C&C Guide To Writing And QCing

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yogi

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Hello!

Welcome to the new C&C guide for both writing and QCing analyses. This is to help newer writers and QC members, or even more experienced ones, improve the quality of their work. Below is an index linking to each section of the analyses, with it split in to two depending on whether you're doing a quality check or writing the analysis.

Index

3 - The Set
4 - Moves
6 - Usage Tips
Written by: yogi
Quality checked by: Lyd, Eyan, Jordy, Electrolyte, and The Dutch Plumberjack
Grammar checked by: GMars and The Dutch Plumberjack
 
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yogi

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Basic things to consider when writing an analysis:

1) Quite a few writers write across multiple metas but don't actually play all of them. While you can use references like the tier's viability rankings and roles compendium, they only help so much and don't benefit as much as being hands on with the tier. Often this will lead to writers creating very generic analyses that are clearly written from an outsider's perspective, leading to QCers needing to edit a large majority of it when in the Quality Control stage. If you want to write about a Pokemon, make sure you've used it in the meta you're writing for. Using a Pokemon three times will not cut it here!

2) Do you know what sets (or at least have an idea of what sets) are the best or most used for said Pokemon? If the answer is no, then you should probably either try to write for a Pokemon that you're more confident with or even ask a member of the Quality Control team about which set(s) to use; this should generally be done for verification though, not if you're completely clueless. Not asking may result in either a rejection due to not understanding the Pokemon or a complete rewrite to accommodate for a new set. If you're feeling especially uncertain, then you can post what set(s) you think the Pokemon can run in your reservation post.

3) Do you have prior experience with writing? If you don't, I'd highly suggest reading other analyses that are either in their final stages of QC or in GP, as they'll give you an idea of the level of quality most forums require for their writers. Your quality doesn't have to be on par with them, as they will have already been checked by other people, but it does have to be around that level of quality. You shouldn't be copying the format of analyses in QC 3/3 or in GP, as they'll be in paragraphs (unless it's an Ubers Pokemon), and you'll be asked to change it back to bullet points. You should be looking at how they convey their points, not just the points themselves; a good analysis will be able to explain them concisely.

4) You have to ensure that you follow both the GP standards and the standard writing format. The GPers are quite lax towards writers, but a basic understanding of English is required when writing. All analyses will need to follow a set template to keep consistency.

5) Different tiers may do things differently. If you're unsure, then you should ask a member of the QC team about what standards they adhere to. For example, most tiers stop using bullet points after the second QC check, but Ubers keeps them throughout. Doubles OU also only has two QC checks, while all other core metas have three.

6) Please be considerate about how long you take to write an analysis. If you can't do it in a reasonable amount of time, then you probably should wait until you have more time instead of picking up then later dropping an analysis. If it's going to take a decent amount of time, PM a QC member so they can decide what to do. You don't get penalized for dropping however, so you don't need to worry about that.

7) If you're legitimately struggling, it's perfectly fine to go to a QC member. Actually, I actively encourage this, as it means that the initial analysis will already have some decent input.

8) As a general rule of thumb, I wouldn't refer to previous versions of the analysis you're writing, even if it's a revamp. This will often lead to either lazy writing, old information being transferred across, or just straight plagiarism. We take plagiarism VERY seriously.

9) You HAVE to follow this format. Every USM analysis is formatted in this way, unless they're mini ones.

Basic things to consider when QCing an analysis:

1) Don't be lazy! QCers are the people who ensure, well, the quality of on-site analyses. Your job isn't to be nice or to churn QC checks out as fast as possible—it's to ensure that every analysis reaches a high level of quality. You should be taking your time as you go through them, questioning sets, details in each section, and the examples given. If you check something and only change one or two things, then the next QCer changes half the analysis, you haven't been thorough enough in your check.

2) You should be checking for overall comprehensiveness, the relevance of the examples and information to the meta it's being written in, the conciseness of the analysis, etc. You're helping to convey how the Pokemon performs and what it does.

3) Unless something is obvious, like extremely bad examples or just factually incorrect information, subjective changes should be discussed with the rest of your team. Basically every QC team will have a side chat in their Discord with which to debate on more subjective things like sets and Checks and Counters. Don't make large changes without discussion, like making a massive change to the actual set or revamping a large amount of something like the Usage Tips or Team Options. Small changes to any section will often not require team input, unless you want other's opinions.

4) If something is bad, you have every right to reject it. You’re trying to get the best analyses up for your metagames. If you don’t have enough writers, you may have to be a bit more lenient with your rejections, however. Some metas require the leader's approval for rejection, others require three rejections, and a few only require one; always check with your section leader beforehand and discuss it in your QC chat.

5) 99.5% of the time, THERE'S SOMETHING TO CHANGE. If you're doing “good job looks good n_n qc 3/3” then you're probably not looking thoroughly enough. Things that aren't changed in QC 3/3 are often left for uploaders to change, which is just passing off the responsibility and in turn makes your check pointless.

6) Don't GP. Ever. This isn't your job to do, it's for the GP team to do. Analyses go through rough stages and changes during QC, so early GPing is both annoying and borderline pointless, especially during the first and second stages of QC. Many writers, including myself, will write more casually before QC 3/3 and/or GP. It is, however, acceptable to correct Pokemon, Items, and Abilities that are spelled incorrectly.

