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Taking Advantage of Team Preview [GP 2/2] [Done]

Discussion in 'Uploaded Analyses' started by Jukain, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. Jukain

    Jukain .leaf
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    [title]
    Taking Advantage of Team Preview

    [head]

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    <p>New to BW, Team Preview revolutionized competitive Pokemon. The ability to see your opponent's Pokemon hands you information that would otherwise be left unknown. I'm sure all of you know the mechanics of Team Preview, but just to recap: you and your opponent see each others' Pokemon at the beginning of a battle. You can change the order of your Pokemon, allowing you to choose your lead based on the opposing team. Now, think on this: have you ever actually taken advantage of Team Preview? Really, think about it for a moment. Unless you're a highly skilled player, I'd place my bets that you have not. This is one of the major factors that holds players back. You can get information from Team Preview that will be invaluable throughout the battle. You can figure out how to accomplish your goals and what roadblocks your opponent might have to those goals. You can figure out the best course of action to remove these roadblocks. Team Preview is one of if not the most important parts of a battle. Remember that while reading this.</p>

    <p>One of the major pieces of knowledge you can obtain from Team Preview is the playstyle of your opponent's team. Common examples include rain offense, rain stall, and sun offense, though there are many others. Determining your opponent's playstyle is the first step toward deducing what sets your opponent might be running. Before I talk about that, I'll answer a question you're probably thinking of: how do you determine playstyles? Well, I could go on and on about different ways to categorize teams, but basically you'll just want to check if your team does well versus your opponent's team or not. Once you get that down, you can figure out sets. For example, a Latias on an offensive team is more likely to be running a Life Orb or Choice Specs set. However, on a stall team, Latias often runs support or Calm Mind. This can help immensely with guessing sets of unpredictable Pokemon. If your opponent has a rain stall team with Jirachi, you can pretty much guarantee it will be running a specially defensive set or the rare Substitute + Calm Mind set. If your opponent has entry hazards and no clear sweeper and is using Dragonite, then it is likely a Dragon Dance set. In short, reading between the lines is key for using this information in practice. However, it is not always reliable, either. There is no reason your opponent cannot run a Choice Scarf Jirachi on a rain team even though the most common set is one of the CM variants. Just as a general rule, don't rely on your skills of deduction, as there is no way you can be sure that your opponent will have a given set just because of their team's playstyle.</p>

    <p>Obviously you're in a better spot if you know what your opponent has coming. If they have a Volcarona, it is going to try and set up with Quiver Dance. Make a plan to prevent that from happening. If your opponent has a Forretress it will likely be setting up entry hazards. Have a Taunt user or heavy hitter out ready to prevent hazards. If your opponent has a Xatu or Espeon and your strategy relies on entry hazards, you should try and remove that impediment as soon as possible. There's also some examples with walls. If your opponent has a Chansey and you have a ton of special attackers alongside a lone Terrakion, you'll know to preserve Terrakion. Vice versa goes with Skarmory. If you have a Kingdra and your opponent has a Ferrothorn you need to remove Ferrothorn. Essentially, you want to identify your opponent's game plan and obstacles to your game plan, preventing and removing them, respectively. If you notice a Pokemon you're weak to on your opponent's team, don't just go "gdi I'm screwed". See the ways you can deal with that. For example, maybe you're weak to SubCM Jirachi. Let's say you have a Whirlwind Skarmory and Taunt Jellicent. You also have a mixed Salamence with Fire Blast / Outrage / Brick Break / Roost. You're going to want to predict Jirachi's switch-ins and bring in Jellicent to Taunt or Skarmory to Whirlwind. Essentially, you want to prevent it from setting up. Fire Blast isn't going to do that much in your opponent's rain, but you have some Spikes. You'll want to keep phazing Jirachi out until it is weakened to a point where Fire Blast can finish it off. Now, what if you hadn't identified SubCM Jirachi in Team Preview? You wouldn't have figured out what to do until it was too late. Even if you weren't sure what set Jirachi was running, you would know to do your best at scouting it. Simply identifying threats in Team Preview saved you the match; however, be sure to note this: don't rely on these educated guesses, because in the end they are just that&mdash;guesses. Your opponent could be running any set or a creative one of their own. Maybe they have different moves than are standard. <em>Nothing is guaranteed.</em> While in other games you might know exactly what each Pokemon your opponent has will do, you never know for sure in Pokemon. In chess, you know that your opponent's king can only move one space in each direction and that their pawn will not be able to attack your king head on. In Pokemon, for all you know, Jirachi could be an offensively-based Calm Mind variant, not the specially defensive one you were expecting. The best way to play is to assume that if your opponent's Pokemon can carry a move to hit your Pokemon, it has it unless you determine it doesn't via scouting. Figuring out which Pokemon you should focus on scouting is also important in Team Preview.</p>

    <p>All of this information is worthless, however, without applying to pick your lead and allowing the information to dictate your strategy throughout the battle. In the end, Team Preview is just another part of the game; you need to try and end it with an advantage over your opponent. There's a few terms I'll define for those of you who aren't familiar. The first is the term dedicated lead, which is, as the name implies, a Pokemon who devotes all of their abilities to leading. Usually, entry hazard leads will jump to the front of your mind when this term comes up. Pokemon such as Focus Sash Terrakion, Aerodactyl, and Froslass are a couple example of them. Dual screens, while not that good in this metagame, are easy to set up against more defensive leads such as Ferrothorn. The breadwinner is Espeon, who has Magic Bounce to prevent Ferrothorn from setting up entry hazards. Espeon can become near-impossible for some teams to break. Azelf is another viable option, utilizing the great Speed it has to set up screens reliably. Now, there's also counters to these leads; fast Taunt users renders all of them useless. However, a faster Taunt is less ubiquitous than it once was, especially with the departure of Tornadus-T. Teams with dedicated leads are almost always offensive, if not hyper offensive. Why is this, you may ask? Well, dedicated leads are generally fast Pokemon that can get their job done reliably. Offensive teams can seize this momentum to destroy their opposition. If you have a dedicated lead, picking your lead is easy, but if you don't, well, that's what is going to be discussed next.</p>

    <p>If you don't have a dedicated lead, the goal is to end up with the best initial match-up. The player with the advantageous match-up on the first turn has an edge for the entire battle. Here's a few quick tips:</p>

