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Team or skill?

Discussion in 'BW OU' started by SoulRed12, May 3, 2013.

  1. SoulRed12

    SoulRed12

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    I look at some of the top ranked people on the ladder and I just get curious, which contributed more to their success--good teambuilding or skilled playing?

    Obviously both contributed, but I'm curious what you all think contributes more to being a really really good player, having great prediction skills and metagames knowledge or happening across a brilliant team design?

    Another form of the question you might respond to: which would make a person more likely to win more often in your opinion, having a brilliant team and mediocre prediction skills/metagame knowledge, or having a mediocre team but brilliant prediction skills/metagame knowledge?

    I guess one reason I ask this is because I hover around 1650 on each ladder and I wonder what would contribute more to my own success if I worked on developing one of those skills. Again, ideally you'd want both, but I'm wondering which is more important, even if only slightly.
  2. George Eliot

    George Eliot

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    They're roughly equal imo. You can't really progress part a certain point without having both. It's not just about being a "good battler", btw, it's a lot to do with the amount of experience you have with whatever team you're using. That knowledge of what to do when you need to achieve a certain goal can make up for nearly any lack of pure talent.
  3. DarkBlazeR

    DarkBlazeR

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    In my opinion, both are required for success, although good team building is especially important in this metagame. If you have a bad team that doesn't perform well against the common threats, you aren't going to be winning very much, simple as that. Weaker players can still do well on the ladder if they steal a team from a more adept player. Of course, this isn't to say that solid play isn't just as vital - even with an extremely solid team, you can still lose to anyone if you make poor decisions when battling. It's also possible to compensate for an imbalanced team matchup with some smart playing - a skill possessed by all of the top level tournament players.
  4. Ryuuki

    Ryuuki

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    You need both to climb to the top peek of the ladder. But with my experiense you can get higher with good skills and a "bad" team, then you can get with a good team and "bad" skills. If you can predict you switches and attacks you will have an easier time keeping the momentum in your favor. By also having the knowledge of common threats and there counters is far more valuble then having them on your team without knowing why.
    So in my opinion good skills is far better then a good team.
  5. Aquasition

    Aquasition

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    It takes both to do good, but I think skill makes a bigger impact. Why? Because I have seen people use teams with lower-tier pokemon and win. Battling is not easy. If I had to compare this metagame to any other game, I'd say Chess. Both require a lot of prediction skills and risk-taking. Well, that's what I think anyways.
  6. Windsong

    Windsong .dancin
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    LOL it's probably 90% team this gen. Prediction is one of biggest bullshit concepts in Pokemon, and a player who's got excellent "prediction" skills is always going to run into games (especially on the ladder) where the opponents are impossible to guess, simply because they're playing so irrationally. Having a good team that can recover from error or misplays while handling the majority of metagame threats is basically the number one factor this gen. There's also the issue this gen that there are so many damn threats that if you stupidly run a team that is really compromised against common combinations or whatnot then you'll get smashed by those common combinations no matter how good you are.

    Say I had a team that relied on Latias as my sole Keldeo counter (obviously this is an eh example, but w/e). If my opp brings the really common core of CBTar + Keldeo, I flat out lose, no matter how well I can play, because every time he brings in Keldeo it's a 50/50 for me as to whether he'll attack or double switch to Tyranitar. And if I get a single 50/50 wrong, I automatically lose.
  7. dcae

    dcae naughty list

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    This.

    Cannot stress how many times I've made predictions on the ladder, but turns out I'm playing some guy who never switches. Sometimes stuff like that costs me games.

    This gen teambuilding is huge. Not very good battlers can still grab a good team and do pretty good on the ladder. On the other hand it is much harder for a good player manning a bad team weak to couple common threats to the same position on the ladder.

    Teambuilding is more important than skill nowadays.
  8. Drako

    Drako

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    I personally think it depends very much on the play style you're using and also your opponent.

    For example, a shitty player who uses a really good hyper offense team will get smashed 90% of the time by a somewhat decent player with a decent team, because hyper offense usually requires good prediction in order to compensate the lack of synergy.

    With your typical rain offense for instance, not even the worst player can do much wrong.

