Table of Contents:
II. What Is Competitive Battling?
IV. Causing Damage
V. Status and how You Can Inflict It
VI. Game Mechanics
IX. Play Styles
X. The Rules
Hello young Pokémon trainer! And welcome to the wide world of competitive battling, where new greenhorns and old veterans alike pit teams they´ve assembled against one another in one of the deepest forms of competition around: the six on six chess game starring our favorite Pocket Monsters of yore and lore.
Getting into the realm of playing Pokémon on a competitive level is never not somewhat overwhelming to anybody new to it, there are simply too many options out there to use and to play against. There are a number of different tiers of play as well, which will be covered soon.
This guide that I have assembled will attempt to help you understand the bare basics of Pokémon, and I will try to keep it relevant to today´s metagame. Now, other guides will handle specific strategies and schools of thought, so again, this is just meant to go over the bare basics.
I can´t teach things like good instincts, but I can try to teach you the basic of playing this game.
Competitive Battling is something two people take part in over Nintendo Wi-Fi or battling simulators like NetBattle or Shoddy Battle. The object of the game is for you to knock out all 6 of your opponent´s Pokémon before they do yours the same. And you can do this in a number of ways, with direct or indirect damage. There are various styles of play that are based entirely on your personal preference of battling however, it can be legitimately argued that some are more valued then others. There are also a number of different things that affect your stats, called Natures, EV´s and IV´s. Items and Abilities are also incredibly important to battling. Now, let us begin talking about the different aspects of battling and what comes in to play in your quest for victory.
A Pokémon´s typing is probably the most easily graspable concept in all of Pokémon. It´s an aspect of the game we all had to make ourselves familiar with since we faced our first gym leaders. Knowledge of the typing of every Pokémon is absolutely integral, so you know what does and doesn´t work on your opponent. Preferably, when using regular direct attacks, you want ´super-effective´ hits in order to deal large amounts of damage, but on the whole, attacking types that hit the most Pokémon at least neutrally is desired, as to deal consistent damage. These good attacking types include the likes of Dragon, Water or Ground, as they are resisted by few things.
Now, when attacking, you generally want to not only have at best neutral type coverage with most anything you´ll run into, but also something called the Same Type Attack Bonus, or as its more commonly known: STAB. STAB is important because it gives moves of the same type as your Pokémon a boost in base power by a multiple of 1.5. So, a move with a base power of 80 that shares it´s type with the Pokémon using it would actually be 120, which is an extremely significant increase.
On the defensive front, there are certain types that have many resistances. To resist an attack is to not take as much damage from the attack, as we know. These are the ´not very effective´ hits we see. Important types to consider when you desire Pokémon with a good amount of resistances are Steel and Dragon and Water, as they are liable to resist many attacks you might encounter. Some Pokémon types are completely immune to other types of attacks and are also very important, like Ghost´s immunity to Normal and more importantly, Fighting type attacks. Ground types are completely immune to electric type attacks. Flying types avoid Ground type attacks. Normal types are immune to Ghost type attacks. And finally, Steel types are impervious to Poison type attacks. Dark types are immune to psychic type attacks, however, there are exceptions to this rule which will be explained further).
Attack type also comes into play with status inflicting moves. Thunder Wave cannot Paralyze Ground types, and Glare misses Ghost types. Furthermore: you cannot inflict poison on Poison types of Pokémon or Burn on Fire type Pokémon.
Now, here is where things can get tricky when we move into support type moves. Now, these moves don´t Usually) do damage to the opponent, but there are some key exceptions that will be pointed out. Moves like Leech Seed, which is a Grass type move) do not affect Grass type Pokémon, however, other non-status and support moves used against the opponent will hit regardless. Attract Normal) will work on Ghosts, Trick Psychic) will work on Dark types, and so on.
Support moves used on one´s self do not affect their use either. Dark type Pokémon are still effected by Psychic type support moves like Reflect or Nasty Plot because they are using it on themselves. However, in situations where you try to inflict status like, say, Poison on your opponent, and they use a move called Magic Coat, which bounces status back at the user of the previous move) and your Pokémon is a Poison type, they will still not be effected by that attack, even though it is indeed their own.
There are a myriad of ways to bring the hurting on your opponent, and except in very absurd circumstances, you won´t be able to just switch a punch of times and beat your opponent. You´ll have to mount some type of offensive front. You of course do this by using different attacks against your opponent´s Pokémon. Now, the different attacking types will be explained.
