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 Far's guide to Gym Team Building

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far257
Fire Gym Leader


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PostSubject: Far's guide to Gym Team Building   Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:11 pm

Hello Friends!

I'm bored and this is my last week off before I go back to work on a terribly difficult project... So, I thought I'd write a Pokemon guide!

There are a couple of new-ish members thinking about taking their Gym Test soon, and a couple that are already in process, so I thought I would write down my 2-cents on how to build a mono-type, gym-eligible team. I realize this post will probably make my gym less challenging as I use it as an example many times, but I haven't gotten any new challengers in a while, so that's OK!

Step 1: What Kind of Team Will You Build?
This first question about what your overall strategy will be. I find that many new-comers simply want to build a "good" team; let's go a level deeper. How will you team be good? Will it have many strong attackers and overwhelm its opponents with offence? Will it have study walls and be nearly impossible to crack? Balanced teams are also possible. There are also other kinds of "theme" teams like weather teams and hazard teams, but these teams generally need to follow the same building rules at their surface. Once you've decided what type of team you're going to build, you can now start building your setup.

Example Team Setups
Offensive Teams
- 1-3 physical/mixed sweepers
- 1-3 special/mixed sweepers
- 1 wall-breaker
- 1 mixed wall
- 0-1 support

Balanced Teams
- 1-2 physical/mixed sweepers
- 1-2 special/mixed sweepers
- 1 physical/mixed wall
- 1 special/mixed wall
- 1 support
- 0-1 wall breaker

Defensive/ Stall Teams
- 0-1 sweeper
- 2-3 physical wall
- 2-3 special wall
- 1-2 support

Step 2: Come up with a Plan to Cover your Weaknesses
I will use my Fire Gym as an example going forward. As a Mono-type player, there will be a few types you're weak to, and you need to be able to counter them. As a Fire-type leader, I'm weak to Water, Rock and Ground. My plan is as follows:

1) Try to ensure that the weather condition Sunny Day is up as much as possible to remove water weakness
2) Use many Pokemon with flying secondary types or the ability levitate so they are immune to Ground attacks
3) Ban the use of stealth rock
4) Have a specific counter for Tyranitar; the most common Rock-type in OU

Step 3: Choosing Pokemon to Fill Roles
I chose to try and build a Balanced team. I begin with the hardest position to fill for my type, which are my walls. Fire-types don't have a ton of really sturdy defensive Pokemon, which is why I am beginning here.

Walls
So, what makes a good wall?
- High defences
- Reliable recovery
- Either: usable offences or good support movepool

Let's begin with Physical walls. If you think about non-uber Fire-type Pokemon with high defence, you'll notice that Torkoal and Magcargo are right at the top of the list, however, these Pokemon are quite useless outside of their defences and lack reliable recovery. Another interesting choice is Heatran, but the Tranny doesn't have reliable recovery outside of rest and isn't easily available, so he's not a great choice either. Rotom-H is similar to Heatran with good defences and no recovery, but he also has a poor HP stat which doesn't let him take hits as well as I'd like him to. I have to go all the way down to base 80 defence Pokemon to find Arcanine (yay, fire types...).

Arcanine fits the bill quite nicely:
- 90/80/80 defences are usable
- Access to reliable recovery in Morning Sun
- Intimidate is a great way to come in on a predicted physical attack
- Access to Will-o-Wisp lets him square off against many physical attackers and win
- Great offences (for a defensive Pokemon) prevent Arcanine from being set-up bait for opposing sweepers

With this in mind, I make a simple set-up maximize his physical bulk:
Arcanine @ Leftovers
Intimidate
252 hp, 252 def, 4 SpD, Impish
- Morning Sun
- Will-o-Wisp
- Extreme Speed
- Roar

Morning Sun and Will-o-Wisp are mandatory for physical walling. Extreme Speed is a great way to clean up weakened teams and the only way this set takes advantage of Arcanine's great 110 base attack. Roar gives Arcanine a way to deal with set-up sweepers who use substitutes or are somehow immune to Will-O-Wisp. I originally used Flare Blitz in my last slot, but a big recoil move of a defensive Pokemon isn't a great idea, and without investment, you won't be securing that many KO's anyway.