    All in all, it really depends on who you are playing. Against random people on the ladder you will win with good teams alone (at least you should). High up on the ladder and in tournament matches, you'd need loads of luck to beat your opp without knowledge and experience (or them overpredicting like crazy).
  9. Soul Fly

    Soul Fly IMMA TEACH YOU WHAT SPLASHIN' MEANS
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    Teambuilding is like a goddamn Excalibur this Generation. You can take all your skills and shove it up your ass if you don't have a decent team to play with. 'Outstrategizing' and 'Prediction' are mostly empty words which are seldom applicable and almost never ever in long term. Note I'm talking about the general ladder quality here.

    The actual matches are more luck reliant, based on the initial matchup and more importantly who makes the first mistake. The ridiculous power creep means that one free turn to something like Terrakion/Dragonite/Keldeo etc and you're pretty much fried.That and bs hax and stuff.
  10. Kidogo

    Kidogo

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    Honestly, I would say that lower on the ladder, having a solid team that has answers to the majority of common threats is more important. Once you get high on the ladder though, skill definitely becomes as much if not more of a factor imo. One big thing you can do is check your opp's rating--this gives you an idea of what level they'll be playing at. Also, for ladder matches, risk vs reward is a great strategy when you don't know your opp's skill level. This is easier with a team that has at least some sort of defensive core or synergy it can work with. I really do feel that it is possible to minimize plays thst turn out bad due to a bad opp by playing conservatively though.
  11. youngjake93

    youngjake93

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    I think it is definitely more about skill. If I'm in the zone, running calcs and thinking clearly, any half-decent team will win most of the time.
    However, if I get lazy not calculating the odds and just going with a half-decent skill level approach, then I will more likely either lose or get lucky regardless of the team.
    I think team preview makes me feel like its ok if I play lazy because half the scouting is already done. But you have to scout moveset and the opponent's choices(a lot of people neglect this). For example, are they likely to protect arbitrarily for leftovers recovery so you can set up or are they likely to not let up with attacking you? This is on the ladder, I'd imagine most tournament players don't use protect for no reason.
    Edit: @everyone saying prediction is luck and not skill... Generally, you can scout how your opponent will react and you make the final call based on risk vs reward. You don't just guess lol
  12. Neliel

    Neliel Sacred Sword

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    Imo we should not even speak about "predictions". Prediction are based on luck most of the time, even more if you laddering where you know nothing about your opponent.
    The only case where you can "predict" is when you know how your opponent thinks and do your move as a consequence of that, but tbh you cant be 100% sure of what that person will do even if you know him. To respond at your question, imo games should be based on a mix of both, where the best team always wins against the worst if both play at their best.
  13. Thundur

    Thundur

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    Why is this a debate? Use cheep shit broken auto pilot team and get easy top 10. No skill in auto pilot. Just click find battle.
  14. nyczxjay

    nyczxjay

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    Agreeing that both is necessary to do well. But, I just want to put it out there that there is no "skill" in pokemon (imo of course). What people falsely call "skill" is in reality just "experience". The more you play, the more experience you get about the metagame and therefore you have will have more success in battles.

    To answer the OP's question. I believe experience is most important. That, in combination with a decent team that you enjoy using and have learned how to utilize fully (i.e. knowing how to play around your team's weaknesses consistently and successfully), will allow you to do well and succeed in your laddering goals.
  15. Thundur

    Thundur

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    A player that is fairly new to the game but has a slight understanding of what to do picks up a ttar+keldeo+land-i team. They easily destroy a player that has been playing for years. Experience. Yeah ok.
  16. nyczxjay

    nyczxjay

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    You are exaggerating. A player that has been "playing for years" should not be getting "destroyed" by such a common team (barring hax and other uncertainties). I can only speak for myself of course, but I see those teams on the ladder all the time and I still win most of the time with a sun team (and when I lose, it's not like I get 6-0'ed or "destroyed"). I also currently have 2 alts at the 1940+ mark using said sun team and I'm not even trying to ladder. I attribute my success on the ladder not because I'm a better or more "skilled" player than someone who's new, but because I've been "playing for years" (and therefore more experienced) and I know the metagame and how to use my team.

