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Competitive Battling

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since many users have requested me for this,I guess its about time that it has been made

so,what is competitive battling in pokemon?Very simply,its strategic pokemon battles based on the original nintendo and gamefreak games,which can be simulated in online battle simulators such as Pokemon Showdown or Pokemon Online

"Mechanics" is the term we use to refer to the way Pokemon works internally. Up until now, you have probably been able to ignore most of the detailed mechanics of the game, and still be successful. But in competitive Pokemon, there is a very fine line between success and failure. You must understand the subtle mechanics of the game, and exploit them to their maximum effectiveness. If you don't, you can be sure that your opponent will.

In order to win a battle, you must faint all of your opponent's Pokemon before they do it to you. As such, the entirety of competitive Pokemon strategy is focused on damage -- the ability to deal damage, withstand damage, and avoid damage. Since damage is the end-all-be-all of battling, you must become familiar with the various game mechanics that affect damage.

These battles can be conducted under various formats and themes,such as random battles or tier based

the various tiers are:OU(Over-Used),Ubers(OP broken mons which are too strong for other tiers),UU(Under Used),RU(Rarely Used),NU(Never Used) and LC(Little Cup)

These categories have been made based on how often pokemon are used based on their viability for the purpose of battling,which is independent of evolution or status(legendary/normal).For instance,as unlikely as it may seem,a chansey is much more usable than a regigigas for reasons explained later in this guide.

the sequence is as follows :Ubers>OU>UU>RU>NU>LC

pokemon from lower tiers can be used in higher tiers but not vice versa

Team Building:

While formulating a competitive team,the following factors have to be kept in mind:

Move Mechanics

These are mechanics that affect the damage of a given move in battle.

Type Effectiveness

You are probably familiar with this from in-game play. Certain types of moves do more or less damage to certain types of Pokemon. For example, Ground moves are "super effective" against Electric Pokemon, doing twice as much damage to them. A Pokemon's type, and the type of moves it uses is the single biggest factor determining how much damage it can give and take. The ability for an individual Pokemon or a team of Pokemon to give and take damage across a variety of types is called "Type Coverage" or simply "Coverage."

Physical and Special moves

All damaging moves are either physical or special. Physical moves use the Attack stat while special moves use the Special Attack stat.

In the first three generations, whether moves were physical or special depended on their type. All Bug, Flying, Fighting, Ground, Normal, Poison, Rock, Ghost, and Steel moves were physical. All Dark, Dragon, Electric, Fire, Grass, Ice, Psychic, and Water moves were special.

It wasn't until the 4th generation that moves were categorized based on their style of attacking. This information can be found under your Pokemon's Battle Moves page on their Summary screen. Physical moves have a red and yellow box while special moves have a purple box. Moves that deal no direct damage have a gray and white box.

It's important to keep this in mind when building your Pokemon's moveset. You do not want to give a move like Psycho Cut to a Pokemon like Alakazam, as even though Psycho Cut would be boosted by STAB(increased damage due to your pokemon's move being the same type as the pokemon itself), it is a physical move and will not deal much damage due to Alakazam's horrible Attack stat.A move like Psychic is much more recommended.


Physical moves are based on the "atk" stat of the pokemon,and special moves are based on "spA",or special attack

physical moves act on the defense(def) stat of the pokemon,similarly-a spA move will always do damage based on the "spD"(special defense) of the opposing pokemon.A move like flare blitz will never deal damage based on the special defense,or flamethrower wont hit based on the def stat

Speed(spe) determines which pokemon will move first in each turn,and is an important factor along with the hp(hit points)

Every pokemon is a combination of hp,atk,def,spA,spD and spe,which total up to add to the base stats of the pokemon


Stat Mechanics

These are mechanics that affect the statistics of a Pokemon, and thus affect its ability to give, take, and avoid damage.


Every Pokemon can have 1 out of 25 different natures. Most natures will raise one stat by 10% and lower another stat by 10%. In competitive battling, every Pokemon has one or two preferred natures depending on the moveset they are using. For example, a Pokemon meant to use only physical attacks would most likely benefit from an Adamant nature, which raises Attack by 10% and lowers Special Attack by 10%.

There are 5 Natures out there which do not have an effect on any stat. They are Hardy, Serious, Bashful, Quirky, and Docile. These natures should not be used in a competitive setting since they provide no beneficial stat boosts to the Pokemon.

For a list of natures and what stats they affect, check here.

Effort Values (EVs)

EVs are "invisible" numbers that can increase a Pokemon's stats. Every 4 EVs in a particular stat is equal to 1 point in that stat. Every Pokemon is capable of having a maximum of 510 EVs with a maximum of 255 EVs in any one stat. Note that neither 510 nor 255 are numbers that are divisible by 4. This means you only need 508 EVs total (252 EVs in any one stat) to have a completely EV-trained Pokemon. The remaining 2 EVs are useless.

For more information on EV's and how to EV train Pokemon in the cartridge games, see here.

Individual Values (IVs)

Two untrained Pokemon of the same species with the same level and nature may still have slightly different stats. The reason behind this is that the two Pokemon have different IVs. IVs are "invisible" numbers that range from 0 to 31 and tell you the quality of a Pokemon's stats. 0 means that particular Pokemon's stat is the lowest it can be. 31 means that stat is at its best and is considered a perfect IV.

