Resource Doubles Overview, Rules, and Q&A - Ask Questions Here!

kamikaze

The King Of Games
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Doubles Magician
#1
Welcome to the Generation 7 Doubles Forum

This forum is focused mainly on Doubles OU, Smogon's official Doubles Format
Come chat with the community in real time at the Smogon Doubles Discord Server or PS! Room

Forum Rules
1. All main forum rules still apply here. Be sure to read those, as well as the rules in this thread, before posting in the subforum.
2. You must get approval from one of the forum mods to post threads in this forum. Unapproved threads which are posted will be locked and deleted. The list of forum moderators is below
3. Be nice to other posters and maintain good discussion

Banlist:
Doubles OU is a format in which both players have two Pokémon on the field at the same time. All Pokémon except those on the banlist (found below) can be used in Doubles OU regardless of the Pokémon's tier in singles play. Unlike in VGC, all Pokémon default to level 100 instead of level 50 and all 6 members of the team are brought each game.

Play Restrictions
  • Endless Battle Clause: Players cannot use any moveset on any Pokémon capable of intentionally causing an endless battle. Thus:
  • A Pokémon may not carry Recycle and hold a Leppa Berry in conjunction with Heal Pulse and Milk Drink, Moonlight, Morning Sun, Recover, Roost, Slack Off, Soft-Boiled, or Wish.
  • A Pokémon may not hold a Leppa Berry while carrying Recycle and Pain Split.
  • A Pokémon may not hold a Leppa Berry while carrying Recycle and Fling.
  • Evasion Clause: Players cannot use the moves Double Team or Minimize.
  • Moody Clause: Players cannot use a Pokémon with the Moody ability.
  • OHKO Clause: Players cannot use the moves Fissure, Guillotine, Horn Drill, or Sheer Cold.
  • Species Clause: Players cannot have two Pokémon with the same Pokédex number on the same team
Pokémon Restrictions
Players cannot use the following Pokémon:
  • Mewtwo
  • Lugia
  • Ho-oh
  • Kyogre
  • Groudon
  • Rayquaza
  • Jirachi
  • Dialga
  • Palkia
  • Giratina
  • Giratina-Origin
  • Arceus
  • Reshiram
  • Zekrom
  • Kyurem-White
  • Xerneas
  • Yveltal
  • Solgaleo
  • Lunala
  • Magearna
  • Necrozma-Dusk Mane
  • Necrozma-Dawn Wings
Move Restrictions
Players cannot use the following moves:
  • Dark Void
Players cannot use the following moves on the same team:
  • Gravity and sleep moves with below one hundred percent accuracy
Item Restrictions
Players cannot use the following items:
  • Eevium Z
  • Kangaskhanite
Ability Restrictions
Players cannot use the following abilities:
  • Power Construct

Doubles Forum Mods:
kamikaze
Memoric
Level 51
MajorBowman

Doubles Council:
kamikaze (Tier Leader)
Memoric (Tier Leader)
Level 51
MajorBowman
marilli
miltankmilk
Stax
talkingtree

Useful threads:
USUM Doubles Discussion Thread
Doubles Team Bazaar (contains Sample Teams)
Doubles Teambuilding Competition
Doubles Newsroom
Doubles Viability Rankings

DOUBLES BASICS

The true gem of Doubles does not lie in such minute differences in rulesets - it's the various strategies that are born and made viable by the virtue of having an additional partner and an extra opponent on the battle field simultaneously. Such battle setting results in a fast and furious play unimaginable in Singles play. If you think you have time to dilly dally with setting up hazards and some brainless volt-turn spam, think again! Since so much happens in a span of a single turn, on-the-spot decision making and intuition are tested heavily in Doubles. A thrilling new challenge unfounded in Singles!

Another major appeal of Doubles is the increased viability and deeper nuances of Pokemon moves. Here are some quick overview of such moves:

Protect - +4 Priority. Undoubtedly the most important move in Doubles; it shields whatever moves targeted at the user and without the need to blindly switch out and let another one of your Pokemon to take a hit, too! A well-executed Protect means wasted turns for the opponent, whose attacks utterly fail to do anything while your other Pokemon can ideally take the attacker out. Protect also shield your Pokemon against Fake Out flinches, a devastating move in Double. Stalling out Tailwind or TR turns serve as another purpose for using Protect.