A similar thought process went into selecting a special wall. I settled on Volcarona because:
- Great special bulk in 85/65/105 defences
- Access to reliable recovery through Roost and Morning Sun
- Quiver Dance boosts special defence along with offences and speed
- Quiver Dance and great base stats mean Volcarona is still a threatening offensive presence even without investment

Sweepers
Sweepers are easy when you're a fire-type as many Pokemon are strong offensively. Here's what makes a good Sweeper:
- Strong offences with strong STAB attacks
- Good coverage (especially important for a mono-type team)
- Either very fast to hit first, or bulky enough to take hits and strike back

There are generally two types of sweepers:
- Set-up sweepers that use boosting moves before tearing through enemy teams
- Choice users that don't need set-up turns and hit hard right from the start

Set-up sweepers are obviously harder to use but are generally more powerful and harder to wall. Choice users can nag quick kills but your opponent can more easily revenge them or force them out because they are trapped on a single move. On my team, my special wall can double as a set-up sweeper with enough boosts, so I elected to grab one physical set-up sweeper in Mega Charizard X, and two choice users in Talonflame (Choice Band) and Rotom-Heat (Choice Specs).

Wall-Breakers
I elected not to bring a wall-breaker because I have confidence in the power of my sweepers. But in general, this is what makes a good wall-breaker:
- Very high offences, although speed is somewhat less important
- Perfect coverage
- Some way to get past common walls - the most common way is to be a powerful MIXED attacker so you can always hit your opponent's weaker defence stat
- Single-use, ultra powerful attacks with nasty side-effects (like draco meteor or overheat)

Hydreigon is a great wall-breaker because, although he lacks to speed to sweep effectively, he has supreme coverage, a great mixed move-pool and high attack and special attack stats. He also has the 2nd strongest Draco Meteor in OU. Hydreigon might, for example, lure out Blissey by threatening with Draco Meteor. Blissey can switch into sponge that attack, but won't enjoy taking superpower on the turn after. Hydreigon is then forced to switch out because he's now a -2 spa, -1 atk and -1 def, but he's done his job, because with Blissey gone, more powerful special attackers that don't have physical options can proceed to decimate your opponent.

Support
The last role I need to fill is my support Pokemon. Supports do some (or all) of the following:
- Set up entry hazards
- Set up weather
- Set up screens
- Spread status
- Prevent opponents from using the moves they want to (Spinblock, Encores, Taunts, Disable, Phasing etc.)
- Remove any of the above effects (Rapid Spin, Defog, Aromatherapy, Wish)

With the Sun powering up all fire-attacks by 50% and removing fire's weakness to water, Ninetales is an obvious choice on a fire-team for support. Ninetales also gets access to nice support moves like toxic, will-o-wisp and roar. Ninetales also hits reasonably hard and has good special defence. Since I'm a little weaker on special attacking side with Volcarona not running any offensive investment, a 3rd special attacker is appreciated.

Step 4: Choose your lead(s)
In Pokemon, the only order you need to worry about is which Pokemon goes first. Generally, a good lead can do one or more of the following:
- Set up a support condition
- Prevent the opponent from setting up a support condition
- Scout for counter switches and steal momentum

On my team I have 3 possible leads:
1) Ninetales sets up the sun and can cripple leads with toxic or outright kill weaker ones (like Xatu, or any Steel leads)
2) Rotom-Heat can do a slow-volt switch to scout the enemy's lead and bring in a counter
3) Talonflame can do a fast u-turn to escape and bring in the appropriate wall before the opponent can move, or simply KO weaker offensive leads like Greninja with priority Brave Bird



Annnnd that's it! I hope someone actually reads this... this turned out way longer than anticipated lol. Feel free to leave comments and questions below

-far-

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[PN] dialga
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PostSubject: Re: Far's guide to Gym Team Building   Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:40 pm

Lol read it all Far, solid advice there bud  Wink 

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SickSouls
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PostSubject: Re: Far's guide to Gym Team Building   Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:50 pm

*slowly claps* way to go, Far... You impress an 18 year old yet again. You're just limitless! This is definitely advice to be remembered, thanks for it, rest assure it will not go unnoticed.

