Gen 2 Adv. guide to competitive battling/team building: the shit that people don't tell you

#1
Part 1: http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51778 (outdated, but still good)
Part 2: http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65122
Part 3: http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=81313
Part 4: http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84227
Part 5: http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84449

Part 6: http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3447576 best one

One thing you have to drop is the idea of "new" team. If you're not using a certain move, or a certain pokemon because it would be "copying" someone else's idea and not it being an original creation, that's idiotic. Between the fundamental sets and strats (restbell, curselax, sleep talk) developed by the 00-02 foundational players, and vil/celia/bob/whatever developing most of the defensive conceptual shit, and my developing everything else, there's very little, if any "new" left. The concept of "new" teams revolves around a "new" idea, of which there really aren't any. Changing surf to hydro pump, or cloyster to forretress, doesn't really destroy the core foundational function of the team, so for all intents and purposes, it's still the same team. That's why if I try to "rate" teams, I really just end up giving them a worser version of a team I already made.

Huge fucking wall of text will ensue. This guide will not spoonfeed you answers. I lie, it will.

You've probably all either learned GSC from "older players" that think they were the shit just because they played 02-03, or yourself just through spectating and reading a couple articles. That's great and all, but not all "elders" have the same credibility. Only a few, very few, have shown a grasp in understanding the game and its limits beyond than your average GSC player today. So if you're learning from these guys, the info they pass on is no more credible than that advice given by most of the trash GSC players that developed from today's "3rd gen and on" players, except maybe you'll get a history lesson or two. An ignorant message often iterated by these trash players:
"lol gsc is just stall
ez meta
my own very original team was the best
raikou/miltank/snorlax/skarmory/cloyster/suicune
lol 198-0
i has big peen"

While I was decent way back when (03? Whenever GSC was dominant), I admit, I didn't really start understanding GSC as in-depth as some of the more elite players (ViL, havoc, and Chris, to name a few that I've come to respect). I mean, I understood the typechart, counters, movesets, prediction, all the basic necessities that the average shitty player knows, and not surprisingly it's more than enough to win a good percentage of my matches. I "sucked" back then, but I still won. Point is, I would never, EVER take my own advice from the previous me. Odds are, these "elders" you refer to were probably people like me, who thought they knew everything there is to know, houses a very respectable win ratio against even the best players, but in reality have very limited knowledge of the game.

A quick word about team building: jack of all trades, master of none. Over time, you'll find that a "balanced" team, so to speak, would ultimately be less effective than a team dedicated to its own synergies. This is based on my philosophy that by controlling tempo you have the best chance of coming out with a win. If you plan on playing a fast-paced game, you shouldn't add shit like a spinner or a beller. Likewise, playing a slower paced game, you probably shouldn't go without these. Of course, this doesn't mean a stall team must run Spikes, or should for that matter, since remember, a stall team just has to not lose. Spiking is actually considered offensive if it plays a focal point on a team.

With a "balanced" team, you end up losing to teams you could've beaten if you just focused on one aspect. You get outsped by offensive teams and with your lack of true defensive walls, you are faced with a losing proposition. Against a stall team, you lack the offensive weapons necessary to break that stall and ultimately lose the battle as time wears on.