    But of course you are entitled to your opinion, I'm just simply saying that I disagree with your point of view, no big deal. Shit ain't that serious, lol.
  17. Thundur

    Thundur

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    Destroyed is a bit of an exaggeration, but they can be beat regardless of how well they play. That core alone restricts players options so much to the point that you can't have many teams that do not look the same.

    It doesn't matter what you do, or if you have a lot of experience, you can tell who will win at team preview 9/10 times (bar the enemy having no understanding of the metagame at all).
  18. Kenny

    Kenny don't expect me

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    Both are vital of course, but skill is the ultimate determiner of the winner in most cases. I've seen matches where one opponent's time is utter shit and still wins. Why? Skill, if you know how to use the mon and it works for you, you can win (just don't use that excuse to use shit mons lol.) Skill is also a bit harder to pick up than team building, although that doesn't contribute to the factor of who wins or not. Despite these sentiments, I feel as though in OU, team match ups are a lot more important than in other tiers due to the weather war that's constantly going on. Either way, both are important aspects that should be emphasized on when learning this metagame.
  19. Halcyon.

    Halcyon. Mad, mad love
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    I disagree with this. I don't know how many people here play other strategy-based games, but I see Pokemon as being very similar to chess. I think it's pretty ridiculous to say that there's little-to-no skill involved in Pokemon, because if I play someone like Lavos Spawn, chances are, I'll lose. I could very well have a team advantage over him if I bring a sun team an he brings weatherless, but he is clearly the more skilled player, and would most likely win. The single most important aspect when it comes to winning consistently is strategy. Before every match, I try to think of the battle as a chess game. I think about who my opponent is. If they are a well known player, I act differently than if they are just a random nobody. If their team is well made, I assume they are more skillful/knowledgeable, and play accordingly. But the game isn't completely centered around team matchup and being able to read your opponent. A lot of it comes down to whether or not you can execute your strategy effectively. If your strategy is "kill off Keldeo's counters with Tyranitar and then sweep," then by all means, attempt to use that strategy to win. But I don't think a new player with little knowledge of Pokemon, or the ideas of strategy/risk vs reward, will be able to complete their strategy before someone more experienced. Going back to chess, there are many new players who think they're hot stuff because they can checkmate you in four moves. Well of course, everyone can do that. But an experienced player won't let you do that because they will know how to execute their own strategy while countering such a common one. Pokemon is similar, I think. I won't lose to the standard Keldeo/Tyranitar/Landorus core, because as soon as you try to Pursuit my Celebi, I'll Baton Pass into Lucario, and suddenly you have to deal with a +3 Lucario, which OHKOs all three of the Pokemon in that core. I think you're placing far too much importance on the team and less on the player. Look at Gr8's match where he showcased his Feraligatr. He had the disadvantage, team-wise, but he outplayed his opponent, and his strategy ended up working in the end. Skilled players, I think, don't give themselves nearly as much credit as they should.
  20. SoulRed12

    SoulRed12

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    I like the difference in opinion here.

    But I love the cynics. I used to be a complete cynic about rain teams in particular, to the point I vowed never to be as cheap as people who use them. (I did the same thing with Jirachi users, and actually I'm still a bit of a cynic about them...but that's a whole other debate) But eventually I learned Rain teams can be defeated just like any other team, and I also learned through first hand team-building experience that you can't just slap a Politoed onto a team of waters + Toxicroak or Tornadus and expect to win. So I don't think it's quite as bad as it's sometimes made out to be.

    I also disagree with a lot of the cynicism regarding prediction specifically. You can usually tell after the first couple of turns whether a person is experienced or not (e.g., Psychic-ing a Cofag who's already gotten up one Calm Mind) and then you can decide how likely you want to be to predict the obvious move. And, prediction tends not to factor in much in the first few turns anyway, at least not as much as later on. If a person seems very irrational, you go for the obvious moves. If they only make obvious (standard) plays, predict the obvious plays. If they seem to be skilled/experienced, I find it just becomes a risk/reward game as someone above also mentioned.

    All that being said, I do recognize that certain teams will always beat a majority of other teams. I recall a particular hail team that everyone started using and one person in particular, after thrashing me with it, had upwards of 2000+ ranking, presumably with that team. And as I recall, the guy wasn't that great at predicting, either. I got in a few pretty good predictions and he still overpowered me. Then again, it could have just been that my team was crap, not necessarily that his team was good.