You've certainly got a vote for  trainer of the month this month.

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far257
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PostSubject: Re: Far's guide to Gym Team Building   Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:53 pm

SickSouls wrote:
*slowly claps* way to go, Far... You impress an 18 year old yet again. You're just limitless! This is definitely advice to be remembered, thanks for it, rest assure it will not go unnoticed.

I may or may not be older than you...  bounce 

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SickSouls
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PostSubject: Re: Far's guide to Gym Team Building   Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:14 pm

I assumed you were... I mean, I'm not married xD

Oh, by the way, the move Super Power only decreases the attack and defense by one stage; special defense remains the same. I'll work on getting a Hydreigon...

Thanks again, I'm actually kinda new Pokemon. This helped xD (and it indeed meant sacrificing some of your Gym's tricks)

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far257
Fire Gym Leader


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PostSubject: Re: Far's guide to Gym Team Building   Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:07 pm

SickSouls wrote:
I assumed you were... I mean, I'm not married xD

Oh, by the way, the move Super Power only decreases the attack and defense by one stage; special defense remains the same. I'll work on getting a Hydreigon...

Thanks again, I'm actually kinda new Pokemon. This helped xD (and it indeed meant sacrificing some of your Gym's tricks)

lol I ain't married Razz (yet)

It's the Draco Meteor he used on the switch that lowered his special attack 2 stages... read closely!

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Dem
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PostSubject: Re: Far's guide to Gym Team Building   Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:49 am

Nice guide! This would be helpful to trainers trying to make any team really, not just Gym Teams (yea, I know it was a mono-type team, but still). The stuff here's not really new to me, but it'll be gold for lots of others!

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And Arceus saw that it was good.

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far257
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PostSubject: Re: Far's guide to Gym Team Building   Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:08 pm

Thanks Dem! If I wanted to write about team building in general I have to start talking about type coverage and resistances... and the whole thing gets very complicated Razz

It's amazing how a children's game has evolved into something so deep.

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PostSubject: Re: Far's guide to Gym Team Building   Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:56 am

Yea, I know right… I mean seriously:

You expect CHILDREN to play this??!

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[PN] Dark Lord
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PostSubject: Re: Far's guide to Gym Team Building   Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:42 am

Hey Far, good guide, but defensive teams hardly ever carry a sweeper, the tend to carry a wall breaker and a few tanks as offense and then have stallers and walls as defence ;)just thought I'd throw that into the pot.

Also far, another example of a wall breaker would be Noivern, or Crawdaunt and even rotom.
The idea being that Rotom can Trick your choice specs onto your opponents Wall while Noivern and crawdaunt switcharoo choice items onto them, this takes the walls item, like leftovers or evolite cutting the pokemons defence or leaving it with no added recovery and traps them into one move, even if they switch out, you've ruined them for the whole match, while you still have powerful attackers.

Crawdaunt could also simply use knock off as its been boosted this gen, to take away the walls advantage item and do a lot of damage to Chancey and Blissey.

One last think Far. Might be a good idea to include talk about cores,

A core is 2-3 Pokémon that you build your team around. This can be defensive pokemon that cover each other's weaknesses, cut down your opponents ability to break the other core members and help you keep your cores going. A good example is Cofigrigus and Gastrodon. Cofigrigus is a defensive wall, carrying moves like will-o-wisp helps reduce damage to himself and gastro, while his ability mummy takes physical pokemon's ability's away. Cofigrigus also can get knock off, helping your team by taking your opponents item away. Gastrodon has reliable recovery in recover and carry other handy support moves including, Swagger, scald, amnesia and acid armour to name a few. Once Cofigrigus has crippled your foe and Gastrodon has had its turn, your foes pokemon is likely burned, confused, itemless and abilityless and Gastrodon can freely set up or do some damage with its ok attack stats.

This is only a basic idea. There are other great cores, another term is synergy. If Pokémon have good Synergy then they tend to work well together, helping the team or there partner pokemon. This sort of play means that weaker pokemon, or set up sweepers have a better, easier time getting into the fray and setting up in your opponents face Smile

Otherwise a brilliant guild Far Very Happy Will be very helpful for newpeople to the meta game.

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