7) There's very little point in reorganising a list of examples. The order doesn't matter, the actual examples do. Don't needlessly make writers change theses around.

8) You HAVE to ensure the writers follow the analysis format. Do not let it move past your QC stage until they have, or it'll look poor on your end.

Basic things to consider when AM checking an analysis:

1) When starting out with amateur checks (AM checks), you're mainly looking for factually incorrect information inside sections. You shouldn't be changing sets or making clearly subjective changes, as these are for the official checkers to do.

2) Treat AM checking as a way of proving to others that you understand what you're talking about and that you can relay this information in a coherent manner. It may seem as if these checks go unnoticed, but QC does check these when QCing and will use them to consider you for a potential future spot.

3) Don't GP check if you're AM checking, same as with the QC section.
 
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yogi

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Overview

Writers:

The overview is basically meant to be a TL;DR of the Pokemon that you're writing about. It's supposed to give users reading it a basic idea of what it does and its positives and negatives. Why and why wouldn't you use the Pokemon? When writing an overview, take these things into consideration:

1) Avoid random filler text. This is often a massive problem in overviews where people drone on and on about stats and movepools. The absolutely only relevant stat is Speed, which will often find a better use in Set Details, so do not include information about base stats, as it’s utterly pointless. Saying something like "Infernape's offensive stats that allow it to run physical, special, or mixed" is perfectly acceptable, as it's not actually listing the stats while also giving relevant information about the Pokemon.

2) If a Pokemon is good in the meta, focus more on the positives; if it’s not as good or it’s more niche, focus on the negatives. Paint an accurate picture of the Pokemon’s viability—do not oversell or undersell.

3) Begin with the positives of a Pokemon. Then, qualify with the negatives. How you paint a picture of the Pokemon’s viability will be determined by how you stress the significance of its positives and negatives. Do not mention a positive trait when talking about negative traits, or vice versa, without a particularly good reason for doing so. The two parts should be kept distinct and separate.

4) The overview should give concise overall details on the Pokemon, but it should not go in depth about strategies.

5) If the Pokemon faces direct competition from other Pokemon, you may mention that in negatives, but don’t mention a Pokemon just because it also has a move like Swords Dance, for example, as they may have different applications in how they’re used.

6) Don't make current meta comments relating to its place on its meta's Viability Rankings, since these things are volatile and change frequently. The overview should just be a general view on its usability.

7) DO NOT SUMMARIZE AT THE END! The overview IS the summary, so it’s pointless to have one smacked on at the end.

Miltank is a versatile Normal-type Pokemon with good mixed bulk of 95 / 105 / 70. It has a fantastic base Speed of 100 for a defensive Pokemon lets it outspeed fully invested base 60 speed Pokemon with 20 Speed EVs. It has a choice between 2 amazing defensive abilities in Thick Fat and Sap Sipper to take on various Pokemon such as Lilligant with Sap Sipper or Abomasnow with Thick Fat. It has niche on being the only viable Pokemon with access to Heal Bell and Stealth Rock providing valuable support to its team. It also has reliable recovery in Milk Drink to keep itself healthy.

This is an example of a bad Overview. It starts off by stating the Pokemon's stats and typing, which is completely useless information and already available, then goes on to explain something that'll be repeated in Set Details. It only gives a very, very slight idea on the Pokemon's viability and only lists off positives without mentioning any shortcomings. The last two sentences are basic and pointless.

Miltank is one of the most reliable Stealth Rock setters in PU thanks to a high HP stat and great mixed bulk, along with access to reliable recovery in Milk Drink. Good natural bulk means Miltank is able to check prominent threats such as Pyroar and Mesprit. Its support and setup movepool also allows it to either paralyze or poison one of these threats or otherwise set itself up. Miltank also has a fantastic Speed tier for a defensive Pokemon, allowing it to outspeed both neutral-natured base 70 and positive-natured base 60 Speed Pokemon with a small amount of investment. Along with Stealth Rock, it also has several other utility moves at its disposal such as Toxic, Heal Bell, Seismic Toss, and the previously mentioned Milk Drink, allowing it to effectively support its teammates and provide excellent role compression. Access to both Thick Fat and Sap Sipper means Miltank is able to pick what it wants to check, with Thick Fat helping against the likes of Abomasnow and Pyroar and Sap Sipper checking Pokemon such as Lilligant and Ferroseed. While Miltank possesses many good qualities, its Normal typing gives it no resistances and only one immunity, and strong neutral hits are able to 2HKO it. Miltank is also susceptible to entry hazards, as extra damage on it means it will fail to check the previously mentioned Mesprit and Pyroar. It also struggles with four-moveslot syndrome, as it often has to pick what counters it; for example, if it decides to use Heal Bell over Toxic, then Pokemon like Palossand and Golurk are able to switch in freely while giving foes such as Musharna the chance to set up.

This example paints a far better picture of what Miltank does in its tier. While it may be slightly on the long side, it correctly portrays its niche and role and why you'd use it. It also includes both its positives and negatives well.

QCers:

For QCers, and AM checkers by extension, the overview is one of the easiest things to check over. Consider these points:

1) Make sure the writer doesn't go too in depth here. It’s your job to keep the information extremely concise, and no one will read a massive overview. Really, it’s a tl;dr of the Pokemon.