In GSC [but applies in general], there are three categories that every team will ultimately fall under: stall, offensive, and fail. Stall is self-defined. All successful stall teams are extremely similar. The goal here is to not lose (note: this is the ONLY goal for a successful stall team) and that's accomplished through covering, or making ineffective, as many offensive threats as possible . Here's a short compilation of common threats:
Perish trapping (special attention to Thundermissy)
All forms of non-drum Snorlax (there's no guaranteed answer to Drumlax)
Mixsweepers
Joltwak
Tentacruel
Charizard
Cursegon2 and curse anything tbh
Spikers (deadly with a ghost type/pursuiter)
Baton Passers
Exeggutor
Zapdos
Spikes shuffling Raikou/Skarm/Cune
Explosion
Growtheons
As many variations of Gengar as possible
Offensive teams are those that have a chance, akin possibility, of beating any combination of Pokemon through its own offense (doesn't need a freeze/CH whatever). However, an offensive team doesn't necessarily have to be quick, it just needs a win condition. Teams focused on spikes can be considered offensive teams, but these teams should not be mistakened for just some shitty stall team with spikes splashed in. These teams should run a ghost-type/pursuiter as well as a spiker (obviously). It also MUST have pokemon capable of abusing spikes through indirect/direct methods of forcing switches (raikou and skarm are the best at it, suicune a distant 3rd). If it relies on toxic, then it should have Toxic on different Pokemon so that it maximizes status spread. This means you must be able to Toxic different stuff; Toxic on Tyranitar and Snorlax is the same as running Toxic on one because they see the same switch-in: Suicune. It's also a good idea to run ample offensive Pokemon to force enough switches for Spikes/Toxic to make a difference. Offensive are the hardest teams to build, not that it has any competition though. A fail team is either a defensive team that lacks both the longevity and the pure walling power of that of stalls, or an offensive minded team that simply lacks the correct weapons to break through stalls. The majority of teams you see will fall under this category. I'll even go as far as to say the classic Celia team falls under offense (spiking) gearing towards fail (slow as hell). A pure stall can last just as long as him/her, and he/she's got a huge mixsweeper weakness in addition to Drumlax.

Stall teams dominate[d] GSC, no one can argue with that. It's pretty much always been true. Why? They're easy to play and yield the maximum results with minimal prediction and skill (hey its jolteon, go raikou; hey its snorlax go skarm; hey its something that cant hurt me, toxic; etc). To help its case even further, [from what I can remember] most teams were built with the "balanced" (fail) philosophy in mind. A player's thinking often goes down like this: well this team has a glaring weakness to a, so I'll throw in Pokemon b with moves c and d to cover; Pokemon e might give me some problems, so I'll just replace move d with move g; throw on a spiker, Snorlax, and a phazer and I'm done. These teams almost always lacked the offense to break stall, and because it started off as some offensive team, it also lacks the defense to outlast true stalls. These teams often resort to try and out-stall the stalls, which resulted in the classic generalization of all GSC as being just that: stall.

But just stand back and think for a second: what is the mindset of stall teams? To not lose. Rather than trying to win, their entire goal is just to "not lose". Fail. So how could a team that doesn't even have a plan to winning possibly win, and with such frequency? The answer: stall teams generally face other stall/fail teams who also don't have any method of winning, just not losing. Because the stall team is dedicated to not losing, and the fail team is just partially dedicated to not losing, the stall team wins in not losing. The truth is, a stall team can never win in its own right. You can beat yourself by simply not executing your offense correctly (that's assuming your team doesn't fall under the fail category), or you can be outskilled in terms of prediction, but you can never flatout lose to a stall team.

With that being said, a stall team played aggressively is extremely dangerous in that it minimizes the time the offensive team has execute its offense (or in other terms, when they control the tempo). Along the same lines, if you're playing stall slowly against the offensive team (e.g. setting up Toxic/Spikes/other fail moves), all you're doing is giving the offense a chance to set up (in a general sense, not SD/BD/stat-uppers) and extending the time to which offensive teams have control.

Now here's a compilation of random posts I made that I deem somewhat useful:

On the topic of creativity

I'm not saying it's a bad thing, actually, yes I am. Different sets/pokemon that serve different purposes are awesome, but when you're just taking an overplayed set on an extremely overplayed Pokemon and putting it on something different, that's boring and uncreative. You don't see people running p-trap Haunter, or Luna Smoochum. And when people ran Curse Ursaring, no one ran around deeming it "OMFG THAT'S FUCKING CREATIVE, NOT LIKE CURSELAX AT ALL".
On people throwing spikers on the team "just to annoy"