First of all, there are 2 different types of damaging moves. There are moves that damage the opponent in a direct manner, and moves that damage the opponent in an indirect manner.Moves that damage the opponent in a direct manner are the moves we know and love from our first days playing the games: moves like Fire Blast, and Surf, and Thunderbolt. In other words: moves that do damage immediately during that attack. But then, there is a more subtle, and yet very major way of hurting your opponent, which is through indirect attacks. These are attacks like Spikes, Stealth Rock, Leech Seed or Hail, where you don´t see the damage benefits during the attack itself, but passively as the turns go on, the opponent will accumulate damage.
To explain in more detail, there are moves that set up what are known as entry hazards, namely Stealth Rock, Spikes and Toxic Spikes. These moves inflict damage on Pokémon that are vulnerable to them as they switch into battle, or in the case of Toxic Spikes, they inflict poison or toxic status to the switching in Pokémon, but beware as Poison types can absorb them). Stealth Rocks vary in damage based on the switching in Pokémon´s vulnerability to Rock type attacks. Spikes and Toxic Spikes only hit Pokémon that are not Flying, Levitating or have some other such ability that would allow them to avoid the spikes scattered on the ground. Moves like Leech Seed, Nightmare, and Curse sap the health of the opponent after their turn is over. Then there are weather conditions like Sandstorm and Hail, and while you will rarely see a Pokémon actually using Sandstorm or Hail, there are Pokémon that have the ability to set up that weather condition upon switching in. Those two weathers damage Pokémon vulnerable to it for the equivalent of q/16th of their health at the end of each turn. Hail hurts all but Ice type Pokémon. Sandstorm damages all but Steel, Ground and Rock type Pokémon. Quite often these weather conditions or sapping effects can significantly limit another Pokémon´s staying power, where as entry hazards limit the opponents switching options.
There are other indirect attacks like Future Sight and Doom Desire in which damage isn´t done that turn, but rather, the move is used and the damage comes 2 or 3 turns later.
Inflicting Poison, Burn, Confusion and Toxic status also causes damage, but they will be explained in more depth specifically in the next section.V. Status and How You Can Inflict It
There is more to Pokémon then attacking. Inflicting status can limit a Pokémon´s stalling ability, their sweeping ability, or their attacking ability
Here is a list of every ´status´ you can inflict on your opponent´s Pokémon or have inflicted on you:
Poison: Poison can be inflicted on the target with a number of moves, in fact, with most any move of the ´Poison´ type. It has the effect of damaging the infected for the equivalent of 1/12th of their max HP. Steel types and Poison types cannot be poisoned, and neither can Pokémon with an ability or status effect that would keep them from being poisoned.
Toxic Poison: An intensified version of Poison status that does more damage at the end of every turn to the Pokémon infected. It starts by doing a negligible damage amount equal to 1/16th of the Pokémon´s max health, but at the end of every turn, it increases by another 16th, as in 1/16th, 2/16th, 3/16th, and so on. The damage caps at 15/16th´s of the Pokémon´s health. Also, the damage multiplier is reset if the infected Pokémon switches out. Keep that in mind. The same rules for what can and cannot be Poisoned applies to Toxic Poison. There are also significantly less ways to inflict Toxic Poison.
Burn: A Burned Pokémon will have it´s Attack cut by 50%. As a bonus, they will also be damaged for 1/12th of their max HP. This status is incredibly useful for crippling the damaging power of physically attacking juggernauts like Tyranitar and the like. Fire types cannot be burned, and neither can Pokémon that have an ability or are under an effect that would allow for that. Most fire moves can cause burn, and there are also some abilities and items that cause it.
Paralysis: A Paralyzed Pokémon will have it´s Speed cut by 50%. This is important for neutering speedy opponents and severely limiting their ability to even attack, as there is only a 50% of them even being able to move, as they can be ´fully paralyzed´ and unable to move. Many attacks have a possible side effect of paralysis. Pokémon with an active effect that blocks status are safe from paralysis.
Sleep: A Sleeping Pokémon will be unable to move for anywhere from 1 to 5 turns, unless it is self inflicted with Rest, where it will last for exactly 2 turns. Pokémon with an ability that prevents sleep or that are under the effect of something that blocks sleep can avoid being put to bed temporarily.
