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RBY battling guide

Discussion in 'Uploaded Analyses' started by Hipmonlee, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. Hipmonlee

    Hipmonlee Have a rice day
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    Welcome to the formulaic but unpredictable world of RBY. This is the first generation of Pokemon, a simpler time, before items, abilities and EVs and with only 151 Pokemon to worry about. But be aware, being the first generation also means RBY has a few quirks—you might call them kinks that got ironed out over the generations.

    RBY is a centralized, unbalanced and very limiting metagame. There is very little room for surprises and your team will most likely be all but identical to your opponents; this is RBY's appeal. Everything in RBY comes down to your in-battle awareness, a little bit of knowledge, and luck—quite a lot of luck, but if you are going to play RBY you just need to accept that. If you cant, you should stop reading right now. At least you will never have to worry about a battle being over before it starts just because your team is weak to a certain combination (unless you built a particularly bad team, but hopefully this guide will help you avoid that). Whether or not that is better or worse than a battle being over by the second turn thanks to a freeze and a critical hit is probably a personal preference.

    What a modern generation player can gain from learning RBY, however, is the ability to hustle. In a game where luck is everywhere—where the worlds greatest player can probably only win about two thirds of the time against an average player—every fraction of a percent improvement you can make to your chance of winning becomes gold. Every time you have to switch an unparalyzed Chansey into a Blizzard is the loss of one of the many micro-battles that make up a game of RBY. You need to learn to scrap for every percentage point, you will need them, and you will be a better player for it.

    Mechanics Basics

    There are many mechanical differences between RBY and the later generations, even between RBY and GSC. There were no items; the single Special stat existed in the place of Special Attack and Special Defense; critical hits are calculated based on base speed—meaning some Pokemon can get critical hits up to about 4 times as often as in GSC—see this guide ( http://www.smogon.com/rb/articles/critical_hits ) for further details; Pokemon will never defrost, unless hit by a Fire-type attack or an opponent's haze; a sleeping Pokemon will not attack on the turn it wakes up; and with the exception of Swift, every move has a 1/256 chance of missing every turn—remember, there is ALWAYS a chance you can win in RBY. A full list of RBY's mechanical differences can be found here ( http://www.smogon.com/rb/articles/differences ).

    There are also many differences in the mechanics of specific attacks. The RBY Differences article and the individual attack pages cover these in depth; some important examples include Counter, Explosion and Substitute, but there are two in particular that are vitally important to RBY and to this article.

    The first of these is Hyper Beam. Hyper Beam does not require a recharge turn following a turn it KOes a Pokemon. It doesnt take too much imagination to realize how important this can be. Expect Normal-type Pokemon bar than Chansey to have this attack in their set somewhere.

    The second of these are partial trapping moves. Anyone who has played the RBY carts will remember this from Erika's gym. Instead of preventing switching, they prevent the opponent attacking for their duration. They can be extremely powerful, especially when paired with Agility; to the point where they have become the source of a lot of debate among RBY players over whether they should be banned or not.


    The Seven Deadly Staples of RBY

    In the good old days, when RBY was the only Pokemon playable online, and even for a long time after that, the insanity of some of RBY's glitches appeared banal when put next to the insanity of the online simulators we used. The Azure Heights's simulator Porygon's Big Show can still be found online ( http://porygon.math.miami.edu:7137/ ). It's something of a historical relic—a monument to how far Pokemon on the internet has come.

    It was in that climate that the standards of RBY developed, and over time what I am now calling the seven staples proved themselves the stars of RBY. You can bet you will still see at least three of these Pokemon on any decent RBY team, and it's almost as likely you will see six of them as it is you will see something else. If you understand their roles, you are half of the way to understanding RBY.

    Tauros

    Tauros is the undisputed king of RBY—at least since Mewtwo and Mew got banned. As a Normal-type, it has an amazing STAB Hyper Beam, but the real reason for Tauros's place at the top is Body Slam. Tauros gets a critical hit over 20% of the time, and although very little can take a critical hit Body Slam and a Hyper Beam, the real threat is the paralysis chance. Paralysis is precious in RBY; people will do everything they can to stop you from spreading it any further than their Chansey or maybe their Exeggutor. Neither is a wise switch into Tauros.

    Chansey

    Chansey got an evolution in GSC, but the irony is that Blissey has never been half as good as Chansey was in RBY. The 308 Special stat counting for both offense and defense helps, but it's really the power of status that makes Chansey such a menace in RBY. If you want to get rid of status in RBY, there is only one way—Rest. Rest means Tauros can switch in for free. You don't want Tauros to switch in for free. Chansey absorbs status—paralysis does little to reduce its effectiveness as a wall against special attackers—and dishes it back out in equal measure.

    Snorlax

    Snorlax has the same thing going for it as Tauros: it can Body Slam. It gets a critical hit only a little over 5% of the time but it has a hell of a lot of bulk, enough to allow it to switch into a critical hit Body Slam from Tauros and still survive the Hyper Beam, a rare trait. It also has STAB Selfdestruct which, coupled with its bulk, makes it an effective check to pretty much anything.

    Exeggutor

    Sleep is vital in RBY, and Exeggutor is the best at it. It also learns Stun Spore and Explosion, which are great moves by themselves, but together they give you a chance to scare away a paralyzed Chansey and hopefully inflict more status on your opponents team.

    Starmie

    Starmie's critical hit rate is even higher than Tauros's, and it has unresisted coverage, the ability to inflict status, and excellent bulk for a Pokemon with a one turn recovery move. It survives Exeggutor's Explosion at full health, so it is an option for dealing with that. Offensively, however, its usefulness is mostly limited to luring out Chansey, since it has almost no chance whatsoever of killing one.

    Alakazam

    Alakazam is a special attacker that can beat Chansey, either by lowering its special with Psychic, or just by PP stalling it. It's fast and does a hell of a lot of damage if you don't resist Psychic. It lures Chansey like Starmie does, but the extra damage means you will usually have an easier response. Chansey will have to use Softboiled sooner, allowing you to switch in a physical attacker, and Special drops can force Chansey to switch out, giving you a chance to hit something else with status.

    Rhydon/Golem

    These guys count as one Pokemon, with the choice of Explosion or extra bulk and power. They can Body Slam like Snorlax or Tauros, with less power, but with an extremely strong STAB Earthquake to back it up. Their immunity to Thunder Wave makes switching them in against special attacking Pokemon a bit easier, and they can come in nicely on Hyperbeams, taking not much damage and forcing a recharge, or on Explosions. Their main use, however, is the fact that they beat Zapdos. Zapdos rivals Tauros as RBY's greatest threat, except to teams carrying Rhydon or Golem.

    The Cats among the Pigeons

    These Pokemon aren't quite as omnipresent, but they can cause a lot of grief to teams built solely around the seven staples. There are other usable Pokemon, but most are just variations on previous themes, or they are really pushing the boundaries of the term "useful."

    Zapdos

    Zapdos is almost the only mixed attacker in RBY, and it's certainly by far the best. It's STAB Drill Peck keeps Exeggutor and Chansey at bay and for anything else it has an extraordinarily strong Thunderbolt as well as the threat of Thunder Wave. Unfortunately for Zapdos, as stated earlier, if your opponent has a Ground-type, it will struggle to have any impact whatsoever.

    Lapras

    Lapras is bulky enough to switch into Tauros, and it hits hard with Blizzard. It has some hope against Chansey with Confuse Ray and Body Slam. It will make switching something else in much easier at the very least.

    Jynx

    Jynx is a fast sleep lead, though it is slower than Gengar. It hits hard enough with Blizzard that it can force your opponent into countering it with Chansey (if they don't have a Starmie, for instance) and if so, it has about a one in three shot at freezing it before dying to Thunderbolt.

    Slowbro

    Another special attacker than can beat Chansey, Slowbro can Thunder Wave and do a hell of a lot of damage with a bit of luck (In RBY, we call it luck when your opponent DOESN'T get a critical hit).

    Gengar

    Gengar is here because it's the fastest sleeper. It can explode, and is immune to Body Slam, but really, it's all about that first sleep.

    The Dragon among the Pigeons

    The main difference between the glory days of RBY and now, at least in terms of simulators, is that partial trapping moves are now implemented—if not perfectly correctly, at least adequately. This was the purpose of the earlier historical diversion, because the standard RBY metagame originally developed without Wrap.

    Most trappers have little impact on the staples and their roles; Cloyster and Victreebel reach cat status. Cloyster's defense, with Explosion and the power of Blizzard and Clamp, and Victreebel's ability to spread status and 99.6% chance of Razor Leaf landing a critical hit make them significant threats to any team.

    Dragonite is a whole other kettle of fish. It can almost cause people to wonder whether or not Tauros really is the best fit for this particular team. After an Agility, it can beat a full health Starmie slightly over half of the time without taking a single hit. The question is, does the fact that that single hit will almost OHKO Dragonite make up for this extraordinary percentage? It certainly makes Gengar a lot more appealing, and it is likely responsible for a big increase in the usage of Lapras in recent years.


