The King Of Games
Chat with us in real time in our IRC channel, #doubles!Ever since ADV, doubles has steadily gained headway into the competitive Pokemon scene. Every generation GameFreak has refined the Doubles metagame and by the sixth generation it has ripened considerably. It's a shame that the only widely supported version of this format (VGC) is one over which the players have no control! However, with the awesome Pokemon Showdown! now supporting Doubles format, we now have all the tools necessary to mold our own version of the format that made VGC so popular and help shape our own Standard Doubles metagame!
Note that, rather than following many of the conventions which Nintendo and VGC have laid out, we will be experimenting and setting new rules and bans, so many things are slightly different. Here are some noteworthy difference from the ruleset of current VGC 2014:
1) 6 vs 6 instead of 4 vs 4
2) Pokemon default level 100 instead of level 50
3) Item Clause OFF
4) OHKO Clause ON
5) Evasion Clause ON
6) Soul Dew Clause ON
7) Moody Clause ON
8) Swagger Clause ON
9) The following move is banned from play
- Dark Void
- Giratina, Giratina-O
The true gem of Doubles does not lie in such minute differences in rulesets - it's the various strategies that are born and made viable by the virtue of having an additional partner and an extra opponent on the battle field simultaneously. Such battle setting results in a fast and furious play unimaginable in Singles play. If you think you have time to dilly dally with setting up hazards and some brainless volt-turn spam, think again! Since so much happens in a span of a single turn, on-the-spot decision making and intuition are tested heavily in Doubles. A thrilling new challenge unfounded in Singles!
Another major appeal of Doubles is the increased viability and deeper nuances of Pokemon moves. Here are some quick overview of such moves:
Protect - +4 Priority. Undoubtedly the most important move in Doubles; it shields whatever moves targeted at the user and without the need to blindly switch out and let another one of your Pokemon to take a hit, too! A well-executed Protect means wasted turns for the opponent, whose attacks utterly fail to do anything while your other Pokemon can ideally take the attacker out. Protect also shield your Pokemon against Fake Out flinches, a devastating move in Double. Stalling out Tailwind or TR turns serve as another purpose for using Protect.
Feint - +2 Priority. With Protect being such a pivotal move in Doubles, it's no wonder that a counter-move in Feint would see some use! It comes in handy when you need to connect with the target Pokemon on that turn NO MATTER WHAT. Feint also breaks other protection moves, including Wide Guard, Quick Guard, and Spiky Shield.
Fake Out - +3 Priority. This is another prevalent move in Doubles, and it's a game-breaking one, too. A super-priority flinch move renders one of the opponent's Pokemon immobile and vulnerable to assaults. Just like in Singles, Fake Out can be seen from a mile away, but the Fake Out user can actually take advantage of this, forcing the opponent to use Protect. Fake Out's greater utility in Doubles in turn increases the value of Inner Focus.
Spread Moves - These moves target multiple Pokemon - some only affect both enemies while other spread moves also catches your ally, too. Such distinctions make otherwise obscure moves in Singles, such as Heat Wave and Rock Slide, to have a specific niche in Doubles!
All spread moves's power is reduced to 75% of its original base power (so Earthquake is a 75 bp Ground type move, while Blizzard is a 82 bp Ice type move), but this reduction is more than compensated by hitting more than one target. If it's hitting both foes, it is effectively hitting with 150% of the moves original power (75%*2). When there is only one target power on the field, the spread move hits the opponent with 100% of its original power.
Notable Spread Moves that Targets Only Enemies
- Blizzard (82 bp) & Icy Wind (41 bp)
- Rock Slide (56)
- Heat Wave (71) & Eruption (112)
- Muddy Water (67) & Water Spout (112)
- Pixilate Hyper Voice (87, Fairy-type)
- Snarl (41)
- Dark Void (banned)
Wide Guard / Quick Guard - +3 Priority. BW has added new protection moves to doubles. Unlike Protect, these Guard moves protect both the user AND the ally from spread moves and priority moves, respectively. This means that one Pokemon can guard for Earthquake or Fake Outs, thereby wasting the opponent's turn, while its partner can go on the offensive.Notable Spread Moves that Target Enemies and Ally alike
- Explosion (187) & Selfdestruct (150)
- Earthquake (75)
XY has further buffed these two moves; both Guard moves can be used consecutively without fail! Quick Guard now also blocks non-damaging moves from Prankster Pokemon!
Helping Hand - +5 Priority. A move designed specifically for Doubles, this move boosts the power of the user's ally by 50% for one turn, which can change a 2HKO into a OHKO. Such a difference is significant in Doubles, as knocking out the opponent effectively means cutting down on the opponent's offense by half for that turn. Thus, Helping Hand user pairs nicely with a fast Sweeper like Thundurus or Latios. Helping Hand has +5 priority, so the helper can be a slow bulky supporter like Cresselia, and it is used before Prankster Taunt.
Follow Me / Rage Powder - +2 Priority. Another move tailored for Doubles, but this time all non-spread moves are re-directed to the user of Follow Me or Rage Powder, thereby keeping its partner untouched. Spread moves like Blizzard and Earthquake still hits both users, though. This move comes in handy when you are trying to set up with your other Pokemon.
Tailwind / Icy Wind / Thunder Wave / Trick Room - Similarly to Singles, having the first move is almost always more advantageous than attacking second. Tailwind, Icy Wind, and Trick Room are prevalent moves to control Speed and attack first. Even though 4-5 turns go awfully quick in Singles to do anything productive, in Doubles it is usally half the game or more! Icy Wind (or Electro Web) is also an amazing utility move, a spread move that drops BOTH enemies' Speed by one stage.
