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[GUIDE] Competitive 101 Section 1: The First Steps
Section 1: The First Steps

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Now that you are taking the first steps into competitive Pokemon, there are a few things that you're going to want to make yourself familliar with before you get into the more advanced stuff. Some of this might seem a bit rudimental, but you're far better off making sure that you fully understand the very basics of Pokemon before you start to dive into competitive play. Before we start I just want to say that becoming a good competitve battler isnt something that will happen over night, it takes time. But, with every battle you will get more experienced and, hopefully, with this guide we'll be able to get you on the right track to becoming the best pokemon trainer that you can be!

I know that this might sound obvious, but it is incredibly important to know this off. Mixing up a type weakness or resistance in a battle can be very frustrating and might even lead to an undeserving loss. As you become more advanced as a battler this won't be an issue. But when you're starting off, and just getting used to how intense some battles can be, you'll want to be able to list this off.

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Something like this might sound like a lot of work, though it can actually can be quite fun. A good way to do this is to go onto Smogon's dex (which can be found here ), pick out your favorite Pokemom (in my case it's Typhlosion), have a look at it's stats/abilities/moves and try to work out how you'd like to use it in battle eg. a fast attacker, bulky and defensive etc. Smogon also has a bunch of pre-made/popular sets for most Pokemon, so if you're having trouble coming up with your own, you should check them out! There's a section on the forums here that's dedicated to approved sets which would be worth checking out aswell (which can be found here This kind of knowledge is something that will increase as you battle, but it's better to be familiar enough with it before you start!


Status conditions are a great way to nerf threatening Pokemon in battle, but they can be incredibly frustrating to be on the receiving end of. The effects of these can range from damaging hp at the end of each turn, lowering your attack, lowering your speed and most annoyingly preventing you Pokemon from doing anything (I'm particularly looking at you frozen stat). Here's a list of all of the the effects of each status condition:
  • Burn: Causes the pokemon to loose 1/16 of their hp each turn. It also cuts the damage of physical attacks to half.
  • Confusion: Pokemon have a 33% chance of hitting themselves instead of using their selected move. The damage taken when a Pokemon hits themselves is equal to a 40 base power physical attack. Confusion will only last for between 1-4 turns.
  • Frozen: A frozen Pokemon won't be able to move at all untill they thaw out. There is no set number of turns a Pokemon can be frozen for, they can thaw out on the first turn or be frozen for the whole game (incredibly unlikely but possible). Pokemon have a 20% chance to thaw out each turn. If a Pokemon is hit by a fire type attack, scald or steam eruption while frozen, they will thaw out. Pokemon that know Fusion Flare, Flame Wheel, Sacred Fire, Flare Blitz, Scald, or Steam Eruption will be able to use that move and will thaw out after using it.
  • Paralysis: While paralysed a Pokemon's speed is cut to half. There is also a 25% chance that the Pokemon will be 'fully paralysed' which will prevent it from making a move that turn.
  • Poisoned: The less common of the poison stats. A Pokemon will lose 1/8 of their hp at the end of each turn while poisoned.
  • Badley Poisoned: Unfortunatly the more common of the poison stats. A Pokemon will lose 1/16 of their hp at the end of the first turn while badly poisoned, then 2/16 at the end of the second turn, then 3/16 at the end of the third turn, etc. up until your Pokemon faints. If you switch your Pokemon out while they're badly poisoned, the damge taken at the end of each turn will be reset to 1/16 when they're switched back in.
  • Sleep: Pokemon that are asleep are prevented from attacking each turn, with the exception of moves like Snore and Sleep Talk. The first turn of sleep is guaranteed, but you habe a chance to wake up on the second and third turns. Sleep will last no longer that 3 turns.

There are two main formats in competitive Pokemon, VGC (Video Game Championships) and Smogon.
  • VGC is the official format run by the Pokemon Company. It's run as double battles and it's rules vary by year, eg. pokemon that are allowed/items that are allowed. You can find the current rules for VGC 2017 here

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  • Smogon on the other hand is an unofficial created by fans of the the series. Pokemon are ranked in tiers by usage, eg. never used, over used etc. Smogon battles are usually ran as single battles. To find more information on Smogon have a look here
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EVs and IVs are incredibly important when it comes to battling competitively. IV stand for Individual Values and are asigned to your Pokemon when you hatch them or catch them. EV stands for effort values and and are given to you Pokemon when you defeat other Pokemon. Both of these effect your Pokemons stats, the more EVs and IVs you have in one stat the higher it will be. Natures are diffrent than EVs and IVs, but still have an effect on your Pokemons stats. Each Pokemon is assigned one of twenty five natures. Most natures raise the power of one stat and lower another, but there are a few that neither raise nor lower any stats. These are one of the more complicated parts of competitive Pokmon and I wouldn't be able to fit all of the informatin about them into this thread. Thankfully we have some amazing guides to these subjects by some users on the site!

I recommend reading both of these guides as if your pokemon aren't bred for the best possible IVs and nature, and trained for specific EVs you will more than likely be at a significant disadvantage to your opponent!

Thankfully there are plenty of resources online for competitive beginners. Here's a list of a few that might come in handy!
  • Smogon: an incredibly useful site. Has a great dex feature for looking up Pokemon, with info on stats, moves and sets.

  • Showdown: a great battle simulator run by Smogon. Perfect for testing out teams and practice battles.

  • Serebii: a Pokemon encyclopedia. Has info on everything related to Pokemon, from the anime to the card game. But most importantly an incredibly detailed pokedex!

  • Bulbapedia: another pokemon encyclopedia, but in the style of Wikipedia. Has info one everything to do with Pokemon and a great pokedex too.

  • Our Team Builder: we're fortunate enought to have a fantastic team builder on our forums! It can tell you what your team is weak against and give you a good visualisation of what your team is capable of before you start to make it in-game.

  • Damage Calculator: going back to Showdown for a fantastic damage calculator. This is great for seeing what pokemon are capable of while team building or for using while you're battling.

    To Section 2
    Team Building Part 1
    (Coming Soon)
Hi, Super Nintendo Chalmers!
Great job! Part 2 coming soon.
(Jul 3, 2017, 03:10 PM)croissant Wrote: Great job! Part 2 comes from a testosterone booster soon.

This is just what I've been looking for! Thanks! I'm looking forward to part 2!

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