    The Three Jewels of Chromatics

    Now that you understand the individual pieces of the RBY puzzle, we must turn our attention to the bigger picture. In RBY, the path to victory is achieved through pursuing the three great status effects—paralysis, freeze and sleep.

    Paralysis

    The classic formula for winning in RBY is pretty simple. You want to paralyze your opponent's whole team, then clean it up with Rhydon and Tauros. This is a solid plan, made even solider with options such as Cloyster and Dragonite, but in reality it will almost never happen unless your opponent is bad. The main roadblock to its execution is Chansey.

    Once Chansey is paralyzed, it will do everything it can to prevent you paralyzing everything else. Exeggutor or Alakazam may paralyze a second Pokemon, but once Chansey and a second Pokemon are paralyzed, your special attacking Pokemon will find it hard to spread paralysis any further than that, at least without the help of something that hits physically. You need to punish your opponent for a conservative approach to status. If they switch to Chansey every single time you could use Thunder Wave, then you need to switch in a physical attacker every single time as well—unfortunately, they will probably catch on pretty quickly, but in theory this is the idea. Remember, even fractions of a percent count. Don't let your Snorlax take an Ice Beam as it comes into Chansey if you could just as easily switch the turn Chansey comes out.

    Of course, your opponent should be aware of this as well. If, when you have a paralyzed Chansey, you never ever allow anything else to be paralyzed, you are either playing poorly, or you are playing against poor players. This is where awareness is important. Will it matter if your Pokemon gets paralyzed? If it does matter, is it worth taking the risk and staying in anyway? These are not particularly easy questions to answer, but ultimately this is the knowledge that separates the good from the great.

    In summary, there are three main ways to spread paralysis beyond Chansey. Some Pokemon with paralyzing attacks such as Alakazam, Exeggutor, and Slowbro can force Chansey out. This will most likely only spread the paralysis to one extra Pokemon, and maybe not even that if they just relieve Chansey with a sleeping Pokemon or predict well. You can make your opponent too scared to bring Chansey in with aggressive switches to physical Pokemon. However, in all likelihood, you will find over half of your paralysis victims come from using Body Slam.

    Freeze

    Freeze is a death sentence in RBY. A frozen Pokemon is limited to sacrificing for a safe switch in and taking explosions. The only reason RBY Pokemon ever defrost is that defrosting is so rare, sometimes people forget it's actually possible and carelessly use Fire-type attacks on frozen Pokemon. Once your one sleep is used, there is only one reason for not paralyzing any Pokemon when given the chance: because you want to freeze something. Generally, there are only two candidates for taking that option—Alakazam, and in that case only in certain endgame situations where you want to kill it with a Chansey, and Chansey itself.

    Freezing Chansey turns your Starmie and Alakazam from tame lures into extremely dangerous sweepers, and it allows you to status basically anything you want. Most freezes in RBY result in wins, and (with the possible exceptions of first turn Exeggutor freezes, or miracle lategame Tauros freezes) Chansey freezes are the best freezes.

    Jynx was mentioned for attempting to freeze Chansey earlier, but usually if you are trying for a freeze, Chansey will be the one using Ice Beam with its fingers crossed (mostly just because Chansey is used in 90% of teams and Jynx isn't). Your options for dealing with a Chansey trying to freeze you are to just paralyze it and deal with it as mentioned in the previous section or to try and freeze it back.

    Trying to freeze it back is obviously not going to work every single time. This is where hustle comes in. As mentioned before, any Ice-type attack hitting your Chansey is always a loss. Conversely, in a freeze war, Chansey being hit with a Thunderbolt is a win. The quicker you can fire off Ice Beams at freezeworthy targets, the less likely it is you will be the one to get frozen.

    There is a grey area for a Chansey, where it is weak enough to be KOed by a Tauros Hyper Beam (69% for a KO on average)—or even a greater off-whitish area where it is weak enough to be KOed by a Tauros critical hit Body Slam (82% max)—but it still has higher than 50% health. If you are in a freeze war and are using Softboiled at greater than 50% health, then you are not using Ice Beam as often as you can, but if you are under 82% and Tauros comes in, things could go horribly wrong. Also, remember that Chansey's most likely responses to Tauros are to switch, use Thunder Wave, or Counter; on any of these moves, a switch back to Chansey is at least not terrible.

    Sleep

    Sleep is pretty strong in every generation of Pokemon but, like all three jewels of RBY, it is at its best in RBY. Its duration is longer, and slow Pokemon can be kept immobile indefinitely thanks to the fact that a Pokemon doesn't attack on the turn it wakes.
    Sleep clause, as always, exists in RBY, but unlike other generations, you will almost always want to make use of it. You can expect your opponent to successfully wake a Pokemon from a sleep in less than half of your battles if you play aggressively and usually, the turns spent trying to get a Pokemon to wake come with a significant cost.

    The consequence of the strength of both sleep and paralysis is that sleep is generally used as early as possible in a battle—usually the first turn of the battle by at least one of the players. Being the first to sleep one of your opponents Pokemon is a significant advantage. When you have slept something and your opponent has not, you have a lot more options available to you. You can paralyze Pokemon more freely and there is much less cost in sacrificing your sleeper—in the case of a Pokemon that learns Explosion, that can be a huge advantage. The only question is, how much are you willing to give up to get that advantage?

    If you wish to lead with a sleeper your options are Gengar, which is the fastest, but otherwise least useful; Jynx, with good Speed and middling usefulness; a bunch of other BLs and UUs of varying usefulness and speed; and Exeggutor, the slowest but otherwise the best. The only sleeper slower than Exeggutor that should ever be used in a serious battle is Chansey, and it isn't a common lead.

    Your other option for a lead choice is to try to prevent these Pokemon from sleeping you. You may not be able to pick a Pokemon that beats every possible sleep lead—Starmie with Psychic, Blizzard, and Surf is as probably as close as you can get. However, it's not great against Jynx, and it is a poor Starmie set generally. Anything with Blizzard gives you a 9% chance of stopping an Exeggutor on turn one. Alakazam often scares off Gengar, possibly allowing you to bring in your own sleeper to get in ahead of your opponent.

    If you are leading with a sleeper, you should strongly consider having a backup. This will allow you to stay in safely if slower or tied for Speed. If you are leading with Gengar, it can help you make up for Hypnosis's shaky accuracy. Or you could just risk it anyway—this is RBY after all.

    Lead selection is dominated by sleep, but while it is useful to have the first sleep, it isn't vital. Likewise, if you want to paralyze something before using your sleep move, this isn't an insurmountable obstacle. Sleepers make great lures because the Pokemon they lure are generally paralyzed, which is exactly the sort of opponent that Pokemon such as Snorlax or Rhydon like to switch in against. If in the end you don't sleep anything, that may end up not costing you much. It's very good, but it's not vital.
  2. Pocket

    Pocket Apo, the astronaut's best friend >:3
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    Awesome read, Hipmonlee! It's an amazing primer to the RBY metagame. Personally, I wanted to read more about the "hustle" that you talked about, but the point went across. I'd suggest adding Counter and the change in power of Explosion and Self-Destruct in the section on RBY mechanisms, since they are quite significant.

    I'd also add the CH formula for RBY, since it can help make certain decisions. I believe it was crit rate = Base Speed / 512?

    In addition, although Sleep - Frz - Paralysis is the primary strategy of RBY, I believe Explosion is also a huge part of RBY strategy - many of the monsters are OU largely due to their ability to Explode. You have mentioned Explosion when talking about individual Pokemon, but I would personally emphasize it more.
  3. tomtom5858

    tomtom5858

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    This is amazing; my only complaint with it is that it's missing your trademark "Have a nice day" ^^
  4. Muk

    Muk
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    Good read. Makes perfect sense based on my little experience in RBY battling, lol.
  5. Carl

    Carl or Varl
    is a Smogon IRC AOp Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnusis a Past SPL Winner

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    Holy shit, you're right, where is it???

    Anyway, great read, covers the basic premise of RBY battling really well. This should no doubt be on the website.
  6. Hipmonlee

    Hipmonlee Have a rice day
    is a Smogon IRC AOp Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Winner

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    Ok, I think this is alright now.
  7. NixHex

    NixHex No excuses
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    checking this now. will probably finish in a few hours.
    edit: k fate formatted it so i'll start over ^_^
    edit2: about half way there, nice so far.

    Show Hide

    Welcome to the formulaic but unpredictable world of RBY. This is the first generation of pokemon, a simpler time, before items, abilities and EVs and with only 151 pokemon to worry about. But be aware, being the first generation also means RBY has a few quirksyou might call them kinks that got ironed out over the generations.