    <ol>
    <li>Don't automatically lead with your weather inducer:<br /><br />
    This mistake is insanely common. Players lead with their weather inducer for no reason whatsoever. Your opponent can simply switch in theirs. If you both have weather inducers, for the love of God, don't lead with Ninetales. There is an inherent disadvantage in doing so. All weather inducers underspeed it other than Choice Scarf Politoed and Tyranitar. Politoed is a poor lead against sand teams, as both Tyranitar and Hippowdon underspeed it. Only the sand inducers always have an advantage leading against other weather inducers. If your opponent isn't dumb, they'll lead with a Pokemon that beats your sand inducer. Get Stealth Rock up. Do some damage. But please, please don't lead with your weather inducer every damn time. It's just not a good idea.</li>
    <li>Don't lead with setup fodder:<br /><br />
    One thing you'll find: people love their lead setup Pokemon. You'll see plenty of Volcarona and Dragonite boosting on turn 1. Be careful. Have a backup plan, like Perish Song or Taunt, etc. Get these things dead ASAP. Otherwise, you're done, no question about it. Watch out for these Pokemon, or they'll get you. Defensive teams shouldn't have to worry, this is mainly for offensive teams.</li>
    <li>Be ready for those dedicated leads:<br /><br />
    Terrakion is the big one in this metagame. Try and get it down to its Sash and then force it out or kill it so it can't set up Stealth Rock more than once in a match. Use an Espeon or faster Taunt user, such as Tornadus.</li>
    <li>Scan for any and all possible Stealth Rock setters:<br /><br />
    No matter what the team matchup is, Stealth Rock is always very important in the match, so you should identify all of your opponent's Pokemon that might be setting up Stealth Rock. Then, narrow it down. The example below will detail how exactly you should do so.</li>
    <li>Scan for Choice Scarf users:<br /><br />
    Unless your opponent is running two Choice Scarf users (people do that occasionally), they've probably got just one. You will want to try and identify which Pokemon of your opponent's might holding a Choice Scarf. Again, the example will show you how to do so in practice.</li>
    </ol>

    <p>The other option you have is to just take the first steps toward achieving your team's goal. Set up that Stealth Rock. Baton Pass that Substitute. Spread that paralysis. Surprise KO that troublesome Pokemon with your unorthodox moveset. It's not rocket science; get the battle started. Look at it this way: Whichever player achieves their goal first wins. By working toward your goal right off the bat, your opponent is automatically a step behind. If your opponent is weak to one of your Pokemon, you should know to try and keep it alive.</p>

    <p>What if you're seriously going for that good match-up, though. What if that advantage helps you more (it does). You're going to have to take a gamble: What are the odds that your opponent will lead with a certain Pokemon? Assuming said opponent has a functioning brain, they're going to think a bit. This is a very advanced form of prediction. There is an infinite amount of match-ups possible. The only good way to do this is to use some example teams. What you'll see is exactly what is seen in Team Preview; the Pokemon.</p>

    <p><span style="font-size: 20px;">Player 1 vs. Player 2</span></p>

    <ul style="list-style-type: none;">
    <li>Player 1's team: Rotom-W / Kyurem-B / Landorus / Deoxys-D / Tentacruel / Abomasnow</li>
    <li>Player 2's team: Forretress / Hippowdon / Zapdos / Jellicent / Jirachi / Tangrowth</li>
    </ul>

    <p>Using our playstyle checklist, you should find that the teams can be classified fairly easily. Player 1 has a balanced hail team. You should easily be able to see the gameplan of the team; Abomasnow sets up hail, which allows Kyurem-B to utilize a perfectly accurate Blizzard and punch holes, which allows Landorus (likely a special RP variant) to sweep. This is all made possible through a combination of reliable entry hazards and a spinner. The obvious Stealth Rock setter is Deoxys-D, but identifying the Choice Scarf user is a bit trickier. Landorus, Rotom-W, and Kyurem-B are all possible ones; however, from our previous analysis, it should be intuitively obvious that either Landorus or Rotom-W holds the Choice Scarf, with the odds slightly leaning toward the latter. Player 2 is running a sand stall team. Jirachi appears to be a SubCM or Wish CM variant, as the team lacks any other offensive Pokemon, but it could be any set for Rotom-W and Kyurem-B both appear to be huge threats, and Forretress is going to have trouble spinning with all the Pokemon that can heavily damage it. Player 2 is at a pretty immediate team disadvantage. Hippowdon usually runs a defensive set with Slack Off, Earthquake, Stealth Rock, and a filler move. Forretress is of course going to be a physically defensive spinner that likely has one or both forms of Spikes. Of course, Forretress could be running Stealth Rock, but Hippowdon is much more likely to be running it in this scenario. Zapdos appears to be defensive also, probably some variant of SubRoost. Jellicent is obviously the spinblocker and is imperative for Player 1 to remove. Tangrowth always runs a physically defensive set. Player 2 needs to keep hazards up with his spinblocker in order to wear down Kyurem-B, so Hippowdon is a pretty nice lead. But wait! Player 1 has a dedicated lead in Deoxys-D, so they won't be leading with Abomasnow, which means getting sand up first will put Player 2 at a disadvantage. Instead, they should lead with something for Deoxys-D. What Player 2 knows is that their Jirachi is a Trick Scarf variant. Deoxys-D will likely Taunt to prevent Jirachi from setting up Stealth Rock, so Player 2 is in the clear. Even if Deoxys-D sets up Stealth Rock, it won't be able to set up more hazards because Choice Scarf prevents it from switching moves. This is actually what both players do. Player 2's analytical thinking pays off, as Deoxys-D is crippled on the very first turn.</p>

    <p>This is the type of thinking you need to have. Note that the players in the battle took less than a minute to figure this all out. It's exactly what you should do eventually. In the example, Player 2 took an educated guess and started the battle with an advantage. Now that you have this knowledge, go and try it out. In no time at all, you'll be winning games like crazy. This, my friend, is what differentiates a good player from a mediocre one.</p>
  2. Trinitrotoluene

    Trinitrotoluene ♫~ why not take this one chance and come fly with me? ~♫
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    Yea, this looks good IMO. Also, would you plan on including examples of Team Preview screens during your letter, like what Faladran did on his blog entry about Team Preview (before it was taken down)?
  3. Unbreakable

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  4. Jukain

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    this should be good

    have fun
  5. yee

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    I'm glad you choose to wrote this article, from what I skimmed it looks like it will be very helpful for a lot of people.

    I didn't read the whole thing, but I'd like confirmation that somewhere in there it asks to look for all of the possible Stealth Rock users on the other team. This is the first thing I do personally and as I've found can be a very important game to play against your opponent when building your teams.
  6. ginganinja

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    Yea, checking out your opponents lead and planning accordingly is a more advanced trick some players do now. For example if I have rain vs sun, even tho Politoed underspeeds Ninetales, is not worth leading it when my opponent will prolly go for Venusaur to force out Politoed paving the way for a free switch to Ninetales, or a momentum grab with Sleep Powder / Grass Attack / Coverage move. Ergo, id lead with my Venusaur counter. Being 2 steps ahead (or more) is hard but having that momentum is oh so important in pokemon.

    Following on from what Yee said, knowing the Stealth Rock user is important, since its basically the best hazard in the game, and knowing what the SR user is key. If you can put pressure on it, say leading with something that can KO it, and later on limiting its opportunities to switch in, that can do wonders for your Dragonite or whatever, heck, just delaying that SR is nice for Scarfers such as Salamence, which appreciate not having to lose 25% switching in, especially if its a revenge killer lacking recovery.

