How to Make a Competitive Team

#1
Introduction
Team Building is probably the most important step in competitive battling, and takes hours of rigorous work. The ideal team is never weak to any certain Pokemon and should be able to counter most Weather, Baton Pass, Earthquake, Explosion, Walling, Status, and Sweeper Teams as well as defeating Mixed Teams. Just follow the steps to start working on your own competitive team.


Step 1
Choose a Theme
Decide what you want to do with your team and what rules you will have to follow with your team. Discover a main strategy or combo that you want to use throughout your team or just have a diverse group of powerful Pokemon. Once your theme and objective are clear it will be much easier to start picking Pokemon. Be sure to have Pokemon that will work well with your overall theme and Pokemon that can counter the most common walls and sweepers.


Step 2
Pick your Starting Pokemon
Choose six Pokemon to start with and remember that these first six will be heavily edited, so don't be afraid to experiment. These six Pokemon should follow the theme you chose and follow the rules and tier you chose. Try to have Pokemon with at least one STAB and a wide range of offensive and defensive moves that can get a "super-effective" match-up against any type combination. Don't forget to have about an equal number of offensive Pokemon as Defensive Pokemon. As for items, start with giving defensive Pokemon defensive items like Leftovers for Ferrothorn and Occa Berry for Skarmory, and offensive Pokemon offensive items like choice band for Jirachi, and Life Orb for Gengar.


Step 3
Rough-Draft Testing
Now that the rough-draft of your team is complete it is time to start testing. The best place to do this is on Pokemon Online by using the "find battle" button on any server, but testing can also be done in-game. You will also find that past generation games are great for testing some past generation combos and team themes. Battle people numerous times to get an idea of the small changes your team needs, anything from move set changes, held items, strategies, or more offensive/defensive Pokemon. Don't be afraid to experiment, you'll find that almost ever Pokemon can play an important niche in any team. You may even might have to change entire Pokemon after just one battle. The more online battles you have, the better you will become prepared against common foes. Keep testing until your team can dispose of just about any kind of threat.


Step 4
Additional Testing
This is the time to make small changes to your team. By now you should be winning most of your in-game/online battles. The time has come to decide the controversial items and move sets of your team. For example, decide if you want Choice Scarf Heatran or Air Ballon Heatran. Make your decision based on your experience with your battles and with the other members of your team. If your team keeps getting wrecked by earthquake, slap an Air Ballon on Heatran and switch him in if you see a tremor coming. If you need more speed and want to use Heatran as a lead slap on a Choice Scarf.


Step 5
Remember your Objective
Go back to the reason why you made this team in the first place and review your team to make sure it follows all the rules of a specific tournament, etc.
This may cause you to change entire Pokemon or alter a move or two. For example, if your are entered in a tournament that doesn't allow switching, it might be wise to take moves like pursuit off your pokemon for the time being.


Step 6
Final Testing
Continue to test your Pokemon after the new minor changes to make they work out. This is also a good time to fix any mistakes you didn't fix earlier, like if you don't have a good way to dispose of Pokemon like Dragonite, which are all to common. By now your Competitive Pokemon Team should be ready to go. Good Luck!




Visual Example (for those who can't figure this out on their own)


Step 1
Creating a team for general competative use for tornaments and for the Switch off your mind tournament.
Theme- Explosion/Mixed Team


Step 2
Starting team

Gengar @ Life Orb
Timid
252 Sp Attack 252 Speed
Energy Ball
Thunderbolt
Shadow Ball
Sludge Bomb

Electrode @ Liechi Berry
Jolly
252 Attack 252 Speed
Protect
Endure
Thunderbolt
Explosion

Snorlax @ Choice Band
Careful
252 Attack 252 HP
Ice Punch
Fire Punch
Earthquake
Self destruct

Tyranitar @ Choice Scarf
Adamant
252 Attack 252 Speed
Pursuit
Earthquake
Crunch
Stone Edge

Metagross @ Occa Berry
Adamant
252 Attack 252 HP
Bullet Punch
Earthquake
Meteor Mash
Explosion

Jirachi @ Choice Scarf
Jolly
252 Attack 252 Speed
Trick
Ice Punch
Zen Headbutt
Iron Head

This is what I started with, a variation of the team I used to clear the Orre Colosseum in XD. It never had any problems in the past generations and this was the first time I introduced it into Gen 5. I really like the Choice Scarf, as you can see and the other pokemon just have super-powered explosion moves. It follows my theme and rules so I'm ready to test.


Step 3
Initial Testing
I'll be honest, this team got destroyed in testing I could rarely win against the new onslaught of Gen 5 Pokemon. Walls like Ferrothorn and Jellicent could single-handedly wipe out my entire team. I seriousy underestimated my teams initial problems. Electrode could never pull his own weight so I replaced him with probably the most resilient wall in the new metagame: Ferrothorn.

