What advice would you give to a newcomer?

For a while now, I've been wanting to try my hand at the Ubers metagame, but I'm not quite sure how to approach this. This is the first time that I've tried to actually play in a tier that is not OU. How does one make the transition from a balanced and familiar game such as OU into unknown territory that utilizes such a select few Pokemon and sets?

In order to attempt to prepare myself for my immersion into this tier, I've read every archived Uber warstory at least once, read several of the analysis pages, and even looked at a few RMTs, but even after reviewing all these knowledge bases, my understanding of the metagame is rudimentary at best.

How do you all go about making teams? Is the team building process virtually the same as the OU one, or are there major differences between the two? For those of you who also made the leap from OU to Ubers, how difficult was it to adapt? Do you have to take on a different mindset when battling? I've heard that Ubers is played at a much faster pace and from what I've seen in warstories, this appears to be true, but is the approach to playing really so different from other tier?

What are the basic points about Ubers that one needs to know to start being successful? Are there any pointers that would be helpful to a newcomer? I'm asking all of this because getting opinions, tips, and ideas from different players would ease the adaption process and will hopefully benefit my playing more than going in cold with no real understanding of the game and experimenting with flawed teams that won't really increase my knowledge of the nuances of Ubers.
 
In Ubers, momentum is everything. Also, many things can sweep at a moment's notice. I guess the best way to get better is to play, and learn from your mistakes. I became a 1400 within a month of starting Ubers (I wish I could say the same about OU). The learning curve is really steep, so you'll probably experience a few humiliating defeats at the beginning, but you'll get better real quick if you're not stupid. Also, beware the noobs who congregate at the bottom of the ladder. Beating them may lull you into a false sense of security.
 
Ubers is a rather easy tier to get into, and it's mostly hitting hard and fast. Reading articles isn't enough imo. You actually have to play the tier, and make mistakes, thus learning from them. As you'll notice, ubers is all about prediction, you'll face the same opponent multiple times on ladder. One mistake, and it's all over. The nice thing about Ubers is that it doesn't rapidly change like UU/OU.

Team building also springs from trial and error, I can laugh at teams I made 6 months, when I started playing ubers, because I know that I can build much better teams now. Imo, you need a solid core to build any type of ubers team, then pick members that support that core. If you're still having trouble, consider getting a tutor to teach you the ropes. Welcome to ubers.
 

symphonyx64

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Practice makes perfect, as with any tier and metagame. However, with Ubers, everything hits hard and fast, and the game can change in the blink of an eye. There isn't that stall-based element as found in the low tiers. The majority of it is heavy-hitting offensive.

For starters, I'd suggest simply throwing a team together and start laddering. Don't fret if you start off getting 6/0ed or whatnot. Its expected and all part of the learning process. Discovering your own weaknesses within your team helps greatly. Then, you can tweak accordingly.

While "borrowing" a team from the RMT archive can help in some aspects such as getting a feel for the Uber environment, ultimately, it boils down to making your own team and testing it.

Check out the Shoddy Battle usage statistics to view the top threats in the Uber metagame.
 
for me, the best thing to do was just throw together some strong uber pokemon and go play. very soon, I found out what worked and what didn't, and I very quickly became comfortable with the tier. on my first ladder run, I used a borrowed team, and while I peaked at 1650, astonishingly high for a first go in the metagame, I didn't really learn much. after trying to make my own team afterwards, I found that I didn't really know anything about making ubers teams. so I just threw mons together and pretty much used trial and error for a while. I got good at ubers much more quickly doing that than using borrowed teams, which I do not encourage you to do, unless you REALLY "want to get a feel for the metagame," which imo is still better if you just trial and error your way through.
 
Focus on developing a strategy, not solely on countering threats (unless you're playing heavy stall, which is how I learned the tier actually). Look for opportunities to put your plan into practice.