Move Order - Who moves first is often a frequently confused topic, since a Pokemon's Speed can change in the middle of a turn, making faster Pokemon slower. The move order is pre-determined at the beginning of the turn, so any changes in the Pokemon's Speed would only affect the move order in subsequent turns. Here are some scenarios:
- Your Talonflame sets up Tailwind. Your Heracross will not move before the opponent's Charizard Y until the following turn
- Your Thundurus paralyzes the opposing Latios with Thunder Wave. However, Latios will still move before Garchomp until the turn ends.
- Your Charizard Mega Evolves into Charizard Y and summons sun. Venusaur's Chlorophyll wont kick in until the following turn.
- The above scenario is different from a case where the weather is summoned before the beginning of the turn (ie if you used Ninetales to summon sun before the turn begins then Venusaur has its Speed doubled from turn 1).
It is a well-known fact that EVing your Pokemon can be essential to a team's success in the Doubles metagame. It is something so important that a whole Topic of the Week was devoted towards exploring the best way to maximize the effect of your EVs. However, many people may find it daunting to attempt to keep track of the many different benchmarks there are in the Doubles metagame, and will thus resort to inferior 252/252 spreads as opposed to finding spreads that will best fit their team. This list's goal is to provide an easy to access list of benchmarks to make it easier to calculate spreads for your Pokemon. In addition to the Speed benchmarks, there is a list of important offensive and defensive benchmarks to consider when EVing that is available below. Sadly, this list is likely missing things, so if you feel that there is an important benchmark being left out, be sure to mention it.
For Pokemon affected by stat boosts and drops, all non-integers round down.
This spreadsheet does not contain all notable sets: it only has benchmarks of 0 or 252, with a few exceptions where a Pokemon which EVs to hit a benchmark at a certain boost does not have that boost. The tiers highlighted in yellow are common targets for creep, or benchmarks to be especially aware of.
Offensive Benchmark (Opposing Pokemon you want to inflict damage / KO)
* - Indicates that you should consider accounting for Intimidate drops if calcing physical attacks
* - Indicates that you should consider accounting for Intimidate drops if calcing physical attacks
- 252/252+/4 Cresselia
- max HP & max Def Politoed
- min HP Latios
- 44 HP Landorus-T*
- max HP Heatran
- 252/176/72+ Amoonguss
- 252/64/0 Charizard Y-M
- min HP Kangaskhan-M
- max HP Kangaskhan-M
- 252/100/40 Rotom-W
- 244/108/72 Thundurus
- 252/176+/72 Togekiss
Defensive Benchmark (Opposing Pokemon's moves you want to tank)
- LO Brave Bird from Adamant Talonflame
- Earthquake from Landorus-T
- Rock Slide from Landorus-T
- LO Rock Slide from Terrakion
- +6 Aqua Jet from Azumarill
- LO Close Combat from Terrakion
- Meteor Mash from Mega Metagross
- Return from Mega Kangaskhan
- LO Psyshock from Latios
- LO Secret Sword from Keldeo
- Diamond Storm from Mega Diancie
- Fake Out + Return from Mega Kangaskhan
- LO Knock Off from Bisharp (with or without item)
- LO Sucker Punch from Bisharp
- LO Draco Meteor from Hydreigon (Modest)
- Hydro Pump from Modest Ludicolo (in rain)
- Heat Wave from Mega Charizard Y (in sun)
- Overheat from Mega Charizard Y (in sun)
- Giga Drain from Modest Ludicolo
- Moonblast from Mega Diancie
- Ice Beam from Kyurem-B
- Shadow Ball from Aegislash
- Choice Specs Hyper Voice from Sylveon
- Overheat from Rotom-Heat
WHAT ABOUT SUSPECT TESTING?
Doubles, being an official tier, does have its own suspect testing system. We have a semipermanent council of top battlers who periodically decide on suspects, with user input, and then ladder and activity requirements for a vote.
As of now the council is....
Start playing on Smogon Doubles ladder! Compete in the Doubles Tournament Circuit for a custom banner labeling you as the Doubles champion. Participate in projects that we will be creating in the very near future, and discuss / share / theorymon some cool doubles sets, combo, or strategy with the rest of us! Contribute in C&C writing and discussions! Rate teams of Doubles! There are many opportunities to earn badges and have your contributions and achievements in Doubles recognized!
Also we have a room on Pokemon Showdown! for the very purpose of discussing Doubles OU! You may also sign up in Smogon's Battling 101 program to be assigned with a Doubles tutor!
Come and play Doubles! We welcome your company :)
Basic Guidelines when Asking a Question
1) Please don't ask anything in the FAQ, especially #1.
2) If your question can be answered by a quick Google search, I am liable to be a patronizing asshole and respond via letmegooglethatforyou.com. In the case that this happens, remember it was your fault.
3) Do not ask about anything illegal such as ROMs.
FAQ: (Please don't ask these here or anywhere else)
Q: (When) will [Insert pokemon/move/item/etc] be (un)banned?
A: The Doubles Council is diligently playing and monitoring the metagame at all times. If they are considering banning or unbanning something, they will post a thread about it, so you'll know. If they're not considering such a thing, you're not going to convince them otherwise, so don't bother.
Q: How do I calculate damage?
A: With this. Make sure the "doubles" tag is highlighted or spread moves will be 33% stronger than they should be.
Q: Can I chat about Doubles anywhere in real time?
A: Go ahead and join the Smogon Doubles room on Pokemon Showdown to chat about our metagame and its derivatives!
Last edited by a moderator: