Resource [Required Reading] Doubles C&C Guide

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talkingtree

Using headphones to drown out my mind
is a member of the Site Staffis a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a defending Smogon Snake Draft Champion
Doubles Captain
Analysis Skeleton

This is the proper format for any analyses you write:

[OVERVIEW]

[SET]
name: Set Name
move 1:
move 2:
move 3:
move 4:
item:
ability:
nature:
evs:
ivs: (if applicable)

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

Set Details
========

Usage Tips
========

Team Options
========

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
=============

Checks and Counters
===================

**Checks and Counters Tag**:

**Checks and Counters Tag 2+ (If needed)**:

[CREDITS]
- Written by: [[*your name*, *your ID*]] (find your ID by looking at the numbers that come after your name on your profile page URL (mine's 232101))
- Earlier versions by: [[name, ID]] (if needed)
- Quality checked by: [[name, ID], [name, ID]]
- Grammar checked by: [[name, ID], [name, ID]]

-----------------

When writing single set analyses, the only parts required are the [SET] and [SET COMMENTS] with their respective child sections.

In addition, when making your skeleton, please use the button shown in the hide tag below:
 
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talkingtree

Using headphones to drown out my mind
is a member of the Site Staffis a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a defending Smogon Snake Draft Champion
Doubles Captain
Writing Doubles Analyses


General tips

Any time whole groups of Pokemon are addressed, such as “Grass-type Pokemon”, “Tailwind users”, and “Fire resists”, examples should also be given to further drive the point home and ensure that newer players don’t assume you mean “Cacturne”, “Toucannon”, and “Corsola”. When drawing a blank as to what examples you should provide, reference the Viability Rankings to find some candidates as, generally, they are the only Pokemon that should appear in an analysis. When writing the first analysis of a Pokemon, read the ORAS analysis if it has one (a list can be found here). They will very likely have information that can be useful for your analysis, even if it is outdated. All the SM analyses should be better than the old ones, and there is no excuse when you can easily read the old ones.

When working on getting a skeleton up, each bullet point should not be a full sentence. Skeletons help QC to quickly and easily identify the points you are planning to make in the full write-up so that we can save work for you if it’s potentially going to be wasted later on. You don’t need to worry about flow, but try to list points in an order that makes sense. The one section of a skeleton that is not written in bullet points should be Checks and Counters, as each individual tag will likely be only a sentence or two regardless.

When writing a revamp of an analysis currently on-site, it’s important to read through the analysis that’s been uploaded. The QC Team will never elect to redo an analysis just for fun, so the revamp should not be practically identical to what is already up. As such, you should make sure that you can identify where changes should be made before deciding to reserve the revamp. If your skeleton seems to rely too much on the original or doesn’t make any changes we are likely to assume you either lack the necessary metagame knowledge or dedication to write an effective revamp, and will reject/reassign the analysis. This isn’t to say that revamps have to be entirely different, as often times a lot will still apply. However, outright copying is plagiarism and definitely not ok.


Overview

The Overview is the most crucial section of any analysis. Generally, Overviews flow from a sentence or two brief and honest description of its role in the metagame, to a slightly more in-depth look at its pros, to a few of the drawbacks, to a concluding statement. When discussing pros, talk about what this Pokemon does well against - this can be individual Pokemon, groups of them, or even whole playstyles (eg: “Tyranitar easily takes on sun teams”, “Gastrodon makes Water-types think twice about using their STAB moves at any point in the battle”, and “Gengar is one of the most solid Mega Kangaskhan answers in the tier”). It is far too easy and also unhelpful to simply restate the type chart, so think a little more in-depth about the reasons it is a positive force in the metagame. Looking at the drawbacks, what threatens this Pokemon? Again, individual Pokemon, groups of them, and whole playstyles could be applicable here.

The Overview should not be comprised of things that any random internet user could figure out by looking at the dex. Any internet user can figure out that Justified provides a +1 boost any time the Pokemon is hit by Dark-types, or that a Water-type is weak to Grass and Electric but strong against Fire, Rock, and Ground. That makes those sentences entirely unhelpful, so if you simply spout facts retrievable from Bulbapedia then I’ll request that you rewrite your Overview and probably make you read this guide again.


