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Where the Lights Are
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Updated 1/16/09

Synergy is an important, perhaps even the defining concept of Pokemon. Many players consider it essential, always advising newer users to make sure their teams have “good synergy”. Then, if having Pokemon “work together” is such an indispensable part of a successful team, why is it the last thing people consider when rating a team, or posting a team?

We are not looking for irony or hypocrisy. What we are looking for are two simple things – teams that are actually rateable coupled with rates and critiques that are relevant to the team at hand. Sadly, both of these are still in rare stock within the RMT Forum – many who post their teams and even rate other’s teams show little proficiency over the competitive nuances of the game. While many people may “know” what they need to do, it is a completely different matter to apply these things.

Hence, this thread will cover the “bare minimum” that every person who posts their team and rates team should consider. This thread will help the user apply the knowledge they may have, providing the user with the bare essentials necessary for them to get the most out of this forum.

For People Posting Their Teams

PLAY WITH YOUR TEAM BEFORE PUTTING IT UP FOR RATE. We as a community cannot emphasize this enough. No one wants to rate the team that you freshly created while eating breakfast or the gimmick you randomly put together. We as a community want teams that have been battle tested so that the obvious flaws have been hammered out.

This is particularly because just by playing with a team, you yourself can figure out what is wrong with your team. You don't need other people to help you quite yet - and to be blunt, you're just being lazy or have the wrong idea of what the RMT forum is if you're posting teams you spent fifteen minutes creating.

Many good battlers that I am familiar with spend five minutes thinking of a team, and then spend hours testing and tweaking it to suit their playstyle and patch any oversights. Just spending an hour or two with the team will give you a general idea of what needs to be tweaked. If you desperately need someone to do this for you, you are best suited for the Apprentice Program, not posting your teams that have little thought behind them. These “brainstorm” teams are obvious – and they are painful to deal with particularly because most of these teams require a complete overhaul to be even considered viable for competitive play. Of course, this by itself isn't necessarily bad - as many users may genuinely need help. What is bad, however, is that most of these players have not played with their teams before putting it up for a rate – and it shows.

In the end, it comes down to this. Why should we as raters even spend 20~30 minutes rating your team if you yourself invested very little time into it? Make a team, stick with it, play for it for a while, and then come back and ask for help. We’re not going to make perfect teams for you.

LEARN THE GAME AND LURK MORE. Congratulations. You have built your first team! Then you log on Shoddy, and you take it for a spin... you find out that the team falls apart quite easily. Then of course, you rush over to the RMT forum to get help.

Sadly, this likely is not the proper approach. Many of you may have noticed that some of my rates have consisted little more than advising the user the lurk more and that they are not yet ready to make their own team. This is often true – many users simply need to play a bit more, or sign up for the Apprentice Program.

While many of the teams require a complete overhaul simply because the team has not been tested, many other teams require complete overhaul because the team maker has little idea what they may be doing. Posting the team is then a fruitless endeavor - instead sign up for the Apprentice Program or take the time to better learn the game on your own.

The reason that many of these players shouldn’t be attempting team building is because these players don’t quite know what works and what does not work yet. These players have a penchant for gimmicks, thinking that these gimmicks are awesome and amazing because the gimmicks may deal with a “problem” in a “creative” way… on paper anyway. Since these players do not have a fine grasp on the game, how could they be expected to make a working team? You cannot solve a multiplication problem without knowing how to multiply. Similarly, one must learn how to play the game before building a team.

Lurk more. Take a few of the fine teams that have been posted in the forum, play with them for a while, and learn the game a bit more.

BE DESCRIPTIVE. BE AS DETAILED AS POSSIBLE. But don't be pretentious. Don't use words you don't know, that just confuses the raters.

The best rates can only come after playing with the team. However, the raters are obviously not willing to play thirty battles with your team to figure out what is wrong with it and how it works. This is why we want you to tell us about your team.

Synergy is important, right? The purpose of any given team is to be able to work together in any situation to win. If we don't know how your team works, we can only assume things about your team - and that does not lead to good rates. The more descriptive you are about your teams and your weaknesses and what you would like for your team, the better the raters can help you. This is a rule for a reason - and comments like "RHYPERIOR OHKOS SHIT WITH CB ROCK WRECKER LOL", “standard X”, “Mixed Sweeper”, etc does not tell us anything other than the fact that you shouldn't be building teams nor rating them.

Be descriptive. Tell us how each member contributes. You can do this by telling us why you chose a specific Pokemon (and "it's my FAVORITE" doesn't count – we are competitive here!) and how it contributes to the overall picture.

You can add one or two logs in your RMT, to give raters an idea on how you use the team to gain a greater understanding of the team itself. However, this is only a suggestion and is not necessary. If logs are used, they should be in code tags, so that RMTs are not clogged up with piles of long text.


You and I Know
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Just in case it was not made clear enough by the title:


A few other notes:
  • You do not need to state the effects and type coverage of your individual moves. A whole lot of RMTs just say things like "Close Combat to hit Normals, Will-O-Wisp to Burn stuff, Thunderbolt to hit Gyarados and Suicune." Do not do it. Almost everyone rating teams has memorized the effects of every common move, as well as the type chart. If this is the bulk of your descriptions then your thread will be locked.
  • If you see a thread that clearly should be locked, do not post in it.
  • If your thread is locked then you cannot edit it. This is not a rule, it is a fact. If your thread is locked, please do not PM me with "For some reason I can't edit my post!"
  • Do not PM me or any other mod asking us to help fix your locked thread. That is not our job. Feel free to ask a friend or enter the tutoring program.
If your thread is locked and you wish to have it unlocked, you should follow these steps:
  1. Fix it up to the standards required by the RMT forum rules and this thread.
  2. Send the mod that locked it the completed thread that you wish to have posted. If the thread is still not up to standards you will likely not hear back.
  3. Wait for a response.


indulges in unsavory behavior
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REPLACE STUFF THAT IS COMPLETELY OUTCLASSED. This is pretty easy. Obviously if someone is using Choice Specs Espeon, you could just say that "Specs Alakazam does this better for reasons X,Y,Z" and be done with it. But it does not end there.
I think that more of a description should be put into this rule, explaining to team raters not to re-build the team for that person. Some raters may look at this rule and think that it is okay to completely change the persons team, when it is certainly not. This needs to be explained more so that it does not end up happening. (It is something that I see commonly.)
Another thing to contemplate when rating teams is the purpose of the team.

What is the team trying to accomplish and how as raters can we help them achieve that goal?

For example. Are they trying to set up a sweep with Gyarados and using the wrong sweeper or tactic to achieve that we should help them.

Or,in a balance / bulky team it is generally not a wise idea to have a suicide lead such as Azelf all the members should be working together to achieve the general goal of the team - this is the kind of thing team raters should also be picking up on.

There are examples where rating based on changing the team in this way may not be helpful but it is definitely something worth thinking about while rating a team.

If there is no purpose behind the team then it is advised that team raters try to provide one (obviously there are examples where this is unneccessary). Team's without a defined purpose or strategy are going to be ineffective this is imo in terms of importance one step down from Synergy in a team. For example the team has a bunch of sweepers and an SD Lucario one of the sweepers seems out of place in helping the Lucario to sweep this should be changed to a sweeper more appropriate.

I need to come up with better examples but hopefully you get my jist.

I find that if you follow up on your rates then you can continue to provide help with emerging problems the OP has. This works especially well because we have a rapport with the builder and know the team sufficiently well.
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