest tools in your arsenal to build a great team. Combine it with some build up moves, that increase your stats, like calm mind , swords dance or bulk up, if possible alongside sleep talk.. and you got your first destructive combo on your hands. Buff your stats or debuff your opponent to a point where you control the momentum, Babydoll eyes, and smokescreen are quite useful moves if your opponent is not a underleveled cpu. Regardless if you heal, tank or debuff, if your opponent has to struggle to finish your pokemon, you gain the momentum and you are well on your way to victory.
Tip 2: Battlefield Control
You and your opponent do not want to send out a Pokémon and use it up until it dies, if it is at a disadvantage you want to swap it out to regain control, however you can not keep swapping in and out , as a skilled opponent can probably predict that you will withdraw your Parasect when facing his Charizard and might even prepare a grass move anticipating that rock type that can hit it 4x effective. So you have to think of ways to control the battlefield in your favor, force your opponent to swap when you want to, or make it harder for him to swap so you have more liberties. We can achieve this by bringing hazard setting moves, like spikes, toxic spikes, and stealth rocks to discourage swapping, as they will take damage each time a new pokémon is sent in. On the other hand we can encourage swapping, by using moves like Toxic, Perish Song and Leech seed. Encouraging swap outs is very beneficial when your opponents tries to constantly buff himself to gain the upperhand, or to combo it with a move like pursuit. If you have the momentum, you might want your opponent to stay in, so you don’t have to predict as much an can just pick the team off one at a time.
You can even combine the two, where you force your opponent to choose between bleed damage from swapping out, or taking an increasing amount of dots, shifting the momentum dramatically in your favor. With firespin, whirlpool or other trapping moves like spirit shackle you can also force your opponent to stay in, or when he is gather to much buffs you can force a swap out, with Circle Throw, Dragon Tail or Roar. However, both methods of forced control have the disadvantage that they are rather situational. Trapping moves, lock you into your Pokémon as well, and swapping moves oftenly have negative priority meaning your opponent can always move first, play them at the wrong time and you will be the one losing control instead. So consider your options carefully, in my opinion forced control works better in double battles, while “encouraged” control is often edges out in singles.
Tip 1: Items and Abilities
Items and abilities can flat out determine a game. If your opponent predicts the wrong item, he can lose all his momentum in a single turn. If you equip a choice scarf (speed rises by a lot but you can only use the first move you choose) and your opponent underestimates your speed, allowing you the quick kill, a match can be done , then and there. With all the items out there it might seem very overwhelming to choose one, but don’t worry, there are only a handful of good items. Forget about your charcoal, or your nevermeltice boosting one move type is a no go! Forget about most situational items as well. Sure a quick claw can shift a game if it triggers but a focus band.. not worth the risk. Aside from some berries, it will mostly be the items you will get from whatever your game’s rendition of the battle institute is. Your standard Life Orb, Assault Vest, Leftovers , Air Balloons and Choice (item) will be your bread and butter. There are a few other options out there, but those cater to a specific use of a Pokémon. Play some Pokémon Showdown to learn more about items and how they work or check out the youtube channel of Duncan Can’t Die, his channel focuses on battling with random Pokémon a lot so there is a lot to learn there for the beginning battler, and quite entertaining. Aside from a Pokémon’s item you’ll need to determine your ability as well, these are less flexible then items, and you oftenly are limited to one or two good choices. Your abiltiy generally determines your chosen moveset for example if you have a pokémon that can cure it’s status in the rain, you’d bring raindance and rest 9 out of 10 times since it just works like a dream together, if you have the pixilate ability , you’ll want to run normal moves and so on. While your ability determines your moveset, your moveset determines your item, you do not want to run an Assault Vest (higher defences but you can only bring attacking moves) on your hazard setter, you do not want to give Shedinja a Life Orb (takes 10% of your max hp after each attack but boosts power). Yet if you think about your build, and let your ability and your item synergise with your moveset, you can control the battlefield and soon THE WORLD!
Now you are ready to battle, have you ever played Showdown? Have you watched a roulette free for all on Duncan’s Channel? I certainly love them, and they have made me a better battler. So young trainer, or pro who actually bothered to read through this all, to arms! Tonight we shall claim victory on the Showdown battlegrounds! Win or lose , remember to stay pink!
*Disclaimer, staying Pink is a mindset, Pinkie does not encourage you to get sunburned or bodypaint yourself pink in any shape way or form, I love everyone, you dont have to actually be pink.* <-These are needed nowadays.