Your Pre-Competitive "Strategy"

I used to think that all non attacking moves were useless, that they had no effect. I would also just cram 4 moves of the same type on the pokemon, in the hope that I would have a good moveset.

Also,I didn't believe in a 6 pokemon team when I first played, I only believed in a one pokemon team, like for instance just a CHarizard and then some HM Slaves. Once I got to 4th generation,I realized that this was a useless strategy and started using 6th gen teams. My first EV trained pokemon after years nd years, was a failed Yamask I tried to EV train in B/W 1. It didn't go well,because I barely had any idea what EV's were.

IV Breeding was easy for me to grasp,because I was already a breeder myself(and still am), and I just somehow got it. Now I can breed just about flawless pokemon and just about anything :)


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Jumpluff @ Wise Glasses
Ability: Chlorophyll
EVs: 252 Spd / 252 SAtk / 4 HP
Modest Nature
- Giga Drain
- Silver Wind
- Hidden Power [Flying]
- Hyper Beam

No status moves, but namely attack increasing moves. My justification was that it was better to attack twice than increase once and attack harder. Then I was introduced to Swords Dance, and it became my favourite boosting move of forever.
I used Mantine religiously in battles with my friends that had a moveset of Surf, Waterfall, Signal Beam, and Ice Beam. I loved that Mantine. Even nowadays there have been several teams where I wanted to go "fuck it, I'm using Mantine."

Then there's Gold version where I had a Feraligatr that knew Surf, Waterfall, Strength and Rage. I thought Rage was his best attack.
My first battle tower team in Ruby (my first attempt at a "competitive" team that I can remember) involved a Minun that Baton Passed Substitutes to a Blaziken with Focus Punch, and a Rhydon with Blizzard.

My second team was an attempt at "stall": Dusclops with no attacking moves sans Night Shade, Cradily with no attacking moves (Recover/Mirror Coat/Toxic/Confuse Ray), and a Gorebyss that Baton Passed Iron Defense and Amnesia. Toxicstall4lyfe

I really liked Baton Pass, and the combination of Substitute/Focus Punch. The latter caused me to consider some pretty silly pokemon when I joined NetBattle... I definitely remember trying out Wigglytuff because it was one of the pokemon that learned both moves and had 101+ HP subs. For some reason I refused to use BOAHtar.
I've always kind of had a thing against the speed stat and the black and white nature of priority based on a stat that works like a switch. With every other stat, even when you have less than your opponent, it's worth something- but speed is always "you win priority" or "you don't win priority." As a result, I've always rather enjoyed stalling, walling or bulky plowing more than spamming EQ on munchkin mons like Salamence (but to be fair, by stalling, I mean "break the game" stall- not the "legitimate" stalling that has been welcome to competitive play.)

A tough road to cross was dealing with the fact that Future Sight- while powerful, and cool; simply has no place against a human opponent. I also remember trying to force Cacturne waaaaay too hard. And the Shell Bell... I was convinced that it was just an all around better item than lefties... even on mons with few/no direct attacks. Then there was Scope Lens Blaziken with ye olde faithful Double Kick, Blaze Kick, Agility and Rock Tomb. I was also the proud owner of a Jolly, Mix Gengar.


You don't understand, Edgar is the one in the hole!
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I have to say I have one memory in particular from my very first Pokemon game (Pokemon Red) where I refused to delete Tackle from my Venusaur all the way through to Koga (at which point I accidentally deleted it and nearly had a conniption). Reasoning? That Venusaur was really big and so Tackle surely would do a lot of damage!

I also kept Vine Whip all the way through because I was under the perception that low PP always equaled high power. Even when the actual goddamn damage I was doing completely contradicted that idea.

Even after I grew out of that stuff I still did stupid things. For the longest time I'd never give my Pokemon any coverage at all, instead cramming as many STAB moves onto them as I could even when they were completely redundant. My typical reasoning for this was to have at least one high PP move for regular use and a bunch of more powerful moves for when I needed them. So I'd keep shit like Ember through to the Elite 4. After first generation I started to also make huge teams I'd rotate through of around 10-12 Pokemon, trying to make sure I had at least one Pokemon of every type. Needless to say I did a LOT of grinding during those days.

Finally, my first competitive experience was getting a team together for the Battle Frontier in Soul Silver. I was smart enough to know I didn't know enough to come up with my own strategies, so where do I go to find out which Pokemon will work the best? Smogo- oh wait no I went to some random ass topic on the Psypokes forums. Because of that I ended up with a goddamn Weezing on my team (which the topic had oh so helpfully rated 5/5 stars, higher than stuff like Starmie and Skarmory). I also made my Lucario a Choice Specs set and my Garchomp a Choice Scarf.