    In a similar vein, and what I prefer to look at, is checking out the scarfer on the offensive team. You sort of mentioned this when looking at sets, but its still worth mentioning (somewhere) that many teams usually have a straight formula, and that can assist in determining the sets of the opponent. For instance, I remember a memorable game when I faced someone with an electric weak team that had Jellicent and a Thundurus-T. Knowing he was vulnerable to my Starmie, and assuming that it was his revenge killer (since Scarf Toed wouldn't have fixed his Starmie problems very well) I was able to get Starmie in on Jellicent, and then Ice Beam the Thundurus-T, expecting to take a Thunder. Clearly, the above scenario is a mid game sort of thing, but its the little judgements you can make with team preview that let you pull off moves such as this. As an example in your above team preview scenario, as Player 2 I would be looking hard at Rotom-W, Kyurem-B and Landorus as possible scarfers (with Abomasnow being the unexpected one). Again, you touched on this so it prolly doesn't matter too much, but its worth re-iterating I guess.

    So yeah, im really nitpicking as you have pretty much everything covered. No problems here!
  7. jc104

    jc104 Humblest person ever
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    With Sunny Day tales, this is really not the case at all (well maybe it is with sand). If you lead with ninetales and they lead with Politoed, that's a good result for the sun player. Seriously. If the politoed is scarfed you immediately get to identify it at such, and you have sun up (this is unlikely - they usually won't lead with scarftoed). More critically, you'll get to learn if it ISN'T scarfed, which basically allows you to toy with the politoed all game, using sunny day.

    The scenario you really don't want to be in as the rain user is the one where both inducers are in, but the wrong weather is up. It's going to take you two turns minimum to get rain back up; no two ways about it. This gives the sun user time to switch in a powerful sun pokemon, and get a kill almost for sure (or better, weaken politoed significantly).

    Now, of course, the politoed user could switch out straight away. But when it comes back in it's going to be facing a ninetales, which can use sunny day, or a powerful sun abuser that's going to put a big dent in it (venusaur springs to mind). The point really is that it isn't at all obvious what you should lead with. It depends entirely what your opponent does.

    What about the scenario where they don't lead with politoed? Well, if you can get venusaur in safely, you could potentially be at a big advantage. If they don't switch in politoed immediately, they're in big trouble. If they do, they still have a bad matchup - it's more or less equivalent to leading with venusaur really, except that you have the opportunity to predict the politoed switchin, use sunny day, and royally screw them over - a risky move, admittedly. edit: and of course, if they lead with their venusaur counter, you won't have the wrong mon in at the start!
  8. ginganinja

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    I disagree with this. For starters, Specs Toed can quite happily nail you with a Hydro Pump. Even with Sunny Day up you get crippled, so staying in and using Sunny Day is very risky. Secondly, Toed would be quite happy to nail you with a Toxic, and eventually wear you down this way, provided the rain team can play around Venusaur (which every half decent Rain team should be able to achieve). I can say from personal experience (having been in the Politoed vs Ninetales senario many times on the ladder) that a free Toxic on Ninetales is not bad, and puts it unde enough pressure to eventually win the weather war, a pretty big thing.

    Regardless, I really don't want this article promoting leading with Ninetales full stop, since its not a great move, and never players could get the wrong idea. It doesn't even help you vs some Venusaur counters / checks either, since Latios / Latias (fairly common at hihg levels of play) can both threaten with a Draco Meteor or Psyshock. you are needed to win the weather war so you switch out, and Latios / Latias has a free turn to smash something with a LO boosted attack, or make a free switch to Politoed. Either way, the advantage is with the Rain team, rather than the Sun team.

    SO why are you putting yourself in such a risky position by leading with Ninetales when you can have a better lead (say Venusaur) and bypass the risk? Ninetales is crucial to your teams success, leading with it and risking it getting cripples, or forced out for a momentum advantage for the other team is a needless risk.

    Just my personal opinion
  9. jc104

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    I don't especially want to encourage leading with ninetales as a general rule. I just think "don't lead with ninetales" is not a very good rule to follow either. There are numerous situations in which it is to your advantage to lead with ninetales.

    Actually, I think not leading with politoed against sun is a better rule.
  10. inanimate blob

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    I would personally mention Zoroark in this letter. Despite not being OU, it still warrants a place in Team Preview - it is one of the ultimate mind game Pokèmon. Alongside Pokèmon such as Shedinja, Gengar, and other types it is immune/resistant to, it keeps the opponent on their feet and can leave them guessing.
  11. Jukain

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    Oh hey, thanks for the critique guys!

    I've added identifying Stealth Rock setters and Scarfers to the tips and made specific mentions of them in the example.

    I don't really want to mention Zoroark, as it really doesn't have much to do with utilizing Team Preview to your advantage. Zoroark is a mediocre Pokemon in OU, even accounting for Illusion. Even if you discover that your foe's active Pokemon is a Zoroark in disguise, you still shouldn't be having much trouble.

    I'm torn about what I should do with the title at this point; the letter itself is, yes, essentially 100% based toward an OU mindset. With that in mind, however, the principles do apply to other tiers. I think it's slightly misleading to leave the title as general, though, so any opinions?
  12. Eo Ut Mortus

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    "So what?"

    I think you place way too much emphasis on categories when a lot of them don't even matter. Some are fair assessments--rain teams don't tend to run Hidden Power Fire and will tend to run CM Jirachi or whatever--but there is absolutely no reason to try to determine whether or not something is a sand team or just a team with sand (there is also no difference, let alone an applicable one). This also applies to distinguishing different degrees of stall and offense...there are practically no generalizations that can be applied to one degree but not to the other.

    I would go as far as to say this categorizing thing is a flawed and dangerous mindset, because there is no reason a rain team can't run Scarf Jirachi even though it more commonly runs Calm Mind. If you are bent on including it, I would suggest at least taking out the irrelevant subcategories.
  13. Jukain

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    um yeah, I wrote that part like right when I posted the original skeleton version of the letter and though I'd removed it, actually :o

    I revised that part a bunch and took out that useless list.
  14. Redew

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    New to BW, Team Preview revolutionized competitive Pokemon. The ability to see your opponent's Pokemon hands you information that would otherwise be left unknown. I'm sure all of you know the mechanics of Team Preview, but just to recap: you and your opponent see each others' Pokemon at the beginning of a battle. You can change the order of your Pokemon, allowing you to choose your lead based on the opposing team. Now, think on this: have you ever actually taken advantage of Team Preview? Really, think about it for a moment. Unless you're a highly skilled player, I'd place my bets on that you have not. This is one of the major factors that holds players back. You can get information from Team Preview that will be invaluable throughout the battle. You can figure out how to accomplish your goals and what roadblocks your opponent might have to those goals. You can figure out the best course of action to remove these roadblocks. Team Preview is one of if not the most important parts of a battle. Remember that while reading this.

