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Playing Consistently

Discussion in 'BW Ubers' started by bygbyrd, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. bygbyrd


    Jan 24, 2011
    I have been pretty frustrated recently with my poor battling on the Ubers ladder. I was troubled more by the fact that I couldn't figure out why I was doing so badly. I thought it was my team building, but I copied a few good teams and still wasn't satisfied. It was, to no ones surprise, the poor plays i made during battles. But I'm able to make great predictions, and do fairly well against good players.

    Moreso than "bad" I was inconsistent. I find it difficult to make predictions when the opponents you face at from so many different skill levels. If I battle asdf1234Magikapz I'm not gonna be in right mindset to battle a skilled player afterwards. Also, a bad play can mean a lot more in Ubers than it does to other tier due to the caliber of the Pokemon.

    This thread is not about me, sorry if the intro was long. I intend for this thread to be about how to ladder consistently, measure risk vs. reward, and keep n00bs from ruining your mojo.
  2. SpecsX


    Aug 13, 2012
    I know just what you mean. I've played people who have bad matchups against my Pokemon that's out. I predict the obvious(or so I think) switch, and end up using a not very effective move. No examples spring to mind, but you kow what I'm talking about Anyone with half a brain would switch out, but they stay in! Argh! I find it's best to use a setup move if you don't know the skill level of the other player, as this can tell you how smart "p0k3m0nzmazt3rz" really is.
    By the way, don't you need to get threads approved by a mod?
  3. Namikaze


    Jun 18, 2008
    I know exactly what you mean. I've all but given up laddering in general because of the fluctuation in my opponents skills messes up how I play. One risky way i've had some success at mitigating this problem is to look up my opponents rank and then choose a play style. Needless to say, rank is not a great indicator of skill unless it is high.

    The way i see it, people with lower ranks tend to play more "safely" and are a bit easy to out predict. Especially when it comes to using moves. As such you could take risky switch ins with more confidence against them. You cold also predict that they will almost always use the standard set prvided in analyses with the first choices listed, easing whether or not you need to watch out for a certain move. There are some things that can't be helped though such as you leaving your team weak to solar power charizard and someone just happens to run that, handing you a tough loss.

    On the other hand, with veteran players its a serious mind game since you could both could be simultaneously trying to outplay the other or playing conservatively and then alter your play style. Furthermore, sets vary as they aren't always the standard ones. But after seeing a few pokes, you figure out how you opponent plays and what kinds of moves they would make. Its more fun to play with these kinds of players imo, since unless your team is outclassed, the match is up for grabs.

    I agree that playing with a new person one match and then someone skilled the next is very frustrating, but making some educated decisions while battling and planning a few turns in advance helps alot. You just have to tread carefully.
  4. barry4ever

    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Oct 20, 2009
    Nope. If the thread is bad, we'll see it and lock it anyway.

    I think this is more of a problem with you overpredicting and going on a tilt than anything else. While making big plays such as overpredicting / double switching etc etc, its best to do it either late or midgame when you have a fair idea of your opponents skill level or if you're really high on the ladder i.e you get matched up with people who are reasonably skilled to make it to the top as well, then you can afford to make big plays. However, if you predict your opponent is going to see through your Steelceus switch on Kyurem-W and keep Latias in to take the Focus Blast, don't be surprised if you get smacked by a Draco Meteor in the face.
  5. SpecsX


    Aug 13, 2012
    Ok, that's just how Little Cup does it(although this is about as far away from LC as you can get), and I was afraid the thread would get locked

    Tournaments tend to have smarter players battling. I'm no expert on Tourneys, but I definitely notice a skill level difference. I tend to play more of a balanced style, so my pokemon are usually bulky enough to take a hit if I mispredict. How would Hyper Offense predict? I assume that you would have to not predict at all lower down the ldder then play normally as
  6. His Eminence Lord Poppington II

    His Eminence Lord Poppington II proverb:the fish who eats most dies still too
    is a Smogon IRC AOp Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus
    The Last Emperor of the Qing Dynasty

    Jul 29, 2010
    Not necessarily, there's normally a 'best' move, or one that can't screw you over, even if you do mispredict, but rewards you if you don't.

