How To: C&C Edition Back on VBulletin, we used to have a C&C forum announcement covering all of the details on how to post a skeleton and the QC process. Upon switching to XenForo, all forum announcements were lost, leaving people new to C&C with no where to turn for help on how to contribute short of PMing a moderator. I'm sure there are still people unfamiliar with the process who would like somewhere to turn for help, and that's what this thread is here for. (With some help from @Raseri :) ), I'm going to outline the C&C process, how to make a skeleton, how to reserve an analysis, and more. Reserving an Analysis and Posting a Skeleton The first step to the C&C process is to reserve an analysis and subsequently post a skeleton. Here in the NU C&C subforum, we have a thread called NU C&C Index and Reservations which gives you a quick crash course on the process. Most of the stuff we'll cover here is not covered there; what's being covered here is the overall C&C process, while most of what you'll find in the aforementioned thread is specific to NU. This is the place where you can go to check and see what Pokemon have been completed, are reserved, are being worked on, and are available. Anything marked [Unreserved] is available for you to write. To reserve a Pokemon, simply post in the thread saying which one you want. From there, you'll have a week to post a skeleton—a rough outline of what you will be writing—and have QC members look at it. For more information on what QC is, check out this post. The general structure of skeletons is as follows: You can copy and paste this outline into your own thread when you go to post it and just fill in the respective areas! Now you might be wondering what each of these areas means and what information needs to be included in them. Let's take it step by step! Overview The first step to writing a skeleton or an analysis is to complete the overview. This is the beginning of your analysis, and it covers basic information regarding your Pokemon, including the Pokemon's role in NU, how good it is, and any other pertinent information that a reader would want to know When writing your overview, you want to begin very bluntly, stating how good the Pokemon is in NU. If the Pokemon sucks, tell the users it's not very good. This is really important; we don't write analyses to justify the use of every Pokemon on every team. Certain NU Pokemon, such as Dunsparce or Bellossom, are just not very good, and when a newer player reads the analysis for that Pokemon, they should know right away whether or not the Pokemon is worth their time of day or not. After covering the Pokemon's general viability in the tier, you want to tell the reader why they should use the Pokemon. Dunsparce, for example, may not be very good, but it has a couple of redeeming qualities—Serene Grace, good mixed bulk, etc. After telling the reader about the benefits of using a Pokemon on a team, it's good to cover the things that hold it back. For bad Pokemon, this is pretty obvious, but for some of the better Pokemon in the tier, it might not be quite so easy. But every Pokemon has its flaws. Jynx, for example, is very frail and easy to wear down with hazards. Sawk is slow enough to be revenge killed by a lot of the tier. Let's look at an example of one of our better overviews in our NU analyses. This is a good overview for a few reasons. @Dat Blast starts off by telling us about Ludicolo's role in the metagame and letting the reader know that it is a great Pokemon. He explains its major advantages—great typing, offensive presence, and Special Defense—and goes to to explain its drawbacks—the need for rain to be up to show its true potential and the presence of threats that make it hard for Ludicolo to succeed. This is all that needs to be covered in an analysis. Anything else is just extraneous information and can likely be covered in other sections of the analysis. As long as you keep the bullet points that follow in mind while writing your overview, you'll do fine. What to include: Viability of the Pokemon Its major strengths Its major drawbacks What not to include: Anything that can be covered in later sections of the analysis "Fluff" information—or things that are not pertinent to the Pokemon's competitive viability Set The next part of the analysis is the sets that will be covered. This is the most basic part of the analysis, and it should follow the format below. [SET] name: The name of the set! move 1: Most important move move 2: Second most important move move 3: Third most important move move 4: Least important move / Another possible move item: what item should the Pokemon have? nature: the nature!! evs: EVs on the set, should add up to a total of 508 EVs Sometimes there will be a couple of options for certain moveslots, and that's ok! Such instances are why we have slashed moves, as seen above in move 4. Let's look at another example for slashes. As you can see in the above set, there are plenty of times where slashes may need to be made all throughout the set. move 2 has Razor Shell and Waterfall slashed because both are effective on Samurott, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference for which one you would prefer. The same goes for the item slot; Lum Berry and Mystic Water are both good on Samurott, but we leave it up to the reader to choose which would be more beneficial for your team. As a minor side note, notice how there a spaces before and after each slash. This is a necessary piece of formatting for the SCMS, and if there are not spaces on either side, it will appear all wonky on the site. Set Comments Set Comments is probably the second easiest part of the analysis. Here is where you explain how the set works and why each move was chosen for