2) Make sure that the overview gives off the correct impression of a Pokemon’s viability. Also remember that these analyses are for newer players primarily, so the overview should be explaining its niche with concise information.
 

yogi

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The Set:

Writers:

The set is the most important part of the analysis. If the set is wrong, the analysis is wrong. Consider these points:

1) Please make sure you know what sets are viable. If you don’t, you probably shouldn’t be writing about said Pokemon. If you’re uncertain, it’s always good to ask a QC member about it so you don’t have to rewrite a massive portion of your analysis due to a set change.

2) Do NOT copy the set from the importable section on Pokemon Showdown, as the formatting does not translate directly. Use the format provided in the C&C Standards thread.

3) Moves should be ordered by how relevant they are to the set. If it features something like Defog, Stealth Rock, or Rapid Spin, that’s often going to be the set focus. It should then have its STAB moves ordered next with coverage last.

4) If the set is called "Stealth Rock," do not slash anything with Stealth Rock, as it is the focus of the set. If it's called "Swords Dance Sweeper," don't slash Swords Dance with anything. The set title is the focus of the set, and it being slashed detracts from it entirely.

5) The set should pretty much ALWAYS have the move featured in the set name as the first slot. It is the focus of the set after all.

6) Unless you're writing a set for an unranked Pokemon or Borderline Pokemon, the set should be avoiding all gimmicks, unless that's the only way it can be played (which will mean it'll be either ranked very low or in a tier like PU or LC where there's not a lower official tier to put them in).

name: Stealth Rock
move 1: U-Turn
move 2: Psychic / Thunder Wave
move 3: Stealth Rocks / Thunder Wave
move 4: Healing Wish
item: Colbur Berry
ability: Levitate
nature: Bold
evs: 248 HP / 244 Def / 16 Spe

This set clearly has many flaws. The title isn't as descriptive as it could be due to Mesprit having both an offensive and defensive Stealth Rock set. Several moves aren't correctly written, which messes the Smogon Pokedex when uploaded. Stealth Rock is the set name yet isn't featured as the first move and is slashed. The HP is lowered even though it does not lower Stealth Rock damage (Mesprit only takes 1/8 damage from Stealth Rock and 252 HP EVs give a stat of 364, which is not divisible by 8. Reducing Mesprit's HP EVs to 248 won't reduce Stealth Rock damage).

name: Defensive Stealth Rock
move 1: Stealth Rock
move 2: Psychic
move 3: U-turn
move 4: Healing Wish
item: Colbur Berry
ability: Levitate
nature: Bold
evs: 252 HP / 240 Def / 16 Spe

This is an example of a good set with the correct layout. It's clearly titled and the move featured in the title is in the first slot. Its STAB move takes the second slot, and its secondary utility moves are in the third and fourth slot.

QCers:

As mentioned above, the set, or sets, being right is EXTREMELY important. This is why the Pokemon is viable! Check these things when looking over a set:

1) If the set has a dumb name, you have every right to change it. The name should only be a special name if it’s either extremely common or an ongoing well-known joke. Otherwise, if the Pokemon is using something like a Choice Band, just call it Choice Band. You may put parenthesis on uniquely-named sets to describe what it does, but this shouldn't be commonplace.

2) Are the moves ordered correctly? If they aren’t, correct it. Make sure that all the slashes are relevant to the set. If not, remove them.

3) If you don't think something is worth being featured on the set but is still a usable move, you can place it at the bottom of the moves section instead. Sets should avoid having too many slashes, so this is often the better way if you're unsure. Really, there should be 2-3 slashes max per slot.

4) For important Pokemon, think B+ or higher (roughly), you should consult sets with your QC team before you actually QC to avoid confusion or set changes midway.

5) DON'T ASSUME THE SET IS RIGHT, ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK IT!!! If you think a set is wrong, then you should bring it up with at least one other member of your QC team (preferably the entire team if possible for more important Pokemon). This may not be a factor for very low ranked Pokemon, like C ranks, however.
 

yogi

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Moves:

Writers:

The point of moves is to just list and explain the moves on the Pokemon's set, if needed:

1) This should be in the order of the moves presented in the set, with first-slot moves and first-slashed moves mentioned first. Avoid explaining moves like Stealth Rock, Swords Dance, STAB moves, etc., as they are very simplistic and standard moves in official metas. If you are an Other Meta writer, you have more freedom, as your metas are different compared to the official metas; however, still do not include useless information if possible. Note: you can talk about why you may use one slash over another, as this is relevant information.

2) Do not go in depth here. Strategies are to be saved for the Usage Tips section. This is just a basic explanation.

3) If something isn’t good enough to go into the actual set but can still find usage, you may put it at the bottom of the moves section. Then, explain why you’d use this alternate move. Please don’t fill the moves section with these however; it realistically should have two maximum.

name: Physical Defog
move 1: Defog
move 2: Pursuit
move 3: Sucker Punch / Crunch
move 4: Poison Jab
item: Black Sludge / Lum Berry
ability: Aftermath
nature: Jolly / Adamant
evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

Pursuit traps weakened foes or Pokemon that are susceptible to Dark-type moves like Mesprit and Haunter, letting Skuntank act as a reliable revenge killer. Defog allows Skuntank to remove all entry hazards from the field. Skuntank is the best user of Defog, as it absorbs Toxic Spikes when it switches in as well. Sucker Punch helps Skuntank pick off frail foes. Taunt can be used instead of Defog to stop the opponent using status moves. Crunch is a more reliable alternative to Sucker Punch because it doesn't rely on the opponent attacking. Poison Jab hits Dark- and Fighting-types such as Absol and Hitmonchan and also Grass-types like Lilligant.