It actually didn't work all that badly for the Frontier. Well not as badly as it could have anyway...

I don't actually remember how my first Simulator team was set up, or even what sort of stupid mistakes I made back then. Unfortunate really, I'm sure there were some gems during that time.


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Honestly, I had some pretty decent teams even before I knew about the competitive scene. Sure, I had the Charizard/Blastoise/Venusaur with their respective Fly/Surf/Cut on them, as well as an unevolved Pikachu with nothing but Electric attacks and Agility on it. However, after almost losing to the E4 that time, I instead jumped into a team with Alakazam, Cloyster, Jolteon, Dragonite, Venusaur, and Mewtwo. Many of them with non-STAB moves (though I did admittedly throw tons of Special moves on Dragonite). And my Gold team was probably the greatest of all I've ever made. But, once one of my friends introduced me to the competitive scene with the Gen III games, I tanked hard.

There was my infamous Milotic set with Aqua Ring, Recover, Toxic, and Water Pulse. Non-hail Stallrein (on the same team!) Special Metagross.
In diamond I had a pretty decent team SURPRISINGLY. Here is one I remember well:
*Wood Hammer
*Giga Drain
It was good since I actually read what the moves did, and would wood hammer+giga drain :D
In my first every play through of a Pokemon game (Sapphire in 2003), I had some how convinced myself that Pelipper was the best Pokemon as it beat my rival's Blaziken, at Slateport City area (forget the exact route name). I managed to get it to level 70 by the end of the game and it was my first level 100.
I always thought status moves were useless. This is because of how much I wreck the Elite 4 & Rivals ingame. I would always use per-say Swellow w/ QuickAttack/Fly/AerialAce/WingAttack or Tauros Strength/HornAttack/Thrash/RockTomb. Even when if I play the Pokemon Games after I found out about Smogon in 2012, I would still use sets like this on ingame teams because, you can go by the game w/ sets like what mentioned above.

One of my Pokemon sets in BW2 for beating Champions in PWT was this Krookodile w/ Scope Lens & FoulPlay/EQ/Outrage/StoneEdge
if a pokemon has a signature move I keep it no matter what this led to an amusing Pearl run with a Vespiquen knowing attack order, defend order, heal order and power gem, oh yeah and 4 hours of leveling up Pikachu to level 100 so it could learn volt tackle. To this day I hate volt tackle.
I'll just go over my worst movesets...

Bold Gen III Altaria with Take Down and Fly. (Also Dragonbreath and Sing IIRC; the fourth move could have been Dragon Dance, it just wasn't an attacking move. But seriously, not only does Altaria's Attack suck under normal circumstances, I was using a Bold nature. What was I thinking?!?)

Gen II Togetic with Headbutt, Shadow Ball, Rock Smash, and Metronome. I didn't even have Serene Grace as an excuse.

Gen III Gyarados with Bite, Dive, Twister, and Rock Smash. The only physical move was Rock Smash. >_<; And I seriously wondered why it took me at least 5 turns for that thing to take out Gabby and Ty?

Honorable mentions: Impish Linoone with Cut, Covet, Odor Sleuth, and Surf. 'Ol Itemaster (yes, that's what I named it) was always an HM Slave and thief, not a serious fighter. I preferred Covet over Thief because of its higher PP. I did, however, sometimes forget to remove items gained through Pickup.

I also had a Modest Lanturn (with the Illuminate ability, sigh) with Spark, Waterfall, Confuse Ray, and Thunder Wave. This set would be horrible after the Physical/Special split, but did well enough in Gen III. Likewise for my Gen III Quiet Blaziken, who had Blaze Kick, Sky Uppercut, Mirror Move, and Strength. (I originally had Peck as the third move for coverage on other Fighting-types, but eventually wished up to how useless it was.)
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I'm going to admit I was a big fan of 4 attacks, based on base power (I did not know about STAB for the longest time, even with NPCs constantly telling you about it).

And I still remember my first simulator team (gen IV): Skarmory, Blissey, Flygon, Specs Lucario, Charizard and Lanturn. It was like I sort of knew how it worked but then thought: Lucario has better special attack, I don't care how limited the special movepool is, and surely Charizard isn't that awful, and Lanturn is cool, it's ability gives it an immunity, that's so cool, totally using it.

Those were simpler times.
My 8 year old self's ULTIMATE strategy in Sapphire:

Fire Ball (Blaziken) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Blaze
EVs: like I gave a fuck
Impish Nature
- Sky Uppercut
- Cut
- Blaze Kick
- Strength

First off, I never trained any other pokemon besides him, so this was effectively my entire team when battling my friends. I knew sitrus berry restored the most health of any berry, so it naturally had to be the best item in the game. Sky Uppercut and Blaze Kick are the most powerful moves in the game (or so I thought) while the other two moves helped me cut trees and move boulders in game. Flawless strategy on my part. I lost most of my battles those days... and here I am today on Smogon, losing most of my battles.
There is nothing that makes more sense in the world, as a Groudon with Solarbeam.

