Trick Room: The Move Trick Room, is a 5 PP Psychic attack that has the following affects: -Trick Room, upon activation, lasts for the next 5 turns including the turn it was used. -During Trick Room, the Pokemon who would have gone last normally will go first. -Trick Room has the worst priority in the game. This move will go always go last, regardless of the speed of user, or the speed of the opponent. -When using Trick Room during a Trick Room, the affects do not stack, the original Trick Room will be canceled and the normal rules of Pokemon will apply. When D/P first came out, Trick Room was seen as little more than a gimmick, only to be used in fun teams and never in serious competitive play. After a while some people, including myself, tinkered with this under appreciated move and have done so with amazing results. This guide is an attempt to not only educate someone who's interested in creating a Trick Room team, but to show that Trick Room is a viable strategy that all teams should look out for when team building. Trick Room: The Starters Due to Trick Room only lasting for only 5 turns, you are definitely going to need to be prepared to renew the effects at one point or another during a battle. Because of this a Trick Room user almost HAS to be a tank/wall, in order to make repeated switch-ins and set up the move once again. Furthermore, it is likely that during the course of a battle, your Trick Roomer will die, because your entire team will operate much less effectively without Trick Room, it is important to pack at least two Trick Room users. It is also important to note that all viable Trick Room initiators are of the Psychic or Ghost type. Due to this, it is highly recommended that you: A. Have at least one Dark and Ghost resist on your team. B. Have at least one way to deal with Tyranitar/Weavile. C. Do not use any sweepers who are also Psychic or Ghost, lest half or more of your team be weak to one type. Now that we have defined how one should choose a Trick Room starter, let’s have a look at some of the best of the best. Bronzong @ Leftovers Levitate Sassy Nature (+Sp. Def,-Spd) *0 Spd IV 252 HP, 252 Sp. Def, 6 Atk Trick Room Hypnosis Gyro Ball Earthquake Bronzong is the premier Trick Roomer, and thus should be used on almost all Trick Room teams. (Exceptions include when one or more of your sweepers are weak to Fire) Its base stats coupled with its defensive typing allow it to take quite a few hits before dying. This allows it to perform Trick Room quite a few times. With a negative nature and a 0 Speed IV it falls to 63 speed, making it one of the slowest Pokemon in the game. Not only securing his going first during Trick Room, but making a Gyro Ball from it insanely devastating. This Pokemon can be a great lead, however one Pokemon totally shuts down his efforts. Taunt Gyarados, another common lead, will proceed to Taunt first turn, taking away your ability to set up the life blood of the team. Gyarados also laughs at any attempts to damage him, and while taking off Hypnosis or Earthquake for Charge Beam may seem like a good idea, it fails to even 3HKO a bulky Gyarados, and moving EVs is not an option due to the necessity to be able to take as many hits as possible. It's best to just accept the fact that Gyarados will beat Bronzong every time and move on. Even with this glaring weakness, few Pokemon can hope to replace Bronzong on a Trick Room team. Solrock @ Focus Sash/Leftovers Brave (+Atk,-Spd) *0 Spd IV 252 HP, 252 Atk, 6 Def Trick Room Stone Edge Earthquake Explosion This Pokemon is meant to be the lead in a Trick Room team. The only time this Pokemon is not going to get either a kill, or a Trick Room off, is when it gets put to sleep. It deals with the Gyarados problem by 2HKO'ing regular Gyarados all of the time, and Bulky Gyarados about 75% of the time. This is assuming however that first turn the opponent will Taunt, hoping to turn Trick Room useless, instead of attacking. If he attacks, there is little that you can do save hoping for a critical hit. But in my experience, players will Taunt 9/10 times for fear that you will Trick Room, and then boom. The general strategy is to Trick Room on an attack that activates Focus Sash, and then use Explosion, hopefully both denting an opponent’s pokemon beyond repair, and getting a "free" switch in to one of your sweepers. Earthquake is mainly there for coverage as you obviously wouldn't want to boom on Steel/Rock pokemon. Leftovers can be subbed in Focus Sash, but Solrock's 70/85/65 defenses aren't the best when compared to other Pokemon who acquire Trick Room, if you're not going to use the Trick Room -> Focus Sash -> Explosion combo, you might be better off using a different Pokemon for your Trick Rooming needs. Slowbro @ Leftovers Relaxed (+Def,-Spd) *0 Spd IV for Ice Beam, 3 Spd IV for Hidden Power Electric 212 HP, 252 Def, 44 Sp. Atk Trick Room Slack Off Surf Ice Beam/Hidden Power [Electric] Slowbro makes a great mid-game Trick Roomer. It has an edge over other Trick Room users because of its access to an instant recovery move, Slack Off. This