    RBY is a centralised, centralized, unbalanced and very limiting metagame. There is very little room for surprises,(no comma) and your team will most likely be all but identical to your opponents,;(semicolon) and this is RBY's appeal. Everything in RBY comes down to your in-battle awareness, a little bit of knowledge, and luckquite a lot of luck, but if you are going to play RBY you just need to accept that. If you cant, I recommend you you should stop reading right now. At least you will never have to worry about a battle being over before it starts just because your team is weak to a certain combination (unless you built a particularly bad team, but hopefully this guide will help you avoid that). Whether or not that is better or worse than a battle being over by the second turn thanks to a freeze and a critical hit is probably a personal preference.
    But what you can gain from RBY is how to hustle. In a game where luck is everywherewhere the worlds greatest player can probably only win about two thirds of the time against an average playerevery fraction of a percent improvement you can make to your chance of winning becomes gold. Every time you have to switch an unparalysed unparalyzed Chansey into a Blizzard is the loss of one of the many micro-battles that make up a game of RBY. You need to learn to scrap for every percentage point, because you will need themand you will be a better player for it.

    Mechanics Basics

    There are many mechanical differences between RBY and the later generations, even between RBY and GSC. There were no items; the single Special stat existed in the place of Special Attack and Special Defense; critical hits are calculated based on base speedmeaning pokemon moves can critical hit up to about 4 times as often as in GSCsee this guide for further details; pokemon will never defrost, unless hit by a fire move or an opponent's haze; a sleeping pokemon will not attack on the turn it wakes up; and with the exception of Swift, every move has a 1/256 chance of missing every turnremember, there is ALWAYS a chance you can win in RBY. A full list of mechanical RBY differences can be found here.

    There are also many differences in the mechanics of specific attacks. The RBY Differences article,(no comma) and the individual attack pages cover these in depth,;(semicolon) some important ones examples include Counter, Explosion and Substitute, but there are two in particular that are vitally important to RBY and to this article.

    The first of these is Hyperbeam. Hyperbeam does not require a recharge turn following a turn it KOes a Pokemon. It doesnt take too much imagination to realise realize how important this can be. Expect most normal types other than Chansey to have this attack in their set somewhere.

    The second of these are partial trapping moves. Anyone who has played the RBY carts will remember this from Erika's gym. Instead of preventing switching, they prevent the opponent attacking for their duration. They can be extremely powerful, especially when paired with Agility.;(semicolon) to the point where they have become the source of a lot of debate amongst RBY players over whether they should be banned or not.


    The Seven Deadly Staples of RBY

    In the good old days, when RBY was the only Pokemon playable online, and even for a long time after that, the insanity of some of RBY's glitches appeared banal when put next to the insanity of the online simulators we used. The Azure Heights's simulator Porygon's Big Show can still be found online. It's something of a historical relica monument to how far pokemon on the internet has come.
    It was in that climate that the standards of RBY developed, and over time what I am now calling the seven staples proved themselves the stars of RBY.
    You can bet you will still see at least three of these pokemon on any decent RBY team, and it's almost as likely you will see six of them as it is you will see something else. If you understand their roles, you are half of the way to understanding RBY.

    Tauros

    Tauros is the undisputed king of RBYat least since Mewtwo and Mew got banned. As a normal type,(comma) it has an amazing STAB Hyperbeam, but the real reason for Tauros's place at the top is Body Slam. Tauros CHes gets a critical hit over 20% of the time, and very little can take a critical hit Bodyslam and a Hyperbeam, but the real threat is the paralysis chance. Paralysis is precious in RBY,;(semicolon) people will do everything they can to stop you from spreading it any further than their Chansey or maybe their Exeggutor. Neither is a wise switch into Tauros.

    Chansey

    Chansey got an evolution in GSC, but the irony is that Blissey has never been half as good as Chansey was in RBY. The 308 Special stat counting for attack as well as defence helps, both offense and defense helps, but it's really the power of status that makes Chansey such a menace in RBY. If you want to get rid of status in RBY, there is only one way—Rest. Rest means Tauros can switch in for free. You don't want Tauros to switch in for free. Chansey absorbs statusparalysis does little to reduce its effectiveness as a wall against special attackersand it dishes it out.

    Snorlax

    Snorlax has the same thing going for it as Tauros,:(colon) it can Bodyslam. It CHes gets a critical hit only a little over 5% but it has a hell of a lot of bulk, enough to allow it to switch into a critical hit Bodyslam from tauros and still survive the Hyperbeam, a rare trait. It also has STAB Selfdestruct,(no comma) which,(comma) when coupled with its bulk,(comma) makes it an effective check to pretty much anything.

    Exeggutor

    Sleep is vital in RBY, and Exeggutor is the best at it. It also has Stun Spore and Explosion, which are great moves by themselves, but together they give you a chance to scare away a paralysed paralyzed Chansey and hopefully inflict more status on your opponents team.

    Starmie

    Starmie's critical hit rate is even higher than Tauros's, and it has unresisted attacks, the ability to status things, inflict status, and excellent bulk for a Pokemon with a one turn recovery move. It survives Eggy's Exeggutor's (I personally don't mind if you leave it as Eggy's but it's up to you/the next checker) Explosion at full health, so itis an effective method of dealing with that. However offensively Offensively, however, its usefulness is mostly limited to luring out Chansey, since it has almost no chance whatsoever of killing one.

    Alakazam

    Alakazam is a special attacker that can beat Chansey, either by lowering its special with Psychic, or just by PP wasting it. It's fast and does a hell of a lot of damage if you don't resist Psychic. It lures Chansey like Starmie does, but the extra damage means you will usually have an easier response. Chansey will have to use Softboiled sooner,(comma) allowing you to switch in a physical attacker, and Special falls drops can force Chansey to switch out, giving you a chance to hit something else with status.

    Rhydon/Golem

    These guys count as one Pokemon, with the choice of Explosion or extra bulk and damage. power. They can Body Slam like Snorlax or Tauros, with less power, but with an extremely strong STAB Earthquake to back it up. Their immunity to Thunderwave Thunder Wave makes switching them in against specials special attacks a bit easier, and they can come in nicely on Hyperbeams, taking not much damage and forcing a recharge, or on Explosions. Their main use,(comma) however,(comma) is the fact that they beat Zapdos. Zapdos rivals Tauros as a threat to most teams, just not if they have Golem or Rhydon.

    The Cats among the Pidgeons

    These pokemon aren'(apost)t quite as omnipresent, but they can cause a lot of grief to teams built solely around the seven staples. There are other usable pokemon, but most are just variations on previous themes, or they are really pushing the boundaries of the term "useful."

    Zapdos

    It's almost the only mixed attacker in RBY, and it's certainly by far the best. Like I said before, As stated before, it rivals Tauros,(comma) - if your opponent doesn't use a Ground-type.

    Lapras

    Bulky enough to switch into Tauros, Lapras is a threat with paralysis and confusion, and hits hard with Blizzard. It has some hope against Chansey with Confuse Ray and Bodyslam. At the very least,(comma) it will make switching something else in much easier.

    Jynx

    Jynx is a fast sleep lead, though slower than Gengar. It hits hard enough with Blizzard that it can force your opponent into countering it with Chansey (if they don'(apost)t have a Starmie,(comma) for instance) and if so,(comma) it has about a one in three shot at freezing it before dying to Thunderbolt.

    Slowbro

    Another special attacker than can beat Chansey. It can thunderwave Thunder Wave and do a hell of a lot of damage with a bit of luck (In RBY,(comma) we call it luck when you DON'T get CHed hit by a critical hit).

    Gengar

    It's here because it's the fastest sleeper. It can explode, and is immune to Bodyslam, Body Slam but really, it's all about that first sleep.

    The Dragon among the Pidgeons

    The main difference between the glory days of RBY and now, at least in terms of simulators, is that partial trapping moves are now implementedif not perfectly correctly, at least adequately). This was the purpose of my the earlier historical diversion, because the standard RBY metagame originally developed without Wrap.

    Most trappers have little impact on the staples and their roles,;(semicolon) Cloyster and Victreebel reach cat status. Cloyster's defence, defense, with Explosion and the power of Blizzard and Clamp, and Victreebel's ability to spread status, and 99.6% chance of razorleaf CHing Razor Leaf landing a critical hit make them significant threats to any team.

    Dragonite is a whole other kettle of fish. It can almost cause people to wonder whether or not Tauros really is the best fit for this particular team. After an agility,(comma) it can beat a full health Starmie slightly over half of the time without taking a single hit. The question is,(comma) whether or not does the fact that that single hit will almost OHKO Dragonite makes up for this extraordinary percentage? It certainly makes Gengar a lot more appealling, appealing, and it is likely responsible for a big increase in the usage of Lapras in recent years.


    The Three Jewels of Chromatics

    Now that you understand the individual pieces of the RBY puzzle, we must turn our attention to the bigger picture. In RBY, the path to victory is achieved through pursuing the three great status effectsparalysis, freeze and sleep.