In any event, Spikers shouldn't be used unless it plays a key part of the team's strategy. It should never be used as a mere 12.5% nuisance per switch, but rather a key focal point. Spikes is an entire pokemon slot completely wasted otherwise; you can kid yourselves all you want about how Cloyster can surf/ib too, but the fact remains that surf/ib coming from Cloyster is a joke and nothing more than a false illusion of usefulness. You can lie to yourself and hide behind the fact that forretress is a great physical wall with great defense and typing, but guess what -- it can't do the key thing most physical walls can: p-haze. And while he walls Marowak/Rhydon decently, so what, he can't do shit to them either. "Winning" and merely "not losing" are two completely difference concepts. And if you're using it primarily as a p-passer/spinner, you know damn well Starmie fits the bill hundreds of times better.
On controlling tempo being the most important aspect of battling

In a match between an offensive team versus a stall, the situation always starts off favoring the offensive team. ALWAYS. He controls the tempo, whereas the defensive team plays correspondingly. This must be true on principle alone. Stall teams, over time, will be in control -- again true on principle alone. How quickly this transformation occurs depends on how well each team is built, varying factors of luck, and of course playstyle and skill. Controlling tempo is the ultimate form of skill in Pokemon. He who controls the tempo controls the game. Subsequently, he who controls the game controls the outcome. If you can force a tempo that your opponent isn't accustomed to, you'll get out more times than not. This is why a stall team played aggressively is quite possibly the most dangerous team in you can face.
In Sir Chris's epic topic
To sum up his post:

1. Have the right pokemon with the right moves (this I agree to wholeheartedly, not that it's logical to disagree with anyway)
2. Be aggressive (if you were passive, you wouldn't be able to break stalls on principle alone)
3. Be lucky (heh)

ST Suicune + ST Raikou walls every [used] non-setup sweeper (Dragonite, Marowak, Nidoking, Rhydon, Machamp, Tyranitar, Electabuzz, Mixlax, Gengar, Jynx etc) aka mix sweeper, bar luck and SD Snorlax, and luck beats everything anyways. Also beats old stuff like Druidcruel/Drumzard. Growltank can generally wall every curser. SD-ers are generally frail and/or lack recovery and die to spikes/whatever eventually. GSC offense get the short end of the stick.

Now I'm not an advocate of stall teams, they're the best display of a lack of skill in every metagame. What is the purpose of "stall" teams? To not lose. That's a pretty weak objective for a team. That means, they don't even attempt to actually "win", but merely not "lose". A series of systematic A-B switches shows no skill whatsoever. Not to downplay certain players, but this is the reason why players like GSC Elite, while may rack up wins against better players, but still demonstrates his overall inferiority as a player.

Stall teams are built in a way that it attempts to cover most of the metagame sets and attempt to wall them with superior stats or playing types; this is basic knowledge. Using mix sweepers basically let you claw at every part of that defense, harder in some areas. That's great on paper, but "jack of all trades, master of none". It's better to focus on one part of their defense and continually claw at it and weaken it. Forget the other 5, focus on that one pokemon because once it goes down, the team is no longer a stall team to you. The first thing that should come to mind at this point is Explosion; if not, stop reading.

Working on a bait-kill concept, you should be looking towards exploders that can bait out that specific "wall" and to kill. Using the examples in the first paragraph, if Raikou is giving your Tentacruel/Dragonite problems, use Gengar to bait-explode it. Suicune a problem? Use curselix. Zapdos? Use Egg. Starmie? Use Cloyster. And so on. Of course, there's always some risk involved, namely that random switch-out.

Drumlax ran alongside a HB-er is another great combo. "Turbo drumming" beats Skarmorys. Drum, attack, Rest, Bell and repeat. Skarmory can't keep up, unless they run a heal beller and follow your pattern. This is where a 13 DV Sing Blissey comes in (208 doesn't outspeed anything important anyway). It lets you sleep the opposing beller, thus ending all hopes of keeping up, unless your opponent runs two heal bellers.