While it does have some useful information, the formatting, lack of detail in some areas, and tacked on useless information, like Defog removing hazards and Poison Jab hitting Grass-types, makes it a lackluster Moves section.

name: Physical Defog
move 1: Defog
move 2: Pursuit
move 3: Sucker Punch / Crunch
move 4: Poison Jab
item: Black Sludge / Lum Berry
ability: Aftermath
nature: Jolly / Adamant
evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

Pursuit traps weakened foes or Pokemon that are susceptible to Dark-type moves like Mesprit and Haunter, letting Skuntank act as a reliable revenge killer. Sucker Punch helps Skuntank pick off frail foes like Zangoose, Floatzel, and Pyroar while giving it priority to threaten setup sweepers like Lycanroc. Crunch, however, is a more reliable alternative to Sucker Punch that helps versus foes like Musharna and Gourgeist-XL but leaves Skuntank vulnerable to faster Pokemon that Sucker Punch enables it to check. Taunt can be used instead of Defog if the team already has a form of hazard removal, providing a decent utility choice that gives Skuntank the ability to stop hazards from Ferroseed or prevent foes like Gourgeist-XL and Weezing from burning it with Will-O-Wisp.

This is a good example of the Moves section done in a concise but informative manner. It leaves out both Defog and Poison Jab, as they're very simple and obvious moves, but includes Sucker Punch and Crunch so as to tell the reader why you'd use one over the other. Pursuit also has a description due to its utility and the fact it's well detailed as to what it does. The move descriptions are ordered correctly too.

Note: Quite a few tiers want you to include every move. This is fine, but PLEASE do not say things like "Return is a reliable Normal-type move." This is as obvious as base stats, so if you're going to mention these, at least apply them to situations or draw comparisons. If you can explain something more relevant than what's available to the reader if they used !dt on Pokemon Showdown, like using Psyshock on Mesprit over Psychic, then do so.

QCers:

1) Look out for writers including fluff. Moves should be concise; leave explanations for Usage Tips.

2) You control what is and isn’t slashed. If you have doubts about a move being slashed, it should probably be dropped to the bottom of the Moves section instead.

3) Just make sure explanation order matches slot order.
 

yogi

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Set Details:

Writers:

Set details is basically describing the rest of the set outside of moves:

1) If this isn’t your shortest section, you have probably written too much. This should be extremely concise.

2) Same rule applies here as it does in moves: DO NOT TALK ABOUT OBVIOUS INFORMATION! If it has Leftovers, don’t tell me what the Leftovers do. If it has max EVs in two stats, don’t tell me what the investment does. It’s obvious. Abilities like Levitate can be talked about in Usage Tips and why they’re useful for checking or switching into Pokemon, but don’t ramble on it here.

3) If a Pokemon has two or more viable abilities but only features one on the actual set, you can explain why. The same goes for explaining slashed items, but don’t tell me that Leftovers heals me for 1/16 or something along those lines.

4) Explain spreads that don’t feature double max EVs, because those unique spreads have a more specific use that needs to be explained. You can also explain alternate spreads here, if they’re relevant enough.

5) DO NOT SPEED CREEP! You are only allowed to creep base Speed tiers or max Speed tiers, NOTHING ELSE! Please read this post for clarification.

name: Bulky Curse
move 1: Curse
move 2: Avalanche
move 3: Earthquake
move 4: Mirror Coat
item: Groundium Z
ability: Sturdy
nature: Lax
evs: 252 Atk / 252 Def / 4 Spe
ivs: 29 HP / 0 SpD

The most surprising thing about this set is the lack of HP investment and 2 hp IVs missing. This is in order to have less HP than even moderately invested Magearna, in order to beat all viable variants. Without this, pain split breaks sturdy. This loss of HP only sacrifices the Metagross-Mega matchup, and slightly weakens the Charizard-Mega-X matchup, as Charizard-Mega-X with Will-o-wisp has a 50/50 between using Will-o-wisp or Flare Blitz, and if Avalugg responds incorrectly (Curse is the correct response to Will-o-wisp, and Tectonic Rage is the correct response to Flare Blitz) it loses. 252+ Defense in order to make maximum usage of its massive bulk. 252 Attack EVs in order to make use of Avalugg's strong base damage, as well as to scale as efficiently as possible with Curse. - SpD and 0 SpD IVs in order to take as much damage as possible from special attacks so Mirror Coat KOs in return. 4 speed in order to win the matchup against itself. Groundium Z in order to hit steel types as hard as possible, and cover other matchups where a Ground-type attack is preferred over an Ice-type one.

This is an example of a bad Set Details section. There are pointless explanations of both Attack and Defense stats, which don't even explain what they're useful against (if anything). It's far too in-depth when concerning Mega Charizard X, which should be in Usage Tips and not here. The HP drop is also incorrect, as there's no HP drop from Pain Split, even with 31 IVs in it. This set also Speed creeps itself, which is a big no.

name: Special Wall
move 1: Earthquake
move 2: Toxic
move 3: Rest
move 4: Sleep Talk
item: Eviolite
ability: Thick Fat
nature: Impish
evs: 4 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD

Maximum Defense is used over maximum HP because Munchlax's already high HP in contrast to its low Defense stat makes the former's increase negligible.