    Paralysis

    The classic formula for winning in RBY is pretty simple. You want to paralyse paralyze your opponent's whole team, then clean it up with Rhydon and Tauros. This is a solid plan, made even solider with options like such as Cloyster and Dragonite, but in reality it will almost never happen unless your opponent is bad. The main roadblock to its execution is Chansey.
    Once Chansey is paralysed paralyzed, it will do everything it can to prevent you paralysing paralyzing everything else. Exeggutor may paralyse paralyze a second pokemon, if it doesnt just lure the sleeping pokemonit's immune to paralysis, and not a big loss if Eggy explodes. Often the second pokemon Eggy will face will be Starmie or Alakazam,;(semicolon) Exeggutor will most likely paralyse paralyze it then explode, which will either be predicted or not, but generally they will keep your Chansey safe from Eggy.
    Once Chansey and a second pokemon are paralyse paralyze, your special pokemon will find it hard to spread much more paralysis, at least without the help of something that hits physically. You need to punish your opponent for a conservative approach to status. If they switch to Chansey every single time you could use thunderwave, Thunder Wave, then you need to switch in a physical attacker every single time as wellunfortunately,(comma) they will probably catch on pretty quickly, but in theory this is the idea. Remember, even fractions of a percent count. Don't let your Snorlax take an Ice Beam as it comes into Chansey if you could just as easily switch the turn Chansey comes out.
    Of course,(comma) your opponent should be aware of this as well. If you have a paralysed paralyzed Chansey, and you never ever allow anything else to be paralysed paralyzed, you are either playing poorly, or you are playing against poor players. This is where awareness is important. Will it matter if your pokemon gets paralysed paralyzed? If it does matter, is it worth taking the risk and staying in anyway? These are not particularly easy questions to answer, but ultimately this is the knowledge that separates the good from the great.
    In summary, there are three main ways to spread paralysis beyond Chansey,;(semicolon) you can use Alakazam, Exeggutor,(comma) and Slowbro and force Chansey out,.(period) This will most likely only spread the paralysis to one extra pokemon, and maybe not even that if they just relieve Chansey with a sleeping pokemon. You can make your opponent too scared to bring Chansey in with aggressive switches to physical pokemon., or you can bodyslam, Body Slam, which will mostly likely be responsible for over half of your paralysis victims.

    Freeze

    Freeze is a death sentence in RBY. A frozen pokemon is limited to sacrificing for a safe switch in and taking explosions. The only reason RBY pokemon ever defrost, is that defrosts are so rare, sometimes people use fire moves but have forgotten that it is actually possible for pokemon to defrost in RBY. The reason defrosting is so rare in RBY is that getting hit by a Fire-type attack is the only way to defrost, and players rarely forget this. Once your one sleep is used, there is only one reason for not paralysing paralyzing any pokemon when given the chance:(colon) because you want to freeze something. Generally,(comma) there are only two candidates for taking that optionAlakazam, and in that case only in certain endgame situations where you want to kill it with a Chansey, and Chansey itself.
    Freezing Chansey turns your Starmie and Alakazam from tame lures into extremely dangerous sweepers,(comma) and it allows you to status basically anything you want. Most freezes in RBY result in wins, and (with the possible exceptions of first turn Exeggutor freezes, or miracle lategame Tauros freezes) Chansey freezes are the best freezes.
    I mentioned Jynx was mentioned for attempting to freeze Chansey earlier, but usually if you are trying for a freeze,(comma) Chansey will be the one ice beaming using Ice Beam with its fingers crossed (mostly just because Chansey is used in 90% of teams and Jynx isn'(apostrophe)t). Your options for dealing with a Chansey trying to freeze you are to just paralyse paralyze it and deal with it as I mentioned in the previous section, hit it with sing, or to try and freeze it back.
    Trying to freeze it back is obviously not going to work every single time. This is where hustle comes in. As I mentioned before, unparalysed unparalyzed Chansey being hit with an ice move is always a loss. Conversely, in a freeze war,(comma) Chansey being hit with a Thunderbolt is a win. The quicker you can fire off Ice Beams at freezeworthy targets, the less likely it is you will be the one to get frozen. There is a grey area for a Chansey, where it is weak enough to be KOed by a Tauros Hyperbeam Hyper Beam (69% for a KO on average)or even a greater off-whitish area where it is weak enough to be KOed by a Tauros CH critical hit Bodyslam Body Slam (82% max)but still has higher than 50% health. If you are in a freeze war and are using Softboiled at greater than 50% health, then you are not Icebeaming spamming Ice Beam as often as you can, but if you are under 82% and Tauros comes in, things could go horribly wrong. Also,(comma) remember that Chansey'(apostrophe)s only response to Tauros is to switch, use Thunderwave Thunder Wave, or Counter,;(semicolon) on any of these moves,(comma) a switch back to Chansey is at least not terrible.

    Sleep

    Sleep is pretty strong in every generation of pokemon,(no comma) but, like all three jewels of RBY, it is at its best in RBY. It'(no apostrophe)s duration is longer, and slow pokemon can be kept immobile indefinitely thanks to the fact that a pokemon doesn'(apostrophe)t attack on the turn it wakes.
    Sleep clause, as always, exists in RBY, but unlike other gens generations, you will almost always want to make use of it. You can expect your opponent to successfully wake a pokemon from a sleep in less than half of your battles if you play aggressively and usually, the turns spent trying to get a pokemon to wake come with a significant cost.
    The consequence of the strength of both sleep and paralysis is that sleep is generally used as early as possible in a battleusually the first turn of the battle by at least one of the players. Being the first to sleep one of your opponents Pokemon is a significant advantage. When you have slept something and your opponent has not, you have a lot more options available to you. You can paralyse paralyze pokemon more freely and there is much less cost in sacrificing your sleeperin the case of a pokemon that learns Explosion, that can be a huge advantage. The only question is,(comma) how much are you willing to give up to get that advantage?
    If you wish to lead with a sleeper your options are Gengar, who is the fastest, but otherwise least useful; Jynx, with good Speed and middling usefulness; a bunch of other BLs and UUs of varying usefulness and speed; and Exeggutor, the slowest but otherwise the best. The only sleeper slower than Exeggutor that should ever be used in a serious battle is Chansey, and it isn'(apostrophe)t a common lead.
    Your other option for a lead choice is to try to prevent these pokemon from sleeping you. You may not be able to pick a pokemon that beats every possible sleep leadStarmie with Psychic, Blizzard,(comma) and Surf is as probably as close as you can get.(period) and its However, it's not great against Jynx, and it is a poor Starmie set generally. Anything with Blizzard gives you a 9% chance of stopping an Exeggutor on turn one. Alakazam often scares off Gengar, possibly allowing you to bring in your own sleeper to get in ahead of your opponent.
    If you are leading with a sleeper, you should strongly consider having a backup. This will allow you to stay in safely if slower or tied for Speed,.(period) or if However, if you are leading with Gengar, it can help you make up for Hypnosis's shaky accuracy. Or you could just risk it anywaythis is RBY after all.
    Lead selection is dominated by sleep, but while it is useful to have the first sleep, it isn'(apostrophe)t vital. Likewise, if you want to paralyse paralyze something before using your sleep, this isn't an insurmountable obstacle. Sleepers make great lures because the pokemon they lure are generally paralysed paralyzed, which is exactly the sort of opponent that Pokemon such as things like Snorlax or Rhydon like to switch in against. If in the end you don'(apostrophe)t sleep anything, that may end up not costing you much. It's very good, but it's not vital.


    Okay, I fixed pretty much everything, but you just need to replace all pokemon with Pokemon (capitalized, no é) and you're good for the next check. Anyway, this is a fantastic read. Hopefully this leads to some sort of revival (along with PO implementing RBY's mechanics, if ever).

    [​IMG]

    [GP 1/2]
  8. Pocket

    Pocket Apo, the astronaut's best friend >:3
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
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    Great revamp, Hipmonlee - I would still like to suggest adding the CH formula in your guide, since it is useful information. Since RBY SmogonDex don't officially list the CH rates for each Pokemon, I think it's a good idea.
  9. Hipmonlee

    Hipmonlee Have a rice day
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  10. elDino

    elDino Deal With It.
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    The Check (open)

    Welcome to the formulaic but unpredictable world of RBY. This is the first generation of Pokemon, a simpler time, before items, abilities, and EVs and with only 151 Pokemon to worry about. But be aware, being the first generation also means RBY has a few quirks—you might call them kinks that got ironed out over the generations.

    RBY is a centralized, unbalanced, and very limiting metagame. There is very little room for surprises and your team will most likely be all but identical to your opponents; this is RBY's appeal. Everything in RBY comes down to your in-battle awareness, a little bit of knowledge, and luck—quite a lot of luck, but if you are going to play RBY you just need to accept that. If you cant, you should stop reading right now. At least you will never have to worry about a battle being over before it starts just because your team is weak to a certain combination (unless you built a particularly bad team, but hopefully this guide will help you avoid that). Whether or not that is better or worse than a battle being over by the second turn thanks to a freeze and a critical hit is probably a personal preference.
    But what you can gain from RBY is how to hustle. In a game where luck is everywhere—where the worlds greatest player can probably only win about two thirds of the time against an average player—every fraction of a percent improvement you can make to your chance of winning becomes gold. Every time you have to switch an unparalyzed Chansey into a Blizzard is the loss of one of the many micro-battles that make up a game of RBY. You need to learn to scrap for every percentage point, because you will need them, and because you will be a better player for it.