For example: We want to set up a Dragon Dance Rayquaza sweep. This dude is beaten by faster Scarfers, such as Palkia, Garchomp, Skymin, Mewtwo, etc. So we are going to get a Wobbuffet to counter the scarfers, and maybe even Encore a support move or Ground-type attack. But we also need something to lure in the scarfers to begin with. So let's try a Deoxys-A (my favorite lead), whose unpredictability and wide-ranging attack coverage are a threat to any team, leading them to send out a Scarfer or Latias (who is handled between Deo-A and Wobb). You might even snag a KO with Mirror Coat.

Deoxys-f @ Focus Sash
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 6 HP/252 Atk/252 Spd
Jolly nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
- Superpower
- Stealth Rock
- ExtremeSpeed
- Mirror Coat
---
Wobbuffet (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Shadow Tag
EVs: 28 HP/228 Def/252 SDef
Calm nature (+SDef, -Atk)
- Encore
- Counter
- Mirror Coat
- Safeguard
---
Rayquaza @ Life Orb
Ability: Air Lock
EVs: 6 HP/252 Atk/252 Spd
Jolly nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
- Swords Dance
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Overheat
---

This is the core of your team. Now, you will want to add a Steel-type like Scizor or Metagross to take advantage of a dead or weakened Groudon (often a check on Rayquaza, unless you've dealt with it beforehand), and at that point experiment to see what works.

...............................................

Oh yeah, one final note: don't use Lugia without a very good reason. I don't care if you want a great physical wall, Lugia is incredibly punishable, and setup fodder for both Wobbuffet on the offensive side and Forretress on the defensive end of Ubers. I have logs of me Encoring Lugia's support moves and setting up a Belly Drum pass with Smeargle, which would never have happened if the offensive player used another attacker rather than a wall. It holds true in all tiers, but especially true in Ubers: don't use walls on otherwise offensive teams without a very good reason.
 

Jibaku

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Good questions, by the way =)

How does one make the transition from a balanced and familiar game such as OU into unknown territory that utilizes such a select few Pokemon and sets?
The best way to do this is to learn the threats, make a team, and then practice, revising teams along the way until you've found one you can stick with. Yes, this applies to every metagame, but still reliable.

Or you can steal a team so you get the feel of the metagame faster, then adjust to your liking.

Is the team building process virtually the same as the OU one, or are there major differences between the two?
This one was difficult to answer, so I give credits to Reflect Suicune for this :)

Basically, team building in Ubers is more like "I want to build a team around X and Y", and thus you one by one add team members to achieve that team goal. For example, say you want to team build around Ho-oh. You realize that Ho-oh has a disturbing weakness to Stealth Rock, so the second Pokemon on your list would be Forretress who can Rapid Spin that away as well as lay down its own entry hazards. Then you'd want Groudon to power Ho-oh up through Drought and lessen its weakness to Water. Following that you'd want someone to take on Kyogre, then likely a spinblocker, then something to fill in the remaining holes in your team. This is likely due to the diversity given in the Uber metagame which allows each Pokemon to cover multiple roles at once.

In OU you team build by focusing on the defensive and offensive synergy rather than building towards a single theme/goal/Pokemon. You need to coordinate multiple win conditions in a way, ideally those that work well together.


For those of you who also made the leap from OU to Ubers, how difficult was it to adapt?
Well I can't say this for sure because I jumped into Ubers in very early DP, but it really shouldn't be difficult to adapt. it might take a bit to adjust to the boosted pace, though.


Do you have to take on a different mindset when battling?
yes there is, but it's hard to explain. Basically, with the increased power of Pokemon in Ubers, mistakes can be more costly. Some Pokemon are outright absurdly difficult to counter (Dialga, Latios, Rayquaza), so you have less options when they have the upper hand in Mon to mon faceoff. Simply put, in the Uber metagame you rely more on checks and careful switching rather than counters. The increased power in the Uber metagame also allows more surprises to be pulled off, such as Mixed Rayquaza and Mix Dialga. Or even stuff like Chople Darkrai!

What are the basic points about Ubers that one needs to know to start being successful?
Combos are good to know.
Common combos include:
Deoxys-S/Forretress and Giratina-O
Groudon and Ho-oh
Wobbuffet and Rayquaza
Kyogre and Kingdra
...and so on.

