Identifying and Eliminating Threats to Your Team

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This article will show players how to create threatlists for their teams and eliminate those threats by changing their sets or replacing Pokemon on the team, using the tier's viability rankings and role compendium and taking into account common cores in the metagame as well as checks and counters synergy.

  • You've all heard this story before: someone builds a seemingly perfect team in theory and has it fail horribly in practice. But what's he doing wrong? What factor is he not accounting for? The team has nearly perfect type synergy, after all.
  • In this article, I'll explain how you can build a threatlist and eliminate those threats by changing your sets or replacing Pokemon on your team while using helpful resources like viability rankings and role compendiums.
Creating a Threatlist
  • The first step is to check your team's type synergy using a synergy calculator or by hand. For example, if four of your Pokemon are weak to Fighting and only one resists it, your team has a big problem with Fighting-types, so you should run coverage for Fighting-types or replace one of the Pokemon weak to it. Note all the weaknesses you find in this step and list common Pokemon of those types.
  • If your team has no glaring weaknesses to a single type, check whether you might run into trouble with dual typings or common coverage moves (for example, many Water-types run coverage for Grass-types).
  • Next, look through the S through B ranks of your tier's viability rankings, which you can find under its subforum in the Metagame Discussion forum. For each Pokemon on the list, see how many of your Pokemon can reliably beat it and how many are reliably beaten. Even if a Pokemon can't reliably beat any of yours, it could be able to wall all of them, meaning you should note it too. Note all the threats you find in this step. For example, even if your team isn't weak to Fighting-type moves, perhaps a Fighting-type Pokemon can check or counter many of your Pokemon thanks to its ability or item.
  • Don't forget to account for common cores as well: if your OU team has two Pokemon that are beaten by Rotom-W and two that can beat it but are beaten by Landorus-T, your team is probably going to fail in the face of Rotom-W + Landorus-T. A good place to check for these is your tier's Good Cores thread.
  • By the end of this process, you should have a threatlist composed of types, Pokemon, and cores that can reliably beat your team.
Eliminating Threats
  • There are many different ways to pare down your threatlist; I'll introduce some of them here.
  • You can change the sets of your Pokemon to lure in and beat would-be counters. For example, you can run more Speed EVs on a certain Pokemon so that it can outspeed and revenge kill a certain threat.
  • Be wary when changing coverage moves, however, as this can alter your threatlist drastically. A good example of this situation is Mega Aerodactyl: the coverage move it runs determines which Pokemon wall it.
  • You might also feel that one of your Pokemon is a weak link: it compounds common weaknesses and doesn't provide overly necessary support. In these cases, it might be best to remove that Pokemon from your team entirely.
  • To find a replacement, check your tier's role compendium to see which Pokemon can fill the same role as the Pokemon you removed while not having the same flaws as it.
  • Be sure to remember that Pokemon don't exist in a vacuum: every Pokemon has weaknesses and counters, but these can all be patched up with the proper team support.
  • Once your team is theoretically counter-free, see how it does on the ladder, which is a great place to see whether you haven't accounted for a certain threat or core, or whether the changes you've made to your team have completely changed your threatlist. After a few matches, be sure to revise your threatlist and team accordingly. Your team might also perform perfectly; if so, that's great!
  • Either way, I hope this guide has helped you in teambuilding and that your teams have success in the future.
Hey, sorry for the delayed response, frenzyplant. This sounds like it will be a helpful resource, so it's a yes from me. I noticed that you submitted two article ideas of a similar nature at once. Because they both discuss aspects of teambuilding, I'd say it's best not to publish them both in the same issue, so I'll approve this one and you can write it up. You may post this in the AW whenever you get the chance!
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