    Mechanics Basics

    There are many mechanical differences between RBY and the later generations, even between RBY and GSC. There were no items; the single Special stat existed in the place of Special Attack and Special Defense; critical hits are calculated based on base speed—meaning some Pokemon can get critical hits up to about 4 times as often as in GSC—see this (You probably need to suggest that a hyperlink is going here for the HTMLers) guide for further details; Pokemon will never defrost, unless hit by a Fire-type attack move or an opponent's haze; a sleeping Pokemon will not attack on the turn it wakes up; and with the exception of Swift, every move has a 1/256 chance of missing every turn—remember, there is ALWAYS a chance you can win in RBY. A full list of RBY's mechanical differences can be found here.

    There are also many differences in the mechanics of specific attacks. The RBY Differences article and the individual attack pages cover these in depth; some important examples include Counter, Explosion, and Substitute, but there are two in particular that are vitally important to RBY and to this article.

    The first of these is Hyperbeam Hyper Beam. Hyperbeam Hyper Beam does not require a recharge turn following a turn it KOes a Pokemon. It doesn't take too much imagination to realize how important this can be. Expect most Normal types other than bar Chansey to have this attack in their set somewhere.

    The second of these are partial trapping moves. Anyone who has played the RBY carts will remember this from Erika's gym. Instead of preventing switching, they prevent the opponent attacking for their duration. They can be extremely powerful, especially when paired with Agility; to the point where they have become the source of a lot of debate among RBY players over whether they should be banned or not.


    The Seven Deadly Staples of RBY

    In the good old days, when RBY was the only Pokemon playable online, and even for a long time after that, the insanity of some of RBY's glitches appeared banal when put next to the insanity of the online simulators we used. The Azure Heights's simulator Porygon's Big Show can still be found online. It's something of a historical relic—a monument to how far Pokemon on the internet has come.
    It was in that climate that the standards of RBY developed, and over time what I am now calling the seven staples proved themselves the stars of RBY.
    You can bet you will still see at least three of these Pokemon on any decent RBY team, and it's almost as likely you will see six of them as it is you will see something else. If you understand their roles, you are half of the way to understanding RBY.

    Tauros

    Tauros is the undisputed king of RBY—at least since Mewtwo and Mew got banned. As a Normal-type, it has an amazing STAB Hyper Beam, but the real reason for Tauros's place at the top is Body Slam. Tauros gets a critical hit over 20% of the time, and although very little can take a critical hit Body Slam and a Hyper Beam, but the real threat is the paralysis chance. Paralysis is precious in RBY; people will do everything they can to stop you from spreading it any further than their Chansey or maybe their Exeggutor. Neither is a wise switch into Tauros.

    Chansey

    Chansey got an evolution in GSC, but the irony is that Blissey has never been half as good as Chansey was in RBY. The 308 Special stat counting for both offense and defense helps, but it's really the power of status that makes Chansey such a menace in RBY. If you want to get rid of status in RBY, there is only one way—Rest. Rest means Tauros can switch in for free. You don't want Tauros to switch in for free. Chansey absorbs status—paralysis does little to reduce its effectiveness as a wall against special attackers—and it dishes it back out effectively.

    Snorlax

    Snorlax has the same thing going for it as Tauros: it can Body Slam. It gets a critical hit only a little over 5% of the time but it has a hell of a lot of bulk, enough to allow it to switch into a critical hit Body Slam from Tauros and still survive the Hyper Beam, a rare trait. It also has STAB Selfdestruct which, coupled with its bulk, makes it an effective check to pretty much anything.

    Exeggutor

    Sleep is vital in RBY, and Exeggutor is the best at it. It also learns Stun Spore and Explosion, which are great moves by themselves, but together they give you a chance to scare away a paralyzed Chansey and hopefully inflict more status on your opponents team.

    Starmie

    Starmie's critical hit rate is even higher than Tauros's, and it has unresisted attacks coverage, the ability to inflict status, and excellent bulk for a Pokemon with a one turn recovery move. It survives Exeggutor's Explosion at full health, so it is an option for dealing with that. Offensively, however, its usefulness is mostly limited to luring out Chansey, since it has almost no chance whatsoever of killing one.

    Alakazam

    Alakazam is a special attacker that can beat Chansey, either by lowering its special with Psychic, or just by PP wasting stalling it. It's fast and does a hell of a lot of damage if you don't resist Psychic. It lures Chansey like Starmie does, but the extra damage means you will usually have an easier response. Chansey will have to use Softboiled sooner or later, allowing you to switch in a physical attacker, and Special drops can force Chansey to switch out, giving you a chance to hit something else with status.

    Rhydon/Golem

    These guys count as one Pokemon, with the choice of Explosion or extra bulk and power. They can Body Slam like Snorlax or Tauros, with less power, but with an extremely strong STAB Earthquake to back it up. Their immunity to Thunder Wave makes switching them in against special attacking Pokemon a bit easier, and they can come in nicely on Hyper Beams, taking not much damage and forcing a recharge, or on Explosions. Their main use, however, is the fact that they beat Zapdos. Zapdos rivals Tauros as a threat to most teams, just not if they have Golem or Rhydon and Tauros and Rhydon stop it cold.

    The Cats among the Pidgeons Pigeons

    These Pokemon aren't quite as omnipresent, but they can cause a lot of grief to teams built solely around the seven staples. There are other usable Pokemon, but most are just variations on previous themes, or they are really pushing the boundaries of the term "useful."

    Zapdos

    Zapdos is almost the only mixed attacker in RBY, and it's certainly by far the best. It's STAB Drill Peck keeps Exeggutor and Chansey at bay and for anything else it has an extraordinarily strong Thunderbolt as well as the threat of Thunder Wave. Unfortunately for Zapdos, as stated earlier, if your opponent has a Ground-type, it will struggle to have any impact whatsoever.

    Lapras

    Lapras is bulky enough to switch into Tauros, and it hits hard with Blizzard. It has some hope against Chansey with Confuse Ray and Body Slam. Although it doesn't accomplish much else, (feel free to disagree with that sentence; I've never played RBY, but you do need to put in At the very least, it will make switching something else in much easier at the very least.

    Jynx

    Jynx is a fast sleep lead, though it is slower than Gengar. It hits hard enough with Blizzard that it can force your opponent into countering it with Chansey (if they don't have a Starmie, for instance) and if so, it has about a one in three shot at freezing it before dying to Thunderbolt. Getting a freeze on Chansey is a gamebreaking feat, and if Jynx accomplishes this, the chances of a win will increase significantly.

    Slowbro

    Another special attacker than can beat Chansey, Slowbro can Thunder Wave and do a hell of a lot of damage with a bit of luck (In RBY, we call it luck when your opponent DOESN'T get a critical hit).

    Gengar

    Gengar is here because it's the fastest sleeper. It can explode, and is immune to Body Slam, but really, it's all about that first sleep.

    The Dragon among the Pidgeons Pigeons

    The main difference between the glory days of RBY and now, at least in terms of simulators, is that partial trapping moves are now implemented—if not perfectly correctly, at least adequately. This was the purpose of the earlier historical diversion, because the standard RBY metagame originally developed without Wrap.

    Most trappers have little impact on the staples and their roles; Cloyster and Victreebel reach cat status. Cloyster's defense, with Explosion and the power of Blizzard and Clamp, and Victreebel's ability to spread status and 99.6% chance of Razor Leaf landing a critical hit make them significant threats to any team.

    Dragonite is a whole other kettle of fish. It can almost cause people to wonder whether or not Tauros really is the best fit for this particular team. After an Agility, it can beat a full health Starmie slightly over half of the time without taking a single hit. The question is, does the fact that that single hit will almost always OHKO Dragonite make up for this extraordinary percentage? It certainly makes Gengar a lot more appealing, and it is likely responsible for a big increase in the usage of Lapras in recent years.


    The Three Jewels of Chromatics

    Now that you understand the individual pieces of the RBY puzzle, we must turn our attention to the bigger picture. In RBY, the path to victory is achieved through pursuing the three great status effects—paralysis, freeze, and sleep.