Freeze: A frozen Pokémon will be unable to move for an unknown amount of time. It can be caused by most any Ice move. A Pokémon can be defrosted automatically by being hit with a fire attack.
Confusion: A Confused Pokémon has a 50% to hurt themselves instead of attacking. The damage a Pokémon can do to itself depends on their own Attack and Defense, however STAB, weakness and resistance. It is not a ´physical´ status, like Sleep, Paralyzation, Burn, and Poison. So you can be inflicted with Confusion, another non-´Physical", and the ´Physical" ailments. Confusion can be solved by simply switching the Pokémon.
Infatuation: An infatuated Pokémon has a 50% chance of being ´immobilized by love" and thus being unable to attack the opponent. You can only become infatuated with a Pokémon of the opposite gender, Pokémon is not sensitive to homosexuality). Personally, I think that whatever a Male Pikachu and another Male Pikachu do in the privacy of their own grass field is their own damn business. And if they want to adopt a little Pichu and raise it, well I´ll be damned if I wouldn´t let them do that too. Infatuation is yet another non-´physical´ status. Infatuation can be solved by simply switching the Pokémon.
There is a very limited way of curing or preventing status on your Pokémon. First, you can cure status with moves like Rest, Heal Bell, Refresh and Aromatherapy. You can also prevent status with moves like Safeguard. Some abilities, as I mentioned, can prevent status. On the whole, inflicting status Is an effective way to wear down your opponents team, and it should be noted that when building a team, you might want to consider a Pokémons) that can handle status of varying types.
Up to this point, we´ve been talking about battling itself, and while knowing the what is important, it is also crucial that you understand the why. Why do certain attacks go before other attacks? How do stats affect the game? What are different about physical moves and special moves? These are all questions I seek to answer. Understanding the game´s subtle mechanics is absolutely integral to ever pass on to higher levels of battling against veteran players. It takes more than fine strategy, it also takes being able to analyze the battle up to this point and know what type of Pokémon your opponent is using, and understanding what type of Pokémon you need to run.
In the realm of competitive Pokémon, we live and die by damage. We have already covered various instances where a Pokémon´s type comes into play, but there are more to moves than that. For instance, previously, in generations of the Gameboy Advance era and those before it, a moves type decided whether or not it was ´physical" or ´special". Since the advent of Diamond and Pearl, moves have been split as physical and special regardless of type, so moves that seemed physical like, Fire Punch, are now actually physical, instead of special like before when all Fire moves were deemed such. Why is this important? Well, to explain, ´physical" moves do damage based on the opponent´s Defense and the user´s Attack stat. ´Special" moves do damage based on the opponent´s Special Defense and the user´s Special Attack stat. Pretty simple, right? Well, it should be. This is important now more than ever because it offers certain Pokémon a chance to utilize their good stats in a certain area with moves that previously, did not do damage based on that stat. Like say, Kingler could never utilize it´s stunning Attack stat because previously, Water had always been a special attacking type. But now with the split of Physical and Special within types, it can utilize specifically Physical Water-type moves like Crabhammer instead of Special based ones like Surf.
Speaking of Stats, those effect the game very heavily as you would expect. Here is a brief over view of the different stats if you did not know them already.-HP: Stands for Hit Points. This is the amount of damage you Pokémon can take before fainting.
-Attack: Dictates the power of your Physical attacks
-Defense: Dictates how you defend against Physical attacks
-Special Attack: Dictates the power of your Special Attacks
-Special Defense: Dictates how you defend against Physical attacks
-Speed: How fast your Pokémon is.
It comes into play when deciding which Pokémon moves first in battle. Having a higher speed then the opponent means you moves before them, unless your opponent has a Priority attack. IF both opponents use Priority attacks of equal priority, then the faster one will go first. The opposite is true if Trick Room is in effect, where slower Pokémon move first. However, priority still beats out Trick Room´s effect.
Evasion: Your Pokémon´s ability to dodge attacks. The higher this invisible rating is, the more often your Pokémon will dodge an attack. This generally rarely comes into play except when a Pokémon´s ability heightens it´s evasion under certain conditions or because of an item it is holding, because moves that boost your Pokémon´s evasiveness are banned, Double Team, Minimize).