Read the Uber teammate statistics to learn more!

Know the common leads:
These are Deoxys-S, Deoxys-A, Groudon, Kyogre, Darkrai. Having a good lead is important in the Uber metagame. However, just because a Pokemon isn't a common lead does not necessarily make it a bad lead - you just have to evaluate how said Pokemon fares against the leads, and/or see if it fits well with the rest of the team. For instance, lead Focus Sash Tyranitar is great as it smacks down both Deoxys-S and Deoxys-A through Crunch and Sandstorm damage, limiting them to only one entry hazard. Furthermore, if they do decide to use Stealth Rock you keep your Sash intact so you can dent the next Pokemon that comes in. There will be a thread dedicated to leads soon.

Know the team types:
Offense and Stall are the primary team types in the Uber metagame. Offense is often simply abusing powerful sweepers to knock your opponent down. Often, these teams involve a Deoxys-S o Deoxys-A to lay down entry hazards early in the match, then packing a Wobbuffet to aid in setting up sweepers. Giratina-O is often paired with Deoxys-S in order to prevent Spikes and Stealth Rock from being spun away. Sometimes offense can be sticking as many powerful sweepers you can in a team, arranged in a way so that they can keep applying pressure to the opponent. Uber stall as of now is more like semi-stall, using offensive Pokemon such as Giratina-O and Palkia to keep up with the pace of the metagame. Full stalling is extremely restrictive due to the fast paced nature of the metagame, however.

and finally
MOMENTUM IS VERY IMPORTANT!
Yeah this a rewording of how badly a mistake can punish you. Almost anything can sweep in the blink of an eye if not dealt with promptly
 
Though I personally discourage it... go check out the RMT forum. Find a team that has proven to be successful and begin to ladder with it. By doing that you will be able to learn the ropes of a metagame without having to rely on team building. After you have a feel for a metagame and able to distinguish between what works and doesn't work, you should be able to build a concrete team.
 

shrang

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If you haven't read it already, read the Ubers Metagame Analysis on the "Articles" page. I would also recommend knowing all the Uber threats back to front, as it would really help you make good decisions on how to make a move and so on. Theorymon and the other mods are making an "Ubers Threat List" here. After that, focus on making a team that can i) Check most threats (All of the "Top" Threats, if possible), and ii) Can work towards a goal that would help you win. Try experimenting around with your team, after a few battles, it would be clear what are the weaknesses of your team are, and you can refine the team from there.

P.S. Please don't use a Dual Screen Baton Pass Mew team and expect to get very far. I have seriously battled so many of them and just 5-0'd or 6-0'd most of them. It'll screw around with noobs, yes, but as you climb the Ubers ladder, it would not work.
 

reachzero

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How does one make the transition from a balanced and familiar game such as OU into unknown territory that utilizes such a select few Pokemon and sets?
Compared to OU, threats in Ubers are much less varied. It is much more possible to prepare against virtually any conceivable threat, yet ironically offense tends to be the dominant style of play, as few players have the skill level to successfully overcome such amazing stallbreakers as (Mixed) Rayquaza, Dialga,(non-Scarf) Palkia, Mewtwo and Darkrai (you get the idea!). Ubers games tend to be a lot shorter than OU games, and frequently the death of one Pokemon spells disaster for one player or the other. Play tends to be much more conservative, with few risks. Almost all Uber Pokemon have multiple threatening sets with radically different checks (Scarf Palkia and Lustrous Orb Mixed Palkia is a good example), so identifying or bluffing sets is a staple of Uber gameplay, much more so than OU. Weather is a huge factor in Ubers, and getting the weather you want can mean the difference between winning and losing.

How do you all go about making teams? Is the team building process virtually the same as the OU one, or are there major differences between the two?
Building a good Ubers team is actually much easier than building a good Standard team, because most Ubers teams tend to be somewhat formulaic. There are essentially five categories of Pokemon in Ubers:

1. Dragons-- Rayquaza, Palkia, Dialga, Giratina-o, Giratina, Garchomp, Lati@s, Salamence

As in Standard, Dragons are some of the biggest offensive threats in Ubers. Good luck trying to "counter" an Uber Dragon; if it's Choiced your best bet is "predict around it" or Wobbuffet, if it isn't Choiced, your best bet is simply to outspeed it.