Set

Fairly self-explanatory, in this section just fill out each of the labels. When naming the set, be as descriptive as possible in two or three words about the goal of the set. Common set names include: “Trick Room Setter”, “Mega Mixed Attacker”, and “Follow Me Support”. Slashing multiple choices in any of the labels is allowed when there are multiple options that are similarly viable at fulfilling the goals of the set. The move order should not be arbitrary, and instead we try to stick to STAB attacks first, then coverage attacks, then status moves, be it set-up based or support based. Protect, when included in the set, should always occupy the fourth slot.


Moves

Directly following the set, Moves is reserved for discussing why the moves in that set were chosen and what they help the Pokemon accomplish. The section should discuss each move briefly, in the order listed for clarity’s sake. If there are slashes on the main set, the different options should be compared to help the reader decide which to run. In talking about each move, a couple topics worth touching on are what it allows the Pokemon to beat, any potential secondary effects, and whether it deals spread damage. If the move in question is being used partially as a Z-Move that has secondary effects, then its Z-Move effects should also be discussed.

Protect finds its place on most Doubles movesets, and has multiple uses that should be clarified for someone who isn’t experienced in the metagame. A few things you can mention include that it shields the Pokemon while its partner removes a threat, stalls out field conditions, punishes double targets, and scouts a foe’s actions. If there is some extra reason that Protect is useful to a particular Pokemon, like safely recovering health from Leftovers/Leech Seed/Grassy Terrain, it’s especially important to take note of that.

Once each move in the set is discussed, this section can briefly go into common substitutions made, as there are often moves that are too common or effective to just leave to OO but aren’t quite worthy of being place on the main set.


Set Details

Set Details goes over the parts of the set not covered by the Moves section. This includes item choices, EV Spreads and Natures, and the chosen ability. If multiple options can function effectively, the pros and cons of each should be made clear. If there is only one ability available for the Pokemon, such as Justified for Keldeo, then you don’t need to discuss it, but in the case of something like Rotom-H’s Levitate, it may be worth mentioning regardless. As IVs are not currently supported to be displayed on the dex or available in exports, it is especially important to note when they should be modified. This generally only applies when minimizing Speed IVs for effectiveness under Trick Room, but it’s feasible to think that another such situation could arise.


Usage Tips

Where most other sections discuss the Pokemon’s place in the metagame or in a team, Usage Tips is reserved for discussing its place on the battlefield. There are a few different topics that are important to discuss for every Pokemon: Should it be used early game to help the team get started, mid game to break down the team as a whole and provide pressure, or late game as a cleaner and win condition? What role does this Pokemon occupy on teams? Does it work well as a lead, and why or why not? Does the analyzed Pokemon work particularly well as a switch-in to certain attacks or Pokemon or should it only be brought in after a KO? The rest of the section is likely to be more specialized, but any tips about how to use the Pokemon in battle belong here.


Team Options

Team Options helps the analysis reader understand which teammates can help the analyzed Pokemon do its job over the course of the match, as well as what Pokemon are aided by its presence. This section often shares a lot of information with the Checks and Counters tags, as crucial teammates will be ones that help mitigate the given Pokemon’s weaknesses.

When writing the analysis, make sure to discuss general categories of Pokemon that can work well as teammates and following that up with examples that fit into the category mentioned. This allows the reader to be a bit more imaginative while building their own team instead of being stuck with your examples. Exceptions may be made if only one Pokemon is able to provide the role needed (weather and terrain setters are the main examples here), or if the two are particularly well known as being an effective duo.

Categories of teammates can be suggested for three main reasons; beating the analyzed Pokemon’s checks, thriving thanks to the analyzed Pokemon’s presence on the team, and providing support in the form of field effects, speed control, redirection, or moves like Fake Out, Wide Guard, and Quick Guard. Since redirection in the form of Follow Me or Rage Powder can be useful for any Pokemon, only mentioning redirectors if the analyzed Pokemon uses some form of set-up avoids repeating the same few sentences in every analysis.