Feint - +2 Priority. With Protect being such a pivotal move in Doubles, it's no wonder that a counter-move in Feint would see some use! It comes in handy when you need to connect with the target Pokemon on that turn NO MATTER WHAT. Feint also breaks other protection moves, including Wide Guard, Quick Guard, and Spiky Shield.

Fake Out - +3 Priority. This is another prevalent move in Doubles, and it's a game-breaking one, too. A super-priority flinch move renders one of the opponent's Pokemon immobile and vulnerable to assaults. Just like in Singles, Fake Out can be seen from a mile away, but the Fake Out user can actually take advantage of this, forcing the opponent to use Protect. Fake Out's greater utility in Doubles in turn increases the value of Inner Focus.

Spread Moves - These moves target multiple Pokemon - some only affect both enemies while other spread moves also catches your ally, too. Such distinctions make otherwise obscure moves in Singles, such as Heat Wave and Rock Slide, to have a specific niche in Doubles!

All spread moves's power is reduced to 75% of its original base power (so Earthquake is a 75 bp Ground type move, while Blizzard is a 82 bp Ice type move), but this reduction is more than compensated by hitting more than one target. If it's hitting both foes, it is effectively hitting with 150% of the moves original power (75%*2). When there is only one target power on the field, the spread move hits the opponent with 100% of its original power.
Notable Spread Moves that Targets Only Enemies
  • Blizzard (82 bp) & Icy Wind (41 bp)
  • Rock Slide (56)
  • Heat Wave (71) & Eruption (112)
  • Muddy Water (67) & Water Spout (112)
  • Pixilate Hyper Voice (87, Fairy-type)
  • Snarl (41)
  • Dark Void (banned)
Notable Spread Moves that Target Enemies and Ally alike
  • Explosion (187) & Selfdestruct (150)
  • Earthquake (75)
Wide Guard / Quick Guard - +3 Priority. BW has added new protection moves to doubles. Unlike Protect, these Guard moves protect both the user AND the ally from spread moves and priority moves, respectively. This means that one Pokemon can guard for Earthquake or Fake Outs, thereby wasting the opponent's turn, while its partner can go on the offensive.

XY has further buffed these two moves; both Guard moves can be used consecutively without fail! Quick Guard now also blocks non-damaging moves from Prankster Pokemon!

Helping Hand - +5 Priority. A move designed specifically for Doubles, this move boosts the power of the user's ally by 50% for one turn, which can change a 2HKO into a OHKO. Such a difference is significant in Doubles, as knocking out the opponent effectively means cutting down on the opponent's offense by half for that turn. Thus, Helping Hand user pairs nicely with a fast Sweeper like Thundurus or Latios. Helping Hand has +5 priority, so the helper can be a slow bulky supporter like Cresselia, and it is used before Prankster Taunt.

Follow Me / Rage Powder - +2 Priority. Another move tailored for Doubles, but this time all non-spread moves are re-directed to the user of Follow Me or Rage Powder, thereby keeping its partner untouched. Spread moves like Blizzard and Earthquake still hits both users, though. This move comes in handy when you are trying to set up with your other Pokemon. This support move has +3 priority, so this user can even redirect fast priorities barring faster Fake Outs to itself! XY nerfed Follow Me / Rage Powder by lowering its priority bracket one below Fake Out - faster users can no longer re-direct Fake Out with these moves :( Grass-types and Pokemon holding Safety Goggles also ignores Rage Powder.

Tailwind / Icy Wind / Thunder Wave / Trick Room - Similarly to Singles, having the first move is almost always more advantageous than attacking second. Tailwind, Icy Wind, and Trick Room are prevalent moves to control Speed and attack first. Even though 4-5 turns go awfully quick in Singles to do anything productive, in Doubles it is usally half the game or more! Icy Wind (or Electro Web) is also an amazing utility move, a spread move that drops BOTH enemies' Speed by one stage.

Move Order - Who moves first is often a frequently confused topic, since a Pokemon's Speed can change in the middle of a turn, making faster Pokemon slower. The move order is pre-determined at the beginning of the turn, so any changes in the Pokemon's Speed would only affect the move order in subsequent turns. Here are some scenarios:
  • Your Talonflame sets up Tailwind. Your Heracross will not move before the opponent's Charizard Y until the following turn
  • Your Thundurus paralyzes the opposing Latios with Thunder Wave. However, Latios will still move before Garchomp until the turn ends.
  • Your Charizard Mega Evolves into Charizard Y and summons sun. Venusaur's Chlorophyll wont kick in until the following turn.
  • Megas gain their new speed and abilities immediately. For example, Mega Diancie will be treated as base 110 Speed on the turn it Mega evolves unlike XY where it it uses its non mega speed on the evolution turn. Mega Swampert which gains Swift Swim on Mega Evolution will be able to move at Swift Swim Speed on its evolution turn if Rain is up.
  • The above scenario is different from a case where the weather is summoned before the beginning of the turn (ie if you used Ninetales to summon sun before the turn begins then Venusaur has its Speed doubled from turn 1).
 