2. Steels--Scizor, Forretress, Skarmory, Heatran, Jirachi, Metagross, Registeel

With so many dangerous Dragons, Steels which can take Dragon attacks (i.e. not Dialga) are at a premium. Each of the Steels brings something different to the table; Scizor brings strong priority, reliable recovery (Roost) and U-turn; Forretress and Skarmory help in the entry hazard war, Heatran offers dependable, powerful offense, Jirachi is great for Wish and paralysis support, and Metagross and Scizor are both excellent trappers. I don't really like Registeel much! ;P

3. Fast sweepers--Darkrai, Mewtwo, Shaymin-S, Deoxys-A, Lati@s, Garchomp

Generally Pokemon faster than 306 can be considered relatively fast. The fact that several of them have monstrous sweeping potential is the major reason that almost every Ubers team as at least one Scarfed Pokemon.

4. Weather-based sweepers--Groudon, Kyogre, Ho-oh, Kingdra, Jumpluff, Shiftry, Ludicolo, Kabutops, Tyranitar

Pokemon that either set up weather or abuse weather in some way. Ho-oh and Tyranitar are kindof special exceptions in that they sortof do their own thing regardless of the weather (Ho-oh likes Sun for the Sacred Fire boost, weakened Surf, and 50% accuracy Thunder, though). Kyogre in particular forces you to prepare by having something that can safely take a Water Spout or two. Weather plays a big role in Ubers in general.

5. Specialized support--Forretress, Deoxys-S, Wobbuffet, Lugia, Mew

These Pokemon make life easier for the rest of the team, usually setting up entry hazards or using Rapid Spin to clear them. Wobbuffet is a very special case: by trapping and Encoring walls, it allows sweepers such as Rayquaza or Lucario a free turn to set up. Tickle Wobb can also weaken walls like Lugia or Blissey for a trapper to Pursuit and kill them. Lugia is generally a utility counter used to stop Swords Dance Rayquaza, Garchomp, Salamence, and (some) Groudon. I don't really like Lugia, though! Mew has a special place as the best Baton Passer in Ubers.

Generally a team gets its offensive firepower from Dragons and fast sweepers, needs at least one Steel to tank Dragon attacks, and has to get entry hazards up somehow. The lead game is unusually important (see the upcoming Uber leads thread!), because entry hazards make such a big difference. Wobbuffet in particular can be the centerpiece of a team, to set up sweepers and kill Scarfers.

Do you have to take on a different mindset when battling?
Prediction is a lot more important, and you need to play relatively conservatively. If Scizor is my only Steel, I have to make sure I don't switch into a Scarf Palkia Fire Blast rather than Spacial Rend, or it may already be "gg". Often you only get one chance to deal with a particular threat, and if you miss it, you lose.

Ubers is one of the easiest metagames to learn from scratch, and it is possible to become very good very quickly, so good luck!
 
Prediction is a lot more important, and you need to play relatively conservatively. If Scizor is my only Steel, I have to make sure I don't switch into a Scarf Palkia Fire Blast rather than Spacial Rend, or it may already be "gg". Often you only get one chance to deal with a particular threat, and if you miss it, you lose.
It's also important to note that some moves are substantially riskier than others. In particular, Fire moves are dangerous to use, simply because of all the Dragons and Waters running amok (although because of the high usage of Scizor and Forretress, Fire moves are somewhat more useful in the current metagame). Being locked into a bad move hurts more in Ubers than in OU because of the sheer versatility and offensive power of the threats. I've been destroyed by things like Sub Palkia more than once because I gave them a free turn courtesy of an unfortunate Flamethrower, and I didn't expect such a moveset.

Basically, like Reach said, be careful, and don't give up if you make a bad switch-in. Look for every setup opportunity you can get (or just fire off strong attacks if your team doesn't have many setup moves).
 