But wait there is more to stats then just that. There were things introduced in the advance era called EV´s, which stands for Effort Values. These seemingly invisible numbers work like so: every Pokémon in game that you beat has a special Effort Value applied to it that equates to 1, 2 or 3. These EV´s correlate to a particular stat, except Evasion) and for every 4 you gain in that stat, you get a point added to that particular stat when your stats balance out during leveling up. You can have a max of 255 points in a single stat, but since the highest divisible of 4 in 255 is 252, it is best not to waste those last three points. You can also only have a maximum of 510 EV´s in a Pokémon´s entirety. Since most competitive Pokémon is played on a battling simulator, you don´t have to go through the trouble of actually train these Pokémon and having them fight Gastly to raise their special attacking power. EV´s are extremely important to competitive battling because it allows you to tweak your Pokémon´s stats and possibly have it fulfill different roles than that of the same Pokémon that you opponent uses. Like, take two Gyarados for instance. Two Gyarados can run completely different sets based on their EV spreads, as one could play more defensively while the other plays more aggressively.
EV´s are important to learn about for many reasons. For one, it is integral to the Speed stat and outrunning many other Pokémon you will be facing, should that be your goal). Using EV´s to hit exactly the speed you desire is important, so you can focus on another area with the rest of your points. Secondly, it is also important for deciphering what type of set your opponent is running. Based on the amount of damage you or your opponent does, you should be able to get a ballpark read out of what type of EV´s they are running, and hopefully, what their set hopes to accomplish. From the previous examples, knowing the speed of your opponent could reveal if it is holding a Choice Scarf item to increase it´s speed, i.e., your opponents Pokémon moved before you without the use of a Priority move, and you should be faster than it. So it must be increasing it´s speed with a hold item). Or with Gyarados, if you hardly do any damage to it with a particular attack, then you should know that it is a bulkier set, and possibly, one of your opponent´s major walls, and that breaking it down might lead to victory, more on ´Walls´ later).
Yet another important ´invisible´ number we encounter in the game is IV´s, or Individual Values. These are numbers that Pokémon are born or obtained with, and cannot be tampered with. You may have noticed from your beginning days as a trainer that you can catch two Pokémon of the same species and level, and they will have different stats. This is because of IV´s. A Pokémon can have up to 31IV´s in each stat, except in some cases with event Pokémon, as they are not hatched, and altering an offspring´s IV´s is influenced through breeding). In competitive Pokémon battle simulators, every Pokémon has 31 IV´s automatically. The only time you really need to worry about them outside of non-cheating device aided game play in the actual cartridge games is when you want to utilize a specific type of Hidden Power. Hidden Power is a move that has a base damage that is decided by a Pokémon´s IV´s, but its attacking type is also decided by the Pokémon´s IV combination. There are multiple combinations of IV values that allow for every single type of move, from Grass, to Fire, to Steel and to Dark, everything. This is integral if you have a Pokémon that need´s say, and Ice-type move, but doesn´t learn any Ice-type attacks normally. Since nearly every Pokémon can learn Hidden Power, just slap that on, adjust the IV´s to the correct combination for the desired type and boom, you have an Ice-type move. Hidden Power technically counts as a ´Normal" type move, but you will only receive STAB based on the type it is dictated to be by the IV combination, and only of course, if you´re Pokémon shares that type).
Yet another aspect of the game that effects a Pokémon´s statistics is it´s Nature. Depending on the Nature of a Pokémon, it will boost the growth of one statistic, and negatively affect another, or do nothing at all, but that is generally not advised as it´s also better to boost a stat to aid the strategy your Pokémon is focusing on. Here are all the natures, located here:Adamant = +ATK/-Sp.ATK
Lonely = +ATK/-DEF
Naughty = +ATK/-Sp.Def
Brave = +ATK/-SPD
Bold = +DEF/-ATK
Impish = +DEF/-Sp.ATK
Lax = +DEF/-Sp.Def
Relaxed = +Def/-SPD
Modest = +Sp.ATK/-Atk
Mild = +Sp.ATK/-DEF
Rash = +Sp.ATK/-Sp.Def
Quiet = +Sp.AtK/-SPD
Calm = +Sp.DEF/-ATK
Careful = +Sp.DEF/-Sp.ATK
Gentle = +Sp.DEF/-DEF
Sassy = +Sp.DEF/-SPD
Jolly = +SPD/-ATK
Timid = +SPD/-Sp.ATK
Hasty = +SPD/-Def
Naive = +SPD/-Sp.Def
Bashful, Quirky, Hardy, Serious, Docile = Neutral
There is also one other little game mechanic known as PP, or Power Points. A Power Point is spent for a move each time you use it, and when you run out of Power Points, you can no longer use that move. If none of your moves have any more Power Points, you will have no more usable moves, and you´ll only be able to use a Struggle attack. This is a Normal-type move that doesn´t do very good damage and damages your Pokémon in the process.