    One of the major pieces of knowledge you can obtain from Team Preview is the playstyle of your opponent's team. Common examples include rain offense, Deoxys-D heavy offense, rain stall, and sun offense, though there are many others. Determining your opponent's playstyle is the first step toward deducing what sets your opponent might be running. Before I talk about that, I'll answer a question you're probably thinking of: how do you determine playstyles? Well, I could go on and on about different ways to categorize teams, but basically, you'll just want to check if your team does well versus your opponent's team or not. Once you get that down, you can figure out sets; f. For example, a Latias on an offensive team is more likely to be running a Life Orb or Choice Specs set. However, on a stall team, Latias often runs support or Calm Mind. This can help immensely with guessing sets of unpredictable Pokemon. If your opponent has a rain stall team with Jirachi, you can pretty much guarantee it will be running a specially defensive set or the rare Substitute + Calm Mind set. If your opponent has entry hazards and no clear sweeper withand is using Dragonite, then it is likely a Dragon Dance. You g set the idea. In short, reading in-between the lines is key for using this information in practice. However, it is not always reliable, either. There is no reason your opponent cannot run a Choice Scarf Jirachi on a rain team, even though the most common set is one of the CM variants. Just as a general rule, don't rely on your skills of deduction, as there is no way you can be sure that your opponent will have a given set just because of their team's playstyle.

    Obviously you're in a better spot if you know what your opponent has coming. If they have a Volcarona, it is going to try and set up with Quiver Dance. Make a plan to prevent that from happening. YIf your opponent has a Deoxys-D; it will likely be setting up entry hazards. Have a Taunt user or heavy hitter out ready to prevent hazards. YIf your opponent has a Xatu or Espeon and your strategy relies on entry hazards. Y, you should try and remove that impediment as soon as possible. There's also some examples with walls. YIf your opponent has a Chansey and you have a ton of special attackers alongside a lone Terrakion. Y, you'll know to preserve Terrakion. Vice versa goes with Skarmory. YIf you have a Kingdra and your opponent has a Ferrothorn. Y you need to remove Ferrothorn. That's enough examples; eEssentially, you want to identify your opponent's game plan and obstacles to your game plan, preventing and removing them, respectively. If you notice a Pokemon you're weak to on your opponent's team, don't just go "gdi I'm fucked". See the ways you can deal with that. For example, maybe you're weak to SubCM Jirachi. Let's say you have a Whirlwind Skarmory and Taunt Jellicent. You also have a mixed Salamence with Fire Blast / Outrage / Brick Break / Roost. You're going to want to predict Jirachi's switch-ins and bring in Jellicent to Taunt or Skarmory to Whirlwind. Essentially, you want to prevent it from setting up. Fire Blast isn't going to do that much in your opponent's rain, but you have some Spikes. You'll want to keep phazing Jirachi out until it is weakened to a point where Fire Blast can finish it off. Now, what if you hadn't identified SubCM Jirachi in Team Preview? You wouldn't have figured out what to do until it was too late. Even if you weren't sure what set Jirachi was running, you would know to do your best at scouting it. Simply identifying threats in Team Preview saved you the match. H; however, be sure to note this: don't rely on these educated guesses, because in the end they are just that&mdash;guesses. Your opponent could be running any set or a creative one of their own. Maybe they have different moves than are standard. <em>Nothing is guaranteed.</em> While in other games you might know exactly what each piecePokemon your opponent has will do, you never know for sure in Pokemon. In chess, you know that your opponent's king can only move one space in each direction and that their pawn will not be able to attack your king head on. In Pokemon, for all you know, Jirachi could be an offensively-based Calm Mind variant, not the specially defensive one you were expecting. The best way to play is to assume that if your opponent's Pokemon can carry a move to hit your Pokemon, it has it unless you determine it doesn't via scouting. Figuring out which Pokemon you should focus on scouting is also important in Team Preview.

    All of this information is worthless, however, without applying to pick your lead and allowing the information to dictate your strategy throughout the battle. In the end, Team Preview is just another part of the game; you need to try and end it with an advantage over your opponent. There's a few terms I'll define for those of you who aren't familiar. The first is the term dedicated lead, which is, as the name implies, a Pokemon who devotes all of their abilities to leading. Usually, entry hazard leads will jump to the front of your mind when this term comes up. Pokemon such as Deoxys-D, Focus Sash Terrakion, Aerodactyl, and Froslass are a couple example of them. Dual screens, while not that good in this metagame, are easy to set up against more defensive leads such as Ferrothorn. The breadwinner is Espeon, who has Magic Bounce to prevent Ferrothorn from setting up entry hazards. Espeon can become near-impossible for some teams to break. Deoxys-D is another viable option, utilizing the great bulk and movepool it has to set up screens reliably throughout the match. Now, there's also counters to these leads; fast Taunt users renders all of them useless. However, a faster Taunt is less ubiqtiuitous than it once was, especially with the departure of Tornadus-T. Teams with dedicated leads are almost always offensive, if not hyper offensive,. Why is this, you may ask? Well, dedicated leads are generally fast Pokemon that can get their job done reliably. Offensive teams can seize this momentum to destroy their opposition. If you have a dedicated lead, picking your lead is easy, but if you don't, well, that's what is going to be discussed next.

    If you don't have a dedicated lead, the goal is to end up with the best initial match-up. The player with the advantageous match-up on the first turn has an edge for the entire battle. Here's a few quick tips:

    1) Don't automatically lead with your weather inducer:

    This mistake is insanely common. Players lead with their weather inducer for no reason whatsoever. Your opponent can simply switch in theirs. If you both have weather inducers, for the love of God, don't lead with Ninetales. There is an inherent disadvantage in doing so. All weather inducers underspeed it other than Choice Scarf Politoed and Tyranitar. Politoed is a poor lead against sand teams, as both Tyranitar and Hippowdon underspeed it. Only the sand inducers always have an advantage leading against other weather inducers. If your opponent isn't dumb, they'll lead with a Pokemon that beats your sand inducer. Get Stealth Rock up. Do some damage. But please, please don't lead with your weather inducer every damn time. It's just not a good idea.

    2) Don't lead with setup fodder:

    One thing you'll find: people love their lead setup Pokemon. You'll see plenty of Volcarona and Dragonite boosting on turn 1. Be careful. Have a backup plan, like Perish Song, or Taunt. Whatever, etc. Get these things dead ASAP. Otherwise, you're done, no question about it. Watch out for these Pokemon, or they'll get you. Defensive teams shouldn't have to worry, this is mainly for offensive teams.

    3) Be ready for those dedicated leads:

    Deoxys-D is the big one in this metagame. Pound the thing with U-turns and Bug Buzzes and strong moves; set up. A turn Deoxys-D wastes Taunting is a turn it doesn't set up hazards. Just, be ready. Prevent it from doing its job, to put it simply.

    4) Scan for any and all possible Stealth Rock setters:

    No matter what the team matchup or what have you is, Stealth Rock is always very important in the match. So,, so you should identify all of your opponent's Pokemon that might be setting up Stealth Rock. Then, narrow it down. The example below will detail how exactly you should do so.

    5) Scan for Choice Scarf users:

    Unless your opponent is running 2 Choice Scarf users (people do that occasionally), they've probably got just one. You will want to try and identify which Pokemon of your opponent's might holding a Choice Scarf. Again, the example will show you how to do so in practice.