Simple. Concise. Doesn't explain obvious information like what Thick Fat or Eviolite does.

Note: Similar to Moves, quite a few tiers still like information like self-explanatory Abilities included. This is fine, but make it relevant. I don't need to know that Levitate makes me immune to Ground-type attacks.

QCers:

Basically, just make sure the information is actually useful. Cut any dumb information and any fluff.
 

yogi

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Usage Tips:

Writers:

This section is SO IMPORTANT. This is telling a new player how to use said Pokemon. You must give appropriate and useful information. Remember these pointers:

1) Don’t repeat stuff directly from Moves or Set Details, but give scenarios in which a move or ability can be used. “Mold Breaker Pinsir is able to break past Unaware users like Quagsire and Pyukumuku” for example, or “Pinsir can force out Pokemon like Defensive Mesprit, which gives it the opportunity to set up with Swords Dance.”

2) If you’re saying a Pokemon can do something, make sure it actually can. People often either don’t calculate or make assumptions when talking about a Pokemon. This will make you look dumb, and QC will make you feel dumb. It’s extremely obvious when this happens.

3) Don’t include information regarding teammates. You can say it’s best brought in with slow pivot Pokemon, but don’t actually list and describe them here.

4) You should avoid comparing the set you’re talking about to the other sets it has (if the Pokemon has multiple sets). If you do a good job describing how it’s used, it’d be pretty obvious that, for example, a Choice Band Pokemon is used for breaking down certain things, while the Choice Scarf version is used for sweeping or cleaning.

5) Give examples! If the Pokemon is a revenge killer, what does it primarily revenge kill? Also, make sure the examples are relevant—that is, do not talk about Pokemon below B/B- on the Viability Ranking, as they’re not common and they’re not meta staples.

6) If half your Usage Tips involve dancing around a point, condense it and don't skirt around that point!

7) Don't think you need paragraphs on paragraphs. Some Pokemon will only have one way of being used, like Weather and Trick Room Pokemon, so naturally they'll need less explanation compared to something like OU Landorus-T.

8) Finally, please remember that this section is supposed to be in-depth. Yes, you'll know how to use it and it may seem obvious, but the readers most likely will not. You need to be exact and clarify, without doubt, what the Pokemon does. Please don't constantly do "use x to do y" either, though.

9) Remember to try and start with what role the Pokemon fills, and then go about explaining how it does this.

name: Trick Room Wallbreaker
move 1: Bonemerang
move 2: Knock Off
move 3: Stone Edge
move 4: Swords Dance
item: Thick Club
ability: Battle Armor
nature: Brave
evs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
ivs: 0 Spe

When you know that a Pokemon that can take hits from Marowak will come in, use Knock Off, which will cripple that Pokemon by removing its item. Since Marowak is a Ground-type, it can switch into Electric-type attacks and since Trick Room is up, it means Marowak gets a free hit. Use Bonemerang against Sturdy, Focus Sash and Substitute users. Use Stone Edge against Flying-types which are immune to Bonemerang or against Pokemon that resist Bonemerang or Pokemon that are immune to Bonemerang like Bellossom and Weezing.
If you predict that your opponent is going to switch, use Swords Dance. Watch out for Knock Off, Switcheroo or Trick users since Marowak needs its item or it's useless.

This is a pretty bad section. It's very shallow, uses little examples throughout, and is almost a glorified Moves section. This is the exact opposite of what you want when reading Usage Tips.

name: Mooffensive
move 1: Double-Edge
move 2: Stealth Rock
move 3: Milk Drink
move 4: Earthquake / Fire Punch
item: Normalium Z
ability: Scrappy / Thick Fat
nature: Jolly
evs: 212 HP / 44 Atk / 252 Spe

Offensive Miltank primarily functions as both a fast support Pokemon and also a lure, outspeeding everything up to a base Speed of 100. It will often find use on more offensive teams that want to fall back on a bulky offensive Stealth Rock setter that can lure in and check Ghost-type Pokemon like Oricorio-G and Haunter. Depending on how it's played the user can feint Miltank to be the more defensive set and not reveal Breakneck Blitz or other coverage until later on in the game, or play it aggressively against foes like Ferroseed and Spiritomb predicting them to switch in and hitting them with the appropriate coverage. Miltank should attempt to preserve its Z move if facing specific Pokemon like Clefairy and Oricorio-G, as it relies on Breakneck Blitz to 2HKO and OHKO them, respectively. However Miltank can use its Z move to ignore residual damage from Skuntank's Aftermath, if it lacks Earthquake or Skuntank isn't in range of Earthquake, and Weezing's Rocky Helmet. Breakneck Blitz can also be used against foes like Hitmonchan and Magmortar to ensure an OHKO. It is worth noting that once the opponent sees Scrappy on Miltank, then they'll most likely play more aggressively with both Fire- and Ice-type Pokemon like Pyroar and Aurorus, no longer being worried about Thick Fat walling then forcing them out. Miltank can still use its naturally high bulk to switch in to physical attackers like Skuntank and Shiftry, being able to heal up or set up Stealth Rock, or just straight up attack them. Outside of Breakneck Blitz Miltank is noticeably weak due to minimal Attack investment, therefor relies on either super-effective hits or prediction to deal any substantial damage to the opponent. It also struggles heavily against bulky walls like Regirock, Carracosta, and Palossand, and lacks the ability to status them with Toxic. Offensive Miltank must also be very wary of both Scald and Will-O-Wisp, as it's borderline useless once it's burned. This means that against things like Lanturn and Weezing, Miltank has to be very cautious and certain that it can either KO them or risk the burn.