Every Pokémon has a special ability, and they have since the advance era games. It´s important to learn each Pokémon´s ability, that way you know what you´re getting into. A Pokémon´s ability also almost always has a ton to do with what type of set the Pokémon runs, especially if the Pokémon in question has two abilities to choose from.
Here is an abridged list of the abilities your most likely to come into contact with in the OU metagame:
Intimidate: This drops the opponent´s attack by one stage upon switching in. Usually seen on Gyarados and Salamence.
Flash Fire: The user absorbs Fire attacks and their Fire-type attacks are boosted by 50%. Seen in OU on Heatran.
Levitate: The user is immune to Ground-type attacks, Spikes, Toxic-Spikes. Seen on the likes of Azelf, Rotom, Gengar, Bronzong, and lots of other stuff.
Pressure: The opposing Pokémon spends one more PP when they use an attack. Good for stalling. Seen on Suicune and Zapdos.
Overgrow/Blaze/Torrent/Swarm: These abilities raise the power of a certain move type, Grass, Fire, Water, and Bug respectively). The first three are found exclusively on every starter Pokémon. Swarm is found on the likes of Heracross and Scizor on occasion.
Technician: This ability doubles the base power of moves with a base power of 60 or below. Seen mainly on Scizor.
No Guard: This ability is exclusive to Machamp, and it keeps it´s attacks from missing.
Of course, there are many more, but these are the most important ones that you will encounter often.
Ah yes, Items. In a high stakes battle you had on your first play through of a Pokémon game, you might have relied on a Full Restore to get your out of a jam. Healing your prized Pokémon, he was healthy enough o get you through the rest of the battle and send your opponent back to the minor leagues. However, in the world of competitive battling, this is an impossibility.
On WiFi and on battling simulators, you may have noticed that there is no bag for you to reach into and grab some medicine out of for your Pokémon. That´s because you cannot use items in Pokémon battles like this, just like you couldn´t in Pokémon Stadium on your beloved N64.
However, all is not bleak items still can be used, but differently. Yes, Hold Items can be put onto your Pokémon for individual use. These items range from Berries to Bands, and they can augment your Pokémon´s abilities and capabilities drastically.
Rather than have you wade through every item in the game, I have compiled an abridged list and description of most any major item you´ll encounter in competitive play. Of course there are more, but for the sake of brevity, we´ll stick to the most seen.
Choice Band: Restricts a Pokémon to the use of one attack, but increases their Attack power by 50%
Choice Specs: Restricts a Pokémon to the use of one attack, but increases their Special Attack power by 50%
Choice Scarf: Restricts a Pokémon to the use of one attack, but increases their Speed by 50%
Leftovers: Heals the holder for 1/16th of their max HP at the end of every turn, rounded up).
Life Orb: Increases the strength of a Pokémon´s attacks Physical AND Special) by 30%, but inflicts recoil damage equivalent to 1/10th of the Pokémon´s HP, rounded down).
Type Resist Berries: There are many varieties, but these berries weaken the power of a certain type that is also super effective to your Pokémon by 50%. One time use.
Stat Increasing Berries: There is a variety of these, and they increase a particular stat by one stage. One time use.
Lum Berry: Cures status inflicted on the Pokémon. One time use.
So, with all of this new information, you might be asking yourself, ´What type of team should I build?". Well, to be honest, I can´t tell you. There are many different ways to play the game of Pokémon, and many roads to the same victory. Some feel some roads are easier than others of course, but in the end, it´s up to you. Listed below is a few of the prevalent strategies in today´s game used by noobs and veterans alike.
Stall - Probably the most successfully used play style of all time, and has been a common style since the days of G/S/C. Stall is based primarily on the use of entry hazards like Spikes and other indirect attacks to do damage to the opponent and wear the team down. The team is usually made up of Pokémon with very bulky builds and a lot of key resistances, while also simultaneously being able to set up indirect and passive damage situations. Pokémon like Blissey and Forretress are commonly found on stall teams simply because they are hard to take down. Relies very little on prediction and luck.