    The other option you have is to just take the first steps toward achieving your team's goal. Set up that Stealth Rock. Baton Pass that Substitute. Spread that paralysis. Surprise KO that troublesome Pokemon with your unorthodox moveset. It's not rocket science; get the battle started. Look at it this way: Whichever player achieves their goal first wins. By working toward your goal right off the bat, your opponent is automatically a step behind. If your opponent is weak to one of your Pokemon, you should know to try and keep it alive.

    What if you're seriously going for that good match-up, though. What if that advantage helps you more (it does). You're going to have to take a gamble: What are the odds that your opponent will lead with a certain Pokemon? Assuming said opponent has a functioning brain, they're going to think a bit. This is a very advanced form of prediction. There is an infinite amount of match-ups possible. The only good way to do this is to use some example teams. What you'll see is exactly what is seen in Team Preview; the Pokemon.

    Player 1 vs. Player 2

    Player 1's team: Rotom-W / Kyurem-B / Landorus / Deoxys-D / Tentacruel / Abomasnow
    Player 2's team: Forretress / Hippowdon / Zapdos / Jellicent / Jirachi / Tangrowth

    Using our playstyle checklist, you should find that the teams can be classified fairly easily. Player 1 has a balanced hail team. You should easily be able to see the gameplan of the team; Abomasnow sets up hail, which allows Kyurem-B to utilize a perfectly accurate Blizzard and punch holes, which allows Landorus (likely a special RP variant) to sweep. This is all made possible through a combination of reliable entry hazards and a spinner. The obvious Stealth Rock setter is Deoxys-D, but identifying the Scarfer is a bit trickier. Landorus, Rotom-W, and Kyurem-B are all possible ones; however, from our previous analysis, it should be intuitively obvious that either Landorus or Rotom-W holds the Choice Scarf, with the odds slightly leaning toward the latter. Player 2 is running a sand stall team. Jirachi appears to be a SubCM or Wish CM variant, as the team lacks any other offensive Pokemon, but it could be any set for Rotom-W and Kyurem-B both appear to be huge threats, and Forretress is going to have trouble spinning with all the Pokemon that can heavily damage it. Player 2 is at a pretty immediate team disadvantage. Hippowdon usually runs a defensive set with Slack Off, Earthquake, Stealth Rock, and a filler move. Forretress is of course going to be a physically defensive spinner that likely has one or both forms of Spikes. Of course, Forretress could be running Stealth Rock, but Hippowdon is much more likely to be running it in this scenario. Zapdos appears to be defensive also, probably some variant of SubRoost. Jellicent is obviously the spinblocker and is imperative for Player 1 to remove. Tangrowth always runs a physically defensive set. Player 2 needs to keep hazards up with his spinblocker in order to wear down Kyurem-B, so Hippowdon is a pretty nice lead. But wait! Player 1 has a dedicated lead in Deoxys-D, so they won't be leading with Abomasnow, which means getting sand up first will put Player 2 at a disadvantage. Instead, they should lead with something for Deoxys-D. What Player 2 knows is that their Jirachi is a Trick Scarf variant. Deoxys-D will likely Taunt to prevent Jirachi from setting up Stealth Rock, so Player 2 is in the clear. Even if Deoxys-D sets up Spikes, it won't be able to do it again because Choice Scarf prevents it from switching moves. This is actually what both players do. Player 2's analytical thinking pays off, as Deoxys-D is crippled on the very first turn.

    This is the type of thinking you need to have. Note that the players in the battle took less than a minute to figure this all out. It's exactly what you should do eventually. In the example, Player 2 took an educated guess and started the battle with an advantage. Now that you have this knowledge, go and try it out. In no time at all, you'll be winning games like crazy. This, my friend, is what differentiates a good player from a mediocre one.


    c/p (open)
    New to BW, Team Preview revolutionized competitive Pokemon. The ability to see your opponent's Pokemon hands you information that would otherwise be left unknown. I'm sure all of you know the mechanics of Team Preview, but just to recap: you and your opponent see each others' Pokemon at the beginning of a battle. You can change the order of your Pokemon, allowing you to choose your lead based on the opposing team. Now, think on this: have you ever actually taken advantage of Team Preview? Really, think about it for a moment. Unless you're a highly skilled player, I'd place my bets on that you have not. This is one of the major factors that holds players back. You can get information from Team Preview that will be invaluable throughout the battle. You can figure out how to accomplish your goals and what roadblocks your opponent might have to those goals. You can figure out the best course of action to remove these roadblocks. Team Preview is one of if not the most important parts of a battle. Remember that while reading this.

    One of the major pieces of knowledge you can obtain from Team Preview is the playstyle of your opponent's team. Common examples include rain offense, Deoxys-D heavy offense, rain stall, and sun offense, though there are many others. Determining your opponent's playstyle is the first step toward deducing what sets your opponent might be running. Before I talk about that, I'll answer a question you're probably thinking of: how do you determine playstyles? Well, I could go on and on about different ways to categorize teams, but basically you'll just want to check if your team does well versus your opponent's team or not. Once you get that down, you can figure out sets. For example, a Latias on an offensive team is more likely to be running a Life Orb or Choice Specs set. However, on a stall team, Latias often runs support or Calm Mind. This can help immensely with guessing sets of unpredictable Pokemon. If your opponent has a rain stall team with Jirachi, you can pretty much guarantee it will be running a specially defensive set or the rare Substitute + Calm Mind set. If your opponent has entry hazards and no clear sweeper and is using Dragonite, then it is likely a Dragon Dance set. In short, reading in-between the lines is key for using this information in practice. However, it is not always reliable, either. There is no reason your opponent cannot run a Choice Scarf Jirachi on a rain team even though the most common set is one of the CM variants. Just as a general rule, don't rely on your skills of deduction, as there is no way you can be sure that your opponent will have a given set just because of their team's playstyle.

    Obviously you're in a better spot if you know what your opponent has coming. If they have a Volcarona, it is going to try and set up with Quiver Dance. Make a plan to prevent that from happening. If your opponent has a Deoxys-D it will likely be setting up entry hazards. Have a Taunt user or heavy hitter out ready to prevent hazards. If your opponent has a Xatu or Espeon and your strategy relies on entry hazards, you should try and remove that impediment as soon as possible. There's also some examples with walls. If your opponent has a Chansey and you have a ton of special attackers alongside a lone Terrakion, you'll know to preserve Terrakion. Vice versa goes with Skarmory. If you have a Kingdra and your opponent has a Ferrothorn you need to remove Ferrothorn. Essentially, you want to identify your opponent's game plan and obstacles to your game plan, preventing and removing them, respectively. If you notice a Pokemon you're weak to on your opponent's team, don't just go "gdi I'm fucked". See the ways you can deal with that. For example, maybe you're weak to SubCM Jirachi. Let's say you have a Whirlwind Skarmory and Taunt Jellicent. You also have a mixed Salamence with Fire Blast / Outrage / Brick Break / Roost. You're going to want to predict Jirachi's switch-ins and bring in Jellicent to Taunt or Skarmory to Whirlwind. Essentially, you want to prevent it from setting up. Fire Blast isn't going to do that much in your opponent's rain, but you have some Spikes. You'll want to keep phazing Jirachi out until it is weakened to a point where Fire Blast can finish it off. Now, what if you hadn't identified SubCM Jirachi in Team Preview? You wouldn't have figured out what to do until it was too late. Even if you weren't sure what set Jirachi was running, you would know to do your best at scouting it. Simply identifying threats in Team Preview saved you the match; however, be sure to note this: don't rely on these educated guesses, because in the end they are just that&mdash;guesses. Your opponent could be running any set or a creative one of their own. Maybe they have different moves than are standard. <em>Nothing is guaranteed.</em> While in other games you might know exactly what each Pokemon your opponent has will do, you never know for sure in Pokemon. In chess, you know that your opponent's king can only move one space in each direction and that their pawn will not be able to attack your king head on. In Pokemon, for all you know, Jirachi could be an offensively-based Calm Mind variant, not the specially defensive one you were expecting. The best way to play is to assume that if your opponent's Pokemon can carry a move to hit your Pokemon, it has it unless you determine it doesn't via scouting. Figuring out which Pokemon you should focus on scouting is also important in Team Preview.