While slightly on the long side and a little rough around the edges, this section does a very good job of explaining how to and how not to use this set. It makes it very clear that it's a less common and more lure-like set, going into detail on how it can be feinted as the standard set and used on what kind of teams and even against certain common checks.

QCers:

This section, as expressed before, is so important. Newer players will look to this section to understand how to use, and how not to use, the Pokemon in question.

1) It is your job to double-check everything here. If you don’t check all the information and it gets uploaded, you are giving false tips on how to use this Pokemon. I know it seems simple, but it’s very easy to just want to trust the writer and not run damage calculations.

2) If they are using too many examples, not enough examples, or examples that are not meta relevant, remedy that. Writers' lack of experience will show heavily here, and you'll be able to tell if they aren't confident or knowledgeable enough, and you'll also need to help remedy these mistakes, so please be thorough with checking Usage Tips.
 

yogi

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Team Options:

Writers:

This section should basically be going through the Pokemon’s ability to perform in a team with explanations on how it interacts with its partners, talking about how they support each other:

1) Talk about what the Pokemon you’re recommending does and what can be done for them. Quite often people will only go “Magmortar and Pyroar break down physical walls…” without then saying how the analysis Pokemon helps them in return. Remember, synergy is a two-way street, so it is important to explain what each Pokemon brings to the table.

2) Don’t talk about unviable teammates. Make sure all mentions are B/B- and above UNLESS they have some extreme synergy, like Hippopotas and Sand Rush Stoutland. Basically, outside of stall and hyper offensive playstyles, you should stick to meta-relevant Pokemon.

3) You should ideally put teammates in order of most used and best to least used and least valuable. Skuntank and Weezing in PU are a good example of being fantastic teammates, as they share no weaknesses and deal with each others’ checks, so they should be mentioned at the top of each other’s Team Options sections. This can also be achieved by listing the Pokemon's biggest flaws and then deciding what Pokemon help deal with them.

4) Like with Usage Tips, it’s very obvious when you don’t know what you’re talking about, so please be familiar with or do research on the Pokemon you’re writing about beforehand. There are many common mistakes that can be made, such as either referencing teammates using sets that are not standard, giving bad synergy options like double Defog users on bulky offense, mentioning random Pokemon with little-to-no explanation as to why they’re a good teammate, or even something silly like double Mega Evolutions (which has happened before).

5) Team options should not be someone just puking out a type chart. Yes, type synergy is important and is unavoidable at times, but the entire section shouldn't be "X takes on this type of attacks for Y, and Y takes attacks for X." Go into specifics as per point 1. Also, I don't need to know something like how Stealth Rock or Defog supports a Pokemon well; that's redundant information. Instead, tell me which specific users support the Pokemon the best. An example of this would be Alolan Sandslash being a fantastic partner to Oricorio-E, as it deals with and/or pressures common Stealth Rock users like Mesprit, Mudsdale, and Aggron.

name: Bulky Pivot
move 1: Taunt
move 2: Parting Shot
move 3: Foul Play
move 4: Toxic
item: Leftovers / Darkinium Z
ability: Fur Coat
nature: Jolly
evs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe

Set up sweepers greatly appreciate Persian's access to Parting Shot as it gives them a way of coming in on a weakened attack and being able to set up. Examples include Nasty Plot Jynx, Lilligant, and Absol. Breakers like Drampa and Specs Magmortar also appreciate the Z-Parting Shot to have a second chance at breaking through even more of a team. In particular, Archeops really appreciates being able to come back in at full HP so it remains out of Defeatist.

This Team Options section is very shallow with little explanation for each point. It barely scratches the utility that Alolan Persian gives to its teammates and doesn't explain how its teammates help it at all. The last point doesn't detail that only the Darkinium Z set can do this.

name: Mooffensive
move 1: Double-Edge
move 2: Stealth Rock
move 3: Milk Drink
move 4: Earthquake / Fire Punch
item: Normalium Z
ability: Scrappy / Thick Fat
nature: Jolly
evs: 212 HP / 44 Atk / 252 Spe