Needs a fire move too! Mix Groudon is actually not that bad ingame. His support moves aren't that good against the AI and his stats are good enough to sweep without boosting, so the coverage can only help.

I don't think I was ever inclined to solo the game with my starter, but Psychics were my favourite type for a long time, from Yellow (my first game) to Platinum. So my endgame team would usually be 4 Psychics + Starter + Regional Bird/HM Slave. I just loved how most of them had Recover, saving me money on expensive Hyper Potions. Picking the Fire starter every time probably helped against Bug/Dark, but those types seem to be pretty rare anyway.


mindless philosopher
I remember reading the strategy guides and seeing, for example, that Growl lowered Attack "by one" and Dragon Dance raised Attack and Speed "by one" (they never said "stage", the bastards, so I didn't know what that was all about until 2008) when I was a kid and thinking those moves were useless (outside of Double Team, which I figured just worked differently from the rest because of how consistently annoying it was). I just loaded up on offensive attacks and the occasional healing/status-inducing move. Outside of that, though, I did better than most of my friends - I gave my Pokemon the strongest moves they could get with the widest range of coverage I could muster when balanced with the base powers of the moves. They, on the other hand, would load up on STABs with the occasional coverage move. I remember thinking my Sceptile in the first Emerald run (Leaf Blade, Dragon Claw, Thunderpunch, Aerial Ace) was the best thing ever because it destroyed half of my best friend's team on his own.
I first started taking the category of moves (i.e. physical and special) into account in Diamond, I think, and it was midway through my first run on that game that I learned what EVs were and how natures worked. I had been reading Serebii's competitive "Pokemon of the Week" feature just for the hell of it since a little before Diamond, and when I ran across the article on EVs on Bulbapedia, all that stuff I'd been reading finally clicked. I remember thinking that it would be nice to get into competitive, but I wasn't really motivated to do it... And then I learned about the VGCs from a friend, and that the winner of the 2009 regionals could go to the nationals, and then hopefully to the world championships in Japan. This was late in my freshman year of high school, smack in the middle of my weeaboo phase, so this got me hyped beyond belief. The aforementioned friend bought me Platinum as an early birthday present, and we crammed Serebii info like we were studying for a calculus test. I did respectably in that tournament, but in retrospect, I made some questionable decisions here and there up until midway through the BW1 era (among other things, I remember that Scald hax made me give my Ferrothorn a Lum Berry and my offensively-EV'd Starmie Scald over Hydro Pump or Surf).

...I guess that last part goes beyond "pre-competitive", but it was before I actually got GOOD at competitive play, so it sort of counts, right?
I knew my type chart well when I first started to play (Studied the mess out of it until i knew EVERY type) Spent hours planning teams that their type would cover as many of the 17 types as possible and still be able to use hms. Ended up with a formula for this.. Fire, Water, Grass OR Electric (Covered the same stuff for the most part) Ground/Rock, Flying, random. Gave them all the best coverage attacks I could find and proceeded to win everything. Competitive took me not even a few months to get a grasp on things fully because I was basically competitive already minus evs and ivs.
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Pssshhh, R/B/Y days was like a sprint to Vermilion get a Dugtrio and Dig the shit out of everything. Luckily that was back when Earthquake didn't hit underground opponents Lol
I remember when I first played through a game (Platinum) I thought Dig was the best move there was. It was mostly because I couldn't figure out how to get Earthquake on Garchomp.
Pssshhh, R/B/Y days was like a sprint to Vermilion get a Dugtrio and Dig the shit out of everything. Luckily that was back when Earthquake didn't hit underground opponents Lol
Ahh, the good old days. I remember using a Dugtrio in Yellow and absolutely demolishing everything. Dig was like the best move ever. I remember having a Dugtrio with Dig/Rock Slide/Slash/Cut and it owned.


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I thought having 2 ghost Pokemon in my Gen 2 team would be Uber great just to sponge the Normal and Fighting moves.
It worked very well for E4, but when I first battle with another real life trainer, my team was immediately crushed.

I had Lugia, Jynx, Misdreavus, Gengar, Typhlosion and Lapras.
Such obvious weaknesses.
Other trainers were all for Tyranitar at the time, explains all.
I remember back in FireRed my blastoise had surf, water gun, hydro pump and hyper beam, and he was the only Pokemon I used, ended up losing to the elite 4 multiple times before I finally outlived them.

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