Unlike EVs, IVs cannot be changed and are permanent when you obtain the Pokemon. There is no guaranteed way of obtaining the exact IVs you want. The best way to get a Pokemon with good IVs is by breeding. More information on IV breeding can be found in the Breeding Guide.

Competitive Pokemon battling is based on the assumption that all players have perfect Pokemon. Much like professional athletes have near limitless access to state-of-the-art sports equipment, competitive Pokemon strategy assumes you have access to perfect Pokemon. This is often a difficult concept for players of the cartridge games to understand. But, it is essential to forget about that "awesome level 78 Charizard" you used to beat the Elite Four in FireRed. In competitive Pokemon, all players use level 100 Pokemon exclusively, they use only the most powerful species of Pokemon, AND the Pokemon are perfectly EV trained with perfect IVs, with perfect moves.



the effects of the various natures can be found in bulbapedia,along with type effectiveness-which is crucial for competitive battling,for knowing how to deal more damage requires knowledge of super effective moves and less effective moves,which in turn will determine your success 

Using a ground type move on a flying type is not going to help you win,for instance.Perfect knowledge of all pokemon-their typing,ability and generally used moves is necessary in order to predict your opponent's moves,which is an essential part of the play


Before moving on to the battling,first you must know how to build your team

Pokemon are generally belonging to the following types:

Tanks(Chansey,Steelix,Ferrothorn etc)

These pokemon are very high on the def,their primary job is to soak up damage and stall the fights,doing slow damage 

Generally tanks rely on some form of status effect such as burn or poison for their damage,they may be a tank in terms of defense(slowbro),special defense (blissey) or both (shuckle)

it should be noted that it is generally important to have atleast one tank for both defense and for special defense in the team,which will serve to break up the opposing team's sweepers or set up opportunities for your own sweepers to take the game

tanks are often accompanied by hazard based moves,like stealth rock or status healing or recovery for the team,such as wish-support,and generally use items such as leftovers or situational items like eviolite,rocky helmet etc.The tanks can either be complete walls,as in blissey-or be damaging tanks as in ferrothorn/gliscor who use attacking move(s) along with the tanky build.


 Fast Sweepers(the usual favourites which everyone loads their teams with-garchomp,salamence,hydreigon,charizard etc)

These pokemon specialize in destroying the opponent through their really strong attacking moves,and are characterized by their really high speed and attack/spA stat.Just like tanks are def/spD based,these sweepers may be physical sweepers or special sweepers,both of which are necessary.A mega slowbro alone would be enough to frustrate a team consisting of garchomp,charizard X etc and a chansey with eviolite can easily stall a dialga,palkia and shaymin.Hence there must be atleast one of each physical and special sweepers in your team.Note:Sweepers can also be mixed sweepers-who use a combination of both atk and spA moves for sweeping since both these stats are very high for them,deoxys for example


Bulky sweepers(metagross,heatran etc):These pokemon are a mix of the fast sweepers and tanks-they are high on either atk or spA and have decent defense/spD/HP stats.They specialize in countering sweepers by enduring the hits which other sweepers would easily die to,and at the same time they can force tanks to switch out.It is advisable to have atleast one special/physical bulky sweeper in the team


Hazard setters(skarmory,smeargle etc):These pokemon specialize in setting the opponent team with hazards like spikes,stealth rock,sticky web etc which play a very important role in the game movement.For instance,if stealth rocks were on a charizard would lose 50% of its hp when it switches in,since rock type moves are 4x effective against it,thus preventing the switch out.Like bulky sweepers,it is advisable to have one.


Naturally,while giving EVs to these pokemon,they should be given to the strengths of the pokemon and not the reverse.A gengar should have its spe and spA on 252 ,whereas a slowbro should have 252 on hp and def.This becomes variable when a pokemon has status based power ups such as calm mind,which will change the EV spread accordingly.The suggested EV spread on pokemon showdown is usually a good indicator for this



Having good synergy is equally important in team building,apart from having a good team composition,your pokemon must have proper types which will support each other

simple examples:Hippowdon(Ground),Pidgeot(Flying),Torkoal(Fire)

Hippowdon is immune to electric moves,and thus should be switched into in order to avoid an electric type move which the opponent probably will use if your pidgeot is in play.Similarly,a pidgeot should be switched into if your Torkoal is going to be hit by earthquake from another pokemon,thus cancelling out the damage


complex examples:


gliscor weakness:ice(4x),water

immunity:ground,resists fighting 

heatran weakness:fighting,ground,water


however both are weak to jellicent,therefore

pokemon 3:Milotic(Water)



Therefore,we have brilliant synergy between the 3,each of which serve different functions(physical tank,bulky special sweeper,special tank)

Thus,you now know how to go about team building



Items used on the different pokemon are situational,however here are some common uses:

Life orb,choice band,choice scarf,focus sash,weakness policy,Lum berry:on fast sweepers

leftovers,light clay,eviolite,expert belt,rocky helmet,Black sludge-on tanks and bulky attackers

mega items must be held for mega evolution,one of which is allowed per team




last update:10/9/16

to be continued..





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