    As the game goes on and you can assess your opponents skill level you can certainly make bolder predictions, however, if you are applying the pressure you don't need to make the predictions; executing your own strategy before preventing your opponents should be your aim if you want to minimize prediction. To put yourself into this kind of situation you really just need to have a team that can take advantages of situations you force, e.g. having a Skarmory or Forretress + T-Wave Kyogre, taking advantage of Grass Arceus or Ferrothorn by placing more hazards, or paralysing Latias. Even if they switch in the right resist you can still take advantage of it, getting into the mentality of having to make predictions every turn inevitably leads to inconsistent play, as that is the nature of 'prediction'.

    edit: Yeah, that is a good point, but it can really bite you in the ass if you face an idiot who doesn't know how to switch lol. Usually that is quite a safe situation to double switch though, you're right.
  7. Jibaku

    Jibaku RIP dice
    is a Forum Moderatoris a Team Rater Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Smogon IRC SOp Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion

    Dec 13, 2005
    Idk...the early game can dictate a lot of what happens lategame. Early game is a great opportunity to do double switches because all of your stuff are healthy so you have more room to mess up. An example of when you want to make big plays would be to try to get hazards in before your opponent does. Here's a simple situation:


    You lead with Deoxys-S. The opponent anticipates this, and leads with Giratina-O to limit you to one layer.

    You set up your first layer while Giratina-O attacks. On the following turn, you predict the Shadow Sneak and switch to a counter. Let's say this counter is Dialga (not that it matters much in this situation)

    Chances are, your opponent is going to switch out in order to avoid being killed. Due to Dialga's resistance to a lot of priority moves, it's unlikely that they will send something in in priority to stop it. This is the turn in which you double switch back to Deoxys-S and get your second layer, thus nullifying your opponent's attempts to limit Deoxys-S to one layer.


    If you're playing stall, playing aggressively from the start is incredibly important as you want your hazards to be set up ASAP (since it's your main form of damage), as well as to minimize the window in which the enemy can set up. With the overall bulk and recovery in stall teams you have a lot of room to make seemingly risky plays that will pay off really well in the long run. Just make sure someone doesn't actually die because that could really mess up your team, given how important it is for stall to keep its members alive.

    Back on the topic of playing consistently. Once you gain control of the flow of the match you can play it safe. Don't do anything risky because although that could potentially completely snowball the game in your favor, it could ultimately cost you your momentum and you'll be forced to make more risky plays to get it back. And keep your mind in the game or else you'll make silly misclicks lol.
  8. bygbyrd


    Jan 24, 2011
    I think the fact that my teams tend to lack defensive synergy and sometime defensive Pokemon can compound the risk of a bad prediction. I am often scared to use a set up a DD with Rayquaza, because often the risk of setting that up is a dead or nearly dead Rayquaza. I guess that's what Wobb is for.

    I agree with Jibaku that early game is every bit as important and any other turn, especially with offence. When your trying to maintain momentum, you have to pull some double switches sometimes; its the nature of offensive teams.
  9. TheStarRapper


    Sep 15, 2011
    I generally gear up my mindset based on ladder differentials, let's assume that I have a Magic Coat Smeargle in against a Darkrai (just accept the scenario I have strange teams :) ).

    If I see a +3, -20 then I will Magic Coat, because odds are that the player will just make the normal move and Dark Void.

    However, If I see a +20, -3 then I will expect them to expect funny business. I will probably just Spore as they Dark Pulse and bring me down to my sash.

    Ladder Differentials should always be your strategy guide when no other information is available about your opponent, until you have information that indicates they are on some next level shit, IE double switching.

    This of course all changes after I have played someone at least once and we remember each other's moves and style. At that point, I agree with Poppy's quote:
    as the best guide; best in this case meaning statistically most likely to secure the most wins.
  10. Pokémon Trainer R

    Pokémon Trainer R

    Oct 24, 2010
    You have to believe in your heart.
  11. pwnage77


    May 21, 2011
    well I know this is a competitive site so idk if my post will help but here's my thing if ever I see my rank going down in a fast rate after I just made a new team.

    First off, check your team. What's my main strategy to follow (HO, stall, semistall, balanced, etc.)? What common weakness do my team members have? Does my team get walled by a certain pokemon? Should there be a Darkrai in my opponent's team, who's the best sleep fodder in my team given his other pokemon? These are just somethings that I take in mind when playing.

    After I fix my team's strategy and synergy, I try to ladder up a bit. If I see myself fluctuating in terms of ladder number, I don't really give up and start to play more mature. After I get myself on high ranks say, 1500+ or so, I start to play to have fun. I don't really care about my rank after that. Besides, Pokemon was originally made for people like us to have fun so don't really mind if you lose a lot. Actually, you learn more when you lose so it's a better foundation IMO. Well that's just about it.


    1.) Fix my team to competitive levels
    2.) Have fun
  12. syrim

    syrim 1x1x1x1x1x1x1x1x1x1

    Sep 12, 2009
    I think the single most important step you can take towards playing more consistently is to slow down and think, in every stage of the game, but especially the team preview stage.

    Identifying threats is a crucial step to playing consistently for any style of team you use. If you're playing offensively, as it sounds like you are, noticing the potentially troublesome walls, and dangerous sweepers that can outspeed or threaten your sweepers can allow you to plan ahead, and have a course of action, as well as contingency plans, that can help you kind of "ignore" your oppoents skill level.