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Level 51

Oniichan of all imoutos
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Moderator
#2

Hey there. Speed tiers... they're pretty important. Knowing, or at least being able to roughly gauge, which Pokemon will go first in any given turn is key to effective decision-making in a game of Pokemon. Knowledge of Speed tiers can allow one to avoid taking unnecessary damage and in general, help greatly in winning games, which is what we're all here for, huh?

The following tables list the speeds of every relevant or semi-relevant threat which you'll likely run into on the ladder. These tables are intended to help players internalise the relative Speed of most relevant Pokemon, as well as to know which nearby threats are faster or slower than them, thereby making it easier to construct teams, as well as to make more effective decisions during battle.

Each Pokemon listed in the Speed tiers has either 0 or 252 EVs in Speed. Of course, in an actual battle, you'll see a lot more variance than this; the Speed tiers are merely intended as a guide to the boundaries of each Pokemon's potential Speed. This information could be helpful during the teambuilding process to allow you to fine-tune EV spreads to make sure that your Pokemon will move before important threats to your team. For example, if your Pokemon can outrun every relevant threat it can possibly outrun with just 200 Speed EVs, you're likely going to want to save the other 52 EVs you might have put in Speed to contribute to the Pokemon's offensive or defensive prowess.

Besides base Speeds alone, there are many other ways in which Speed can be modified. These may be helpful to know, so that you don't get caught off-guard in battle easily. Before we start, note that like most things in Pokemon, Speeds are rounded down after multipliers. For example, the effective base Speed of a Timid Xurkitree with a Choice Scarf is 436, not 436.5 or 437. Moving on:
  • From -6 to +6, Speed boosts, like other stats, are calculated with multipliers as follows:
    • -6 to -1: 2/8, 2/7, 2/6, 2/5, 2/4, 2/3
    • +1 to +6: 3/2, 4/2, 5/2, 6/2, 7/2, 8/2
  • Choice Scarf multiplies the holder's Speed by 1.5.
  • Iron Ball, the Power items and the Macho Brace halve the user's Speed (x0.5).
  • Tailwind doubles the team's Speed (x2). In the table below, many relevant Tailwind users have an entry at +2 Speed, which is equivalent to a (x2) multiplier in the absence of other boosts.
  • Icy Wind reduces the opposing target's Speed stat by 1. In the absence of other boosts, this is equivalent to (x2/3).
  • Thunder Wave halves the target's Speed stat (x0.5).
  • Weather / terrain Speed-boosting abilities (Chlorophyll, Swift Swim, Sand Rush, Slush Rush, Surge Surfer) double the user's Speed (x2).
  • Mega Evolutions gain the base Speed of their Mega Evolved form on the turn the Mega Evolution is activated.
  • In the tables below, a boost of +1 usually signifies a boosting move like Dragon Dance or Quiver Dance, as well as a boost from the ability Speed Boost. A boost of +2 represents either a weather or terrain ability, a Tailwind boost, or in the case of Blaziken, two turns of Speed Boost.
Once again, in case you missed the big link at the top, here's a link to the Speed tiers in the form of a spreadsheet. They're also available at http://spo.ink/smdouspeed.

Credits are due also to Elise and Test Bot # for their help with the Speed tiers, as well as to the Doubles Discord for helping to trim down the original listings - thanks!
 
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kamikaze

The King Of Games
is a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Super Moderatoris a Tiering Contributor
Doubles Magician
#4
First post wow.

Now that the January stats are out and with it UU beta, will we create DUU Beta now, or in another month or 2?
March at the earliest is what we are aiming for.