    All of this information is worthless, however, without applying to pick your lead and allowing the information to dictate your strategy throughout the battle. In the end, Team Preview is just another part of the game; you need to try and end it with an advantage over your opponent. There's a few terms I'll define for those of you who aren't familiar. The first is the term dedicated lead, which is, as the name implies, a Pokemon who devotes all of their abilities to leading. Usually, entry hazard leads will jump to the front of your mind when this term comes up. Pokemon such as Deoxys-D, Focus Sash Terrakion, Aerodactyl, and Froslass are a couple example of them. Dual screens, while not that good in this metagame, are easy to set up against more defensive leads such as Ferrothorn. The breadwinner is Espeon, who has Magic Bounce to prevent Ferrothorn from setting up entry hazards. Espeon can become near-impossible for some teams to break. Deoxys-D is another viable option, utilizing the great bulk and movepool it has to set up screens reliably throughout the match. Now, there's also counters to these leads; fast Taunt users renders all of them useless. However, a faster Taunt is less ubiquitous than it once was, especially with the departure of Tornadus-T. Teams with dedicated leads are almost always offensive, if not hyper offensive. Why is this, you may ask? Well, dedicated leads are generally fast Pokemon that can get their job done reliably. Offensive teams can seize this momentum to destroy their opposition. If you have a dedicated lead, picking your lead is easy, but if you don't, well, that's what is going to be discussed next.

    If you don't have a dedicated lead, the goal is to end up with the best initial match-up. The player with the advantageous match-up on the first turn has an edge for the entire battle. Here's a few quick tips:

    1) Don't automatically lead with your weather inducer:

    This mistake is insanely common. Players lead with their weather inducer for no reason whatsoever. Your opponent can simply switch in theirs. If you both have weather inducers, for the love of God, don't lead with Ninetales. There is an inherent disadvantage in doing so. All weather inducers underspeed it other than Choice Scarf Politoed and Tyranitar. Politoed is a poor lead against sand teams, as both Tyranitar and Hippowdon underspeed it. Only the sand inducers always have an advantage leading against other weather inducers. If your opponent isn't dumb, they'll lead with a Pokemon that beats your sand inducer. Get Stealth Rock up. Do some damage. But please, please don't lead with your weather inducer every damn time. It's just not a good idea.

    2) Don't lead with setup fodder:

    One thing you'll find: people love their lead setup Pokemon. You'll see plenty of Volcarona and Dragonite boosting on turn 1. Be careful. Have a backup plan, like Perish Song or Taunt, etc. Get these things dead ASAP. Otherwise, you're done, no question about it. Watch out for these Pokemon, or they'll get you. Defensive teams shouldn't have to worry, this is mainly for offensive teams.

    3) Be ready for those dedicated leads:

    Deoxys-D is the big one in this metagame. Pound the thing with U-turns and Bug Buzzes and strong moves; set up. A turn Deoxys-D wastes Taunting is a turn it doesn't set up hazards. Just be ready. Prevent it from doing its job, to put it simply.

    4) Scan for any and all possible Stealth Rock setters:

    No matter what the team matchup is, Stealth Rock is always very important in the match, so you should identify all of your opponent's Pokemon that might be setting up Stealth Rock. Then, narrow it down. The example below will detail how exactly you should do so.

    5) Scan for Choice Scarf users:

    Unless your opponent is running 2 Choice Scarf users (people do that occasionally), they've probably got just one. You will want to try and identify which Pokemon of your opponent's might holding a Choice Scarf. Again, the example will show you how to do so in practice.

    The other option you have is to just take the first steps toward achieving your team's goal. Set up that Stealth Rock. Baton Pass that Substitute. Spread that paralysis. Surprise KO that troublesome Pokemon with your unorthodox moveset. It's not rocket science; get the battle started. Look at it this way: Whichever player achieves their goal first wins. By working toward your goal right off the bat, your opponent is automatically a step behind. If your opponent is weak to one of your Pokemon, you should know to try and keep it alive.

    What if you're seriously going for that good match-up, though. What if that advantage helps you more (it does). You're going to have to take a gamble: What are the odds that your opponent will lead with a certain Pokemon? Assuming said opponent has a functioning brain, they're going to think a bit. This is a very advanced form of prediction. There is an infinite amount of match-ups possible. The only good way to do this is to use some example teams. What you'll see is exactly what is seen in Team Preview; the Pokemon.

    Player 1 vs. Player 2

    Player 1's team: Rotom-W / Kyurem-B / Landorus / Deoxys-D / Tentacruel / Abomasnow
    Player 2's team: Forretress / Hippowdon / Zapdos / Jellicent / Jirachi / Tangrowth

    Using our playstyle checklist, you should find that the teams can be classified fairly easily. Player 1 has a balanced hail team. You should easily be able to see the gameplan of the team; Abomasnow sets up hail, which allows Kyurem-B to utilize a perfectly accurate Blizzard and punch holes, which allows Landorus (likely a special RP variant) to sweep. This is all made possible through a combination of reliable entry hazards and a spinner. The obvious Stealth Rock setter is Deoxys-D, but identifying the Scarfer is a bit trickier. Landorus, Rotom-W, and Kyurem-B are all possible ones; however, from our previous analysis, it should be intuitively obvious that either Landorus or Rotom-W holds the Choice Scarf, with the odds slightly leaning toward the latter. Player 2 is running a sand stall team. Jirachi appears to be a SubCM or Wish CM variant, as the team lacks any other offensive Pokemon, but it could be any set for Rotom-W and Kyurem-B both appear to be huge threats, and Forretress is going to have trouble spinning with all the Pokemon that can heavily damage it. Player 2 is at a pretty immediate team disadvantage. Hippowdon usually runs a defensive set with Slack Off, Earthquake, Stealth Rock, and a filler move. Forretress is of course going to be a physically defensive spinner that likely has one or both forms of Spikes. Of course, Forretress could be running Stealth Rock, but Hippowdon is much more likely to be running it in this scenario. Zapdos appears to be defensive also, probably some variant of SubRoost. Jellicent is obviously the spinblocker and is imperative for Player 1 to remove. Tangrowth always runs a physically defensive set. Player 2 needs to keep hazards up with his spinblocker in order to wear down Kyurem-B, so Hippowdon is a pretty nice lead. But wait! Player 1 has a dedicated lead in Deoxys-D, so they won't be leading with Abomasnow, which means getting sand up first will put Player 2 at a disadvantage. Instead, they should lead with something for Deoxys-D. What Player 2 knows is that their Jirachi is a Trick Scarf variant. Deoxys-D will likely Taunt to prevent Jirachi from setting up Stealth Rock, so Player 2 is in the clear. Even if Deoxys-D sets up Spikes, it won't be able to do it again because Choice Scarf prevents it from switching moves. This is actually what both players do. Player 2's analytical thinking pays off, as Deoxys-D is crippled on the very first turn.

