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The Team-Building Process

Discussion in 'Stark Mountain' started by Ultima, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. Ultima


    May 28, 2010
    Hey guys I was daydreaming about how to build a team and while I was, I created a comprehensive process on how to build a team! Hope it helps!

    Step 1- Brainstorming: Formulate ideas on the type of team you want to build. If you can figure out how and what you want to make, write it down! Also, it is important to know what tier you are going to use it in, as having an all-UU pokemon team in a OU environment is not efficient.

    Step 2-Selection: Once you've figured out exactly what kind of team you would like to build, select what six pokemon will go well in that type of team. Find some support, some sweepers and possibly a wall or two. A common use for a Baton Pass team would be to use Ninjask, have it use Swords Dance or another stat raising move, then use baton pass to spread it to the pokemon you switch into. While you do this, it is a good idea to start deciding what IVs and EVs you want to put into your pokemon.

    Step 3- Strategizing: Now it is time to form strategies on how to use your team efficiently. Remember, not all teams are the same, so you need to make a few strategies on how to beat teams that are differently. If you are up against a Sandstorm team, you might choose to switch in a pokemon that takes little to no damage from Sandstorm, such as a Rock-type.

    Step 4- Simulating the team: Once you've made a rough idea of your team, it's time to put it into Shoddy Battle. Make sure that everything is completely correct to your standards and ideas, or the team could possibly not be correct for the next step.

    Step 5- Testing: Now that we've created the team in the Team Builder on Shoddy, it is now time to test it using a few battles. My advice is to do a 5-round battle marathon. If you lose 3 out of 5 of the battles , you move on the the next step (Step 6). If you win 3 out of 5, it is probably time to finalize it (Step 7). Now, if you lost, but few of your pokemon were KO'd, it shouldn't be counted as a complete loss. However, if you were completely destroyed, it is probably a good idea to redo some things.

    Step 6- Editing: If you did a couple battles and were not successful, move to this step, if not, move to the final step. This is where you make any changes to your team. Write down what you noticed was wrong during those matches. Then, figure out how you can swing the odds in your favor next time by changing your team with new pokemon, different EVs and IVs, or a different moveset. Once you finish editing, go back to Step 5. Repeat as neccessary.

    Step 7- Finalizing: Finally, with all of your creating and testing done, it is now time for the coue de grace- finalizing the team in the actual game. Catch all the pokemon needed for the team or breed them until you have the right nature and IVs. Then, get them EV trained and ready to battle.

    (Guide to EV training here: http://www.smogon.com/ingame/guides/ev_manual)

    Once that's all done, you have successfully created a team!

    Well, I hope this helps a lot with your mental blocks on how to create a team! Have a good one!
  2. Canuckassassian


    Mar 20, 2010
    My teams usually have a pretty good structure to them. I have 3 that I use regularily and they all have pretty good sync. I run one physical set up sweeper, one special set up sweeper, one support pokemon an anti lead, something to set up entry hazards and Scizor.
  3. Venser


    Jun 9, 2010
    I basically always use a dual-screener suicide lead or an anti-lead into a bulky dual-screener, and a Dragon Dancer, like Gyarados, Salamence, or Tyranitar, followed with an insanely powerful special sweeper like Salamence, Starmie, or Jolteon, and then the rest is up for debate. I usually include 1-2 walls, or in the case of an HO team, entry-hazard setters.
  4. min min

    min min

    Jun 26, 2010
    I think 3/5 wins is a really rough estimate to call it a good team, it's all down to luck really if you're up against RAYQUAZAS_ARE_COOL_1996 or earthworm.
  5. Fuzzy93


    Jun 16, 2010
    Haha nice way to put it xD

    But that's why you play more matches, no?
  6. Despotar


    Sep 25, 2009
    With so many people on standard, the chance's of getting someone on the leaderboards when you have a bad CRE is very low.
    Look at it this way. If you get haxed to death, don't count it against your team.
  7. Chou Toshio

    Chou Toshio Over9000
    is an Artist Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Aug 16, 2007
    Step 1 is more important than people give it credit I think-- figuring out the goal(s) of the team (and imo, a timeline oriented game plan with ideas about early, middle, and late game) is probably the most important part of the whole process.