    Paralysis

    The classic formula for winning in RBY is pretty simple. You want to paralyze your opponent's whole team, then clean it up with Rhydon and Tauros. This is a solid plan, made even solider with options such as Cloyster and Dragonite, but in reality it will almost never happen unless your opponent is bad. The main roadblock to its execution is Chansey.
    <new paragraph>
    Once Chansey is paralyzed, it will do everything it can to prevent you paralyzing everything else. Exeggutor or Alakazam may paralyze a second Pokemon, but once Chansey and a second Pokemon are paralyzed, your special attacking Pokemon will find it hard to spread paralysis any further than that, at least without the help of something that hits physically. You need to punish your opponent for a conservative approach to status. If they switch to Chansey every single time you could use Thunder Wave, then you need to switch in a physical attacker every single time as well—unfortunately, they will probably catch on pretty quickly, but in theory this is the idea. Remember, even fractions of a percent count. Don't let your Snorlax take an Ice Beam as it comes into Chansey if you could just as easily switch the turn Chansey comes out.
    <new paragraph>
    Of course, your opponent should be aware of this as well. If, when you have a paralyzed Chansey, you never ever allow anything else to be paralyzed, you are either playing poorly, or you are playing against poor players. This is where awareness is important. Will it matter if your Pokemon gets paralyzed? If it does matter, is it worth taking the risk and staying in anyway? These are not particularly easy questions to answer, but ultimately this is the knowledge that separates the good from the great.
    <space>
    In summary, there are three main ways to spread paralysis beyond Chansey. Some Pokemon with paralyzing attacks such as Alakazam, Exeggutor, and Slowbro can force Chansey out. This will most likely only spread the paralysis to one extra Pokemon, and maybe not even that if they just relieve Chansey with a sleeping Pokemon or predict well. You can make your opponent too scared to bring Chansey in with aggressive switches to physical Pokemon. However, in all likelihood, you will find over half of your paralysis victims come from using Body Slam.

    Freeze

    Freeze is a death sentence in RBY. A frozen Pokemon is limited to sacrificing for a safe switch in and taking explosions. The only reason RBY Pokemon ever defrost is that defrosting is so rare, sometimes people forget it's actually possible and carelessly use Fire-type moves attacks on frozen Pokemon. Once your one sleep is used, there is only one reason for not paralyzing any Pokemon when given the chance: because you want to freeze something. Generally, there are only two candidates for taking that option—Alakazam, and in that case only in certain endgame situations where you want to kill it with a Chansey, and Chansey itself.
    <new paragraph>
    Freezing Chansey turns your Starmie and Alakazam from tame lures into extremely dangerous sweepers, and it allows you to status basically anything you want. Most freezes in RBY result in wins, and (with the possible exceptions of first turn Exeggutor freezes, or miracle lategame Tauros freezes) Chansey freezes are the best freezes.
    Jynx was mentioned for attempting to freeze Chansey earlier, but usually if you are trying for a freeze, Chansey will be the one using Ice Beam with its fingers crossed (mostly just because Chansey is used in 90% of teams and Jynx isn't). Your options for dealing with a Chansey trying to freeze you are to just paralyze it and deal with it as mentioned in the previous section or to try and freeze it back.
    <new paragraph>
    Trying to freeze it back is obviously not going to work every single time. This is where hustle comes in. As mentioned before, any Ice-type move hitting your Chansey is always a loss. Conversely, in a freeze war, Chansey being hit with a Thunderbolt is a win. The quicker you can fire off Ice Beams at freezeworthy targets, the less likely it is you will be the one to get frozen.
    <new paragraph>
    There is a grey area for a Chansey, where it is weak enough to be KOed by a Tauros Hyper Beam (69% for a KO on average)—or even a greater off-whitish area where it is weak enough to be KOed by a Tauros critical hit Body Slam (82% max)—but it still has higher than 50% health. If you are in a freeze war and are using Softboiled at greater than 50% health, then you are not using Ice Beam as often as you can, but if you are under 82% and Tauros comes in, things could go horribly wrong. Also, remember that Chansey's most likely responses to Tauros are to switch, use Thunder Wave, or Counter; on any of these moves, a switch back to Chansey is at least not terrible.

    Sleep

    Sleep is pretty strong in every generation of Pokemon, but, like all three jewels of RBY, it is at its best in RBY. Its duration is longer, and slow Pokemon can be kept immobile indefinitely thanks to the fact that a Pokemon doesn't attack on the turn it wakes.
    <new paragraph>
    Sleep clause, as always, exists in RBY, but unlike other generations, you will almost always want to make use of it. You can expect your opponent to successfully wake a Pokemon from a sleep in less than half of your battles if you play aggressively and usually, the turns spent trying to get a Pokemon to wake come with a significant cost.
    The consequence of the strength of both sleep and paralysis is that sleep is generally used as early as possible in a battle—usually the first turn of the battle by at least one of the players. Being the first to sleep one of your opponents Pokemon is a significant advantage. When you have slept something and your opponent has not, you have a lot more options available to you. You can paralyze Pokemon more freely and there is much less cost in sacrificing your sleeper—in the case of a Pokemon that learns Explosion, that can be a huge advantage. The only question is, how much are you willing to give up to get that advantage?
    <new paragraph>
    If you wish to lead with a sleeper your options are Gengar, who which is the fastest, but otherwise least useful; Jynx, with good Speed and middling usefulness; a bunch of other BLs and UUs of varying usefulness and speed; and Exeggutor, the slowest but otherwise the best. The only sleeper slower than Exeggutor that should ever be used in a serious battle is Chansey, and it isn't a common lead.<remove space> Your other option for a lead choice is to try to prevent these Pokemon from sleeping you. You may not be able to pick a Pokemon that beats every possible sleep lead—Starmie with Psychic, Blizzard, and Surf is as probably as close as you can get. However, it's not great against Jynx, and it is a poor Starmie set generally. Anything with Blizzard gives you a 9% chance of stopping an Exeggutor on turn one. Alakazam often scares off Gengar, possibly allowing you to bring in your own sleeper to get in ahead of your opponent.
    <new paragraph>
    If you are leading with a sleeper, you should strongly consider having a backup. This will allow you to stay in safely if slower or tied for Speed. If you are leading with Gengar, it can help you make up for Hypnosis's shaky accuracy. Or you could just risk it anyway—this is RBY after all.
    <new paragraph>
    Lead selection is dominated by sleep, but while it is useful to have the first sleep, it isn't vital. Likewise, if you want to paralyze something before using your sleep move, this isn't an insurmountable obstacle. Sleepers make great lures because the Pokemon they lure are generally paralyzed, which is exactly the sort of opponent that Pokemon such as Snorlax or Rhydon like to switch in against. If in the end you don't sleep anything, that may end up not costing you much. It's very good, but it's not vital.


    Great work Hip!
    GP Approved 2/2
    [​IMG]
  11. Hipmonlee

    Hipmonlee Have a rice day
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    Thanks guys!

    I did make a couple extra changes, but I went over them all with Fatecrashers.
  12. Nexus

    Nexus Day 358: Believe
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Super Moderatoris a Contributor to Smogon
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    EDIT: HTML
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    HTML:
    [title]
    RBY Battling Guide
    [head]
    <meta name="description" content="A comprehensive guide on the threats and strategies of the RBY metagame, thanks to Hipmonlee." />
    [page]
    <div class="author"> By <a href="/forums/member.php?u=19">Hipmonlee</a>.</div>
    
    <ol class="toc">
    <li><a href="#intro">Introduction</a></li>
    <li><a href="#mechanics">Mechanics Basics</a></li>
    <li><a href="#staples">The Seven Deadly Staples of RBY</a>
    <ul>
    <li><a href="#tauros">Tauros</a></li>
    <li><a href="#chansey">Chansey</a></li>
    <li><a href="#snorlax">Snorlax</a></li>
    <li><a href="#exeggutor">Exeggutor</a></li>
    <li><a href="#starmie">Starmie</a></li>
    <li><a href="#alakazam">Alakazam</a></li>
    <li><a href="#rhydon_golem">Rhydon / Golem</a></li>
    </ul>
    </li>
    <li><a href="#cats">The Cats Among the Pigeons</a>
    <ul>
    <li><a href="#zapdos">Zapdos</a></li>
    <li><a href="#lapras">Lapras</a></li>
    <li><a href="#jynx">Jynx</a></li>
    <li><a href="#slowbro">Slowbro</a></li>
    <li><a href="#gengar">Gengar</a></li>
    </ul>
    </li>
    <li><a href="#dragon">The Dragon Among the Pigeons</a></li>
    <li><a href="#chromatics">The Three Jewels of Chromatics</a>
    <ul>
    <li><a href="#paralysis">Paralysis</a></li>
    <li><a href="#freeze">Freeze</a></li>
    <li><a href="#sleep">Sleep</a></li>
    </ul>
    </li>
    </ol>
    
    <h2><a name="intro">Introduction</a></h2>
    
    <p>Welcome to the formulaic but unpredictable world of RBY. This is the first generation of Pokemon, a simpler time, before items, abilities and EVs and with only 151 Pokemon to worry about. But be aware, being the first generation also means RBY has a few quirks&mdash;you might call them kinks that got ironed out over the generations.</p>
    
    <p>RBY is a centralized, unbalanced and very limiting metagame. There is very little room for surprises and your team will most likely be all but identical to your opponents; this is RBY's appeal. Everything in RBY comes down to your in-battle awareness, a little bit of knowledge, and luck&mdash;quite a lot of luck, but if you are going to play RBY you just need to accept that. If you cant, you should stop reading right now. At least you will never have to worry about a battle being over before it starts just because your team is weak to a certain combination (unless you built a particularly bad team, but hopefully this guide will help you avoid that). Whether or not that is better or worse than a battle being over by the second turn thanks to a freeze and a critical hit is probably a personal preference.</p>
    
