|Writer CuteBun at 2019-07-19 at 4:57 AM||1|
So you know how to build a team or copied one that was successful and wonder why you’re still losing? Well you’re in luck bumble bee because those concepts will help you improve your battling skills to get the maximum out of the teams you’re using.
One common mistake that people do is to think that because they have pokemon A that counters pokemon B in his opponent’s team, he’ll be able to handle it fine. As you probably experienced it, it doesn’t always go as planned and you can’t always create the perfect window for that scenario. The guide is meant to give you the tools to turn the tides in your favor and regain momentum.
So you have Raikou with Hidden Power Ice out against Garchomp. That’s the scenario you’d like to have to take it out but wait… There is Chansey in the back ready to switch in and punish your attack. By predicting that your opponent will switch into the fat pink blob, you can use Volt Switch instead and get to counter-pick the switch by putting forward a physical hard hitter. Now we’re in a situation where Chansey is against Choice Band Azumarill but the fat pink blob’s player has many tricks up his sleeve by having a tangrowth and hippowdon in the back. Azumarill’s player now needs to pick in between Waterfall or Play rough to hit Chansey staying in (unlikely) or the Pokemon that will switch in.
What you need to remember from this is quite simple; hitting what is in front of you is not always the solution. You need to be able to understand what your team can offer, what your opponent’s team can do and adapt accordingly.
So your opponent is reading you like a book and keeps predicting your moves? Start mixing up your plays. One thing that throws off people a lot is by playing like a brand new player. Let’s say you’re playing Arcanine and your opponent sends out Analytic Starmie. You could switch back to your Tangrowth but your opponent tends to hit on the switch rather than what is in front of him/her. Starmie could very likely be going for Ice Beam to kill Tangrowth which would really put you in a bad situation. What then? Wild Charge on Arcanine to tank the Ice Beam with ease and then OHKO Starmie.
Being able to mix up your reactions will prevent your opponent from reading you easily. If you don’t know anything about a player, try to gather some knowledge on how he plays during the game to switch your playstyle accordingly.
So let’s say you switched into your relaxed Tangrowth with Hidden Power Ice to deal with Azumarill. Your opponent has Scizor in the back and you have Magnezone, trying to figure out how to find a way to trap him. You expect him to switch into Scizor and U-turn to counter Tangrowth but you decide to double switch right away into Magnezone without using any move on Tangrowth. You then end up Scizor VS Magnezone.
Double switching is about switching twice in a row trying to force a favorable matchup. It is a risky play, especially if your opponent just attacks what is in front but can be very rewarding.
This is a way to remove a threat to your team by luring it in to then punish it. Double switching is a good way to lure specific threats but you have other ways to do so. Using Hidden Power Fire on Tangrowth to lure in Scizor and kill it or using Garchomp with Flamethrower/Fire Blast to take out Skarmory are good examples. If you identify something that can be a problem to your team and especially your win condition, preparing a lure is a great way to deal with it.
Team building can sometimes (often) be a headache and it’s impossible to make a perfect unbeatable one. That being said, preparing properly to face specific challenges is a crucial part of it that will make you more successful while battling.
Volt Switch and U-Turn allows your team to be more fluid and switch around with less risk than double switching. It also allows you to break Focus Sash while counter-picking your opponent. It can be very useful in bulkier teams but becomes almost mandatory for more offensive ones relying on getting momentum to breach through those pesky walls.
Using a slow Volt-Turn user means that you can bring something else safely without taking damage. Something like Scizor or Forretress will very likely go second against most matchups and can be a way to bring hard hitters that are more frail but impact the game greatly.
Using a fast Volt-Turn user allows you to break sash to then counter-pick, do some damage to then switch into something bulkier to take the damage in its place or keep the momentum. Since most fast ones are hard hitters but more frail, it gives them a way out. Hydreigon or Mienshao are good examples as they can dish out a lot of damage but may be forced out by bulkier things.
This is a niche technique used only in Hyper Offense. In order to grab momentum right away, they use a Pokemon meant to die that will be able to lay entry hazards and often use taunt as well to prevent hazards on their side. They will usually be used with Focus Sash beside things like Skarmory already equipped with Sturdy. Side note: suicide lead Skarmory has a different set than one used as a Wall which includes Custap Berry, Brave Bird, Spikes, Stealth Rock, Taunt and has low bulk with 252 speed, 252 attack. Smeargle and Aerodactyl are other good examples of suicide leads meant to gain momentum.
It can be counter-intuitive to give away a Pokemon at the beginning of the game but, by doing so, you set an environment where you can hit easier kills on switch or straight up OHKOs. Keep in mind, with Hyper Offense, your goal is not to keep your Pokemons alive but to keep momentum.
Your team may be sometimes weak to entry hazards either if it’s because you’re using Dragonite that would fear Stealth Rocks or if Sticky Webs causes you trouble. On top of your main Defog user, you can have a panic defog on something that is used for other purposes. Choice Band Scizor or Scarfed Hydreigon are good examples as they will be used mainly for other reasons but can still hold Defog as backup.
I hope this guide was useful and feel free to contact me on P1’s forum or Ingame (CuteBun) to send suggestions on what mechanic you’d like to learn about!
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