    Through the entirety of 4th gen, it's been proven time and again that there is no set formula for what makes a good team-- really outdated thinking like "I need one physical wall, one special one, one setup sweeper" etc. is best avoided. Teams 100% walls, or 100% offensive and the whole range between have been proven successful by a number of players, so what ultimately matters is 1) Having a goal (general game plan) 2) Knowing which pokemon can be used to accomplish said goal and 3) Making sure the team has the synergy to work together for that goal (and synergy to have a reasonable chance to bail each other out should things get fucked up-- namely by hax or mis-prediction).
  8. Ultima


    May 28, 2010

    Exactly, you don't HAVE to make it 3/5 to have it qualify to your standards, you can make it any number, just make sure that you win more than you lose.
  9. HiThere


    Jun 6, 2010
    How can you lose but only have ''few of your pokemon KO'd''? o.O
  10. MegaKick


    Mar 27, 2009
    Well, I stink at team building. But as for how I build teams, my first real succesfull teams came from UU, where I first began to learn and research "cores". While they are generally more common and succesful in UU, I've been trying to use it in OU, especielly since the only team style I can succeed with is balanced. Generally, I first find a defensive core of two pokemon and an offensive core of two wallbreakers. I then decide on a final sweeper, then finally choose a lead. The lead should be able to give momentum right from the start while at the same time hopefully serving as a backup check to things that trouble your defensive core (scarfuxie is effective at this). The final sweeper should be able to take advantage of weakened teams and walls the offensive core has broken.
  11. ARandomDude


    Jun 21, 2009
    A big part of team building is deciding what kind of team you want and fits your playstyle- if you want to get battles over quickly, don't try a stall team. If you don't like your Pokemon falling left and right, don't play heavy offense.

    That being said, don't bother adjusting IVs (@Step 2 and 6)
  12. TubaKing


    Jul 12, 2009
    What usually happens with me is that I'll find a cool set that I want to try and I'll build a team around it. I analyze the set and figure out what counters it and add my own counters to those counters to the team, also keeping in mind the overall synergy of all six of my Pokemon. I won't even test a team if any one Pokemon's weaknesses aren't covered by resistances of another Pokemon on said team. From there it's test and fix until I either run out of ideas or become enamored with another idea for a team to build.
  13. Staraptor Call

    Staraptor Call

    Mar 7, 2009
    There is another approach to team-building that I have tried recently and been successful with. First, set the six Pokemon on your team to the six most-used Pokemon in OU. Usually, the top six have good synergy with each other and can form a good bulky-offense team. Choose the movesets that maximize that synergy, but choose ones that aren't completely obscure and little-used. Test out your team, and if you find a Pokemon your new team is weak to, you have just found a successful anti-metagame Pokemon. Use steps similar to those in the OP to build a team based around that anti-metagame Pokemon, in ways that maximize that Pokemon's ability to beat the top six.

    Currently, the biggest threat to the top six is Starmie: it can spin away Stealth Rock with impunity (the most used Ghost, Rotom-A, is #7) and 2HKO all the top six when equipped with a Life Orb. Obviously, a team made to utilize a Life Orb Starmie would need some sort of stallbreaker, a way to set up Stealth Rock, and other such team support. To build your final team, you would use the steps described in earlier posts to maximize your team synergy.
  14. Away


    Jul 9, 2009
    I usually start by picking one pokemon that I really like or am in the mood to use. Then, find a pokemon that satisfies it's counters, and a pokemon that covers it's weakness. Then repeat with those.
  15. Shroomisaur

    Shroomisaur Smogon's fantastical fun-guy.

    Apr 25, 2010
    What nearly always happens during my team-building process is I start with only one Pokemon - one I know I really want to use on a team. From there, I look at what type of team this pokemon would function best on (balanced, offense, etc), and add Pokemon to support my first Pokemon's weaknesses and the team's play style.