    <p>What a modern generation player can gain from learning RBY, however, is the ability to hustle. In a game where luck is everywhere&mdash;where the worlds greatest player can probably only win about two thirds of the time against an average player&mdash;every fraction of a percent improvement you can make to your chance of winning becomes gold. Every time you have to switch an unparalyzed Chansey into a Blizzard is the loss of one of the many micro-battles that make up a game of RBY. You need to learn to scrap for every percentage point, you will need them, and you will be a better player for it.</p>
    
    <h2><a name="mechanics">Mechanics Basics</a></h2>
    
    <p>There are many mechanical differences between RBY and the later generations, even between RBY and GSC. There were no items; the single Special stat existed in the place of Special Attack and Special Defense; critical hits are calculated based on base speed&mdash;meaning some Pokemon can get critical hits up to about 4 times as often as in GSC&mdash;see this <a href="/rb/articles/critical_hits">guide</a> for further details; Pokemon will never defrost, unless hit by a Fire-type attack or an opponent's haze; a sleeping Pokemon will not attack on the turn it wakes up; and with the exception of Swift, every move has a 1/256 chance of missing every turn&mdash;remember, there is ALWAYS a chance you can win in RBY. A full list of RBY's mechanical differences can be found <a href="/rb/articles/differences">here</a>.</p>
    
    <p>There are also many differences in the mechanics of specific attacks. The RBY Differences article and the individual attack pages cover these in depth; some important examples include Counter, Explosion and Substitute, but there are two in particular that are vitally important to RBY and to this article.</p>
    
    <p>The first of these is Hyper Beam. Hyper Beam does not require a recharge turn following a turn it KOes a Pokemon. It doesn't take too much imagination to realize how important this can be. Expect Normal-type Pokemon bar than Chansey to have this attack in their set somewhere.</p>
    
    <p>The second of these are partial trapping moves. Anyone who has played the RBY carts will remember this from Erika's gym. Instead of preventing switching, they prevent the opponent attacking for their duration. They can be extremely powerful, especially when paired with Agility; to the point where they have become the source of a lot of debate among RBY players over whether they should be banned or not.
    </p>
    
    <h2><a name="staples">The Seven Deadly Staples of RBY</a></h2>
    
    <p>In the good old days, when RBY was the only Pokemon playable online, and even for a long time after that, the insanity of some of RBY's glitches appeared banal when put next to the insanity of the online simulators we used. The Azure Heights's simulator Porygon's Big Show can still be found online ( http://porygon.math.miami.edu:7137/ ). It's something of a historical relic&mdash;a monument to how far Pokemon on the internet has come.</p>
    
    <p>It was in that climate that the standards of RBY developed, and over time what I am now calling the seven staples proved themselves the stars of RBY. You can bet you will still see at least three of these Pokemon on any decent RBY team, and it's almost as likely you will see six of them as it is you will see something else. If you understand their roles, you are half of the way to understanding RBY.</p>
    
    <h3><a name="tauros">Tauros</a></h3>
    
    <p><img src="/download/sprites/rb/128.png" alt="Tauros" /><br />
    Tauros is the undisputed king of RBY&mdash;at least since Mewtwo and Mew got banned. As a Normal-type, it has an amazing STAB Hyper Beam, but the real reason for Tauros's place at the top is Body Slam. Tauros gets a critical hit over 20% of the time, and although very little can take a critical hit Body Slam and a Hyper Beam, the real threat is the paralysis chance. Paralysis is precious in RBY; people will do everything they can to stop you from spreading it any further than their Chansey or maybe their Exeggutor. Neither is a wise switch into Tauros.</p>
    
    <h3><a name="chansey">Chansey</a></h3>
    
    <p><img src="/download/sprites/rb/113.png" alt="Chansey" /><br />
    Chansey got an evolution in GSC, but the irony is that Blissey has never been half as good as Chansey was in RBY. The 308 Special stat counting for both offense and defense helps, but it's really the power of status that makes Chansey such a menace in RBY. If you want to get rid of status in RBY, there is only one way&mdash;Rest. Rest means Tauros can switch in for free. You don't want Tauros to switch in for free. Chansey absorbs status&mdash;paralysis does little to reduce its effectiveness as a wall against special attackers&mdash;and dishes it back out in equal measure.</p>
    
    <h3><a name="snorlax">Snorlax</a></h3>
    
    <p><img src="/download/sprites/rb/143.png" alt="Snorlax" /><br />
    Snorlax has the same thing going for it as Tauros: it can Body Slam. It gets a critical hit only a little over 5% of the time but it has a hell of a lot of bulk, enough to allow it to switch into a critical hit Body Slam from Tauros and still survive the Hyper Beam, a rare trait. It also has STAB Selfdestruct which, coupled with its bulk, makes it an effective check to pretty much anything.</p>
    
    <h3><a name="exeggutor">Exeggutor</a></h3>
    
    <p><img src="/download/sprites/rb/103.png" alt="Exeggutor" /><br />
    Sleep is vital in RBY, and Exeggutor is the best at it. It also learns Stun Spore and Explosion, which are great moves by themselves, but together they give you a chance to scare away a paralyzed Chansey and hopefully inflict more status on your opponents team.</p>
    
    <h3><a name="starmie">Starmie</a></h3>
    
    <p><img src="/download/sprites/rb/121.png" alt="Starmie" /><br />
    Starmie's critical hit rate is even higher than Tauros's, and it has unresisted coverage, the ability to inflict status, and excellent bulk for a Pokemon with a one turn recovery move. It survives Exeggutor's Explosion at full health, so it is an option for dealing with that. Offensively, however, its usefulness is mostly limited to luring out Chansey, since it has almost no chance whatsoever of killing one.</p>
    
    <h3><a name="alakazam">Alakazam</a></h3>
    
    <p><img src="/download/sprites/rb/65.png" alt="Alakazam" /><br />
    Alakazam is a special attacker that can beat Chansey, either by lowering its special with Psychic, or just by PP stalling it. It's fast and does a hell of a lot of damage if you don't resist Psychic. It lures Chansey like Starmie does, but the extra damage means you will usually have an easier response. Chansey will have to use Softboiled sooner, allowing you to switch in a physical attacker, and Special drops can force Chansey to switch out, giving you a chance to hit something else with status.</p>
    
    <h3><a name="rhydon_golem">Rhydon / Golem</a></h3>
    
    <p><img src="/download/sprites/rb/112.png" alt="Rhydon" /><img src="/download/sprites/rb/76.png" alt="Golem" /><br />
    These guys count as one Pokemon, with the choice of Explosion or extra bulk and power. They can Body Slam like Snorlax or Tauros, with less power, but with an extremely strong STAB Earthquake to back it up. Their immunity to Thunder Wave makes switching them in against special attacking Pokemon a bit easier, and they can come in nicely on Hyperbeams, taking not much damage and forcing a recharge, or on Explosions. Their main use, however, is the fact that they beat Zapdos. Zapdos rivals Tauros as RBY's greatest threat, except to teams carrying Rhydon or Golem.</p>
    
    <h2><a name="cats">The Cats among the Pigeons</a></h2>
    
    <p>These Pokemon aren't quite as omnipresent, but they can cause a lot of grief to teams built solely around the seven staples. There are other usable Pokemon, but most are just variations on previous themes, or they are really pushing the boundaries of the term "useful."</p>
    
    <h3><a name="zapdos">Zapdos</a></h3>
    
    <p><img src="/download/sprites/rb/145.png" alt="Zapdos" /><br />
    Zapdos is almost the only mixed attacker in RBY, and it's certainly by far the best. It's STAB Drill Peck keeps Exeggutor and Chansey at bay and for anything else it has an extraordinarily strong Thunderbolt as well as the threat of Thunder Wave. Unfortunately for Zapdos, as stated earlier, if your opponent has a Ground-type, it will struggle to have any impact whatsoever.</p>
    
    <h3><a name="lapras">Lapras</a></h3>
    
    <p><img src="/download/sprites/rb/131.png" alt="Lapras" /><br />
    Lapras is bulky enough to switch into Tauros, and it hits hard with Blizzard. It has some hope against Chansey with Confuse Ray and Body Slam. It will make switching something else in much easier at the very least.</p>
    
    <h3><a name="jynx">Jynx</a></h3>
    
    <p><img src="/download/sprites/rb/124.png" alt="Jynx" /><br />
    Jynx is a fast sleep lead, though it is slower than Gengar. It hits hard enough with Blizzard that it can force your opponent into countering it with Chansey (if they don't have a Starmie, for instance) and if so, it has about a one in three shot at freezing it before dying to Thunderbolt.</p>
    