the set. Using the above example of Samurott again, the Set Comments section would be follow the set itself almost exactly. Let's look at the Set Comments section on the analysis. In the set comments for the Samurott analysis, the author first explains the role that Samurott plays for its team when using this set—that of a boosting sweeper. The author then goes on to explain the advantages of using it, which may or may not apply depending on the Pokemon and set. Afterwards, each move and its usage on the set is explained. Once we get to the slashed portion with Razor Shell and Waterfall, each move is explained, and the benefits of both are outlined. The Set Comments section is wrapped up with explanation of the rest of the moves on the set. This is the general outline of how you should structure your own Set Comments. Additional Comments Additional Comments is where you fit in extra information about the set that doesn't describe the moves used or the strategy behind the set itself. Other things, such as an explanation of the choice in item, EVs, or potential alternative moves for the set that didn't make the cut, are what you fit in this section. In addition, good potential teammates are outlined here. For an example, we'll look at the Fraxure analysis's Choice Band set, which @ScraftyIsTheBest wrote! In the first paragraph of the Additional Comments section, he begins by explaining the reason why the set runs an Adamant nature, as well as explaining why a Jolly nature is a decent alternative. Since the EV spread used was max Attack and max Speed, it's not necessary to talk about it. Usually you only want to mention EV spreads when the spread has an intention of doing something (i.e. Scolipede's bulky set running 32 Atk EVs to 2HKO Musharna or defensive Garbodor running 16 Speed EVs to outspeed max Speed Golem). Afterwards, he explains the use of Mold Breaker, as well as Low Kick being a viable option over Superpower. Once you've covered these things, you can move onto teammates for the set. This can be in the same paragraph or in a different once, depending on the length of each section. When looking for teammates, it's a good idea to consider if it would appreciate defensive partners or offensive ones, what kind of support it might need to sweep or just generally do its job better, and so on. Obviously teammates vary greatly from Pokemon to Pokemon. One common pitfall that people do tend to make though is including hazard support for every Pokemon. The problem here is that no Pokemon dislikes having hazards on the opposing side of the field, so you should only include this if the Pokemon you are writing about needs hazard support in order to attain certain KOs. Other Options Other Options is one of the other easier parts of the analysis. Basically what goes here is other things that aren't good enough to warrant its own set. Everything from alternate set ideas to alternate move ideas can go here. Keep in mind as well that this is a good place to put other options that might seem like a good idea to the reader but in practice is a lot less viable. For example, in the Kangaskhan analysis written by @Swamp-Rocket, he writes about a possible support set with Body Slam and Wish and then goes on to explain why such a set would be inferior—Lickilicky does it better, and Wish and Body Slam are illegal with Scrappy. You might have noticed that the Additional Comments section also has other moves in it from time to time. The distinction here is that the moves you might put in the Additional Comments section are often good alternatives for the particular set, while the moves found here are generally ok but not good enough to deserve a mention. When you write this section, the best way of doing it is to pull up the Pokémon Showdown! Teambuilder and see what else the Pokemon has available to it. Checks and Counters Checks and Counters can be a tricky part of an analysis if you don't understand the NU metagame. The purpose of this section is to outline what defeats the Pokemon the analysis is about, and how they do it. It is always best to begin with the most solid counters to the Pokemon in question. In the Swellow analysis written by @Governess, she does a great job at explaining many of the different ways to defeat Swellow on a normal team. By starting with Stealth Rock, which is the best way to make Swellow useless in a match, it confirms the importance of it on the standard team. Later, she goes on to mention the different offensive checks that can also defeat Swellow in certain conditions. It is important to know the difference between a check and a counter for this section. A counter is a Pokemon that can beat all forms of the Pokemon, bar critical hits or other forms of hax. A check is much more loosely defined, and they are able to defeat the Pokemon under certain circumstances. For example, Eelektross can tank a Brave Bird and respond, but will die to two Facades. Revenge killers also fall under this. Choice Scarf Braviary can not switch in, but can come in after Swellow defeats something and OHKO Swellow easily. A good method to find counters to various Pokemon is to use Honkalculator One vs. All program, which calculates what Pokemon can wall a certain set the best, and the All vs. One program, which is a defensive calc that shows which common Pokemon are best suited to defeating a wall. Wrapping Up We definitely covered a lot of content in this guide, so again, if you have any questions, you need help getting started on your first analysis, or you want to know how else you can help out, ask any of our QC members, and we'll be happy to help you out along the way. C&C is a great place to contribute to on Smogon, and we're always looking for new faces around the subforum!