Do your best to make this section flow well, the transitions between different categories of teammates should make logical sense and not just jump around between whatever suggestion pops up into your head.


Other Options

As may be expected based on the name, you list anything that isn’t worthy of a mention on the main sets but is potentially viable on the given Pokemon here. This can consist of alternate moves, items, abilities, or even brief descriptions of alternate sets. Generally speaking, you should avoid writing Team Options / Checks & Counters that depend on options listed here, as the choices in this section aren’t important enough to the Pokemon as a whole to be considered there. A long OO section often indicates the flexibility of the given Pokemon, so don’t fluff it up too much if that isn’t accurate.


Checks & Counters

This final section should identify the weaknesses of the Pokemon and list what takes advantage of those weaknesses.

Allowed Tags:
**x-types**: This is fairly straightforward, if the analyzed Pokemon struggles with foes or attacks of a particular type, then state the type in the tag and list a few of the most common and threatening such foes, as well as what they can do to the analyzed Pokemon. This can apply to an advantage that is either offensive or defensive in nature. However, these tags should not be used as a simple type chart. Only state types that are especially notable in checking the specified Pokemon. Common coverage moves, such as Hidden Power Ice on Zapdos for a Landorus-T analysis, also belong in this section.

**Intimidate and Burns**: If the Pokemon is a physical attacker, include this tag with a few of the more relevant threats of this kind to said Pokemon. If only one of the two applies, it is acceptable to state only **Intimidate** or **Burns**.

**Faster Pokemon**: This tag generally applies to Pokemon that are especially reliant on moving first and dislike Choice Scarf users, Speed Boost Pokemon, and naturally fast threats. As with any other tag, state a few examples of Pokemon that win due to their speed and why they are checks.

**(Form of Speed Control)**: Similarly to **Faster Pokemon**, this tag is used for Pokemon that become significantly less threatening under various forms of Speed Control. For example, if something is threatened by Icy Wind, Tailwind, Thunder Wave, and Trick Room, the tag would include all of those by name. Be sure to maintain the alphabetical order.

**Priority Attacks**: If the analyzed Pokemon is weak to all forms of priority due to general frailty or holding a Focus Sash, this tag should be used, with a few common priority attacks and their users listed for clarity. However, if the Pokemon in question is only weak to a couple forms of priority due to its typing, that should be included within the **x-types** tag.

**Strong Physical Attackers**: This tag should be used for Pokemon that have an overall low HP and Defense stat, meaning that Pokemon such as Mega Kangaskhan and other powerhouses typically beat it. A similar **Strong Special Attackers** tag can be used in the same way.

**Opposing Weather**: If the Pokemon's attacks, defenses, or abilities rely on a certain weather condition (Blizzard users, Solar Beam users, Heatran vs Rain, Swift Swim sweepers, etc.), mention the opposing weather teams as threats. Keep in mind that if the Pokemon is threatened only by certain weather sweepers and not the weather itself, those threats belong under **x-types**.

**Spread Attackers**: If the Pokemon in question can serve as a redirector with Rage Powder or Follow Me, use this tag and specify which spread attackers are most threatening to said Pokemon, as spread attacks such as Rock Slide and Heat Wave prevent the analyzed Pokemon from protecting its teammate.

Miscellaneous:

For situations that do not apply to one of the above tags, you may need to make a tag named after the check in question. Some examples of such tags include: if the analyzed Pokemon is especially threatened by Taunt, Fake Out, Sleep, or Substitute; if certain Terrains are a detriment to its success; if Knock Off cripples the analyzed Pokemon purely because it loses the item (If the Pokemon is weak to the attack itself, put it in **Dark-types**); and if Wide Guard or Quick Guard are hindrances to the Pokemon in question doing its job.

While most scenarios do apply to the listed tags, specific checks and counters that are unique to a few Pokemon are relevant and do deserve their own tag.

Only in very rare cases may a tag be dedicated to a single Pokemon, as otherwise this would leave every analysis with far too many tags. In addition, however strong a single Pokemon's matchup is 1v1, it will not be dominating enough to always have the advantage since each side will also have a teammate.
 
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