Utilizing Team Preview in GBU
Team Preview is one of the new features implemented this generation that changed the nature of battling in all formats. Another addition this generation is the Global Battle Union (GBU), which allows you to challenge players from around the world in various battle styles. When finally finding an opponent, you have 90 seconds to decide your team while also being able to view all the Pokemon your opponent has on their team. While the portion varies depending on the battle style, you will find that you will only be faced with a part of the opponent's team. This requires you to put more thought into analyzing the opposing team. Being able to predict and infer which Pokemon your opponent will choose puts you at an advantage. If you put insufficient effort into analyzing your opponent's team, you will be unprepared for the threats you might face.
Analyzing the Opposing Team
The ability to make intelligent predictions about the Pokemon you will be facing is a tremendous advantage in battle. Oftentimes you can, without much effort, infer which Pokemon will be used against you and have a general overview of what their playstyle might be. There should be some line of thinking when analyzing the opposing team.
First, one should look at the overall opposing team and then the individual Pokemon. Ask yourself some of these questions: What is the general look of this team? Hyper offensive? Balanced? Gimmicky? Does the team look like it has good synergy? Which three Pokemon seem like they are one team and what are the other Pokemon for? What is the threat you have to watch for? Which Pokemon will best counter the other team? Asking these will already give you the advantage and help you better understand what you are up against.
I will now elaborate on the analysis of which Pokemon go well together. The key is to see if there are certain cores, pairs, etc. on a team. This mindset will inform you of combinations such as: "If I see X, then Y is here too." For example, if I see a Kingdra and Politoed in the Team Preview and the opponent sends out Politoed, then I almost know for certain that I will be facing Kingdra too. This allows me to plan accordingly in order to counter this dangerous pair.
There are a couple of other attributes that should be taken into account when analyzing the opponent's team. The first of these would be to "identify the outliers." An outlier is a Pokemon that doesn't fit in with the rest of the team. An example would be a team of rain sweepers, then seeing a random Krookodile among them. The second circumstance that must be taken into regard is when your opponent possesses "bad Pokemon" on their team. Don't forget that time when you saw a Patrat or some other competitively nonviable Pokemon. You can quickly dismiss such team members, because your opponent is very unlikely to use them and they won't be threats even if they do. If they do use these Pokemon, consider yourself lucky.
Utilizing Team Preview for Yourself
It requires a lot more effort to analyze an opponent's team than to craft your own. Nevertheless, there are still a couple tricks that you should use and some checkpoints to follow.
This might at times seem like a no-brainer, but you always come across people that make these mistakes. One of the first steps you should do is always bring six Pokemon. Don't just bring in the minimum amount you need, even if there is only one specific team you plan on using. Bringing three Pokemon for singles or four Pokemon for doubles is a gift to your opponent. You basically saved them some thinking and told them what to expect, thus allowing them more time to plan. Finding outliers on an opponent's team is a good way to narrow down what type of team you will face. However, just because your opponent sometimes has these doesn't mean that you should. Always make sure you don't have an Oddish or another competitively inviable Pokemon on your team. To a more specific extent, always have Pokemon that seem to be able to fit into your team and create various effective combinations. Try to make this guessing game of "which Pokemon you will choose" as difficult for your opponent as you can; make them think hard about what they will have to plan around.
The second part to utilizing Team Preview is being as misleading as you can. There are a couple ways you can do this. One way to do this is to have a "six Pokemon team." This is accomplished by having a team that has great synergy. Not only can this stump your opponent, but it leaves you better prepared. In general, try to make sure your team looks like it can work together.
Finally, there are quite a few miscellaneous concepts that you can use. You can have Pokemon that don't necessarily synergize with the entire team, but synergize well with one or two other Pokemon. For example, you might have one half of your team work well in rain and another in sand. This will let you pivot as you see fit for various situations, all the while forcing the opponent to decide which team he will most likely face and needs to prepare against. Better yet, try to have a member that synergizes well with both teams. One last miscellaneous item someone might want to note is Zoroark. You might not want to use it for battling, but anytime this Pokemon appears, the opponent will think to himself "is this the Pokemon or an imposter?"
The Global Battle Union's Team Preview can't always be looked at the same as the version found in standard battling. This leads to a variety of situations, tricks, and strategies that you can only find in the GBU. Once you start utilizing all the aspects of GBU, such as Team Preview, you will soon find yourself successful!