Hyper Offense - The polar opposite of Stall. This strategy is all about being entirely offensive and using key residences to allow of Pokémon to set up and beat down the opponents team. While Stall games are usually very long, Hyper Offense makes for short games. Like Stall, it relies very little on prediction and luck. Pokémon commonly found on HO teams are Salamence and Lucario.
Balance - What most new players play when they begin to get serious. Balance is a very prototypical in nature. The idea of the team is to have your lead, then a physical wall, a special wall, a physical sweeper, a special sweeper, and possibly a support Pokémon filling a cleric role or a mixed sweeper or a more general wall or something. This is a fine jumping off point for many rookies, however, it can sometimes be very limited in play, as each role is usually being fulfilled by a single Pokémon, and losing just one could really hamper your play and ability to win.
Bulky Offense - Yet another fairly safe way of play. Bulky Offense teams are made up of naturally bulky Pokémon, like Gyarados, who don´t take too much damage in many situations, but can still hit reasonably hard with their attacks. Teams like this generally have the goal of finding the perfect harmony between attacking power and defensive power.
Weather Based Teams - The use of weather is nothing new. Sometimes, one can build teams around the use of a particular weather condition. Sunlight, Rain, Hail and Sandstorm, all have legitimate strategies attached to them, so much so that you might consider building a whole team around it. Weather teams also seem to be palatable to new players as the concept is incredibly easy to grasp. Using Pokémon with the Swift Swim ability, doubles speed on rain) is obvious to even new players trying to build a Rain Dance centered team.
Of course there are more play style variations out there. Just be careful not to fall into the trap most new players do, and that´s playing with gimmicks. Gimmicks are fun for less-than-serious play, but quite often are not ideal for a serious competitive environment. Before you use a certain strategy, ask yourself, is this the most efficient team goal I can come up with? If not, you might be using a gimmick. Like say, purposely using a certain Pokémon that is all around horrible, and it´s using a weird move set to boot that another Pokémon can do better while having better stats. That´s a gimmick.
This is not to say using some of your favorite Pokémon are gimmicky, per se, and its also not to say that gimmicks are a bad thing, it´s just to say that if you ever want to move on into higher levels of play, then you´ll have to drop your odd Gravity team or your Choice Band Wigglytuff. It hurts, I know. I had to leave my Dunsparce behind in G/S/C, but it´s for the best, I promise.
There are a couple of rules in competitive battling. Most often, they are known as ´Clauses". Clauses are rules you check off in a little box when you challenge somebody, establish with your opponent before hand in a WiFi battle, or that are applied automatically on the ladders of battle simulators. Here are all the rules you are likely to encounter in your travels in the world of competitive battling.
Sleep Clause - No more than one Pokémon can be put to sleep by the opponent´s effects. This does not included self induced sleep, like Rest. For example, one of my Pokémon uses Rest and goes to sleep. The next turn I switch out while my opponent switches into Breloom. I don´t switch out and instead let his Breloom use Spore to put my Pokémon to sleep. I then switch in another Pokémon as he attacks, damaging it. He cannot attempt to put my Pokémon to sleep, but my new Pokémon can still use rest freely.
Evasion Clause - The use of moves that increase a Pokémon´s evasion are banned. Specifically, these moves are Double Team and Minimize. Many people feel that moves like that reduce the game to sheer luck. Note however, that you can still lower the evasion of the opponent with moves like Defog.
Freeze Clause - Freeze is a very annoying status that could potentially permanently cripple a Pokémon. Freeze Clause dictates that no more than 1 Pokémon can be frozen at any given time. However, this is difficult to enforce on WiFi, as a 2nd freeze could happen accidentally, so normally, the match is called to a restart if it´s super-serious.
OHKO Clause - One-Hit KO moves are banned entirely. Namely: Horn Drill, Fissure, Sheer Cold, and Guillotine. These moves are incredibly cheap, and are seen by many as reducing the game to unfair luck.
Species Clause - A player may not have more than one of the same species of Pokémon on a team. This is so foul play is lessened. Having two, say, Gallade, allows you to switch them and possibly confuse your opponent as to which one runs which type of set. It also keeps from abusing one particularly cheap Pokémon. Imagine an Ubers team made entirely of Wobbuffett. Hell, imagine one with two. Yeah. That´s reason enough.