allows long term survivability and thus repeated uses of Trick Room when needed. He also has a fairly decent Sp. Atk meaning it can benefit from its own Trick Room activations. These reasons make it a staple on my Trick Room teams. Other Options Jirachi/Dusknoir/Cresselia/Celebi/Hypno all have the chance to be great Trick Roomers, it all just depends on what your team needs. Jirachi is nice due to its wish support. Dusknoir and Cresselia get mentions due to being all around great walls that have access to Trick Room. Celebi can be made to use Heal Bell which is a great asset to a team full of sweepers who would prefer to remain healthy and status free, and lastly Hypno gets a honorable mention for being the only Trick Roomer who is immune to sleep, making its activation all but inevitable. Counters The main problem with Trick Roomers is the susceptibility to Taunt. A Pokemon who can take a decent amount of hits, while using Taunt, will generally shut down all Trick Roomers. However, teching certain moves for common taunters (Electric/Rock for Gyarados, Fighting/Steel/Ground for Tyranitar) can eliminate this weakness fairly effectively. Other than that, Trick Roomers will be able to set up for the rest of the team 9/10 times, barring sleep or being OHKO'd. But you wouldn't let that happen to one of your valuable Trick Roomers now would you? Trick Room: The Receivers The aim of a Trick Room team is to set up, switch to a pokemon with an obscene attack, and proceed to destroy as the opponent has no chance of going first, or hoping to wall your offensive behemoths. The main features that a receiver must have then, is a godly attack stat, or attacking move (see Relicanth with Head Smash) and a relatively low Speed stat. (I find base 90 to be my limit when thinking of pokemon who are "to fast" for Trick Room teams. This is because with max hindering they reach 166 speed, just slow enough to "outrun" neutral base 65 and above during Trick Room.) Also, unless I'm using glass cannon pokemon, such as Rampardos, I like my Receivers to be fairly bulky. Being able to take a hit or two in between Trick Room sessions is a definite plus. Other than these few guidelines any Pokemon really can be used during Trick Room, but a few come to mind when I think in terms of raw power. Rhyperior @ Choice Band/ Life Orb Solid Rock Brave (+Atk,-Spd) *0 Spd IV 252 HP, 252 Atk, 6 Def Stone Edge Earthquake Avalanche Megahorn This Pokemon hits like a ton of bricks, and during Trick Room it will be nigh impossible to take down. The coverage/power of this set is matched by none. The only thing that hurts it is the inclusion of Choice Band. You will need to pick your move extremely well, almost to the verge of telepathic insight of your opponent’s moves lest you get walled. This is why the Life Orb is always an option, however it lacks the power to 2HKO the most common physical walls like Skarmory/Donphan/Gliscor/Foretress. The only one absent from that list is Hippowdon, however if you can Knock Off his leftovers, you get about a 25% chance to 2HKO which is very nice. The decision is obviously up to how good you perceive your skills, as the Choice Band gives the better payoff when used correctly. Also remember that Avalanche has a negative priority and will not be faster during Trick Room. Magnezone @ Leftovers Quiet (+Sp.Atk,-Spd) *2 Spd IV for Hidden Power [Ice], 3 for [Grass] 252 HP, 252 Sp.Atk, 6 Sp.Def Thunderbolt Hidden Power [Ice]/[Grass] Substitute Magnet Rise Choosing a Special based Pokemon for Trick Room can be a hard thing to do, this is mainly due to the fact that most of the best Special attackers are at or above that “too fast” line I established earlier. However, Magnezone is a great candidate for a Special slot on your team. His base 130 Sp.Atk is nothing to scoff at and his pseudo boltbeam is good for coverage. Plus, during Trick Room one of his main counters, Dugtrio, can’t call himself a counter anymore due to the inclusion of Magnet Rise. It's also a great addition due to his Steel killing expertise, If a pesky steel type is in the way of a Rhyperior sweep, take him out with this guy. Trick Room also makes him able to reliably kill off Metagross’s regardless of their Speed investments because Earthquake is no longer a threat. Camerupt @ Choice Specs/Life Orb Solid Rock Quiet (+Sp.Atk,-Spd) *2 Spd IV for Hidden Power Ice 160 HP, 96 Atk, 252 Sp.Atk for Choice Specs 252 HP, 252 Sp.Atk 6 Sp.Def for Life Orb Eruption/Fire Blast Earth Power Hidden Power [Ice] Explosion Camerupt is an absolute beast during Trick Room. His Eruption will do massive amounts of damage to anyone not resisting it, and Ground/Ice is a pretty great attacking combonation. Only resisted by a levitating Steels and Shedinja, who all happen to be weak to his STAB Fire moves. When using the Life Orb set, it is unneccesary to invest any Attack EV's because 216 is the minimum Attack stat needed to OHKO Blissey with Explosion, and Camerupt's unboosted Attack reaches 236. Also, when using the Life Orb set, Fire Blast is recommended over Eruption because it seems