    I agree that team building should include testing, so many people build a team before trying it out, then if an unforseen problem appears, they simply junk the team and build a different one... testing and editing is much more effective.
  16. HouseFantastic


    Mar 30, 2009
    I really like this post, and I think I'm going to start doing that sometime. Heck, I might even steal this and try a LO starmie-based team. Thanks~
  17. TyKexBK


    Jul 8, 2010
    Step 1 is key. I realize now, and I wish I realized sooner, that your team needs planning. It's so easy to overlook this step because who wants to spend their time daydreaming about a team when they could be out making one, breeding, training EVs, etc.

    The funny thing is, this is all wasted effort if you don't even know what you're going to to with the Pokemon you're training. If you pull out the people on the bottom of the pyramid, what do you think is going to happen? A strong base for a team is the stalwart wall of keeping you alive in competitive battling. I wish so much that I knew that sooner, and just now as I'm getting into battling more I realize that planning is the key part of building a team for battling.
  18. Pika25


    Mar 30, 2007
    If any step in the team building process is more important than the rest, albeit combined, it's step 1. Brainstorming is key when constructing your team.

    Xerxes from YouTube has a perfect example of an NU team, and I am very familiar with all of them. What he essentially did was base a team around a Sub-Seed Jumpluff named Faerie. He has a lead Nidoqueen for Toxic Spikes, a LO Medicham (which are very commonly Scarfed) with Brick Break over Hi Jump Kick (because Xerxes does not want to miss and crash, plus it breaks the screens) as well as a Floatzel, an Electrode, and a Charizard (which has a special move set but has the Salac Berry that Belly-Zards carry), and Faerie carries Encore.
  19. Matt_Lane


    Sep 9, 2007
    As others have said, another strategy for creating a team is to select 1 or 2 pokemon you're really wanting to use and know the sets for them - then force the other spots to support their weakness/etc in order to make a successful team.

    Online resources are also very helpful - the most obvious being the Smogon Pokedex that gives common movesets to help the team making process. But another one is marryland's type chart that allow you to see specific type weakness in the team to avoid immediately. Here's the link: CLICK.

    Also, 5 battles is far from enough to know how successful the team will be considering hax could be involved or you could just be playing bad players (if you just started the account, or are playing on an account that lost a lot before) so doing extensive playtesting is really required. The other part to play testing a team is to take notice to sweep-threats...for example, if a DancingGyarados or DancingSalamence or AgilityEmpoleon rip your team apart...don't just assume it's ok, alter a moveset or change a pokemon or two to have a counter for things that just kill your team.

    Anyway, that's just my .02....

  20. Matt_Lane


    Sep 9, 2007
    One more thing: another important tool is the shoddy statistics. Indulging oneself in the data to be more aware of the most common leads or used pokemon (the top 10 leads and top 25 pokemon at minimum) should at least be accounted for pretty well to handle for the team during the team building process as well.
  21. imapedarsag


    Aug 22, 2009
    But you're forgetting one thing. Stall is nonexistent on WiFi. Also, Tyranitar is almost never used on WiFi. Also, Rotom-A are much more scarce as well. Without Rotom-A, Scizor becomes much more powerful(if that's even possible). Without Rotom-A and much more Scizor, Gyarados has a much easier time setting up and sweeping.

    This chain of events eventually changes the two metagames into two completely different things. I've found that WiFi teams don't work on Shoddy and vice versa. WiFi is mostly offensive, and testing it on Shoddy means going up against stall teams that will shut you down and end you at Step 5. With the recent banishment of Latias, I'm sure WiFi has gone insane.
  22. ZandgaiaX


    Aug 16, 2009
    What I usually do is to tell myself that I have to atleast make sure I know one/two or three pokemon that I want to use, and as such I commonly use pokemon that have always worked great for me. (Resttalk Machamp, DDdos, Trickscarf Rotom-H w/o Overheat, LeadJirachi w/o scarf & trick, instead Lefties + Energyball and SDscizor).