Ferrothorn @ Leftovers
Impish
252 HP 252 Sp Defense
Protect
Leech Seed
Stealth Rock
Power Whip
I chose him as my main defensive Pokemon, and there was little thought process in choosing him, other than observing how others could use him so easily. I didn't stop there, Metagross was the next to go and as I was impressed with the power of Ferrothorn I added another wall: Skarmory.

Skarmory @ Occa Berry
Impish
252 HP 252 Sp Defense
Spikes
Stealth Rock
Whirlwind
Steel Wing
I was amazed by these new additions to my team and I could switch them in when I saw trouble. I chose him mainly for the added Spikes and Stealth Rock support which made it a lot easier for Gengar to sweep. Although now I realized that fire types killed my team due to the large number of steel types and I had no Pokemon to switch in if something was going to use Fire Blast on Ferrothorn, so I added Heatran.

Heatran @ Choice Scarf
Modest
252 Speed 252 Sp Attack
Hidden Power (electric)
Dragon Pulse
Earth Power
Fire Blast
His ability, Flash Fire was the main reason why I chose this guy, but he was to fragile for my taste, and I quickly changed his item to Air Balloon so that now I could also switch into earthquakes. My team was really goin' but I still wasn't satisfied so I experimented with Jellicent to replace Jirachi.

Jellicent @ Leftovers
Calm
252 Hp 252 Defense
Recover
Scald
Taunt
Hidden Power (Fire)
I put him in with similar though process with Ferrothon, but he didn't work too well on my team and so I tried Excadrill instead.

Excadrill @ Choice Scarf
Adamant
252 Attack 252 Speed
Shadow Claw
X Scissors
Rock Slide
Earthquake
This guy could sweep very effectively, and his typing made him some what resilient. My team was now finished with Initial Testing.


Step 4
Additional Testing
I changed Energy Ball on Gengar to Hidden Power (Ice) so he could take care of pesky Pokemon like Garchop and Gliscor.


Step 5
Remembering My Objective
I went back to my roots and since there is no switching allowed I replaced Pursuit on Tyranitar with Superpower so that he could take care of enemy Tyranitar which is all to common a lead. Also I experimented with Volcarona.

Volcarona @ Leftovers
Calm
252 HP 252 Speed
Quiver Dance
Morning Sun
Fiery Dance
Bug Buzz
I replaced Skarmory with him because I need a Pokemon on my team that could boost his stats so that I could get my opponent trapped under the rules that there is no switching allowed. He has excellent defensive stats, and Morning Sun is great even without sunlight.


Step 6
Final Testing
I realized that with Excadrill's ability I did not need the Choice Scarf so I gave him a Life Orb instead.


Final Team

Volcarona @ Leftoves
Calm
252 Hp 252 Speed
Quiver Dance
Morning Sun
Firey Dance
Bug Buzz

Tyranitar @ Choice Scarf
Adamant
252 Speed 252 Attack
Earthquake
Superpower
Crunch
Stone Edge

Ferrothorn @ Leftovers
Impish
252 Hp 252 Sp Defense
Protect
Stealth Rock
Leech Seed
Power Whip

Heatran @ Air Balloon
Modest
252 Sp Attack 252 Speed
Hidden Power (Electric)
Dragon Pulse
Earth Power
Fire Blast

Excadrill @ Life Orb
Adamant
252 Attack 252 Speed
Shadow Claw
X Scissors
Rock Slide
Earthquake

Gengar @ Life Orb
Timid
252 Sp Attack 252 Speed
Hidden Power (Ice)
Thunderbolt
Shadow Ball
Sludge Bomb



Wall and Staller Index (for your convenience)
Use this guide to find additions to your team during the editing process.

Introduction
Generation 5 blessed us with some of the most powerful new walls and defensive Pokemon that heavily influenced the new metagame. With new exotic types and more Pokemon with availability to moves like Stealth Rock, Leech Seed, Taunt, and Recover, offensive Pokemon will have to be even more cautious. This list has all the most usable and best Walls/Stalers, if you feel that the list is incomplete please fell free to post a Pokemon that could be added to the list and I will look into it. The list is in Pokedex order. The usable ones are in Bold.


Clefable

He's big, he's fat, and he can take some hits. Clefable is one of the best follow me users in the game although generation 5 was not kind to him. Fighting type Pokemon are even more common then they used to be, and many Pokemon can learn Superpower. Clefable should still not be underestimated, and he has a pretty good defensive move pool. Clefable is most limited to double battles though, for the use of follow me, and his assisting moves.