The first Doubles Ladder Tournament was specifically scheduled for February to get more ladder activity so that DUU may be created in the following month from the usage stats and hopefully start out on a good note
 

Checkmater

a pinned butterfly is no butterfly at all
is a Pre-Contributor
#5
Not really that worked up about it but why was ladder replaced? Practically 0 changed about the metagame seeing as how we'd been playing as if bank was out anyways? Doesn't make sense to me also laddering took a lot of my life essence and now its gone fuck I was so ready for being able to say "topped #1 on ladder" for every rmt.

edit: fwiw I knew it was a ps policy was asking here because fuck figuring out wherever else I'd put that
 
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#7
Not really that worked up about it but why was ladder replaced? Practically 0 changed about the metagame seeing as how we'd been playing as if bank was out anyways? Doesn't make sense to me also laddering took a lot of my life essence and now its gone fuck I was so ready for being able to say "topped #1 on ladder" for every rmt.

edit: fwiw I knew it was a ps policy was asking here because fuck figuring out wherever else I'd put that
if you wanna get technical about it there were some tiny changes to availability (gen 1 moves available, gen 1 hidden abilities with specific moves available like Inner Focus Seismic Toss Kang)
 
#8
if you wanna get technical about it there were some tiny changes to availability (gen 1 moves available, gen 1 hidden abilities with specific moves available like Inner Focus Seismic Toss Kang)
Everything and its grandmother got Reflect in RBY. If the format weren't so special-slanted and it were on later-gen things that could spare a move slot for Reflect, this'd be big news.
 
#9
Im trying to make a set for doubles involving toxapexes merciless and salazzles corosion ability but im haveing trouble figureing out other mons to go with it
 
#10
Im trying to make a set for doubles involving toxapexes merciless and salazzles corosion ability but im haveing trouble figureing out other mons to go with it
Unfortunately, there is not much we can help you with that. Toxapex and Salazzle has pitiful stats and typing, and they have horrible matchup to the metagame. Also, the Doubles metagame is unlike the Singles metagame. "Walls" and "Stall Tactics" doesn't work because of 2v1 circumstances. Also, these two have a hard time against Landorus-T (which is in like every 3 out of 5 teams) and the widely popular Psychic Spam (Tapu Lele + Deoxys-A / Hoopa-U / Mega Metagross). And yes, Deoxys-A is allowed because the Doubles metagame has a different banlist than from Singles; again, the Doubles metagame is unlike the Singles metagame.
 
#11
I generally agree with test bot but I do think it's possible to find a niche role for these mons, although not together on the same team.

Ideas:
Toxapex with wide guard support for mega salamence. Ability definitely should be Regenerator. Mega salamence struggles to gain momentum from icy wind and rock slide, Wide guard will help. The most common wide guards are steel types which means free subs for Heatran, who salamence usually does poorly against.

Toxapex @ Black Sludge / Sitrus Berry / maybe other options(Payapa Berry?)
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 40 Def / 28 SpA / 188 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Wide Guard
- Scald
- Sludge Bomb
- Baneful Bunker/Haze/Ice Beam/Recover/Light Screen

Survives 2 modest Heatran Earth Powers. 2hko on assault vest Bulu.


Try Salazzle on a separate team. Use him to set up another one of your mons with fake out. Could work on kingdra rain as a Ferrothorn and Celesteela check. He can kill them outside of rain and taunt them from Leech Seed and substitutes. Also improve your trick room match ups with fake out and taunt; thats a big help to rain teams.

Salazzle (F) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Corrosion
EVs: 56 HP / 252 SpA / 200 Spe
Timid Nature
- Fake Out
- Flamethrower
- Sludge Bomb
- Taunt /Encore

If you want to try one of these ideas work with someone who will help you build since these are niche mons and will require knowledge to make them fit on a viable team
 
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#12
Unfortunately, there is not much we can help you with that. Toxapex and Salazzle has pitiful stats and typing, and they have horrible matchup to the metagame. Also, the Doubles metagame is unlike the Singles metagame. "Walls" and "Stall Tactics" doesn't work because of 2v1 circumstances. Also, these two have a hard time against Landorus-T (which is in like every 3 out of 5 teams) and the widely popular Psychic Spam (Tapu Lele + Deoxys-A / Hoopa-U / Mega Metagross). And yes, Deoxys-A is allowed because the Doubles metagame has a different banlist than from Singles; again, the Doubles metagame is unlike the Singles metagame.
then a tank toxapex with tapu bulu work? Im not familiar enough with doubles
 
#13
then a tank toxapex with tapu bulu work? Im not familiar enough with doubles
Not really. Waters do obviously benefit Bulu for checking Heatran and waters usually run an ice move to check salamence, another Bulu threat. But toxapex is just too weak and too slow to synergize with Bulu. But sure you could have them on the same team.
Toxapex has too many notable weaknesses and complete lack of offense to act as a tank in doubles ou.
At best it's a very niche wide guard support mon. And it's only worth supporting high power mons that make up for Toxapex lack of offense like mega salamence
 
#15
I just looked that mega kanga is now banned.
Since i'm not a DOU player, i'd like to know what she got to become scarier than in 6 gen
Due to all of the new fairies, many of the fighting types that beat Kang are unviable, as well as Seismic toss Kang being the common set, which shreds the bulky teams that popularize the meta when Kang was around.
 