rather antithetical to damage yourself while using a move that requires your health to be high in order to be effective. As long as you keep his health up, Camerupt is guarenteed to bring some havoc to your opponent's team. Hariyama @ Leftovers Thick Fat Relaxed(+Def,-Spd) 76 HP, 180 Atk, 252 Def Cross Chop Stone Edge Knock Off Ice Punch Hariyama is a great addition to a Trick Room team. Not only does his low speed benefit from Trick Room, but he fits a very specific purpose. He is resistant to Dark. This alone makes him (and his friend Machamp who also shares his slow speed) very valuable to any Trick Room team. Also this specific Hariyama has very good synergy with Rhyperior, Knocking Off any pesky Leftovers on Physical walls, further solidifying the 2HKO. Just remember: DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT A DARK RESIST. *you could also choose a Sleep Talk set, this is nice with Trick Room teams due to the weakness Trick Room users have to sleep. Other Options As I said, anything goes really. I myself have tinkered with a lot of things. Ampharos with Tbolt/HP Ice/Focus Punch/Sub does quite nicely. Also Relicanth makes a great Trick Room sweeper with Headsmash/Double-Edge/Aqua Tail/Earthquake 2HKO'ing a lot of the common walls, much like Rampardos. Clamperl/Marowak/Rampardos are nice for their insane attack stats, as well as their slow speed. The problem with these three is that they are pretty fragile and aren’t going to last more than one or two Trick Room sessions. The main thing is to be creative, the more creative you are, the less effectively your opponent can read your moves. And when your actions are pretty predictable, surprise can be one of your greatest assets. Countering Trick Room Choosing specific Pokemon who can counter Trick Room as a whole is all but impossible. However, by using certain strategies, and using walls with certain moves can make your team more Trick Room ready. It is important to have atleast 2 of these moves on your team because a team ill prepared for Trick Room WILL get swept every time. -Taunt This move will stop Pokemon from starting the Trick Room in the First Place. However, many Trick Roomers carry attacks meant to counter common taunters. This can make taunting less than effective. Possible taunters include Gyarados/Tyranitar -Substitute Switching into a Trick Roomer when it sets up, and subbing on the switch to a sweeper, then continuing to sub each turn until Trick Room runs out is a very effective strategy for dealing with Trick Room receivers. However, you have to sacrifice 75% of your health or risk getting OHKO’d when you have no substitute if you opt to attack and fail to OHKO the receiver. Overall though, it’s very effective at countering Trick Room. -Protect The downfall of Trick Room comes from the limited amount of turns in which sweepers have the ability to do their jobs. Protect turns a 5 turn “sweepfest” into a single attack. (Assuming you protect on turn 3 of Trick Room, after the sweeper has switched in.) -Roar/Whirlwind Due to Trick Room being the slowest move in the game, Trick Roomers unfortunately will be scared/blown away before they get a chance to set up the move. This counter is guaranteed to work every time and is very effective at countering Trick Roomers. Also, using these moves on the switch to their sweeper can net you a lucky switch back to a Trick Roomer, all but ending an entire Trick Room session and setting their team back 2/3 turns. -Priority Moves Even though the majority of Trick Room receivers are pretty bulky, some common ones like Rhyperior and Magnezone won’t like being on the receiving end of a Choice Specs Vacuum Wave from Lucario. These will obviously be useful in keeping a weakened Trick Room beneficiary from completing a sweep as well. -Stall Teams Stall teams in general will have a fairly easy time taking you on, mainly because they are geared towards taking lots of damage anyway. Plus all the switching necessary when playing a Trick Room team will cause a ton of secondary damage that your Pokemon won't like. There really isn't much of anything you can do in this type of situation. It becomes a matter of whether or not you can take out one of their key stallers and exploit the new weakness. Work fast because the longer the battle wages on, the more the tides will shift to the stall team's advantage. Trick Room: Summary Trick Room teams are very fun to use due to the sheer number of Pokemon available for use when speed isn’t an issue. However because of the predictability of your actions (1st turn Trick Room, 2nd turn switch, 3rd-5th sweep, 6th Repeat) It takes quite a bit of skill to play well. Half the battle comes before the match with teambuilding as your team will have to play differently and have a lot of options depending on how the opponent reacts. Even with the downfalls of Trick Room, it is definitely not a gimmick and certainly is standard worthy, even if it takes a bit of skill to play. I hope this guide has inspired you to take a diversion from the norm, and venture to the tricky side of things.