Victreebel

Victreebel is not easy to use but he can fill a very important spot on any Sunny Day team. Sleep Powder is great, as well as Leech Seed, and Toxic. He has pretty good defensive and offensive stats, and he can pull off Power Whip well. He even has Synthesis which restores a lot of HP with Sunny Day in effect.

Slowbro

One of the best Trick Room users in the entire game, Slowbro is hard to dispose of. He has an enormous number of uses from sub-punch to a Skill Swaper for Slaking. He has great HP and Defense but watch out for clam-minders and Special Sweepers.

Lapras

Ever since the 4 generation Lapras has become less and less useful but he can still hold a niche on some OU teams. He functions as a great Special Tank, but his numerous type weaknesses keep him from being used that much. He works best as a last resort, but make sure to KO powerful fighting and electric types before he is sent out. Also don't forget his massive Hp and Special Defense stats, and he can also make use of Heal Bell as well as diverse offensive moves like thunderbolt.

Snorlax

The world-famous Snorlax, he can run an excellent curse set and even self destruct is he is about to go down. With a completly defensive EV and Nature spread, he is nearly impossible to KO in one turn. He also can run a great Rest-Talk set and learn Ice Punch to KO dragons. The bad thing about Snorlax is that he has been toned down ever since his first appearance. With all the new fighting-types, Snorlax can have a hard time but he is still a valuable addition to any team.

Azumarill

Most commonly used with a Baton Pass team, one he is going he is hard to stop. With only two weakness, and numerous resistances, as well as incredible defensive stats Azumarill can add some spice to any team. He can also dispose of many of his rival defending Pokemon like Blissy with Superpower. He is also capable of a nice Belly Drum/Substitute set which destroys teams that aren't prepared.

Jumpluff

Basically the special version of Victreebel, Jumpluff uses a similar strategy and is an invaluable Pokemon on any Sunny Day team. Leech Seed, Sleep Powder, Toxic, and Sythensis are his best defensive moves. He has a major problem though, his 4X weakness to ice does not help him at all, and most water types have Ice Beam. Don't foreget that he can make good use of encore, and jam other walls.

Quagsire

This guy is powerful, even powerful enough to counter Kyoger, so it is easy to see his use in OU. Surprisingly not that many people use him and he is often underestimated. He has only one weakness, and you should watch out for his greatest nemesis when using him: Ferrothorn. What more needs to be said, he has an incredible defensive move pool.

Umbreon

One of the greatest assisting Pokemon in existence, he is incredible in double battles. Helping Hand, Mean Look, Toxic, Moonlight, and Pursuit make him even better and backed by his awesome defensive stats. Although in single battle he is often out-classed by Suicune and it is easy to see why.

Forretress

With Spikes, Stealth Rock, and Toxic Spikes at his disposal, as well as incredible defense and only one weakness, it is obvious why he is making a comeback. He even can use Explosion after he has set up spikes, etc. Just remember to keep him away from fire types.

Skarmory

He is as good today as he was yesterday, and he rivals Fortress as a user of Spikes. With incredible defense and a not bad special defense, he is not easy to KO. I prefer the Occa Berry with Skarmory but some people prefer Leftovers. Whirlwind is a must and Steel Wing doesn't hurt either. One of his best uses is on a Sandstorm team where he is immune to the effects and it hill help him soften up opponents.

Smeargle

He has horrible stats but he can learn any move, making him a unique defensive Pokemon. You can do just about anything with this guy, but his most common set starts out with the 100% accuracy Spore. From there he can Belly Drum or set up moves like Spikes. He can be rather hard to counter and can fill almost any spot. Don't forget how fast he is, and with speed raising items, he nearly will always go first.

Blissy

He is THE Special Wall. Switch him in when you see a special move coming and he barely takes damage. With access to Thunder Wave, Seismic Toss, Toxic, Stealth Rock, and Softboiled, he has excellent defensive moves. His massive Hp reserves makes him a great punching bag, especially when your opponent has no physical attackers. Unfortunately like the normal types before him the common fighting type destroys him.

Suicune

He is the standard for Mixed Walls and his greatest asset is Calm Mind. He can actually learn some diverse typed moves like Signal Beam. He is also a good user of Light Screen and Reflect and these can make him nearly invincible if he has time to set them up. His great defensive stats and resistances make him very hard to get rid of, and some people save him for last when their opponent no longer has a type that can triumph him.

Swampert

Very similar to Quagsire, but more offensive. He has but one weakness and grass types are not very common due to their numerous weaknesses. He can run a decent Curse set and he also works well with a Choice Band. His Earthquake is more powerful than most people think, and not very many Pokemon can counter him.

Milotic

With moves like Aqua Ring and Recover at his disposal as well as status inflicting moves, Milotic can work as a good counter. You can switch him into most nasty situations, like Speed Boost Blazekin. Like Suicune, you can save him for the end of the battle when hopefully your opponent has no type triumphing Pokemon to deal with him.