    This is the type of thinking you need to have. Note that the players in the battle took less than a minute to figure this all out. It's exactly what you should do eventually. In the example, Player 2 took an educated guess and started the battle with an advantage. Now that you have this knowledge, go and try it out. In no time at all, you'll be winning games like crazy. This, my friend, is what differentiates a good player from a mediocre one.


    [gp]1/2[/gp]

    i am v tired
  15. Jukain

    Jukain .leaf
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  16. GatoDelFuego

    GatoDelFuego This is what is technically known as a Firecat
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    New to BW, Team Preview revolutionized competitive Pokemon. The ability to see your opponent's Pokemon hands you information that would otherwise be left unknown. I'm sure all of you know the mechanics of Team Preview, but just to recap: you and your opponent see each others' Pokemon at the beginning of a battle. You can change the order of your Pokemon, allowing you to choose your lead based on the opposing team. Now, think on this: have you ever actually taken advantage of Team Preview? Really, think about it for a moment. Unless you're a highly skilled player, I'd place my bets on that you have not. This is one of the major factors that holds players back. You can get information from Team Preview that will be invaluable throughout the battle. You can figure out how to accomplish your goals and what roadblocks your opponent might have to those goals. You can figure out the best course of action to remove these roadblocks. Team Preview is one of if not the most important parts of a battle. Remember that while reading this.

    One of the major pieces of knowledge you can obtain from Team Preview is the playstyle of your opponent's team. Common examples include rain offense, Deoxys-D hyper heavy offense, rain stall, and sun offense, though there are many others. Determining your opponent's playstyle is the first step toward deducing what sets your opponent might be running. Before I talk about that, I'll answer a question you're probably thinking of: how do you determine playstyles? Well, I could go on and on about different ways to categorize teams, but basically you'll just want to check if your team does well versus your opponent's team or not. Once you get that down, you can figure out sets. For example, a Latias on an offensive team is more likely to be running a Life Orb or Choice Specs set. However, on a stall team, Latias often runs support or Calm Mind. This can help immensely with guessing sets of unpredictable Pokemon. If your opponent has a rain stall team with Jirachi, you can pretty much guarantee it will be running a specially defensive set or the rare Substitute + Calm Mind set. If your opponent has entry hazards and no clear sweeper and is using Dragonite, then it is likely a Dragon Dance set. In short, reading in between the lines is key for using this information in practice. However, it is not always reliable, either. There is no reason your opponent cannot run a Choice Scarf Jirachi on a rain team even though the most common set is one of the CM variants. Just as a general rule, don't rely on your skills of deduction, as there is no way you can be sure that your opponent will have a given set just because of their team's playstyle.

    Obviously you're in a better spot if you know what your opponent has coming. If they have a Volcarona, it is going to try and set up with Quiver Dance. Make a plan to prevent that from happening. If your opponent has a Deoxys-D it will likely be setting up entry hazards. Have a Taunt user or heavy hitter out ready to prevent hazards. If your opponent has a Xatu or Espeon and your strategy relies on entry hazards, you should try and remove that impediment as soon as possible. There's also some examples with walls. If your opponent has a Chansey and you have a ton of special attackers alongside a lone Terrakion, you'll know to preserve Terrakion. Vice versa goes with Skarmory. If you have a Kingdra and your opponent has a Ferrothorn you need to remove Ferrothorn. Essentially, you want to identify your opponent's game plan and obstacles to your game plan, preventing and removing them, respectively. If you notice a Pokemon you're weak to on your opponent's team, don't just go "gdi I'm screwed fucked" I don't really have a problem with this but it's meant more for an article...it would be best to stay as formal as possible?. See the ways you can deal with that. For example, maybe you're weak to SubCM Jirachi. Let's say you have a Whirlwind Skarmory and Taunt Jellicent. You also have a mixed Salamence with Fire Blast / Outrage /Brick Break / Roost. You're going to want to predict Jirachi's switch-ins and bring in Jellicent to Taunt or Skarmory to Whirlwind. Essentially, you want to prevent it from setting up. Fire Blast isn't going to do that much in your opponent's rain, but you have some Spikes. You'll want to keep phazing Jirachi out until it is weakened to a point where Fire Blast can finish it off. Now, what if you hadn't identified SubCM Jirachi in Team Preview? You wouldn't have figured out what to do until it was too late. Even if you weren't sure what set Jirachi was running, you would know to do your best at scouting it. Simply identifying threats in Team Preview saved you the match; however, be sure to note this: don't rely on these educated guesses, because in the end they are just that&mdash;guesses. Your opponent could be running any set or a creative one of their own. Maybe they have different moves than are standard. <em>Nothing is guaranteed.</em> While in other games you might know exactly what each Pokemon your opponent has will do, you never know for sure in Pokemon. In chess, you know that your opponent's king can only move one space in each direction and that their pawn will not be able to attack your king head on. In Pokemon, for all you know, Jirachi could be an offensively-based Calm Mind variant, not the specially defensive one you were expecting. The best way to play is to assume that if your opponent's Pokemon can carry a move to hit your Pokemon, it has it unless you determine it doesn't via scouting. Figuring out which Pokemon you should focus on scouting is also important in Team Preview.

    All of this information is worthless, however, without applying to pick your lead and allowing the information to dictate your strategy throughout the battle. In the end, Team Preview is just another part of the game; you need to try and end it with an advantage over your opponent. There's a few terms I'll define for those of you who aren't familiar. The first is the term dedicated lead, which is, as the name implies, a Pokemon who devotes all of their abilities to leading. Usually, entry hazard leads will jump to the front of your mind when this term comes up. Pokemon such as Deoxys-D, Focus Sash Terrakion, Aerodactyl, and Froslass are a couple example of them. Dual screens, while not that good in this metagame, are easy to set up against more defensive leads such as Ferrothorn. The breadwinner is Espeon, who has Magic Bounce to prevent Ferrothorn from setting up entry hazards. Espeon can become near-impossible for some teams to break. Deoxys-D is another viable option, utilizing the great bulk and movepool it has to set up screens reliably throughout the match. Now, there's also counters to these leads; fast Taunt users renders all of them useless. However, a faster Taunt is less ubiquitous than it once was, especially with the departure of Tornadus-T. Teams with dedicated leads are almost always offensive, if not hyper offensive. Why is this, you may ask? Well, dedicated leads are generally fast Pokemon that can get their job done reliably. Offensive teams can seize this momentum to destroy their opposition. If you have a dedicated lead, picking your lead is easy, but if you don't, well, that's what is going to be discussed next.