Choice Specs Mesprit is an extremely notable partner for Miltank as it is able to act as a Fighting-type check along with breaking Rock-types like Regirock and Carracosta with ease. Potential Healing Wish and U-turn support from Mesprit can also generate turns for Miltank along with healing it. In return, Miltank is able to lure and dispatch of Ghost- and Dark-types like Haunter, Oricorio-G, Skuntank, and Spiritomb. Fighting-types like Assault Vest Hitmonchan and Choice Scarf Primeape appreciate Miltank's ability to lure in Ghost-types like the abovementioned and OHKO them after a small amount of chip. In return Primeape offers speed control, pivoting in U-turn, and the ability to revenge kill offensive checks to Miltank like Archeops, Alolan Raichu, and Choice Specs Pyroar. Hitmonchan provides hazard control with Rapid Spin and a strong priority Mach Punch to deal with weakened foes, along with acting as a decent blanket check to special attackers; this proves especially useful if Miltank is using Scrappy over Thick Fat, as it struggles a lot against Pyroar and Aurorus. Special wallbreakers, such as Magmortar and Aurorus, deal with many of the defensive walls that Miltank struggles with like Palossand, Musharna, and Gastrodon. Additionally Magmortar is able to check both Fire- and Ice-types for the Scrappy set, along with absorbing Will-O-Wisp to ensure Miltank isn't crippled. Miltank supports both Aurorus and Magmortar by luring and breaking Hitmonchan and Clefairy. Fast Choice Scarf users, like Swanna and Togedemaru, are able to support Miltank by acting as fast revenge killers. Togedemaru and Swanna can outspeed both +1 Lilligant and Jynx, with the former acting as a soft Fire-type check and the latter acting as a soft Ice-type check. Togedemaru also has a variety of utility moves like Nuzzle, Encore, and Toxic which it can use to cripple Miltank's common checks or fast foes. Swanna can provide emergency Defog support for more offensive teams, ridding the field of things like Toxic Spikes which cripple Miltank. Fighting-type checks like Weezing and Spiritomb are good partners for Miltank, with the former being able to cripple the foes with either Toxic Spikes or Will-O-Wisp, and the latter trapping Ghost- and Psychic-types such as Haunter and Alolan Raichu.

From the same analysis as the previous section's example, this one does a good job of listing and describing what Miltank does for its teammates and what they do for Miltank. It is a long Team Options section, but every bit of detail does provide extra substance so it's acceptable. It also gives teammates for different versions of Miltank, be it Thick Fat or Scrappy.

QCers:

This section is very important, especially for newer players to the tier:

1) Same as with Usage Tips, it’s your job to ensure this section has correct information. If something is listed as a check for something, actually do the damage calculations. Don’t leave it to chance!

2) If they have bad partners listed, change it. Do not endorse super niche Pokemon in this section; this section should have meta-relevant Pokemon. If you find multiple instances of incorrect Pokemon being mentioned, you have the right to question the analysis’s worth.

3) You should consider if a Pokemon listed is actually good in practice with the analysis Pokemon. Sometimes they can sound passable in theory but are the exact opposite in practice. Play on your meta knowledge and experience here.
 

yogi

Adventure!
is a Tutoris a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Other Options:

Writers:

The Other Options section is purely for somewhat viable moves that could still have use, like Toxic Mesprit, but aren't as consistent as moves featured on the main set(s) or in the set's Moves section. Keep these tips in mind:

1) Don't add bad sets or moves! This isn’t for some fun or gimmicky tactic you’ve used once or twice, it’s for decent other moves or sets that the Pokemon can use.

2) You have to think, “Would I bring this to a competitive game?” If the answer is no, it almost certainly doesn’t belong. They should have either a ladder or tournament niche.

3) You need to explain what moves it’s going to be used over if it’s an alternate for a slot and what it does over the current suggestion while also explaining the competition it has from the set move(s). If it’s a set, explain its niche. Alternate EV spreads also go here.

4) This should be listed in order of viability. Have the most viable options at the top with the least viable (but still usable) options closer to the bottom.

5) This section really shouldn’t be very big unless the Pokemon in question has extreme versatility, like PU Mesprit. More abstract metagames should keep this as short as possible to avoid viability confusion.

6) In rare circumstances that a Pokemon doesn't have any good Other Options, then you can just say that it doesn't have any other usable sets or moves.

name: Fast Utility
move 1: Leaf Storm
move 2: Defog
move 3: Synthesis
move 4: Hidden Power Ice
item: Eviolite
ability: Contrary
nature: Timid
evs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 Spe

Glare can be used as a form of speed control. Aromatherapy can be used for team support. Hidden Power Fire can be used as a way to beat Ferroseed and other Steel-types though it leaves Servine more open to Dragon-types like Altaria and Drampa. A specially defensive set with Mirror Coat can be used to take a hit from strong special attackers and fire back with a stronger hit.

While it does have good options, almost none of them are fleshed out. Both Glare and Aromatherapy don't explain why you'd use them or what you'd use them over. The Mirror Coat point doesn't mention what Pokemon it can lure with this attack, such as Bulky Oricorio-E or Oricorio-G.

name: Bulky Pivot
move 1: Parting Shot
move 2: Taunt
move 3: Foul Play
move 4: Toxic
item: Darkinium Z
ability: Fur Coat
nature: Jolly
evs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe

Knock Off is an option to cripple some Pokemon that rely on their items like Clefairy but has far less consistent damage output against physical attackers. Fake Out can be run over Toxic on a team that already has Toxic Spikes support to help rack up damage while the foe is unable to attack. A Nasty Plot set can be used with Alolan Persian's good Speed and decent coverage with Dark Pulse, Hidden Power Ground, and Thunderbolt to help deal with Pokemon such as Skuntank and Archeops and can also run Darkinium Z for a one-time nuke. Hypnosis can be run to leave a foe unable to attack, though its low accuracy can leave Alolan Persian vulnerable. Alolan Persian can function as a weather setter with Sunny Day or Rain Dance and then pivot out with Parting Shot, though Liepard generally performs this better with its access to Prankster.