My favorite stall breaker by far is Vaporeon with AA, Growth, Surf, Rest. This was a set I ran back in '04, when growtheons were banned. I used it to recordwhore in Battledome :) Not sure how original it is, but I've never seen its use prior to my own, so I guess I can put a claim on it. Clear all electrics and it sweeps. Not even Drumlax can switch into it. It outpaces curselax for the kill and I run one of my teams around setting it up. GSC is a physical dominated game and subsequently, stall teams generally lack coverage on the special side of the spectrum. Growthers in general, but they're all pretty damn fragile except for Vap.

Drummers in general can break stalls (but for all intents and purposes, there are only two plausible drummers: Snorlax and Clefable). They set up much to quickly for stall teams. This isn't 100% reliable, but it's one of the better options.

Just a few specifics, but you should get the concept from the first [important] paragraph of my rant (the one outlining the structure of stall teams). Mix sweepers being able to break stalls are just misconceptions as of one month ago.
On people thinking mix sweepers alone > stalls

Simple, dynamic offense will rarely beat out a well-built and well-played stall. I've ran 6 mix-sweepers to a great deal of success, 23 attacks mind you. Guaranteed <50 turn games; good fun, but IB/ST Suicune (which I recommend on stall teams) gives it quite a bit of trouble if you mispredict the explosion with Snorlax and get bad luck with Thunders vs the sleeping cune. Generally, if you run one, two, or even three mix-sweepers, you'll fall up short on breaking true stalls without outside help.
 
#2
I'll format this if anyone wants me too, but I doubt anyone cares that much about GSC anymore except an old mug like me.
 
#3
Great post Borat!

BTW, I've already read all of these posts you quoted (as you said me to read ALL your posts, and I did it).

So, if the best teams in GSC are the agressivity stall ones, could you make a step-by-step guide of how to make one?
 
#5
I didn't say aggressive stall teams are the best teams, partially because aggressive defines playstyle, but that they're the most dangerous to play against. You have the advantage versus fail teams, and against stall teams, it's just a battle of who can not lose (akin 500+ turn snoozer), so the only real matchup here is versus offensive teams. If it's a well-built offensive team, you have no chance of flatout walling it because quite frankly, you can't. You can try to, and this is where stall teams, or at least stalling players, lose. What you should do instead is attack; chances are, the offensive team won't have the same walling capabilities that you do and can't shrug off attacks as easily. So despite your limited offense, you're at least making progress. You're telling the offense, "hey, you have 20 turns to break me before I break you", putting pressure on them. Whereas if you play the normal walling, you're saying "don't worry, take your time to set up and beat me, I won't do anything to you."

So if you want a step by step guide:
1. Make good stall team
2. Attack when faced with a fast-paced offensive team rather than stall

@Wichu: Only to native 3rd gen players. As far as I'm concerned (and the rest of the English speaking population), adv. = advanced, plug in the word "advanced" and voila. And plus, it's under the GSC section. That should be enough...
 
#11
I just wanted to say this thread/post was extremely helpful. I find GSC to be the most difficult gen (I guess cause im a DPP child) and it really helped me understand the metagame a ton more, im still noob tho. thanks borat. :)
 
#12
Some slight bits are outdated, and have been for a while. I have a far more recent copy that I've been working on [and off] for the past year or so. Touch-ups if you will. It also provides a little more in-depth team building guide, with some step by step stuff and some example teams both by me, and other experienced players (credit where due, obviously). And I've got a lot more done on the Pokemon analysis things. I'll see when I get it done... if I get it done. Might work with havoc or something, maybe.

And as always, I hope you know where to find part 2 (where it says part 2).
 
#21
I'll even go as far as to say the classic Celia team falls under offense (spiking) gearing towards fail (slow as hell). A pure stall can last just as long as him/her, and he/she's got a huge mixsweeper weakness in addition to Drumlax.
Can anyone tell me who Celia's is and what the classic Celia team looks like?
 