    If you don't have a dedicated lead, the goal is to end up with the best initial match-up. The player with the advantageous match-up on the first turn has an edge for the entire battle. Here's a few quick tips:

    1) Don't automatically lead with your weather inducer:

    This mistake is insanely common. Players lead with their weather inducer for no reason whatsoever. Your opponent can simply switch in theirs. If you both have weather inducers, for the love of God, don't lead with Ninetales. There is an inherent disadvantage in doing so. All weather inducers underspeed it other than Choice Scarf Politoed and Tyranitar. Politoed is a poor lead against sand teams, as both Tyranitar and Hippowdon underspeed it. Only the sand inducers always have an advantage leading against other weather inducers. If your opponent isn't dumb, they'll lead with a Pokemon that beats your sand inducer. Get Stealth Rock up. Do some damage. But please, please don't lead with your weather inducer every damn time. It's just not a good idea.

    2) Don't lead with setup fodder:

    One thing you'll find: people love their lead setup Pokemon. You'll see plenty of Volcarona and Dragonite boosting on turn 1. Be careful. Have a backup plan, like Perish Song or Taunt, etc. Get these things dead ASAP. Otherwise, you're done, no question about it. Watch out for these Pokemon, or they'll get you. Defensive teams shouldn't have to worry, this is mainly for offensive teams.

    3) Be ready for those dedicated leads:

    Deoxys-D is the big one in this metagame. Pound the thing with Crunches, Hydro Pumps, and other U-turns and Bug Buzzes and strong moves These are much more common moves to spam against deoxys, as the most popular user of the latter two was genesect; or just set up. A turn Deoxys-D wastes Taunting is a turn it doesn't set up hazards. Just be ready. Prevent it from doing its job, to put it simply.

    4) Scan for any and all possible Stealth Rock setters:

    No matter what the team matchup is, Stealth Rock is always very important in the match, so you should identify all of your opponent's Pokemon that might be setting up Stealth Rock. Then, narrow it down. The example below will detail how exactly you should do so.

    5) Scan for Choice Scarf users:

    Unless your opponent is running 2 Choice Scarf users (people do that occasionally), they've probably got just one. You will want to try and identify which Pokemon of your opponent's might holding a Choice Scarf. Again, the example will show you how to do so in practice.

    The other option you have is to just take the first steps toward achieving your team's goal. Set up that Stealth Rock. Baton Pass that Substitute. Spread that paralysis. Surprise KO that troublesome Pokemon with your unorthodox moveset. It's not rocket science; get the battle started. Look at it this way: Whichever player achieves their goal first wins. By working toward your goal right off the bat, your opponent is automatically a step behind. If your opponent is weak to one of your Pokemon, you should know to try and keep it alive.

    What if you're seriously going for that good match-up, though. What if that advantage helps you more (it does). You're going to have to take a gamble: What are the odds that your opponent will lead with a certain Pokemon? Assuming said opponent has a functioning brain, they're going to think a bit. This is a very advanced form of prediction. There is an infinite amount of match-ups possible. The only good way to do this is to use some example teams. What you'll see is exactly what is seen in Team Preview; the Pokemon.

    Player 1 vs. Player 2

    Player 1's team: Rotom-W / Kyurem-B / Landorus / Deoxys-D / Tentacruel / Abomasnow

    Player 2's team: Forretress / Hippowdon / Zapdos / Jellicent / Jirachi / Tangrowth


    Using our playstyle checklist, you should find that the teams can be classified fairly easily. Player 1 has a balanced hail team. You should easily be able to see the gameplan of the team; Abomasnow sets up hail, which allows Kyurem-B to utilize a perfectly accurate Blizzard and punch holes, which allows Landorus (likely a special RP variant) to sweep. This is all made possible through a combination of reliable entry hazards and a spinner. The obvious Stealth Rock setter is Deoxys-D, but identifying the Choice Scarf user Scarfer is a bit trickier. Landorus, Rotom-W, and Kyurem-B are all possible ones; however, from our previous analysis, it should be intuitively obvious that either Landorus or Rotom-W holds the Choice Scarf, with the odds slightly leaning toward the latter. Player 2 is running a sand stall team. Jirachi appears to be a SubCM or Wish CM variant, as the team lacks any other offensive Pokemon, but it could be any set for Rotom-W and Kyurem-B both appear to be huge threats, and Forretress is going to have trouble spinning with all the Pokemon that can heavily damage it. Player 2 is at a pretty immediate team disadvantage. Hippowdon usually runs a defensive set with Slack Off, Earthquake, Stealth Rock, and a filler move. Forretress is of course going to be a physically defensive spinner that likely has one or both forms of Spikes. Of course, Forretress could be running Stealth Rock, but Hippowdon is much more likely to be running it in this scenario. Zapdos appears to be defensive also, probably some variant of SubRoost. Jellicent is obviously the spinblocker and is imperative for Player 1 to remove. Tangrowth always runs a physically defensive set. Player 2 needs to keep hazards up with his spinblocker in order to wear down Kyurem-B, so Hippowdon is a pretty nice lead. But wait! Player 1 has a dedicated lead in Deoxys-D, so they won't be leading with Abomasnow, which means getting sand up first will put Player 2 at a disadvantage. Instead, they should lead with something for Deoxys-D. What Player 2 knows is that their Jirachi is a Trick Scarf variant. Deoxys-D will likely Taunt to prevent Jirachi from setting up Stealth Rock, so Player 2 is in the clear. Even if Deoxys-D sets up Stealth Rock Spikes, it won't be able to set up more hazards do it again because Choice Scarf prevents it from switching moves. This is actually what both players do. Player 2's analytical thinking pays off, as Deoxys-D is crippled on the very first turn.

    This is the type of thinking you need to have. Note that the players in the battle took less than a minute to figure this all out. It's exactly what you should do eventually. In the example, Player 2 took an educated guess and started the battle with an advantage. Now that you have this knowledge, go and try it out. In no time at all, you'll be winning games like crazy. This, my friend, is what differentiates a good player from a mediocre one.


    I'd wait until the results of the suspect test, because there are a lot of mentions of deoxys in here
    [gp]2/2[/gp]
  17. Redew

    Redew :O :D
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
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    forgot this

  18. Jukain

    Jukain .leaf
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    ok implemented checks and threw some html on this. while I wait for the results of the test (and the potential redoing of some of this) I'll mess around with the formatting some.
  19. Jukain

    Jukain .leaf
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    I'm leaving the team example, but all of the other Deoxys-D mentions have been removed. This is ready for upload!
  20. Oglemi

    Oglemi We broke it. Yes, we were naughty. Completely naughty.
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