Registeel

He has incredible defensive stats, and typing. He is only weak to 3 types and is resistant to the rest besides electric and water. His curse set works very well but better in double battles than in singles. Registeel is very rare now and most people don't prepare for him, so try him out and give them a surprise.

Bronzong

He has only one weakness if you choose him with Levitate. His stats are pretty similar to Registeel and he can make great use of his STAB Gyro Ball. He kicks butt on a Trick Room team, and can also make good use of assist moves. He is one of the hardest Pokemon to take down and you can test your opponent by adding him to your team.

Tangrowth

The rarely used Tengrowth. He is always underestimated, and few people know and appreciate his massive defense stat. With access to Leech Seed and the common grass type staling moves he can compete without a problem in OU. He has a respectable special attack and can do some pretty serious damage without status inflicting moves.

Gliscor

He has become very common, and his ability allows him to restore a lot of Hp is he is holding a Toxic Orb. With Substitute, Swords Dance, and Earthquake he can counter most walls. He is not to bad defensively either, ice type moves are the only ones that do any significant damage besides Hydro Pump, and defensive moves coupled with substitute makes him a great Staller himself.

Dusknoir

Not as popular as in generation 4, he still has a good presence. He can work well in double battle but not so well in single. He can make some use of Imprison and he has a decent Rest-Talk set available to him. He has a great attack stat, but sadly no STAB to make use of it. Will O Wisp and Pain Split work great with him.

Whimsicott

He has a good move pool, with leech seed and substitute available to him. He is commonly used and sent out after a boost from Baton Pass making him hard to get rid of. He has some other capabilities as well and he is easy to experiment with.

Jellicent

One of the best new generation 5 Pokemon, he has access to Taunt, Scald, and Recover. He has massive defenses and can counter most Sweepers. He has only two weaknesses and even a super-effective attack rarely KOs him. This guy fits into most teams and Taunt can really mess up opponents' Walls and Stallers.

Ferrothorn

A nasty Staler, Ferrothorn can easily set up Spikes, Stealth Rock, or Leech Seed. His incredible defending stats leave him only venerable to fire types, and powerful fighting types. He work excellent in a Sandstorm and with his ability and Leech Seed he sap opponents' health very quickly. With Protect on his set he can stall even more. He can literally fit on just about any team.

Cobalion

He has very nice typing, and very solid defensive and offensive stats. He wreaks those common normal type walls and his speed is great for a defensive Pokemon. He can easily power up with Swords Dance and then wreak havoc on anything weak to fighting types. Most people overlook his defensive capabilities but you'll find that he is hard to KO.

Closing Statement
No team is perfect, don't expect to have an amazing team in a couple days, this method takes time and creativity.
My team is not perfect either and I'm still working on it, as there are a couple Pokemon that can counter it.
 

marilli

two, but one.
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#3
Not really a C&C expert, but really?

1. Smeargle under the list of walls? No thanks. I can maybe see Jumpluff and her subseed stalling along with encore, but stuff like Clefable or Lapras don't belong in OU.

2. When you're making a legitimate guide to building teams, you can't just go like "THIS GUY IS AWESOME" or "I just put this guy on the team and he did better than I thought." Probably showing your thought process would be at the very least necessary and answer questions such as "Why did I test him on my team the first place?" I see that only thing you really did on your 'example team' was take out uncommon / inefficient pokemon and replace them with another, more common one--except that the replacement fills a completely different role. TBH, your current 'improved team' doesn't really have a direction, either. Morning sun on Volca without sun support is pretty heinous if you're banking on the chance that the other guy has a Ninetales. Scarf Excadrill doesn't really have a place, either. You talk about starting a team with a 'purpose' or a 'main theme.' You probably should at the very least talk about removing counters of the Pokemon that you want to get the final sweep off with -- in your example team, it would be Excadrill. Yet you never talk about trying to weaken one of his main counters, Conkeldurr, Gliscor, Skarmory, or Azumarill. In fact, your team remains really weak against Conkeldurrr and Azumarill.

3. Your team had a Tyranitar to begin with, so you had a way of dealing with opposing weather inducer. (Still, you're really weak to rain outside of Ferrothorn, which all rain teams prepare for.) Now, I don't know how the suspect process will turn out in the future, but auto-weather doesn't seem like it's going to get banned soon. Thus, you should at least mention checking how you can deal with opposing weather if you're going to talk about competitive teambuilding.

I see that you put a lot of time and effort into this. But, I think there's a lot of room to improve.
 

Colonel M

Team Yuri
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Moderator
#4
You know what I'm not even going to give it a chance. No. This is just... horrible. The article has potential only ruined by false information and fucking Electrode.