Good and reasonably concise Other Options section that doesn't delve into ridiculous or downright awful moves or sets. Explains what merits they have but also explains some shortcomings to show why they aren't featured on a set or as a set.

QCers:

Just ensure this isn't long or full of bad options:

1) It’ll often be your job to gut this section. You will have decent meta knowledge, so please make sure only viable options are kept here.

2) Even though you may be able to make a gimmick work, would it be feasible for other, newer players? If not, don’t get the writer to add it.

3) If you want to gauge what length this section should be, it should be shorter than usage tips and team options. If it isn’t, it’s almost certainly too long and should be trimmed down.
 

yogi

Adventure!
is a Tutoris a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Checks and Counters:

Writers:

The Checks and Counters section's purpose is to detail, well, what checks and what counters the Pokemon in question. You need to ensure everything you're putting is correct:

1) This needs to be in order of what deals with the analysis Pokemon the best. If something beats the Pokemon 100% of the time, then that should be very close to the top, if not at the top.

2) Specific Pokemon should only be mentioned as titles when needed, as often you’ll be referring to a type, like “Ice-types,” or a blanket term, like “revenge killer.” However, examples should be included in the explanations.

3) As with Team Options, only use meta-relevant examples unless something is extremely good at dealing with the Pokemon in question.

4) This section shouldn’t be extremely long. Often a Pokemon will have between 3-6 sections. Ubers and some Other Metas do have far more leeway with this.

5) Please, again, check if they are actually checks or counters by doing damage calculations. You can list something as a counter to one set if need be, but don’t just say that “Skuntank counters Mesprit,” because then you’d be wrong if one set is able to actually beat it. Saying “Skuntank counters defensive Mesprit” would instead be correct.

6) Pokemon that are extreme blanket checks (for example, Shedinja in Balanced Hackmons) should ONLY be mentioned if they are quite literally the best counter available AND no common variant of the Pokemon of the analysis can beat them.

**Fire-types**: Pyroar outspeeds Servine and is able to heavily damage or OHKO it depending on the set. Assault Vest Magmortar takes little from Servine even if boosted and can OHKO with Fire Blast.

**Faster Pokemon**: Jynx, Archeops, Swanna, and Haunter are all examples of Pokemon that outspeed Servine and threaten it with their super effective coverage.

Rather shallow for a Pokemon with far more than two sets of checks. Pokemon like Sap Sipper Drampa are not mentioned. Flying-, Ice-, and Poison-types are neglected here, with the Oricorios, Articuno, and Skuntank all being great checks to Servine.

**Fire-types:** Fire-types like Pyroar, Magmortar, and Combusken outspeed Abomasnow and OHKO it with Fire Blast. All of them have to watch out for Earthquake, however.

**Fighting-types:** Fighting-types such as Primeape and Life Orb Hitmonchan can outspeed Abomasnow and OHKO it with their STAB attacks. However, non-Choice Scarf variants of these Pokemon are outsped by Choice Scarf Abomasnow. Slower Fighting-types such as Gurdurr and Assault Vest Hitmonchan can take a hit before KOing in return, or they can take Abomasnow out with Mach Punch if it has taken enough damage already.

**Specially Defensive Pokemon:** Specially Defensive Pokemon such as Clefairy, Type: Null, and Audino can switch in on non-Swords Dance Abomasnow and use it to set up Stealth Rock or Swords Dance, or they can whittle it down with Toxic. Mixed wallbreaker Abomasnow can 2HKO Audino with Focus Blast, however.

**Steel-types:** Certain Steel-types such as Togedemaru, Alolan Dugtrio, and Alolan Sandslash can outspeed Abomasnow and OHKO it with Iron Head, although Alolan Dugtrio does not want to take a +2 Ice Shard. Alolan Sandslash can also take advantage of Abomasnow's hail, even after Abomasnow is KOed. Bronzor is notable, as it resists all of Abomasnow’s attacks except Focus Blast and can take advantage of Abomasnow to set up Stealth Rock, heal off any damage with Rest, or whittle Abomasnow down with Toxic and Psywave. Some bulky Steel-types like Probopass can deal with Abomasnow's Choice Scarf set if it is locked into a resisted move, but otherwise they have to watch out for super effective coverage moves. Finally, Metang can take a hit before OHKOing Abomasnow with Meteor Mash or possibly 2HKOing it with Bullet Punch.

**Residual Damage:** Throughout the game, Abomasnow can be worn down by various forms of chip damage such as entry hazards, Toxic poison, and recoil from Life Orb or Wood Hammer. This makes Abomasnow much easier to revenge kill, especially when combined with its mediocre Speed and defenses.

This shows a well-detailed and correctly listed C&C section. Fire-types take the top spot as Abomasnow folds to basically all Fire-types and both of its STABs are resisted by all of the Fire-types listed. Fighting-types offensively check Abomasnow but struggle to deal with its attacks, and Ice Shard can pick off things like a weakened Primeape. Specially defensive Pokemon are decent checks but struggle with Focus Blast and Swords Dance variants. Steel-types have similar issues.

QCers:

Really, all you need to do is ensure that the order is a good reflection of the reliability of the checks and counters and that the examples are relevant. You should avoid going extremely in-depth for scenarios when checking. You could easily go into several scenarios about Mesprit versus Skuntank, for example, but keeping it concise and informative is the best way to go.
 
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