    <h3><a name="slowbro">Slowbro</a></h3>
    
    <p><img src="/download/sprites/rb/80.png" alt="Slowbro" /><br />
    Another special attacker than can beat Chansey, Slowbro can Thunder Wave and do a hell of a lot of damage with a bit of luck (In RBY, we call it luck when your opponent DOES NOT get a critical hit).</p>
    
    <h3><a name="gengar">Gengar</a></h3>
    
    <p><img src="/download/sprites/rb/94.png" alt="Gengar" /><br />
    Gengar is here because it's the fastest sleeper. It can explode, and is immune to Body Slam, but really, it's all about that first sleep.</p>
    
    <h2><a name="dragon">The Dragon among the Pigeons</a></h2>
    
    <p>The main difference between the glory days of RBY and now, at least in terms of simulators, is that partial trapping moves are now implemented&mdash;if not perfectly correctly, at least adequately. This was the purpose of the earlier historical diversion, because the standard RBY metagame originally developed without Wrap.</p>
    
    <p>Most trappers have little impact on the staples and their roles; Cloyster and Victreebel reach cat status. Cloyster's defense, with Explosion and the power of Blizzard and Clamp, and Victreebel's ability to spread status and 99.6% chance of Razor Leaf landing a critical hit make them significant threats to any team.</p>
    
    <p>Dragonite is a whole other kettle of fish. It can almost cause people to wonder whether or not Tauros really is the best fit for this particular team. After an Agility, it can beat a full health Starmie slightly over half of the time without taking a single hit. The question is, does the fact that that single hit will almost OHKO Dragonite make up for this extraordinary percentage? It certainly makes Gengar a lot more appealing, and it is likely responsible for a big increase in the usage of Lapras in recent years.</p>
    
    <h2><a name="chromatics">The Three Jewels of Chromatics</a></h2>
    
    <p>Now that you understand the individual pieces of the RBY puzzle, we must turn our attention to the bigger picture. In RBY, the path to victory is achieved through pursuing the three great status effects&mdash;paralysis, freeze and sleep.</p>
    
    <h3><a name="paralysis">Paralysis</a></h3>
    
    <p>The classic formula for winning in RBY is pretty simple. You want to paralyze your opponent's whole team, then clean it up with Rhydon and Tauros. This is a solid plan, made even solider with options such as Cloyster and Dragonite, but in reality it will almost never happen unless your opponent is bad. The main roadblock to its execution is Chansey.</p>
    
    <p>Once Chansey is paralyzed, it will do everything it can to prevent you paralyzing everything else. Exeggutor or Alakazam may paralyze a second Pokemon, but once Chansey and a second Pokemon are paralyzed, your special attacking Pokemon will find it hard to spread paralysis any further than that, at least without the help of something that hits physically. You need to punish your opponent for a conservative approach to status. If they switch to Chansey every single time you could use Thunder Wave, then you need to switch in a physical attacker every single time as well&mdash;unfortunately, they will probably catch on pretty quickly, but in theory this is the idea. Remember, even fractions of a percent count. Don't let your Snorlax take an Ice Beam as it comes into Chansey if you could just as easily switch the turn Chansey comes out.</p>
    
    <p>Of course, your opponent should be aware of this as well. If, when you have a paralyzed Chansey, you never ever allow anything else to be paralyzed, you are either playing poorly, or you are playing against poor players. This is where awareness is important. Will it matter if your Pokemon gets paralyzed? If it does matter, is it worth taking the risk and staying in anyway? These are not particularly easy questions to answer, but ultimately this is the knowledge that separates the good from the great.</p>
    
    <p>In summary, there are three main ways to spread paralysis beyond Chansey. Some Pokemon with paralyzing attacks such as Alakazam, Exeggutor, and Slowbro can force Chansey out. This will most likely only spread the paralysis to one extra Pokemon, and maybe not even that if they just relieve Chansey with a sleeping Pokemon or predict well. You can make your opponent too scared to bring Chansey in with aggressive switches to physical Pokemon. However, in all likelihood, you will find over half of your paralysis victims come from using Body Slam.</p>
    
    <h3><a name="freeze">Freeze</a></h3>
    
    <p>Freeze is a death sentence in RBY. A frozen Pokemon is limited to sacrificing for a safe switch in and taking Explosions. The only reason RBY Pokemon ever defrost is that defrosting is so rare, sometimes people forget it's actually possible and carelessly use Fire-type attacks on frozen Pokemon. Once your one sleep is used, there is only one reason for not paralyzing any Pokemon when given the chance: because you want to freeze something. Generally, there are only two candidates for taking that option&mdash;Alakazam, and in that case only in certain endgame situations where you want to kill it with a Chansey, and Chansey itself.</p>
    
    <p>Freezing Chansey turns your Starmie and Alakazam from tame lures into extremely dangerous sweepers, and it allows you to status basically anything you want. Most freezes in RBY result in wins, and (with the possible exceptions of first turn Exeggutor freezes, or miracle lategame Tauros freezes) Chansey freezes are the best freezes.</p>
    
    <p>Jynx was mentioned for attempting to freeze Chansey earlier, but usually if you are trying for a freeze, Chansey will be the one using Ice Beam with its fingers crossed (mostly just because Chansey is used in 90% of teams and Jynx isn't). Your options for dealing with a Chansey trying to freeze you are to just paralyze it and deal with it as mentioned in the previous section or to try and freeze it back.</p>
    
    <p>Trying to freeze it back is obviously not going to work every single time. This is where hustle comes in. As mentioned before, any Ice-type attack hitting your Chansey is always a loss. Conversely, in a freeze war, Chansey being hit with a Thunderbolt is a win. The quicker you can fire off Ice Beams at freezeworthy targets, the less likely it is you will be the one to get frozen.</p>
    
    <p>There is a grey area for a Chansey, where it is weak enough to be KOed by a Tauros Hyper Beam (69% for a KO on average)&mdash;or even a greater off-whitish area where it is weak enough to be KOed by a Tauros critical hit Body Slam (82% max)&mdash;but it still has higher than 50% health. If you are in a freeze war and are using Softboiled at greater than 50% health, then you are not using Ice Beam as often as you can, but if you are under 82% and Tauros comes in, things could go horribly wrong. Also, remember that Chansey's most likely responses to Tauros are to switch, use Thunder Wave, or Counter; on any of these moves, a switch back to Chansey is at least not terrible.</p>
    
    <h3><a name="sleep">Sleep</a></h3>
    
    <p>Sleep is pretty strong in every generation of Pokemon but, like all three jewels of RBY, it is at its best in RBY. Its duration is longer, and slow Pokemon can be kept immobile indefinitely thanks to the fact that a Pokemon doesn't attack on the turn it wakes. Sleep clause, as always, exists in RBY, but unlike other generations, you will almost always want to make use of it. You can expect your opponent to successfully wake a Pokemon from a sleep in less than half of your battles if you play aggressively and usually, the turns spent trying to get a Pokemon to wake come with a significant cost.</p>
    
    <p>The consequence of the strength of both sleep and paralysis is that sleep is generally used as early as possible in a battle&mdash;usually the first turn of the battle by at least one of the players. Being the first to sleep one of your opponent's Pokemon is a significant advantage. When you have slept something and your opponent has not, you have a lot more options available to you. You can paralyze Pokemon more freely and there is much less cost in sacrificing your sleeper&mdash;in the case of a Pokemon that learns Explosion, that can be a huge advantage. The only question is, how much are you willing to give up to get that advantage?</p>
    
    <p>If you wish to lead with a sleeper your options are Gengar, which is the fastest, but otherwise least useful; Jynx, with good Speed and middling usefulness; a bunch of other BLs and UUs of varying usefulness and speed; and Exeggutor, the slowest but otherwise the best. The only sleeper slower than Exeggutor that should ever be used in a serious battle is Chansey, and it isn't a common lead.</p>
    
    <p>Your other option for a lead choice is to try to prevent these Pokemon from sleeping you. You may not be able to pick a Pokemon that beats every possible sleep lead&mdash;Starmie with Psychic, Blizzard, and Surf is as probably as close as you can get. However, it's not great against Jynx, and it is a poor Starmie set generally. Anything with Blizzard gives you a 9% chance of stopping an Exeggutor on turn one. Alakazam often scares off Gengar, possibly allowing you to bring in your own sleeper to get in ahead of your opponent.</p>
    
    <p>If you are leading with a sleeper, you should strongly consider having a backup. This will allow you to stay in safely if slower or tied for Speed. If you are leading with Gengar, it can help you make up for Hypnosis's shaky accuracy. Or you could just risk it anyway&mdash;this is RBY after all.</p>
    
    <p>Lead selection is dominated by sleep, but while it is useful to have the first sleep, it isn't vital. Likewise, if you want to paralyze something before using your sleep move, this isn't an insurmountable obstacle. Sleepers make great lures because the Pokemon they lure are generally paralyzed, which is exactly the sort of opponent that Pokemon such as Snorlax or Rhydon like to switch in against. If in the end you don't sleep anything, that may end up not costing you much. It's very good, but it's not vital.</p>
    

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