#22
Back when GSC was brand new he was regarded as the best Pokemon player in the world, not undeservedly so either. I still see him every now and again on Showdown and there's probably a strong arguement to suggest he still is the best as gen2 goes. Savagely smart player, normally beats OU teams with weird UU stuff and quirky mono teams.

He never really stuck to one kind of team, predominantly I remember him using staple Raikou stall cores with a perish trapper.

One team I do remember was: Zapdos, suicune, forretress, snorlax, donphan, gengar. But things were a little different back then; double team and sleep perish trap weren't banned. Also the PCNY moves weren't in existence, and they radically changed the structure of competitive GSC. You'd have to ask him about a modern team, he's probably on Smogon. All I can tell you is he kicked my ass with a mono ice team a few months back, I don't remember it exactly; weird stuff like Jynx & Sneasel
 
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#23
Back when GSC was brand new he was regarded as the best Pokemon player in the world, not undeservedly so either. I still see him every now and again on Showdown and there's probably a strong arguement to suggest he still is the best as gen2 goes. Savagely smart player, normally beats OU teams with weird UU stuff and quirky mono teams.

He never really stuck to one kind of team, predominantly I remember him using staple Raikou stall cores with a perish trapper.

One team I do remember was: Zapdos, suicune, forretress, snorlax, donphan, gengar. But things were a little different back then; double team and sleep perish trap weren't banned. Also the PCNY moves weren't in existence, and they radically changed the structure of competitive GSC. You'd have to ask him about a modern team, he's probably on Smogon. All I can tell you is he kicked my ass with a mono ice team a few months back, I don't remember it exactly; weird stuff like Jynx & Sneasel
Thanks for the aclaraction. Taking advantage of your knowledge, could you give us a brief description about bob, havoc and chris and who they are.
Also I'll really appreciate if you could give the link to their respective profiles in order to scout their content in the forum.
 
#24
Quite welcome bud. I'm sorry I can't tell you much about those other players, i'm not familiar with any of them. I'll give you a team here that would be considered the most standard build for the type of GSCers you're talking about:

1.Raikou
Thunder, hp ice, rest, sleep talk

2. Cloyster
Spikes, toxic, surf, explosion

3. Snorlax
Lovely Kiss, curse/belly drum, return, rest

4. Suicune
Toxic/ice beam, surf, rest, sleep talk

5. Skarmory
Toxic/curse, drill peck, whirlwind, rest

6. Rhydon
Curse, earthquake, rock slide, roar
(perish trap misdreavus is actually more common here but since sleep perish trap & double team is banned I feel rhydon pulls its weight a lot more)

Leftovers on all pokes.

Without going into in depth analysis (it's probably already been done on this page) this is the classic defensive team, and really one of the most solid combos you can get in GSC. I would lean towards Toxic on the options there. If you plan on modding/customizing anything suicune and rhydon are the best ones to switch up, just be aware that suicune is important for checking mixed attackers, primarily Nidoking who will chew through this team without a sleep talking check. For example if you switch suicune for exeggutor you'll need to make snorlax a sleep talker for Nidoking. The #6 slot is a secondary check for snorlax with a fire move as it kills skarm so if you change him you need to implement a plan for firelaxs. I'm not sure what your gen 2 experience is but this team is good for beginners as its easy to use and absolutely holds its own in the high end of the tier too.
 

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#25
Thanks for the aclaraction. Taking advantage of your knowledge, could you give us a brief description about bob, havoc and chris and who they are.
Also I'll really appreciate if you could give the link to their respective profiles in order to scout their content in the forum.
Couldn't tell you who bob is referring too, but havoc wrote a bunch of early GSC guides and was a supermod on the forums, chris I assume is referring to Sir Chris who is widely regarded as one of the best players to play GSC. chris could also be referring to chaos who i heard wasn't too shabby back in the day