    Hmm.

    (As for hax, I think it would be a better idea to leave hax out of the discussion, as with hax it doesn't really matter how good your team or your experience is. If you get flinched 8 times in a row by Jirachi, or parahaxed at just the right moment, you're gonna lose a potentially very important pokemon and the game will instantly swing in your opponent's favor.)
  21. Windsong

    Windsong .dancin
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    "Prediction" in Pokemon is always a game of guesswork more than anything else.

    Yes, more experienced players are better able to read their opponents and read situations making educated guesses, but above all, any "prediction" is still at best an educated guess.

    And generally the players who are constantly talking about prediction and how it's the above all important factor are mediocre at the game, since quite frankly prediction is such a hugely misunderstood concept. It's guesswork. Educated guesswork. But guesswork.
  22. SoulRed12

    SoulRed12

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    That's true, but, then again, at a fundamental level so is science. You study the sample so you can hopefully generalize to the population. But insofar as you don't actually study the population, technically you're still just "guessing." In a sense, pokemon has a scientific aspect to it in that the more you play, the better you get at "predicting" because the more experience you have to draw from when deciding what move you're probably going to see next.

    But perhaps a better analogy is card-counting in blackjack: you know what's left in the deck and therefore what can come up next and how likely any given value is to come up next, and can make educated guesses about whether you should hit or stand even though you don't actually know what cards are coming up next. Yet many people do very well card-counting because they know how to always play the odds.

    Similarly here, (at least ideally) you can look to see what's waiting in the wings, what moves you think the currently active pokemon has, and use that to determine the possibilities. Then you can figure out what would be riskier or less risky compared to the benefits. E.g., you wouldn't volt switch with a choiced Rotom-H just to try to hit a Crobat harder when your opponent has a Landorus waiting in the wings and you could fire blast instead. Theoretically you could actually deal more damage to Crobat (210 BP instead of 180 BP) and get the benefit of being able to switch out, but the benefit is marginal and the costs are just too big if Landorus were to come in and gets a free turn to set up or U-turn out for momentum.

    Obviously you'll never be right 100% of the time, but then again, I assume even the 2000+ ranking players haven't won 100% of their games (even excluding losses due to hax).

    Of course, there are times where it's just a 50 50 shot, like deciding whether to use sucker punch or crunch. But that's not everything and not all battles come down to that.

    None of this is to say I don't take your point though, that when it comes down to it you never really know what the opponent will do next. I've even had some times where I predicted X, meant to use move A, and then my opponent uses Y but I misclick and use B which I would have used if I had predicted Y.
  23. Memphis Grizzly

    Memphis Grizzly

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    Frankly I must agree with those that say that winning relies on a solid team. Skill is always overshadowed by luck and bad plays. I speak from my own experience I do better off in the ladder when I use someone else's team(I suck at team building), only because it was built to perform better then my own teams my own skill has only percentile to that success.
  24. RabidChipmunk

    RabidChipmunk

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    Teambuilding is definitely the most important part of Pokemon, and unless two players are using the same teams (or mostly the same), skill will rarely be a factor. Really, when you get down to it, Pokemon is not a skillful game. Sure, every now and again you'll need to make a double-switch or use a different attack anticipating your opponent's switch, but applying skill is not so constant that you need to master it. Most of the battles I have are over at the team preview.
  25. CactusCacti

    CactusCacti

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    I would say skill has big chunk, considering how many people can ladder easily even with worse mons, but with the current power creep, I'd fling that out of the park.
    No matter how good your prediction and mind game skills are, it wont help if "not very effective" still makes 2OHKO.
    I mean really, it is bit too easy to make the most predictable team, yet still easily win games as long as you clear the way for your big nuker.

    Team preview did no well for prediction either when you already know what your foe has, it makes lot more easier to pick a move during switches as you can already plan a head what might happen during each switch. Not to mention when you see the team your opponent has, you pretty much should already be able to guess what they are going to aim to do(oh look a sun team that runs venusaur with it's support that clearly caters to clear the way for it, I do wonder what they are gonna try do here).

    It really boils down how your team is able to handle the big threats. Infact, I'd say many skilled players that you see usually winning with their lower tier mons win as they are able to check and/or counter threats with them.

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