    What I mean by that is if you prepare for the threats your opponent carries, if you are aware and somewhat ready for the potential dangers of your opponent's team, you can execute your gameplan in a way to mitigate the threat of these components, and if they are a great player they will have to move in direct opposition of your plan and pressure which is aimed at putting their threatening mons to your team at a disadvantage, and if they are a "bad player" and make strange moves you can't predict, by executing your plan you won't allow them to randomly get one of the earlier identified problems onto the field in an advantageous situation.

    You'll never be able to map out every move from turn 1, because you can never perfectly predict your opponent. The key to this is simply being aware of potentially dangerous situations and predictions your opponent could cause. It allows you to pin down your opponents win conditions, and by doing so greatly improving your consistency.

    Team analyses is probably the most important part of consistency, as its the key to risk management. It's impossible to build a team that isn't weak to certain pokemon, or more likely combo's of pokemon, so understanding how to observe the opponent's threats and how they can be handled by your team before the match even starts can lead to consistency in your later moves as well.

    You have to be able to see your own team's weaknesses and strengths to do this as well, so make sure to take the time to look over your team every once in a while. Compare it to the top sweepers and walls, and see what plan you could put into action to stop them, or how they threaten you. Think of what combinations they would likely be in, and see if you could handle similar threats, like Exkiller+Swords dance groudon.

    If you realize that Groudon can sweep your team if its double dance, unless you can lower it to a certain HP level and revenge it with extreme killer, you're much less likely to bolt strike with scarf zekrom against Kyogre, when outrage will do enough damage to allow you to revenge it with something else.

    Another important aspect of this is predicting variables about your opponents team. Admittedly this is much easier to do against good players than bad, because their teams are likely to be coherent. But again, if you have a plan for likely threats playing well against bad players becomes easier.

    If you see a team that looks like Arceus/Groudon/Ho-oh/Forry/Latias/Genesect in team preview, you can judge things about their team that aren't readily apparent. Obviously Genesect is the most likely scarfer. They also carry a hazard supporter, so their arceus is likely ghost, to spinblock. Their is also a good chance that their groudon is a bulky support set, as it is their best exkiller and rayquaza check, and the sun dependent ho-oh wants the most reliable sun setter it can find. With this knowledge in hand you can make a tentative came plan, and by looking at your own teams strength and weaknesses make sure you put more pressure on the opponent than they put on you.
  13. bubbly


    Dec 4, 2009
    Also when laddering, it's really important to try to bring about situations in which you don't have to predict (or if you mispredict there's little risk involved), especially against worse players. The more turns you think ahead the better.
  14. alamaster

    alamaster hello
    is a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion

    Dec 22, 2004
    To be consistent means you have to change your playstyle pretty much at will. Sometimes I'll test the waters a bit early in a match and do a somewhat risky play just to see what kind of player my opponent is. Throughout the battle people tend to get comfortable and do the same sort of plays over and over, which is not what you want to be. You want to be the kind of player that people are like "wtf is this guy thinking". Make them uneasy. Once doubt seeps in they'll make mistakes and then you can capitalize.
  15. bygbyrd


    Jan 24, 2011
    Thanks for the replies guys ! While turn-to-turn predictions are nice, planning ahead is definitely the key to consistent wins. I'm currently testing out a Hyper Offence team. This playstyle favors planning over prediction more than balance does, because you're just trying to wear down one or two walls then sweep. It is forcing me to learn how to plan ahead and visualize how the battle will pan out in the end. That is, after all, the only way a hyper offensive team can be successful.

    My hypothesis is that the more I play, the more subliminal planning ahead will come, the same way turn-to-turn predictions did. Syrim brought up a very good point about team analysis; 5th gen bestowed the gift of team preview upon us, and we should exploit that to the fullest. I have too often assumed an Arceus was Extremekiller, only to have my Terrakion trying to punch his ghostly forme. Knowing who the scarfer or SR setter is also very helpful and key to formulating a game plan. Blakblastoise on youtube does a team analysis before every battle, so if anyone wants an example check him out.

    @ala: Playing unpredictably is only important against good players, and then you have the chance of "overpredicting" and screwing yourself over. Early game you want to base your moves on Risk vs. Reward, and make the less risky plays to scout your opponent's skill level. By mid game, you want to have an idea of what you have to do to win, and not be scared to sac a poke if that is what will win you the game.

    All in all these concepts are what separate the men from the boys, and are gained though careful thinking and experience. They are much easier said than done, but you have to know what to do before you know how to do it.
  16. ssbbm


    May 14, 2010
    another thing you have to know is how to make use of hax

    like lets say you have a dd ray against a paralyzed kyogre with ice beam, and the other pokemon on their team is a mewtwo. don't ohko the kyogre; bank on the 30% chance and dd up because you lose otherwise

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