Engineer Pikachu

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Basically two things that a newcomer should know, prediction is important and comes from either practice or reading every pokemon thread there is. And that entry hazards are generally a must (in ubers not usually though).
Stealth Rock is usually the most important one, especially in Standard play, to break sashes and such, and the fact that it only requires 1 turn. Toxic Spikes, are usually only used on Stall teams, and Spikes, well, require many turns to set up, and many pokemon, like Latias, Rotom-A, Gyarados, and Salamence are immune to them.

Prediction is often key to winning battles, though if you're facing a poorly built team with a good team, you can often win even when you mispredict, as long as it doesn't happen too much (same goes for hax).
 
As for entry hazards, you can go anywhere from having a team that runs 24 Attacks without even having Stealth Rock, or all three hazards, or anything in between. Do note, however, that Spikes and Toxic Spikes are particularly powerful in Ubers because so many of the threats are grounded.
 
the easiest way to start off would most likely be to pick a sweeper or two you wish to sweep with, throw in a wobbofet, and make the rest of the team useful for getting rid of said pokemons checks.

after this you should be able to move away from deoxys/giratina-o/wobb/sweeper/other 2 pkmn and try some more creative teams that arent as easy to use.
 
Entering a new tier/metagame is tricky, as you have no idea on what to do. What I did when I entered UU was just throw a random team together of pokemon that do good in UU. Then I play a few games, note what beats what, which moves are good to beat that, and stuff like that. Then, I make a real team, using some of the pokemon in the previous team. I have yet to try Ubers, but it looks interesting after reading a few warstories!
 
I'd say the easiest way to start off would be by throwing together a team consisting of the six highest base stat Pokémon. This means using Arceus, as well as five of the following seven Pokémon: Mewtwo, Lugia, Ho-oh, Rayquaza, Dialga, Palkia and Giratina, as such a team, while unlikely to be anywhere near one of the best, would more than likely perform very well in battle due to the sheer power of its members. After building your team and giving your six Pokémon the most versatile movesets possible (that also each include at least one move that is the same type as the user, as well as any power-up moves such as Swords Dance which you believe may be neccessary or beneficial) as well as items you believe are appropriate, start battling and see what weaknesses your team has, and then start changing your team and replace Pokémon and moves to remove your weaknesses, improving your team in the process.
 

SJCrew

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This means using Arceus
wow, have you even played ubers, arceus is still banned because of ev restrictions

All you really need is a good lead and a shitload of sweepers to make a half-decent team. Everything else you'll learn from playing. There are a lot of mediocre Ubers players, so don't get cocky from a few wins because one of the pros, like Train Man and company, WILL ruin your shit and put you back in your place. Learn from them, regarding what you need to cover and what to expect from certain Pokemon.
 
Come, I think you might not understand what's going on here. Arceus is banned from ANY Shoddy play on account of it having a fixed set of EVs because of how you get it ingame, while Shoddy in its current form is incapable of giving a certain Pokemon a set value of EVs, meaning that any EV spread besides the one it comes with is automatically incompatible (analogous to 3rd-gen tutor moves in combination with 4th-gen egg moves). Being unable to enforce the adoption of the one possible EV set, it was a simple choice to simply ban Arceus.

Just realized that probably wasn't the clearest explanation out there, but whatever.
 

bojangles

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Arceus is banned until Shoddy Battle 2 comes out. When SB2 is released, Arceus will be implemented with a restriction of 100 EVs in each stat, because the only way to get it is at level 100. A normal Arceus will be implemented when you can get it at a level below 100.

Also, I disagree with the notion of lead + 5 sweepers will do well. Even though all of the Pokémon are absurdly powerful, you still need some sort of strategy (see Turnabout Ubers). If you could win with 5 random sweepers a majority of the time, then stall wouldn't really exist, and it does.
 

shrang

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A team with lead + 5 sweepers is bound for disaster. I really think 3 sweepers is probably enough, which gives you room for a lead, Wobbuffet (VERY VERY IMPORTANT FOR HO) and maybe an insurance Pokemon or a Wall breaker.
 

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