Self-KO Clause - Moves that would knock out both you and your opponent´s last Pokémon are not allowed, like Destiny Bond. Recoil does not activate self-KO Clause, and instead ends the game in a tie, unless it´s on ladder, in which case, the last attacker will win.
Item Clause - This is not a standard competitive clause and is not implemented on Ladder matches, as it doesn´t really make the game unfair. However, it can still be played with in challenges and it is standard in Nintendo Sponsored tournaments.
Soul Dew Clause - Since Latias has been allowed in standard OU play, it´s special hold item, Soul Dew, has been banned from standard play as not to make it broken again.
Little Cup Clause - Every Pokémon is set to Level 5. That is the level that Little cup I played on.Finally... Respect. Say ´good game´ or the equivalent whenever you can, and always be a good sport. Respect is the name of the game. Getting bent out of shape about something like Pokémon is just silly, no?
So, what should you expect?
To lose. Expect to lose from time to time. A lot in your early days. But never, ever get discouraged. Almost every good player had to go through that, and it takes experience to have the basics and advanced ideas in the game to be hard coded into your brain. Pretty soon, you´ll be able to just look at the battle log as the battle is going on and know exactly what your opponent might be trying to do, but again, it comes with experience. Defeat will sting, but it isn´t the kindest of learning curves.
If you read this article, then you have a limited grasp on the game itself, but that will change with time. As for right now, just remember to ask yourself things during a battle, make sure your paying attention, and it should eventually become second nature.
Hopefully, you learn to have as much fun with the game as many people do, and I´d like to leave you with a few more tips.-It´s Pokémon. Take it as seriously as you would anything related to something we became smitten with as children. Not serious business. It´s just a game.
-Losing is part of the game. Even the best of players lose once in awhile. If you can´t handle a loss, then this isn´t the game for you, because it´s going to happen.
-Luck is just part of the game, whether you like it or not. While it´s not exactly a gambling man´s game, it doesn´t have it´s fair share of things you might find ´cheap" or whatever.
-Learning to predict your opponent will come with experience. Drawing the opponent´s hand and similar techniques are things that also come with experience. Just because some move was or wasn´t obvious to you doesn´t mean you´ll never get any better. Just get back in the fray.
-Take breaks. Quite often, people can get burnt out on any competitive thing. Sometimes we apply to much pressure to each individual match. When you get burnt out, your play might suffer and you might become frustrated, possibly taking it out on other users, or rage quitting entirely. Remember to be more mature about something like Pokémon.
-Don´t be afraid to showcase your skill, or even lack thereof. You never know what will happen.
-Join a tutoring program, or maybe make friends with another user. Don´t be shy, we are all joined by a common love for magic monsters that live in tiny balls on our belts. There shouldn´t be anything to be embarrassed about when both of you are playing Pokémon.
-If you are having trouble with team building, try looking at some RMT threads, Rate My Teams). Many really good ones will go through their team building process, and you can get an idea of what you should do. Try borrowing teams if you can´t seem to make yours work yet. At least then, you´ll get battling experience, and as you become more familiar with what the metagame is like, you´ll be able to build your own team. Just remember to never take credit for a team you didn´t build yourself, under any circumstances.
-Make use of the resources provided to you by various communities.
-Remember: that it is virtually impossible to cover every single threat in Pokémon when making a team, so don´t worry if you don´t have a direct answer for everything. That´s just part of the fun and challenge of Pokémon. Considering that there are well over 400 Pokémon out there, You and no one else is really expected to be able to best every single one of them. This is what we call Six Slot Syndrome.
-Finally, again, have fun. Being at the top of a ladder is only as cool as you think it is. At its heart, Pokémon is about having fun and building friendship and communities. Being number 1 is nice, but personally, I´d rather be having fun doing what I like to do, so don´t worry about having to be the best ever. Nobody is asking you to be.
I hope this guide was the least bit helpful to you in your journey. Hopefully, you learned a little bit about the basics and Battling 101 stuff, and while it may seem like a lit at first, you´ll pick it up in time. Most importantly, I hope I effectively eased any worries or doubts you might have had getting into these waters. Pokémon is an enriching experience that has brought many people many a good experience, and I wish the same to you, young trainer. Now get out there and battle!