#16
Don't really know where else to ask so I suppose I'll ask here: if I want to learn DOU and get good at it, where do I start? I sort of know the meta as I've been keeping up and watching SPL/DPL replays, but I have like zero experience playing and I'm not sure if laddering will teach me that much. Doubles looks like a ton of fun but I really don't know how to get into the meta and the community, so if you have any tips I'd love to hear them :]
 
#17
A good way to learn is to read around on the forums a lot to look at things, like cores and sample teams, with explanations of what they do and why they are the way they are. Besides that, I would just ask questions on the PS! Doubles chat room (will link when I get on my computer), and ask for games from there. The live tournaments are a great way to test teams.

Don't completely discount the latter though. The games aren't nearly as high quality as tournament games, but they can be good to learn how to think better and check for broad weaknesses on a team you build, such as a bad rain or trick room matchup, especially as you get higher on it.

The best way to get better is just to play, though. You'll learn a lot better by that than reading my post lol. Good luck and I hope you enjoy doubles.
 
#19
Hey guys, I'm graduating the army' basic training, and I'm getting my phone back for good! Anyways, I was wondering how much the metagame changed since Jirachi got banned. Thanks~
Well to start, Kang was also banned. Beyond that, Snorlax has now risen to a prominent position in the meta and some even argue it's broken. Smaller meta trends include a decline in zard usage(fsr???), a surge in mega gengar usage, Mence and Landot are still super common, Bulky FiniDos builds aren't as dominant but they're still good, Psyspam+Rain is this meta's form of Hyper Offense and its super threatening if just a bit matchup dependant, and Trick Room teams are kind of common right now. Meta didn't change nearly as much as some people thought it would after the bans, but rather they both just caused some small shifts and both of their absences made the meta a lot more stable due to being able to deal with everything.

Beyond that mini-analysis of the meta, welcome back! Hope you enjoy the meta in it's current state, and if you don't gamefreak is now periodically releasing megas so it should be too long before they finally drop something good that will shake the meta up :]
 
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talkingtree

Hold my hand
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#20
I believe that you should be able to hit it with a priority move, but I'd need to test it on cart before giving a definitive answer.

That said, in a metagame with Deoxys-A available, Alakazam is hopelessly outclassed. Also, if you really want to hit Tapu Lele with a priority move, you're better off just switching in a different island guardian to change the terrain, which doesn't waste a moveslot, takes fewer turns, and doesn't require the use of Alakazam.
 

talkingtree

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#22
Tapu Koko is around now and naturally outspeeds it, Mega Gengar is better than it was last gen, Tyranitar is far more common and its sand breaks a potential Focus Sash, and the metagame is a lot more specially defensive.

It's still a decent Pokemon in Doubles OU, but for the above reasons, it's harder to take advantage of Air Slash flinches and Seed Flare drops in Sun/Moon than it was in X/Y.
 
#23
Why are Heracross-mega and Mawile-Mega unranked? They can do well in trick room as TR megas. If they are ranked, then where are they?

With trick room being common, I am wondering why those are not ranked.
 

Checkmater

a pinned butterfly is no butterfly at all
is a Pre-Contributor
#24
trick room focuses less on maximizing raw power so much as being able to set / being flexible enough to handle a myriad of common ways of stopping tr, sometimes through being semiroom
it also prefers coverage that can hit most threats / punish most switchins
heracross and mawile are held back considerably by the fact that they take up a mega slot, are physical (and thus intimidate puts breaks on their sweeps), and for the most part have easy switchins.
In addition, they struggle to be threatening outside of tr due in part to their weaknesses, unlike something like gardevoir.
 
#25
How to I get permission to discuss about a doubles uber pokemon?
(I don't see why Giratina-Altered is broken. It does not seem to have high offensive presence. Sure it is a stellar wall, but last I checked walls and status don't do well in doubles metagames. In addition, giratina altered doesn't have follow me/rage powder so it can be played around.)

Please tell me what's wrong with my argument.