    That can work great at times, since you will know from the start, that if you used them in succesion before, that they'll work anyway. Sometimes it's a pain, since certain tricks and strategies can be countered by an opponent you fought against before, and that you can get predictable.
  23. RaikouLover


    Aug 31, 2006
    I usually start with a win-condition pokemon. An example of that is Crocune. These are the easiest ones to use because if you support them defensively you win. Period. So I base the rest of my members around defensive synergy. I tend to never use pokemon that are pure offensive, but rather pokemon with defensive significance. An example is Specs Jolteon. It looks like a pure offensive pokemon but it guards things like Gyarados and Suicune, while checking Mixmence, Infernape, Gengar, and Starmie. Hence it has defensive significance.
  24. GoldDraconian


    Mar 19, 2006
    Generally, I start with either a style (bulky offense, stall, semistall, hyper offense, etc.) or an individual Pokemon I want to use, then pick the other based on the first. E.g. if I want to base a team around Taunt Gyarados, I'm probably using some form of bulky offense, so I pick that as the style. If I want to play hyper offense, than I'll pick something pretty characteristic like DDmence, SD Lucario, or NP Infernape as a starting point. If you haven't picked a first Pokemon (or sometimes combination of Pokemon) you have nothing to work from, whereas if you don't have an idea what style you want to play, you have nothing to work toward.

    From there, with defensive teams I usually look for something to cover the weaknesses of the first poke I selected, while with offensive teams I'm looking for something that cooperates well with the first poke offensively, either by helping lure out and smash the counters to that first poke or by being able to switch in on those counters and do something productive of its own.

    After that I do things more on feel than in a structured way. Sometimes there are just monsters that combine really well with what's already on the team so I just throw them in; for example, a team starting off with CeleTran really doesn't need a particular excuse to add a bulky water. Sometimes the first couple of Pokemon are both, for example, bad against stall or are both set-up bait for Gyarados, or what have you, so I'll try to compensate for that with my next guys. As I go, I try to keep in mind the top threats and mind both my defensive and offensive coverage. You really don't want to pick four Pokemon and realize they're all weak to Fire, but at the same time I try not to be a slave to the Marriland type chart- there are other elements to the game than that.

    Unless I'm building around a lead, I generally don't choose one until I've got a solid core to the team at least, and often pick it last; rather than wrangling the core of the team into synergizing well with a lead, I try to get the substance of the team laid out and then pick a lead that conforms to them instead.

    I sketch out roughly what movesets I'll use as I go along, but don't usually finalize them until I've selected all my members. That way I basically know how many setup mons I have and whether or not I have elements like Stealth Rock, Scarf, Rest/Talk, etc. without committing myself to using, say, HP Ice vs. HP Grass on Zapdos- issues of coverage like this seem best handled when all the options are more or less laid out.

    Once I've picked all my Pokemon and given them sets, I do take a look at the whole and try to make sure I don't get ruined too badly by anything popular or by any particular style of team, then I test. I don't usually feel like theorymoning teams heavily unless I'm teambuilding with someone else. I'd rather play some games and pay attention to what, if anything, is threatening my team and look at possible fixes once I've actually seen what works and what doesn't in real games. I don't play a specific number of games before tweaking, but I try not to change anything for a while (~10-20 games) unless I've really overlooked something huge that is costing me games left and right, because I want to get a real feel for the team in its original form. From there, I try to make tweaks and minor changes first to solve problems rather than immediately making sweeping changes, again just to try to feel out the team that I've made and determine whether it really is significantly flawed or whether small changes and/or practice actually fix the issues.

    I think testing is probably the most undervalued component of the teambuilding process, at least by new or bad players. They often seem to get discouraged too easily by early results and discard teams rather than reworking them, which basically wastes all the time spent putting the team together in the first place. That isn't to say that there aren't plenty of cases where major changes are merited, but before screwing around too much you really want to make sure it's actually useful and you're not just making a bunch of changes and losing focus.
  25. Scimjara

    Scimjara Bert Stare

    Sep 21, 2008
    This is more like a check list not a "comprehensive" guide but good work.

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